One day, I discovered Esther Hicks, who is an inspirational speaker and author. In the beginning it was difficult to understand what she meant but over time, I did and it made all the difference, like a weight lifting off of my shoulder.
I was very good at fixing problems. Those at work and those of other people. I even turned it into a full-time job. But Esther Hicks told me that this is the best way to be unhappy and undermine the other persons capability to find their own way. We often feel responsible or want the other person to feel better. We offer solutions and advise. We even take on their emotions. That’s what neuroscience teaches us about empathy. It activates the part in the brain where we emulate someone else’s feeling. When we see someone begging, we feel ashamed at their situation, and either feel compelled to look away, or give something.
We cannot be responsible for making someone else happy says Will Smith in an interview when asked about his marriage. This new way of thinking, he says, completely transformed his relationship and made it much happier. If we are responsible for making our own cup full every day, we cant blame someone else for how we feel. We get to know ourselves more and understand when we need a break and take it easy. We then show up more fulfilled and balanced.
Imagine if you walk along the beach and you see someone drowning. You have only two options. Either rescue the person yourself if you are trained or call someone. The same goes for helping people. If you are drowning yourself, you cannot help anyone else. That’s where we need to ensure our cup is always full. That’s our single most important responsibility. This is not your partners, spouse, friends or your boss. When you have worked hard and need a break, plan an easy Saturday with things that you like. I have my daily morning routine where I go for a walk with the dogs. I know I need exercise and being out in nature to feel good. What are your routines that make you feel good?