The Art of Serving Others and Honoring Yourself
Solipsism. It's a word that has both haunted and fascinated me for as long as I've known its definition (Hint: A 9th grade vocabulary test). At its base, solipsism describes the idea that the self is all that can be known to exist. But going deeper, I've known the word to describe a certain egoism, narcissism and a focus entirely in upon oneself.
My entire life, I've evaluated the world through my experience alone. Yes, I understand myself to be compassionate, to be caring and empathetic, but that doesn't mean that there doesn't exist a certain vanity to the lens with which I see the world.
It's strange though, because I've always excelled at jobs that serve others: Babysitter. Assistant. Waitress. Housekeeper. Providing a service to other people has always felt like an exercise in forgetting myself, in allowing myself to be compelled by the desire to help other people, so much so, that it washes away any concern for myself.
And while at first this seemed like a solution, the answer to the question I'd been asking for so many years, I've recognized and learned a new way to be in the world.
I've learned to acknowledge my place, seeing that it is important to track my experience so that I can learn from life, instead of standing as a passive participant. But what I know as well is that introspection doesn't immediately transfer over to vanity, and the way of combatting this irrational fear is not to lose myself in the service of others. True wellness, I've learned, is the acknowledgement of balance and practicing this in every aspect of my life. I love to eat healthy, but by sneaking in the occasional treat every once in a while, I'm honoring the cravings and desires that, as a human, come over me and influence my choices.
The same goes for how I expend my energy. There are so many people I care for and love, and I want to give what I can to them, but now, I chase after equilibrium in this pursuit. I have to know that I'm as important as anyone else, and it would be a disservice to myself, and to the world, if I couldn't see that truth.