Being that person so many come to looking for advice, it’s easy to get caught up in the problems of others and neglect taking care of your own. Putting effort into understanding a friend’s issues or family drama is time consuming, but you put in the work because that’s just who you are: the understanding one; the one who bridges gaps between people because you listen to both sides; the one who always offers a shoulder upon which to cry; the one who is there for every grieving moment, trying to ease the pain; the one who listens without judgment. You’re also the one who cries at home alone when it’s time for folks to reciprocate such caring behavior because none of them take time to appreciate what you’re going through.
There’s a breaking point for everyone in every situation they experience. I don’t think it’s healthy to always reach that point, but when you get there give yourself permission to respond differently. Recognize the need to purge those toxic people and things in life exhausting your energy and causing stress. Focus on what’s providing emotional strength and renewal. There’s a familiar saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Aside from that being true in its most literal sense, metaphorically it provides a visual of being emotionally, spiritually, and even sometimes financially void, but trying to give to others anyway. You can put yourself out there, but you’ll only come back feeling even more empty. It’s time to replenish!
More important than saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to yourself. Yes to taking time to care for your mental and physical well being. Yes to engaging in a drama-free environment. Yes to focusing on ridding of whatever is keeping you from feeling complete. Yes to losing friends who always depend on you for support, inspiration, and motivation, without thought of your source for such stimuli. It may come as a surprise to find what you thought were issues in your life was really just your consumption of what people around you were bringing to your life. Let it go!
I’m currently in another season of purging. Yes, it is necessary to revisit the process periodically depending on the goings on. I have experienced many stressful events in my life over the past year and a half. I can count on one hand the number of friends who have offered their support through it all. However, it takes both hands, feet, and a couple of prostheses to count those who recognize my struggle, do nothing to ease the pain, and still look to catch drips from my already empty cup. Again, I’m giving myself permission to say yes to me, and putting distance between the energy leeches and myself.
Some people thrive on chaos and often create it simply to make themselves feel needed. Reject that negative energy and choose sanity instead. Positivity is a precious and rare commodity that should never be compromised to make others feel good. I urge you to surround yourself with people who believe in a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s a “win-win” situation!
© 2017 CSNelson, dontforgetthehalf