Part of developing a compassionate relationship with yourself involves including yourself in your life
That may sound strange. Let me explain. So often, for a variety of reasons, we often make decisions about how to spend our precious time, energy, focus, funds, and effort without factoring in our instincts, needs, and desires for our life.
We can run from activity to activity; from one errand to the next; and from one event to another, without factoring in an overall plan for a balanced life.
I often think of this concept like a math equation:
2 + 1 + 4 + 3 = 10. This is fine, as long as you are one of the numbers in the equation. Notice I didn’t say all the numbers…just one of the numbers.
We often run around feeling stress from work, home, kids, financial pressure, never-ending chores and responsibilities. We often don’t stop and breathe and check inside to see what we need relationally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
This isn’t about being self-focused or selfish. It is about including yourself in your life…not just living your life by what is expected of you. Keep in mind that you are the only person who can bring an end to your overworked, frazzled and under-rested life. You are the only one who can make the changes you desire.You are the only one who can make the changes you desire. Click To Tweet
The solution to creating a balanced life is selectivity—about choosing. It’s not about getting more done, but being more selective about what you do, as well as making sure you have time to replenish. Our choices determine how we live. We live in a time where being selective is more difficult than ever before.
Choosing how you live by being selective as well as conscious of how you spend your finite amount of time and energy is called life balance. It is about doing what matters and devoting less of yourself to what does not. The secret to creating a saner, more balanced life lies with you. Remember that life balance looks different for each person, as well as is different in each season of life.
We have bought into the cultural norms for success, often without even realizing it. We just pile more and more on our already overflowing plates, often without a plan for life balance. As long as you try to please other people and live up to someone else’s standards, your life will not be your own.
Even under the best of circumstances, most of us walk a tightrope juggling careers, children, a spouse or significant other, family and friends. It is common to feel as if we’re always failing at something.
So, part of developing a compassionate relationship with yourself as well as setting boundaries with yourself, includes asking yourself some important questions:
What do you need more of in your life?
___ Physical rest, more sleep
___ More emotional support
___ More fun and time to play
___ Unscheduled quiet time
___ Being active physically in ways I enjoy
___ Time with friends
___ More time with God
___ Safe group of friends to share with
___ Time to be creative
___ Time to do hobbies, sports I enjoy
___ Time to read
___ Other _____________________
What do you need less of in your life?
Think about activities that don’t reflect what you feel truly matters. Also think about activities or interactions that drain your precious time and energy, and don’t actually produce the results you are hoping for.
What Matters to You?
We need to listen to the intuition, passion, and burdens God has given regarding the ways He wants us to have an impact in the lives of ourselves, others and the world. Part of figuring this out includes taking a look inside to see what really matters to you. God has placed the answer to this question inside each one of us.
- Take a few minutes to pray, ponder, and ask yourself the following questions to figure out what really matters to you:
- What have you found yourself excited and passionate about in your life?
- What type of burdens do you have for others?
- What dreams do you have that will not go away?
- Imagine you are at the end of your life:
- What message do you want to have given to those dear to you?
- What message do you want to have given to yourself?
- What type of relationship do you want to have had with God and others?
Now please write, in order of importance, what you value and consider most important in your life
Is it your family, your children, your health, your religious or spiritual practice, your friendships, your relationship with yourself, your work, your creative expressions, your social life, your dreams, your purpose in this life or something else?
Based on your assessment, ask yourself the following questions:
- If I was including myself in my life I would be doing more of:
- If I was including myself in my life I would be doing less of:
- If I was including myself in my life I would be renewing and restoring myself by:
- Is there a small step you could take this week to add more of what you need and let go of something that is draining you?
This is a sample of a way to step back from autopilot where our life is happening without self-reflection. I would encourage you to take what you’ve learned from this post to begin to re-evaluate your life.
Consider what you can do to readjust some things in your life
You want your life to reflect who you are, the intuitions and passions God has given you, and the self-care that you need. I hope this has given you some new ideas to think about regarding including yourself in your life.
I’d love to hear from you. What made sense or stood out to you? How do you respond to the idea that you are the only person who can bring an end to your overworked, frazzled and under-rested life? After reading this, are there adjustments you want to make in how you live your life?
Please share this post with anyone you feel could benefit, or on social media. We’re in this together…