What Type Of A Caregiver Are You? Are You A Wounded Healer Or A Merchant Of Hope?
By Shahina Lakhani
In a previous post I introduced the idea that there are two types of caregivers with their unique styles of giving care that affect not only their own quality of life but also of those they take care of.
The first type of caregiver is like the wounded healer. S/he feels that caregiving and/or working with the old and the dying is their calling however they feel emotionally overwhelmed by the suffering they witness. Each person's plight weighs heavy on their heart and creates a new wound.
The second type of caregiver believes that each phase of life comes with some loss and some new hope. They consider end of life transition as a part of our experience as living beings. As a result, despite the grief of impending loss they are able to find hope and help improve the quality of life of those they serve.Today, we are going to look deeper into the mind set of these second type of care givers. I like to call them "The Merchants of Hope".
We live in an era where everyone wants to stay young and live forever. However when we come face to face with the reality of the fragility of life, there is a potential for a huge shift within our psyche.
Some people listen to this calling that comes from deep within asking us to look deeper into what our lives are all about. However, there are plenty other people who fight tooth and nail to avoid shifting gears and their perspective.
When we acknowledge the fragility of life, veils begin to drop. All of a sudden the masks we have been wearing all our lives to protect ourselves start to disappear one by one.
Suddenly we become aware of what is of most importance in our lives. When we allow ourselves to finally recognize what makes us come alive, we can finally begin to really live.
Because most of us are great at playing the survival game, we forget to live. When we allow ourselves to look beyond the veils of need to survive, life begins to thrive.
It does not then matter if those moments are stretched over a few seconds or decades. What really matters is that we feel alive, vibrant and live our full potential.
Now let me make it clear, living our full potential has nothing to do with how productive we are! This statement may surprise you. But, the truth of the matter is that although productivity is important at certain stages in our lives, life extends way beyond our perceived need to be productive at all times.
When faced with the fragility of life, we realize that the nectar of life is sweetened not by how productive we are but by how well we cater to the matters of our heart and our soul.
As a result we look for meaning in our lives, we look at our relationships and crave to heal them, we suddenly become more aware of the need to forgive and be forgiven.
Some people are able to understand these cravings more clearly than others. In my experience, for every person I took care of who clearly understood these yearning, there were hundreds others who could not quite grasp or communicate these yearnings. Consequently they felt lost, agitated and suffered deep turmoil.
The Merchants of Hope recognize this turmoil and its root cause. Although they feel and understand the pain and the grief of loss, they also recognize that they have the ability to help decrease the suffering of the people they serve.
They recognize that the best way to serve these clients and their loved ones is to draw their attention to the source of their turmoil.
These Merchants of hope are fully aware that we may or may not be able to prolong life, but we can definitely help improve the quality of life and wellbeing.
They know that whether or not a person pursues cure for their ailment the quality of their lives increases dramatically when these issue are recognized and proactively addressed. Therefore, they empower their clients to do just that.
If you are a health care professional or a caregiver that serves the sick, the old and the dying, I invite you to look at your caregiving style. I invite you ponder if your way of giving care helps improve the quality of life and well being of those you serve. I invite you to observe if you go beyond the physical care into the realm of the heart and soul where the real cause of suffering lies.
The good news is that we all can learn to shift gears and change from being the wounded healers and become The Merchants of Hope. This shift requires work. It requires training, proper peer support and a lot more.
However the rewards it brings for you as caregivers are phenomenal. Suddenly you become aware of your own power in helping to decrease pain and suffering. You are empowered to empower those you serve and together you begin living powerfully.
Shahina Lakhani, RN, MSN, NLP Master Practitioner, Reunion Kinesiology Facilitator, Theta Healing Practitioner: Shahina has been a nurse for over 25 years. She has worked as an educator, Nurse Practitioner and a Hospice Nurse. Shahina is a holistic change expert. She empowers people to feel safe during major life change – divorce, serious illness or even if death is staring you in the eye. Her passion is to help you experience well-being and living powerfully until your last breath.
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