The Ins and Outs of Life

The Ins  and Outs of Life

life is messy cirrhosis hepatitis

Let it go. Direct your inner thoughts toward peace.

Let’s face it: When life gets messy with Hepatitis C , Cirrhosis, or any illness – it gets a bit complicated. I am not talking about the medication for treatment, or the diet restrictions. I am talking about the changes in our family, traditions, finances, and our lifestyle. This blog is NOT going to be about how we can take action and move forward. It is going to be about how to look inward when our outward situation sucks.

My life has changed dramatically since 2010. Many of those changes are on the outside. I have been thinking about that. Those are situations. But they do not define who I am. Yet the changes affect me on the inside as well.

Do you remember those stress tests doctors used to give? I took one several years ago. They ask questions about the life changes you have been through. They are meant to assess how much damage you have endured in your personal life and go something like this:

1.       Change in health for yourself or a loved one?

2.       Loss of a loved one?

3.       Unexpected financial hardship?

4.       Change of residence?

5.       Family separation

6.       Divorce?

Some of us can check one or more on that list. We are the walking wounded, both inside and out .  Some people may check one or two of those items in a decade. For us, it seems like a domino effect. Illness can lead to money problems. That puts pressure on a marriage. If you can’t care for yourself, you end up moving in with a relative or friend. More pressure on important relationships creates strain. And you Still don’t feel good. Really.

hepatitis cirrhosis worry

Things have a way of working out with time and patience.

It’s not like we were asking for it. I mean, you did not just wake up one morning living in a different place, with a sick body and family troubles.  The problems came on gradually, one hit after another and you kept standing tall in spite of it. You may not even know how you managed to stand. But you did it. Now you are here dealing with the ins and outs of life and it is not a lot like you thought it would be.  

I had one guy tell me his apartment would not let him keep his dog. He said he cried so hard over that. It was like the last straw. He couldn’t even have the companionship of his pet. I gently reminded him that the tears probably were not so much for the pet, but for what she had symbolized in his life. Stability. Caring. Consistency.  His companion pet was the one thing that had remained the same, and now even his little dog was gone. 

He’s alone this holiday. He wants to see the kids, but feels so bad that he can’t afford gifts for Christmas. He looks like hell. (Pardon – but that’s what HE said) He feels shunned by his family. His outward pain and loss pointed to a bigger problem of loneliness and isolation. He was cooped up in that apartment by his outer circumstances. But his inner battle with sadness was what wore him down.

I told him to read the blog on ARMing a goal. It felt a little lame if you want to know the truth. But he went along and even wrote out some I Am statements. He told me that they would be read aloud every day.

See, that is all I knew to do. Why? Because that is what I do when my outer situation creates inner havoc in my mind. You know I am a compulsive thinker. Remember that blog? I am serious about setting my mind with good words no matter what went on around me.

The truth is that we are alone in our struggles. No one else lives in our body. No one has the power to change our past or create our future. We alone have to face those giants one day at a time. We can connect with other people who are in similar situations. We can let others know that we need words of encouragement or advice.  We should accept that love when it is offered.

But the smartest, safest, and sanest thing is to turn inward. By listening to my inner thoughts, I can guide them toward the good things. Yes, the things to be thankful for. One by one, I peel back the layers of frustrated thinking and get to the heart of everything.

For which cause we do not give way to weariness; but though our outer man is getting feebler, our inner man is made new day by day. ll Corinthians 4:16

This is the core of life for me:

I am taking responsibility for my inner space. I might not have a lot of control in some areas of my life, but I can control my thoughts.

I refuse to worry. When I give in to compulsive worrying, it drains my energy. Just say NO.

I guard my thoughts. Living in the past or worrying about the future will not change my outer circumstances.

I do not react to negative situations with people. These are the worst. Sometimes things may come up. If you overreact to them, it will drain your energy. Stop it. :)

I listen to feelings of loss, anger, failure, or abandonment. They are real emotions. I can look at them with clarity and know that they are just feelings. Nothing more.

I know that the human mind has the capacity to expose any negative thoughts and feelings to the light of day. Shine the light of hope on them and watch them fade.

uqquiet mind cirrhosis hepatitis

Ahhh. There. Take care of your inner space dear love.

This is a short blog because I have get some new contacts and glasses and can barely see the screen! My message from a friend confirmed to me that we are all fighting strong emotions and I wanted to share how we are dealing with them. These emotions are the result of situations that we probably do not have control over anyway.

I invite you to join me in taking a journey inward. You have good stuff on the inside of you. Tune inward to your best thoughts. This post is going up as-is. You know I love you. Xoxoxo And I feel your love back Best Friends. Xoxoxoxo. Your blind as a bat friend, Karen:)

How are you dealing with negative emotions from outer situations? Does turning inward to your strong thoughts help?

pics via happyhonkers, picstopin.com,

18 thoughts on “The Ins and Outs of Life

  1. Oh Karen, my heart just sunk when you told me the apartment complex wouldn’t let him keep his dog. That’s like saying sorry but no children allowed. Granted I know that some people don’t train their animals and they can really cause a lot of trouble in your home but I’d just have to find me a different place to live.

    You’re right about what you suggested for him. We’re not all given the best of circumstances. I’ve had to deal with three of those things you’ve got on that list myself.

    We have a choice though. We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves or think better thoughts. We all have to remember that we are our thoughts so although miracles don’t happen everyday, we can always pray that God grants one for us. That should be enough to keep those positive juices flowing until we open our eyes one day and find one at our side. I still continue to believe that he listens.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Karen and I hope you have a wonderful and warm weekend.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Warning: Some Backlinks Can Harm Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Adrienne,

      I know, me too. Life can be so hard when several of those items hit at once. When we are deprived of love and care, it is twice as hard. I wish he had other options. We do learn so much during those crises. And you nailed it: We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves, or train our thoughts.

      Some people think it shows weakness to pray. I believe it is a sign that you are focusing on your source.

      You have the best heart in the world. I always look forward to seeing you comments on my blog. Ok. Sometimes I cringe, but that is only when I am feeling a little punk and don’t take time to edit. But you are always a doll and give me encouragement and good feedback.

      Thanks so much and have a great weekend yourself!
      Karen:)

  2. Hi Karen,

    I enjoyed your wonderful words of wisdom. We CAN control our thoughts no matter how bad things get. Life is a funny thing. As long as we know nothing is perfect and there is always one thing we can count on – CHANGE!

    I have learned to used my mind decades ago. I never miss a beat. When something goes wrong, there is always a technique I’ve learned to pick out of my pocket and use.

    I believe in this so much so that my first offline business I created is called Mind over Matter.

    Things always get better if you take that step. I commend you for helping that guy in his apartment. He reminds me of my ex husband (lol)…After twenty some odd years, I still send him books.

    I love your blog and look forward to your next post!

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Using An Avatar When BloggingMy Profile

    1. Donna,

      Your joy is my pleasure and I love to meet a strong woman who knows how to use her mind. It is an amazing tool if we can just tune in! I have a pocket full of techniques too! When one doesn’t work, I always have a back up. You are right – it comes in handy during life’s challenges whether it is sickness, or any other type of change.

      I didn’t know about your Mind over Matter and will be sure to check it out. You definitely know how to get things done and your advice from your site has helped me tremendously. Love the Baby Boomer blog.

      My best to you preparing for the holidays and thanks a million!
      xoxo Karen:)

  3. Hi Karen

    We can definitely get hit with things we never dreamed would happen. Life can change and collapse like a house of cards.

    I think I would live out of my car before I would give up my cats. But I am not in that position of no options. When finances fell apart I am very aware of how fragile my situation is and how it could crumble so easily. I could worry my self sick or just live one day at a time and be grateful that the dragon is not breathing down my neck today.

    I used to be a worrier and when I came to no control over what could possibly happen I had to release the worry or it would surely be the death of me. Amazingly though as the months pass it seems to be progress, even though it is slower than I would like it to be. I still have bouts of worry but I try to notice them and get them under control.

    Learning how to define who I am and for what purpose I am here. More and more things come to me of what I should know and learn. This must be in preparation for what the rest of my journey shall be.

    Life has changed dramatically since August 31, 2010 the day I was laid off. I am happier even though things are more difficult. The journey is much more rewarding now.

    Very enlightening post.

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson recently posted…Time Slips Away And What Have We Done?My Profile

    1. Mary,

      It is great that you have options. Funny that both of our circumstances hit in August 2010. It sounds like our path was similar in that we were forced to realize that worry never really changes our outer situation, but it can create a wreck of our minds. Sure, anxiety tries to creep in, but we have tools to help us deal with them because of our struggles!

      Yes, redefining ourselves is the ultimate goal. When we look within, we can better see how to adapt and make the best of what we have. I certainly never dreamed that I was able to overcome life threatening odds. You too have learned that you had the strength and tenacity to move forward in your journey.

      I like our new definition, don’t you? Strong. Brave. Growing. We are prepared for the journey ahead no matter what lies out there.

      I am so happy that you came by and shared your kind comments.

      Thank you so much,
      Karen:)

  4. Hey Karen,

    We all had those days when we just feel down in the dumps. It feels like everything that is external to us is attacking us. It’s almost as if we’re walking on a tight rope and we lose our balance.

    But what thing that has worked for me is doing afformations instead of affirmations. I learned this from reading Noah St. Johns book “The Secret Code Of Success”. So basically affirmations are positive statements we make in order to look at a positive outlook about ourselves. The problem is, at least for me, it’s coming from the conscience mind and we need to go deeper. Plus we feel that we’re lying to ourselves. At least for me.

    So Noah St. John came up with afformations. Instead of making statements, why not ask ourselves positive questions. When i started doing this, I automatically start coming up with great answers on a deeper level. It’s almost like selling yourself to give a more positive outlook about yourselves and to open yourself to the options you have verses the limitations. Plus it gives you a more definition of who you really are. This really made a world of difference for me and believe it’s scratching the surface of really connecting to your higher self!

    Thanks for sharing! We always have to learn inward to see what we’re really all about despite outward circumstances!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…What Are 11 Alternatives You Can Use Besides Google Adsense?My Profile

    1. Sherman,

      Thanks for validating that we all have those down days regardless of our health or what is going on in our personal life. It’s part of the human experience, and a blessing actually to have a wide range of emotions.

      I’m thinking about the play on words: Afformation and affirmation. I like it. This is an awesome concept! Asking ourselves positive questions forces us then to step into thinking mode instead of doing it by rote.

      I really appreciate it you sharing it with me. I will have to look up Noah’s book. Maybe it’s on audible and I can read it during drive time.

      Thank you for coming by the blog. I’m always happy to go to your site for help with my Best Friend’s Guide.
      Karen

  5. Hi Karen,

    I applaud the five core themes you’ve outlined for your life. I feel that’s something we should all do. I especially connect with your objective: “Living in the past or worrying about the future will not change my outer circumstances.” So true. We can learn from the past, and plan for the future. But we live in the present!
    Brent Peterson recently posted…What Every Leader Needs to OfferMy Profile

    1. Dear Brent,

      Your kind words mean a lot to me! I’m laughing because I didn’t even count them, and love that you picked up on that. Yes, today is our gift and we open in as we would a present.

      What an inspiration you have been to me with your blog. I’m really happy that you came by and shared the ins and outs with me. Your new community is great and also a credit to your leadership skills in providing a format for bloggers to learn and share. I’m glad that we met in this blogging journey.

      Have a blessed week!
      Karen

  6. Hi Karen,

    This is one of the most inspirational posts I’ve ever read, and I heartily agree with your philosophy. As you say, we can’t always influence what happens to us, but we can have control over how we choose to react. Our happiness and peace of mind is in our own hands, no-one else’s. We can choose not to be the victims of our circumstances.

    Having said that, like Adrienne, my heart went out to the guy regarding the loss of his dog – as a dog-lover myself, that’s a loss I’d find very difficult to bear – that would certainly be a big challenge for me.

    Thanks for reminding us of the power we have to manage our emotions and create our own joy.
    Susan Neal recently posted…How Keeping a Journal Transformed My LifeMy Profile

    1. Sue,

      Your words are too generous! But yes, we are in agreement that we can control how we react to situations. I have always believed that with my whole heart. My illness has challenged that more than I ever dreamed possible. I was just too sick and tired to check the website last night. What a joy your words are to me this morning.

      I have to laugh at my boldness in writing about emotions and then crying all the way through reading comments this morning. Sue, You are a generous lady. I have a lot of blogs that have blessed me and I love getting insight into website, blogging, and life in general. You inspired me to get up and journal this morning…

      Thank you so much for coming by,
      Karen:0

    1. Dorlee,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, like you I believe that being positive and mindful does help us get off of the emotional roller coaster! Changes make us feel as though everything is moving at a dizzying pace. Sitting. Just sitting and being can feel selfish. But it works for me. I love the practice and it sounds like we have that in common!

      Thank you so much for being a faithful friend,
      Karen:)

  7. Hi Karen,

    You know I believe that the reason why God created Eve is not so much to multiply but to “accompany” Adam. God didn’t want us to be ALONE. The saying “No Man Is An Island”…should be “Every Man Is An Island.”

    I believe we are social being and God put an emphasis on this even on His word…that we shouldn’t abandon the gathering of our brothers and sisters in church…that in fact God wants us to stay in touch with one another so to KEEP from being LONELY. I feel bad for your friend who cannot have his dog in the apartment.

    Dang. When I was single, I had paid $300 deposit once just to keep my dog in my apartment but then later on the Evil neighbor upstairs said that my dog cried whenever I’m gone to work and so the manager asked me, “Your dog out or you’re out.” I had no choice but to RETURN my puppy to where I got it.

    Some people just hate pets. What a real shame.

    When I used to work as a CNA this nursing home have pets in the facility. They found out that the elders were getting better when they could see a pet or hold a pet. So pets are good way to alleviate one’s loneliness.

    I like seeing the bible’s verses on someone’s post from time to time. That is a beautiful verse…anyway, the other day I was talking to my girlfriend on Facebook. We were messaging back & forth. I asked her to keep praying for my teenage daughter. And that someday I wanted her to find herself and bring all her problems to God. Then she gave me this beautiful verse….

    “For I know I have plans for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

    My friend said, “Someday, she will be a real blessing to you and God will turn her life around and you’ll see…she will be able to stand on her own two feet and you will be blessed by this.”

    ….which gives me a new HOPE on a very sticky situation. I don’t say this on Facebook and I’ve NEVER mentioned anything like this on my blog either. It’s very personal.

    You know when I’m feeling down sometimes I always say, “This too shall come to pass.” I may FEEL this but it doesn’t mean it’s REALITY. You know what I’m saying?

    The bible quote, “The heart is wicked of all who can understand it?”

    So when we FEEL some things…feels like the whole world coming down on our shoulder and it’s seems like there is NO hope whatsoever, that’s what we feel at the moment but doesn’t mean it will be that way for the rest of our lives. I mean, at least for me I don’t think so.

    Just yesterday…one of my sister just disappointed me BIG TIME. I mean she only calls me or my husband when she needs money right? But when I have a favor to ask her, she has bizillion other reasons why she can’t do it. I was so disappointed to a point I was saying to myself, “Lord, how do I divorce my sister?” Later on, I had to let this go…I just to say, “Please forgive her for she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” I love her but I hate what she does. But it doesn’t mean I would wanna hang around with her. Hanging around with her and loving her are two DIFFERENT things. That, I can handle. Let go…and never be around her again. LOL

    Okay, I think I just wrote you a novel. Girlfriend, know that I love you. And thank you for being such a good friend of mine. You are wonderful and awesome!!! You’re beautiful, bright, and have a good head on your shoulders. Proud of you for fighting all these “inner battles” inside…that’s what LIFE is all about. We are in constant battles. But we are NEVER alone. God is with us all the way through…

    xoxo
    Angela

    1. Angela,

      Your comment was very moving to me. I kept you in my heart all day and waited to respond. Loneliness is not what we were designed for. You are right, we all have this desire to connect with someone outside of ourselves. Even my exchanges with you this morning bring a sweet communion of spirits, you know?

      Our companion pets fill that need for us and they too are a gift. I don’t have a pet now, but a yard full of birds and wildlife daily. I talk to them and am grateful that NO one can tell them to go. It is hard when our sense of safety and security feels threatened. We are looking for that promise that tomorrow will be better, that our current situation will pass.

      The passage in Jeremiah 29 is one that I have clung to many times. The last part, “Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me and seek Me and …find Me when you search with all your heart.”
      That is a huge part of turning inward. The crying out and seeking. Then pausing to experience real peace and comfort. So many times when facing an outward situation, I look inward, but the temptation is to ransack my brain for a solution. I love it that you shared that verse because many many times I have repeated it slowly to bring my focus on inner peace.

      And yes, the situation does get better. What joy to look back and see that we grew during these times. Enduring the painful emotions is just that: something to be endured. I’m thinking of your daughter as I write all of this. She’s in my heart constantly and I send love and prayers. God is doing something good.

      We really have a lot in common. I had a sister that I was unable to spend time with for a few years. I had to let go and let her find her way. She did and we are now restored to a fun friendship once more. I’m honored that you shared your heart. We get these ideas that others have flawless lives. My vision for this website is that it’s a best friend’s hangout where we always know that unconditional love, acceptance, and powerful encouragement is shared. You have been a blessing from the start and I’m so happy we can walk together in our journey through life.

      Love Love Love,
      Karen
      P.S. Are you familiar with Phil Keaggy? Great guitarist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu2dRF63tak The love broke through album has a song: Things I will do.

      1. Yes, dear, I know Phil Keaggy. My husband is a big fan of him. We watch his videos sometime. He sure is a great guitarist and a great Christian artist. This is a beautiful song. Thank you for sharing. Have a nice weekend my dear friend.

        xoxo
        Angela
        Angela McCall recently posted…If You Are Brand New…My Profile

        1. Angela,

          Phil is amazing! I had all his albums back in the day. lol. That gives away my age. Gosh, the Master and the Musician was awesome. It is great that you play the guitar. It is so soothing and can be a time to get lost and relaxed in peace. I’ve owned 3 guitars and am down to 2 right now. My little brain just won’t work the chords well these days.

          Sweet xoxo to you dear one,
          Karen:)

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