I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase before. A recent article in the Reader’s Digest tells us that if we’re caring for someone who is in chronic pain, the best thing one can do is to encourage them to keep going with their lives. However, our natural tendency is to tell them to lie down and then do everything for them.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve helped to care for my mother as she recovers from a mild stroke. I’ve tried to practice ‘tough love’ because I know I can’t be with her for long and don’t want to make her dependent on me. It’s tough to watch someone you love, who is otherwise so nimble fingered, struggle to use a fork and spoon. My natural response is to feed her, but I know when she uses her hand to feed herself, she is also speeding her own recovery.This experience has made me think of the many times I’ve made people dependent on me, supposedly for their sake, but actually perhaps to make myself feel worthy.