by Amanda Jones
Being a child carer brings a lifelong appreciation of love. My mum was vulnerable and isolated, so was I, but it was our world. We both didn’t know any better. It was love which got us through such pain and difficulty. There are lots of ‘what ifs’ but life isn’t a regrettable one for looking back on.
As a child I saw my mum as my responsibility as I watched her in so much pain. The downside of this was that I didn’t matter, at all.
It has taken me a long time to accept myself as my own person. Now, I have found such peace. It is unbelievable how the challenges have come to make me into the woman I am and how life has literally come full circle.
Self love was a completely unacceptable and sinful idea in childhood. It meant selfishness and this led to arrogance. I used to think I can never be arrogant. Of course I couldn’t be. But, self love is the opposite of arrogance. I love myself because I have God within me and I am made from his love.
It isn’t only about God though. It’s because of me. This life I have been given deserves to be loved and cherished. Only by loving yourself can you love others. When you grow up hoping for a cure and relief for the person who is meant to be your caregiver it brings you great empathy. I can honestly say I have never felt jealousy because of this. I wish everyone well. Why? Because I chose to look after Mum. I chose not to run away. There was a strong bond of love and protection between us which somehow sustained all.
Being at peace and finding forgiveness brings wholeness. Yet we think we have done something wrong to need to find forgiveness. We don’t only feel guilt because of our wrong-doing. We feel guilty if we have been wronged. What could I have done to prevent this? Why did he do that to me? Why is Mum in so much pain, what have I done? This is the complicated affair of self-blame which goes hand-in-hand with a difficulty. By forgiving ourselves we let it go, we don’t allow the ‘act’ or ‘circumstance’ to be ‘right’, we just let it be free of us. We lose the ego in the most beautiful way.
A simple, quiet stillness and meditative quality is in my life now. Everyday I live each moment. There is a lot of pain, I have an incurable, progressive disease and yet my dreams have come true. And here they are, as an author, being written down and I thank you.
About the author
Amanda has been writing since childhood and along with short stories she writes her Missy Dog charity series, poetry, non-fiction and horror. You can find her here:
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