Balancing Giving with Self-Care
by Jay Earley, Ph.D.
Do you find yourself always concerned about other people’s needs? Do you feel that your needs don’t really count? Do you feel as though you have to take care of other people’s feelings, but no one seems to care about yours? Are you surrounded by people who need you? Is your self-worth dependent on being needed?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, you are one of the many people struggling with the Caretaking Pattern. Of course, it’s a good thing to be caring and helpful to people and make them feel good, but maybe you go overboard in this direction.
Do you go out of your way to make sure that you don’t cause anyone discomfort? Do you find yourself trying to help someone with an addiction, but you just enable them to continue? Do you believe that you know better than other people how they should run their lives?
Your urge to take care of people may come more from a need for self-esteem or a fear of being rejected or judged than from simple, heartfelt caring. You may be completely ignoring your own needs in favor of everyone else’s. You may not really be helping the people you care about. You might even be infantilizing someone by not believing that they can handle their own life.
If you are tired of this pattern and would like to make a change, this book is for you. It will help you understand the fears and needs that are behind your Caretaking. These fears are usually unconscious and come from unresolved childhood pain.
This book will help you to work throughyour fears so you can learn to take care of yourself. It will help you set up a practice for letting go of caretaking. It will help you learn how to become more attentive to your own needs and trust other people to take care of themselves. You can make this change without giving up your genuine caring for people.
This book will help you to know what you need and to take initiative to get it, while still being attentive to other people’s needs. You will have an equal say in what happens, and people will take you seriously.
This doesn’t mean that you will stop caring about other people and wanting the best for them. However, you won’t be doing this from a place of fear or need. When you do care for people and help them to feel good, it will come purely from a loving place in you. You will care for yourself and your needs as well, and you’ll also be respecting other people’s ability to take care of themselves.
You will develop the ability to look out for yourself while still being a kind and loving person.
This book is based on the Pattern System, a comprehensive and detailed map of the human psyche.
Beyond Caretaking is more than a book. It includes
* An online workbook
* An online quiz
* Recorded guided meditations
* An online community
Jay Earley knows what makes a caretaker tick. In Beyond Caretaking, he has named what goes on inside the caretaker–the mechanisms and triggers that lead to an unhealthy caretaking mode and the motivations behind them. One important insight is that when I come from unhealthy caretaking, it doesn’t serve the person I’m trying to help and can even feed their unhealthy pattern, their addiction. That alone is worth the price of admission.
The book helped me to see that I may be inviting unhealthy people into my life because of this pattern, and the consequences for me are resentment and fatigue. All this was written in a way that was sensitive to my experience as the reader. The book outlines solutions systematically and provides easy, step-by-step instructions to follow to create changes in this pattern. Bottom line–it is a very thorough, effective piece of work. ~ John Madatian, Gestalt practitioner
Beyond Caretaking helped clarify the dual nature of caring and caretaking. The workbook further clarified which activity I am prone to. This clarification made it easier to choose a more healthy pattern of behavior without being tripped up by guilt. Earley’s arguments for caring vs. self-care are reasonable, sensible, and resonate internally. He presents his perspective on the link between present actions and childhood wounds in a very gentle manner that educates without filling the reader with regret and desire for avoidance. The book is simple, whetted my appetite to know more about the Pattern System, and kept me engaged enough to finish it in one setting. ~ Sydney Zink, PhD
I found Beyond Caretaking well worth spending time with. I learned a lot about myself, particularly why I am a caretaker in the first place. It helps you to become aware of what triggers you to jump in and take care of everything. The process of changing and developing self-care is broken down into easy steps that I found very useful. ~ Ines Hassenfuss