Updated: Mar 25, 2021
In our world there is an emphasis on things that are disposable; disposable goods and services, disposable needs, even disposable relationships, and plastic people. We are surrounded everyday by things that don’t last. As caregivers, days are spent with the reality of current circumstances, easy decisions and hard choices, faces we love, and those our hearts break for. Days are spent making time and longing for more of it. For those in our care, we’ve needed and wanted to be truly present for them. But how can that be if we’re hardly present for ourselves.
With our world of faux and flux, it becomes ever more important to become grounded in what’s real, all that allows us to feel. We may initially embrace the concept that vulnerability is too painful. We might buy into ideas that dismiss the value of having a little, when we need it all. When we give up on having something, it’s then that we we stop feeling anything, stop seeing ourselves, and move towards invisible.
It might appear on some days that the roads to wellness and self care are hardly accessible. It might feel like there’s always too much traffic. However it’s at this point we need to discover a new route. When we care and give, give and care without a way to repair, replenish, and heal, we stall. We struggle with the question of how to find space for everything and everyone at all times. The truth...we can’t. When it feels like there are too many things to tackle at once. Don’t. Stop, step back and start with one. Then trust yourself and know it's enough.
Imagine a parking lot overflowing with cars. Even bring to mind the last traffic jam you sat through. They have something in common, in each situation you’re going nowhere quickly. When we’re parked in spaces that can’t accommodate us we get scratches in our paint, wounds that hurt our spirit. Sometimes we simply need to recognize when we need more room. We need space to breathe, and the opportunity to walk at our needed pace instead of trying to maintain a sprint all the way. I ran track and cross country in high school, and try as I did to endure, I was exhausted as I rounded the 400m turn and happy to see the person waiting to take my baton and continue the race. I needed others to help me get to the finish.
There is the danger of plastic, presenting as okay when we’re not, managing alone when we need support, needing but not allowing space for respite, quiet, recovery, and care. We can make the room needed by giving ourselves permission to feel the sprinkles of joy that are created and build when we add them to our lives consistently. That 10 minute walk to clear your head, that 5 minutes of quiet, that song that you sing along to in between clients, that cozy nook where you can sit and reflect after a long day, that call to a friend for that long talk you’ve been needing, they’re invaluable for you. As helpers, we must learn to help ourselves.
Instead of hiding behind the plastic of hidden emotions swirling around us, we must acknowledge our needs. By identifying our stressors, we can create solutions and start to heal from hurts, from self imposed neglect. We can find balance and live. We also make room for the other experiences and emotions that have a place in our lives too- optimism, opportunity, strength. I’m excited to help you build tools and make room for a healthy and balanced life with offerings of wellness counseling and design services that heal. Join me for a conversation and we'll get started.