What Have You Done for "YOU" Lately

Expert Author Nancy Brain

There was a popular song that came out in 1986 and was recorded by Janet Jackson with the title of "What Have You Done for ME Lately?" Just sit back and let that title sink in a minute. It could conjure up all kinds of thoughts... Is the writer saying that they feel neglected because no one ever does anything for "them"... or is the writer being selfish and demanding and wanting more, more and more done for THEM? Just trying to wrap our minds around it could take all day, but let's take a different route.

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to please and do for other people that we put ourselves, our needs and our wants on the back burner. That's in our DNA right? We instinctively try to think of others first and ourselves somewhere around... let's just say "LAST!" Is this healthy? Is this automatic? Is this what we feel what we need to do because that's the way we have always done it?
No - Yes - No. Somewhere in there, we need to stick a little time, effort and planning for US! If you have ever seen the movie where the little girl had low esteem and heard her very good friend say over and over - "You are kind, you are smart, you are important" - then you know what everyone needs to hear.

How many people are we trying to please? Two? Fifteen? Eighty-Five? No matter the number that we may come up with, our number needs to be somewhere at the beginning. Caring for ourselves also needs to be just as thorough as caring and trying to please others. Every day we need to satisfy and nurture our need for exercise and excitement; for rest and relaxation; for challenge and communication; for a little just plain fun and silliness and pampering. Without these, we may sink into that rut of ordinary, plain and dull. Who wants a friend like that?

We are kind! We are smart! We are important! What's more, we need to never, ever forget it! Just as the flight attendant is forever harping at us to "take the oxygen first," we need to apply that to other aspects and areas of our life. Most of those we interact with and care about need us to be able to smile, joke, stick a crazy emoji at the end of our text and most importantly laugh at ourselves as well as with others.

That, my friends, is Friendship! We need to not only be a good caring friend to others, but we first need to make friends with and care for ourselves! Take the oxygen first!!!


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