Just to let you all know I am taking a short sabbatical due to health reasons. I am having severe spinal issues and leg issues and torn rotator cuff issues which have sidelined me.
I ask you please to not give up on me or unsubscribe as I will be back soon. It is just hard for me to think with this much pain. I have had injections into the shoulder joint to try to help and had OMT’s performed on me to try to help.
Sometimes life throws us curve balls and seems to stop us in our tracks but those that have followed me for very long know this about me:
Image from Pinterest.com
I thank you all who read my blog for you lift my heart and give me purpose. And I thank all of you who have bought my Poetry book off Amazon. That was a major accomplishment for me as was getting 1000 plus subscribers. Thank you from my heart. Please do not give up on me so that I do not give up on me.
And a very special thank you to those of you who have bought my book and written reviews on it. You have touched my heart deeply and have inspired me to keep going and do the work I believe God has laid out for me. Love you all.
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.”
— Martha Washington
This quote says it all but I wanted to write on this because the quote just jumped out at me. A friend on Facebook had posted it and it says exactly what I try to tell people. I hear people tell me all the time “You are much worse than so and so but you seem to be doing so well and are so happy”. I tell them it is all in attitude. I choose to be happy and I choose to look for the positive and that makes a world of difference. I might be almost totally bed bound, can not do a lot of things others can and yet, I am happy because I choose to be.
image from livingwell7.com
I want to relate a story that happened during three of the four trips I had for radio frequency ablation a while back. There was this same older couple every time. One was the man having the RFA and he was obviously in pain, could barely walk, but he was like me, laughing and talking in spite of the pain. And then there was his female companion who could get around better than him and yet she sat there with her mouth turned down, complaining the whole time and was in general not a pleasant person to be around. And she will probably die a bitter old lady because in her eyes, life is bad, pathetic, unpleasant and you could not make her happy if you wanted to. She is determined to be unhappy and will counter everything and anything positive you say with a negative.
When he walked out from the RFA and said it was like his pain was taken instantly, she looked up with that sour look and bitterly spat out “well, I am not having it done. They can just keep giving me pain pills”. And uncrossed her legs, stood up and turned and started walking away with a cane that was doing more swinging than touching the floor. And the man turned to me and said with a smile for me not to worry, it would be alright. I did not tell him this was my second round. I just smiled and thanked him. And he turned to slowly hobble down the hallway with a smile on his face telling people how much better he was after the RFA. The female had left him way behind but he did not care as his pain was better even though he struggled to walk. That is the difference in attitude and he was and will live a happier life and do better than someone who has the negative complaining attitude.
I want to clarify what a positive, happy person is. A positive, happy person can still have down times. We can still cry. We can have days where the pain is so intolerable we can not move. I was that way last night as my leg pain got so intense that I could barely catch my breath and son was trying to help me get more comfortable. I cried tears of anguish at that moment. But a short time later after getting a little relief from meds, I was smiling and talking to him.
The difference is our attitude gets us back up and going at a lot quicker because we are feeding our bodies with positive vibes. We may be in high pain but we still see good. We see life as good in spite of how sick we are, how poor we are…whatever. We still see good. Negative people keep themselves in a blue funk depressive state..never see anything good in life, will isolate themselves and others find it hard to be around them and so they feel unloved and their bodies react in a negative way. Negativity affects your whole body, not just your attitude. It can affect your heart, your blood pressure, your stomach, etc. Attitude plays such an important part of living happy.
image from www.my2fun.com
I could not say it any better than this image above. Whether you think you can or think you can not, YOU will be right. So, if you have a negative attitude and speak in negative terms, your life becomes negative in behavior and that will be your life. And, if you have a positive attitude…and you speak in positive terms..then your behavior will be positive and that can become a habit worth keeping.
I will be having pre-op this week and surgery next week. I am working to have blogs my son can post for me but may miss a day or two. 🙂
The H Word
Such a small word and yet it can affect so many. Hate just does not hurt those that are hated, it hurts the ones doing the hating. Did you know that it takes energy to hate? This is why I tell people why I do not carry hate or anger. I do not have the energy to spare. Every time we hate someone, we are setting an example for those around us. And hatred is not just confined to the ones who have done the hurting, injustice or intolerance. It grows until those who feel hurt or mistreated become people who hate too. And so, hate becomes the ripple effect and keeps going and keeps getting fueled.
I remember my youngest son coming home from school one day. I believe he was in about the first or second grade and he told me that kids were using that bad word. I asked him what bad word and he replied..”You know, the H word”. My first thought was hell but then he looked up and innocently whispered “Hate, mama. they use it a lot.” My heart felt a pang for I had tried so hard to keep my sons away from the hatred so many spew. People learn it from somewhere. I broke the cycle of racism with my boys and others have too but it is still out there.
image from zazzle.com
I think the hate going on around our country and the world is one of the things that makes me sadder than anything. People no longer know how to talk out differences and so they resort to hating those that are different than them. And hate is like a bad gene, it gets handed down generation to generation.
I really thought we had come a long ways until I watched the last election and I would sit in stunned silence that supposedly smart adults were using hate and prejudice in the political arena. It really is time that we stopped the hate.
No matter how much a person hates something or someone, it is not going to change the thing they hate. So, why waste energy doing it? Perhaps I see it as something so simple because of my health and the fact that I just do not have the energy to throw into hating and being ugly. I look back through time and it seems each generation has its set of things to hate and yet, we never seem to learn how destructive hating is.
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift
I have had my battles with doctors and medical issues and have gotten upset but even that doctor that treated me in such an ugly way…..I can not hate. I have people who have betrayed me, been ugly to me, used me and even said horrific things to and about me but I just do not have it in me to hate them. If there is injustice, then dislike it enough to do something to correct it. Do not hate it for I think hate is a futile emotion. It is an emotion that is like burning the fields back in the south. We would burn the garden plot by lighting the fire on one side and lighting it on the other and the fire burned inwards so that it would eventually burn the insides up. Hate burns inward and it scorches our very souls.
“Hate is a powerful emotion. Unless kept in check, hate can cause an avalanche of destruction. It wreaks havoc on relationships, breaks up families, and even takes away innocent lives. With hate, dark thoughts of revenge and destruction can cloud the mind. Hate not only destroys people around us; it also erodes our own character. Never let hate engulf your mind.” Jonathan Swift
Hate is another one of those things that is a choice. We choose to hate and we can choose to not hate. It helps if people can figure out why they are hating but the sad thing I think is many people fuel the hate because they do not want to work on the issues that are causing them to hate. With hate, like anger becomes easier to deal with than the tougher emotions and is easier than the work of dealing with emotions.
“Hate stems from being hurt in some way (especially when expectations have been dashed or are unfulfilled) and a feeling of impotence to change it. Hating the other person, or even one’s self, becomes a handy substitute for taking negative action. Such hate usually includes any of the following: feeling of anger, resentment, disrespect, being wronged, loss of personal value and being excluded. However, hate can also be used as a form of preserving one’s power, to maintain some form of superiority, especially where one feels inadequate and needs a scapegoat to blame (e.g pointless racist behaviour).”
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2011
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
And if hate is a choice and we can choose not to hate, then how do we do that. It seems emotions are running high around the world. That leads me to ask have people lost control of their emotions? Is hate like anger, an easier feeling to deal with than dealing with feeling wronged or abandoned or loss of control in one’s life or whatever set off the hate? As I was writing this, I realized that the one thing that makes not carrying hate or anger around for me was the fact that I am forgiving by nature. I learned a long time ago that forgiveness is basically for myself to allow me to move on and not carry the hate, anger, frustration, etc around and so I forgive easily.
“The most effective technique to overcome hate is forgiveness. It is both sad and pointless to take one event in a person’s life and use it forever against them, or to be resentful against them for something which might have happened ages before. By forgiving that person, both people can move on from it. But, most important, the forgiver is freed from the past and can move on to a different perspective in love rather than in hate.”
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2011
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
image from koffeeklatchgals.hubpages.com
We can not legislate hatred or racism away. Oh, yes we can make laws for equality but hatred is an emotion and you can not legislate emotions. The hatred a person has will still be there even if a law is passed or a flag removed. We are seeing that today with the Confederate flag issue. It was removed but we are still seeing hatred and anger on both sides. So, why can we not as adults work on accepting others and realizing that just because someone lives or thinks or talks differently from us, does not make them bad or wrong or not worth caring about.
I keep remembering reading in Galatians as I am a person of faith that the fruits of having the Holy Spirit in us are listed as: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” And that is what I want to show to people…the fruits of the spirit. Those that are showing hate, anger, intolerance are showing the fruits of the flesh.
So my question today for all of you is to ask yourself when you find yourself spewing anger, intolerance, hatred or even posting those words written in the heat of the moment is “Why?” Why do you feel such strong emotions because until you know why, you will never heal that part of you inside that is causing the feelings. And it is healing this world needs not legislation….healing what caused the hatred and healing comes with working on the feelings inside us.
No matter how bad things get, it really is ok to find a little humor and to laugh. That has been my philosophy for years and this week was no exception. And it helps that my son has my wacky sense of humor. I had three trips an hour each way to doctors in three days. I am susceptible to catching everything that is out there and especially when you go to places that have a lot of sick people. So, I dress accordingly. I dress to avoid being sneezed on, coughed on, or getting germs from anything.
Now, let me tell you that dressed like this…I can clear an elevator in sixty seconds. Seriously people fled, saying over their shoulders as they ran out that they would catch the next one. Wonder if it works at restaurants? But, I really am not concerned if people think I look scary, funny or anything else. I am determined to keep from catching all the sickness that is in the places I have to go like doctor’s office and hospitals.
So, what I tell the ones in charge is no I do not have any dread disease that anyone can catch and that I am only trying to keep myself from catching what they are coughing all over the waiting rooms. And if that does not work, I tell them this is my Michael Jackson Halloween costume as I throw up one gloved hand, grab my hat and start singing ♫♫ Billie Jean…..♫♫ and then raising my head I start rolling backwards and moving my shoulders back and forth like I am moon walking. That just brings the house down.
No matter what life throws your way, find a way to smile for it helps. Laughter and smiling help make the hard times better. Do not waste your minutes being angry, upset, sad, discouraged, or anything negative because when you do….you are wasting minutes you can never recover and are losing precious moments that you could be spending with those you love or spending on things that are good.
Life and people is for me all about trust and I want to be someone people can trust. But, people do view us by those we keep around us. I can remember growing up hearing the phrase that we are known by the company we keep. It took me a long time to understand what this phrase meant. I may have good moral character but if I want others to know that, then hanging with those of questionable character is not the route to go.
Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.
There is a difference in speaking to someone who does not have the moral character we do and being part of that person’s crowd or being included in their loop. It took me a long time to realize that if you associate or have your name associated with thieves, liars and unethical people….that people will think you also are a thief…a liar…and unethical. I know that my trust diminishes when I see people associating with those that are unethical and while I may never say anything, my belief in them is cut to the bone.
This above all; to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
I had someone say..”but I am not that and people should know.” And perhaps they should know, but the truth of the matter is, people tend to judge us by the company we keep. It is human nature. But, even more so…..when we associate online with those of questionable character, it is out there … forever. It becomes like what we post on the internet….something that can come back and haunt us later in our lives. Employers now look online and read about people who put in job applications and unless we use common sense, it can come back and cause us problems..
I live by my integrity. I believe in honesty in actions and words and nothing turns me off quicker than those that lie, manipulate, deceive, steal, misuse others…. I have watched places on the internet that misused the very ones that were honest and ethical standing by them and courted the ones that talked ugly about them, lied about them and in essence, by courting those that are not of good character….and then wondered why things were not going well.
And then one day, I opened my eyes and said to myself… “we are known by the company we keep” and look at the company these people are keeping. And the sad thing is, I have watched small businesses fail because they kept close the wrong people and did not understand why their business was failing. It is because those that are ethical and honest will no longer affiliate with someone who keeps unethical people around them. but they can not see that.
‘Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”
Hardy D. Jackson
Life is too short to spend it on things that are not positive and happy. There is enough sadness, hurt and anger in the world and we can’t stop it all but we can control what we allow in our lives.
“Am I pushing you so hard for me to feel better or am I pushing because it is the best thing for you?”
One of the hardest things for people to do is to let go of their loved ones and I see people fight this all the time. They push their loved one and push them to go through treatments, etc because they do not want to lose them and yet, they are unable to stop and see that the person going through these treatments, etc is suffering and in pain. And many lose that special quality time because they are fighting so hard to keep their loved one from dying and pushing their loved one to go through painful treatments, etc that make them sick and so their quality of life is diminished. I am going through treatment right now but my son knows that the minute it ceases to show it is helping me in a good way..then I am stopping.
We have no control button on when we or someone dies. It is one of the mysteries of the universe and when our time comes…it comes. But we do have control on whether we make those last times with our loved ones better or not by how we choose to treat them. I wonder if people ever consider that perhaps the person who does not want treatment or a certain procedure is not giving up on fighting and it has nothing to do with their strength or stamina but has to do with the fact that it is too painful and exhausting, and the side effects make them too sick so they cannot enjoy their family. Maybe it is because they just are too tired to fight anymore and are willing to let what comes next happen. Sometimes we have to think about the person we are pushing and what is best for them and not necessarily what feels the most comfortable for us.
My dear friend Audrey carried me around via the phone through her treatment and we talked all the time as she talked of her fears, how she felt about this or that and what treatments were coming up and her family. One day she called me and said “I am just so tired. I do not want to fight anymore. I cannot take it anymore. I am ready to just let God do what God is going to do and I want to stop treatment.” I asked her had she told her family and her response was no, she had not. She said that every time she tried to bring it up, her family would push her and argue her down to make her keep taking treatment. She cried to me that day because she had truly been through all she could endure and she was tired of all the treatments and things being done to her. I told her that she could stop any time she wanted and to just do it. She asked me to be on the phone with her when she told her family.
No person should have to be forced to say “No more please.” But it happens all the time and it is because family and loved ones let their emotions override what the person that is sick is going through. It is hard when we love someone so much to not want to push them for every treatment possible to keep them with us, but this takes us back to the original question of “Am I pushing you so hard for me to feel better or am I pushing because it is the best thing for you?” When Audrey told her family, a few started in pushing again and I could hear their fear of losing her even over the phone. But the pushing caused Audrey to get very emotional and teary and then she almost just shut down because she could not fight all she was being made to go through and fight them too.
I told her to tell her family to listen to her for a minute and to explain why she no longer wanted to do it. After a few tries she was able to tell them how much pain she was in and how tired she was and that she did not want to spend the last part of her life with this much pain and sickness. One or two still did not want her to quit even with such a plea of not being able to take being tortured anymore. I told Audrey to tell them that it was her decision and she was sorry they could not support her but that she loved them and she WAS stopping treatment. At first some were angry with her. That is hard to fathom that loved ones would get mad because you could not take the pain and suffering anymore but it is a denial in them. They are not bad…just cannot face the reality of what is happening to their loved one. It turned out to be the best thing for her. She did not live but a few weeks longer and at least she was able to enjoy her children and family where she could not while taking treatment and being so sick and in such pain.
I used to work with people who were dying and helped them talk to their families and it is such a hard situation. I would remind the families that their loved one knew what they could and could not handle anymore and that they needed to allow their loved one to make their own decisions and to live with dignity. Most, after a bit of time, would listen and though would cry…they understood that pushing their family member through all these treatments and things was not the right thing to do for their loved one. They had to get past the “Well, she or he is just giving up.” and accept that their loved one was not giving up but had gone through all they could endure and the humane thing was to allow their loved one to do what they wanted …which was stop being subjected to all the treatments, etc.
It really is not a matter of giving up or not fighting. I think most people would agree that they would not want to be subjected to such pain and exhaustive measures day in and day out and know it was not making any real difference. But, that denial part comes out and loved ones feel they have the right to decide for the sick person. If someone did it for them, they would not be happy. My feeling is that I would rather have two weeks of decent time with my loved one than three months of them being in such agony and pain and sick and alone. And I believe there comes a point when we love someone that we have to love them enough to let them go and let them choose how they leave here.
This is one of those mushy days for me. I am on treatment and it is really giving me a fit and making me sick and emotional but that is ok. I believe Christmas is about emotions and love and joy and all of those things. So, I wanted to tell a story from when my boys were young….a very special story of two young boys who had more giving in their hearts than even I imagined.
I was keeping the three young kids of a friend of mine who was in drug rehab and had them for a couple of months total. I did not mind because my whole life and the life of my sons has been that of giving and helping others. It is what we do. But Christmas time can make things difficult especially when the kids came to me right before Christmas. My boys were in the elementary grades and had already seen their gifts under the tree. They did not know what their gifts were but they knew which ones were theirs. It was a few days before Christmas and I was wondering what I was going to do to make Christmas special for these three kids who were also in our home without taking away from my sons and their Christmas.
People ask me do I believe in Santa Claus and my answer is always “YES” for I do. See, I believe Santa lies in the heart of people and for me, Santa is really the same one that has taken care of me all these years and provided for my boys and I when we needed things and sometimes just when we wanted things. Christmas is about Christ and Christ was the greatest gift of all. And so I said my prayers and just kept waiting.
Christmas day, my sons showed me that they had more generous hearts than even I knew they had. Christmas Eve came and I had managed to put some little things under the tree for the children such as coloring crayons, cookies, etc. And so I went to bed that night yearning for more to give them so that they would not feel left out. I could not take away from my children but I certainly wished for more.
The next morning I had five boys sitting on my bed waiting on me to wake up. I open my eyes and saw such beautiful innocence in them all and they asked could they go see what they got under the tree. With a prayer and tears in the back of my eyes, I told them yes and we all went to the living room. And under the tree were FIVE equal piles of gifts with a stocking on top of each pile. I stood there looking and tears were just rolling down my cheeks. The little ones asked whose pile was whose? And my sons said that they thought “Santa” had put their names on the stockings so they would know. And sure enough, the five stockings each had a child’s name in glitter on the top.
I looked at my boys and I knew what they had done. After the three younger ones went to bed, they had stayed up, fixed three more stockings and opened all their presents carefully to see what they were re-wrapped them and then divided them between all five of them so that the three boys would not be left out. Oh the squeals of joy and laughter I heard as they opened their presents and I said a silent prayer of thanks to my Creator for giving us such a wonderful gift of Christ and for giving our little house such a beautiful..equal…Christmas for my boys and those three boys of my friend. And I said an extra thank you to my two beautiful sons who showed such generosity to be so young. I also was filled to the brim as I watched my two sons show the other three how to work or put together their presents that “Santa” had brought them….presents that were for my sons to open Christmas morning and yet they seemed to be getting such joy in giving them to someone else who had less.
And my gift you ask? My gift was and always has been in giving and in seeing my sons give so generously. Giving is a gift itself and one that fills my heart. So many this year will do without. So many will be alone for the holidays and so many will eat alone. Maybe this year more people will open their hearts, their purses and their homes to make Christmas special for those around them.
Holidays can be joyous times and yet if we have lost someone, they can be difficult times. The loss of a loved one can hang over the holidays like a dark cloud and our joy is hard to find. I have heard people say they could not be happy at all because they had lost a loved one not too long ago and it did not matter that they still had family here. And I thought about that for a long time. I lost both my parents within six months of each other, my dear uncle before that, a dear friend and now my beloved aunt. Yes my heart misses them terribly.
I remember watching Dr. Phil one day and a woman who had lost her son was on the show. She was in such grief that her other son who was still alive and needed his mother was being totally ignored. The mother could not see what she still had for what she had lost. But, Dr. Phil made a statement that stuck with me. He asked her did she have good memories of her son and his life up until the point he died. The boy was 13 I believe when he died. She smiled and told him oh yes she did and proceeded to tell him of things about her son with this look on her face showing the memories were so good. When she stopped talking…he asked her this one question:
” Then why are you letting one day take all that joy away from you?”
I sat there the rest of the afternoon thinking about that. No matter what comes…death, divorce, separation, etc….why do we let that one day strip us of the joy of all the others? Why are we not celebrating the good times we had instead of clinging to the loss of our loved one? It is like we are diminishing the person and the time we had with them by holding on to the pain of the loss and the fact they are gone and not remembering all the good times we did have.
He went on to ask her was that all his life was worth? Was his life only about the fact that he killed himself? And she almost looked stunned and replied quickly with a NO. He said but that is all you are giving him. You are not celebrating what a good athlete he was, or how good he did in school, or the joy he brought when you all went on trips or how you loved when he hugged you. You are celebrating death instead of life. And not only are you denying your son that is dead the recognition he deserves, you are denying your son that is still here the love and recognition he deserves.
It was a powerful show and I thought about how Christmas and holidays can be so hard..especially the first. That first year is first Christmas without them, first birthday, first Easter, first vacation…and we grieve the loss. After that, I decided to start celebrating with my lost loved ones. I put their pictures out, hang an ornament on the tree, talk about this event or that event at Christmas or how they said things, or what food they cooked. We cook their special dishes and we enjoy the life we had with them.
I see people divorced/separated that let bitterness rule their lives and yet there WAS love in the time people had with their loved one or they would not have married them, been with them. There was happiness or they would not have stayed together as long as they did. So, why let separation turn you bitter and why not remember the fun times and the joyful, loving times of the relationship instead of counting the years as wasted time for they were not. I am divorced but if I had not married my ex I would not have my two beautiful sons nor my grand baby. I remember fun times, laughter times, joyful times..and that is what I choose to hold on to.
So, maybe this year…instead of holding on to the darkness, maybe you can find a way to light your world up a little by remembering the happy times, the joyful times of the one you are missing. Cook something that reminds you of them, or a tradition that reminds you of them, fix their picture with Christmas garland…do something that brings them into your life and say their names a lot for it will bring the joy of the person back to you. I listened to my dear friend Sherry (www.drses.wordpress.com ) on a radio show the other night talking about grief and healing and she talked about this very thing. She talked about how we need to say their names and feel the joy of the memories it evokes. The man doing the radio show said his loved ones name and was astounded at the joy it brought to his heart just from saying her name.
No matter the loss this year…make a choice to make your holiday be one of celebration and joy. Make a choice to:
“Celebrate the life not the loss.” danLrene
Today is Thanksgiving and Hanukkah …..a rare occurrence for both on the same day. And so I say to all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah.
image from mommyx3insanity.blogspot.com
A day of thanks….a day to recognize all the good you have instead of focusing on all that is wrong or all that you do not have…a day to recognize blessings. I have laid here thinking of all the good things I do have in my life…all the things that I am thankful for and in spite of the hard things I deal with …I have many things I am thankful for.
God and my faith
my family and family of choice
my friends and loved ones
my sweet Daisy
my son who is also my caretaker and all the help I get from the cog program that gives me a helper and other things to make my life easier
my church family and the ability to be able to go for a little while and eat Thanksgiving dinner at our little church
heat in this bitter cold
warm fleecy covers
clean water to drink and bathe in
to be able to be online and talk to friends far off.
a vehicle to get around in
my jelly bed and power chair and all the other medical equipment that I have
my meds that keep me going.
to be able to see even with glasses
to be able to hear…even though hearing impaired
to be able to speak and talk to others
to have a phone
to own a television you can watch
to have books to read
to be able to read and write
to be able to get an eduction if I wanted to
to have hot food
to be able to laugh
and I could keep listing
BUT MOST OF ALL
To be able to CHOOSE to be Happy
image from www.quoteswave.com
And so, if all you are thinking about today is all that is wrong, all you do not have, all that is not like you want it, all that is weighing you down…..ask yourself why you are choosing to let that fill your thoughts and your day when you CAN choose to focus on the good and the positive and on what you do have. The things wrong are not who you are…they are just thing that happen….you are who you choose to be inside.
Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours