To you my fellow caregiver, my peer, my dear colleague. To my soul sister, my soul brother, you with the sensitive and wide-open heart, who is here to serve, to love, to guide. To you who has been over-giving and depleting your precious energy. I see you 💜
I am a caregiver. I have been all my life. And as a child, I learned to care for others in return for their love. As an adult, I followed my heart into burnout. I hit emotional walls, many times. I was perplexed: if I am following my calling, how can it feel so heavy and exhausting? Yet, no matter what the cost, I found myself drawn back into service by my burning desire to serve. Something inside propelled me to share all that I had with others. Guiding people to find emotional freedom was the most important and most meaningful thing in my life. Over and over, I found myself drained, depleted, disillusioned, and sick. Eventually, this pattern would precipitate a crisis. A series of wake up calls, some louder than others that would force me to face what wasn't working.
I came to realize that my motivation came from a childhood wound. I had acquired a flawed belief: it's never enough. This belief no longer served me yet it was the driver for everything I did as a teacher.
As a child and a young woman, I naturally filled the role of caregiver in order to be loved, first by my parents, then by my friends. I knew I was loved when I knew they needed me. Yet their happiness would never be enough to provide the sense of love and security that I was seeking. The love they needed had to come from within them, and there was nothing I could ever do that would give them what they truly needed.
Mine was an impossible endeavor. I had developed a flawed relationship with service. My need for love was a question of my survival, so I developed a secondary need to be needed, a need that would mask my deeper desire for real love.
As an adult, this false need guided my life. My innate caregiving impulse, my strong drive to have an impact on the world, combined with my need to be needed, was the perfect recipe for crises, breakdowns, and burnouts. It manifested in the form of sickness, depression, insecurity, hurt, drama, and mental and emotional suffering. It strained relationships because I often felt uncared for and resentful. �
Every time I went through the healing journey of freeing myself from a layer of the flawed belief, "It's never enough," I found new energy, new power, and unique gifts I didn't know I had. To do this, I had to frequently take a step back and work on letting go of the need to be needed by my clients, friends, colleagues, even my spouse, and my children. I had to redefine service for myself. Paradoxically, this process increased my capacity as a healer, a teacher, and a leader. My reach broadened, and each time, my joie de vivre and health were restored.
The limitless energy and power you hold is not accessible by pushing through, over-giving, over-delivering, or spreading yourself thin, but it is by taking a big step back, creating enough space for you to be with yourself and do the healing work so that when you do take action next, it is coming from a place of LIFE force energy in you and not from the draining conditioned belief that it’s never enough. You are here to be enlivened by your gifts. Ask yourself this question: who was I before others needed me?
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