81. Believing Without Seeing

Believe without seeing.  That is the trick.  We live in a world that always seeks proof, no matter what the situation.  Science is the study and observation of the world.  The world always wants proof before it will believe.  Seeing is believing.  I’m sure you’ve heard that  at some point.  But, what if believing is what leads to seeing?  I believe that’s the way it works.  You cannot see God, but most people believe he/she exists.  Believing in God, or whatever name you choose to use, allows you to see proof of his/her existence everywhere you look.

You need to imagine how good you will feel when you get what ever it is that you want, before you see it.  I’m not just talking about stuff.  I mean anything, health, a relationship,  money, or whatever you want.  That is how it works.

Imagine your way to anything you want.  You can do it.  That is just the law of attraction.  Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions produce energies which, in turn attract like energies.  So, if you want something, imagine that you have it.  You might think that it is too hard to do.  But, if you have ever had a dream while you were sleeping, then you know how awesome your brain and subconscious are at creating!  Haven’t you had some pretty weird dreams?  The kind that leave you wondering, upon waking up, where in the world that came from?  How did your mind come up with all that?  Well, I think that’s God’s /the Universe’s way of reminding you that you can be a creator.  Remember that little bit in the beginning of the Bible, about man being created in God’s image?  Well, many people believe that also means, God made man a creator.  You can create the life you want to live.

I really believe that dreams are where some of our award-winning movies, and books came from.  I have heard writers of popular movies credit the ideas to their dreams.  If I could remember my dreams long enough to write them down, I would surely be on the Best Sellers list!  I am amazed sometimes at my mind’s ability to create.  The key is to keep that going when you are awake and wishing for something you want.  Close your eyes, and envision yourself doing, or having whatever it is that you want.  Feel the happiness that the feeling of having it creates in you.  Have fun with it.  Just take two minutes, whenever you can.  Maybe you are in your car waiting to pick up your child or grandchild from school.  Maybe you are stuck in traffic.  Where ever you are, whenever you have a minute, imagine something you want, coming true.  If nothing else, it might just put you in a good mood.  Your mind can be tricked into thinking that you have whatever it is you wish for, and then the feeling of having it comes to you , even if you don’t have it yet.  You can feel better about it, and stop worrying about when or if you will ever get it.  Try it!  What have you got to lose?

 

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73. Walk Like An Egyptian

If you find yourself longing for the days when all you had to complain about was the weather, or how many cell phone sales calls you received that day, then you might find the need to make some drastic changes in your life to survive whatever it is that you are dealing with.  In your pursuit of health, wealth, happiness, contentment, or whatever it is you are seeking, life might just get tough.  If you have a serious illness, you may find yourself in situations in which you have little control.  Your whole life can feel like you have no control over what happens.  If someone else is caring for you, they might be awesome, but they aren’t you.  They could be an amazing cook, but you might find yourself longing for the days when you chose your own menu.  Eating whatever someone else thinks you want is not always appetizing.  Or, maybe you are in a situation where you can’t even eat at all!  I know many people who live with that as a part of their lives.  Eating is just an example, out of the millions of situations you may find yourself.  This is where living life like a Buddhist monk, or walking like an Egyptian (at least for entertainment purposes), might be helpful.

After all, you wouldn’t expect a Buddhist monk to get upset when things got tough, or didn’t go their way.  They always seem to be at peace, at least in the books I’ve read, and movies I’ve seen.  I think part of their trick in finding peace, is not to focus on the situations that make you feel out of control.  If all you can think about, and worry over is in relation to food, for example, then don’t think about it.  Yes, it is really just that simple, and that hard.  Because, for instance, what’s the first thing you think about when I say, don’t think about a zebra!?  Didn’t that make you think of a zebra?   So, not focusing on something you don’t like isn’t always easy, but if you want the happiness and peace that is possible, you have to find a way to do it.

I have ALS.  I don’t want to have it, I don’t like it, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it.  Even if I am not directly thinking about it, I’m thinking of something I want to do, or need assistance to do, because I can’t do it on my own, because of this thing in my life called, ALS.  So, I’m constantly indirectly, or directly, thinking about it.  One thing I just did to help myself stop focusing on it, was to change my Facebook newsfeed.  Everyone complains about Facebook, and how much political commentary is on Facebook, and how many people are starting up arguments, and negative postings.  Well, Facebook is whatever you make it.  You have control over your newsfeed.  You can make it what you want it to be.  If all the people on your newsfeed are always arguing and posting political or general posts that you don’t approve of, then maybe you should unfriend those people, or unfollow them. You don’t have to read every post you see.  If you don’t agree, keep scrolling.  You don’t have to comment.  I made changes to my Facebook.  My newsfeed is a pleasant and uplifting space.  I no longer see constant posts of people, who make lots  of political posts, on either side of the aisle.  I also no longer see posts from people who  are suffering through their daily grind, living with ALS.  I  am sorry if they have had a bad day, but me reading about it is not helping them.  I can still go to their pages and check in on them whenever I want.  I have several family members and friends who’s posts I still see, but aside from that, I do not have to wade through the negativity.

We all need to feel like we have a voice and somewhere we can share with others, and Facebook is great for that.  But, you have to know when it is not helping you, and causing you to focus on things you would be happier not focusing on.  That goes both for Facebook and life in general.  Make whatever changes you need in your life to be happy.  If you think walking like an Egyptian might help, give it a try.  It couldn’t hurt, and at the very least,  it might make someone laugh or smile!  My News Years hope for you all is that may you acquire more control over your life, and that you will be able to focus more easily on what you want, and not what you have.

 

35. It’s A Wonderful Life

“It’s A Wonderful Life”  has always been one of my favorite movies.  I have no idea how many times I’ve seen it.  I watch it at least once a year.  I had the words printed into a decal and put on the wall above my fireplace, “It’s a Wonderful Life”   (click to see).  It’s just a little bit crooked.  The reason it is crooked, is because my daughter put it on the wall for me when she was only twelve years old.  The fact that it’s crooked reminds me that it’s a wonderful life,  not a perfect life.  Much like the chips in the dry wall around the door frames in my house.  Those chips and marks are from wheelchairs and patient lifts.  They are reminders of the bumps in life.  The stains on the now old carpeting are from pets we have loved,  and children growing up.  They all remind me that my house is not just a house,  but a home.  Every stain,  every mark,  has a story behind it.  I’m not opposed to getting some new carpeting one of these days,  but I don’t think I would want to live in a house where everything was perfect.  A friend of mine used to tell me every time she came over,  that my house had such a homey feel to it.  I took that as a compliment.

I remember that a friend of mine told me about a client of hers,  who took her on a tour of her big new fabulous house.  She had a big staircase put in,  with old-looking wooden stairs.  She kept apologizing and complaining when some of the steps creaked and made noise as they stepped on them.  They apparently were supposed to look old and used,  but not sound old and used.   I can’t imagine having that as a problem in my life.  I mean,  if you are worried about that,  your life is pretty good,  right?  Or,  maybe she just worried about everything, I don’t know.   I am thinking she might have more problems than squeaky stairs.

Life is all about learning.  If you led a perfect life,  I don’t think you would learn very much.  I think we learn more from the hardships in our lives.  But. I have realized that just because we have problems,  doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our lives in the midst of those problems.  If you wait until your problems are solved to be happy,  you might as well give up now.  I don’t know of anyone with no problems.  I know of people who seem to have no problems,  but they are just trying to make their lives look better than they really are.  If something looks to good to be true,  it probably is too good to be true.  I generally don’t let things worry me too much,  or not for too long anyway.  If something breaks,  I  just get it fixed.   If I can’t get it fixed,  I buy a new one.   If that won’t work,  oh well,  I’ll figure it out eventually.  I’m not going to worry about it.   When something goes wrong,  or not the way you hoped it would,  just remember that you can’t know what you do want,  until you know what you don’t want.  So,  be grateful that you have been shown exactly what you don’t want,  so that you can now make the changes needed to move onto what you do want.

Try to focus on all the wonderfulness of your life.  Ignore the bad stuff and the problems as much as humanly (and safely) possible.  Search out the good in every situation.  And,  believe me,  there’s something good in everything.  If I can say that,  when I have been living with delightful ALS for 22 years,  then I think anyone can.

This may sound crazy,  but I have always loved to look at old tombstones,  and see what they have written on them.   I also love the design of the old ones,  there is so much detail to them.  Not like the new ones they have today which all seem to look-alike.  I think I found my love of tombstones through an art project in elementary school,  when we made a relief of the design and words off of tombstones (our school happened to be right by the cemetery).  Years later,  while visiting England with my mother,  we toured through some old churches and I saw the most beautiful headstones,  some with full stories describing the person’s life etched into the stones.

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I have often wondered what the perfect words would be to have etched on my stone.  How do you sum up a lifetime in just a few words?   I think I will simply say,  “It Was A Wonderful Life. “

 

 

26. Laugh. Even if you don’t feel like it.

 

Who says TV is bad for you?  I know I heard that somewhere.  Maybe it was just sitting too close to the television set that I was warned about?  Anyway, contrary to popular belief, I think television and movies can be good for you.  In the movie, What About Bob, Bob takes a vacation from his problems.  TV can offer a tiny vacation from your problems. A few minutes to laugh or solve a crime, and forget about that doctors appointment coming up,  or that test you have to take,  or whatever it is that you don’t really want to do.  And, for those of us who aren’t able to physically do much besides reading and surfing the internet, sometimes movies and television are all we have to keep busy.  Well  that,  and writing a blog will keep you pretty busy! 

When I could no longer do things with my kids that required physical movement of any kind,  watching TV was something we could do together. Each week when our favorite programs were on, they would actually come out of their rooms and spend a few minutes with their mother!  Even though they no longer live at home,  we still watch television and movies together.  My oldest daughter and I watch The Middle almost every week.  My youngest daughter and I try to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy most Friday’s when she comes over. 

The same day I received my third confirmation that, yes, I had what doctors considered to be a terminal, incurable, and untreatable disease,  my husband and I went straight to a movie theatre.  Why not, right? We both had the whole day off of work, why waste it being sad and depressed? I had, according to everyone “in the know” (neurologists), at the very least, a couple of years for that.   So, we went to see, There’s Something About Mary.   Definitely the most hilarious movie of 1998. So, when my mind would have normally been devoured by sadness, instead, I smiled and laughed for 119 minutes. Probably the best thing I could have done at the time.  

Now there are probably close to a million channels (okay,  not quite) to choose from,  streaming on Roku, Amazon Fire Stick,  etc..  Although there are way too many shows not worth watching,  there are some really great ones out there too.   You can now watch them anytime.  No more waiting all week,  or even all year to watch the annual showing of holiday programs or movies.   If you are stuck in a bad mood,  or feeling down, a funny movie or sitcom can be just the ticket,  to at least give you a break from the way you are feeling.  The more you can laugh,  the better you will feel.  I  promise.  Laughter  really,  sometimes,  is the best medicine.  So,  try it. The next time you are feeling down,  watch an episode of The Middle,  or find What About Bob on Netflix.   I  guarantee you will feel a little better!