What Fuels You: The Importance of Filling the Tank

by farrah on April 22, 2015 · 0 comments

As long as I can remember I have been a worrier. I worried about simple things as a kid- losing a set of markers, getting a bad grade on a test, troubles with adolescent friend triangles. As I grew up my worries grew right along with me and made me a cautious and skeptical adult. Once motherhood hit it was like the holy grail of worries came front and center. My entire life I’ve tried to push worrying away as my great-grandma taught me ‘Thoughts are things‘ or even more appropriate: ‘Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want‘. Well, here I am at 39 years old and sometimes it feels like worries still consume me.

kids in ParisTwo of the people that fill my tank. But they also drain it pretty quickly too.

With everything on my mind of late- people in my life with trials, REAL trials like tragedy and illness, I know that I need to put things in perspective. I cannot help others if I can’t take care of myself. I went to yoga yesterday determined to free my mind from my troubles for a couple of short hours and not bring my black cloud into the studio with me. This was, of course, impossible and I told my yoga instructor a little of what I was feeling without having to say out loud or naming the things that were wrong specifically.

It has been serendipitous that I found Bertina. She has such a way of knowing what to say to me and how to help me put things a bit more into focus. She didn’t tell me that she had hurt her back and wasn’t able to lead my lesson physically until I arrived in the morning. She said it was a hinderance, but at the same time she said it would give her a chance to watch and see better how I was doing- and how I was breathing. I am no yoga expert- but I have been seeing here once a week since last fall and by now I knew the moves a bit better. She told me what to do and I could follow along.

The wonderful thing about that was I had to focus- really listen and only think about what she was telling me to do. Too often I go to her class and have my mind in a jumble. I let the thoughts invade the quiet time when I’m supposed to be meditating or thinking about my body and how it moves. Being forced to listen and focus on her voice helped me to do that a little better.

During the class we talked about how important it was to make sure we give to ourselves so that we are able to give to others. We’re far too conditioned to put our energies into worry or fear for things we cannot control, people we cannot help, or things that might or might not happen. We give to our children, our friends, our families. When you give everything away, what is left? How can we do this over and over running around giving to this and that without filling ourselves up with positive joy and happiness? We have to fill up that tank so that we have a ready supply to give away.

I am in dire need of a fill-up. My tank is running practically on empty at this point. I am worried about friends going through immense struggles. I am stressed about my kids being sick- my oldest currently ill (again) with an awful fever, my husband barely recovered from that flu and myself still hovering on the edge of a relapse. My thoughts bounce from one crisis to another and I am just flitting around trying to keep it all together for the sake of seeing another day. I don’t want to wish the days away- but last night I found myself wanting to fast forward through this blackness and just get to the next morning.

I hate that. It isn’t fair to anyone and it isn’t helping anyone else either. Is there some kind of secret formula that I can tap into and make these clouds go away? How does one fill up their own reserves over and over again so that they can move on and give sustenance to others? So many people I want to help, and I know that worry is the last thing that’s going to help them. I can’t help them if I don’t help myself too. As a mother and a human being I know this is so important. But how?

My family and I are going on our Scotland trip in about a week or so. As long as we’re healthy my only adversary is the weather. Being Scotland though, and in the spring no less- I am prepared for less than welcoming skies. My hope is that the time with my boys rolling¬†on a road trip seeing the beautiful sights of Scotland will fill me up a bit more. I need to feel places that are older and bigger than me, and my worries and cares are dwarfed. I want to see how insignificant I really am in this big world and gain some perspective.

Travel is my fuel. We’re looking forward to this time together and we all need a little space to refill that tank inside. I know that’s not going to solve anyone’s problems- but I’m no good to anyone running on E.

What fuels you?¬†What’s your way to recharge? Do you do it enough for yourself?


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