Let me waste your time

Let me waste your time

“Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing.”
– Albert Einstein

Occasionally, I catch myself allowing time to slip away. I let it slide through my fingers without much effort to slow it down; without much effort to cease each moment and make it count by occupying it. This occasion happens much more frequently than can be considered as seldom.

While in this reflection, I can’t help but recognize how each passing moment, whether filled or empty of any action, lasts differently to the next. Two hours can feel like two days, then suddenly speed by in less than a minute. We say that time is relative, which I truly believe it is; however, how then can we understand what time is worth to another—to another with whom we spend our time?

I think to myself, in question, “What if I enjoy my time, but am wasting another’s?”
There is no doubt that I have felt reluctant about my use of time, whether it was spent with someone or whether I allowed it to pass by with an activity I am not in the least fond of.

We discuss time, in terms such as days or weeks, in an attempt to synchronize our many selves with one another. And we use it to measure our doings throughout life; appearing to be in control, although in fact, we are not. We have permitted “time”—how we’ve chosen to calculate it—to dictate the happenings that occur, their order, and even their importance in our lives.

I recently finished the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” which touched on death in the final chapter. I will try not to give any spoilers, but Manson discussed many pressing points, one in particular being our fear of dying; which often prevents us from living because it is the only thing that will, with compete assurance, happen. We all die, but “when” is what we find troubling; as is the “how.” I do agree with Manson that, in order to be happy in life, we should accept that we will die and live life without worrying. I will go further and say to live without being concerned about whether or not nearly all our sand has fallen through our life’s hourglass.

Time is a great tool of measurement; although I believe that we do not use it specifically in this way. Instead of simply measuring our length of stay or participation, we go a trillion steps further and measure our productivity; which then determines our worth, which then dictates our purpose, and on to our meaning. Schedules can be liberating, but for the sake of opposition, they can also be limiting and misrepresentative of what is important to us in our life and what we consider to be truly meaningful. Moreover, although time is one of the closest methods we can use to relate to one another, it also passes at a speed dissimilar to any other person’s concept of space and time. That is why time is truly relative. It is weighted differently and felt differently by all. I believe that the closest we can get to synchronization is through time spent together, but even then time never lasts the same for either parties.

While speaking to a class of students about living with MS, I was asked what my biggest “take-away” was. Being the person that I am, I wanted to provide an answer with importance and significance. I wanted what I said to be powerful and unforgettable. And to be honest, I am uncertain if what I said was actually taken this way; but, for myself, it has stuck and is an answer that I continue to think about and remind myself when days—even minutes—become arduous. What I answered, after comically stating that I wanted my answer to be a “good” one, was that we are all different and take our own time to carry activities out. I said that we are unlike anyone else and cannot complete any goal or occupation the same way, nor in the same length of “time,” than any other person. That this perpetual need to compare ourselves to others is completely unnecessary and is actually what hinders us the most from finding success in our daily doings; especially in our biggest struggles. As an identical twin, I can whole-heartedly confirm this because, as similar as I may be to my sister, we have struggled and fought to be “the same” on numerous occasions and have not been successful thus far. My MS diagnosis was a major indicator of this fact.

Time is relative. Its worth does depend on what you do with it. But, because it is relative, its worth is personally determined and is unlike any other moment in any other person’s life; nor is it like any other moment you have experienced before or will experience again.

Is time really wasted if you cannot measure it or see when the last grain of sand will drop? Waste it or use it. In the end, it is all relative.

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Building Bridges of Revelation

Building Bridges of Revelation

 

“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
– Revelation 1:19

 

Although writing on this first day of the New Year may be predictable, unoriginal, and in follow of the stereotype to “seize this day” and fill it with words of resolutions, promises, and goals for the year to come, I have decided that I will not wait to address and share the thoughts that have been riding along in my mind.

I will begin with an idea by which I am perpetually puzzled—the idea that the New Year is a “clean slate,” a “new beginning,” an opportunity to “start over,” or something of that sort…. I, myself, have lain victim to this deceitful and troubling, idealized mindset that the previous year’s struggles will dissipate and the New Year will bring “better” if—and only if—you enter with a clear and positive mindset. It is for this reason that I am perplexed. On a side note, I will say that I do agree we should have goals and a (more positive than not) mindset to lead us towards our “purpose.” However, on a larger scale, I do not agree that we are able to “start over” or “be rid” of last year’s disparities. In fact, I believe it is a time to accept and appreciate the long road traveled. I believe it is a time to appreciate that the “start” has passed—no longer in sight—and the steps that have been tread cannot be reversed. Furthermore, our travels have taken us beyond many of our comforts, built up much of our strength, and have now lead us to a point in life where bridges must be built.

~I may be incorrect; I am aware we do not all think alike. I also do not claim that starting the next year with a “clean slate” is defiant of everything that one has achieved thus far; again, I have before begun a year just so. I simply want to give emphasis to our meaning, purpose, and overall contentment with life by addressing this thought that troubles me.~

I have arrived at many crossroads in life that have lead me far beyond any place I could ever have anticipated to find myself; and are detailed in many of my previous posts. Within my memory of these moments, which are strangely and wonderfully as clear as today’s current happenings, I relish the reality and ingenuity of these events; that they directed me somewhere—here—and, I love that I am unable to begin the New Year with a “clean slate.” I like my smudgy, ridge-filled life. Even more, I love it.

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Therefore, I will go one step further and challenge this “new beginning” ideal and move to have the New Year be our revelation—our exposure and admission—of what has passed, what is now, and what is in store for us in the future; without expectation. Leaving expectation untouched, I will open my eyes to the New Year and I will be surprised. I will be surprised and in awe of whatever this next year unveils (no pun intended); all of which will remain written, bridging each continental memory to the next and composing the work that is life.

One last note: Happy New Year, 2018!

The Word 11/3/2017

The Word 11/3/2017

I am sharing a passage that said so much with very few words, which was provided by The Word; Margaret. She always shares such enlightening phrases that are both powerful and applicable to overcoming life’s challenges. Thank you.

For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death. –Psalms 48:14

via 11/3/2017

The Cards We Play

The Cards We Play

To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a card player – I dabble, but don’t gamble. Nonetheless, there is still a major “take away” from how we play the cards we are dealt, whether or not we are experts.

Oftentimes we hear certain lines repeated over, and over, and over… These lines may frequently be “disguised excuses” – lines of self-pity, as we may interpret them…
[And just as a side note to that, we humans are impressively skilled at pointing to one another and identifying what we consider to be character flaws; and we do this without taking into account all the important elements that contribute to why a person may feel or act the way they do. I am certainly guilty; though, not proud to admit that. But, that is all I will say about that…]
In an honest game of cards, we wouldn’t know what cards the other players are holding; as is the case in life. We do not know what any other person has been dealt to play with or handle, and we should not assume that anyone may know the conditions we hold in our hands either.

Now, in any game, there are many types of players and many different strategies that can be employed in hopes to win; or at least not lose. There are some ruthless, highly competitive players – we can all probably point these individuals out easily – and there are some players who may just play for the social aspect of the game, and are not necessarily concerned about winning or losing. There are also players that, though winning would be a grande feeling of accomplishment, would rather lose for the happiness of the other participant(s). I, most often, am that such player in a card game. [And I’m not alluding to this last group as being the most noble. No, that is not what I am saying.]

Regardless of the “type” of player we may be, the essential purpose of the game is to play and try to stay in it as long as possible. And in order to do so, successfully, we must play our cards carefully and purposefully, so that we can participate for as long as we are able; given our card-dependent circumstances. Each card we play then impacts and influences the actions of the following player(s), which then circles back to you as more of a changed game than you had hoped. This change is of course expected in games; for which strategy is crucial, but so is luck in the whole scheme of things. So, as in a game of cards, life is our game of circumstances; one in which we must be strategic and self-protecting. I’ll repeat that…self-protecting.

Every decision we make is developed from either a previously learned experience or a present situation in which we find ourselves in need… Like a card game, we decide each and every time we play a card and accept the fact that not everyone is going to be happy with our play (or our decision). In fact, that is rare. Happiness may be perceived to be felt by (and from) all participants, but I think, more often than we care to admit, that one party is not truly happy or content – they are just mostly content in knowing (or hoping) that every other member is happy. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this either. In fact, I believe we should wish happiness for others; however, I also believe that this…movement (or self-sacrifice) can also be endangering, toxic, and a perfect environment to cultivate game (life) anxiety. I also believe that we must be careful with intention and not go out of our way to impale the other player(s); but, this belief may, in part, stem from my inherent need for every other person to be happy with my decision. Essentially, we are all dealt different cards in this life and we have the freedom to play them as we so choose. In saying this, we also must be sure to play them more wisely than not; for that “self-protection” goal, you see. In the end, the game is supposed to be fun; and life is supposed to be a happy one – that is at least what I hope.

Being dealt this (my) MS card – and the additional ones associated with its treatment – I do “play” it when making decisions. However, I do try not to “overplay” it; but, oftentimes, it is the only card I can play – or should play – because my MS keeps playing me; it is always there and it is my reality. I have not ever “had” MS before, so I do not know the “best” way to go about playing my life with this card. I do know, though, that my MS is more and more a part of me with each new day, and has become my strategy – or at least an essential component. So, I move to protect it – to protect me – so that I may participate; for my life, my happiness, and my sanity.

I am showing you my cards; please don’t be burdened by my playing of them.

To T-ouch Words

To T-ouch Words

Why can we feel, physically, when words are spoken? Why do some hurt, while others are soothing? Why do some leave you breathless and numb?

The power of words is grossly underestimated when spoken from within, without premeditation; or, maybe, with too much thought. Nonetheless, we all know that words are powerful and, when spoken by a familiar voice, are amplified and can even be deathly. Not deathly to the body, per se, but deathly to the soul; to our hope of what lay ahead in matters concerning the producer – the composer of these words.

We ask ourselves then, “Is this dialect going to be consistent? Is the delivery going to change? What should I gather from now about the future?”

Actions help to guide our speech, and words help to guide our actions. Saying one thing implies that there is intent for movement – for purposeful performance. And that is why it is so powerful. We say things far too often without anticipating all the possible repercussions. If anything, we only anticipate one. We spew out these words from our inner concept bank in order to capitalize on another’s bank of ideals for the sole purpose of being heard, accepted, and adopted; or at least understood and appreciated. And, through this – these words – we are powerful, even without following with action, because, most often, action is still intended.

There is no initial guilt until we can see the physiological responses to the jumbled letters we have so articulately placed together. The guilt comes later. It covers us over with its cloak as we replay those words, maybe even seeing our own reactions if we were on the receiving end, allowing it to weigh heavier and heavier… I’ll leave it at that.

Once spoken, we cannot unspeak. Once delivered, we cannot prevent the return shipment fees – the apologies. But also, once stamped, we cannot erase the markings, the pains, or the imprint. The words will still have been shared, giving a painful touch that cannot be unfelt – that may never be forgotten.

Beauty in Lability

Beauty in Lability

It is sudden, unanticipated, these physiological and psychological changes. I contemplate my actions and try to give reason for the unfavorable emotional repercussions that I am directing towards those who simply do not know, who could not know. I close myself off from those who are closest, though I still want and seek refuge from just those individuals I shut out, leaving me grossly distraught by their resulting absences; though my wanting is fit quite tightly within certain conditions. I cannot help but feel…agitated, is it? …disheartened maybe, that it’s just not there – it, which I have not specified because I myself don’t know what it is exactly that I want or need. Because I want it all – the support, the presence, the space, the time, the silence, the community, family, the care, the love… I want it all, but I know I cannot, and I know that my wanting is selfish and, if I’m resentful to not get it all, my bitterness about it is shameful. This process has fed another side of my character and, now, I must find peace and exhibit graciousness for the things I do have without focusing on what is not here right this moment.

I am labile. It is temporary. My body exhibits what my mind and soul are experiencing. It tires, dampens, sweats, chills, itches, hives, and slowly shuts down; those autonomic systems are losing reliability in their functions. This new treatment is not a terrible torture, but it is no walk in the park; though, ironically, it may just make that strolling something less labored, something less thought about, and almost easy. Imagine that.

I won’t be presumptuous, but I will be hopeful. I am going on week two (I wrote on week two; it is now the end of week three) of this something new (Lemtrada) and am learning how far my body will stretch its being to restore and maintain homeostasis within. Some of these responsive measures I’ll attempt to illustrate:

Sleeping Beauty’s slumber does not suffice. When fatigue sets in, I grow more dreary, and my only resorting wish is to vanish – to vanish in order to feed my starving sleep and when I wake, it is only through peeping eyes, because the effort to open wider is an energy I am, right now, without. Now, awake, sudden beats of life begin to pound heavily in my head. My ears are deafened to the sounds outside; I know my body is telling me something about what is going on inside, relentlessly drowning out the external noises no matter how I try to restore normalcy to my sensations. I look around in a hazy gaze and feel ever so loopy. What made me feel this way – this something and nothing at all way? It is not a dream, but when will it end? It ends in my step – the sensation ends that is – and I’m forced to lay still, wait out this storm, and rest my worn being till it is ready to, again, be.20629978_10155773665194467_2061576461_o

There’s beauty in this ugliness of being labile. Emotional changes express the rawness that the soul is feeling in result of physiological tampering. Raw, but still beautiful. This treatment desires a labile immune system; open and easily altered. Of course it is not as easy, physically or emotionally, as it is to read what is written here, but it is fascinating and an impressive correction of our being’s displacement. Broken down and pushed out of stability, my body is stripped raw and is, slowly, beginning to rebuild. But, while it is still raw, it is vulnerable and unstable, and understandably screams when prodded. I must keep everything clean, and safe, and comfortable. I must allow these labile responses, be patient, and rest. I must create a safe space, around me and within, to heal and rebuild a less hostile internal environment.

Right now I am labile, but in time, I will find health and stability; of body and mind, and be overall well. Imagine that. Isn’t it beautiful? I believe it is.

The Law of Motion – A Recurrent Effect

The Law of Motion – A Recurrent Effect

It feels like an infinity. It feels like I’m on an uncomfortable ride that never will end. It feels like something is consuming me, bit by bit. It is not terrible, but the lesson I am being taught is a concept I cannot comprehend – not yet.

In the past year I’ve found myself fallen, over and over again; knees bloody, head spinning, eyes full of tears, and screaming for help though no sound is coming out. I am picking up the broken pieces, feeling for steady ground, and pulling myself back up to life. When will it end? When will my body have enough? Which will come first?

The empty spaces around me, I’ve emptied for protection. But now, with all my pains, I wish them to be full – full of people, full of family, full of love. It’s not my MS that has done this to me, though it has not helped in many ways, so I will not place blame. But, I cannot stop my wondering whether it is all in my head, where it all came from, what I did that was so wrong.

I do not think of punishment – I do not like to think that way – but I also do not know the reason my road is so rough. I think of a coil, a spring, a wound elastic – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So what is my action? Why do I keep repeating it? How do I change the physics of my life?

It starts with me. I know. Wake up. Breathe. Be alive. Live. Be thankful. Live. Be peaceful. Love. Be me. Be me and let nobody – not me, not my MS – take that away.