|The Role of Caregiver - The Miracle of Hope|
March 2006: The Role of Caregiver - the Miracle of Hope
We have always taught that the moment of our experience is the only moment of importance. Moments change and being flexible allows for the best of changes to occur. Our schedule for the next months has changed - again. We are getting first hand experience in remaining flexible. Keep posted to our calendar of events to see what changes may still come.
What is the job of a caregiver? It is a different reality to the
person receiving the care and the care-giver. For sure, the
individual who is receiving care does not know how much time or
they are taking. I am only now finding out how much energy
it took from Nancy after my stroke last August. The bigger story
the September newsletter. I knew that I was not completely
I began working each day on some part of myself. For work on
my manual dexterity, I pulled tiny weeds in the front yard with
to work on my legs I rode my stationary bike. I was dizzy from
the blood pressure medicine and had to be careful not to fall
as my balance
was not quite yet perfect.
An Experience in Hope
Nancy: After Ken's stroke, our good friend Tom Kenyon cautioned me, based on his own caregiver experiences, to remember to take care of myself first. That seemed to be secondary to the task of taking care of Ken. He was living in a confusing, bewidering world where nothing was making sense and everything was upside down. Physically he felt limited and I could hear his mind cry out in frustration. Often, the frustration would exhibit itself with emotional outbursts, which would only compound his self-criticism and self-judgment. I found myself once again in the full role of caregiver. That awareness brought out old emotions in dealing with hospitals, doctors, hope and recovery. More than thirty years before, I had held such hope for a miracle - the full recovery of two sons who each subsequently died from birth defects. I was the caregiver to my sons and to the rest of the family during those years.
Caregivers find themselves in situations suddenly, often without warning. Like the experiences of the wife of Ken's client, the hours of care can turn into weeks, months and often years. It is not always easy to put yourself first; however it is like the airplane oxygen theory: Put the mask on your own face first, then on someone else. Remembering to take care of yourself is most important. Rest whenever possible and eat well. When circumstances allow, get assistance. The most important gift I could receive during this time was being very present and clear to allow unconditional love/acceptance of self. The dependent is not always fully aware that their words and actions may feel personal to the caregiver. Loving ourselves enough allows us to have unconditional compassion for the situations and experiences of others.
As Ken's caregiver, I once again assumed the full responsibility of providing hope for a miracle. I wanted Ken to completely recover - not just for me but for himself. I found myself wondering if I was again being trapped by my own hope. While Ken's initial doctor had said it was something minor that would be completely healed within 30 days, the results were still obvious and apparent 90 days later. So were the emotions. Finally, light again appeared in the form of a doctor who confirmed that the initial diagnosis was not accurate and we merely needed to be patient. For two Virgos - patience is not always our best virtue. But there was once again, a sense in the miracle of hope. Shortly after, Ken had to travel by himself for the first time since his stroke - and he had to travel to different locations in Europe. Each time we spoke I found myself wishing circumstances were different and he did not have to be alone. Each day I worried about his well-being. When a caregiver gets caught up in the dynamics and energetics of the situation and the individuals involved, this can allow for a transference which can in turn create dis-harmony in the physical body.
Ken tells the wonderful story of his reading Harry Potter in the January newsletter. When he returned home, I stayed the witness to his experience and watched him for signs of his full mental and intellectual recovery. With that awareness, I realized that I had energetically attempted to hold a space for Ken - for him to remember the man he had been, our relationship and more. After about a week, realizing that Ken had returned home intact, I found that I could stop holding my breath, and I released the space I had been holding for Ken and for us. Everything collapsed into that space and onto my physical body. Now, I am not one who 'gets sick' and had not been sick for quite a number of years. The emotional and physical events of the past months collided and my body got sick. It was days before I felt well again. Holding a space for another is something I think caregivers do without giving it conscious thought. For years we have taught that 'holding' a space uses energy that can ultimately affect the physical body. It is best to 'be' and 'become the space'. My first-hand experiences always provide ample teaching material.
The blessing of the initial 30-day diagnosis is apparent only now. Ken had worked so hard to 'come back' and meet that expectation deadline, he actually accomplished so much more in a shorter time period. Doing the work of Heart & Soul Healing and reading his own books gave Ken the direction and confidence to remember himself and our work together. We ventured towards our new world, welcoming hope and more miracles.
In February, we taught a 9-day intensive course in Belgium. The course went smoothly and the practitioners were able to work with many different people. Towards the end of the course, the students who were working on becoming practitioners were divided into groups. Ken and I were in separate large rooms with many students and volunteers, all doing sessions. The session script had been transcribed into Dutch, various practitioners and volunteer-clients were speaking Dutch and neither one of us spoke Dutch. Yet, everything was understood perfectly ! So, had both gone on a journey to understand the unknown - to understand other realities that we might not have allowed had we known the full picture in the beginning?
In thanks to our wonderful sponsor Donna Kleipool, we were able to participate in the most beautiful of miracles.
The Miracle of Hope
Here is the story of an experience in the miracle of hope from one of the many wonder individuals who attended the course in Belgium. She is also our wonderful angel who had translated 'The Heart of Soul Healing' from English to the Dutch language. Her name is Yvonne Maree, one of the new practitioners of Heart & Soul Healing. We hope she will eventually seek to become a teacher of this work. Perhaps that path has already begun.
When we asked for permission to use her letter to us as an article, this is what Yvonne said:
Yvonne has graciously allowed her
experience to be shared so it may
assist and help
Offered by the Institute <<::
Clear Light Arts, ADL