Mar 19 2016
How often do I ask myself, "What am I doing?" The question carries both honesty, a true desire to do my best in caregiving, and no small level of vanity as in "Perhaps I’m better than to do this!"
Caregiving requires that I gently set my ego aside and concentrate on my care receiver’s needs. I know I’m performing the role of caregiver, but it’s much more than simply performing tasks. It requires the best of my entire personality – my best perceptions, thoughts, and feelings.
I’m called to be humble, but this is not a humility undermined by any submissiveness or resignation; rather it’s a full-bodied humility free of playing roles and wearing masks to cover up any of my foibles. Caring is my classroom for learning who I am; it teaches me the real me; it can also activate my “not attractive side” of self-centeredness.
It’s true, I can be vain and prideful, and I can put myself first at times. Yet caring calls me to use my personality in service of another. I just can’t take this to the extreme of losing myself in the caregiving process.
There is nothing about caregiving that forces me to put myself down, to feel inferior or shameful. I need to remember that balanced caregiving builds me up; it strengthens me by calling forth my best parts: the caring me. Caregiving shows me a new avenue of learning the "truth" about me.
Caring for my care receiver uncovers what’s most real in me, but while I may become scared, upset, irritable, and even forlorn at times, I know that I’m not alone – the Spirit is always with me.