Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My hero My inspiration

October 16, 2009

I had a post planned for today expanding on my ideas for random acts of kindness for the “celebration” and other thoughts I have for the day.

Instead my thoughts and heart as turn in a different direction. I suppose it is still in keeping with my thoughts of celebrating life. Appreciating life and how fragile it can be, of how it should be appreciated. I have come upon the story of a young woman that could be described as an inspiration, a hero and so very much more.

This lady is Kendra McBain. I first heard of Kendra back in May of this year. I did post about her May 11th and 15th. Please check them out. At the time Kendra honored me with a comment to the posts.

At the time Kendra was taking what was thought to be her final treatments ro rid her body of the cancer she had be fighting for 3 years. As her way of saying thank your for the treatment she had received, Kendra had organized a walk to raise funds for a teen room at the cancer center. This she did and it was a huge success as over $130,000.00 was raised. Congratulations Kendra on a job well done.

I was so very sadden a couple of days ago. I saw Kendra being interviewed by a reporter. Looking straight into the camera, she calmly announced the cancer had returned and had spread to a couple of other areas of her body. There is no cure and going forward doctors have told her,  the only treatment option is to just make her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. How do you think most people would deal with this?

Well, this is how Kendra is dealing with it. Kendra has enrolled part time at university in the nursing program, she is doing volunteer work with Cancer Care Manitoba and is organizing another fund raising walk.

I am taking the liberty of quoting Kendra from her CTV interview conducted by Jill Lagace. Kendra’s statement that brought tears to my eyes:

“I want my life to have meaning. If I am not on this earth long enough to be a nurse, I want to have done something to help people while I am here.”

I am left speechless, totally in awe of this beautiful 18 year old young woman.

Kendra, I have never had the priviledge of meeting you but know you have impacted deeply on me, You are my hero and my inspiration to keep going.

EVERYONE prayer please

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Celebration gifts

October 15, 2009

When I get a thought in my head and I think it is a good one, I just can’t ever just let it go until I have done my best to act on it.

The idea floating around in this other wise empty noggin of my is the November 1st. celebration of “I am alive”. I would hope everyone reading this would see the word “I” in that phrase as being themselves and not me. This is a special date to me and I have ample reason to celebrate but then so does everyone else.

I see several good reasons why we should have a day of celebration.

Geesh, I have been sitting here trying to actually write something and my thoughts just seem to ramble around in my head and get lost in there somewhere. Back to my rambling style, let her rip and see what comes.

Sometimes we sadly realize we are taking many of the things in our lives for granted. Most often I think that is family and loved ones. There is something we take for granted even more than that, our health and even the very fact that we are alive.

Life is a gift and not a given. It should not be taken for granted. It is taken for granted that we have a tomorrow, a next week and a next year. It really just isn’t given any thought. Well, that is until suddenly we find ourselves in some sort of condition, likely medical where we realize, I may not have a next year, I may not have a next week or even a tomorrow. Oh, believe me, then you suddenly realize the value of every precious moment of time we are gifted with. Does it have to get to this point before we can appreciate the value of our own lives. I mean really appreciate it, appreciate it from way down deep inside each of us.

I wonder how many will read this and just think to themselves: “Of course I appreciate being alive but I am just too busy to give it any thought right now,  I have such a busy stressful day ahead I have to get on with it.” Or, maybe: “How can I appreciate my life with all the crap I have going on in it right now.”

I don’t care what kind of “crap” you have going on in your life, it will all seem pretty minor, if it were to be suddenly replaced by the knowledge you are dying. Then and it seems only then will you realize that compared to what could be, my life really isn’t all that bad. I should be celebrating having the life I do.

Now our birthdays could be taken as such a celebration but really do we see it that way. When we are younger we eagerly await each passing birthday awaiting the age when we can get our drivers license or get into the bar. As we mature, we almost dread birthdays as they just signify we are another year older. We put more joyful feelings into the celebration of the birthday of others than we do our own. Why?

On November 1st. I will be celebrating, I AM ALIVE. I invite all to please join with me as you have your own celebration. We can band together as we each individually celebrate.

I don’t want to take away from anyone’s individual celebration but this is a milestone date for me. As such I am going to actually ask all that join with me to come bearing a gift. I have actually asked for this same gift many times in the past and have always been rewarded with an outpouring of love and support.

I hopefully have a post planned for tomorrow on this expanding on and explaining my idea. But for now what am I asking for as a gift. Please go out and perform a random act of kindness. For whom the act is performed doesn’t matter, the size of or even what the act is doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that we do something kind to help another. An act for which we expect no reward or recognition. We do it from our heart, simply because we can, and we are celebrating being alive.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayers answered by Earth Angels

October 14, 2009

I have written of how we have undertaken a kitchen remodeling project and of how “I” am doing the removal of the existing counters and cabinet and preparing the kitchen for the new.

Now, when I started, I knew it would be a lot or work and very difficult but that I really would be able to do it. I mean I had a whole month and that by poking away at it even one cabinet door at a time or what ever I would be able to get it done in that time. My physical limitations and capacities are ever decreasing and that is something I am always having a difficult time accepting or even realizing. On a day by day basis I feel no different. It is when I do tackle a physical challenge that the reality of my capacities hits me. All of my life I have been physically very strong and capable of doing a lot. I seem to forget I am not 20 any more and my health isn’t what it used to be. My reality began to set in as I realized this project even with a month to complete was beyond me.

I prayed for the strength to be able to get all of this done. I do believe prayers are always answered often just not in the way we expect or are asking for. I did not suddenly find the extra energy or become super humanly strong. That I did not get. But, my prayer was answered through Earth Angels. People I am sure the Good Lord places in the right place at the right time to help Him answer prayers.

First arrived brother-in-law Henri. I wrote a while ago of how with Henri’s help “we” removed the cabinets with ease. Henri later returned to reroute a heating duct. What a talented and big hearted guy.

Next to arrive is my brother Eric. Eric is very handy and doing just about anything and everything. I know I have written in the past of how I am so lucky and proud to have him as a brother.

Out of the blue arrives brother-in-law Neal Hallet. What can I say about Neal he has a heart bigger than you could imagine. His talents and skills extend into almost anything you could think of. So many turn to him for help and he is always there, another great guy.

I thank each of you guys so very much. I really couldn’t have done it without you.

Now, try to picture me. Hitching up my pants, sticking out my chest and strutting around saying: “Yup,” I” am getting it done and am even ahead of schedule.”

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I am not a dying man

October 13, 2009

Yikes, the thought just came to me. I have been trying to have a celebration here on the blog on November 1st.. Geesh, I suppose that means I should try and put a little thought into a post, beyond my normal. I don’t consider myself a writer just a rambler. How much prep time do I put into a post? NONE.

I just sit down, do my prayer routine and from there just let it go. Typing the thoughts that come to my head. This is my journal, I don’t proof read anything, I am getting better at remember to use the spell checker but that is it.

I am going to have to get on this, it may require some thought, somthing this old head of mine isn’t that good at some days. Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into.

I came across something the other day mentioning the blog. It again was very flattering and I thank you. It stated that inspite of the title of the blog and my health, I don’t often mention death or dying. That I in fact talk more about living.

That is true. I realize I have reached a point where I no longer even consider myself to be a dying man. I am very much a living man. OK, granted a living man with a few health issues that will shorten my life span. But, I am a living man that is going to go on with living my life the very best way I can, right up until the very last moment, when I am called Home.

I have written all my thoughts on death and dying. I realize those posts are somewhere in the past. Possibly I should bring them back and repost them as some may not want to go all through the archives looking for them. I will do that.

So, why would a “dying” man be writing about living? I have reached a point when looking through my eyes I do see live differently than I did back  even when I started the blog.

I realize, see more clearly how precious life is. Every moment of time wasted is a moment of potential joy gone forever. I look around and see so many people sqaundering precious time and I just want to bang my head against the wall. If you are just going to waste your time, it is just to bad you couldn’t give it to someone that would appreciate it.

Can we learn from the mistakes of others, usually not it seems. Will the words of a “dying” man possibly impact on others. I dont’ know. I do know I can try.

I do believe the Good Lord sees us as human and there for perfection is not expected. I do believe though that what is expected is that we keep trying. That is what I am doing

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Vi answers my kindness request

October 12, 2009

I am not sure if anyone has noticed but over the past year or so I have quit writting about friends and family. Now that most certainly doesn’t mean they are no longer here or are any less important to me. What it does mean is that “memory guy” here was finding himself in sometimes awkward position.

There were a few occasions when after I had written about some event or happening. I would be contact by someone saying: “hey, I told you I didn’t want you to write about that.” or  once “I don’t want pictures of my kids on the web, please take them down.” It seems to be easier just to quit mentioning anyone to avoid my own confusion. Mostly, I am going to continue with that but there are times when, hey a guy has to do what a guy has to do.

Vi, delivered her own random act of kindness the other day. Vi has a big heart and will go out of her way to help anyone, anytime. She is very out going and can easily talk to strangers.

A couple of evenings ago, she drove to a large grocery store. As she walked to the entrance of the store, she notice an elderly couple. They had a large suitcase in hand and were standing there looking confused. Vi being the person she is approached them asking if they needed help.

Now it turns out they had just arrived in Winnipeg, hence the suitcase. They didn’t know Winnipeg at all. They would be staying at a residence available to some more serious out of town patients needing a place to stay.

Now, apparently they got a cab from the airport, giving the driver the address they needed to go. BUT, they needed to make 2 stops on the way. One at a grocery store and the second at a mall to pick up something for the grand children that would be meeting them later. Now this driver knew the perfect spot to take them. He would take them to a Safeway store that has a mall directly across the street, now how perfect is that. Now remember they are totally unfamiliar with Winnipeg.

They went in made their purchases, came out and were suddenly confused. What they hadn’t noticed when the driver dropped them off was, there is no mall directly across the street. Well there is one across the street but in fact several blocks further down. It was not even visible from where they stood causing them to be confused and upset.

OOps hit publish instead of save. Will come back and finish post as an edit.

Back to finish post.

Vi, upon seeing this confused and upset looking couple just couldn’t just walk past this couple. She approached them asking if they needed any help.

She heard their whole story. Seeing someone in need, she inquired about the type of stores they were looking for as she knew the mall close by is very small and has very limited shopping. This it turns out was not at all what they were looking for. So what does Vi do, she piles them into the car and drives them to a mall that does have the kind of shopping they were looking for.

With her bubbly, friendly personality on the drive she is able to cheer up the couple. When they arrived, the couple thanked her profusely and left her with a comment something to the effect: “We most certainly weren’t very impressed with the way Winnipeg treats it’s visitors, but you have redeemed Winnipegers in our eyes.”

Way to go Vi, I am proud of you as should be all Winnipegers, we are a friendly, helpful bunch.

I think this is a perfect example that illustrates something I have long known. Our human hearts are just full of love, compation, caring and kindness to others. I think most of us are just so caught up on the fast paced tread mill of live, so absorbed in our hectic lives we son’t see past ourselves or our own. I am not saying that in a critical way. We are all only human, fighting our own battles, struggling to get through our own days in the best way we can.

I sit here wondering to myself, is that all there is that is meant to be in live. Struggling to get through each day, I don’t think so. It is not just me, but everyone is fighting their own battles, dealing with their own issues in life. I can’t help but think that if we all could open our eyes just the tiniest little bit to what is happening around us we would indeed be able to clearly see ways to ease the burdens of others. The truly amazing or surprising thing is that performing little acts of kindness is actually a win/win situation, The recipiant of our act is obviously ahead because of our act, irregardless or what we did. But, so are we. The warm glow that grows in our heart, within our being is more rewarding than any thanks we could receive. The warm glow that grow inside as I realize, I did something good. I did it simply because I could, I am a good person.

I sit here wondering, if it had been me at that grocery store. If I had seen the distressed couple, would I have approached them to offer assistance. I am kind of sad and embarrassed both to admit, I think the answer is likely no. What about you?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayer Request

October 12, 2009

The power of prayer is a truly amazing. I have received a special prayer request from our dear blogging friend Cat. I ask all to please say a prayer for Gabriella. Her is Cat’s request:

Cat Says:
October 12, 2009 at 10:18 am |

Bill, I have a prayer request for you and your blog friends. A co-worker of mine, Gabriella, was diagnosed with breast cancer about a month ago and had a double mastectomy this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, during the surgery, the doctors discovered that the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. She will be starting chemo and radiation soon. She is just 34 years old and has two beautiful young children. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. She is a fighter and is maintaining a very upbeat, positive attitude, but I am sure prayers and good thoughts would be appreciated.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – To All Faithes

October 11, 2009

I am very happy to see that many seem to like my idea of having a celebration on November 1st.. I do hope and pray many will join with me on that day in celebrating the fact: “I AM ALIVE”. OK, November 1st is a date that has particular significance to me, but that is not the point.

I hope many will join with me as I have my celebration of life but at the same time each individual will see it as their own celebration of life, the very fact that they are alive. We band together as we each have our own celebrations.

Now, I am most definitely not a computer guru, but I did do a search trying to find something that represented an I am alive day and could find nothing. When I really think of it, I have to wonder why?

Now, I would think if you approached the vast majority of people and asked them to make a list. A list of the most important things in their lives. I imagine the majority as would I say the most important thing in my life is my family, to some it may be the work that they do. But, I would guess that no matter how long was the list you asked for, very few if any would have list the very fact that they are alive. Maybe, it is at least partly because of my current health condition but I have to wonder, why?

For me, family would with out doubt would by far top my list, my heart holds no greater love. Prior to the past few years, i don’t think it would have even occurred to me to put the fact I am alive on any such list. Why? Because I believe it is something that is just taken for granted and not recognized or truly appreciated. Again, I have to ask why? We take life for granted and do not appreciate it.

For me, never will my own being alive become more important to me than my family. It just won’t. But shouldn’t the fact that I am indeed alive be at least somewhere on the list of things important to me.

I can’t seem to think of the words to describe what I am about to say, without it sounding overly simplistic or even just plain ridiculous. It is by the very fact that I am alive that I can feel the love of family, or do the important work that I do or what ever made it high on your list of important things. Life is something we just take for granted and wrongly so.

By my thinking there are something like 6 1/2 billion people on this earth, that would equate to 6 1/2 individual celebrations. many would obviously band together to celebrate but hopefully never lose sight of the fact they are celebrating their own life.

When I think of it, people are people all around the world. We are often separated by physical geography, faith, culture or I suppose hundreds of other things. No matter what separates us, we are all still the same just people.

What are the two things we all have in common, with no exceptions to this. Bluntly put, it comes down to the simple fact that we live and then we die. Here we have at least a starting point for something we all have in common. Can we somehow us this common factor to recognize and appreciate the wonder of being alive, both ourselves and all others.

My blogging friend Silindile left this comment and I ask is it possible, what do you think?

“think this idea of yours should be made into an international day where, there are so many holidays that are really not important when you think about it, this one is relevant and would change peoples thinking and touch hearts on a grand scale.”

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My thoughts on dealing with a loss.

October 10, 2009

This morning, I have read a very touching comment from a young Lady, April.

April left her comment under my November 25/06 post titled: To Know You are Dying.

I am not exactly full of energy today, so I am doing a little cheating. I know that sadly many readers do not always read all comments left. I always encourage all to do so, as these comments often contain so much more than I can ever offer.

My post today is made up in 3 parts. April’s comment, my response to her and a portion of the November 25th post that did help me at the time.
April’s so very touching and wise comment:

April Says:
October 10, 2009 at 5:39 am | Reply edit

Bill, Lisa and Alejandro,
I really feel for you, I myself am not planning on dying anytime soon, but my dad was told they’d be suprised if he made it to this christmas. He has four different types of cancer.I’ve always asked my dad about death but the other day I was speechless and teared up when my dad asked me, “April, do you think it will hurt?” Time is going by so fast and its so hard watching someone try to do everything they have always wanted before they passed. My grandparents both had cancer. My grandfather had colon cancer and was given 6 months when I was four. He lived til one week after my 16 birthday. I was thinking my dad was a fibber and that there is no way a 49 year old who seems perfectly normal on the outside could really be that sick on the inside. I told my self the doctors would be wrong with him just like they were with my granfather. But, my dad decided against treatment. He felt if he is dying, why spend the last days, weeks, months or years sick? Its true knowing you are dying is a rollercoaster one day your ready the next your crying and angry. I actually envy my dad. I get angry at him like its his fault he is leaving and that at least he doesn’t have to live knowing Im he’s gone. I find him lucky in away. Once your gone there is no more pain and suffering. While the restof us live the rest of our days with our loved ones in our thoughts still never knowing our time. I really feel for all of you who are passing. All I can say is live the rest of your life to the fullest and who cares if doctors say dont do this dont do that really if your dying what can it hurt. My grandfather wanted one beer the day before he slipped into a coma. The doctor said no. What would it have hurt? Do what you want as long as it doesn’t envolve hurting others and live while you can. Make your last moments count cause who knows where we go from here. Do spend your last days sad that your going to die. If there is no other way but to die why dwell. Make it count :) Your in my prayers

My response to April:

“Hi April. I am honored that you would stop by to share your feelings. Reading your words it is almost like I can feel your pain and my heart goes to you. I am so very sorry to hear of your fathers cancer. My prayers are for you both.
I have always said that I do believe it is much harder on the families that are left behind. It takes time to work through the grieving process.
For the families of those with a terminal illness, it is like there are 2 separate grieving periods. First, you grieve the fact your loved one is going to be leaving. Then ultimately comes the time when you grieve the actual passing. It is hard, very hard and takes time.
Your situation is, your father is fighting his battle and you are fighting yours. These battles are very similar but are not the same. I hope and pray you are able to spend as much time together as possible providing mutual support back and forth. I pray you have other loved ones at your side to support you through this time. At a time like this loving support is so important, such a comfort.
Please know, you, your father and entire family is always welcome to come here for support. You will find the blog has evolved into a loving supportive community of wonderful people all here willing to support you in any way we can. I hope you are at least some what comforted knowing that you are now in the prayers of many from all around the world.
In answer to your father’s question. Do you think it will hurt? My thought, my belief is no it will not hurt. Physical pain will come from the cancer, but that will all be gone in a moment.
The advice you have given us all on living live is a message we can all learn from. I thank you for sharing you thoughts with us all.
I am going to send you a short email. Just so you have my email address. I ask you to please return here to the blog to share your feelings. But if either you OR you father should wish to chat in a more private setting, I am here for you.

A portion of my Nov. 25th posting that I found to be a benefit to me at the passing of my mother. The post portion:

With my memory these days I am never sure if I read this somewhere or if this is my own thought. I just know this helped me tremendously when my mother passed. I loved my mother dearly and still do and always will. I hope I can find the right words to really express what I am trying to say.

Use your imagination and try to picture this scenario. By some chance your loved one get a chance to go on a fantastic voyage, say a year long cruise around the world. You know your loved one would have a fantastic time, the time of their lives. Lets further suppose, the trip has already been booked and nothing short of a miracle will stop them form going. How would you react?

Would you be there, being lovingly supportive in their preparations for the voyage. Hoping and praying only for their happiness and well being. It is a given that you will miss them. You are comforted knowing you will see them again and out of love, make the choise to put their well being ahead of our own. I mean it would be so unfair to hope or think they should miss out on such an opportunity just because we will miss them. We joyously help in their preparations spending quality, happy time before they leave. Tearful good byes are said hugs are exchanged and off they go.

Or, Even though you know the trip is booked and that they will have a wonderful time, do you react differently. Even selfishly, out of our own fear of missing them and being lonely, we feel miserable. We cry and maybe even try to talk them into canceling the trip, “you can’t go I will miss you to much”.

Through our own selfishness we want to deny them the trip the joy, the happiness that would come with it. They are leaving anyway, we can’t change that, but we have turned what could have been a joyous farewell into a time of personal sorrow for ourselves.

I used these thoughts on the passing of my dearly loved mother. I wished her joy and happiness until we meet again. Did that remove all the sadness no, but it definitely helped. With her passing my mother went on a wonderful voyage and I do miss her but I know I will be seeing her again.”

I remind April and all readers. I am not a doctor, a therapist or a man of the clergy. I am just me, sharing my thoughts and feelings. I only hope and pray some of my sharings may help someone, anyone in some way.

Dying man’s Daily Journal – Medical update

October 9, 2009

Not feeling so spry today. I see the doctor again on Tuesday. The diarrhea is continuing without let up, 6 weeks, geesh. Between that and I think trying to do a little in the kitchen just has me worn out.

Can’t remember if I wrote about my visit to my neurologist, I think it was last week. I have been taking dialantin, an anti seizure medication. It has been so long (5 or 6 years) since I had my last fall down seizure so he has cut my medication back slightly from 450mg/day to 400mg/day. Everything seems fine so far. He did a couple of basic tests and the results surprised me.

Now I have known for a long time my balance is off. Lack of balance hasn’t actually made me fall but I have often done that little stumble step thing. The doctor had me out in the hallway and asked me to just walk a straight line. But doing it while putting the heel of one foot directly in front of the toe of the other. What we used to call baby steps in games. Huh, I couldn’t do it, I lost my balance with each step. I just got a chuckle. It is like you see on TV on the various cop shows. When they are checking to see if someone is drunk, you see them having the person taking these steps in a straight line. Supposedly if the person is drunk they can’t walk that straight line and are often seen being arrested. Huh, wonder what they would do with me, I could stumble as I am getting out of the car and then can’t walk the line. LOL. I guess I should give up my plans to walk a tight rope over the grand canyon. Now that is a really big LOL.

My neuropathy has also worsened. It used to be it was only in my hands and feet that I had limited to no feeling at all. It seems to have spread from my feet to about half way up the calves of my legs.

This neuropathy is something you have to be careful with, but as I always say there are always 2 ways to look at everything. OK, I must be careful in that I could put on my shoes and have a small pebble of something inside of one and I would likely never even know it. It could cause sores or blisters or something. Or, there is the “Bill” way to look at it, which is. Hey I am a really really tough guy. Want to know how tough I am?

Well let me tell you. These are actual things that have happened to me. I was walking bare foot here in the house. I stubbed my big toe so hard it actually tore the nail right off, which cause it to bleed. Now, I am so tough I didn’t pay it any mind, in fact I didn’t even realize it had happened until Vi saw blood on the floor. I have been using a hammer to pound a nail into the wall. Missed the nail and just wacked my thumb. I have been able to look at my thumb and say, wow that must have hurt.

I remember something my mother used to say, “no sense, no feeling” hmm.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Be patient and understanding

October 7, 2009

Yesterday, I spent a full day laboring at the kitchen reno. Now I should explain a full day by “Bill” standards. I sort of work for about 5 minutes and then sit huffing and puffing for about 10 minutes. I then repeat this process over and over again. Maybe, I am not the fastest worker in town but hey I am doing what I can as I can and the job will get done.

To me that is the important thing both with this project and with life in general. Do what you can, when you can. It is my belief that the Good Lord sees us all as being just human and doesn’t expect perfection from any of us. But He does expect us to keep trying, keep poking away at it all, never give up.  Using the kitchen reno as an example, I keep poking away knowing that every little bit done is at least another step towards completion. What more can we do in life. I know from experience that just keeping poking away at something can at times almost  seem like an an effort in futility, it is so aganizingly slow. We get impatient want to see more immediate results.  I have heard the term  wanting instant gratification being applied to people today. I suppose that is true for many myself included.

I look back a now can see that so often I have been my own worst enemy in living my own life. I think it would be fair to say we would all like to live a life with as little stress as possible. Then why do we seem to go out of our way to actually cause ourselves a lot or unneccessary stress. I can just hear a lot of people saying, that is ridiculous, I would never do that. I avoid any stress I can, I don’t create it for myself.

Now I can only speak for myself here but I do ask if anything I am saying you can see in your own life? I look back and see I have been doing it to myself all of my life and am only now even becoming aware of it enough to try and stop.

I took life way to seriously. I often failed to show the proper understanding of other and their side of issues that cause me to take life, way to personally. All of which “spoiled” so much time, so many days and caused me undo stress, needless stress. But, I took it on.

Just a couple of example of what I am trying to say. Road rage seems to be a relatively hot topic these days. I am not prone to road rage, but I think it illustrates my point.

You are in heavy traffic trying to get home after a hectic day at work. When suddenly: some #@*& idiot cuts me off in traffic. Did you see that, that @#*& idiot is trying to get me killed. Off I go into a rant, becoming very angry, upset and stressed. Sound familiar to anyone?

Well let’s really look at this. First off, this other driver did not cut you off in traffic, it was your vehicle that got cut off. You just happened to be in it at the time. It was nothing personal, unless we take it that way. When we do that,we cause ourselves the needless stress.

If we could just show a little more, patience, understanding and give the other driver the benefit of the doubt. We are not even doing it for the sake of this other driver but for our own peace of mind. We don’t know the circumstances the other driver is facing. OK, there is a chance he/she is just a wreckless jerk. But, we don’t know that. For all we know, it could be a frantic father to be that has his wife lying down on the back seat as he frantically tries to get her to the hospital to deliver the baby.

I am not sure where it was but I read a tragic story of a lady driving home from the hospital. Her husband had just died. Her mind was like in a fog, she was in a world of pain and grief. Later she wrote that all she remembers about that drive home, is all the horns of the other impatient drivers as they honked at her for possibly driving to slowly. We just don’t know the circumstances in which any other person finds themselve in, with what they are dealing with. Would you have been one of the ones that would have been honking? How would you feel if somehow  you later learned of her circumstances?

One more example from my own work life. I was a banker for many years. Over those years I gave out many millions of dollars in loans. Now the customer sees you as a great guy if you are approving the loan. But, if you decline the loan you suddenly aren’t seen as such a nice guy. Over the 30 plus years I have been called every name you can think of, threatened and once even punched in the mouth.

In my earlier banking years, I took on so much needless stress. As soon as it became apparent I was going to have to decline a loan. I would take on a pile of stess. In a way I suppose this was another form of taking it personally. Then I would be worried about the customers reaction, I felt bad for them and almost took it to the extent of somehow feeling it was my fault they were be declined for what ever it was they wanted. It took me a while to realize, I was just doing my job. It was not my fault they didn’t qualify for what ever it was. It wasn’t my fault they had a terrible credit rating or what ever it may have been. I was personally taking on stress that wasn’t mine to take on.

There is the old saying: “who’s problem is it”? By taking things too personally, I took on the problems of others. Talk about taking on a load of stress, geesh.

These are but 2 examples if we look at our lives, I am sure we can all find many more.