A woman emailed us asking for suggestions. Her pattern of caring for stray animals was feeling overwhelming.
It’s wonderful to care for other beings. It can help us feel loved and loving. But when we feel the need to do it compulsively and secretly, there is often something else at work. If you find yourself taking care of people, animals, or things at the expense of your own well-being, Tapping (EFT) can help!
If we felt neglected, traumatized, or starved when we were little, we can have parts of us that are stuck in that feeling. Those hurt parts of us resonate strongly with the pain we see in others. It can be unbearable to see the ones we love suffering. We will do ANYTHING to make it stop… to try to help.
This gives our love a layer of desperation to it, and we’ll sacrifice whatever we need to in order to get relief. In effect, part of us learned long ago that we can’t help ourselves… that we are powerless to heal and comfort those old hurts. So we rescue someone or something else, over and over again, in an attempt to soothe the ache and loneliness inside.
My Aunt MiMi had that pattern. She spent a large amount of her salary and most of her free time feeding stray cats. I remember going with her when I was young, and watching her face. I could tell she felt safe with the cats. And while she was taking care of them, she felt relief. But she wasn’t really good at taking care of herself. She didn’t have balance.
Other people lavish care on a spouse, a child, a job, their car, or their stuffed animal collection. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless it stops being something you choose, and becomes a requirement for your self-worth. When the external focus diverts most or all of your attention from self-nurture, some questions can help you reclaim your power and your choice.
– What part of you wants to be rescued, comforted, nurtured?
– What happened that made you feel neglected and abandoned?
– When you think of taking care of yourself even ten percent as carefully and lovingly as you care for what you focus all your energy on now, what beliefs and fears come up?
Traumas can be frozen in our system for decades, and feel just as painful as the day they happened. You may find this presentation helpful in understanding how the brain and body store these hurts:
Let’s do some tapping.
Karate Chop: Even though I need to take care of them first, I’m open to learning to care for myself, too.
Even though taking care of them is almost compulsive, and it feels terrible if I don’t help, I wonder if part of me needs some love and comfort, too.
Even though it’s SO much easier to focus on them, I’m ready to look at this a new way, heal these old hurts, and feel more balanced.
Top of the Head: I have to take care of them.
Eyebrow: It hurts if I don’t.
Side of the Eye: I’ve been focusing on them for so long.
Under the Eye: At least I can help them.
Under the Nose: I don’t feel like I can help me.
Chin: I gave up on me long ago.
Collarbone: I felt so powerless back then.
Under the Arm: But I’m tired of hurting.
Top of the Head: What if there is a different way?
Eyebrow: What if I could heal these hurts?
Side of the Eye: What if there is a way to love them…
Under the Eye: AND me?
Under the Nose: I want to feel more balanced.
Chin: I want to take better care of me.
Collarbone: I have old traumas that I want to heal.
Under the Arm: And I’m doing something to help right this minute.
Top of the Head: I don’t have to face this alone.
Eyebrow: I was alone back then.
Side of the Eye: I can tap and soothe myself now.
Under the Eye: I can rescue myself for once.
Under the Nose: I was trapped in a pattern…
Chin: But I’m finding relief.
Collarbone: I can learn to love myself, too.
Under the Arm: And that possibility feels really good.
Take a deep breath.
What came up for you?
If you don’t have the habit of taking care of yourself, it can feel awkward at first. Getting help and support can be a wonderful way to start. Knowing you’re not alone and don’t have to figure it out all by yourself can bring tremendous relief. Our Group Coaching Program can be a powerful way to transform your life. We invite you to join us and begin transforming your life today! http://www.thrivingnow.com/team