Healing for Helpers
Helping others can be healing, but we must do our own dedicated healing work before doing too much helping, otherwise we may cause harm to ourselves or those in our care. Think about it. Giving, helping, and volunteering all feel really good. We are often drawn to companies, organizations, or causes that solve a problem that we’ve experienced or that we are still going through. A lack of focus on our own healing can lead to things like burnout and other breakdowns in our wellbeing that may adversely impact those who have become accustomed to our consistency and commitment. Working as a youth development professional over the last twenty plus years has literally healed the inner child inside of me who needed quite a bit of extra time and care beyond the age of 18 when society says that we are adults. Whenever I wasn’t doing my own intentional healing work, I wasn’t giving those in my care the best of me. I first learned this powerful practice from the founder of S.A.F.E. The acronym stands for Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment and it is an organization with a mission to equip survivors of domestic violence with the appropriate financial tools and resources needed to enable women to leave or recover from the economic portion of domestic violence. She talked about how it was important to go and get the help and healing that you need before you try to go out and save others. I think this is an important consideration for all of us as we move forward from the most uncertain and traumatic two years that most of us have ever or will ever experience in our lifetimes. Here are a few strategies to support your healing as a helper. Grace Period. When it’s time to pay our bills, many companies give us a grace period beyond the actual due date. They also offer payment arrangements as needed. As you shift and settle into new or old ways of being, check your emotional meter. You may not be ready to move on the suggested or assigned timeline imposed upon you by leaders in your work or community. Consider the special grace or customized arrangements that will support your mental and physical health and safety needs. Help for the Helper. My favorite scene from one of the first Superman movies is when he catches Lois Lane in midair and she says, “You got me? Who got you?” This makes me think of all the leaders, teachers, parents, employers, and the like who have several people in their care. You are tasked with managing and supporting the wellbeing of others, but who is making sure that you are ok? Seeking professional help or the support of an intentionally curated group of peers who share a similar position can increase your capacity to care for yourself and others in a healthy way. Healing Time. Are you protecting and treating the places where you’ve been wounded, or are you picking the scab and allowing dirt to get in? Picking the scab may look like returning to practices or behaviors that trigger or reactivate your pain. This might be the news, social media, or spending too much time with people who are still stuck in a space that you’ve moved beyond. Assess what has you stressed and determine your unique needs. Just like wounds, you need different things at different times. Depending on the severity or timeline it may need cleaning, stitches, medicine, bandages, or air so it can breathe. Give your heart and mind the treatment it needs, based on the affliction. Ignoring or mistreating it will only lead to infection and other problems down the line. This week I invite you to truly and deeply reflect on the effects and impact that the events of the last two years have had on your health. Have you sought and sustained the healing that you’ve needed? Many of us leapt into immediate action to assist others and haven’t stopped since to see what we've needed for ourselves. Give yourself the gifts of grace, help, and the time that you need to heal. Manifestation Affirmations: I am investing in my healing so I can show up as my best self for myself and for others in my care. I am giving myself the gifts of grace, professional help, and the time I need to heal. I am designing a customized timeline and plan for engagement with the world as we know it now, that meets my unique emotional and physical safety needs.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide