A friend has asked me to share so thoughts on how to carry on living while knowing you are dying.
This is not an easy thing for me to do. It causes me to pause and really think. It is also very complicated in that it will be different for each individual as thoughts, feeling and beliefs will differ even if only slightly.
I can only share what seems to be working best for me. I know I wrote on this yesterday in an email I published. Being the “memory” guy that I am, I can’t remember what I said. I now may be rehashing or restating what I have already said. I am uncomfortable going back and read previous posts.
When I first go the “big news” it shook m up pretty good. I wasn’t the happiest or most positive guy in town that is for sure. A lot happened in the next 3 or 4 months, the brain tumor was discovered, I was diagnosed with diabetes, epilepsy, edema with the heart failure. It seemed every time I visited the doctor I came away with a new ailment of some sort. I had a case of the poor me’s or the why me’s going on.
I have always had strong spiritual beliefs. I prayed long and hard. My prayers were always along the lines of “I love my life, please don’t take it away from me.”
I believe prayer is when I speak to God. Meditation is the time I slow my mind enough to allow HIM to speak to me. Now understand when I say “speak” to me, I don’t mean it in the sense that I am actually hearing His voice or anything like that, although that really would be nice. What I mean is that after meditation I often find that a new idea or thought will come to my mind.
A couple of thoughts that came helped me a lot.
This life of mine that I am praying to keep because I love it so much, why have I already stopped living it and I WASN’T EVEN DEAD YET!!! As I saw it, you can allow yourself to die inside long before your physical body does. Geesh, I still have life left and I am going to live it for as long as I can.
Another thought hit me. I was dealing with the “why me’s”. It came to me. Every years a certain number of people are going to have heart attacks, a certain number are going to have brain tumors discovered…… Instead of why me? It became more like “why not me”? I am no one special, so why would I expect God to excuse me from the per centages of people that get various illnesses or whatever. I wasn’t being picked on, it was just the way things turned out.
For me to live life. I knew I had to get myself out of the self pity party mind set.
My prayers changed to ” please grant me the eyes to see the beauty in this world. Please grant me the mind and the heart to take it all in and appreciate all that I see.”
It was about that time that I began blogging. The benefit of this experience is really beyond words.
From there it did seem to happen quite quickly. My eyes did come to see things differently, my mind interpret them differently and my heart feel it differently. Has my actual world changed? NO. What has changed is the way I see it and appreciate it.
I love and an so appreciative of this mind set. Being human, I often have to struggle to keep it. I find especially when I am tired, my spirits can so often sag. I have to do internal work on my thoughts and I seem to be able to regain my footing.
As a physical being it seems I often need to have a physical comparable in my mind to grasp it. I am pretty sure I shared this yesterday, but what can I say if I am repeating myself, oh well.
In my mind, I see my life, your life, everyone’s life as being comparable to a day at the beach.
Picture this: It is a beautiful day. You are at the beach with all of your friends and family. everything is perfect. The water is so warm and inviting you walk in to about your waist. You look around and see everything so beautiful and perfect. Your feet are planted firmly on the sand under the water. Occasionally, a small wave may come and cause you to sway in the water but your footing remains firm. Suddenly out of seemingly no where a much larger wave hits you. It may cause you to even lose your footing and stumble slightly. You though quickly scramble and regain your footing. You are then able to again look out at the beautiful world.
It may not be right for all or work for all but this is the thought process that seems to work best for me.