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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Me First -- When Is It Right?

Hey All -- Happy Sunday!

Recently I blogged about loving yourself even more than you hate others.  That makes sense, because you need to avoid being trapped in a pattern of fear and loathing.  But is it OK to love yourself even more than you love others?

If you check my blog roll, you'll see that some people answer this question with a resounding "yes."  The author of "proportions in life" consistently details how she feels she is right putting her self first, even as a mother of several children.  "The Organized Man" discusses how those who tell you that selflessness is honorable and selfishness is unacceptable are fraudsters.  For reasons that are only too obvious, I concur with my colleagues.

Far too many people enter into relationships for the wrong reasons.  Maybe they're keeping up with the Joneses, maybe they're afraid of missing a deadline, maybe they're lonely and desperate.  This usually results in "settling," or allowing the relationship to end in a complete disaster.  Some of these people did not love themselves first.

When both people love themselves first, they are able to make wise and informed decisions about how the relationship should proceed, or even if it should proceed to begin with.  They don't get made into doormats, they don't get raked over the coals, and they don't get stuck in situations that they can't control.  They dictate terms, they make decisions, and they maintain authority over their personal space.  And if boundaries are crossed, or advantage is taken, they suffer no guilt or doubt in ending the whole thing, because it is better to preserve themselves than it is to sacrifice themselves.

And when people who love themselves first realize that they love each other, everything else that they need to do is a no-brainer.  They can love themselves even more than they love each other, and still make everything work.  It doesn't mean they don't care about the other person at all.  Instead, it means that they communicate their needs openly and honestly, without resentment or bitterness, and that they tend to actually get all or most of what they want without feeling guilty about somehow depriving the other party.

Also, when you love yourself more than you love others, the results you experience in other facets of life tend to be much more satisfactory.  You get to choose who or what gets your attention, and who or what doesn't.    As my "proportions" colleague recently reminded me, you get to the the producer, director, head writer, and star of your own big-budget Hollywood production (or after-school special, if you prefer).  You don't owe anything to anyone, because you don't allow yourself to be "beholden" to debts you can't repay.

That doesn't mean that you abandon people who count on you.  And it doesn't mean you disregard fiduciary or professional obligations because you get lazy.  And it doesn't mean you withhold the positive regard that someone in your life needs and deserves.  But it does mean that you don't let any of the above-referenced people tell you that they matter more than you do.

Once again, a post consistent with the Pillars!

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

And sometimes, you do all of the above even more than anyone else does!

Night, all.  A week from today, I'm taking my marathoning on the road, back to Buffalo!  See some good friends, explore the second half of a well-plotted course, and see if this constant-maintenance program I've resigned myself to for the past six months will get me something between 4 hours and my PR.  Back to the North Country!