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Welcome to this online journal for caregivers to the dying or bereaved—important and challenging work, for sure! My goal is to support you by providing inspirational thoughts, pertinent resources, and suggestions for self-care. With appreciation for all you do!

- Rebecca Hauder

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Keep in Mind, It's Not All About You!

Keep in Mind, It's Not All About You!

June 6, 2018

"We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive...and sometimes taking things too personally."  ~Dalai Lama

My dear friend has been flying back and forth to Missouri to help care for her mother who is on hospice care. Each time she goes to see her mother she comes back emotionally wounded because of harsh and critical comments from siblings who live in the area. One accused her of talking too much about death and dying. Another critiqued her for trying to discuss her mom’s estate. My friend is feeling misunderstood and sorry for herself. Visiting her mom is emotionally draining!

Over coffee, my friend and I pondered aloud why we tend to take other’s negative treatment of us so personally. Why does anger directed at us create so much angst, including self-doubt, self-pity, and oftentimes a sense of guilt, thinking we have done something wrong. As we talked further, however, we reminded ourselves that the overblown reactions of others is just a small part of a much larger story! Even if we did do something to annoy the other person, their angry outburst is about them, NOT ABOUT US! Their behavior is more likely a result of unsettled personal issues, about old family rivalries, or about the grief they are experiencing in anticipation of their loved one’s death. And, of course, it is also about the other person’s inability to manage their emotions and talk about their frustrations in constructive ways.

So if you, like me, tend to internalize the negative reactions of others, put this note on your bathroom mirror as an ever present reminder: Rarely are other people’s negative reactions about me; rather, they are about them. Therefore, I choose not to be diminished by what others say or do.  

Until Next Time,

Rebecca Hauder, RN, LCPC

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