Dr Dermot Casey
In the shadow of the people that we care for each day
We are all carers. No matter who you are, you are either a carer of loved ones or you might be employed to care for others in some capacity. You certainly are a carer for yourself otherwise you would not be reading this article right now.
Throughout our day we, as carers, are largely focusing on the person that we are caring for. We always have a spotlight shining on them. We point this light on them to illuminate what is going on for them, so as to determine what their current care needs are. This might include carrying out an assessment of some kind. We are also exploring with them what is happening currently or what occurred in the past.
But, there is no doubt that the client is always front and centre with a spotlight shining on them and we, the carers, are for a large portion of our day in the shade.
Maybe at times we get reflective light shining on us from the client when we connect with what is going on for them and relate it to ourselves. But then we quickly move on to the next client and the next one and forget about the little insight that we received regarding our own care needs.
So for a large portion of our life we are in the ‘shadow of care’ and we never get a good clear picture of what is going on within ourselves and what our own care needs actually are.
This is one of the reasons why reverse caring becomes so hard because we find it difficult to know and understand our own perspectives as we get lost in this shadowed view.
Light and awareness is what is needed so that we can really understand and respond to our self-care needs. We are all living our lives mostly in the shadow of our loved ones and the clients that we work with each day.
We cannot continue to live our lives largely out of the light as we will fail to grow and re-energise and will become lost to what our bodies and minds might actually be telling us. If we fail to listen, eventually we will not hear what is being said to us, until maybe we get to an emergency personal situation when we will have no other choice but to listen to what is being said regarding our own needs. Hopefully, it will not be too late at that time, to take the relevant actions to recover.
It is time for us as carers, whether professional or not, to change. For example, parents also need to put themselves in the spotlight and come out of the shade and into the light of care.
Without this illumination, we do not really know what our care needs are and as a result have very little, if any, chance of those needs being met.
This is an abbreviated excerpt from my upcoming book: Time to Change the Way that we Care, that I thought I might share with you here today.
If you have any comments on the above please contact me as shown below.
Thanks for Reading
Dr Dermot Casey
Counselling Psychologist, Cork, Ireland.