Many of my clients resonate with a caregiver vibe. Wives, mothers, teachers, doctors, nurses. We know what it’s like to sacrifice for our children, our parents, our spouse. We nurture, support, encourage, and serve. We enjoy helping others, love to see them reach their potential, live out their dreams, achieve their goals and desires, grow to be strong, happy, and confident.
I have used the oxygen mask metaphor with dozens of clients and friends. You know how the flight attendant always tells you that in case of emergency, you should put your own oxygen mask on first and then help anyone who may require your assistance? I try to impart the importance of that to my clients. Of course it makes sense. We can’t help anyone if we can’t breathe, right?
I remember when one of my clients protested that example, insisting she would assist those in her care before herself. When I asked how helpful she might be if she didn’t have oxygen, she insisted she would hold her breath and care for others before tending to her own needs. She went on to say that she’d rather die than put her own needs above her children’s. She’s certainly not alone, it’s quite common for parents to feel that way. But how helpful is it?
*As helpful as giving mouth to mouth resuscitation while only exhaling and not inhaling.
*As helpful as your cell phone when you don’t plug it in.
*As helpful as pouring from a water pitcher you forgot to fill.
If we forget to fill up inside, what on earth have we got to give anyone?
And where on earth did we get the idea that anyone is more worthy
of our energy and oxygen than we are?
My client is NOT alone. I have engaged in this energy-drain over a good portion of my own life and a surprising number of my clients have echoed similar sentiments when it comes to meeting the needs of others vs our own needs. Many of my friends and relations are givers and fixers as well. Myriad humans believe it is either selfish or greedy to put their own needs first. Different cultures and religions have different variants of the idea that to honor others above the self is somehow noble or even sustainable.
I cry bullshit.
Yes, I thrive when helping others. Everyone, but especially my kids and my clients. Yet when I make sure my own needs are being met, I am so much more effective at connecting with and supporting others, and I have an increased ability to affect positive, sustainable change.
It’s true for me. It’s true for many of my clients.
How true is it for you?
Are you allowing yourself to breathe?
Are you denying yourself air because of some limiting belief you heard and internalized many years ago?
How frequently are your own needs being met?
What are you putting off that would truly make your heart sing?
What is the thought/belief holding you back from meeting your own needs?
How willing are you to start letting go of those limiting beliefs?
Allow yourself to take a DEEP cleansing breath, reminding yourself how very worthy you are.
And as you exhale, release the old belief that doesn’t serve your health.
Inhale worthiness into your blood and bones.
Exhale old beliefs that do not serve.
Repeat multiple times daily until energy shifts and you are closer to believing the new thought than the old one