People Who Are Important to Me

One of the lessons I seem to be forced to learn over and over and over again is that just because I consider someone important to me, that does not necessarily mean that I’m important to them. That’s always a heartbreaking realization. Upon discovering this, I’m learning to reduce that person’s importance in my life as well. But it isn’t easy. I am loyal to a fault.

I tend to take the initiative in friendships much more often than I should, for example. I seem to forget that I deserve to be prioritized as much as the next person does. All relationships should be give and take. Not that I think one should keep score, but sometimes the imbalance becomes blatantly obvious. This lesson has intensified, for some reason, since I moved to the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Freeze is real.

If you trust someone and they do not trust you, then they don’t think much of you. Not really. And if someone is quite happy to do things with you only if you come up with the ideas and make the plans every single time, then clearly they’re not seeing you as someone who is worth the effort.

So the lesson for today, for me, anyway, is to never forget that I have value, and that value deserves acknowledgement.


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For some reason it’s been my experience that most people are incapable of being kind to themselves. I’m no exception. I don’t know if it’s low self-worth or a time management issue, but we tend not to take care of ourselves the way we would others. Think about it. You’d hold a door open for a stranger before you’d hold a figurative door open for yourself, wouldn’t you? That’s a tragedy.

In this economy especially, it is a shame that we are not taking more opportunities to be kind to ourselves. It costs nothing or next to nothing to allow yourself to sleep in or take a bath instead of a shower. When’s the last time you put lotion on your feet or took a walk in a park? Go ahead, splurge on that higher-end ice cream that you love so much, just this once. The dishes can wait. Instead, indulge your desire to watch a few episodes of Star Trek. Or take your bike out of mothballs and go for a ride. What’s it going to hurt? Start taking yoga classes again. You know you loved it. Why did you ever stop?

When you’ve experienced trauma, loss, or illness it is especially important to treat yourself with decency and care. You are the one person you can count on to do that, so why deprive yourself of it? It is wonderful when others step up and are good to you, but you have identified the need and you are also capable of fulfilling it yourself. What’s holding you back?

So take an extra few minutes to dangle your feet in the pond or look up at the trees from a hammock or use that shower gel that you like so much. Light that candle. You love the smell. These are gifts you can only give yourself. And when you do, be sure and thank yourself, too. That’s another thing we often forget to do, but it’s common courtesy.


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