image from www.sleekgeek.co.za
Many assume that being strong means bulking up muscle wise and never look at the other meanings. Being strong means never giving up, getting up and trying again and again and again, believing in yourself and having hope. It is not brute strength but rather inner strength.
I have fought health issues for over half my life…. for thirty-five years plus. At times I have been as weak as a new-born kitten and others times I seemed to be strong physically and mentally. The real key to being strong is in not giving up….in being persistent. You can eventually push your path just be being persistent. I refuse to give up and so even when I am on the bottom rung of the latter, I may have to rest a lot and recuperate some but the whole time I am mentally getting myself in shape to do battle.
Being persistent takes a lot of patience and I had to learn to redirect my impatience into persistence. I used to want what I wanted right this minute but I soon learned that I have to wait on things to happen when they are supposed to. Until then I just keep trying. I may not be strong physically but I am strong in my drive to get better.
Have we become a judgmental society? Sigh. I wish I could say no, not at all considering we are a large part a Christian society and not judging should be part of that. And yet what I see going on not just in our country but around the world in many places is a lot of judging going on.
I read the news, I read social media and what I read is people ready to condemn, judge and hang people before the facts are known. We say that in our country we are innocent until proven guilty but I do not always see that happening. Take Ferguson for an example. People, politicians, spokespeople that should be leading instead of misleading….all had already tried and convicted the cop that was involved in the shooting. They did not know the facts, they had not seen all the evidence and yes they were ready to convict and serve a sentence of death. The officer was not charged by the city, state or even by the Justice Department and yet the mouths of those in charge helped ruin this man’s life.
How quick are you to form an opinion on things like this when you see it before any evidence has been shown? A lot are pretty dang quick. And when we take the step to assume we know all the information, then we are taking a very bad step. Turns out in many cases that what was reported on the media (shame on them) and what was said by politicians from the top down were not right. And all I could think was I hope I never get arrested because I would never stand a chance because of the judgmental attitude that is so predominate here in this country.
I wish people would slow down and wait for facts no matter the situation before they pronounce a verdict without facts.
video by Alex Bonston
Who do I want for president of our country? The better question would be who do I NOT want for President (or any political office for that matter). I have thought about this a lot. I do not connect myself to democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, right-wing, left-wing, etc. I am not a party person. So, that means that I must have some guideline to go by so that I make a good vote.
First off, let me say that the reason I am against party affiliations is that I vote for a person based on their qualifications not on their party. Not all Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Evangelicals, liberal, etc are ALL honest and ethical. And just look at the past years to see how true that is. I see so many people who vote straight down the line by one party or the other and do not even check to see if this person is ethical or honest let alone capable of running the office. I am not a person who has cult mentality. I like to use my brain to make such an important decision and I want more than JUST one reason to vote for the person.
So, here goes the list of who I do NOT want for President.
I do not want someone JUST because they belong to a certain party.
I do not want someone JUST because they are of a certain race.
I do not want someone JUST because they come from a dynasty.
I do not want someone JUST because they are a woman.
I do not want someone JUST because they are OR are not from a certain religion.
I do not want someone JUST because they have a lot of money.
I do not want someone JUST because they can shout and argue.
I do not want someone JUST because they are a career politician.
I do not want someone JUST because they promise to change the country.
I do not want someone JUST because they are against keeping the military built up for we need the military.
I do not want someone JUST because they are younger OR older.
I do not want someone JUST because thy are a fresh face in politics.
I do not want someone JUST because they attack the opposition.
Now that I have covered every candidate out there, let me tell you what I DO want for President…or any political office. If a candidate has the following qualities and yet still has one of the things I listed above then I will vote for them. I want more than just one reason to vote for a person. I want someone who is honest, ethical, transparent, consistent, has a proven record showing they can lead, is respectful to all whether they are for or against them, that fights FOR the American people..all of us even the poor and middle class, that knows how to deal with leaders of other countries in this world, and that lives up to their promises they make to get into office.
I take each candidate and study them, listen to them, check to see their record, and really pay attention to what they are saying and doing so I can see how many times their words change. Right now they ALL have to show me more to get my vote. So, who do I want for President? Right now I have no answer because I want my vote to mean something so I do the work to really know about the candidate before I cast a vote.
I am one of these people who does not like to talk about all the things going on in my life that are hard or bad and so I have just been quiet and not writing….which I hate not writing. So, today is fess up day to some degree. The past few months have been extremely hard. I had worked up to standing and taking a few steps and then my neuropathy and my spine decided to do me in and my L5 nerve was shot and I could no longer stand. They did the electrical and muscle stimulator test and were getting no response from my legs. The doctor kept raising the electricity trying to get a reaction out of my legs and nothing. He looked at me wide-eyed and said “Can you even feel this?” I said no.
What I feel is like my legs are these heavy weights I am carrying around. So, I am working once again to sit up and to stand up and I will make it. I told my pain doctor that I refuse to live in this bed and I will stand again and he looked at my son and said “She is stubborn isn’t she.” and smiled. He knows me well and he knows I work on solutions and do not linger on the problems or all that is wrong. This has been since January. I can now sit up in my power chair. I have a trapeze bar over my bed to help me pull up and get in my chair. It would have been so nice to have had a drive in van or a used shuttle bus as getting in and out of the van is quite a challenge but hey, I have some great biceps now and grab the grab bar over the door frame and pull up.
We have had several medial issues happen to myself and to my son who is my caretaker and so it has left us both drained and we have been in rest and recuperate mode. Now, I am starting to feel better over all physically. Son has been through a heart stress test and has been referred to a cardiologist and today he fell and now his wrist is in a brace and he injured his knee and his hip and is banged up. So, as you can tell, writing has been out of the question.
You know what? In spite of all these things, life is still good. I still believe that we are in charge of our happiness and things, people and places can not bring us happiness. It lies within our hearts. Those things bring us joy but they can also disappear at any time. So, I wake up each morning smiling and thanking God that I am still here. Why? Because I still can. I look around for things to be joyful about. Why? Because I still can. And I am so thankful for all I have instead of worrying about all I can no longer do. Why? Because I still can.
Make today your day to take charge of your happiness. Learn to enjoy yourself and learn to find the good things in life that do not necessarily involve you paying money or having to go anywhere. And let your love shine for all to see for you might the be bright spot in someone’s life that needs lifting. Why do that? Because you can. Do the things you can do, that you love to do even if it is just looking out the window at the sunshine. Why? Because you can.
Life is hard and it becomes even harder when people set themselves up to be perfect. Religion aside, there is no one perfect and this is setting ourselves up for failure. So, I say work towards being imperfectly perfect, which means accepting the things you can not change and working to change things that are feasible to change .
I think when we are young, we start out wanting to do everything we can and we run from this to that to something else trying to taste all on the buffet of life. We want it all and we want it now. And then there are those that want to be perfect at every thing they do. They want to be the perfect parent, the perfect spouse, the perfect friend, the perfect everything. That is a lot of stress loaded on that truck of perfection.
And what happens is they never really get to enjoy life because they are so busy working to be perfect. Everything must come before they will take time to just be with loved ones and look at all the time that is lost. This is why I say we should strive to be imperfectly perfect. Have you ever seen the parent who will not give into leaving the dishes in the sink and stress themselves and lose the time with their child they could have?
I am sure by now you all are asking how does one go about being imperfectly perfect. It really is simple if you allow the “perfection demon” loose for a while. Decide what is important and then decide which is MOST important. It has always been more important to me to spend time with my sons as they were growing up than it was to be the perfect housewife. Next, stop worrying about what people might think or say.This is your life and if you do not step up and live it like you want it to be, then someone else will do it for you.
Second step is to stop trying to live an illusion and be yourself. I remember someone who was about to have a house inspection and it was required that professional cleaners come in and clean after all their stuff was moved out. This person spent hours and hours cleaning their house BEFORE the cleaners came. Why? They did that because they worried what the cleaners might say if they found dirt somewhere. I can remember when my boys were young and the divorce happened and not one person knew my ex and I were having problems. Why? Because I was too embarrassed to let anyone know so I kept trying to keep my world perfect: perfect wife, perfect husband, perfect children and perfect marriage.
And last, learn to laugh. We can get so caught up in being the perfect person that we lose our ability to laugh at life in general and most of all at ourselves. I have worn my shirt wrong side out in public, gone to teach school wearing elephant slippers and many other things. I have gone to the gynecologist with glitter all over the insides of my legs because I was doing crafts with my sons and forgot the time and had glitter on my hands when I put on clean underwear and clothes. I have sat in Bible study talking about love and trust and out of my mouth came the words “without lust there is no love” when what I meant to say was without trust there is no real love. I have burnt meals and learned to call them garbage can trophies. And you know what? It did not kill me and yes people laughed and I learned to laugh too.
I am imperfectly perfect. Took me a long time to say that because I am also disabled and I did not want people to know. So, I pushed myself and caused myself to get worse all because I wanted to seem perfect. Now, I have admitted to myself that I am imperfectly perfect. I do not do everything right. I do not say everything right and I make many mistakes But the greatest part of all is that I have accepted my imperfections and no longer care what others think of me and so I live a very happy life. Try it sometime. Just make the step to accept yourself as you are, work on what you can and laugh, love and be imperfectly perfect.
She has been sick since becoming a teen and is about 22 right now. She is bedridden and yet she keeps fighting for awareness for the chronically ill.
Today she has challenged everyone chronically ill to put a smile selfie on their social media…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc with the hashtag #asmileforasmile to bring awareness to the chronically ill. Also nominate people you know that are chronically ill to do the same.
I so admire her fighting spirit and she is a true warrior and in spite of some severe seizures the past few weeks is still advocating for all of us. This is Jess’s selfie smile. Jess suffers from ME/CFS and like most chronic illnesses Me/CFS is very misunderstood. The chronically ill are often misunderstood. Awareness is greatly needed.
And here is my smile selfie. I have multiple health issues ranging from CFS, Fibro, Sjorgens, COPD, Sarcoidosis and multiple arthritis’s which most who read my blog know and I am mostly bed-bound like Jessica in a hospital bed.
So here is the challenge to all who are chronically ill, have an auto immune disorder, etc. Please post on YOUR social media sites…all of them…a self smile photo with the hashtag #asmileforasmile and tell why you are posting about Jess’s challenge.. Can we light up social media and become trending?
I read this quote yesterday and have thought about it since then. Sometimes we want our blessings or wishes to come like we want them and we miss them because they are not in the form we want. I can remember a friend who so desperately wanted to find a man who loved her and would treat her good. But, she had this precise image of how she wanted him to be that when the man came along, she missed him because he was a little shorter than her. And I know from how he was around her that he would have treated her with such love and respect and would have treasured her for the rest of her life.
I remember when we moved to this tiny town and we wanted a house in the country only we had a hard time finding one we could afford. This little house was on the market and we came and looked at it but really did not want it. It was a house that was repossessed and it was nothing like what we wanted and we did not see that a blessing was coming in this house. Thankfully, our inability to see the blessing did not keep us from getting the house and cheap enough that we could pay for it with the little money we got from our last house. And what a blessing to be in a house we own that was on the outskirts of the tiny town so like in the country and had three lots with it. We can sit on our patio and watch the sun set and see the beautiful sky and listen to the birds singing.
People look at me strange when I say my disabilities are a blessing but they are. They are a blessing in that they allowed me to be able to view the world with different eyes, with more compassion and love and to understand those struggling easier. This blessing definitely came in a package I did not want but one that I just seemed to accept and it changed my life.
How many blessings have you turned away because they did not come wrapped like you wanted? How many people have you pushed away because they did not come wrapped like you wanted? Accepting the blessings means accepting them in the manner in which God sends them and I learned the hard way how valuable that was. Now, when things do not seem like what I was wanting, I stop myself and say “is this a blessing in disguise”.
image by meetville.com
What The Old Ones Know
Patinas, silvers and faded browns
dimming lights and diminishing sounds
Creaking hinges and crooked doors
gnarly feet on wooden floors
Robbers enter to steal our health
a possession far greater than any wealth
Strength wanes likes the ocean tides
making life turn into bumpy rides
Minds can defeat us on crimson rose
stopping the rise on warrior toes
Defeat looks like hedge roses so bright
lovely to smell and looks so right
A warrior knows what lurks deep inside
all the thorns the lovely roses can hide
The thorns of weakness, self-pity and blame
being a warrior is not playing a game
Being a warrior means choosing to fight
and choosing to see the happiness light
The elders know the pain and sorrow of life
they know it can slice like the blade of a knife
Must you become patina, silver and faded browns
before you know where happiness can be found?
Part of the joy from fulfilling dreams lies in the dreaming of them. We take them apart piece by piece trying to make the dream work. We anticipate what is going to happen and we work for the dream. The truth is some dreams never manage to come true but we still can have much joy dreaming the dreams.
Dreaming gives us this wonderful feeling inside and fills us with hope for the future and hope is such an important thing to have in life. No matter how bad it gets, the hope that this dream will come true can carry us through.
Remember all those dreams you have, they are YOUR dreams and you have the right to dream them, to work for them and to have them come true. We dreamed of moving out here to the mountains for over a year or so before we got here. We worked hard and we believed so much in this dream that we started packing and working towards it. Same way to our move here to this tiny town. We dreamed this for over two y ears and finally made it.
Always hold tight to those dreams. Just remember that seldom do dreams just fall into your lap. You have to work for them. And the joy is beyond words when the dream comes true. The nice thing about dreams is no matter your age, circumstances or whatever….you can always dream.
image from secretsofthedisabled.tumblr.com
The Last Dance
With wisps of hair across her beautiful face
Tears on her cheeks your finger could trace
She stood there with head bowed in humble prayer
Feeling as if she were the only one that cared
She closed her eyes and listened once more
To the music that always drew her to the door
The music rose in tempo and sound
She knew her time was coming around
Was her dream to dance just one last dance
And she knew tonight was her only chance
Rising on toes, she danced across the stage
Her body tensing up for the very next page
As she jumped to twirl up in the air
She suddenly felt his hands right there
He lifted her higher than she had ever flown
And twirled and danced better than she had ever known
He molded himself to her as if one
And remained there lifting her until the dance was done
The applause thundered and echoed around the room
And she felt as if life had just started to bloom
As the sounds died down, she smiled with tears
Not being able to dance was one of her fears
Then she opened her eyes and looked around
Oxygen hoses and hospital beds are what she found
As she glanced down she saw her toes pointed down
And she knew only her attitude kept her bed bound
No matter what happened she could dance so free
She just had to close her eyes and the stage she would see