Ok, don’t laugh. I am doing an Oprah Life Class. Someone I know suggested I do it with a group…and the class is actually not lead by Oprah but by Brene’ Brown, a researcher and author that I admire…so I am doing it! It involves webinars and doing some reading of Brene’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and a little art work and journaling.
I am already breaking with the trend…I haven’t done some of the art work. I can’t find the markers and colored pencils, I know I have somewhere, and I just don’t want to fool with water colors, they are too messy. I started feeling guilty but then I STOPPED and said to myself ” NO guilt over this Jane!! You have plenty of guilt already!!”
I did like the first journaling assignment. It was to create permission slips…and then list what YOU give yourself permission to do…. I am reminded of grade school – remember the permission slips to leave to go to a dentist appointment, or the one’s your mom sent to school with her signature so you could do on a field trip? But then I became intrigued with the whole idea.
I think we forget that WE are in charge of….us…ourselves. WE can give ourselves any permission we choose. Yet, we don’t often live our lives that way. We seem to be ruled by others…by their expectations, their rules, their wants/needs/preferences. Now certainly, in our society we need some rules…and I don’t mind being expected to drive the speed limit, or to NOT murder that person who is on my very last nerve!! But what about the other stuff?
As caregivers, I believe we most often live by someone else’s rules. Why is that??? Is it because, often that person for whom we care is a parent?? And we have lived according to their “rules” for many years? OR is it because we feel guilty that this person for whom we care is going through some unfortunate and unpleasant changes, so we go overboard? Just what is it?
I am not sure…but I do know that the whole concept of this Life Class….that we are all imperfect but that is ok….is one we caregivers should adopt!
So, today, what do YOU give yourself permission to do or be? Will you make a list? Will you write down things such as:
I give myself permission to be an imperfect caregiver.
I give myself permission to sometimes, NOT LIKE being a caregiver.
I give myself permission to ask for help.
I give myself permission to let go of guilt.
I give myself permission to realize I am doing the best I can.
Keep going. Add to the list and place it somewhere visible….tape it to your bathroom mirror or on the frig. And if you don’t mind…emaIl me and let me know what is on your list. Give yourself permission to share.