Can it be win/win?
by Amanda Tuckerman
It seems to be a theme with pretty much everyone that I come into contact with lately that life is too much – too busy, too full, too overwhelming, too exhausting with no point of release on the horizon.
This general sense of overwhelm is mixed with an extreme tiredness and a sense of apathy. This apathy comes in the form of a shoulder shrug and an instant dismissal that ‘it’s all good – this is just how it is, everyone else is feeling the same.’
It is possible that it is simply the case that I am coming across all of these people because they are holding up that good old ‘social mirror’ in order to reflect something back to me in my own life that I need to work on. To an extent this is true and I am taking on the personal growth needed for me, however I have also been doing a little bit of a general survey with people and have discovered that everyone they are talking to also feels the same way.
So it has got me thinking – maybe this is not something that is just limited to me and my small view of the world.
Maybe it is in fact the case that the pace of our lives that is starting to catch up with us. We are at the point of realizing that there is perhaps more to life than the current way we have been living it and we are starting to crave more – more connection, more sleep, more time for ourselves and less time striving and working.
I’m not re-inventing the wheel here – I know this topic has been done and done again and although we might be hearing about it and reading about it, are we actually listening to our hearts and doing anything to begin to make any changes?
More importantly, are we supporting each other with compassion and love during this time or are we trapped in our own bubbles wondering why others are not supporting us in the way we feel it is needed?
When we are feeling like this, it becomes so easy to only think of ourselves and getting through each day intact. Self care and self support seem to fly out of the window and because we are not giving those things to ourselves in the way that we need them, we start expecting them from other people to fill us up.
I recently reached a point where I realized that my soul was crying out for someone to take care of me – not in an overbearing, ‘step in as my second mother’ type way but more in a ‘listen to me and hear me without telling me your problems instead of listening to mine’ kind of way.
The more I delved into this thought, the more I realized a couple of things:
- I needed to give myself some quality downtime in order to rejuvenate and give back to myself in order to stop looking for others to give me what I wasn’t giving myself.
- Maybe everyone else is crying out for the same care / compassion / love / acknowledgment that I was?
It was after the second realization that the big epiphany came – it smacked me in the face in a way that I have never had before and it came with such a sense of compassion and understanding that I now can’t help but extend that compassion and understanding to others.
We are literally all in this together.
You have probably heard the words before thrown around on Facebook memes and coffee cups (as had I) but I finally got it in a way that I never had before.
In our overscheduled, action packed, Western World lives society generally tells us that we are islands and can face anything alone – strive to be on top, vulnerability and connection is weakness and if you can’t sort things out on your own then what is wrong with you? Busy-ness is worn as a badge of honour and stress is a competition – ‘Well you might have been going through that but listen to what I have been going through……’
From where I sit at this moment, the by-product of all of this is a loss of connection with ourselves and consequently with others. We may not be physically isolated and we may have friends all around us but are we really, really seeing and acknowledging each other? Are we seeing that little inner child calling out, jumping up and down with their hand in the air asking to be genuinely seen and acknowledged?
Eventually I came to realization that we are all a little bit overwhelmed with these lives that we have built and life is fast – there is little downtime, little time for true space and peace of mind.
Whilst it still remains each of our responsibilities to give these things to ourselves, it is also each of our responsibility to help those around us and support each other in any way we can – we are all in this together. It is my view that when we make the commitment to each other and to ourselves to live in this way our relationships will be transformed.
Imagine a win / win relationship in which you can feel truly heard, truly seen and truly supported – it makes me feel light and whole. Hopefully everyone already has at least one or two relationships in their lives like this, however what if we could start looking at ALL relationships through this lens….. can you imagine the sense of freedom, compassion and love that would come from this?
So how do we get there?
Well, it all begins with us as individuals – when we make the commitment to view relationships in this way, we are the ones who begin to set the trends. It feels like irony – we are no longer relying on other people to fill us up with what we need, however the byproduct is actually all the support and love that we have been craving.
THAT is how we change the world at a grass roots level. It starts with you and it starts with me – we are all in this together.
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