It’s very common when I ask my clients and/or potential clients how they
are doing, they will, without thinking, give a laundry list of everyone else’s
problems that they’re contending with.
It always reminds me of this wise, tough-loving 12 step sponsor who would
often say to her sponsees, “You have 5 minutes to complain about everyone
else, but then we get down to your own stuff.”
This is my way of saying, we need to stay on our own side of the street.
This isn’t to say we can’t discuss how WE feel or how we are triggered
by another’s behavior, as long as we realize it is OUR trigger, and
the one pushing our buttons isn’t responsible for OUR feelings.
A part of the process Morgan and I have created to help women Let
Go of What Others Think is to be intentional with their energy/focus.
How can this help us to arrest unhealthy people pleasing?
If our attention is scattered and distracted by everyone and everything
going on around us, it keeps us stuck in a pattern of confusion,
chaos, and drama. And when in this state, it’s very easy to not be
able to notice our own patterns, much less do anything about them.
In other words, other people’s stuff keeps us stuck on the same
hamster wheel we’re probably complaining about when we see it
Rita is a menopausal woman in her early 50’s. Not only is she concerned
about losing her own beauty and youthful appearance with what appears
to be a new wrinkle or fat roll daily, she is also very worried about her aging
mother who is a widow.
Mom lives about 2 hours away, and she seems to have gone down hill after
losing Rita’s father 2 years ago. Her parents were inseparable, and her
mother seems to have lost her purpose in life, her spunk.
Rita has been thinking a lot about death. She seems to always be longing
for yesterday, when she felt more energized and attractive, when her
parents were happy and healthy, when her kids were young and they’d take
exciting vacations around the world, when everyone wasn’t dying on her.
What happened to her carefree self? Life happened.
Everything in her life now seems to be about loss or the threat of loss.
Rita has found it difficult to focus on her own needs, because it really
seems true that everyone else’s needs trumps her own.
Wouldn’t a good daughter worry about her mother, she ponders. Wouldn’t
I be selfish if I didn’t do my part to take care of others?
Can you relate to Rita’s fears?
I’m not proposing we don’t help others, just for the record. I’m proposing
that we set aside time to reflect on what really matters, to slow down,
to take care of ourselves, EVEN IF we have others relying on us.
The threat is very real that if we take care of everyone else without
taking care of our own needs, we will get sick, run down and possibly
die before them.
So we need to be intentional about our lives. What do we really want?
Once we know that, how can we focus our limited amount of energy?
Note that the more we take care of us first, the more energy we will
have to help others. It’s truly a win-win for all. You don’t have to give
up the good feeling of giving to others. You can do more of it!
Would you like to explore this with us more? Morgan and I are onto
something big when it comes to helping women let go of what others
think. And one of the steps in the process is to BE intentional with
Rita’s Story (cont)
When Rita discovered that she is worth taking care of, she realized
she really wanted to take art classes and spend more time outside
with her dog, Jack, walking in the nearby woods.
She began living life in a more aligned way. She still loves her mom very
much and wants her to have a quality of life. She discovered that by
taking care of herself first, she was more present and engaged with her mom
when they were together, rather than lecturing her and worrying.
And she found herself to be more resourceful and able to come up
with good solutions on how to be there for her mom. She began to
accept that part of life involves death, and she began having deep,
more vulnerable conversations with her mom. Her fears began to
dissolve as she surrendered her and her mom’s life to a Higher Power.
There IS another way. Register today—the women’s retreat is
only one month away.
Much Love and Happy Holidays!
Angie and Morgan