Archives

Found: Empathy & Compassion

Empathy and compassion are the paths that point to finding the road to living a life with great serenity.
Not everyone knows this experience.

image empathy is

My small world is filled family and Friends whose empathy and compassion often not the socks off my bare feet.
I want them to know this 13th day of May 2014 just how much I cherish their caring thoughts, prayers, actions, and genuine feelings for me. I’m one very blessed lady and I never wish to take that for granted.

I was prepared mentally,  physically, and spiritually to have a surgical procedure called a Cholecystectony, the fancy word for Laparoscopic removal of my Gallbladder. I wasn’t prepared for deep sense of love and care I have been shown by family and friends. I don’t mean to suggest that their empathy and compassion are new to me.
Not at all.
I am feeling their care in a new way, it’s me whose feeling the loving care as incredibly blessed gifts. I think for sometime I wasn’t the person who was in touch and mindful of that feeling beyond an awareness that it was there.
I hope I wasn’t actually taking it for granted before,  I think I simply was not giving the compassion from those in my life the reverence it deserves. They deserve.
Empathy is not something everyone gets to experience,  yet it is needed to be able to embrace a sense of compassion.

There are people in my life, close family, and friends who became family by choice that I best describe them as ‘Empaths’. They know what I’m living. They, because of their gifts of empathy and compassion feel deeply what I feel.

image empathy is about standing

They’ve been beside me and privy to my journey of becoming a strong and independent woman, witnessing my  many “first times in life” experiences through the last two years, and they never judge, only support me with their unconditional love and acceptance of who I am.
I’m so blessed.

Self serving post this is, it is All About Me.
It’s important to me that those people in my life hear me say that I am touched in ways again today that leave me completely humbled by your friendship.
And your compassionate loving caring ways. You might think it’s nothing to take a few minutes to phone to just see how I am, I on the other hand think it’s priceless.

I especially need to give a ‘Mama Shout Out’ to my daughter Janis, she has been my personal nurse, confidante, chef, medical insurance specialist, and my heath advocate. As my daughter and best friend she reminds me daily just how imperative it is to be genuine with those in your circle of love, and the reasons behind the joy I find living an authentic life. I love you Cupcake & Thank YOU. ♡

My family/framily = my bros & niece’s, my two ‘sis-out-laws’, my two best gal-pals they know who they are, and last but certainly not the least my artists/clients-partners in music, all of them deserve big love from me for their most amazing support.

I’m deeply overwhelmed with emotions that y’all inspire within my heart and soul. I just needed to express it out loud.
THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!
I love you all to the Moon and Back.

 

©ttaylor2014

 

These Days

Ever have one of those starts to your day that just knocks your socks off (if you wear socks) or rocks your soul? Shakes your heart to the core?  A beginning to your morning that sets everything in a wonderful golden glow?

Starting these days feeling good about things is a real gift. If everything in life should start as sweet there would be little strife in this world’s heart. I wrote about the gift of thriving in a past post, this my friends is an example of what thriving is. Some of where thriving comes from these days.

When it comes to the thriving while living in this world it’s not about what might hurt physically. (it’s going to ) Its more about what does just the opposite. Focusing in on what feeds the soul. Sometimes that focus is another person, or sometimes its A “something”. Maybe a song.  Maybe a sunrise. Iy is always God.

These days its easy to feel those things that feed my soul. Without question. My focus is more determined than it has ever been in my life. I know now my way home. Hearing the same song over and over.

Healing me.

Thanking God & the Universe for this focus.  And for these days.

So much is about thriving these days.

Thriving for yet another sunrise.

©tjhelser2012

Thriving Anyway

Responding to my friend, T’s blog today I realized something pretty powerful. As I read all the challenges she s facing going back to school; I also realized that this woman who I met initially and bonded with completely because of a disease is my constant mirror. In her reflections I see myself.

Thriving T* and I met, became friends and made a bond with each other that we would not rest beside negativity in our environments, and NOT looking at our lives as we are the victims of anything. We so are not. Instead she & I have a made a promise that we have kept. The promise that despite what is going on with our bodies we are still in as much charge over our own lives as before. We have the power to thrive.

Thriving means moving forward with life. Not letting the road bumps in the journey throw you out of the race.  My friend Thriving T* sets a perfect example. Checking my own self inventory against the back drop of this promise has kept me focused. I am not defined by one thing in my life. why would  I allow an illness railroad me? Thankfully I am ahead of this illness and know its antics. I am in more control now than I ever have been.

You will find at T* blog http://itsarealpain.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/day-104the-spark/#comment-614  full of postings of graciousness and kindness. Thriving T* is a power house to be reckoned with and as someone who has Fibromyalgia as well.  I am most impressed with what this woman does in spite it.  She is a friend of  my own heart.

Thriving T* has kept me on my less than narrow path when I started to falter. She is a constant gentle reminder that I can do this. I can make what I need changing – different. What I want & need it to be.  I have much assurance that when I leap I am going to be caught, There is no fear, that has been replaced by Faith.

So when this Baroness uses the term ” I am thriving”  in spite of Fibromyalgia (+  two autoimmune diseases) it is to say that I am not just “getting by” I am thriving. I am thriving right on through this life of mine. As is my good friend and sister Thriving T*  We are warriors over our disease, we are the masters of how we process and assimilate what life throws at us.

In our own world [of health] sometimes there is little control over what is happening to the body. That unwinding sense of loss of control over your life can be something that takes a person out. Sadly  it happens. In order to thrive learning there is much you can do about some things concerning your health, there are thousands of choices to be made to that end. Choosing options that allow myself to thrive is my choice, and it has continued to serve me well.

Thriving beautifully on the wings of living well

 

 

©tjhelser2912

A Better Outlook Looking In

It is important to me that I come this day after a pretty cheeky post about feeling sorry for myself  yesterday and say that all is not lost. Today my outlook about my life when I look inward is back on track. I’m not likely to go down that particular path for some time.

Finding the need to express my many thanks to my blogging family for the most incredible support is sitting on my chest right now like a huge elephant who is reminding how special each of you are to me. The words I read here after posting such a whiny message are stunning. So much love and support baffles me to be honest. I knew going into the post that it was going to be a pity party for one. I had to get it out myself, Like a festering wound if left alone it turns into an infection. I knew that trekking backwards was not an option. I thought about deleting the whole thing though.

I’m grateful today that I did not delete the whole thing, I am grateful today that as much as it pained me emotionally to not participate in the going ons of celebrating my country’s Independence Day I am not in pain physically today. And because of the freedom to write what’s on my mind with no worries of persecution or censorship I realized that I was actually very much celebrating in my own way. Celebrating my own freedom to write from my own person and not be concerned with the outcome is pretty amazing when I think about it today.

So back in my saddle again this Baroness finds herself once again playing the “Glad Game” Being Pollyanna has always been a trait of my own, something that has gotten me through times of chaos that truly have an effect on life. Finding a reason to be glad about something is not too far-fetched from who I am, yesterday was the abnormal for me. I don’t often cry in spilt milk.

This Barfooted and happily contented Baroness wants you to know how much she adores the friendships and loves she has found here. You all are the most astonishing people, and she thanks you from the very bottom of her heart and deepest reaches of her soul.

You’re The Best! I’m most grateful for you being a part of my world. Thank you again Dear friends!

 

~

©tjhelser2012

Holiday Blues Again

Okay, I really thought, and so would most others that after 28 years I’d get over myself.

But I have not.

The holidays, most of them except the real biggies like Christmas & Easter bring about every time they come -the blues. The Holiday Blues. I let them creep into my life some time ago and cannot seem to shake them. It’s true that there are variables that I cannot be accounted for, but how I let it affect me is a whole different thing. I go through this every year.  Not every holiday but some of the ones that used to be very special and were quite traditional for me. Maybe the tradition is why breaking away is so hard.

Holidays and my lifestyle have a hard time getting along. My lifestyle is my safety net that surrounds my life of chronic illness. It has become one of necessity to be as comfortable as I can and to continue to function. My illness involves my central nervous system which leads of course to my brain. To say that I am hypersensitive would be a complete understatement. My body reacts to different stimuli that I cannot subject myself to. Many of these different things will be found at holiday functions of course. Its becoming harder and harder to tolerate most of these things so I just don’t participate and no longer even go. The perfumes, the smoke from BBQ’s, even the noises become all too much for my body. And very quickly, and before I know it, I am on tilt, my senses are all on overload at once and I begin to shut down.

Knowing these things can happen is enough to keep me away. Its embarrassing and feeling foolish on top of it all is just too much anymore. So I don’t go anymore. Today is the 4th of July, Independence day in the USA. I had always attended, or we were hostesses of our own BBQ party and picnics. This would traditionally be the holiday we would spend at the river or lake intil well past dark.

Years ago I found that I no longer could safely be at either one. BBQ’s or the water. Why?  Mosquitoes. If I am bitten I have a severe reaction and become violently ill. The first time it happened was in the mid 80’s when I had just started experiencing symptoms of my illness. I was so sick and my doctor could not find what was going on. Even Toxic Shock was being considered. Finally after a careful exam again over my body the bite was found. By now it was red and festered. I was asked about  it and I explained I had taken the girls to the lake and yes I had been bitten by what I was sure had to be a mosquito. They were all over the lake. Bingo!! Having Giant Cell Reaction from the failed implants in 1986 has left my immune system like it is on hyper alert. It’s response to things that normally would be nothing but an itchy bite becomes much more to my immune system.

Knowing that I am doing the right thing by my body by not attending the big to-do on the 4th of July is not all comforting. Trying to recall the feeling and pain of the effects after pushing myself to attend is not always enough to sway me. Instead the blues step in. Or rather… ahem.. excuse me,.. I allow the blues to step in. And it’s not like I am hard up for company for heaven’s sake.

I just get to thinking about the fun I’m missing out on, the time spent laughing with friends, and the food shared, and I get to feeling a little melancholy. A pity party for one on the 4th of July. Now that is not right and I am trying so hard to have none of it. Yet trying to supplement our own mini Shin Dig never does it. I’m not having any of that false make-believe we are all having fun, when the kids cannot wait to leave to join their own parties. I cannot blame them and I don’t.

I need to shake myself out of this.

©tjhelser2012

I Don’t Even Know What To Title This

Stuck on being Stuck?

I am even unable to find the right key with my fingers, each finger feels like two, I am unable to even find words. Me! And now I cannot even find a title for this piece that I am also not even sure I can execute.

Something should be forth coming from this brain of mine to my fingers, whether they are typing or using my favorite pen. I should be able to come up with what it is I want to write about, or what I want to say in my ongoing project. But it’s not happening and I have no clue why. Most of the times this has happened it’s been explained away by myself, to myself. This time I am stumped. And I am stuck. I am so stuck I cannot even find inspiration to create a title for this.

I need to be able to write. I know getting stressed about not being able to find words is not helping. And that just letting it go is what I should be doing. Like walking away from the project that is not going well. Getting a clearer perspective. And it feels like on many cross roads that there is a force working against me. I cannot even keep my font on the same style or color to save my life. I’m sure it is because my laptop and WP have not been shut down for the last 36 hours. Tired laptop or WP, which I am not sure.Tired operator maybe? I don’t know.

But I keep telling myself that being tired is not going to be my excuse. It can’t. If that is the case than being tired is going to get in my way too often. I cannot afford to let getting tired matter. I have too much I am interested in doing. It’s not even about having TOO MUCH TO DO, it really isn’t. The idea that I am passionate about so many things and not being able to do them because I am tired does not thrill me. Though it may be a reality of mine it does not have to be one I settle for. I have the freedom and choice to make my reality change alter my reality from what it tends to want to be. 

My choice?

My choice to use the time that I am given by God, and by medicine to use for the people and the things that I am deliriously passionate about is what I cannot afford TIRED for.  NOT finding TIME; or in my case most often not finding “The Spoons” necessary to succeed this leaves me feeling deeply saddened. By that which I am not able visit my passions wears on me. I’m wondering if that is what is bothering me, why I am finding myself at this block. I need to express myself in some way almost daily. Either through my mind with words, or through my hands in creating something that can be touched. I need these outlets like I need water and sunlight. I am not meaning to be dramatic, just needing to find a path back to where ever my creative wings were dropped.

MY MOJO

Finding myself without words is unsettling. I know, you find it unsettling too that you are finding me say that I am wordless.  People that know me are going to be laughing at the mere suggestion of this. I am really good about filling pages with idle chatter and maybe there will be a good topic and some common sense in amongst what I chatted about. This being at a loss for words is not the norm for me. But I could move past that.

While not finding the words was leaving me feel a bit unsettled as I said I thought that since, especially since, my cool husband had shined on the fact that I had art supplies all around my LazyBoy that it would be appropriate to try working on a greeting card. I had elements I’d made sitting aside for one that I had left unfinished before my cervical procedure.  So I thought a piece of cake right? Despite orders from medical headquarters, to not us my arms away from my body for the 6 weeks of healing post the cervical procedure. It’s hard to be creative with your hands while holding your arms next to your body. Holding your arms next to your body is not hard, it’s the natural pose you want to strike while guarding that which hurts. But that which had been hurting wasn’t hurting as much so my thinking was Cool! I can work at my table for a bit.

Making a card is what I wanted to do. I did it. It turned out fine. I did not turn out fine so much the next day. I woke up unable to move not just my left arm and shoulder, but my right shoulder opted to join in the revolt. They were ticked off at me!

I had a great time making the card. It’s one of my passions. It feeds me in ways nothing else can. Much like writing does. I have been stuck for words it feels like for much too long. I am hoping the card making session will unleash creative flow for my writing passion as well.

Ironically I am finding that several people I know are dealing with a very similar problem. Their creative wings have been clipped as mine seemed to have been. But then that is the most wonderful thing about your wings just clipped. They grow back nice and strong with your flight wings firmly intact and stronger than evet before. 

Also writing about losing that feeling is Chris Donner. Her fabilous blog is quite a read, I invite you t read Chris’s post called  “Strong Writing Mojo” at Chris’s blog Chris Donner Mystery Writer which can found at this link: http://chrisdonnermysterywriter.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/strong-writing-mojo/#comment-973

I’m just waiting for t~hose creative wings to grow back so that my creativity may once again soar.

 

~

 

©tjhelser2012

Wonders Never Cease.

That call came through!

After a good week of pure frustration I heard from the doctor’s office finally late yesterday afternoon. Seems there was a cancellation on the doctors Emergency Room schedule and it was offered to me. I gladly jumped on this offer with both feet before the elusive scheduler could even tell me at what UnGodly hour we would have to be at the surgical center in the morning. It didn’t matter. We were going to be there with bells on. I am at least.

The bells will be only temporary of course; as all jewelry must be removed, sans my wedding ring which I make them tape up every time. It’s been off my finger three times in our 42 years of marriage to date. I am extremely sentimental and believe strongly in symbology; meaning in this case that the ring staying on our fingers represents to me the unbroken circle of our vows. Of our marriage. I was not into taking my rings off any time I chose, willy nill.  I recall seeing aunts and cousins take their rings off for a number of reasons. Sometimes that reasons being out of anger. Seems like arguments were worth removing their rings, or leaving them beside the sink to wash their hands or dishes, often rings ending up down the drain getting knocked in accident. Sometimes not. My rings have come off once on our 20th anniversary when we renewed our vows, we had our rings cleaned and an engraved inside. Then on our 35th anniversary my husband D. took his grandmother’s ring, which she left me, and had the diamond removed from its center stage. My original wedding band was split in two, (I know the engraving is still there albeit altered now) and a third band added to it so there would then be a wide enough base to hold 6 prongs. The third time I have had the ring off was to have a prong fixed that I had somehow bent. I cherish this ring even more. Now because of its added financial value which is huge (now I know what they mean when they say a diamond is girl’s best friend) but the sentimental value is priceless. My band alone which we bought as a matching set back in 1970 held its own unique value, now with D’s grandmother’s diamond (which I never owned before) makes it a family heirloom. That to me makes it the most valuable materialistic thing I own. There is so much love in that small circle that it’s value lies out of this world. 

I digress. I’m sorry.

Obviously some nervous energy shining through the story about my rings.

I am to arrive at the surgical center at 9am this morning Pacific USA time. I am a tad nervous and am feeling grateful that I am set up for  light sedation this time. No arguments from me. The first test injection I thought despite being nervous I’d be tough and not need the offered sedation. By the time they were actually ready to take me back to the OR room I was not doing so well. Despite using mediation and prayer which usually is enough for me I had worked myself up so that even my blood pressure and heart rate were both racing up the scale. Dr Swift popped in again to se how I was doing and talked to me about the sedation. Told me it meant nothing if I needed it. It did not make me less than because I used what was obviously going to help in this situation. I told him it honestly had nothing to do with trying to be tough, not really. Just that if there was no need for more chemicals why automatically accept taking them just because. But in my own anxiety I had lost sight of my own rationale.

I accepted the mediation which after a very short time entered my blood stream. I could immediately feel the warm blanket of its chemical effect and immediately relaxed. I realized then that they had bumped another [patient ahead of me to allow time for the medication to work that it was not just about me. That I was affecting the running of the operation rooms systems. I will not make that mistake again.

Checking in, putting their gown of the latest fashion on, Tied in back please. Thankfully D will be with me to help tie my gown, to hold my hand, to talk with me and side track my focus of attention. I am no way as nervous as I get when I am being given a general anesthesia, being given just a local, light sedation means that post procedure the recovery time required before being allowed to go home with my driver D. They make sure you have a driver, know their name, and make eye contact with them. I was recently in that role for my husband D,  he had his arthritic thumb operated on.  And is doing well thank you.

Shall I just bring my sleeping bag and teddy bear?

The nurses at the surgical center were laughing with us last time we were there,.Teasing me. Between D and I we will have been there at the surgical center 5 times in less than a month’s times, so the nurses were teasing me by laughing and offering us a Family Rate; and why did I not just bring my sleeping bag and stay. Thy all are beginning to feel like friends. I’m not sure what that means.

Ring of Fire.

This morning as I enter the actual cold sterile operation room where will be the two nurses I know now, and an anesthesiologist,  And Dr Swift.  All dressed in matching attire, Dr Swift wearing his rad looking glasses that are magnifying glasses at what strength I have no clue. The music in the background has already been requested. Not by me. But by my Johnny Cash loving doctor. Today the entrance song has been promised to be Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

Naturally!

I fell into a burning ring of fire

I went down, down, down and the flames went higher

And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire

The ring of fire

~lyrics: Johnny Cash

Gotta love his sense of humour!

Thanks again for all your support everyone. Know that I will use it in medication and prayer. Between the power of both those very meaningful showers of love and the use of chemistry I am going to be better than fine. I am in Good Hands by being in God’s Hands the entire time. This is what I have been needing to have done and from here on out my life that has felt in limbo comes out of that cocoon to life full force again.

I can hardly wait.

~

©tjhelser2012