Is it Better to Give than Receive?
As women, I’d argue we need to work on the latter rather than the former
As women, most of us learn at an early age to give, but we are not nearly as well-schooled in receiving. It can be difficult to create parity in our relationships, and honor both giving and receiving, whether with family, friends, or significant others. Too often we give to the people in our lives at our own expense. When we are working hard to create the life we want, or to get through a difficult time, we need to be protective of ourselves and our process. This is especially true during periods of transition, upheaval, growth, and healing… like RIGHT NOW, for most women. Even good friends and family may not fully appreciate what we are going through, or how we are feeling. Sometimes we don’t keep enough energy in reserve to sustain us, and then wonder why we wake up in the morning tired, cranky, or depressed.
One way to reverse this trend is to recognize and track energy-sappers in your life and reduce them over time. Identify people who drain your energy; then analyze what it is about them, or the interaction that drains you. Be conscious of what you communicate, and how much energy it takes to be in certain situations with certain people. Are they controlling, negative, angry with life, unsupportive, etc.? Do you feel like you are doing the majority of work in the relationship? Do you find yourself ruminating on ways to avoid encounters?
Some things you may want to consider tracking are:
· Time & day
· Energy level before & after
· Mood before & after
· Specific irritants
· Did you set another time to meet?
· Did you agree to do anything for the other person?
Tracking your connections may turn up an obvious trend in energy-suckers immediately, or a more subtle pattern may appear over time. Paying attention to things like time of day, mood and other commitments you have going on in your life may reveal that it isn’t a person who is sapping your energy, but a poor combination of people and events.
One more thing you may want to consider at the same time is the potential impact of shifting your focus inward. What could someone offer you that would increase your energy instead of depleting it? What do you need to replenish your energy? Silence, time alone, and rest, or camaraderie, fun, and activities? If your automatic default is to fix everyone else’s problems before addressing your own, try reversing that dynamic.
Know that your energy is precious and true, and the heart of your life source. It is worth protecting. A final question to ponder:
If 50% of the energy you focus outward, were suddenly re-focused inward, what would you receive from yourself?