What are the most important things in your life? For me it’s all family. This morning, as I write this I am babysitting my 4-month-old grandson because his Mum needs a break… Well, that’s my excuse anyway. I don’t need an excuse, just the time and I’ll be here. It is getting the time that is the problem. Different priorities or more accurately people who we love equally are pulling us in different directions all to often. The great thing about love is it is an inexhaustible resource AND you need to know how to manage it. I know this conflict well.
First there’s my wife; then my Mum and Dad, in their eighties with failing health; also my grown family of adult children, as well as my step children and now Grandchildren. How does one find the time to work? Oh and of course, I nearly forgot …then there is ME! How do you manage this Mardi Gras? How do you keep all the competing demands on your time satisfied and still have time for you?
News Flash…You Don’t!
JUST TRYING IS EXHAUSTING!
Ask yourself this question what would happen to XYZ if I wasn’t around? I know the answer… The truth is 90% of the time they would find a way through. In fact, there is an excellent chance they would create a better, more permanent solution to the problem at hand. When you stop to think about it YOU just might be disabling them by rescuing them. I used to be guilty of this all the time. OK, if someone is not well or frail and needs help jump in and help AND mind their boundaries!
Recently my Mum has experienced some serious problems with her health. She needed her family around her to cope with day to day life. Mum has spent her entire life looking after us, being needy is just something my Mum doesn’t do. Mum’s independence is tied to her purpose in life, having purpose gives reason. Whilst appreciating the help she received getting back in command of her life and calling her own shots was at least as important as any medical intervention. Mental health matters and independence of thought and action are key to maintaining good mental health.
Mental and Physical Health
In my own case about 6 years ago I suffered what we call Burnout. I was 50 and to the outside world I had it all. Just like Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck, who clearly had a lot more than me, and just like them I wasn’t happy. Yes, I had several physical health problems which fed into my downward mental health spiral. Alcohol was my self-medication of choice. I was constantly travelling through international airports so price and availability were never an issue. Looking back I seriously hate to think how much money I have spent hiding my unhappiness from myself and indulging in Einstein’s version of insanity. (Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different outcome.)I thought I had to be all things to all people.
It was my duty to give the benefits of my talents and blessed life to others. Sometimes my “gift” was undeserved, many times it was unwanted and nearly always unsolicited. My Mental Models were telling me “Hey you have it all” listing my advantages “Great childhood, education, talent and intelligence, you of all people should fight the fight because you can. What on earth have you got to complain about? You have it all”. Well that was the story I was writing and the script I was following. Those Mental Models were the reason I was unhappy. I couldn’t see past them. I couldn’t see a way to get off the roundabout and live a simpler life where my primary responsibility was me. A life where I was who I was born to be…and I had NO idea who that was.
The Winds of Change
Change was needed! Whether I had the courage and strength of character to make a change or not wasn’t going to stop change happening (Brad and Ben will back me on that). If I had the courage and knew how to make changes I could have written that chapter. Instead I had to live it by default, with no control, which cost me dearly. The outcome has been great and is getting better but the carnage in terms of terminated relationships and hurt I caused in the name of “protecting” and or “helping”everyone was devastating. Some of these relationships I have back (listed above), some I have replaced (remarried) other are broken and I have no way of putting right the damage I have done.
If this is your story, if you are heading down the rabbit hole with Brad, Ben and I accompanied by a cast of thousands STOP! You don’t have to, there is a better way! You can make the changes, you can get the help and understanding you need and you can get it right now. This is what Andreia’s Living Consciously is all about. Learning how by controlling your mental models you can create a change in your life and be in control of the outcomes. You don’t need to hide, you are not bad just sad. If you want to know more about my journey or how to change yours click on the link below and start living your life your way.
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