Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emotional Challenges of Caregiving

One of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve. (Paul Nitze)

There are two primal emotions--love and fear. As I see it, all other emotions stem from one of these two emotional origins. Love is a productive, positive, uplifting, and energizing emotion that adds to our emotional account. Most of us know what love is. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is tolerant. Love is long-suffering. Some of the emotional fruits of love are feelings of joy, happiness, peace, and gratitude.

Fear is the opposite of love. Fear is a subtractive and counter-productive emotion that is draining and defeating. Some of the emotional fruits of fear are anxiety, impatience, frustration, anger, sadness. discouragement, and depression. These emotions often manifest as physical and emotional pain.

One of the primary problems with fear is that it is negative. Therefore, decisions that are made from fear based emotions never serve us well. It's the Law of the Harvest. We cannot gain something positive from something negative any more than we can get corn when we plant potatoes.

Caregivers of aging parents often describe the experience of caregiving as one of being on an emotional rollercoaster. Over the next day or so I will write about some of the most common fear based emotions reported by caregivers, and how these might be identified and changed into emotions that come from love.

Meanwhile, make a list of the five strongest emotions you've felt or are feeling about your role as caregiver. If you'd like to share them with me, just post them below or on my website: http//, and I will be happy to address those specifically in my next blog.

Take care of YOU as you take care of others. Scroll down for You Tube video
Sandra-Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

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