I confess, there are some of the 9 strategies that have been tougher for me than others. Taken collectively, there is no question that as a whole, they have contributed greatly to my growth and healing a year and a half after Linda’s passing. I see now how the whole experience of caregiving for Linda, and even navigating the tumultuous waters of losing her was a portal into a deeper understanding of what is possible for myself. Incorporating the strategies with the goal of reinventing myself after such a profound challenge has been a profound lesson on resilience and opportunity.
When I consider the strategies individually, each is indespensible. Each contributes to a foundation that sets the stage for transformative change during one of the most difficult periods of my life. Still, while they all are integral parts to a whole and dynamic process, one stands out as being my “favorite”. For each of you, it might be a different strategy, but mine is…CONTEMPLATION.
I am, by nature, a contemplative person. In contemplation, there are no limits to how something can be seen, or from how many angles it can be held up and studied. Taking care of Linda during a time of such sadness and difficulty could have easily thrown me into a deep state of despair from which it could have taken years to recover, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. But through contemplation, I turned it over to the vast array of possibilities in which I could see it, navigate it, understand it, grow from it and ultimately heal from it. It is through contemplation that I can choose the path on which I want to direct my energies. When contemplating the hardships of caregiving, so many essential questions arise, like ‘who do I want to be BECAUSE of my experience as a caregiver?” I never wanted to be ‘spit out’ on the other side of this experience, having been shaped by the vague and destructive forces that can so easily take control in the absence of conscious awareness and intention.
So contemplation for me is the first step in the transformative caregiving experience, because that is where the questions live. From this step, the inspiration rises to the surface to feed so many of the other strategies, i.e. what books to read, the desire for spiritual support through meditation and prayer, the thoughts and ideas to fill countless pages in my journal, the desire to nurture my physical well being through good nutrition and exercise, the yearning to carve out some time for myself to perpetuate the cycle of healthy thoughts and actions. Each strategy taking me farther along the path towards my own healing.
Linda was a joyous spirit whose bouyant outlook was always inspiring to me. I view the entire process of growth through her illness and ultimately her death as a living legacy to the kind of person she was. What a lovely and worthy contemplation!!!
About The Author
I have been a chiropractor since 1981 in Ridgefield, Connecticut. My passion is caring for my patients, educating people on the principles of health, reading, writing, going to the movies, and traveling, on my Harley whenever possible.