It is an interesting to discover that you no longer feel at home someplace where you used to. That has happened to me. Lately I have felt disconnected from the church I am attending. There is nothing really wrong just me feeling differently. I suppose spending 20 years working for another church didn’t help but I do want to be back at church with my husband and this is where he is at home.
The church has made major changes over time. Initially there was a minister who seemed right for the church but turned out to not be. Following that mistakes were made in finding someone new (not by the church itself) and now the attendance is down to a very small group. It is really sad.
I love music and for me that is a large part of connecting spiritually. The music is not reaching me. Again may be just me but there it is. I can’t return to the church where I worked so am just puzzling about the whole thing.
I am finding my connections in my writing, reading and prayers but there are things I really miss. Both churches have wonderful people that I love and so I know the questions are mine.
Somehow I will wander through this time of feeling at a loss and come out the other end. It is nothing that I have to solve quickly. In fact I think taking time to sort it all out will help.
Questions about one’s faith are not unusual. In fact I think if we don’t question we don’t grow. I will find ways to fill my soul until some clarification comes. That always happens. Sometimes we just have to sit and wait.
Life can be so demanding. The things that happen not only to us but to others can be devastating. I have friends who have suffered with long term problems that are just there day in and day out. I honestly don’t know how some people manage to keep going.
The friends that I know who are struggling still greet me with a smile and a sense that things are ok. I don’t see the stress that I know is under the smile. They are not putting a smiling face on as a false mask. Occasionally they will share the devastation that is part of their lives but they don’t allow it be in charge. I so admire that ability.
Attitude is everything. The ability to assess life and accentuate the positive is a gift and one that I hope I would have in their circumstances. We can be bombed by the things that happen to us but we have to learn to adjust out attitude. Life is for living not for bemoaning. We are entitled to spend some time asking ourselves “why me?” We need time adjusting to a new life but when that is done hopefully we can be like my friends, and no matter the tragedy, have some time for smiles.
The next weeks will be challenging as we are having some repairs done to the house. I don’t know how long it will take but I’m geared up to just putting up with the chaos. We will still be able to live here so that is a help.
Sometimes it is so frustrating not to be able to use the skills I developed over the years. I feel that so much experience is going to waste. Sometimes that is just how things go. I will continue to find places to help with the things that I can. It’s just that feelings get in the way and make me sad.
I have no reason to expect others to understand how much I have learned and how much I still have to give. I know that if I keep searching I will find someplace to continue the things I love. Life doesn’t always go along the way we want. I am continuing to explore things I have never done and keep learning and growing. I actually have plenty to keep me busy and should concentrate on the things I can do instead of the things I can’t.
I understand how so many aging people feel useless. We have spent our lives learning and it would be wonderful to be able to share. When I visit those in nursing homes I can see how the lack of something useful to do can sap the spirit. I have seen nursing homes recently who have found ways to give seniors inspiration and a reason to get up in the morning. Some have integrated with child care places and the elders help with the children and are also lifted up by them. A wonderful idea. There are some other that I don’t remember at the moment. I hope these ideas continue and grow.
Those of you who are young and full of ideas put on your thinking caps and suggest ways that seniors can interact with others in a meaningful way. Any ideas welcome!
Today I went back and read some of my original posts. I had a plan for this journey. I wanted to find a way to accept what comes each day and to learn new ways of coping. In some things I have done well in others not so much.
I have managed to spend more time in the “now.” I am more aware of each day than I have ever been. I have made daily prayer a habit. I have always prayed in erratic moments but now I also pray intentionally at the end of each day. This has worked for me and allows me to explore the events of the day in a different way. It is a time for contemplation.
I have not done as well with meditation. I can’t seem to get into a pattern or keep to any kind of a schedule. My past experiences taught me that meditation works best when it is practised consistently. This is something I want to improve.
Life is all about changing ourselves to better manage our place in the world. The world is not going to change for us. We are the only ones in our control. We have to continually work to understand how we react to what happens in our lives.
It is so easy to say that I know what to do and so hard to actually do it. I will continue to fight the struggle that some things are for me and work to truly immerse myself in changing. The struggle will remain until I am no longer on this earth but that is being alive. There are always challenges but we can move forward each day.
Tonight I hardly know what to write. I am having to adjust to where I am with my IBSD. It is not awful but I feel as if I am back to where I was last year. The thing is last year I was used to it and coped daily. I have been so good for so long now that I am having to back up and think logically about maintaining my calm. As with most things in life I will change to suit the situation rather that let it get to me long term. I am now in a re-learning curve.
Our weather has been beautiful for the last week and more normal for us. Our usual pattern is some sunny days and some days with thunder showers. Our dog, Crash, is terrified of thunder and we feel so bad when we have to be away and there is a storm. He just hides under my husband’s desk and shakes.
It we are at home he stays right at our feet and seems to be better. I don’t know what happened to him before he came to us but it must have been terrible. It is so hard for me to imagine anyone treating an animal badly. We see so many pictures of abused animals and people still big game hunting animals that are going extinct. I can’t fathom it.
Abuse is horrible in any form and there seems to be so much more of it than there used to be. I don’t know if that is because we are more aware of it or if we are seeing more people whose mindset is cruelty. It seems to go along with the number of people who see the solution to their frustration is shooting people.
I keep reminding myself that I can’t fix the whole world but I can be an example of loving and giving. Each one of us has an opportunity to affect our own environment. We must change things one person at a time.
Each day take it on yourself to change the things you can.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart
One of my husbands favorite things to say is “no decision is a decision.” He believes that we should gather all the information we can at the time and then move forward. To just do nothing is actually a decision. This thinking makes complete sense when it comes from one who spent two years in combat. No decision could kill you.
Sometimes our decision is right sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter. As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Most of the time we must just gather as much knowledge as is available and move on. We often blame ourselves later when the choices become clear but remember there were things you didn’t know at the beginning.
The thing we don’t always do is to gather information. Yesterday I wrote about irrational decisions. We are so easily swayed by a bias from our life history. Not considering all the options is heading toward a mistake. To see clearly we must know our own sets of bias and be able to push them into the background. It is so easy to jump to a conclusion and not take the time to see the whole picture.
I often have to stop myself from an “assumption” and you know where that gets us. The word “assume” tells it all.
Decisions are not just about major things but can also be snap judgements. It is so easy to make up our minds about other people without all the information. We can lose out on some great connections this way.
Decisions may not always be easy and we will make mistakes just don’t beat yourself up about it. We have to accept our messes and move one. To feel guilty and dwell on them does no good.
In some of my recent reading I came across an interesting fact. As a Christian I have learned about original sin….the sin that came from the mistakes of Adam and Eve. However, the history of this idea was not originally connected to Jesus. It was not know in the very early church. It was not a doctrine accepted by either the Jewish faith or Islam. It is another doctrine that was hammered out when the early church was struggling to keep some cohesiveness of ideas.
Several communities of Christians developed ideas that others saw as heading the wrong way and tried to wipe out what they considered heresy. The struggles led to the Council of Nicea where many church fathers sat down to come to some agreement. Many doctrines of Christianity came from this meeting.
The interesting thing to me is that things we have been taught as “truth” may have a different beginning than we realized. It shows how what we learn from those around us can be colored by their viewpoint.
Reaching back into time to find the history of concepts we have learned may bring a different perspective entirely.
Not too long ago I saw a program that had people tell about their backgrounds and explore some of the prejudices they had about those from different cultures. countries, and races. They then had their DNA tested and it was interesting to discover that many of them had DNA in common with those they thought were different from them. It was, for them, a wake-up call to re-examine what they had been taught.
Never be afraid to explore the birth of customs and ideas. We may find that their beginnings are not what we thought. If, by doing so, we could discard some of our learned prejudices we may create a better world.
Today I am back from traveling again.’I think that traveling lowered my immunity and I am coming down with a cold. Always something to add to life. This too will pass. I’ve been at my other daughter’s home because of a baby shower for my grandson and his wife. Life is always messy. The odds of everything being perfect are astronomical.
The shower was wonderful. Everything it should have been but….. as always expanding families create issues with change. I am going to be ever hopeful and hope that they work themselves out.
As we get older, we tend to look at the big picture. Life, hopefully, is long with much time to tweek things so that they work out. I live always with hope and some positive vibes.
As usual, change always rocks the boat. Most of us don’t really like change. Me too! I would be happy if things just kept on as they are but that is not realistic. Sometimes change is good and sometimes not. We do have to try to roll with the flow but sometimes that is so hard. The trick for is to try not to look too far ahead. I have to keep reminding myself to take one day at at time…sometimes one minute at a time. Just keep going.
Life is uncertain; in the end we control only a single thing: our own thoughts. From the book “Pandemic”
While reading the book this jumped out at me. It is so true. There is very little that we can control and sometimes we have trouble controlling our thoughts. And yet, it is one of the things we most need to learn. Our thoughts can take us on a wonderful journey or send us into the deepest depths.
For those who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar etc. it transpires daily. Our thoughts control how we feel. Sometimes the problem can begin with a trigger such as stress caused by the life we deal with or by physical issues such as IBS. Whatever sets off the thoughts can bring us down in a minute.
Most of the coping mechanisms we learn have to do with changing those thoughts. If only it were easy. We can learn the coping skills but we have to use them for them to work. This means making them become habits and that is the hard part.
Whatever helps you to override the thoughts that bring you down work hard to have it become natural as breathing. It is a struggle but one that is worth the effort.
Never give up on finding and using what helps you calm those errant thoughts!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “To leave the world a bit better, whether by healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you live—that is to have succeeded.”
That is my hope. I would like to think that somehow I have left the world better. That would bring meaning to my life.
Have I done something to help someone?
Have I done something to make the earth cleaner?
Have I stood up or spoken out about abuse and injustice?
Have I showed kindness in the face of anger or hurt?
Have I helped the cause of injured or abused animals?
Have I listened when I should?
Have I followed my beliefs?
Have I showed love?
And most important of all Have I done any of the above?