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Why this journey?

Life is a series of choices. We don’t often think of that but just getting out of bed in the morning is a choice. We are so used to routine that it doesn’t seem like we made a choice. It’s just what we do every day with little thought. How different life could be it we could be fully present for each of those choices. It is interesting to reflect on one’s path in life. It is so easy to see the places where I stepped off the path and usually paid for it. Sometimes the slip brings an instant outcome. Sometimes life continues and only with a long look back can we see the result of the choice.

I have always wanted to learn to live each day in the present moment but I haven’t mastered it yet. If only every second of every day I could remember I am alive now!  How different my whole life would have been.

You see, I am a worrier. I cross bridges and explore every good and bad outcome for each crisis or major event that comes up. I can easily picture myself with a fatal illness or catastrophic problem. The real question is how I have managed to live for 76 years and not learned how to let this go. It is time to move on. This is my journey into change. My first step into a new way to really live each moment.

I know that I have a tough road ahead of me and will struggle with my resistance to changing habits and applying all the advice and wisdom I have been given. I worried as a child. My grandmother used to tell me to sit in a chair and worry as hard as I could and get up and see if anything had changed. Her wisdom (she died at 100 ) was there for me as long as she lived. I heard it over and over but never learned how to do it.

The practice of faith was not absent in my growing years. God was a part of my everyday life. I was baptized in the Presbyterian church that my parents attended and each Sunday was in church with my parents or my grandmother (she was Methodist) I saw my grandmother read her Bible each day and pray as she rested after lunch and again at night before bed. Her connection to God was strong. Was Her consistent time spent with God the thing that brought her such peace? Many of my adult years have been spent in God’s ministry. Interesting that all that energy and action didn’t have a deeper effect on my way of being. One would think that Bible study, leading church events, teaching yoga and meditation would have had more impact.

So many human quirks that have been around since Adam and Eve have been given titles and are seen as present in many of us. In today’s world, my worrying would be given the title mild anxiety. What I do is not unusual nor can it be considered a psychiatric diagnosis. It seems to me that the recognition of garden variety anxiety has given some relief for those of us who worry. I am not the only one and will certainly not be the last.

Added on to this propensity to worry are the major changes in our way of life. It seems to me that sometimes ignorance is bliss. (note: I say it seems that way). Today we are bombarded with information. The world seems to be more dangerous day by day. To quote Dr King “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” We can see the result of this on the streets of our cities. Have we been desensitized to violence so that nothing is too abhorrent to do?

All the electronic devices have added noise on a former unprecedented level. Is there silence anywhere? Do we understand the effect on body and mind of constant noise? Do we ever just sit back and think? I see this pattern as actually increasing worry or anxiety in the future. There is no time to just be.

All that having been said this writing will record my progress (or lack thereof) of a journey into change. I cannot change the world but I can change myself. I believe in the butterfly principle and maybe if one person finds a different way something will change.

A bad few days

Since Saturday I have been fighting IBSD. This is one of the worst episodes I have had. Today was a struggle. I hope tomorrow is better. I am also struggling with anxiety. It’s been a long time since this hit me this hard and I am trying to gain some perspective. Hopefully something will work.

bad-day

 

I don’t have much else to say tonight. Not the best of days but tomorrow is a new day and I still have hope.

Watch out judging others

It has always fascinated me that people who I know and who condemn any kind of sexuality other than heterosexuals can sin so freely in other ways. Adultery seems to be fine, hatred, unkindness, greed….actually many of the 7 deadly sins are fine. Sexual differences are the one unforgivable sin. My aunt used to call this “swallow an elephant, choke on a gnat.”

judging others

They seem to feel that some sins are ok and others are not. A kind of hypocrisy that I find particularly abhorrent. It is so easy to condemn others and blithely  carry on with our hurtful ways.

Judgement is mine says the Lord and the rest of us need to back off.

Mostly moms is the reality

raising aloneTimes are tough. There are many children who are being brought up by single moms. Most of the work hard and do their best for their children. Still, being without a spouse is doubly hard. I think it takes two parents. The stress on one parent is horrendous. We all need help and in the case of raising children it is critical.

Regardless of who is doing the raising having more than one person to be looked up to and hopefully emulated is so necessary. It is helpful if boys have some male in their life and a female for girls. This is not always possible but hopefully some other family member is able to step up and help.

raising alone 2When we grew up in small towns there were many others to help. It really does “take a village” to raise a child. The more adults loving and molding growing up the better. Many of the children I am seeing now have only one parent and it is most frequently the mother. We need to grow the organizations “big brothers” and “big sisters” to fill in the gaps. children who are mentored do so much better. If not they seek affirmation from all the wrong people.

We must care for our youth

Powerful help

sleepy dogToday I hit the wall. I am so sleepy that I could just drop off writing this. I think the things I have been doing have finally relaxed some of the tension and I am wiped out. It is a wonderful feeling except I have things I have to do so I’ll just keep going until bedtime. Sure hope I don’t end up wide eyed awake then.

Ironically there are still storms floating around in the Atlantic but so far it seems they are little threat. I hope it stays that way. I guess with climate change happening we will have to cope with this or move.

Yesterday was another Community Conference. Again I saw the power of this program as it saved another youth from being caught up in the court system. It is a powerful feeling to think that I was able to help. I hope this child now understands the chance that has been given and it able to move forward with a positive attitude toward a productive life. I think, in this case, that will happen. It also help an adult to see that not all youth should be written off without knowing more than the surface information.

TeenDisappointment

I am blessed to be able to help with this program.

God’s creatures

butterfly-effectThis morning as I was driving out of my driveway I saw what looked like a small creature lying beside the drive. As I passed I could see it was a small, possibly baby, raccoon. It lifted its head and shook in fear as I went by. It was obviously hurt. I assume it was hit by a car. As I paused and watched it gave a last breath and was gone. Sitting for a moment to be sure he/she was gone and then went to my appointment.

This quick incident really bothered me. I felt so much empathy for the poor creature that tears were close. It had such a short life. I really saw it as one of God’s creatures and said a prayer for its passing. I saw the same imagery as with the dogs and pictured it moving over the rainbow bridge. I can’t help experiencing grief over any creature I see in pain. I wish I could have helped but there was nothing to be done. We will give him/her a decent burial.

Rainbow-Bridge-heaven

I can’t help but see all of creation being linked and the death of one creature, flower, tree, insect being part of the whole. I know I am epathic and can feel pain for the smallest thing but we all should feel that loss. It is what we have ignored for too long.

Go little raccoon, over the rainbow bridge and join those who have gone before you.

 

Sunflowers seek light. Do we?

The other day I read…I don’t remember where…that sunflowers, if they can’t turn to the sun, will turn to each other. There is a real story in that. It seems that is something we do as humans. If we can’t turn to our important source of light (people) we turn somewhere else to seek comfort. We have to lean somewhere.

sunflowers

Applying that thought is up to us. It can be applied to God or another source of strength. Maybe we turn inward and if we don’t find what we seek there we may be lost. We each need somewhere to find solace and will seek it out. We are like the sunflowers.

Disorder

The work on our bathroom continues. Today we had the insurance adjuster as areas below the shower seat and the floor were soaked. There must have been a break in the tile that we couldn’t see. We don’t know what they will do but anything will be a help.

DisorientedLogoThere is something disorienting about living somewhere in your house that you never stayed constantly in. It is a strange feeling. I didn’t ever think about it being off putting but it is. I don’t know why. It just feels wrong.

I really can’t think of the word to describe how it feels. The word that comes closest is disordered. According to the dictionary it is:  disrupting the healthy or normal functioning of.  Our closets are between our bedroom and the bathroom and the bedroom is covered with plastic and unusable. To get clothes I have to wander into the disaster zone and find what I want. I keep moving things to the bedroom I am using. Who knows what will be there when we get done.

coping-skills-2I am spending time out of the house, mediating when I can and generally using coping skills to stay myself. I didn’t expect something that is a happy circumstance to be disorienting. Oh well. Live and learn. As a nurse I know that even good stress is stress (eustress) and can get to you. I think that having to delay a week because of the hurricane didn’t help.

They are moving on with the work and I hope they are done soon.

New companion

My son and daughter-in-law just got a new puppy. They lost their other dog last year. Over the years Karen (DIL) has become more and more allergic to any animals and they knew any dog would have to be a hypoallergenic as possible. They have been looking for a Labradoodle that they could afford. The prices for these dogs who are certified least allergic is quite high so they have been waiting.

A few weeks ago Karen’s sister found out that a friend of hers who raises these dogs was having to have back surgery and was unable to keep the dogs she has now. They were able to get this puppy for a very reasonable price. They are so excited. My grandchildren are grown and gone from the house so they really wanted to dog to be part of the family.

walter

Today they brought him by to see us. He is an adorable puppy with a sweet disposition. He will be a wonderful addition to their home.

Dogs provide so much love and comfort to us humans. I love coming home to be greeted by wagging tails and happy dogs. Who else is that happy to see us?

Absorb and take time

It is a beautiful day. That frequently happens after a storm. The air is clear and everything seems so much brighter. The yard is clean. I am tired but I am brighter too. It was hard just sitting and waiting for a storm that was determined to stay in place for so long. My heart cries for those who have been so hurt by the storm.

strong but tired

I think I am physically and emotionally drained. It is actually not a bad feeling but I know I need rest and time to refocus. Some time spent in silence and meditation will do me a world of good.

 

It is so important to allow ourselves time to regroup. Too often we leap into the next thing without time spent in absorbing what has happened. In this case nothing really happened and that is the odd part. How does one absorb nothing? Maybe by understanding that much emotional energy was spent waiting for nothing. And so, there was something after all. The emotional battle of waiting takes it’s own toll. Just because it was intangible doesn’t mean it didn’t matter.

take time to heal

 

We often think that we don’t have to restore ourselves when it it important to do so. Take time to understand before again taking on everything else.

Somewhat normal?

love-warming-your-soulThis is the first day that things have felt somewhat normal. We put everything back on the porches and cleaned up some of the mess. There are small tree limbs and scattered pine and oak stuff everywhere.  It will take a while to get it clear but we are lucky that’s all there is.

 

It is nice to see the sun today. Sunshine always makes me feel better. Now I have some catching up to do with my Community Conference case for next week. Back to routine.

How-To-Help-Teens-After-Rehab-676x400This volunteer work really is important. Everyone involved is hoping that it will help to keep kids from the courts and keep their lives on a better track. It gives me a good feeling to try to help. The schools have become so strict regarding what kids can do that sometimes it is overkill. We have had children sent to court for drawing a picture of a gun. Hopefully the program will be able to see if this is a truly troubled child or just one who wasn’t thinking. After all, they are still children. Maybe some who need help can be sent to the right people.

It is nice to be thinking about this instead of constantly watching the Weather Channel and the storm. I hope the storms showing up now don’t affect anyone.