Recently I was in a terribly wobbly place taking care of someone close to me. This friend had recently had serious back surgery. I knew he would depend on me solely. In our tiny community we depend on each other, especially as we age. Most everyone else my friend knows is retired, and I work full time. I would do what I could, but I felt that sticky and uncomfortable place of having someone else depend on me totally when I knew it would take a supreme effort for me to do everything necessary. I knew there were others that were totally willing to help, that kept volunteering. My friend kept refusing them, saying “Patty will do it all.”
It’s a terrible thing to say, or even think, you do not want to help someone for several reasons. One is society expects us all to be cheerful, concerned caregivers. Two, because I am an overly nurturing person by nature, why would this make me cringe? It was the overwhelming idea of the whole kit-and-caboodle that had me scared. There was something about this looming responsibility that had me quaking like a leaf. It makes me feel like a bad person for even having those feelings. I usually love to be wanted and needed, filling the role of nurturer.
This is what was going on with me that might help explain this feeling. The surgery came at a time when I had been trying to lessen my dependence on this person for my sake and his. My own dependence on him for filling my social needs has never been met and I needed to broaden my social scope. It’s not his fault whatsoever. He’s a good egg. He is in fact a dear friend. I am having a strong yearning for conversation and company and it won’t go away. The time for change is long overdue and I had been putting off the inevitable for over a year now. I must expand my horizons! The looming post-surgery tasks seemed to be holding me back just at a time when I want to burst out! Feelings of frustration, guilt, but also care, were building and mixing.
With some insistence I was able to get him to call on other neighbors who were happy to share the burden with me. I was happy to do my part and stock his fridge and freezer with groceries that were easy to fix and eat. I was thrilled to look after his sweet dog for a few days. In the days immediately following his surgery I felt better. I tried making coffee for him, which I totally flubbed two days in a row, with coffee all over the counter! I checked in on him in the early mornings to see his pain level, got him to start moving a bit. Urged him to walk more, as advised by the doctor. I changed his bandages, etc.
I believe Spirit turns up the pressure when there is a lesson looming.
When we want to diet, everything conspires to tempt you. Gooey brownies and donuts are brought into work. Your neighbor comes over with homemade banana bread. You know the drill. For me it was wanting to get out in the community more and expand my horizons. That’s when the surgery gets scheduled and you know you have to spend more time, not less, doing something you know does not suit you. But Spirit knows best.
My friend and I have been good friends for years. As close as brother and sister. But Spirit had something for us to work through. My friend also has something to learn about depending on others, in spite of insisting he did not need help. I was in that same position about two years ago, and I learned my lesson the hard way. I knew we each had something to learn from this.
In the end things turned out fine and we are both better for the experience. He was able to get the community to help, by simply asking for it. His surgery after-care was not as bad as we thought it would be. He was up and about days after surgery. I did my share of care, and liked being helpful in that way. I also enjoy going over to my friend’s home once a week instead of twice a day. We missed each other a bit more. Things seemed fresher and better. He started asking what I was up to. A stark change from his usual lump-on-a-log non-commitment in any simple conversation. He started taking more responsibility for his life instead of depending on me. I was starting to break away and make myself a priority. Things were changing!
As we know, everything is energy. Change must happen in Spirit/with you manifesting and wanting that change before it can happen in the waking world. He learned that being stubborn and wanting total independence was not always realistic. I learned (and not for the first time) that care of the self comes first. I had always given to him first. Thought of him first. Worried about him way more than about myself. The caregiver must care for him/herself first. Okay, I’m getting that lesson, for the third time!
If there is any time you feel that pressure is on, and you are being made very uncomfortable, there is a lesson or a message in it. Look for it, be humble, and be as open as you can for the change coming your way. Maybe this thing that feels awful is your key to freedom, the key to standing up in your own power and being who you have always wanted to be. On a soul level, my friend was willing to be the one to help me make this happen. I am in deepest gratitude.
Comments are encouraged. Likes tell me someone is listening. ❤ Love and Light, Patty.