Spiritual Needs of Caregivers Series
Part 4 – Spiritual Time
Spending quiet time alone with God can be re-energizing when you are caring for a loved one who is sick or dying. It is very easy to neglect this part of our spirituality when we are so busy caring for someone. You do not have to take a long period of time. It can be as simple as saying a prayer to ask for strength, or as involved as going to a church to sit quietly or for worship. You could also use the time while you are doing laundry to have a candid conversation with the God of your understanding about the way in which your loved one has changed due to their illness and how difficult this is for you.
If you do not have a relationship with God, or are unsure about God’s presence, you could say something like “I don’t really know if I believe in God or that there is something bigger than us out there, but I could use some heal right now.” If that does not fit with your belief system, gather positive energy from the sun. Stand in the sun and experience the vitality of its warmth filling you with positive energy. For some people, being near water, in the woods or in a favorite room are comforting and renewing. Take the time to suffuse yourself in these things that give you a sense of spirituality and well-being. Nurturing your spirit will give you a new outlook on a difficult situation.
Sometimes, praying with others or asking them to pray for us is empowering. When we know someone is praying for us, when we are in their thoughts and hearts, we receive a sense of comfort from that. We realize we are not alone. While we are giving compassionate care to someone we love, we also need to be loved and cared for. Let God and others do that for you! A Spiritual connection, whether with a Power Greater than ourselves or with nature, or through another’s prayers for us is essential to move through the demands and rewards of care giving.
The privilege of journeying with someone we love to the next phase of their life through death, or through an illness to recovery is a gift. The love and compassion, as well as the practical help we can provide draws us closer together. It is also draining, emotionally, physically and spiritually. In order to do the best we can for those we care for, we need to take care of ourselves as well It is my hope that you have found some of the suggestions in this blog series helpful in your journey of care giving.