Have you ever thought about how your body responds when you’re doing something you’d rather not do? When you say “yes” to something you wish you had said “no” to?
When you find the courage to say “no” to something or someone, do you feel guilt or shame if the other person responds to your “no” in an unkind way – when they don’t respect or honor your “no?”
Or, do you say “yes” because you’re a people-pleaser? Do you want to see everyone around you happy and don’t want to be the reason someone is angry, upset, or disappointed in you? Even if that means you are going against the grain of what your heart (and energetic body) wants you to do?
On the flip side of all of this, have you thought about what you feel when someone tells you “no? Are you honoring and respecting the “no’s” given to you?
Whether you are asked to change seats on a flight, take on more responsibilities at work, or join a committee, if it’s not feeling like a “heck yes,” there are two ways to approach your response that will serve you.
Make a “yes” okay with you.
Say “no,” which is a complete sentence. Period.
I have taken the first approach many times. I have said “yes” to things with good intentions and because I really wanted to, but then found out the “yes” wasn’t what I thought it would be. Have you found yourself in that situation? You feel like something will be no big deal, and then you realize the experience becomes quite the opposite. You do still have choices in that scenario. You can either find a way out of the situation and respectfully bow out or change how you feel about it. You may have to do some internal digging, but it is possible to make an unpleasant experience pleasant simply by shifting your perspective (making the “yes” okay with you).
I feel like I’ve become a master at that one. Most of my life has felt like test after test for learning how to shift my perspective (and energy) around how I feel about certain things. You may recognize these people (like me) when they say: “Well, at least…XXX.” I have always tried to think about a scenario or someone else who “has it worse” than I do. Especially in my younger years, I was also trying to minimize my own experience, which is also a common thing many grievers will do.
What does all of this have to do with grief?
What Happens When You’re Out of Alignment
Grief is sneaky in this way. It’s like a spider finding a crevice and creating this masterful web that seems to attract, not lunch, but rather scenarios that will continue to test and challenge you. It just seems to take us so damn long to get the memo. Meanwhile, all of these scenarios and experiences stack up. And, if you’re not committing to experiences or people that are in alignment with the energy you want to be in, then it’s easy to see how this kind of grief, of not honoring yourself, is self-inflicted.
What you may begin to experience, then, are anxiety attacks (or ever-present low-level anxiety), headaches, canker/cold sores, bowel issues, rashes, frequent colds/viral infections, body aches/pains, unexplained fatigue, adrenal fatigue, feelings of burnout, etc.
When this self-inflicted grief goes on long enough, you will eventually find yourself feeling like a victim – to life and, if it goes on long enough – your body. And, all because you are not honoring your needs and desires – of what would feel to be in alignment with who you are and who you desire to be.
More than two years ago, I would not have recognized the signs and signals my body would give me. I would not be aware of my energetic body response, and I definitely wouldn’t have paused long enough to tune into either of these things. Today, however, it’s a very different story.
Our body is always speaking to us. We only need to tune out and tune our antenna inward to know what we need to do. Then, follow that inner wisdom with action that aligns with our heart, mind, and spirit.
The day you can do this is the day that grief’s grip starts to loosen.
Love +light to you today. Thank you for reading. If this message speaks to you today, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Reach out to me on Instagram / FB or email me at victoria@theunleashedheart [dot] com 💛
P.S. I recently launched a FREE Energy Type Quiz! If you want to dive deeper into understanding your energy type and learn some tips, too, click HERE to get started! There’s a free guide to download as well!
As a helper, boundaries for yourself and others are important to prevent burnout. Without boundaries, knowing when to say “no,” or recognizing when enough is enough, you may find yourself filled with resentment, anger, bitterness, self-criticism, maybe even self-loathing if you are your own worst critic. You may find yourself saying things to yourself that you would never speak out loud to another person. Helpers are often the ones who put on an “I’ve got this” face and yet, on the inside, are crumbling under pressure.
Caregivers/Caretakers are especially prone to burnout. Becoming the one who everyone relies on and goes to for physical, emotional, or financial support can fill the heart with so much joy and purpose, or it can fill the helping heart with dread and the soul with angst.
One recommendation I have for preventing burnout as a helper is to evaluate your beliefs about helping. When I talk about helpers, I want to clarify that I refer to those whose natural inclination is to help, almost like a compulsion. Natural helpers can’t help but help. I’m not referring to those who help because they feel pressured to do so or are motivated to help because they gain something in return. I think there’s a difference, which is why it’s important to make the distinction.
Anyway, in your childhood, what leads you to believe that helping beyond your physical, emotional, or financial means is how you get your worth?
Were you raised to believe that only those who help to the point of self-sacrifice are rewarded?
Do you believe that, as a helper, only you can do what needs to be done? Were you put in roles where you frequently had to step up and take the reigns because, if you didn’t, the project, experience, job, the family would fall apart?
How much of this belief are you and you alone putting on your shoulders?
Are these high expectations you have for yourself or others have for you?
Imagine the grief you may be causing yourself not addressing this or allowing yourself to observe how you respond to others when you feel called to help! Others are not responsible for your self-sacrificing ways. The bitterness or resentment you feel is due to a lack of boundaries, self-care, and self-worth.
I have been on the receiving end of helper-burnout. As a Reiki practitioner, grief specialist, and end-of-life doula, it is up to me to maintain boundaries as a means to protect or regain my physical and emotional energy.
Addressing the Conflicting Feelings
If you address your physical and emotional needs as a helper, you will no longer have conflicting feelings about being a helper. Those feelings are an indicator that something is off, not working, or needs to change.
How to address these conflicting feelings goes back to creating and maintaining boundaries. But, if you’re not being an observer of what is happening emotionally when you find yourself in challenging situations, you won’t know where boundaries are needed.
Start with what pisses you off. What is happening when you find yourself wound up with emotion, maybe even fired up (not in a good way)?
What is it about the situation that fills you with anger?
When, in your childhood, did you find yourself needing to be responsible for helping others to feel better (physically or emotionally)?
How have you put yourself second to the needs of others?
In what ways could you balance out the desire to help and meet your own needs?
As a child, I had a lot of responsibility. It wasn’t something I chose, it was just how things were and the cards I was dealt. No experience is wasted; therefore, I can appreciate the lessons I gained during those years. However, those years also shaped my beliefs about what it looks like to be a helper, and it was at the expense of my own heart and in conflict with what my soul wanted.
We can even do this to the extent of choosing a profession that our parents wanted. I have come across this in my work with others. People go into a profession that isn’t at all aligned with their heart and soul simply to make their parents happy or proud. When really, either it’s a projection of the parents and their unmet hopes, dreams, and expectations they had for themselves, or it’s an inner-wound that leads the person to believe that, again, their self-worth comes from the approval of others.
When we put our desire for freedom, which includes emotional freedom, on the backburner, we put ourselves in shackles to the needs and desires of others. We learn that personal needs come last, lose our voice in speaking up for ourselves, and learn that our self-worth hinges on the approval of others (how much we helped them). This approval-seeking, therefore, becomes a learned behavior.
The conflicting feelings you feel right now about being a helper is grief, my friend. It’s the loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations you had for yourself, your relationship with others, and your life. It’s wishing things would be, could be, or would’ve or could’ve been – different, better, or more.
Are you feeling conflicted about your strong desire to help and yet meet your needs?
Would you like me to dig more into the energetics of this? Well, you’re in luck! Today I launched a quizthat will help you learn your energy type! From it, you will learn what energizes and drains your energy, blind spots of your energy type, and what to do to turn things around or maintain (if you’re not feeling energetically challenged).
CLICK HERETO LEARN YOUR ENERGY TYPE TODAY IN UNDER 2 MINUTES!
UPLEVEL YOUR HELPER ENERGY; YOUR HEART WILL THANK YOU!
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