My time and energy suffer in the hands of words such as “ should” and “must.” Both words are best used with caution. “ Should” and “must” tend to override the need for self care. Using these types of words too often can restrict my health. They lure me into taking on too many responsibilities, so I try to do too much. Then I end up running out of time and energy. Chronic, ingrained stress is detrimental to long-term health.
Excessive use of the words, “ should” and “must”:
- Push my personal boundaries too far
- Tempt me to compromise my values
- Ask me to avoid appropriate confrontation
- Suggest I deny or suppress the truth
- Appeal to my urge to control too much
- Charm me into being a perfectionist
- Render me a pushover
- Set me up for disappointment, betrayal or rejection
- Reduce my motivation and willpower
- Overwhelm common sense
- Obscure my intuition
- Suppress healthy survival instincts
Common sense suggests that if I barely have the time or energy to take care of me, then I won’t have enough time and energy to take care of others. And vice versa. There are many willing to take advantage of those who put themselves last all the time. When I allow others to take advantage of my generosity too often, I have to remind myself that I’m training them to behave this way. I’m teaching them how to treat me. I need to be aware in case I’m playing the lead role in my loss of time and energy.
Some are led to wonder why they don’t, or can’t, or won’t heal some illnesses. If we get sick when we don’t have enough energy, we’re not going to have enough energy to heal. We will also be short of time. Sometimes we run out of time to heal.
Some people appear to be too good to be true. If we constantly take advantage of the good nature of others, then we may also be playing a role in their loss of time and energy. Unless there is a fair and equal exchange of time and energy between both parties, then we are taking up their time. We are taking their energy. We are taking their power, but we don’t get to keep it.
Draining others of their time and energy does not mean you gain from the process. You might get an initial boost from it, but the low that follows will be lower each time. The time and energy you’ve stolen from others does not belong to you. The time and energy you’ve tried to pocket sits waiting for your prey to retrieve it. Their power awaits them, not you.
When your time is up, your energy goes with it. Too often, too many good-natured people die before their time. They don’t know how to say yes to themselves, and no to others, more often. Don’t be one of them.