Make somebody happy today. Mind your own business. ~Ann Landers
A friend of mine is a Native American shaman of the Chinook Tribe in the Pacific Northwest. She is wise and helpful when I’m trying to sort out things in my life, and many times she has always found the right bit of advice to move me along in my own spiritual journey. When we first met a couple of year ago she gave me a mantra to say daily, no scratch that, a mantra to scream to the rooftops and feel vibrating in my soul daily. The mantra is: “I am not willing to take on anything that is not mine to deal with, PERIOD!” It seemed like a weird mantra to me at first, and no I didn’t yell it daily or even weekly. I might have said it quietly to myself in times of stress but I rarely felt it vibrate through my soul. However, I needed to say it, to scream it, to really feel the words and believe them in order to get through the messes I found myself in.
As a massage therapist, you are constantly surrounded by stressed out people, after all a good 50% of my clientele come to me and release their stress and troubles on me. And I’m there to help ease some of their stress and tension. At home I had various stresses and I listened to the different dramas and stresses of my friends. As a healer, a part of me always wants to help, to soothe, to takeaway the pain for anyone. With this mindset, I started to take on the stresses of others and found myself slowly falling apart both mentally and physically. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, until my friend gave me this mantra.
Awhile after my real revelation that I was taking on other people’s stress, which was probably a couple of months after the mantra was given to me, I started using it almost daily as a first thought when I woke up and through out the day. Not always yelling it of course, but really taking the words to heart and being aware of the difference between just listening and actually taking the stress into myself. My health got better, my personal outlook on life got better, and overall I was happier. The mantra was brought to my attention recently when I found myself giving it to another friend of mine who was going through some tough stuff. I realized how far I’d come in my progression from always feeling like I need to help to being just a listener. As I thought about it more, it also dawned on me how often I have happily and with barely thinking about it, said, “It’s not my problem.” to people when they try to get me into their drama. It’s not that I’m apathetic to their plights, but I’m actively choosing to not involve myself into things that are not mine to deal with. I’m a humanitarian, but I don’t need the drama.
So many times we allow ourselves to get sucked into helping someone else or being intertwined with another’s drama, that we miss the idea that we should be working on ourselves. I have a few friends who will bury themselves in other’s stuff so they can even avoid working on themselves. And this mantra saved me from staying that way myself. I feel freer and happier, more aware of myself and what I need to work on personally to evolve. I can’t say it has saved my life, but it has brought me more happiness. That is what matters to me in the long run.