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The Truth Is You Don’t Owe Anyone Your Time

You give your time freely, lending your hours to the people you love without considering your own needs. You feel guilty when everyone asks for more time than you can provide them, and you acquiesce to their demands because you don’t want to lose them.

But the truth is that the time you give away so generously is yours and yours alone, so spend it any way your heart desires — no matter what anyone else thinks.

You don’t owe your time to the one who doesn’t love you. They float back into your life without warning, begging for your help because they’ve known your soft heart intimately. They claim that they still love you, that they can’t stop thinking about you and can no longer live without you. But if your time away from their heartache liberates you, you aren’t obligated to waste a single second catering to their whims. Spend the hours they beg for you consciously loving yourself instead.

You don’t owe your time to anyone who prevents you from pursuing your passions. They crave your attention, joking about how much time you carve out for the things that bring you joy, leaving you to question whether your decisions will tear you away from those you love most. They seem to have no qualms about driving you away from your ambitions because your presence in their life means more to them than your lifelong desires. But if pursuing the dreams that set your heart on fire necessitates less time with people who stifle your growth, you aren’t obligated to spend another minute consoling them. Spend the hours they cling to you reconnecting with your passions instead.

You don’t owe your time to anything that isn’t mandatory in your life. You believe that rushing to achieve everything others expect of you is the answer, that you must devote your time and attention to projects that don’t inspire you and people who don’t reciprocate care. You believe that if you share your time with everyone, no one will ever be without and you will be happy, even though you know that someone will always judge you. But if stepping back from expectations and being deliberate with your time brings you a sense of relief, you aren’t obligated to give anyone or anything all of your energy. Spend the time you devote to worrying what others think energizing your own spirit instead.

You heap your time and energy on others instead of yourself because you believe that everyone should come before you. But the truth is that no matter how much guilt you feel about not being able to help everyone, you don’t owe anyone your time, especially when they drain your energy. Instead of wallowing in guilt that you can’t fully give yourself to everyone you meet, find freedom in your ability to devote your time to living a fulfilling life.

About the author
Lives for red lipstick, high heels, 80's pop, cats, and Oxford commas. Follow Kelly on Instagram or read more articles from Kelly on Thought Catalog.

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