“When our energy feels drained,
we have allowed others to plug into us,
without taking the time needed for oursel(ves),
Window of Wisdom*
How often have we allowed others to drain our energy in order to please them? We were raised to be kind, thoughtful and caring by our parents, teachers and religious leaders. All of those are good traits. We interpreted our teachings to mean give, give, give.
This is because we were not taught that in order to give we have to take care of ourselves first, usually because our role models did not know how to take care of themselves. I remember watching my mother and aunts work until they were ready to drop taking care of everyone in the family. Our fathers and uncles worked their jobs/farms, came home and made repairs and then went to a neighbor’s house to do what needed done there.
They did this day after day. Taking a break to rest or relaxing was considered selfish. No matter how bad life was for them, someone else had it worse and needed their help. They became exhausted because they were not nurturing themselves. As the years passed we saw their bodies fail from overwork.
As our generation grew to adulthood, some of us followed our parents’ model. Others became takers. As the years passed most of us learned that there is a middle way, healthier for all. We have learned that we must not only give to others, but we must also take time for ourselves. Only in this way can we keep the energy flowing – in both directions.
It doesn’t matter how we take care of ourselves. Perhaps we dance or practice yoga, bike or garden, or read until our eyes close and we slip into a restful nap. I do all of the above, different methods for different days.
The point is that by taking time to heal myself mentally, physically and spiritually, I have more energy to give others. I pushed myself to the limit while raising my children, much to their detriment and my regret. During the years between their leaving home and my introduction to my grandchildren, I learned a new way, to take care of myself first.
Now I work, spend time with my great-grandsons, read, meditate, spend time enjoying the outdoors and write. I’m not all the way there, because I find writing healing and restful, but it seems to be lowest on my list of things to do for myself.
© by Sharon D. Dillon, April 16, 2015
*Window 742 – Don’t diminish your light, April 15, 2015 at https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com
Sharon D. Dillon, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com