It’s easy to lose yourself when you have so many responsibilities, so many tasks that demand your attention. However, if you don’t learn to stop, to find a balance between family life, work and personal time, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up suffering the consequences.
Often, we aren’t aware of the underlying problem: we cram the calendar with things to do because we can’t bear to be with ourselves. We’re afraid of loneliness and we feel that we have to “fill ourselves” (with company, with distractions, with material goods, with food...) to cover up that existential void.
If you feel that this is the case for you, I’d like to tell you that you aren’t alone, and I applaud your courage. It takes a lot to admit that we feel this way – that we’re “at this point”, as one person told me recently.
Recognising it means that you’ve already completed half the journey. The other half, in my experience, requires you to give yourself time and treat yourself with a lot of love and compassion. These will be your two essential companions on the voyage.
If you think about it, you didn’t reach your current situation overnight. It was a long and complex process that developed over time. In my view, trying to reverse this process at top speed is very harmful. I’ve never believed in “miracle products” or “instant solutions”; they tend to create unrealistic expectations, and we feel very frustrated when those expectations aren’t met.
Not infrequently, we turn this frustration inwards, punishing ourselves for not being good enough, for “not succeeding” (although often it’s practically impossible for anyone to reach the standards that we impose on ourselves).
We must learn to give ourselves the opportunity to relieve our own suffering, to treat ourselves as we would treat our dearest relative or our best friend. To give ourselves a break and stop punishing ourselves if things don’t go as we expected. To embrace ourselves from the heart, and to learn to accept and release what isn’t in our hands.
Like everything in this life, it’s about finding a balance. It’s about finding that sweet spot between setting the bar unrealistically high (because we’ll feel very frustrated when we can’t get over it) and leaving it far below our possibilities (since this implies that we’ve used our limitations as an excuse not to challenge ourselves to continue growing). We all have infinite potential and it’s our responsibility to develop it to the fullest extent that we can.
It’s about being reasonable and knowing who we are. Everyone has their own circumstances and aptitudes, and that’s the baseline from which we should always start, regardless of the area of our life that we’re dealing with.
And from there, as Buzz Lightyear said, we launch ourselves to infinity and beyond!
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