Through the looking glass

Moving Your Soul, Another Way To Live With Alzheimer's

Alice looked round her in great surprise. `Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!’

`Of course it is,’ said the Queen, `what would you have it?’

`Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, `you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’

`A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. `Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’

Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll 

Many times I have felt just like Alice, looking round in surprise, under the same tree, panting and not getting any “other” place. After repeating endlessly the same answer to the same question, trapped in a parallel world where nothing seems to advance.

One day I asked myself if I wasn’t lost in my “only dimension”, the dimension of the “normal”. I decided then to go through the looking glass. What if Alzheimer’ssdiseaseeee, like many other (“The healing power of illness” by  Thorwald  Dethlefsen & Rüdiger  Dahlke) was an opening door to the possibility of facing our lives rather than running away from them?

Is it possible that the world has a need that is being revealed through some extraordinary change agents as are Alzheimer patients?

A person suffering from dementia usually demands in a way a series of needs, the needs of the disoriented. Our western world, equally disoriented, demands those same needs and nobody seems to be listening. In the presence of this incredible deafness a channel has open which leads the way to new ways of coexistence. Naomi Feil, in her Validation Theory, expresses that the possible needs of the disoriented are Peace, Balance, Resolution, Feeling safe, Find a meaning to life, Comfort, Belonging, Acknowledgment, Identity, Listening, Respect, BE LOVED. Needs that coincide with those of a disoriented world.

Alzheimer’s disease is a reflexion of the world’s illness. It is a subtle message of how necessary it is now to “unfold” the messages that go beyond the words or gestures. When somebody suffering this disease asks to have lunch after having done so a short while before it is because he or she is still hungry… what of? Love? Care? Acknowledgment? What fulfills them?

To learn to listen, to speak with respect, to find out what our unfulfilled dream is behind the complaint of the patient is, on behalf of a world in pain; to be responsible of everything we are being told and shown so we can see that other dimension, that other world that is also ours and that is telling us that behind all behavior there is a reason and not just a pathology; to learn that diversity is also found in the way we breath ALL of our worlds…

Looking glasses reflect realities that, in many cases, we are not aware of and that makes us grow as a person, becoming complete, with the ability to surprise oneself and becoming aware that we can choose.

The world is asking us to see and react.

We are those responsible

Let’s dare go through the looking glass, let’s dare start the way…

And when we get there there will be no forgetting, there will be celebration.

Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. `What a funny watch!’ she remarked. `It tells the day of the month, and doesn’t tell what o’clock it is!’

`Why should it?’ muttered the Hatter. `Does YOUR watch tell you what year it is?’

`Of course not,’ Alice replied very readily: `but that’s because it stays the same year for such a long time together.’

`Which is just the case with MINE,’ said the Hatter. 

                                                                                                                                                                               Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carrol

Carol Westerman
Picture by Victoria Audouard