About two years ago, I was sitting in the office of my therapist and she asked me one question, “Who are you?” I couldn’t answer the question. She asked the question another way, “What do you like to do for you?” I couldn’t answer the question. At that point I realized I’d lost myself. I didn’t know who I was or what I was. It might sound strange to some but to others I’m sure you can relate. During the course of my therapy sessions, I realized that most of my life was spent pleasing everyone else but myself. My happiness always came second. If that meant I had to sacrifice my happiness in order to please others I would. I became what you would call a people pleaser.
Even when I would tell someone to stop doing a certain thing I didn’t like, they would continue because my voice didn’t matter. The sad part is I allowed it. I take full responsibility. I became the sounding board for everyone’s problems and the shoulder to lean on even when I had no shoulder to lean on in return.
One analogy my therapist told me was that once I started to change for the better, once I started to realize who I was, the scale would begin to tip and become off balance. She said people wouldn’t be able to handle the new me because they were so used to me being there to solve all of their problems. At that point I realized I’m not God! I can’t solve everyone’s problems. Instead of depending on me for everything, they should start turning to our Creator. I can be a listening ear but I can’t always solve the problem.
Well the scale did indeed tip and not so much in my favor. I quickly realized that my inner circle did not like the change. But at that point I felt strong and knew I had to make the scale continue to tip for my own mental sanity and health. In the end, the scale started to balance out in my favor.
Here I am two years later back to wondering who I am. I’ve lost myself again. I’m back to asking myself the question, “Who am I?” I believe I already know the answer. I believe you know who you are too. We spend so much of our lives trying to please everyone that we lose sight of what’s most important and that’s God.
Whether it’s your job, your family, your marriage, your friends or even your church, you cannot lose sight of taking care of you. What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? What’s your inspirations? What are your hobbies? What are your personal goals? What do you love?
Putting yourself first at times doesn’t make you selfish. Loving yourself more doesn’t make you selfish. Learning who you are doesn’t make you selfish. Saying no doesn’t make you selfish.
My goal is to continue and learn who I am and to learn how to put me first when I need to. I encourage you today to learn who you are and know it’s okay to be you.