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a new chapter......a new life....

Recently Robin commented on a post that I responded to Miriam with in June... it went:

There is life after caregiving.. for many it's about reclaiming or redefining who one is after the whole process.. so much is absorbed and it can take years before we truly understand the impact it has made... for many it is regaining health... but for many it's a gifted opportunity to sit back and see all the growth they have come through - to know and understand that the whole process was a gift in the bigger scopes of their lives...

I will write more about it eventually... however, having cared for my husband, two friends, three cats, father, aunt and mother.. a 20 year stint in caregiving came to a close almost five years ago.. I was at a loss... and it has taken several years to really heal....

changing my beliefs.. the old conditioning that came from parents and society that didn't work for my parents and certainly didn't for me... letting go....

and in therapy.. thinking I was depressed, my therapist explained I was still functioning and doing things so I wasn't really depressed.. perhaps still grieving..

it was only one session but she tuned into me and found that I had been setting goals for everyone else including Empowering Caregivers and National Organization for Empowering Caregivers but I hadn't set any personal goals for myself in the past ten years... she asked me to name three things I would like to be doing by the end of the month... I was silent and out of my mouth rolled.. pottery, volunteering at a museum and going to the theater more... by the end of the month I was doing all three things...

ceramics was a huge step in reclaiming my life... my little kid inside came out to play having been the grown up ... a role I played ever since I was 5 years old trying to understand my parents and everything else...

in just 3 + years my ceramics have revealed that I am an artist and my work is selling for which I am truly grateful...

In april of this year, I decided that I needed a change... the apartment building I have been living in for 30 yrs was undergoing major restoration on the exterior.. the dust, mold, chemicals etc all aggravated and exacerbated asthma... which meant I would have to leave the apt for an extended time...

I went to visit friends in San Miguel de allende in Mexico. I had been there several times in the seventies...

Prior to taking the trip, a vision came to me and I knew I would be subletting my apt for two years until the restoration was completed.. so... August 15th I will be making a move to San Miguel de Allende...

My horoscope for last week was remarkable:

When one door closes another door opens. In the physical world, this is often due to displacement of air within the room. If you want to stop it happening, just lock all the other doors. But in the spiritual realm, the process cannot be prohibited. To close one door is to open another. Full stop. Always. Invariably. A door is now closing somewhere in your world. An era is ending. So celebrate! Another is opening. And this new door leads directly to a highly desirable destination. Don't be afraid of what's no longer sustainable. Be excited about what has to replace that. And be optimistic about what it will bring you. You'll never regret it.

I cried with overwhelm and jubilation. And one thing kept repeating itself over and over in my mind.. let go of what is no longer sustainable... how powerful these words hit me..

I am so very clear that no one... no person... no thing... no place can bring me joy, happiness, health, love, peace.. except me... no one is responsible for me but me.. I think in caring for all those in my charge... I tried to band aid so much... to help them to open to love etc. And, you know what, I was able to ... but in truth... each of us truly has to want to do it for ourselves...

I share this with you not to gloat... I thought seriously about writing it but I know for many of you that it is vitally important to know that there is life after caregiving.. its a process... an evolution.. and it also takes plenty of work... but I believe it is truly worth it... and each of us will heal in our own time as we need to...

I honor each of you on your journey... I hope I can continue to shed light at the end of the tunnel for all of us..

richest blessings
gail
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