Sometimes, out of the middle of nowhere, a health issue pops up. Sometimes it is serious, sometimes not. But whether it is serious or not, it always messes with your mind, attitudes, and emotions. How do you get through it?
It is not an issue of wimping out, having a pity party, or giving up. As long as you are alive, you have to deal with it. How you do that is up to you and nobody else. What does your mind say? What attitudes do you choose to encourage? What emotions do you endure?
Common attitudes vary from looking on the bright side, taking your courage in hand, and do what you have to do to get better, whatever that consists of…be it physical therapy – doing it with a good effort, knowing that what you put in will determine how well it works – take your prescribed medication as you should – change of diet, either temporarily or permanently – asking for help when needed, even if you are independent-minded and do not want to ask – make a list of questions for your physicians – listening to their answers – in short: Doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal of improving and getting better.
Looking on the other side of attitudes, you see an unwillingness to go through the pain of it all, be it exercises from physical therapists, uncomfortable tests for evaluation, unwillingness to trust your physicians or their advice, inability to cope with it all so you withdraw and do nothing (which is an option, though not a very wise one), just hoping that somebody out there has a magic pill to make it all go away.
So far, I have not found any magic pills. Have you?
I cannot wave a magic wand and make the problems disappear, never to return.
The emotions you deal with can exacerbate an already tough situation, as can your brain. Fear immobilizes – always! Anger is debilitating. (Yes, anger is a component, more than we like to admit.) It can even be a generic anger that this has happened to you. It is all inside of you, bubbling away like a witch’s brew.
Knowing the cause – be it an accident, exposure to a sickness, or just a problem with your body – rarely helps.
Somehow, you need to find a way that works for you personally. You must seek help to resolve the thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. Books can aid you. Counseling can, too. Venting with a good friend can come to your assistance. Prayers for me are a vital part of it all, requesting them from caring family and friends I know.
When it is a loved one who is ill, it becomes a lot more complicated. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness come unbidden as you watch them suffer. You might be able to paste on that smile while you are in their presence, trying to help where you can, but when you are alone, it can fill your heart with angst and fear. You are not in control of anything. That is when you have to do the same thing as listed above: Get yourself under control. You cannot be of assistance to anybody if you don’t calm yourself first.
I know dear people who are caught in the horns of this dilemma. Denial causes inappropriate reactions, delaying resolution – sometimes permanently – as the condition continues to deteriorate.
It has been said: “The way out is the way through!”
I believe this from the very bottom of my heart. There is no avoiding it. You just have to ask yourself: How am I going to respond to this situation? Examine your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and emotions. They are as important as the symptoms of the illness. You are a whole person, not just an arm, leg, heart, head, or other body part.
With that in mind, perhaps you could start by making a list of them. Then you can look for ways to resolve each one. There is no evading this issue, so deal with it.
The question is: Are you willing? Do you want to look for a resolution? It is within your purview to do it – and you are the only one who can. The problem is well defined. Now look for the answer.
God’s blessings on your journey!
In Latin, it is expressed “Infinitum Nihil:” Nothing is Forever.
A powerful sheik ordered his wise men to give him a saying to be carved into his signet ring that covers all the events of his life, good and bad…upon pain of death, I might add. The saying they came up with? “This, too, shall pass!”
Change is the order of the day.
My personal favorite is Ecclesiastes 3:1, which states: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Actually, it goes on through verse 8, stating that there really is a time for all things. As I age, I find this to be true in so many ways. This is true for the good things in our lives, as well as the bad stuff. It comforts me endlessly to know that, just like a seed in the ground breaks its hull to send up a shoot through the earth to the sunlight, becoming a plant, then a bud, a blossom, a seed of new life, and then withers away, only to be replaced in its time by new plants. Some days I would like to hang onto some occurrence forever. Other days I wish it would pass quickly and take its garbage with it. That is life on this planet, which is the third rock from the sun. Sometimes things happen because we are human, living among humans who have frailties and make mistakes. We have to learn how to survive it all and not let it crush our spirits. We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. And yes, that is a song. But it is also true.
Each of us has an inner strength to be able to do that, day in and day out. Some days, we might want to throw in the towel and call it good. But life never gives us that chance.
How do we go on? Step by step. We take the step we see, which gives us the vision of another step to take. We do what we can, and keep looking for more information to help us on our way. Just the seeking is enough to create a Synergy for Change, drawing to us that which we need, when we need it. It has been said that, “From a different height, you get a different view.” That means that Life is like climbing a ladder. We put our foot on the step we can reach, go up, and suddenly another step manifests itself.
Just like Lao Tzu’s: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” you just have to be willing to take the one step you see. Are you willing? Take courage, and begin it!
God’s blessings on your journey!
“Forgive Me When I Whine” by John Palmer
“Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;
I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
but as she passed, she wore a smile
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two feet –the world is mine
And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
the lad who served me had such charm;
he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;
I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”
And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play,
it seemed he knew not what to do;
I stopped a moment, then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?
He looked ahead without a word,
I realized –he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears, the world is mine
With feet to take me where I’d go,
with eyes to see the sunsets glow,
with ears to hear what I would know,
I am blessed indeed.
The world is mine.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.”
This article always strikes a chord deep within my being.
The definition of whine is: “To complain or beg in a childishly undignified way; a complaint uttered in a whining tone; to utter a peevish, high-pitched, somewhat nasal sound, as in complaint, distress, fear, etc.”
How about you? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Is your coffee cold and your toast burned? Did you have a flat tire or the car would not start? Daily life is filled to the brim with instances like this.
Remember, it is not what happens to you that really counts…it is your REACTION to it that does the damage or begins to make a repair.
Which will you choose?
The Serenity Prayer is always just a thought away:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
(by American theologian Reinhold Nieburh 1892-1971)
So, if you look carefully at whatever is distressing you, you may well find something to be grateful for. It will change your attitude immediately.
Are you willing to give it a try?
Like the image of the candle on the water:
the slightest ripple changes the image.
Our thoughts and emotions do that,
just like the ripples on a calm surface
when a pebble is thrown in.
Some people have really turbulent waters,
and their lives reflect the chaos within.
The answer lies in quieting the mind and emotions.
Do you have the courage to try that?