I was recently speaking with someone who has experienced some tragic events throughout their life and have had many health issues, some that put them close to heaven’s door; yet this person does not feel victimized by life’s events, does not cry, ‘woe is me’, or hate the world, and given what they have experienced, it would be easy to take this path.
No, instead they still smile and try to help others through their own pain, knowing themselves how difficult things can be. They still hold their head up high and believe there is a blessing in everything that happens to them. Even those times when we think we cannot keep going, because we have been broken from life’s terrible tragedies. They are confident where they want to go in life and will not let things bring them down.
It was not lost on me how much they believe they are loved by a higher power that is showing them a blessing and not a lesson to reprimand them on living their life the way they choose to live it. Call that higher power God, Source, the Universe, or any other name. They know there is a reason for whatever happens and a reason for them being here. If we dig deep enough, we will see it. It may not be today or tomorrow. It may even be years from now, but it will come about, if we are ready to receive such a blessing. We will see it.
When I think back to the past, even just as recent as what we have experienced last year in 2020 and this year, with many losing their jobs through the pandemic. With one lost job, another was replaced by something more creative and out of love. Look at the new company in Montreal who began making masks to protect us all. The man in Winnipeg, whose manufacturing plant was going to close when the pandemic hit, only for him to change direction of what they made and began designing plexiglass to put at our grocery stores, in our schools and other places to keep us safe.
And one that always puts a knot in my own throat is MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers. I remember when that group came about years ago after tragedy. It is made up of victims, survivors and others who have been saving our loved ones for many years now through the work they do. And there are many stories of good coming out of sadness or tragedies.
I remember when I was in college there was a beautiful young woman in one of my classes. She was a very caring, sweet person, easy to talk to, with a wide range of knowledge. Sometimes, between classes, we would sit and talk about many things. I was a little older than her, so I had lived through more experiences. As time passed, I noticed she was withdrawing from others and getting thinner and thinner. I had written a paper on Anorexia once and saw the signs. Something was happening to her. I knew I had to tread lightly and not frightened her off, so one day, I gently, coaxed her towards the nurse’s office in the school. I had already gone ahead and discussed the situation with the nurse earlier that day. If my friend did not get help soon, she could have lasting effects on her health that she would not be able to recover from and worse, she could die from starving herself.
We just kept talking and I headed towards the office, feeling nervous as we got closer, afraid she would see what I was doing and take off. I had tried to talk to her before and was not able to get through to her. She froze when the nurse came out of the office and into the hall to greet us. I was grateful she had come outside, because I know there was no way I would have been able to get my friend through the door.
My friend immediately turned to look at me, and she was angry, understanding she was getting set up. I thought she would run the other way, so I knew I had to say something quickly. I spoke softly, not wanting to anger her further. I reminded her how incredibly special a person she was and that it was time for help. She had two people here with other places to be, but we were willing to take the time for her. The nurse was already off duty and I was missing a very important class, but this could be life or death. One class had to wait. I wanted my friend to continue through school and beyond. To live a full life. I prayed silently that she would take the help being offered to her and heal from whatever pain she was experiencing.
Thankfully, she softened and crying made her way into the nurse’s office. I never saw her again until several years later. I had returned to the nurse’s office weeks after that ordeal, to ask about my friend, and knowing they could not give me details, I asked if they spoke to her again, to let her know I was here if she needed me to be.
I ran in to her years later when I was very pregnant. I had married and was expecting my first child. A beautiful young woman walked into the office I was sitting in. She looked fit and the muscles on her body showed she spent a lot of time at the gym. She looked like a body builder. As someone who used to work out a lot myself, I remember marveling at the muscles she had and could not wait to get back into shape myself after my child’s birth.
She had been young when I knew her, so her face had changed and matured over the years. I did not recognize her, but she recognized me. I had my head down reading my book and she called out to me. It took me a few seconds to realize who she was, and I could not be happier to have seen her, especially, looking so healthy. When I saw her last, she was very thin, very frail and there was no sparkle in her eyes. I could see a sad, troubled look on her face.
That day, years later, when she walked in the door, she radiated a light that illuminated all around her. She had easily turned heads when she had walked in and had a beautiful smile on her face. She looked happy and barley resembled the girl I knew so many years before.
She had changed her life, her eating habits and was keeping herself in shape through the gym. It was something I had suggested to her in the past, knowing how she wanted to control her body. She had gone through counseling which had helped tremendously. She credited my little intervention to her survival, but I told her, that I only showed her the way. She had done the difficult work of repairing the damage she had done to her body, her life, her soul.
Unfortunately, we both got called into our appointments and I have never seen her since, but I was happy to see she had been on her way to a better life. That young lady could today, be somebody’s partner, mother, friend, or even the next person to give a helping hand to someone who just needs some love.
Sadly, she was not the last person I had met with Anorexia or Bulimia. We can help some people, but sometimes it is up to us to help ourselves if we can. We all have difficult days, maybe even painful experiences when we do not want to see or talk to anyone and do not think we can continue on living, but we have to find deep within ourselves the strength to keep going and find the blessing.
We must remember that even though we may feel alone or not good enough, too old or what ever the reason, there is someone, that loves us. Be it family, a friend, even a pet who needs us there. It may even be someone you do not know exists, like a caring person who saved a life when somebody else was ready to end theirs. A saved life that can become important to you one day. Maybe it is your future partner, or someone who goes on to a profession and saves many more lives, maybe even someone dear to you. There may be a higher power, loving us and waiting until that day when we are ready to receive those Blessings in Many Things. And open our lives to something grander than we ever imagined.
So, I say to you know, when things get too hectic or you cannot cope with what is going on, try sitting in a quiet space, and go within so that you can work things out in your own mind. Write things down to help you map out the situation. How do you get past what ever it is you are experiencing? Be it sadness, sorrow or other. Are you upset at being belittled constantly and do not want to make waves, so you do not speak up? It could be from a family member, people we thought were our friends, others we have contact with. Who can help you through this tough time? A trusted friend, doctor, your church, groups versed in what you are experiencing, or maybe just some music will make you feel better so you can think how to work things out.
What else can help you get in a better mood? Is it time to change something in your life to get better, happier results? Find a way to persevere and continue living through the times we hate the most. These are times we must believe in ourselves and pull us through the darkest days. Reach out to others for assistance and do not be ashamed to do so, because that person can make a difference in your life and you may even make a difference in theirs. You never know what other life you, yourself may be saving.
S R John
Author S R John
Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby
Life Coach - Caring for the Caregiver
Volunteer Ontario Caregivers
Married to a man with Bipolar. Caregiver to family. My own health scare has been challenging. We forget to take care of ourselves.