Lord, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it may be. –Anonymous
I don’t know who said this originally, but I know when I found the quote many years ago and read it, it pulled me up short. I was so used to thinking of all the things about me that needed changing, that needed repair. I often saw myself as someone who was always in need of refurbishing. And that is what I believed about myself.
When I read this simple prayer, I realized that I needed to remember the really good things about myself, to really see the beauty in my person, to see the acts of kindness and love that populated my day.
Believe me when I say that this meant a lot to me when caregiving came into the picture. I would often berate myself for not doing something, for being too short with my depressed loved one, for not listening well enough. With a shift in my focus, I found that I could affirm the things I was doing right – the times I listened, the times I paused before responding in order to make sure that I wasn’t reactive, the times that I was there with him during his most difficult moments.
Caregivers are not perfect. There are days when we want to scream and abandon everything and, yes, even latch out and hurt the one we love, but we also have the side that cries for the hurt the other is feeling, that takes the time to hear for the one hundred and seventeenth time the story of why today is so difficult. Time and again the beauty takes over and that is good and we need to recognize that.
Walt Whitman said, “I am large, better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.” Let’s look at the truth about ourselves and know how beautiful we all are in our care giving efforts.