Joy Kill

Posted in i live life now blog

Do you ever sometimes read a statement that hits home so deeply it sticks with you forever?

"WE WOULD NEVER LEARN TO BE BRAVE AND PATIENT IF THERE WERE ONLY JOY IN THE WORLD."

HELEN KELLER


Read that again and really think about it. Does it not strike you the lack of moralality, kindness and patience in today's world could perhaps be all from our overindulgence and comfort level being in a false state of "happiness" all the time that there is no growth as a person to become brave and patient through hardships?

I can attest that my own patience level increase after watching my mom suffer a slow death, bravery definitely up a couple notches. Whatever I thought I knew about bravery before was amplified tenfold after. Personal experience aside do you not find the self serving, overly important attitude being projected nowadays is a direct reflection of the lack of personal growth we garner from being uncomfortable? 

Not all people are created equal and how we each react to overstress and pressure in life is different, some crumble, others become more determined and on the flip side some bury it and try to stuff it down only to create other problems in different parts of their life later. 

Other than actually surviving crisises in our lives how do we create bravery and patience? Why are quick fixes so readily available and bought? Because they fix your problem now even if it creates more problems later the now is so appealing. Daily mundane choices are never as exciting as instant gratification saying no to ourselves whether it be food, shopping, drinking or any other vice. When it becomes overwhelming and harmful to our lives that great rush at the time is followed by shame after. 

Actually making conscious choices that perhaps others don't understand and being true to ourselves with our word is key to creating patience and bravery. Pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone is what helps us understand more about ourselves every day. 

Lately I've been trying to put it into context for clients and others; if you run one mile a day for the year adding up to 365 miles you've had a great year of steady improvement or maintenance in your health. If you decide to run 365 miles on only one day of the year you are not contributing to your health but actually harming yourself. This is a perfect example of how small daily choices add up to positive benefits but one big dump of it isn't so great! 

The pride that comes from keeping our promise to ourselves of working out today, eating better, finishing that project, doing our best at our job whatever it may be is far deeper than just superficial good feelings. Keeping those promises day after day contribute to our well being and with it confidence in ourselves and our abilities to push through difficult times if and when they may come.

Those times come people trust me, sooner or later they will come just as the sun rises each day. Big, little, giant, small in any form these challenges will rear their head; are you ready? Have you created paths of success for yourself currently in your life to handle them by creating bravery and patience in your life now? 

The following is just the first few paragraphs of the story of what happened nearly two years ago now. I'm not even close to the only person in the world who has faced difficult situations and mine may even seem minor compared to yours but the fact is when we act together, support each other and share our experiences we again become stronger.

PART I

I always knew my mom was a strong woman, I always knew deep down my tenacity came genetically from her bloodlines, but until the day she nearly died or should have did I really begin to view my own life and world with a renewed sense of peace and pleasure.

I would like to believe when faced with the most terrifying words that can come out of a Dr’s mouth at 4 am panic would set in. “We are not sure she will make the night, if she survives the next 24-48 hours she has a fighting chance.” There was no begging, pleading, or crying. The only thoughts in my head were what do I have to do, how do I get there and who can help me?

Survival mode is a great gift where the brain overrules the body.

I’ve heard similarly devastating words 14 years previously while sitting in the Cross Cancer Institute when the doctor looked at our family and delivered the verdict of 6-9 months to live the rest of your life as this family unit. A slightly longer sentence but still one of certain death.

The suffering and pain both of my parents endured physically, emotionally and spiritually took a toll on everyone. 

My mother never left my father’s bedside no matter how tired, sad or prolonged she was in the hospital with him. (I later learned why in our hospital discussions. He was scared to die alone; she promised him he would never be alone.) She was with him when he slipped away serenely from this world to what awaited him in the next.

Now sitting in a waiting room with essentially complete strangers feeling so alone as though the world was caving in around me, the walls began to fall in, my breath was taken away and I felt as though I’d been punched in the stomach. Life was left suspended in some type of time vortex each hour after the doctor left us with the news. Would my only paternal link left in this world survive?

You know the end to this story, but each day I am stronger. Each day I am alive, breathing and here which is all we have. Strip us of all the fancy titles, clothes, houses and names and all you have left is breath. Fill yourself up with life just close your eyes and breathe.
 
Joy comes from sorrow because after sorrow if we've grown we appreciate all that is good after hard times. 
 
I Live Life Now,
 
Lisa Stocking
CSEP-CPT

 

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