Let me start by telling you, I get it. No matter how hard I try to prioritize myself, I always put everyone else first. If you’re anything like I am, there’s probably no one around you who understands why you are the way that you are. But that’s okay, because I know how you’re feeling, and you are not alone. I know you feel like you’re on your last straw. Like no matter how much good you do, it will never be enough. People tell you all the time, “Stop trying to make everyone happy,” or “Why do you care what happens to them, it’s none of your concern.” Well, here’s a few things I have learned about what it means to be… like us.
People Can Sense Your Kindness
It took me a while to realize that people know that I will do almost anything for anyone if it will make their day better. It’s like they can smell it. They know that I would rather complicate my own life, if it meant I could simplify theirs. Now, there are people out there that I would genuinely do anything for without any feelings of burden. They are deserving of my kindness because they are grateful, and they will always be there to return the favor. And then there’s the people who will take your last drop of water so they can add it to their overflowing glass. They will take from you until you are empty and broken. And even though they could care less about how what they are doing effects you, you will still help them… because that’s who you are.
The Selfish Will Never Understand the Selfless
They are two different species. The selfish people in this world don’t know the first thing about what it’s like to be us. They think we’re nuts! And I get why they think that. When I try to see their point of view, I think of it like this; you go out with a friend and they forgot their coat– the selfless person would give them their coat, and suffer the cold. A selfish person thinks, “Why would I give them my coat? Then I would just be cold, I’m the one who remembered the coat, I deserve it.” Their logic makes perfect sense. But nevertheless, we will still give up our coat, it’s what we do.
It Will All Pay Off in the End
I’m not saying that one day you’ll win the lottery, but you might! What I am saying is… whether anyone realizes how much good you’ve done or not, you will know. You can die knowing that you did whatever you could to help someone who needed you. There is something so satisfying about having the ability to help someone else. It doesn’t matter if someone saw you, one of our best qualities, as selfless individuals, is our integrity. I used to think it was what other people thought about you that mattered, what I realized is that it’s what you think about YOURSELF that is going to help you sleep at night.
You Don’t Have to Change
When you’ve given all you can give, and you feel the anxiety and depression sinking in, it’s okay. I promise you’ll get through it, you always do. You question why you keep giving when you get nothing in return but stress. You’ve probably said the words, “I’m done” more times than you can count. Here’s the conclusion I came to…I spent so long fighting myself on doing less for others, putting myself first, and trying to change, that it made it worse. It’s not who I am, and it’s not who you are! You don’t have to change, and no one has to understand why you are the way that you are.
I know you can’t help but to put everyone else first. My best advice is to find one person to talk to, to keep you sane. One person who is like you, who will give up their coat, who will give their last drop of water, and who will understand what it’s like to be selfless. Someone who knows it’s not something you can turn on or off, and they won’t judge you for putting a stranger before yourself. Find them and never let them go, hold on with all your might– because there isn’t a lot of us left in this selfish world. And if you don’t have that someone, I’ll be here. I don’t care who you are, I’ll be your rock, because that’s who I am, and it’s who you are. It’s who we are. And we are perfect just the way we are.
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