EPISODE 18 (BONUS)
Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that you feel you need to care about? In this bonus episode, I remind you why it is that you don't need to care about everything that is good or worth caring about.
An essential part of the interior journey into authenticity and wholeness is knowing yourself well and where and how you - with your limitations - are uniquely created to make an impact in the world.
Blog Post: A Letter for the Overwhelmed
Other episodes that would help you understand and apply the lessons in this episode:
- Ep 4 & 5 Living from the Inside Out (Part 1 & 2)
- Ep 6 Listening to Your Life Speak
- Ep 7 Be Curious, Courageous & Compassionate with Yourself
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EP 18 | YOU DON’T HAVE TO CARE ABOUT EVERYTHING
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the things that you want to care about, but just can't?
Welcome to Becoming Me, your podcast companion and coach in your journey to a more integrated and authentic self. I am your host, Ann Yeong, and I'm here to help you grow in self-discovery and wholeness. If you long to live a more authentic and integrated life and would like to hear honest insights about the rewards and challenges of this journey, then take a deep breath, relax and listen on to Becoming Me.
[00:00:41] Hello, dear listeners. Actually, I was planning to take a break this week because it is neither week one nor three of the month. And when I initially planned it to do the podcast on the first and third weeks of the month, I thought that maybe that gives me a chance that on months where there's a week five, I had the option of taking a break or doing a bonus episode.
[00:01:06] Well, it was a very last-minute decision that I wanted to just do this little shorter episode – this “mini-sode” because I really want to put something out there. I have a feeling that the struggle that I've been having of being just overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that is happening in the world and in my personal life, my work, as well as the people that I know, is probably going to be relatable to at least some of you.
[00:01:37] And I just wanted to remind you this same truth that I have been reminding myself of – which is you don't have to care about everything. Let me repeat that. You don't have to care about everything. Just last episode, my husband and I talked about befriending our limits. So, this kind of continues on that theme.
[00:02:06] I want to really emphasize this: that our limits are there to protect us, especially our emotional limits. Okay, so, there are many good and worthy causes out there in the world, and I think that really became very evident last year, when much of the world was in prolonged lockdown. And it was the same here in Singapore when we had the circuit breaker and I saw so many people leap into action; collecting food and getting them to the people that needed them or stepping up and gathering donations for essential workers, stepping up to cook and deliver food to those who are in quarantine.
[00:02:51] I know some of these amazing people myself, and I remember back then, feeling pretty bad about how I was doing because that's not the way I'm wired; to serve – if that makes sense. You know, I saw all these physical needs out there and I felt bad because I couldn't help. And I didn't really feel motivated to help in those ways. But then I remembered that my particular gifting is not in being hands on.
[00:03:27] Okay, I'm clumsy and slow in a lot of these areas. But I'm gifted at being with people who need a listening ear. I'm gifted being able to help people see new insight to the problems that they're having. I am gifted holding space for people; and not just holding space, but encouraging them and helping them and find that energy and that will to keep going when they're going through a really difficult time.
[00:04:03] Right, so, I guess I want to say that my real house or the area in which I can actually do some help is more in the emotional realm and the spiritual realm. And that doesn't require me to, you know, cook or pack meals and deliver them.
[00:04:20] That requires me to spend a lot of time on the phone, or messaging, or on Zoom – during the time that we were in lockdown, and really digging deep. Being with people. And that was tiring too. But even though I was doing all that, until I remembered that I didn't have to do all the good there was to do. I didn't have to care about everything that was going on, that was worth caring about in the same way, until like I realized that, or until I remembered that I was not at peace, even though I was doing a lot of – well, I was doing a lot of good.
[00:04:58] If I can say/if I can put it like that, right? But saying out loud – saying that out loud sounds a little, I don't know – I'm not very comfortable saying that I'm doing good, which is also another issue that I have. I think, in my life, being able to acknowledge the good that I do without feeling a bit embarrassed that I'm talking about it. But I'm sharing this because I know that there are many of you out there probably facing a similar kind of challenge.
[00:05:29] I mean, just in the recent month, I mean, recent a couple of months, it seems like the world has gone mad in new ways, right? So many different places – like what's going on in Myanmar. Just a couple of days ago, on Palm Sunday, there was a bombing; there was a suicide bombing in Indonesia where I also have relatives. All that is happening right now in the States with the anti-Asian hate movement; looking now at how discrimination and racism has been happening to Asian Americans.
[00:06:07] And that's just what's out there even beyond the country that I'm living in. There's also the news though, of what's happening in Singapore, where I live. And if I move closer to that, there are the lives of the people that I know; friends or acquaintances who are facing real struggles or challenges – whether it is some medical issue that has cropped up, or some marital problems, or family challenge.
[00:06:32] I want to be able to have capacity to be there for them too. And then if I move even closer into my own home, there is my immediate family. And I realised recently that I've been so busy caring about and tending about all these larger issues and other people's concerns, that I haven't even really been up to date on some of them – maybe more significant things that are happening in my immediate family. And then if I move another step deeper – and I'm talking about myself, and I realize that I have been really struggling honoring the needs that I have. Something as simple as when I began to feel resistance at seeing another piece of news, or another reflection; which is really good, written by somebody who cares about a particular incident that's happening in the world.
[00:07:35] And there is this tug of war between is this important? – like this is something that's good, it is important to be aware of. And another part of me that was just saying, “Enough. I can't deal with this anymore”. I don't want to see anything. I don't want to read anything. And those were signs for me to, you know, take a break, unplug – no matter how important that thing is, there's nothing that I can do for anyone else if I'm not in a good place myself.
[00:08:11] So, I just, it to put the sharing out there and remind you who are listening that in your own lives, you don't have to care about everything. Especially if you're feeling over saturated, it may help to spend some time and write down all the different things that are, you know, competing for your attention and competing for your heart – for care and concern in your heart.
[00:08:37] Just write them all down and remember that you're just one person and you're limited. And we weren't created to be connected so globally, you know? I mean, as human beings, we are created for real relationships and intimate relationships.
[00:08:56] And that has still has to be the core of our lives and we have to live from the inside out. If what is closer to ourselves from our core, to our own lives, to the more important relationships in our lives – if those things are not stable, if they are not attended to, we are on very shaky foundation if we try to reach further and care about things that are further away from us.
[00:09:20] Right. So, each of us, I think we need to know ourselves well; not just in terms of the very real situation or current limitation that we may have in our energy and time, but also what's in our heart. What is it that we're passionate about? What is it that we really care about among all the many worthy things out there in the world? What is it that we are uniquely equipped to contribute to? Okay, that gives us a way to narrow down where our span of attention, our sphere of influence might need to be.
[00:10:02] It's really okay if there are people that you know, that care passionately about something that you can't really relate to. It's okay to acknowledge that whatever it is that they're caring about is important. And maybe they have a particular call to that area, to that theme or that topic. But maybe you might have something else that you need to do, and it could be something as seemingly small – as caring for your newborn infant or your young children, or a friend who is going through a very hard time and needs your attention a little more than usual, or you could have a sick pet at home and just being present with your sick pet, allowing yourself to feel what you feel and maybe to feel sad.
[00:10:52] You know, all that is important – as important as caring about what's happening globally or what's happening in the larger community. It's not a matter of “either-or” in terms of worthiness, but because we are limited, sometimes it does have to boil down to an either or, and how we choose – well, that really depends on knowing ourselves well and also being aware of the resources that we have.
[00:11:25] In the next episode, Henry and I will delve a little bit more into how we can tell the difference between when we really just need to honor that limit; in the way that I'm talking about today, and where there are limits that we actually can push up against and, maybe test a little, and find that perhaps, it is an invitation to growth.
[00:11:47] Okay, so, if you need a reminder on how to process what's going on in your life; to reach the core of yourself and then to evaluate what is important to you, you can revisit episodes four and five: Living from the Inside Out. And there are also exercises particular to those episodes in the podcast companion workbook, which is free for you if you sign up for my newsletter and my website. You can use those worksheets as many times as you need at different times in your life when you feel overwhelmed and you just need a guide to help you step through your overwhelming thoughts and your emotions, and how your body's feeling, and kind of just look at, you know, from a big picture of you and ask your inner self what it’s saying to you about your needs and what is it that it needs you to do in order for you to be well, be authentic, to continue to honor your own interior journey.
[00:12:55] So remember we are made, of course, not just for ourselves. Our lives are meant to be a gift for the world, but we can only be that gift if we are true to our limits – if we're true to our own needs. And so, care about what you most need to care about right now. And especially if you're feeling overwhelmed and saturated, remember you don't have to care about everything.
[00:13:24] Okay, so there are no praxis prompts this episode because it's really just meant to be a simple message and a little conversation with you. I hope that you enjoy the long weekend if where you live has a long weekend for Good Friday and Easter weekend. And for those of you who celebrate this feast as a Holy feast, I wish you a blessed Holy Week and a very Happy Easter!
Thank you for listening to Becoming Me, where new episodes drop every first and third Wednesdays of the month. Remember, the most important thing about making this journey is to keep taking steps in the right direction no matter how small those steps might be. And no matter where you might be in your life right now, it is always possible to begin.
The world would be a poorer place without you becoming more fully alive. Don't forget to visit my website becomingme.sg and to subscribe to my newsletter as well as to this podcast. Until the next episode, Happy becoming!