When I was in the military, and they were training us for responding to a gas attack, they told you to put on your own gas mask first. Then, you can attend to others with their masks. It seems odd that the first step in caring for others is to care for yourself. However, even Jesus in the Bible says to love others AS you are already loving yourself. It begins with self care and love. You can’t pour out of an empty cup.
I have a problem of giving till I’m dry to others that give nothing back. Then, I feel like a failure for having nothing left to give. Indeed, my ex’s that gave nothing back judged me for having nothing to give in the end or my choice to stop giving one way to them. I was so wrapped up in defining myself by seeking their validation that I accepted their judgment and felt bad for ending my self sacrifice. But, someone that truly loved you would not be seeking you to be less or sacrifice but would want you to be more and happy.
Too often in my life have I accepted someone’s decision to not accept me as my own, when it simply meant I was not their cup of tea. In truth, if I do not make them happy, what would I have to gain by being fixated on winning acceptance? Either I am pleasing to them, or I am setting myself up for a rocky road that more likely than not will end in failure… which has been my experience with that.
I think if someone wants you in their life, they will dismiss minor differences or problems to keep you, and if they do not, they will look for anything to blame. So, if someone is looking for those excuses, move on to someone looking to keep you. Or, just be happy and look past your own issues. But, whatever you do, don’t define your own value by those who are not equipped or willing to see your value. Put on your own mask, fill your own cup, care for yourself.. then, you can care for others.