I have been told many times throughout my life, “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” Of course, if you are anything like me, you ignore this just like you ignore the “wait 30 minutes before swimming after eating” rule.
I used to think of that phrase as it relates to sharing. It would be selfish of me to keep my fire all to myself when someone else was standing out in the cold. I used to believe that if I shared my fire, I was getting something in return. I thought of it similar to as us being campers on the camp ground, but really, I was just the fire that was left out and alone once all the marshmallows were toasted and stories were told. At the end of the day, all that was left of me was embers, flickers of light, and remnants of the warmth I used to have.
One day, I decided to be my own lighter fluid. Instead of waiting for someone to pour their visions of my worth on me, I lit myself up with my own self-love. If you wait for others to set your soul on fire, you may be waiting forever, and this life is too short to sit around and be anything other than a girl on fire.
When you are on a plane, the flight attendants always instruct you to place the air mask on yourself before others in case of an emergency; if you cannot help yourself, you cannot save others. While I will always be the type of girl who wants to save the world, I must first be the type of girl who wants to save myself. I have to be the type of girl who follows my own dreams, who puts my plans first, who does not flinch if what I need for myself gets in the way of your plans for yourself.
I feel like the world has given the word selfish a negative connotation. It is okay to be selfish. It is okay to put yourself first. How can you preach self-love and acceptance when you don’t first love and accept yourself? It is okay to say no to things that are not deserving of you. It is fine to cut yourself off from things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. It is not egotistic. It is self-preservation.
You will quickly burn out in this world if you wait around for others to light your fire. The world is full of people who are quick to use your fire to light their own, but will just as easily walk away when they see you sitting on the sidelines. Do not allow yourself to sit on the sidelines, you beautiful soul on fire.