We all want to help people. Heck, I’ve made an entire career focused on healing people with intense symptoms. It feels good to be genuinely helpful…until it doesn’t. I found myself totally depleted by taking on the negative energies of others, which lead me to questioning:
Is possible to care for others and still care for myself?
I find this particularly taxing in my closest relationships, with my family and dear friends. The line between what is their “stuff” and what is mine is easy to blur. All of the sudden, I make their problems my own and go to sleep burdened. Meanwhile, I spend my days teaching about living a clean and cancer free life – while I lie in bed harboring toxic and worried thoughts and feelings.
This all came to a head when one particular situation exploded in my life. I just couldn’t navigate my way out of it.
I committed to a daily meditation practice to focus on repairing this relationship – to find myself again amidst this storm. And I learned something huge. Everyone has their own path. Everyone’s lessons unfold as they need to. And not everyone needs my help!
That was a real ego shocker to me. I find that worrying for others is often more about my own need to feel needed. I am learning to stand rooted in who I am and free myself from the responsibility of others on their paths.
I am working to let go of my “fix them” mentality, to keep my attention focused on me. My best contribution to the world is to remain strong, grounded and understanding. All this time, I thought I needed to prove my worth, but my worth comes from simply being who I am.
I have learned that in order to remain rooted in myself without other’s energies impacting me, I had to do the following things:
- Step back. Removing yourself from the situation to see clearly before you react. Get clear on what’s your “stuff” and what’s theirs.
- Start with you. Focusing on how everything is an opportunity for my own growth keeps me from needing to fix others.
- Listen. Notice your tendency to think about your response while listening to others, which is not TRULY listening. 95% of the time, the best thing you can do for another is to listen and be compassionate.
- Use your tools. Have a meditation practice, go for a daily walk, get into a yoga class – do something that helps you stay in your own energy field.
A great mantra to take anywhere is: I love and cherish myself. I am grounded in my own being.
The world certainly needs you – not as a fixer – but simply as a thriving, loving person. Let your life be an example for others and you’ll be able to care for others while caring for yourself!