A Tale of Bravery; written on March 6, 2013.
…11-year-old Evie Oxley, whose father, a fireman, is being treated for cancer and whose mother has recently been given the all-clear from breast cancer.
[Oxley] said: “The Duchess said I had been very brave, with my Dad being poorly. It’s tough at times but you just have to get over it sometimes and just be brave. If you’re not brave then the person that’s ill is not going to be brave either.” The London, England Telegraph [www.telegraph.co.uk] 3/6/2013
You just have to be brave. This morning a woman I met casually told me some of her life story; her child born with a kidney disease and to whom she donated one of her kidneys. His new kidney lasted over 20 years, astonishing the doctors. Her son had a life fraught with medical issues, operations, stuff put into his body to keep it functioning- yet he married a woman who stood by him for almost 40 years until he died at age 60.
At 90 years of age, the woman I met told me she’s outlived her husband who loved and supported her and their family. She outlived her child. She lives alone now and very proud to announce that she takes care of herself. We exchanged stories in a short period of time. And at the end she told me – she’d never forget my bravery! I should only have her courage, strength, humor and presence when I’m 90.
The Dynamics of Happiness; written today, right now, composing my thoughts as I type!
“There is something infinitely better than happily ever after. There is happiness. Happiness is a living, dynamic thing…and has to be worked on every moment for the rest of our lives. It is a far more exciting prospect than that silly static idea of a happily ever after…” Mary Balogh, author; Slightly Married, 2003.
I create art and currently have artwork for sale locally. What does this have to do with happiness? Someone who asked to exhibit my things was unhappy with my decision to pull out. Unhappy, disrespectful, raging and cursing. Through my years of living I’ve learned some lessons, and one is to own my feelings and my actions, but I do not own your unhappiness. I do not own your bad behavior toward anyone,and especially when pointed toward me.
So this story is about the way we expose our negative inner stuff; our pain, dissatisfaction, unhappiness. I believe when our cup is filled with sadness, bitterness, unfulfilled hopes and dreams, too little sleep, or too little joy, and we strike out at others, these negative feelings can almost be touched, they are so tangible. The receiver is often filled – not with compassion, but depending on what is thrown at them; surprise, disappointment, anger or [fill in the blank here].
If you need help, just ask. If you need a hug, stretch out your arms and I will respond and hug you. If you need someone to listen, just approach and express that need. I am content and happy and sometimes joyous. What I cannot – will not do is lower my own mood, my own standards, in order to absorb your unhappiness. While the quote I used comes from a romantic viewpoint, the bit about happiness being dynamic rings true to me. All of life is dynamic. Can you not remember if your are this unhappy, you will at some point, if you work at it, be this level of happy?
Seek your Inner Wisdom
What if you listen to your Inner Wisdom and you don’t hear anything? Or you can’t figure out the message let alone the way to follow it.
I like to sit down and make lists. I like to use keyboard or paper and pen and write my concerns and often just leave them. Sometimes stating those questions, concerns, and letting them “stew” a bit gives us time to find an answer or for an answer to find us.
There is nothing mysterious about finding answers or finding our “inner wisdom.” Know that our answers change as we live our lives. Our answers reflect our own complexities; age, problems, issues, expectations and what we’ve learned to date.
Here’s an example. When I decided to go back to college at age 50+ it was to gain a skill, to challenge myself, to get out of my funk. All of that happened and so much more. I gained increased skills that did not lead to a paying career. The experience and what I learned opened new paths inside me, confirmed my artistic ability, my sensibilities, and provided me a great thrilling challenge.
There is no “the end” until The End. There is no end to the possibilities of feeling pride in ourselves, in feeling delighted, pleased, fortunate, contented… in wanting to share with others who we are, what we love, what gives us courage, and where/how we find respite from fear, and what we hope and dream.
REMEMBER: Until the last breath our lives are filled with the beginning of another chapter of Your Story. The story about your “one wild and precious life.” ( phrase by American poet Mary Oliver)
*And please do not copy the images here [Bad Karma], they are part of my art.