Intentions to Light the Way

Intentions to Light the Way

The holidays are a time of rushing around, squeezing the budget, and sometimes losing our tempers as we try to cram more and more into each day. And if you’re a caregiver, you may find it’s difficult to schedule time off for yourself and to find gifts and meaningful ways of celebrating that will honor and delight the person in your care. For caregivers, money is often tight, making the holidays feel more dismal than other times of the year because we can’t do what we wish, and can’t give what we want to give.

But here’s another way of looking at the holiday season. It’s the turning of a corner, the dawn of a New Year. It’s supposed to be a celebration! So instead of rushing, why not take one hour to quiet your mind. Just one hour.

Light a candle.

Take a breath.

Now close your eyes and review the year you just lived through. Watch your mental slideshow month to month, and pause at the heartening moments. Remember those who have helped you. See the faces of your friends, your partner, your children or parents.

Now open your eyes and look at the candle. Imagine the light is creating a path for you. Who do you want to be in the coming year? What can you do to make that happen? Making New Year resolutions is common, and breaking them is even more common. But what if, instead of a resolution, you set your intentions? This is a worthwhile tradition to start, and it doesn’t cost any money at all.

I’ve had some emotional ups and downs this year, and I think a lot of people are concerned about ongoing disputes that have caused divisions that seem to be growing deeper in our country and abroad. Tension in the news can create tension in families. That’s why it’s important to step back and make sure we are not engaging in passive aggressive ways when we disagree with family members on issues or beliefs.

As caregivers, we are hands on; we are forced to practice patience and seek answers. The people we care for depend on us to be consistent and reasonable, stable and strong, yet sometimes it’s hard for us to cope amid all the turmoil around us.

Setting our intentions may be one way of realigning ourselves with our values and goals, so we can continue to give care in a positive way. With that in mind, I’ll share with you what my intentions are for 2017:

To listen and respond in love

To have strong convictions and eloquent ways of sharing them

To be mindful when communicating without belittling

To try to understand others even when I disagree with them

To strive for peace in myself, my family, and my world

This is a tall order. It’s especially tall because I know I will fail repeatedly. But recognizing that I sometimes fly off the handle, or misinterpret what others are saying and take offense, or fail to listen closely is an important step in figuring out what I might do to calm myself and to be a better caregiver going forward.

I know that I’m responsible for half of the stress I feel and blame on others. I think it’s a common affliction—the tendency to react rather than think through a response to what we perceive as annoyance. And so I’m going to take responsibility and try to open my mind a little bit more.

One of my favorite carols is “Let There be Peace on Earth, and Let it Begin with Me.” The lyrics are heartwarming, but this year, this song leaves me disheartened because there is so little peace on earth.

I hope that by setting my intentions, I might be reminded more often that I need to look within as often as I look outside for the peace I seek and try to be a part of the solution instead of simply feeling helpless.

I’d love to hear some of your intentions for 2017. Please comment below, and may peace be with you in the new year.

Comments (6)

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I received the message two times in two different carriers. First time responded was from the analytical chair... this time, I follow the text more closely...

I don't set goals, in one sense. TBI erased "goal setting." First and only goal was returning to what "was" at one time. Fortunately for me I modified the above goal.

A "head-injury" changes everything, everything... you look at the world about, rarely, at first. Goals are forsaken... you wish to regain some normalcy back into your life. What was, was, an is "no more." You lament on this fact, for a set time. After becoming accustomed to the "new reality," you set forth on the path of discovery of the new-being that resides in this body of mine.

Kind of cool, if you know what I mean...!!!

Transformation, a new you develops, that only you, the individual, understands.

Yes, that is the way of "Traumatic Brain Injury" Survivors.



Very elegant and high-end intentions, but realize you an I are at completely different ends of the spectrum in head-injury care. You are a caregiver, myself, at one time a recipient of care... two different sets of eyes, two different perspectives.

Survival and returning to what "was,".at one time, is the initial reaction to the recipient of such an injury. Gradually, you learn adjustments through time and space... and this time and space can be anywhere from five years to thirty-five years and maybe longer. At some point you may feel at home in the body again. When this happens, if at all, will be achieved from with-in and with-out.

Your part as caregiver is the "with-out" area. Vitally important as the "with-in" part, it is something that cannot be stilted in it's deliverance. Natural, simple, delivered as one with the benefactor... !!!

So goes the "rehab process," as I'm sure you can attest too.

Nothing goes to smooth, nothing goes to bad... it's hard, hard, work with a light at the end of the tunnel of vexation awaiting... a long winding road with twist and turns seemingly obliterating the path... but with the "will of the warrior," the wall that blocks will come crumbling down, in time.

Yes, in time, for time, you realize, is on your side, yes it is... !!!


 Thank you, Something I will set my intentions to is to be the peace I want to feel and see in my loved ones.  It begins with me. I am with my son who has TBI frontal lobe injury.  He can be so loving one minute and the next I am shattered with fear.  Fear is only false evidence appearing real. Courage and love heals us all

Thank you, this has really struck a chord with me after 2 years caring for my mother. It's been tough and a very long journey but your words are very comforting and well put. We all need to learn from our individual journeys and the intentions you have suggested are perfect and beautiful. One I would add is forgiveness for myself when I have struggled to cope and forgiveness for others who didn't know how to be there in those times. May we all find the peace we seek in the new year. Thank you again

You are an inspiration. Thank you for reminding me to look within for a source of peace.

This is one of the most beautiful Brainline posts I have ever read. Thank you for showing us and reminding us of how to walk in the light.