This is the column where, each week, I’ll be answering one website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles.
I’ve had this inner discomfort for quite some time. It’s as if something within is yearning for more in life. I feel guilty even writing that as I am fortunate to have a loving family, a nice home, and great friends, but something seems to be missing. I’ve given thought to searching out a new passion, getting more involved in my community, or taking advantage of the great adult education programs in my area, but none of these ideas really light me up. How can I go about discovering what is missing?
Longing in London
Bravo for caring enough about yourself and your needs to write for some support. I can really appreciate the longing you’ve been feeling, and how, based on your life circumstances, it almost feels “wrong” to struggle with this. But I can assure you, it’s far from wrong.
Each one of us has a responsibility to take the very best care of ourselves so we may drink from a full cup and truly have it runneth over — over to our family, friends, community, country, and world. So, despite the fortunes you currently have, it’s vital for you to still pay close attention to yourself — for you and for all those you touch.
Here’s something to consider. What if that longing you’re feeling could be quenched not by adding new focuses and activities to your life, but by removing some that aren’t nourishing you the way you deserve to be? A wise woman (who also happens to be my sister) once said: “A quality life has more to do with what you remove from it than what you add to it.”
Take an inventory of how you spend your time and energy each day. Look at your calendar and evaluate commitments, obligations, and invitations, while paying attention to your body’s reaction to the idea of attending those events. Now here’s the fun and tricky part — consider changing a previously given “yes” to a “no”. That’s right. I said it. Change your mind. And maybe even disappoint people. What?! Heaven forbid! Trust me. They’ll survive and you’ll thrive!
Finally, where can you get some more support in your life? As difficult as it is for lots of us to believe, everything doesn’t have to be done by us to be done right. Asking others to help you truly can be a gift not only for you, but for the other person, too. For example, asking your child to get their own things ready for school empowers them and indicates to them that you have confidence in their abilities. Or asking your spouse to do this week’s grocery shopping (following a specific list, of course!) may make him or her feel needed by you, and therefore, more valued. See how fun and productive this can be?
So, all you need to worry about right now, is taking a close look at how you’re spending your time and make a list of those things you are willing to consider changing your mind about or delegate away. That action alone, I bet, will start to answer that longing. You’re worth it.
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