When most of us think of being selfish, we think of only doing activities or making decisions that benefit us personally. However, I'd like to look at it from another way today - maybe we're being selfish by not putting ourselves first when it comes to our health? Allow me to explain.
Actually, let me back track just a bit and share with you the note that a friend wrote me that spurred on this blog...
"I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the blogs you do. I was reading a lot of them today and it was a real eye opener. By reading them made me realize that its time for me to have "ME" time. I need to do EVERYTHING that I am capable of and control of in order to stay healthy. Thank you Ronnie! :)"
So when you read that, what do you think? Does saying "time for me to have "ME" time" sound selfish to you? I can certainly understand if it does, but to me, this is one of the most selfless statements you can make. Notice what she said after that statement - "in order to stay healthy". That my friends is what this is all about and why many of us need to rethink what is selfish and what is not.
I happen to know that the person who said this has a loving family, a ton of friends and a husband who wants nothing more than the best for his wife. When we have that many great people around us, it's hard not to think that the more time we spend with them, the more we are showing that we love them. But here's the question, and one I would suggest asking your loved ones, is it better to be "around" with your family, or would they rather have you "there"?
I would bet that most families out there would answer this question the same way. It's great to have us around, but man, they absolutely love it when we're actually there, healthy and engaged.
I used to think I was quite the family man because I was able to spend so much time with my brothers, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and everybody in between. Heck, I had so much time on my hands that I was also able to always be around friends, poured myself into work, volunteered at church, volunteered at the homeless shelter, went on a few dates, spoke at some fundraising events - it really seemed that I was squeezing everything there was to squeeze out of life.
I was making a big mistake however, all of that "life" was coming at the expense of my health. All of those things I listed came before my treatments on the totem pole of importance. I thought I was showing everyone how much I loved them by always being around and giving them my time, unfortunately, I had little time to love myself.
So given the choice, would my family and friends choose for me to be sick and around or healthy and there? Wish I would have seen it so clearly at the time, but I was being way too selfish by not being selfish - they would MUCH rather have me healthy and there, even if it meant I wasn't there as often.
I hear people say that you have to "want it for you". Nope, you don't. You just have to want it bad enough for someone, wether it's you or not, that you're actually willing to make a change.
That someone for me was and is Mandi. I have become much more selfish with my time since we met, and she wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, she demands it. She knows first hand how things were when I didn't put my health first - it wasn't pretty for her and it wasn't pretty for me.
So I challenge you, start being selfish when it comes to your health and the time you spend on some "me".
In the end, that "selfish" act may be the most selfless thing that you ever do.