Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. Over the past day and a half I spent some extended time with a friend who I had not seen and visited with in several years. It was good seeing him and catching up, however I began to realize that as the time went on, I became fatigued. In my fatigue, I found that I had been short with him several times. As I realized that I had been short with him, I asked him to forgive me for being short with him. He forgave me and our conversation continued. Although overall we had a good time visiting, I realized that in my fatigue, I needed to end our time visiting. Yesterday morning my friend called and left a voice message.
On the voice message he said that he wanted to get together for lunch, before heading out of town. Upon hearing his voice mail message, I realized that I had been taxed to my limit through the time I had already spent with him. I decided to not call him back, however during my quiet time, he called and I answered the phone. Knowing that he wanted to get together for lunch, I told him that I had become fatigued and needed some down time. He validated my need to take care of myself and I thanked him for understanding. Once I got off the phone and as I recharged my batteries, I realized that by taking care of myself, I created a win / win outcome and in the process, empowered the relationship.
When traveling on airplanes a familiar instruction is given by flight attendants,” In the event that pressure with in the cabin changes oxygen masks become available. Make sure to put the mask on yourself, before attempting to help anyone else”. These instructions are given to passengers to stress the importance of taking care of themselves before attempting to take care of anyone else. The reality of this illustration is that if we are not getting oxygen first, we will not be able to help anyone, including ourselves.
In this illustration, I am reminded that if I do not first take care of myself, I will be no good to anyone. With this awareness, I am reminded that by practicing healthy self-care, I empower my relationships. Through being self-caring I am able to both respect myself and other people. Through being self-caring, I am able to honor my needs. Through being self-caring, I am able to honor and respect both my and other people’s needs. Through being self-caring, I am able to keep my motives pure, while respecting other people’s boundaries. Through being self-caring, I am able to keep the focus on myself, instead of expecting other people to meet my needs.
Through being self-caring, I am able to ask for what I need. Through being self-caring, I am able to be honest with myself. Through being self-caring, I am able to understand where other people end and I begin, and where I end and other people begin. Through being self-caring, I am able to be more aware when relationships are becoming unhealthy and enmeshed. Through being self-caring, I am able to recognize when I am practicing codependency in a relationship, in an attempt to get other people to do for me what I need to do for myself. Through being self-caring, I am able to practice personal responsibility, while giving people the dignity to meet or ask to have their needs met in the relationship.
Through being self-caring, I am able to ask for what I need, while accepting what my relationships are able to give to me. Through being self-caring, I am able to accept what I can and can not give to my relationships. Through being self-caring, I am to able to empower and be empowered by my relationships.
Note: I like the Acronym — for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, and Sick — H.A.L.T.S. In my experience I have found that when I am hungry, angry, lonely, tired or sick I am more susceptible to being irritable, restless and discontent. During these times, I am more prone to negative or stinking thinking, than when I am not hungry, angry, lonely, tired or sick. With this awareness, I have found that I need to be self-caring during these times. With my awareness, I am able to be an actor in my life, instead of as a reactor to my life.
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