I don’t know about you but I have a very hard time putting myself first sometimes. My kids, my husband, my employer, my family, my friends; their needs, wants, feelings, problems, successes are all normally ahead of my own. It’s no problem, I’ve made it that way. That’s the way I want it. I enjoy doing for others and I love being there for those close to me. I’m glad people feel as though they can come to me and (9 times out of 10) they know I am going to drop everything and be there – 100%. That’s just me. Always has been and to an extent I suppose it always will be. Asking for nothing in return as I very rarely do. I love that people know they can count on me. I love being able to help, I love being able to listen. This is all part of my personality and I am very happy with it. There’s not all things (of course) that I am happy with about myself but my commitment to those close to me is definitely one of my best traits and I am proud to be able to say that.
There have been very few times in my life that I have asked for, needed, demanded, requested or suggested something for myself. Whether it be a favor, an action, help with something, or a need fulfilled I have very rarely ever allowed myself to depend on someone to do something that required putting me first. That’s just the way it’s always worked for me. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had to call on others to put me first.
I have always lived my life with the mantra “Do onto others as you would have done onto you.” If someone needs me, I’m there. Good times, bad times; doesn’t matter. As a daughter, sister, cousin, niece, employee, friend, coworker, wife, mother or whomever it doesn’t matter – when someone close to me needs me I’m there. No questions asked. I always assumed when and if the time ever came that I would need someone to be there for me I would be treated with the same respect and courtesy. No questions asked.
Over the last number of years I have learned that’s not always the case. As long as others are happy, as long as others lives are going along wonderfully to hell with everyone else. I have come up against coworkers who would stab me in the back rather than remember the time I covered theirs. I have had people who would spit in my face after I wiped the tears off their face. I have helped heal broken hearts only to have my own crumble.
Every relationship, every encounter we make with another person allows us the chance to learn something. Some relationships are brief and we may never know the reason for their part in our life. Others are more long term. Sometimes we are totally oblivious to the part someone has played in our life and at other times their impact on us will never be forgotten. People stay in our lives and we never have the chance to get to know them as well as we could and others get close enough to us that we feel as though we have known them our entire lives. The contacts we make and the roads we choose to follow with people absolutely amaze me. If we hadn’t been in a certain place at a certain time perhaps we wouldn’t have met a certain person and I wonder how different life would be.
Why is it that we can put a smile on our face and say hello to a total stranger yet walk into our place of work, our home or that of a family member or friend and not always offer them the same courtesy? And when we can’t or don’t what does that say about us? Are we so complacent with those who are closest to us that we can’t give them the same consideration and “good will” that we would give a total stranger?
Tonight my wish is for us all to try to not be complacent with those closest to us. Sometimes we may need to read between the lines a little bit to really see it but by looking hard enough we can all see what is needed by those we love. It doesn’t take a psychology degree or a masters in communication to open our hearts to those around us. Because someday that person whom you trust with your life, the very same person who is always there for you just may need a little something from you, and no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, it could be that person’s world. Always try to be the person you would like and hope for someone else to be for you.
Until next time…