It could be said that when someone is in balance, they will be there for themselves and they will be there for others. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will neglect their own life when they are there for others, though.
In general, they could find time to be there for others without putting their own life to one side. Of course, there will be times when this isn’t possible and they have to put something on hold.
Part of Life
For example, if one is busy doing something and they were to receive a call from a friend or a family member who has been taken into hospital, they may need to go and see them straight away. They won’t be able to carry in with what they are doing but they will want to see them.
This will be radically different to how it would be if they were endlessly caught up in what was taking place in their friends and family’s lives. Even if they were able to carry on as normal, their mind would be consumed by what is going on for someone else; making it hard for them to focus on what they are doing and to fully show up.
A Different Scenario
When someone experiences life in this way, and they are out of balance, it will be normal for them to neglect their own life. They can spend their time being there for others and, if they are not doing something for another person, they can be thinking about what is going on for them and what they can do for them.
Through being so caught up in other people’s lives, they might not have much going on in their own life. In fact, they could be so caught up in another person’s life, that they might not even have a life.
Another Part of Them
One is then going to have their own life and their own needs and feelings, but it will be as though they are nothing more than an extension of others. Their ability to tune into the needs and feelings of others could be far better than their ability to tune into their own needs and feelings.
Tuning into what is going on for another could just take place, without them even realising that they are doing it. As a result of this, it is not going to occur to them that they have lost touch with themselves and merged with another person.
It will be as though one will have their own plant but, instead of regularly watering their own plant, they will primarily water other people’s plants. Their plant won’t be dead but it won’t be in a good way either.
Some of the plants that they water might do so well that they produce fruit, yet there certainly won’t ever be any fruit on their plant. However, in a lot of cases, the plants that they do water will probably just receive enough water to survive.
What this comes down to is that the support that they give to most people can just sustain the dramas that are taking place in their life. The people who they focus on can indirectly send out the message that they can’t take care of themselves and need to be saved.
Thus, even if one does help them, it might not be long until there is another fire that needs to be put out, so to speak. It won’t matter how old the people are who they focus on as one will be more like a parental figure than their equal.
An Exhausting Existence
Rarely taking care of their own needs and focusing on the needs of others is naturally going to take a lot out of them. The approval that they receive from others might take the edge of some of their pain, at least for a while.
Nonetheless, as the years go by and living in this way starts to take its toll, they could get to the point where they simply can’t carry on like this anymore. When they get to this stage, they might come to the conclusion that they need to focus on their own life and to let other people take responsibility for their own life.
A Painful Time
This will be the healthy thing for them to do; nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that this is something that will feel comfortable. Just the thought of focusing on themselves could fill them with guilt.
Before they get to this point, it could take them a while to connect to their own needs. Considering that they will have spent so long focusing on other people’s needs, this is to be expected.
Another thing they may find, as they start to refocus their attention, is that they experience a sense of loss. To no longer be so focused on others could cause them to feel as though they are losing themselves.
Being there for others, then, will have provided them with an identity and without this identity, they won’t know who they are; at the same time, this could also show that they haven’t developed a sense of self. Their ego-mind will want them to carry on living in the same way as to this part of them, what is familiar is what is safe; to this part of them, it won’t matter that living in this way is not serving them.
A Deeper Look
The big question is: why would someone be this way? What this may illustrate is that their early years were a time when their developmental needs were rarely, if ever, met and they had to take care of their caregiver/s needs instead.
Perhaps one of their caregivers was deeply troubled and completely incapable of being there for their child. Perhaps this caregiver was also used by their caregiver/s to fulfil their own needs.
One would have needed to have their needs met so that they could develop in the right way but this wouldn’t have taken place. To handle this extremely challenging time of their life, one would have had to play the role of the caregiver.
What they would have developed during this time is their ability to tune into another person’s world and to know what their needs and feelings are. This wouldn’t have been something that they consciously chose to do, it would have just happened.
Being able to do this as a child would have made it easier for them to handle a very challenging time and minimised the amount of pain that they experienced; it was a very helpful ability. Now that they are an adult, they will need to learn when to use this ability and when to bring their attention back into their own body.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.