Impatience Doesn’t Help

Life can sure change. I have been out of a ministry since January and I’m trying to learn how to live without doing something meaningful. The thing is it seems to work but only for a short while. I find myself playing computer games and watching TV. I know that there are lots of needs out there but the bad news is that I’m losing my enthusiasm for trying anything. With so much experience working  for churches and my jobs in nursing I have much to give. I just need to get out of this slump and get going.

When I started this journey I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy but I forgot how hard change can be. The problem is that the thing that has to change is me. I refuse to fade into another older person who does nothing every day.

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I am a 50’s girl. I was born in 1940 and grew up in that idyllic (??) world where everyone knew what they were supposed to do. It was fine if all I wanted was to marry and have children. The problem was that it wasn’t me. Fortunately I married someone who understood that and who encouraged me to jump into a meaningful life with both feet. In many ways I had it all. A wonderful family and the encouragement to follow my dream. Helping people is my passion. I have followed that passion my whole life. Now I need to choose to continue that in whatever way I can. I am sure that I will find it. I just wish that God would hit me over the head with it.

It is a hard struggle when you are young to find and pursue your passion. The world doesn’t always help with that. After all, we have to eat. I have had time to learn the skills I needed and the chance to use them for much of my life. I know what my passion is. Now I need to find a way to use it again.

Our Plans???

It is a funny thing that when life seem to be going along well something will come and smack you in the face. Life is never smooth. The problem is that we can get lulled by lack of problems and complacent about how things are going. Just when you are starting to feel secure…..WHAM and there you are caught again.

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Last week and this week seemed to be going so well and then plans that we had made were just wiped out. Somehow it always happens. It is even harder to deal with when I have to put plans on hold to be with my youngest daughter. That causes my heart to ache.

I know that most of the time it has to do with expectations that are either too high or altogether wrong. It does explain why I never seem to stop worrying.

Some how it will all work out but I’m having trouble with disappointment. I know that I need to put it into God’s hands but I am so good at picking it back up, For me turning things over to God is like hauling a big garbage bag out to the trash and then letting the truck go by without putting the bag in it. I follow the truck, drag the bag, follow the truck, drag the bag.

I don’t know why things are so hard to turn loose. I do wonder if it is arrogance and the inability to turn anything over to anyone else because I think I can handle it better. Wow! Knowing ourselves is really complicated and why I am on this journey toward better understanding. I hope I survive the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the Whole Person!

Today I had another medical test to understand why I am low in iron. I decided to explore on the web if anyone is connecting this abnormality to stress, grief and anxiety and discovered that indeed this is on the research radar.

As a nurse I have long been aware of the impact of grief and stress on the human body. Until now I don’t think that the medical field has paid enough attention to how our emotional life is reflected in our bodies. We have not long practiced holistic medicine. It is critical to understand that we are complex beings and that anything that impacts us is related to our health.

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I hope that the pendulum is swinging back and that the whole picture needs to be taken into consideration. This is not easy for those in the medical field since we have a specialty for every part of our body. We are blessed if we have a primary physician who puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Too often our spiritual life is not taken into consideration at all. How we consider our relationship to God or whatever spiritual practice is a key link in the chain. In a world where connection with the divine is shrinking we are likely to see more people with both physical and emotional/mental issues.

I have written a good bit about connections and feel strongly that having some connections with other human beings is critical to our well being. With so many of us loving dogs and understanding that they like being pack members should remind us that we are also communal beings. Throughout history we have related to other humans and lived in communal settings. Unfortunately, our current use of technology can lessen our personal connections. Technology helps us when we need to find connections outside of our local area but we also need face to face and touch.

I hope that we can marry the best of the old ways with the new and make a world where we don’t have to feel that we are alone. Also a world where the whole person is taken into consideration when examining our medical issues. Without these things we will see more of us suffering with depression, anxiety and stress related illness.

Connections Trump Control

Yesterday a mild anxiety lifted its head due to some physical problems that arise from time to time. For so long I have not been bothered with IBS that I have forgotten how disturbing it can be. It rankles me to have to deal with something that I somehow feel is my fault. It is as if I have no control over myself. Interestingly enough control is a major issue with most of us. It is when we feel that things have spiraled out of control and we are vulnerable that anxiety and worry jump in.

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When we are in control we are comfortable and life is manageable. Most of us want some routine….something that lives up to our expectations. This makes us feel safe and secure. When things are out of control the chaos is fearful. I think that most of us spend our lives trying to keep control of ourselves and our surroundings. We like to be the one making the choices. We don’t want to need anyone else.

The truth is that we do need others. In my case I also need God. I need something that can’t be shaken. I understand that there are people who don’t need that but it is hard for me to understand. What is there to turn to when things are completely out of our control?  I cannot prove that God is there but conversely I don’t know if anyone can prove he is not. I just know that this belief is something I need and count on.

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We also need people who can love and support us. Those who understand our failings as we also understand theirs. These are the people we can count on. Not one of us is perfect. Let us just hope that we can have people around us to lift us up when we are down.

For some of us we are blessed that those people are near to us. For others they may be on-line or at a distance. There is someone out there who will care. Never doubt this…never stop looking for that connection.

Connections and Sadness

It is terribly hot and humid where I live and we are as housebound as someone snowed in. In the last week I have discovered how disconnected I feel from life.

Having lost my job/ministry was bad but connected with it was the loss of connections. The severing of relationships was the greatest blow.

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I suspect that I am feeling what many people my age (76) feel at this time in their life. Suddenly you are not working and for me that was connection with people. Until I can better understand my next focus I am adrift in a world of loneliness.

I am just stubborn enough to say I am not done yet! I have not yet established a pattern for my days and seem to have little to look forward to. If anyone wonders what older people feel when they are forced to confront not being needed I can tell you. It sucks!

I do know that it is up to me to find new direction and since I do believe that God directs my ways I know that some answers will come. However, now I am befuddled and sad. I am sure that this is no fun for my husband as well. He is a blessing of support and love.

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I think at this particular moment sadness is more prominent than anxiety. I am not anxious about what to do but still dealing with the sadness of loss. Having run Grief Support Groups I understand about grief and know that it is a process. There is no set time or pattern. Every person travels through it differently.  I am finding my way and know that change will come. Nothing ever remains the same.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer  in the Service of Compline it says:

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;”

At this moment I am wearied of the changes.

When delivery is hope

via Daily Prompt: Delivery

M husband spent two tours in Viet Nam. Unlike today’s communication there was no way to quickly hear about his world there. As he was a company commander with an infantry unit he was in constant danger. The letters that I received from him were the only thing to give me hope. I waited anxiously for the mail each day longing for a letter. The mail was erratic with letters coming in bunches. It didn’t take us long to discover that we had to number our letters to each other so that they made sense. He told me often that he lived for each mail delivery hoping to have news about me and his children. It was what connected him to a world that seemed a million miles away. I don’t think either one of us would have survived without the hope that those deliveries meant to us.

Change Hate to Love

I have worked within Christian churches for many years of my life both as volunteer and staff. One thing is clear to me. Most of us have not really heard and understood the words of Christ. After 76 years I have come to see the message as simple and straight forward. Love God and Your Neighbor. It seems to me that this is the message of many great religious leaders of every faith. Why is it that we have so much trouble following it?

I don’t know if the world is actually getting more violent and hateful or if it is just that we can’t get away from hearing it. If you are not frightened by what is happening then you clearly to do not understand.

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We are now putting people into categories so that we can know who to hate. Liberals, conservatives, gay and straight, white and black, transgender, whatever, there is a name for it and someone hates it. How do we begin to change things?

I am oneI have long belonged to a Prayer Group that says I am but one, but I am one. I may not be able to change everything but I can change something….. starting with myself.

This is part of my journey. Following those simple words of Christ I can learn to live differently. I can change. One day, one moment, one second. It continues to be hard. I backslid with my mediation this past week but tomorrow is another day. I know that anxiety will rear its ugly head. I just need to be as ready as I can.