Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up ready to take on the world, full of energy and totally in charge of this day?
I love those mornings, but…what happens after, when your day brings you face to face with other people in your life? When you show up at work and people are not in the same place?
What can we do about those times?
Well, that is what I call, energy drains. We all have them in our lives and some days they show up more than others.
As I come upon such situations in my daily life, having learned how to check in with myself, I ask myself some questions.
Does this situation have anything to do with me? Does this bring up some of my own pain about another situation?
I look within myself to see if I have any responsibility towards this situation.
I’ll give you an example that happened just this morning.
My teenage daughter spilled some water all over her bedroom floor. She was very upset and wanted me to pick it up since she was in a hurry to catch the bus for school…she still had 5 minutes. This had nothing to do with me, I was not responsible for what happened and she still had plenty of time to take care of it. Now, I realise that this is an easy example, but I could easily have gotten caught up with the whole situation. Either getting upset myself, or, even cleaning it up, but I gave back to my daughter what was hers to carry. I took my responsibility as a parent back, allowing her to learn that she had all the tools and techniques to take care of this situation herself. By empowering her, I can now celebrate her taking care of what was hers to carry, but I also celebrate that I had carried only what was mine to carry as well.
How often do we take on other people’s “stuff”? Especially the over givers, the ‘mothers’ that tend to ‘take care’ of everything. At the end of the day, we feel drained, unappreciated and undervalued.
Pay attention to those places in your life where you take on ‘stuff’ that is not yours to carry.
I’m not talking about having no compassion for the other person. I still feel the pain of the other that is going through the situation but it’s not mine to carry the burden of that situation.
The empathy and compassion that I feel for others allows me to be able to offer another kind of support to that person that is going through a situation. Note that I wrote empathy, not sympathy. I do not feel sorry for the other person. That is not my burden to carry. Feeling sorry for the other is not very helpful and it takes them into a role of a victim rather than a place of empowerment. I would rather they feel empowered than like a victim.
At the end of the day, being able to understand, listen and hear the other in their situation, will be much more beneficial for the other in the long run and for me. I can keep my beautiful morning energy, where I felt on top of the world, with me, for the rest of the day.
What are you carrying in your life that is not yours to carry?