The world teaches us to define ourselves by what we do, and what we hope to do.
And when you're a caregiver - or a patient - existence can narrow to a kaleidoscope of pain and mes and despair, seeing the situation spiraling out of control.
It's easy to lose the meaning.
We all tend to use media to reinforce the image we have of what we'd like our lives to be, of what we hope they'll become. It isn't a bad thing, except when the message and experience diverge.
Cynicism creeps in - the messages seem meant for some other class of people. The relationship we wanted, of joyful camaraderie and fun dissolves into loathsome bedpans and endless laundry.
The plans we had for a future of adventure mock us.
So we sink into a paradigm of rejection. It's understandable, but it's also, in the end, destructive.
We were made to hope, and while our indoctrination, using media messages to build hope, is terribly crude, it doesn't mean that it isn't necessary.
What to do?
- First, cut off the cynical response when it rises in your heart. it's hard; believe me, I know, for I've experienced it, and experience it every day. But mocking a media and world that seem to mock me simply didn't do any good.
- Second, build a focused point of redemption in your heart. Don't wish for a return to normal, but do anticipate the possibility that one dream may drift within reach again. It might take a miracle, but there have been miracles.
- Third, concentrate on what you can do. If you and your husband or wife were once avid hikers, try to take pleasure in being able to sit outside together on a nice day, rather than mourning what's lost.
- Fourth, as a caregiver, keep your dreams alive. It's a cold way to look at it, but caregiving will not last forever, and one day (if the situation's terminal) your caregiving journey will end. Would not your mate want you to have a life to enjoy after he or she is gone? Obviously, it's not something to share or display in from of the patient, but hold these dreams as softly glowing embers in your own heart. If you can enjoy life once again, that will be the best testament to your love.
What do you think? How would you suggest keeping the meaning in your life?
A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.