So I'll let you in on some of the secrets. And you can take advantage of this SPECIAL OFFER to buy the DVD for just...
Oh, shut up, salesman-me. There's no DVD.
But there are some books...
Oh, shut up!
Will the salesman stay quiet?..let's hope so. I do have a roll of duct tape handy.
And, oh yes, this is written for Five Minute Friday, over the span of a few days (which included being bitten by a brown recluse), so please excuse the somewhat choppy tone...and I will work in the keyword if I can, when it's announced. (The word's BLESSING. It's there.)
Where were we? Oh, yes. the secrets to dealing effectively with a hopeless situation:
- Embrace the horror...that's a cool line from the 1998 Bruce Willis movie Armageddon, and I couldn't resist. But seriously, not saying cancer is not going to make it go away. Ascribing a new symptom that falls within your diagnosis to something more benign (like allergies) is not going to halt the progress of the disease. You'll have to face it some time; do it now and have some energy saved for fighting back.
- Get comfortable with discomfort. Ever wonder how seals learn to balance a beach ball on their nose...uh, wait, wrong analogy. Ever wonder how NAVY SEALS can do cool ninja stuff under the worst conditions? It's simple; their training is done on a schedule, and not according to the weather or making allowance for injuries. If the job has to be done, it gets done, no excuses. They have to get comfortable with extreme discomfort. Same thing here. I don't seek to make myself 'comfortable' beyond certain limits, because it degrades the edge I need. For example, I very rarely use a chair, and sit instead on the floor...and I sleep on an ottoman whose cushion is perished, so it'a like sleeping on a pallet that's missing a few boards. Accepting chosen discomfort without complaint makes it easier to face the pain of the illness that happened to me.
- No whining...OK, limited whining. I do allow myself to say, "This hurts!" or "This is scary!" It does hurt and it is scary, but what's saying it going to do for me? Nothing. Some doctor once said "you are what you eat" (having eaten bugs and snakes and worse, I don't like that). I have a better one...you are what you say. Whine, and you can be a victim. Any takers? Didn't think so.
- No downbeat media, so cancel that Ingmar Bergman film fest you've been planning for the next three-day weekend. Roll with Adam Sandler instead. May I recommend Anger Management?
- Perspective pays off. Sure, I'm dying, and it's going to get nasty...it's starting to get even nastier than I ever thought it would. But hey...I have a dry place to sleep, adequate food, entertainment, work that gives me purpose (this blog), and most of all the love of my wife, my dogs, and all of you out there in Internet-land. And no one is trying to kill me; no one is taking pleasure in my pain. There are a whole lot of people in the world who can't say any of that. How can I be so gauche as to complain about my lot?
- Push past physical limits. If pain demands that you walk a mile with him, go for two...seriously, do more than you have to, so that you know that tomorrow you'll have the confidence to achieve the 'minimum'.
- Set short-term goals; don't look at the Big Picture. Today my goals were feeding the dogs without collapsing, and then taking a rest whilst trying not to pass out while smoking a cigar. If I can do any writing the first goal will be to bring up Word, and type a paragraph. If I can do more, fine. But if I only do the paragraph, I have achieved my goal.
- Plan for the future; having a personal stake in tomorrow, something you really want to accomplish, that gives you the hook that can pull you through a deadly today. Make the future your magnet, and let it draw you through today's Slough Of Despond (with a nod to John Bunyan, there).
- Did you catch the words 'hopeless situation' above? Well, you've got to have hope. Not the "my healing miracle is just around the corner because I discovered the secret code to effective prayer!" kind, but the hope that's rooted in the conviction that all of what is happening can be turned to a better and higher purpose. You don't, like Job, 'get double for your trouble'; you get the opportunity to witness God's presence in your life, and the fact that if you trust Him to get you through each day, He will.
- Count your blessings. You have more of them that you ever thought possible.
See how simple it is? There's no 'secret sauce'; I'm no braver than you are, and my faith is probably more fragmented than yours.
If I can get through this with head high and self-respect intact, anyone can.
The musical theme today is the very first music video ever aired on MTV...The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. Enjoy some New Wave without shame!
Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.