"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." Edward Everett Hale (www.brainyquote.com)
It's natural to be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in this world, everyone that could use a hand or a listening ear. It's not hard to be so caught up in the impossibility of it all that it effectively immobilises you so that you don't do anything. It's easy to feel guilty because you think you're not doing enough. To help. It's easy to think that the small things you can do make no difference. It's easy to suffer from paralysis by over-analysis.
Like the quote says, I am just one single human being. One.
I can do something.
I can listen.
I can give a hug.
I can write something that might resonate with someone else.
I can make a cup of tea for someone.
I can light a candle for someone.
To me, this quote means I will be strong in the face of overwhelm and just do what I can do.
I will allow that to be enough.
I will accept that the small things I can do are enough.
I will know that there are billions of other 'ones' out there doing their small things to improve life for others in some way too.
I will trust that I don't have to do it all.
I will accept that I am one and that whilst I can help and do, I am a 'being' not a 'doing' so I must sometimes just be and be comfortable with the fact that I am not indispensable. Life goes on. Others fill the gap where I have been if I need to take some time for myself. It's okay to take care of myself too. Sometimes the very best thing I can do is to take care of me.
I love this quote because it is simple. I used to have it on the wall in my classroom. Teachers suffer from overwhelm on a regular basis. They can feel responsible for every action and attitude displayed in their classroom or their school and that is reflects on them as people (however utterly ridiculous this concept is). They can try and try to help a student and feel like they are making no progress. It is hard. This quote reminds me to just do what I can do. I can't do more than giving my best. And that is good enough.
I have one other quote I really like by Sir Edmund Hilary who famously said, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." I'm on a pretty constant mission to conquer my 'self' in order to redeem my health. It's been a rough road but I know I can do it with a bit of help from my friends and support from my naturopath...but mostly, it's up to me (back to quote one!).