Straight From Selfishness…. To BLISS

[authors note: This was started days ago. I was unable to complete this in one or even two settings. Finding the words I needed to express this has been difficult only because there is so much involved.  I am hoping the date in this piece will have little meaning to the reader. My hope is that not only will this document my strong feelings it may also open hearts that may be closed.]

Today is the early morning of 28th of December. …..

Three days post-Christmas Day……

Seven days post my most selfish time.  Seven days  later a more grateful self who is experiencing the Bliss of Christmas Spirit.  Far from the feelings of pain and self-centeredness. Fast away from the woman whose heart-felt like she could take on anything. Far away with selfish wants of the woman who just last week sat in my soul.

I have been gifted many wonderful things this Christmas.  Things.  Things that can be touched, peered upon, listened to, worn, and even things I can turn into creative expressions of myself.  These are amazing gifts of love from my small inner world of those who care enough to take the time to find ways to express their feelings for me. Is there a better way to show your expression of love for someone?

I think so. I know so. And this that I have to say in no way detracts from the love expressed to me through sweet gifts of love from my family, my”FRamily”, my friend’s, and even those in my community who may never know how much I appreciate their gifts of love. I needed to qualify that. It is important that I do so. before moving on.

I asked is there any better way to show your expression of love for someone? We all know that gifts of materials are great, and often even necessary gifts. Such as receiving a Sunday best once a year, or a gift of a warm blanket in an environment where it’s cold and snows often.  But what about gifts of love, kindness, strength, and courage of one’s self to a friend, when her sky is falling in?

 I adore the nightgowns I received this year from my family who are privy to the fact that I am never more comfortable than I am when I am in comfy cozy jammies. If I could live full-time in them I would. I love the thoughtfulness that was obviously put into the gifts I received this year. How truly spoiled I feel. How loved and even maybe treasured I feel.

 But I almost missed it all.

Selfishness has it’s purpose. But maybe this is not what you think I mean.  I do not mean that by being selfish you will get what you think you so selfishly are asking for. But what I do mean, and am trying to express through sharing a very personal experience is that times of selfishness can be warning signs if you really listen to your heart, and even maybe what someone who loves you is saying. 

 Acts of selfishness, times of being selfish, or feeling selfish can really be signals to the brain and heart that something quite valuable is missing from your core.  I know because I recently experienced a meltdown of the classic form; with self discoveries that then were expressed in such selfish ways that even I began to loath what I was doing. Who I was becoming.  I just seemed unable to stop myself.

Let it suffice to say for privacy reasons of others involved that I – Me – was feeling pretty low. I had begun to let what others were doing reflect upon myself and when I was either not satisfied, or I was disappointed I began to withdraw.

 I need to preface the rest of this for those who may not know I have an illness that involves the central nervous system. Because of this I have a very low threshold for stimulus. My beloved husband and I have tried to create an environment  where I am able to conserve the parts of me which can quickly begin to spiral downward by symptoms spiking in severity. These kind of lifestyle changes allow me to have some sense of a life that is similar to the one I had prior to Chronic Illness.  But it can be a steep & windy journey to keep this environment on an even keel. And lately it’s been disrupted by stressors out of my control. I allowed them to take me down, to let the selfish needs of my own break into everything else in my enviroment and surroundings. I allowed my own selfish feelings to effect what was happening around me and to those I love dearly, and are in a real sense my life. My Family.

I began to let my own selfish feelings of what I saw as betrayal take me down the long slippery slope to depression. Dark clouds, and dull sounds.

 And it was Christmas Time.

Gifts come in many forms as I said before. The most amazing magical gifts cannot be seen,  cannot be smelled, cannot be purchased, or even put under the tree. This kind of gift is Heaven Sent. And it can be felt, touched, heard, and shared.  This is a gift of selflessness from someone who I know without a doubt  that God sent my way. 

Through this gift of actions of love and kindness from maybe one of the most selfless and giving soul’s I know the issues that I was reacting to were addressed in a loving but also a very honest way. This gift from my friend helped me to turn my selfishness into a sense of real bliss. A real gift  that I needed more than anything else during this Holy Holiday. A Gift sent from Heaven above via an angel disguised as my closest and best friend sent to be near me. Sent to help me process the strange emotions that were enveloping my very soul.

I am blessed to be a woman with abundant friends who care and are willing to share. Each of these 4 very special women (one is my “late in life twin”) have impacted me in ways I’ll never be able to thank them for.I hope and pray that they know how much their support, unconditional love, and advice means to me. That I hear their voices while processing during times that I struggle is incredible. Yet ironically the lessons I needed were being expressed by each of these women in different ways. I listened, I absorbed. Slowly….so slowly…..

Aapparently I needed to be physically but figuratively slapped. In person. And out of the four women just one lives close enough to do the job.

In a time of unusual darkness that I was experiencing and that is so unlike who I am, I began to lose myself. I began to feel broken. In my 5 decades of living I have always put others before myself. I don’t say this to be self-serving. Trust me after this last week – or maybe it’s been a month there is nothing that I care to do, or say, that has an intent to be self-serving. I tried that on for a week or so and it’s not a right fit for me. But non the less I made everyone close to me and in my path be aware that I was hurting emotionally. And I led them to feel it was their fault!

It is an ugly feeling that these actions of selfishness were feeling deserved, that somehow because I was not feeling heard this was my right. That to feel the pain of what  felt  like a broken heart, along with the physical pain from a chronic illness is not that of a well mind. It was of a broken mind that was trying to bridge the pain from my heart to  brain. When my brain could take no more it broke. I broke. You have to know that I am not one who cries for herself.  I rarely spend time looking inward, instead I  try to spend it looking out for others who are living lives with purpose.  I try to live my life with purpose. I am not one who is prone to any kind of melancholy, or a nose turned just inward. But for this week I did.

Apparently even women living lives of purpose can break too. And my most amazing gift this Christmas came from a close friend who shared with me that I was not alone in what I was feeling. Why is it that it comforts us to just be made aware that we are not alone in?  That others feel pain too comforts us? Odd. 

 The most valuable gift this friend gave me along with her devoted friendship is the gift of “Bliss” returned. Through tears and even some laughter she helped me find the straight road to my journey again. She helped me in ways she may not know,ways that let me find my way off that windy & slippery slope. Talking and sharing, reminding each other that women like us (she & I ) were born to sacrifice the materialistic things in life.  That we have the presence to know that material things have no true meaningful or significant meaning in our lives. The true gifts of value for women like us are gifts of others.

This gift was to gently remind and help me to see that being disappointed  by others; or even if  my own moral code is different, this no reflection on who I am.  That my honest and real feelings are ones that can be validated, but maybe by a close friend and not necessarily by the ones who I expected it from. That this kind of validation is just as viable, and just as heart-felt. I needed to see that what I was feeling , what I felt was lacking was really lacking from my own heart. Only I could find the way to replace what was missing. Only I could either allow or disallow that which put me in the vehicle I was traveling in down the slippery road.

 Yet this is not to say or imply that we are women who are willing to be doormats.  We know that God and the Universe intends for us to be women with strong faith and with hopes that what is truly important to our lives with purpose will be worth waiting for. Asking for, and looking for,  in ways that may not be just exactly what we asked for.  It is not vital that we have it all now. Or that it comes just in the form of which we asked for. 

This heartfelt gift from this friend came out of the blue, when I know she was most busy with activities that are for gifts to her own family and her community. People who are our local homeless, people who live in our local assisted living homes,  families having to be away from home and having the need for our local Ronald McDonald house during the holidays; and many more receive gifts from this dear friend of mine. Every year.

I know many who would never admit it but they count on those cookies coming from this incredible woman. I can only imagine the smiles that she and her also amazing husband (Santa) must receive when they deliver piles of warm blankets that have been compiled for a couple of weeks in their home. This friend of mine has a heart of gold, one that God must be so proud of. And she does all this good with no expectations, with a smile and grace of someone of the likes I have never known before.

My friend is a blessing in my life. And through her gracious love and faith I was able to grasp back on to the Holiday Bliss that was missing from my heart. How dark and cold my heart & home felt that day. And how warm and inviting it became again after her visit that evening. A slight warm and gentle slap.  With it she left warmth, and bliss back into my heart, and back into my home.

This was an act of great love and kindness, this was where Real Bliss can be found again. In the heart’s of a very good friends who have the willingness to give, to reach out and touch with their own warmth and love.  Reigniting what is there but maybe had dwindled down to embers for whatever reasons, leaving behind fires of warmth and love to burn again. Sometimes a gentle nudge, or a gentle touch of flame to your own smoldering heart is all that is needed. You may not even realize it. 

This has been a most amazing Christmas. And not because of the material gifts.

Happy New Year to you all!!!!!

Postscript:

{Dear QM, I know you are shaking your head and even possibly blushing. I just needed to be able to express in my own way the gift of Christmas and bliss you helped put back in my heart is a gift that I will remember always. Spending spoons you did not have a great supply of is something I can never replace for you. Although I wish I could. I wish I could wish my spoon stash your way, that it is that easy. Thank you.}

[ Dear Family; I love every wonderful and thoughtful gift that you gave with such love & thoughtfulness. I am almost embarrassed. You truly spoil me. ]

{ Dear Friends of my four, please know that you standing by me no matter what has no less meaning or impact than if you were here. You just could not reach out and give me the “Thanks I needed that” slap in person.

©tjhelser

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