Learning what dogs know

tillie sleepingDogs know how to relax. It is evident in the two bassets that I have. Never lie down to sleep unless there is something soft to put your head on (not to mention your whole body.)  Nothing deters them from the comfort they deserve. Their relaxation is almost instant and complete.

If only we could learn to relax so easily. I know (at least I think) that their minds are not cluttered with all the garbage that we have floating around in ours. So maybe it’s easy for them. All the things that I try to unclutter my mind help but I don’t use them enough or even properly. Meditation helps at the moment but I can easily start right back with whatever was the worry at the time. I can distract myself with TV programs and that helps until I turn it off. I need to practice more and work at it to attain the kind of relaxation that they have. Maybe I can never get that good but it is necessary  to try.

Pets are a wonderful thing. I even had a goldfish for years in college that I carried back and forth to home during breaks. I love cats but my husband is allergic so we haven’t had them. I do love dogs. It is wonderful to have someone greet me at the door with wagging tails and happy faces. (yes they do have happy faces) They do sense my moods and are more affectionate when my mood is down.

let it goI will keep looking at my dogs relaxing and remember to continue my efforts to achieve calm and peace in spite of what is happening in my life.

 

You have 24 hours

charlie sorrySometimes it just seems that nothing goes right. I have a friend who says that when something bad happens you have 24 hours to have a pity party and then it is time to move on. I feel like I have been swinging back and forth between being ok and crashing for the last month. Monday things were fine and Tuesday again with IBS. I din’t think I have ever had this much trouble. I have learned some things though so rather and just sit and moan I called and got a drs appointment and didn’t put it off….which is what I used to do. Medicine was ordered and now I am waiting for clearance from insurance to get the medicine. Very aggravating.

Now for the good part. I had sent an email to schedule some work during the week and didn’t get an answer. Nothing was scheduled. Again, God was in charge instead of me so I had no where I had to be. I will get the medicine eventually and hopefully be on the mend. In the mean time I need to spend some time thanking the person in charge.

thanks to God

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

Starting over

start overThe last few days have been a trial. IBS hit me really hard. Probably because things have been difficult for the last six months. I guess I let it build up until all the little things became big enough to attack me. I realize that I have not followed through with how I started. Had I been consistent I would not have melted down the way I did. I am better now and more ready to start again. Somehow we don’t fail if we are willing to start again.

It seems to be a pattern of mine to fall apart when things start to get better. Somehow I manage to stay together through problems but later it all comes home to haunt me.

I have done so much reading about anxiety and realize that mine is situational. When I am stressed up to point my IBS jumps in and pushes all my buttons. Then everything is a vicious cycle.

So today is a new day. A new chance to make changes. A new time to learn and grow. I know that I can not fix everything so I am turning to the one thing that never fails. I am leaning on my faith and my belief in God and his/her saving grace. We are promised that God loves us and we can’t earn grace it is freely given.

grace 3

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

Finding Home

ritualThis past month has been full of challenges and opportunities for me to backslide. During all the things that worried me I have kept on going. The only thing to mar my moving forward has been IBS. I was so good for over a year until last summer and stresses jumped on me and it was difficult to keep worry and anxiety at bay.

The issues concerning me have not been mine to tell but they do impact me. Hopefully some progress has been made looking forward and getting a grasp on solutions. It is easy to know that plans don’t always work out but at lest I think the issues have been identified and are moving forward.

I think the other difficulty for me has been finding a home for my spiritual life. I am disconnected and feel a piece of me missing. I do relate strongly to music and ritual. That is why I gravitate to liturgical churches. The beauty of the liturgy moves me. I have been so blessed by amazing music over the last 20 years that that piece of me is also adrift. I can listen to the things I love at home but it is not the same as hearing it in a place with amazing acoustics and glorious musicians.

homeTo feel immersed during liturgy is what I crave. I know that I have to find some solution but I feel incapable at the moment. I have a good understanding of where those things can be found but there are other issues holding me back. I sometimes end up just staying home. This is not a solution and not a good choice. I continue to grieve over the loss. Will I ever find that place of peace again?

 

Coping with life and those who judge

care kitEvery day is different. There is no being prepared for what comes next. I am sad. Sad for two members of my family whose life has been disrupted each in a different way. Concern for them and wishes for some peace and foremost in my mind. It causes my worry to raise its head. Life definitely changes from day to day and we have to find ways of coping. The younger we are the less coping skills we have.

Things that happen to us teach us and we learn the skills we need. Some people are lucky enough to not have things go wrong in their lives. However, this means that they develop little ability to handle things when the fall apart.

The only people who can really understand what someone else is going through is a person who has had a similar experience. When people don’t understand they can be judgmental. For so long there has been a stigma for those who struggle with any sort of mental issue. Sometimes I would love to make them have the same problems so that they will get it. For many years those with AIDS struggled with abuse and being ostracized. It is still happening with mental issues. I is amazing how hatred can be born.

price

I think that people often wonder why those who struggle just can’t pull up their socks and fix it themselves. It is just not that easy. Everything can’t be fixed. That is a hard lesson to learn. You can’t judge others. You don’t know where they have been.

Teach Well

strongIt is very difficult to raise children and let go when they become adults. Sometimes we have to stand by and watch as they make life changing mistakes. This is probably one of the hardest things we face when we have children. It is easy to deal with the mistakes that are made when our children are small. Usually those are small mistakes and easy to deal with. Mistakes made when we are adults can be more serious and have long reaching effects.

We can’t fix things for our children even when they are small. If they don’t learn that actions have consequences when they are small it is too late when they are grown. That is why we must let them feel the results. Too often we want to help so that they have no unhappiness but that doesn’t help them as adults. When I was young if a teacher called my parents about me it was already understood that I was the one with the problem. Now parents are quick to blame the teacher. Children are rescued from all wrongdoing by parents who really think they are doing the right thing.

imagesRaising children is no easy job. Most of us have little experience when we begin. Most good parents do what they think is the best for their child and yet later children can confront us with our flaws. They will not understand unless they face raising children of their own.

When I was working in the church every fall I wrote an article about the importance of taking your children to church. Some people think that they should let them grow up and choose. How do you choose when you have nothing to compare with? If you have a faith why would you not let your child know about it?

Proverbs 22:6

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.

Worry, worry, worry

rocking chairIf we are blessed with a good family when we are young we don’t worry much. As we reach our teens we encounter social issues and worry about how we seem to others. For some teens this can encompass their whole being. Social media has made this worse.

If we are blessed enough to find a partner and start a family our worries grow…..will there be enough money?….Will the job work out….etc. Then we have children and the worry increases exponentially. As we age our children grow up, find partners and have children of their own and then we have a larger group to hold close to our hearts. I guess the law of large numbers (out of my area) means that the more people involved the more potential for problems.

One of my children lives in the same town. One live 3 hours away and one is an 18 hr drive. We talk frequently and I am glad they also talk to each other often. No matter how old we get our children are still our children and when something crops up for them they call mom. I am glad they can do this. I see it as my place in life to be there for them.

This allows me to utilize my skills at worrying.  My grandmother used to tell me to sit in a chair and worry as hard as I could….then get up and see if anything had changed. She was so right. Worry doesn’t help anyone but I am so good at it.

worry2Worry can turn into anxiety as we magnify the problems and think of all the things that can go wrong. I am good at crossing many bridges before they are anywhere in sight. My husband says do what you can and then stop thinking about it. He is right. It is time to let this go. Jesus tells us:

Matthew 6:27-29New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[a] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.