But despite all of this, the craziness has served a purpose for me - it reiterated some important lessons I learned last year.
First, that the Universe will continue to repeat the lesson until you have learned it:
I learned many many things during the years I spent in my last career, the most important of which were not finance related, but were life lessons. I spent many years not speaking up for myself while others took advantage of me, and because I am an extremely tolerant person, I kept my chin up, thinking, one day things will change, things will improve, and others will see that what they are doing is not fair. It took me a long time to realize that hoping things will change is not the same as taking positive actions to change things. If I wanted to be treated differently, I had to speak up! I don't know why but it's very difficult for me to speak on behalf of my own best interests. I almost always put others needs in front of mine, and I know that being compassionate must start with being compassionate to yourself. Somehow, I let this lesson lapse the past few weeks and have been overextending myself on other's behalf. On the outside, this benefits others, but inside, the stress builds until someday down the road, it turns into resentment. I know that I can't let things get out of hand or let others make decisions on my behalf because I am the only one who knows what's best for me (I think I even mentioned this in my 2014 Goals post - oh how quickly I forget!).
Which leads me to lesson #2, another that has quickly fallen by the wayside already this year - Self Care.
I am seriously slacking in Self Care right now. I learned the hard way the past few years, that if I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of others. I need to nurture my spirit in order to share that gift with others. I know this, yet I don't often heed it. If your cup is empty, how will you fill another's? When we board a plane, and hear the safety instructions, aren't we told in case of an emergency to put on our OWN oxygen mask before attending to others, even children? To tell you the truth, if faced with an emergency I'd probably be the person suffocating while trying to put an oxygen mask on the person next to me. Even though I know this is ludicrous, I do this in daily life. I attend to the needs of others first. I'm entering a field where taking care of others is a huge part of the job, but still, I know there needs to be a balance.
I found the below checklist on Pinterest and I think I'm going print it out and put it on my vision board for the year. These are wonderful reminders:
I hope this list helps others of you out there who may be in the same situation. I am a compassionate giver by nature, but taking stock of my mental state now, after a month of constant giving, I know I need to speak up, and take action on my own behalf, in order to tip the scale back to a balanced state. I can't run on empty forever...
So tonight, I'm taking a breather and decompressing. Tomorrow I'll be back with your regularly scheduled programming.
And now, let's zen out. This song randomly came on Pandora the other day, in the middle of my chaotic week. I hadn't heard it for ages, and even if only for a moment, I felt at ease. Enjoy:
How about you? Are you a 'people pleaser' too?
Do you often put others before yourself?
How do you assert yourself while still being compassionate?