You Miss what you Don’t Try
Are you sitting in a place in your life where you are watching the world revolve around you as you get stuck deeper and deeper into the quick sand of your own personal struggle? This my friends is where the phrase "the struggle is real" was derived!
Y'all... let's be very honest, professionally my life has been amazing. From my consulting work to this amazing book deal that is coming to fruition in the next 2 months, I have been so blessed!!
My personal life though, I can't! The past 365 days have been a revolving door of friendships and relationships. In a post earlier this year, I shared that I was "Marie Kondoing" my life, especially when it came to men in my life. "Does this man bring me joy? Nope... byeeeeee"
I would love to say that I have maintained that level of self-preservation by removing what is not good for me, but over the past two months I opened the door to letting in people who only meant me harm. How does that happen? Why did I allow someone who could destroy me into my life?
I was afraid of what I've never tried... I've never tried to actually be discerning about who has an impact on my mind, heart and soul. I am a fixer by nature, so naturally I invite everyone in to my life. Most people just think I am super extroverted and friendly, but that is hardly true. I allowed a lot of my testimony to be focused on my journey with PTSD. The pain and heartache I went through and continue to go through has pushed me to try and help alleviate other people's pain and sorrow.
That may sound noble and chivalrous, but it's actually very dangerous. I have been more focused on loving and supporting others who ask for that part of me, then paying attention to the impact those people have on my own well-being. I often make the mistake of thinking I am a fiercely independent person who can function on very little support from others.
Let me say this very clearly... everyone needs support. Though my faith is my focus, that faith and that strength comes in the form of confidantes, friends and my personal favorite family members in my life. They don't know what I don't reach out for, and if I allow myself to sit in the role of fixer without ever mending my own wounds, I'm draining every ounce of my energy on other people with no way of refilling my own energy.
So what do you do when everyone around you needs you? How do you handle the 1 or 2 people who are deep within their own struggle and you see yourself through them and how you can help and support them?
You try something you haven't done before... instead of jumping directly into help, fixer, support mode, you give yourself the chance to go into self-preservation mode. My new challenge to myself is to try something I have never done... think about myself first before I think about how I can support someone else.
The 3 questions I am going to ask myself and I challenge you to ask yourself before ever giving away your precious energy resources are these:
- Where is my energy level?
- How am I feeling emotionally, physically and spiritually?
- What impact could supporting this person have on me?
Does it sound selfish? Nope, it sounds healthy. We think of selfish as such a bad word, so let me encourage you to think about it as "healthy self-support." Nobody can take care of you better than you can. You have to care for you. You have to own your own health. Identify the people in your life who can support building your personal health, and who you know will honestly tell you when they too need to take time to replenish their energy.
You will miss out on your own self-preservation if you don't try to take care of you.