It is Sunday, my day of rest and relaxation and a day I use to plan the details of the coming week. As I greet my morning, I am captivated by the strength of the sun’s rays filtering through my blinds. I am grateful to be alive another day and to have the opportunity to live it well. I encourage you to recognize this gift as well and to devote a few minutes of meditation on those who have gone to their resting place and the loved ones whom they’ve left behind.
The last couple of months have found me very busy with personal projects that energize and enrich my life and to which I long to devote considerable time. It seems the busier I become with my own interests, the more people approach me to help them with their events or activities. It is always flattering, of course, to be considered a resource; but I often allow myself to be naively led into executing tasks that make me feel resentful afterwards because I have neglected my business so that someone else would flourish in theirs.
This pattern goes back to my childhood when it felt good to rescue someone in a crisis. It is not serving me now because I no longer have all the time in the world to accomplish my goals. Last week I received at least three ‘urgent’ requests which interrupted my day, exhausted me, and produced an uncomfortable feeling of anxiety when I retired for the day with unmet personal goals. As I recounted my sad woes for the third time to an understanding (but bored) friend, I experienced a sudden moment of awareness.
I have a personal vision and a purpose; not everyone takes time to think about theirs. Many people who seek my help procrastinate in their responsibilities until these become urgent. They panic and reach out to me because I have rescued them in the past. I find it easier to say ‘yes’ than ‘no’ because it is familiar. I am uncomfortable feeling that I’ve let somebody down, even complete strangers. While awareness is the first step towards change,action is required for it to happen. I am proud to share that the last ‘call to rescue’ I received was met with “I’m sorry, I cannot help you right now” from me. It was not easy for me to turn someone down but as I ruminated on it later, I felt privately victorious; a feeling more fulfilling than rescuing would have been. I am willing to sit with discomfort to realize my vision. What about you?