Deep Care

2010 December 2

Caregivers—let’s admit it, when you care, when you deeply care for someone you love, you are as close as a human being can get to feeling, and experiencing what your loved one is enduring.  While most others call this experience empathy, we call it part of the everyday caregiving experience.

At first glance, this type of deep care seemingly would make us more empathetic in all of our relationships, right?  This isn’t always the case.  Caregivers like yourself understand that deep care is a full commitment of body, spirit and mind. It is not a part-time endeavor that you can let go of on your drive home.  It is a willingness to engage in a relationship that takes us out of ourselves and into another; blurring the boundaries that typically keep “you” from “me.” It is a space few people occupy because it is uncharted territory (for non-caregivers) that brings us into a place of being with another that defies explanation.

Medical professionals and specialists attempt to “protect” themselves from burnout and exhaustion typically associated with deep care by holding on dearly to “objectivity” so they can serve the greater good. But for you and me—deep care is our way of caring for the one—the individual, our loved one, not a series of patients that have appointment times marked by the half hour.  Deep care can’t be replicated. It can’t be made more efficient. It doesn’t work on schedule. It has no beginning or ending time. And it can’t be given without complete attachment.

That’s why being a caregiver is an identity you carry with you more than it is a task that you engage in only for a specific period of time. Sympathy has a beginning and an ending date. Deep care goes with you. Sometimes, it follows you.  Caring, deep caring, is not just a commitment—it’s a way of life; a way of being with another human that transforms everything you are and do.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Sharon permalink
    January 22, 2011

    Amen, Amen, Amen! !

  2. Dr. Zachary White permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Thanks for participating in the Unprepared Caregiver community.

  3. September 20, 2012

    I so agree Mary!! Everything we do especially in those early days, weeks and mhtons is an investment in our children’s emotional future. I am so thankful that I am a stay-at-home mom and didn’t have to struggle with whether to go back to work or not.As I mentioned before, a month of cocooning worked really well for our family. Holding, wearing, sleeping with your child if they want/need it; all of these things are so important.A lot of people who just didn’t understand thought I was spoiling our children with all the attention and dashing to them at every peep. But this is all so necessary. Besides it’s a two way street after you’ve waited so long to get your hands on that precious child who wants to put them down? And what better feeling than to pick up a fussing toddler and feel them relax into you as they bury their face in you neck.

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