There has been a lot of research about touch and how healing it can be. Over the years, while visiting people at home and in the hospital, I have always used touch to draw closer. I truly believe that touch can be therapeutic if used with intent to heal. Recent studies have shown that just holding the hand of a loved one can reduce pain.
When visiting a member of the congregation in the hospital I found her in pain. Unfortunately, he pain medicine was not due for some time and she was very uncomfortable. She responded well to my touch and using both touch, a soothing voice, and a meditative talk (like a mantra….”just rest, just rest..close your eyes and just rest) over and over she relaxed into a calm and peaceful state and was able to wait for her next dose of medicine.
I don’t know how many times I used this technique on my children and never thought about it but with my job as parish nurse it was very helpful. Having someone focus your thoughts soothes us and along with gentle touch can bring us to a state of calm.
The problem is it is hard to do this for yourself. I have done it on occasion when I found myself in a situation when I was about to lose either my temper or my mind. Just stepping back, breathing and focusing my mind….I sometimes repeat “be calm, be calm”…does help me get past that moment. I had a Tai Chi instructor who said when faced with her kids waiting in an airport she had to keep saying “lower your chi” over and over.
Sometimes when I am alone I like to sing a piece of Taize music. These pieces from the Taize community in France are soothing chants that can calm your mind and soothe your soul. If you have never heard these look it up.
This link will take you to one of my favorites on YouTube.
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. –———Arthur Somers Roche
Unfortunately this is very true. When anxiety raises its ugly head everything else just disappears. Notice that the quote says “if encouraged.” Yes, we can encourage it by giving in to it.
When it comes I am unable to focus on anything…can’t read, can’t move, can’t find comfort. It is a terrible feeling. What even makes it worse is that the fear of more anxiety adds to the anxiety.
Life is worth living. Anxiety can take the feeling that I am living away. It is like falling down a deep hole with no bottom. You just keep falling thinking all the while about hitting bottom.
This is no way to live. We have to find ways to push anxiety aside and move into the world. It is so much easier to give up but then what is there? No matter how hard it is working to move away from anxiety and depression is critical.
I have learned over the years that literally moving my body helps. Getting up, getting dressed, combing my hair and making myself ready to go out makes a difference. Even if the anxiety goes with me I am better. If it is not possible to be with people then walking outdoors is a good choice. If there are friends who understand then seek their company. For me, friends help.
Whatever we do we must not give up. This can be worked through and a life worth living can be discovered. Don’t ever give up!
It is amazing to me how anyone can cope with the medical system in the US. People are always telling us that we don’t want the systems other countries have but I have decided that no place is without problems.
In addition to the problems created by the insurance companies (who are running it all) we also have technology creating havoc. Many physician’s offices are hiring outside tech groups to handle things that each office used to handle. I have encountered two of those systems lately.
One involved a prescription that was denied by my initial insurance company as being too new and expensive. The docs office hired a company who produce the information needed for the insurance company to approve the medicine. Previously the office had to hire extra people to create this kind of paper work. Now it is farmed out. The system itself is not unreasonable but when the patient has no idea where the rx went or who has it …not good. It disappeared into the void and only reappeared when I physically went to the office.
The second was a request for medical records for an appointment at a different facility. The docs office now has someone else managing their medical records and confusion ensued when no one knew where they were.
The system is changing so fast that no one can keep up and I think we are going to see RN’s becoming advocates for patients to surf the system.
The world over medical care is a worrisome issue. When I was a child there was no insurance for medical care and if you had no money you just didn’t get care. Now with various systems in place in some countries there is the possibility to get care if you need it. However, no system is perfect and each has road blocks to getting care.
For those of us with mental health issues the access to care has been bleak. Hopefully things are getting better and with more mental illness being linked to our physical selves there is hope that it will no longer be the step-child of health care.
Everyone should have access to good care but the world is a long way away from seeing it happen. Many poor countries have nothing. I guess those of us with any care should be grateful for what we have. May it continue to improve.
This is Memorial Day in the US. Many people do not know that this day of remembrance was begun by former slaves honoring the dead Union soldiers in Charleston, South Carolina. This is a day for remembering those who made the final sacrifice.
My husband is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. We married after graduation and spent 20 years moving from post to post. West Point instills in it’s graduates a phenomenal love of country and a desire to be the best person you can be. My husband has lived out that code his entire life.
Two years of that time were spent in Viet Nam with a brief tour in the states in between. He led a Company of soldiers and spent the first year almost entirely in the jungle. His men faced danger every day. The jungle was so hot that they literally rotted through their uniforms and new ones had to be delivered by helicopter each week. They never knew each day if they would be just struggling through the heavy jungle growth or fighting for their lives. Each night’s rest could be interrupted by gunfire and fear. He fought during the Tet Offensive and cannot talk about that time.
His men loved him and after he returned home I received a letter in the mail with money collected from the company for us to enjoy meals out. He was the only commander who walked away from that company. The others died.
Each day I thank God that he returned home, not only in one piece, but also able to endure the memories. He has been to the Viet Nam wall in Washington, DC once and will never go again. It is too painful
Just thinking about the men who fought with him and the classmates of his who died in that war brings tears to my eyes and his. Neither of us can listen to taps played at military funerals. May God grant peace to all those who served in that war and all others. Those who lived and those who died. They blessed our lives.
On Friday evening my grandson graduated from high school. He has been successful in school and is a wonderful boy. He works hard and puts himself into the things he does. Next fall he will be going to college and like most 18 year-olds he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. It worries him.
Some people are blessed by finding a passion early in life and driving forward to fulfill that dream. Most young people are not that lucky. The world is a big place and there are so many things that we can do. So many choices. In the past people were just looking for a job to feed their family and were grateful for anything. It is just as hard to get a job but many kids feel that they are a failure if they don’t do something that seems wonderful or exciting.
Most of us spend our lives just doing a job. In today’s world it is not unusual for someone to switch fields over their lifetime. People used to work for one company for most of their lives. Today they may work for many companies. Things are not the way they used to be and with technology moving so fast what you start out to do may change quickly and you may have to learn new things. Today we have to learn to be more flexible and that makes life stressful and more challenging.
Don’t be afraid that you don’t know what you want to do. Your choice could change over night. The job itself could change over night. Don’t be afraid. You have a lifetime.
Life never goes backwards. It continues to move us forward even if we don’t want to. We all have thoughts about what we will be like as we grow older. I envisioned this slim elegant woman. Didn’t happen. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder “who is that person.” I have not aged the way I thought I would. I imagine you have noticed that the picture on my site is one of my basset hounds. There is a reason for that. I always thought that I would age gracefully but it has not worked out that way. My body didn’t cooperate. Who is that person in the mirror?
The good news is that some of the other (and more important things) have come true. I am still active, my mind is ok? at least I think so. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.
We may have certain ideas about how we will age but many of them are not important. We need to keep working on the things that are important. We need to have people we love in our lives. We need to keep learning and growing. We need to share ourselves with others. We need to participate in the world both the one near to us and the wider world. If we do these things then life will continue to have meaning until the day we leave this world. Concentrate on what is important.
I’m still wondering “who is that woman in the mirror?”
We have had our friend, Harold Littlebird, here for the last few days. Harold’s heritage is Pueblo (I’m sorry I don’t remember more specifics) and he is an amazing potter, poet, storyteller, songwriter and singer. He is amazingly talented.
This is one of his pieces. Each piece has a story attached to it.
He is also deeply spiritual and an amazing Christian. He sees God as both infinite and immanent. God is present with him at all times and when you are with him you can feel that presence. It is a joy to be with him.
Having him in our home is such a reminder of the things I fail to do each day to connect me with God. Silence is his friend but he can also be fun and funny.
We have other friends who are native Americans (First Nations) and I am always awed by their connection with God and the earth. We all need to learn from them. We are so often careless with our use of the resources of the earth that God has blessed us with. We are supposed to be stewards but we have so often raped the earth. Our total disregard of the fact that things are not limitless has made the decline of the earth almost inevitable. I really hope that it can be turned around and that the earth can be sustained. I worry about my grandchildren and now my great grandchild. What kind of a world have we left for them?
I see on the web young people who are finding solutions to the problems that we have created and it gives me hope. Maybe it will take the next generations to reverse the trend. I hope so. I really hope so!
Seeing the destruction we have done makes me anxious for the future. Will we ever learn to care/
Today I went to my grandson’s graduation lunch. They showed a lot of pictures from the graduates years in school. Lots of memories. for some reason it started me thinking about how I would like to be remembered. My father loved quotes from tombstones and I wondered what I would put on a tombstone. I found some of my favorite tombstones and thought it would be fun to share.
I know some people that this would suit… do you?
Just a little thought
I can imagine myself felled by something as silly as this!
I am sure that my children would approve this.
I guess we need to be more creative
This one fits our age so perfectly.
Hope you enjoyed these. I needed a good laugh today. With so many cremations today and so little money spent on something like a tombstone (some places don’t allow them any more) we may not find many like these in the future. I did wonder if the deceased wrote them or someone in the family.
Many of us have the gift or burden of sharing in other people’s feelings. This can be overwhelming. If we are sharing with someone who is in pain the results can be hard. It is so easy to take on their burdens as your own.It is a wonderful gift to understand the struggle that others are having but if we let it take over our lives it can be more than we can handle.
Compassion is truly a gift but we have to learn to back away when it sends us into depression and anxiety. Helping others to find a way through their burdens will help to bring peace to us as well.We can’t do that if we are so caught up in the situation that we also need help.We have to learn how to be compassionate without losing ourselves.