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It gives me a chance to consider the perspectives of others that are beyond my own experience.
Caring brings me closer to God. It strengthens my faith & enriches my life
It is all I have to be “rich” with! … * Caring * and acting on the the caring appropriately, is The Way , The Truth and The Life
Their success is your success.
Caring for someone makes me feel connected to other people and it gives me a sense of purpose.
It makes me feel part of a much larger whole. Caring about and for others makes me feel connected.
The butterfly effect empowered by selflessness. The enrichment may be a by-product but never the catalyst.
By getting my mind off of myself.
This is such a timely question. Had it been asked of me a few weeks ago I would have responded very differently because, if I’m honest, caring for my parents had started to feel overwhelming. Most frequently it seemed like a chore or an obligation and it generated feelings of guilt and worry because I never felt that I was doing enough or doing it right or feeling as I believed that I should. The commitment to them sometimes prevents me from extending care to the wider family and to the community and that became another source of internal conflict. Now I see things through different eyes. I try not to hold myself to account, knowing I am doing all that I can even if it’s not perfect. Instead of feeling burdened, I am enriched by the privilege of getting to care for Mum & Dad in whatever form I am able. My heart is opened by caring, my being is softened. And this, without conscious effort from me, seems to have extended into other areas of life. I am so grateful for this new understanding.
Caring for others makes me realize “it is not always about me”. I feel part of a wider circle. I feel like I am giving, contributing. It gives me purpose. It gives me an opportunity to be love. ❤️
I get to have coffee with them at old and new coffee shops in town! Well, that’s not a heavy-duty caring… I only ‘care for’ my guinea pig, in the sense of hands-on caring, and I get to feel her warm furry body – her bony back and soft underside. I get to spend a weekly evening with my granddaughters when their parents go out and I bring pizza and watermelon. We watch Anime cartoons and I play a game on my phone; I feel inadequate in the level of care I give them and don’t know how I could give better care. I developed a stronger love for one of my children; recognizing the role my parenting had played in her problems, I feel great compassion for her and don’t feel a need to criticize her now; I light a candle here if I need to free my mind of useless worries about her.
Dear, dear Mica. I think you are being too hard on yourself. All parents make mistakes. None of us know how to be perfect. The job comes without instructions and we do the best figuring things out as we go. We love them so much. It’s not lack of motivation, here. Child psychologists don’t even agree on ways of parenting. I remember when my son was about fourteen he would yell at me that I made him angry. I’d tell him if I could make him angry, I could also make him not-angry and I would certainly try, but I didn’t have that power. I sometimes wonder too if I played a part in my daughter’s low self esteem. But if I had that power, wouldn’t I also have had the power to give her better self esteem? I would try to while she lived here, but in trying I realized I could not. I could only try, and in my own imperfect way. At the end of the day, our children are their own persons. They make choices as they grow as to how they will interpret things, what they will hang on to, and what they will forget or discount. Each child, just as we did when we were children, reacts differently, uniquely. Might we have done better? Yes, but how? And, aren’t we human, too? We have to let it go, Mica. There is just today.
You are showing up, Mica. That’s a very important part of feeling loved. ❤
Actually, Holly, this feels good, compared with blaming my daughter for being who she is. My son loved me from when he first re-opened his eyes at about 5 days old, as it seems to me. My daughter was so different. I’ve wondered what it would have been like to have them in the opposite order, because my daughter was a much easier baby than my son, who was quite demanding. Would my daughter have set the ‘standard of excellence’ instead of my son?
YOur daughter is an artist?? I’m glad you’re feeling better about how she’s doing now.
I have hope. She said she is thinking of going to Ohio State next year. She would have to stay there, which would get her away from her present boyfriend for a while. I sit on an edge and do a balancing act. Some days are easier than others.
I was busy today and did not get to answering today’s question. Probably I would answer it a little differently on a different day. But on some days I think about how difficult the road has sometimes been, but also how I would not trade it for anything. The act of loving enriches our lives so deeply it is indescribable. I absolutely can’t imagine what my life would be like were it not for the blessing of these children, now young people, in my life. Even aching when I worry or they are having a hard time. We care, we do acts of caring, but it is really us who have received the precious gift.
It puts me in a happy place. I feel my purpose in life is to love and contribute. So caring helps me pursue that. There is nothing I can do on my own.
It’s the essence of life and human community. There are different levels of care that I give: grandkids, for example, versus the help I give a stranger in the grocery store. But these different levels of care come from the same heart and the belief that we’re all connected and need each other.
This is so true, Patricia.
Thank you for giving me a new way of thinking today.
Being outward focused on caring for others whittles away on my self centered & selfish mentality that continually needs monitoring & inventory.
This is tricky for me. I can decide to care for someone as a response to a feeling of not having purpose in my life. Seek some suitable object for my attention and then they become a kind of project. This is, in my experience, not enriching at all. There is an inauthentic quality that tends to dissipate my lived experience and ‘they’ become a ‘burden’. Now I appreciate how caring can be far removed energetically. Nurses in ICU, lifeguards on a beach, Ski patrol on a mountain…or in my case customers to whom I am providing hospitality, all care with relative anonymity, the lack of any real expectation from them as individuals in return for my care…is somehow important. Also, the enrichment is unrelated to my having to perform any actual direct aid…just standing watch is an act of caring. This is the ‘caring that enriches my life. But hey, I’m damaged.
Damaged – aren’t we all, Howie?! 🥰🤗
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