A lot has been going on in my life here of late. Quite a few changes and attempts to make life more enjoyable. In the midst of it all, a lot of confusion has ensued and it’s definitely been a time for some deep soul searching.
When things don’t turn out as we might wish, it can cause the volume on the mind chatter to ramp up to unbelievable levels. We are thinking that things should be some other way than what they are. But all the wishing in the world doesn’t change many things in life and such is the case presently with me.
Denial also found its way into the picture. Thinking things would be as I wanted them to be and ignoring the factors that said otherwise. But there reaches that point where the round peg just can’t be forced into the square hole and one has to surrender it all to the Universe.
It can take the most difficult of times and most uncomfortable of circumstances for us to be able to say, “I’ve done my best and my best just wasn’t good enough.” Divine providence whispers to remind us that some things just aren’t mean to be as we might want and that perhaps there is something much better on the horizon.
And so we move forward in quiet reflection, pondering what might have been and looking to the future with anticipation of what will be there to take the place of what we once wanted. Such is life as I see it on this day.
“This brings to mind the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, the stubborn, hard king who should to ask the immortal one the secret of life. He was told that there would be stones on his path to guide him. But in his urgency and pride, Gilgamesh was annoyed to find his path blocked, and so smashed the very stones that would help him. In his blindness of heart, he broke everything he needed to discover his way.
With the same confusion, we too break what we need, push away those we love, and isolate ourselves when we need to be held the most. There have been many times in my life when I have been too proud to ask for help or too afraid to ask to be held, and in the frenzy of my own isolation, like Gilgamesh, I have smashed the window I was trying to open, have split the bench I was trying to hammer, and have made matters worse by bruising the one I meant to be tender with.
The live bough bends. The dead twig snaps. We are humbled to soften from our griefs, or else, in brittle times, become the next thing grieved.”
Well, my plan was to write an entry each day for twenty-three consecutive days. And as many of plans do, they got off track. So tomorrow is a new day and regardless of how I may feel near the day’s end, I make the intention to write something…anything.
I have no excuses for not writing. I’ve actually written in my journal quite a bit. Perhaps some of what I’ll write tomorrow will be from those entries. I’ve had a four day weekend, free from work, so they’ll be no excuses.
Tomorrow is another day…and it will be a good day to have a good day.
I’m the type person who’s always looking for “signs” out and about each day. Especially when they involve numbers of any sort and of course, those are everywhere to be found on license plates. On my way to get a bit to eat this morning, I spotted a car in front of me at a stoplight with a personalized tag that read simply “Isaiah 43.” I also noticed that the car changed lanes just as the light turned green and took another route. So I just happened to be at the right place at the right time at the right sequence of lights to be able to see the message. And me being the person I am, I knew I needed to investigate what Isaiah 43 was all about.
After getting a bite to eat for breakfast, I headed to my home-away-from home, Barnes & Noble and sought out a Bible to do some research. The “Bible aisle” was rather crowded, so I picked up “The Message” translation of the good book, which was right in front of me. And here’s what I had to share about Isaiah 43:
So the message to me on this Saturday morning was easy to decipher — whatever situations I might be facing in life, God is there for me and will never abandon me. I have a painting in my bedroom that I’ll share on another day. It shows a ship being tossed and turned in a storm on the high seas. And this reading from Isaiah reminded me of that type of storm that can happen in all of our lives.
These past twenty months have not been easy for any of us. With the pandemic still in full force, it’s almost like a nightmare that will never end. As if life wasn’t difficult enough as it is, we are all pressed to the limit and long for the days before things got so complicated.
So as I went about the rest of my day, I was assured that there will always be those fears in my life, there is the Good Shepherd that will always be with me. As far as I’m able to turn my will and my life over to His loving care, I will be able to find calm amidst the storms in life.
Today I start a conscious reflection of my life at this point in time. My thoughts wander from here to there and I’ve found that daily readings to start each day are a good source of motivation.
One of my readings this morning came from the book Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst. It was recommended by a friend and I’ve found it to be quite insightful. It has one hundred readings and I’ve managed to make it through twenty-nine of those in the five weeks I’ve had the book. Today’s reading was especially helpful in the context of my life’s journey, which has taken a lot of twists and turns here of late.
One paragraph in today’s reading sticks out in my mind and has been both underlined and circled in the actual book:
Life has a way of throwing a lot of twists and turns at us. We can think we know where we should go and what we should do, only to find out otherwise. Life choices that we make, whether consciously or subconsciously, can lead us down paths that aren’t for our better good. Then there are those choices we make that can lead us to a place of enlightenment and fulfillment. And yes, the choice is ultimately mine.
Another reading from my morning’s meditations lends itself to this same train of thought and speaks to choices that we make in our daily lives. The book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, details the choice-making process and offers invaluable insight.
So from today’s readings that I have shared, what are my real takeaways for my life today?
I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life, doing exactly what it is I am supposed to be doing, to learn the lessons I need to learn.
When in question about what life path to take, I need to turn to God, the “Universe” for guidance. The answers are there if I am willing to look and earnestly seek.
I don’t need to know the future path my life’s journey will take. I can keep the faith and trust in the journey when I have communication with the God of my understanding.
I need to try to live in the present moment and not be worried about the future and what it may bring.
I need to be conscious of those choices that I make in life. Conscious decisions have both consequences and rewards and I need to think through those before moving forward.
With each choice I make, I need to ask whether it will bring happiness and joy to myself and those around me.
Lots of things to consider from today’s readings. I’m grateful for the teachers in my life, both past and present, that have pointed me to where I’m at today. There are many of those people out there who either consciously or unconsciously have given me invaluable food for thought this day.
I’ve recently been taking melatonin to get a more-regulated period of quality sleep each night. While the supplement itself has been effective, I’ve also noticed some changes both physically and mentally during the daytime hours. So I’ve done a bit of research and here are the side effects that at least one article mentions.
Melatonin Side Effect #1: Daytime Sleepiness (Grogginess) – I haven’t noticed this being a big problem, especially on days when I’m working.
Melatonin Side Effect #2: Interferes With Pregnancy – I don’t guess I really need to be concerned with this one…I list it because it would affect some of you reading this list.
Melatonin Side Effect #3: Worsens Depression – Although I don’t think I have depression and while the article states melatonin is not the cause of depression, I have noticed an overall lower mood when taking it over several days. This one is definitely on my radar.
Melatonin Side Effect #4: Dosing Confusion – The article says that melatonin should be used to establish a more stable sleep pattern if you’ve gotten away from one. But it shouldn’t be used over long periods in place of getting to sleep with your body’s natural melatonin.
Melatonin Side Effect #6: Headaches – I haven’t had a problem with this one, but will list it to keep it on the radar just in case.
Melatonin Side Effect #7: High Blood Pressure – Definitely one to keep my eye on…I do take two meds for blood pressure and it states it can have an effect on those….I probably need to use that blood pressure monitor I purchased over a month ago and haven’t even taken out of the box.
Melatonin Side Effect #8: Over Sedation – I’ve been taking more than the recommended dosage each night….probably don’t need to be doing that.
Melatonin Side Effect #9: Dizziness & Nausea – Has not been an issue for me at this point.
Melatonin Side Effect #10: Infertility – Once again, not a concern for me, but list it here for others who may be reading.
It’s been a long while since I’ve written and shared here on my blog. So for today, I’m setting a goal of writing and sharing something each day for the next twenty-three days. Truth be told, it may not be anything of an earthshaking nature, but share I will.
Life over the past several months has thrown quite a few curves and many times quiet reflection is need to try to gain a fuller perspective. I’ve done enough quiet reflection for now and will be sharing some of the things that I’ve learned,,,some of the interesting things that run across….perhaps even share some of the pictures I’ve taken here of late.
Saturday, October 9th will be my first of twenty-three days of sharing….I guess that will take me through the end of the month and hopefully share some of my experience, strength, and hope in the process.