For the last few months, I’ve been traveling and responding to the needs of critically ill relatives. When I’ve been home, the piles of needs insisting on being met grow like a well-fertilized garden. Each day has calls and emails with more problems to solve. This week a family member was tricked with a fraudulent website and had his identity stolen. Another family member keeps losing track of the days of the week and takes too much medicine. Websites go up and down. A colleague cannot keep a commitment and needs to be replaced.
It’s relentless. I know I’m not alone, and most people are experiencing this in life.
There are choices in each moment whether to resist and complain or look for the blessings. Each moment brings fresh learning and growth. Caregiving is strengthening our patience and acceptance. We’re gaining muscles in being of service. Family members are collaborating. We are building support networks. Legal paperwork is getting done. We are learning how to embrace time together and time apart. We are learning to grab peaceful and connecting moments as they arise. We are helping others gain new capacities in managing their lives. New people are arising to serve our family and friends.
We have relentless choices in life and in our relationships. We can be dynamically engaging in the ever-changing landscape and the challenges. Or, we can give up and let our muscles atrophy and our lives grow moldy. No thank you!
A vital personal and family life skill is also getting stronger: Learning to ask, “Whose responsibility is this?”. Sometimes it’s not my challenge, and neither is it my business to find a solution or respond. Sometimes my best choice is prayer or prayer along with listening and accompaniment. We each get the “spiritual battles” we need to grow our own minds and souls. It’s not wise for me to interfere in someone else’s path of growth.
Through it all is a recurring question for my husband and me as well: How do we build unity in this circumstance? Sometimes that means helping, and sometimes it means sitting still and letting others step in. I don’t have to do everything!
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Photo Credit, David Niblack, IMAGEBASE.NET