Friday, 1 November 2013

Looking after Number One


Looking after Number One sounds  like a selfish motto and most of us don’t know how. We throw away opportunities, follow the advice of the less enlightened and stay in comfort zones that are decidedly uncomfortable.

Sometimes we feel it’s impossible to look after Number One when there are so many “priorities” all vying for pole position. Should I empty the dishwasher before I fill the washing machine? Do I need to call my cousin who I haven’t spoken to in months even though it leaves me feeling depressed? Will I go to hell because I didn’t give up my seat to an old woman on the bus as I was so engrossed in my Kindle?

These are the ethical dilemma that are tumbling around in our heads whilst we’re trying to keep body and soul together. We can’t look after Number One if we’ve got no self esteem as people with no self-esteem usually think of themselves as Number 43.

The only person we can blame for our poor ranking is…..us. We’ve relegated Number One to a dismal existence in the lower stratums of human relations. Parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, neighbours, random acquaintances, homeless people and, most likely, the ticket inspector at the train station are higher in our estimations than ourselves. And why? Because we want to be considered nice people and nice people are not always Number One. In fact, nice people finish last as they’ve taken their eye of the off their own development and are busy helping others climb up the ladder and all over them.

Number Two has his uses!
It’s important to look after Number One to become a well rounded and fulfilled person. This means following your passion and ignoring the naysayers around you. Looking after Number One is not an easy or pretty option. It’s a journey of sacrifice and a labour of love. Take the case of Katie Piper, an acid attack victim, who supports people with similar conditions. Before the attack, she had a seemingly charmed life as a part-time model and was living the dream until a fateful meeting via Facebook on the man who would try and destroy her beauty. After months of hospital treatment and with the loving support of her family the beauty of her soul shone through to win the day. Before the attack, Katie was looking after Number One but in a superficial way and now she looks after Number One in the deepest and purest ways.

If you don’t look after Number One, then Number Two (or 52 will). Yes, those pushy people who claim to know you better than you know yourself. Those who will take over your life and then play the injured party when you want to reclaim it.  Whilst you’ve been busy focusing on being charitable and accomodating, Number Two has gained power and found the weakness in your kindness. Number Two thinks he is cleverer than you and that whatever you can do, he can do better……including taking out the garbage, weeding the garden, playing scrabble, choosing a  vaccum cleaner, dancing the tango, buying the right car and proving you wrong every time. The Number Two in your life will only become Mr Right if he can accept his place…as your side kick (and a good kick never goes amiss!). 

Taking care of Number One doesn’t have to be hard work. It might mean switching off the phone, agreeing to disagree, walking away into the sunset, lounging in a bath of bubbles or star gazing on a moonlit night. Replenishing your soul is looking after Number One so whatever your soul is drawn to…then just do it…..and never let Number Two muscle in on your time, money or space. Be discerning in your choice of Number Two’s and know that to nurture Number One is to live a life of no regrets.


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