Jan 26, 2015

Honoring What We May Want

  1. "I've come to understand that without the healthiest form of self love -- without honoring the essence of life that this thing called "self" carries; the way a pod carries a seed -- putting another before you can result in damaging self-sacrifice and co-dependence." Mark Nepo

    I've struggled with this my whole life, and it is particularly perilous in caregiving.  How do we honor our own self and our wants and needs -- while also attending to the wants and needs of another?  A very challenging task.  Far too easily we can become immersed in the needs of the other, or we can abandon the other for our own wants and desires.  I think what we are looking for is balance.  Seeing to the needs of the other without sacrificing our own.  How do you do that?

Jan 25, 2015

Living a Sacred Life

  1. "To live a sacred life means to live at the edge of what we do not know." Anne Hillman

    There is much we do not know about the terminal disease our loved one has -- even if we study extensively about it.  For each individual the disease will have predictable and unpredictable paths.  Living the sacred path as caregiver means living at the edge -- with compassion -- what we do not know.

Jan 24, 2015

New Perspectives

  1. "One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to leave sight of the shore for a very, very long time." Andre Gilde

    One cannot have a new perspective without leaving behind old perspectives and old beliefs.  What beliefs have you held about being a caregiver?  Do those beliefs serve you?  What beliefs have you had about dementia -- or whatever disease for which you are providing care?  Do those beliefs serve you?  One belief I had was I would be able to handle the physical decline as well as I have handled the psychological.  That is not true for me.  It is much harder, and I release that belief -- which frees me to see him and hold in my heart all the physical changes with compassion for him and for me.  

Jan 23, 2015

computer problems

Today's blog will be brief.  I got my computer out of repair shop yesterday, and it is still not working.  Isn't it amazing the things we have to take care of in addition to being caregivers?  I use my computer extensively, so it is inconvenient to have it not working.  I hope your day is going well

Jan 22, 2015

Honoring Our Minds

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"Our mind is unlimited as long as we realize God as its nature, character, quality and quantity. "  Joel Goldsmith                    Our minds are precious and part of what makes us unique.  We are not our minds, but our minds can serve us -- as long as we know the mind serves us and not the reverse.  That is  what mindfulness can help us with -- managing our minds.  As caregivers for someone with dementia, we may see the mind of our loved one being devastated by the disease.  But, in my opinion, there is still beauty there.  I am still in awe of some of the things he says.                                                                                                                     



Jan 21, 2015

Darkness of the Disease

"Melt your heart by remembering grace." Tim Keller

No matter how well we educate ourselves with the progression of the terminal illness of dementia, we may find ourselves reeling in reaction to a new level of decreased functioning.  It seems that it is one thing to know something intellectually, but to actually witness it in someone we love is quite another matter.  Mental health professionals suggest that the best way to move through a feeling is to experience the feeling, so it is important for us to acknowledge the sadness that we will experience along the way as caregivers for someone with the devastating illness of dementia.

Jan 20, 2015

Considering Overload

"Listen ----- are you breathing just a little and calling it life?"  Mary Oliver

Sometimes, as caregivers, we have so many tasks to juggle we may find ourselves holding our breath.  Today someone I know told me that I looked tired.  That is not exactly the feedback we want to get about our looks, but all of us who provide caregiving are tired -- no wonder we may look it.  In addition to seeing to the needs of our loved one -- even if we are not providing 24/7 care -- there are bills to pay, money to earn to pay the bills, household chores to be completed; and often, very often, we are doing these tasks completely alone.  Yes, we have a heavy load to carry, but we must remember to breathe.  Stopping periodically during the day and taking two deep breaths can be restorative.  Yoga instructors often recommend breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Today, let us remember to breathe --- and to live our lives.  .