Everything we do is because we want to – FOR US. Yes, even getting up in the middle of the night for the hundredth time or making supper and helping with homework when all you want to do is lie on the sofa and pretend you’re dead.
You make the choice to do the stuff you ‘don’t want to do’ because the other option is even less appealing to you.
The other option, for example, is being a parent who doesn’t look after their child. Apparently in those moments – despite the unpleasantness of what you are required to do – you want to be a parent who looks after your child and that means getting up or cooking that meal. So you do it FOR YOU. Your child obviously benefits and hooray for that, but what they get is a mere side-effect of you wanting to be a parent who looks after their child. So they benefit from what you do FOR YOU. It’s not for anyone else actually – no matter what we tell ourselves. It is so that WE FEEL BETTER. That’s it. That is the socially unpalatable and glorious truth of it. We are doing it for ourselves.
If you think you are doing something for someone else you’re kidding yourself. You choose everything you do because somehow or another you think it will make you feel better.
We have children because we think it will make us feel better in some way – so that; someone will love us unconditionally, we have fulfilled our duty on this earth, we will feel love and enjoy their presence, we will please our partner, we will grow, we’ll prove stuff to our parents …
When we feel pain and anger, because something our child did touched on an unhealed area in us, the pain is horrible. It doesn’t feel good. We don’t like it. So we SHOUT! Get it out of us. Ah, that feels better – then the guilt kicks in. Oh that doesn’t feel good, let me apologise and cuddle my crying child. Ah, that feels better. I can live with myself a bit better now.
We live through the lens of our own self the whole time. You didn’t shout because of your child and you didn’t apologise or cuddle them after because of them either.
Am I being too harsh here?
Maybe, but I’m making my point too aren’t I? And why?
Because until we realise that everything we do is actually for us, we will keep thinking our power is outside of ourselves and that our life has to be dedicated to the care and well-being of those around us – at great cost to ourselves. Meanwhile within us we slowly become hungry for the things we know we want to do for ourselves. We give that extra energy when we have almost none left but to make up for it we eat the piece of cake in the fridge. Or at the end of the day we watch brainless stuff on TV rather than engage with the craft project or model building or dancing or painting or writing or knitting or quality time with our partner that we always say we wish we had time for.
As we continue to do this, our family and the world slowly become starved of the wonder that is us at our happy best.
It’s exhausting telling yourself that none of it is for you. ALL of it is for you. Each choice you make is because you think it will make you feel better.
It is all for you. YOUR LIFE IS FOR YOU. And you are allowed, ALLOWED to feel good. In fact, if you don’t feel good, you are less likely to benefit anyone else.
So check in with yourself as regularly as you remember to. A hundred times a day if you can. What choices am I making and do they actually make me feel better?
Pass this on, share it, there is freedom waiting in this perspective.