That inexplicable moment

Today I shared, on my other blog, a song by Khris Khristopherson that has always meant a lot to me. Below is the video of the song with the story of how it was written. The song itself may not be your cup of tea but the lyrics are powerful and so is the story. Please read on after the video.

It is possible for each of us to have an experience so powerful that it can change us. It doesn’t matter how we connect with God/supreme being/universal One. What matters is that it is possible to do so.

We may be moved by music, nature, love, poetry, art or community…anything that can take us to that place where we are held by that breathtaking sense of oneness with everything. I have had that experience in my life. It can’t be grasped and held on to. It is just there and then gone. We remember it but can’t fully experience that moment again.

We can intentionally seek that place by letting go of ourselves through meditation, silence or whatever works for you. There is still no guarantee that it will find us but by striving for connection we open ourselves to the experience.

Holy moments are beyond explanation and something I have never forgotten. May you find and be embraced by them in your life. I believe in more.

 

Am I hiding?

Today for some reason my mind is blank….or struggling for clarity. I thought about this poem written a while ago and offer it here.

IN-SHADOWS-facebook

Hiding

Deep in the closets of my mind                                                                                                            dark secrets are hiding                                                                                                                          I have not seem them for many years

I stand and look at the doors                                                                                                                and fear to look inside                                                                                                                          to let the light shine in

The fear is not of pain                                                                                                                            but something far more frightening                                                                                                  the fear of myself

the real me hiding all these years                                                                                                      the me no one can love                                                                                                                        the me I cannot accept

God, help me to fling open the doors                                                                                                  and with broom in hand                                                                                                                      throw out the secrets

and dust off the person                                                                                                                         who has been hiding                                                                                                                             in the dark

Another day

another dayWell, another day has gone by. Family issues have been there for one day. The things that can’t be fixed are still there. There is nothing to do about them. Obsessing about them doesn’t help. Worrying doesn’t fix them. Life moves on and we have a choice. We can move on with it and solve the things we can solve and or just fall down into the dark hole of depressions and anxiety. That really doesn’t seem like a choice.

This is true of most things in life. We often have a choice and may not want to choose. We don’t want to move away from the things that are causing us pain. We’d rather wallow. Wallowing requires less energy. Staying in place doesn’t call for work.

As I grow older I have done this kind of thing enough that most of the time I realize it is really easier to move on. That’s where the wisdom with age comes in. I used to be the world’s worst procrastinator but over the years I have learned that it is easier to tackle things right up front and get them over with. That leaves you with the easy stuff. It is a win-win.

The prayer from AA sums it up really well: God, grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

knowledge

The really tricky part is the wisdom to know the difference. May God grant us discernment to do that.

 

Can we change our feelings?

Each moment that we live we deal with feelings. They are part of our everyday life. We are never without them. Our emotions set the tone for our function and how we experience each day. Our emotions influence our lives. There is never a moment when we are emotionless. There are people who have little emotion but they are deemed abnormal.

bad day

When I get up in the morning my feelings about the day will influence how the day goes. Even though I may start out feeling down about the day I can help the day get better by consciously deciding to change how I feel.

Usually when I feel down I just want to slop around in my PJ’s and do as little as possible. I have discovered that if I make the effort to take a shower, put on decent clothes and make an effort to look nice that I feel better. It may take work but it is worth it. At least for me how I look with influence how I feel.

When anxiety or depression crop up it is hard to make the effort to do anything. I just want to turn on a TV show and lose myself in it. If I really push myself and get dressed and go out to be with people I can lift myself up out of that mood—-at least for awhile. I can sometimes even forget what had me so down.

Good feelingsOur lives are not only impacted by what we feel but also by what we do. Sometimes it is agony to pull yourself up and get moving but it can help. How we look also influences how others react to us. If I am in sweat pants and have a hangdog expression then that is how I will be perceived. The times when I can make that change have a tremendous impact on my feelings. There are times when we can’t get the oomph needed but we need to keep on trying. Each time we win is a plus and increases the chance that we can do it the next time.

Do we get it?

painI have talked here about my friend whose husband is in excruciating pain. Pain medicines only give momentary relief. The pain is unremitting. Diagnosis has been difficult and we now know it is from a back fracture and a pinched nerve in the back. The question becomes what to do?

As we grow older the answers to medical issues becomes more complex. Can the person withstand the surgery? Will it solve the problem? If not what now? We tend to forget that not everything can be fixed to our satisfaction.

Life’s problems cannot always be solved the way we want. This is a hard thing to learn. My husband has always said “every problem has a solution but it may not be the one we know or want”. I am sure that we all know people who live with chronic health problems or who are disabled. Sometimes we don’t even see it. How often do we disregard the person who seems “less than” for whatever reason. We walk by and think “Oh too bad” and just keep going.

The same thing can be said about the treatment of those of us with emotional issues. Most people don’t understand and either don’t want to do the work to get it or just keep going.

Admittedly, it is easier to understand something that we have experienced ourselves. That’s why support groups with fellow travelers help. But all of us have been at fault. I can get the emotional issues but do not understand the breadth of some physical problems even with my medical training. I have a friend who has cared for her son with cerebral palsy since his birth some 50 odd years ago. She has ignored her own wants to support him and enrich his life. He has a brilliant mind but has to use a computer to communicate. Do any of us really understand the life of either her or her son? I don’t think so.

love peopleWe need to strive for the kind of compassion and love that is shown in the life of Christ. We need to take time to listen and do our best to be a companion on the way not just a voyeur.  If everyone could do this so many lives would be enriched.

Strive to live with compassion and love!

Perfect? NO

not-perfect3I feel as if I lost this week. Tomorrow is Friday and it seems as if I haven’t done a thing. Actually I have…I have been working on a baby blanket that I have to finish by the 24th. A lot of it is finished but, dumb me, I can’t do anything half way and I decided to put cars on  each of the blue squares. There are 18 blue squares and 18 white ones so there is a lot to do. The cars are fairly easy to crochet but time consuming. My hands (with mild arthritis) are hurting and my mind is numb. I would love to just trash the whole thing….but I won’t. I will work my butt off to make this amazing since my stuff always has to be the best! Can you see the problem?

It’s that thing again about wanting to do everything perfectly. I ripped parts of that blanket and started over because of some minor errors. That kind of obsessiveness has haunted me my whole life. When I was young my father always pushed me to try things but if I thought I could’t do well I wouldn’t try. I know that I have missed so many wonderful chances by being this way.

be free

I am not as bad as I used to be because age has helped me to not worry so much about perfection. I have tried some art projects that I never had the nerve to do. I am definitely not an artist but I had fun. I guess age has given me more freedom to be me.

None of us can ever be perfect. We are not made that way. The obsession to be perfect at everything we do can add to anxiety and depression since we feel we are not worthy. We are worthy to try everything. We may fail at some things or not be the best but it can be fun just to try. Don’t get caught in perfectionism.

 

Failure?

When I was growing up I wanted to do everything perfectly. Anything that caused me to struggle and that I couldn’t get right I just quit. I suppose that is connected with some OCD. My father was always encouraging me to try things but if I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it perfectly I didn’t even try. I am sure that an attitude such as that kept me from experiencing many interesting things. I really don’t think that my parents expected excellence in everything and I certainly wasn’t perfect in school. (Due to lack of interest) I just didn’t want to try and fail.

failure-good-thing-fixedIt is really important to teach children that it is in the failures that we learn the most. I guess I never thought of how many failures most inventors go though before they discover what works.

failureIf it is pointed out to them children can see that everyone fails at something. The perfect example is the 1986 disaster of the Challenger space flight. That was a huge mistake and the results were horrible. NASA learned from that as do every one of us when we fail. None of us is perfect. We can learn from failure. We just have to get up and try again.