By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson, R.N., and Ted Hagen, Ph.D.
Did you ever stop to think that when you feel good about yourself, you're doing the world a favor? When you meet your own needs, you're in a much better place to help others. On the other hand, if you're cranky and depressed, this affects everyone around you.
That's why it's important to stay self-focused in a healthy way. Ask yourself, "What would help me to feel less stressed? What needs do I have that aren't getting met?"
One doctor we know says he drove himself nuts trying to get drug dealers out of his upscale neighborhood. "I wasted too much time doing police work," he told us. "My need was to make sure my family was safe. I should have sold my house and moved a lot sooner than I did."
The energy you're using to cope and stay stuck can be invested in other things.
"I quit a job at a noisy day-care center to work in my sister's
restaurant as a cook," says a woman
we'll call Jill. "I'm smiling again - something my mouth had forgotten how to do. I love children, but I hated working at a day-care center.
"My need was for more peace and quiet," she points out. "I have three loud teenagers at home. The crying babies at the day-care center were just too much for me."
Denying your need for anything - decent clothes, companionship, time to read or exercise - will cause your life to get off balance. Your debt to yourself will grow larger and larger.
One day you will wake up to feel cheated and angry. So, stop silencing the little voice in your head that shouts what you need to do. Listen to it.
"I'm 72 and sick of being by myself," says a man we'll call Ted. "I hate going to the senior citizens center all of the time. "In my mind," he declares, "I''m 50. I need to find a younger crowed to hang out with - at least part of the time."
Ted is thinking about taking some noncredit college courses or opening an antiques booth at a flea market near his home.
Do something to get one of your biggest needs met - this
week, if possible.
Start small, but keep moving.