Helping people I care about is a good thing until lending aid causes me to repeatedly deny my own needs. When giving becomes overly one-sided I am not practicing love, I’m practicing codependence. It’s then without realizing it I am not giving freely but doing things in hope of being paid back for my efforts. The thinking is “if I help you enough then you’ll love me/respect me/help me/want me” and so on. Such an approach is me covertly trying to control the other person. Balanced giving and receiving is an important part of any good relationship. But when I hand over too much and get too little, frustration grows and animosity shows. In time giving too much will cause any relationship to become frayed and torn. Caretaking and helping myself is the first step necessary to being able to help others. Otherwise no matter how good my intentions are I end up eventually with “compassion fatigue” and wallowing in my codependency.
Don’t sacrifice yourself too much,
because if you sacrifice too much
there’s nothing else you can give
and nobody will care for you.