I’ve been thinking about the importance of helping others and how this impacts on ourself and our emotional states. You see, I used to put everyone else’s needs and wishes ahead of my own – those of my children, partner (s), family, friends… etc and myself at the bottom of the pile.
I would rush around ‘being’ what others needed, wanted or expected (or so I thought); morphing into a nurse, a taxi driver, a baby sitter, a personal assistant, a shoulder to cry on etc and not really thinking about what I wanted or needed. For years I felt drained and tired. Life was about what others wanted (which was my make-believe) and I had no time for my own goals or dreams – I felt I needed to fit in or around others goals or dreams.
I guess I was running on empty. My self esteem was very low and I had forgotten who or what I was. Being there to help others is a fantastic thing – provided you are doing it for the right reasons. I think sometimes I allowed myself to get busy with other peoples challenges because it distracted me from my own, it temporarily made me feel needed, useful and worthy. It fed my low self esteem, I was searching for something to make me feel significant – it did not help me to help myself or even to love myself.
Does this pattern sound familiar to you? Do you know people like this?
I realised through some intensive personal development work what I was doing and why I was doing it. The analogy of the air steward when showing passengers the safety instructions or putting the oxygen mask on oneself before a child is just spot on. We must help ourselves and grown emotionally strong before we can unconditionally help others. If we do not take care of ourselves, consider ourselves as numero uno then who will? We must learn to love ourselves, respect ourselves and feel good in our own company. We are on this earth to have a rich and fulfilling experience – not to allow ourselves to become lost in the jungle of a chaotic life or worse to become a doormat. It is our own responsibility to make our life fulfilling, no one else’s. I do not want to leave this earth feeling like I’ve been a passenger on the bus – but the driver of my own journey. Is that true for you too? I choose to take control of my life, make decisions based around what I want and not feel guilt or selfish. Some people are born with the strategies to appreciate themselves – others take time to learn them – but the good news is: it’s never too late.
It is liberating to make decisions based upon what is right for me and then for others. What feels right – in my heart not necessarily in my head. Following my intuition and give myself choice in all situations. By acknowledging change was necessary I allowed new habits to develop – this does not mean I’m always on track, but with continued focus I know I’m making the changes lasting. By truly loving oneself and having self respect life becomes a beautiful thing :). Loving friends and family unconditionally is wonderful. Helping others, because I choose to (it’s no longer a need for significance) feels great. I help when they ask for help – or offer if it feels appropriate and believe it or not I can say ‘no’ too. It can be far more empowering to allow someone to face their challenge than take the challenge away from them; we grow far more by achieving what we think we cannot.
Sometimes I think we forget life is supposed to be ‘fun’ and enjoyable. Often if look hard enough we can find choices in our situations. It’s ok to look for the positives too :).
How do you honour yourself? How many of the words you say to yourself are positive? When you help others – is it always for their gain or are you looking for significance it gives? What do YOU really want? How would you like your life to be different? Imagine, if there was a magical genie, what 3 wishes would you ask for? What if you could have more than 3 wishes – what else? How can you make these wishes become your reality? What challenges will you face? – Will you fall at the first hurdle or will you get up and keep on track? How will you keep on track? How important are wishes?
I love helping people, making a difference, inspiring, empowering them and I continue to learn about myself and my life strategies. If you would like to know more about my coaching – please go to my website www.daringdamsels.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org