You Are Not My Responsibility
It happens to the best of us.
Nurses, healers, social entrepreneurs, coaches, therapists, moms.
We try and take on the world’s problems. We try and take on the world’s pain since we are strong enough to handle it. But then we just burn out and help no one.
Something like that happened to me over the past two months. After announcing The Conference Of Men I felt this huge weight on my shoulders. The weight of the men who need the work and the weight of the women who wished more men did the work.
Every story of a woman who’s leaving her husband because he won’t open up to her emotionally.
Every story of a man who’s terrified of jumping into the dating pool because he never done so and now he’s worried that he’s too old.
Every story of a woman who’s been physically or sexually abused.
Every story of a man who doesn’t know how to feel his emotions.
Every story of a woman who’s tried everything to be more attracted to her partner, but to no avail.
Every story of a man who has difficulties in the bedroom.
And as I travel the world hosting events, meeting readers, and writing unapologetically about my life, the stories just keep rolling in. And for the past two months, the weight I’ve been carrying has just been getting heavier and heavier.
I had a session today with Laura Hames Franklin and this theme kept coming up in every exercise we did together.
It’s something I coach my clients on all the time, but for some reason I wasn’t following my own advice. My goal is always to leave every person I meet better than I found them. And I have been, to the detriment of myself.
Conceptually, I get it. I’m only one person with 168 hours a week, just like the rest of us. I can’t say Yes to every request on my time and I can’t help everyone who I encounter in my life.
But from a spiritual perspective, I struggle with this idea. I struggle a LOT.
If I have the ability to help someone with just a quick phone call or an hour of my time, why wouldn’t I?
If someone takes 45 minutes to pour their heart out and tell their life story in an email to me, then why wouldn’t I write back a similar response?
And who the hell am I to say, “No, I just don’t have the time to be your friend.”
When I first started getting started in the internet entrepreneurship space I used to judge some of the “internet rockstars” who made themselves inaccessible and only hung out with each other. I thought they were selfish and rude. I thought they were opportunists. I thought they felt that they were too good to hang out with the rest of us.
But now I just see they were conserving their energy to do the work that matters. And who the hell was I to judge them for how they run their lives and their businesses?
So today I’m getting back to what has always been a huge part of my life, up until two months ago: Radical Self Care and Self Love.
And in the effort to be crystal clear and to give you permission to do the same, I’d like to formally declare:
You Are Not My Responsibility
Just as a parent’s number one job is to make her children independent, our job as coaches, healers, authors, or speakers is to help others find their way. Not pick them up and carry them on our backs.
The only person who is responsible for my happiness is myself. The only person that is responsible for my success is myself. And the only person that is responsible for taking care of my mind, body and spirit is myself.
So I’m getting back to the basics.
A lot more movement. A lot more exercise. A lot more sleep. A lot more water. And a lot more fun.
On the exterior, not a whole lot will change. I won’t look different, I won’t walk differently, and I won’t wear a sign that says, “Sorry dude, I can’t help you.”
But deep down inside, where it counts most, I’ll operate from a place of self love, self care, and deep connection to self. And from that grounded, centered place the little decisions will start to make themselves.
Which will ultimately involve me saying No a lot more. Which breaks my heart, but it’s just what I have to do in this moment to continue to show up as my best self.
Because at the end of the day what good am I to the world if I’ve given all of my time and energy away and left nothing for myself?
And more importantly, what good are you to the world if you do the same?