THINGS, AS THEY ARE

So, I believe the truth is the best and most important thing in life.  That doesn’t mean I think you need to go about routing out other folks’ business.  I mean your own, that will keep you busy enough, anyway.  You won’t have time to go stirring up other folks.

I also believe that telling the truth about your circumstances is the first most constructive thing you can do about it.  And, along with that, I believe you don’t let yourself dwell on the negative.  Tell it like it is, be moving at the same time.

Here goes:  My broken leg is not healing on the schedule I planned, nor on the doc’s.  The bone is in alignment, and that is very good.  The two parts are not knitting together completely. And, they discovered a hairline fracture (a crack, if you will) in my elbow.  Actually, they ‘discovered’ it because I pointed it out and told them I believed it was a fracture – surprise, it is.  They should have known this 10 weeks ago.  This is whom I am dealing with and I’m doing my best to be a good advocate for me.  My orthopod is one of the very best, but in a cast of characters that are nowhere near up to par, nor close to his standards.

I don’t tell this for personal sympathy.  I know, for a fact, that I am going to be fine.  All I need, and will need, is present.  I say it because I know many people who have suffered a long time with conditions and illnesses that were improperly diagnosed, or not diagnosed at all.  They have had bad and wounding experiences with the healthcare community.  They have had to listen to the ‘it’s stress’ nonsense ad nauseam.  I say it because I can identify with, and truly understand, their experience, their physical and emotional pain over it, and their exasperation.  You must be your own advocate the very best you can.  You must become educated about you, and how that ‘you’ operates.

Again, meditation comes to my rescue.  I sit on my cushion.  I breathe, and watch my breathing.  Listen to it.  I listen to the sounds around  me; hear each one clearly and identify it.  Then, I let them go, hearing but giving them no names.  I think of my heart beating, tirelessly.  Your heart beats for you constantly, with no rest.  I contemplate the job my heart does.  It doesn’t know from good or bad, or other things it might be doing.  It does what it does because it does what it does.  That’s it.  It knows its purpose, and as far as is possible with it, it does that purpose – it serves . . . and, well.  I know that’s what’s within me.  From this, I know that I am willing and able to serve me to my very best regardless of what circumstances may look like.  As long as I am breathing, I am able to prevail.  I am able to help others, who are willing, to prevail also.  You are, too.  Your heart, my heart, all those with hearts – it is not an organ made carelessly.  For the most part, nothing is left out, forgotten, overlooked.  Remember that about yourself – it’s true from the inside out.   Remember that, meditate on that.  You are  complete, sufficient, able. . . right now, just as you are.  Pick it up, you can do it.

I sit on my redwood deck, built by the hands of my husband.   The day can’t make up its mind.  The sky is cotton-stuffed with clouds, deciding whether to give us one of those gorgeous, dramatic  late afternoon thunderstorms, or to pass it on to the city some miles away.  A gentle breeze moves the lilacs, and the birds are talking. I am here, right here with it all.  It’s ok.  I can do it, whatever it is and I will be happy in it.   I am in this moment.  When you lay out your plan, see it all – open it wide, get the big picture.  You’ve got lots of letters in the alphabet – start with A.

As always, may peace be with you; and, thank you so much for stopping by.  Lilie

MOVE IT!

I just took a refresher course in anatomy and physiology.  I love the design and function of the human body.  We are marvelously made, that’s for sure.  Though, sometimes we fool with that too much.  We have become a society where any normal emotion, or normal function, or phase of  life, if the slightest bit unpleasant to us, must be dispatched  immediately, and with as little effort on our part as possible.  Or, it takes us too much time to just plain take care of ourselves, and there are pills for that, so why not?

For example, my father, two days after my mother’s death, was upset – surprise, huh?  The doctor was.  He wanted my dad on antidepressants immediately.  Really.  I said, his wife just died.  The doctor said,  “Well, two years ago. ”  He had not listened, and the nurse had recorded inaccurate information on his chart, as she had not listened either.   I said, “Listening should be part of your medical education, he told you two d-a-y-s ago.  They were married for 49 years.  She’s the only person he ever really cared about.  He’s sad, he’s grieving, you bet.”  Well, can’t have any of that foreign substance, grief, going around – gotta knock that out of the body.  Bull.  If you are grieving a loss, grieve a loss.  Antidepressants are for people DIAGNOSED with clinical depression.  Not for people who want to lose weight, don’t get along with husbands, or family, or family of husbands, or normal life events, or who handle their emotions poorly.  No.  By, the way, the doctor did not correct the information on the chart, and when I left, put my dad on antidepressants.  Until we talked to dad, and got him off.

Also, now it is popular to be prescribed antidepressants during menopause.  They may take some of your symptoms away and make you more comfortable.  They are masking symptoms that must be gone through.  It’s a season of life, a change that is going to happen.  Do you have moods that change quickly, frequently?  Yes, the hormones in your body/brain are changing.  When you know that, you can do something more reasonable than suffer from it.  Are there exceptions to the rule?  Yes.  Exceptions to every rule.   But, remember, to everything there is a consequence.  Antidepressants change brain chemistry.

The best thing for your body, from begining to end of life, is motion and feeding it well.  Supplements, not unless your doctor shows you specific testing on which you show a definite lack in a particular substance.  Otherwise, you are making very expensive urine PERIOD.   Your body metabolizes the majority of its nutrients from food.  Lay off of making the pie, cake, candy, bread family the mainstay of every meal; slow down on the red meat a bit – remember, you are eating whatever you eat eats.  Yeah.  I have a terrible grass allergy.  I was eating grassfed beef – see a problem here?  Also, I have a serious allergy to bees.  Wanna know if I use honey for anything?  Or, beeswax?  Probably not, that’s a good bet.   Have some common sense.  People allergic to molds, pollens, bee/wasp stings, are often sensitive to antibiotics.

Been diagnosed with reflux?  Did you lose the weight, start exercising?  Or, are you doing the pill, elevate the bed, etc., etc., thing?  If you lose the weight, begin exercise, you may just find you don’t need to waste money on those pills and what a wonderful thing to have the money for a nice outing of some type with friend or spouse, eh?    High blood pressure?  Genetics – big, big factor.  TAKE YOUR MEDS.  Watch your diet,  be judicious about fluid intake,  move your body, meditate – get calm.   Bet you can keep the meds to a minimum.   Sleep apnea is another big game for your bucks.  Some, again, genetics and other conditions.  Many, poor health habits.  And, we would rather cling to our poor health habits than do something about them – it takes too much time – really?  That’s your reason?    Same with adult onset diabetes.  Diet and exercise, and many wouldn’t have to deal with this.  Really, you’d rather have diabetes, than get out of your chair?   Than, eat a salad instead of a bag of chips and candy bar?   Except, that these things are costing us all.  We all are affecting everyone else with how we decide to treat ourselves.  We are what’s wrong with the healthcare system, in some part.

At 50, I began taekwondo.  I love it.  I have a difficult time walking far enough to do me any good.  So, I can do yoga, and I can do taekwondo.  I have vertigo (most of the time), a bum leg and constant pain.  I move, as much as I possibly can.  And, I break that up in shifts.  I move some, lie down and rest; and, then I get moving again when I can.  But, I move.  Moving literally circulates those wonderfully brain-manufactured pain meds, hormones, nutrients, etc.  All the things I really need to help me.   The things you need.  There is something out there for you, some interest that can get you to move.  Do you like to dance?  Dance in your living room, to whatever era of music, or genre, that strikes your fancy.  Maybe you have a senior center, you could suggest getting together with others and turning on the music?  Or,  a simple stretch class.

Before you medicate it, meditate it.  Know your family health history.  Do your research.  See your doctor.

Peace be with you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

SOMETIMES YOU WANT TO SHOUT IT!

We all have a story to tell, and they are worth telling, IF only one person listens, and learns.

I never thought I would tell mine.  I was good at keeping secrets.  But, maybe, just maybe, one person will hear, and it will change the course of his/her life.

I got my life kicked – hard.  And, I fell.  Doesn’t matter how, who or why.  What does matter is why was I available for that?  What in me allowed it; didn’t see it; wasn’t consciously present in my life?  Those were the questions I asked myself.   Those were the questions that saved me.  I didn’t blame myself.  No.  I did examine my character and the course of my life, because I was the person I could change.  I wanted to be the person I knew I was inside.

I created a second chance for myself.  I think everybody deserves a second chance, and maybe they get it on the fourth or fifth try.  My first course of action was to separate myself from those with whom I had associated, and I sought out a very wise and compassionate counselor.  That was my safety zone, from which I plotted my course.  I had many influences throughout my life who practiced mental discipline, and some did this by meditation.  I studied everything I could find; took every course offered by every religion, organization, university,  individual, etc.  But I was no joiner anymore, not to or for anything.  I took religious studies, sociology, psychology, medical studies,  and so on, building and learning what most people come into life with naturally, through their families.  I have to say here, my dad was a great source of wisdom, but it was just not available to me then, didn’t mean I couldn’t find it now.

I stepped out of the cocoon and tried new things, slowly but surely.  Got myself a yoga teacher’s certificate, meditation certificates, pain management certificates, and so on.  I began to take writing courses, and turned to writing poetry, a love from childhood, and now I took myself seriously.  I began attending writing groups.  And, I published two books of poetry.  I didn’t look back.  I just kept going.  I had begun to have medical issues.   I had to accept the loss of my working life, and tried to ‘work’ and contribute in other ways.  Again, I didn’t look back.  When the stories played in my head, I acknowledged them honestly but did not entertain them, didn’t ruminate on them.  I realized I was in control of my thought life, all the time.  With practice, that became stronger and stronger.

I felt like Ghandi’s famous quote, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  And yet, I had begun to have friends who were Christian, I mean that in the sense of acting like Jesus, really acting like Jesus.  So, I am watching and waiting.  Don’t know that I will ever join any group again.  Still feel like I need to know where the exit is.  I don’t like ‘group think’.  I try not to lump people together with groups, see them as they truly are in their own lives, but when it’s ‘group think’ or ‘group speak’, I keep my distance.

The most important lesson I learned;  You must regard you.  You must think well of you.  You must have a plan for your life, and believe in it.  You must hold it dear, and not give up on it for other persons.  It is one thing to help someone else, and I strongly believe in that.  But, DO NOT GIVE UP your goals, your life, your plans for another.  It won’t help them, and it most certainly will not result in anything positive for you.  And, YOU is what you have.   The least selfish, most giving people I know, regard themselves; have strong self-respect, and are accomplished in their life goals, and continue to have and set goals for themselves.  You can’t be free to extend anything until you know  yourself.

Whatever situation you are in, it is not hopeless.  You are still there, still present inside – listen to that.  Become present, awake, aware, conscious in your life.  Reach out.  Take one step at a time, but take a step.   I did it, and I got to take someone with me.  Someone who turned out to be a most incredible person, and love.  He just made that same decision:  To find, and be his true self.  I did hurt people I loved, and I can’t change my indecisions and weakness of the past, but who I am now is what counts.  I stand up for my mistakes, and take the consequences.  I repair where I can.  You are worth it, too, come on – it’s your chance, now!

With love and regard to you.  Lilie   – Thank you for stopping by.

HYPOCRITES!

“I don’t believe in God because Aunt So-and-So, or Grandpa, or the neighbors, or the people in the church I went to are hypocrites!”  Ever heard that?  I have.  Hmm.  Even as a fairly young person, that didn’t make sense to me.  Basing your choice of belief, or unbelief, on what other people do.   Actually, there are no ‘other’ people.  People are just like you.  Sometimes they do good things, sometimes not so much.  Are they hypocrites?  Well, my definition is a person who knows that they are doing wrong, and has some agenda or motive in doing it, so they continue – fully aware.  That’s a hypocrite. They are using organizations or people, religious or otherwise, to further their own ends.   The rest of us, most are trying our best and that has to be on a daily basis.  Some days go well, some days. . .

Or, “I don’t believe in God, because I believed He promised me that such-and-such would, or would not, happen.”  One young man told me that he didn’t believe in God because his grandfather died on Christmas day, a day when he was hoping to see this important person in his life one last time.  It’s ok to be angry at the loss of someone you love, be careful whom you splash that on.  Make sure it fits.

For me, I don’t base what I believe, or don’t, on anyone else.  I don’t base it on doctrine, one particular source, philosophy or ideation.  I listen, observe, study and decide.  What do I think and feel about what I have absorbed?  In most instances, I have learned to use critical thinking.  Am I never influenced by others?  I am influenced by others, and I realize human nature.  If I had to believe in God, in order to dictate or control my behavior, I wouldn’t believe.  If I can’t be who I am, decide on who I am going to be, my moral path, my duty to others and self, inside my own self – then, what good is belief?   If you only have control over your thoughts and actions by believing someone else controls them, or someone is watching you and may punish or reward you, what do you have?

I mentioned I was raised in a rather rigid Christian church, and continued that through my young life.  Even got myself into a situation of attending, not really by choice, an even more rigid church (from which I literally escaped after about 10 year, that’s when critical thinking became important).  I prayed all the time.  I prayed for others, for my family.  I had certain prayers that I learned as a child, and repeated those prayers for loved ones, and self.

Each day, and each evening , I would pray for the safety and protection of friends and family.  During that time, a close  friend shot himself to death, another was killed in a climbing accident, another dove off a cliff and broke his neck and died, a friend was murdered by her half-brother, and my fiance was killed in a motorcycle accident, two of my business contacts committed suicide.   I also worked in a clinic and saw all around me the devastation of minimal, or no, access to healthcare.  I saw poverty and hunger in people who worked hard and had nothing.  Inequality, injustice and abuse.   And, I believed in cause and effect – some people cause and it can affect you. You also do the same, words and actions matter – you don’t always know where they will wind up.   I grieved and felt heartache, each time.  Seasons of  life.

If I continued to base my belief on outcomes, I would have none.  I learned through these experiences about grief and loss, about anger and passion, the value of compassion and love.   I learned that belief is not about outcome.  It’s about what is right now.  What you can do.  We have invented something very clever (and sinister, I think) in standing back and saying, “pray about it”, “God will help you”.  Then, we have no responsibility.  The truth is we are the God that’s coming.  We are the rescue, and the help.  It is given to us to care for others, friends or strangers.  That’s why we are here – not to collect and achieve.  Few get it.  Few live it.  Few want to.

If you believe in God, and that adds strength and peace to your life, good.  I encourage you in that, I admire it.  If you do not believe, and that gives you stability, courage and the desire to do good and be compassionate to self, and others,  good for you, as well.    I have known the faithful of varied traditions, and the nonbelievers, both.  The trajectory of their lives seems to have no difference, in my observation – they have the same amount of good fortune and tragedy.  It seems to me, the worth of life is in what you choose to do with it.  How you choose to live, whether someone is watching, or not.  How you choose to send your intentions, by prayer or holding good thoughts in your heart, regardless of outcome.

No matter your circumstances, no matter the tragedies, injustices or disappointments (that’s life, the seasons of living) you have the free will to choose who you will be.  That’s up to you.  Rich or poor, famous or not,  you can choose integrity, courage, faithfulness any time you want to.  You can make that the course of the life you have.  It’s never going to be about the things that happen around you, or to you; it’s always going to be about who you decide to stand up and be.   Hypocrites, real or imagined, don’t make your decisions.   You do.  You always do.
I apologize for the length.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to express.  I thank you so much for listening, for stopping by.  Lilie

BACK TO YOU, WITH BLESSING

Most bloggers, who want to be successful, blog very regularly, maybe daily. I admire that. For me, sometimes I have to apportion my time. It is one of the adaptations necessary in dealing with chronic pain. I sometimes have to think where I am going to put my energy and follow that course for that time, letting other things go and being at peace with that, until I can return; believing that others will bear with me, and that I have something worthwhile to say. Thank you for your patience. I appreciate those who hang in there with me.

I am working hard in physical therapy to overcome a broken leg, and trying to strengthen a weak, and painful, left leg (this is the chronic thing – left leg damaged by shingles).

Also, working on yoga asanas for lessons to come – it seems more like choreography to me. I’ll hear some song or music, and off I go, seeing yoga postures in a series. I’m taking a refresher course in anatomy and physiology. And, I’m writing poetry, writing and writing – that’s my true love. Also, enjoying the remarkable writing of writer friends!

I struggle with fatigue from pain, that is truth. But, I do not add suffering. It is what it is. We have bones, and they can break. We have bodies susceptible to many things, we don’t have to add suffering to the mix. And, if you are breathing, there are ways to serve. Ordinary things, making lunch for your mate, or a meal for a friend or neighbor in need carry love and compassion outward and onward. Volunteering to teach what you know – you can do that, too.

Each day, I begin with meditation, this week Pema Chodron’s ‘Three Commitments’ is my inspiration. I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I’m trying to live a gratitude life. I carry with me, each day, appreciation for all that is with me, all that gives assistance to those I love, to me. I make my intention to pass that into every other life that I can, by word, or deed.

Lilacs, lilacs, lilacs in my neighbors yard have grown so large that I have them, too; their gorgeous green leaves and flowers have grown through my fence. Their fragrance wafts through my windows, filling my house with that indescribably lovely scent. Someone quite some time ago, planted something that gives beauty and lifts the heart of strangers to this day. What you do matters.

Plan the use of your energy. If you are in pain, or have illness, do what you need to do for your health. Eat well, rest and find some type of physical activity you enjoy – this is so important. Then, fill your mind, your life with all the surrounding beauty and goodness, contribute to it. The more you fill your mind with the desire for positive opportunities, the more those will come to you – whatever your situation. It is always a choice, you can suffer and stagnate – or rejoice and receive. Every giving thing, is already back to you with blessing.

At this point in my life, I’m not sure about religion, but I believe in goodness and compassion, and have evidence of it every day. May you have goodness and mercy. May you have peace in your challenges.

Thank you for hanging in there with me. Thank you for stopping by. Lilie

A TRIBUTE

to speak

words

inside another’s life

when

you

don’t know

if

they belong there

is

foolish

you

don’t know

you

may be held

to those words

oh how lovely

to love someone

the

only lasting

thing

no other treasures

will we keep

then

speak the truth

of your own life

know what it is

just listen

to what

another

tells you

belongs to him

I thought this was worth sharing.  May it bring you insight, peace.  It is for someone, a tribute to a life.  Thank you

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT IT

Hussein’s comments prompted me to think more about fear, accepting and overcoming it.  There  are aspects to that conversation I hadn’t thought about.  This is a subject with dimension. I’m tackling here the open discussion of having a fear, what does that mean to anyone?  To you?

When I first openly discussed the fear I was dealing with, fear of public performance, it seemed to make others uncomfortable.  No one wanted to talk about it.  I was told by one woman that I was exposing myself as weak.  That got my attention.  I had never thought of that, and could not understand that concept – that people would see me as weak because I admitted to a fear that I was working on overcoming.   Hmm. . . .  Privately, I was getting email, phone calls from local folk, and I was stopped by a couple of women, acquaintances, to discuss why they had discontinued activities in their lives, but they both said they would never admit to that, because of the way it would be seen, admitting to having a fear.  Gives you something to think about.  Is it weak?’

I couldn’t see that.  I can’t see the weakness in openly, forthrightly accepting something that you struggle with.  Obviously, others were struggling and it was guiding their decisions for what they wanted to do in their lives.  When I began speaking about this openly, the fear seemed to lose its grip on me.  It no longer was an entity outside of me with its own set of rules.  It was just the thoughts in my mind, over which I could begin to exercise control.  I felt stronger, in all situations – some not connected to fear.  I began to feel more confident.

I see now this is a subject worth some discussion.  Many aspects.  Are you exposing yourself as weak, if you admit to a fear?  How so?  Do you necessarily have to reveal something you feel is that personal to attempt overcoming or accepting it?   My answer to that is No.  If you are admitting to yourself the truth of the thoughts of your mind; the truth of the things you feel bind you, and you are setting them out before y-o-u, examining and understanding them – changing the direction of your thought life – good for you.  I don’t think that requires telling anyone else, if you don’t want to.  For me, I knew others were struggling with the same thing and it was holding them back.  I knew they weren’t going to speak up.  And, I felt it was important to speak up so others might benefit.

What you feel shame about, what you hide – binds you, almost guarantees it will be what has control of your thought life.  That’s more painful and crippling than a bit of skin off from any embarrassment brought on by exposure.

Thank you for stopping by.  Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.  Perhaps we all learn.