Sometimes, it is easy to be a complete glutton to your selfish desires. It is easy to live for your needs and your needs alone. In fact, with very little effort we all can tap into a self-satisfaction that is easily manufactured within us. We know our likes, our dislikes. We see our daydreams first hand and know what drives us better than anyone. So yes, it is indeed easy to be a glutton to yourself.
On the other hand, it can be just as easy to get wrapped up into the service of others. There is nothing in this universe like connecting with someone and being able to give them what they need. Knowing that you played a part in their happiness and satisfaction. As you are reading this you may feel that one of these categories speaks to you more. Some find it their nature to think only of themselves and others find it so gratifying to serve others that they seldom put themselves first. Neither is wrong. Neither is right but are either completely fulfilled and happy?
My pendulum swings from one scenario to the other in seasons. I can go a long span of time where I live for me and me alone. Then I will go through a period where I want to be there for others and build connections. I am finding in this point in my life that I can never truly be fulfilled so long as that pendulum continues it's motion.
The majority of last week I was constantly on the go. So much so that even minor details in my life such as rest, nourishment, even sitting down for a moment to rest were set aside so that I could continue the momentum that was placed before me. This morning as I woke, I dreaded the day. A day of extra work, tasking and mixed with my already exhausted mind and body I honestly did not know where I would harness the energy to get through this day let along my week until my next day off.
So as I departed from my meeting at work, I knew that on Mondays I go to the gym. As I drove I almost made the decision to pass the exit to continue with my task list for the day before I stopped. Well, I did not literally stop my car..I am not insane. I just made a clear and conscious decision in my mind that I needed to say, "Okay. Enough already. You can not afford to not take care of yourself."
As I turned off on the exit to my gym with a new focus I abandoned all of my plans prior and knew that I needed to take today and just enjoy it. Take care of myself. Take care of others. It was quite difficult at first. My mind was racing with the things I needed to be doing, how tired I was and yet I did not allow myself to quit. I ran harder than I had in weeks. Pushing myself in the hopes that this simple run would bring me back in touch with myself again.
It worked. A burst of energy shot through me and a smile broke on my lips. It was all I could do not to giggle and look like a crazy girl as I ran on the treadmill. I walked out of that gym with clarity once more. The delicate balance. If you take care of your mind, body and spirit first then you will have so much more to give to everyone else. I could still do all the things I needed to do for others, my work, my life but only after I nourished myself.
I spent the rest of my day still doing my tasks but throwing in moments where I would stop and say, "Okay. What do I need to feel good?" I spent the day enjoying taste, massage, smiling, laughing, feeling. I did not get all of my work done but it will get done in due time. It truly is a delicate balance. You need both self preservation and dedication to others in your life. It is how life and community were designed. Stop the pendulum. Balance. Take care of yourself and others.