“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.”  ~ James Allen 

It has taken me some time to know the difference between care-taking and caregiving.  I used to be a big care-taker.  I would take care of everyone else’s feelings and problems and dismiss my own.  Of course I always felt frustrated when I didn’t receive the accolades for my heroic endeavours from the people I took care of.  I felt that they owed me.

Then one day I learned that loving myself is most important so that I could give for the sake of giving and let go of attachment to what I received back. I also learned that I am not responsible for fixing others.  As a matter of fact I really had to examine my ego (easing God out) and come to terms with my arrogance.  Yes I thought I knew what was best for others.

Letting all that go and allowing others to have their feelings, their experiences and their pain,  knowing that I am not responsible for their experience or their feelings was liberating and scary.  Scary because I had to focus on my pain and my co-dependency patterns and do my healing work.  I am grateful for this experience for I am now free to live my life in joy and have a healthy detachment from other people’s “stuff”.  I also understand and recognize that each person has the ability to heal, raise their awareness and consciousness and deal with their own feelings.  I now acknowledge each person’s divinity, spirit and abilities vs. seeing them as broken and incapable.

That does not mean I don’t have my moments of wanting to jump into the hole with someone and caretake them at times.  It means I am aware of when it happens and make healthy constructive choices that support me in staying connected to my essence and loving myself.  The result, I am a kinder, more compassionate and gracious human being.

Do you ever find yourself in the caretaker role?  Do you find it hard to not be the caretaker?

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