At one time or another, most of us have felt as though we can’t please anyone, let alone everyone. Caregivers are even more susceptible to this feeling, and it’s one that has the power to fill us with angst, guilt, and an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. When that happens, we would be wise to remember a sage quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson; “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”
Find Peace By Doing Your Best
Caregivers are often put in positions that they wouldn’t necessarily choose for themselves. Perhaps you’ve been named power of attorney. You may not be bursting with joy at this prospect, but you assume the responsibility knowing that you are fulfilling a role your loved one felt you were best equipped to handle. Accepting this position will undoubtedly mean making decisions that won’t be popular with everyone, and it won’t be easy.
As Don Miguel Ruiz advises in his book, The Four Agreements, moving forward with a clear and peaceful heart can be boiled down to four words of advice: Always do your best. When you do your best, you have no reason to feel guilt or to second guess your decisions or actions.
Unfortunately, dealing with push back, unsolicited advice, and people who are unhappy with you is part of the job. You may even get negative comments from people who could be an active part of the caregiving process, but choose not to be. Let’s face it, it’s very easy to give advice from the sidelines, when you aren’t the one in the weeds day in and day out. I’ve talked to so many people struggling with this type of situation.
There’s Only So Much to Go Around
You may also have people in your life who feel as though you aren’t giving them enough of your energy and attention; that you’re too wrapped up in caregiving and that the little bit of time you get for yourself should be spent with them. It sounds ludicrous, but it’s a common problem, and if you let it, this can really get you down. The fact is, you only have so much bandwidth, and you can’t be everything to everyone. People who truly care about you will understand and respect that.
No matter how much energy and effort you put forth, someone will be unhappy. At the end of the day, we have to be able to face ourselves in the mirror and know that we did our best. Remind yourself often that you are doing your best every step of the way, with your loved one’s greatest interests and your own well being at heart. Stay strong and confident in your decisions, thoughts, and actions, and peace will follow.
Does this sound all too familiar? Share your experience by leaving a comment, and you’ll likely be helping someone else in their own journey.