My life has been all but boring. I was born in the mid-fifties, just to give perspective on history of the times. Early on, it was obvious to me that pain was unavoidable: physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Some pain was caused by poor choices I made myself or were made for me, or just the natural process of time and reality. Luck, as some say, or lack thereof, seemed to be a determining factor.
From this early observation, awareness, and experience of and with pain, I developed my greatest love and worst fear. Love of courage. I learned from the Bible and going to Catholic school that Jesus Christ calmly and willingly stood facing torture and death. I enjoyed reading books or hearing stories of tremendous bravery in war. I learned from films about war, newsreels and live television news in the 60’s from Vietnam. Equally intense and even more real were the acts of friends and people around me in everyday life.
Bravery was seen in street fights, police actions, civil rights or war protests, work situations, during vehicle accidents, flooding, fires and other community disasters and even normal day- to-day existence. Bravery had many faces.
Along with this also developed a fear of cowardice with a sense of dread that I could not be brave. And in fact, I often hid, ran, or otherwise avoided situations to escape even the perceived possibility of pain. This did not, to my surprise, happen every time. Eventually it became clear to me that there were only certain types of pain and situations that caused this fear. Even more importantly there were different times when my physical state and mood had a direct impact on what frightened me and what did not. I would come to find myself facing very difficult challenges in life with confident determination despite what the potential outcome would be. Almost as if being afraid of cowardice made me brave.
Later in life these two opposite poles changed form. Love of courage turned into love of acceptance. Fear of cowardice turned to fear of apathy.There is a strength that has come with the acceptance that life is sometimes harsh and unfair. People are not all loving, kind, patient, or warm. As I started my blog for today I could not help but laugh at the slight impatience I felt with the few seconds of inconvenience waiting for the computer to “unfreeze” so I could type. I thought to myself “my, how times have changed.” I wonder sometimes if the pace of things is racing life past us without being fully lived. Communication today at work, at home and almost everywhere is full of catch phrases, buzzwords, and immediacy. We are no longer “ready” but “proactive”; “from now on” has become “going forward”. And, we don’t talk, dance, or write anymore, we Text, Twerk, and Tweet. “With that being said”… LOL, OMG, WTF. The hope is that we can maintain our self-respect and the compassion for those around us. Hope that we can face life with courage to the very end. Within each of us there is fear and courage, weakness and strength, hope and despair.
Caring Choices offers a safe opportunity to explore the fears and strengths in times of loss with acceptance and understanding.
(c) 2014 Caring Choices