Monday, November 3

"Worry about yourself!"

About a year ago, in an attempt to communicate with a co-worker who suddenly started having attitude toward me, she said: “Worry about yourself”. At the time I was confused, since I was trying to discuss her recent rudeness and wondering what went wrong. So, hearing “worry about yourself” seemed out of place. I thought I was. I wanted to know why I was being treated so poorly by her alone, and I was even left wondering: “What does that even mean?” I don’t think anybody has ever said that to me since I’m not nosey, and I was questioning the way I was being treated.

Her words rang in my mind for weeks. It was like a mantra, the way I kept repeating them. In doing so I made sense of it. I started seeing examples all around me of people who needed to do their own thing, and I… I should worry about myself.

This took on bigger and better meaning the more I repeated it. I need to feed me, I need to clothe me, I am really the only person who completely cares about everything in my life, my sanity, my need to sleep, and I only should be worrying about myself. AS SHOULD everyone else only be worrying about themselves.

In consciously putting effort into not worrying about others, I had new perspective when people would come to me acting like their problem was my problem, or it was my responsibility to fix an internal struggle for them. I realized that I had some people in my life actually expecting me to worry about them. As though their happiness was my responsibility, and they owned having the right to expect me to be available in any moment.

In the realizing what “worry about yourself” means for me, and how much I have benefited by realizing this is amazing advice, it is now advice I want to share with others.

The co-worker who said it to me happened to be in a time of healing herself, and although I thought I was getting more of her attitude than I would like to have, she also was worrying about herself at the time.

Most great advice comes in longer sentences, thicker books, and I struggle to immediately acknowledge better advice in my life than those three words.

A couple of months ago I let her know that she gave me one of the most profound lessons of my life. (I have not done the explanation of this fact justice in this post.) And I asked her if she minded that I share this story. To my surprise, she didn’t even remember telling me to “worry about yourself” all those months back.

Well there you go… proof that we are taught what we need when we need it. Glad I listened and didn’t have to learn that lesson a harder way. I think we should all worry about ourselves, stop worrying about others, and make sure we are who we should be, living a life we are proud to live, and being a “top quality human” to put in another way. If we each did this, our interactions would improve, our lives would be easier, and happiness would increase.

Shame so many don’t want to look at themselves, consider what they are doing, how they are treating people, and not worrying about themselves, but pointing fingers instead.

What we have to do, is say we are (each of us) ok with worrying about ourselves, and expect others to worry about themselves. We shouldn’t put more on our plate for no reason what-so-ever. Other people and their choices are not your worry. They have their own life to live, let them live it, let them be a pessimist or an optimist, let them do their thing, and you do yours.

Someone who was born knowing this lesson... I had to learn it after 40.

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