A candle consumes itself to give light to others and it ends there. But, the powerful question is: Do you want to be just like the candle that dims itself after lighting for a short period or do you want to be like the sun that radiates light not at it's cost but after conserving the energy within & radiating that outside for all to shine & glow? There is altogether a science behind the light emission but what I am trying to say by using this metaphor is to urge you to reflect on yourself and ask if you are being the candle or the sun while giving yourself out there in the world. Here's an interesting conversation that I had with one of my clients who is a giver, but somewhere feels lost while giving. And because of that my client feels purposeless, tired, exhausted, lifeless. Here goes the dialogue (To maintain confidentiality, names are not used and even the gender is not disclosed):
Client: I am a people's person and I allow the people around me to define me. I love doing that and it gives me joy.
Me: Great! You are an extra-ordinary giver! So what's the challenge when you are doing what you are doing and you love it?
Client: I am lost. Although I love what I do, I am kind of standing on a cross-road now and there are two paths in front of me. One that I am passionate about and where my inner dreams lie and the other is what I must do to make others happy and satisfied. I don't know what I am supposed to do. Which one should I pick up. Both are conflicting and I am confused.
Me: What if you have both? Not this/that but both?
Client: Is that even possible? How can I do that? You mean I stop caring for others and become selfish?!
Me: That's what you are thinking! Who says you are selfish if you do what you love to do? Imagine when you are doing what you are passionate about, who would you be?
Client: More nourished, more happier and more fulfilled!
Me: Great! From that space will you be able to serve others better?
Client: Yes, I think so. I would be more inspired to help, support and take care of others because that would come from a space of not losing myself but doing it while discovering myself and giving more powerfully.
Me: Great insight! Some more food for thought for you. Would you like to lose yourself by giving or would you like to discover yourself, empower yourself, rejuvenate yourself in the process of giving & serving?
Client: Obviously the second one. But I am not used to doing this.I get easily influenced by others and people's need come first for me.
Me: That's okay. We will together handle that during the sessions. I will coach you to connect with your wisdom inside and figure out a solution/action plan to not to slip into your old patterns. Are you up for playing that game?
Client: Yes, I want to for sure. I need to care for myself and not just let myself waste in the process.
And the conversation continues....
This is one of the most common dilemma witnessed among givers. They are wonderful people who cares and empathizes so much for others but unfortunately loose themselves while doing so if they aren't mindful of their actions and behaviours. There's nothing wrong in giving, but as a giver; the first responsibility is towards yourself and only when you first take care of yourself, you will be able to give profoundly. You can then be a powerful giver in every sphere of your life. Your glass needs to be filled by you first and then you can give. Otherwise, in the name of giving you are just transferring emptiness in the lives of others including you.
So, it's important for you to decide if you want to be just a candle or the sun that radiates bright & gives warmth to everyone.
Love & light, Priyanka
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals