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Balancing the Giver in all of US


Lately I've been involved in a lot of conversations about how women show up for their families instinctually and the burn out that comes with it. Not only are they caring for their children, but their aging parents, friends, and even colleagues as well. I was just speaking with a friend about her mother and the struggles she is going through with her mom's health. My friend, I'll call her "Jane" for purposes of confidentiality, is so frustrated with her mom because she feels like her mom is giving up. She's truly angry with her mother for not caring any more. As I listened to what was happening to Jane and how she is trying so hard to get her mom to take care of herself, it occurred to me that Jane wants more than anything for her mom to care for herself, yet she has been the care giver and doer for her for so long, I'm not sure if her mother even knows how to take care of herself anymore. Granted, this woman does have some health problems, but she is not so ill that Jane is caring for her because she is actually unable to care for herself. Unfortunately, she has no desire to do so. Is this what happens when we're so incredibly good at taking care of others that the people we care for lose the desire to take care of themselves? Or is it that every person has their own point of no return?

This question takes me back to my Montessori days of explaining to parents that we show children how to do things so they can do it themselves. Human beings have a constant desire for independence. It's what makes our species progress and survive. Imagine if everyone allowed their parents to take care of them for the rest of their lives with no desire to go out into the world and challenge themselves with their own adventures. They literally wouldn't have a life! I found it interesting as well that Jane was so caught up in her role as care giver that she never stopped to ask herself how she was doing physically and mentally through this journey with her mother's health. So how do we care for ourselves while we care for others? When do we take time for ourselves? Yes, I'm full of questions lately. And I hope that you ask yourself these questions as well. Being mindful of you - who you are and what you live for is not the same as living to care for someone else. There's an individual inside there that is unique and creative, and has gifts to be shared with the world. Your time is now, right now! If you could do one thing today that was just for you, what would it be? 90 seconds with yourself and only you, your mind, your body, and checking in with yourself and how you feel might become a new way to get in touch with the person who you are supposed to care for first - You only get one you - one body, one mind, one spirit. Take good care of her, please. She's the light for all the others to feel.

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