I’ve been on an extended leave from my day job to recover from major surgery.
When you are under a doctor’s orders to do very little heavy lifting or anything that could impact the healing process, it tends to give you a lot more time to think. To ponder.
I have had a lot of time to think about where I am in life and have concluded that I have spent a lot of time in support of others at the expense of myself.
I don’t regret a thing. I just wish I had used my time a little differently. Portioned it out so that I made my own spiritual and intellectual growth a priority. More time to discover my own calling and to mature in it.
Now some of you may cringe. Especially my readers who are wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers because after all, we are called to sacrifice for our families, right?
But how much must we give, to receive little return? The comfort and happiness of our families, friends, coworkers, co-laborers are all the return we need, right?
Nope. They are not.
Their appreciation does not nourish us forever. The expectation they have of our continued labor and service does not strengthen us. The comfort and happiness that they have by way of our sacrifice only lasts as long as their memory of it, and that’s usually less than a day.
How can we continue to support others while supporting ourselves?
We must acknowledge that our own being, our person-hood, and our individual callings are just as important as the ones of those we serve. We must acknowledge this because the very talents and abilities that we set aside for the benefit of others are the talents and abilities that we must nurture and grow to continue to serve.
Sacrifice in and of itself is not noble. The greatest sacrifices come from sharing the God given talents that we have invested enough time in to create increase. The more we grow, the closer we are to maturing into our purpose, after which each sacrifice becomes a fertile seed.
It’s not selfish to desire growth for ourselves. It is a requirement.
We must allow our friends and loved ones to become accustomed to hearing “No”.
“No” is a complete sentence. It is not a sin to speak it. It is a wonderful teaching tool.
We must learn to add time into our lives that is spent in the discovery of our purpose as individuals or it will get lost in the business and demands of others.
Do not wait until you have no choice but to think on these things.
You may continue to be of service, and to give of yourself freely. But remember that sometimes you must give to yourself as well.