Are you the household generator with everyone plugged into your energy socket? Do you feel deep down that you have not earned the right to be happy?
Be aware of five factors fueling sacrificial giving:
- Emotional programming: Raised to be consummate caregivers, suppressed and silent.
- Physiological wiring: Hardwired to feel intensely responsible.
- Identity theft: Loss of the fun-loving inner child who dares to dream and express her true self.
- Escapism: Running away from the deficits of personality afraid to face the sadness and disappointment.
- Control: The need to feel in control, unable to live in ambiguity.
What will you do differently next time? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this request resonate for me?
- Do I have the time and energy?
- Am I conflicted between ought to and want to?
- At what cost to me?
From now on absolutely no excuses about all your busyness and please do not brag about it! “Oh, you think you’re busy, just listen to this!” Change your verbiage and speak to yourself more kindly, like you would advise a friend. Words carry enormous power; they are hypnotic and self-actualizing. Don’t wait to literally get sick and tired before you allow yourself the time to rest and restore. In my stress-management workshops, I have observed too many people become ill in order to relax and release their overload. For example, consider the metaphorical message of chronic fatigue syndrome. When disease is ominously looming on the horizon, it is always easier to prevent than to treat.
I have to go now. It’s time for the next item on my to-do list: FUN.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life and a stress-management specialist. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City, produces a wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. For more information, please visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com.