Are you available?
Do you keep a calendar? What does it look like these days? When I look at mine, I’m stunned by how much more open it is than it was before the pandemic. Of course, I’m still quite busy, but nothing is written in stone. The blessing in that open calendar is that it makes me more available.
How available are
you lately? When are you available? What do you make yourself available for?
Who do you make yourself available to?
Do you reach out to others to let them know you’re available, or do you wait for others to come to you? Do you treat someone’s need for your availability as an interruption? Or do you drop everything and welcome all that comes to you?
To be available means to be “of use or service; to be at hand.” You might interpret that as stepping outside of yourself and giving your all to whatever or whoever needs you. And, often, that’s what being available requires—selflessness.
However, I caution you to be careful. To be available to others, you must first be available to yourself. And that is an act of self-care, not selfishness.
When you are available to yourself and tend to your own needs, it’s like clearing the calendar of your life. After all, you can’t give others what they need if you haven’t gotten what you need. It’s like trying to squeeze them into an already crowded schedule. And they deserve more than that.
Serving others when you haven’t served yourself keeps you from being genuinely available. Your unmet needs and failure to be fully available to yourself prevent you from being fully present and open to others. Being available to yourself first creates room to share space with others. And that will be a welcoming room. It’s a great balancing act, but it’s also win-win situation for everyone.