Advent is my favorite church season. Waiting for a birth is so full of promise. Advent arrives in the darkest part of the year. Light is waning. Many places are cold. Darkness rules and we are waiting…..waiting for light. We hope, we yearn for light to break through. Many times we are wallowing in the darkness of our own soul. We cannot see any light at all. We feel the dark close in around us and there seems to be no hope. Seeking light we want to escape our own minds but find no escape for the mind is strong and holds us in its sway.
We have to reach outside of ourselves, away from the thoughts that hold us in thrall. Light is dawning without and will banish the thoughts. Light will draw us out and open the doors of the mind and set us free. Wait, wait. The light comes.
We listen to the promises from Isaiah 59:9- 60:1
we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Yet, for now, we are still in the darkness. But the promise is there. Wait, wait for the light.
Yesterday emotions rose up and got me. Since not being a parish nurse I have felt the loss of being there for people in times of crisis. I think that part of my person is connected to being a support for others. In a way I have lost some of my identity. At the moment all I am doing is cleaning house, cooking, working in the yard and trying to continue on this journey. It is hard to feel as if you have lost part of yourself. Tears come when I think of this. It is very difficult when you have found your perfect place and then lost it.
I have plans to begin mediation training in January and I am hoping that helping people resolve their differences instead of going to court will fill some of the void.
I do love working in the yard and cooking but really who wants to build a life around cleaning? There are only two of us to cook for and that limits us.I enjoy the garden (I use this term loosely) but it is large and overwhelming. I do spend time with friends but nothing seem to replace what I had. I need to get used to the fact that nothing ever will.
I know that God has some other way to use the skills that I have acquired over a lifetime. I just wish God would hurry and tell me what that is! I will keep plugging along and wait on God’s timing. I know that grief comes and goes and I am just in a wave of it and it will pull out to sea again. Life will continue.
If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. I was at church this morning and the minister said “God is not manageable.” This is so true but I don’t think we really get it. So often we are tempted to try. Awhile back there was a book out called “The Prayer of Jabez” ( I think that is right). It seemed to me that the book was saying if we say certain prayers and do certain things everything will be well for us. ( If I got it wrong I’m sorry) The trouble is that we can’t make God do anything. There is no formula that we can use or computer code that we can design to manage him/her. We are not perfect and there is no way that we can measure up. We just have to accept that there is God’s grace.
We want so much to be in charge. That is when we feel safe. If we have OCD this is even more critical. We are compelled to organize our world or we can’t cope. That’s why the idea of God is so difficult to grasp. How can we depend on an unmanageable God?
A friend of mine did refreshments after church today in honor of the day (she said) her son went home to glory. We often question why did God let her son be killed in an auto accident? Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory answer to that. We come right back to the fact that we can’t make God the way we want. If we try we are putting God in a box of our own manufacture. God may not be the God we would make (if we could make one). God says “I am that I am.” Certainly cryptic enough.
We cam’t spend our time trying to understand the ways of God. We can only spend our time having faith that we are loved and are children of God and covered by grace.
Many people say getting old is not for sissies. They are completely right! As we age we have to learn to accept the fact that we can’t do all the things that were so easy in the past. Even though I am quite active and do heavy gardening and walking there are some things that are not the same. One of the things that is hard to prevent is losing core strength. That’s what puts us at risk of falling. With yoga I do balance exercises but I can tell a difference in how sure I feel. I have learned to make sure that I hold on to something if I am at risk. Things like this make me see how I am aging. Am I sorry? Well I would like to live longer but I don’t think forever. That would be a dubious choice.
When my grandmother was alive she would say that God gave her a hearing loss so that she could opt out of any conversation that she wanted to by turning off her hearing aids. She also said that she could’t see as well so that she didn’t have to see what she looked like. She was good about putting a positive spin on things.
Even though I can have days with mild anxiety I try to keep the same attitude. After all, the alternative to growing old is not being here. Not an acceptable choice.
The thing that is difficult is seeing those you love losing strength and having health issues. When we love someone we don’t want to watch them fade. There really is not a wonderful way to die. Some people would rather go suddenly and not face pain and sickness. Some people would at least like to have time to put things in order. Most of us are more afraid of dying than of death, With death you are either with God or know nothing. So what is there to fear?
Wow has this become a depressing blog but I don’t mean it to be. I think living with all of this is part of life. If we are blessed to live long enough we will face these issues. Accepting that we are human and having a limited time here reminds us to make the most of each moment. Enjoy each phase of life and treasure what it offers. If I am lucky I will see a great grandchild. Who knows?
Today has been a better day. The anxiety has lifted some. I a still very sad about the last violence episode. They seem to be coming more frequently.
It is amazing to me how the community of bloggers uphold each other. There is a strong sense of caring about people we only know in print. I know that it is often easier to share the dark side of life in print rather than in person and it is wonderful to receive support from others with similar issues.
For me, blogging has been a wonderful outlet. I have been able to express my feelings and concerns openly. I am so new to this experience and find it rewarding. It is one thing to know there are people who care but to read all the posts and see yourself in them and know it’s ok is wonderful. Finding an outlet for my thoughts and ideas has been a revelation.
This is just a post to thank anyone who is reading what I write. Your are appreciated.
Today is another day. A day when I haven’t followed through on my plan to do the things I need to do to be ahead when another crisis causes anxiety. This is the problem. When things are going well it is so easy to do nothing. I have planned to meditate, do yoga and spend time with helpful reading. All of which I have not done.
You would think that having dealt with this my whole life I would be willing to get tough and follow through with the things I need to do. I am reminded of Paul in Romans 7:15-20: 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Paul nailed it. I really don’t understand why I can’t stick to it. It is complacency with the status quo. Everything is on an even keel for the moment. I keep forgetting that it won’t stay that way. Life is always interesting and often challenging. The only thing to do is to start again and work to change my habits. I have learned that if you can develop a pattern or habit then you are home free. The reverse is also true. Habits are hard to break and at the moment my habit is to not follow the plan.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day with another chance to make changes. I will keep on. There is still hope.
Yesterday I wrote about us needing to seek silence. It is true. Those of us who are anxious probably need silence and meditation the most. The problem is that for us silence can release the demons.
We tend to fill the day with noise to avoid spending time with ourselves. Again to quote Pogo “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Those voices that want us to hear them speak up in silence. The things that make us anxious are just sitting in the dark waiting for us to let them out. They can then make us fall into deeper anxiety, OCD or whatever our demon is.
The only thing to do is to trick the demon. Guided meditation can hold the demon at bay. Concentrating on a voice leading our thoughts will allow us to find the peace and relaxation we need. If the voice keeps reminding us to push away the bad thoughts…..let them pass by our minds and drift away…..then we will be able to drift into the mindlessness we need.
There are many ways to do this. Meditation CD’s are available. Amazon’s Alexa has some good meditations. Maybe just listening to rain or ocean or whatever works for you will do it. Try and find something that will distract that demon and allow you to find peace.