Getting Through the Storm

storm_clouds
storm clouds

I’ve been thinking lately about how chronic illness affects people and was going to do an article about it. This is not about that though.

I realized when I first started thinking about this topic that the first two things that popped into my head were how all-consuming it can be and how people deserve compassion. Then I realized that these two things are not exclusive to people with chronic illness. They are, in fact, common to everybody and something that we should think about and be aware of when dealing with our own situations and when dealing with other people in any circumstance.

Think about it: everybody that we encounter throughout our day, from the cashier at the coffee shop to the person on the other end of the phone that we speak with, all have individual lives with problems of their own that they deal with.

  • New mothers are dealing with life-changing issues while being sleep-deprived.
  • Many of us have problems at work, either person- or issue-related that may be troubling.
  • Lots of people have financial problems that they are trying to resolve.
  • There are so many people with health issues ranging from acute and immediate to chronic and debilitating.

All of these, and so many more, are problems that keep us awake at night. We all have some type of problem that we’re working on. Some are obviously more critical than others and they may come and go, but the one thing we have in common is that we all have to get through something. We all have problems that require our attention.

Additionally, people all handle problems differently. What one person considers minimal, somebody else may interpret (and react to) as a monumental problem. Stress also affects each of us differently and would affect our reactions and behavior. Our individual history may also affect our situation. Who is to say that one problem is worse than somebody else’s? There is absolutely no grading scale on problems, reactions, or situations.

There are a lot of factors that can influence how our problems affect our situation. The one thing we have in common is that we all have problems that worry us, can sometimes consume us, and that can affect how we live, how we think, and how we act. Since we know this, we should also have more in common with each other: compassion and understanding for ourselves and for each other.

For ourselves, it’s important that we cut ourselves some slack. Many times, we tend to be harder on ourselves than on other people. We expect a lot from ourselves. Allow yourself the time and patience to heal, to grieve, or to work toward resolution of the problem that you’re dealing with.

When dealing with other people, no matter who they are, be generous with your time, compassion, and patience. They, too, are going through situations and problems that we are unaware of, situations that are consuming their time, attention, and patience.

I’m not trying to be negative in saying that we all have problems, but it’s a reality in our fast-paced world that we’re all stressed and experience negative thoughts or experiences. I would like to think that, by taking the time to remember that everybody else we talk to or interact with has similar experiences, we might be a bit more kind or thoughtful to each other. If we could do this, it might just make somebody’s life a little bit easier and, after all, how much more positive could that be?

Our Friendships in Life

friends_for_life
friends for life

When you’re little, your parents are your world and they are the ones that choose the people that surround you. As you grow, it starts to be your own choice as to who you let into your life and who becomes important. Your friends gradually start becoming a bigger priority.

As you get older and your friendships take on a larger role in your life, you’re convinced that your best friends will remain your best friends forever. You depend on them to get you through the oh-so-dramatic happenings in your teenage years when your parents don’t understand you. You spend all of your waking hours together. Sometimes your best friend remains your best friend, but things can change as well. Continue reading “Our Friendships in Life”

Tranquility

tranquility

Wishing You A Tranquil Day Today!

tranquility

The noun tranquility means “a state of peace and quiet,” like the tranquility you feel at the shore of a quiet lake or inside a beautiful cathedral.

Tranquility can also describe a person’s disposition. How do you reach tranquility? Make peace with yourself, your life, and the people who drive you crazy. Tranquility can also come from spending time alone, like reading in front of the fireplace on a snowy afternoon. Meditation and yoga can help bring tranquility, by clearing your mind of constant worries.

n        an untroubled state that is free from disturbances

Synonyms:
quiet, tranquillity
Type of:
order

established customary state (especially of society)

n      a state of peace and quiet

Synonyms:
quietness, quietude, tranquillity
Types:
ataraxis, heartsease, peace, peace of mind, peacefulness, repose, serenity

the absence of mental stress or anxiety
easiness, relaxation

a feeling of refreshing tranquility and an absence of tension or worry
dreaminess, languor

a relaxed comfortable feeling
Type of:
calmness

a feeling of calm; an absence of agitation or excitement

n      a disposition free from stress or emotion

Synonyms:
placidity, quiet, repose, serenity, tranquillity
Types:
ataraxia

peace of mind
Type of:
calm, calmness, composure, equanimity

steadiness of mind under stress

I’m Lying Every Day

chronic_illness_lying
lying

Because I have a chronic illness, I’m forced to lie every single day.  When you see people at work or at the grocery store or when you see a neighbor out front, our standard greeting nowadays is usually some form of “how are you?”.  It’s at this point that I’m forced to lie, for everybody’s benefit.  For the person asking, they certainly don’t want to hear how I’m actually doing.  How am I supposed to convey the enormity of how this illness affects me every single day of my life?  How could I explain the very real impact of how I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally?  How should I explain my life to them when, nice as they are to ask, they really don’t care at all; they simply asked me to be nice, as a social greeting.  For my own benefit, I’d like to continue to see that person and say “Hi, how are you” and make small talk after today, so I will continue to lie and say “Fine, how are you?”.  How many of us do this every day without really asking how the person is? Continue reading “I’m Lying Every Day”

What IS Comfort Food, Anyway?

comfort_food
comfort food

Who doesn’t love comfort food?  Comfort food is simply the food (or foods) that make you feel better when you think about them; it comforts you.  They are particularly handy to make when you’re stressed, sad, or anxious because it makes you feel better.  If you’re happy, they make you even happier!  It makes me nostalgic.

I said something about comfort food one day when my kids were younger and they didn’t believe there was such a thing.  They insisted that I made it up.  I had to prove that the phrase “comfort food” was a real thing and that other people knew about it too.  They’re convinced that we make things up to tell them; I’m not sure why.  It’s something to do with me telling them about the eyes in the back of my head when they were little. Continue reading “What IS Comfort Food, Anyway?”