SELF-CENTERED OR CENTERING SELF?

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Someone told me the other day that I was self-centered.  So I decided to look up the definition of the word to see if perhaps they were right.

Self-centered:  1.  concerned solely or chiefly with one’s own interests, welfare, etc.; engrossed in self; selfish; egotistical.     2.  independent, self-sufficient.    3. centered in oneself or itself.

Okay, let me start with #1.  Am I concerned solely about myself?  Hmmm. I spend at least 40 hours a week putting someone else’s needs before my own.  And that is just one person.  So if there are 168 hours in a week, less 56 for sleeping, that gives me 112 hours to be awake.  So if I were only interested in that one person besides myself, I would be thinking only of me 72 hours a week.  Which would be 10.29 hours a day.  My husband works 12 hour shifts, five days a week so if I spend 1 hour a day on his needs that brings me to 9.5 hours to think just of me a day.  Ok, I usually spend 30 minutes a day praying for others…down to 9 hours.  I am usually always available to babysit, visit with a friend, help someone in need, open my house to anyone needing to talk or get away from their struggles and of course, because these things aren’t weekly I can’t put an hour value on these.  But let’s just say I have 6 hours everyday just for me.  That is 25% of my life.

#2.  Independent and self-sufficient.   Guilty as charged.   I HATE asking for help.  Not because I think I can do it all but because I don’t want to put anyone out or take them away from something else.  I put their needs before mine (real or imagined).

#3.  Centered in oneself.   I suppose I am.  I only have so much energy to expend.  I can give only so much of myself before my body physically starts to breakdown.  And I can only have so much of other people’s burdens in my brain before it too, starts to break down.

So how do we decide between the negative “self-centered” and the healthy “centered-self”?   Do others get to decide which label to attach to us?   Is there a percentage of time that I should spend on others that negates the time spent on myself?  What if I give my best to some and only what I have left to others?   How do I decide who gets what from me?  And what about me?  Are we only supposed to get the crumbs of our life energy?  I try to live as Christ would have me live.  I give as much of myself to others as I humanly (in the condition I am in today) possible.  But there are times I have to stop and put myself first or I will have nothing to give anyone else.  I get so frustrated that other people seem to know what I should be doing better than I do.  Can they see into my soul, my heart, my brain.  Do they get a daily printout of all the things I have done, thought, prayed about?  STOP LABELING ME!  Stop thinking you know everything about me.  There is only One who does and I strive daily to be as He would have me.  Unless you have gotten a message from Him directly, do not attempt to alter me.  He will change me as He sees fit and I WILL listen to His voice.  You know, I may not be the person you see me as.  I am His and I listen for His will for my life.

Conclusion?   Yes, I do spend time on myself, for myself, about myself because I am worthy of consideration, too.  I have needs the same as you do and sometimes, yes I am going to say it…I PUT MYSELF FIRST.    So, I guess you can add self-centered to my litany of labels others have placed on me.  But I know the label I am most proud of and not matter what you say about me or to me, that label will stand the test of time and for all eternity.  I AM A CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD AND I AM LOVED BY HIM JUST BECAUSE I AM.

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About thelumberjackandthegypsy

The lumberjack is my husband and he owns Arrowhead Wood Products; Arrowhead Toboggan and Snowshoe; and Lake Superior Furniture Co. and is the exclusive manufacturer of wood shutters for Summit Hill Shutter Co. The gypsy is me, and I have a passion for teaching people to tap into their creative side, even when they think they don't have one! I did not grow up creative or artsy and I was in my thirties before I started sewing and creating things. I am a rug hooker; artisan teddy bear maker; painter (from pictures to large pieces of furniture!); knitter; doll maker; needle-felter, repurposer; sewer; decorator; blogger; glamper; reader; vintage jewelry maker; junker; and now a shop owner. But the lumberjack and I feel our greatest gifts in this world are our four grandkids and our daughter and her husband and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been married for more than 33 years and most of that time we have lived out in the country on a hobby farm where we have raised chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, pigs and beef cattle. We also homeschooled our only child for her entire school years. We lived out our dream of being like the The Little House on the Prairie and they were great times. I also have a personal blog: rantingsofamadqueen.wordpress.com where I tell stories of what life on the farm has been like and other things that pop up in my very weird mind. I prefer "quirky or eccentric" instead of weird (sounds more fascinating and less creepy)!

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