Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Routes and Roots


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Is money the root of all evil?

Is there more than one route to God?

Maybe I’ll come back to the God question.

Thrift and consignment stores are popping up all over. My husband manages one for the Rescue Mission. They get more clothes and books donated than they can keep up with. More than they have room for. He’s found a way to re-donate the extras. They get a lot of food donated too. In the job he had before, he saw grocery stores throwing away so much food. It was astounding and sad. Fortunately some of the food gets donated to non-profit agencies……  I’m getting to the money and evil part, eventually, maybe.

So how can there be so many clothes donated? The books I understand, because people now use  computers and phones more to read. But people keep buying clothes. More and more clothes. I get most of my clothes from second hand stores. I get most of my furniture second hand, too. It’s mostly a recycling thing. And a little a frugal thing.

Are we buying more stuff than we need? And what else can we do with our money?  I don’t want to buy new wood furniture, because someone had to cut down a tree for that.

Yes, lets get back to the forest!

My roots are in nature.

I see God in nature. I connect with God in nature.

I also see God in Jesus. I connect with God through Jesus.

Some people connect with God through prayer and songs. These work for me too.

Some find God through service work, through various books, or religious leaders.

Some don’t find God at all.  Part of me says I’m supposed to write how sad that is.

But you know what? I don’t feel all that sad about it. We all have a choice. We all have value. Regardless of whether we have found God, or Jesus, or Muhammad. Whether we are rich or poor or smart with numbers, or computers or money or whether we know how to make sassafras tea out of tree roots. We all have value.

I used to say, I didn’t care about money. But I do sort of like having enough for my mortgage and vet bills and food and my second hand clothes and gasoline….. and I’d like to travel more…… I like the things money can buy.  Some of the things. But money can’t buy the sky.  Money can’t buy true love.

And as my husband says his grandfather used to say, ” You can’t eat it.”

The desire for things and money is part of the problem, part of what is putting our world at risk. But there is something more. A lack of peace. A lack of love. We need more tolerance and cooperation.

That’s all for now.  Except that I wish I’d  written more about roots.

Here’s a poem, containing roots, I memorized many years ago from the Lord of the Rings….or maybe it was The Hobbit. This is how I remember it:

All that is gold does not glitter.

Not all those who wander are lost.

The old that is strong does not whither.

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken.

A light from the Shadows shall Spring.

Renewed shall be blade that was broken.

The crownless again shall be king.

JRR Tolkein

 

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt was “route/root.”

If you’d like to jump into the stream, start here:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1915/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Coping with Pain

sunset w bird soft

Pain just spilled out of  Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post and  got me thinking about my frustration with prescription pain meds. I know some people legitimately need Rx pain medication at times, but after 27 + years as a substance abuse counselor, I’ve watched addiction to pain pills torment more people than addiction to any other drug, except maybe alcohol.

Add to that my experience of every time I’ve had  minor surgery or an injury, I’ve been given way more Rx pain medication than I needed. The last time, I didn’t even bother to get the prescription filled and did fine with ibuprofen.

Now, before you start thinking I have a high pain tolerance, think again. I wanted to birth my babies naturally, with no pain medications, but after twelve hours of labor with my firstborn, I was asking for a second shot of stadol. They said, no, it was too close to delivery. I moaned in acceptance, but would have gladly taken a second shot, even though I hate needles. With my second delivery, I made a feeble attempt to forgo pain meds, and caved again.

My second born, now an adult, also has no special tolerance for pain, but only used one third of the pain meds prescribed after her oral surgery. I waited for months to take the leftover 20 pills to the bi-annual Rx drop off.

So why are all these extra pain meds being prescribed, and why are the extras so hard to get rid of?  Why are we so quick to want to take a pill, rather than try alternatives? Part of the problem is that alternative therapies, like acupuncture and massage, are rarely covered by insurance.

If you’re prescribed pain medication, take it as prescribed, for you, and ask your doctor if you have questions. For example:

  •  Can I take less than what it says on the bottle?”
  • What else might help besides the pills?
  •  Can I try a heating pad, or ice pack?”
  • What alternative therapy can we try, like physical therapy or massage?
  •  Do you know people who’ve handled this with over the counter medicine?
  • I have a family history of addiction, is there something else we can try?

If a person takes opiate (sometimes  called narcotic) pain medications long enough, tolerance develops and the medication doesn’t work as well. Withdrawal happens when the body stops making natural endorphins because the pain meds tell the body it doesn’t need to make the endorphins. The receptors are full. And that’s just the physical explanation.

Addiction is sneaky.

I’ve seen it in action.

Most people have no idea how much work it takes to fight it.

Here are some things that have helped me and others cope with pain, both physical and emotional:

1. What’s the message?  What is your pain trying to tell you? Go to the doctor? Get some rest? Stop eating junk? Pain exists to let us know something needs our attention.  About thirteen years ago, the post-divorce relationship I was in was stressful (to put it mildly).  This showed up with increased heartburn, abdominal pain, and mysterious female ailments. My body was trying to tell me to ditch the person who was making me sick.

2. Prayer: Ask God to  show you the reason for your pain and to help ease it. For me, the answer doesn’t always come right away, but it comes in one way or another.

3. Positive Distraction: It’s probably not going to make the pain go away completely, but it will decrease your focus on it. Be aware of  things that don’t hurt. Watch funny movies, do puzzles, listen to music, or color in a coloring book. Focus on something other than the pain. My dad seems to feel better when he’s telling a story about his youth.

4. Meditation and/or Guided Imagery. This is not a substitute for medical care, and generally takes practice. I’ve had clients come to my group with a headache and tell me it was gone after practicing relaxation skills with guided imagery. It tends to work better for stress induced symptoms if we catch them early. I usually start with mindful breathing, focusing my awareness on the breath, without judgement.

For example, see:  Jon  Kabat-Zinn:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Fa50oj45s        

Then, I move into muscle relaxation by imagining a soft wave of healing light starting at my head and moving slowly down my body, releasing tension with each breath. I imagine the breath softening the tension (or pain) to help it dissolve, allowing it to become easier to release. I repeat this wave as many times as feels right. Sometimes I imagine breathing in healing energy or God’s love and letting it flow throughout my body with the exhale.

Belleruth Naparstek is one of my favorites when it comes to guided imagery. Here’s one of her exercises for stress management :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhTSaNwnip8

Thanks for reading this longer than usual post. I hope it helps somebody. Do you have other ways of coping with pain?