Bend don’t break

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”

Confucius

reeds

We have to learn to bend like the reed. It bends one way and then another. Eventually it stands up straight again. When times of change force us to change ourselves we must become like those reeds and be flexible. When the crisis subsides there will be a new reality. We must adapt and thrive in the new environment. We have the strength. We just need the determination.

What’s next?

future_what_is_next-100711982-largeI wish that this quiet time away from the busy world was one that I could enjoy but not to be. My husband is still in care. He’s physically all right but still not mentally well. He is better. It is just so hard not knowing how this will all come out.

I don’t know if I will have the man I knew or someone else. Things will work out but the uncertainty of it all is harrowing. At this point the virus is of less concern to me. During this time not only has the world outside of my own surroundings changed but also inside my circle. Many people are caught in this. I am not the only one struggling. Some have more grievous things to bear.

I seem to do really well for a while and then I falter. I suppose this will continue until there are some answers forthcoming. Waiting has never been my strong suit. I am certainly learning to endure patience.

It will be different for us when we come out of this. I pray there will not be another pandemic coming any time soon and that we can be better prepared. Everyone is blaming everyone else the world over but I remember hearing some words of Pope Francis pointing out that if we all blame someone else them we have to accept that all of us are to blame. There are certainly judgement errors aplenty to share.

mother earth

We must change. We must understand the nature of the damage we have done to the earth. Soon it will be too late and we must live with the guilt about what we are leaving our great grandchildren.  We have to learn to live together over the whole world or there is no hope.

I pray that we can.

What happened?

elephant-and-rabbit-sit-on-a-bench-on-the-glade-natalia-moroz

In my youth I envisioned the future as a wonderful place, Peace, flying cars, visiting space. That idea is gone. Have the changes made a better world or one more frightening, more dangerous, more ominous? My memories make it seem that way. When will we ever learn what really matters?

 

 

 

What Happened?

My past is a dream
A memory
A life of summer days
Poodle skirts
Bobby socks

We did
Hide under desks
With fear of A bomb
And built
Air raid shelters

That did not
Dim our hope
Our dreams
Of a better world
Free from fear

what happenedTime moved on
Electronics, VHS, DVD’s
Computers, internet
Instant everything
A better world?

Strange
My memory world
Seems happier
Less fearful
More hopeful

The better world
Vision lost
More war
More sickness
More hatred

What happened?

New Joys, New Possibilities

There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.” C.S. Lewis.

Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.

Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways.  I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.

Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.

Quotes about Possibilities (558 quotes)This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.

Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:

The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.

May we all do so with enthusiasm and creativity.

There will be a new day

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We are going through a tough journey right now. Each day, each step forward is toward something new. Going back is not a option. Time doesn’t stop. It doesn’t reverse. It just moves forward and takes us with it. Look to the new day.

Take a deep breath. Look toward and new day a new beginning.

Lifestyle and health

As I was out walking today I thought about how many of our illnesses are caused by our lifestyle. Heart disease, some cancers, COPD, and many others are directly linked to how we live.

Image result for lifestyle and illness

I was reminded of a friend of mine who smoked. Each year she stopped smoking for Lent and then started back up after Easter. What a crazy thing to do.

Image result for healthy lifestyle and mental healthSome problems arise because of our mental health. Anger can be linked to stroke and high blood pressure. Anxiety and depression can lead to suicide. I don’t think we cause those problems ourselves but they may be, and frequently are, linked to our childhood. Our parents were responsible for how we were treated as children. In some cases this was good and in others not. It can be a major struggle to overcome childhood trauma and it does affect lifestyle which in turn affects health.

More and more we are learning about the link to our lifestyle and our health issues. I hope that we are able to make better decisions for ourselves as we learn and especially for our children. Maybe the more we learn the healthier we will be.

We actually prefer our own stuff

I am not sure if I have written about this before but I wasn’t going to look through everything.

A while ago I went to a conference where the speaker asked everyone to write their worst problem on paper…no names….and pass it up to the front. She asked us if we would want to come up and draw out a problem that we would then be responsible for. Needless to say there we no takers.

We all consider our problems to be the worst. We have lived with them and struggled but we know them. We understand them. We really don’t want to take on someone else’s stuff.

Image result for choose a problem

I guess the lesson we learn is that we each deal best with what we already have and know about. Maybe we can take heart from that.

Flowers and friends

Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe

We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.

O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting  who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.

Image result for flowers and friends

Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.

Cancer aftermath

I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.

after cancer

Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.

Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.

survive cancer

Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.

New year, new changes

every-end-is-a-new-beginning-quote-3At this time of year people are thinking about the New Year. 2020. I never expected to see that year. My mind just couldn’t get that far but here we are. I don’t do resolutions. Instead I like to think about habits.

If we want to change anything about our life we have to start with ourselves and the only way to make changes stick is by having them become habits. During 2019 I managed to begin some positive things that I wanted to stick. I am glad to say that those changes are now habits. Making something a habit is hard word. In the beginning we have to push ourselves. We keep wanting to say “I’m not gonna do that today…I’ll do it tomorrow.” We skip one day and then the next and the change is just gone.

daily routineIf we struggle and work to keep on one day we will find that the change is not a struggle at all. It has become a habit. We have powered past that hard part and something good and new has happened.

If you have in mind to make any changes in 2020 forget about grandiose plans. Pick small changes and work on them one at a time. When one succeeds it makes it easier to take on the next one.