When Caring Turns Into I’m Not Good Enough
I am learning more and more that I care about people more than most. What I mean by that is that I am always finding ways to make other people feel good or to take care of others or to lift their spirits. I do it because I love seeing people’s eyes light up or seeing them feel loved. And I probably love seeing those because I always wanted that feeling within myself.
I am currently struggling with a situation of feeling like I care about other people more than they care about me. I am struggling with going down a spiral into I’m not good enough to be cared about.
I recently learned that one of my friends is going to have a major surgery in the next couple months. My first thought was, I would be willing to hop on a plane and go help out while working remotely. My second thought was, they have people close by, I’m not needed. My thought that is sticking with me and is really filling me with consternation about my level of caring and being good enough, is that I can simply send flowers to brighten my friend’s day.
How does that leave me in consternation? Because I had my major surgery nine months ago and I didn’t get any flowers or signs of love or caring from anybody but Eddie’s cousin who I asked to make me carnitas. I am going down this thought spiral and it is uncomfortable.
Why am I the only one who cares enough to show it? Why am I not good enough to be shown this type of caring or love? What have I done to other people that I am not thought about when in the same situation? Why am I comparing this friend’s situation to mine? I’m being selfish because I am turning this act of love that I want to do around making it about me. Will the flowers even be appreciated? I’m fucking stupid for going down this spiral. Who cares what others do for me, do what I want for them regardless. I’m dumb for expecting or even hoping for the same level of caring or love that I show to others.
I can go on and on. These are the thought spirals I battle consistently. They aren’t helpful by any means, nor are they easy to control. I’ve overcome many of them, but this one is one I am still working through.
I believe I have this thought spiral because my love language is Acts of Service. And to me, doing something like sending flowers is an act of service. Some of you might not agree with me, but hear me out. I see sending flowers as an act of service because, to me, the action is not about giving a gift, rather it is about enriching the other person’s life. Putting a smile on their face. Giving them something beautiful to look at while they are laying in bed recovering. I see it as an ease to the burden of the recovery process.
It isn’t that I’m being selfish in comparing my surgery and situation to my friend’s, it’s that I cherish acts of service and the situation is a trigger for identifying where I did not receive acts of service when I feel compelled to do it for someone else. In the end, it has nothing to do with that person that I love dearly and what wasn’t done for me. My thought spiral is wrapped up in my love language. My feelings are wrapped up in my love language.
I am not making this person’s surgery about me by working through these emotions and thoughts. I am finding new situations to work through that I need to realize that I may care or show that I care more than other people even think about. Eddie tells me all of the time that I am more observant and care more than the typical person. I think about other people more.
We talked about this the other night and I acknowledged what Eddie says which helped me realize that my thoughts are connected to my love language. I doubt I will ever find someone who is as cognizant of other people’s situations and needs or simply as cognizant and caring of other people’s emotions. I have to work through not feeling like I’m not good enough because I didn’t get the level of outward caring that I give to others. I also can’t expect that anybody do as much as I am compelled to do for others.
So do I hold back on how much I give to others because I don’t receive the same? Historically, I have. I have felt that since they don’t care enough about me and that I’m not good enough for them to acknowledge whatever it is I am/was going through, then why would I do it for them? But as I continue to work on my emotions and overall health, I realize that line of thinking isn’t helping me at all. In fact, it is probably limiting me because it is creating some level of pain within myself through the comparison.
I am working to truly feel through and understand that just because I care and want to show that I care, more than other people typically do, it doesn’t mean that I am not good enough for the same level of caring. It just means that other people don’t focus on it as much as I do.