Jumping to Other’s Conclusions
I am terrible at dealing with my own pain. Emotional, physical, spiritual—my default reaction is to avoid it. The opposite is true when it comes to other people. I’ll take them on all day! Listen to their stories, help them through trouble, give them someone to lean on in the doubts and worry.
That might sound nice on the surface but it has a natural consequence I rarely see coming: I neglect my own welfare and passions to help someone else with theirs. I lose myself and what I want to do. I’m trying to figure out how to balance these things.
And about seven months ago, I was forced to find that balance.
I suffered a neck and shoulder injury that put me on the couch, unable to do even simple things for myself like pour a glass of water. In fact, I’m still going to physical therapy and trying to gain back my strength and endurance. Because what happened was, after the initial injury, my neck muscles all started doing “jobs” they aren’t equipped to do. Stabilizing muscles tried to be my big moving muscles; mover muscles turned off; smaller throat muscles tried to stabilize.
Those seemingly small changes caused eruptions of pain and immobility that have lasted so long. And I’ve spent all my physical therapy time re-training my muscles to do their proper jobs and be in their correct positions. It’s been a visceral reminder of the lesson I’m always learning:
Do what you’re passionate about instead of taking on the passions of others.
This has translated into writing by keeping writing time sacred. I don’t let it get interrupted. It’s shown up in setting boundaries (and sticking to them!) with people, even those I’m closest to. And it’s helped me prioritize the things that really matter like family time, rest, creativity/brainstorming, and friends. I also appreciate who I am and what I’m meant to do so much more.
I’ve come to the conclusion that pain and passion both have to be faced head-on. We are all made to do great things and I hope we each give ourselves the chance to be excited about our callings instead of getting in the middle of someone else’s.