Passionate Self Care V – MYOB
I am with Bill on a business trip to Southern California, spending the day working in the hotel while he attends a Board meeting. I didn’t want to be in the room all day so I’m sitting in the coffee shop working away (bonus: tea on demand!)
Anyhow, I am in search of the ladies room when I encounter a small group of people standing at the hostess stand waiting to be seated. The hostess is nowhere in sight. I overhear one say, “We’ll just seat ourselves.” I hesitate for a second and very nearly turn around to go in search of the hostess. Then I have to stop myself from offering them my advice on what they should do.
What is that? Why do I think I have to fix any problem I encounter, even when it has nothing to do with me?
Do you suffer from this? Could it be one of the reasons we are desperate to find ways to take better care of ourselves? It’s one thing to give of yourself to people you love or you’re paid to care for but if you think the whole world is your responsibility, life becomes exhausting.
A key to Passionate Self Care is (said gently) mind your own business. I want this to be a gentle admonition because I KNOW that you don’t do it to be a busy body or what we used to, as kids, call a “buttinski.” You likely do it because you are so service-oriented that you want to serve the world. But, when I examine my own motives, I notice that there’s a good deal of ego in there. I have to admit that there’s a part of me that secretly believes I know best and that, if everyone just followed my good advice their lives would work much better.
Sometimes, when I indulge my buttinski people seem stunned, as well they should.
This happens when they don’t even know me and I suddenly insert myself into their lives by offering some unsolicited solution. The most useful pearl of wisdom I ever heard about this came from my friend Esther Hicks who says, “An answer to a question no one asked is a wasted answer.” It’s wasted because whomever you’re advising is not listening. Mostly they wish you’d just stop talking and let them get back to solving their own problem.
Imagine; just imagine how much extra time you’d have to take care of yourself if you simply minded your own business. And I don’t mean only with strangers. If you’re like me, you’re spending way too much time solving the problems of your mate, your children, and your second cousin’s stepson’s daughter. We have a tendency to think we should insert ourselves into our family’s problems but take it from me they don’t like it any more than strangers do. They only put up with it because it’s easier than fighting. They say, “OK,” or “Yes, dear,” hoping you’ll just stop.
You might protest, “But what if they do it wrong?” They will! So what? I’m guessing that the most powerful lessons you’ve ever learned came from painful mistakes. Why deprive them of this same learning?
If that’s not enough to inspire you to MYOB let me add one last insight. I try REALLY hard not to answer the question when my kids ask, “What should I do?” Because if they follow my advice and it doesn’t work, who do you think they’ll blame? Instead I try to remember to say, “You’ll figure it out, honey.” I’m there to help if they fall but preventing the fall? Once they’re past childhood, that’s not my job.
MYOB—try it. Your friends and family will send prayers of thanks to the heavens and you’ll have more time for you.