You asked for him, you got him! Peter is one amazing man. He’s a caregiver to his wife Grace, who has had both legs amputated, seventy-eight operations, and has over nine million dollars in medical bills.
He’s writing to inspire us, so please encourage Peter with your comments.
Here’s what Peter has to say about Guilt Vs. Grace:
First, I’d like to thank Dawna for trusting me as a guest blogger—and allowing me to share a few hard-won insights learned from a lifetime of serving as a caregiver. I think a good place to start for my fellow caregivers is the subject of guilt.
For every caregiver, guilt remains a seemingly insurmountable obstacle standing between us and a measure of peace in our hearts. In the face of overwhelming odds, we put ourselves in an often impossible situation, and keep doing it armed with little else than love—while spending blood, sweat, and treasure.
Yet with all that, we caregivers treat ourselves mercilessly—thinking somehow because of guilt or whatever, we’ve got to push ourselves to the breaking point.
This kind of caregiver guilt isn’t about sins that get great press. Those things earn guilt.
Rather, this type of guilt comes from such things that weren’t our fault, but we attribute blame to ourselves such as a child born with a disease or disability. Other times, we caregivers feel guilty over wishing the loved one would die—just so this painful journey would end.
We even torture ourselves with guilt over something as simple as wanting to take a break for a day …or even a few hours. The list of things we cruelly whip ourselves with stretches beyond the horizon, but none of those things help us live a healthier life. We’re no good to anyone if we stroke out or become impaired ourselves because we allow guilt to push ourselves to the breaking point.
What would you say to friends doing exactly what you do? Would you criticize them? Heck no! You’d hug ‘em, give ‘em a meal, tell them how amazing they are!
Instead of punishing ourselves for something beyond our abilities to control, let’s apply grace.
“Grace” is a beautiful word for caregivers to remember. To me, “Grace” is the loveliest name in the English language—I married a woman named Grace. I love saying her name. As caregivers, we rarely give ourselves grace—to our detriment.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) implies that you love yourself. Loving ourselves doesn’t mean narcissism—it means caring for and valuing the extraordinary life that we have received—being a good steward of our hearts and bodies. Today’s a great day to extend grace ourselves, and then watch in amazement how it affects our other relationships.
Peter Rosenberger is the founder of Caregivers with Hope, and for the past three decades, he has personally travelled the path of a family caregiver. He’s the author of “Hope for the Caregiver,” and hosts a weekly radio show for caregivers on I Heart Media’s 1510 WLAC (Nashville, TN). www.caregiverswithhope.com
Click Here to watch Peter’s video on Guilt Vs. Grace.