The Buddha is quoted to have said that if your compassion does not include yourself, meaning that it extends out to your ever-changing body-mind that is prone to pain, death, and suffering like all other body-minds–and, therefore, deserves care and concern as much as any other in existence–your compassion is incomplete. And I will strongly stand behind that declaration and verify that I find it to be true.
Care Professionals: I Invite You To Eliminate Toxic Stress Before It Overwhelms You So That You Can Maintain And/Or Increase Your Wellbeing And, Therefore, Your Work’s Positive Impact In The World
Burn-out, compassion-fatigue, second-hand trauma, bureaucratic-overload, smiling-sadness, and all of its variations, paired with an innate desire to help other people reduce their suffering in life due to having heightened empathetic abilities, can create situations where one passionately wants to bring his/her best self to important work/situations, but simply cannot do so because his/her own personal state of being requires support of its own after continuously operating beyond full capacity for others. This is, unfortunately, an incredibly common problem within all professions in which human interaction is required on a consistent basis, and, this is especially pervasive in fields where individuals and groups are tasked with solving the most painful and stressful issues in society like illness, violence, poverty, and so forth.
You Are Divine, But Also…Human
For many who serve others or a cause, in any capacity, but especially those who serve in positions that ask them to give a high level of compassionate care to one special-needs person, or many others, bearing witness to difficult and/or traumatic situations on a daily basis (often while getting little consistent appreciation and/or less than adequate compensation to be fully financially secure), the accumulation of work-related toxic stress can not only lead to frustration and deteriorated health, but can also have the potential to spiral into jadedness and mental/emotional exhaustion, dysregulation, and distress if left unchecked for too long.
This downward emotional spiral, which causes those who are affected to lose their energetic capacity, and drive, to deal both their stress and the stresses that they are asked to help numerous others improve without support of their own, is a recipe for internal and external systemic breakdown.
As a care professional, on the front-lines of life, often, interacting with your clients, students, and the people who you serve within your community each day when they are in emergency situations, you are an indisputable asset to the infrastructure of our civilization, and this is not a grandiose, but an absolutely factual statement, that the CoVid 19 pandemic has only helped to emphasize.
With your innate desire to serve in the creation of positive change in a constantly dysregulated world, and your willingness to bear witness to and provide support for, the most difficult situations imaginable, you often hear, “thank you for your service” occasionally from others. But, are you thanking yourself for your work of giving yourself to a cause by providing yourself with what you need in order to fully honor what you have the capacity to bring forth through your presence and efforts each day?
If not, you should.
Please always remember that it is vital, as a service professional, to be your best in your work in order to best serve others, not just in terms of the skills that you bring to your work, but also in terms of your state of being your best-cared-for self as well, which then empowers you to move beyond your limited self and to serve from your greater Self, once you have met your own basic needs. After all, it is only you that you offer in support of a cause in most cases. You give your amazing skillsets honed from years of study, reflection, and application/experience to your work, but, most importantly, you give your empathy and willingness to help reduce suffering and/or struggle in the world for a greater good using your expert skills and abilities.
The best way be your best, most healthful self, is to always ensure that your own needs are served by you at all times in order to then enable yourself to have the capacity to give more to others.
You know the old saying: “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” Why then, with this knowledge, do you try to do so continuously each and every day?
You: your most valuable resource, are the primary tool that you hone, and craft, and improve/purify, in order to be of greatest service to others (or the collective Self/oneness when looked at from a higher perspective), so your well-being matters above all other things when it comes to preparing your work preparation tool-kit.
Always prioritize your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care when you are tasked with serving others.
Ask yourself: What batteries within me need recharging?
Then, find a healthy source/way for replenishing any depleted parts of yourself each day, and remember that your important, essential, work can only be done by you (both the work of replenishing your drained inner batteries, and the important work of the service that you provide to others).
So, pause for a moment and honestly inquire: are you lacking in sleep, or is it a replenished sense of purpose that you are missing?
Simple Ways To Ensure That You Care For Your Wellbeing Adequately And Set The Stage To Deepen The Joy That Comes From Service To A Selfless/Higher Cause
Today, take some time to really evaluate where you are right now and ensure that you are not on the verge of burnout or fatigue that can create suffering within you that hinders your ability to best serve those you care so much about, and are tasked to support/help.
Remember that the best way to Love others, and to show your Love for them, is to truly Love yourself.
Set aside at least 2 hours (and I mean it, do not short-change yourself) to focus on the task of only giving and connecting to the source within you that motivates and strengthens your reserves to keep moving forward. Devote one hour to something kinesthetic (meaning involving movement and your body) and one hour to something reflective, or mentally/emotionally fulfilling (contemplation, napping…whatever you choose).
For example: If you have lost your passion for your cause due to some bureaucratic roller-coaster ride that you have been on for years, or even a few weeks, and it has you feeling like change will never be made within the realms of your workplace, industry, or even the world, consider martial arts, kick-boxing, or dancing as a way to replenish your fighting-spirit and consider gratitude journaling as a means for reigniting your passion.
Singing, walking, practicing the different limbs of Yoga, working out consciously, meditation, therapy, prayer, drawing, painting, sewing, reading for pleasure, and so on and so forth, provide a wide range of things that can count towards your Self-Care Hours, but it is vital that you log these Self-Care Hours hours into your life/schedule each day and show up for them.
Never neglect to acknowledge the important role that your well-being plays in the lives of others, and always keep in mind that keeping, you, the most important tool in your toolkit, in great condition, is the best way to effectively do your work.
Are You Ready To Take Responsibility For Doing The Most Important Work That You Need To Get Done In This Lifetime (Your Inner Work To Clear Your Distortions And Become Liberated From Ignorance And Suffering In The World)? Check To See If There Are Openings To Join Our Community As A Free Spirit Member Today!
Thank you for reading.
If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, please be sure to like, comment, and share.
You can also connect with me on Social Media for ongoing inspiration on your Yoga and Meditation journey.
And if you have a question that you would like answered in a blog post or video, please submit your inquiry here!