William and Nancy Martin, in The Caregiver's Tao Te Ching, explore applying the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching to caregiving:

"We all have a natural desire to express goodness. In childhood, this innate goodness became overlaid with definitions and meanings as we experienced the approval and disapproval of those around us. Many of us were taught that if we were not careful we would end up being 'bad.'

"Whether we are working as caregiving professionals or serving members of our family, it is not unusual for us to feel the grip of this conditioning. If we are not aware of it, our work becomes much more difficult. We try hard to please and end up frustrated, discouraged, or rebellious when we don't get the response we expect.

"Trusting our inherent goodness, we act naturally out of our compassion and wisdom. There is no need to weigh and judge what we will do or how others react. We do not need to try to be good. Goodness came to us at our first breath."

To practice this wisdom, first notice whenever you doubt yourself or become concerned with someone else’s perception of you. Pause. Take a deep breath, repeating, “I do not need to try to be good. Goodness came to me at my first breath.” Try this practice for three days.

Habib Todd Boerger, William Martin, Nancy Martin in The Caregiver's Tao Te Ching by William Martin, Nancy Martin