“Sometimes we have to stop being so giving to others, because in the process we end up destroying the part of us that needs to be giving to ourselves.” – r.g. moon
Are you that busy type that seems to get uncomfortable when there is nothing to do, no one to help or situation to make better? Aha, I know the feeling and have come to the conclusion that we need help. Okay, I am joking, but with a slight touch of seriousness.
Some of us live for the moments where we can come to someone’s rescue or aid, and when those moments cease to happen, we can easily become lost with too much time on are hands and not sure what to do with it.
So my former counselor, Dr. Craig Adams told me people who people like me are wired to help others and that is not necessarily a bad thing, but recognizing when to give to yourself is equally important if not more.
This coming week I have decided to take a staycation. I have no plans to travel to any exotic islands or locations with warm waters, although that sounds very nice, but instead I will remain around the house and tackle a few projects that are long overdue, and while I have a kid free environment, perhaps I will have the opportunity to really engage in some “me time”. Not “me time” that simply involves dulling my brain with watching movies, but taking the time to re-energize and re-purpose a few things.
For many of you this may seem like a no-brained, but for those of us that struggle with embracing on our downtime, it requires work and commitment. It is so easy to get caught up with doing life for others that over time we learn to adopt a behavior that habitually neglects our own needs.
So as I prepare for a week of personal downtime, I did what any sensible person with this condition would do. I made a list of how my week would look. At least how I would tackle the tasks that have priority over the one’s that do not, so I can remain focused on the important parts.
The list is designed to deter any distractions. You know, those things that will inevitably come up to deter me from getting done what I am setting out to do. They are not necessarily life changing moments, but they are important to me, so it is imperative that I make the list.
Those like me that carry a burden to help others truly make this world a better place, but we will be no good to anyone (or ourselves) if we do not learn the art of looking after self first. Just think about it. When you have free time, what do you find yourself doing? Are you able to sit still, reflect on your own thoughts and consider your tomorrows, or do occupy yourself with “stuff” that simply keeps you busy and passes the time?
It is essential that the teacher continues to learn, not just simply teach. Not sure if this makes sense, but we do this by taking time out for ourselves on a regular basis. This allows us to soak up the life that surrounds us. The beauty that we often neglect. The small things that we take for granted everyday, like walking and taking in nature, reading a good book, spending time with close friends and family, meditating or reflecting on life’s meaning for ourselves. Unfortunately this behavior or action is not commonplace to people like us. We help and assist others to a fault. Usually to the point of exhaustion when we have nothing left to give, even to ourselves.
So is there is any hope, or are we doomed to be givers without a cause that actually empowers you and I? Since I am a man who will always believe in hope and I understand that tomorrow always provides us with another opportunity to realize the hope that truly exist, my answer to that question is an astounding yes! The important factor is that we learn to embrace, capture and live in the moments that we find ourselves with ourselves. We must not run from it, fear it nor neglect the opportunity to learn all that we can during those times.
A great friend of mine once told me years ago that I was a deep thinker and a deep feeler. The combination is kind of rare, and it took me years to fully grasp the meaning, but now I know. My propensity is to really connect with others and feel their pain or joy without much effort. I then find myself contemplating ideas that will help those individuals get past or through their circumstances, or celebrate their high moments. No question this is an honorable thing, however it has also left me empty, dejected and alone. Therefore I had to learn to how to master this gift and recognize the potential pitfalls of being a giver.
If we (the givers) continue to learn, we will always have something special to share with our world, but once we truly grasp this gift we will equally understand that the first person to give to is ourselves. This indeed will make the world a better place.