[dc]T[/dc]his is the column where I answer a website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles. To submit your question, see the guidelines at the bottom of this page.
I’ve found that I’ve looked after everyone in my life that I’ve left no room for myself. I’m so lonely and empty, it’s crippling. I’m wondering what steps to take to rebuild my soul purpose. It’s over whelming to me. Where do I start?
I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling so alone. It seems ironic, doesn’t it, that we can feel so lonely when we have a lot of people in our lives who we support? If you think of it this way, however, it makes sense: When you give and give and give, you’re taking from your own resources; your own tank. At some point, that tank, if not replenished in any way, is going to run dry. It sounds like that’s what you are up against right now.
I also wonder if you’re basing a large part of your self-worth on being needed by others; if you’re telling yourself that by providing some sort of value to those in your life, you lower the risk of them not loving you or being around you. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s time to be there for yourself.
If a friend of family member came to you feeling the way you do now, how would you support them? Use these same approaches on yourself. In addition, do some journaling, cry when you feel the need, do something fun and playful, make a list of other self-care ideas.
The best way to begin is to replenish your spirit. Get in the habit of checking in with yourself several times a day by completing this phrase: “Right now I need _________,” and provide for yourself what you need in that moment. Your response may be a nap, a cup of tea, to go to the bathroom, a vacation in Hawaii, etc. Whatever it is, find a way to fulfill it in that moment. Most of the examples I gave are pretty easy to do. If something like “a trip to Hawaii” is your answer, be creative about how you can give that to yourself. For instance, close your eyes, take several deep breaths, and picture yourself on a beautiful, peaceful beach, sitting under a palm tree, reading a great book. There! You just gave yourself a mental vacation. 🙂
Put a sticky note in several places (your bathroom, your bedroom mirror, your dashboard, etc) with that phrase on it to help you remember to check in. Maybe set a timer on your phone or computer to go off a handful of times a day as a reminder. Whatever method works for you, now is the time. By taking this action step, you’re letting the Universe know that you mean business; that you’re truly willing to tend to your own needs first. No more giving to others at the expense of yourself. The goal is to give from a place of joy and true surplus, and that can only come when your tank has some reserve.
Trust me, people in your life will survive your not being at their beck and call. They might even feel empowered enough to take care of themselves, which is exactly what I want for you. Remember, like attracts like. If you’re living every day with unmet needs, you’re going to attract needy people. And what do those needy people do? Take your focus away from yourself, and the cycle goes on and on. That’s why it must start with you.
So what will you do today to show yourself that you matter?
Sending love your way,
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