In my role as a support worker, I assist three people to live independently in residential care in the community.
These people all have diagnosed mental disorders, living with conditions such as schizophrenia, bi-polar, psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety issues. These conditions are all capable of causing their moods to fluctuate drastically and it is for this reason that they take prescribed medication to minimise mood swings. Even so, mood swings still occur, and sometimes result in outbursts of aggressive behaviour. These outbursts are often caused by frustration at not being able to verbally express their feelings due to their mental disability. The aggressive behaviour is usually directed at the support people.
I work in a team with four others, and at a recent team meeting we were discussing one of the people we support. Over the previous month, the other members of the team had experienced an increase in his aggressive, demanding behaviour. I had not noticed any such change in behaviour when I was working with him, and I mentioned this to them. They were a little bemused by this and asked me what my ‘secret’ was.
I was a little lost for words as I had no secret. I didn’t think I was doing anything special – just supporting him in a loving, respectful manner.
Later I reflected on how I express at work.
- When I interact with the people I support, I ensure I make a true connection with them, acknowledging what they say, respecting their opinion, and engaging with them as an equal.
- I am conscious of the tone of my voice when I’m talking to them.
- I’m careful not to react to what they might say.
- I am accepting of where they are on their path, and I don’t try to change them. They are where they are as a result of choices they have made, and I see my role as one of supporting them as best I can on their chosen path.
- Above all else, I maintain my connection to self, trying not to take on what may be going on around me.
As stated, when I’m at work I do my best to establish a true connection with the people I support. Since I have been doing this I have noticed a significant change in how one of them interacts with me.
When I first started working in the house, this particular person only engaged in limited conversation with me and didn’t share anything personal. In his staff information folder it was mentioned that he didn’t like physical touch, and tended to keep to himself. Over the last few months he has often come up to me and not only initiated conversation and shared on a personal level, but he started to reach out (tentatively at first) in a friendly manner to place his hand on my shoulder while talking to me, something he doesn’t usually do with people.
My everyday living is based on making choices which are loving and honouring of my body. Such choices include: having a gluten, dairy and sugar free diet, choosing not to drink alcohol and choosing to go to bed at a time and in a manner that supports my body’s natural rhythms. I have found that this has provided me with a foundation that supports me at work, enabling me to hold my presence and stillness. This can be felt by those around me and has an effect on their mood and behaviour.
I have noticed that my presence at work usually has a calming effect on the people I support as well as other staff. This is supported by the decreasing number of behavioural incidents which have occurred.
So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.
Thanks to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, whose constant reflection of love, truth and integrity are inspirational.
By Anonymous, Support Worker, New Zealand
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Your ‘secret’ is felt by the people you work with.
Anonymous what you have shared is ground breaking in our relationships with ourselves and all others.
‘My everyday living is based on making choices which are loving and honouring of my body.’
Most of us do not consider the choices we are making as we are in the constant drive to get things done we come home exhausted from the day of ‘doing’ to then want some ‘out’ time because we deserve this time to check out of a stressful day whether it be watching television, drinking alcohol, eating chocolate, going for a run, exercising etc. We are looking for relief in a world that seems to be spinning out of control.
So to live in a way that honour’s and respects our bodies is huge and when we do this our lives change dramatically. I know because I tried it for myself, Taking care of me actually works.
Also the transparency that comes through what is shared delivers the understanding of a Livingness that we all should share as our way of living.
It’s amazing what affect we have on others by caring for and loving ourselves.
Simple indeed are our choices to be loving when we get rid of the individuality that drives us to partake in things that do not fill our bodies with Love.
It just goes to show we can tell when someone is truly connecting to us or caring towards us or not.
What an amazing example of the True power of what being Love is and then what True Love in reflection is bringing to others.
Our everyday way of living will always be what people we meet receive and there for we are forever in communication.
When we know we have something to do that needs us to be fully present and on our top game, the self-care we give ourselves days in advance speaks volumes because not only does it support us it also supports those around us. I have noticed that when I am doing my student teacher training days at college the room will go very still and you can hear a pin drop (as commented by one of the other student teachers), I feel very calm even though I am being assessed and can feel the quality I move in. Self-care will and does support us to be all that we can be and others do feel it, and it can change lives without us trying to do anything.
To take loving care of myself is to take loving care of others.
Recently at work, also in supporting people with physical and mental disabilities. We were all given a booklet on “being resilient” as care work is, according to this booklet, “inherently stressful”. I disagree with this as I don’t find my work stressful at all. Life is only stressful when I slip in caring for myself, then stuff gets on top of me.
Connecting with people, bringing our love and care to another makes a difference in many ways.