We've all been brought up to be very good little girls, and we've become very well-behaved women. We learned well that we were to put others needs before our own, and not be selfish. And we've done just that, haven't we.
We're oh so good at meeting everyone's needs except our own. We know all too well how to take care of other people, especially the men in our lives that we've made so many excuses for over the years. We can cater to everyone else with an amazing sensitivity to what they need, and we know how to make them feel good about themselves.
More from YourTango: He Said, She Said: How Do I Get My Partner To Open Up?
[To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want ... and Deserve."]
But in the process there's someone whose needs we've overlooked over and over and over again; yes, I'm talking about you. And the role you play all too well. At the expense of yourself and your own needs.
It's time to rethink what it means to not be selfish. And this time, beginning right now, wherever you are, wherever you've been, whatever you've been through, it's time to be selfish.
You heard me right: it's time to look at ourselves, at our own lives, at our own needs, at our own legitimate desires of what it takes to make us happy, and be selfish. Because we've been concerned with everyone else for far too long. It's our turn.
I know full well just how uncomfortable it feels at first to think like this. To even think of yourself as being selfish. But it's OK. In fact, it's more than OK, it's actually necessary. Because it's not being selfish that's gotten us to this place in the first place. This place of broken hearts, broken dreams, broken selves.
All because we've been so good at playing the part of the perfect selfless women we were brought up to be. Putting everyone else and their needs first. It's time to let that go, and give ourselves permission to be our true selves, our best selves. The selves that can only be when we give them the time and attention and care that they need to grow, to live. To become all that we're meant to be, all that we're made for.
We don't need anyone outside of ourselves to give us permission to shine, to focus on ourselves for a change. It's our birthright. We just forget it most of the time, while we embrace the programming and conditioning that would have us looking after everyone else until we have no idea who we even are.
This new way of being starts today, with baby steps. We've got a lot to learn about taking care of ourselves, meeting our own needs, and focusing on ourselves without feeling guilty for a change. It's not going to happen overnight. But it will happen with each moment, with each thought, before you put someone else's needs before your own.
Stop. Listen. What do you need? Does deferring to them undermine you and what you need right now? Does giving that standard answer, the one they're so used to hearing, does it serve them or you? Yes, they may not like it, accepting change is never easy for anyone. But that doesn't mean it's any less necessary to do it. It's how we grow. It's how we become everything that we are. It's how we start to become confident in ourselves.
It's how we finally break these old patterns of being a doormat and allowing people to walk all over us and treat us the way we've been allowing them to treat us. Any of them. Whoever they are. It's time to make that change, regardless of what they might think. Because there's only one person living our lives, and that's us. And we're the ones who are finally going to start truly living our lives.
Starting right now.
More from YourTango: Ladies, Your Career Is Ruining Your Love Life
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it's like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at www.gettingtotruelove.com.
To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want...and Deserve".