Giving care in a takers world
Upon hearing the word caretaker what do you conjure up? A kindly person who selflessly cares for others no matter what the cost to themselves? A mother, father, sister, brother, a friend?
To caretake one another in our culture is held up as a valuable aspiration, and indeed, all the countless humans who care for others needs are to be honored, deeply.
But consider another perspective on this, perhaps rather than care-taking we could be care-giving. To give care, rather than to take care of…there is a difference. Energetically this requires clear and solid boundaries of our own. Knowing where we end and another person begins. To be sure this line is justifiably crossed when caring for children, but amongst our adult relationships, it is important to create our own energetic boundaries.
We are often encouraged to merge our energies and emotions with those of another. To absorb and feel their pain. We call this lending a sympathetic ear which is beautiful; to listen to others and hear their reality, but to take in their reality crosses a boundary. We are letting their truth into our container and that can cause us pain. This creates a culture of caretaking, offering up advice, attempting to control another persons reality, outcomes, emotions. Not holding space for others to simply feel their authentic feels, their reality. Care-giving is the ability to simply sit and listen without judgment or problem-solving. To give unconditional support and love and to only offer up ideas if invited. It is always a lie to think we can fix or change anyone else’s reality. Isn’t it challenging enough to manage our own realities?
Our truth, our reality is ours. It is sacred and cannot be truly understood or felt by another. Each individual manifests their own reality according to free-will and the unique perspective we each create throughout our lives. To be a caregiver rather than a care-taker is a truly humble act of Love. It requires constant vigilance, as we so very much want to help. However, if we consider honoring our own reality by honoring the reality of others perhaps then we are truly able to give care. Caring is loving and loving is caring, who can you give care to in your reality?