me first, then you

Me first, then you.

No matter how many times I feel like I have learned a lesson, life, like a hand, pulls back its layers, revealing the fleshy, bright skin that has yet to be studied, cried over, embraced--and enjoyed.

This such morning presented me with a similar reminder.

I had walked into the office of my coworker, thermos in hand, to ask her if she would kindly boil some hot water for my morning tea. We had been laughing about drama that had occurred at a birthday party the day prior. Still mid-chuckle, she turned to me and said “Of course! But after I finish setting up my meals in the fridge- - and I haven’t even made my coffee yet! So me first, then you.” We smiled at each other, nodding in silent agreement before sealing it with another round of laughter.

And it wasn’t that she was being rude- I had asked her for a favor. Yet, that did not mean that she had to drop everything she was doing at my request simply because I had done so.

The situation was one of those tiny reminders from God to keep remembering to put myself first.

Going into 2020-- going into each day-- will require us to be selfish. To learn to put ourselves, our joy, and our intentions at the tops of our priority list. It will require that we dissociate from pride, shame, and guilt when we realize that we are our number one fans -- and that none can possibly advocate for yourself like you can.

Remembering and acting in this way- fully embraced and unabashedly pursuing the life destined for me- isn’t a straight-line journey. There are times when I catch myself rushing to squeeze my personal activities into a 2 hour period so that the rest of my day is open “just in case anyone needs me.” Or I take on the extra favor for a friend-- and when I reflect at the end of the day, I am frustrated and disappointed to see that I have done 10 things to assist the goals of others, but none to assist myself.

So I’m going to keep this as my new little catch phrase “me first, then you.” It doesn’t mean I disregard others, because sometimes my “me first” can mean helping others. It means lining my actions and words with MY goals and intentions (to serve others while still serving myself, to love others AND myself, to grow with others AND grow myself). And by dropping my things to do whatever someone else asks of me, it’s not aligning with any of those intentions that I wish to manifest.

There is a quote that I like to keep by me that reads If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.-Jim Rohn

Not to say that those around you do not want you to thrive, but it is important to remember that you are not the main character in their life story. So, don’t be afraid to love yourself, take time for yourself, put yourself first sometimes. Free yourself from the guilt that you have to wait to fill your own cup last- because we can’t pour from an empty one. So fill yourself until you overflow and so your love, care, confidence, joy, abundance, and kindness freely flow to those around you.

Me first, then you.

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