Last month’s focus on practicing patience has been very helpful and has provided me with helpful reminders when facing the challenges of caring for and being around my mother. But in truth, the lessons for patience are all around us every day. Learning and growing never ceases, and as our metamorphosis continues, here is the prompt for the seventh month:
We’ve all grown over the past half-year. We’ve come to understand ourselves better by looking deep within. From this depth of understanding, we can now begin to grow outwards into our personal environment and into the global environment. We have learned from our growth process the challenges, pains, and struggles that others might also be suffering with. Our empathic understanding of others’ suffering opens our hearts to compassion.
For the seventh month, meditate on opening up your heart and look for ways, in your interactions with others or with how you live your life, where you can bring in compassion and understanding. How does that affect or change things? It’s time to start breaking out of the cocoon and connect on a deeper level to the world.
Besides my personal patience practices, such as breathing, chanting, and yoga, reminding myself of the struggles and suffering my mother has and is experiencing helps me to deal with the challenges and frustrations of her becoming violent and defiant at times. Most of her adult life she has suffered from depression, anxiety, and insecurity issues. As an empath and even as a small child, I have been fully aware of all her emotional struggles, stress, and fears. As a child I did not know what to do or how to deal with this, but as an adult I see that she is suffering deeply emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and that by understanding this my heart’s compassion is able to push aside the mind’s frustration and irritations. She was not then nor now willing or able to ask for help with these issues, and with the Alzheimer’s it’s hard to tell if she remembers her inner struggles at all.
I have come to realize that the biggest challenge for me in this situation is not being able to really help my mother with her suffering. We can’t help, guide, teach, or help heal someone on any level – physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually – if they do not want it, are not open to receive it, or have never acknowledged that they need it. For my mother, acknowledging any such need would have been too difficult, so she chose to hide her suffering which only contributed to her sociopathic behaviors. Many of you may think, “how sad”, but I feel it is better to transform any pity into compassion. There’s a fine line, sometimes a very blurry line, but pity comes from the mind/ego. Compassion comes from the heart; it is the love of the soul. Beyond the basic care, the greatest thing I can do for my mother is to have compassion for her, and pray that her soul feels it.
This week my father asked me to start researching homes for my mother. We visited a couple with openings, and have all but make an official decision. This will be a big transition for my mother, for she has lived in the same house her entire life. However, her Alzheimer’s has progressed so much, she doesn’t seem to recognize the house sometimes. After the transition, she may not even know she has moved. She may not understand anything that will be going on. Will she feel hurt, angry, or sad? Will she think she is on vacation? Will she think anything? Whatever her level of awareness, compassion for her will be the best thing I can do for her.
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This is such an insightful reflection. Thank you for sharing it. It took me a long, long time to understand the very observations you made about your mother– that the sociopathic elements and complications of her illness belonged to her, and that it’s not the role of another to decide its’ value or place, except within ourselves… deciding our own roles in the relationship with respect for self-service, then awareness toward another. I was not rightly sorted to engage my mother, and I stepped back from the relationship. I’m glad. I think we both faired better, all in all… even though that thought still seems cold to me.
I learn a lot from your entries. Thank you, again.
Thank you, Meredith! Sometimes the best thing to do in a relationship is to step back or away. The decision is harder with family because there is still a connection (unless one completely disowns their family) and you must still have contact and relate on some level. Sometimes the lessons of relationships, family or not, is about learning to step back, let go, or walk away. It is not cold if it is what is best for both, and especially if you needed space, time, and healing.
Blessings to you.
I have a similar situation with my mother. It’s complicated, but even though she has never fully come to her own fullness, and her wounds are compounded at the age of 78, I have so much more compassion and love for her now, especially as she becomes more like a child every day. How ironic, I suppose, that love would increase from circumstances such as these.
Thanks for openly sharing yourself here Julianne.
Thank you for sharing too! Have a lovely week Debra! Namaste _/l\_
I lift up your family in prayer because I know this is not an easy situation for any of you. Thank you for sharing your story. Many blessings, Cherokee Billie
Your compassion is the greatest gift you can give your mother. You have hard decisions to make, may you make them with wisdom and a compassionate heart.
Thank you for sharing your story, it was heartwarming. I’m sorry for all you are going through but it sounds like you are very strong and your compassionate heart will guide you. Good luck with moving your mom to a facility.
I admire your honest and open expression of your journey here. I applaud you for exploring the next steps and moving towards a decision.Perhaps you and your mom made an agreement berforehand for this apparent role reversal. I send you love and light.
I have thought of that. It’s likely we agreed on a role reversal, and more strongly I feel I chose (one of the many reasons) this family because I have so much “mother” experience. I’ve also known my mother’s soul is very new at being in human form. Her soul is young and needed mother figures to help her and care for her. Her life has been a very interesting journey!
Hi Julianne, I think this is the most difficult journey one can face… It’s a good decision of finding a home for your mother. *hugs* ~ Amy
Thanks Amy. I feel this decision is long overdue, but it was not my decision to make. Most of all it’s been and will be a challenging, but healing, journey for my dad as his life dramatically changes.
Big hugs to you, what an emotional ride. I am happy for you that things are moving in a forward direction.
Thanks Lisa! Yesterday went amazingly smooth in the afternoon and I was surprised/impressed by my dad’s readiness. Namaste _/l\_
That is wonderful to hear. Really wonderful!
I am sorry about my writing here J.. I have been house cleaning all day and very very tired.
you know mum’s do have a hard time and with added problems like mental heath, life is tough for the whole family. I am a mum. I gave up all my young life for my daughter, who had learning disabilities and well, – she was just difficult to raise. She was not a bad girl and very loving in many ways when young. We spent all our money on her – we wanted her to have the best possible. (parents did back in the 1980’s). She had ballet classes, dance, music, you name it she had it.. It was given to her with total love and without even thinking of our needs.. She was also clever, so she attended the best schools we could afford. We did wrong!!!!! – We have not seen our daughter in nearly 4 years now.. She never visits – she refused to speak to us for 3 years.. She has always had work and some health issues which kept her busy. We though, have been the butt of her anger for years now. Me specially so.. I would ever want children again.. I would not give up my young life for a child ever again. (Karma over.) – I, like your mum, had times of depression and anxiety, caused by the stress of living and trying to earn a living to pay the bills. Life was never easy.
I do see your point of view Julianne. My daughter could have written your post today – and I am sure her words would have been similar to yours.. I was never violent nor angry with her. She never knew anger. I only thought of her well-being.
She does not read my blogs.. She had no interest in me whatsoever.. Still, one positive step. She now calls on Sundays… To tell us how SHE is.. lol –
I was a doormat.. And you know, no one likes a door mat.. 😉 Namaste eve… xxx –
Thank you for sharing this. It actually sounds like your daughter is much like my mother (Growing up I felt like I was the mother of the household and did most of the housework, etc.). My mother was given everything she wanted by my dad and nothing was ever enough for her. She even manipulated ways to get out of taking care of the home and her children and doing other things, though I understand that it was all too difficult for her to handle. If she could have admitted that she needed help then, her life now may have been very different.
It sounds like you were a very loving and caring mother for your daughter. Her anger now are her lessons to learn. All you can do is be open to receive her when she comes and thank her when she contacts you. In light and love… Namaste _/l\_
yes, I never saw these times coming. She was all i lived for.. but that was my mistake. Never again. 😉 – Often though, girls do prefer pops, I mean dad is the tops… and mum is the drag.. But all sorts of family situations arise in life… blessings eve. xxxx
If I may advise – try not to see it as a mistake. You loved, and that is never a mistake. If you view it as a mistake instead of being grateful for the many experiences (joyful and difficult) and look for new lessons in the experience, then you continue on the track of karma. Be proud of the love and life your gave to her. All we can do is love others. If they choose to be angry and ungrateful, that is their choice. Keep loving, not regretting.
I feel for you and your father. Alzheimers is a disease that continues to affect the family long after the person who has it. Finding your mother someplace safe and compassionate will be the best you can do. Being in the medical field I agree with you and hope that you can help your father find his inner peace with all he is going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you both through this journey.
Thanks Marty’s Mom! It’s going to be very challenging for my dad, but he needs the change for his health too!
That is without a doubt. We were at that point with my grandma when she got extremely ill and eventually passed. Afterward you could see the burden lifted from my grandpa even though he missed her with his heart and soul