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Is It Possible To Give Too Much?

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How can you argue with giving.  Whether it is time or money, giving is Oola.  But, consistent with everything Oola, the goal is the proper balance.  It's true, even giving can be out of balance.

Mom’s are a great example of this.  Moms have lots of demands for their time and talents and find it difficult to say no.  My Mom is no exception.  She raised four kids.  Got us to school, fed us, mended our wounds, and let me know the world would keep spinning when I suffered a junior high break-up.  She helped me with homework, provided a moral compass, and even got my unwilling butt to church on Sundays.

The best example of my Mom’s giving nature was Sunday nights.  My Dad worked two and three jobs to provide for our family.  That meant that many nights and weekends he was gone, and if he was home, he was tired.  I vividly remember the boy-to-man energy I had in 6th grade.  I felt awesome. The trickle of testosterone made me feel like a superhero.  I was eager to test my powers.  I wanted to wrestle.  My older brother had moved out, my sisters looked fragile, and my Dad was working.  The obvious solution?  Turn our formal living room into the WWF and Mom and I would have a SmackDown.  No joke, every Sunday, we would push all the furniture to the side of the living room creating a make-shift ring and we would go at it.  It was the highlight of my week.  And only now, having four kids of my own (including a 6th grade boy) do I realize how crazy that was.  My Mom did this every Sunday with a smile on her face (excluding the mandatory intimating sneer before the match) and always ended the match with a hug.

Moms give and give and give, and we are happy to take, and take, and take.  They often set aside their dreams and needs to give to the needs and requests of kids, husbands, parents, schools, churches, friends, neighbors, and anyone else who asks.

In College I recall learning about perfectly the human body is designed.  It innately knows just what we need, just when we need it, and in just what amount.  The body has the ability to self-heal and self regulate.  A properly functioning body can process the air we breathe to pull out the oxygen we require. If we eat sugar, the pancreas secretes the exact amount of insulin we need to keep our blood sugar levels constant. It can even grow new skin if we cut ours. In short, the body is smart. Smarter than any doctor you will ever meet.

The heart is one of the, if not the, most important organ of the body.  It is assigned with the significant task of taking the oxygen rich blood from our lungs, and delivering it to every cell of the body.  In its wise design, the heart doesn’t do this randomly, it does it in order of priority.  Organs with the greatest importance get this much needed oxygen rich blood first, and less essential tissues (like your toe nail) get them last.  Knowing that the heart pumps this oxygen and nutrient rich blood from highest to lowest priority, where would you guess the blood goes first?

If you are like most people you incorrectly guessed the brain.  The correct answer is … to itself.  The heart, via the coronary arteries, first pumps blood to itself.  You see, if the heart doesn’t have the oxygen rich blood it requires, it will be unable to pump to all the other tissues of the body and the entire body will die.

If you are always giving to others, and never meeting your own needs, the demands will continue and compound and you will suffer the emotional equivalent of cardiac arrest.  Take some time for yourself.  Still give, but don’t lose sight of your own dreams, needs and passions.  Do this guilt free.  This isn’t a selfish approach, it is actually selfless.  Just as the heart doesn’t require much blood to pump to the rest of the body, you likely don’t require much time to pursue your own needs, but you do need some.  If you really want to make a difference in this world, and be able to give on a grand scale and for the long haul, you have to meet your needs first, before you “pump the oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body.”  And a warning … this may even involve wrestling.

 

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Co-Author of "Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World." Why listen to the OolaGuru? Need some street cred? Believe in "show me, don't tell me?" Some highlights:
OolaFitness: Ironman
OolaFinance: Completely debt and financially free by age 40
OolaFamily: Married 20+ years to his kindergarten classmate, 4 beautiful kids
OolaField: Formally retired at age 42. Now does only what he wants only when he wants to be
OolaFaith: Yet not the man he wants to be, but grateful he is not the man he used to be
OolaFriends: Let's just say he is networked
OolaFun: Travel is his passion. 53 countries and counting . . .