Our memory is an amazing thing. We have so many triggers to bring a memory to light. I live on the salt marsh. As I have mentioned that smell triggers good memories for me. Having been a nurse there are some smells that trigger bad memories.
Smell is not the only thing that can generate memory. There are certain songs that will bring a wave of nostalgia and the memory is so clear that I have been pulled into it.
Memories can be positive or negative. If we have PTSD the memories that we see are not pleasant. I have memories of panic attacks and anxiety from IBSD that come back when something reminds me of them.
We can’t always choose which memories float to the surface but we can use the tools that we have learned to mitigate their power. If I am some place public I will try breathing slowly and concentrating on my breath. Sometimes I am able to find something distracting to shift my focus and help me push the bad feelings away.
Good memories are a blessing and we want to wallow in them. It is wonderful to do so. Bad memories are the ones we have to find ways to travel through without the pain. Use whatever tools you have to live through those moments and each time you do you will be stronger.
I have never given much thought to the power that words and actions can have on one’s mental state. But as of recently, things that people have done for me or said to me have changed my outlook on my whole day (either good or bad). I know I need to depend on the hope […]
Recently my daughter prompted me to write some of the stories about my father. He was a brilliant man who never had an opportunity for education past high school He read everything he put his hands on and never stopped learning. This story is one I love. I think it was about the 1930’s.
My grandmother raised chickens. When one was wanted for dinner a chicken was killed by her, cleaned and prepared for dinner. My parents and grandparents lived in the same house. For some reason my mother and grandmother were very busy and asked my father to kill a chicken for dinner. They asked the man who hated to swat a fly.
My father went out the back door. He was gone for a long time. The two cooks started to wonder what was taking him so long.
Eventually my father returned with the requested chicken. It was dead, had its feathers, but it was cold.
My father, unable to kill a chicken, had gone to the grocery and bought one. In that era they sold chickens freshly killed but not cleaned. My mother and grandmother refrained for commenting and went on to prepare the chicken for dinner.
I am tired. I have realized that the tiredness is coming from the emotional roller coaster I have been on lately. When we have done physical work or completed a project we can be tired but it is a satisfying tired. It feels good. This is not that. This tired is totally enervating. It has drained me to my core.
When we are truly empathetic we experience the feelings and aura of those around us. Recently the strain that my friends have been under and the energy I have expended has taken all the oomph out of me. However I hope we are now on the upswing and that things are getting better.
Tomorrow I will be able to work in the yard. Although this is tiring it is the good kind of tired. It will produce a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. I have complained about the yard work but you can actually see the progress and that is something.
Lately I have taken little time for myself and I will address that in the coming week. I would like to see some “normal” but you never know when you will have to adjust to a “new normal.”
Finding things that bring us peace and calm are so important. Reading help me and just sitting on the porch and enjoying the outdoors. Each of us needs to find what can help when things get overwhelming. Not caring for ourselves will bring on anxiety, panic and depression. Not something we want to do.
Sometimes there is nothing that you can do and it is frustrating. My great grandson is supposed to come here for his baptism. That is the plan since this is where my granddaughter was baptized. We wanted to do this before my husband’s knee surgery in September but you all know about the best laid plans. The biggest problem is the great grandmother (me). I want someone special to do the baptism but everyone I want is gone until after the surgery date. I don’t take this well. Why can’t my plans work? Is it me? Phooey!
Now I have to rethink everything and just look at what is possible. I am fighting myself since this is not what I want to do but whatever. It is always said if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. Well…I did.
For someone who likes things to fall into place this is making me sad, frustrated and anxious. So silly but there it is. I know that there will be a plan that works and that I need to give in and make an new plan. One that I hope doesn’t make God laugh.
In the meantime I will sulk and fight my feelings but life will go on. Knowing that life is about change and that it will work out once I let go and let God.
This sums up what my last two week have been like. With one friend’s husband dying and helping with funeral plans etc and the other having to re-admit her husband to the hospital it has been a zoo. Yesterday I had a good day planned with early yard work, shower and if lucky a massage. Needless to say that went away quickly when after my shower I had to get back in the car and head to the hospital as surgery was planned. I got home at 7:30. They are wonderful loving friends and I will be there for them but I am feeling attacked.
I have learned in my life that there is nothing in the world that can replace good friends. Right now I am the one helping but at some time it will be the other way around and they will be there.
I grew up in an era when favors were paid back to the person you “owed.” If you couldn’t do something for them you felt guilty. This is not how life works. I have lived in many different places and helped others or they helped me. I couldn’t return the favor to them but payed it forward to someone else. This is how it should be. We should be ready to share ourselves when someone is in need. Moving forward someone else may do the sharing for us.
Life is too short to worry about who has helped who. (should that all be whom??) Whom cares!
Friendships are formed when we are willing to share… not only help but also ourselves. It is openness that people respond to. Value the friendships that you have. Good friends are a gift.
We tend to think that we have little impact on the world around us. Do we matter at all? Is what we do significant? To answer these questions I say that I believe in the “butterfly effect.” If you have never heard that phrase it means that every action of everything in the world has an effect on the rest of the world.
That means that my choices have great significance. The choice may just be getting up in the morning but somehow this will make a difference. This fits in nicely with science that says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I do understand this but this is not where I am going exactly.
This week I have been writing about the importance of each of our lives. It is so easy to be down on ourselves and not be able to see that we have any impact in the world. It is not true. Everything matters. Everyone matters. Whether you believe in a god or not I’m sure that you believe that each of us is unique. There will never be another duplicate. Even if cloned the person’s experience will not be the same creating a different person altogether.
This reminds us again that we are important. If we share our insights…the things we have learned from our own particular experiences we will make a difference in the world.
Understand you are important…no matter your flaws or problems. You matter to the world!
You have a gift only you can give the world–that’s the whole reason you’re on the planet. —–Oprah Winfrey
I really like this quote but it can cause us to worry. What in the world is my gift? Once I taught an adult class about using your spiritual gifts. Most of the people in the class immediately had problems because they couldn’t see that they had any gift.
Too often we think of gifts as being able to paint or play an instrument or publish a novel. We feel small and of little consequence. We feel guilty that we can’t figure out what our gift is. This kind of thinking makes us feel useless.
I have a friend whose daughter has Down’s Syndrome. I am sure that most people would not see her as gifted but each time I see her she has the most beautiful smile. Her smile brightens the world. She has a gift and she shares it.
I read many blogs where people share their fears and weaknesses. This is a gift. Their sharing brings hope and help to others.
Don’t hunt for your gift. You already have it you just may not know what it is….and you may never know. But others will benefit from it.
I don’t think we see ourselves correctly. Most of the time we see ourselves as flawed. We are flawed…that is true but we can also be beautiful. In fact, it is the flaws that make us what we are.
Those of us who struggle with some mental health issue see ourselves as even more flawed than that average person. We have to work harder to see the beauty. It is because at some point we have been set aside by others and viewed as less than.
In my life I have noticed that people who have never had a bad thing happen to them suffer real agony when something goes wrong. They have no coping skills. A bump in the road can devastate them. They have always seen themselves as managing really well. They can’t see that it is easy to do that when nothing goes wrong. These are the people who will see anyone with some physical or mental problem and say “poor John, he has problems.” It is seen as a fault in John’s makeup. Unless something changes this perception they will continue to see things from this viewpoint.
The sad part is they have little or no empathy. Empathy comes from suffering. Empathy comes from walking a path that is similar to someone else’s. We may not want to have issues in our lives but true beauty comes from them. The beauty of brokenness.
I have a vase in my house. It is very small not very exciting. My beloved friend bought it for me when we were in college. She is now gone. I accidentally knocked the vase off and broke it and I am not a good mender. However, the vase is beautiful to me. It has some flaws but they show the years that it has been with me.
Remember our chips and cracks have formed us. They have made us what we are and left us with much empathy. Don’t forget that! We are all beautiful!
Today I decided to eat breakfast on the porch. It is frequently too hot but today is milder and there is a breeze. We live on a tidal marsh. We have an 8 ft tide change. When tide is low you can smell the marsh. Some people don’t like that smell but I love it. When I was a child and visited my aunt and uncle here that smell meant we were on the way to the beach… on the way to a fun day so that smell has wonderful memories for me. It is interesting that smell can stimulate such strong memories.
I love the play of light and shadow made by the giant oak trees that we have here. There are ferns that grow on the trees (along with Spanish moss). They are called resurrection ferns. When there is no rain they are brown and look totally dead. Then it will rain and behold they are beautiful and green. I love the name and the connection.
Today sitting on the deck I just reveled in the beauty of the day…how green everything is…the beautiful oaks..everything in God’s world. God is in the midst of it all. Creation continuing in the world.
I am blessed to be able to sit and absorb the beauty. I don’t do it enough. It soothes my soul and reduces anxious thoughts. It is part of my journey that I have committed to see the world around me each day and immerse myself in it.