You Want More Examples…

You have expressed a desire for more examples of responding to life circumstances in the proper, soul-directed way. You must change your perspective and release your need to be hurt, worried or resentful.

You are an older child in a broken family. Your parent restarts a new family with another partner. You recognize that your younger siblings are being favored over you and your needs are not being met. Your positive response will depend upon your age.

  1. Watch your life unfold and be as objective as possible. Babies and younger children do need more attention.
  2. Bring your concern to your parent and try your best to accept their response, hoping they are positive and provide you with the truth.
  3. They may become defensive. This is common and just because they are an adult does not mean they do not make mistakes. Resist bringing up your perceived unfairness again to save yourself from more of your parent’s anger, berating and potential to be blamed for the circumstances unfairly.
  4. Understand that this is your life and you have much to learn from this difficult situation. Rather than become sullen and negative, join the family as it is and be hopeful that you will all grow together.
  5. Find your position in life and embrace being an older sibling who responds with love and understanding.
  6. People are not perfect but you may still live your life with true character. You must choose to be independent, productive and successful. Your parents may behave with limited truth and character but instead of behaving like them you may be a role model for your younger siblings and the community.
  7. Realize that no one owes you happiness. You must find it in and among all of your life experiences. Once you become an adult, YOU are responsible for you.
  8. Forgive everyone involved and give thanks for the difficult lessons that you learned.
  9. Be a mentor. Be a good parent. Be empathetic to those who have had difficult childhoods or people who have parented with favoritism and conflict.
  10. Be God, for God.

Your mother is acutely ill. You have siblings but it seems that no one is stepping forward to help you with her demanding care. You work full time and have a family of your own. You have noticed that stress has taken a toll on your emotional and physical health.

You will not be able to step away from your mother with a good conscience. If you are not there for her, no one is. Make time to visit with your siblings and attempt to make a care schedule so that everyone is responsible for some of her care. Try to confirm their involvement. If they do not follow through with their commitment, your mother will miss appointments or not have everything that she needs.

Stay positive. If no one else will offer help and if you do it, at least you know it has been done.  You may want to give up and do it all yourself, but your siblings’ bad behavior will exclude them from her care, which is likely what they want.

You may also be responsible for your mother and her treatment and a family member may barge in and try to make important decisions without having any prior knowledge about her care. Do you back up and allow them to participate? Do you remain responsible? Either way you must live with your decision. If you back out and her care goes sideways, you must realize that bad decisions were made and you were not a party to it. Release any guilt you may feel because you chose to become less involved.

If you stay responsible, you may be a target for friends and family who feel they know more about what should or shouldn’t be done for her. You will accrue the blame for things that go wrong or mistakes in decision-making. You must own your decision and release any guilt that others may push upon you. You were the one that was there for her and you did your best. There also could be a combination of all possibilities. Various people are involved and her care depends upon the decisions made by different people.

It is also possible that YOU wish to remain uninvolved in your mother’s care and do things to stay out of it. You have decided that you don’t want any “burden.” You may butt in to her care with unwanted advice or you may stay completely uninvolved.

The experience of your mother being ill is a teaching tool for you and all of your family members. Being open to conflict and contrast will bring you the best chances for learning your intended lessons. God would have you respond in positive and proactive ways. None of your loved ones are ever a burden.

  1. A journal of care is started and all of her medications, medical appointments and anything significant are documented. No one starts any conflict because each of you is making decisions to the best of your ability. You are supportive of one another and give each other respite when needed. Your mother receives good care and you and your family members are attentive to her and each other.
  2. Forgiveness is necessary. You need to forgive yourself for your own perception of what mistakes you may have made. Your family members must be forgiven for being inappropriately involved, completely uninvolved and/or being emotionally unavailable.
  3. Many lessons are learned. You may step forward and assist others when they are met with taking care of an older parent or loved one. You will understand all sides of the possible continuum. They may wish to be very involved, somewhat involved or completely absent from care.
  4. Part of your learning is facing some issues you may have about your mother, your relationship with her and your lack of forgiveness and understanding for the mistakes that she made. You have chosen to take the higher road and be attentive to her while releasing your need to be acknowledged regarding ways in which she may have mistreated or neglected you. She is human and fallible.
  5. You understand her limitations and realize that you are less than perfect as well. If she had choices to make all over again, she may have done things differently. Or, you realize that she likely would make the same mistakes in your life but you are grateful for the chance to learn.
  6. You accept that taking care of elderly, sick or disabled loved ones requires a lot of time and attention. You release your feelings of self-pity and become responsible and reliable. You make adjustments to your own life and try to minimize the disruption to your own spouse and children. Your honor comes from being a soldier of God and fully capable of helping those in need. Others see your strength and decide to carry on in your absence.
  7. Your own children learn by example. They stand strong in the world and meet challenges with grace. Loved ones need their attention and they are happy to contribute. They do not demean themselves or the person in need. They know that God is in the details and they are eager to learn from contrast and experience.
  8. You realize that it is truly your feelings of self-pity that actually creates your negative attitude and struggle. If you were to embrace your responsibilities you would only find strength, endurance and character.
  9. If you had a disabled child, the responsibility of their care would be automatic. The care of loved ones may also be implied and understood. The family and extended family are a soul group. You each agreed to present on earth to meet these challenges together. Being petty and childish was not charted or expected.
  10. Be God, for God.

 

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