“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” ~common wisdom
Our big helping hearts can be a juicy invitation to those who have got a touch of the Gollum greed running through them. I’m not mad about it…I just know that my own knowledge and clarity are essential to avoid getting suckered. Under the usual circumstances, no one can make me part with my money, or my trust, without my consent. It’s essential for me to be clear on my own values around financial wellness, so I can then know my honest yes or no when I get offers.
We fall in business-love sometimes. Maybe it’s a client who “needs” a sliding scale rate, who reminds us of a younger sibling. Maybe it’s a new teacher whose fire and message we MUST have at any cost…it’s our destiny! Those are wonderful feelings. I enjoy falling in business love. I just want to combine the dreaminess and excitement with what the experience will actually cost me. Excitement of getting involved can take the most root when my eyes are open to all aspects of the situation.
I have seen so many helper-types repeat the cycle of: a) get kinda burned out from helping so much, b) something comes along that will hold time and space for healing, c) MUST HAVE IT NOW, d) oops, I overspent (energy and/or money), and now I need to go back to working my buns off to pay for it. Repeat.
I have grown to enjoy self-care very much, after some miserable years of trying to prove I didn’t need it. AND my dollars last the longest when I’m making conscious choices about how much money to spend on self-care. I have no idea what someone’s soul actually needs on their healing path. I can, however, get a more tangible idea of whether the rate of purchased self-care is sustainable based on looking at someone’s numbers. This can be tricky at times…yes, we put a lot of energy in to helping others, and/or being a sensitive, open person in a world that doesn’t always know how to treat us well. I get that. It can be SO tempting to return to a healing modality over and over again and try to not worry what it costs. Sometimes that’s essential, and we just find a way to afford it. Other times, though, if what I want is a sense of safety, or some peace and quiet, there are generally ways I can create those experiences without needing someone else to create it professionally. It helps me a lot to have a self-care spending plan line item. I don’t have to know exactly what I’ll do that month, but it helps me with pacing and planning to know the number of dollars I plan to put towards it. Then I can decide do I want one bigger splurge experience, or to put the same amount of money towards a series of smaller experiences?
While I don’t advocate language such as, “I can’t afford that”, it can be extremely helpful when vetting invitations or making social or business plans to know whether your spending plan can support paying for it. When we offer support to others in a significant and ongoing way, our energy is the most precious resource. Sometimes it helps me so much to stay in balance, by letting the numbers inform the decision. If I’m going to spend out of balance, I’m usually headed towards getting energetically out of balance, as well. Many of us live in a culture that supports, “buy now, pay more later” type of decisions. We get to consciously choose to step out of that. I don’t have to defend or rationalize invitations I decline; sometimes even just knowing within myself that it’s not the best fit for me, helps me find the clearest and most peaceful answer.
Find your go-to sources of support. Here are some of my favorites, for when the world has gotten to be too much on a given day. My emo side just needs some good company on a regular basis. THEN I can go back to adulting!