While everyone debates whether or not DIY masks are helpful, one thing is certain: now is the time to get that other mask – the one of the proverbial oxygen variety – on. If you’re not familiar with the saying, it’s a self-care teaching that uses the example of an airplane emergency: for obvious reasons, you need to get the oxygen mask on you, and help yourself before helping others.
In everyday life, even before our world became a collective crisis center, it’s not as obvious. Heroes are born when everyday people bravely step up for another, even risking their own lives in a moment of rescue. But when it comes to delivering ongoing support, filling up our own energy tanks first is a necessity.
Many people with big, beautiful hearts make the mistake of giving beyond their energetic capacity to so. If you’re one of them, it’s more important than ever to help – people need your compassion and support. But it’s also more important than ever to keep the right balance, so you give from energetic surplus, not depletion.
How do you ascertain the difference? Healthy giving feels good! If you contemplate hurling yourself off the nearest bridge after supporting someone, chances are you overdid it.
Keep Your Balance:
We all begin each day with a certain amount of energy, which differs for each individual. Throughout the day, we build upon and decrease our supply in various ways, often quite obliviously. Everything from what we put in our bodies and how we care for them to the very thoughts we think and the entertainment we choose affects our energy. You can increase it in many ways, and these practices can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
This is paramount, especially if you’re going to play a bigger role in providing the support our world needs right now. I will share many ways to “raise your frequency” (and explain what that actually means if you’re new to the lingo) soon.
If you do not increase your energy, but increase the amount of people and time you give to, you may eventually, sometimes without even realizing it’s happening until it’s way too late, slip into the category of those who need support.
Over-Helping Can Hurt:
I love helping people – in all honesty, my identity used to be based upon it – and would do it all day and night, both professionally and personally. I saw myself as a modern-day superwoman; in reality, I was someone who struggled with off-the-charts codependency.
If you knew me before 2015, chances are I was that person you texted and called at any hour, knowing if I was even semi-conscious, I’d answer and stay with you until you felt okay. I also spent hours a day supporting people on social media. I revolved my life around helping my mom. And I coached people in crisis for a living.
I also practiced the art of extreme self care and vibration-raising practices. That’s how I kept my equilibrium through decades of over-giving. It wasn’t until I added one more person to my life who required heaping portions of my energy, and I made the choice to continuously give it despite the draining ways it was sought out, that I lost my balance.
Since I don’t do any of my life lessons half-assed, I let it get to the point where I almost strangled myself with my superwoman cape. I do not recommend this.
Over-helping can even hurt the person you think you’re assisting, if you’ve crossed the line to enabling. That’s a topic for another day.
The World Needs Your Balance
I can’t help everyone, and I can’t help anyone if I’m not okay myself. Neither can you! So if your need to help others is still too strong to help yourself first for you, do it for them.
I retired my cape. I don’t even know what my phone ringer sounds like today. I only see the first few posts on my social media pages and I send love and prayers to everyone else. I know how to to distinguish between what is in and what is outside my power to help.
In a time when more people than ever need help, now is a great time to learn how to discern for yourself.
Most of all, those going through extremely challenging times need love. They need to know you care. They need prayers and people holding the space for hope. A quick call is as meaningful as a two-hour one, in which you expend your energy trying to fix something you can’t. My body tells me when it’s time to hang up and charge back up. Yours will also. The trick is listening.
You can also raise your energy set point, to show up for others more without depleting yourself. I’ll detail how in future posts.
Join The Discussion: You’re welcome to share your thoughts, experiences and questions related to this post and share in positive community in our private Corona Calm group:
I wish you all health, peace and as much ease as possible. See you soon.