How often do you give more than we have emotionally?
Emotional depletion is a by product of our guilt, loyalty and self expectations.
We want nothing more than to be 100% present to our friends and family. We want to be able to drop everything to help and more than anything we want to take away their pains and burdens.
In times like these, expectations of our friendships are often not so complex and full of such requirements. Sometimes it is merely about being present and listening. We create these expectations on ourselves.
This morning I had a beautiful and honest conversation with a dear soul. They confided that they were overcome with pangs of guilt at not being able to invest more of their time and emotions to a friend experiencing a reoccurring life problem. This weight upon their chest was evident and resonated with me – how many times I felt as though I hadn’t given enough because I couldn’t give more… Or that I wasn’t present in the way I thought I was expected to be or that I was tired with my own life issues that there was simply nothing left in the tank for another.
One of the best and most honest things I have been told by a friend when I appeared to be drowning in life was essentially this:
I love you and want to absolutely help you and be there for you. I just don’t have enough of what you need to serve both of us.
This was one of those ‘pause‘ moments.
It made me reflect upon what I thought I needed from those around me.
It also illustrated the absolute need for self care.
Throwing ourselves under piles and piles of pressure of stress and expectation to fix the problems of the world serves little purpose. It wears us down.
This friend is not one to shy away from hard conversations or is ‘all about them’. They always check in and are there if I call to need something – she just understand (to an extent) her self worth needing time invested by herself. She is aware of her emotional and mental limitations and I respect her on such a level because of this.
I am not advocating for he abandonment of providing help and assistance to others. I am not saying stop putting your hand out to offer help… I am simply saying this… In order for us to be productive and emotionally healthy beings, this requires work. This requires self care. This requires investing time and value into ourselves.
Self care looks different for everyone.
For some it’s exercise, for others it’s cooking. It might be scheduling in a bath or doona day. It might be to check in with help services or even just a check up with the doctor.
Regardless of how your self care looks like – it needs to happen by your hand. Take ownership and responsibility for your mental health and nourish it just as you would if it was a friend seeking your help.
Take those moments in life to pause… to breathe… And to refill your emotional tank…