I used to live a life of martyrdom. And looking back I could've been so much happier with myself.
At the time I didn't know any better and as a person of good-will, I thought it was the right thing to do.
But now I know it wasn't. I'm here to tell you that if you find yourself being a martyr in life, stop.
Being a martyr is no way to live. And even if you think what you're doing is righteous, it's not your responsibility to handle (unless it is).
The easiest way to find out if you're living the life of a martyr is if you tell yourself:
"I'm doing this because no one else will"
I wasted five years consumed with this "righteous" thought. When instead I could've been happier doing what I wanted to do.
Now I don't regret my past mistakes. It's built who I am today (cliché).
But realize that when you tell yourself you're doing something because no one else will that you're not doing it for you.
I spent years in grind mode doing things I couldn't less about because I believed it was my responsibility to shoulder everything.
My life was so consumed by it, that when I ran out of work to do I became depressed.
I hated doing the work. And I hated not having anymore work.
It was my life.
During those late nights I would listen to motivational videos to get through the grind -
"You're already in pain, you're already hurt. Get a reward from it!"
It's normal to want to quit. And shit, I should've. But I have this stubborn habit of finishing what I started.
(At least I built a good work ethic.)
I would tell myself that in the end, after this constant struggle, it all was going to be worth it. And I convinced myself that a bright future was ahead.
But the thing about being a martyr is that you're living a fantasy.
The problem with being a martyr is that your living a life for other people.
And it's hard to see into your future and how things will turn out for you when you've only been thinking about others.
You have to know how things will play out. Because if you don't, then you're going to be disappointed.
I had no idea how things were going to play out. I was just doing what I thought I should be doing.
In other words, you just can't see reality. You're being hopeful.
And that's why when I hear people call themselves visionaries, I take a good look at them.
Those successes that call themselves visionaries are not just visionaries. They're builders. Because they realized what they had already envisioned.
Martyrs are visionaries too. But in the insulting sense of the word.
Martyrs only see things for how they want things to be. Not for how they really are.
You need to stop living a life of martyrdom because your life belongs to you.
And you need to do it now. Because it's not going to get any easier.
I understand that you want to help your own, but it's not your responsibility. Shouldering a responsibility that's not yours isn't fair to you.
Life can be hell, but never think that going through enough of it will make things better.
As a martyr, someday you'll realize that what you do isn't going to bring the outcome you want.
And since martyrdom becomes your way of living, when life completely turns to shit and you finally take the plunge to leave that life behind-
It will feel like the most selfish thing you have ever done in your entire life.
I still remember getting ready to leave it all behind.
I sat in my car feeling guilty, tears in my eyes. And in my head I'd go back in forth, between staying and going.
Until I finally hit my head to the steering wheel and cried out:
"But Dammit! My life belongs to ME!"
Then I turned the car on and I left. Never going back.
You get sucked into martyrdom out of the goodness of your own heart.
Always put yourself first. Be selfish.
Not in a way that would deprecate on anyone else.
But by striving for what you want for yourself, you will drive others to be the best they can be as well.
By not doing things for yourself, you rationalize why you're putting yourself through the struggle.
You become a dreamer, and you lose sight of reality.
Don't just believe anything you hear or been told. Think for yourself. At least try to. Because -
When life doesn't go you way, realize that the problem is that you're not living for you.
Know that you don't owe anyone anything. Know you only have one life.
And tell yourself:
"My life belongs to me"
That phrase is not selfish. That phrase it liberating.
Because it's true.
Thanks for reading,