A family caregiver taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related disease experiences an extraordinary amount of stress and physical exhaustion. But there is another experience that a caregiver may go through and that is the development of major life questions that are brought to the surface in their mind: Why did my loved one get dementia? Why did God do this to my loved one? What is the meaning of this (or any) senseless disease?
We, as caregivers, struggle with understanding what is happening, on a bigger level than just the physical, as our loved one slips away slowly each day.
A way that we can walk the caregiver path with more clear purpose and less agonizing is to build our spiritual foundation. Why should we build our spiritual foundation?
Because having a defined spiritual foundation will be our rock – our strength that will assist us as we continue on our caregiver journey. If we have a belief system then we can give pause and understand this experience that we, our loved one and our family members are going through. But first we must start with the spiritual foundation building blocks.
This is a time for deep self-reflection. Time may be at a minimum for caregivers, but one should find minutes here and there and reflect on spiritual questions. A few are below, such as:
Explain your view of the existence of a Higher Power (insert your name for God, Light, or Source, etc.)?
Why are we here on earth?
What do you believe happens after physical death?
Write down your answers. Review them every week and revise them when you have new insights. There is meaning in you being a caregiver and you are not separated from your Higher Power (and either is your loved one). Go deep. Build your spiritual foundation. You will benefit from this time of spiritual reflection as will your loved one from your renewed strength. There are more spiritual foundation questions but start with these and build from there. We will discuss your answers and insights next week.
“A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and become swallowed up by the world of illusion.”
-Shirdi Sai Baba, Indian Spiritual Master
Wishing you Light on your Caregiver Path,