Charlotte A. Tomaino
Doing Violence to Oneself: The Path of Illness and Imbalance
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form . . . of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. . . . It destroys the fullness of [one’s own] work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes the work fruitful.
Where are you ready to disengage from a way of living that is not giving you “the root of inner wisdom which makes the work fruitful” for you?
When you stop and take inventory it helps you adjust your course to an even better path. It also allows for the deep inner satisfaction and sense of KNOWING that resonates with feeling you are fulfilling your purpose. That is the physical state that contains both the energy and chemistry your body needs to be healthy and your brain needs to move forward effectively.
But we came up in the ’60s and made a first major commitment as a missionary (how extreme can you get?). The baby boomers remain a force to be reckoned with. Those were high expectations. That includes a strong work ethic and high standards, deep faith in doing the seemingly impossible and inspired action to actually achieve it. With age our bodies require we take a gentler approach and wisdom acquired over the years allows us to continue to be effective, but do it differently.
Where are you ready to disengage from old standards, habits and behaviors that no longer serve you? What are the shoulds, coulds and woulds that can overload you or limit your satisfaction. How can you be at peace with demands, responsibilities, number of hours / day and a pace that is actually good for you now?
Can you find balance in the caretaking responsibilities that you want to do for aging family and friends and disengage from the excess that robs you of ‘the root of inner wisdom’ that makes it fulfilling? Are you doing for others who can actually do for themselves and would grow and expand if they did?
Could your grown children do the work of family holidays or contribute more substantially to family events? Could aging parents, partners, siblings do more for themselves and ‘use it instead of lose it’ with physical mobility and cognitive ability? Are there times when you could disengage from caretaking and it would benefit everyone?
It is excess in anything that depletes and drains.
But how do you know when you are in excess?
Your body’s wellness is a sure sign. Do you have adequate sleep,
exercise, play, reflection and fun?
There is an endless river of needs in the world.
No one is responsible for them all.
Which ones call you, inspire you and satisfy you?
What can you disengage from in number of hours or extent of responsibility and pass on to others who will thrive in the opportunity while you will thrive in the giving over?