Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Learned The Hard Way #HAWMC

I learned the hard way that people don't like hearing about pain and suffering, especially if it's happening to someone close to them. If they know that it is, they move a safe distance away, so that they don't have to deal with the "continual complaints." Today's blogging challenge is things I've learned the hard way. Being from the school of hard knocks, it's easy to find examples in my life. But I'm learning still how to talk to people without alienating them with the need to vocalize my experience of life. It's a tough lesson.... Most people experience "I lost all my friends" when they get sick. I didn't see it when I was doing it to my own friend with Stage 3 liver cancer. I mean, I knew I was respectfully backing away! But I figured if he wanted something from me, he'd ask. I never thought he might be too preoccupied by his health to ask.

Nancy Etcoff, a noted happiness scientist and TED speaker (Feb 2004, video posted Jun 2009) said something very interesting in her talk, "On the Surprising Science of Happiness," that suicide is not about hopelessness, it's about aloneness. Let me say that one again: suicide is not about hopelessness, it's about aloneness. the reason this concept is so important is that a debilitating chronic illness is by its very nature an isolating condition. You are out in your own private world of suffering. Suffering, of which no one else is aware, nor can they experience what it is you are going through with you. It's just impossible. Chronic illness can isolate you & trap you in a barren world.

I thought people would be able to remember times when they felt like this, and if I told them I was feeling bad, they would rally the troops to make sure I got taken care of. I figured I'd have visitors in my hospital room, cards and flowers and balloons saying "get well soon!" You know, like you see in all those movie sets and on TV. I got none of that. Not even a phone call. I was always alone during my extended stays, and while I had people who took me to the ER (and blessings on every one of them), they were usually so uncomfortable & freaked out that I would end up comforting them instead of the other way around.

The reality surprised the hell out of me. I've never felt more alone in my life.

I learned the hard way that the "law of attraction" is nice way to indulge in childish fantasy. Oh, sure, I can change my energy and have a different effect on other people. But we all know that. Walk around grumpy and you won't be asked how your day is going. Walk around with a smile and a spring in your step and strangers will introduce themselves. But that in no way, shape, or form changes what the Universe, Earth, or even my own body dishes out to me. We all know that there are people out there who have disproportionate good luck compared to the rest of us. These are the people who don't Have to introduce themselves. Alternately, there are the people who have disproportionate bad luck in comparison to others. I was born in a "first world" nation, and in the U.S., so that right there puts me high on the luck scale alone.

The world is not fair and wishing ain't doing. Everyone wants their dreams of happiness and wonder to be fulfilled. Don't worry, no one's ever got all they wanted.

If the world were the way I wanted, I could still dance and go on to carnival rides and spin myself until I lay panting on the grass, dizzy and delighted. If the world were the way I wanted, I could hold a paint brush in my hand and be able to work as long as the flow of creativity wanted. I'd never be interrupted by my own inabilities. If the world were the way I wanted, I could be around children without catching their colds & flus. If the world were the way I wanted, I'd be able to sleep 8-9 hours a night, wake up, and stay awake until I decided to go to bed, never napping unless I made the conscious decision to nap (and actually lying down to do so). If the world were the way I wanted, animals would be respected at the level of human. If the world were the way I wanted, no child would feel unloved or unsafe.

If the world were the way I wanted, spell-check would stop insisting on turning all my commas into exclamation points. No one is that excited, ever...

This would would shake us like a cold if she wanted to. That she doesn't is a continued miracle. The universe is not a hospitable place for you and me. Nor was it meant to be.... We are so small, and so tiny, all this "cosmic voodoo" is cosmic hogwash.

But isn't that kind of a relief? If things were supposed to be easy, how many of us would be falling short right about now? If life is supposed to be difficult, and supposed to be *THIS* difficult, then it's nothing that I need feel responsible for creating or "attracting." That lesson, at least, was totally worth learning the hard way.

No comments:

Post a Comment