I write ideas on my phone when they come to me and then I go through them later. I found one the other day and it said “to obey is better than sacrifice.” What do we obey? What do we sacrifice? Do we obey the social “norms”? Go to college just because we are told we are supposed to and get a degree that maybe we’ll never use? I guess that shows where my head is at. But do we ever do something just because we feel a duty to do so? I believe the answer is yes, and perhaps that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think to a certain extent because people have a tie to duty, obligation, and responsibility to and for society so it can properly function. If everyone took a “self-care” day every time they felt tired, stressed, or overwhelmed nothing would ever get done— whether that be in the grand scheme of things or in terms of our personal growth. I’ve seen it said somewhere that sometimes self care is getting yourself out of bed, in the shower, and participating in life. I believe that also to be true.
Here’s where my conflict lies. There is a portion of the population— granted it may be a very small portion of the population— who strives to fulfill all the duties presented in front of them. Duty to parents and family honor, duty to teachers because you don’t want to feel like a failure, duty to friends because you want to be there for them, duty to a significant other because you don’t want to let them down, and sometimes last on this list comes duty to self. I believe the last one can coexist with the others but requires an evaluation of motives and purpose. Life can become very unfulfilling if an individual is living for everyone else and does not take time to cope with how they personally feel.
So where does that balance lie? How can we function sanely and still take part in the hustle and bustle? I believe this balance is found in staying dedicated, in putting forth the hard work and long hours, in struggling but not giving up, in taking a seemingly unconventional path when others doubt but you cling to hope. I have a feeling that I will use this phrase a lot because personally I am religious, but religious or not ultimately the one who makes the decisions for your life is yourself. Let that sink in. Now that’s a lot of responsibility. There’s no one else to take the blame. So since you’ve already got it, you can’t just ignore it and expect it to go away. All that’s left to ask is, “how do I carry this?” First and foremost this is your duty to yourself to take charge of this responsibility, because cast blame all you want but the reality of the situation is that no matter what you say the responsibility remains in your hands.
And what if you fail? What if you make a mistake? SO WHAT?! –That was mostly for me, because I have this incredibly irrational fear of messing up. Anyone else? Hit me up, maybe someone should make a hotline specifically for perfectionists. But truly, the reality is that we all make mistakes. It’s all cliche but nobody is perfect (shocker, I know) and there will be bumps in the road. So take a leap, have faith, believe in yourself, and keep working hard towards your goals, hopes, and dreams. They really can become a reality. Stick to your guns and obey your morals. There is a time and place for sacrifice, but keep it balanced. Sacrifice can become compromising when it becomes a frequent habit. Bridle passions, keep your wants and desires in check, but don’t neglect yourself in hopes of gaining another’s satisfaction. At the end of the day whether “they” like you is irrelevant. Ask yourself, “Do you like you?”
***Inspiration from the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat. The lyrics are gold.