Values for caregiving
When preparing to take on the role of becoming a caregiver, some by choice others by unavoidable circumstances, we have to face the facts that it is a task that will demand a great effort in many aspects of our lives. Besides of having certain knowledge of how to deal with certain situations, we must also have the physical capability of being able to perform the duties that comes with the role. However, there is an aspect that should and must be worked on by caregivers constantly: their character.
Being a caregiver requires a certain type of character and virtues that need to be deep-rooted in our soul. These values will guide us through the many obstacles that caregiving has to face day to day, and prepare us for the challenges that comes with this very noble and admirable responsibility.
Empathy for others is such a beautiful concept that sadly is not put in practice as often as we would like. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is such a wonderful value, but one that is vital for a caregiver to perform their duties. As caregivers we must understand and have a regard for the situation and the feelings of those who we are caring for and the people who surround us. Building empathy isn’t a monumental task, or an impossible feat. It can start by an honest attempt to place yourself in the position of others and understanding how they must be feeling.
“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself” –Mohsin Hamid
One of the marvelous things about building and working on your character is that once you take a step forward the rest of the proverbial pieces begin to fall into place. Empathy helps form patience. Even on those who might be normally impatient, comprehending the struggles of others, especially on those whom we are caring for.
It is important for a caregiver to have acceptance and learn to understand that the mysteries of life play out in ways that we might no be able to comprehend at first. It is crucial for the inner well-being of all caregivers to understand that there can be moments which, despite valiant and tenacious efforts, life might have other plans for us that we can’t change. By healthily letting go and accept the circumstances that naturally happen a caregiver can be able to perform their duties, expecting the worst but always hoping for the best.
One of the most beautiful things that can be done in life is to be able to help others, those who are in need. A caregiver has the chance of doing just that every single day. That wonderful act at times might be darkened by exhaustion and a lost sight of what is important. A caregiver must engage their tasks with positivity and optimism. Always irradiating that positive energy on to others. It might be difficult because it is a arduous endeavor, and it is perfectly normal to be tired and have moments of self doubt and feelings of lost control. A strong character is not defined by never having these moments, on the contrary, a strong character is one that is able to overcome them and always be able to come back for more.