“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
How many of you have read this book? It’s been many a year since I have last read it, and it’s currently out in my garage collecting dust. How sad is that? No book should ever collect dust. Especially a book this good! But, I am currently trying to figure out which books I am going to keep (since our move) and which books I will be donating. This is an arduous process for me, as books are my life. Ha!
SIDE NOTE: I am going to categorize things in my blog-post tonight because I want you to be able to bypass those things that are not of interest to you.
BLOG: Paulo says (quote above) to “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” I believed in this wholeheartedly! However, now that I live in severe pain a good amount of my time, AND remission is taking its sweet ole time toward finding me (I know it will; thank you Lord), AND my brain is getting worse (which scares me more than the physical pain I am in). I actually have to stop for a moment and think about this famous line in his book.
Do I still believe this? No.
Do I believe it in the context he is writing about? Yes! Why? Because it is followed up with, “And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and eternity.”
I believe that even more now, then I did then. Why? Maybe it’s because I AM in so much pain, and I realize how important it is that I still try to carry out my dreams. I believe when we do that… it not only benefits others, but it benefits ourselves. It is what gives our life meaning. Sort of like when we volunteer. Say you are asked by your church to help at a soup kitchen. Maybe you oversleep, and while you are hurrying to get ready, you hit your small toe against your vanity table. While you are putting on your shirt you notice that you are missing the middle button, so you urgently grab another one, huffing and puffing the entire time. You get to the food pantry and apologize for being late, and thankfully they are very understanding. You breathe a large sigh of relief and get busy helping others who need your help. All of a sudden, you are helping someone else, and your entire constitution begins changing. You begin striking up conversations, laughing, and joking. You check on them to see if they want more food. You clean tables quickly, so other people can sit down. You serve hot food to someone that may not have eaten in a couple days, and not only are you learning something in the process, but at that moment you are filled to the brim with enthusiasm. Why? Because you are doing something of purpose, and something of God.
Our dreams are the same way. And, I think that whenever we are working on fulfilling our dreams, it fills us with passion and joy. The mundane gets a little more interesting. On the flip-side, when we aren’t working toward our dreams, then we are not fulfilling the purpose God has for us. People wonder what their purpose for life is? “Why am I here?” I’ve been asked that so many times in my field; and here’s the deal, “It’s different for everyone.” My question back to them is, “I don’t know… why are you here?” It is up to us to peel the layers and discover what our true passion is. It’s up to us to start working toward that process. And it’s what we do along the path, and how we respond and treat others in our lives, WHILE following his plan, that we discover the beautiful gifts he bestows upon us along the way.
In the Alchemist, Paulo explains that there are 4 things that hold all of us back from following our dreams. 1) Our childhood tells us that everything we do is impossible, and we begin growing layers of guilt. Fear piles up upon our soul, until our soul’s passion is buried. If we are brave enough to minister to those feelings and face them, then something else enters the picture; 2) Love. We become afraid that we will be letting our loved ones down. We will not have enough time with our kids, we will have to get a babysitter, we will never see our wife/husband, etc. But Paulo wants us to learn that love can motivate us. It can stimulate our drive toward our passion, and this is just one more thing we can overcome. What happens after we have challenged these feelings? 3) Fear. We let fear stop us in our tracks! Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of defeat. And, we make excuses to quit.
We cannot quit. We cannot give up. This is easier said then done, isn’t it? We need to find out which area we’re stuck in, 1,2, or 3, contend with that situation, and then move forward. We must do this because if we don’t, it is we who will suffer. And when we suffer, EVERYONE around us suffers.
I think one of the reasons I’m writing about this tonight is because last week I lost most of the book I was writing. Yes, you heard me right. I didn’t back it up on my flash drive, and my file became corrupted WHILE I was in the middle of writing. Many of you are saying, “Well, that’s a great lesson!” But the truth is, I learned that lesson in my 20’s… I’m smarter than that. What scares me is that my brain wasn’t functioning well enough to “remember” to insert my flash drive. That’s scary to me.
This small (more like BIG) act reminded me of The Alchemist. And although Paulo Coelho’s book is about SO much more than what I pinpointed here, I wanted to visit it tonight.
I haven’t written one word in my book since last week. The fear of never getting it done (and I don’t care if it’s ever published, I just want to finish it, while I still have my brain) has played heavily on my mind. Because see, I’ve been drafting books since I was a little girl. Authoring a book has been a dream of mine since I was a tadpole. It’s one of my passions, and when I’m typing, dreaming up scenarios, and plots… I’m blissfully happy. I don’t think of anything but the visions in my head. I can write for four hours straight, and it will feel like 1 hour by the time I turn off my computer for the day. I think that might be the key to passion right there. What kind of work do you do that makes 4 hours feel like 1?
I didn’t follow what I learned from Paulo in his book when I read it. Life happened, and things got buried. In fact, I quit dreaming about characters, settings, and plots. The only time I wrote, was in my personal journal. Instead my life happily centered around my children (and working), and by the time they went to bed, it was time for me to go to bed (Lol, this momma was pooped i.e. TIRED). It wasn’t until I became so sick and I couldn’t work, that my old dreams, ideas, and characters started popping back up in my conscience. Now, I write when I feel well enough, and then back to my dreaded bed I go. But during those hours I feel more alive than I do at any other time. That shows us what passion can do for a person. Doesn’t it?
And, through this process, God has taught me to enjoy moments instead of days and weeks. Some moments in my day are not healthy, let alone happy. But now I know that other moments will come, and he will ease my pain. He will give me time with family. He will allow me to write. He will allow me to bake.
He will allow me.
That in itself, keeps me positive.
My Health: Next visit with Rheumy isn’t until August, but so far, my numbers are not normalized. Some are, but some are too low. Therefore, I’m not in remission. I’m still doing chemo every Sunday, and my meds just keep increasing (which I hate more than anything)! I am happy to report that some of my numbers HAVE normalized since doing chemo, so I’m incredibly happy about that. My next set of bloodwork will be drawn on Friday after a mandatory Dr’s appointment. Then I’m going to go pick up Tater-tot, which will make it all worth it. In the meantime, I’m forgetting more things, my short-term memory is getting worse, and it’s scaring the bejeezus out of me. I have difficulty talking, saying the correct words, and pronouncing things. It’s embarrassing, so unless it’s my husband (or family), I’ve been MUCH quieter. I’m sure there are a lot of people happy about that! I’ve been very uncoordinated, light-headed, and lights are becoming too bright for me. I will be seeing a neurologist at UofM in October. The only thing that worries me is driving to Ann Arbor, as it’s at 9:45AM, and mornings are an AWFULLY tough time for me. My friend offered to take me if she’s not working. So, I may actually take her up on that offer. I really don’t know what else to do? I could ask momma, but the thought of my 82-year-old mother having to drive me to Ann Arbor doesn’t sit well with me. Quick question to any of you who have Lupus or who live in this area: Have any of you been to this Dr? (It’s easier for me to insert this photo than type out the name.) If so, can you lmk if you liked him?
NUGGET/TIP FOR TODAY: I’m not sure if any of you are in the middle of painting? But since purchasing our new home, painting has been on my to-do list. I only have 3 rooms to do. It’s taken me 6 months to complete one and a half. I’m seriously having a challenging time doing this, and the thought of painting our upstairs is all but killin me. But I wanted to give you this little tip: Buy baby wipes. They are AWESOME for wiping up little drips.
Listen, I PUT the plastic down, I used painters tape and taped the plastic to the trim, and I covered our furniture with plastic. I still managed to drip paint, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so off balance or what? But this works GREAT! Yes, I have baby wipes here in case Tater-tot runs out. But they aren’t that expensive! So, when you’re buying your painting materials, pick up some baby wipes. Buahahahaha!
God bless ya’ll.
PS. I slept until 5:30 tonight. I kid you not. I literally got up this morning after Hubs left for work and I was so tired that I went straight back to bed. I slept until 5:30! I am so weak and tired this week! I’ll be praying for all of you out there tonight who are also feeling ill, weak, and tired. That he’ll strengthen and heal you as you sleep, and that by morning you will wake up feeling refreshed and renewed. God bless! XO