I found this shared on “only me” settings exactly a year ago on bookface.
“2017 was a case of overstimulation. Haven’t had a more happening year. First ever snowfall, my firstborn, acing breastfeeding (its medal worthy, I tell you), my startup launch”
And it made me smile.
I’m getting better at this turn of the year thing. In the 37th year of life, I am finally getting the hang of it.
Many (many many) years ago I had quit trying to please everyone. I had finally realised I need to choose those who hold my heart and ignore the rest for there is only a finite number of people one can please within a lifetime.
Growing from that pretext I very quickly realised, making ANYONE happy doesn’t belong on my to-do list. It belongs on their own.
I sometimes write about this but I’m an empath. Here’s how another empath friend describes it. “As an Empath I can feel your emotions, your physical hurts, your mental confusion. I know when someone is full of shit, and whether they know it or not. I am super sensitive, I can cry at the drop of a hat. I help others process their emotions and I don’t even know you.” (the fabulous Tricia Dycka)
Like my Nani used to refer to me “saaray jahaan ka dard humaaray jigar mein hai” (I hold all the pains in the world in my heart alone). The one forbidden to watch the news for I would instantly fall sick at witnessing anything distraught in any part of the world be it famine, bloodshed or God forbid, a natural calamity. Goodness that deserves a separate post where I should share the emotional upheaval disaster relief brought to me. I digress.
I was ALWAYS the one friends and family would turn to. In sickness and in health. To literally physical care ranging right up to emotional care. I was the one. Always at your beck and call. Staying up nights, traveling across continents to go do hospital duties, no one even needed to ask me. If I would get to know of “A plight”, and I could step up, I would be there before they could spell Hareem.
All this despite my tumultuous personal life that followed. I kept marching on. Traumatised into near paralysis. Nothing would stop me from “being there”. NOTHING jaded me. NONE of it made me throw the towel in. It still doesn’t. I probably have a broken valve.
One call from a distraught friend and I would physically fall ill, repeated migraine infestation leading to chronic illness. The list was endless. Typical. Story of my life over and over and over again.
And then I stopped.
I just stopped.
I was exhausted beyond belief. With the negativity that surrounded me despite my constant striving to love and spread it far and wide, for being misunderstood and undermined, for being quite literally called the ATM for friends (#TrueStory), for all of that I attracted by “overdoing good for others”. Yes. That’s what I call it. Too much of a good thing they say…
So by the end of last year I was brimming with postpartum blues, overwhelmed, physically exhausted and emotionally rather numbed. The only clarity I had in life was the love I felt for my husband and child and getting my company up and running. That’s where it all ended.
This year. I decided to continue doing just that. This time. Deliberately so.
This entire year I stopped healing others and started running away, pushing everything remotely resolvable away so fiercely. Hate to admit it but it’s such a relief. I don’t think I’m still in a headspace where I even want to go back to “being there” for people like I have always been. It sounds selfish and I seem far more harsh than I was ever perceived to be, even rude plenty of times but on a spiritual level, it is almost healing for me. Sigh. Go figure.
I very firmly believe that trials and troubles in life are owed to unlearnt lessons. As long as you fail to learn them, the worry keeps popping up in one form or another. Over and over. Until you actually learn that unlearnt lesson. Which is when it stops. Calling out bullshit, being more vocal and downright rude towards anything and everything that irked me didn’t make me sick. It healed me. I feel cleansed. Of the bullshit that surrounds us in one form or another, always pushing boundaries and buttons. One whack and out the park it went! Suddenly, there’s a gorgeous peace in my life. One like I have never ever seen.
Better still, let me clarify it a tad for you.
I want to be a better mother.
A better mother than one who teaches her child sacrifice and humility before self preservation.
Apart from that. Raising a child is emotionally so MUCH in magnitude it quite literally takes up my entire space. It does. And still leaves me gasping for air. I know people Raise multiple kids all around the world and still have a life but for me, this is emotionally exhausting. It’s like pretty much EVERYTHING else is on hold. I can barely manage the work I get done which is not even a 100th of how much I used to get done in a given day and I’m fine with that. The slower pace is deliberate and I’m fine with that. But absorbing and resolving other people’s issues is something that very quickly took a backseat once my child came into the scene.
This was a realisation I owe to another dear friend. In bits and pieces of how she put into words what I was subconsciously acting upon yet felt some amount (not too much, frankly) of guilt at not “being my true self” I had grown up to be. For this past year I cut out the unnecessary noise. I shut the trap where the sewage seeped in and I would grimace and “smile and wave”.
She said you’re an empath not a sympath.
We are not meant to be there for each other over and above ourselves.
We first must be of service to Self and then loved ones.
The level of natural engagement you have with your child is primary and there’s something interesting about having a child. It does make you more selfish but this self -ish is a good thing.
There should be an appropriate word for this kind of self “ centredness” but these words are historically and culturally tied up in old age religious doctrines that get their power base from guilt and ideological notions that to care for the self over others is wrong/ ungodly and even punishable.
It’s important to mirror to a child the need to take care of Self first. All this sharing/ think of others first shit is not appropriate for a child under 7 so you’re on point.
Empaths also have to ensure they have necessary boundaries or they burn out.
We aren’t here to heal or subjugate ourselves , to be sacrificial lambs. We’re here to use our gift of intuition, emotional literacy and compassion as our primary guide.
Compassion is not feeling sorry for someone. It’s actually allowing the person/ dynamic to exist without judgement or often meddling so they can learn to heal themselves.
Empathy just means you tune in deeply and feel in more technicolor. Sometimes our premature input bypasses the true healing journey for the other which is why we then feel drained or shit !
Use your empathy for yourself and when it feels right for you , not when you feel unready or while enough yourself to give .
Your checking out is indeed a healing for you xx❤️
This was as if she was translating gibberish I was acting cluelessly upon, to comprehensible language form.
It made sense. It demystified my year for me.
I’m glad I lived my year the way I did. I grew so much simply by putting myself first. It really is that simple once you get over the initial guilt that is embedded in our systems to pop up at anything remotely self valuing.
Say no to bullies.
Say no to “what we say is freedom of speech but if you’re offended you keep quiet” kinda passive aggressive gaslighting.
Say no to putting up appearances.
Say no to being superficial at any level.
Say no to being anyone except who you truly are for it is an immense waste of the absolute wonder you are meant to be.
The responsibility to care for yourself is multifold once you’re a mom. Children do as you do. Not as you say.
Be true to yourself so you raise an unshackled child who takes pride in who she is and only looks out for approval from within. Who only competes with herself.
I now pronounce 2018 a resounding success!