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Know Thyself

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!

I can’t believe it’s Friday already.  I hope you have your plans for the Super Bowl.  Times like these get people to come together and remember the good times.  That’s not what I want to focus on today, just something that created a flash in the moment.

Last week’s Grey’s Anatomy had an interesting story line.  One of the doctors, McSteamy, broke a part of his body near and dear and defining to his manhood…very embarrassing.  He had been having sex with one of the interns, Lexi, when the sexual break occurred (I’ll save that for another post).  There was a lot of back and forth as to who the doctor was with at the time but it’s a secret (it’s Lexi).  Okay, I know you’re not reading this for my television critique so I’ll get to the point.  At the end, while Lexi has someone guard the door, Lexi speaks to the doctor and says to him, “I’m going to come over, crawl in bed with you and stroke your hair…because that’s what I like when I’m sick”.

Here is a woman who is going to care for her “friend” in the same way she likes to be cared for when sick.  She’s paying it forward.  She’s able to take her knowledge of what’s soothing to her and pass it on to someone in need.  She knows herself well enough to be able to identify what’s comforting.  She’s able to assimilate her own experiences and transform them into healing for another.  That’s the gift we as humans have, the gift of learning.

I want you to remember that this is a two way street.  I’m not suggesting that you as the caregiver are the only one who needs tending too.  Unfortunately, even something like the flu can knock you on your rear end requiring some nurturing.  This is one of the conversations to have with your wellness partner because we all like to be cared for in a way that brings us back to earlier times when we were safe, secure and loved.

No matter who you’re caring for it’s important for you to know yourself because we can be of greater service when we offer what’s authentic.  In addition, knowing what makes you feel nurtured is part of the caregiver wellness plan.  Don’t dismiss the desire to lounge around with a good book or the latest copy of “People” magazine.  I’ve been known to read a trashy novel at my most vulnerable points.  It does offer me insight into what questions to ask when caring for another, whether it’s a cold, the flu or a chronic  or life-threatening illness.

How do you like to be nurtured when you’re ill?  Do you pass that on to those you care for?

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