My children are very caring people. While one is mostly clear about her boundaries, the other one likes to take care of others before herself. I try to teach her she needs to be feeling 100% to be able to care for others for that to happen in a flowing way. Once I said, ”If you are not feeling okay on the inside, but insist on trying to make others feel better by making jokes or whatever you choose, it won’t last forever. You need to be happy and well on the inside for you to be able to give without getting depleted.” She joked and said, “That’s what guru said.”
Today I read this paragraph, “Learn how to nourish yourself: Give from the excess of being fulfilled, instead of energy deficit. When you give from deficit, it’s tainted. You’re being irresponsible — not caring enough for yourself, not cherishing yourself enough to feed your Spirit, your cell tissue, your enquiring mind, and your emotions. Itʼs such sweetness to give, but if you donʼt learn how to take, you are out of balance.” by Ana T. Forrest, a wonderful yoga teacher and spiritual leader in my opinion, who wrote this referring to many people, but especially yoga teachers, who end up teaching a lot of classes per week, with little time remaining to take yoga classes, and end up feeling burnt out. If those teachers are able to take care of themselves, they will show up to their students 100% with wonderful classes.
I consider the act of giving and receiving an art. Sometimes you do one more than the other, and it is hard to keep them balanced. Yet, once I’ve learned that you won’t be fully present with those who need you if you are not feeling good in your body, I embraced the act of receiving more. Better yet, I should say that I allowed myself to receive, when before I just gave and gave, thinking that’s how life was. A very simple analogy to this is soil. If you plant seeds and later gather crop, then plant again, at some point the soil will be depleted and not able to produce anymore. You need to give it time to recover, give it some attention with fertilizers, rest, etc. Only when the soil feels revitalized again, it is possible to plant and get some good results from it. The same happens to us humans. We will be able to attend to others way better when we feel healthy, revitalized and well attended to. So, please remind yourself (and your children, no matter what age) about self-care.