Following my previous post ‘If It Wasn’t For This Confusion!’, I’ve recognised that whilst struggling to identify where I should be going and how I can earn money to pay bills, I’ve also identified how much time I’m spending fighting myself versus others. Because whilst I yearn to do something for me or my cause, other commitments that involve vulnerable family members, take me away from focussing on what I would like to be doing. Where my time, energy and attention is prioritised upon their needs, not mine!
But when I look back at my life, I see that’s how it’s always been! As there’s always something or someone more important than me that merits my time and attention, regardless of whether it’s completing a task for the house, other people, work, whatever! So whilst I’ve attended to my survival needs, including self-medicating on addictions to cope with my stress, my creative needs have been given little opportunity to manifest in the past, because they’ve not been recognised as priority by myself or others! How sad is that! And the worrying thing is I’m still doing it, still following the same pattern of self-exclusion!
As a counselling therapist, I’m strongly in favour of accepting responsibility for ‘Self-Accountability’, as that promotes feelings of power and control over ourself. So analysing myself has become part of my daily routine, as it helps me stay on top of ego prompts that try to mislead me. It doesn’t worry me that I see my faults, as if I don’t see them how can I correct them? Also, if I strive to ignore faults in my personality that hide the ‘real me’, then how will I ever find the courageous and wise personality that will lead me to become all I was destined to be?
However, I’ve had to take a closer look at what I’m doing at the moment. As I know I’m getting older and the time is getting closer when I must make changes to access the potential of my soul, so that I can fulfil my life purpose. But though I’ve got internal prompts that push me toward focussing on my direction, I find it so difficult to pull myself away, or split myself into even smaller pieces, when people I love need a high level of support at the moment.
Self-awareness is a magnificent tool for self-development, as long as we remain centred and objective, and don’t creep into the ego, which compels us to start viewing ourselves from a negative position of good, bad, right or wrong – which can lead to self-destructive tendencies. So because I feel so much internal conflict inside of me, I know I’ve been missing something, a way of thinking I need to correct.
We all have responsibilities we have to attend to, that take our time and energy. Meaning some things we enjoy doing, such as hobbies, have to somehow squeeze in-between other commitments. But I’m sure there are others like me, whose life seems dominated by outside commitments, where at times, in fact most of the time, there is little time or energy left to do what we want.
When we have a soul desire, we often fail to prioritise it because the feelings it evokes, as we envisage the outcome, brings us pleasure, satisfaction and fulfilment. We’re more likely to attend to things that create anxious or fearful feelings to rise, in order to stop our pain. But just like other impulses, when we ignore or resist soul-drives, they get stronger and more persistent until we acknowledge them, and take necessary actions to accommodate or heal them. So where does that leave me, and how do I determine the best, most appropriate route for prioritising my time, effort and energy?
Some of you are aware that my mums partner Ron, aged 76, broke his neck in October last year. And although we’ve almost lost him many times, he’s still with us, and is now in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore, Middlesex, which has proved to be a wonderful, caring environment for such distressing health problems. Whilst Ron has regained most of his mobility, he’s left with disabilities that mean he will probably have to permanently live in a nursing home, once he leaves Stanmore.
My mother Dolly, aged 85, is disabled with a debilitating condition that makes standing and walking very difficult. Her breathing is also affected by COPD. Ron used to help her in many ways. Since he’s not been around she has to manage daily life by herself, with the help of myself, my husband, my sister and aunt. And although I’ve now organised a cleaner, gardener, and local handyman for her, everyday existence is becoming increasingly difficult, because she is in constant pain and what she really needs is constant care!
Even though I’m stressed out, I count my blessings every day! I’m grateful my mum and Ron are still with us and I’m grateful I’ve got the ability, health and strength to do what little I can do to help them. Even though they’ve each got so many problems they worry about, they still laugh and show an interest in what’s happening in the world. And whilst I’m really worried about my life and what will become of me if I don’t find a way to express my talents – because of the internal pressure it’s causing me, I also look at them, Dolly and Ron. And I have to ask ‘What about them?’. Can I really put myself before them?
Ron’s having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact he won’t be able to return home, because his flat is on the first floor and he won’t be able to manage the stairs. He thinks we don’t care about him anymore because he can’t return to his flat, and he’s been in hospital all this time (he thinks we’ve let him stay there, meaning he also thinks we could have got him out). His limited perception means he can’t see the real reason things are happening to him, and so his mind is confused. He is resistant to change. He wants things to return to how they were before his accident. And as he’s now become institutionalised within the hospital, which is now his comfort zone, moving anywhere terrifies him! Everyday he sits and worries about money, mum, how he can get back to his flat, what the doctors and nurses do or don’t do with, or for him. He has no real concept of how he will be restricted by his disability though, as he sees himself as ‘back to normal’ even though he clearly isn’t! Yet he doesn’t sit there whining or moaning all the time, when we visit. He’s just grateful we are there with him, in that little space of time!
My mum strives to remain independent and it upsets her that she can’t do many things she used to. Her mind is still all there thank God. But that means she can see the reality of her situation. She knows her body is failing and she needs more hospital checks, more treatment that she needs our help to get. Her life must change! She is scared about what is going to happen to her and the pressure her care is imposing upon us, the family! She worries about us, and what’s going to happen to Ron! She worries about how we’re all going to cope with her and Ron’s needs in the future! She spend most of her days alone with her television. But apart from her occasionally mentioning ‘the pain was bad today’, or she’s ‘had enough of living this way’, you never hear her moan about her lot! She’s just really grateful that she’s got the help she’s got!
So whilst I’m having to deal with a lot of matters on their behalf, experiencing frustration caused by bureaucratic rules, decisions about the future, form-filling, social workers, and Havering Borough Council (which I’m currently infuriated with), I’ve been worrying and moaning about what I haven’t got! I haven’t got enough money to pay my bills! I haven’t got the time or impetus to promote myself or my work, which means I can’t earn the money to pay my bills. I haven’t got the time or energy to do more for my mum, to spend every day sorting out her life, to visit Ron more at Stanmore, to making his life easier when he denies he has a problem! I haven’t the confidence now to go out and give talks about what I know, to those who need my help! I sometimes wonder if I’ve got the energy to be all I’m meant to be! Maybe that’s the stumbling block to my success!
I see how I’ve been causing extra distress by not going with the flow. Where I’ve created resistance because I’ve been trying to priorities ‘fix-it’ needs, ignoring my desires by believing that once I sort out current problems, there will be a clear space for me to do what I want. But the problems never stop do they? Which means that as problems are on-going, there will never be that clear space I’ve been seeking, for as long as I can remember!
So, I’ve decided that I’m expecting too much of myself, so must change my thought process – again! If I was working with a client who was presenting the same situation as mine, I would help them find a way to do a little of everything they needed and wanted to do. I would encourage them not to make vital decisions during such stressful times, but to ensure they worked toward their preferred goals. I would encourage them to consider their needs as important as others, and to make sure if there are priority lists, their name and agenda is listed on it, not put off or delayed until the time is right! So I must practice what I preach!
Even though I’ve ignored my needs for a long time, I’m not prepared to ignore the needs of my mum and Ron! I hate to see them suffering! However, I am a product of my own neglect and now realise that whilst I strive to help others, instead of allowing the battle for priority to commence between them and me, I must fight to ensure we all get some of what we need – including me! So I’m looking at what I can do now.
I can still juggle my finances somehow, for a time anyway! I can still help others when I can! I can still say ‘NO’ when I’ve had enough! And even though I’m not earning money through my work, I can still help others in various ways! I can still write articles and blogs. I can still create! I can still learn something I didn’t know before! I can still love and accept myself, others and life! I can still remember to be me and live my life in ways I choose, that make me feel happy and fulfilled!
I’m hoping that once I stop beating myself up for not doing more(which is driven by the ‘be perfect’ need that creates resistance), and allow myself to do what’s needed at the time(which will allow my anxiety to reduce), my energy will feel better. And if I resist focussing on what I can’t do because of the stress I’m under, I’m hoping my creative spirit will find its way to the surface, and allow my soul to lead me directly to the people I can help, in order to earn the money I need to survive! As I endorse the ‘Everything is in perfect order’ belief, maybe that’s what this time of my life has been all about. I’ll soon find out – wish me luck, please!
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