Being Your Own Compass
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
You are you; there's no doubt about that. You are like a fingerprint, unique and one of a kind. There is only one person that knows you, and that's usually you. Sometimes we find someone that knows us almost as well as we know ourselves; that's true. I know I've found that in my husband, though after nearly 20 years of being together, I would hope that's true at this point.
Finding yourself amongst all the angst and chaos of life is sometimes pretty hard. Sometimes we get lost in it and yield ourselves to the point that we're not sure where we're going or what we're doing. At times we feel as if we've lost the needle of our compass, and we're not sure how to get it back and get going in the right direction again.
Finding that needle is the one thing that we search for all our lives; it's the one encompassing something that we strive to go after. Our purpose, the meaning in life, and what direction we want to go in. Sometimes we find it, and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we find it multiple times, and sometimes numerous times in our lives, it shifts in another direction to point us another way.
Either way, that compass guides us, and we're set on a path that only we know to follow because we know ourselves best.
Taking others into consideration is always a good thing when doing this, of course. However, we have to realize too that we can't always put other's needs above our own. Too often, we do this, especially women, and fail to take care of ourselves. Leaving us with unfulfilled wishes and dreams that later on in life don't get taken care of because we ended up helping everyone else with theirs.
Don't neglect your wishes and dreams, but that doesn't mean you can't help others. It's just a matter of finding where your boundaries are, taking time for self-care and knowing when enough is enough on giving of yourself.
It took me a long time to figure that out, and honestly, I think it takes most people a long time to figure that out. Society teaches us that it's selfish to focus on yourself and that you should be helping others all the time. In a more collectivist culture, that would be true where they teach you that you are doing everything for the greater good of everyone, and you are there to further society, not yourself.
With western culture, we're taught that we should help others, but we're also more independent and more 'me' focused. While we don't let things hold us back from getting those wishes and dreams, if we really want them, we sidetrack ourselves with helping others and delaying them. Figuring this out for me took a bit of mental hula-hooping and unlearning old habits, and to this day, I still feel selfish at times when telling someone I can't help them at that moment as I'm busy using my trusty planner as an excuse and time manager. But these days, I feel more content with myself and what I'm doing.
It's okay to focus on yourself for once, let your hair loose, follow your dreams and stop writing in that planner with its vision board what you wish you could do. Just do it. Take up the reigns, hop on that wagon and get those horses into motion. You can always pop a few people in the back to help them out along the way, but at least you'll be moving forward.