‘Value Your Time’
“Do unto others…”
Helping our fellow humans with our resources and/or time is a gift (and responsibility) we are given especially as people living in our great country of Canada.
Sure, everyday there are things to complain about if the focus is on those things. Or, the focus could be on things to be grateful for. That’s not to say I don’t choose stand up for things that I feel are important or let justice slide if I can help it, it just means I don’t wake up and look for what to continually fight against and let my expectations of others consume all my time and energy…anymore.
In the past, ‘fighting’ and ‘surviving’ was all I knew.
I wanted and needed people to see my side, fight for what was important to me or care about what I cared about. I unknowingly wasted a lot of precious time doing and talking about things that really didn’t matter…living like that didn’t serve me and didn’t add any real or positive value to my life.
Spreading awareness about something learned or that we care about and standing up for injustice are different from aggressively and increasingly fighting against a cause…every single day.
I also didn’t know how to say no so I also used to continually give of my time (and resources) on phone calls, messenger and in person.
“Do unto others”…ya sure.
…but what I hadn’t learned was to have healthy boundaries or know the difference between helping people and pleasing people. I simply didn’t see it.
Helping others always gives us a reward back in one way or another and that’s how giving is supposed to work. It makes us and the other party feel warm and fuzzy inside and keeps the world turning.
The difference is our motive…whether we are aware of it fully at the time or not. I wasn’t always aware...or willing to see or admit it to myself.
2 Corinthians 6–7 says:
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Because of false shame, condemnation and low self-esteem…not seeing myself as Jesus does, I drank up the first part…which sounds nice and all. But what I didn’t grasp for a long time was that giving to others when you feel like you ‘should’, feeling pressured, feeling bitter, resentful or when it doesn’t sit quite right in the gut isn’t the way to operate. It won’t work out well for you or others and that’s from personal experience.
Products from the above can be burnout, severed relationships, false relationships, bitterness, resentment, unhappiness and the list goes on.
The concept that I was actually allowed to and should! say no or not give was confusing to me for a long time and I didn’t understand it. I felt badly when I didn’t cater to everyone…but that was my own issue, not anyone elses’.
So I kept learning. I kept leaning in. I kept listening to ‘my gut’ when it came to making decisions. I wasn’t always great at making sound decisions...about anything. I couldn’t even decide what to order at a restaurant.
But practice makes perfect right? I kept practicing, refining.
There’s a difference between healthy, positive ‘obedience’ (in short that refers to ‘doing the right thing’ so-to-speak) and negative obligation (doing the thing for the wrong reason(s).
After years of often freely and frustratingly giving away my time, resources, not knowing ‘when to say yes [or] how to say no’ as Dr. Cloud and Townsend note in their Boundaries series, I became bitter toward myself and my choices. Of course there were the unavoidables of life but too often enough I ‘made my own bed’.
I hadn’t achieved certain goals and did not have peace.
That’s the #1 kicker — PEACE.
Ya got true, deep inner peace, prayed about it or whatever is your thing?
= Do it.
Don’t have those things?
= Don’t do it.
As they say, value your time or no one else will. It’s your most precious commodity. Charge for it when appropriate, set those healthy boundaries, limit your yes’s, expand your no’s…and don’t ever feel badly about that.
Take it easy on yourself, I’m still learning too.