Sometimes our paths are full of sharp stones…we might feel physical, emotional, or spiritual pain as we travel this path. With each step we have the choices:
Put on shoes that will protect our feet (symbolically shoes that give us security, assuredness, or strength)
Use a walking stick or cane (symbolically giving us balance and protection)
Find a smoother path (choose to change your behavior, thoughts, and emotions that might be causing you pain).
Our path may be steep and rugged, leaving us tired and breathless.
We exhaust ourselves in every aspect by trying to live a life that might not be right for us.
Perhaps we have taken a path because of family or social pressure.
Or, we have chosen the path because we see great financial rewards that might be hard to ignore.
It is time to choose a path that fills our souls with joy and completeness regardless of what other people may say or the financial rewards.
If a giant boulder appears in our path we may want to give-up
One must understand what the boulder represents: fear of failure or fear of ridicule.
Is the boulder removable by changing our fear into believing in ourselves?
Is there a path around the boulder…perhaps find support from others
When there is a fork in the road, we must make a decision that can cause fear and hesitancy. We might ask ourselves if we choose the wrong path.
I might learn from choosing a path that is not the right one…that is okay.
I might learn that another path was the right one…and that is okay also.
If we learn something good from each path…then that is good.
Throughout our lives, we will walk many paths. Each path will have a purpose: something for us to learn. The purpose of each path is to make us kinder, more generous, and more loving individuals if we learn to use our inner strengths. We can reach our mountaintops if we take each step with openness to learning and love for ourselves and others as the purpose.
To outshine any challenge, even cancer, can be done. It is not always easy but applying the right tools will help you to learn, grow, and find peace and joy.
Excerpt: I faced my diagnosis of cancer by using the same coping methods I have used throughout my life. I grew up in an alcoholic family where I was not immune to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. My methods to survive and rise above this frightening and oppressive environment were to use positive affirmations, put my trust in God, and have a burning desire to live free of those types of people and behaviors. Then and now, I surround myself with family (some of whom I adopted) and friends who can be powerful sources of strength and love.
I learned from my grandmother and adopted aunt that attitude, acceptance, and determination are important factors in healing the body, mind, and spirit. Those women were, and still are today, wonderful role models for me. They each succeeded in living healthy and productive lives through their positive attitudes, looking at life on earth as a stepping-stone to an even greater place. They worked hard and saw each obstacle as a challenge. Thanks to them, I have always used the word challenge instead of problem, test, or trial. I like challengesbecause I envision positivity, winning, learning, and growing.
As you look back at the year 2022, what one word comes to your mind? What did you experience?
My one word is SAD. Though a sad year, it filled me with more love.
As I reflect on the past year, it is hard to remember anything before the month of June. The sudden and unexpected death of our son-in-law impacted me quite deeply. Jimmy was young, vibrant, always smiling, giving, positive, and loving. He was a specimen of perfect health. Yet, he died of a sudden massive heart attack.
My beloved Aunt Arleigh left this earth in her 90s. I first met her when I was 12 years old and knew I wanted to be just like her. She always smiled, laughed, and had wonderful advice for an immature teenager. She was an actress and worked at Capitol Records. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf0T0IecP50
I said farewell to several of my cancer sisters. Each of these ladies impacted me in a special way: their laughter, enthusiasm, love, gratitude, spiritual beliefs, smiles, and their tears. I am all the more motivated to spread the word about any of the GYN cancers.
I have moved from sad to grateful. Though I miss each of these people, I reflect more on how blessed I am to have had them in my life.
My grandmother introduced me to books when I was a little girl. Her small apartment was filled with books which she called her friends. She always asked me what I learned from the story. Reading stories with the mindset of “what am I learning?” was very helpful in making decisions throughout my life.
D.L. Finn’s poetry in Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul is a book I read in 2019. However, because it was so beautiful and powerful even now I often open the pages randomly and gain some peace and joy.
In this short story, Mountain Laurel Christmas,the lesson that fame and fortune do not bring happiness is taught. The author, Jan Sikes, brings the important message that only family can fill a heart with love.
Is money the answer to happiness? When it comes to love, do age differences matter? These are questions central to the short story I’ll Be Right Back,by Maura Beth Brennan.
No Such Luck, by Staci Troilo, is a story of a young woman who returns to her hometown after a significant absence. A short story with a powerful message of the importance of choices, people, and events from which we can learn.
The storms of life can occur in many forms: an unexpected death, a life-threatening diagnosis, or a natural disaster. When any of these events occur, we are often like a ship in a storm with our sails and rudder unused.
We struggle with such questions as:
How will I get through this?
Can anyone help me?
Where is God?
Our son-in-law died unexpectedly at the young age of 59. Though he was the specimen of perfect health, he was unaware his heart was dangerously in need of surgery.
The storm of cancer has been in my life for 14 years, ebbing and flowing with intensity. My lessons are the same: taking good care of my body and living in the moment with love.
These events and the devastating hurricane Ian did prompt me to look at my life. How have I reached out to others? Have I been judgmental? Have I been prejudicial? Have I lived in the moment with love?
Gratitude…shows us that real joy can come in the midst of the hardest time.
Family & friends…storms bring. people closer together
Change behaviors…be more patient, understanding, humble, loving, etc.
Storms show us who we are and about those around us.
New strengths can be developed
Storms remind us of what is truly important.
As we face various storms, we may well need to adjust the sails and steady the rudder. We can be better, stronger, and more loving.
If only I had not worked so much…If only I had been a better parent or better child…If only I had tried more things or taken risks…If only I had spent more time with loved ones…If only I had pursued my dreams…If only I had taken better care of myself…If only I had done more to help others…
As we travel through life how many times have we bypassed opportunities, were not in a kind or generous mood, or abused our health? Leave “if only’s” behind and keep moving forward.
Do not be afraid to open doors, at least peek inside or perhaps walk through them.
Look at each moment as an opportunity to do or say something nice or helpful.
Your body is the only one you will have, so cherish and nurture it. What you do today may well determine your health for tomorrow.
People come into your life for a reason, whether family or friends. Learn from them, love them, and let them love and teach you.
There are always risks to any decision or action, take the risk and learn from it.
The hardest thing and the right thing are often the same. (Isaac Slade)
Move forward with love, and forgiveness, and you will learn and grow. YOU WILL LEAVE “IF ONLY” BEHIND.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I welcome your comments.
This popular phrase means that life is sweet and simple, but is it? Irma Bombeck pointed out in her book that a bowl of cherries might have a pit or two. Cherries are indeed sweet when fully ripened, but some can be sour.
Going back to my life’s quilt on the previous blog, there were pits in each patch. The biggest pit was the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, but it has turned out to bring amazing rewards and growth. Yes, cancer can have its positivity IF you choose to learn from it, help others, and be a role model for family and friends on how to face adversity.
Being a parent has many rewards, some heartbreaks, and it challenges one’s patience, understanding, and coping abilities. Parenting is the most difficult and most rewarding role and one I would not trade for the world.
Sally Cronin wrote a wonderful book titled, Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet. I gave it 5 stars with the comment “each story will touch your heart, search your soul, and awaken your senses.
Life is (or should be) about touching our hearts, searching our souls, and wakening our senses. The pits are opportunities to become better individuals. If your bowl of cherries has too many pits, perhaps they need to be removed by changes you can make. More about this in the next blog.
Did 2021 really just end? Or, has my mind just gone a little crazy? What a year it has been with broken pipes, migraine headaches, canceled trips, a newly published book, untimely deaths, graduations, fishing, shelling, beach walks, time with family, good health, AND friends like you.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM 2021:
Make plans but be prepared to cancel or postpone
Research what is being said from the government down to your doctor and pharmacist.
Live each moment to its fullest.
Appreciate the wonderful Florida weather…even the humidity.
Reach out to friends and strangers in need.
Keep writing despite vision issues…dictate your stories, blogs, etc.
Clean out the cupboards, closets, and donate to those in need.
AND FINALLY, SPREAD YOUR LOVE.
Here are two music videos that will lift your spirits, give you hope, and fill your heart with love.