This morning as part of Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey, I shared the nine steps which I believe lead to more miracles in our lives. (You can listen to the show via the player at the bottom of the post.) In developing the list, I thought about a time in my life when miracles seemed elusive and then a time when they seemed to multiple. I wondered, What’s the difference between the two times? Well, me, of course.
So, here’s my list of what I think leads me on The Road to Miracles:
1. Be happy for others. Last year, I listened to members of a support group talk about how much they envied others in their lives. One spoke about her cousin who recently took a trip to Europe. She no longer wants to have a relationship with this cousin. Feeling that others shouldn’t be able to enjoy their lives because you can’t really sets you up for bad days. In this situation, the cousin will stop visiting. She’s not going to stop traveling. Doesn’t the family caregiver lose? She’s got one less visitor. Welcome the blessings others have. Enjoy them. Ooh and ahh over the pictures. You’ll have pictures, too. You will.
2. Be grateful. For everything.
3. Be someone else’s biggest believer. Miracles love cheerleaders.
4. Keep moving, inch by inch. Some days, the movement will be an inch. Inches will create yards. Keep moving forward toward help and solution.
5. Don’t take your life personally. It’s not because of what you did or said. You haven’t been singled out. Vent about your feelings when the sad and awful happen. But, don’t take it personally. It really isn’t.
6. Know miracles exist even when your big miracle doesn’t happen. Maybe there’s no cure. Maybe you won’t get those extra few years you hope for. Miracles still happen. Trish’s blog post about Robert, the hair salon and his disclosure about his near-death experience is a miracle.
7. Believe. Whatever you believe, believe with your whole heart. Believe this too shall pass. Believe in yourself. Believe in the presence of others in our lives who help us.
8. Accept your life, your imperfections, your life’s imperfections. Holding your life hostage because of its imperfections means you always wait for something to change, be different, be better. While you’re waiting, you’re missing the miracles.
9. Never complain, never explain. Venting is much more effective than complaining. Consider the difference in these two statements: “I’m having a tough day. I’m feeling so sad. Can I tell you about it?” versus “That nasty home health aide is ruining my life. She’s late, she’s lazy, she’s inconsiderable. I just hate her.” Venting takes you toward feeling better. Complaining keeps you in what doesn’t work.
And, consider this monologue on why you’re late: “I’m so sorry I’m late. My mom was a mess, my dog was throwing up and my spouse was yelling at me about the dirty laundry.” How about this: “I’m sorry I’m late. Thanks so much for waiting.”
My list of nine is a work in progress. So, I’d love to know: What would you add to this list? What perspective seems to create more miracles in your life? Share in our comments section, below. And, be sure to share a miracle here.
- We’re taking submissions for our Caregiving Art Show and our Help book! Be sure to share your art and your story with the world.
- Our 2011 Family Caregiver Survey report offers a snapshot into the day and life of a family caregiver. Purchase the report for just $9.95 here. (Did you complete the survey? You get the report for free; email Denise to request.)
- Sign up for one of our three-week caregiving classes, including Three-Word Journaling. The classes take place conveniently over the phone and help you feel better exactly where you are. Register here.
- The August Board Report (my report to you about our August events and happenings) took place on Thursday. It’s a 15-minute webinar which you can view here.