Faith … Caregivers are an Inspiration

Reprinted from the old site: Dated 09/09/2018

Faith Makes Everything  Possible …

There is a special class of people — they are called caregivers. Whenever I hear about someone taking care of an ill loved one, I find that personal inspirational!

I am proud to have been a caregiver for my loved ones along with my siblings.  I had found it a humbling experience yet one which had changed my life forever.  And I hope that in my story and empathy, I am able to be an inspiration for others!

The one constant which had seen me through each day during my role as a caregiver, had been faith.  Having faith had guided me to take each day one at a time.  It helped me to keep trying.  And it helped to make the tough days tolerable and helping to keep my eyes and heart open to the good days.

There are indeed small miracles in the daily life for ALL caregivers and the beautiful people they serve. No matter your religious conviction, belief, or following, your faith will carry you and sustain you in those moments.

faith is powerfulSt. Francis of Assisi was a great example of selflessness in a world that needed his touch so badly. He had believed that is was in giving that we receive.

His words are still so true today.  We can believe  that we are a vessel of peace and faith and that from this peace and faith, that we can love with all of our souls.

Pope Francis has been a fresh, new breath of life in a world so otherwise damaged. He speaks the gospel truth, but more than that, he is a role model to all humanity.

He walks among the poor and loves all people of light. We can all use a little bit of mercy and look to Pope Francis as an example of humility and faith. 

A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Amen.

Traditions – A Lovely Aspect of Life

What is Tradition? For me, the idea of traditions, especially how I’d grown up in a Latino family, is truly an empowering concept… now. What do I mean by “now?” Well, admittedly, when I was young, I hadn’t understood what my mother had been trying to give me and my siblings. They had just seemed like worn out concepts and ancient ideals.

family and traditionsThough once I’d become older, I’d seen how traditions had literally given my life meaning and blessings. They had helped me identify myself amidst the world around me. And, it had enhanced my inner connections to family and faith.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that traditions come from a place of great love. Having a custom or belief passed down to you from generation to generation is a way to strengthen and empower the immediate and extended family unit. It’s a way to know that the knowledge of yore pulses through your veins so you always have an answer. And you are never alone.

Traditions are our “oral” history played over and over again. These long established collective coils of customs and beliefs can be illustrated as a simple practice or become an entire way of living. Traditions may have likely become rituals that we’d practiced and had become a habit.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this. I’m going to use the definition of custom as a practice or way of doing a particular event. A belief, as I’m going to use it, would be a personal perception taken as truth. A tradition, then, would be the transference or extension of a custom and belief; as if passed on to another generation.

So if your parents had the custom of allowing you and your siblings to open a Christmas present on Christmas Eve, you likely grew up and had a family of your own and on Christmas Eve, believed it was okay for your kids to open a present. This was the custom that you’d had passed on to you from your parents and had become a tradition for your family.

Traditions teach us many lessons including family values, structure, love and history. Our traditions basically become our code of honor.

Traditions can be new and meaningful with the right attitude behind it. Be proud of who you are as you celebrate your customs and traditions. Do not be afraid to share the meaning and history of your traditions. Be proud and know the value your traditions bring to the current and future generations.


How to Handle What Other People Say During Grief

Everyone has experienced some sort of loss which has left them in grief or some other similar state. Thing is, there are often two sides to the situation.

There is of course, the person who has just entered the state of loss. And there are the people around that person – friends, colleagues, relatives, and so forth, who are looking in at the situation from the outside.

Let’s look at the latter, first.

Most people who are looking in from the outside have, themselves, experienced loss and grief even though they may not currently be there. However, because they had at some point experienced a loss, they do know the feeling (in their own personal way).

And, because they have empathy for the situation, may people will offer some sort of condolence. It may be a few words like: “I’m sorry to hear about your loss” or “They are in a better place.” Rarely, will these kinds of statements really offer consolation to the grieving party however it should not be looked upon as what is said as much as the fact that other human beings had empathy for your situation.

Why is this the case?

Well, this can best be answered by talking about the person who is currently grieving. A very popular resource in the grieving process includes the concepts of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who proposed the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The person who has experienced recent loss may be in any of these stages and it’s not always easy to tell which one. So when an outside person attempts empathy, it may or may not be well received depending on the stage.

Thus, the person offering empathy may be rejected or even yelled at for their effort and the person experiencing loss may feel insulted by what they perceive as insensitive or inappropriate comments. Thing is, it could all be because of the stage of grief the grieving person may be experiencing at that moment.

With this, for those offering empathy, know that it’s not about the response but about the effort. And for the person in grief, realize… maybe at a later time, that people in your life had cared enough to reach out. You might not be able to receive it at the time it was given, but eventually, you might see it. And when you do, you can know that people truly do understand!