When You Focus on Yourself, Don’t Forget Everyone Else

“Time and good friends are two things that get more valuable the older you get.” ~Unknown

In recent years, we’ve collectively been talking a lot about creating boundaries and letting go of things that no longer serve us. Many of us have gotten better at permitting ourselves to say no and to escape old habits and routines. We’re also more open about our choices to reject people and places that exude bad vibrations or bad energy.

I love that we’re becoming more conscious of the universe that’s always changing all around us. Together, we’re acknowledging the power we have to make mindful decisions that resonate with our higher selves. That’s what it’s all been about, right?

Maybe not quite.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this evolution on the focus of “self” is affecting everyone and everything else.

While we’re busy setting boundaries against the world, are we forgetting to establish boundaries with ourselves? And when we are actively avoiding places with bad vibes, are we considering the energy we bring into spaces?

While we’re working on finding inner balance, are we leaving behind the people that depend on us for stability? And while we’re off becoming who we’re meant to be, are we selectively excluding parts of our reality?

Think about it.

You can love the vibes of your favorite studio, but if you show up five minutes late, after frantically running in from the subway, you shift the energy of the entire room.

Or, in another example, you may feel empowered by a boundary you set with someone, but what if the person on the other end doesn’t understand why?

You can be in the process of becoming your best self, but are you also still honoring your relationships and responsibilities? Are you still honoring the world that gives you the space to breathe?

What we need to avoid, quite frankly, is becoming spiritually selfish.

True, when we show up for ourselves, we’re better at showing up for others, but we can’t forget to notice how we show up in the meantime.

Of course, we must have an understanding of how we feel through developing self-awareness. It’s also vital we retain an awareness of how we make others feel.

Yes, we must focus on what’s happening in our inner world with more compassion, but that doesn’t mean dismissing what’s happening in the world around us. We must learn how to find stillness in our chaos, but it’s just as imperative that we are not causing any chaos ourselves.

I’ve loved my spiritual journey, and I’ve found a lot of value in exploring the confines of what I didn’t think was possible while keeping an open mind to what more there could be.

I’ve become more grounded by taking the time to get to know the edges of myself. And I’ve learned to alchemize my vulnerability to help me move toward my potential. Even still, I’ll admit I’ve probably been selfish in the process of my enlightenment.

While I’ve been working on self-care, self-love, and self-awareness, I’ve probably ignored a few calls I should’ve made, plans I shouldn’t have changed, and relationships I should’ve maintained better.

I’ve heard from many spiritually minded folks that the journey toward becoming your highest self does often get lonely. Relationships dwindle. Priorities change.

The idea is that, once you become more aware of yourself, you’ll attract more of what truly resonates with you into your life. Be it friends, jobs, romantic partners—the more connected you are with yourself, the more connected you’ll be to the magnetic pull of destiny.

And yet there’s something to be said of living too deeply in our heads.

Yes, we should prioritize our well-being and align our actions with the truth inside of us. Yes, we should take the time to get to know ourselves and extract barriers. Yes, we should commit to our purpose and reject experiences that hinder us.

But there’s a balance to be found between awakening spiritually and living in reality. We can’t use spirituality as an excuse to avoid things that we can’t face. We can’t use spirituality as a reason to dismiss people without compassion.

We can’t use spirituality to justify falling off the face of the earth because we’re discovering our inner world. We can’t use spirituality to rationalize ignoring everything that helped us arrive at this turning point.

I am all about balancing our chakras, but I am also all for balancing our lives. And all I mean by this is, we can’t become so absorbed as seekers that we forget to see what and who has been there for us before our search began.

I’ve been told this road gets lonely, but I refuse to believe that’s the only truth.

If this resonates with you, then I ask you: bring others with you. Show others your way while listening to theirs. Build a community around what people believe. Honor those who don’t see the way you do, but still see them as who they are to you. Share, engage, and let the world in while you try to figure out what world you want to live in.

Start to notice how you show up. Become aware of how your presence impacts the spaces you enter. Be mindful of the connection outside of the one you have with the universe. There’s no reason that our spiritual awakening should be a one-lane road. Let’s build bridges so others can follow or at least visit if they want to.

Above all else, remember that while we focus on the self, we can’t just forget about everyone else.

About Sonya Matejko

Sonya Matejko is a writer, yoga teacher, and communications consultant living in New York City. She’s on a mission to help people express and empower themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. By embracing vulnerability, Sonya hopes to move people toward their highest potential. Learn more about her work: or follow her on Instagram @aforceofnurture.

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