Today we're going to talk about Caregiver Spirituality with my guest, Samone Smith. Samone, is a dear friend and fellow caregiver that I was blessed to meet a few years ago when she stepped into our home as one of Mom's senior companions. I felt so much peace on the days she came to visit. Not just because she was relieving me for a couple of hours to recharge but also because she spoke of her life in such a way it helped me to refocus my faith. Caregiving has the potential to create moments that distract us from living a purposeful journey.
Samone's healthcare journey began at the age of 15 when her 1st job was in a nursing home. There she found a passion for caring for seniors and those with disabilities. As a junior in high school, she received a certification as a Nurse Assistant. From this early age a long fulfilling journey of caring for people from all walks of life was born. Now, being a mother of a teenager with down syndrome she already understood the importance of compassion and faith-based intentions. Samone has over 20 yrs of health care experience that includes Geriatric Care, Oncology, Rehabilitation, Dementia Care, Hospice, and various special needs.
In 2011 Samone founded a Kingdom Women Walking in Victory ministry. As a self-proclaimed "Victory Strategist" to women, she knows exactly how to help women turn their defeat into victory. Since then her spirit-led journey has helped her focus on writing and publishing two books. The first is titled From Defeat 2 Victory, The Victorious Woman Journal. In 2018 she launched From Defeat 2 Victory Services where she offers life coaching, online courses, spiritual mentoring, and workshops. Her 2nd book, titled F.L.A.W.S- 5 Steps to Radical Self Care, will be released soon.
Samone’s Spiritual guidance took her as a native from St. Louis, MO to Austin, TX long enough for us to meet. Thankfully, her caregiving journey has given Samone an unshakable faith. She was then guided to Houston, TX shortly thereafter, where she currently resides with her new husband, Alan. She is the mother of 2 boys, 3 bonus daughters, and 2 bonus grandchildren.
Watching Mom over the years live within her comfort zone, gaining weight, and struggling to find deep sleep only allowed me to see what was happening on the outside. When I began to step into her world in a more intrusive way, I could now see emotional pain left unattended. Mom was like a beautiful horse that was spooked too early in life. Trying to get closer to her to help her heal became my original goal.
The problem with trying to heal someone who does not believe they need healing is that you are pushed away or have to accept their free will to live in their comfort zone. The more I tried to help Mom; the more my life started to transform. In my upcoming book, Proactive Caregiving – Stop Reacting to Life, Start Living Proactively, I explain my transformation. Although I understood this journey was not about me, I was not expecting to experience such a transformative process.
For many years, the Spirit attempted to reach me deep within to help me heal my broken abrasive heart. I could not understand until I stepped into Mom’s world that I could not heal her because I had to focus on myself. Focusing solely on myself was not easy when all I wanted to do was progress my career. Striking a balance between work and family was not easy either, but I believed everything I was doing was for someone else’s good.
I can now tell you everything I was doing in my career was to seek personal value and what I thought was a success. By seeking something outside of me, I failed to look within and lost sight of my faith-based values. Living in the material world to please others left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. Caring for Mom had many rough moments, but it finally helped me feel emotions I subconsciously buried.
A process unfolded as I engaged in yoga and meditation to find peace and relieve sciatic nerve pain. The more I devoted time to meditate, the more I invited the Spirit inside to shine a light on my blind spots. I began to feel the difference between being religious versus spiritual. Thankfully, I had this process going before I experienced Dad’s passing because the relationship with the Spirit only intensified.
The pain from letting him go was unbearable. God knew the plans for me ahead were going to be challenging but knew I needed to heal my broken heart before I could stand firmly. Every bit of family drama, physical struggle, and anguish from searching for who I am created to be is all part of His plan. To many, it may sound unfair or mean, but to me, I embrace the saying, “That which does not kill you will make you stronger.” This saying is why I know I can do all things through Him, who gives me strength.
A caregiver’s journey is a journey of transformation. Each time you look in the mirror, the eyes looking back at you is a newer version of His creation in transformation. In constant pain from sciatic nerve damage, I looked back to a woman desperately wanting to be set free. The woman in the hospital room that finally could stand pain-free was looking back at a woman falling in love with herself for the first time. No more pain. No more excuses not to engage in life. No more hiding from what He intended for me to do and be.
As long as I could push through the physical pain to get by, I was driving the Spirit away. Just as I saw Mom as the spooked horse, I could finally see some of her essence in the woman looking back at me in the mirror over the years. Learning to trust the Spirit and allow it to guide me was the beginning of trusting the process. So wherever you are in your caregiving journey, I want to encourage you to reflect. Once you can see the difference of who you were at the beginning of your journey, you may understand where He is leading you.
To make your moments of reflection more effective try the following:
1. Start by selecting a reflection process that works for you - comfortable chair, quiet place, private time away from your typical distractors.
2. Ask yourself a question - Why did that moment get under my skin? How did this happen?
3. Start small and don't overwhelm yourself by expecting quick results.
4. Challenge your thoughts - if you continually go to a negative space then repeat #2 to ask yourself why. Otherwise, be courageous to dig deeper.
5. Be your own hero by inspiring self-acceptance so you can live intentionally. Your actions may be habitual attempts to please others leaving you feeling stuck or lost. Just remember these few things: You are beautiful, you are strong, and you ARE enough.
Thank you for joining in and listening with us today. You can find more about this topic on the blog at www.jessicalizelcannon.com. I hope this gave you more food for thought and until next time, BE PROACTIVE. Take care, everybody.
Intro: Vacation Time by Khris Paradise
Outro: Misty by Khris Paradise