Focus on now!

I love C.S. Lewis. I have read a great deal of what he has written. He has written so much beside the Chronicles of Narnia. Recently, when we were without power I re-read his other fiction series beginning with “Out of the Silent Planet.”

I could quote him every day but I want to focus on this one.

C-S-Lewis-Quote-You-can-t-go-back-and-change-the-beginning-but-you

We all have a past. It may have been wonderful or it may be have been awful but it is the past. We can’t change it but we can let it go. Even if we are struggling the struggle will pay off. We are like the swan who looks so wonderful as she glides along and is paddling furiously under the water. Each thing that we do, every moment that we glide ahead takes us one step further even if we are paddling frantically.

We can change only the moment we are in. That’s as far as we can go. We need to not obsess about tomorrow but just manage this day, this hour, this minute. It’s all we have.

We can change the ending. Believe it!

 

Finding meaning

What Gives You Meaning Concept

I read the daily articles from Richard Rohr who is a wonderful source of inspiration for me. Today he quoted the works of Viktor Frankl who was a respected psychiatrist. Frankl talked about how most of us seek for meaning at some point in our lives. I know this has been true for me.

I have found myself at several points asking “what is it all about?”

Frankl posited three possible sources for meaning: in work, in love and in courage. He talks about the possibility of being able to do work that has some meaning. There are jobs where this seems obvious….doctors, nurses, social workers. (there are lots more) In other jobs meaning may not be so easy to find. I am sure that those of us writing blogs have found some meaning in the response we receive and the assurance that we are helping others. This is very affirming.

The second idea…love…also seems fairly clear. Hopefully our love reaches out to others. It allows us to help others in our everyday lives. Again this allows for meaningful affirmation.

The third idea….courage…means being courageous in difficult times. This certainly includes times of suffering. He says that suffering by itself has little meaning. The meaning comes from how we respond to it. We have the ability to use our suffering to be an example to others. Our response can encourage others who are facing the same kinds of challenges.

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It seems to me that many of the bloggers I read can find affirmation that their lives have meaning as so many blogs help others. The community members need to see that this work can bring meaning to their lives. You are important!

Dance it out

dance-1.jpgMy granddaughter has had me watching some episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Usually not my thing. However, one episode really struck me. Two of the main characters have a way of dealing with stress that I found interesting. They “dance it out,” That idea doesn’t sound so silly to me. Making yourself put on some happy, butt moving music and just dancing however you want is not a bad idea. Especially if you can do it with someone else.

most-funny-workout-quotes-when-in-doubt-dance-it-out-❤️Maybe we all need to find someone that we can do this with. If there is no one just do it by yourself. I would really like to try it. I know that when I am cleaning house if I put on some dancing music I tend to get more done and I also feel good.

Let’s all get some happy dancing music and “dance it out.”

Distance yourself

disassociateRecently I read an article that led me to explore another coping skill for managing stress. One of the things I have noticed about dealing with stress, anxiety and depression is the more we are able to step away in our minds helps. The ability to almost have an out of body experience allows us to look at things differently. We disassociate ourselves from the distress and are able to see it as outside of ourselves.

We seem to do it (when we can) without really understanding that it is what we are doing. I think if we can understand this process, and actually use it, more control is possible. I can imagine saying to myself “now just stand away…let this other person struggle you are separated from it.” I don’t see it as a true out of body experience but just the disconnecting of our mind from the immediate issue.

breathing1_cover_0It does seem to have a relationship with things like taking a deep breath, or lowering your chi. I do think it goes one step further. Breathing can help to get us to that state. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself standing apart from all the problems. See your other self and let the feelings that are there be away from you.

This may all sound a little out there but I am adding this coping skill and will report on how well it works for me.

“If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”

sad charlie brown

Do you ever feel as if life is out to get you? I have felt that way lately. Superstitions abound about this….things come in threes, if you have too much good then bad is coming. Sometimes it is a self fulfilling prophecy.  When a lot of things keep happening you start to feel vulnerable.  You are having lots of bad luck. It starts reminding me of an old country/western song that says “if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”

Ever since this knee surgery process was begun it has felt that way. The big good is that the surgery was successful. It seems that everything else surrounding it has been complicated and stress causing. I feel like “chicken little” running around saying “the sky is falling.”

When Hurricane Michael hit the Florida coast I felt such empathy for the people devastated by it. We only got the outside fringes as it went up the middle of Georgia and other states. We had some wind and rain. Very few areas lost power. Unfortunately, two houses away from us there is a vacant lot and some very dangerous trees. One fell across the power lines and we were without power for about 18 hours. This is nothing compared to what others are going through but it just seemed that the bad luck genie was striking again.

I have been pretty free of IBS issues for a while but of course this kicked the whole thing up again. Some medicine has helped but made me tired and cranky. I just want this to stop. I seem to be complaining when lots of people are so worse off. It makes me feel guilty.

emotional reactionSometimes it is so hard to control our emotional reaction to events. They hit and our minds and bodies respond before we can slam on the brakes. I can see more work on my part tending my coping skills.

I hate a messy. dirty house but have not felt like cleaning and the mess just makes me feel worse. I need organization and I have to work hard on that right away. I can’t even call someone to give my house a one-time clean as I need to pick up first. It is really bad when what you need to do is clean before someone else can clean.

I know this will all resolve and I am ready for that. I will put on my big girl pants and get to work and I know things will be better. I know that bad luck is not the only kind I have. God will make sure of that.

 

Shorter days and darkness

HibernateThis morning I had to get up in the dark. My husband had an appointment for surgery to change out his pacemaker. I do not like to get up in the dark. My husband has and expression for getting up in the dark. He says it is “0 dark 30.” I do not do early. I am attached to sunlight. In the summer I can get up early because the sun is up.

The days are growing shorter (not cooler here) and anything before seven is dark. I get up after seven. The joys of being retired.

When we lived in upstate New York I discovered that I was depressed during the winter and realized that I have SAD. Now I know that I am dependent on light for well being. Fortunately I live where the winters are not so long and I can manage the winter. However, it would be nice if we could get some cooler weather. The 90’s are getting old.

sunshineI know a number of people suffer with this problem and that it can make winters miserable. In the north I spent a lot of time in a glassed in sun porch that got lots of light during the day. I think this is what saved me.

It is difficult to look forward when the days are getting shorter if you have this problem. It makes it hard to enjoy some of the holidays that come up during this season. I hope that you can find ways to get the light you need whether from artificial lights or whatever you find that helps. It does help to get some sun when you can.

I hope fall and winter are kind to us all.

The ARANGELS

too much stress

The last few months have been filled with such stress that it has been hard to keep focused. It hasn’t been one thing but the combination of things. Friends sick, husbands sick, travel, whatever. It is time to get my focus back and to remember an event from last week.

Wednesday of last week i realized how sick I was and decided that I must go to my doctor. It was in the morning and while I was trying to make a logical decision the phone rang and it was my doctor’s office. They called to let me know that they had called in a refill for some routine medicine. This is not how their system works. They never call to let me know about that I just get a text from the pharmacy when it is ready. Their system has been skewed due to some doctors moving and the office being understaffed at the moment so this was not the usual person. While I had her on the phone I asked if I could see my physician that day and she managed an appointment for that afternoon. Absolutely amazing. That would never have happened at any other time!

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Madeleine L’Engle says “a miracle is a coincidence where God prefers to remain anonymous.” People say miracles don’t happen and this was just nothing but it didn’t feel that way to me. I have a friend who says “the ARANGELS were at work” and I agree. For me this was a miracle and due to that visit I am now better.

Yes! the ARANGELS were at work!