Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting To Know Me

Pema's 'Heart Advice' this week was on compassion 
and this really got me thinking about it, as it did a few of you as well.

As I mentioned in a response to Martha (from Plowing Through Life) click,
I unwittingly learned to be compassionate at an very early age.

I must have been about seven or eight at the time 
when I became aware (as much as a child could) that my mother
was 'sick' a lot and in bed for very long periods.

I didn't understand this. And it appeared that nobody else did either.
So I felt it to be my duty to see if there was something I could do
to make my mother feel better.

There were times that she would actually attempt to get up.
And sometimes she would stay up and begin to feel better.

But these were few and far between as I didn't at the time
realize that she had a serious disorder that required
consistent medication and monitoring.
And she would do neither.

My mother had bi-polar disorder.
How she managed to live as long as she did
(to age 87) is a mystery to me.

Well, maybe it isn't. She had a very supportive husband 
and very good, well-behaved children.

I didn't always agree with how my Dad chose to 'deal'
with my mother's illness, especially as I got older,
but I can see that he did what he knew to do.

It was not always easy to live with my mother.
But when she was 'well' there wasn't a more patient
and caring person around.

I am not eliciting pity here. 
I have gained far too much from this experience to wallow 
in self-pity and blame.

This was part of my journey, one that has molded me
 into the human being that I am today.
One that I have learned to appreciate.

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