Way back in 1960 my first husband Werner, a big football fan, was absolutely thrilled to get NY Giants season tickets. I had little interest but I went along to give it a try. His seat had a great view of the field but mine was partially obstructed by a pillar. When I couldn’t see the action, I learned what happened from the response of the crowd.
Much to my surprise, over time I found my interest in the game growing. Although sitting behind the pillar became increasingly frustrating, I never asked Werner to alternate seats so I could enjoy the game more. Shockingly, this situation continued for ten years.
It never occurred to me to ask him to share the good seat. Would it have occurred to you? Even today, in a nation where women’s rights are widely discussed, many of us were brought up to believe that if we could just nurture and give enough – I call it being a “Good Girl” – we would be loved, cherished, and valued. Yet when you live that way long enough, you forget that you have needs too, and that sometimes your desires are a priority.
I was a “Good Girl” into my mid-thirties, slowly losing connection with what I wanted, feeling more and more depleted and dissatisfied. I began to look within and realized that I was focusing on others most of the time, rarely prioritizing my needs and desires. It was time for me to change, to learn how to make myself happy.
The decision to change yourself and your life is yours to make. No one can decide for you when you’ve waited long enough to be happier. Only you know what is in your heart, the places within that are truly satisfied and those that struggle. Give yourself the gift of listening to your feelings. How long have your needs and desires gone unmet? When is it their time? Is it now?
Know that your turn to be happy begins when you decide to treat yourself with the same love, attention and care that you devote to others. My 47-year inner journey has involved lots of study and exploration with a wide variety of teachers. I’ve captured highlights of these lessons in the pages of my memoir, Soul Selfish. They may support you on your journey toward a happier, healthier, more balanced life.