Archive | October, 2012

The Stickiness of Hypocrisy

12 Oct

The Stickiness of Hypocrisy.

The Stickiness of Hypocrisy

12 Oct

I have a regular routine each morning that helps me get on track for the day. I usually try to get my housework done first, then exercise and then spend time reading, meditating/praying and writing. Today, because I felt emotionally and spiritually uneasy, I decided to flip things around and start with meditation. That led to some writing and some reading and a huge revelation. I am a hypocrite.

One of the exercises in the book I’m currently reading is to write down the name of everyone you have an issue with and forgive them. Then you write down the name of everyone you judge or blame and either physically or in prayer ask for forgiveness for yourself. In doing this exercise, I realized that the things that drive me nuts about others are exactly the things I know I need to or want to change about myself. Have you ever heard the expression, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you”? That’s exactly what it feels like, only I’m the glue. For example, I have offered several times to help a new mom I know. I’ve offered to babysit, help her clean, do a load of laundry and even just come play with her children so she could do what she wants whether it’s straighten up, take an uninterrupted shower or get a quick nap. She has refused my help over and over and I finally got frustrated and gave up. I judged her for being stubborn and unwilling to accept help. Going through this exercise, I realized that I was no different. So many times when I was a new mom and at the end of my rope, I refused help because I thought I had to learn to do take care of my children all by myself. I created so much unnecessary stress in my life in my attempt to be super mom. Because of that, I can now see that she doesn’t need me to clean, do laundry or even watch her kids for her. She needs me to remind her that she is be a great mom, especially on those days when that thought seems so far away. I also realize how many times my family offers to help and I refuse because I think they won’t do it right or I’m too upset or too busy to stop and receive the gift they’re offering, especially if it’s a gift I didn’t ask for, like a hug or an encouraging word, which in reality is more precious than gold.

The other amazing thing I realized is that every person who ticks me off is my teacher, if I’m just willing to learn from them. Last night, I was buying an outfit for my son for the Homecoming dance. I felt like the salesman was trying to sell us a jacket that was too small. When I suggested that my son had no room to grow, the salesman told me that you don’t buy a sport coat to grow into. You buy a new one when you grow. I took the jacket and was upset and grumpy. My son didn’t feel good in the jacket and I didn’t feel good about paying $100 for jacket he would probably only wear once, so we went and looked at the clearance rack and my son found a suit in a different size that felt good and looked good and was the same price as the jacket, so we bought it instead. Last night I was aggravated and irritated with the salesman. Today I can see that the salesman gave me the opportunity to make a decision based on my own feelings and the feelings of my son and not be swayed by someone who had no vested interest in what I was buying. In my view, that is the essence of Grace; to be able to take what was originally perceived as a negative event and see the opportunity to learn and grow from it and most importantly, see it as a blessing. I’m sure we all have incidents from our past that originally looked like the worst thing that could happen to us that turned out to be a blessing. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that it doesn’t take years to figure that out.

So what have I learned from all this? I hope that I am learning to step back when something is bugging me and ask what I can learn from it so I can move on without stress. I hope that I can stop when someone is getting on my last nerve and figure out what in me is being disturbed by this person’s actions and what I may need to change to be more at peace. I also hope that because I know that no one got up today asking, “So how can I mess up Karen’s day today?” (At least I hope they didn’t), that I can move through today and every day looking for a chance to praise, soothe and help instead of judge, blame and condemn. I know it will take a monumental effort on my part and a lot of Divine guidance to get there, but I also think it’s worth the effort. Maybe one day I’ll go through an entire day with only praise and joy in my heart and maybe you’ll be there with me because it would be a wonderful place to be together. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

Benign is My New Favorite Word

11 Oct

Benign is My New Favorite Word.

Benign is My New Favorite Word

11 Oct

“Mrs. Bemmes your lab results from the needle biopsy are benign.” Other than “It’s a boy” and “I now pronounce you husband and wife”, I don’t think I’ve ever heard words that brought me more joy. You see, back in June of this year, my doctor said he felt a nodule on my thyroid gland. He didn’t act like it was any big deal and said I could have it scanned. He didn’t seem too concerned, so I didn’t do anything about it. About six weeks later, his office called and said they never received the results. When I told them I hadn’t moved forward, they encouraged me to do so, soon. I figured if they took the time to call, I had better get moving, so in early September, I had my thyroid scanned. The technician told me that the nodule was actually bigger than my thyroid and that she could see it before she even scanned me. When my doctor got the results, he referred me to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor who decided almost immediately that I needed a needle biopsy. That scared me silly. Someone was going to stick a needle in my neck multiple times. Yippee. To his credit, Dr Steward was efficient and quick and the procedure, with a total of seven needle sticks between the anesthetic and biopsy, was relatively painless. Then came the waiting.

It was only a week, but what a week it was. I thought a lot about my life in that week. I thought about the person I am and the person I wished I was. I thought about my relationships, the state of my home, the state of my finances and the state of my life. I thought about the anguish of possibly telling my children I had cancer and what it would do to them. I thought about people in my community finding out and the pity I didn’t want and the love I did. Because I didn’t want to announce the results to everyone, we didn’t tell people about the situation, including our mothers, because, in our minds, there was nothing to tell, yet. What I did, figure out, though, is that I wanted to live and if I was given the gift of “benign” that there would be change.

Yesterday, when the kids and hubby were gone, I thought about my life, and an amazing thing happened. I got more accomplished than usual. I give some credit to the nervous energy I was feeling about getting the results, but there was also something bigger. As I folded each piece of clothing, swept each floor and cleaned each toilet, I realized the privilege my life is and how much I wanted to go on living it. Never before did the mundane feel more Divine and blessed. Just being able to be on this Earth to walk in nature, to live in a nice home and to look into the eyes of the ones I love most seemed like a miracle, one I definitely wanted to keep experiencing. I also realized that as much as people say that a messy house or clutter or chores left undone really don’t matter in the end, I don’t want to leave my family with my mess. I looked at my home and my life yesterday and thought about the legacy that I would leave if I left this world soon, and I realized there is much to be done, quickly.

So, hearing the word benign means so much more than a nodule wasn’t cancerous. Benign means I still have time to get it right in the way that’s right for me. Benign means I can let go of what doesn’t matter and grab onto what does. Benign means I get to choose every moment of every day and that each choice can be based on love and joy. Benign means a do over in the very best of ways. Mostly, though, benign means relief and gratitude beyond measure for a life no longer taken for granted. The easiest lessons in life are those learned from the actions of others. I hope each one of you will learn from my situation so that you don’t have to have one of your own. Be well. Be grateful, and live every day as fully as you can. I love you all more than you know, even those I’ve never met. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

Indifferent Death and Grateful Resurrection

8 Oct

Indifferent Death and Grateful Resurrection.

Indifferent Death and Grateful Resurrection

8 Oct

Friday was not a good day for me. It was full of emotional turmoil, and it knocked me off balance for the entire weekend. It was not one event. It was three events, two phone calls and an unpleasant encounter that rocked my world. I truly wanted to curl up in bed and ignore the world and lick my wounds, but I couldn’t. I had to go get my son from college, so I plodded on.

Saturday was active and busy and again, I plodded on without resolution or much peace for that matter. Then came Sunday. For the past six weeks or so, I have made Sunday a day of rest and spiritual renewal. I watch some spiritual programming and do the things that refresh my spirit. For the most part, it has made a huge difference in my daily life. Last Sunday, I didn’t get that privilege and maybe that’s why the events of Friday made such an impact, but this Sunday, I immersed myself in spiritual pursuits and here’s what happened. I got the answers I needed. They weren’t necessarily the ones I wanted because, of course, I wanted to be right and have everyone else be wrong so I could be the superior person. Am I the only one with that delusion? Usually, however, when we seek the truth, the answers are not as simple as I’m right and you’re wrong.

For me, the truth of my situation was found in indifference. You see, lately I’ve been doing everything I should and things have been going pretty well, but this weekend, I realized I have been doing things because they are the things I should be doing. There is no passion, no spark, no love. I had become indifferent to my life on every level, so the Divine shook things up for me, big time, and then I heard something that really hit home. I heard someone say that the worst kind of marriage isn’t a bad marriage. The worst kind of marriage is an indifferent marriage, where the passion and love were replaced with resignation, where life had gone stale. That person was talking directly to me, and I realized the emotional shake up was a call for me to wake up, and wake up I did.

Yesterday, that shake up resulted in one of the best conversations I’ve had with my husband in months. It woke both of us up to some things we needed to address, smoothed out our rough spots and got us re-engaged in each other’s lives in a happy, healthy way. Today, as I was writing in my journal, it resulted in my waking up and realizing, yet again, that my life really is pretty spectacular. I have an older son who is doing very well in college, still keeps in touch and makes me want to burst with love and pride because of the thoughtful, insightful man he is becoming. I have a middle son who is maturing in every way but has managed to keep his sweet nature, and in this age of sarcasm for teenagers, that is saying something. I have a younger son who finds a way to make me laugh or smile every day, not by trying, but just by being genuine and authentic and totally himself. I have a husband that loves me, adores me (his words) and is better than I could ever hope he could be at handling my emotional baggage. I have some really supportive family, friends and neighbors. I have a nice home, enough food (even too much sometimes) and cars that work most of the time. I have more than most of the world population, and today I realize once again, how incredibly blessed I truly am. It feels so good to be awake.

To my regular readers, I know it’s been a while since I posted because I’ve been spending a great deal of time learning to take care of myself, something I’ve never been very good at. I’ve missed being here and sharing with you, and today, I’m even grateful for the turmoil that gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my readers. It’s an interesting life we live that sometimes the greatest joy comes from our most difficult moments, and maybe that’s the biggest blessing of all, that the turmoil is the beginning of joy if we can remember to look for it. I know that for me, today will be all about that, looking for joy. I hope you find the joy in your life too. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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