Reflections on Finding the Balance
Balance: When my clients talk about taking care of themselves, there is often the underlying energy of the question ‘am I selfish when I do something for me’? I try to reassure them that it’s all about balance, and that self-care is as important to good personal and interpersonal health as is caring for others. Finding that balance is a learning process for all of us.
I think that learning started for me when I had my son. He needed to come first because he could not take care of himself. I was responsible. Naturally, being a new mother, everything went into his care. I think this imbalance became a habit, or as I see it an energetic pattern. What really fed the pattern were my thoughts and feelings about being responsible for this little person. I liked being needed. When he would want only me to soothe him, emotional fireworks would go off. Here was someone who loved me and saw me as the special one.
Imbalance. I stopped doing things for myself. Neglect to work out. I might not take the time to read a book because I was too tired. Perhaps I didn’t see my friends as often. There was nothing left for me. It affected my relationships. People around me started to expect I would put them first. I ended up letting this imbalance define who I was as a person and how I should act with and toward others. In hindsight, this imbalance was not to my highest good, or to the good of my son or those around me. I was perhaps more irritable, resentful and less happy for it.
It has taken me years to undo this imbalanced self-expectation and in its place create a balanced way to honor being of service to others while taking care of myself. I think finding the balance is about discerning what is most important in the moment in the context of the bigger picture. There were many moments in my son’s early years when he demanded immediate attention – for any reason. Looking back, the balanced approach would have been to assess and prioritize his immediate need against the other things happening in that moment. My son is bored. Hang up on a conversation with a friend, or find the balance and take care of me too?
What do the airlines say? Something along the lines of ‘put your oxygen mask on first. Only then are you safe to help others’.
I really want to support this kind of clarity for my community. So, as a holiday gift to all, I am offering a 50% discount on the Energetic Self-Care workshop being offered on December 8th. I hope to see you there.
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Seeing and understanding are the elements of liberation that bring about love and compassion”. I want to add the words….to myself.
Big Hugs and Much Love,