There’s a saying: Set limits on those who take from you, because they are unable to set limits for themselves.
How many times have you seen it happen? Someone you know, or care for greatly, gives and gives and gives of themselves for the benefit of another, or others, and they get little to nothing in return.
Maybe you’re the one who gives? You’re a shoulder to cry on, or an ear who listens, but when you need those moments from another person, there’s no one to be found.
Or, maybe you’re really good at helping others, and building them up. But you can’t figure out why you’re a mess inside. AND, it just NEVER crossed your mind to reach out for help because you have it in your mind that, for some reason, it’s wrong for YOU because you need to be strong. Yet the message you share with others is that reaching out for help is a sign of strength.
Well, if you ask me, it is pretty obvious why this happens to you and others like you. It’s because in your world, you’re list of priorities starts with everyone else’s happiness, and ends with your own happiness. In fact, it’s probably more accurate to say that your happiness isn’t even on your own list.
I describe what’s happening something like this:
Life is like being on a boat floating in a large body of water. When problems arise, the boats become weak, and need repairs. However in order to make those repairs, you’re going to need to take materials from other people in surrounding boats.
Some people call out easily, “Help, I’m sinking!”
Others might reply, “I have what you need! Come take from my boat!”
Sometimes, someone might recognize when another person is in trouble and say, “Hey,
you’re taking on water, let me help you fix that. I have what you need.”
Unfortunately, there are also people who call out for help, and don’t need it. They do it so often, too, that their boats might never sink.
Then there are people who give too much, and too often, despite the fact that they are moments from sinking themselves. They want to help so bad, but cannot see that they have made themselves vulnerable to the sea. And because of that, their lives are in jeopardy at the slightest breeze.
Being selfless is not a sin. No way! But our time and energy is valuable, so be careful where you spend it. Especially when it comes to helping others.
People come and people go, and only a precious few remain for long periods. It’s those few whom we should be lifting up and supporting because they are more than likely going to be the ones who prop you up when you need it most.
It can be difficult to shut people out, too. Especially if they’ve played a major role in your life story. But you should always be mindful of those who give too much, and those who take too much, and be ready to move in a different direction.
Helping others in need is what we are supposed to be doing as a people, and we should be doing that as often as possible. However, it’s important to remember that we are people, too.
Sometimes, you’re going to have to choose “you” first.