Thursday, February 28, 2013

thoughts on the journey....02.28.2013

Another month is about to close…. just like another turning of a page in a book of time. The words and the experience of the days that we have passed and we have spoken are now in a journal. We cannot change the past nor should we carry it with us. Each movement of our lives brings with it emotions of things said or deeds done.

What if we took those emotions and learned from them.

What caused those emotions to be ones that we experienced?

What is about those words or actions that led to those particular sense of feelings?

I am wondering if life is nothing more than a series of junctures that expose either a sense of security or insecurity.

As I talk with other individuals that are either going through or have gone through life changing moments, I hear so many different words. Resolution. Fear. Resilience. Anger. Stubborness. Purpose. Weakness and strength.

The one that seems to overwhelm people is ‘fear”. The others can be short-lived because of the energy it takes to live in them. We can live in resolution and strength but we grow weary at times which just leads us to find a source to regain our resolve. We look to the external and find a reason to keep on going. We look to the internal to find something within that we believe so much that it causes us to push ahead. Positive energy is like a roller coaster. We all seem to experience the highs and lows of it. We are strong one day and weaken the next. It is that nothing is wrong it is just that physiologically we cannot sustain a heighten level of energy for more than an extended period of time. We do all that we can to increase the endorphine level to push us onward.

But fear….. it never seems to leave us. We have that voice of criticism that says we are not good enough. We hear from family and friends that mock us not realizing that they do. We see it in our past failures. We may have started something and quit it before it was completed… fear tells us it will happen again. We wear it like a coat….. or maybe like an undergarment. We meet someone that we are attracted to and it comes up in previous rejections so we are afraid to make ourselves vulnerable to the person we just met. It becomes our “wingman”. We carry it into transitions. We get the sense we have been here and attempted this before but somehow in some way we got tripped up. We fell flat on our face in an effort or we may not have even attempted the effort; so, it becomes just another fanciful dream to those that we share it with.

Fear. Fear of what? Rejection? Failure? Ridicule? Not being valued? Not meeting the needs or expectations of another person or group?

What if we turned those fears into challenges? What if we took them one at a time and made them a dare to ourselves? A game of acceptance instead of a life of avoidance? Accept the fact that yes we may get turned downed for a job or a date but that rejection is not our sole identity. Accept the fact that each journey is going to have struggle points; that we will stumble and may even fall but that we learn from them not live with them. Accept the fact that life is about the breath of the moment and that is what we write our own stories about. We will live a life much richer if we become vulnerable. Broken bones hurt and broken dreams suck but they both will mend and be remembered. Fear is nothing more than a voice of illogical negativity. It says we can’t when we dream that we can. However, fear is a natural emotion though. It is the voice of our insecurity. A voice that shouldn’t be nurtured or ignored but accepted in a way that says we are beginning to understand who we are and what makes us feel vulnerable. Fear cannot be shunned because all that does is repress a part of who we have been and who we are becoming.

So, I have my voices. And yes fear has caused me to procrastinate. It is like a pebble in my shoe that I just don’t take the time to remove. It causes my journey to be more painful with each step and sometimes it stops my journey even though I can still see the beauty of going forward.

There is a part of me that wants to take a step in a new direction. As part of my homework, I am learning why I have not taken the first step. My faithful and good teacher led me to a place of awareness. (She reminds me of something that I wrote recently that I will travel this journey listening to those that I trust.) As I walked home yesterday, I walked away from but not unaware of what negative emotions this next journey means to me. I chose not to deny or reject them for they are apart of my inner voice but I chose to listen to what they are truly saying to me. They are telling me that with each dream comes some darkness but those moments of darkness makes the moments of joy and accomplishment that much better. It is the mosaic of life. Darkness accents the light to make it more vivid and real. Fear makes accomplishments that much richer.

So, in one accord all that I am took the next step. We are about to set another book upon the shelves of time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

thoughts on the journey….02.15.2013

Waking up this morning I was struck with the realization…..
I am no longer tethered to a machine. I am no longer walking sleepy-eyed to the refrigerator to grab a pod of antibiotics to do my first of three daily infusions. I am no longer bound to my home waiting for a home care nurse to come and assist me with the removal of a filter that adheres to my wounds. I am no longer removing infection laden pads. I am no longer a carrier of cancer.
It has been 9 months since I was given the announcement of my cancer and the subsequent struggle with wound infection that had laid deep within my abdomen. The same time to give birth to a new life oddly enough.
It finally hit me that it was finally over. I had always wondered if this moment would come and here it is….. and it came like a whisper. Most of the journey was held in silence of my small home along with a occassional pulling of the curtains to give others a glimpse of the internal as I peered out to the external. It is my nature to hold things closely to myself. I think there was a time that I was more forthcoming in my struggles but most of the time I kept the private to myself. I hated my disease. I had moments that I cried why to the only One that could hear me as I dealt with my infections. Yet, there are moments that I am still pissed at the loss of the moments and the things that mattered so much to me. It took away my identity of health and the ability to join in with others who shared the joy of running. It took away my ability to take care of my beautiful four-legged friend which I eventually and reluctantly gave away to a friend. It stole from me the ability to truly enjoy a season that I look forward to the most. It took so much from me. I hated this cancer and infection with every fiber left in my being.
Still as much as I struggled with the recent past, I am somewhat scared of the present. It is not that I have not tried to learn and to be prepared for this day to come but I think that somewhere in the depth of my mind I wondered if this day would ever get here. In fact, I may not have only wondered… I may have even doubted.
I have realized along the way that as much as the cancer took away it also gave to me. It gave to me a way of living. A life that is open to possibilities. A possibility that a life, and for that matter a day, can be taken as much as it can be given. I have come to realize that there are a finite number of pages to the calendar. Also, health is more than just the ability to lace on a pair of running shoes to pound on the pavement. Health is a way of not just looking at life but it is also a way of sharing it and living it. To live a healthy life is not to ignore the inner voice of criticism but to identify it. To not embrace it with a smothering kind of parental love but hold it in a way that says you understand your own fears. To recognize the voice of self criticism as an insecurity that shouldn’t control you but allow it be one of your guides on your path to even more greater awareness. To recoginize that insecurities in our minds are not meant to be stop signs but to be a sign that tell us to slow down as we move forward. As we become aware of our own being, we will learn to hear our heart when it says stop…… and when it says to go.
This journey has helped me to know that the richness in dreams and visions is measured not in the vividness of each one but in the vitality in which it changes my life. It helped me to see that to stand naked in vulnerability is the truest form of honesty. Honesty with myself and with others.
This morning was so much different from the days before. Oh there weren’t any blue birds whistling on the window sill. The sun was not any brighter than the day before nor was the grass any greener. It was just different. The reflections of the recent struggles are now just that…. mere reflections. The past is not given to us to carry but to learn from. It is a book on the shelves of our hearts. A book to be open from time to time to remind us of where we have been and how it can be used to guide us when we seem to lose our way within the present and within ourselves.
Today is the present moment that I have and that is all that I am responsible for; to hold as a valuable chalice that I can pour my life into. I look to the future and prepare for it with a heart filled with desire but with no expectations. I am at peace with who I am and who I am becoming. I look back at a life that I once struggled with…. and even admitted to my teacher that I hated. A life that once was filled with regrets, mistakes and shame. I no longer hate it….. it serves as a reminder of what life could be if I do not become vulnerable.
So the “birthing pain” of the kidney stone is now coming to the end of its nine month journey. As a colt that wobbles with new legs, so I struggle to stand at this moment. I will take each day as guided by those that I trust….. guided by the lessons that I have learned….. guided by the One that loves me the deepest…..