The Filter Bubble of Gratitude

caregiver saathi

caregiver saathi

I’m in a filter bubble, attracting all the right things and the right people. It was not always so, it’s been a journey… A self-directed and exhausting one. Chronologically,

I had a normal childhood being the eldest of three siblings. Things changed when our father passed away (sudden heart attack) when I was 15. Being the eldest, I was the ‘responsible’ one. Quite a something to live up to… Our mother was shattered and needed our support. She came out of it quickly as she realised that she had us to take care of. We all held it together and she managed to bring us up to be what we aspired to be. I became an architect, my sister a designer, my brother a software geek. We all led our lives as a family, not living together always, but being together.

I got married, I got divorced, I moved back with my mother. My brother and sister were also married and living away, so it was just mum and I. Then sickness came on! I had got diagnosed with MS while I was married, mum got diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. We trudged along together dealing with these. She then needed a liver transplant, my sister became the donor and it was done, she didn’t survive long after that though. She passed on and I was left living alone. My health too started deteriorating and I’m now physically challenged with my walking ability compromised. I carried on living alone for some more time and then reached a point when I decided to take up my brother’s and my sister’s offer to live with them. I have now been living with my brother and Bhabhi who look after me alongside their busy jobs and young children. Giving me space to just be and being there for me if I ask. Bearing the brunt of my chronic fatigue and pain – unproductive, unable to contribute much, me!  My sister, her family, our relatives, my friends all do the same when I’m with them. Yet, this conversation sometimes surfaces within me:

“Who is your primary caregiver?”

My first response to that question was, ” care-giver… care giver?…. I am… “

The question hung around….

Then I thought about it and asked myself, ” Really?? Think about it again, Mona and take another shot at it…

Am I taking them for granted? “

What could be behind it? “I’m ashamed of myself for this thought, perhaps…..  Gosh, that’s disgusting!! “

I live with my brother and his family in Mumbai. They look after me and take care of me so I’m never in a situation where I have to fend for myself. I travel sometimes to my sister and her family, other friends and family in Delhi and Bangalore. They all do the same for me…

So, who are my primary caregivers? Care “givers”?

In terms of quantum of time, it’s my brother and his family, and in terms of just being, it’s them all.

So where do you come into the picture, Mona? What does that make me? The care “taker”, or really a care-“receiver”, right?

“Yeah, you can take care of yourself and your personal needs, but you’re supposed to, and you can only do it because other things around you get handled!

That’s not care, it’s just being selfish.

What do you do for all these people?

Isn’t this what ‘taking for granted’ is?

Face it Mona, you’re just a ‘taking-it-for-granted’ – er… “

Gratitude and appreciation are all that is required here. And what about the doctors who offer you their advice and consultation?

Gratitude for them too, please…

Change the frequency you emit to gratitude and not Attitude!

Writing this piece has been almost a cathartic experience for me. It has made me realise an added dimension to my consciousness. One I had not realised before. That of being a care receiver and coming to a place where I acknowledge it. A thought that surfaces here is that besides just acknowledging it to myself, I must also actively express my feelings to my care-givers: “Yes, I am a care-receiver… I acknowledge it and thank you for your contribution to my existence and my well-being.”  This leads me on to the Epiphany: Perhaps my physical situation has changed to teach me that I must bond better. I must be able to deal with being dependent. That it’s not the end of the world but the start of a new chapter, one that brings new experiences and new perspectives of life. A much-required addition to my vantage point. I do not resist it anymore but accept all the help I get with gratitude. I can still do a lot on my own, but very slowly and it tires me immensely. Help in the form of seemingly small gestures (like doing the prep in the kitchen for me to be able to make tea and breakfast) is much appreciated. It does make me feel so blessed and so much Gratitude…

Another natural outcome of this state of being is that it influences my environment and my future interactions too. I get drawn to, attract people and situations in my life that help, support, encourage and guide me to where I want to go, what I want to do. It seems like magic, but I believe now that it’s just the universe/my subconscious mind responding to my changed frequency. I also believe it’s impacting my health to get better – Ask and ye shall receive!

Much gratitude and appreciation…

Thank you, Universe, for this new, improved experience of bonding and love!!

And I am back ensconced and protected in my gratitude bubble…

caregiver saathi

About the Author

Mona Madan

Mona Madan - A Caregiver

“Hi, my name is Mona Madan and I am a citizen of this world! As Jiddu Krishnamurti has put it:

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.

I very firmly believe in this and do not like to classify or curtail myself… I believe that all that the world is experiencing now is because we end up making such distinctions and differentiations instead of just being human! Compassion, I believe is the only human quality that we can and must contribute to the world today. All that we have done so far is to take advantage. Now is the time to give, now is the era of compassion – for us to do away with these attitudes of segregation and to heal all that we have ravaged!

I am an architect by training and have practised it for more than 20 years. I have now come to a health-related speed bump I feel it is time for me to contribute in another way. Writing and researching is now my chosen path…”

One thought on “The Filter Bubble of Gratitude

  1. This is very touching. At some point of time we all are givers and we are receivers too. It’s a dance. I love the poem Given to by Ruth Babermeyer
    I never feel more given to
    than when you take from me –
    when you understand the joy I feel
    giving to you.

    And you know my giving isn’t done
    to put you in my debt,
    but because I want to live the love
    I feel for you.

    To receive with grace
    may be the greatest giving.
    There’s no way I can separate
    the two.

    When you give to me,
    I give you my receiving.
    When you take from me, I feel so
    given to.

    -Song “Given To” (1978) by Ruth Bebermeyer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *