Bring your life into balance

Empathy works. It always does.

Live first, worry later



Netherlands (Photo credit: didkovskaya)

I am tired. I am so tired, my eyes don’t focus. I see everything blurry and double. My body is losing control , I start bumping into things. When I am at home, I force myself to work. List my workshop, write a blog, do the dishes.

My husband comes home. Happy to see me. I slash out. Out of the blue. My words blurt out my mouth like a tsunami of anger, discontent, resentment, blame. He empathizes, he guesses my needs, he asks how he can support me. It is of no avail. Empathy doesn’t help when you need sleep.

Why didn’t I go to bed as soon as I came home? Why didn’t I postpone my chores till the next day? Why didn’t I take care of myself? The question puzzles me.

I see this pattern of forcing myself to finish my plans, and train myself in endurance, perseverance, discipline. To be prepared for worst case scenarios. To survive war, hunger, torture.

Dying in the Netherlands
Last October I told my friend I was moving back to the Netherlands. She was surprised. Why? I told her I wanted to die among my family and friends, and be buried in Dutch soil. She laughed wholeheartedly. I was surprised. I didn’t get her. What was so funny about that? “Elly, you have at least 40 years between now and your death! And you’re giving up the life you love just in case? Why don’t you live first? And worry about death later?”

Go with the flow
Live first, worry later? Hum… That’s a radical reversal of my habitual thinking patterns. I like it. Hum. Yummy. Go with the flow. Enjoy my breath, the birds, my friends. Do what brings me joy and energy. Give life my all. Trust that that’s enough. That I am enough. That I do enough. That I have enough. Right here, right now.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Live first, worry later

  1. Dank je wel voor je lieve woorden, en dan nog wel in het Nederlands! Thank you so much! I appreciate the joy that speaks through your words, and I am happy with our mindfulness community.


  2. Wonderful self realization.
    Kindness towards self & loved ones
    one mindful breath at a time.
    And yes, there is joy in getting enough sleep.
    While living in Amsterdam, I observed Dutch friends living simple, happy lives. Yet, they carried much collective pain from the past.
    het is natuurlijk te willen gezellig met Nederlandse voorouders te zijn


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