Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Compassion and Self Care                


We want to protect our loved ones from hurt. If a dear one has borne a loss, we would love to “be there for them.” In some circumstances we can become overwhelmed with the effort to meet our own standard of kindness we set. As we feel exhaustion, we are tempted to become resentful. How do we stay empowered? Read on for an example of what to do…

Tatiana’s Story

Red Ease, 9 x 12, SOLD

Tatiana had a special birthday coming. This year she created quite a schedule of plans to celebrate. She had grown children and decided she would like them to visit, both together. Her plan calls for this visit to precede her party—the kids would miss that, because she wanted to devote all her attention to them and not party details during their stay.

Then she went off on a short plane ride trip to commemorate another’s special day. Off she flew with her husband to participate in a young person’s party.

When Tat returned, she dove into the details of her party. That required a lot of her focus. While juggling those balls, her sister wanted her assistance in planning a family holiday, a separate event from the other birthday related festivities. Did she want this or that? Could she make this date and time, cook and bring certain dishes, etc?

Oh dear T was exhausted and considering this stuff felt a strain. Tatiana started to feel victimized by this sister. Her resentment started to rise.

Wait! Our star wanted to support her sister when she could but the sister was giving no regard to what T was busy with, her guests, and now her party. Wow said T to herself, “I feel out of brainpower to handle all of this.”

She called for help.  Her wise friend offered this:

“Tat, in this situation you can ask your sister for special dispensation. I recommend speaking directly to your sister and describing your dilemma. Possibly you could say, ‘Please give me a few days until my party is complete. After that I can offer some input to what you want to plan. Any plans requiring decisions prior to that she is authorized to make without my input.’

You feel compassion for her. You love her. And you will support her again. But right now, your self-care requires that you set limits so you can care for yourself and your arrangements.”

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yet in a state of overwork, stress and emotional confusion we can allow negative feelings to project out onto others.

Let’s stay empowered. We can be kind both to ourselves and others around us by stating where we are and what we need, by setting some limits. In this story T was considerate of her own state and assumed the best in her sister too, i.e. that she would understand and support her once it was made clear.

In another few days, Tatiana felt radiant after a very successful party. T hardly remembered the brief dip into overwhelm. She and her sister were doing fine.

Do you have stories on this theme too? Please comment and inspire us!

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