the danger of living in future hope

20131015-034020.jpgi feel asleep early last night and was awaken early, 1:30 am to be exact, by my husband who was unable to sleep. the weather is wild and blowing outside and i am wide awake. i decided to use the time to look at some women who over came unbelievable circumstances and brought change for others in amazing ways.

i was reminded as i read of an amazing woman, Harriet Tubman.

it becomes so easy in my day to day life to want to feel overwhelmed by circumstances. i am sure you can find it the same. i like to arrest those feelings by bringing a balance to my thoughts by reminding myself of women that i have known and women i have never met but can read about who displayed great courage in the face of trying times.

life seems pretty smooth for me at the moment, which is a welcome retrieve. i think it is in the really good times, when i feel strong, that it is good to add wisdom, look at how i address, process and work through difficulties. by doing this, i prepare, guard and fortify my heart for when life is trying.

as i read about Harriet this morning, my heart resounds with gratitude for the many blessings i have experienced in my life. i am reminded that there are women who have faced what i deem such injustice and yet emerged with triumphant spirits and hearts that reached out from their pain to make someone else’s life better.

this amazing women survived incorrigible abuses from a very young age. at the age of 5 years old she was hired out to care for a slave owners young child. if the child woke and cried, she was beaten. what in the world could a 5 year old child do to prevent what most infants do so naturally…cry.

early in her life she suffered a head injury inflicted my an overseer attempting to restrain a slave who had left the field without permission. he threw a heavy metal object intending to hit the slave, missed and she was struck in the head. the injury caused her disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary experiences throughout her life. rather than feel sorry for herself, she attributed the visions as powerful revelations from God and allowed them to inspire her.

that in itself is amazing to me. it’s far too easy to accept a victim mentality and feel regret, disillusionment and accept incidents like this as a reason to become inactive, bitter and sullen.
not Harriet, she allowed it to make her more determined to put an end to this way of life for herself and if not all, as many as possible, of those who were suffering similar experiences.

she did escape. she freed herself from the torture. once she was free, she returned and helped 300 more slaves to escape to Canada where slavery had been abolished.

sitting in the year 2013, in my warm home safe from the blowing gale outside, i could think, “oh, that’s so nice. good on her! well done Harriet.” it wasn’t that simple. her escape in itself was miraculous. many slaves were caught before getting away and severely beaten-sometimes even to death. not only did she escape, but she went back for one. when that one was freed, she went back for another…and another…and another.

i wonder if as a woman living in 2013, if i might have escaped and headed for a warm fire, a hot bath and looked after myself? it causes me to wonder what deep of strength i possess and if sufficient strength does not exists…i must grow…because i desire to live beyond myself in service to others.

i remember asking God this week why and how people are born into the life they live. basically, my reasoning was this: i love helping people. i am empathetic to the suffering of others and want to do more than i feel i am currently empowered to do. why was i not born with more resources that would enable me to help more?

this morning, the question was posed back to me…maybe God is reversing the question on me: why was i not born into worse circumstances? ones that would create such a fire with in my heart to act despite my resources?

how many times do we hear the Bible, quotes or motivational speakers tell us that the way we think limits what we do?

by reading about this little slave girl this morning, i learned something about my thought patterns. this story helped expose something in my heart. don’t get me wrong. i do what i can, i reach out, i help, i encourage…but i was finding a discontentment setting in and a longing for the “one day”, the “if i won lotto, I could…” or “when business is better…” mentality.

the reality is that i have at this moment what i need to do my purpose. i must be faithful with what is within my power now. live aware. see with eyes that are open. listen carefully for the places that i am needed and can offer benefit.

i can’t do everything but i can do something.

the danger of living in the future hope of being able to do more than now is that we miss the opportunity that exists in today. big or small…the part i play is important to the one life or the many that i am able to effect.

we are not called to hopes of grandeur. we are to live and help the one. if possible, go back for the second. then back for the third…and when what we are able to do is completed, whether for one, 300 or many more, we move on to the next task.

it’s interesting to me, the things that we can find within our own heart. it happens to us all. we get caught up in the doing and sometimes forget…the why.

thank Goodness that we can be reminded by meditating on what is good and right and wise to draw our heart and thoughts back to their intended purposes.

think of some moments in your own life when you have risen to some extraordinary occasion, some emergency that called for you to behave in a way you would normally find difficult. meditate on this experience for a few moments. what qualities did you find that you did not realize you had?

those qualities are part of the resources you currently possess to do good in your life, to help others lives become better and to produce positive change in the world.

well, i might try to head back to sleep for a little while. i hope you have a great Monday or Tuesday- depending on where you live in the world.

thank you for sharing this part of your day with my heart,
D

a lesson in achievement: what one man does with what he has

what are you wanting to achieve? are there barriers that seem impossible to overcome? is it taking more time than you expected or want? are you thinking of giving up? do you wonder if you have what it takes?

Paul Smith was born with spastic paralysis, a nervous disorder. the video sites that it took him 32 years to learn to walk and half that to learn to talk. somewhere in the middle of his journey, he learned to paint with a typewriter. although he could not master the muscles in his body, he learned to master a machine and create master pieces of art.

this video crossed the pathway of my journey yesterday. you know the movie The Vow? The husband in that movie talks about moments of impact. yesterday,  i had a moment of impact in my heart with this video. i have not been able to rid my thoughts of the adversity this man had to overcome in order to use his unique gifting.

consider it for a minute:

  • the disability that paralyzed his muscles could have easily paralyzed his heart, desires, thoughts and ability to achieve. personally, i would have offered sympathy and felt he had every right. in fact, i might even have enabled his helplessness.
  • lying deep within a broken exterior was a gift so detailed, magnificent, and admirable that had he not worked with what he did have instead of concentrating on what he did not have…i would have missed the moment of impact  i experienced yesterday and the ability to appreciate his journey. his life would have taken a far different path had he just accepted his circumstances.

here is the lesson in achievement for my heart:

  • everyone has a supply and a purpose…we should not waste it with excuses
  • nothing is impossible
  • what i need to achieve is already in my design, i need to discover (uncover) it.
  • circumstances are not meant to stop me
  • time is available…what i need is patience, endurance, and commitment
  • the most important support i can receive is from within myself. i must trust the truest me, support her, and encourage her
  • do what i can with what i have…amazing things are possible with the simplest of resources

dear reader, i want to encourage you today to set aside your insecurities, your fears, your excuses and doubts…a go for it!

who you are is a gift to the world.

what you have to offer is as important as the offering of the Mona Lisa.

your gift may be different but you can achieve what is in your heart.

all you have to do is use what you have!

i often say…and will again today…DO NOT GIVE UP!

NEVER ` NEVER` NEVER!

D

 

 

Being Hurt Does Not Equal Broken

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there is a difference in hurt and broken. your dream after loss, pain and hurt might look different; you might have to find another way…but you do not have to remain in a painful state and quit.

the year following my accident where my fiancé was killed, my sister and her family were in a terrible crash. this crash was not fatal but as a result, our family was thrown into the midst of tragedy once again. my nephew was a baby then but survived the accident with few injuries. my brother-in-law received broken bones but recovered fully. my sister sustained a major spinal cord injury. i will never forget walking into that hospital and seeing her lying there with the halo collar along with her other visible injuries. i nearly passed out.

i don’t even remember when the news came that she would never walk again.

there are four children in our family. all of us have very different personalities. my sister was always on the go. she was the life of the party and always had friends everywhere. she could light up a room. she seemed to always be laughing. she was adventurous. in her teenage years, she worked 2-3 jobs. i would say she was a go-getter. her dream was to be a mother. i don’t remember how many children she wanted but she wanted children to nurture and pour herself into.  motherhood.

we were sitting in a hospital with the doctors telling us that she was a quadriplegic which means no movement from the neck down. devastating news. although we did not understand fully what that meant, we and she thought that her dream of more children was over. there were months of rehabilitation that followed. the doctors expected, as a part of the grieving process, for depression to set in. yet, this young woman worked and fought through many difficult days and tears to recover as much as she possibly could. the doctors were amazed that she began to grip with one hand and had limited motion in the other. it seems like a small thing but for her it meant that some simple tasks like brushing her hair, brushing her teeth and eventually some vacuuming the floor could be tasks she could continue to do. she later had a van customized and is able to drive.

she was learning to re-enter her life using her zest for life and strong desire to live as fully as was possible for her. she was amazing! she still is!

then she sprung it on me. she had exciting news. i remember the grin on her face. it was like a sun beam. it seemed to light her entire being. she was pregnant. WHAT? i was stunned. how? what? when? you know, all the questions that seem to surface when you think that a dream is over but suddenly realize…it’s not. the rehabilitation center and the doctors had a plan. it was amazing.

nine months later, my niece was born. two weeks prior to my sister’s due date, she had a C-section and was holding this precious, beautiful baby girl. she needed help with day to day care for herself and the baby but her dream of motherhood was not dead…it was just different.

my sister's beautiful children

my sister’s beautiful children

there have been many struggles along the way. it has not been an easy road. however, her commitment to her dream caused her to fight, work harder, face challenges (that i might not have had the will for), to love, to feel and to live so that she could fulfil what was strong in her heart.

my nephew, my sister's grand babies and neice

my nephew, my sister’s grand babies and neice

my niece and my sister's grandson

my niece and my sister’s grandson

i used to laugh, when her two children were little and needed to be disciplined, she would say to them, “come over here” and they would trot right over knowing that momma was going to be administering punishment.

she had to heal physically, she had to come to terms with the changes in her life, she had to keep fighting through the difficult days, she had to keep her focus, she has to live each day one at a time never giving up, and develop new steps when they are required for wholeness. some of these things she must revisit on a daily basis. there are still physical healings that she must strive for. there will be emotional healings that must occur. there will also be seemingly overwhelming life directions that will become necessary for wholeness to be maintained.

there are varying degrees of pain. absolutely. what we individually have gone through brings as much pain in it’s way as the next person’s pain does in their life. however, we can gain inspiration from the victories others have achieved.

my sister has overcome many obstacles and has more to overcome. she inspires me that no matter how much pain i am in at the moment, i am not broken and i can keep looking for new ways to thrive and live a full life – full of my dream of happiness. you can as well.

Gran & Lan

just because you’re hurt doesn’t mean you are broken.

what sea glass taught me about emotional healing

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i grabbed my camera this morning and headed out for the beach. just for a quiet walk. the weather has been a bit nasty lately and the sun was peeking through the clouds. i decided the sun and i had a long overdue meeting that needed to take place.

DSCF9312the harbour was beautiful with the sun beaming off the water. as i walked, i noticed a pair of paradise ducks. actually, i couldn’t help but notice them as they were screaming at each other. my husband was telling me that they mate for life and if one of them dies, the other lives on without a mate. i wondered if they would miss the screaming? my guess is that they would. no matter how crazy things get, you really do miss the noise someone makes when they are not there. i supposed that ducks are the same.

DSCF9299they settled after a while and i assumed they had sorted their differences.

DSCF9318before i knew it, they took flight and were flying off into the horizon.

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i headed around to the back beach to watch the waves roll into shore. they are beautiful from the beach but they are fierce. i sat and snapped away – i was trying to get some great shots of the water as it hit the rocks. as i sat on one of the big boulders, i noticed a glistening near my feet in the gravel. the beach here is not just sand. it is filled with pebbles, rocks and glistening things. when i reached down to pick up this object that had grabbed my attention, i realized it was glass. it was sea glass…and it was beautiful. well, my focus was no longer on the waves…i was away treasure hunting.

DSCF9342as i began to gather the little beauties, i noticed that some of them were perfectly smooth, some were not; some still bore the sharp edges or chips and some were larger, some were tiny. my favorite pieces were the smoothest ones. i had recently read about how sea glass was made and wanted to find some. so, today was a good day. i looked out at the waves again. i realized that my heart during my journey had been shattered into many pieces at times like the shards i found on the beach. i realized that the tumultuous waves i had experienced along the way served an important purpose. they caused the broken, cutting pieces to round out into something beautiful and useful.

DSCF9351-001my plan for my blog today was to explore the question, “what is emotional healing and who needs it?”

i think we all need a degree of healing at many times in our lives. unless you are a robot, of course. humans who live everyday interacting with other humans will come across times when they experience painful situations.

brokenness or wounds occur when an event:

  • occurs unexpectedly
  • you weren’t prepared for it
  • you felt powerless to prevent it
  • it happened repeatedly
  • someone was intentionally cruel
  • childhood traumas

i thought of the list events that caused brokenness and wounding in my heart:

  • childhood trauma
  • moving a lot as a young child
  • near drowning as a child
  • a fatal car accident
  • death of my fiance
  • abusive relationships
  • miscarriages
  • divorce
  • breast cancer
  • separation from one of my children
  • loss of a close friend
  • offenses

i wondered how i was still standing. the reality is that i am still standing because i eventually looked for wholeness and healing.

what is emotional healing?

to heal is to make whole, to restore what was diseased or wounded to a place of soundness, to restore normal function. the state of a person in which parts are sound, well organized, well related and in which they all perform freely their natural function. A state of no pain.

the state of a person in which parts are sound. some of those parts have a differing shape than before but when healing occurs, like the sea glass, the brokenness is rounded and smoothed so that they can perform their natural function without pain or causing pain.

it is when you or i are not able to find healing that one event piles on top of the previous and dysfunction occurs. we are not built to endure long term pain therefore, something has to give relief.

often times, the relief is evident in impaired abilities:

  • having trouble functioning at home or work
  • suffering from severe fear, anxiety, or depression
  • unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
  • avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
  • emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • addictions such as using food, sex, alcohol or drugs to feel better

at this point, even simple negative events can feel very traumatic.

for example, i have a very sensitive heart. i am sympathetic and empathetic. i can easily relate to sad stories, commercials, movies, and books. i am easily in the emotion of the story. i actually quite like that about myself. crying, itself has a lot of healing benefits. however, before i began my journey toward emotional healing…i cried about everything – at the drop of a hat. i felt really sorry for policemen who pulled me over. i would be a crying mess by the time they got out of their cars to let me know why they stopped me. i remember on time, this policeman walked up to my window and i was bawling. he said to me, “i just wanted to let you know that your tail light was out!”

my ability to function normally was being prevented and the sadness in my heart was spilling out EVERYWHERE. not good. lol…it was a good indication that i was not functioning normally.

each of the events i have listed above no longer stir pain within my heart. i am able to deal with negatives and sort them out fairly quickly. the key is to be able to  meet what comes at you and me on a day to day basis so that there is not a pile up.

if you find yourself in situations that throw you for a loop, you may need to work toward healing past events to resume normal function. if the events were traumatic and cause you severe pain, again asking for help is important. you do not have to flounder around not knowing how the wound should be healed.

if i can be of help, please feel free to contact me. i have had many women contact about the wounds they have experienced and are still facing. i will continue to share some helpful information via my blogs. i will present encouraging quotes, wisdom from proverbs and other truths that i have found helpful. together, we will walk this journey toward greater wholeness. it can be obtained.

we will never be able to prevent pain from occurring but it does not have to control our lives in a negative way.

keep walking…keep hoping…keep dreaming…for life should be lived largely and fully.

have a great day,

D

Giving Hope Helps Us Believe In Hope

Pa2One night a man came to our house and told me,

“There is a family with eight children. They have not eaten for days,”

I took some food and I went.

When I finally came to the family, I saw the faces of those little children disfigured by hunger.

There was no sorrow or sadness in their faces, just the deep pain of hunger.

I gave the rice to the mother.

She divided it in two, and went out, carrying half the rice with her.

When she came back, I asked her, “Where did you go?”

She gave me this simple answer, “To my neighbors-they are hungry also.”

I was not surprised that she gave–because poor people are generous.

But I was surprised that she knew they were hungry.

As a rule, when we are suffering,

we are so focused on ourselves -we have no time for others.

–Mother Teresa

it can be very difficult to look outward when we are facing trying situations. i think that the heart has a clearer perspective toward understanding when we do. i also think by offering whatever we do have in abundance (how ever small it may seem), we offer hope…and in those trying times…by planting hope for another person, our heart believes that hope is possible when it needs it most.

D

Anything could happen…and it might be suddenly

anything could happen/insight from a woman's heart

i like suddenly…

i agree, there are times when it’s not a great thing.

oh, but when it is…

i am running along and suddenly, i get my second wind.

i am attempting to correct a mistake in my accounts and suddenly, it dawns on me where the mistake has been.

i am pleading my case on an issue and suddenly, the other person gets the point.

i have tried to forgive and suddenly, i realize the event doesn’t have the hold on me like it did.

i am believing and standing in faith and suddenly, i have an answer.

the funny thing about suddenly is the unexpected realization that what you have hoped for is here…now.

you never know how close you are to your answer.

so be prepared…

anything could happen

and it might just come suddenly!

D

The winner…the heart of faith

After/insight from a woman's heart

“Words of wisdom” is what i am titling this photo…because when we see this expression from across the room…we know the wisdom is flowing.

the heart of faith won the battle (from yesterday’s post). thankfully, i was able to get the mind’s fear quiet enough for faith to do its work. 

my dad proved once again that he is a fighter…and the surgeons did a great job…the surgery went well and he is recovering quite nicely.

i guess, he has a bit more wisdom that we need to hear.

i am happy about that.

good’ay!

D