Friday, March 23, 2012

Facing life's challenges

Wow.... there are all kinds of challenges. And the no matter what we do, and how we work to improve our lives, we can't avoid the suffering.... the difficulties that come up. We get sick.... or family members. The weather doesn't cooperate and we have to just deal with it. The social and political environment is out of our control. Someone bullies our child or grandchild.... or us. What we can learn how to deal with these things with more grace.

I've been hit by back pain. I can't sit for long periods of time, so I am not at my computer very much... or for very long. Funny thing is I had been wanting to figure out how to slow down my pace.... well, the universe answered and knocked me on my back, icing it and resting it whenever possible. I suppose there are things I could have done to avoid this.... like better self care, but it is what it is for right now.

This experience is teaching me some things. First, acceptance is a spiritual tool. Denial, Fear, Anger - these don't help, ever! Acceptance helps me to stay in the present and do the next right thing. Acceptance keeps me out of fear and depression. Acceptance reminds me that there are many things that are outside of my control.

Second, what we have is now. How many times to I have to be reminded of this? Well, probably a million! The quality of my life is in the moments... not some time in the future. So remembering to stay in the present is a gift of pain.

Third, we're not supposed to go it alone.... Isolation is a killer. Isolation leads to depression. Reaching out and asking for help are necessary.... and additional gifts of pain. Hard to do for some of us, but a must. People can't read our minds, so we need to ask. When we are hurting or ill, people are willing to help. Even if we are not.... they are often willing.

Children are our teachers again and again. They do not spend much time worrying about the future or regretting the past. They are in the here and now, fully immersed in what they are doing. In fact, it can be hard to pull them away when we have something else in mind. And they need us to continue to teach them by showing them how to live.... in healthy ways. The only way out is true... one moment at a time.

Enjoy the moments!

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