Don’t Wait

I know I keep harping on this but it’s so true. Life is short. Love your babies, hug your parents. AND take care of yourself!

You can’t wait any longer. You need to act now. You might not have another year, or another month or week. Life is short. Love now! Go for it! Go do the things you’ve dreamed of doing. Don’t wait anymore. Go dance in the rain, go play with the dogs. Go run around the block, bicycle, walk, whatever you like to do. Get outside with those you love. Or by yourself. Whatever it is you need to do, do it! Just do it!

If you can’t imagine yourself being like you are this moment in five years, then change it! Just do it. Do it! If you can’t stand the idea of living like you do right now in five years, then don’t. Don’t! You have the strength to change, you do. Do it! Life is worth it! You are not meant to be stomped on, beat up, or put down. You are meant for greater things than this! Quit waiting. Just start. Do it! Do one small thing that will lead to another small thing and then to another…

You can do it! I did. I’m just a little person with a big heart and I started with nothing thinking I was nothing… but I’m not nothing and neither are you. You and I are both worth it! Live! Today! Not tomorrow. not next week, not next year… today! You might not have another. There will never be a good time. The only time you have is right now. So what are you waiting for? Safety? Peace? If you don’t have it now and you don’t act on it you won’t have it tomorrow either.

Change doesn’t have to be giant, the little tiny baby steps work too. Telling yourself good things to combat the bad that you hear is small but huge… Tell yourself this. Tell yourself “I am worth it. I am beautiful.” Say it in your head, say it out loud if you can, just say it. “I am amazing. I am smart and capable.” Do not believe the lies that others say. Do not let others judge your soul. You were created by God for a purpose and that purpose includes living, loving and being loved. God doesn’t make junk. Don’t wait.

Every moment that you are awake you can speak kindly to yourself. You can combat the negativity, you can do it. I believe in you! I didn’t believe in myself before but I have changed that. I used to think I deserved my punishments, that I deserved my silent treatments and that I deserved to die. I was wrong. No one deserves that. No one, not me, and definitely not you. I wanted so much to give up, to quit. I wanted so much to just go to sleep and never wake up. Instead? I never gave up. I thought for certain I was crazy, but I wasn’t, and neither are you.

You have a right to live, truly live. You deserve to be loved and cared for. If you aren’t then leave. If you can’t, then get help. I did. I’m worth it. It was hard, it was terrifying, but I was worth the effort and so were my kids. You are worth it too. Don’t wait. Just do it!

thanks for reading,

me

I Will Write

Write – 1. to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe. 2. to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of. (Dictionary.com)

Create – bring (something) into existence, cause (something) to happen as a result of one’s actions (Google)

With a simple press of my fingers, flick of my wrist, using multiple muscles in an intricate and careful process, I have discovered my own ability to create.

In the beginning God created… and so, we, as children of God also create.  We create with our words that we speak and, if we find ourselves mute, we create with our fingers and hands by writing.

Being mute, I found myself my outlet in writing. And so, I write. I write when I cannot understand my emotions. I write when I cannot think clearly. I write when I have something I must say. I write when I cannot breathe. I write when I have no other desires. I write. I write when I fear that I have failed. I write when I want to give up or give in. I write when I have not yet decided to write. I just sit, touch the keyboard and begin. I write.

With my writing I have created a new life. I have found my voice. I have become a woman who once again believes in herself (maybe for the first time). My children bless me, they live and play and run and never give up, and so they bless me. Of this blessing I also write; write so that I do not forget.

My friends they bless me. They bless me with their time and their energy, with their spirits of determination, with their free gifts of love, and so of them I write. I write of them as an honor to them; I have no other way to thank them. I write.

Why write? Why? There is no other way for me. I may someday speak but not yet. I am no longer mute but I am biding my time. Waiting. And so I write. I write of stories of me, my stories. Stories of my trials, my failures. Stories of my pain and of my power. I write to give others voice. Others who are still mute, others who still have not found their way out. I write for them; for me. I write. I will not stop. I will write.

I write. I write for you so that you may know the wonders that I see. I write to share my story and my perception of this world. This world that is so hard and cruel, and yet so gentle and forgiving. I write so that you can see; write to give you hope. I write.

I will write.

thank you for reading,

me

Rotations continue

I have one more week and then this rotation will be in the books. As these past several weeks have gone by I’ve found myself discouraged. I know that hospitals are necessary, I know that many medicines are necessary as well. I know people get sick and people die. But. But how can I help? What difference can I make? Any at all?? I wonder how these became so sick? What happened? Some of them seem like they just don’t care anymore. When did they give up? When did they lose hope?

And then… am I being overly critical? Am I really any better? Sure, I’m healthy, for now. Sure, I think I have my act together. But really? Three years ago? Four or Five? Did I have my act together then? Not really. I had some who would ask me why I put up with so much? Why did I stay for so long? Why didn’t I leave when things went bad? I’ve been asked why didn’t I change things back then? Why?? Why did I stay 25 years with a man who couldn’t love me?… these questions are kind of like asking someone why do you bother breathing? Why do you bother eating? There’s no real answer except it seemed the right thing to do at the time… (Please don’t stop breathing or eating, by the way.)

So, an outsider, someone who hadn’t lived in my shoes, who hadn’t any way to compare her life to mine, would probably wonder why I didn’t change for so long. I wish I had an answer. I wish I did. If I did then maybe I could help another lady find the answer too. I know, in part, some of the reasons. For one, I loved him despite everything. For two, I had hope for things to get better. (It wasn’t until I gave up hope that things started to change.) Three, I felt like it was wrong to leave… no… matter… what. The church is very vocal about leaving a marriage. (And because of that, many, many women are still in abusive marriages, with no hope for a way out, thinking that somehow they can pray their husbands to treat them well… But that’s another post.)

And so I think of the patients I have met these past two months… Did they decide to quit? Or give up? Is it too hard to dream of better things again? Does it hurt too much and they just want it all to end? I see the man or woman who is my own age and at the same time I see them as they may have been as a healthy child… or if not a healthy child, as a child with hopes and dreams, none the less.  I guess, the hardest thing, is seeing each individual as a person, a creation of God, who, for some reason or another finds himself or herself in a lonely hospital bed staring at the ceiling with wires and tubes attached everywhere wondering what on earth to do next. I wish I could show them a picture of themselves when life was good and full of possibilities and dreams, so that I could remind them that they don’t have to give up. I want to remind them that they are worth the effort of getting well. I want to be able to sit with them and listen to them and to give them hope again.

How? As a student I have no power, and I have no permission to just talk to them. So, with determination, I move on, and I continue to dream. Partly to dream of the day when I am no longer the pee-on that I am and am able to do exactly that. Until then, I offer them a smile, a soft touch, or a gentle ear when I can.

thank you for reading,

me

 

Life is Short

Life is short. It’s precious and it’s so easily lost. Today was a day to remind me. I came across a motorcyclist accident. He didn’t seem OK at first. But by the time the EMS arrived he was talking. I wonder what he will do with his second chance on life? Will he go out and bike again, only more safely? Will he bother buying a better helmet, one with a face shield? There were so many people there but only a few were willing to get in and get dirty to save his life. Will this young man, who could have easily met his creator today, decide to live life to the fullest from here on out? Will he decide to take his life in a direction that could lead to new things? New purpose? I wonder. I hope so. I hope he decides that with this second chance he will cherish his life just a little more.

Or will he, instead, become scared of living? Will he decide that life is too dangerous to get on a bike again? Will he become scornful and forget that his life has value? Will he give up on life because it seems too fragile? I hope not. This seems to be what so many others have done. There were many people there watching the few, or just waiting. Were these people scared to help or did they just not know what to do? I hope they just didn’t know how to help and so stayed out of the way because someone did know.

After leaving him with the EMT, I took my children on to their father. I hugged them both tight and told them that I love them. I know that life is precious. I have not forgotten. I will not forget. I’ve lost many of those I love and I know that I will lose more. I don’t want to, but life is 100% fatal. Life is so short. Remember to live.

thanks for reading,

me

Stressing

What is stress?  How can I beat it?  Or can I make it work for me?  No one in their right mind would argue with me on whether I live a stressful life or not.  My life is full of the top reasons for stress out there.  Recent divorce – check, recent death in the family – check, doctorate level classes – check, upcoming wedding (my daughter, not me) – check, financial issues – check, and numerous others.

So why am I still standing?  Still smiling?  Still out there trying to help others?  Sometimes I don’t know.  I know I get statements frequently such as “I could never do what you do.” Or “I don’t have the time to do that.”  Or “You are so much better at that than I am.”…

Too often I do make it look easy.  I keep my worries to myself.  I say “I’m fine.”  I offer to help them.  But when I do these things they don’t know my heart.  They don’t understand that given the choices, I refuse to go any way but forward.  Yes, I could have stayed with my ex.  Yes, I could have given up.  Yes, I could have quit.  Yes I could have decided to not change my life.

I did not do that though.  For me, I’ve had this extraordinary hunger to live.  I thank God every evening for all the things that I have: my kids, my health, my house… I thank Him that my roof doesn’t leak anymore.  I thank Him for giving me shelter from the cold, and from the storms.  I thank Him that I have shoes that fit and clothes that keep me warm.  I even thanked Him for giving my daughter lice… she laughed when I did that. She didn’t understand why.  Why be thankful for lice?  Several reasons, now I understand what it’s like to use the chemicals, to clean everything, to pick through every piece of hair on every child’s head.  I have an amazing understanding of something I only barely knew about before.  I told her how Corrrie Ten Boom, in “The Hiding Place”, thanked God for giving her lice while she was in the concentration camps.  Because of her lice and of those others in her sleeping area, they were no longer targeted for being raped and beaten.  The guards wanted nothing to do with them for fear of contracting it themselves.  In addition, as I am soon to be finishing my doctorate in pharmacy, I’ll be much better at helping others who need it.

I guess “my secret” to loving my life, regardless of the stress that is in it, is that I can ALWAYS find something to be thankful for.  But, make no mistake, it is NOT easy.  I may have made these last few years look easy but they were not.  I had two choices 1- go forward, or 2 – quit in some way.  Quitting did not give me power and so I always chose to move forward.  Sometimes, actually often, it meant walking through the fire to get to the other side… or remembering “the boulder is the path”.  Every moment of the day I have a choice.  I can choose to let things bring me down or I can choose to keep on smiling and keep on trucking.  Moving forward sometimes brings me to a place where I have to stop and feel my feelings.  I have to let myself sit and sob and rest.  These moments happen but they let me be authentic with myself.  Much of this time has been learning to be with me again, learning to love myself.

I hope that you are in a place where you can also be just you and love who you are,

thanks for reading,

me

The Phoenix

I like to start some of my posts with questions… What is a phoenix? How does this apply to my life?  Am I prepared to fly?

A phoenix is a mythical creature reborn from fire.  When it dies and all that is left is ashes, it is then reborn bigger, stronger, and more powerful than before.

As I have been going through my life, and especially over these last few years, I have felt as if I was in the fire, being burned alive.  I kept reminding myself that “if” I should make it through this fire that I will in fact be stronger than ever before… and then I began to change my language to “when” I get through this fire I will be stronger than ever before… because fire tempers you, it toughens you, it challenges you… or it burns you and turns you into ashes.  So which was it going to be?  Which will it be?  Will I be burned to ashes or tempered into a beautiful masterpiece?  Or both… Both?  Could I be turned into ashes and then become the masterpiece I am meant to be?

My life has been a whirlwind of fear, anger, and guilt… but my soul has been one for freedom, peace, and adventure. All I ever wanted was a chance to live, truly live.  I started my journey to find freedom and peace several years ago without really knowing it. About three years ago I took the step I needed to start the momentum that lead me to where I am today.  That step was one directly into the fire.  That step burned… yet it didn’t turn me into ash, not yet.  That step was one that began to burn away the untruths I had come to believe. It began to burn away my fear, my paralysis, my sluggishness, my chains, my prison walls, my grasp on the pretend, my chaos. It is allowing me to see a future again, teaching me to dream again.  It gives me hope.

That fire continues to burn beneath my feet.  It consumes me almost completely.  I am not the same person as I was three years ago, nor even a month ago.  I am burning away my self doubt, my unworthiness, my lies to myself.  I am burning away all of the false beliefs that I have been taught, all of the past that is no longer useful.  I am burning away my anger, my doubt, my guilt, my hatred.  I am still burning these things away so that I can truly live.  I am beginning to welcome the fire for its cleansing.  The fire is becoming a tool for me to use. With fire I am finally learning to release the chains and to breathe again.  I am becoming reborn from the fire, a phoenix.

One day I will become that phoenix and I will fly.  I will soar above my troubles, no longer defeated but victorious.  Victory over my pain will be mine.  I will soar above the sky and I will truly live.  Until then I will feed the growing fire in my soul and I will continue to embrace it.  I will allow that fire to consume my past.  I will allow it to temper me and to turn my doubts and fears into ash.  I will be reborn the phoenix and I will live.

Thank you for reading,

me

Standing at the Gate of Hell – Part 1 of 2

A story I wrote – It’s long so I’m posting in parts.

Walking Through the Gates of Hell…

Here she was hanging out with no idea she was in hell…
She was tired, and depressed, she had no hope, no willingness to live, no reason to keep on going.  Nothing went in her favor, everything was against her.  The world was dismal, dark, there was no sky, air, no trees, flowers, just darkness…except for this tiny spark of something that just sort of sat in her gut that when she focused on it she began to get a little bit of hope.  Yet the hope was too much, and so she closed her eyes to it, shut her brain off of it… she wouldn’t see that spark for days, for weeks, for months… but once in a while that spark would glow. Once in a while she would get a glimpse of something, a sunrise, a sunset, a baby bird in a nest. Something would catch her attention and she’d smile and she’d forget all of a sudden that she was living in hell. She had no clue she was living in hell.  If hell was anything to define, she imagined it’d be much worse than what she was living.  She was wrong.

But there are different stages of hell I imagine, hell being kind of nice sometimes where you just can’t do anything you want to do. Where you just give up on everything. Hell being a place without love, a place where there’s no hope.  Hell being a place to lose hope. Often people go to hell full of life, no idea that things are going to change.  The day-to-day ho hums of life they live in, hell is just so normal and so blah and nothing exciting.  But then there’s other stages of hell.  Stages of hell  where you know you’re in hell.  Where there’s screaming, and biting, gnashing of teeth, blood, and broken bones.  There’s crumbled china, crumbled bodies. There’s the place where you scream and no body hears. There’s that hell too.  And every once in a while she found herself there.  She found herself screaming, on the verge of crumbling into nothing, found herself crying and not knowing why.  She was just wishing, wishing that death would come sooner. Still when it was back to the calmer hell, she’d be like “oh, OK, I can handle this”, again.  And so she was happy with her ho-hum, no love, boring, unhealthful day-to-day life.

Except some years those visits with the harder hell would come more often, and some years those visits with a glimpse of light would happen too.  And so she started to think, that maybe the glimpse of light might be better, might be possible to see more than every couple of months, or on a weekend when she was a way.  She started to think  there was something else possible.  She doesn’t know when that thought started, she doesn’t know how many times she thought about it, or how often she dreamed of a better life.  It just sort of crept up on her, kind of like the warmth of a sunny morning.  The sky just starts to brighten slowly, and the air warms, there’s still ice on the grass but you know that it’s going to be a warmer day because the sun was coming out.  Those kinds of days happened every once in a while and she started to believe again, in something else, even though she wasn’t sure what it was she was believing in.

So what does a person a do? What does she do? How do you decide to start living when you’ve been dying all this time? How do you decide that you’re going to live one day? Instead of go to that hell that you know is hell every couple of months? How do you realize that the hell that you’re living in is really just another hell, a trick, a lie, another excuse, to not be alive? What do you do? When that shows up on you? She didn’t know, she didn’t know what to do.  She just started hurting more in the little hell she was living, it felt worse.

It wasn’t like it changed a lot, but when you see something you really can’t un-see it. She’s smart.  She couldn’t lie to herself very well, not when she realized she’d been lying to herself for years… she didn’t realize , or she didn’t believe, there was anything else possible… she just lied to herself and understood that every body’s life was that way and everybody had their skeletons in their closet and everybody had their difficult marriages, their husbands that didn’t love them, their children that didn’t respect them, their wives that treated them like crap… she knew that people lived horrible lives, at least she thought that people did… Every once in a while she’d see a couple that looked like they were happy and she’d think “what are they hiding… there’s no way they’re that happy…” she’d think it’s not possible, they must be hiding something, or she’d think ”just wait a couple of years, you’ll regret it one of these days… not the children of course, but you’ll regret the marriage”, ”it happens to everybody”, she says to herself…

So what do you do? When you realize you’re living in hell and you don’t know where to go, and find out you’re all alone, you are in a house that doesn’t show any love…in fact its borderline violent, you’re scared all the time, you don’t know why you’re scared, but you are…so what do you do when your living in hell? How do you get out… she had no idea… so what did she do?

She tries to leave.  That apparently was the wrong way to do it, because leaving hell wasn’t possible.  You have to grow out of hell, you can’t just walk out.  You can refuse to walk in, but to get out of hell you’ve got to grow.   One step at a time.  She didn’t know that then, but she does now.  So what did she do when she tried to leave?  What happened to her?  She found herself abandoned and alone yet still surrounded by people.  People who were supposed to love her. She found herself wishing that she could just die, because there was no escape.  She tried.  She was left crying at her church, no one bothering to figure out why.  She cried out to her family, they had no idea what to do. They loved her but they didn’t know how to help.  Her father suggested she figure out something, make her life better, so she doesn’t need to be in hell.  She didn’t have any idea what to do.

The one thing she was, was stubborn.  One of the things she got punished for the most too. The things that are a person’s greatest characteristic are also a person’s greatest downfall.  Goes both ways.  Her stubbornness is what kept her in hell so long in the first place.  She just couldn’t believe it was hell, she refused to believe it.  Her stubbornness is also what will get her out.  So what is she going to do now?  She knows she’s in hell.  She tried to leave.  Hell grabbed her, kept her close.  Hell said “here, go kill yourself.”  Hell said “here, you don’t need anything.  Throw away those things.  They’re not important because you’re not important”.  Hell made her believe that her things, her life, her health, her happiness, her clothes, anything that she had was not hers.  She was not deserving of it. Basic needs, food, water, taking a shower, getting dressed, why do any of those things? You’re in hell.

Thanks for reading… more to come.

me