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Answering to your Master

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the perceived control we have over our own lives and the real control we have over our own lives.  If you have the inclination to explore eastern philosophy or really any philosophy this issue comes up a lot.  It’s interesting because the word I was about to use about the relationship to the patient is “Who do you serve?”  This sets up a very bad dynamic because it puts you in a one down position and gives the impression that you are subservient to the needs of the patient.  The truth is the only person you serve in this world is you!!

This weekend is the celebration of Buddha’s birthday.  In celebration of Buddha’s birthday I want to share his thoughts on who you serve in the world.  Buddha believed that “One is one’s own refuge” and “Humans are their own masters”.  That’s an incredibly empowering and simultaneously frightening prospect.  It takes away the get-out-of-jail free card or the excuses you make to avoid dealing with putting your own life on hold for the “sake of the patient”. 

What does it mean for you to be your own master?  If you truly believed that idea and internalized it how would it show itself in your life?  How would it show itself in how you approach caregiving?  These are important questions because it asks that you become conscious of your decisions.  It requires that you take responsibility for every triumph and every defeat.  It asks you to be okay with moments of selfishness and accept it as a time of salvation, not a moment of disengagement or withholding. 

When you live life with the knowledge that you are your own oasis you’re empowered to explore the hidden crevices of your soul.  You become more honest about your motivations and sacrifices you make as a caregiver/wellness partner.  It’s an incredibly freeing experience because you let go of the pretense and begin living more authentically.  Living authentically will give you peace-of-mind and that is when you know you are the master of your own destiny.

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