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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Life paths and the hidden blessings

Life is full of ah-ha moments and opportunities for learning and gaining insight about ourselves.  Do you ever wonder what your life path would have been if different decisions had been made during the journey?  I have observed that life's most powerful lessons have come to me during the most difficult times.  And if I would have changed anything during the journey I wouldn't be where I am right now.   During the worst of times I have always searched for lessons to be learned and the positive message that was hidden in the struggle.  The interesting thing about the hidden message is I wouldn't have had an opportunity to ponder that message if I hadn't experienced those challenging struggles.  Those difficult moments are an opportunity and it's important not to miss it.  It's as though some higher power is giving me a kick in the seat of my pants to get my attention.  I have thought, "Well I wonder what that was all about!"  Those "kicks" have made me stop and take another look at my priorities and values, and as a result my life path has been forever changed.  Whether that change is for the good or for the bad depends on how well I listen and what I ultimately do with that information.

My life path has taken me on a fibromyalgia journey and I am in good company.  Fibromyalgia has
altered life paths for so many people around the world and for so many years.  I have had a long time to ponder the lessons to be learned from this difficult journey and to my surprise the lessons are numerous.  First and foremost I have learned how tough and determined the human spirit can be.  It takes a great deal of fortitude to live life with grace and dignity in the face of a chronic illness.  I have become a better listener and I am able to truly empathize with other people's struggles.  I have also learned to have patience and to avoid trying to control things.  The less I try to control things the faster situations work themselves out and with better outcomes.  Having patience has given me a sense of peace that I never would have experienced otherwise.  I have learned the true meaning of loneliness and isolation.  And in that loneliness and isolation I have found authentic friendships that will endure the test of time.  There is nothing more important than to have people in your life that give their love and support unconditionally.  If you have that you are truly a wealthy person.  I now have a heightened awareness of all that is around me, because I don't want to miss all those little things that make life so much richer.  I no longer take for granted the moments when I feel energized and I am always grateful for those fleeting moments and look forward to the next one to come.  My energy is a precious resource and when given a choice on how to spend that energy I choose more wisely.  I generally use my energy to do more of the things I love and to get together with people rather than scrub a floor or dust the house.  Those moments with people are important ones and the dust will always wait.  I have also learned to enjoy an ice cream bar dipped in dark chocolate without worrying about having an extra pound or two to take off later.  My life journey has reinforced what a blessing it is to maintain my sense of humor and to be able to laugh at myself.  This is just the beginning of a long, long list.

What are some of your unexpected blessings?  What have you learned during your life journey that has given you insight and enriched your life?  Have you wasted the learning opportunities that have presented themselves to you?  If you have, reconsider those moments and waste no time in learning from a past or present struggle or the life challenges yet to come.  There is one thing for certain, as we age there will be many life challenges and they will always take us by surprise.  You know the saying, "Life is what happens while we are making plans."  It's good to remain flexible to meet those challenges both big and small.  I see some people that become depressed and bitter, because they let those challenges go by without stopping to count the blessings.  That only leaves an empty void, which makes room for depression and bitterness.  I would love to hear about your unexpected blessings.  Sharing life's challenges and struggles put us in touch with our humanity and wearing a false facade becomes less important.  Your comments, whatever they may be, are welcomed.  May your life journey be full of adventure and unexpected surprises.  After all if we were to follow our own plan, life may become too predictable.  Blessings to you!
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