"In the absence of love and belonging, there is always suffering." ~Brene Brown



Are you seeking a sense of belonging or connection? We are hard-wired to connect to others. Facing difficult transitions can lead to isolation and loss of connection. You no longer feel that you belong to something bigger than yourself. Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Writing and sharing your life stories can lead to a deep connection with others. Connection occurs when we can share our authentic and vulnerable selves. This leads to healing and empathy as we actively listen to others' stories. Guided autobiography is a roadmap to learning how to write and share your life stories in a small, supportive group. Thenes and sensitizing questions are used to uncover memories of life events. Join me in an upcoming online workshop in April to help you find connection and a sense of belonging.


Caregiving Tip #3

This is a tip for those caring for someone with dementia. Often a person with dementia will unintentionally hide items they believe are valuable. They may then accuse their caregiver of stealing these items that are now hidden. While caregiving for Kate, she would hide her purse or wallet and then accuse my husband and me of stealing them from her. She would panic and insist that we drive here to the bank to change all of her account numbers. One particular day, we searched for her purse and wallet for hours. We had to 'fib' by telling her the bank was closed this day so that she would stop demanding that we take her there because we stole her purse. My husband ultimately found her purse buried at the bottom of a dirty clothes hamper in the guest bedroom. I then discovered 'Tile' GPS trackers. These are small, square, inexpensive trackers from the electronics store. I sewed one into the lining of her purse and her wallet. The next time she hid these and became distraught, I simply tracked their location with my phone. I found them and said, "Oh, look, here they are." This saved so much emotional distress for all of us!


Caregiving reflections: A Gentle and Tender Hand by Henri Nouwen (2017). 

The word care comes from 'kara', which means to 'lament' or to be present with someone during their sorrow, grief, pain, illness, and even death. This contrasts with giving advice and solutions and trying to cure rather than care. To care means to be present with another; having a healing presence of compassion is a gift we offer. The friend who can be silent in a moment of suffering, who can be present and tolerate the 'not knowing', not curing' not healing- is the friend who cares.


Journal Reflections

What kind of touch, both bodily and spiritually, reassures you in your role as a caregiver?

In what ways have others been present to you in your vulnerable times?

How might understanding the meaning of healing presence change your caring for others?