The 1st steps to transforming the world are taken in transforming ourselves. *
In July I made the decision to put my dad, diagnosed with dementia, in a memory care facility. With promises of safety and stimulation. A better life.
He is 91.
I want certainty. Certainty that my father will be okay and well cared for. Promises are made and I am assured that he will adjust. He is admitted.
In 5 short weeks he is taken to the hospital ER 4 times and has 2 hospital stays. An otherwise very healthy man, with memory issues only, left a memory care facility a very broken man: He cannot walk, is incontinent, has slurred speech, and his dementia is worse than ever.
My efforts have failed.
I use my resources and advocate groups. I hear the same message repeatedly. Once you put them in, they go downhill quickly. Or. These senior care facilities are all in crisis after the 2020 pandemic. However, I am not able to move him home. I move him to another memory care facility. I visit every day, 2 to 3 times a day. There are issues again at this brand-new memory care facility. The nightmare continues.
Once again, I have failed him.
Yesterday, for the 1st time in months, I did not go to visit. Nor do I check to see if anyone else will go in my place. Most days I visit 2 to 3 times a day. On this day I do not go at all. I hate myself for not going. I hate that there is no certainty that he will have had a good day and night.
I despise the uncertainty. I despise my failed efforts.
I wake to 2 things, the first 2 Gurdjieff aphorisms: Aphorism 0. There is no failure in effort. Aphorism 1. Like what it does not like. I wake to my practice and to “The Work.”
Aphorism 0. There is no failure in effort.
“That no matter what effort we make, focused effort can lead progressively towards success, whereas no effort generally leads to stagnancy and decay; we are the WORK in progress.” *
Yes, I am constantly working to improve my dad’s quality of life. I am doing it right now by writing this blog. I am not stagnant. I will continue to advocate on my dad’s behalf.
Aphorism 1. Like what IT does not like.
“This aphorism teaches us that something that is unpleasant can, with intention, become pleasant. The idea here is not to persuade ourselves into thinking this is a pleasant experience but instead encourages self-observation. Observe and understand what triggers you. Being present to this, in the moment, gives us the chance to change our approach.”
“In this approach, there are no efforts to be masochistic…We are simply transforming the “unpleasant” to a “pleasant perspective.” *
I will accept the uncertainty. I plan to visit my dad today and spend much of the holiday with him. I know each moment will bring something new and uncertain. I have not failed if I continue to make an effort. In love.
*From: Awakening Exercises By: Miguel Angel Sosa Cravioto
In Love Always,
Your child, ages 10 and over, can take a fun and interactive enneagram test on our website: N-1games.com
Cathryn S. Hudson (Gaga Lala) works with the Conscious Living Center, The School of Conscious Living and Conscious Dynamics. She is a certified teacher in the narrative tradition of the Enneagram from the School of Conscious Living and holds a BS degree from the University of Cincinnati from the School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning.