Breathing Freely

Breathing freely,
And adopting this as my number one...
Priority,

At first...
I brought along with it some guilt.
I was taught from birth,
Doing for others...
Provided me a sense of self worth.
And a doing for myself first,
Was a selfish activity.

And I thought about this,
Through the years of my giving.
And I thought about this,
With a lesser happiness...
As I continued to live.

If I am not happy,
To whom do I address this?
And who is going to recognize my unhappiness,
Better than I can myself?

And...
I awakened!
As if it was the first time I had witnessed dawn.

Breathing freely,
And adopting this as my number one...
Priority,

At first...
I brought along with it some guilt.
I was taught from birth,
Doing for others...
Provided me a sense of self worth.
And a doing for myself first,
Was a selfish activity.

Today,
Feeling selfish is the least of my concerns.
I am no longer seeking to prove I can be sacrificial.
I've earned and deserve the right to be happy.
Pleasing the needs of others,
To receive disrespect as a benefit?
Is a lesson I have learned not to repeat.

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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