You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people Blog by Cheryl Carter Every Home Matters

You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people

Love can be so strong and positive when it’s a two-way thing. It can build bridges and be so uplifting, but what do we you do when the one you love is no longer there or they no longer love you?

We naturally think that our loved ones will always love us unconditionally and never imagine what life would be like without them.

So how do we cope when suddenly, either due to bereavement, divorce, separation or illness, those ties are suddenly severed?

Having experienced first-hand the impact of dementia and mental health within my own family, I’ve seen how quickly personalities and behaviour can change, how empathy and love can fade away and be replaced by hostility and aggression.

It leaves you feeling bereft; the person standing in front of you may look like your loved one but is merely an empty shell. Human nature, of course, puts us in denial and we continue to convey our love and keep trying to put things right, but sometimes it is to no avail; we end up being received completely emotionlessly, treated like a complete stranger.

I understand and can empathise

I was blessed to grow up in a very close family, with an abundance of love, laughter and security and my parents were always on hand with unconditional love, comforting us when we needed it, sharing our celebration and triumphs, continually nurturing, encouraging and reassuring us with wise words.

However, circumstances changed five years ago, at which point my sisters and I were left with a huge void in our lives. When someone dies, we have time to grieve and in time eventually move on, but cases in which loved ones remain alive can also be difficult to come to terms with as we still feel bereft.

So it is so important to remember…

• It’s nobody’s fault so don’t look to blame anyone for what has transpired, especially yourself. Likewise, don’t torture yourself by asking why.

• Though you may not recognise your loved one from their behaviour, try to look beyond that. If you can, try to recall and share positive things from the past to help you both recall the better times.

• Forgive what has happened and reconcile yourself with it.

• Surround yourself with positive people and laughter.

• Listen to your body and look after your health and wellbeing.

• Seek support and counselling from a professional

• Keep your mind from overthinking and find time for you. This could be as simple as just listening to music or going for a walk.

• Self-healing will build your confidence and self-esteem and make you stronger in time.

• Time will eventually ease the pain.

Look after your well-being.

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