Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lone arranger to the rescue

Lynn recently sprained her ankle a good one.  She is repairing slowly.  What a drag! Yes, I realize that every human being is precious.  I know that each of the seven billion human family is a miracle and deserving of respect.  That each was borne by a mom through nine long months of anxiety and care.  Which adds up to a stupendous amount of care, against which my little filling of ice bags to ice the ankle and lifting the walker into the van is totally trivial.

Furthermore, I find an odd thing has happened on the way to ankle health. I can sense that part of me benefits from the care I give her.  I can see that there could be a personal benefit for me in her having an injury.  Sure, it is not every minute that I can see and feel the benefit but about once an hour, I can and do.  When I was still a kid, I read a short piece by an American military officer who had been a prisoner in a Japanese WWII camp of captured soldiers.  The point of the statement was that he was amazed to find that as he was driven away from the camp, he realized that he would never see the place again and found a pang in his heart for it, its meaning, the experiences and memories he had had there.

Being somewhat compulsively logical at times, I remember the power of negation.  The sentence "I dislike caring continuously for Lynn and her ailment" can be switched logically and easily to "It is not the case that I dislike caring".  Following up, I ask myself which of the sentences is more nearly the truth.  Turns out both are true.  Her needs can interfere with my desires, plans and aspirations, both for myself and for us.

However taking a clue from American officer, I stay alert for the truth in the negated version.  I don't dislike caring for her?  Hmm, can it be that I am experiencing benefits, maybe even while feeling burdened? Are we closer because of her need for care?  Am I more alert to my own needs and hers as well because of her injury?  Am I responding with a spurt of energy and commitment to a challenge?  This possibility must be part of what looms large in the strength and commitment and pep the Mom shows in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHPuU9w5iQo

Energetic care givers seem to get part of their drive from realizing that they do indeed know what needs to be done, are capable of doing it and want to do it.  Energy shoots out of them: they have the famous "motive, means and opportunity" and by God, they will use what they have to fix things!

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