I want to honor Craig by keeping this thread that he created alive. So here is a great story that will help you see stress in a special way....
A lobster is a creature that is very soft and vulnerable on the inside. But on the outside it has a very hard and protective shell. The problem is, when a lobster grows, this hard outer shell pushes against it's insides and causes a great deal of stress. So what does the lobster do? It goes under a rock in a very quiet place and sheds this outer shell. Then it remains still and patient while a new outer shell grows. Then, it comes out and goes about it's business as a new and stress free creature again.
Time and time again, it will go to the safety and quiet under the rock each time it needs to "shed the stress" that comes from growing. Therein lies a great lesson for us. When we are under stress, we must take action. Then, like the lobster, we must look for the safety in knowing that we grow by shedding our stress. Then we come back to life renewed and ready to carry on! Hope this finds you smiling!
We miss you, Craig
I love the Mother Theresa post from the United Nations. What perfect timing. It really touched home as I am currently dealing with the United Nations myself.
Thanks for sharing,
Mother Theresa delivered this to the United nations Assembly in 1954. It was the only time to date that anyone received a standing ovation. Hope it finds you smiling and encouraged.
THE FINAL ANALYSIS
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Here is a beautiful piece that serves to capture our disease and how we renew and restore. It is also a beautiful picture of God’s redemptive work in us.I hope it serves to encourage you!
"If it’s broken, throw it away. This is how the world handles brokenness, whether it is things, strategies, or even people. The Japanese art form of kintsugi, “golden joinery” or kintsukuroi, “golden repair,” flies in the face of this conventional wisdom. Shattered pieces of pottery are carefully reunited into a whole using a costly lacquer containing powdered gold, silver, and platinum. Transformation is the result. Common pieces of pottery are transformed into unique pieces whose value skyrockets past what they were formerly worth."
When you have conquered Morgellons, you too will have transformed in value beyond your former worth!
In His Love,
How are you doing? I love reading your inspirational post; but have often wondered if you are doing well. Thank you for the kind words regarding my poetry post. I was not sure how to begin my thread and I honestly believe GOD inspired me to express my feelings through poetry. The message is all there; the anger, confusion, disbelief, question....why ME?? But the fact is; it happened and I have made the decision that this disease will NOT define my life but rather my life is defined by having a better relationship with our Lord.
I must be truthful with myself, and there are still times I wonder and ask; why me? But I place my faith and trust in God because it does not matter how many vitamins I take, or how quickly I am cured from this disease. God is ultimately the only one who can save me.
I pray for you to fully recover from this disease. May you continue to inspire the people of this community as we all have something to offer. Please stay in the race because once we are half way across the lake and the waters become rough doesn't it make sense to continue to cross to the other side instead of turning around and swimming back?
In Christ Love,
What a wonderful post by Laura on her new thread, My Journey Through Poetry!
Lots of good and inspiring reads this past week:
“Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions." ~ Frankl
Those decisions have to start with deciding that I want to Know. I want to Know who I am. I am choosing not to believe the relentless voice of the ego telling me who I am. I am choosing to have Who I Am show me Who I Am. In that ‘I’ are all potentialities joyfully contained and enjoyed under all circumstances.
*Diederik is the founder and program director for Choose Again
Your Silent Partner
After my child died there was no role for a bereaved parent. Not in 1978. Not sure there is now. So I did what any self-respecting human would do. I hid my pain in order to make others comfortable. In order to make myself comfortable in the new normal which I had no proper place in.
We got a dog. Rob was in school learning his new role. Bob was becoming a workaholic right in front of my eyes. His work became all-consuming for him. Well, until he was forced to take early retirement before he turned 52. I think that may have caused the cancer. The ten or eleven years he spent in our unfinished basement trying to come up with a consulting career. Instead he was diagnosed with the same cancer that killed his father.
During Bob’s cancer years I became an essayist. I have written thousands of them, all pretty good and to the point. Now I am entering a new phase in my life. Not knowing. Two words I am not good at. Not knowing. For knowledge is something we apply to our broken lives in hopes of a quick fix. There is none.
I have absorbed my life rapidly into my bloodstream. I sit with nothing to do but be. And in this being I am a becoming. An endless love. An eternal flame. The flame consumes the guilt and the sorrow if I am still enough. If I am empty enough.
The new is transcendent only for a moment. But in that moment God is alive. Now we have to keep choosing transcendence as much as possible. And then it begins to choose us. The dance is dharmic, graceful and healing. You may dance alone but God is your silent partner.
The Institute of Poetic Medicine offers tool and support to people to heal body, mind and spirit through the creation and therapeutic process of hearing, speaking and writing poetry.
We are all born to loneliness
Present from the moment of a baby’s first cry, finding itself lost from the womb, the emotional experience of isolation and abandonment seldom goes away for any significant length of time. The bosom of the birth family is usually an imperfect cure, and in fact can make things worse.
I grew up with a mom who was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder, but it took me a long time to understand that her core problem was a severe form of loneliness. Until I grasped that, I was not able to forgive the effects of her illness on my early life, nor make much headway with the problem myself.
The wounds, weaknesses, and weirdnesses of each human personality can all be sourced to the endless struggle with loneliness. We call it by many names and diagnoses: depression, alienation or narcissistic personality disorder. While most of these pains tend to hobble our relationships, creativity or productivity, they don’t necessarily prevent us from achieving “success” in conventional, material terms.
But the inwardly felt misery of loneliness is usually worsened by the ways in which we attempt to undo or compensate for it: through the desperate search for intimacy, through emotional manipulation, through substitute addictions and even through the search for wealth and power.
Attempting to compensate for our loneliness never works—although, over time, it can result in deep self-deceptions. What is less understood is that loneliness can be forgiven. That begins with taking responsibility for it. For as much as we may dislike our loneliness, we also defend and protect it in a thousand ways that we may or may not be aware of.
Thus, forgiving our loneliness is not just a self-help technique. I think of it as a profoundly political act, because it can help bring about the end of war within ourselves. And it is the war within ourselves that we often project out onto the world, becoming every kind of war we know between groups, religions, cultures and nations.
The ancient war of “us versus them” is really the battle of loneliness versus joining, isolation versus trust and fear versus love. When we fear those who seem to be different, and must explode bombs, build walls or legislate oppression to distance or destroy them, we are really battling ourselves in the guise of all our “enemies” out there.
Until we recognize and forgive this ancient, bitter battle with our own loneliness, we will not be able to resolve the wars that decimate the world.
The following five steps to easing or undoing loneliness have proved useful in my experience, spanning 30 years of studying, writing about and practicing forgiveness:
I admit my feeling of loneliness. I’m familiar with the inner resistance to this first step. The feeling of loneliness is often associated with a sense of personal inadequacy, the spectre of depression or even hints of terror. That’s why it’s important to keep it simple in acknowledging one’s loneliness, remembering that it really means nothing but itself: “I feel lonely.”
This is not the same as “I’ve been abandoned,” “I’ve been betrayed” or “the world is a cruel place.” I’ve been through all of this; I suspect everyone has. But these feelings assign blame for one’s loneliness, rather than plainly accepting it. With that acceptance comes the recognition that loneliness, when experienced plainly and simply, may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
I acknowledge that my loneliness is probably not the worst, deepest or most miserable variety ever experienced by anyone. This is a key step because it short-circuits the egocentric tendency to over-dramatize our existential predicament. With rare exceptions, the loneliness we each experience is a run-of-the-mill loneliness. It’s similar to what’s being felt by the person next to me driving on the freeway, elbowing their way through a crowd on the sidewalk or standing in the grocery line. That is, we all share the human condition.
The feeling that one’s loneliness is terribly “special” is the trigger for narcissism. That’s because living with such a painful isolation soon becomes intolerable. To compensate, we start telling ourselves that we feel so alone because we’re actually the best, the greatest and smartest person alive—but that we’re just not getting all the attention we deserve. Then we set about trying to get it, creating a chronic, deepening distraction from our ordinary, everyday loneliness.
Most of us can get past our narcissistic, self-pitying delusions with a few stiff drinks. Others end up pursuing wealth, emotional and sexual intimidation and world domination.
I try to recognize that I’ve chosen my feeling of loneliness. I say “try to” because this step is the one I’m most likely to rebel against. After all, who in their right mind would choose loneliness? One way I’ve learned to recognize this choice is to realize that I don’t always feel lonely, sometimes even in the midst of deep or prolonged solitude. On the other hand, I’ve felt lonely in good company, in the midst of an intimate relationship or at parties (especially at parties). Regardless of when it surfaces, anyone can usefully replace the sad complaint of “poor, poor me” with the self-inquiry: “How and why am I choosing to feel lonely at this moment?”
I become willing to release the feeling of loneliness. Anyone who has practiced at least a minute of mindfulness meditation is acquainted with the fact that we constantly experience a stream of thoughts and feelings from which we choose what to think and feel. Two minutes in, and you may recognize that you can also let go of any particular thought or feeling. While we’re all habituated to certain thoughts and feelings—meaning that we’ll have a tendency to choose them again and again, even after letting them go—the deliberate intention to release a negative or non-useful state of consciousness can eventually have miraculous effects. This intention is at the core of all spiritual disciplines worth their salt, as well as cognitive therapy.
I choose a new feeling that may ease the world’s loneliness. This step bridges the gap between individual suffering and the suffering of humankind, and thus brings us all a step closer to real peace. We may think that the answer to loneliness is a new set of circumstances—a new lover, a better family or more friends—when in fact it’s the inner quality of our self-awareness that determines how we feel. We can choose to change that.
In answer to recognizing our own loneliness, we can offer such feelings as care, compassion, understanding and reassurance to individuals whom we know, groups we’re aware of or the world at large. This can be done in prayer or meditation, in works of art, in specific acts of personal kindness or social activism.
I happen to write, and it’s been the choice of writers since time immemorial to mitigate their loneliness with their art. (This works fine until one’s first book launch party, when the whole sorry story begins again!)
Over time I’ve learned that loneliness is a way of treating myself harshly, not a punishment that the world has visited upon me. There is a deep, habitual tendency to blame ourselves for the sense of emotional isolation we experience, even at the same time we’re not aware of choosing it. In becoming more responsible for any of our feelings, it’s important to go slowly and softly. Let yourself grow gradually into greater states of peace, equanimity and generosity toward all.
You will be doing your part to transform our bitter reign of loneliness.
Author: D. Patrick Miller
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival, a joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and attend them all
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
Greetings dearly beloveds,
First, thank you all for your words of encouragement and support!
One of my favorite forms of poetry is haiku, particularly Japanese where is was first developed in the 17th century by wandering poet Basho. I think that is because it can "say" so much in just 3 short lines usually consisting of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables. It can take you into the moment that the poet was experiencing through "painted" imagery or stop the endless mind chatter, still the intellect and break through to an "Ah Ha" moment. If this interests you, an excellent introduction is Jane Hirshfield's "The Heart of Haiku," available on Kindle. Here are two samples that convey these ideas and one from my favorite poet Ryokan.
Snow whispering down
All day long, earth has vanished
Leaving only sky.
At the ancient pond
a frog plunges into
the sound of water
And my favorite Japanese monk/poet Ryokan wrote this after a thief stole his few possessions from the hut he lived in, emphasizing the teaching to value only what cannot be stolen and points to the eternal.
The thief left it behind:
at the window.
A few other poems from this past week that inspired me.
"Mystery of the King"
You haven't dared yet lose faith - so how can faith grow in you?
You haven't dared yet risk your heart - to what can you see of reality?
You're obsessed-still-with the carnal screams of your life.
How do you hope to step into the Mystery of the King?
You are a sea of gnosis hidden in a drop of dew,
You are a whole universe hidden in a sack of blood.
What are all this world's pleasures and joys
That you keep grasping at them to make you alive?
Does the sun borrow light from a mote of dust?
Does Venus look for wine from a cracked jug?
"Longing for Home"
I left my home a long time ago
Wandering through lifetimes of plays
Each drama, I created myself anew
Each time thinking and feeling that I found my way back home
My destination was an endless meander
Weary and tired I grow of this folly
The search brought new experiences
But still no sign of home
"My friend, my beloved, my child
I have loved you since you decided to be you
I have never left you
Your companion I have always been
You simply have forgotten me
In childhood, you sought me in the eyes of your parents
In adulthood, you thought you found me in the arms of your first love
You have even looked towards meaningless things to try and find me
Fear not my friend, for these things have been light bearers
Guiding you back to me
I was your beginning and will always be your destination,
Whatever path you take
I love you from a place where there is nothing you have to be
I love you unconditionally
Judgment and fear have no place in my home
For who else can I be but You, we are One, and have always been.
The search is over my friend!"
And finally musings by Vicki Woodyard (vickiwoodyard.com)
Posted on January 30, 2017 by Vicki
I woke up at 5 a.m. as I am wont to do. When the darkness rules. When anxiety pounces. I locate it in my chest, the place where heartburn happens. Where anxiety seethes.
For the fifty billionth time I surrender. I know the time is right. The time is always right.
I have not been abandoned by God. I have not gone unloved by God. I have not understood God because understanding is the booby prize.
God is stronger than the darkness within and without.
The ego is not so sure about that.
The ego claims ownership of my life. It knows how to protect me from God and His Plan.
I listen to it and withdraw back into the darkness. But wait! I can surrender as many times as I need to. So I tell the ego to shut the f__k up.
Sorry, but strong language is needed.
For a moment. And then the damned ego reasserts itself. But now I see that this is the pattern of the opposites. I must now rise above them.
The gutter no longer appeals.
I "love" this thread and wanted you to know your inspiration came at THE perfect time!! God is truly good and He truly gives us what we need when we need it!!!
Thank you and I look VERY forward to future inspirational posts!!!!
Thank you for sharing the Bob Marley quote. I read it two or three times and then it brought tears to my eyes. I and many others suffering with this disease know too well what this quote means to us. I pray for you and all the other MD sufferers that we persevere until the race is won.
Please continue your journey of posting and sharing inspirational messages with others. We are not alone although it is lonely. No matter how difficult it gets, we must never give up. I believe it is okay to cry as long as we find time to laugh as well.
I want to share this quote from the Bible with you:
"What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him!
1 Corinthians 2:9
I say; love yourself, love this community and LOVE our LORD!
In Christ Love,
This is so utterly true!!
As soon as I can take the time and get my brain back to figure out the HTML/CSS/XML (thank you view source :P) to post inspiring images here, I will join you in here!
Kudos and thank you,
Greetings One and All,
I have started this new thread for my own benefit. Let me explain, you see Mel has made it abundantly clear that those who participated in this community through reading, listening, attending conference calls, connecting with others and posting regularly on their thread had the best chance of getting well. Of course it is understood that they are also following the protocol and diet. Yet knowing how distracted I can be, some would say lazy and yet how difficult it is to deal with this disease and not only find the time but the willingness to post consistently, I came upon the idea of a short post I could hopefully handle and by committing publicly possibly insuring that I would actually do it!
So, with that said, these "insights" will come from a wide and diverse range that I encounter on my weekly reading. They will have touched me in some way and hopefully one will speak to you and offer hope, peace of mind, inspiration and maybe even break open wide your heart! I trust that this practice will keep me on the "straight and narrow" with Mel's directives.
I would like to start this first post with a quote that turned me around when I was about to give in to this disease. That day as I walked past a shop window with my head down I "happened" to look up and saw a sign that transfixed me and I couldn't help but stand there reading it over and over as it sank in. The strength this speaks of is not our own and I realized that as I stood there motionlessly. May it speak also to you as you take on this long journey of healing!