I am always struck by the wealth of it all. The wealth of information we have access to; the wealth of our community and country; the wealth of some individuals. I don't necessarily mean money or stuff. I think I mean just the volume. How much do we really need...of anything? There is so much of everything, yet some still don't have enough. How is that?
I have my own theory about why I have so much and someone else doesn't. I would like to hear what others think.
How does this apply to compassion fatigue? Good question!!
We seem to always want more. Some of us always want to do more. We never seem to be satisfied with what we are already doing. We work in a helping field; nurse, dr., paramedic, addictions counsellor, teacher, and so many others, giving so much of ourselves professionally. Then we sometimes feel guilty because we are not on the school committee, the hospital board, the food bank fund raising group, we don't sponsor a child in New Guinea, and so on. Oh yes, and we are never doing as much as the neighbour or friend or co-worker who does everything!! You know the one. The parent that coaches, is chair of several committees, knits hats for newborns and makes sandwiches for every funeral in town!! We have a cousin who adopted a child from China and gave a kidney to her nephew...come on...I've got nothing on that!!
I have come to accept, somewhat, that I am not that person nor will I ever be. I am learning to accept I only want to be me and I can just work on being the best version of me.
I have a close friend who is one of those people and I have admired all she does for everyone else. She never used to say no. As we became closer friends over the past few years, I discovered she felt obligated to do so much and sometimes resented what she did. One Christmas Eve, she was shopping and came upon a person whom she knew and discovered he would be alone for Christmas. She invited him to her home for Christmas dinner. I knew she was already overwhelmed with the personal and professional issues in her life at that time. When we talked about why she might do this at a time in her life when she was overwhelmed, we discovered together she might only measure her self worth by how much she did for others. Therefore, the more she did for others, the more worthy she might think she was. The problem was, it never seemed to be enough. The other thing we discovered it was never for herself, it was always about someone else. Really, she didn't think she was worthy of love and generosity for herself...yet everyone looks at her and wants to be her???
There is always more ways to help,more lives to save, more fund raising to do, more injustices to correct. I have to decide how much I can do, who I can help today and what cause will receive my time and when. It is a struggle every day with the fund raising requests, the commercials about the orphans, the calls from the telemarketers, the jar at the cash for the dogs, and so and so on. I am trying to identify one thing each year I can try and do which has always been on my list. I gave blood this year. I have told them to call me once a year, no more than that. Maybe I could give blood more often, but this is a start for me. I will pick something else next year.
I say this every day...
I have enough, I do enough, I am enough
You are enough.
Let me know what you struggle with trying to be the best version of yourself.