Finding Strength in Difficult Situations
How do we stay strong for loved ones who are ill when we feel as though we’ve used up every last bit of strength we have catering to their needs? How do we go on when we feel our dreams of a happy, fulfilled life slipping through our fingers? This is especially true when the person we are caring for is our spouse or significant other.
I remember struggling with these feelings and thoughts y when my husband suffered a heart attack at 53. I was desperately concerned for him and did every thing I could to support him but a little piece of me felt my dream of our future together dying. Life not without such unexpected eventualities. They cannot be avoided, even by sticking our head in the sand. The real question is not how do we avoid them, but how do we find hope when things seem hopeless?
I found hope again by developing the understanding and accepting the reality that there is a whole lot of life over which I have absolutely no control. I couldn’t make my husband well, I couldn’t make my mother’s dying days different, I couldn’t change the way family members behaved in either situation, but I could be in control of me and what I thought about. I could choose not to dwell on my breaking heart and instead focus on what I had each day that was good and right and true. I could sit beside my mother where she was, hold her hand and love her. I could cherish every moment I had with my husband. I could look into his eyes and say to the universe, hank you for this moment. Now, just now.
Gratitude is an amazing healer and an excellent means of choosing our thoughts. The trickle down effect is palpable. It doesn’t deny the pain, the struggle, the loss, it just gives us the opportunity to re-focus on hope and in doing so we find the strength to carry on.