Helping people hurts at times. It hurts because the same thing that makes us great at helping others-empathy-also makes us more vulnerable at being hurt. I believe in people. I believe in the good in everyone and sometimes that results in my being hurt. This is where we can learn a thing or two from Drew Brees*.
Drew Brees? Really Heather? Yes really. Not only Drew Brees but football players in general. You see, Drew wears football pads to protect him from being hurt when/if he gets sacked (zip it Saints haters). Not only does he wear football pads, but he also wears a helmet. Each part of his protective equipment has a particular purpose and protects certain parts of his body. We need to wear our own type of football pads to aid ourselves in not being hurt.
My friend (and bad ass) Ursula wrote a blog this week about being a MF Monster. In it, she stated that one should “find your clan”. Yes. Who protects Drew from getting sacked and hurt? His offensive line. Our clan can serve as our offensive line. Our clan can protect us from when life tries to knock the hell out of us.
Another bad ass friend of mine, Josh, recently wrote a blog that spoke to me as well. He writes about the importance of ignoring the naysayers that try to “zap you dry and steal your sunshine”. This is another part of our protective pads. Ignore the critics that want to see you fail. Focus on yourself and your fans. I can assure you that you have fans.
We need to be aware that we need football pads instead of full-on body armor. We sometimes need that protection to keep us from being hurt but we don’t need to be completely hard. After being rejected or hurt, it would be easy to give up and stop attempting to help anyone ever again. But, I won’t. You won’t. Wearing our football pads helps to protect us while also giving us the protection to continue reaching out and helping others. It gives us the protection to get knocked down, get up, and play another quarter.
*I used Drew Brees because I am a HUGE Saints fan. Anytime I can combine my love of the Saints and mental health advocacy, I will.