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As women, we oftentimes feel the need to be the caretaker. No matter how old our children get, we always want to save them from the struggles they’re facing. And that could also go for our siblings, friends or even our parents. The car breaks down? We’ll fix it. Bad day on the job? Cancel that massage and give a listening ear. Behind on your mortgage? Grab the checkbook.

One loan leads to another. The cancelled personal plans add up. Then rearranging your schedule becomes commonplace. Next thing you know, you are literally carrying people. You want your loved ones to thrive, so you do what you can to put them in the best position to succeed in their lives. But one day, you look up and realize that giving so much of yourself to them has been detrimental to you.

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe all that energy you’ve put into saving others has depleted the energy you have for yourself?

Instead of writing that check or canceling those plans, it’s time to hold up the mirror. Not even just to yourself, but to those who you are carrying. Neglecting your dreams and desires doesn’t serve your best interest or theirs.

You know what you want in life. You’ve tuned into yourself and defined your ideal life. Though I think balance is more myth than truth, I do believe that we can have harmony in all areas of our lives. And that includes the time you spend giving of yourself to others. Just don’t give so much that you have nothing left in your tank for yourself.

Action step

Stop abandoning yourself. Reconnect with your dreams and desires. Take time to get rid of unnecessary distractions and begin to boil down to what you really want for your life. If that means saying no to that “loan” your brother needs for his mortgage, than you must do that. You aren’t a well of never ending time, energy or money. And guess what? That’s not a flaw! None of us can be everything to everyone else and still have peace within ourselves.

So you know what? Stop carrying people. Hold the mirror up to those that hold you back from your life’s purpose. This may be a painful process, but few of life’s greatest blessings were made to come easy. Once you’ve recharged, let go of the all the weight you’re carrying and rediscover the time and energy you need to be your best you, you’ll find that you will be better for everyone around you. Especially yourself.

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