Home > Coping, Life in general, prioritizing, stress, Therapy, Values > I Am My OWN Priority

I Am My OWN Priority

I was wondering about our tendency, sometimes, to lose sight of what we truly want out of living, of the future we want to construct, and of what really matters to us. I am not living in vacuum, I must admit, and therefore, find myself subject to external pressures of all sorts. These could be other people I interact with, situations I am put in, or general life circumstances. I live only once, why not squeeze the juice out of life? I reckon the best way to do that is to set myself as my own priority. This needs to be my hallmark. I was shaped enough in my upbringing and I am an adult now. From now on, it’s my life, so let ME do the “defining”; why should I let someone else do the job for me when I’m wise enough to do it on my own?

These thoughts crossed my mind’s eye when I observed several clients who although dealing with different types of concerns, share almost analogous bases (e.g. dealing with relationship issues). They seem stuck into considering how “others” are relating to them. Almost every question I ask is answered in terms of what “others” have said, or done; or “what if” others will say or do. Where is the “you” in all this, I consistently ask? What do “you” really want? What are “you” going to do about it? Why be reactive? Where is your initiative? Clients like these, and other people I know, seem to subject their desires to the periphery. They assume the stance of a victim, a martyr, or get trapped into complying with the needs of others. They forget the “me” – as responsible and liable – in the whole interaction process.

Such cases make me go back in thought to my repeated attempts in telling my students: “The most important ‘date’ you could ever take is that with your own self. Just take sometime to know more who you are; and what you really want out of life. Get to know both your strengths and limitations; yet, capitalize on your strengths. Get clear on your values. These are guidelines for your behavior; and constitute what’s important for you. They eventually shape your decisions; hence, are bases for a solid vision of your life satisfaction. Get a sense of the direction you’re heading in. Follow your passions, set your priorities, and build your resources.” Whenever you have a clear idea about who you are and what you want to be, or achieve, life would not look like the very difficult puzzle it seems to be (at times). Possible confusion or distress would have little room then in your lives. Set your self as a priority. Everything else would seem to flow more easily afterwards.

I am not suggesting that we are to focus on our needs at the expense of disregarding the whole ecological system we’re engulfed in. It’s just that, at times, considering the “me” in the context may require more focus. Even if the “me” was defined in terms of others, we gain clarity as to where we fit. For instance, one client would finally admit that: “I am a martyr for the sake of my family”. When she clearly defined the framework of her true self, it was a leap forward in de-mystifying her role. I appreciated her sacrifice to keep the family intact. We then worked within the confinements of that role. Imprisoned for the sake of the family; yet, doing the best “She” could to still vivify other aspects of her life. She, then, prioritized herself within that system and she ardently embraced a new attitude of mind. She, then, started to be more giving.

How can you give when you don’t fill up your reservoir? All sorts of machinery need some sort of recharging. Although by far we are more unique, our survival entails more than just physiological nourishment to operate. We need to feed our spirit, our mind, and our passions. The options are varied to summon up our spiritual energy. Seize the opportunity to fill up your psyche and stretch your horizon. Dream on; and make life worth living. Develop a purpose to work on, or mark a blueprint to leave behind. With enough determination and focus, we remain true to ourselves and foster our well-being. Oh yes! Without such a vision, life would seem bleak and not worth the effort. And oh yes! We’d find our selves faltering and vacillating at the mercy of the dictations by others.

Let me be my OWN priority. This will inevitably feed into everything else in my life. It is only then that I can be the giving person I yearn to be….

  1. ReSet Coach
    August 23, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Very Very nicely put Dania, I love your writing and the ideas you put there. The role of the victim we assume and (the unintentional cycle) of giving in order to receive love (blaming it on the needs of others while others are actually capable and willing to give if asked properly). A cycle which the sooner we are breaking the better… thanks again for this great reminder!


  2. Dania Dbaibo Darwish:
    August 23, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Thanks for your further encouragement Ruba. I love it when what I write resonates with what you observe around you. So, I am not alone in my ideas 🙂


  3. Rain
    October 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    We often forget ourselves by giving and working for others, sometimes as well after running after a goal, we got to a point, where we lose the reason we are fighting, the reason we took that path… we forget what make us happy and sad, what is important and what is not, our identity.
    i loved this note, it reminded me of the importance to give myself some time, to meditate more, be easy on myself, and love myself… cuz i’ve heard that in order to love other properly i have to love myself first.
    those are some interesting questions i’ve read before in a book which help us discover ourselves better:
    The great discovery
    10 questions to answer which will help you discover yourself more

    1- Think of a person who made a positive difference in your life, what qualities does that person have that you would like to develop?
    2- Imagine 20 years from now. You are surrounded by the most important people in your life. Who are they and what are you doing.
    3- If a steel beam ( 6 inches wide) were placed across two skyscrapers, for what would you be willing to cross? A thousand dollars? A million? Your pet? Your brother? Fame…? Thing carefully.
    4- Describe a time when you were deeply inspired.
    5- List two things you love to do. It could be singing, dancing, looking at magazines, reading, daydreaming… anything you absolutely love to do.
    6- If you could spend one day in a great library studying anything you wanted, what would you study?
    7- Five years from now, your local paper does a story about you and they want to interview three people… a parent, a brother or sister, and a friend. What would you want them to say about you?
    8- Think of something that represents you… a rose, a song, an animal… why does it represent you?
    9- If you could spend an hour with any person who ever lived, who would that be, why that person, what would you ask?
    10- Everyone has one or more talents. Which of the ones above are you good at? Or write down ones not listed:
    – Good with numbers
    – Good with words
    – Creative thinking
    – Athletics
    – Making things happen
    – Sensing needs
    – Mechanical
    – Artistic
    – Working well with people
    – Memorizing things
    – Decision making
    – Building things
    – Accepting things
    – Accepting others
    – Predicting what will happen
    – Speaking
    – Writing
    – Dancing
    – Listening
    – Singing
    – Humorous
    – Sharing
    – Music
    – Trivia


    • dddania
      October 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      WOW!!! that’s a great embeded post Reine!! Thanks for sharing this. I wonder what that book is entitled? I’d surely like to have it. It’s in line with my life philosophy 🙂


  4. Rain
    October 2, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Thank you , It was a book for Jay McGraw (Dr.phil’s son) Life Strategies for teen i guess… i am not quite sure if it was taking from this book though.


    • dddania
      October 2, 2009 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Reine. I put the book title on my list of “Books to get” 🙂
      I appreciate it 😉 Have a fantabulous day!!!


  5. Denise Burg
    October 5, 2009 at 1:41 am

    First, I love the picture…what a visual.
    I have been thinking alot about how a person comes to be so good at knowing what they want in life, I am still unsure if it is something that is taught or just being in the right place and having things happen that just feel right and lead in the right direction. If we don’t have the vision you show that it can happen and you have given some great tools to help us make it happen. I am a “work in progress” and I am excited about my new journey of making myself a priority.
    Thank you,
    Denise Burg


    • dddania
      October 5, 2009 at 3:34 am

      I love what you said about being in the right place & then things start happening Denise. Yeah, these are the opportunities that life provides us with. Goals evolve the more you expose yourself to new experiences. I enjoy being there with you as you make yourself your own priority & discover more about yourself. You are a joyful person to be with sugar.
      Thanks for dropping by Denise 🙂


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