Reflecting on Chronic Caregiving

IMG_1480 2I have been really tired these past few months and have had a hard time sleeping. When I went to see a healer, he told me I am seriously depleted. He said my heart meridian is working 100 times more than the capacity my body can support, and 200 times what it’s meant to. What a metaphor to hear, that my heart is overworking!

It seems I care for myself quite well, so how is this possible?

What I have been realizing is that I may be a chronic caregiver. I love being there for my friends, family and colleagues. When there is no opportunity for caregiving, I create one.

I have been looking at the pattern of chronic caregiving to examine how this kind of addiction gets set up.

I am noticing the following thought patterns:

1. I am deeply disturbed by the state of the world and I want to contribute to healing those who are suffering.
2. As teacher of Body Dialogue and a healing professional doesn’t it makes sense that now is the time to get to work?
3. I know that healing is a partnership, but what if everyone is too busy to take the time to breathe and create a better self-care practice? Does it become my job to do it for them?
4. Surely, if I give more love won’t I get more love in return? Isn’t it true that if I am a good person I will attract good people to me?

What is the motivation behind chronic caregiving? What are the ways this pattern gets set up? For me, this started in my early family life. Being the youngest child in a family of trauma survivors meant that in order to be taken care of and seen, I needed to be taking care of others. This behavior was set up so young that I wasn’t aware of the destructive aspect of it until I started having serious health problems. Time and again, healers would point out to me that continuing this behavior could result in an autoimmune disease.

On the one hand, we all need to be cared for. On the other hand, the care we each need is soul love. And this kind of love is rooted in our early experience with our mothers. The quality of energy we seek is a nourishment from the deep feminine. If we were deprived of nourishment in our earliest days, we will continually compensate by looking outside ourselves to get filled up and replenished.

In the collective, there is a great emphasis on self reliance and achievement that will never replenish us. We will continue to feel depleted. And I believe it is for this reason that we don’t know how to care for our bodies or to care for our mother earth. Only when we respect and honor the archetypal and personal mother, can we heal from this patriarchal wound.

How can we shower every nook and cranny of our soul with love and compassion? I believe this work can begin by recognizing our individual grief and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to feel what is really happening inside. Only then can we become our own caregiver.

This piece of Erin’s expresses it so well…


As delicate as
The wings of a butterfly
A spider’s web
The surface of a calm pond…
The center of Grief
How do you reach down
And touch something
So fragile
So fleeting
So far away
Deep inside of me
How do I get there
And if I could reach
How do I put my finger on it
Without destroying the rest
Of my world
Would it all come crumbling down
On top of me
Or would I be
Lifted up
To a Higher place
Above such
Painful emotions
As Grief
What if, at the very Core,
Center of our Grief
There is
Absolute peace
What if, by touching our Grief,
We can change it
Into something beautiful
Something we can sit with
And admire
And give Gratitude for
What if we each tried
To reach that deep inside

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply