We all have people in our lives that have a tendency to drain our emotional energy. It may be a family member, a child, our boss or a friend.
What I have come to understand is that everyone wants to be loved. People do not come into our lives purposefully to drain us emotionally. We allow it to happen. I see two aspects of how this happens.
The first is self-love. For me, there is a direct correlation to the level of care I give myself to people’s ability to emotionally drain me. If I have not been taking care of myself my emotional battery is running low. When this happens it does not take much for anyone to suck out any remaining energy I have. The result is that I am emotionally wiped out. I am exhausted.
What I have discovered is that when I make myself a priority by taking care of myself, I am filling up my reservoir with self-love. Imagine yourself standing in a lake. As you are taking care of yourself you are filling up with self-love. Once filled, your love spills over into the lake. When people come to you looking for love, give from reservoir that is the lake.
As you become more in tune with your self-care needs, you will intuitively know when your lake reservoir is running low. The idea is never to let your reservoir dry up. Therefore, self-care must be a daily practice to keep yourself and your reservoir filled with love.
The other aspect that I see that can drain a self-love reservoir is when boundary setting is not executed well. There will be people in your life who are selfish and self-centered. The love they are looking for is not a mutual love; they latch on to others and drain them.
These are people who require boundary setting. This doesn’t mean to push them away or out of your life, although for some that may be the only answer. What it means is that you don’t allow them to drain your reservoir and you. Think of a lake dam and you are in control of the outflow of love from your lake. The control of the outflow is boundary setting; it is a learned skill that can be executed from a place of love.
What I know for me is that I must be intentional about carving out time every day for self-care. It is only through taking care of my needs first that I can truly give from a place of love.