Were you taught you were special?
Do you realize or recognize that your desires are important?
I never was taught this by my parents, the education system, our current form of government or my church body. I was taught to be a cog in the wheel; I was taught to be a caretaker.
One of the parts of unraveling my life that I have despised the most was the realization I was a caretaker. John Eldredge said it best, “The worst thing that can happen to us as men is when the false self is successful”. My caretaking made me a successful manager, and has helped me rise to the top of almost every organization that I have ever been involved with.
It really is easier to take care of everyone else’s needs isn’t it? The internal psyche of a caretaker says, “If I am focused on them, I don’t have to focus on myself”. If you are a caretaker, you know how hard it is to ask for someone to take care of your needs. I know it is for me; uncovering my own dreams and aspirations has been even harder. I was never taught how to dream, how to aspire to be more, or how to reach for something I desire. Even as I write these words, I can feel the churning of anxiety in my stomach. “What do you want?” is a question that shames most of us more than we can handle, so we would rather ask others, “What do you need me to do for you?” That is much easier, isn’t it?
There are two aspects of being a caretaker that really end up harming others: being controlling and being critical. The biggest issue with being a caretaker is that what you are really doing is controlling others. You are getting what you want (avoiding your own needs) by actually doing for others, but this leads to a shallow existence because you never reach deep into your on soul to uncover your desires. You can become important to others because they can’t make it without you, but is the real purpose of life importance?
The second thing that being a caretaker does is it turns loving people (caretakers) into critics. It is easy to become critical of others if you are doing everything for everyone. It allows others to be less responsible and you to be more responsible, which leads to bitterness and contempt. Criticism becomes our release valve for the bitterness and contempt that grows in our souls, but it never releases enough pressure. Just below the surface bitterness and contempt brew, and the caretaker wrestles with the pressure to please everyone. I have noticed this is a place that many women find themselves when they have a husband, a career and a couple of kids to take care of. Many women that I have counseled have used this line in my office: “I don’t even know who I am anymore.” This is not life; this is existence.
The next few blogs are going to be committed to helping my fellow caretakers become better leaders, fathers, mothers and spouses, but more importantly, to help unlock the life that you may have never tasted, a life of desire.
If you know someone who is a caretaker share this blog with them. It may change their life.
Thanks for reading my stuff! Hope you have a great day!