“A true caregiver opens her heart compassionately and emits a positive flow of energy with others without suffering with them.” ~ Dr. Debra Reble
Even with all the strides women have made, we are still discovering how to be of service without losing ourselves. We tend to lose our sense of self in relationships while focusing on our partner or family. Most of all, we often forget that we are whole and worthwhile apart from the “caretaker” roles we play.
Like many women, I’ve been a “caretaker” most of my life. Yet, it’s only been recently that I’ve become a “caregiver.” I’ve discovered that there’s a difference between the two. As a heathy caregiver, I can be in the service of others without losing myself. This means balancing my own needs with everyone else’s.
Yet, it wasn’t always this way. Having to step in and take care of my family at the age of eight, I received on-the-job training in being a caretaker. The pattern of caretaking served a purpose and my own and my siblings survival depended it. But, this meant that the little girl in me had to step aside and grow up quickly. So much so, I hadn’t learned to honor my own needs and energies.
If you had asked me several years ago if I saw myself being of service to the world in a bigger way, I would have said hell no. Yet, I knew from the time I was a little girl that I was called to be of compassionate service to others. I wanted to hide and remain invisible because I didn’t want to be a caretaker for the world. Yet, it was time I claimed sovereignty over my own life. It was time to stop compromising myself by continuing to play small. My soul intent to live a life of authenticity, service, and fulfill my soul’s purpose as a spiritual leader won out. And that, in turn, meant changing how I operated in my relationships, guarding against going into serving others at the cost of myself, like I had done in the past. I also had to balance my time and energies and honor my energetic boundaries.
As women, we are here to love, to be love, and to serve; yet, our service must be a healthy energetic exchange. This mutual exchange of energy means that our needs are just as important as another person’s. If we invest in self-care and provide for our own needs, we will ensure that we have the resources to care for others and our world. Once we do this for ourselves, we can be the compassionate healers, lightkeepers, and stewards of humanity we are meant to be without sacrificing ourselves in the process. We can live consciously serving ourselves as well as others highest and greatest good.
Our service at this time is to hold the space for humanity’s consciousness to shift to a higher vibration. Unfortunately, most of us do not understand that we are being asked to serve in this way, and therefore succumb to serving from an unhealthy way rather than shifting to this higher level of vibration needed to be of service on the planet. But it is now time for us to cease our own suffering and be true to our essence as beings of light and love.
Here are 4 Ways to Be of Service Without Losing Yourself:
- Create Healthy Energetic Boundaries: By creating healthy energetic boundaries, you become a more loving, compassionate person. These “love fences” allow you to compassionately engage with others, but still protect yourself from any unwanted energy. It is possible to be loving with another person while still holding others accountable. By setting clear boundaries, you love and value yourself by showing others how you wish to be treated. You can be easily triggered by other people’s emotions and energies. When you feel a physical or emotional reaction, pause and say to yourself, “If this is mine, I will deal with it.” If it’s not, your energy field has been invaded, and you need to clear it. Use the mantra “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
- Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everybody: Running from person to person, trying to be everything to everybody will exhaust and deplete you. This pattern of caretaking usually stems from a “need to be needed.” Making choices from obligation can create feelings of resentment that build up overtime. This resentment can lead to feeling like a victim where you are powerless. When you chose to serve others from a place of unconditional love instead of obligation, you will feel more in alignment with your heart and soul. It lifts the spirit and you vibrate a deeper level.
- Balance Your Needs with Everyone Else’s: Like a sponge, your sensitive energy field is porous and can soak up the energy from others. This often leads to compassion fatigue or empathy overload. It’s essential that you detox any negative energies you absorb. Honor your need for solitude. Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of every day to meditate, journal, or relax. Take deep cleansing breaths, shower or bath, drink lots of water, and spend time in nature to clear your energy field. All of these will ground you and bring you back into energetic balance
- Refrain from taking others’ reactions to heart: Reacting to any person by getting upset or angry only entrenches you further in the unhealthy interaction. By becoming aware, you can notice the vulnerabilities that have hooked you into a toxic situation. The stronger your reaction is to a person or situation the more deep-seated your vulnerability may be. Release any strong negative feelings privately first through journaling, walking, or exercising. Remind yourself that the other person is going through their own process of self-discovery, which has nothing to do with you. Trust that they are on their own spiritual path, no matter what it looks like at the time. Not knowing what they need, accept that they are co-creating the life experiences they need to spiritually transform.