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Archive for the ‘living to fight another day’ Category

From Oprah.com quotables:

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If almost 7 years of intense solitude have taught me anything, it has served to illuminate this one idea for me.

Ironically, in my younger years, I literally dreamed vividly (one of the benefits of lifelong narcolepsy) of a world where humanity was filled with passionate ambitions and striving toward making the lives of others and the world truly better, in a million ways that I couldn’t guess but saw realized, since I was very young. It was like all the very best fairy tales, but were not fictions from books, but a real world filled with everyday people, finding ordinary ways to do random acts of kindness, of true heroism–resulting in extraordinary benefit in the world–altruism on a global scale.

These were my beautiful good dreams, and they were as beautiful and wonderful as my bad dreams were horrible. They stood in sharp contrast to what I experienced in those years most of the time, and the brief memories of the good, and those dreams were what sustained me the rest of my waking time, and past the dark scary places of nightmares.

In these good dreams, there was nothing small about any way that giving and caring and sharing happened; however naive and immature the stories might have been in those childish dreams. We should all try to be a bit childish that way–it comes from the best, uncorrupted parts of ourselves, and beautiful and pure, a living part of ourselves that is never lost though we may abandon it for the expectation of necessity in “growing up”.

I guess I was lucky in many ways, to be autistic, and having some aspects of a major brain injury by age 5. I developed differently from other children of course, some ways not so good, but others were helpful. I lacked, among other things, the distorting filters that come with enculturation and typical social development. It made me seem odd and problematic as a child to others, but there gifts too.

It might have been nice to know that sooner, or perhaps I appreciate it more because of the challenges I grew up with, being more aware I was somehow quite different from others. In time after I learned about myself, I was finally able to put the pieces together and understand, and then I was appreciating those differences yet sensing connection at the same time, both essential for me to understand they were not mutually exclusive, but thst came much much later. I can’t say I regret that journey, at least not now. Perhaps I might not have become able to appreciate this as I can now, had I not been forced to struggle and fail, and get up again and again, to suffer profound hurt and loss and deprivation and abandonment more than most I’d known, but in my gut I knew there were many who needed more and were more fragile even than I was. Though frustrated and confused about the hardships, I was fortunate, unlike many, to not only survive, but to manage to grow from it. I got stronger and learned and adapted more than many whatever has been thrown at me, including disabilities that have been hardest after I turned 50, as some injuries became truly debilitating with more age, and at the time I didn’t know what was happening or why–losing vision, hearing, and mobility body wide, and an over-reactive immune system.

Dreams were my lifeline, and with narcolepsy since I was a preschooler, I was self-aware in my dreams, and I retained them after I was awake long term. By my 9th birthday, I dreamed an idea that so excited me, that I thought I’d burst, as I confided in my best friend from 4th grade, during a sleepover, sharing this idea I dreamed of adopting one child with no family or home from every country in the world, and making us all one big family. It sounded wonderful to me!! Now, I didn’t know how many countries there were or anything much about the rest of the people in the world yet, except what I was told often: that we had so much here and so many elsewhere had little or nothing, to eat, to wear, no place to sleep, to feel safe, to call home. My sense of home was more in my imagination than real world but I had a sense of beautiful home and family, even if fantasy, and that was better than many Jess. I didn’t know much more than that, but on that birthday, it was all I could think about in my private thoughts, and I was so excited to have this beautiful idea, even later in life.

How much more obvious it was, in retrospect, that life journeys can be more like labyrinths, filled with distractions, diversions and fantastic or awful rabbit holes!!

But now, in my constant solitude, those beautiful memories of youthful fantasies and ideals are clearly the glowing embers that now breathe new life into ambitions for my future, that there is so much more yet for me to be and do, and that may yet be possible for me, each day that I am gifted with my life again. It is another chance to do something–anything–to give with love with my hands, and if that isn’t posdible, then with my words, and if that’s not possible either, then to do so with my heart and soul and thoughts of and for others, and if not that, with what and how I might leave something behind of myself that could lift up someone, somewhere in the world, somehow, even if in ways that I’ve never imagined, that make a difference for anyone, known or unknown, that gives even the chance for something better for them than without it.

I know now, so very acutely, that it is not great wealth, or people of terrifying presence and power, or great powerful armies with the best weapons, that make the most profoundly positive and lasting change in the world; those small and random acts of courage, kindness, acceptance, and compassion, by ordinary everyday people, who do what they can, make efforts perhaps more than they even believe they have ability to do–these are what make the world better, and redeem us as a species, and defeat indifference, arrogance, and apathy that would otherwise destroy life and hope.

I do not believe that the human race as a whole will change; there will always be destructive forces pulling the world down among and by humans, those misguided, twisted, lost and sick in their souls humans, hellbent on destroying goodness around them, and indifferent or blind to the consequences. But I also believe that we can each, as ordinary individuals, become better and good humans, however humble or tragic or disadvantaged our beginnings. Despite even any destructive and empty paths we may have once chosen or followed, any individual CAN make a different choice, and that choice to be a better human, on that day, in that way, can change the world for the better.

The older I get, and as my eyesight increasingly deteriorates, I see the truth of this more clearly than ever before. Beauty, wealth, health, and social status may come and go for us all including myself, but what lasts is what comes from our hearts, souls, spirit of our intentions and use we make of our minds and what we have, being our best authentic selves possible, in good times or hard, despite being brought low, whether stripped of all the superficial and material markers of success, in spirit or in fact, either brought down or denied this since birth, each day of life is a gift of choice, a chance for us to start over, and we each can choose something, wherever we are, whatever our circumstances that day, that may well change the world for the better.

I thought that the inevitable tunnel vision of isolation away from other people would either obstruct or even destroy my spirit, and lose any clarity of purpose. It has instead cleared away the clutter of superficialities, creating space for me to discover and nourish deeper things that, to me, are the truly valuable and important facets of at least my human potential, very surprising. Ambition for goodness, unlike other ambitions, has infinite facets and potential, as we each one of us have within us some kind of greatness, though it may be waiting to be realized and expressed. Greatness doesn’t just come to the rich and beautiful people, nor when one believes they are most successful. Greatness may arise, like the Phoenix, from the ashes of our own destruction. It may take a crucible to achieve. It may be possible when we least expect it, or when others have written us off, or given up on us or never believed it of us.

Keep dreaming, and rediscover your childish self! It’s precious and pure and may open the door to the best opportunities of your life to do something good for the world and by extension, for yourself!

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I really hate ever being forced to give in to collapse, even in the most difficult times. I’m one who usually sees a glass 2/3 full in any challenged situation no matter how bleak it may seem but sometimes God proves like this week, that I also have human limitations on seeing the gifts in the throes of enough obstacles and illness.

I have tried to remember when I feel really bad and in bad pain or sickness or when smacking a brick wall that by stepping back, resting truly resting, recouping my strength, I can see that my rules for tough times are still truth–>facts, and the rest, the negations I feel and express are fiction stories that only express what I am feeling now, and that the best thing I can do, no matter how necessary it seems to me or pressure from others to try to force myself to try to fix it right then, it is the worst thing to do 99% of the time, and if I push too far, I will fail, one way or the other, and make things worse for myself, maybe others too. It is a bad habit that, like many adaptations, began of necessity and enabled me to survive, and do extraordinary things, that seemed impossible to do, because someone’s safety or well-being, or my desire to do the right thing to help others who were counting on me, and little time to find easier solution, or fundamental justice demanded I stand up and ignore pain, fear, weakness whatever, to make the impossible happen.

And with a clear mind now, I know that a price must be and was paid for all of those choices to force myself to keep pushing on, not heeding the signs that I was risking damage/harm if I didn’t slow down. But when there is a higher cause, something greater than myself that requires it, duty, responsibility, honor, truth, dignity, needs of others, the emotional negative fear doubt expression is blocked out entirely, as is pain for that time. The gifts that I tapp in those circumstances don’t yield to the flesh only to my driven imperatives, never without cost–some immediately felt, others greater in the fullness of time yet to be written and experienced. Some bills have now come due, yet if it was for a greater good, I hear my mental stories as good and right and see the price as reminder of the good that it did, though I am truly now paying.

Though I know certain things about balance and letting go of unhealthy imperatives even temporarily, as necessarily true, or that clearing my head will enable me to find my way through problems no matter how forever things feel at the time, recognizing that I’m depleting myself but if it’s my need or plight that needs super-human strength, perseverance, and letting go, when that has time consequences, or would cost too much and not likely to succeed, I can’t accept, acknowledge or apply these rules that I know are always true for me, whether I wish I could or not.

For a few days recently, I could mouth those truths like mantras, over and over, yet they still felt false and pointless, meaningless and no longer applicable, and so couldn’t see through my fog or believe there was a healthier way that would yield better results myself that would alleviate my despair, which is quite rare.

So now, after sleeping for all fr 5 hours (marathon for me), I now remember the other thing that is maybe the most important self-talk truth, that I’m supposed to hold fast to, in the very worst of those/these times, enabling me to accept the truth that all of it still holds true and is a greater imperative which is:

A) your survival and function IS for a cause greater than yourself. If you fail to persist how can you create a grater good? What is happening right now, can fall apart and the world will turn and you will,still be better able to turn it around best if you get distance and rest from it, even if that means things fall apart more before,they get better.

B)when I feel really the worst, I might not believe that these things are the Truth, but that is not the meaning of what I think and believe really. It is just a form of expressing my pain and fear, yet to my literal mind, I am holding to,the literal meaning because that is intuitive therefore easier for a lazy brain to think. Non-intuitive things are much harder for a brain, take more energy and effort, and when depleted, it is effortless and easiest to fall back on habits, and then the brain renders maladaptive what was, in some situations, adaptive and effective at the time. To think actively of accepting and following the imperatives for self-preservation is a very difficult task, and not intuitive. despite kmowing intellectually that sometimes to solve a problem you have to leave it, the stakes and pressures from without and within that push me in the opposite direction, and there are consequences for letting go and backing off a problem at times, perhaps dire, if I don’t push forward, yet the alternative is more likely that options to mitigate I can’t see in the fog.

Yet internal imperatives must take priority over pulling on beyond capacity, even when there are consequences to setting aside when needed. If I am consumed now, in this moment, engulfed in fog, pain and despair, and the problem must be solved but cannot be solved just now, I must make available to me a message, generic, that can be perhaps be shared with others, like a beacon from a stranded vessel,, that I am still here, but in this state, have a problem, and imperative,there is some necessity that is demanded of me, but it is beyond my control to act as required, and ask for either a postponement for emergent reasons, or defer to others to do their best to step into my shoes in taking on certain tasks, leave what tools and info I can to enable them, and letting it go until I am more capable of taking up my sword again.

Sometimes it is stronger to give into frailty of body and mind to restore myself first. It is necessary to find solutions that will be more accessible to me, if I just STOP and let it go–through me and me through it–, and accept that my inner guide message is telling me true and still points me away from the wrong path so that I can see the right path after the fog clears.

The other messages are just a sideways way to express pain, fatigue, insecurity, fear and sickness–no more–it is deceptive, and blocks my vision, makes me disbelieve what I know is truth. The expression is not literal truth, but it is telling a different truth; it is just my body saying “I hurt, I’m sick, so I can’t think or see problems well enough to feel comforted or see that things will and always do change and get better, worse, better, come and go, like the tide.

Remember that I still tend to say, like a child, “I hate you/this/everybody,” but that’s not literally true either. I’m expressing by that, merely “I’m really upset about something so much that I can’t think of how to express that well in words. ” im a picture thinker, and under enough pressure or exhaustion or fear or pain, words fall away or fall apart. A little pain and fear can refine one’s focus, but when they are severe, they distort expression and perception. This is your absolute signal to STOP!!! Rest recoup restore regroup reconsider, then act!

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