Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soul Cleanse 27: P is for Put

For those I love, for those I hold dear,

There is no limit to the amount
But when it comes to doing things for me
There are always limits;
I am always tapped out.
Even if I have already formed calculations,
Letting me know enough is there
The loud debates I have inside my head
Cause the surpluses to magically disappear…

Soul Cleanse 27: Put Myself First More.

Here it is.

I learned about sacrifice at a very young age

I had an admiration for my grandmother and grandfather.  Particularly, my grandmother.  She prided herself in working hard.  She worked up until the time I was born.  She stopped working to ensure I was properly taken care of. 

When my mother left for California, I see it as her starting a new life.  There was this guy she wanted to get married to.  Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have the ends to cover a fancy wedding.  I take it they didn’t care for him too much.  I also sense even if they did, they still wouldn’t have had the ends.  

There have been contrasting stories as to why she left, but it doesn’t change the fact it happened.

My mother did not send any financial support during the time my grandparents raised me.  I saw my grandma do without so much to ensure I had what I needed. 

I know most are thinking, “That is what a parent does for her child.”

However, especially since I moved out to NJ, I am finding not every parent feels that way when it comes to their children.  Some of the parents you see are in every brand label imaginable while their children look unkempt and raggedy. 

My grandmother’s philosophy: “Your child is a representative of you.  Therefore, your child must look as good as you or better than you.  You should never been seen looking your best while your child is looking her worst.”

My grandmother would have a heart attack at how some of the parents are out here.

My grandmother was very sacrificial; however, there are times when she would give to others who didn’t fully appreciate what she did.  Although she would never say it out loud, I could look into her eyes and see that she felt a combination of under appreciation, sadness, and bitterness.  

She told me she did not want that same fate for me. 

Yet, I am very much like her.  In some cases, I didn’t fully realize until it was too late that I was giving to others who didn’t fully acknowledge or appreciate. 

She wanted me to do for myself and to take care of myself.  You would think it would be easy, but this is one of the things I constantly struggle with.

Let me take you through a scenario, one which happened to me quite recently.

One of the things I have wanted to do was to revamp my style a bit.  It’s a bit outdated, like it has been many years since I’ve had any new things.  

Plus, I haven’t changed up my makeup in a while as well.  I’ve seen some beautiful art in the form of eye makeup, and I wanted to try my hand at it.

When there is something I want to try, I can be like an explorer.  I look for information on ways to do it, and I study it.  So I’ve been collecting information, saving videos on You Tube concerning makeup application, including new ways to put on foundation as well.

A special sale came up on BH Cosmetics on a beautiful eye palette as well as lip palette.  There was also a nice deal on the primer and the application brushes. 

So I start putting the items in my online shopping cart, plus I had a code for a free item.  Once I put everything in there, then I started hearing the familiar banter: 

The banter telling me that I could wait; I didn’t necessarily need it.

The counter banner: The sale is only going to last for a short time.  All of my makeup is outdated.  How can you beat getting 120 eyeshadow colors for $15?

The banter: The sale will come again.  Use the money toward other things.  Like you remember how so-and-so mentioned he might need such-and-such?

The counter banner: I don’t know if the sale will come again.  Besides, just because someone mentions a certain thing doesn’t mean he’s telling me to get the thing….

Yes, I know reading it is enough to give one a headache, but it’s this type of talk almost every time I am close to doing something that greatly benefits me.

Well, in the end, I did end up ordering the makeup.  I did enlist the help of a few friends to properly convince me.  

However, when they aren’t around, I am going to need to pick up on some techniques to keep me strong so I won’t constantly talk myself out of putting me first.

Here are some I have come up with thus far:

1.       Convince myself that the items are for someone else.  Therefore, if it’s a gift, I will not put up as much of a fight.
2.       Draw out the figures.  Debate on how much I’m saving getting the items now as opposed to later.
3.       If I’m really giving myself a tough time, have a plan in place where the money will get replenished.
4.       If it’s something I can order where I can make monthly payments, make sure the balance is not more than I can handle.
5.       Remind myself of the usefulness of the thing I am doing or buying.
6.       If the store has it available, put it on layaway.  Then, all I will need is a deposit, rather than the whole thing.
7.       Throw out old, worn out items so if I’m getting something new, I will have no choice but to get it because I have nothing else to fall back on.  
8.       Ask myself, “Would I let one of my friends talk themselves out of that purchase?” If the answer is no, then that’s my answer, too.
9.       Remind myself, “How can I be the best for others when I’m not being the best for myself?” 

And although I listed this last, perhaps this last point is the most important

I know I am a giving spirit.  I like to help people, but on the same token, my giving can no longer be limitless.  Giving in that way gets to be expensive, and I don’t just mean dollar wise but spirit wise. 

If I’m constantly worrying about someone else’s well being, how much time do I really have to worry about my own?  I had to realize that I don’t have to stop helping people, but I have to make sure my priorities are being seen about as well, not constantly having one being sacrificed for the other.


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