If the task you’re performing today is one that’s tough and almost unbearable, do you know that in the future you’re going to be very proud of yourself? You’re going to look back, when your mind is free to reflect and your body has healed from the stress and physical strain, and say to yourself, “Did I really do all that?” “Did I really get up every day and by-the-seat-of-my-pants figure out how to take care of every physical and emotional need of another human being, in some cases for years?” “Where did I get the courage, the fortitude?” I say, you were born to it. You’ve been that way all your life. That’s why you’re the one who finds yourself in this position. That’s why, in the grand design of the Universe, your loved one found you, why you found each other. There’s tremendous growth in it for each of you.
Last night I was watching an episode of DOC MARTIN. A fabulous series, if you don’t know it. Louisa’s friend has a back injury and has fallen on the kitchen floor, on top of a broken glass bottle that jammed into her back. She’s bleeding and unconscious. Martin performs one procedure after another, failing at the first three to bring the woman conscious and suddenly, on the fourth attempt, her body jumps into consciousness. The ambulance arrives just then and the trauma is past. Louisa looks at Martin, who she’s fallen in love with, and says, “You’re a remarkable man.” This character, Martin, is a remarkable person. He does what he believes is the right thing to do, at all times, no matter who he insults with his lack of a bedside manner. He does what he knows he must do because he can’t be any other way.
I speak with Caregivers all the time who are remarkable people doing what they know they must do. They perform tasks they never expected to perform. Usually, trained doctors and nurses, people who anticipated that they would be doing the unspeakable, do these tasks. Most people look away and come back into a room when the tough to do stuff is over. Caregivers figure out how to do it and get the job done.
I’m impressed with the intelligence I see in Caregivers; they’re smart people. They’re the decision makers of the world. They’re often dealing with life and death. There’s a reserve about most of them, they often change the subject when conversation leads to feelings. Sometimes it’s a defense to mask the emotion they’re feeling. Some things are just too private to talk about.
Intelligent, capable people are not likely to tell anyone what they need. They confront their fears and live with the decisions they make. They’re not needy people. They test their courage every day and in doing that they find themselves. I believe that the life we have each chosen for ourselves is not so mysterious. If I’m a Caregiver in this life, there’s a reason. I accept that. It, also, means that I’ve been born with all I need to perform the task.
By accepting the life in which you’ve found yourself today with courage and grace, you will come away from it with pride and a sense of victory. I’m reminded of a native war dance. I want to chant and dance to a rhythm that fits my emotions. How long has it been since you’ve danced? Could you fit it into your daily exercise routine? Courage!
P.S. You may think that you’ve read this post before and that’s because it’s one of the first to appear on my blog. Over the next few weeks, as we move through the autumn and winter months, I will be revisiting other posts that I hope will bring you comfort and insight during this time.