Who is responsible?

"We often wait for someone to give us a hug in order to feel safe and loved"

I read this recently in an article and it hit a cord! 

The article went on, .." Even if someone loves you a lot, and they can definitely play a suporting role, it is not up to them to make sure you get what you need to feel alive, happy and healthy - it is up to you!"

I, like many people, have allowed lots of people to 'pull my strings' leading to me getting tired and falling into the arms of those I love, expecting them to help me feel better!  What a tough demand that is on someone!  And after reading this article it really got some cogs turning.

A couple of months ago, I took the decision to 'slow down' a bit as the many plates I was juggling were wobbling dangerously and some needed to be taken down before they came crashing down!  But in all honesty, it was not enough.  However, progress is progress and each small step leads you to somewhere new.

The 'new' place I recently arrived in was like a breath of fresh air.  I realised that my life is not too different to being a new Mum.  Most people who have a tiny baby to look after give up work and attend to their baby's needs.  I have a new baby - except he is 1044 months old!  But never the less, I am the first person he yells for when he's uncomfortable.  He is reliant on me for making many of the decisions about his life - many of those same things that a 3 month old baby may also demand from their parent.  But I was still trying to work, run a home and do all the same things I did before this baby arrived!

What I had allowed to fall to the wayside was that all of my usual routines that I have used for years to keep me happy and healthy were no longer enough because I had a new baby to look after!  Life was no longer 'usual' just as there is no more 'usual' when you become a new parent.

So back to that quote and why it hit a cord.  

We often wait for something outside of us to influence (or even dictate) our feelings.  I had been using time; the summer holidays as an excuse to slow down work a bit and our holiday in Greece to recharge the batteries so that I could hit the ground running this week thinking that would be enough.

The great failing in this plan.......the 87 year old baby is still there and still crying!  We had been back in the country less than 18 hours before I was woken in the small hours to say that Dad had had a fall and the ambulance was on it's way.  And it was just after this that I realised that 6-8 weeks out of the fast lane was not the solution!  The game has changed and I have no idea how long I am going to be playing this game but like any good player, if the game changes, you need to change your strategy too!

I often talk to clients about life being like chapters in a book.  Characters come and go, story lines twist and turn.  I am now at the start of a new chapter - or actually it started about 9 months ago but I have only just got to the first page of it!

And that quote..."...it is not up to them to make sure you get what you need to feel alive, happy and healthy - it is up to you!"  Today I have had a lovely walk with some friends and indulged in a chocolate brownie afterwards.  After dealing with some urgent admin, I sat down to watch a bit of TV over lunch and ended up watching the whole programme.  2 months ago I would probably not have done that, or if I had, felt annoyed with myself for having 'wasted time'.  Today however I am doing more of those thing that I need to 'feel alive, happy and healthy' so that when the 'baby' cries, I am able to deal with it - just like with real new Mums, you quickly learn to relax when the baby sleeps!  I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the BBC1 drama - no guilt required.  I gave myself that 'hug' and felt good for it.

I have also made a commitment to myself to do more meditation.  It is something I have 'played at' but having done a lot of reading around this I believe it will be a good counterbalance to the demands of my extended family and ultimately that is what is needed - balance.  

Life changes.  And therefore so do we.  We can change through being manipulated, and we can change through choice.  

I made the choice this week to take full responsibility for feelilng alive, happy and healthy and something incredible has happened since I made that choice!

I have had so many hugs this week!  My 13 yr old son has defied all teenage rules about displays of affection and wraps his arms around me all the time.  My daughter has said she loves me more this week than in the last month.  I had two wonderfully warm hugs from friends this morning.  And so rather than seeking out hugs from someone else to feel better, I have taken responsibility to make myself feel better and the hugs are coming to me!

Isn't that just fab!

And if you have read down this far you may be thinking, "....and so what?"  

My thought for you would be to ask yourself whether you look to other people to make you feel good - ie you seek those hugs to feel secure, or do you give yourself 'hugs' that mean the person who loves you most (ie you!!) is the one that can leave you feeling the most secure?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and there is a comments box just below that is the perfect place to pop them in  xx

Published by Caroline Cavanagh Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of Anxiety Alchemy. on |


RE: Who is responsible?

Your blog certainly hit a chord. I have my own teenage monster that I'm getting used to caring for and aging parents. I think many of us can relate to what you are going through. For me, I too have made changes recently to help me better function at these new challenges. I've started yoga and, just this morning, have turned down a work opportunity in favour of altering my working practices to fit in around my life - not the other way around. I'll be reading to see how you get along.
Commented by: Karen Blakesley on Monday 17th September 2018 09:08:17 AM

RE: Who is responsible?

I'm struggling with that at the moment Caroline - but thank you for another good read. X
Commented by: Jane Goodenough on Saturday 8th September 2018 03:05:38 PM

RE: Who is responsible?

Thank you so much Caroline! Rings true on so many levels. Going to try taking some responsibility myself to feel ‘alive, healthy and happy! You are awesome.xx
Commented by: Fi on Saturday 8th September 2018 02:22:46 PM

RE: Who is responsible?

Caroline, i don't always find I agree 100% with what you say but this time my response is 'spot on' ! You're in charge of your life and therefore you are responsible for what you get out of it. Unsolicited hugs come because you have allowed them. Almost always hugs benefit both the giver and the receiver ; as long as you let the world know you'd appreciate receiving them, the world knows what to do! You know, only too well, from your time in industry that your time has to be prioritised. This is just as true at home, its only the priorities that change. Get your home life sorted and then work will find its place. Only when people recognise what is most important in life will they have any chance of leading a balanced happy life. Kind regards Brian
Commented by: Brian Fisk on Saturday 8th September 2018 11:18:14 AM

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