Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting sidetracked

So many women tell me that it's difficult to follow their dreams and pursue their goals because they have so many others in their life who need their help and attention. One woman has an adult child with depression who requires a lot of attention. "This doesn't feel like the empty nest I thought I'd have," she says. "I don't feel I can pursue things I want to do."

Another woman has family members who constantly come to her with their problems, and she feels so responsible to help. "I can't just ignore their pain," she says. "But I do have some needs and wants of my own, too."

Yet another woman spends a lot of her time, when she's not at her full-time job, checking on her elderly parents and helping out. "I might not have them around much longer," she says. "I need to do everything I can now." Of course.

Carrying others' burdens
Do you resonate with any of these women? Women are often the caregivers, the ones responsible for the well-being of families and communities. It's easy to get sidetracked and carry the burdens of others, even when you're not asked to do so.

And it's easy to become resentful and wonder, "When is it my time?"

Some situations simply do need your attention and time. Can you carve out some time for yourself even when you're in the midst of a demanding situation? Are you able to at least start creating your dream?

And if you're choosing to tend to others but don't necessarily have to do so, can you change what you're doing? A spiritual director once told me to carry my loved ones in my heart—but not carry all their problems on my back. If that's a choice you can make, I encourage you to do so. 

See if you can find a way to move toward your dreams. Even one or two steps can bring you hope. When the time is right, you'll be ready to pursue them full-time.

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