I’m sick, very sick. Sick enough that after twenty years my team of doctors still have little idea what’s wrong with me. I am unable to work and unable to properly function at home. This is a challenging scenario for me. But, there are benefits here. There’s purpose in experiencing life in these ways. I am convinced of this because of a learned awareness of spirituality.
I grew up seeing spirits, astral traveling, feeling other people’s emotions, and hearing their thoughts. These experiences were so normal for me that I had to be taught how to “properly” interact with others. I learned that very few people could do the things I could, and that there were things I shouldn’t say to others. I had to curb my comments, very often just sharing knowing smiles.
These days it seems fewer people take responsibility for their life.
It seems less and less people master their emotions.
They don’t run their lives, they allow life to run them. Their problems are blamed on everyone and everything. Most never take responsibility for their own life. More importantly, they never take responsibility for how they feel.
Does life happen to you, or does life happen for you?
Think very carefully before you answer. The answer you give will shape your life.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I believe that life is hard. That we all are going to go through things that are hard and challenging. But, what if every painful experience in your life was actually sent to benefit you?
- To make you stronger.
- To make you wiser.
- To make you better.
What if the challenge you are facing was sent to make you grow? What if the difficult person was actually sent to teach you things?
- A reminder of how not to treat people
What if the loss you experienced was sent to make you appreciate the way we feel.
Everything in your life is your life!
Every human being decides how they are going to live their life.
It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.
We all decide what meaning we give to each and every moment in our lives. We do not decide what shows, but we do decide how we show it. We do not decide the circumstances that arrive each day, but, we absolutely decide how we are going to react to each circumstance.
There is no such thing as actual reality, there’s only our perception of reality.
Think about any event in your own life.
Your version of it, is only your opinion of it and will be completely different to many other people.
Two people could attend the same event, see the same things, speak to the same people, and leave with absolutely opposite thoughts about that event. How could this be it was the same event? That is because it’s an interpretation. The meaning both people gave the event is different. That meaning is based on the life of conditioning and personal experiences. A life of absorbing other’s opinions and therefore making our own.
The point is:
- We decide that meaning.
- We decide our perspective.
- We decide our reality.
- We decide OUR TRUTH!
The experiences I’ve had, force the point for me. I don’t ‘believe’ there’s more out there. I KNOW! I’ve had contact with various attuned and enlightened people who guided me through things.
They explained the subtle realms:
- How energy in life flows
- Why we are here on earth
- The various and multiple layers of existence
- The true nature of the soul and how we are connected
- That there is no one formal religion that is right for everyone.
I’ve seen and experienced things that many people so readily disregard. People say ‘spirits aren’t real’ because they can’t know anything else. But, I know they are there, not just because I’ve seen them. I know they are there because the universe gave me teachers. Mentors that have been there with me. Coaching me through life’s interactions.
The universe guided me by:
- Explaining that I should try things and see what happens
- In learning to protect myself
- To help them when they needed it
- Most importantly, teaching me how to identify who they are and what they want.
There’s a great degree of science behind spirituality. Much more than you could think possible. That science, the understanding of connections and interactions between things, being able to control and shape them means I don’t have a choice. I don’t ‘believe’ anymore, I know!
Bob Marley said…
“Some people dance in the rain,
others just get wet.”
This is true for everything in life. Some people hate life. Some people just get by. But, some people live life to the fullest. Those people appreciate the little things, which in turn, make a huge difference in their lives. Don’t worry about what other people do!
What do you do?
- Do you appreciate all the good in your life?
- Do you look for the good every day?
- Do you wake up expecting great things?
- Do you believe every tough moment in your life is it to make you stronger and in some way improve your life?
Every meaning, you give to everything in your life, makes your life!
I know that my sickness is a part of my spiritual journey. It serves a purpose by improving me and those who interact with me. Every life and death, no matter how beautiful or tragic is a wonderful experience for the soul.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself or try to blame others for your misfortune. This is your doing and it’s an amazing thing that you’ve chosen for yourself.
There is no fault!
You need this experience in your life to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ve got people around you who also chose to be there and experience a different reality to the situation with you. They’re also benefiting from you, learning and evolving as a result of your situation.
Choose empowering meanings, because the better your meanings, the better your life. The stronger your meanings, the stronger your life.
Between stimulus and response,
there is a space where we choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
It’s our decisions, not our conditions,
that control life and fulfill destiny.
CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.
We welcome Caleb and Molly to the CITB family and know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org and have a safe and happy Halloween!
Fun is not just for kids, and in fact, Halloween is the perfect time to make believe, dress up, and have a great time. But, how do you throw a substance-free party when you’re in recovery from addiction? One of the best ways to make sure everyone has an amazing time is to pick a theme and run with it. Sure, themes are a little cheesy, but that’s what Halloween is all about! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. They’re all packed with activities that make it easy to keep the focus on the fun and away from alcohol.
With movie themes, the possibilities are endless. A great way to set the scene is to use a projector to show the movie on a blank wall. For a scary classic, show Psycho but without sound and keep a scary soundtrack playing in the background (complete with the Psycho screech of course). Movie night can also be more fun than scary with favorites like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, or Harry Potter. Ask friends to come dressed as their favorite character, and serve alcohol-free versions of some beloved drinks from the movie you choose, like this Food Network recipe for butterbeer from Harry Potter.
When you turn your home into a house of horrors, the fun is all about the spooks. Check out Holiday for detailed how-tos and scenarios for making your home haunted. You can stick with a single theme like zombies, mad scientist, or a witch’s house, or set up a different scene in each room of your house for a surprise around every corner. Tie in themed food and drinks that are as spooky as the decor. There is no need for alcohol with all kinds of creepy punch recipes you can make that fit perfectly with the haunted theme.
Bonfire and Ghost Stories
Bring the fun outside by setting up a fire pit in your yard, building a bonfire and having everyone tell spooky stories around the fire. Serve s’mores and something warm to drink, like hot spiced cider, and offer blankets so everyone can get cozy. To make the stories come to life and feel even more real, set the scene by turning your yard into a graveyard, complete with tombstones and ghosts floating from trees.
Give your guests a case to solve with a mystery party. Try a modern take on a classic like this Nancy Drew party idea from Country Living, or do something a little more current like CSI. Whichever theme you go with, come up with a crime to solve, with clues, mysterious invitations, and a crime scene. Ask everyone to dress the part, and set up a “crime lab” with drinks served in test tubes
This theme gives your guests an excuse to dress up in swanky attire, but with a twist. Pick a time period or theme, such as Victorian opulence or the roaring twenties. This makes dressing up, even more, fun (and challenging!), and don’t forget to give masks for guests for an added air of mystery. For decor, go for Hollywood decadence but with an eerie touch, like these ideas from The Huffington Post.
Another upscale option is to plan an elegant dinner party styled in black and white. Set a beautifully creepy table with black and white linens, candlesticks, and a smattering of spiders. Ask guests to dress in only black and white. You can find endless ideas for spooky black and white decorations – from spiderweb, white lab coats, and skeletons to bats, ravens, and spiders.
Whether you go with something scary, fancy, whimsical, or somewhere in between, try finding a theme that you and your friends will get into. Simply have fun with it. When you do that, the fun is all about the theme and the activities instead of being about drinking. With a little careful planning and a lot of imagination, you can absolutely throw an amazing substance-free Halloween party.
Feature Image photo credit: Pixabay
What Can I Do To Change My Life?
This question is simple, the answer is quite complexed. Especially, to those in the chronic illness community.
Let’s establish a foundation to the development of a healthy mindset. Living with the many ways chronic illness changes your life, places stress on your life, making you feel damaged, weakened, and even broken. As people go through life they develop active or passive attitudes depending on comfort and/or feeling in control of that situation. Often, chronic illness forces us into a self-protective, subconscious reaction by taking control of our emotional and physical surroundings.
To achieve this, we develop a Fixed Mindset.
A Fixed Mindset is when you need to look smart and in control while internally feeling weak and out of control. In order to achieve this, you develop a Fixed Mindset and you:
- Avoid Challenges
- Give Up Easily
- See Effort As Fruitless Or Worse
- Ignore Useful Negative Feedback
- Feel Threatened By The Success Of Others
This Fixed Mindset obviously leads to stagnation and the feeling of being physically and emotionally stuck.
You want to change your life and so you have to do the opposite. Our starting point is Changing YOUR Mindset.
The key to any successful life change is a Positive Growth Mindset.
The very first and most important step is, change your thought patterns. If you are thinking negatively about life and all the things around, then you should change your thoughts.
To really change your life, you need a Positive Growth Mindset.
Having a Growth Mindset you can change anything in your life. The view you adopt in your life changes the way you lead your life.
Having a growth mindset means:
- Seeing Effort As Path To Mastery
- Learning From Criticism
- Finding Lessons Of Inspiration In The Success Of Others
- Embracing Challenges
- Persisting In The Face Of Setbacks
The result is a better sense of free will. You create a life that YOU desire.
POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET
Keep a Positive Growth Mindset.
Dive deep into it and urge yourself to ask even more questions.
- Every person is unique,
- Every person is connected with everyone
- Each person needs to develop his/her personal reality.
That should be based on what is real, valid, no matter the time, place, circumstances. Then, you can develop methods, explanations, perception suitable to your uniqueness, and compatible with the rest of the universe.
If you really want to change your life, watch for my next post “The 2 Minute Rule”
Millions of people live with chronic pain every day in the US, and they struggle to do basic day-to-day things like getting dressed and going to the shop. Despite their constant pain, their voices are rarely heard by the media because they look ‘normal’ and it is difficult to see the cause of their pain.
Here are 20 things that people in chronic pain can relate to:
We try very hard to look ‘normal’
People often say to us that we don’t look sick, but it takes a lot of effort to look normal. We often have to nap before going out to deal with the exhaustion, and we normally take pain meds before meeting up with people.
The pain won’t pass in a few days or weeks
This isn’t a cold or the flu, and it won’t go away in a few weeks – we may live with the pain for our whole lifetime.
It’s not all in our heads
[Tweet “We are not hypochondriac’s; just because you can’t see the cause of our pain doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”]
We have dreams and goals
Just like anyone else, we have passions and dreams that we would like to achieve in our lives. We are not defined by our illness.
We are not making a big deal for no reason
We are probably in more pain that you think we are in. It can be pretty difficult to understand chronic pain, and we don’t need your sympathy – we just want to know that you understand our situation.
Sometimes it is impossible to get out of bed in the morning
Some days the pain is too bad to get out of bed, but we don’t let that get us down. In fact, we will probably Skype our friends or partners so we can have a giggle to take our mind off the pain.
We hate being called lazy
Every job is twice as hard if you’re experiencing chronic pain, so we don’t feel lazy – we feel super accomplished for getting dressed and going to the shops. Everyone experiences different challenges in life.
Chronic pain doesn’t become less painful with time
Pain doesn’t become less painful over time, but you become better at dealing with the pain. I am still in pain; I’m just not letting it rule my whole life.We don’t always have enough spoons
Christine Miserandino, a woman with lupus, created the ‘spoons’ analogy to describe living with invisible pain.
When you have chronic pain, you start each day with a certain amount of spoons.
Every task, like making a sandwich, takes a spoon away from you. Once you have run out of spoons for the day, you cannot complete any more activities – your pain is too much. This analogy helps us to complete our tasks without exerting ourselves too much.
[Tweet “PLEASE take the time to read “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino this is probably the BEST essay to help you understand chronic pain!”]
If we don’t work, it is because we can’t
We don’t shy away from work; in fact, we would do anything to be healthy and able to work full-time. Sadly for some chronic pain sufferers, this just isn’t an option.
Just standing in queues is uncomfortable and painful
Having to hold your body in a certain place for even a few minutes can be extremely tiring and painful, and sometimes we have to ask our friends and families for help.
Good days do happen
Some days we wake up feeling better than normal, and we get super excited! Normally we will try to be productive and social on these days, because we don’t know when the next good day will be.
So do bad days
Some days are very painful, and on these days even going to the bathroom is a difficult task. On a day like this, brushing your teeth is a huge accomplishment!
We feel guilty about not always replying to our friends
Pain can be mentally exhausting, and sometimes it means we feel too tired and ill to reply to our friends. This makes us feel bad – we love our friends and we hate not replying, but thankfully our friends don’t take it personally when this happens.
We are so thankful for the friends and family who are there for us
Often we have to ask our loved ones for help with tasks like cooking and shopping, and we are so grateful for the help. Our friends are more than just friends; they are lifelines and saviours.
Medical help can be frustrating
It can take years to diagnose chronic pain due to a lack of training, and when we find an understanding doctor, we try to keep them in our lives for as long as possible.
We don’t seek drugs – we seek pain relief
Sometimes chronic pain is treated with medical marijuana and opioids, but that doesn’t mean we seek drugs. We seek anything that will help us to control and manage our pain.
We don’t need advice (unless you have chronic pain yourself)
We really appreciate people who are trying to be helpful, but it can be mentally draining to repeatedly discuss the same pain-management methods. We always look out for ways to help manage the pain, so the likelihood is that we have already tried most suggestions.
We hope to heal one day
We don’t want to live our whole lives in pain – we want to heal and get better. We will always look out for answers and cures that could change our lives
Love and support helps us to keep going
From strangers and co-workers, the little gestures like offering to help with our bags can really help to make our lives easier.
Medical searches on Google
When you do a Google search for certain medical conditions, you can learn about their symptoms and treatments. This includes information from medical doctors about how common a condition is, whether it’s critical or contagious, the ages it usually affects, and more.
You have made the decision to better your life, and kudos to you for this. It will take sheer determination and hard work, to achieve, but surely you’d already considered this when you’d made the decision to begin with.
Maybe you have chosen to be a doctor, a philanthropist, a house wife or even a faster clicking couch potato. Whatever your new dream, you should ponder priorities along the way.
In order to achieve your new goal, you must remember to bring it to light. Do you make it a habit to walk through your home with the lights off? Though you know the location of each piece of furniture,in the darkness, you may lose your own positioning. Sure there will be bangs, cuts and bruises along the way, but why add to it by haphazardly forgetting to hit a switch?
In each step to your new dream, there will be light switches.
Recognize, however, that it is a personal dream and your personal choice of where to illuminate. Sure, you may be able to see into that next room from the light belonging to the room before, but it will surely become dark two or three rooms in, without that easy to do click. Why blindly stumble through, to the point where you cannot see even a switch, or worse a brittle glass table?
An effortless switch is all you need to detect what is in the foreground. Always search for what is necessary to get yourself through to the next area. Often, the rooms you visit will become more difficult with each passing threshold. Assure your self plenty of time to get past each obstruction. When you come to the last room,you will be perplexed to find that it was well worth the band-aids it took to get there