There's a Superhero in All of Us
Would you ever consider softness, spirit and self-awareness as superpowers? They certainly are in my world!
As I work to change the conversation around caregiving, I realize that so much of the discussion is based on how we see ourselves.
Let’s advance the narrative and write an empowering story about family caregivers doing the work of superheroes. So many people wonder how we actually do it all…..let’s shift from a place of feeling stuck and being a victim to a place where we celebrate all that we do…even the parts that are challenging and leave us feeling depleted.
Just because we’re superheroes, doesn’t mean that we’re not human! Trust me, we feel it all, we simply use these unforeseen circumstances as fuel rather than as excuses that weigh us down.
Media portray superheroes as people who are physically strong, with larger than life personalities and unearthly abilities.
If I had to choose a female superhero to represent a family caregiver, I would choose a warrior that has a shield engraved with the letter “S”. The “S” stands for softness, spirit and self-awareness.
Even though the daily tasks are many and there are many unknowns and challenges, this warrior has the self-awareness to know that she can only control her thoughts and actions.
Her softness is her strength as she approaches life’s seemingly unfair circumstances with one question: What would love do?
While some people may mock this approach and view it as a weakness - it is only because they themselves truly don’t know how much strength it takes to show up daily with an open heart.
Even though this warrior caregiver needs to advocate for her child at school, protest the government for more programs and services, research everything, interview people for respite, fill out paperwork, plan for the financial future and manage relationships with all of the people who are part of her child’s care - she does this with an unbreakable spirit all the while running the household - paying bills, cleaning and cooking.
It is the same unbreakable spirit that allows her to wake up every morning and choose to focus on the good.
The self-awareness allows her to recognize that she needs to take time for herself - both time alone and time with people who feed her soul.
She’s a warrior because she asks for help. She recognizes that she can’t do it along.
She’s a warrior because she knows that her happiness is the best gift that she can give herself, her family and all that know her.
I would love to know what your superpowers are? Please share in the comments below.
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I am grateful that I get to spend this time with her and her brother. I will honour this time of a more relaxed schedule.
Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand.