To care we must listen, to listen we must accept

Most of us would like to care for friends and family members as best as we can. Some days of course, we simply feel ordinary and struggle to care for ourselves. On these days we need to distance ourselves, where practically possible and focus on self-care. Self-care can be as simple as reading a book and as complicated as hiking through mountains. However, you care for yourself it is a first and most vital step in offering quality care to others.

When I studied Spiritual Care, a few years ago now. I discover some simple techniques and great literature, he’s a example. This author is an African-American fellow. Emmanuel Lartey

‘People who participate in pastoral care recognize a transcendent dimension to life. They realize that there is more to life than often meets the eye. They have an awareness that power, grace and goodness are often not found in the obvious places. They recognize that there is a mysteriousness about life, which is not reducible to sociological, psychological or physiological analyses and explanations, important though these be.’

So when we offer care for friends and family we must allow them to be themselves. We must always respect there beliefs.

Listening and paying attention goes a long way too. Listening is a skill that we often minimise and neglect.

Another great book below, its Christian not that I am, but I value good literature.

‘Being able to share thoughts and feelings with other members is crucial to effective family living. By expressing emotions and sharing needs, family members develop an emotional attachment and create opportunities for mutuality and interdependence. The expression of emotions, whether it be anger, hurt, love, joy, sadness, or affection, is essentially how family members become more intimately acquainted with one another.’
THE FAMILY A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE CONTEMPORARY HOME 3 RD EDITION JACK O. BALSWICK AND JUDITH K. BALSWICK

Our relationships fail from neglect.

I love reading and over the years have spent many hours studying and reflecting. These days I am writing more and reading less due to time. Reading fiction is relaxing, however, its a great idea to read non-fiction too and a variety of genres. I have discovered some useful tools doing this.

More from the author – Prof Emmanuel Lartey, the leading African scholar in the field of practical theology, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria. Apr 30, 2018

‘Pastoral care consists of helping activities, participated in by people who recognise a transcendent dimension to human life, which, by the use of verbal or non-verbal, direct or indirect, literal or symbolic modes of communication, aim at preventing, relieving or facilitating persons coping with anxieties. Pastoral care seeks to foster people’s growth as full human beings together with the development of ecologically and socio-politically holistic communities in which all persons may live humane lives. (A modification and enhancement of my definition in Lartey 1993, p. 5)

Most of us would like to care for friends and family members as best as we can.

In reality, we fall short. Mostly because our self-maintenance is poor. You cannot off great care when we are in a crisis or run down. So please look after yourself, it will change everything, including close relationships.

The writing below is Buddhist but truly explains the possible curses of living in materialistic societies.

We all need to live but we don’t have to be consumed by money and work

  Greed causes harm.
Greed provokes the mind.
People don't realise it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when greedy,
doesn't know his own welfare;
when greedy,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with greed,
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning greed,
feels no greed
for what would merit greed,
greed gets shed from him —
like a drop of water
off a lotus leaf.
Aversion causes harm.
Aversion provokes the mind.
People don't realise it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when aversive,
doesn't know his own welfare;
when aversive,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with aversion
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning aversion,
feels no aversion
for what would merit aversion,
aversion drops away from him —
like a palm leaf from its stem.
  Delusion causes harm.
Delusion provokes the mind.
People don't realise it
as a danger born from within.
A person, when deluded,
doesn't know his own welfare;
when deluded,
doesn't see Dhamma.
Overcome with delusion
he's in the dark, blind.
But when one, abandoning delusion,
feels no delusion
for what would merit delusion,
he disperses all delusion —
as the rising of the sun, the dark.
Itivuttaka: The Group of Threes

translated from the Pali by 

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

I thoroughly enjoy writing and find it relaxing. I live in Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia.

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