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
Inspired by Universal Medicine… Just Being Me
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A secret that is no secret but can be an inspiration to others to know and treat everyone as equal.
What you share is so important to bring into our everyday lives, ‘I am accepting of where they are on their path, and I don’t try to change them.’ Just accepting people and not having expectations on them, or trying to change them will be felt by all.
Anonymous, this is very beautiful to read, how very simple and powerful our choices such as going to bed early, not drinking alcohol and eating a healthy diet are and what an effect these choices have on ourselves and others.
It makes sense that if we are connected and are building a solid relationship with ourselves then others will feel this. What stands out for me in this blog is that our reactions to other people’s reactions and comments will only add to the emotion being expressed, so I am sure these people in question will be feeling the space that is offered in those moments.
Our natural way of being is to be loving and respectful of others. No secret – just sadly forgotten by so many of us.
What you write is the not so secret, secret as to how to connect and relate with everyone – work, home, family, ourselves it is all one.
Anonymous, I love this, the way you are living is so simple and yet it is life changing for those you support and those around you; ‘So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.’
” So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all. ”
But it is a big secret , the secret been that its not safe to ” simply being me ” . But the big cover up you are exposing is yes its ok ” simply being me. The clients are receiving that message and now the secret is out ” its ok to be all that you are in truth ” loving, responsible, caring, natural and open.
Your secret that is not really a secret should be shared the world over. What a difference we can make if we are loving to ourselves first.
Awesome sharing Anonymous, this is a great example that by not trying results naturally occur, and it is clear that the gentleman you mentioned feels safe and trusts you enough to be himself also within your presence.
Anonymous, it is really lovely to read this; ‘So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.’ What a huge support we can be to others when we are simply being ourselves, taking care of ourselves and living our natural qualities.
Being ourselves is the best way to be, and to fully accept ourselves and be content with that, makes life so enjoyable as it takes out all of the trying to be something we are not.
When we hold another without judgment nor in the projection of any emotional entanglements it allows them to feel their potential and to simply be themselves.
So true Suse. Beautiful to be on the receiving end of an emanation that is not given but simply shared.
I love your secret…’to be who we are’, I agree this is actually no secret. I feel so many of us have perhaps forgotten how to connect to who we are, so at sometimes this may feel foreign to us. But the truth is we all do know who we are and to live not holding back our natural essence, it reminds people around us of who they are too.
How we are with ourselves. has a huge effect on the world around us. More than I think we can think about! This is true responsibility when we look at how we are ourselves, how we are living, what choices we are making, and choose to make more self-loving, self-caring ones, miracles can occur as your blog clearly shows.
What I love about this blog is that you are showing that there is no secret to connecting with people – it just comes down to us being us. What an amazing reflection you are offering all the patients here – that they have someone they feel they can connect with and open up to and they don’t have to get any judgement or reaction back. It makes such a difference to their healing and their lives.
Truly taking care of ourselves means that we can naturally be this way in life and bring that same care and love to the people we work with. People then look to us for support and we have a responsibility in how we verbally express ourselves.
Truly connecting with another regardless of any diagnostic labels makes all the difference.
Not reacting to or in any situation is a huge one, yet it is one that offers us , and all involved, an opportunity to see clearly what is at play, as such presenting the opportunity for us to respond in truth, and bring love to the situation. This is what truly serves us all.
“So my ‘secret’ is simply being me – loving, responsible, caring, natural and open – which is not really a ‘secret’ at all.” Speaking with everyone we meet in a decent respectful way takes no effort and enables us to connect with everyone we meet throughout our day. A question, do we treat ourselves in the same way?
Connecting with people when we hold Love as being the thing we are presenting as our lived self is seen by others and acknowledged by behavioural changes that are inspired by the Love that is lived or you are walking your talk. Life is that simple when true Love is shared equally with everyone.
I also love the connection between the 2 men in the photo above, so sweet and tender.
I love your secret- the beauty of just being you.
Being who we are, speaking our truth, our willingness to be open and honest and not hold back, these are all things that define and shape all our relationships, from the interactions we have daily to the person we’ll only ever meet once in a shop or a street.
Willing to be tender, loving and respectful with yourself first sets up an open dialogue that holds the same qualities with anyone you meet.
Real Love for another well outweighs any kind of training we could ever have. Deep care for another is natural to us all we just need to get out of our heads because in our hearts we know we are all worthy of deep deep care, love and respect.
A great example of how we live our lives has a ripple effect on others.
The clarity of your life now reflects the choices you have made, and thus it is for all of us
I am also a support worker, and I can feel it is so important to maintain connection with myself so as not to absorb anything that is not mine.
I am realising more and more that every single one of us is deeply sensitive and craves love and connection. The strategies to cover the hurts and disappointment from not receiving that may be different, but it means most of us carry scars, protection and aberrant behaviour none the less. To live a loving and responsible life and “simply be with them in the transparency of who we are” is the greatest gift we can offer our fellow human beings.
Truly and deeply connecting to people beyond whatever shortcomings or disability we might know or perceive they have builds a foundation of mutual trust and even intimacy that defy any prognosis.
Your blog highlights the importance of appreciation and how normalcy is quite a dangerous thing to fall for. When we just get used to life as it is and don’t think anything of it being anything special or unique we not only don’t tend to question whether what we are doing is true or not but we equally do not tend to appreciate the little things we do and the amazing presence we can bring that are undoubtedly very beautiful and worthy of forever having such appreciation.
Inspiration is us being who we are and then bringing that from our bodies every movement. When we hold ourselves and allow others the space to simply be who they are. That is where the true magic lies.
The more natural, transparent, respectful, open and connected we are, the easier the connection with others is. Something that is available for everyone who chooses to live in this way.
Anonymous, I have had a similar experience working with someone with dementia, I am avery calm, non judgmental and loving and respectful in the way I work with people, this person and I had a great relationship, I was always punctual, there were never any issues that arose, to me this person was very sweet and gentle. I heard on numerous occasions how other carers had many problems with this person, including the them lashing out and being verbally abusive and at a meeting the manager asked how I was with this person because we got on so well and other carers would either refuse to work with this person or would have very turbulent working relationships, I simply said that I was calm, supportive, encouraging and respectful with this person – so simple.
We all crave the sort of connection you are talking about Anon, it is the most deeply satisfying and normal way of expressing with one another… there isn’t a person on earth who will not respond to it in some way, even if it is to reject it and walk the other way. It might be a simple thing your talking about but it’s power is enormous.
I love the deep connection there is between the two men in the above photo. True connection can be easily felt and is what we all want, irrespective of what gender, race, culture we are part of.
Loving in a respectful manner is such a simple yet powerful way to interact, support, understand, accept and deeply honour another. Your story Anonymous is such a beautiful example of simply truly loving and respecting another person.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and your wisdom.
I love your secret Anon, it is about what you bring in your everyday livingness in honouring and loving yourself and holding those you care for within the same care and love. A powerful and gentle reflection.
The appreciation you have for what you bring to the workplace and to others was beautiful to read Anon. While reading it I had a deeper understanding of what I also bring to my work, which is pretty cool. Thank you.