Finding life

In the middle of a hot week here. Today reached higher than 40C,  and tomorrow is forecast the same. Rose and I had a weird, fractious day, but ended it down at the beach, swimming in the shallows in the dark and watching the moon rise. They are so precious, times like this.

I had a good appointment with my psychologist earlier this week, and I realised that in caring for Rose I’d dropped and forgotten all the work we’d been doing lately on self care. The sense of being connected to my own inner wisdom was gone, no intuition guiding my choices, no small voices speaking of deep soul needs. I’d become locked into my roles, feeling exhausted and in chronic pain. It was like feeling the walls close in about me, trapped in a box that was shrinking every day. Focusing more and more energy on Rose (not necessarily in a way that she enjoyed) as I became caught in that most common of caring binds: ‘If I can just make her well, then I’ll be able to get some of my needs met.’ I’ve watched family members burn half their lives away trying to do just that.

I came out of the appointment remembering that my journey is just as important, and that Rose neither wants nor needs a frantic carer driving her into directions that may not be right for her. She needs a gentle nurse and friend, who is still invested in their own life and heart so she is free to care for her own also.

Suddenly that tiny airless box blew open in my mind. The railway tracks were gone, the limits were gone. I felt free, free to call Rose and apologise, free to do anything I wished with the afternoon, to engage it in any way I chose. Where there had been stoic endurance of a trap, there was now freedom to explore what might be possible. My intuition was back, and my joy. The small voices were back and the ear to hear them with.

It’s a strange thing, life. We find it and lose it and find it, all over again.

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