Becoming the best version of yourself

Taking A Break From Being Everything to Everybody – –

on May 17, 2012
A dear friend, one of my first friends to “follow” my blog, sent me this the other day.  (Thanks CS!)  While it doesn’t speak to divorce “specifically”, I think it definitely covers ground that we all face after we divorce.  When you want to try to be everything to everybody, you wear out.  As a wife and a mother and a friend, I wanted to be there for everyone.  It was exhausting.  Now that I don’t necessarily have the time nor financial resources, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still want to give, give, give or feel guilty when I can’t.  This article below gives us permission to take a break.  Maybe it’s time to give yourself some of that compassion you used to give to everyone else.  Take care of you!
“You are a good person. It’s a long race. You are suffering from compassion fatigue.
Of course you care about people, but has there been a time in history when people have been put under more pressure to be charitable? You go to the store to pick up a quart of milk and pass a homeless man with a sign asking for your help, then you have to pass by someone selling brownies for some charity outside the grocery store, and when you pay for your milk you are asked if you want to make a donation to MS. It’s a veritable attack of the charities.

Not giving today does not mean you want the homeless man to starve, the Girl Scouts to miss their jamboree, or people to suffer from MS. It just means it is someone else’s turn to give today.

You have compassion fatigue because you have been compassionate. Compassion is not measured by how much you gave, or whether you were able to, or whether you fixed their problem, but that you wanted to. That compassion, even devoid of action, is precious and must be preserved. It makes us great.

So recover. Treat yourself to a margarita, a spa day, a drive by the ocean, a ride in the mountains, a day with family, or maybe some time in your church. Recharge because you are an important part of this world, and because you deserve it.

What we must not do, however, is defend ourselves with fiction that the problems are not real, that people are not suffering, or that they somehow deserve it. Suffering happens, it is not good, and we should not feel OK seeing it.

Being human means we have compassion; but being human also means we have limits. So when you feel the fatigue, let yourself off the hook. I am here to tell you it is OK, and there is no need to rationalize not giving. Tell yourself not today, I am taking the day (or week) off. It’s margarita Saturday, etc.

And when you are recharged, watch out world, your love for your fellow man can make a difference that would shame the rest of us. You are, after all, kind of amazing.” —

Eric Pederson


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