I learned this saying a number of years ago after I’d burned bridges with half of my family, lost a close friend, and found myself kneeling by the bed, pleading with God to understand how my obsession with fixing other people’s problems had gotten me into this mess.
“Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
Was a saying I’d forgotten earlier this week when I tried to fix someone else’s problems because it hurt to see that kind of pain. I hadn’t stopped to gather more information. I hadn’t stopped to gain a level head. Waiting a couple days for clarity didn’t even occur to me. Nope, I simply dove in head first, trusting my feelings to guide me in the right direction.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have a problem with feelings. I think they have a purpose and are meant to be heeded. I think they can get us out of messes our rational brains can’t see. That cutting ourselves off from them is a dangerous business. In short, I trust my feelings, and I tend to go with my gut.
But for an intuitive person like me, it is even more important not to forget the saying, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Do you have clarity? Are you sure? Have you given yourself the HALT test?
H.A.L.T. = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
In the throes of my passionate response to my friend’s pain, I’d not bothered to administer this test. It didn’t register that I’d eaten little that day and was making decisions on an empty stomach. My level of anger didn’t strike me as excessive compared to the friend who’d been hurt. And the fact that I made my decisions late at night didn’t seem worth noting. I got carried away in my sense of injustice and forgot to check myself.
I may not drink, but I’m still nursing a hangover.
Is this what comes from caring too much? Yes, I used the phrase “caring too much.” Anything in excess can be dangerous. So where do we draw the line? Is there a fool-proof system to check ourselves? Tell me, readers, has this ever happened to you?