I am slowly learning that there is only so much I can do to help the people I love and those around me. I have always had a strong desire to help others, and to be validated by them. Whenever anyone has ever been dealing with some kind of issue, I have been prepared to drop everything and rush to their side, providing any comfort, advice, or help I can. I don’t consider this a bad thing by any means- helping others it definitely something this world could stand to see happen more often.
However, there is always a limit. Because I am one person, and I can only handle so much before I start to crack under the pressure of trying to save everyone within my reach.
I am slowly learning that despite my best efforts when I stretch myself too thin in my attempts to help, I am completely wearing myself down to the bone. That my efforts don’t feel as helpful because they aren’t as completely present as they would be if I was able to pour all of myself into a few things, instead of every single pressing need I see. I am slowly realizing that if I keep doing this, then I will have nothing left to give- and I won’t know what to do with myself.
I am slowly learning that my needs matter, too. That I spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is struggling with, that I rarely take the time to check in on myself- and that’s a dangerous place to be. I am slowly realizing that if I don’t address my own issues and ask for help every once in awhile, that I will burn myself out so intensely that I’m not sure if I could come back from it. I am slowly realizing that it’s okay if I take some time to save myself before I try to save anyone or anything else.
I am slowly learning that although my heart may mostly be pure in intention in wanting to help people, that I also have a desire to be praised and validated by those people when I do help them- it gives me some kind of worth- and that this isn’t exactly a good thing. When I hinge my self-worth on the idea that I am only as worthy as I am helpful, it will only set me up for failure, because I can’t do everything and be everywhere, no matter how much I might try. When I continuously reinforce the idea that who I am is strictly tied into what I can and will do for other people, then I am bound to lose myself when there is no one who needs to help them, and the result will leave me feeling empty and unnecessary. I am slowly learning that this idea of I require validation that I am a good friend and good person because I am helping someone is a selfish underlying motive, and that it honestly takes away from the help I am trying to give when I expect to be praised for it.
I am slowly learning that a lot of times, people don’t honestly need me to save them. Some people don’t really need to be saved at all as much as they just need to be listened to and told that they matter. I have a tendency to believe that I must carry all of the world’s problems on my shoulders, completely alone, when all I would really need to do is take a moment and listen to what is really needed. I am slowly realizing that in trying to be someone’s hero, I may not be helping them at all.
I am slowly learning that at the end of it all, it’s a wonderful thing that I want to help those around me and do what I can to help them in their struggles, but that it’s also important for me to know when I should take a step back and take care of myself, too.
I am slowly learning that I honestly matter, too.