Why Giving Back Sometimes Means Giving to Yourself

by LaShanda Pitts
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When I became a member of Classy Living Society (CLS) in 2015, I was at a point in my life when I was looking for a way to give back – because of a trying event that occurred the previous year and because I wanted to acknowledge the blessings I had enjoyed throughout my life.  I also learned a great deal about generosity and giving. I realized that I learned so much more as well – my experiences with giving back and working side by side with my CLS sisters encouraged me to celebrate and love myself and to validate and pay more attention to my talents and dreams.

Last week was National Volunteer Week, a week set aside for an annual celebration of the wonderful things that volunteers do across the nation.  This is a very important celebration for CLS as well, and normally we schedule a week filled with volunteer events in which we get together physically and give back.  Of course, we weren’t able to do that because of the current pandemic, so we embarked upon a week of virtual activities.  The final event – our “closing ceremony” – was Self Care Saturday, a day to take care of ourselves.  I chose to sit in my backyard and gaze at the clouds while enjoying a frozen margarita.  It was a perfect meditation: the sun, the birdsong, the gentle breeze.  And deep thought.

I thought about how we women are such nurturing spirits – oftentimes to a fault. We take care of and are mindful of everyone else around us – sometimes sacrificing and pushing aside our own needs and desires. And that’s okay…I believe that’s how God hard-wired us to be.  But taking the time to take care of you and reflect on your internal self means that all of the external (people, your home, job, your dreams, etc.) receives that good energy. Love on yourself first. Give yourself positive feedback & dialogue. Boundlessly focus on and celebrate your passion and desires. You AND the world around you will profit from it!  Giving back also means giving to yourself.

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Our volunteer week was such a blessing for sure. And yes that “me time” is a crucial part of being able to give back and be there for others. It’s taken me a minute to really realize that it’s ok to put me first but that’s how we can be ready to serve the community. So true that giving back also means giving to ourselves.

Sharon McDougle

This is so true. I always remind others to take care of themselves because they can’t pour from an empty glass.

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