Balance: Their Needs – My Needs

I’m always looking for balance. It is so easy to get lopsided in our thinking and our doing. Finding the balance between serving others and meeting their needs and yet allowing yourself the necessity of meeting your needs is an area I always struggle with. I’m sure many of you do too.

The problem is that it is so hard to honestly evaluate our own lives and motives. When I choose to put my needs or wants above those of another, how can I tell when I’m being selfish and self-serving versus simply doing what is appropriate and necessary for myself? Especially, when the people around you seem to have the same mixed view – one complains that you’re always focused on what you want and another is chiding you for not taking time for yourself.

Too often, we try to find balance by swinging one direction for an extended period of time (usually the meeting the needs of others) and then, when we are totally exhausted and frustrated, we swing the pendulum of extremity in the total opposite direction and focus on doing only what we want and need. This throws everything into a tailspin. I don’t see it as being true balance.

If you’re expecting me to give the answer to this dilemma in this blog posting, you’ll be disappointed. It is one of my biggest struggles. It is so hard to determine for myself, since I recognize that everyone is so different in their needs, in every area, physically, emotionally and spiritually. What meets the needs of one can be draining for another. Even people with similar personalities and temperaments have different levels of need for quiet time and social interaction. We are each so different.

So, tell me. How do you draw the line between need, want and selfishness? How do you balance your needs with ‘their’ needs? How much time for yourself is ‘enough’ and how much is ‘too much?’

Looking for your input.  Any answers out there?

Would love to hear your comments