“It’s not what I do, but the way I do it. It’s not what I say, but the way I say it. ”
(Photo credit: www.despair.com )
Have you ever noticed that sometimes life gets absolutely eye-rollingly wackily crazy? Priorities that you thought made sense go off some deep end that you never saw coming…and you end up scratching your head in confusion, wondering how you missed it.
Recently, life threw me the opportunity to take another look at what I had loaded onto my plate. I had been doing “it” again – letting my passions run amok and adding more and more to my plate – all the while thinking I was still balanced. Hah! It is always amazing to me, our inner capacity for self-delusion. (OK, ok – my own capacity for self-delusion!) I had taken on a number of volunteer roles, including trading/bartering my skills in exchange for other services. But things can get complicated sometimes, no matter how well-meaning.
You see – I am one of those people who wants to help make the world better, in whatever small way I can. Sometimes, this is easy. Sometimes – it can get ridiculously complicated and take you off balance.
In my case, I found myself in a situation in which my loyalties were in question by someone who had had loyalty difficulties in the past. An awkward situation, to be sure – but it gave me an opportunity to sit back, take stock of what I had piled onto my passionate helpful-giving to-do list, and decide if my original intentions and goals were being met on this current path. After taking myself back to basics and grass roots, I decided the situation I found myself in was not something I wanted to continue and that it was taking me down a path farther away from my own personal goals. So I stepped down from a volunteer position which I had been very excited about. I decided that I had to put myself and my own goals first.
To most people, that may sound like a “d-uh” moment. Obviously, if something is not serving me well, I should discontinue that something. However, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the path may not be so clear when you are on it for various reasons (emotionality maybe being in there too)…and you need to deliberately think about whether or not to remain on that path, or take the road less travelled.
For me – putting myself first has always been a bit of an issue. And throw in a chronic illness – well, let’s just say that it can be a challenge not to feel like a burden at times, realistically or not. But getting my priorities straight keeps me from feeling like a burden and helps me manage my life and illness better because it makes me take full stock of my available time & energy and be ruthless with it. I am getting better and better at categorizing the real priorities that matter to me and where I want to focus my energies. It is getting a bit easier letting go of what are not priorities in my own life but that I may have assumed out of compassion, empathy and a desire to help whenever I see the need. That ability to let go is really difficult for a people-pleasing type-A go-gettin’ science geek, lemme tell ya!
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another-and ourselves.” -Jack Kornfield
Now – if you would excuse me, I have to get back to saving the world through sharing the magic of yoga and positive thinking! 🙂