Parent Caregivers – 12 Step Program Step 11: Improve Contact with God
This series Parent Caregivers 12 Step Program is adapting the “Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous” to caregiving from the book Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach. In last week’s post we discussed finding strength day by day. This week we discuss how to improve contact with God.
Improve Contact with God
Step 11: “[We] sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out.”
It is hard to get away from the fact that the Twelve Step program in any form or fashion is a spiritual program. In the first three steps, we spent a lot of time recognizing our powerlessness and gave ourselves over to God or some other form of Higher Power. During the 5th step, we admitted our wrongdoings to God. In the 7th step, we turned to God again to ask for help on our shortcomings. Hopefully we are starting to feel closer to our Higher Power now and our relationships with those we care for are stronger.
Step 11 is about continuing to develop this spiritual side of ourselves and make it a daily habit. You can pray or meditate daily – whatever makes the most sense to you. This is how you keep yourself nourished when you struggle with caregiving.
The exercise this week is to take time to pray or meditate. The purpose is to open your heart and mind to a new, spiritually-direct way of thinking. You can use this time to replace some of the negative thinking or you can use it to repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Either way – take time to stay on track.
How This Affected Me
I am pretty consistent about saying prayers before bed and occasionally before meals. However, I realized during all of this that I was doing it more automatically instead of intentionally. I actually added in meditation as a daily practice to take the time to slow down my thoughts and to be more present. Prayer is still a part of my daily life, but its mostly automatically. I am still working on the daily meditation habit – it is easy to forget ourselves when we have a lot going on.
I intend to continue my own journey toward a daily practice. Days that are too long and too hard do seem to loosen their grip on me if I remember I can pray or meditate to give myself pause. Some days still just get away and I forget that I have learned new strategies to cope. I’m okay with being a work in progress.
What works to keep you on track? Let us know.
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