A number of us find it challenging to act on our goals and dreams when we’re busy supporting someone in our life that’s in great need. That can be an elderly parent, a sick relative, or a hurting friend.
For a few years now, my sister has been the person of great need in my life. In 2004, she was in a terrible car accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, she’s been left with serious difficulties as a result of her brain injury. Her needs come in waves. There are times when she’s doing well on her own and other times when she crashes and ends up hospitalized, almost dying. Each time she crashes, it’s a major crisis for my family. We all put in a tremendous amount of energy to try and support her.
My sister is going through one of those times right now. It’s been a challenge for me to find the right balance of supporting her, supporting my family, and not neglecting my own life.
During this time, I went on a business trip. It was wonderful to get away and forget about everything going on at home. On the last night of my trip, as I socialized with the my fellow seminar participants, my husband called. He had been mugged and sustained a terrible blow to his head. After seeing what my sister has gone through, it was terrifying for him to experience a serious head injury.
Jon’s orbit around his eye had been fractured and there was air in his cerebrospinal fluid. This was devastating to me. But as I left the group of seminar participants, my teacher told me to remember to still do my homework. Now you could take that as being insensitive, but her advice was actually good. It’s easy to drop everything when a crisis like this occurs, but that’s not always the healthiest choice. She knew that doing my homework would help keep me in balance. I’d actually be stronger in supporting others when I was talking care of myself.
Fortunately, it looks like my husband will fully recovery.
Sometimes, I wondered what other people thought when I was taking time for myself while my husband was recovering from his head injury, but I did it any way. It made me stronger overall, and I’m able to give to my sister, my family, and my husband in ways that I couldn’t have if I hadn’t taken that time out to focus on my own goals and dreams.