Keep it simple.
I was speaking to a client yesterday who is struggling about creating the habit and the discipline to take care of himself. His value is to help everyone else first, make sure everyone around him feels supported.
I relate to this value, it is part of a hero archetype. We want to help, to “save” people from pain.
And he knows this is costing his health, his life basically because he is unhappy, overwhelmed with so much to do and no time, he is burned out.
No hero can’t really serve authentically from this place, because it leads to death, not literally (it could if nothing changes). It means death of the soul, death of joy and vitality because the betrayal against our own body, dreams and desires.
If saying YES to someone means you are saying NO to you, that is betrayal to the self.
So many people are “Givers” and that is an amazing quality, value and I would never encourage someone not to be a giver.
But there is a catch…
What is the energy underneath that giving? What is the driver of that giving? There are two qualities of that energy of giving. One, ego driven giving. Giving to be liked, to be approved, to be needed, to feel worthy, to feel important.
The ego, as I wrote before is insatiable. It wants more, bigger…it is never satisfied. It is greedy.
The other quality of giving is heart centered, it is always filled with the qualities of love, joy, abundance. It does not need to “do” “go” or “get busy”, it just is. This giving comes from an authentic place of service – we give because we just love to, it gives us joy. There is no agenda, no hunger for approval, no need to be liked. It just makes us happy, that simple.
I hear so many of my people, my own clients complaining of fatigue. It is basically compassion fatigue, because they say yes to everyone. And is this true compassion? What about compassion for the self first? This pattern depletes energy and starts to create resentment because the giver gives to those who don’t really “deserve” that giving or start asking excessively. People start taking advantage of your generosity.
I am careful here though, I use these judgmental words with a little caution because the truth is, in any interaction, any relationship, there are two people at least. So one is using and one is enabling. Both unhealthy behaviors that leads to dysfunction and disharmony.
No one makes us say YES. No one. No thing. We choose to.
Back to my client, because this story will resonate with many, I encouraged him to take care of himself first, by simply going to the gym 3 times a week, eat healthy foods and sleep 8 hours so he can amplify that value of helping others.
This is step number one, simple. Then step two will be to help him clean up this energy underneath the giving, by helping him to find his worth no matter what, because he is worthy. He is valuable and he is enough either he is helping or not.
He was going in circles about why, why, why he could not take care of him first, trying to make this a very complex problem. Like many of us do – “what is wrong with me?”
The issue might be complex. Many of us did not feel or don’t feel worthy and that goes back all the way to childhood. Sometimes even back to when we were in the womb of our mothers…or before that with ancestry karma. It is complex and we need to start with simplicity. It is the only way to start any journey of healing or changes.
As the Tao says – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”.
Self-love, which is the opposite of unworthiness does not need to be complicated. It begins with us taking care of our beautiful bodies, nourishing our cells with pure water, nourishing our organs and brain with deep restorative breaths, calming our nerve system by pausing and meditating for 10 minutes. Focus on health, happiness, life affirmative choices. The power is ours.
It is so simple…and we must want to feel better, to be happier, to experience life with joy, vitality and love. The desire to create the new, to do the things that will change our state needs to be present.
I can help, guide, influence, encourage many…and yet, I can’t make anyone “want”. That is your job.
Keep it simple and the complex will dissolve.
With love, Alex.