I’m sure you are wondering “what the hell does self care have to do with walking through fear into love”! Well a lot actually. I know this from my own experience, obviously. Lol A thousand times in my life I either could have used some rest or wanted to do something or even needed to do something for me but I didn’t because someone else’s crisis or need seemed more important at the time.
Don’t I sound so selfless???? Do not be fooled my friends – what might look like selflessness on the surface may very well be me acting on my fear.
My fear that the person won’t like me, people will think I’m selfish or simply the fear of sitting with the feeling I get when someone else is experiencing a problem. You see I’ve decided others problems are my business and surely I am the only who can fix them.
Truth is I hate to sit in the uncomfortable feeling of someone else’s pain because I am so damn co-dependent. I believe my comfort depends on my success at fixing all y’all’s messes. I am that powerful! Yeah, right until I get a huge resentment and hate everyone for taking all my time. Hahaha, really as if it’s the other person’s fault!
Today when I am asked to assist I say, “can I get back to you on that?”. I was taught this nifty tool by a friend. It allows me to step back from the situation and determine if I have a need to help or if I have the time and want to be of service to another.
My knee jerk reaction was always YES! I didn’t consider plans I may have had with others or just with myself. I jumped at yes and then I’d complain up until the moment about my busy crazy schedule and how I was doing this and that for everyone. So selfish. I couldn’t see this behavior until it was pointed out. So if this blog resonates with you and you are feeling stuck in the co-dependent rescue mode you can change.
A few things I noticed when I changed this behavior by asking to get back to the person –
It’s a surprise to the persons you have always rescued.
You’ll feel really uncomfortable and want to call them almost immediately and say yes – even before you take the time to consider whether it is really something you want to and can do. So don’t call!
You will start to feel a sense of empowerment and control and calm in your own life.
Eventually it will become natural and you will start to feel as though you are entitled to say no or pause before the yes (because you are).
You will start to enjoy helping when you can because you will feel it was the right choice for you not the Only choice and yes you have a choice!
The persons who regularly calls upon you for help and rescue will start to consider your plans and change from saying OMG I need a ride to such and such to something like this. If you have time or when you can fit it in your schedule could you give me a ride (they are starting to think of you and your schedule because you are).
Not to mention – it’s modeling healthy behavior for those of our friends and family who do the same.
I’m not going to lie in this blog or sugar coat things – it isn’t easy to do this stuff. A simple but very difficult example –
My mom was an alcoholic ( she is no longer with us and she taught me so many life lessons- not necessarily the easy way but I love her for them all) and she had a knack of calling me at my dorm room drunk when I was having an exam the next day or had a huge paper to write. She would get me all upset telling me all kind of so stories about bad relationships and I would be so worried – then she’d turn on me and get nasty. I would spend a ton of time on the phone with her because I wanted to be a good daughter but I’d get off the phone and be so upset and worried I couldn’t study or I’d have no time left to.
One day I decided I was going answer the phone but only talk for a few minutes and then get off the phone so I didn’t ruin the whole night of studying. My mom talked for a few minutes and then started the drunk crying and after about 5 minutes of listening and consoling her I told her I had to go. She wouldn’t let me off the phone so I said Mom I’m going to hang up on the count of 3 (babysitting skill) we can say goodbye nicely or I’m just going to hang up. I repeated this each time as I worked my way to 3 and then hung up. She was swearing at me at that point. I did it though and omg I thought I was going to die!!! Stomach ache (my signature signal of co-dependent self being triggered). Ok so I didn’t get any homework or studying done because I spent all night trying not to call her back and worrying. I called her in the morning to apologise and to hopefully tell a sober Mom I had a test and make excuses for my practice of self care. She didn’t even remember talking to me. I continue to do the same thing for a couple of years and about the 3rd call I got better and my stomach aches didn’t come anymore.
I know it’s scary to say no or to pause but we can do this and we will be better for it. Healthier and more helpful because we are solid in self.
So my friends if you want to try it start with something small to help you gain mini successes before you tackle an emotionally charged situation. Well- who am I fooling they all are.
So today I am going to continue to walk through this fear into a place of self love and care! Try it the results will astoud you – eventually.
You will begin to help from a place of love because it will be your choice !