If You Love Me, Give Me Less But Give To Me Bigger and Better

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Good news.  Marcy was better.  She was feeling better emotionally, less triggered by simple stressors, and parenting better.  Marcy didn’t think it was anywhere near easy, but it was better.

It had started for her about six months ago, when she realized her children were on edge around her, when she realized she didn’t want to be around her children and when she didn’t like much else either.  Was she a “crabby woman?”  Ouch.  It hurt her to think that.  Were some people just mean?  And she was one of them?  Marcy said no.  She couldn’t make anyone believe her these days but she knew she was designed for something better than that.

When this happened, Marcy hit self-care boot camp.  She cut her time with her kids, husband, any extras.  She didn’t cut them out, but she did cut back.  With that time, she went back to the starting point – herself.  She gave less to them, and more to herself so she could give bigger and better to them whom she loved, not excluding herself.

Good news.  Marcy is better.

Self-Care Tip – Give more to yourself.

Question:  What has your self-care taken from those you love?  What has it done with what you still give to those you love?  Please tell me your story.

Take Care of Yourself And You Will Be Taking Care of Others – “Care-Givers”

Caregiver is a name that many of us own.  From basic parenting scenarios to families complicated with end-of-life, spinal cord injuries, congenital diseases or employees of group homes – care-givers is the generically applied term.

Is it difficult to ID care-givers that “did it right.”  Seeing them is a muscle that operates better by practicing the magical and material skills of empathy, doing rather than saying, so to speak.

By the way, I’m on hold right now with the service provider for our currently nonfunctioning internet.  The hold-music is so bad that I had to put the phone in a closed drawer to muffle it.  #selfcare.  Much better.

There are many people who have cared for me and do care for me.  You for starters have cared for and do care for me in your reading, your time, your thoughts, and comments, you are my givers of care.

I am cared for, and you know I get all fluttery when I start talking about you so I’ll stop before you throw-up.  Unless it’s too late.

There are others who gave and give care, obvious names like parents, spouse and friends. And there are many less obvious names – my dogs talking to me when I get home, the lady who came up to me in the 99-cent store and handed me $20.00 to buy treats for my kids, my psychotherapist who told me to “grow up.”  All these and more have and do care for me.

But do we call these people, (or other living creatures,) caregivers?  Is that a name for what you do for me? Not traditionally but it really is.

The differences are found between those who believe they take care of others when they don’t take care of themselves and the inverse – those who take care of themselves, and as part of that effort to be their own friend see caring for others as a natural maturation of their own needs(Remember, agendas again.) In any other design, taking care of others when we don’t take care of ourselves is not sustainable nor congruent with our intentions.  We become the hare who lost the race to the turtle, angry and confused by our results.

Care for the Caregiver Day
Image by Christiana Care via Flickr

I agree that this attempt to share space with the angels who so lovingly nurture and give to those who can’t give to themselves can be perceived as arrogant, ignorant and other names – creep, idiota, a– h—, pompous, fools, bigots, oblivious, uninformed, (this is fun), benighted, blind, old gum under the picnic table jerks.

Be that as it may, please believe that we speak of caregivers without malice.  And if we are ignorant, please let our flaws inspire you to grow us as empathically as you would like us to grow you.  I know it takes a lot of love to deal with someone like us and it is much easier to walk away.

Questions:  Where do you find yourself in the care you give to others?  What helps you remember your intentions to love yourself when stigma or guilt bang you upside the head?  How do you see that caring for yourself is consistent with your goals to serve others?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Care for yourself and you will see yourself giving care to others.

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Enjoy Life.

This morning my children have a wanting that seems to draw energy from lithium batteries.  They are creative in their persistence and for that I suppose I should congratulate someone.  When they are all petitioning, they find harmonics I never knew existed.  What to do?

It’s like stacking blocks.  All the blocks on top depend on their base.  Oh the lessons we can learn from our children’s toys!  There is the swing that pivots from the hinge.  The potential energy in a ball turned active only by the hand that throws it.  The, …well, we get it.  Our kids need us, parents and care-givers, in good working order, dependable, secure and safe.

Further, we show them by example.  It is not about getting more of what we want, but by pleasuring in what we have.  Such as 3 kids that scream a lot and demand for more, shouldn’t turn my subconscious into wanting a 4th fantasy child who looks like me but doesn’t holler as much.  Right?  Er…

So what do we do?  Take care of ourselves.  Appreciate what we have.  Live by example.  Get taught by circumstance.  Choose and then choose and keep on choosing what we chose to appreciate, live, and learn again.

The Gallup Organization has done many sociological studies on happiness.  In one Gallup World Poll more than 136,000 people in 132 countries were surveyed in 2005-2006.  To measure this, they used questions about emotions, perceived respect, family and friends to count on, and freedom to choose their daily activities, learn new things or do what they do best.  (By the way these are questions worth asking ourselves too.)

As Quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek about the results from this study,

The public always wonders: Does money make you happy? This study shows that it all depends on how you define happiness because, if you

look at life satisfaction, how you evaluate your life as a whole, you see a pretty strong correlation around the world between income and happiness… On the other hand, it’s pretty shocking how small the correlation is with positive feelings and enjoying yourself.

This was the first study to differentiate between life satisfaction and day-to-day positive or negative feelings that people experience.  Getting richer may not be the only thing we can do to enjoy life.

This prompts us to understand our own agendas. (A discussion for another blog-post.)

But how do we take care of ourselves?  Per the positive psychology movement, founded in part by Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD – do things that build self-confidence, strengthen character and develop interpersonal skills.

Well that’s a lot to process for today folks ;).  I’ll shut it down for now.  But before you go…

Question!  What do you think?  Does any of this stand out for you in your life?

Self Care Tip #39 – Do things that build self-confidence, strengthen character and interpersonal skills.  Be a friend to yourself.