How Can Forgiveness Improve a Caregiver's Life?

If you’re familiar with our family’s 17-year odyssey through Alzheimer’s, you may remember how vital it was to Martha’s well-being and mine that we let our resentments go. Not just some of them—all of them, whether recent or longstanding.

I shared a few of our issues regarding bitterness in my book A Path Revealed and in an earlier blog What Would I at 70 Tell Me at 40? The hard, underlying lesson for me is this: To stay embittered after I’ve been wronged by someone or by some situation hurts no one but me. It’s in my self interest to let that obsession go. Previously, I’d thought that forgiveness was a nice virtue I could get around to when convenient.

Our family’s experience was affirmed recently by Carol Bradley Bursack in a post that cites five examples of how forgiveness can improve a caregiver’s life. You may know that I’m a fan of Carol’s (aka #TheCandidCaregiver). I interviewed her in early 2017… It’s About Quality of Life, Not Quantity

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Her daily blog, Minding Our Elders, is worth following. In her recent post, Carol wrote…

“Forgiveness, or the lack thereof, can loom large in the life of a caregiver. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. That is rule number one for people to remember when they are working toward crafting better relationships with family members and others whom they care about. Forgiveness can have enormous benefits for the health of the person who does the forgiving. Considering that negative thinking can be disastrous to your own health, you may want to work toward the positive habit of forgiveness. Here are some people that you may need to forgive along with reasons why you should… Read the full article here about how forgiveness helps the forgiver more than the person forgiven.”  

Although Carol’s post isn’t long, it may take a while to absorb. We all know that it’s easier to say “let it go” than to do it. But to do it was vital to our family’s well-being.

Carlen Maddux

PS1  My book A Path Revealed: How Hope, Love, and Joy Found Us Deep in a Maze Called Alzheimer’s can be ordered from any bookstore or found on Amazon.

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PS2 As usual, feel free to forward this post to your friends and family. If you’d like to sign up for my blog, it’s free; just click here

PS3 I’m sticking this 65-cent Alzheimer’s fundraising stamp on all my mail. It was introduced Nov. 30, 2017. Through its first eight months over 4.1 million stamps have been sold to raise $579,000 for Alzheimer’s research; these net proceeds go to the National Institutes of Health. Join me and thousands of others to Help Stamp Out Alzheimer’s.

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