A Love Letter to Family Caregivers
As family caregivers, we take on the role of caring for a loved one. Depending on the circumstances, it can easily become all-consuming.
We need to remember that this is just a role, albeit, a very important one. We need to remember that we are each an amazing individual who deserves all the love, compassion, and grace that we so easily give to others. It can be empowering to learn that we are, in fact, in control of our own happiness.
And the path to that happiness is self-love. While it sounds so simple, it can feel uncomfortable and unnatural to truly love ourselves – without judgement, without comparison and without conditions (i.e. when I lose the weight, when I find a job, when I find a partner, etc.).
Love really is the gift that keeps on giving. When you love yourself, you are happier. When you are happier, you start to see the world and the people in it in a completely new light.
You deserve love. You deserve happiness. You are worth it.
Here is my love letter to family caregivers everywhere – words to remind you of how very important you are.
An Ode to Self – I See Your Brilliance
I am here and will always be your biggest cheerleader.
You think that no one sees all of the effort – the paperwork, the coordination of appointments, and the patience – because so much of what you do goes on behind closed doors, but I see it all, and I applaud you for your unwavering commitment.
You think that no one knows about your worries, your fears, your guilt, and your sadness, but I see it all, and I want to remind you that these are experienced by all caregivers. While these emotions and feelings may feel crippling at times, they are normal, and I encourage you to feel them all.
Don’t ignore your emotions and feelings. Cry, acknowledge, bless, and release. These responses don’t mean that you are weak. Oh no – quite the contrary. They make you more resilient, more compassionate, and more caring.
You are the best thing that could have happened to the person for whom you are caring.
You are a shining light in this sometimes dark world.
Your heart is so big and so pure that you can love yourself and others with such abandon.
Thank you for never giving up – even when you feel overwhelmed.
Thank you for being a beautiful example of a selfless caregiver.
Remember to not lose yourself in your caregiver role. Take time for yourself. Learn to say ‘no.’ Surround yourself with activities and people who bring you joy.
Most importantly, trust yourself.
You know deep down what you need. Your heart always knows. Learn to love yourself with such conviction that you can look back at those times of darkness and sadness and be filled with pride on this amazing journey that you have travelled. We can never truly appreciate the light if we’ve never experienced the darkness.
You are worthy of all the amazing things that this life has to offer.
Your guardian angel, self.
With love from your friend in care, Nicole