Thursday, May 19, 2016

Caregiver versus Caretaker

I read an article some time ago about a study that was done on people that worked in the "caretaking industry."   The article was about why some people in that industry burn out quickly and others don't.  This article was not a "how to," it was simply comparing personality traits that the author noticed.  The article categorized people that had burn outs more frequently or ended up changing jobs as "caretakers" on the other side; the people that stayed in positions longer or did not have frequent burn outs were categorized as "caregivers."

What I took away from the article, boiled down to this: caregivers care for people by focusing on abundance, caretakers tend to focus on lack.   The quality of care did not seem to suffer, no one was accusing these workers of not taking care of their patients.  The focus was on the part of the caregiver, was it out of obligation, was it out of fear, was it out of gratitude, was it out of love...the list goes on.  

I have a limiting belief, that might sound absurd when you read it, understand that it is something I truly and deeply believed.  It is a belief that I have been peeling back layer by layer for a long time, and my mind pokes and looks for reinforcement of this belief all the time.  I have been locked in an argument for most of life about this.   "I am not worthy of loving and serving God."   There it is, being brought out into the light.   

Now I could spend time translating that statement, and all the different forms it takes, but that doesn't help me.  Like I said, some part of me knows it is absurd, if someone said they felt that way, I would be shocked.  The God that I have studied, the different approaches, all teach that God is love.  So where would my mind come up with such a statement?  I don't know, it doesn't matter, it is not true.  That doesn't stop the battle, this draining argument that is constantly happening.  It is what made me a "caretaker."  It is why I usually would feel drained after work that I loved, because I was using the work to fight a war within myself.  

I bring this war into the light, and allow a deep wound to be seen and heard, because I am exhausted. Because I will learn to give from abdunance, from this internal fire and a deep love for myself.  What does that mean?  

It means I stop arguing with the voice, I stop acting as both prosecutor and defense attorney.  What does that look like? Continue to make taking care of myself a priority, continue to learn that making choices and taking action to heal helps empower me.  Let my actions speak for themselves, bring life to the action not use the action as fuel and significance.  

I watch others do this on a daily basis, I am fortunate enough to have experienced this state for myself at times.  There is no "how to,"  no one can give me a flow chart, or a map I will just continue to refocus, to pick myself up and allow others to pick me up when I fall down.   

Question of the day: What limiting belief can you bring into the light today, even just by telling it to someone else?  What wants to be seen and heard?

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