52. It’s All About The Journey

Life is all about the journey.  Every time.  In every situation.  Whatever you are doing, the path to get there is always more important than the getting there.  What happens on your way is always more fun than the destination.  Or,  at least it should be.

I love,  love, love Christmas!  It is by far my favorite holiday.  I start the gift buying, usually in the summer.  Just one gift here and there,  whenever I run across something someone would really like.  I start decorating early.  Soon after Halloween,  I get out a few Christmas decorations.  I totally skip Thanksgiving.  I mean,  we celebrate Thanksgiving,  but aside from a family dinner and putting up a fall wreath,  I move right onto Christmas.  I really enjoy anything and everything about Christmas.  The music,  the decorations,  shopping for gifts, baking special Christmas cookies,  etc..  I used to love going to church on Christmas Eve (it’s hard for me to go out in winter now), because I loved the Christmas hymns.  I mean, I loved the whole evening, getting to see friends,  and hearing the message of Christmas,  but I especially loved the music.  However, when it’s the middle of December, the closer Christmas actually gets,  the more I want to slow it down,  because I know it will all be over in one short day.   It’s the journey that I enjoy so much,  not Christmas Day.

When you watch a movie or a television program,  it’s the figuring out of the who-dun-it that you enjoy,  not the actual answer to the mystery.   When you go on vacation,  you should enjoy the entire trip,  not just the beach,  or the museum,  or the restaurant,  or the tour you took,  but the entire trip.

So,  if you’re not enjoying yourself yet,  you should probably start really soon.  You can’t wait until you retire to start enjoying life,  or wait until you get the job you want,  or the house you want.  If you are sick, you shouldn’t even wait until you are feeling better to enjoy your life.  Start right now.   Slow down, and notice life.  Pay attention.  It’s easy to get so caught up in the busyness that is your life that you forget to have any fun.   I must admit that I used to be like that.  Married, with two young children and working forty hours a week at a job with a round trip commute of 90 minutes every day,  I was always on the go, and never slowed down enough to even think about what I was doing,  let alone enjoy myself.  Well,  I’m sure that’s not totally true.  But, looking back, life was a bit of a labyrinth that I seemed to go through without a lot of thought or reflection.  Until ALS entered into my life, and brought it to a screeching halt.  At least at first.  A serious illness has a way of bringing life to a stopping point,  whether you are ready for it or not.  It somehow makes you stop and pay attention to everything a little,  or a lot,  more.  Actually any sort of tragedy,  not just an illness, has a way of making you stop whatever you are doing and pay attention to life.

So,  try not to wait for a tragedy or illness,  stop and pay attention to life before something forces you to.  When I was a kid,  I lived in a haunted house.  That’s not that big of a deal,  it just meant that my great-grandfather who used to live there,  still either lived there,  or visited often.  But,  what that led to was a lot of talk amongst my parents about things like,  did you see that light just go off when we drove into the driveway?  And,  conversations about odd things that happened.  I didn’t really understand any of it,  but I came up with my own theory that if I believed in ghosts,  one would not find the need to prove their existence by showing up in my room late one night.  So,  if I didn’t want to see a ghost,  all I had to do was believe in them.  I didn’t realize at the time,  that the older gentleman who I saw standing at the end of my bed all the time,  checking in on me,  could have been called a ghost,  but that’s another story.

Maybe a similar approach to health and avoiding tragedy would work.  Don’t wait for bad health or tragedy to strike,  don’t wait to be forced to slow down and take a break.  Enjoy today.  Stop and smell those roses!  Really, just enjoy the journey!  That is what it’s ALL about.  If you aren’t having a good time in your life,  you are doing it wrong.  No worries though!  Just change it up!  Change whatever you need to,  to enjoy yourself.  Start anytime.  If you make a change and that doesn’t work out for you,  try,  try again.

Slip slidin’ away,  slip slidin’ away

You know the nearer your destination 

The more you’re slip slidin’ away 

These lyrics from a song by Paul Simon remind me to enjoy the journey of life.  It’s easy to get caught up in your destination,  whatever that may be, health, or the perfect job,  or a certain amount of money,  whatever your goal.  It’s easy to let your quest take over.  Before you know it, it has become all about the destination and you have forgotten about the journey.  Life is all about the journey.  We have to remember that.  Don’t wait to live your life after you accomplish the goal.  Don’t wait to be happy after you get better.  Don’t let life slide away from you, enjoy every slippery minute!  

Advertisements

31. He Who Must Not Be Named

 

Words are powerful.   We have to make sure we give power to the right words in our life.  If you know anything about the Harry Potter book and movie series, you may know that there is a wizard who other witches and wizards are so fearful of, that they won’t even speak his name.  Harry Potter is often scolded by his teachers for daring to utter the name, Voldemort.  They fear the power held by the name when spoken aloud.  Harry is always quick to point out that he isn’t afraid to say his name.  Harry believes that by not saying the name Voldemort, they are giving Voldemort even more power.

I think Harry was spot on.  Too many times have I felt the fear cast by the words, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (say that fast,  ten times),  or ALS.   It is referred to as one of the worst diagnoses you can receive.  One of the worst diseases you can have.  Hearing ALS referred to in this way, over and over again gives the name a power over you that it should not have.   

I, like Harry Potter, think that people give way too much power to the name of a disease. Think of Cancer, for instance.  When you find out that someone you know has been diagnosed with it, upon hearing the word, Cancer, don’t you immediately get a sick feeling in your heart, or maybe the pit of your stomach?  That is the power and the fear held by the word, Cancer.  Power that would be much better off placed elsewhere.  Power and energy you could be using to get over, or through, your illness.  Don’t give your illness or disease any more power than it deserves.  Don’t be afraid of the name and all that the name entails.  You will be ahead to actually forget about whatever it is that you’re dealing with (as much as safety possible) ,  and just go on with your life as normally as you possibly can.  

Any negative word can hold a type of power over us.  These words can make us feel doomed,  like we have no chance of success.  If you believe you will fail at something before you even attempt it,  chances are you will fail.   But,  if negative words can hold power,  so can positive words.  If you believe that you will achieve your goal,  just believing it will go a long way in making it happen.  Pay attention to the words and the stories that are running through your mind,  often non-stop.  Are they positive messages of health and happiness,  or are you constantly worried about test results and thinking of the aches and pains you have?  Maybe not just the stories in your mind,  but the stories and the words you use to tell others about your life.  When someone asks how you are,  what is your first response?  Do you tell them about how bad you feel,  or about whatever bad thing just happened to you?  Or,  do you talk about the good things that recently happened in your life?  

Is your glass half empty,  or half full?  Some days it may be hard enough just to find your glass,  I know,  been there,  done that.  But,  try not spend too much time focusing on the negative.  Try to give more power to the positives in your life.  It really can make a huge difference.   Make every story floating through your mind,  one that you would be willing to put in your yearly Christmas newsletter.  You know,  those often funny and maybe annoying letters people like to add into their Christmas cards to let you know how great their lives and their families lives are going.  You rarely read anything negative in those letters.  Somehow the people in those letters never have anything bad happen in an entire year!  So, go for it!  Focus on the positive,  and just skip over anything bad that happened.  Give power to the positive words and stories of your life!  Try to make every day a Christmas newsletter day! 

28. Believe

Believe.  A popular sentiment this time of year.  I do,  Believe.  I believe in the magic of the Christmas 🎄 season.  I believe all year long.  I know that the world is a much more magical place than we give it credit for being.  The magic of The Universe is always there,  if you just believe.

There is a book called Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries,  that talks about the belief in magical creatures like Fairies and Elves,  in Celtic countries.  The stories were gathered by the author who went around the country side at the end of the 19th century,  talking to older citizens of small towns.  He heard stories of things,  magical things that happened to these people,  or to their parents or grandparents.  Back when people believed in the magic of the world.  I read it years ago.  It’s a wonderful book, if you want some proof that magical things just might be real.

I know a person who Believes so strongly, that miracles happen in his life on a daily basis!  Big miracles.  Miracles,  like someone showing up and offering their services to care for him,  a person who has ALS,  when he  had no idea where he was going to find the help he needed.  Then,  another person came into his life,  to care for him.  Oh,  and I might mention that his body is healing itself.  I don’t mean the scrape on his knee is healing itself ,  I mean he can hold his head up after years of not being able to do that due to ALS.  He can take a breath on his own after years on a ventilator!  Really huge miracles!  Miracles are happening so bigly (that’s a word now,  right?) in his life,  he is writing a book about it.  I can’t wait to read it!

Miracles are right there just waiting for you to believe in  them,  so they can appear before your eyes.  There’s even a book written called,  A Course in Miracles.  It’s what I would call,  a very “woo – woo”,  deep sort of book.  Maybe not for the beginner who is not so sure about miracles.  On the other hand,  Pam Grout ( who,  if you read my blog, you know  I love , love) wrote a series of books called E-SquaredE-Cubed,  and Thank and Grow Rich,  all about the miracles that are just waiting for you.  All with easy to do experiments that allow the Universe to prove to you that it’s there and just waiting  for you to Believe.

If you have seen the movie, City Slickers,  you might remember how Curly talked about the secret of the Universe being just one thing.  Well,  I think that secret is simply to Believe.  To believe that absolutely anything is not only possible,  but probable.  Believe in ,  Matthew 21:22 – “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”.   I think it is the ancient secret of Alchemists,  and how the Egyptians built the pyramids,  and how everything that seems impossible is somehow possible.  Okay,  I’m guessing the Egyptians had a few other tools other just belief,  but you get what I mean,  right?  Somewhere along the road between the time when Egyptians built the pyramids, and Alchemists were walking the streets of every town,  we lost that magic.  But,  every Christmas season we are reminded that magic and miracles exist.  We are reminded that miracles happen on a daily basis.  I am reminded that every day that I wake up is a miracle for me,  because many doctors  (not mine),  believe that people don’t live for years and years with ALS.  Much of the time,  that is true.  But, I believed it didn’t have to be true, and Believing is a big part of making it so.

My wish,  is that everyone who reads this, will try to hold onto some of that Christmas spirit, the magic of Christmas, and let it extend past Christmas time and into the New Year. Greet each new day with the same excitement,  hope,  and Belief,  that you feel during this time of year,  all year through!

See the source image