Are you rigid with your plans and what you need to accomplish? Do you have a problem when things happen that divert you from your path?
Becoming a caregiver this year for a family member became a beautiful life lesson for me. I had to learn to live in the moment. Not only live in the moment, but also to appreciate the blessings and challenges in that very moment.
Could I continue to operate the same way I did before I was needed as a caregiver? I thought so, but I was wrong. I became consumed with the task at hand to the exclusion of everything else. And that wasn’t healthy either.
I had to find a way to stay engaged with my business while providing the care needed. I had to find a way to keep my head in the game so I could be mentally available. I needed to begin to practice more self-care than before to ensure I could be physically available also. I had to learn to accept what I didn’t understand. I had to find a new level of patience and understanding that I had previously been unable to practice.
I became someone’s advocate. I spoke and acted on their behalf when they were unable to do that for themselves. The love was always there, but I found new strength in this new way of representing someone else as if I were representing myself. I was returning the favor. I was switching places. I was embracing the fact that I was needed in a different way.
Let me tell you that I was indeed not the only caregiver, other family members and medical staff members were part of the caregiver team. It is what I learned about myself that was the big surprise. I learned to let go of expectations and enjoy the little wins. I learned to not allow the setbacks to diminish my joy over the wins. I learned to be realistic and practical while exhibiting hope and fear at the same time. And I learned to let go and trust those who knew these situations better than me. The professionals who selflessly dedicate their lives to others. They are the real heroes, not me.
I was compelled to compose a prayer for all caregivers. Here is something I wrote and I hope it reaches those who can benefit the most from it.
CAREGIVER’S PRAYER by Tina Meilleur
Dear Lord, give me the strength and patience to provide care and comfort to those who need me right now. Allow me to show up with the intent to provide the care most needed. Help me understand that although the triggering event may have been sudden, recovery is a long and arduous process. Help me recognize my own frustration as a natural response, but allow me to walk in the shoes of those I am caring for to understand their daily physical and mental challenges resulting from their situation. I pray for your healing intervention and the blessing of all of those in the caregiving profession who conduct themselves selflessly each day. Allow me to let go of my need to understand “why” and accept “what is”. Amen.
Please share this freely – we never know who may need to hear this message.
Sending love and prayers for your strength or for those you love.