“Boundaries are, in simple terms, the recognition of personal space.”
I woke, overwhelmed and panicked, at 3am on Monday morning.
This isn’t usual for me. I’m by nature calm, centred and strong.
I knew part of why I was awake. An old friend had died the day before in an accident – and the news had left me shocked and upset. Apart from that I’ve got some pressing deadlines right now and I’ve had too much on my plate. We have ongoing family worries. Some of the people around me haven’t been carrying their share of the load, leaving me stressed and with more work to do and more decisions to make.
This is a week whose energies suit focus and mindfulness. I decided yesterday to revisit my priorities, to delegate more work, to clear a few more things from my to-do list or postpone them. I thought I’d sorted things out. I felt much better in myself.
And then I woke again this morning at 2am, crippled by anxiety.
Why, Nicole? I asked myself. What’s going on?
I meditated, which helped a little, and then sat down at my desk. And there was the problem…
Thirteen new facebook messages since 6pm with people asking for advice, guidance or support. Three of them serious, urgent issues. Twenty-seven new emails of the same nature. Six of those equally serious. Two urgent text messages on my phone. Somehow, over the past two years I have become an unofficial emergency help-line for my community and beyond.
It’s an avalanche of desperation, and I can’t keep up, although I have been trying.
As I deal with these urgent messages my own work is lagging behind, my own life is being relegated to second place. Or third. And none of that work is paid.
While I sat at my desk in the cold, lonely hours – overwhelmed by the pain of others, and my need to help everyone as best I could – I realised that my tank was almost empty. I’m neglecting my own relationships, needs and well-being to tend to the needs of others.
And I knew then what I needed to do.
I need to find a better way. A better way to help. Better boundaries for me. Some new fences and gatekeepers. A bigger team.
I knew I’d come to my truth because the sense of relief and clarity was palpable.
So this morning I’m asking you the same questions. Because I’m worried about you. Because I know you’re like me and you’re feeling it too:
- Where do you need to build new fences?
- Where do you need to create or maintain boundaries?
- How can you find more time just for you?
- What do you need to start doing differently, in order to make your life work better?
This is the only precious life you get – this one will never come again. And your wellbeing is tied to boundaries as much as it is also tied to living with an open heart.
I’m holding you in my prayers and meditations, and sending you so much love,
Please accept my apologies if I haven’t answered your message. I’m swamped. There is only one of me, and I just can’t keep up. Let me find a better way for us, okay?
All my love, Nicole ❤ xx