Have you ever written a check you know you should not have written? I mean figuratively, not literally (that's a conversation for another day). I'm talking about taking on too much. Being afraid, not wanting, or not knowing how, to say no. Giving so much of yourself that there's nothing--or very little-- left for you or anyone else. It's very important that we recognize if/when this is an issue for us. Because when we're depleted, we jeopardize our health, our quality of life, and our joy.

We should be cheerful givers, which is difficult when we're overextended. When folks know we're willing and able to give, they ask us to give. Why shouldn't they? But rather than recognizing the importance of "spreading the joy", some come back to us time after time asking for more. We wonder why we need to say "enough" or "not this time". Don't they know they're always at our door? Sometimes they do, but ask nevertheless because "nobody can  ________ (fill in the blank) like you do." Heard that before? But sometimes, people don't realize they're always at our door. So we must tell them, and/or learn to garner the strength to pass on a particular "opportunity". This in turn may provide "opportunities" for others. It may provide opportunities for growth and independence; opportunities for appreciation. Because even if giving is in our heart, is our gift, our purpose, or our passion, we must make room for deposits--that is, take time to replenish. Otherwise, we'll find that our account is overdrawn.
 


Comments

Doreen
08/13/2013 3:04pm

Guilty as CHARGED. (smile).

Reply
Natalie
08/13/2013 6:33pm

Doreen,

Many people are in this position because they are good at what they do, and they're reliable. The key is to take care of yourself, too.

Reply
Denyce Holgate
08/13/2013 6:42pm

If you know that you have done all you can for that person, you must not have a problem or feel bad about saying no. If that person cares for you they will understand. If they don't understand..... you know the rest.

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Natalie
08/13/2013 7:31pm

Denyce,

As I'm sure you know, this is also prevalent in organizations such as schools, churches, and other entities where volunteers are an integral part of their operation. I agree that it's a matter of doing what you can and not making room for angst or guilt when you can do more.

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Nija
08/13/2013 7:50pm

Yep, you were right. FOR me ALLLL day long. First, know what's funny?!?! I LITERALLY JUST created the title page for the "blog that never was". After speaking with a friend earlier, I swear I heard your voice replaying in my head. Now, just to WRITE...that's the next step. Back to this posting...get out of my life!!! HA. Struggling NOW because the word "no" is equivalent to something "evil" in my mind, and I've exhausted all of ME trying to meet the needs of others. Sheesh you and my friend were on the SAME page today. Time for me to stop feeling guilty if "no" has to be the "yes" for some. High time to start reinvesting that energy into ME!!!! :)

Reply
Natalie
08/13/2013 8:29pm

Thanks for the chuckle, Nija. I'm so glad you've taken the first step forward with your writing. Just keep taking one step at a time, and before you know it, you'll be in the flow. It's about movement, my dear.

As for learning to reinvest energy into yourself, try to remember that "no" is also said out of love sometimes. If we're not careful, we can end up resenting people and situations when our giving depletes us. Rather than allowing things to reach that point, we can show our love/concern for those relationships by saying no until we have time to replenish. What's evil about that?!

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