click here to return to contents
As a caregiver, you most likely experience losses on a daily basis. This loss is also known as grief. While caring to your loved one, you may find that you deny or repress some of your feelings of loss. They compound along with the stress to break down your immune system and can cause a myriad of problems such as insomnia, weight loss or gain, irritability, and emotional instability are just a few examples.
You may be asking yourself, "What are the losses I experience daily?" These can range from loss of income, freedom and time, the relationship you used to have with the one you are caring for, intimacy, your health, the "unknowingness" of the process at hand and many other losses.
You may also be experiencing grief. It is not unusual for a caregiver to experience grief. Many of you may dwell on what it would be like to lose your loved one. Many of you are slowly losing the one you care for in a slow deterioration process. Throughout the different stages, you experience more loss and grief.
You may also be experiencing, anger, guilt, resentment and a host of feelings in relationship to these losses. Once again, all this is normal for you to experience. It is how you deal with your feelings towards these daily losses that is most important for your well being. In actuality, everyone around you generally senses something is wrong. By working towards identifying these losses, the feelings you experience and what choices you have, you will gain strength to move through them with more ease. You will be freer from within and have the opportunity to be fully conscious in the moment, making clearer and wiser decisions for both you and your loved one.
This exercise will help you to understand whether or not you are into denial; whether or not your losses and grief are consuming your energies into a "Why Me?" state of mind; and whether or not you are dealing with these issues and handling them well.
Take time to sit quietly in your safe place. Breathing in love and light with each inhale and exhaling all your worries, fears and negative feelings on each exhale. Breathe in love and light to each area you are experiencing stress. Let it melt these areas that are holding tension. Go through your entire body until you are feeling completely relaxed.
Allow yourself to become the observer. See yourself going through your daily routines. Observe your thoughts, emotions and actions throughout the day while you are on your own and when you are caregiving.
See what you are holding on to emotionally. What losses are you experiencing daily and on an ongoing basis? Notice if you are experiencing grief on a daily basis. How are you feeling about the current physical and mental state of your loved one? Observe as much detail as possible. Remain in this state of observance for about fifteen minutes or until you find your mind wandering once again. Come back gently into this physical plane and begin writing about your experiences.
Write about the shortcomings you may be experiencing. Are you blaming others for your situation? Do you feel stuck and out of control? Can you see a bigger picture that can unfold from these learning processes you go through during caregiving? What are the costs of your experiences? What are they doing to you? Do you hold your anger, guilt and resentment inside? What are the barriers that you set up for yourself to keep you from experiencing grief and the feelings associated with it? How are you hiding the pain you feel?
This process will help you to get in touch with much of what is troubling you. As you continue to write, permit yourself to examine the "payoffs" for holding in all your feelings. Are you putting up a front or image for others to see? Are you trying to appear strong? Do you want more attention? Do you feel like a victim? Do you use it as an excuse to not do things for yourself? Do you dimminish all that you are doing because you always think you could be doing more?
Be gentle and nurturing to yourself while writing and observing yourself. Take a deep breath and continue to write. Explore the choices or options you have to change, to live your life more fully. to be present in the moment, to learn, grow and heal. The most important goal you want to move towards is opening your heart to love. To give and receive love.
Rememer that life is short. By making a choice to work through these issues, you are making a decision to be more conscious about who you are, what you are doing and how to go about it. By coming from your truth and authenticity, the caregiving process will bring new meaning and purpose to you. When you reflect back in later years, you will understand much more of this transformational process.
Richest blessings to you on your journey.
© Copyright July 5, 2000 by Gail R. Mitchell..