It really threw me. Having grown accustomed to the comings and imminent goings of the friends I’ve made in the nursing home where my mother resides, the reaction I had to Lilah’s stroke was unexpected.
There are some things that transcend explanation in this life, and this might be one of them. However, learning how to accept within ourselves these very reactions can be the beginning of a lovely journey of feeling all the richness life has to offer.
There are specific questions you can ask yourself when you feel the tug of heartstrings. The kind of tug that affirms your humaness or helps guide your intuition into how to respond, the kind of tug I felt with Lilah.
The most basic question to consider, before the tug turns into a full blown “pull you down into the drama” clutch, asks about the underlying fear you have. “What”, you might ask, “am I fearing will happen to me?”.
This may sound narcissistic and self-absorbed, however the answer to that question is what often stops us in our tracks. And do you want to know what the answer is?
At the very core of that question, after going through the list of I’m afraids (which might look something like this):
I’m afraid it will happen to someone close to me.
I’m afraid it will create more work for me.
I’m afraid it will cause some I love distress.
I’m afraid it will cause me distress.
I’m afraid it will change things forever.
I’m afraid of what I am going to feel.
The really interesting thing about feelings (as opposed to emotions) is that the denying of then is the very thing that can put you in the state of severe emotional discomfort.
Feeling the sensation that accompanies the emotion is the simplest yet most powerful tool we have in dealing with our stress.
The beauty of this, is that once you learn how to do this effectively, you will be able to be the support you envision yourself to be with your aging parents.
If you want to know more, let me know. I’ll hook you up.