Extreme Selflessness Leads To Losing Yourself
For most of my life, I lived for others and not myself. I was convinced this selfless attitude made me a better person. I was somehow getting extra credit for being such a great son, husband, father, and friend. Lately I’m seeing it was an excuse and justification for not having a backbone to stand on my own. If something were to not go my way, my get out of jail free card was that I was being selfless. I would lessen the pain and boost myself in one swoop. What was once living for my parents then my friends has shifted to only living for my wife and son. It sounds noble, but what good is my life if I completely disappear?
Last night I got together with some friends for our every few years get together to watch the UFC pay per view event Bad Blood. A few of my friends live out of town so it’s not a quick commute. However doesn’t the phrase “our every few years get together” sound awkward in itself? We had a great time, but why am I so extreme that I would only break away from my family to get together with friends every few years or for a super hyped championship fight?
I need to let go of my extra credit mindset and focus on the benefits. I get a chance to recharge my batteries and catch up with friends in a more intimate setting. I get to hear about different points of view and experiences. Finally, my wife and son can spend more quality time together.
My friends from out of town wanted to have one more lunch before returning to work. I felt my old mindset creep in. My son seems to be fighting a cold along with his grandma and my wife. I was close from skipping lunch so I could take care of them. However in the bigger picture, I can’t forget to take care of myself.
My friends and I ended up having a terrific time catching up and adventuring through Venice Beach. My family survived without me. I finally realized that through the years I subconsciously felt I always needed to be by their side. I somehow fueled my self worth by how much my loved ones depend and need me. This is not healthy for anyone involved. In the end, I felt refreshed and in a much better state to take care of them. Although it’s not easy or natural for me, my wife and son will be better off with a husband and father that has a backbone and has not completely disappeared.
Do you ever feel you are being too selfless? How do you not lose yourself to your loved ones?