Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Selfish or Selfless?

Lehmann Laughter

Welcome to 30 Topics; 30 Weeks! This link-up is scheduled for every Wednesday over the next 30 27 weeks. Week 1 and Week 2 posts here.
As a quick run down, it’s based on these two articles – here and here. You are free to take the topics in any direction you like – I am only providing a guideline to get the ball rolling. Hell, I may not even follow what I wrote. But as long as it relatable, I’d love for you to link up! No pressure, I promise. :)
You can find more information on each of the weekly topics by clicking here or downloading the PDF by going here.

Let’s get started!

Personal Happiness

I (like to) think that most people put others in front of themselves. I’m believe that people are generally kind-hearted and good-natured. I think part of it (for me personally) is genetics, if you’ve met my immediate family we’re all a little loony and over the top in our happiness and then there’s also the way I was raised.

I’m a Christian.

And while I don’t talk a lot about faith in my blog, it’s always there guiding me in how I act towards the world. One of the things that really stuck with me since I was a 5 year old walking to church 7 blocks away on my own because I didn’t want to miss it, was the kindness and selflessness I found in the church. That was something I wanted to reciprocate and put into the world. I equated that with love (and still do mostly) and so, I often have found myself stepping back in order for someone else’s happiness to move forward.

To be honest, I like the way it makes me feel. I like to make people happy just like I enjoy making people laugh – it’s just who I am. But that can also put my own happiness on the back burner – for the most part, it’s small things that make no real difference. I’m laid-back and grudges aren’t my thing, so it’s easy stuff to gloss over.

Me: I really want to eat chicken tonight.
Other Person: Hey, let’s go eat steak instead.
Me: Sure, that sounds good too.

But then there are other times – like training for a marathon where I really struggled with the time I was committing to myself. Because the time I was committing to that (which was more than I really anticipated) was taking away from my family – particularly my daughter. I’m proud that she knows ‘my faster shoes’ and that I’m leading by example (something I didn’t have growing up) but it still is unsettling to me knowing some of her happiness turned into sadness. Especially when I had to tell her I couldn’t take her here or there because of running commitments/injuries etc.

It was certainly a strain on our family near the end as my mileage increased. But running makes me happy, so they were supportive. Running really helped me find myself when I was struggling and it ultimately made me much more pleasant to be around.

Pursuing my own happiness in this jungle of emotions I share for other people is certainly something I struggle with. I’m also a people-pleaser, so I have a hard time telling people ‘no’ when they ask for help even if it’s something that will over exhaust myself or my family. I’ve gotten better over the years but that yearning to pull back and push others forward is something I think I’ll have conflicting emotions with for the rest of my life.

Okay, it’s your turn! Link-up below and share your stories or comment on my post with them (if you don’t have a blog).


Miss Nutralicious said...

I am a people-pleaser too; I love when other people are happy! However, one thing I've learned (and still struggle to accept) is that I can't FORCE other people to be happy. Neglecting my own happiness in exchange for trying to please other people who don't want to be happy seems counterproductive.
I think that CHOOSING to run a marathon was a great way to be a roll model for your daughter. Not only did you teach her the importance of good health, but also the importance of enjoying and appreciating life!

Genna said...

I think you're right that as Christians selflessness is (supposed to be) an inherent, automatic attribute. And it's a real blessing to be able to be selfless without trying. But don't forget that when you're unhappy others around you probably will be too so making time for yourself, like the hours you spend running, is super important in my book.

Amanda Arr said...

It's interesting. I try not to read your blog before mine is linked up, but we discuss some of the same topics in this week's blog. :)

Amanda said...

I never thought about feeling selfish for the time you spend running. Without a kid or dog to take care of, I get used to just coming and going as I please. That's, honestly, one thing that scares me about having a kid, because I'm pretty selfish with my time. More than I probably think. It's a whole new mind-set!