Forging Forward With Forgiveness

Forgiveness.  So much is packed behind that one word.  So much emotion, context, confrontation, and so on.  And yet people talk about it, about how freeing or liberating it is.  How it, above all else, allows you to move forward from the past.

We also hear how elusive forgiveness is, almost like a myth, and yet we know others have managed to claim t.  Some have claimed it for huge reasons and others for small reasons.

Some hurts and wrongs can be forgiven and others seem impossible to liberated by forgiveness.  Is it that we are too inclined to hold onto those hurts and wrongs that we are unable to find forgiveness?

Do we clutch our hurts and the wrongs and injustices (real or perceived) done to us so closely because at least then we have a form of armour.  Because we need proof of the wounds we have?  Or do we hold onto them because to let them go means that we accept and are okay with the hurts and injustices?

This journey I am on is forcing me to consider the immaturity of holding onto these things.  And that immaturity does not let me move forward. I also must confess to being tired of carrying all the extra weight around.  So I move forward by forgiving those who have brought injustice to my feet or hurt me in some way.  And I recognize that by moving forward I will be leaving some people behind, which is fine.  Sometimes we have to leave others behind in order to move forward with ourselves.

How is your journey going?

Pairing With A Lupus Flare

I had been invited to a potluck.  Now this is a hair on the terrifying side of things for me.  I mean food is such an important thing and it is so easy to screw up!  on the plus side the friend who insisted I attend said potluck asked me to make something small and simple.  She said there were lots of savoury delights and tons of baked good so to try and avoid those.

I found a recipe for cocoa dusted walnuts that I tried years ago and recalled they were decent, so why not make a variety of nuts into cocoa dusted delights?  What I forgot, probably on purpose, is that while these things are easy as 1,2,3, the mess they make is umm phenomenal.  As in cocoa powder everywhere!  😐

The air was filled with fine brown dust.  I myself bore a light coating of the stuff.  Even the dogs had a light dusting and judging from their behavior this was not an ideal thing in their world.

The nuts were a great hit, the potluck was wonderful and the cocoa dusted kitchen was a pain in the wrists and shoulders.  And back, and neck, knees, ankles, hands and fingers.  Because after having a nice meal and time with friends and having spent time cooking, well lupus came to visit.

The nice thing about this lupus glare is that it pairs well with cocoa dusted nuts! 😉

When I’m feeling a bit better I will share my recipe because its simple and pairs so well with lupus!

Positively Puddled

The problem with puddles is that you never know just how deep they might be.  They are. Deceptive to say the least!  I swear out walking with the two dogs today, I almost lost one, in a puddle.  Just a head and back remained above the waterline.  Granted he’s a small pug so the Puddle really doesn’t have to be all that deep, but still!  You just know puddles aren’t going tobe full of clean water that smells good, so of course this means a bath must be had.

And the dog never wants to have a bath alone.  Nope.  If the dog is getting a bath so is everything and everyone else who happens to be in the bathroom at the time! 😉😐  a how something so little can create such carnage is beyond my understanding and yet this wee pug can make it look like an oversized Clydesdale horse was in the bathroom.  Or a very robust elephant that used the water as a fountain so to speak.

The other problem with puddles is that they have a magnetic field to them.  Puddles inexplicably draw children and dogs alike.  Resistance is impossible because somehow no matter how hard the dog or child tries to avoid the puddle, they end up smack in the middle.  It is also not uncommon for the puddles to have a special effect on gravity.  How else can you explain the dog or small child that ends up sitting in the puddle?

I once told Beloved that I was positive that the puddles reproduced.  Rather a great deal and while no one was looking.  Think large numbers of puddles spawned every night.  Other puddles growing as if they are on steroids or such.

I wouldn’t feel so strongly about puddles if they were able to get the dogs clean and fresh smelling.  Granted if puddles worked that way I’m pretty sure there would be some reverse effect happen where the dogs would be repelled from puddles!  Still a girl can dream can’t she? 😉

Now if only I could get an elephant to clean the bathroom!



Of Drops And Ripples

“Be the change you want to see,” I’ve heard repeatedly throughout my life.  I’ve also been told that if I wait for the world to change or for the change I desire to happen life wmill pass me by while I’m sitting and waiting.

Beloved believes fully in the statement that changing the outside beings with changing on the inside.  In other words you must change first in order to create a ripple effect for the outside to be changed.  He has strived to incorporate this into his daily life, which is admirable, but also, well a struggle.  You see you cannot force the ripple effects of the change you seek.  You can only hope and keep maintaining what you have changed within yourself.

I admire his dedication to this.  I’m not as disciplined when it comes to this so needless to say there are times I’m going along fine and then a sense of frustration kicks in when I’m not seeing the change.  So I slip into the why bother mindset.  This does not help bring about change, in case you were wondering!

Beloved, when he sees I’ve fallen off the path, helps me back, dusts me off, gives me encouragement and sets me on the way again.  He reminds me that change takes time, that sometimes the change you desire must happen in small increments, subtle and gentle.  Sometimes, he reminds me, the ripples will be gentle and other times they will be full of energy.  We don’t always get to determine how the ripples happen, we just get to be a part of making the ripples or helping them reach out further into the vast ocean of humanity.

Its hard sometimes, to pull yourself back, to remind yourself that you are part of something much bigger.  It’s also hard to accept that change won’t always reflect exactly as you desire.  Change itself is organic and ever flowing.  If it is nurtured and cared for it may blossom in a huge flower or become clumps of little flowers here and there.  Either way it’s beautiful and going as it should.

Besides Beloved’s encouragement and fostering, the courses I am taking to shift my life has helped guide the changes happening now.  Tara’s methods and material are just what I need and I am surrounded, supported, encouraged and motivated by such wonderful individuals taking these courses with me.  All of this reminds me that while we may be but a tiny drop in a vast ocean, each drop makes its own ripples and connects with other drops in the most amazing ways.  Never underestimate the impact your change has on others.  Never sell short the influence, impact and meaning you bring to those who’s lives you touch directly as well as those you may not see or even know.

Shy Onion

Against my judgement, I tried another round of guided meditation.  My coach thought we may be onto something with my almost reaching calm.  A break through of sorts.  So off I went, somewhat curious as to what may happen, but doubtful that I would achieve the goal.

I know myself, I know my weaknesses and strengths and I am simply no good at this meditation stuff.  I am, well, broken in a manner of speaking.  I don’t have time to do this as there is so much more that I have to do, so many more things that need attention and this just seems frivolous.

I also know I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to doing some things.  I allow the critical voice from within start to speak more loudly, as the critical eye from within begins to find the proof as to why my doubt is so rightly justified.  Both of these are a part of me, a way of keeping myself safe from shame, humiliation and judgements.  In some aspects these are good things.  But these are the very things that get in the way of trying something much beyond my comfort zone.

Needless to say I did not achieve peace or calm and I was no closer to either this time compared to last time.  The obvious answer is for me to get out of my own way to achieve this goal for, well, the whole of me.  It sounds so simple, and I’m sure that for some people it is.  But the more that I try to reach beyond my comfort zone he more my self-doubt rises to become a truth.

My self-doubt is stubborn and strong.  My desire to change, to reach this goal, must be stronger to over come this tendency.  Of course Rome wasn’t built in one day, so building this change within won’t happen in one day.  Now destruction or tearing down?  That seems to be an easy task to my internal, most critical self.  I’m pretty sure the critical side of me is at expert level of cultivating and finding self-doubt!

So maybe the key is to find more moments of almost clam and slowly, ever so slowly, inch towards peace and calm.  If not via guided meditation than perhaps something else.  I’m pretty sure I’m having onto too much focus and tension because it’s what feels right, or is familiar.

That’s it, I am but a shy onion.  A shy onion who is slowly and carefully peeling back a layer at a time.  Okay not even a whole layer, but you get the picture!😉


Sitting In Comfort

Who knew shopping for chairs would be so complicated?!  Normally when I need to buy a chair or two, I go to the stores and try out said chairs.  For comfort and such.  And then I chose the chair or chairs that meet the comfy test as well as meeting the eye-appeal and that’s kind of it.  Not complicated at all.  Just kind of what feels good and looks good.

Friends I have apparently been wrong in my chair buying technique.  Look and style is apparently of utmost importance as is material that makes up the chair.  Comfort is to be considered, but not overly unless I am buying a chair for just me to sit in.  Because everyone does not have the same shaped bottoms.

This really isn’t a huge lightbulb coming on moment and yet it is in a way.  I mean I am buying the chairs for my house, my comfort and my needs.  But I also know that I have more than one chair so I can entertain and have people over.  These people will sit in chairs I have picked out based on my comfort level, not necessarily meeting their comfort levels.  So I guess that’s somewhat selfish on my part.

But if I did buy chairs based on a variety of bottom shapes and sizes well then I’d have an odd assortment indeed.

Am I the only person who is such an inconsiderate host?  What other things have I failed to consider?

Little Luxury for Lupus Equals Huge Feelings of Liberty

If you have a medical condition that requires you to spend a fair amount of time at the hospital, it can be, well, a downer.😐  I believe there is a mathematical equation that goes a bit like this:  severity of illness + number of therapy/treatments=degree of lower happiness or satisfaction in the patient’s life.  Keep in mind that I am deathly allergic to math.

Not that treatment and hospital time is all bad,  but let’s face it this isn’t really the place you want to spend a great deal of time in.  Just like when you spend too much time in your pjs you tend to feel more of a malaise, the more time in treatment or therapy rooms can create a slight downturn in your mood.  This is where it’s great when you can get your treatment at home instead.  I understand this isn’t always practical or in the cards, but when it is, the patient’s mood has a greater chance of improving.

Please don’t misunderstand, I gather strength when I’m getting my IV treatment at the hospital.  It motivates me to work on getting my lupus under control.  It drives me to keep my visits to the minimum.  Granted the lupus side of me seems to like to visit the hospital…maybe this side of me gets frequent flier miles or such.  I guess it’s a balancing process!

When I mentioned this to my specialist he told me that given my routine and familiarity with things, I could have some of my IV treatments at home.  It’s a bit like getting a day pass because you know you still have to be tied to the treatment, but you have a freedom and luxury of having it at home.  And then there are the tiny weeny times when I still have to go into the hospital.  But for the most part it’s a wonderful option and I’m truly grateful for it.

I do appreciate all the work that goes into making treatment rooms more comfortable and relaxing, but I really appreciate this small luxury that is now in my life.  And if I can’t continue to partake in this luxury I will still be exceedingly grateful for having had it and equally grateful to those who try to keep things normal.  And I keep my amazement around how these little things amount to such huge things in my life.

Cracking Up

I’ve heard that using egg as a face mask is cleansing.  I’ve also heard that washing one’s hair with egg gives it shine.  And for a cheap yet firm-holding hair product, simply crack open an egg, use the whites to create hurricane-force defying hair creations.

so my floor will been cleansed and shined with amazing hold at this rate!  Except you actually have to clean the broken eggs off the floor or they stick and make a huge mess.  Well they would if not for two dogs that have now qualms about consuming raw eggs and eggshell if you let them.   Tend to not let them partake in that feast on my floor! 😉

You see I dropped a dozen eggs onto the floor, all at once.  No I wasn’t experimenting with gravity.  It just sort of happened.  Unplanned because that just keeps life more chaotic! 😉

Of course the dogs came to help, both of them eyeing the feast with joy.  I’m sure they were plotting the best way to get at my mess without facing my wrath.  And wisely, probably after learning this from Belved himself, the decided it wasn’t worth it.

just as wisely the next dozen eggs decided not to have a repeat performance of Humpty Dumpty because that would not be happy times!  However after cleaning up the mess, running out yo get more eggs, the last thing I wanted to do was cook with the eggs.  Better they be kept safe for another time.  Perhaps I will plaster the outside of the house with stiffly beaten egg whites if these crazy storms carry on!

Emotional Struggles With Lupus

The thing with lupus is that it is a holistic illness.  By that I mean it gets wholly involved on one’s life.  There is the physical aspects of the illness, certainly those can’t be denied.  Joint pain, rashes, swelling of joints and the pleura to name a few.  Then there is also the mental aspect of the illness, brain fog or depression for example.  For some people lupus can impact their spiritual life as well.  Having an illness like lupus, complete with ebbs and flows can make a person feel separate from religion, higher power and wondering what she did to deserve this extent of punishment.

Lupus can also impact a girl’s social calendar in a negative way.  As we come into the holiday season this girl finds herself having to pick and choose rather carefully which events I attend and which I decline.  This is no easy task.  I have come to the conclusion at it’s a bit like picking one’s way through a minefield.  Not that I’ve ever actually walked through one, just the emotional responses to my accepting or declining invitations.

And while I will not paint a picture of all rainbows and sunshine when it comes to my adventures with lupus from a physical or mental aspect, I must confess its the social aspect that is the hardest to manage for myself.  You see for me lupus never comes alone.  Nope, lupus has some luggage with it, that being guilt.  Lots of guilt.

Friends, I have guilt about having to cancel at the last-minute plans I had agreed to earlier in the week.  I have guilt about letting people down, disappointing people and being unreliable.  I have guilt about being able to attend something one day and then the next be unable to do anything at all.  And let’s not begin to consider the major events I’ve struggled to attend and in some cases miss due to lupus flares.

I remind myself that no woman is really super-woman and even a healthy woman gets rundown during this time of year.  I also determine which events or visits will allow me to mingle and enjoy myself while being present with friends and loved ones.  And this is the one time of the year that I have less struggles in accepting help.  Now if only I could work on asking for help and not just during this time of year! 😉

Rituals and Routines

I’m not sure if the medical community would agree that this is a good bedtime ritual, but it’s what I’ve found works. Actually it’s just my rebellion to the medication I take.  And it serves as a mean to create a soothing transition from hectic day to more sane and gentle pace.  Hence hot chocolate with pills was developed and is now something I partake of regularly.

I will switch up the types of hot chocolate I’m having, and yes come the warmer weather I will make the hot chocolate, well, cold! 😉  It’s a compromise I have come to with lupus and so far it works, a bit.

Not all of my medication are in pill form though so I have rituals as well for my self-administered injections (classical music, comfortable setting and all the trappings with my injections).  For my IV therapy, well you guessed it, another ritual!  This one is the most complicated of all for it requires a soft blanket, a good book, a decent playlist and comfortable clothing.  Oh and a chauffeur of sorts! 😉  I probably could drive, but after therapy I tend to not trust my judgment so I have a friend or loved one drive me.

But my relationship with lupus is, well to be blunt, complicated.  My rituals don’t always work and frankly the rituals lupus likes to use do not always provide with a good indication of what’s to come.  What?   You didn’t think lupus wasn’t going to have ritual or two as well?  Now and then lupus gives me red cheeks, swollen joints and such.  Typically these rituals indicate lupus has gained strength and is flaring more.  Sometimes lupus will mix it up and give me swollen joints, but no flare.  Other times brilliant red cheeks, feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck and yet my blood work comes back that lupus is in a resting stage!

How do you have fun with your chronic illness, lupus or otherwise?