Bail Out. Webster defines this two ways: To obtain someone’s release. To post security. So I was thinking about what that might mean for ourselves. What would it mean to psychologically or even spiritually bail out ourselves? Recently, a client came back to see me who had bailed her parents out by taking care of them both physically and financially for several months. The net effect of this was that she had practically bankrupted herself physically, emotionally and financially.
This got me to thinking about what does it mean “to post security or obtain someone else’s release” at the expense of your own and how prevalent is this as a sort of national personality tendency in the U.S.? I mean after all, the Statue of Liberty’s mission statement ( if she had one) set us up over 100 years ago to be pretty co-dependent, don’t you think? Listen to these words –
“give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Aren’t we Americans constantly bailing out somebody in the world? So what would it mean if we made a daily practice of bailing out ourselves? Now, I don’t mean just eating right and actually using your gym membership. I mean what would it mean to actually check into your gut when someone asks you for a favor? What would it mean to check in with your heart when the school wants you to volunteer one more time when you are already overscheduled at work and church? What would it mean to check in with your bank account when your kids want to go out to eat and after all its’ Friday and you don’t want to cook anyway? If the quantum physicists are correct and everything that happens to one, effects the whole, when we abandon ourselves to peer pressure, or guilt from our kids, there is a kind of emotional bankruptcy that translates into a national phenomenon. There’s a term in holistic medicine for adrenal burnout – ‘tired wired’. It is a well known fact that we are a sleep deprived nation so what is the effect of borrowing from the night and putting ourselves into long term energy debt? Is this a metaphor for the energy shortage of gas and fuel?
So my prescription for us all if we want to stop being forced to bail out the Wall Street titans is to stop overextending ourselves in our own lives first. That Reagan slogan for youth drug prevention “ Just say no” is fitting as we go into another recession. Say no to your kids, say no to your boss’ 70 hour work week demand, but most importantly say no to the voice in your head that is constantly pushing you to do more, more, more. Perhaps the gift inside this economic LifeQuake is that in cutting back our expenses, we’ll gear down the hyperactivity and actually be more present to life. I’m sure our nervous systems will be eternally grateful. And then maybe, just maybe we’ll get more sleep too…
Dr. Toni Galardi, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval.