Last night I had the weirdest dream. I can't remember much of it, but when I woke up this morning, it was as though I had had an epiphany about my life. (Of course, I woke up with some kind of cold/virus bug this morning. Yay. Maybe my dream was sick-induced...)
Anyway. About that dream I can't remember - or at least the epiphany:
I think that I have lived my life the wrong way. A friend of mine told me more than once recently that I am "too nice." She would hear me relate how I have ended up in the circumstances I am in and she'd shake her head and say,"Girl, you can't go through life being that nice and trusting of ANYbody..." And she'd remind me that I can look around and see that other people aren't that nice and trusting. I would tell her how I've done this or that for someone else and she'd say, "I bet they are better off than you are now." Or she would be really blunt and say, "And where are they now that you need them?" Or she would get kind of pissed and say something about how it's a good thing I believe in Heaven because I sure messed up the whole life on Earth thing. (Yeah, she pulls no freaking punches, this lady.)
Would I like to think that my friend is wrong? Sure. But I don't think that she is.
If I could live my life over, I wouldn't be mean or nasty, but I think that I would put myself first more than I have. All my life, I had a herd mentality. You know, all for one & one for all, and together we stand... blah, blah, blah... In the end, though, when push comes to shove, people are going to look out for themselves first, then the ones they cherish next, and if there is any left over, they will share with the rest of us. I was always one to share first & then take what was left. (As a curious side-note, it's been the ones I've done the least for who have done the most for me - including my blunt, no-nonsense friend.)
As someone I know once said, "What's being good ever done for ya?"
In my life, I have given up money, cars, time, convenience, etc. I never thought that I would come to feel bitter about it. I never thought I would ever have reason to. But life is ever surprising.
I'm afraid that my girlfriend might be right. You can be too nice and too giving.
So. I'm not going to stop being nice, but I am going to be a lot more nice to myself first. Everyone else can get the leftovers. I don't think God ever said that looking out for yourself was a sin.