“Make a choice. If it doesn’t work, make another one.” Rachel Wolchin. Humans are prone to overcomplicate things. Playing out a million possibilities in our heads, worrying about the future. At the same time we fail to realize the significance of some of our actions. We struggle with our choices for so many reasons. We struggle with the personal choices and take so many chances on things that impact others.
My mind has been battling the age old question of what is right and wrong. I know what it feels like when I’ve made decisions based on what I thought was right, what I thought other people wanted. It felt terrible. I set the expectation that others would like me or help me get what I wanted and when they didn’t, I felt let down and disappointed and even hurt. Then I started thinking about the times when I made decisions based on what I wanted, even the times it may have been considered selfish. It felt amazing. Aligned and truthful, and yes, even purposeful. It felt like I could take on the world.
I want to clarify that I’m not talking about material things. I’m talking about the times I knew I had to take care of myself so I called off of work. Or the times I needed to have really tough conversations with people I love so I wrote it out and then had the discussion. Or the times I knew the work no longer served so I left the job for something better. It’s easy to take the edge off by treating ourselves to little
things like the new pair of jeans or the shoes or the coffee, but that isn’t fulfilling anything. Sometimes those little moments of self-care are needed, I don’t downplay their importance, but I’m talking about something bigger
We are trained to associate meeting our own needs with selfishness that we’ve twisted ourselves in knots for people who wouldn’t even step out of the way for us. I made horrible choices in my life—completely cliché and non-serving choices to make other people happy—and it was far more dangerous than making a choice for myself. But in each one of those choices, I’ve finally seen the point: do what feels right because your gut will never steer you wrong. There may be times it feels that way, but it will never steer you wrong.
It’s time to break the belief that filling your cup first is a selfish act and replace it with the narrative that it’s is a necessary act. Once that information is integrated, there is no going back. I’m learning that accepting myself means accepting how I’m built. We aren’t a one size fits all package, so not everything people tell us to pursue is right for us. So fill your cup with what works for you, not with the leftovers people tell you to be happy with. Live joyfully in what you do and in doing what you want.