The one thing you owe us

It can seem that everyone wants a piece of you. Your boss. Your better half. Your government. Your friends. Your enemies. All of them seem to line up asking what you’ve done for them lately.

But especially immediate family. Namely, your spouse, parents, and kid(s).

‘How can I make them happy?’ becomes the name of the game. What must we sacrifice next to bring smiles to their faces and peace to their worlds?

What I’ve found is this: The only thing you owe them is you. The whole you.

When you start chipping away at your wholeness, you become less of yourself. And you end up robbing both you and them… of you.

It starts with our parents. Then it continues when we get married. And it’s amplified when we have a kid. Each stage of life, we lose sight of what makes us whole.

You owe the world your wholeness. That’s it.

Do you still have that swagger you had when you picked her up for your first date?

Do you still hold those strong opinions of yours even after your dad ridiculed you in front of the house guests after sharing them?

Do you still have that life-affirming, energizing hobby you had before she was born?

Do you still enjoy making people laugh after that one guy heckled you? And that other guy? And that one gal?

As much as these things may seem to take away from the ones you love, just know that this is you. The real you. Any lesser version of yourself you bring to the world is a cheapened version. Do they deserve that?

If you’ve forgotten this, here’s your reminder. If they’ve forgotten this, you may want to remind them.

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Jonas writes short daily essays and meditations here at Higher Thoughts. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.