Responsibilities…When Does Peace of Mind Come?
This post is inspired by a beautiful friend of mine, so many others in similar situations, and even myself from the past.
She is an amazingly strong young woman who is always giving of her heart and has been taking care of everyone since she was a little girl and is now feeling lost, depleted, and on the verge of breaking. And that breaks my heart to know.
I hear from many clients and people I know about their heavy “responsibilities” that are the focus of their life currently. So many have been taking care of themselves and others for a good portion of their lives for one reason or another, or have felt the need to put their lives on hold because they had to take care of everyone else first. Sometimes this may be sick family members, younger siblings, family or friends that are in challenged time periods in their lives, and sometimes this may be the ideas like “I can only do what I want once I have “x” amount of money, get the job I desire, the house I want”, or any number of other “things” we “think” that we need first in order to have the peace of mind desired.
I feel that peace of mind will come when you have peace of heart…and that stems from going within and taking care of yourself, listening to and nurturing YOUR needs, asking yourself what YOU desire, providing yourself the space and self honor and respect to feel what you’ve been pushing aside for so long in order to endure and carry on with the heavy load of responsibilities you have been carrying out.
And then doing something about it today.
I do understand how challenging and emotional it can be to see loved ones go through pain in any way. It’s really hard not to want to be there in all ways and help them. And yet there is a fine line of balance we have forgotten. We are either all or nothing it seems with things. We seem to intellectually “get” that we can’t change others and we can’t help anyone if they don’t want help. And we seem to understand how we also aren’t being of the highest benefit and support if we haven’t yet learned how to take care of the same exact needs they reflect to us about ourselves.
But we just can’t seem to mesh mind, with heart, with actions. Things get stuck and lost in the reasoning, suspended there as an “idea”, but never translates into actualization.
What good is it to have the thoughts, if you aren’t able to walk in their shoes and fill the empty space they are simply holding?
It can be tough to turn inward and create healthy boundaries for ourselves especially when we see and feel pain all around us, but the pain is also within us…pain that yearns for our self love. And when we listen and support that, we are actually being of most support and responsible service to others.
On last week’s’retreat, one of the guests was in a similar situation, as the young woman I mentioned above. She, too, takes care of her father and has been heavily weighed with “responsibilities”, duties, being overloaded, and unable to think straight on what she wants for herself. She shared that it was very hard to walk away and go on the retreat and she almost cancelled at the last minute, but she knew she just had to or she would break…and if that happens she is also of no benefit to her father or anyone else for that matter – including herself. She had some very close calls in her life that were clearly messaging her that the time was now to take care of herself and her path’s needs.
I’m happy to share that she emerged from the week saying it was the answer to her prayers, feeling renewed and able to see with fresh eyes and get out of her head to make changes when she returned home. She added that the trip “has forever changed me…I feel the dance again and am fully embracing it!”
We often think we have to take care of everyone and are responsible for things, then we end up either in a victim or martyr role, completely deteriorating and the people we thought we were trying to help still have the experiences that they do regardless of how much we keep giving to them. It’s very loving of us to want to help and take care of others, but I have to wonder, when will it be time to take care of you?
I see people have recurring illnesses, “accidents”, challenges, and blocks the more they keep taking care of everyone else and I ask them if they are nurturing themselves in any way, which usually is answered with a “no, I don’t have time for that”, or “I’d like to, but first I need to make sure of this or that and that everyone else is okay.”
The highest gift and service we can provide is by being an example to others and loving and nurturing ourselves into wholeness. Then we are able to truly hold that space of wholeness for our loved ones and others to step into theirs if they so choose. As well as, are able to truly help because our supply of well being is abundant and constantly renewing. We become empowered to empower others, rather than enabling.
I believe we create our experiences by the choices we make and the perspectives we choose to embrace. There will always be something else that will delay us, as long as we agree to that.
Make today YOUR day to choose differently. Life will reflect the empowerment and love you embody.