Growing up, no matter how good or bad as people our parents are, all kids are taught to be polite, civil, courteous. Growing up in brown/asian households, you’re taught to go freakin’ out-of-the-way for friends and family, manifest the quote “Live like a candle that burns like a candle to give light to the world”. Bringing joy and comfort to people who matter, pulling people out of misery who really deserve help is a contentment like no other, really. But the same mantras sow such deep seeds of selflessness in us that we forget we ‘require’ some water and sunlight too. Why never ‘me first’? Why do I always have to sacrifice what truly makes me happy to put a smile on somebody’s face? There are 2 caveats to these selflessness mantras:
- It becomes so repetitive, one day after another, that it turns us into submissive, docile, sedated slaves who doesn’t have any individuality or say. We live for others, there is no sense of personal achievement or success.
- Most of the times we end up sacrificing so much of our happiness for people who wouldn’t even remember our names or how we looked it after 5 years. Classic scenario of “Stop crossing bridges for those who wouldn’t even cross puddles for you”. I hope that makes my point more lucid.
Selflessness is not a bad thing necessarily but it’s not a fucking award-winning, worth having trophy either. People mistakenly assume it as the opposite of Selifishness but in reality, it is just the opposite end of an extremity spectrum. Dude! don’t snatch somebody’s bite out of their mouth but don’t starve yourself feeding other bellies either! It is that simple. Just go easy on yourself, make excuses for yourself and try to be more accommodating and empathetic towards the person you are. Don’t you think you should be cut a lil’ slack too? I do, and let me tell you it feels awesome to be imperfect and fall short of expectations sometimes and accept it. I used to be the same self-righteous prude towards myself not very long ago, until I made a horrible judgement about an issue and couldn’t stop the self-blaming. I went on and on, ridiculing my intellect and questioning my morals until my best friend stepped in and knocked some sense into me, telling me exactly what I’m telling you above. “It’s ok”… it really is. So whenever you make a blunder and fuck things up, take a deep breath and say ““it’s ok”. Really works.
Anyway, coming back to the topic, we keep on striving and wading out way through some serious emotional and mental shit people throw in our faces, digesting that crap like a pro just because we’re programmed that way: not to say NO. People spend half their lives living in abusive relationships just because they’re too afraid to say no or they doubt themselves that most probably there’s something wrong at their end, maybe if they’ll do something differently it’ll work. It just breaks my heart to see people in a constant rut, trying to fix which didn’t really deserve to be there in the first place, a bliss just in their heads. I sigh as I write this; just too many people.
And when you finally, by the miracle that always happens but often too late, realize why were you the sole runner in this long and tedious marathon, you learn to love yourself, appreciate the kind of greatness you showed, the tenacity and commitment to a lost cause. But what we don’t do is apologize to ourselves for letting people shit all over us in the first place. You see, the whole point of an apology is to take corrective action to ensure the mistake doesn’t reoccur. So by acknowledging what a piece of self loathing, gutless shit you were towards your own self who was too weak to stand up for your rights, you realize you were wrong too: how, when and where. When you apologize to yourself for selling yourself too short every single time, you raise the bar. This doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, you will and bigger ones, but at least you won’t be digging the same hole again.
Walk away, whenever you’re unhappy or not being reciprocated fairly, walk away and don’t ever look back. There are plenty of people around the world who deserve that kindness, that mercy. Never doubt yourself, ever. You are the best judge of yourself, nobody else knows what you’ve been through and how you dealt with shit. Never doubt yourself.