Feeling like crapola.
My digestive system is gassy, burning and painful. Not sure where it has come from, or why, or why now.
Also thinking about 2 people I know who are facing their own challenges on the wheel of life. One recently was diagnosed with Lupus, and the other is in so much pain and discomfort, and no one can tell her why, or how to "fix" it.
I have long ago recognized that dealing with cancer there are shades of experiences that cross over to other labels. In some ways, there would be those who think I have a "labelling" advantage, as people know "cancer."
But the fact is, people more likely think they know cancer than actually don't have a clue. Dealing with cancer is also not easy, as many equate cancer and death, so people tend to stay away.
There are "advantages" - or at least seeming advantages - to certain labels. I think it is always easier to look at someone else's situation and think you can assess what's what.
But when it comes down to it, for the person dealing with whatever s/he is dealing with, the dilemma, the reality, the fears and concerns could not be more real. And, more than likely, as real and as awful as it can be, there will likely be a number of people who have no clue what they are dealing with. They, or their circumstances, can all too easily be minimized, and/or misunderstood.
It doesn't help that society, as a whole, doesn't welcome details. It doesn't help when people who don't know how to react, react in ways that are not only not helpful, but in ways that can be painful and detrimental.
It does not exactly encourage those dealing with stuff to be open. And I do not blame them one bit. It can be a lonely and isolating road. It can be demoralizing and demeaning. The judgment of others is rampant, and more blatant. After all, speaking up must mean you are inviting others to have a say, right? (Wrong).
My heart goes out to these dear hearts that - even with all they face - have tried to be there for me. They, more than many others, know all too well know many of the types of things I face.
As I have said before, those often with the least to give, are the ones who will want to give the most. They identify all too well with another's plight in a way that those who haven't travelled this type of road often can even remotely come close to.
This is not to put others down, but rather point to a missing bridge to understanding. It is a bridge that can only be built with communication, and if we are unable or unwilling to communicate, those who don't understand will likely never have a chance to, short of having their own personal experience.
It is not the easiest thing to do, though. A bridge brings another uncomfortably close to something they don't necessarily want to connect to. It is safer for them to thwart the communication/the building than it is to encourage it.
But if we are gonna have any hope at all as a community of people, we gotta break through the discomfort. We gotta be willing to stop accepting the things that wind up dividing and hurting us. We gotta stop putting empowering sounding language on things that are no where near empowering.
We have to really start looking at things, and calling them for what they really are. We often know what they are; we are just too chicken to speak up, fearing the consequences of breaking from the public ranks and expectations of silence and silent acceptance.
I don't judge anyone for wherever they're at. I have been among the silent and the fearful most of my life.
I speak up now because I have already alienated people, and pissed them off. I have already pressed buttons and issues. I have gotten to the point that I feel I have nothing to lose. For that reason, it is a hell of a lot easier for me to say and do the things I say and do.
But it wasn't always this way, and it wasn't easy getting here, and it isn't the most comfirtable place to be - not by a long shot. But, and it is a BIG BUT, it is the place where change is possible.
We are much more alike than we realize. We have just been taught what an acceptable public veneer looks like, and most of us wear it well. We have also been taught how to treat those who break from those acceptable standards, and are experts at doing what we can to maintain the status quo, even when it hurts or compromises us in the process.
Not speaking up and out hurts us. We may think it is "no big deal," but it takes us from ourselves. It eats away at our soul. We may not recognize it as it us happening, as it can be too painful to acknowledge. But get away from it, and the cost can be all too obvious.
Years of compromising myself hurt me, and who knows the extent of the reverberations to those around me?
I won't do it any more. It just feels too important not to be silent. It feels too important to speak up. It can be very painful and frustrating, but I really have to hope it in some way matters to another human being on this planet. Maybe something I say will impact another in a way that they act differently to another in need.
How does one person make a difference? By making a difference for one person.
We can do better. Have you made a difference for even one person today? Yesterday? This week? This month?
You may not think it important, or a big deal. But, I promise you if you were ever a person in need, you would certainly hope that there would be others who thought past their own issues and concerns, and could see more than themselves. You would hope they would realize how important the even seemingly small stuff was when it came to impacting another's life in both good and detrimental ways.
You would hope people would see past your seeming differences, and that they would be willing to take a stand for a greater good, instead of living the lies that allow their fear based decisions to be their Guidance System.
You could quite possibly hope that others would be a person that you are capable of being, but have not yet embraced if you live a life fearing what others will think of you, and base your decisions on those fears.
A person willing to step out of the shadow of those fears is the person you want on your side/in your life. They mayb be more inclined to support you without judgment. Possubly defy logic with you, maybe even for you. They will encourage you to be who you are, even if who you are is "different." They will be the ones most likely to stand with you and support you when you can't stand on your own, being your strength when you are weak.
They can be all these things because they know they are not minimized by maximizing another. If they don't care what others think, they do not easily feel threatened by others.
They are empowered by the freedom to speak up, and they will want that for you, too, but will accept you wherever you are on your journey. Without fear of being judged, so much changes.
It is an incredible gift we can give another. And it is a gift unlike any other that we can receive. It ultimately is the gift of self and self-acceptance.
It is also the gift of ourselves to another. We cease to allow our fears to get in the way of being there for another, for helping them out. We cease allowing ourselves to make reasonable sounding excuses to refrain from helping.
We allow ourselves to connect to another through our humanity, instead of finding ways to divide, separate, and shut down.
Ironically, perhaps, I think deep down we all want a deeper, greater, more meaningful connection, but when given opportunities to have that, we find ways to avoid it.
Those connections can be dangerous. We can get emotionally involved and attached, which means we also risk pain and being hurt. Is it no wonder we do the things we do? But, when it comes down to it, I think we often want the stuff that scares us because it is the best kind of Soul Food there is.
The thing is...we often know what is good for us, but go for the junk food, any way. Part of making a change is awareness. Change can begin when what has always been seen and accepted is no longer seen the same way.
Often if something works change is the last thing desired. And, on some level, what we have "works." If it didn't, we would seek to change it.
It is those things that appear to work, but really don't that are the the most problematic. To say something that appears to work isn't working involves a closer, deeper look, and an open mind.
Many times our minds are forced open in circumstances beyond our control. We are forced to see things differently, because things are different. We can no longer continue to wear blinders.
It would be really great if we could effect change without having to go to those places. I suspect it is possible, and it is partially why I speak on things as I do. I would really like to think we can do better without being forced by circumstances to.