1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1054: Prioritizing Self-Care!
Aug 5, 2019
An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows it to shine vibrantly, lighting the way for others. -Project Happiness https://www.facebook.com/projecthappiness/photos/a.143702586636/10151926969036637/?type=1&theater, shared by Suzy in Providence, RI
Self-care is never a selfish act –It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others lives we touch.
-Parker Palmer, shared by Reoh in St. Louis, MO
There lives inside me a younger self who earnestly believes that we can and should help every single person we encounter who seems to be struggling. I’ve come to believe that a central part of my work in this lifetime is acknowledging this younger self’s kindness and compassion while helping him learn a few things. So, Paulie, here are some things for you to ponder….
Limits are Legit!
We do not individually possess all the resources (time, money, knowledge, skill, etc.) necessary to help every single person who we identify as needing help, and trying to do so would eventually deplete our resources to the point that we would be unable to help people that we otherwise could.
Autonomy is Awesome!
Just like doing someone else’s homework keeps them from learning, sometimes the way we want to help someone might actually be keeping them from learning what they need to know so they can grow into the best possible version of themselves. This doesn’t mean we can’t provide some support or cheer them on from a distance. Also: not everyone who seems (to us) like they are struggling actually need or want the kind of help we can offer.
Balance is best!
The most effective way to help others is to take good care of ourselves, to use good judgment and boundaries when offering help, and also to make sure we are good at asking for (and receiving) help when we need it.
I love that my inner Paulie wants to help everyone; to try and save every single person we think is struggling. That is sweet, and it is noble. It is also idealistic, and ultimately unrealistic. The best way to love that part of myself is to help him learn that we are at our best when we’re doing the right kind of helping and the right amount of helping.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Speaking of self care, I am back in action after a few weeks offline. If you reached out to me in the past few weeks, please know that I may not be able to read and respond to every single message that piled up. Please re-send anything that needs a reply!