Do you ever agree to a favor for a loved knowing it’s going to set you back in some way?
Do you justify in your mind why it’s ok to feel that pinch in saying yes but know you’ll hate yourself later?
When I’m on the ball with my self care, and there’s a balance between how much I “do” and how much I replenish, I naturally feel an overflow of wellbeing and say yes to requests with no pinch at all. My heart feels big, generous and wanting to show up for the people in my life. If my self care backslides or the scales tip over into my doing more and replenishing less, those same favors I happily gave before, begin to pinch.
It’s then that I know, I’m no longer giving from my overflow, but from my own sustenance.
The Self Care Cup
To use the analogy of a cup, if I’m the cup, when my self care is regular and sufficient, the overflow goes to all the lucky people in my life. When the scales are balanced between the doing/giving and the replenishing, what I give has more attention, authenticity and presence, no strings attached.
On the other side, when those scales tip and Im giving more than replenishing, Im giving from my own sustenance and that’s when thing get sticky.
What’s Mine Is Mine
What’s in the cup is my sustenance, it’s mine. This is not selfishness, this is self preservation. We as women were never meant to give from our sustenance but boy has the world done a good job at convincing us otherwise. Social conditioning gives us kudos for being self sacrificing and “good” in having a sort of stamina in giving.
The Natural Order Of Things
Is the squirrel a greedy scrooge for storing it’s nuts for the winter?
When the maple tree pulls its sap away from its green leaves, turning them the array of colors we’re all awed by, and sends it down into it’s roots in preparation for winter, do we call it a miser for not continuing to provide us with the shade of its gorgeous green canopy?
Of course not.
Their stalking up to self preserve and continue natures cycle of rest and renewal. We are no different. When I give to others from my sustenance, it can set me up to feel resentful, used and bitter. The “selfless giving” begins to have an undercurrent of martyrdom that feels heavy and dis-empowering.
The “Selfless” Martyr
As my exhaustion increases, so does my ability to stay present and attuned to what’s happening in my environment. My mind becomes a little more rigid because my inner resources are scraping at the bottom of the barrel so to speak and and I subconsciously go into an emergency self preservation mode. I may be “thinking” I’m doing what’s best for others by sacrificing my own sustenance but really, I’m becoming a martyr and doing more harm than good. There is no real giving from this place, just a growing tally that wants to be repaid.
Staying Light And Free
The best quality giving we can give is when we give from the overflow not from our reserves. It’s a joy to give from the overflow and a joy to be on the receiving end.
Have you ever needed a favor from someone but tried to avoid at all costs because experience has told you that they say yes when they really meant no and what started as a simple request turns into a negotiation of exchanged favors and guilt trips?
The whole situation is a minefield of passive aggressiveness, grudges and overall toxicity.
How do we prevent from going into the land of exhausted and bitter?
1.We recognize that there needs to be a balance between what we do to preserve our wellbeing and what we do to contribute to the wellbeing of others.
2. We protect our daily sustenance activities of rest, time eating nourishing meals and engaging in the activities that fuel us mentally and emotionally with the word no. As in …
“No I cannot come over to help with that”
“So sorry, I won’t be able to make it to that this time”
“Ohhh, I wish I could but I’ll have to pass”
What’s your experience around giving from overflow and giving from sustenance?
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Sending you love, a reminder to take care of yourself and a big thank you for stopping by!