Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Duty...to myself?

"It is easier to do one's duty to others than to one's self.  If you do your duty to others, you are considered reliable. If you do your duty to yourself, you are considered selfish."
-Thomas Szasz 

What is a duty to yourself?  I understand (all to well) the duty I have to others- as a mom, daughter, wife, friend, and sibling, but when I think of being dutiful to me I wonder what that looks like.   Why don't I know exactly what it means?   Have I put myself at the end of the list for so long I can't imagine a life of simply caring for me, or to ask to have my needs met?

The other day I explained to a friend that I didn't want any more emotionally un-fulfilling relationships in my life, which includes work, home, and social relationships.  This also includes food, alcohol, music, TV, books...anything which can enter my body needs to be healthy and and enriching.  I am tired of the junk.  At times, I feel like junk.   (I should probably delete my fb page too!)
I don't believe in resolutions.  I do believe in re-evaluation.  I need to make, and have made, drastic cuts in people and habits which drain my resources, or weaken my body and spirit.  I want the power to say NO, and the wisdom to know when to give my all and say YES.   I will not abuse/numb my body because my spirit is suffering.  I will face the searing pain in my heart/spirit and let it rage on, pour out, be released, and try to heal as best I can.

I suppose that is a duty to myself.  A duty only I can manage.

Eating right, going for a walk every day, listening to uplifting music, making an attempt to be better organised...all these things build me up and make me a better version of me.  Versus my pretending to be well.  The facade can only hold up for so long.

So perhaps the best way to really understand what "duty to self" looks like I should start with what might look selfish to others.  Putting my needs first.  Thinking of myself as a person I love...hmmm.   Herein lies part of the problem.  It's so very easy to love others, and so much harder to love myself.   I mostly see my value and self worth reflected in the things I do for others. This makes it difficult to see the intrinsic value of myself.   I will have to reflect on the last sentence for a while.  It pains me to read it.

I need a shower, and to prepare for work tomorrow.  I'm going to use the new bath stuff I got for Christmas, and not keep it packed away for guests.  I'm going to enjoy and relax the time I have to myself for the next hour or so.  I'm going to turn on my music, make a cup of tea, and relish the rest of this new day in a new year.

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut and highlighted and I am leaving work early.
Perhaps this idea of "duty to myself" will be easier to accomplish than I thought?

xoxoxox!

3 comments:

Skunkfeathers said...

It's always hardest for a 'giver' to consider self in the life equation. At the same time...part of what makes you the very warm, beautiful and heart-of-gold person you are is that which you give to and for the others you cherish in life. My faith is in you finding and maintaining that balance. And at the heart of it is if you believe in you, nothing that matters to you is impossible.

Roselle Quin said...

Weee,you are back and blogging! This is so nice! I very much resonate with everything you said.

I have to face a number of realities in my life ( becoming a better me for one) and one of the most significant is I should be brave. A whole lot braver in showing people around me who I truly am, even if that entails saying no and striking out social relationships that aren't really fulfilling.

This is a beautiful read. Wonderful straight to the point thoughts that has me thinking about a few areas in my life that need restructuring.

foam said...

Happy New Year, Mayden!
And .. Here too.. resonating as Roselle says.