Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. Right? We hear it all the time: you can’t give what you don’t have, self-care first and foremost, etc. and yet caretaker types are the first to complain that no one takes care of them. They do the caring then when they’re depleted no one is around. Seems legit on the surface and when you dig a little deeper you can often find that those same giving people are simply not available to receive the same caring in return.
Law of attraction, another harped on concept, is in my experience true. In spite of all the hokey blather attached to it in some forums we can’t receive what we’re not in resonance with energetically. If we’re giving and never receiving what’s up with that?
What if we start a practice to take care of ourselves so we can bring up all the stories around why we don’t, why we’re having to be told in memes and posts like this to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. What if take a look at what caretaking, advocacy and service actually mean to us.
Can a caretaker have eyes that aren’t drooping from too many tears and missed sleeping hours? Utilize vacation days, for real vacation days away from email and cell phones? Have a heart in their chest that isn’t always on the verge of shattering like thin glass?
How do we define it? Do we think we’re not doing it “right” if we’re happy, well-rested and eating something besides greasy Fritos and Diet Coke for lunch? We need to take an honest look at how available we truly are to being taken care of. Being the caretak-er is often far easier than being the caretak-ee though isn’t it?
Letting people take care of us requires a level of vulnerability that might not feel at all comfortable. It might, *gasp*, make us feel valued and dare I say cherished by those around us that we do such a great job of tending.
It might violate our stories and definitions around what it means to be a mother, father, therapist, social worker, police officer, nurse, animal and/or people advocate and all the other helping and healing roles. If we have a storyline that reads these roles come with a certain “job” description that doesn’t include being on the receiving end then we are not going to get back what we’re so busy giving. We aren’t resonating with receiving, it literally cannot come into our energy world.
Ever tried to give someone something out of an expansive place in your heart and had them arm wrestle you over it?
“Hey friend I’d love to pick up the tab for this lunch here, I just so enjoyed our time together!”
“What? Good God no I couldn’t possibly let you do that!”
“No, no really I’ve got some extra money this month I’d like to pamper you a bit.”
Incredulous expression followed by more refusal until the confused giver gives in to the refusal of the person who just missed out on receiving some love.
Typically the refuser is an over giver, possibly even at times a person teetering on the mad edge of martyrdom.
Recently on one of my Periscope book discussion broadcasts a viewer (Heather Westmoreland I think) mentioned using victimhood as currency and I thought up Martyr Money. Or at least I think that may be one of my rare original thoughts, knowing the internet if it’s been used elsewhere someone will be quick and sure to point it out!
Martyr Money is a secret account frequently utilized by over givers to give too much, to the point of exhaustion which then requires everyone around them to pick up the load at a moment’s notice. The Martyr Money account is saved up and then used later to manipulate the hell out of everyone.
They won’t ever accept a gift from you because to do so would decrease the MM in their account. If they accepted gifts they couldn’t work you later for something they want more than your free lunch or small but thoughtful gift like your pity/sympathy/guilt.
This idea is hilarious at first especially when we recognize ourselves having done or currently doing this pattern to a greater or lesser degree in our professional/personal lives. However, it’s also massively self-destructive and the core of why some people literally burn out working in human and animal services.
It’s not funny anymore when it means that you’re doing good service work in the world and can’t pay your rent because you can’t receive compensation effectively or you burn out or you leave service and no one benefits from your offerings…or worse.
This needs to be looked at and quickly.
What are your stories around giving, serving, offering your gifts to the world? Where are those stories preventing you from refilling your tanks before they’ve run completely dry?
I invite you to look at the discomfort you may feel when receiving energy, attention, love from other people. It’s uncomfortable because it’s vulnerable and unfamiliar. Vulnerability may equal danger in your perception so you can explore that on your own or with a therapist or coach.
You may be energetically un-grounded, living out of your body so to speak intensely focused on others, abandoning your body and the connection to your Soul/Source on a near 24/7 basis.
Would you be willing to close your Martyr Money account? Would you be willing to explore why you are giving and not being given to by those around you? Would you ask yourself today if you’re really up for resonating with receiving and wait to hear the answer arise in the quiet of your mind?