Feb 25, 2015

Suffering and Attitude

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"You do not suffer, only the person you imagine yourself to be suffers.  You cannot suffer."
Nisargadatta Mahaja

The Buddhist teach something similar:  that suffering is caused by our attachment to things, outcomes, our own beliefs.  To be free from suffering one needs to develop nonattachment -- to have neither attachment toward nor aversion from things and people and events.  Take caregiving, can we be impersonal with it?  By that I mean can we not take caregiving personally?  That does not mean we do not do it with compassion, but it is a different attitude to consider that caregiving just happens in life -- rather than Life has imposed caregiving upon us.  Could this disease and caregiving have happened to someone other than you?  Of course, but perhaps rather than ask, "why me?", we might want to consider, "who not me?"  After all, if terminal disease and caregiving are a part of life, someone has to do it.  Why not you and me?


  1. That is a profound perspective on what it means to take care of someone who is even not your own. It may sometimes be due to money, but ultimately, it is a social responsibility. It also entails a bit of compensation, a kind of contract between people, with which they can ensure that they cover for each other and that their welfare are uplifted together. Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Michelle Simmons @ Comfort Keepers

  2. It pays to look from a distance. It may sound cold, but sometimes being too up close with our patients will mess with certain priorities. Those tend to be the source of frustrations for lots of caregivers in the field, and an unnecessary one at that: as it keeps us from our larger obligation to be a helping hand. And when we need to help, we should. We do our part.

    Walton Baylor @ Home Watch Caregivers