“If you always put someone else first, there’s a tendency for others to depreciate you, to lose respect, because respect comes from an understanding that that person has her own wishes, dreams, and desires.” – Ethel S. Person, MD
As I woke this morning to a quiet house, I decided to take a little time and dive into some light “Val Monroe” reading from the Oprah.com website. Diving back into the archives, Val reminds me of the kind of woman that I would love to have in my small circle of friends, who I could sit and soak up stories from for hours…and who could remind me that living a full and rich life doesn’t always mean that it’s easy, but it’s definitely always worth the journey…so soak it up.
One of the stories that I came across was a very personal one she shared back in the summer of 2004. The article, ” Why It’s Okay (Actually, Essential) to Put Yourself First,” reminded me to something I had long taken for granted – myself. Like many others, too often I feel trapped in the scenario of dropping everything to help others and watching my priorities get pushed down the list. My own “list” often seems like it has become full of taking care of the world for everyone else and not taking back any time for myself. Sometimes trapped in this caregiver role, it feels almost suffocating. This is why the powerful quote and lesson within the article by Dr. Person spoke to me…and was a little bit of an emotional jolt.
Simply re-stated for me… here is the powerful lesson I walked away with this morning: If I always put everyone else first, people will depreciate my time and my value and essentially, lose respect for me….because I am teaching them to do this. If respect comes from an understanding that a person has their own wishes, dreams and desires, then I need to respect my OWN self and those wishes, dreams and desires by putting myself first. And by doing this, it doesn’t mean that I love anyone any less…it actually means that I love everyone a little more…