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Choosing a Learning Attitude
Choosing caregiving can be seen as a way of saying Yes to life. With your first steps, you embark on a steady series of learnings. You learn to be guided by your intuition. You learn new skills for living. You learn about yourself and your relationships.
To learn, you must be inquisitive. Being on the lookout for learning opportunities becomes primary. It supercedes concerns about projecting an image of competence. If you’re worried about appearances, you’re not open to learning.
A learning attitude over-rides old resentments, opening the path to more whole relationships. Who must your elders have been to have become who they now are? Inquire into their humanness. When you were younger, did you put them on a pedestal? Or bemoan their shortcomings? What might be a more realistic lens through which to view them? What must your siblings or your life-partner be dealing with to be acting as they now are? Whenever possible, assume that others are always doing the best that they could, given their own limitations. Inquire also into who you have been: the living strategies you have employed; your style of relating to others; your personality traits that make you who you are. Which of your life values has freed you? Which restricted you? Look for the qualities that might serve you now. Also notice habitual ways of thinking and acting that now would be a handicap.
As you move through caregiving, you will be presented with situations you have never faced. If you have been a passive person you will be called on to take action. If you are highly verbal, you will be called on to listen. Those of you who are impetuous can learn self-restraint. If you feel like a child with your elder, this is an opportunity to grow up, to speak as an adult. Embrace the learnings, and you gain powerful tools for living.
Embrace this opportunity to move differently in your world. As you open yourself, your capacity for living expands. Places where you have felt stuck will begin to loosen and move. A learning attitude brings life-giving movement to your caregiving, to your life, and to your relationships.