“He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.” — James Allen
Those are the two words that my doctor used recently to describe what I was to experience for a few days.
I went to my doctor’s office some time back for what I thought might have been a spider bite on my knee. It was pretty painful and I had big red area spreading up my leg. It turns out that a staph infection had set in and was trying to run up my leg through my lymphatic system. After a short visit, I limped out with a butt full of antibiotics from a shot, a script for some oral antibiotics and some antibiotic cream for the wound.
When I asked how long before I would see some improvement, she told me that my leg would be looking and feeling better by the next day. However, the red tender spots running up my leg would be annoyingly painful for a bit.
“Annoyingly Painful”… Her words stuck with me. I think that those two words are good for describing many of life’s little events.
We all have annoyingly painful things going on in our lives from time to time. Physical things like pulled muscles, mild headaches, sunburns. In my case, this time it was a spider bite. Some of the most annoyingly painful things in life can cause us to forget about our thoughts. Reacting to these events, we spend time worrying that the worst of any situation will happen at any moment.
When the doctor told me that this infection was running up my leg, I could have thought the worst. Maybe it would go straight to my heart. I mean, that was a possibility. I could have thought about how intensely painful this could be. The bite was already hurting. That’s part of what got me to the office in the first place. My body was setting off the alarms and I had to respond.
But, I chose to not think….notice I typed the words not think …..to NOT think that this pain was going to get a lot more severe. Instead, I chose to think about the knowledge that I had just acquired from the office visit.
I’ve known my primary care for almost twenty years. I’ve trusted her since day one. Her earnest in getting this thing under control quickly told me that this was serious stuff. I also knew that I live in a fortunate time when doctors and medicines can do wonders. I was confidant that her diagnosis was correct and that the medications would begin to immediately heal my body.
I left the office with what some call a “knowing“. I just knew that I was already getting better. I felt relieved and more relaxed. All was to be well.
Remember, I could have not stopped to think and simply reacted to this situation. More anxiety, a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure would surely have been a few of the side effects that would come with that mindset.
Not all life’s painful times are the result of physical issues. Suffering, stress and worry can appear from heartache with a loved one, worry for a child, or just plain “everything that can go bad in my life is here and now it’s ruining my life”.
By forgetting to stop and think, we each may be headed for more and more of the same repetitive cycle of worry and pain.
We can choose to pause and think. We can look for whatever signs of hope that there are in the situation. Search and analyze all of the information. Try to keeps the emotions at bay and repeatedly look for the positive. We must develop that “knowing” that all will be well. It is then that we can honestly say that this pain that we are going through is just a little annoyingly painful.
P.S. Have you had any annoyingly painful situations that you would like to share? Perhaps a little inspiration for all of us?
“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.” ― Steve Maraboli
How can life be good when storms are coming?
If you spend time summer camping on the beach, you may witness a weather pattern that is known called a sea-breeze front. As the winds blow in from the ocean, the cooler air over the water meets the warmer air over the land. This forms what is called a convergence zone. If the air is humid and conditions are right, clouds will build up, gathering moist air over land. How strong the breeze is blowing in from the ocean can determine where Mother Nature dumps all that moisture in the form of rain and possible thunder storms.
Usually when people are camping, rain in not one of natures features that you want to experience. Scrambling around and covering up things is not fun.
Recently, I was camping on a sand dune, when my camping neighbor stepped out of his tent and asked me if there were “storms a coming”? I looked at the sky, thought for a moment, and replied that I didn’t think so. Pointing west with my finger, I told him that I thought folks west of us, a little more inland, might get wet. He looked at the sky again, concerned that maybe those storms were building up to rain down on his camping trip. I let him know that I had seen some real gully washers at this campground. But this time I was choosing to think that those rain clouds were not coming here.
His concern got me to thinking about the personal and emotional storms that approach all of us in our daily lives. We all have those times in our lives when we think that storms are coming. We think we see problems coming in our relationships. Or maybe a sneeze or two leads us to thinking that an illness is coming our way. Maybe obstacles to growing and expanding our business appear to be getting larger and larger. That noise in your car that you think is going to cost a lot of money to repair. The list of storms that we think are headed our way can seem huge.
With each approaching storm, we need to focus on what it is that we want to happen, not what we think that storm could bring into our life. It seems that every time I allow myself to dwell on what bad things can be approaching, more bad things show up in an attempt to keep me in that repetitive cycle of thought.
Attitudes towards thought are habits. It’s easy to get over whelmed with one bad thing after another. If we allow ourselves to rise each morning worrying about what bad things are going to happen, we can never see the good that is out there as well. We must make a conscious decision to think about thoughts before thinking them.
It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Just think that whatever appears to be a storm-a-coming could just as well turn the opposite way or dissipate before it gets too close. That relationship that looked stormy could turn out to be crossed wires in a conversation. Those couple of sneezes, just some dust in the air. The financial climate may change, resulting in more business than you ever believed possible. And your mechanic may find that the noise in your car was simply a loose clamp.
If the sky at your beach is half sunny and half cloudy, choose sunny. Life is always brighter in the sunshine. The only thing that makes darkness go away is light.
Did you think today that there were storms-a-coming and life is still good?
PS, By the way….my beach camping neighbor…..he let the storm thoughts go, had a wonderful camping dinner with his family…..and he never felt a drop of rain.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” — Albert Einstein