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Monday, October 27, 2008

"Love You"

My mother had a stroke in June of this year. I was sitting in my office preparing for my next client when the phone range. It was my sister-in-law who had been out shopping with Mum.

Her voice was filled with panic as she told me that Mum had suddenly collapsed and was being attended to by the Paramedics who were stabilising her before taking her to Hairmyres Accident and Emergency Department.

We were lucky. Mum survived and made a full recovery. At the age of 80, we get to keep our mother with us. I look around at all my friends and realise that I am one of the fortunate few who has both parents alive as I move towards my own 57th year.

I am also blessed in that I am secure in the knowing that I am loved by my parents and that they know how much I love them. I look around at friends and clients and the contrast in their own parental relationships makes me even more appreciative.

We can take our loved ones for granted. We can blind ourselves to the fact that one day death will separate us because we simply find it too painful to face.

Face it. I have. They are mortal and with aging, ailing parents, the time is drawing in. Don't dwell on the pain, dwell on making each moment count, on making positive memories that will warm your soul when their physical presence is no longer there.

Make your peace with your parents if there is dissension; let go of the past and be fully present with them as they are right now. You will not get the chance later, for there may be no later, only a life time of regret for words unspoken. Our parents are human; they are imperfect. Just like you and I, they grow and evolve. Look at them now and look at them through the eyes of compassion. Look at them through the eyes of love.

Whether I am face to face with my parents or on the telephone, my last words to them are always, "I love you". When they part from this life, I want those words to be their last memory of me and I want them to be my last gift to them.

Think about it and maybe if you still have time with your parents, you could try it too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ask for what you need

I was clearing out my email folders when I came across this. It was the answer to a question asked in one of Julie Jordan Scott's online coaching classes in 2004.

"What I love about myself is my growing ability to ask for what I need. This was not always the case. I was always the helper and could never find the words to ask for help myself. I still hesitate sometimes and the words get stuck in my heart, but more and more often now, I just blurt them out, sometimes not very gracefully but increasingly clearly.
When you really love yourself, then you know how to ask and you know how to receive. That is something I needed and I love how that has changed my life. "

Learning to love and care for myself as much as I love and care for others was a long and sometimes challenging lesson for me. Now as a therapist, coach and Personal Growth Facilitator, it is a large part of my daily work to be a catalyst for this transformation in others.
One of the areas I love working in is the courses we run for carers under the auspices of the Princess Royal's Trust for Carers. We offer EFT, Be Your Own Life Coach and a Life Enhancement Course which is about raising self-awareness and self-esteem.
I see the same struggle in those carers as I found in myself. As we work together I can't begin to describe how good it feels when there is the momentary glimmer of liberation from duty and a glimpse of what it is to love and be your own carer. It is at moments like this that I count myself blessed to do this work.