You can go all the way through your life helping others, donating your time to various people, traveling, and living life to what you thought was the fullest extent- but if you did so without following your heart and being true to yourself, did you even live? Being and staying true to one's self is one of the most important concepts to grasp in this life.
How many times have we been put in a situation where we put what WE wanted or needed on the back burner in order to cater to someone else’s wants and needs? Just some good old-fashioned humanitarian philanthropy, right? That’s all good and well, until we give so much of ourselves that we forget who we are and become bitter, resentful, and lost for it. Staying true to one's self isn’t selfish; it’s preservation of self.
This is a concept that took me a long time to understand, and I still don’t have it all figured out yet (so I wouldn’t run out and get any of this tattooed on your skin). From staying in relationships that were completely wrong for me, to silencing my own thoughts in order to pacify others… hell, I’ve even picked career paths before that I had zero interest in but others had wanted me to pursue. Sounds like I’m a big, fat pushover without a spine, huh? Nope. I just needed to learn how to listen to myself.
Examine your own heart. Ask yourself whether you’d still be doing what you are if there was no one around to tell you to do it. Do the things that you do out of concern for others stifle your own thoughts and feelings? Have you changed so much for the sake of other people that you don’t know who the person staring back at you in the mirror is? If so, don’t freak out. I’ve been there as well. Adjust your trajectory and then get brutally honest with yourself. Get true to yourself, and then stay true.