The Healing Starts With You
Sometimes when we find ourselves in the middle of a crises the right thing to do seems counter intuitive. Instead of directing our thoughts and energy to people and things outside ourselves; it may be best to turn inward, and focus on self-care instead. Or as my friend, who is a professional therapist, likes to say, “before everything else, take care of yourself.”
Recently, I went through a very long emotional conflict with someone I cared for very deeply. I spent a great deal of time worrying and focusing on all the ways I thought this person had hurt me and needed to change. This kind of focus outside of myself took a great deal of time, effort and energy; energy that could have been better spent caring for myself, and my basic needs. I have a demanding job, and the business of handling my own life and career should be more than enough work for me. So why did I think it was my job to take on the task of fixing someone else?
While I was focusing on this other person, I neglected myself, and became disconnected from my own inner voice. Needless to say, it was not a happy time in my life. Nor was it an effective use of my time. But had I, in my most frantic moments, taken a moment to sit quietly and center myself, I probably would have accomplished more and been in less pain.
Sometimes We Try to Heal Others While Putting Our Own Needs On Hold
When we spend too much time focusing on people and circumstances outside of ourselves, a kind of imbalance can happen in our psyche. We take backstage to our own lives and loose site or our primary obligation—our own health and welfare. Of course, I am not talking about working towards a cause or a movement that enhances the world in someway. I am talking about endless worry and fretting over people and circumstances outside of our control as a way to avoid or negate addressing our real priorities—the care and managing of our own lives.
I once saw a fascinating documentary on the life of Eleanor Roosevelt. She was such a busy and effective leader that meetings often had to happen between meetings; as she raced from one appointment to the next. Yet she had great self-awareness and cultivated profound friendships. People often marveled that despite her hectic schedule, she always found time for friends and a comforting word; she was a truly effective and evolved human being.
Taking the Time to Stop and Reflect
Recently I began to reflect on my life. I am getting older now and I want to make every moment of what remains of my time here on earth productive and happy. I made a list of personal as well as professional goals. I marveled at all the things I could cultivate inside myself, and give back to the world, if I only took the time to turn my attention inward. And I am reminded once again of my friend’s wise counsel, “before everything else, take care of yourself.”
To find out more about my work, please visit my web-pages at http://www.doctorwhimsy.com/
I look forward to helping you on your journey to health.