Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Storm and Endings

There have been many who have said that 2012 would be the "End of the World."  Some have refined that, and have said that it is the "End of the World - As We Know it."

For me, that moment came earlier this year.

The world as I knew it came to a screeching halt.

I am thinking about this today as the news of Sandy's devastation arrives.  I am sure that for many the world does feel very different today.  I then was thinking about my situation, and how it might compare.  The thing is, though, it doesn't compare.  And maybe not for any reason you may think.

It doesn't compare because...it doesn't compare.

I think we often try to compare things,  and that is when I think we get into some trouble.  We get into arguments that are less than, worse than, more than, and none of it really helps, as those types of things are quite often - if not always - relative.

Is someone really going to feel better about their world crumbling around them because someone else's is crumbling in a "worse" way?  Before anything, they would have to see the other situation as worse. Without it, it has nothing to stand on.

When I think about what people must be feeling, I seek out where there might be similarities.  I think about the feeling of loss they must have.  The feeling of being disoriented.  The feeling of being focused on the moment, because they need to survive.  The feelings of sadness.   Other feelings that will surface once the immediacy of the danger is over.  The feelings of helplessness, and feelings of being out of control, and in someone else's hands, for better, or worse.

When I think about these things, I wish I could say or do something that would help the emotional tailspin they must be in.  At the same time, thankfully, I have never had a situation like some people have found themselves in.  And because of that I can not truly know what the best way to help in that regard is.

I put the image above because I thought it not only fits this situation, but any that is like it.  I have no idea yet how these past few months and diagnosis will play out in the me that will be moving forward.  At the same time, the me that now stands here is not the same me as I was a few months ago.  In some ways I am shakier, and in others, I am stronger.

My circumstances, my storm, if you will, left its mark on me.  It helped me to loosen up things, and let some things go.  It helped me look at things differently.  The sum total of things has made me strengthen the core of who I am.  It will forever be a part of the me that goes forward, and how I am in relation to the things that happen in my life will also forever altered.

If nothing else, I think situations like this do have a way of showing us what is important, in a way nothing else can.  But you can't really say that to someone who has just felt the first shocks of sudden, unwanted change.  It is only after the fact when the repercussions settle down, and the person moves forward that there may be some helpful perspective.

As I think about this, I also think about the aftereffects.  It is one thing to get through the moment.  It is another to be in the recovery from the moment.  I think about this as I am hopefully about to embark on my recovery stage.  I have been thinking about this a lot, as I am thinking that somehow people will think that once I am through with chemo, all will be right with the world.

Well, it will be looking better, for sure.  But there will be many things I will have to cope with as I rebuild my life.  I say this in part because those who have been adversely affected by Sandy will need help not only today, but likely "tomorrow," too.

It is all too easy to forget about others pain when we get caught up in the day to day grind of our lives.  While there may have been some football players and fans acutely aware of what was happening yesterday, there were also likely others who were so caught up in whether or not there was a winning score that were no where near dealing with it, or even having to.  A fumble may have even felt tragic.

We sometimes choose the things we are affected by, and sometimes we have no choice.  The times that the wind kicks up and blows us around are going to be the times that we find a truer sense of who we are.  We may not like it.  I certainly didn't.  But it seems to be a part of the fabric and framework of being human.  So whether we like it, or not, there are times it seems we have no choice but to discover who we truly are.

Maybe the "end" is really about a beginning.  Maybe when those things we know and come to depend on disappear/"die," there is room for something else/someone else/some other way.  I am in no way wanting to minimize the beautiful things and people we do have, but rather just seeking a place to stand that helps me not only move forward, but move forward in a way that is truly helpful.

But I couldn't have been speaking about things this way back in May.  There is no way. Every part of our experience plays a role.  After a wound comes a scab, and after the scab comes a scar.  It is a process that cannot be skipped, and it happens however it happens for those who have been wounded one way or another.

I would not be where I am now am, if it wasn't for where I once was.

I have no idea exactly where the "other side" starts and ends, but I suspect that in some ways we are often in both places in each moment of life.  What that all means in the end, who the heck knows?  But maybe if we remember that there is an end, we don't need to be focusing on anything but the present.

If you are in my present, and reading this, I thank you.
Thank you for being a part of my world.  
It would not be the same without you.

Sending lots of JoLoPe...JOyLOvePEace.

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