Thursday, January 30, 2014

Coming Up for Air

Sorry for being MIA all week.  This week has been NUTS and I'm just trying to keep my head above water.  I haven't had a full day off in almost two weeks.  Yesterday I left my house at 8am and didn't get home until 11PM.  I'm not joking.  Today I nearly broke down in tears.  This is the first night I've been home and able to sit down to blog.  I haven't even been to the gym in 3 days and I'm not feeling good about it. 

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?


  1. This is so true. It is a necessary but critical lesson to learn.

    Just a few months ago, I was put on blood pressure medication, just because of stress that I was taking on from others. And many times, they didn't even know I was bothered.

    I hope your decompressing helps!

    1. Hi Jess. Thanks for stopping me. I'm so sorry to hear that. I know what you mean about taking on so much and other people not even knowing. It's so true. I think that's one of the perils of being a highly sensitive person. We feel other's hurts and want to take some of the burden from them. I hope you are feeling better with your medication and maybe able to get off it eventually too. Take care of yourself!