The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.Mahatma Gandhi
I read two things on Facebook yesterday that really kicked with me. Here’s the first.
This is 100% me. I didn’t know how to put this into words until I saw this. I’ve always been the helper – with my grandparents, with my mom, with my brother, with other family, with friends, with Mike. My therapist convinced me to read this book a few years ago. While I wasn’t on board with all of the Christianity in the book, the actual love languages really struck a chord with me. I am totally, absolutely, 100%, an acts of service person. I will do for other people until my feet fall off. Everyone knows that if they need something to come see/call/text/find me. I am absolutely the kind of person to light myself on fire to keep everyone else warm.
For example, I will do everything around the house on a day off so Mike can relax tomorrow when he’s off and not have to worry about anything. So…. he gets to enjoy his day off, but I don’t? I will bust my ass doing everything for everyone and leave very little time to myself.
In many ways this has been programmed into me since I was young. I was expected to help take care of my grandparents (I do not resent this in the slightest, please don’t read that as me being embittered about the situation as it was). I was expected to help take care of my brother when he was a baby and was young (and even still to this day, to be honest. My mom said to me recently that if something happens to her and my stepdad that we’re going to get my brother.) In many cases everyone else’s needs were to come before my own. And that’s fine, but that behavior has translated into adulthood in sometimes unhealthy ways.
I don’t know how to relax. There’s always something to be done, normally for other people. I volunteer in a few different ways even though I really don’t have time most of the time. But I make time. Because these things are important to me. And yes, I do feel a sense of obligation, sometimes, to do these things. I feel that if I’m able to give, I should.
And then there’s this.
Yeah. That kicks. And probably true.