Tag Archives: stillness

What to do when challenges arise?

I recently had cataract surgery on both eyes. I chose a well-known doctor who does 2,000 of these surgeries every year. Everyone I talked to said it was the easiest surgery they ever had. My left eye was done first and the results were remarkable. A week later, I had the right eye done. During that surgery, the doctor said “I was not able to get all the fragments of the cataract out of your eye. You may have floaters for awhile.”

The following morning when I opened my right eye all I could see were broken brown fragments floating around in my vision. It was as if I were looking through a windshield that was covered with Petroleum Jelly. When I walked into the doctor’s office the morning after surgery. I said, “I’m scared. My vision is not right.” He assured me the floaters would disintegrate and if they didn’t, I could have another surgery. I had a trip planned to the Midwest for a family wedding in two weeks. I asked if I could do the second surgery before I left. He referred me to a retina doctor and I had to wait a week to see him.

During this time period, I had a dream about my father who was visually impaired for the last 10 years of his life. He had detached retinas  surgeries that left his vision impaired. He wouldn’t go out at night no matter how much mother and I begged him. He stayed home and went to be at 8 pm. With my own visual impairment, I felt compassion for my father.  I have not been able to drive at night with this impaired vision. I had to cancel my trip to the Midwest and have another surgery on my right eye. My right eye is healing and my vision is improving daily.

We all have challenges and disappointments in life. The only choice we have is the attitude we choose about those challenges. We can become a victim of life or a survivor.

It has taken me a lifetime to see my challenges as sacred gifts rather than scars to deny, disguise, or project onto others.

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Let Your Soul Catch Up

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I love my public library. I always wonder what delight I’ll find there. I was as surprised as everyone else to discover that I was a writer when Grief Denied – A Vietnam Widow’s Story, was published in December 1999.  I’ve done a lot of writing since then; such as blog posts and newsletters for my business but I’ve never completed a second book. These days I feel a strong nudge to write about my 70th year and all the miracles it contained.

When I dropped off a book at the library this week, I wandered around a little and found The Power of Pause – Becoming More by Doing Less, by Terry Hershey. The book is based on the principle of Sabbath, which means to cease and to rest. This book makes me pause, and my perceptions sharpen and I weep because this very act of pausing brings awareness of how many moments I have missed. When I pause, I see more, realize more, feel more, give more and enjoy life more.

I recently took a time management class, which was quite insightful.  I realized how much time I piddle away. Yet I don’t enjoy piddling because I feel guilty because I should be producing. I’m so geared to be productive. What has being so productive cost me?

When I was a child, we honored the Sabbath by attending mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church every Sunday morning. Mom dressed in her finest navy blue dress, high heels, and a hat. Dad wore his only suit, white shirt and tie and his hat, course. All 5 kids were dressed up in our Sunday best.  After Mass mom made a big lunch – chicken and dumplings. I used to beg for a dumpling before she threw it in the boiling gravy.  After lunch, we all packed into the 1955 Chevy for a drive in the country to see our farmland. My father loved pulling a few ears of corn and wheat to bring back to display in his retail store. On Sunday’s evenings we had a light dinner with fried bologna sandwiches, Angel Food Cake and J-e-l-l-o. My father didn’t work on Sundays but as a Midwest housewife mother never stopped working.   The best part of the Sabbath was when mom collapsed into the swing on the porch for a brief rest. She rarely sat down so all five of us would scurry to grab the seat next to her.

In elementary school I had a paper route. Before and after school, I had to fold my papers, stack them in the newspaper bag, get that big bag in my bike basket and deliver them to every home’s front porch. I acquired the habit of being productive very early in life.

My physical therapist tells me to do the exercises she gives me so slowly that I start to cry. I’m not accustomed to moving so slowly and consciously. For this day I will pause, reflect, pray and be still so I don’t miss too many more minutes of my life. And work on my second book. 2016(c) All Rights Reserved. Pauline Laurent, CPCC

 

 

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