For a long time, I thought that that was a selfish concept. I assumed that to care about yourself was a self-centered mission and that those who did were self-serving and uncaring toward others. Little did I know. While it is a good and gracious thing to put others before yourself, I've learned that there is a big difference between taking care of myself and being a self-serving brat. Here are a few of the things I've learned:
1) Taking on extra work isn't always helpful to someone else, and it definitely isn't helpful to me.
Giving up my personal time and money, and taking on more stress for someone who doesn't care is not worth it. While I never want to be the person who is never willing to help, I need to learn to say "no" now and again.
2) There is only so much time
I need to learn to treasure the time that I have. It sounds kind of morbid, but so many people spend their lives working towards material things and completely miss the beauty of life. "Wake up and smell the roses" sounds so cliche, but it's appropriate.
3) There has to be a balance
I cannot sufficiently take care of others if I don't take care of myself first. I need to make sure that I am whole before I try to help anyone else. The Dalai Lama was once asked what surprised him most: "Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived."
That Dalai Lama really sums up my current outlook on life right now. Or what I'm trying to adopt as my outlook on life. There is so much truth in that statement. I want to learn to live, and not to waste the time and the life that I have.