Caring Too Much

My strength is that I care too much. It is also my biggest weakness.

We are in a constant search of self. My journey to loving myself, accepting who I am and taming my inner child has been difficult. It’s not an easy path and the journey never ends.

On my road of self discovery, I have come to recognise my biggest strength and my biggest weakness. My strength is that I care too much, it is also my biggest weakness.

Sometimes you need to know your place in someone’s life because you might get hurt if you expect too much. – Hannah Lina

I have spent most of my life being helpful and meeting the needs of others, spending all my energy giving of myself and in the process I have neglected my own needs. I have come to realise that a big part of my giving and being of service to others, ultimately stemmed from my own insecurities and a deep sense of loneliness. I felt that I had to earn the right to be loved and I needed approval, recognition and admiration from others. In many ways, my insecurities and need to feel worthy of love is directly linked to my childhood and having been sexually abused as a child.

In order to feel good about myself, I poured my energy into being helpful to others. I became so focused on the people I love, that I didn’t pay attention to my own unmet needs and feelings. In fact, I have felt that my needs can only be met if I meet everyone else’s needs first.

Five years ago I found myself at a complete loss. I felt as if I was giving so much to everyone but received very little in return. I started assessing my life and pursued a journey of self discovery. I have learned to love myself first, to give to myself first and to become self-aware. That does not mean caring less about others or loving anyone else less. It just meant that I understood the value in taking care of myself first. It’s an ongoing process and sometimes I still struggle, having to remind myself continuously that I have to stand firm and not to be left drained by my need to please.

You have to be who you are and some people are givers and some are takers. It’s just life, but you always have enough love in your heart to keep on giving. – Debbie Rodriguez

It has been difficult because when you have been available to people all your life, giving without questioning, they can’t understand and find it difficult when things change. Personally I have had to deal with acknowledging my own selfishness. I have realised that my care and love for others, has for the longest time been conditional in many ways. It was motivated by my own need to feel needed, loved and accepted. I have been giving in order to receive something in return.

I have an exceptional gift, the gift of love and giving.  I have now learned how to channel this gift in a way to maintain healthy relationships and to give without expecting anything in return. This meant letting go of certain relationships and emotionally detaching from others, to find emotional balance within myself. Caring and giving has become a strength.

Detaching from others doesn’t mean that I don’t care about them or that I don’t love them. It simply means that I understand and accept that caring does not make me responsible for their issues. Positive detachment means that I have a certain level of mental assertiveness and that I am able to set personal boundaries when faced with challenges and the emotional demands of others. Sometimes in order to maintain your own emotional balance you have to care for and love people from a distance.

Detachment is not about refusing to feel or not caring or turning away from those you love. Detachment is profoundly honest, grounded firmly in the truth of what is. –   Sharon Salzberg

I also have to remind myself that when people detach from me the same applies. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care or don’t love me. They just might not have the capacity,  at the time, to accommodate what is happening in my life. It might be that they need the space to deal with their own emotional baggage. I need to allow space in my life for them to return when and if they ever need to, on my terms.

I now choose to spend my time with people who add to my life and I don’t seek permission from anyone to do so. When you live to please, people will manipulate you and take whatever they can from you. You are to blame for this because you have allowed them to do so out of weakness. My responsibility lies in letting people know that I love them but also that I have to take care of my own emotional wellbeing.

When you find yourself in a situation with someone where you are keeping things from them, can’t openly communicate with them or you are stepping carefully around them,  out of fear that you might upset them, you are being manipulated and you are giving too much. It takes a great amount of introspection, self-love and self-awareness to understand this. It takes courage to do something about it or put distance between you and the situation or the other person.

There is nothing easy about taking your power back. It becomes most difficult when you are faced with a situation where you love someone so much that it actually hurts and you feel completely vulnerable and exposed. It hurts so much when you know its time to let go but all you want to do is hold on with everything inside you.

One step at a time, one day at a time. There are good days, bad days and better days and I’m growing stronger every day.

Finding the balance in caring requires courage. 

From caring comes courage. Lao Tzu

Do you care too much? Do you believe that it is possible to give too much of yourself to a situation or people you love? How do you manage yourself in these situations?

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

One thought on “Caring Too Much

  1. Oh my word! Reading this has been so relevant. Just yesterday I made a decision to refuse being manipulated and being scared to address an issue that was making me upset because I was scared how my boyfriend was going to react. But I decided to confront him because I knew I was giving too much. Like you said, there is nothing easy about taking your power back but it had to be done. Thank you Lynn for the affirmation that it’s important to take care of my emotional well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

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