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How to Have Compassion and Keep Yourself Intact

September 21, 20233 min read

As caregivers, being true to ourselves around other people’s struggles can prove difficult. I’m a mom, wife, therapist, and coach, so I’m helping people all day and every day.  Over the years, I have had to create boundaries. Back in the day, my soul wanted to help every single person!  Even while driving down the street someone was in trouble on the side of the street, while there were already 3 other people helping them!  “I literally had to tell myself they are okay, and the other people can take care of them. I do not have to help everyone.”

When we have the soul energy of a caregiver, we want to help and it is easy for us to have compassion for others. We tend to be overly kind and need to develop the skill of boundaries. 

Interestingly, in Jewish spiritual practices, they touch on this.  There is something called the sefirot.  These are energy centers we have in our body, all of them together are called the Tree of Life. I didn’t understand spirituality and energy existed in the Jewish religion until recently.  It has been profound what I have learned. When going deeper into the energy aspects we need to study the torah to remain grounded in the physical world.  It is very powerful and protection is needed.

As an overview, the principles I want to highlight are the sefirots chessed (kindness), gevurah (boundaries) and tiferet (heart).  The heart energy center can only find happiness when the other two energy centers are balanced between them.  The basic principle is if you want to be happy you can’t always be kind, there also has to be boundaries. Otherwise, you will be resentful, the opposite of happy!  If you want to learn more see the links for more information at the bottom of the page.  There are also classes through Chabad and other organizations, just make sure they are following the right protocols to teach this powerful tool.

Boundaries are hard to make with ourselves and others when we aren’t used to them.  With some practice it becomes second nature.  Watch out, other people may not like your boundaries and lash out at you in response.  Stay the course if they are a secure individual they will usually respect them in the end. 

An example of creating boundaries, recently, I was at an exercise class and someone was having an issue.  Some of the workers were helping him.  I could feel myself wanting to help but had to look away.  I could feel his panic, in order to not take this all on, I had to move to a different location.  Creating a physical boundary.  Others were helping him so it was ok to remove myself.  This was me being kind to him and myself and creating boundaries.  He received the help he needed and I remained intact without absorbing his feelings and situation. 

If you want to live a happier life, make sure you have boundaries in place that work for you, while you are continuing to be kind to others. Remember we do not have to overly help everyone.  Pick and choose what you can do without draining yourself.

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