Are you too passionate? How much of yourself are you giving away?
Over the course of last week I had a very interesting conversation which pushed me to think about how much of myself I sometimes give away without considering the impact it has on me, and that it's very common for many of us to do that.
If you have met me or spoken to me, you know that I am truly passionate about improving the experience of mothers- within the health system and outside of it. As a member of the local Maternity Voices Partnership, I often provide feedback on communication/leaflets etc that are created for distribution among women being looked after by the local trust. I also participate in focus groups and meetings surrounding maternity care. If you have read my earlier blog posts, you might remember that I also suffered a pregnancy loss in December 2022. Did the loss stop me from working on all of the above? I paused, but I soon continued and it was ok. There were times within meetings or while reading material where I would get emotionally affected. I processed it and continued on. Why? because I truly want to bring about change. That hasn't changed. However, an incident has caused me to re-check my boundaries.
Last week I was asked by my dear friend and chair of MVP if I could provide feedback on some material related to baby loss. My reflex action was to say Yes but earlier that day I had been triggered by some social media post. For the first time in a long time I said
"I'm sorry but I'm struggling this month with all the content around loss. I will sit this one out".
It took a lot of will power to say that because I know in my heart that maybe I could have made some small bit of difference to the women who will read those leaflets some day. I even questioned myself for saying No. and then, I received this reply...
"My thoughts are with you and I'm proud of you for protecting yourself"
I read that email a few times to just let that sink in. I had not once seen it that way. I had not realised that in my effort to make the world a better place, I had pushed my boundaries more than necessary. I can't thank her enough for saying what she did. I was protecting myself. I needed to protect myself. I should have protected myself sooner.
I will be taking this to my coach for my next coaching session (Yes! coaches have coaches!)
Take a moment and reflect on your work, both official but also the unofficial work you do. The one that you are truly passionate about.
How much of yourself are you giving away?
How are your boundaries looking?
How emotionally exhausted are you feeling?
If this resonated with you, let's have a chat. Please like, comment and share this post.
PS: If you know someone who has suffered a pregnancy loss, check up on them. October can be difficult due to all the messaging. The image above was our home during the #waveoflight on 15th of October.