Tag Archives: caregivers

No More Regrets

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This morning I lost it
on my meditation cushion.
my six year old son
kept wanting things from me,
and I was calm about it,
up until the point
where I wasn’t.
I got angry.
I began to yell
things about
needing one moment to myself
trying so hard
and doing so much for other people
and don’t I deserve one moment to myself?
And then of course I regretted it.
I felt guilty, ashamed.
I asked for forgiveness
from my two children and my sister,
who had to hear me storming about,
losing my temper, being crazy.
Dear God,
help me wake up more,
so that I can act in such a way
that there are no more regrets.

Self-Forgiveness for Parents, Caregivers, and All Beings

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Parents, caregivers,
and all beings–
remember to forgive yourself
when you lose it,
when you blow it,
when you stumble,
when you trip,
when you make
a complete ass out of yourself.
Just remember–
we all make mistakes.
We are human.
Our blunders connect us,
and we can find the connection
precisely through that which
makes us human,
that which renders us imperfect.
We can laugh together,
cry together,
we can become indignant together,
we can all fall down together,
and we can all get back up again.
Let us model self-forgiveness.
Those we care for
will trust us more
as we regain trust in ourselves.
Our children won’t make war
with one another
when they witness their parents
at peace with themselves.

Tonglen for Parents and Caregivers

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Breathing in the exhaustion
of every other caregiver
who is experiencing this very same fatigue
I’m feeling right now,
breathing out peace, rest, relaxation,
quiet, nourishment.
Breathing in the guilt and shame
of every other person
who was losing their temper
at the very same time I lost mine,
breathing out peace, calm, patience,
stillness, serenity.
Breathing in the regret
of every human being
who wants so much to be good
but often falls short
just like I–
breathing out self-love,
forgiveness, hope, acceptance
the willingness to keep trying.
Breathing in this desire to awaken
felt by every person on this path,
breathing out trust, perseverance,
humor, enthusiasm, support.
We will all one day arrive
at the same destination,
one breath, one step at a time.

 

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I had a really tough day today. Both of my kids are sick and they were very needy and often whiny, demanding, and unkind to me.  They woke me up two nights in a row wanting comfort because they aren’t well–and I certainly did what I could for them–but now I’m feeling sleep deprived, at the very end of my tether. After a day of trying to meet their needs and not getting my own met, I finally lost my temper right at bedtime.  They weren’t cooperating and just going to bed so that I could just go to bed. The guilt and shame erupted within me after my angry outbursts. I finally meditated, barely staying awake because I am so tired, and I was in bed before 8pm. I decided to do a poem about Tonglen in case there is anyone else out there who was in the same boat as me today, whether they were caring for children, elderly, clients, patients, students, animals, colleagues–when you are called to give of yourself and you’re tired, it takes superhuman strength to maintain a positive outlook.  I just want to reassure you that if you lost it today, you’re in good company.  There were many people feeling exactly the same thing as you in the moment of your difficulty.  You are never alone.

Self-Care for the Caregivers

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A word about self-care
for all those caregivers out there:
take the time to eat–
you need your strength
for the amazing feats of courage
you undertake every day.
Take the time to play–
you need to resource
your wells of humor and inspiration
so that you will have
these precious gifts to offer.
Take the time to rest–
your body and mind
need time to heal and regroup
so that you can wake up the next day
ready to do it all again.