LizBeth, a client of mine, stood at the proverbial edge of a pond with all sorts of rocks in her hands. She was a caretaker. That was her role in life. She desperately cared for those in her life in hopes that it would make her feel better. She didn’t know it was to make herself feel better, but that was the reality. She came to me for readings a lot. She would sit in my chair and say things like, “I don’t understand why my life is such a mess. All I do is care for everyone. I have so much love to give. I have sacrificed so much in my life in order to make sure everyone around me has what they need. Why is my life a mess?”
LizBeth rarely wanted information about her own life. She asked questions on behalf of her children, her husband, his parents, her parents, and so on. She would only complain about her life in the last 3-4 minutes of each session. Then, she would end the complaint in the same way every time, “Don’t listen to me. I’m just being silly.” She would sigh and say, “I guess this is just my path. I never thought I’d end up taking care of everyone, but I guess this is God’s plan for me.”
One day, I couldn’t take it anymore. The second she sat down, I didn’t wait for complaints about her life. She was paying me for intuitive advice, and God was calling me to get very real with her story. I began our session asking, “Do you really think this is God’s plan for your life?”
She hadn’t even put her purse down. “What? What do you mean?”
“LizBeth, do you really feel this is God’s plan for you? Taking care of everyone first and putting yourself last?”
She sat motionless. I know for you and me, not being in her story, this question may not sound all that profound. But for her, it was exactly what she needed to have asked, out loud and bluntly, for her to begin to make a shift.
I sat with her silence allowing the process. Holding sacred space is sometimes one of the most important things we can do for another human. Being comfortable in that moment where nothing is being said and just allowing a person to think, feel, and digest.
Finally, after a long pause, LizBeth started to cry. She placed her purse on the floor next to her feet and buried her face in her hands. She cried a little harder and rested her hands and head in her lap. I rose from my chair and placed my hand on her back, again, being sure to only hold space for the process.
LizBeth had been seeing me long enough to get it. She knew her story no longer served her. Her manifestation was fatigue, resentment, and longing because she marinated herself in the story that she had “too much love to give.” First, there is no such thing. Second, her idea of love was complete sacrifice. Third, in that moment she realized that her victim shadow was completely darkening her light.
It’s important to understand that sometimes a breakthrough is immediate and other times it takes place over the course of a few weeks or months. LizBeth was experiencing a long overdue breakthrough. She convinced herself that her husband would never understand if she stopped caregiving for her parents and his parents. Her made-up story was that they would all hate her for placing them in someone else’s care. She also felt extremely selfish for even wanting to stop caring for them, yet, she knew that caring for them was hurting her own mental, spiritual, and physical health.
LizBeth went home and threw her first stone. She told her husband they either needed to hire help or place the three parents that could no longer feed themselves in assisted care. Yes, you read that correctly. LizBeth was traveling between three different houses many times a day to care for his and her parents with zero help from anyone. LizBeth was no spring chicken herself, but still young enough to enjoy her life.
When I received a text from her later that evening, my heart sank. Her husband reacted in anger and told her to either care for them as she committed to do or accept a divorce from him. I’m not making this up. The first reaction from a healthy person is, “Screw him! Get a divorce! Good riddance!” Be mindful, though. LizBeth’s story was, “I am a caregiver first, and I come last.”
In her text, she sent something that made my stomach hurt, “I guess this is God’s plan for my life. I can’t possibly get a divorce at my age. How in the world will I start over and survive?” My response was, “I need to meditate on this. I will text you in the morning.”
I didn’t sleep that night. All I could think about was water rippling. It was summer, and I lived within a few hundred yards of a pond at the time, so I leashed up my black Labrador, Bailey, and headed to the water. I began tossing pebbles into the black pond. The moon was full, and a lamp also lit the water. I watched as each ripple would reach the shore. I noticed how the ripple moved in every direction. North. South. East. West.
This is life. Our ripples will sometimes go into our past. We will trigger others, usually unknowingly, into a place in their past, causing them to react in ways that can’t be known to us. Our ripples move into the future. Our ripples move east and west meaning that even our present moments are immediately affected by our decisions. As I threw each pebble, I thought about my own life. It was in turmoil at the time. My relationship with Jonathon was on the brink of insanity. I wasn’t being heard. I didn’t feel supported. I wasn’t hearing Jonathon, either. I certainly wasn’t supporting him.
I knelt on the shore and bowed my head. “God/Goddess, and all of the love in the Universe that is available to me right now, please help me to help LizBeth and Jonathon.”
The very next things I heard surprised me. I was instructed to let Jonathon go. The guidance for LizBeth was also very deliberate. She was being emotionally abused and it was time to help her. I have resources in battered women’s shelters and family law attorneys. God was urging me to help her immediately. Time was of the essence.
The next day, I threw my own pebbles. I ended my relationship with Jonathon abruptly. I helped LizBeth in ways I didn’t even know were possible. The tears come as I type this. Lives change when we become aware of our circumstances and our response ability.
The lesson is this: be mindful of each decision you make, especially when there is a vast amount of emotion attached to it. When you cannot gain clarity, seek guidance to help you along your path.
Always be ready, willing, and able to ask for the help you need. You are not meant to suffer in silence.
Suffering simply means an active awareness of our pain while in the process of tolerating it. What are you tolerating that is causing you to suffer?
Here is something else I’d like for you to ponder while we are on this subject. Do you expect the people around you to read your mind? Do you attempt to read their minds? Are you refusing to have real conversations where you are addressing your own needs?
You are always in control of your life. If you live in the mentality that your “situation” has you stuck, you are living as a reactive victim. Please know that you are SO powerful! And, if by some chance you are feeling powerless now, I want you to walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and ask yourself this question, “Am I living the life I want to live?” If the answer is a resounding, “NO!” or even a faint whisper, please get on your knees and ask, “God/Goddess, what is my next step?” Whatever you hear, do it! Listening is only half of the answer. Action is necessary, too.
There is nothing wrong with YOU. You are magical. What is wrong might be the way you are living.
You get to decide.
Find yourself some quiet time. Contemplate the things that have been happening in your life. Does your current situation make you feel stuck? Now, ask yourself, AM I LIVING THE LIFE I WANT TO LIVE?