Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!
I’m continuously riddled with questions about our own personal evolution. Studying human behavior for more than twenty years and watching my own evolutionary path has led me to want to expand this question to those around me. We all evolve. I’m not talking about physical evolution like going from apes to human, but an emotional and spiritual revolution (physical evolution does take place evidenced by the increase in life expectancy).
I wish we could have taken a snapshot of your life outer and inner life at the time of the diagnosis for your loved one because the shifts or changes would be fascinating. As time goes by what have you let go of that you thought at one time was important? How have your belief systems changed? What are you political views compared to the point of diagnosis, especially with debates about healthcare reform? What has changed, if anything, regarding your religion or spiritual practices? I bring these up because the shifts may be subtle but I believe they are very much happening on an ongoing basis.
So here’s the big question…Do you like the evolutionary you? I ask because when I imply that we’ve all changed it doesn’t mean we always change for the better. I’ve met many caregivers/wellness partners over the years who have become more cynical in their nature (unlike me who has been cynical most if not all of my life). Perhaps you’re living a life with greater continual stress and it leaks out in your interpersonal relationships. Looking in the mirror to see the evolutionary you and thinking back to the point of diagnosis is an eye opener.
I’m an artist and every so often I actually look at the evolution of my work. If I look at the work I did five or six years ago I find it to be primitive. The work I’m creating now how a better sense of finesse. It’s more polished and that comes from practice. The same is true with caregiving; what may have started as a challenge has now become second nature. Questions you asked yourself about your ability to take on the caregiver role or juggling multiple tasks, errands, and life circumstances at once, you don’t give a second thought. The ability and willingness to share yourself in a more vulnerable way as a result of caregiving has changed your relationships across the board. How are you perceived now and how are you knowing that about yourself?
You will continue to evolve because the Universe wouldn’t have it any other way. If you can’t think back to the point of diagnosis for comparison start today. Take that snapshot and if you’re still in the caregiving/wellness partner role in a year look back and see your evolution. We all need a starting point for reflection and growth!