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Our Covenant with Life

This morning someone from Human Rights Watch sent me a message and asked if I would speak to their researcher about chemical restraints. It is a topic near to my heart – and one that does not get enough attention. I wrote a whole piece on it and then deleted it. I trust that readers of this blog are humane in their treatment of vulnerable people.

It does however beg the question about our humanity – the way that we sometimes lose sight of the sacredness of the human spirit. How is it possible that we can actually treat older people in a way that we would not treat animals?

The answer I think lies (again) in the medicalisation of ageing, and the fact that we assume that a person can “lose their mind”. The Divine Consciousness – or whatever name you ascribe to what some call “God” is what I assume is the Life Force. It is the Consciousness that breathes Life, Sacred Life, into our Being.

We are connected to this Divine Consciousness, regardless. If you consider the intricate mystery of the human body, the workings of the human eye, or the heart, or the lungs/kidneys/liver/etc, you must accept that it is not just a simple mechanism, but a mystical miracle. No human can make an eye or a brain or a kidney and simply replace the real thing.

The human body is Divinely connected to the Sacredness of the Cosmos – it does not become detached from that when the brain ages and starts to function on a different level. It is our duty, our privilege, to treat and care for this body with more sensitivity and respect than ever before. Consider the way you would treat a priceless antique crystal vase…

Our humanity – or lack thereof – is mirrored in the way that we treat those who are vulnerable and dependent on us. Our touch, our presence, our time, and our words are absorbed by those who cannot speak or who seem not able to communicate in words. They leave traces – or bruises – on the vulnerable Soul of the frail, like fingerprints. We can create meaning and connectedness, a sense of identity, joy, autonomy, and growth – or we can in inflict suffering.

The greatest gift that a person living with dementia is affording us is to care for them. Do so with infinite love.

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