When I was younger, I wanted to save the planet. Now, I want to save the people.
But my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so to speak, and I need to remember that I can both only do so much AND what I am able to do is not only enough, but abundantly helpful and a direct manifestation of my highest calling.
I realized just this morning, that I have not only been over-extending my heartspace but also putting certain expectations on doing so. And it doesn’t feel good.
A little thing I tend to do is forget that there is only so much time in the day, only so much heart-full energy I can extend, before the day is over and/or before I find myself weary and forlorn. I’m certain that one of my superhero names could be the Reacher-Outer. It’s one of the things I do well. When loved ones or sangha members are struggling, I reach out. I check in, extend offerings of support, and send love. If I haven’t seen or heard from a friend in a little while, I reach out. I check in, say hello, and ask what’s shaking. I send emails, texts, Facebook messages, postcards, and letters. It’s what I do.
As I grow older and interact with more people, I’ve come to understand that most people are either not skilled in this department or are simply un-interested in developing this quality of character. Most of the time, I happily and gratefully fill this role. Then there are times – like now – when I find myself getting burnt out with it. When I reach out to folks, I’ll often hear back from them one way or another, but seldom do people reach out first. And it grows taxing to be that person on a regular ongoing basis, especially when I have a rather large network of those I hold dear. As a spiritual leader and sangha director, the number of those I care about continues to grow as well, as more people come to sit with us and engage with the community. So I find myself in a quandary: How do I continue letting people into my heartspace without depleting my inner resources? How do I keep reaching out, knowing not many are able to return the gesture?
Part of the answer I think is stated in the meme above, that I came across on twitter earlier today: Do small things with great love. (P.S And keep doing them.)
The other parts of the answer that I remind myself often about are as follows: Continue taking good care of yourself; Pull back when you need to; It’s okay to say no; Have confidence in your practice; Be diligent in sticking with the things you know are helpful for you; Keep the practice of joy as a top priority; Letting go is an ongoing and ever-unfolding art; Stay in touch with your priorities and don’t make compromises or excuses when it comes to manifesting them; You can only do so much, you can’t save people, you can only support and love them as best as you’re able.
My notes to self are rather extensive on this subject at hand. Sometimes, they’re all that keep me afloat.
It’s good to be BFF’s with one self. It can really come in handy during those lagging moments when our energy wanes.
My morning post on my writer’s Facebook page:
Why I meditate everyday:
It’s cuz love.
I meditate to restock it, replenish it,
reinvent it, recirculate it, and re-approach it.
Without its graces,
my powers of love would become null and void of merit and sense,
absent of the energy needed to propel it near and far.