Many of us have been in a care-taking role in our lives for a loved one, be it a spouse, sibling, child, pet or parent. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of others, but when it is done at one’s own expense, it can quickly explode into a huge problem.
Have you ever met someone who was just a natural-born caregiver? It seems like that person can give of themselves without ever being depleted. That’s because this person is emotionally free to be with who they’re caring for, and they genuinely want to do it.
If you feel compelled to be there for others but it doesn’t energize you, it’s probably not because you don’t genuinely care. More likely it is because you have a false belief about yourself that you made up and buried in your subconscious some years ago, and you’ve been avoiding it since then.
Let’s say you have a belief about yourself that you are selfish. That belief becomes the filter through which you see yourself and your life. If you subconsciously believe you are selfish, one of the ways you may try to prove you’re NOT selfish is by taking care of others.
The problem is, though, that you get no real joy out of caring for another, and the person that receives your “caring” isn’t getting the joy of being served. What’s going on isn’t real; instead, it’s all about avoiding what you fear you are: Selfish. It’s as if something within yourself is pulling the puppet strings, trying to avoid the judgment of being selfish by doing things that you deem to be selfless acts.
See how this can play out across your life? Do you feel like you always have to be the one who brings snacks to the games, offers to help your friends with something, rushes soup over to a sick friend, or always volunteers to take people to the airport? Do you do this even when you don’t make the time to take care of your needs or your family’s?
Do people know you for how much you are there for others, and sometimes take advantage of your “yes” nature, when you’re really doing everything at the expense of yourself?
Once you discover the limiting beliefs you have about yourself, you can be free of them by embracing them. It is in the resistance of these beliefs that is the source of our suffering. When you embrace them, you are able to serve others from a place of true CHOICE as a caregiver—or you can choose at that moment not to be a caretaker. In either case, it will be joyful and perfect because you are being authentic with yourself and those around you.