Sunday, April 27, 2014

Learning... Living... Hoping...

        In this week's Motivational Monday post, Christine Morgan has me thinking about hope.  I hope my meditations on this topic actually come to some kind of positive conclusion.

"Learn from yesterday,
live for today,
hope for tomorrow."
~ Albert Einstein

"What are you hoping for this week?" Christine asks.

        I've been having an interesting conversation, with a whanau brother who also experiences chronic pain.  After a number of years of tests and treatments, they have yet to discover what is happening, nor anything that treats it properly. 

        This man is a huge and very much loved example to me, and I have been grateful for his place in my life.  He was telling me about his latest adventure in searching out relief for his debilitating pain, which sounds as though it will add to his pain before it relieves it, and as we discussed how healing can consist of pain, in and of itself, he said to me, "Hope itself can aid in healing." "True.  It can," I said.

        For me, the answer to the question, "What are you hoping for this week?" changes from week to week. But this week? Good question.

        To be honest, hope is one of those tricky subjects, much of the time. I can have hope for my brother and his treatment, so that he can live a full, comfortable life with his amazing, lovely wife and beautiful kids whom I adore.

        I can have hope that my sweet, beautiful sister of my heart will find her battle with the C-Monster will be eased and her last days on earth can be sweet to her and her incredible strong and loving husband, and their kids who have had a life that no one would wish for children: to grow up in a home where their mother has had a fight for her life, almost as long as they've been alive.

        I can have hope for my friends and other family, whose hearts are burdened with Life as it seems to tap into their deepest fears, hurts and regrets, taunting them as they struggle to keep moving forward.

        I can have hope that people I love will forgive the burden that I and my illnesses have caused them, in whatever form that that has taken for them. I can hope to have the ability to lift that weight from their lives, so I am not just another thing they have to either manage, work around or ignore altogether.

        Because... I think no matter what my body nor my mind can throw at me, 
nothing hurts like knowing that my issues make more issues for others to carry. 
 And I know I am not the only person with chronic pain and illness who feel that way...
...because I've spoken to several who have admitted the same thing. It's a tricky balance.

        I don't believe I've answered the question, but I have admitted that I can be a bit of a hypocrite at times, in the fact that I'm one of those who can have hope for others, but I've a hard time feeling much for myself. I'm not sure what kind of person that makes me, other than an honest one. But I never said I have it all together. I'm no guru, no teacher, no licensed counselor/therapist, no professional life coach...there is no certification to say I've done anything more than live through some things and simply survived others. I'm empathic, and can understand the human mind and heart, but what is that without letters after my name or a document on my wall? *sigh* I'm just another person on the Path, trying to keep moving forward and not hit too hard when I fall.

        Maybe that is what my heart is telling me, someone needs to know. I believe I said that at the beginning of this blog; this Project is not a professional undertaking, nor promises anything but to hopefully help you know and feel you aren't alone in whatever struggles you face. I know there are a lot of sites that promise more or less, and they can be valuable resources.

        As for myself, I'm just meandering/stumbling along the Path, and am happy to have you along for company, and to share what we've learned, together. In that spirit, you are very welcome to post comments either here, below, or on the Project's FB community page.

 Better days ahead, my friends.

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Is Springing in a Spring-Like Way! (At Least in Some Parts of The Northern Hemisphere)

Omigoodness...I can explain!  

I have really good reasons for not posting the Motivational Mondays post yet! 
Especially since it's my favorite topic, so far!

        Actually, just imagine I took the time to give you the list, because they're great excuses, as you can see in your imagination! 

        Because really, all it comes down to is I had some big stuff last week, and...well...

        Let's just face it:
        I forgot. :-/

        So while I'm really, truly, honestly not one who likes the facades of excuses, perhaps my best excuse might simply be: I'm human, and we just have to accept that.  (Now you might see how that last post fit...and how I sometimes work to shake loose the "writer's block".)  Moving on...

        For Week 13, I have to admit this was perfect timing...the theme is my favorite season of the year!

Welcoming the Spring inside Ourselves

"Spring shows what God can do with a
drab and dirty world."
~ Virgil A. Kraft

        In this section of the book, Christine includes some of her own insights, which includes this lovely thought:

        "Through growth and renewal, we can have a reconnection with our joys and spirit - we just have to consciously make the choice to grow."

        She then asks:
What is blossoming in your life?

        So I have to ask myself, what does that mean? What within me is in process, and is it what I really want, within myself? Am I happy on the course of my life, and if it continues in this direction, will I truly be happy when I get where I'm headed?

        This isn't an easy series of questions for me, but perhaps anyone who gives it serious thought might take some time to really ponder the answers. Because sometimes, we don't want to think about it. Sometimes, we are scared, or feel hopeless to change. Maybe we feel too weak to even try. Perhaps we feel alone on our journey, and don't have the support we need to make a proper modification of ourselves, or the course we're traveling...or we're afraid that if we deviate, those we love will abandon us, and we feel we can't go it alone. Sometimes, we simply don't want to be bothered to go through what it takes to accomplish the change.

        Whatever our reasons for resisting a new course in life, they may be valid feelings, but they are probably unhealthy, in and of themselves. Who or what taught us we were weak, or lazy, aren't worthy of healthy love, or will be rejected and abandoned - or worse, even persecuted? What right does anyone else have, to tell you what is best for you, once you are old enough to make your own choices? Who are they, to try to control you into being something that you feel, in your heart and being, you are not?

Now, just take a moment and look inward.

        Do you feel that longing? Do you have the sense that somehow, you are not living to your potential? Do you feel you are not where you belong? Is there something that comes to mind, that has come to mind every time someone asks or says something about what would you do if you could do anything? Because even if you can't be or do exactly what you've longed to have happened in your life...there is a way to do something valuable that can give you a sense of light and purpose, in something close to that for which you yearn to have in your life.

        For me...there have been a lot of things I thought I could do, and even thought I could love doing, but it seems that every time I find an avenue, something unexpected comes into play that blocks my progress. My physical and mental health being huge parts of that, but also circumstances involving other people, and such. I think one of my greatest skills, these days, is related to scrounging up what pieces I have left, and trying to make something functional out of them. 

        Perhaps that could fall under, "growth and renewal", in her description? That is the definition of life, is it not? Even the plants take whatever they can from the soil, water and air, and use sunlight to help make of them, energy stored in reserve. They use the tiny building blocks of matter, and convert them into life and beauty.

        There, that is one way to make what often feels like a pathetic excuse for a life (what, you never feel that way about your own, ever?), seem more uplifting and constructive. I do have a network of various forms of support, however, and that network is quite seriously the reason I can keep going much of the time. For that, I am grateful. I continue to look for ways I can help others, and help to build where life has destroyed. It might just be the way life goes, sometimes, but for every destruction, someone must help build again.

        As you can see, life has been shaking up my focus a bit, but I've not completely given up on the Monday personal challenge. It had just taken me more effort to get this one done in time. And really, that's the way life works. There are places in the Northern Hemisphere that are still under tons of snow (that are typically not so, this time of year), so that only goes to show that sometimes Spring takes some time to really get underway. At least, that's my story.... ;)

         Better days ahead, my friends.

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

The Revelation of A Lifetime

Okay, gonna break down and just admit it to you.

I know, you didn't expect it, but I hope you can try to understand.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Painted the Moon...Red?

        Not exactly the lyrics of the song (nor its intention), but as I sit out on my porch, at 2 am, watching a red moon disappear into the dark of night, the lyrics just came to mind...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Controlling... What Lies Within

        I think I'm going to have to preface this maybe mostly, magically manic, Motivational Monday post, by saying the following:

        I have no idea what I'm about to say to you.  Not a clue.  Nope.  I've got nothin'.