Are You Caring or Caretaking?

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Caring = giving to another from love, for the joy of it – as a free gift
Caretaking = giving to get love, giving with an agenda attached, giving yourself up

Even though the actions of caring and the actions of caretaking might look exactly the same, the intention is totally different, so the energy of the actions is also completely different.

Sandy is a caretaker. She is constantly doing things for others – sometimes because they ask her to and other times because she believes that is what they want and expect. The problem is that Sandy often abandons herself to give to others, and then expects others to give back to her and fill the emptiness within her caused by her self-abandonment. She ignores her own feelings and uses giving to others as an addiction to avoid responsibility for herself. She uses her caretaking as a form of control to try to get others to like and value her, rather than learning to like and value herself.

While others may like what Sandy gives to them, they rarely give back to her in the way she hopes for, so Sandy generally ends up feeling invisible, unappreciated, disappointed and drained, and often angry as well.

The energy of Sandy’s giving often doesn’t feel good to others, as they feel pulled on and obligated to give back.

Monica, on the other hand, has learned through her Inner Bonding® process to connect with her personal source of spiritual Guidance, which enables her to define her own worth so that she isn’t needy of others’ attention and approval. She knows how to fill herself with love and to take 100% responsibility for her own feelings. Before giving to others, she checks in with herself to see if this is something she really wants to do, so that when she gives, it is for the joy of it. Her caring is a free gift – there are no strings attached. She has no expectations about how the other person “should” respond.

The energy of Monica’s giving feels wonderful – a breath of fresh air that warms the heart and fills the soul.

While Sandy and Monica may do exactly the same thing – for example cook a lovely meal for their partner – the energy of it is totally different because the intent is totally different.

When a husband gives his wife flowers to get something – approval, sex, attention – his wife can feel the strings attached and would have rather not received the flowers. She may give him a half-smile, but inside she may be feeling shut down or resistant, since she feels the flowers are a form of control. There is no love in the act of giving flowers when the intent is to get something.

When a husband gives his wife flowers because, on his way home from work, his heart fills with love for his wife and he wants to express it in a way that he knows she appreciates, his wife will love getting the flowers.

So, while the act of giving the flowers is exactly the same, the intent behind the gift is totally different. We cannot hide our intent, as it is betrayed in our energy. There is a world of difference between the energy of giving to get, and the energy of giving for the joy of it.

This often creates significant confusion between two people. When a person is unconsciously giving with an agenda attached, and the other person is unconsciously responding with some resistance, the giver may feel rejected and the receiver may feel shamed at his or her own lack of appreciation or responsiveness. Only when both people understand intent, and the huge difference between the intent to control vs. the intent to love, can they untangle the interaction.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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