It seems that everyone around me is falling apart.
More than a month ago, my father shared about losing feeling in the pinky of his left hand. Ever the enthusiast and optimist, he light-heartedly and humorously called this ‘the misbehaving pinky,’ and that we would find a way to make it behave again. No more than three weeks ago, he started to have problems with his right knee. Last week, I went with him to his neurologist appointment. As my father was poked and prodded with needles and odd devices to test his nerves and reflexes, I was brought back to about four years ago when I received a completely frightening phone call at work that my father was in the hospital for a stent placement procedure because he was too close to having a heart attack. In that tiny and cluttered examination room in the present, my father was ever the pleasant and jovial patient with chanting, “The torturing is almost done!” The verdict: Dad has to get surgery before he loses complete feelings and sensations in his left hand all together. My father’s verbal conclusion: “Something is bound to go wrong as you get older. It is all a part of life and old age.”
In the past week, my friends have shared with me that pressures of the majority who are married and have children have poked, prodded, and, finally, penetrated painfully into them—leaving them numb and naked about how to forge forward when all seems hopeless. I am the listener, the observer, and the doer to truly do whatever I can to help in whatever capacity I can. However, I find that in situations of the unexplainable emotions, it is best to listen and be the sounding board than to really do anything—especially to give out unwanted and unnecessary advice.
I often contemplate my life and the lives of so many others who are in pain and suffering. I watch and ingest with wonder to how people deal with and endure pain and suffering. And, then, I think about how I have dealt with my own inner demons from outer and unexpected and painful situations. Many have said to me that I have experienced more than the average 32-year-old has experienced. Many say to me that I am a ‘deep thinker’ who sounds more like a 50-year-old rather than in my 30’s. I’ve felt a lot of physical and emotional pain throughout my life for myself and for others, and can only conclude that pain and suffering are a part of life to learn to LIVE and carry on and find all the gains when all seems lost. My contemplation has finally zeroed in on one thing and one thing alone: Believe.
Growing up, my belief system was most unique. There are the earliest memories of the Church choir that my mother sang in, playing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ by memory on the piano, clasping my hands and praying on my knees, and scurrying on the playground with Mark who was my best Church friend. All of this came to an abrupt end when my mother left when I was 8-years-old. My father’s scientific self came into the forefront when he said to me, “You don’t have to go to Church to prove that you are good. You just have to do good things.” Meanwhile, my mother said, “If you do not go to Church or have Church friends, you are going to go to hell.” Enter my Stepmother about five years later who was a devout Buddhist and the definition of “calm” in the storms of life. I remember going to a Buddhist temple and eating leafy greens with shaven-headed monks. My Stepmother was more about silent meditation cross-legged or lotus-positioned rather than prayers aloud on knees.
Needless to say, my belief system and life experiences were a marriage that created a roller coaster ride that somehow and some way always ended in the best of ways. In spite of everything, I came to this conclusion that there has to be some kind of higher power and being that somehow orchestrated the unexplainable, unreasonable, and undeniable—and made everything just fall into place in the best of ways.
Many spend time asking “Why Me?” as a form of control and a desperate need to try to explain and understand. I was definitely guilty of this while I was growing up, and now I realize that so much defies explanation and understanding. Now, I wonder if the real question is this: “Why not me?” and to spend time finding the beauty in the ugly, hope in the hopeless, good in the bad, and treasured moments with the people we love the most and the surroundings and simple things that we often take for granted on a daily basis. For the people in my life who are currently 'falling a part' and need some extra TLC (tender loving care), I have the faith that everything will be okay-- and it will be, because having that little bit of faith will go the longest of ways.
As the 2014 year comes to a closer and Christmas is about to dawn on us, I am rejuvenated, replenished, and rejoice in believing. When I look back on my life lived so far, I see how everything has always fallen into place with faith, surrendering, and believing. There is only so much and nearly no control that we have with what happens in our lives. There is so much that cannot be explained. There are miracles and magic all around us that are seen and unseen. And, there is so much that we cannot see with our eyes, but felt deep within our heart and soul. This feeling is faith and believing when there is that inclination to believe in nothing and no one—not even you.
Enjoy this Christmas and each and every single day with each and every single person that brings the unexpected and your capacity and capabilities to ‘believe’ in everything working out in how it is meant to through no forces of your own but through higher being forces!
Keep the Faith,