Tuesday, May 7, 2013
In the past, when I was the sole patient, if I sank into the pit of doom, I could count on Richard to shine the light of hope. His commitment to my improvement would infuse me with something like hope. His presence and kindness, replenished me. And when I felt better, emotionally and physically, he grew lighter. That was our pattern.
Now we are on new turf. Both of us patients. He can't tolerate too much doom, and I slide down the slick walls of the pit too easily when I don't hear his voice calling to me.
As unfamiliar and disturbing as this disruption is, it is also a call to action. I confess, with embarrassment, I have gotten too comfortable with the patient position, too self protective. This inversion of roles is actually recharging me -- inviting me to step more deeply into my own capabilities and into taking care of the person I love most.
I spent 14 hours a day by his side when he was hospitalized for 10 days. Now that he's home, I do the shopping, the laundry, and take out the garbage. Little things - but markers of engagement with the world.
My biggest surprise is that as I do chores for Richard's benefit, and do them with love, I grow stronger, and I have a wider field on which to show my love.
btw -- I don't recommend this route to anyone as a path to recharging and becoming bigger than you think you were. But it was given to me and I'm liking the results.