Your 10 Acts of Courage

Denise

Your 10 Acts of Courage

Denise
steep-59680_640Caregiving takes courage, which is why not everyone sticks around during a caregiving experience. When you care, you face fears daily--and that means you take a deep breath and gather up your courage every day.

Your acts of courage include:

1. Forgiving those who can't help, don't help and help in a non-helpful way. They could be family members, friends, service providers, health care professionals. It's scary to forgive because you wonder if forgiving means you are weak, a door mat, giving them a pass for bad behavior. Forgiving keeps you strong because it moves you from past to present and into a position of creating a new way, a new relationship, a new you. After your forgive, you become a bigger, better, more assertive you.

2. Trying your best every day. Caregiving can feel like falling, over and over. And, yet, every day, you get back up. No matter how heavy your heart, how weary your bones, you get up every day to try again.

3. Taking bad news. You sit with your caree at doctor's appointments to learn the diagnosis and then the prognosis. You absorb the hits when family and friends disappear or disappoint or just don't show. How much bad news you endure would topple any king from his throne. And, yet, you stand.

4. Looking at death. During the caregiving years, death visits, making appearances before his time, tiptoeing in as an unwelcome guest. When death seems to hover, you would love to run away. And yet you stay, perhaps even shooing death away. And, then, during death's final visit, you stay with peace in your heart.

5. Sharing your story. You've got parts of your story that can stir up your shame. You tell your story, no matter how painful or embarrassing, so others know they are not alone.

6. Making tough choices. The decisions you face seem endless. You decide, choose and then decide and choose again. You don't deflect the choices or hide from them. You consider, research, weigh and then decide. No matter how gut-wrenching the decision, you choose.

7. Being kind. The world can be so cold to you and, yet, you are so kind. It would be understandable if your heart hardened a bit. You keep a caring, compassionate heart--the direct result of your courageous soul.

8. Telling the truth. Because you hear the bad news, you know the reality of the days ahead. So, you tell that truth to family members and friends. Others may stick their heads in the sand, afraid of the truth. You face it.

9. Asking for help. Perhaps it took you almost too long but you did it. Asking for help means you stand in your vulnerability, you acknowledge you need more. When you ask for help, you risk rejection. You take the risk.

10. Finding yourself during a time when you start over so often that you get lost. The road to finding who you are today is long and windy. But you find yourself. You take what feels like the rubble of your life and turn it into the meaning of your life. That's courage--to truly make the most during a time that's the least.

Some day, you will look back on these days--many of them your worst days--and realize they were also your bravest. Your courage will be an amazing source of comfort.

What courageous acts would you add to the list?

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5 Comments

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Hussy

Forgiving is an act of survival. We caregivers cannot afford the luxury of devoting precious energy to holding a grudge. We cannot do what we must do when a cloud of bitterness hangs over us. We already shoulder too many burdens to add that of anger.

Jenn

Yes, brilliant wisdom!

jan

This is brilliant, spoken with real truth and distilled from a lifetime of intentional listening.

lookingheavenward

Wow -this is powerful and very encouraging. Thank you!