Realising and letting go of an unconscious pattern is a huge step and we should always acknowledge ourselves for what we’ve just done. It’s a big thing.
It does leave a gap in our thinking and way of being that needs to be filled to avoid us refilling it with more of the same old ways of thinking again.
This is how we create lasting changes to our ways of being.
Some new patterns are easy to create and can be done without a lot of effort or focus. I write about these often on the blog.
Other times, we have no comprehension of how to function without our unconscious pattern and need to look around.
What does this tangibly look like? How do other people do it? How do we maintain it?
Over-giving was a way of life and a huge part of who I was. I didn’t know anything else.
The people who seemed to be able to balance their life and time had always seemed so far away. The goal seemed unattainable so I never tried.
With a bit of mindfulness, I’d created this breakthrough a few times in my life but I’d never been able to maintain it.
This time was different. I fully understood the impact it was having on myself, my goals and the people I loved and wasn’t giving up.
I was conscious not to fall into a common trap and simply become the polar opposite. This isn’t truly breaking free as it’s still being fuelled by the same limitation that drove the original way of being in most cases.
I didn’t want to become a taker. I wanted to learn how to automatically take a moment to check in with myself and how much I had to give to any one thing at the time.
Serendipitously two people popped up in my life who seemed to have amazing boundaries.
One seemed to have endless time and energy for everyone and everything he cared about, and the other was pragmatic at ensuring that he didn’t over-give himself while still fitting in what he was most passionate about.
They might as well have been aliens.
Luckily we spend a lot of time together so I’m slowly learning how they manage this on an ongoing basis.
They both make time for what is most important to them, and always consider what they want and need in terms of this.
They are inward, and balanced in some cases and are constantly checking in with what they want and need in that moment. Then they make it happen.
For example they may have said they’d go out but if they’re tired they’ll stay in. A-mazing.
If they are passionate about something they’ll make time for that no exceptions. Wow.
If someone is struggling, they’ll trust that this person will be okay, lend a shoulder or ear to the extent that they can without overburdening themselves and then move forward.
This is the middle ground I wanted to find. The space between being selfish and giving to the point of a total and utter empty tank.
Who are we helping when we have an empty tank anyway? No one.
For me, there is still a fine line.
If someone is going through something that they truly cannot get through without me, I’ll be there.
On the other hand I’ll also make tough decisions that let me be there fully for whoever or whatever is most important in that moment.
The difference is that now I don’t need to save every person that comes into my life whether they want me to or not.
The other difference is that now I have fuel in the tank for when something pops up and I need to be ready to go instantly. It’s opened up a lot of new experiences and made life a lot more spontaneous and fun.
Next time you are helping above and beyond what any logical person would do, ask yourself does this person truly need this much of my time and help?
We are all strong and resilient and blessed with the answers we need to get through. Always. We just need to learn to listen.
By doing the work for other people, we’re actually denying them the chance to learn, grow and move forward.
We’re hindering them and us. No one is winning in this situation.
If you’re an over-giver, or over-giving, ask yourself why. What are you getting out of saving people?
There’s always a payoff for doing anything. Even good deeds have payoffs.
When it’s to the extreme we are usually trying to counteract something big within ourselves.
Think back. Were you always like this?
If you stop saving people all of the time what are you afraid will happen?
There’s your clue.
From here you can begin unravelling the real reason why you are an over-giver, or any deep subconscious patter, and slowly take back the reins of your life.