As a caregiver, do you ever feel as though you are not good enough or what you do doesn’t feel significant enough or recognized? When you seek validation of your worthiness from others, it puts a pressure on them to fulfill that need. Of course, as humans we all have needs. Being loved, liked, and accepted are some of those core needs. However, when we cross the threshold between basic human needs into dependence on others for those needs, we may interrupt the ebb and flow of another human need– that of freedom.
Free to Be
When you set yourself free, you set others free, as well. Caregiving is a journey where two spirits intertwine. While you may not be able to see the supernatural in it, caregiving is a spiritual journey.
Galatians: 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (English Standard Version).
What does it mean to be “free to be?” We know that we are all individual, unique in our own rights with our own personality quirks. However, have you ever noticed that you adapt yourself to mold and blend into the sea of other personalities you come across throughout your day? Do you take on a different persona with your loved one’s medical staff and yet a complete other persona with your siblings? Even as an adult child, you may find yourself acting differently when you are in the presence of your mother or father. Do some of your stories from “childhood past” come up to visit – especially as a caregiver to your aging parents?
You may find yourself triggered in the presence of your ex. Being free does not mean that you excuse bad behavior. It means that you can forgive it, not let it keep you rooted in a ground of thorns on which you stand, and go forth to plant new seedlings.
There are many ways we seek validation from other beings:
- Through seeking attention (unable to survive without it)
- By being codependent (feeding off the needs of others makes us important)
- By holding onto anger (in unforgiveness, we get to be right and this validates us all the more)
If you are feeling like a victim of circumstances, waiting for someone to treat you better or make you feel good, then you may want to take a deeper look. There is an intrinsic difference in someone making you angry and you choosing to “be” angry. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make you happy either. This is your birthright.
Being free means you choose to surround yourself with more and more people that you feel great around, but you can still feel good in their absence. Being free also means that you are perfectly capable of setting healthy boundaries.
Forgiveness: Looking Through another Lens
Acts 8:23 “For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (New International Version)
Sometimes people hurt us; this is a fact of life. We may be blindsided by the actions of others. However, there are also times when we have danced the dance and played a part in this play called life. Our stories from our past and our subconscious mind play a role in how we are being and even the people we draw into our lives.
There is quite a bit of talk around forgiveness. Many beautiful quotes represent forgiving someone else as freeing yourself. Forgiveness, however, can do so much more for humanity. By forgiving another human being of their actions, you set them free, as well. You give them a gift. The simple act of forgiveness has the potential to plant many seeds – seeds of compassion, admiration, and freedom.
Sometimes holding onto anger keeps us in the mindset of being right. Yes, forgiveness sets us free, but also benefits the life of another.
When you drop a pebble in a pond, it has a ripple effect. You have the power to be the pebble.
The Creation that is Explicitly You
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (English Standard Version)
When you seek validation from others as a deep need, you may not be able to embrace the real meaning of self-worth. Self-worth, as it states, can only come from self. There is no constant need for extensive, outside-sourced validation that you cannot fulfill on your own.
When you seek validation from others that you cannot get from yourself, you question the very nature of your creation and your creator. Know that God loves all of you, your mistakes (which, by the way are only lessons turned inside out), your shortcomings, and your perfectly imperfect self.
While it is our responsibility to do the work to expand, learn, and grow, never forget that you are an extension of God’s work. Why not accept yourself right here and now as wholly perfect and complete. Tell yourself that you are loved and valued, and that with God all things are possible.
Free yourself, free someone else, and seek validation only from the core being of your soul. Anchor that up to God, connect with Him as your source. When you give yourself the green light to be free, you raise the green flag for others to run their own race as well. This sets you free and gives others the power to be “free to be” as well.
Do you sometimes seek validation for your role as caregiver? Don’t worry, God knows who He has chosen and why. Do you sometimes find that no one “gets” it when it comes to your caregiver role? Please be generous and share with a comment.