Thursday, December 30, 2010

Warrior Painted Face

My great nephew loves hockey. He is quite a good goalie at a very early age. Like many his age he has a favorite team and favorite players etc and aspires to be a part of it all. Some of the stories that come out of this interest of his are astounding. I must say that it is much different being on a team as a kid than it is being a single mom of a kid on a team. Old standards will happen and rear their ugly heads now and then. Discrimination will happen and the next thing you know there are hockey parents who exclude his mom and him from invitations because they are too threatened by what they see as well as by a mom who actually shares healthy opinions about activities that go on around this sport. It really puts a damper on the enjoyment factor when there are such shenanigans going on in the background.

But what we need to not lose sight of is the love of the game. It doesn't have to be WWWF on Ice. In fact it should never be that. The game serves to build self-worth and self-confidence in young players. This cannot happen if parents are screaming insults at children from the stands. Sometimes they even scream them at their own children because they see their kid as a failure, not that they themselves could have done any better at that age!

There is a primal need that team sports serves as well. That primal need goes back thousands of years. Eventually it developed into things like armies that conquered foreign lands. At least that is not the focus with team sports. It serves the primal need to conquer while not actually shedding a drop of blood....hopefully. Some may argue that I am nuts in this perspective, but those who do are idiots. Of course it serves the primal need to conquer. If it did not, then competitive sports would never have developed in the first place. Look, for example, at how involved even non-sports minded folks get in the Olympics. This is an event that is actually based on the same primal need. The more gold medals that are earned by a country, the higher regard that country is held in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is like going to international war without the rifles and tanks and other anti-personnel weaponry involved. It is cultured. It is refined. And it is primal. To compete one must be able to put out 110% or more just to make the cut. One becomes a warrior who represents their respective homeland.

A lot of people do a lot of praying around such events as the Olympics. They want their own country to win more Gold than any other country. The only praying that I have ever done around the Olympics is that everyone remains safe, unharmed....healthy, and enjoys the competition to the max because that opportunity does not come around very often and certainly not for just anyone. Accidents happen and people get hurt during practices and competitions. This is unfortunate, but true. So that is what I focus my prayers on. I really don't care squat about who wins what. But not caring does not stop the warm and tingly feeling inside when my own country does well. It is a rush. Really, deep inside, we are all warriors with painted faces. Let's just accept that as truth and then allow it to become expressed in constructive ways.

Blessed Be
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Been a While...

Since last I was able to write.  December has been unusually horrible for my Love and I.  That is not to say that all is not well.  Things are completely improving.  But in the second week of December we were both down with a nasty flu bug.  This turned into pneumonia for her.  Then her kidneys crashed (she received a transplant 9 years ago).  So off to Emergency we went.  A week later her pneumonia was better and with dialysis on a three times a week scheduling and IV antibiotics to be continued at home, she was sent home on the 20th.  Then the morning of the 21st she was back in Emergency.  On the evening of the 21st her pneumonia was rearing its ugly head and she crashed.  She was taken to the Progressive Care Unit where she was hooked up to I think 5 IV's and receiving a blood transfusion.  The next day she was sent to ICU where she was stabilized over the next week.  She was possibly going to undergo an open Lung biopsy surgery, which was able to be prevented when the medications began really kicking in.  All this could possibly have been prevented if her chronic cough for the last 24 months was actually dealt with when it was brought up.  But apparently unless you are admitted into a hospital these things will slip through the cracks.  So the medication has been killing the bug that was causing the cough, or at least that is what they are saying.  Now she is out of the ICU and into a ward where she will gradually transition back to home.

Through all of this I have discovered a few things.  Although St. Paul's hospital in Saskatoon is not the greatest for research and such, you cannot in any way beat the incredible staff that they have.  The compassionate and discrete care that they give is absolutely sterling!  It made ICU feel like a day spa.  Well, except for the fact that the stay was for way too many days and it was an ICU.  As well, I have discovered that when the times get really rough, I have more strength in me to help someone get through things than I ever gave myself credit for.  We also have incredible friends who could spell me off in the wee hours of the morning when I, myself, was beginning to freak out and crash.  Fortunately her parents, who had been down with the flu in Mexico, were able to get back last week.  I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to know your daughter is frighteningly ill and even if you could get back you wouldn't be allowed to see her because you are also very ill.  That would simply be torture.

I have also learned a few other things that most people don't think about in situations like this.  And what I have learned is from both this experience and from experiences that I have had being hospitalized numerous years ago.  The patient really doesn't need any worry or concern conveyed to them.  The patient actually needs love and strength.  Worry and concern creates negative energy that absorbs into the patient and screws things up.  And then there is also the fact that the patient ends up micromanaging the emotional mess that others are experiencing.  This takes way too much energy out of the patient who needs to focus all his or her energy into actually healing themselves

People often confuse their emotional drama with love.  But there really is a difference between the two.  Love becomes strong and stable when someone is in a vulnerable state.  The emotional crisis gets put onto the back burner to be dealt with later and not in the patient's presence.  Love does not become weepy and frightened in the face of crisis.  Drama does this, but love does not.  In the face of crisis there needs to be stability and strength.  That is the energy that will feed the patient and help them to heal exponentially faster. 

It also makes no sense to yell and scream at the gods about what a lousy job they are doing in helping your loved one.  That is a useless waste of energy.  Thanking them for their assistance goes a heck of a lot further.  The anger is just more drama with another mask. 

I have also found that courtesy goes sooooo far when dealing with medical people.  In crisis situations they are so used to people freaking out on them and having to micromanage them instead of taking care of the patient.  My Love would thank them for whatever they were doing, be it changing an IV or taking blood pressure readings or rubbing her back.  The staff absolutely fell in love with her because she was so appreciative.  She really touched their hearts.  And one of them thanked me as well for all the respect and courtesy that I showed them throughout the entire thing.  They are used to people trying to take charge when that is not their job at all.  Support is their job.  Taking charge is their control issues rearing their ugly heads.  A person, patient or loved one, really needs to simply live the moment and allow the healing to take place.  Trying to control how and when that healing happens is counter productive to the healing process.

There are so many other things that I have learned through this, and I will probably mention them in further blog entries, but for now, I simply need to go and be with my Love.  I will write more as we go.

Blessed Be

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chick Flicks

A couple of months ago my Love and I went out to eat at a local restaurant. The dining area was just across the foyer from the lounge. There was a football game being broadcast and from the dining room we could hear what sounded like dozens of bar stool fans cheering and yelling and screaming at the large flat screen tv. When our waitress came to our table I told her that I was doing a sociological survey regarding sports fans and asked her if she could answer one simple question: "Why the heck do sports fans yell and scream at a television screen when the athletes on the screen can't hear them?" Her answer was, "Beats me."

Last night I finally found out what the answer was. But I did not find the answer at a local sports bar or from a couch athlete. I learned it from within myself, and man was I shocked to discover the answer and even more shocked at the process! You see, my Love and I, still getting over the flu that ravaged our home and levelled everyone in its path, including the cat, were watching Christmas chick flicks that she had recorded earlier. I must say that normally I am not into chick flicks at all. But these two movies actually had some story line to them and a lot of outrageous humor. Suddenly I found myself screaming at the tv screen stuff like, "Noooooo! Don't marry her! She's a skank who is not in love with you! Run, man! Run like the wind! Run hard and fast and don't stop!" And then it hit me. I bought into the movie and was passionately involved in the story line! So that is what it become a tv screen screamer you have to be passionately involved! That is what the bar stool sports fans were experiencing....passionate involvement! It was truly an "Ahahhhh" moment.

While watching these movies I realized a few things that I always knew inside. First off, I am a lover. I am not what I would consider to be a "romantic", but I am a lover. Secondly, there is a difference between loving someone and actually being in love with someone. Any one of us can love any number of people. Very few of us actually get to experience the kind of crazy love that actually being in love with another brings to us. I have loved many over my lifetime, but have seldom actually been in love with someone else. Most often I have loved another who thought she was in love with me when actually she just loved me. You see, when you are in love with another there is a mutual passionate connection between the two of you through that love. It is not something that has to be mustered up or even something that can be put on hold while the rest of your life takes over your love life. No phone call is more important, no text is more important, no song on the radio is more important, no game play in the final inning is more important than the one with whom you are in love. Nothing takes the place of the person with whom you are in love. Thirdly, love should never be decided based on fear. Fear has no place in love. Fear only stands in the way of love and tries to diminish love or negate it altogether. When you are in love with another you have no problem whatsoever in risking everything for that love. Any perceived risk becomes an investment in that love.

I am very happy that I can experience being in love with another. It becomes much less enjoyable when you or the other only love the other person and neither one is actually in love with the other person. That can actually become quite painful and eventually will destroy the relationship.

Oh, and by the way, I would highly recommend the remake of the movie It Had To Be You, with Natasha Henstridge and Michael Vartan. It is an amazing story of two people who fall in love with each other while shopping for their respective weddings to other people. I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me....

Blessed Be
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Return of the Light

I have SADD. That is something that I have struggled with for years and years before it was ever defined by any medical practitioner. I know that I, for one, could have told them that lack of light makes me depressed. Three days of lack of light makes me so depressed I want to explode! So any form of light that I can get around at this time of year is excellent as far as I am concerned. Even the Christmas lights on the trees make my heart warm and my mind clear.

A few years ago I was dropping off something at a friend's home. Every house on the block except for his was light up and sparkling. I commented on how lovely the street looked and his bland reply was that because he is not Christian they don't do that. No acknowledgement of how pretty it is or of how nice the block looked, just a bland statement of religious preference.

Seriously, when it comes to lighting up the darkness, I don't see what religious preference has to do with anything. I am not Christian either, but I love to light up the darkness with Christmas Lights. I even put them on in the middle of summer when we are entertaining in our back yard! They are simply a thing of beauty. They don't have to mean anything about the birth of Jesus.

On the Pagan end of things, they actually indicate the celebration of Yule and the return of the light as the seasons change. After Winter Solstice, the sun becomes something we see more of in the sky. So why not celebrate that? You don't have to be Pagan to do it. Just appreciate the frickin light!

I know that I am probably more sensitive to this issue than most, what with that whole SADD and all. But even if I were not afflicted with that, I would still love the lights at this time of year. There is nothing that says "home" like the feeling that the darkness of life is being held at bay by a beautiful array of lights!

Blessed Be
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

National Treasury

I know that sometimes products need to be child proof in order to be safe. I know that there are some really mean and horribly sadistic people out there who will sometimes try to poison food products. But when breaking into my favorite chocolates during the Christmas season, which only lasts so long, becomes like breaking into the Grand National Treasury then something's gotta give!

I don't consider myself addicted to chocolate. In fact, I can easily go even for months without chocolate. I usually do not binge on it either. But this particular chocolate is, as advertised, a gift from the Gods! I know that I can only have 2-3 of the nuggets if I don't want a headache afterwards. So I go easy on it. After my first I usually wait at least 5 seconds before I have the second and then I always wait a minimum of 2.3 seconds before I have the third. After all, it is important to each chocolate respectfully and responsibly.

So you can imagine my, shall I say "frustration" (insert nervous twitch here), when yesterday it took me 20 minutes just to break into the plastic vault that they arrived in! I used a knife to break the seal, which was not functioning like a properly designed seal should in that the tag that you pull broke upon the first tug, and then I used scissors to try to cut along the edge of the lip of the container, then I twisted and tugged and tried different angles and even different ways to hold my mouth! Just at the point where I was about to pull out my sledge hammer and make chocolate pudding....POP! The lid came off! There were chocolate nuggets all over the kitchen as they spewed from the container. One even landed in the cat food dish! Did that stop me? No way! I worked hard for that prize and I was not about to let the frickin' cat have it! There is, in our house the seven second rule. If it hits the floor and within seven seconds it is picked up it can be eaten. Well, they all hit the floor at some point during this escapade, so.....

Honest.....I'm not addicted! I AM NOT! In fact, there are at least 5 left! How dare you ask me how big a
container it was! What business is that of yours? It is not relevant! Okay, fine, enough with the third degree! There were somewhere between 5 and 24. No! I did not eat them all! I think some rolled under the fridge! Honest....see? There's one under there! If you get right down on the floor and close the eye that is not on the floor and use a flashlight....oh. A dust bunny you say? Well.....THE DUST BUNNY ATE IT!

Blessed Be
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Smothering Love

It can be like the gasses in this photo, taken from the channel, which are a canopy for a solar flare. Sometimes we try to place a canopy of love over those for whom we have affection, hoping that the canopy will protect them from all harm. It doesn't matter whether the harm comes from outside themselves or from inside, we want to protect them from it. The thing is....we can't. Here is why.

As humans we have been gifted/cursed with something that many in the universe apparently don't have....Free Will. That free will is something that liberates us from becoming drones in life. It is also something that can trap us when we have made the wrong decisions for ourselves. But decisions we must make. Even deciding not to decide is a decision to procrastinate.

So often we think as well that if we love someone enough, that person will of course make healthy decisions for themselves. This is untrue. To expect that to be true is to be using love to control and manipulate another's thoughts and actions. If we love them, we also have to accept that they have free will to do and think whatever they choose to and there is nothing we can do to change what they think or how they feel. We have to allow them to make whatever mistakes they are going to make, even if that means they will crash and burn like a solar flare. It is their journey, not ours. Yes, we can still be loving and yes we can still be supportive, but no, we cannot decide for them and no we should never enable them when making unhealthy choices. Love does, even when unconditional, have healthy boundaries.

We don't often think of love as being destructive. Yet love, when controlling, becomes smothering and does not allow the other party to breathe and experience life to the fullest, to whatever degree that person would choose to experience it. When it is truly unconditional, love allows people to make mistakes but does not judge them for those mistakes. It simply understands their mistakes and helps them to grow from the lessons that those mistakes bring into their lives. To protect them from those lessons serves no one at all. To help them through those lessons serves everyone.

Blessed Be
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