Tag Archives: gentle

reasons, seasons, lifetimes

It is important to me to remember that we all have our own journey that we must travel, but along the way, we have companions that enter and exit our lives.  Their stay may be long or it may be brief.  It helps me to think about the philosophy of a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  We all have people who, when they left our lives, hurt us in some way.  Others may have passed by quietly, perhaps relatively unknown, yet there is something to be learned from each and every one of them.

There are those who are there for a lifetime.  These may be your siblings, parents, best friends, or even a romantic partner.  These people are meant to be in your life long term.  They can teach you many lessons, just as you can also teach them.  These people grow with you, and they can be some of the most fulfilling relationships you will have.

There are the seasons as well.  People who are there for as long as you need them, or as long as they need you.  Once that passes, ways are parted and each goes along their journey separately.  These types of relationships may end on happy notes, or perhaps not.  Perhaps it was the first relationship after a divorce, where it taught you that you can move on and learn to love again.  Perhaps it was a teacher that you had in school who taught lessons beyond the curriculum about life in general.

Those who are there for a reason may be simple or complex.  Perhaps you are a service provider, and once the service is rendered, the individual goes on their way, perhaps never to cross paths again.  But there are also other relationships that the reason keeps you connected with them for longer.  These reasons are usually lessons to be learned, and the longer it takes to learn the lesson, the longer that person is connected to you.  One of the lessons I had learned was to treat everyone with compassion for we do not know what happens in their personal lives.  This comes from my experience of hiding things for over two decades.  The realization that if I can hide many things from those around me on a daily basis, then it is also easy for others to hide similar, or even worse things too.  We do not know all the intricacies that make a person behave how they do.  Compassion is key.  It took me longer to learn that lesson than expected, but along with that one, there were many other very valuable lessons that came from that twenty year reason.  I use that example often as I consider how to manage my interactions with others.  I believe that my compassion and empathy for others are directly relatable to the lesson I learned over those many years.

When you have someone who has exited your life perhaps unexpectedly, consider what purpose they had for you.  What lesson was being taught to you for them to be there?  What lesson did you learn after they were gone?  Can you take that lesson and apply it to your life to make your life a more positive influence on those around you?  Can you make someone else’s life a little bit better?  Because to me, that is what this life is about…being a positive influence on the world around us.

chronic pain

Some days are harder than others to get through. Some days seem to go easily like the breeze. Some days I don’t know what I will get and others I can see them coming miles away.

Those out there who live with chronic pain can understand how I feel, I am sure. It’s not easy some days to get up and do what you’re supposed to do every day. Waking up after a restless night, feeling the drain of lack of sleep. Getting dressed and mentally prepared for work while working through pain in your hands, your feet, your neck, your knees or hips, or any combination thereof is not for the faint of heart.

Working, head down and engaging your hands all day whilst working through the pain, trying to not let coworkers or clients see how you really feel is hard to do. Coming home to the children, needing to give them your energy and happiness, still suppressing the pain and urge to cry because sometimes it’s more than what you feel you can bear. But you don’t. You don’t cry. You smile and keep on doing what you do because this is life. This is life of a single mother living with chronic pain.

Sometimes it escapes us. Sometimes the irritations of the entitled younger staff get to you to the point where you lose your filter. Sometimes we seem angry or maybe, if you look closely enough at our eyes, the creases in our foreheads that foretell of the pain inside that we are trying to hide, you might have a glimpse into how difficult some days really are.  These days, nobody looks that closely at others.  We live in a world full of self-absorbed individuals who really couldn’t care less about others.  Empathic ones are few and far between, or so it seems.

But we keep on.

Why? Because we have to. There is no option. There is no Prince Charming out there who will save us, who will make things better or take us away from this pain we live in. Because we know the pain will lift at one point. Because with every flare comes a remission. We remember that. Remission makes us feel normal again like maybe these symptoms are just fabrications in our own minds. Like maybe we really aren’t feeling as bad as we seem to. Like maybe we can still have the life our age mates have.

But today, during the flare, we live with the pain. Today, we smile though the pain and remember that this will not last forever. Today, we treat ourselves with kindness and be gentle. Today perhaps we get our hair done. Maybe we stop at Starbucks for morning coffee instead of brewing it at home. Maybe we have lunchables in the fridge to send with the kids for lunch instead of making them chicken, cheese and avocado wraps with veggie sticks, sliced fruits and chia pudding.

Today, we are kind to ourselves. We may be single moms living with a chronic condition, but we are still strong.