In the previous post, we explored how attitude can keep us in integrity with ourselves while participating in an activity that initially we wanted no part of:
Today, I’d like to explore inner integrity from a different angle. Being in integrity while meeting others’ needs is vital – though not always easy. And — we can do that for awhile, setting aside the voice within which says: “Please don’t keep that commitment! Please stop and rest. You don’t have the energy!” Yet, how long can we postpone or deny the very personal needs that we have? How long can we make mental adjustments in order to be in integrity while serving the world and be “okay”?
How do we know when it’s time stop,
listen to our inner callings
and be in integrity with our own needs?
Why are we so reluctant to honor them?
Maybe you recognize this internal voice:
“Well, when I choose myself, I am not choosing you. I let you down. I disappoint you. I look weak or bad in your eyes.”
If so, you know that when this tape plays, you don’t choose yourself. You choose to serve the “other”. Eventually, when I am listening to this recording, I lash out in anger or crash and burn and get sick, physically unable to serve anymore.
What then? Then, if I am not careful, I add to my negative self talk! Not only am I not meeting your needs but now I owe you an apology for my angry outburst. And, now that I am sick, I’m not meeting anyone’s needs, least of all my own. Home sick, I’m not refueling, but merely surviving.
What is your “max out” point?
Do you know when you’ve reached your limit?
Each of us has a personal threshold for activity in service of others beyond which, we crack. And any given activity will impact each of us differently. Some folks, for example, thrive on parties and celebrations and the holiday season is pure joy! Other folks find these draining and more than one a week is too much! As you discern your “max out” point, realize that this is very personal! Trust yourself to know.
And do you know what you can do for yourself that is restorative, that nurtures you, that feeds your soul and brings unity back to your inner being?
Stop right now. Get out a sheet of paper and jot down as quickly as you can those simple (or not) activities that are restorative to you. Maybe you’ll list: read a book, take a bath, go out to dinner, weed the garden, light a candle, write in your journal, play your violin. Whatever works for you, that is what goes on your list!
Do you know when is is time for you to stop, to say no?
What happens to you if you don’t?
What will it take for you to honor YOU?
(*) If support from an Inward Journey Life Coach would help you learn how to honor you before your max out point, contact me!