A friend of mine, Kevin Donohue, posted something rather personal over the weekend that I thought was very interesting. Kevin talked about what life has been like since his heart attack, and while it’s been necessary, it’s not a great way to life long term.
Since that day in April, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time listening to my own body and my own emotions. To continue the bad metaphorsâ€¦ I’ve been living alone in a cave, with every anxiety magnified by echoes like drips of water. I’ve been so fixated on myself, that I stopped paying attention to anyone else.
I found it an interesting parallel to what I was recently talking about in terms of reaching a point where you spend less time looking at the past, and more looking toward the future. Anyone who has started the on the path to healing from child abuse knows that, at first, there’s a whole lot of looking inward. That’s necessary, and good for the long term. Eventually, however, you do have to find a certain happy medium. Like Kevin’s physical health, you have to pay some attention to what is going on inside ourselves. We have to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us, what our emotions are telling us, etc. That is a big part of taking care of ourselves, something we all need to do.
On the other hand, it’s really easy to stop there and never get past that. Kevin sees that now, how being completely focused on your self goes a bit beyond taking care of yourself. It can be quite the hindrance to existing relationships, let alone helping grow new ones.
The key is balance. You guys know I would never advise not taking care of ourselves, and paying attention to the things we need to pay attention to. We absolutely should, but not to the detriment of the people around us. Having healthy, good, relationships is an important part of being healthy too, we should be paying plenty of attention there too!
Good luck Kevin, with finding your balance!