Endigar 786

From Courage to Change of February 23;

Even as a child, I had grown-up responsibilities, so it is no wonder that I grew up to be a caretaker. It seemed so comfortable, so automatic to think of others first and to give myself completely to whatever crisis was at hand without a thought for myself. When I became aware that this was not one lf  my most admirable traits but was instead a form of self-destructiveness, I was horrified. I set  out to wipe out all such behavior and attitudes. I was determined to become as self-involved and uncaring as possible.

Fortunately, I failed to make such a radical change. Today, years later, I am still a caretaker, and I probably always will be. But now I consider it a valued characteristic, a gift of my upbringing that can greatly enhance my life if I don’t carry it to the extreme.  Although I no longer  do things for others that they could do for themselves, I still try to be nurturing to them as well as myself. Al-Anon helps me to find some balance.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will try not to condemn parts of myself while accepting other parts. I am a composite, and I love myself best when I embrace all that I am.

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I struggle with this  self-destructive caretaking. It is difficult for me to see it as a gift from my childhood. I suppose I have not been able to achieve the balance necessary to use it without unknowingly discarding self-care. I wanted to go to military school when I was adolescent to escape this adult burden of family diplomat and champion and harden myself. My life of military service failed to purge this indoctrinated “weakness” from my personality.

Yet, when I became the primary care-giver of my father, I did see its benefit when used where it should be. My father was a good man who was self-sacrificing. In honoring him, it has given me a different perspective on my own compassion. I think the balance will come as I grow more comfortable directing some of that heart in my direction. I have tried it a few times and my soul seems to respond. This is an ongoing process that I believe to be a beneficial pursuit.

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