My Best Health Takes A Village

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When I first read this quote, I thought it was stupid…too simplistic…but then I got thinking about it and it’s true. While I am ultimately responsible for my own health and well being, as we all are, having a chronic condition does require help. While I loath to admit that I need help, I have also come to realize that I am made stronger by the strength of others.

I need to do the things required of me which are to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise and reduce stress. I need to push myself when I should and rest when I need it. While sometimes my disease is an explanation, it should not be used as an excuse. I need to follow my doctors advice and work in partnership with my healthcare providers.

But, I also need the love and support of my family and my friends to survive my experience. I cannot do this by myself because to be sick without support is to be utterly alone.

Some family and some friends are better about supporting me than others. I know who to lean on and who I can trust. I have been disappointed by some and hurt by others but I cannot hold it against them because the resentment will only hurt me more.

I know who has been by my side through this journey and who hasn’t. I need people around me, willing to be part of my village. Why? Because the love and support of others, given without judgement, fuels me and when I am energized, I can fight and when I fight I can live, as completely as I am able despite my disease.

I cannot do this alone and I do want to be well. I thank the people who are part of my village, those of you who pray for me, those who encourage me, those who make me laugh and those who strive to understand my experience. You help me more than I can say and your willingness to remain my strength when I am weak, keeps me whole.

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The Importance Of The Pit

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Every now and then life kicks you in the behind. It sends you into the strange uncertain place of darkness and misdirection. Life puts you in a pit.

You hate the pit. We all hate the pit.

The pit is deep. The pit is a hole filled with confusion, a ditch infused with disorder and as you look at the height of the walls of the pit, you feel like escape is insurmountable.

The pit makes you sigh. The pit makes you roll your eyes. The pit isn’t a place you want to be and there are times you aren’t even sure how you have come to find yourself here…in the pit.

You know you’re in the pit because you’ve been here before. You’re not unfamiliar with its dangers. But, because you have been here before, you are not afraid, frustrated maybe but not afraid, because you know the pit has value.

The pit teaches you critical life lessons. The pit makes you stronger. You’ve come to accept the pit as a necessary part of life but you also realize that it takes work to get out of the pit and that if you don’t do the work, the pit will eat you alive. It will fill you with depression and consume your heart.

The pit can be a scary place because the pit is not just a deep hole, it is a maze of doubt and misgivings, walls that lead to nowhere. But, just like any maze, if you’re willing to put in the effort to find the end of it, you will be rewarded. You will find light and meaning again.

You realize that as much as you loath the pit, you also need it. The pit provides a strange, disquieting respite during times of transition. The pit gives you the opportunity to change your thinking or the course of your life or both.

The pit is important.

Broken But Never Beaten…

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A truer statement could not be made when it comes to life with a chronic health condition. I might be broken…that is to say, changed….but I still have value…that is to stay, I still have something to offer.

It’s too easy to count myself out because I’m sick. Doing so is an excuse to give in and one I won’t fall for.

Yes, my body has betrayed me, but I have found other ways to stay engaged. I have found other pursuits. I have found new ways to occupy myself.

I may be broken but I am not beaten….yet!

I may be broken but I still color!

Blog Anniversary

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Can you believe it’s the first anniversary of Sarcoidosis Soldier! Oh how the time flies!
Thank you to all the readers who regularly follow my ramblings and for all your wonderful comments and feedback.
Thank you to the folks who drop by once and awhile to check out my site.
I can’t believe I’ve been writing for a year and haven’t run out of things to say yet!
It’s been a blast and I’m looking forward to the coming year of Sarcoidosis Soldier.
I wonder where my ramblings will take us next!

To Listen Is To Love

“Listening is loving…”

             -From: Hector And The Search For Happiness

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When I heard the quote, “listening is loving”, I was struck by it, so I wrote it down in order not to forget it. It seemed somehow deeply important to remember it. I did not know why it spoke to me so completely at the time but now that I’ve given it more thought, I think I do.

There are a lot of ways to let those around us know that we love them. We can say it. We can hold their hand. We can give them a hug. We can encourage them when they are down.

But when we listen to another person, we are giving up our self centered world and making that person a priority. When we do this, entirely and completely, something profound happens. It inspires trust and understanding and immediately brings us closer to that person.

Listening is a skill. It takes practice to make ourselves fully available to another person in this way. We must empty our preoccupied mind, be quiet, lack judgement and pay attention. Because of the level of effort involved, truly listening to another person must therefore come from a place of love.

To truly listen, we must concern ourselves less with our own reply than with the message we are receiving. We must put the needs of another before our own and in this incredibly self involved world we now live in, doing this is certainly an act of love.

Listening entirely and fully, not only allows us to hear the words another person speaks but to know their emotions which then allows us to know them more deeply.

Listening is loving because most people can’t do it and when we do it, the other person notices it and appreciates it for what it is…an act of selflessness and acts of selflessness are full of love.

A Happiness Revelation

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It has come to my attention recently that I’ve learned something, simple yet significant, about happiness.

I’ve noticed when I am looking for happiness, I rarely find it.

I’ve noticed that when I am simply living in the present moment and doing the things required of me in that moment, I am happy.

Happiness comes to me when I stop chasing it.

It is not a state of mind, because happiness is not something you can think your way into. Happiness is a by-product of being fully engaged in what is right in front of you.

Happiness is not a journey. The journey is the journey and being entirely present during the journey is where happiness comes from.

Happiness is not a thing to be pursued.

Happiness is actually a side effect of a life well lived.

A life well lived, comes from appreciating this moment in time for all that it has to offer.