Friday 01 | 06| 2017

Showing Up for God’s Promise

Over the holidays, the pause in DrC blog writing was necessary and helpful. I thank my readers for their patience. The journey was rough and required total mental concentration. Part of what was needed was to find the proper Parkinson’s medications. While changing medications, I experienced such “loud” pain that I asked to be taken to the ER, something that has never happened before. But the effort was well worth the adjustment difficulties. So far, the new meds are helping, considering how stressful our lives are at the moment. I know that part of my experience starts as biochemical, an initial signal that is chemically produced by my body. But this is followed quite quickly (within seconds) by feelings and thoughts. Consider an example: you are walking to your car with a bag of groceries when all of a sudden a vicious dog jumps at the car window near you, teeth glistening, fierce growling. Startled, you jump back. Now you are having an initial physical response that is chemically driven. This initial trigger happens to me often – more than 10 times a day. If this initial signal is left untethered is can lead to the spinning mentioned in a previous blog. This emotion-thought spinning can become a rough beast and contribute to worsening health. But, I have found that there is a small window of time between the startle response and the emotion-thoughts which may follow. The more I can move toward the stillness, the sooner these few seconds become visible, seconds needed to slow, even halt, the untethered beast from its appearance. The difficulty is to do, to become quiet, when all around there is noise, from so many sources. In addition to adjusting stress from adjusting the Parkinson’s treatment, we are moving. There is quite a bit of stress involved in selling one home and moving into another. We found a pretty home, and started in the direction of a purchase and realized we were paying for things we did not need. Looked at so many homes and saw that many we liked were already “sale pending”. The realtor said that last year had been booming, so obviously if we found a place we liked we needed to move quickly. Last spring when we did this search we found nothing, but fortunately this time we found something. After we did a tour of the place we were even more excited (oh did I mention that good things can also trigger the emotion/thought beast?) The place felt like home. Of course, someone else shows to see the place right as we were leaving. A ploy? There was some anxiety waiting for the owners to counter our first offer. They did within 24 hours, we accepted and broke down in tears of joy, relief and exhaustion. The agreement was reached on December 14 (which has been our destiny number) and closing is set for February. Let’s add on to this the fact that we are showing the home we currently live in, with a showing that happened within 24 hours of listing the home. Life is quite stressful, for example: The morning is spent trying to find a closing date that doesn’t conflict with someone‘s schedule. Phone calls made to coordinate travel plans in February, which cannot be changed and of course overlap with closing date possibilities. Christmas gifts needed to be wrapped and mailed today. Paper work needed to be done on the new house closing. Had bowel pain, and a shut down, but could not stop to rest. Old house needed some clean-up prior to showing in the afternoon, and we were rushed. I grabbed one of the cats and in true Parkinsonian fashion knocked over the cat food and the cat’s water. Cleaned up the mess and cleaned up around the cat box seconds before prospective buyers arrived. Off in the car to drop wife at work, cats screaming in the back seat. Drop off wife and I can barely speak because of all the cat noise. I manage a few grunts to signal that I have enough reserve to handle taking the cats for a drive. Next - the trailer place to see what the cost is for buying a small tow behind to help us with moving – cats still screaming. One of them vomits in his carry container. I came prepared. I pull into the local adult book store parking lot, not for any other reason than it was the first available turn off the road , although given the way the day has been... I change the cats box and get back on the road, quickly tuning the radio to Christmas music, singing along hoping this might quiet the cats, which was hard to do after the first verse, but the cats didn’t mind my butchering of the tune. They just needed to hear my voice. The trailer guy gives me a price I don’t want to pay. I enter into discussion with him, we haggle for a few minutes, and he then tells me that he is not the real trailer sales guy (oh good grief!). Ok. I leave my information so the real guy can call me. I now head back to the old house with the most impatient desire to getting the screaming cats out of the car. No can do – potential buyers are still casing the joint. I drive around the block. They are still there. I decide to go to Dunkin Donuts for a peppermint hot chocolate and hope no one calls the authorities about strange noises coming from the black Chrysler. With peppermint hot chocolate in hand I drive to where I can view the old home from a distance and sip, very loudly seeking to drown out the wailing cats with my peppermint pleasure. Then, finally, the realtor and crowd leave. I drop off the cats, jump on the computer and type this. I want it fresh. Then heading back to the car to pick up my wife from work. Body is still is in Parkinsonian shut down and a little worse, stumbles over feet. Then a phone call comes in from the realtor just as I’m getting ready to leave….and of course I haven’t urinated in over 6 hours which is a big no-no for a guy with Parkinson’s… The normal response to hearing that phone ring would be “What the f*@K now!” followed by an irritability at all things for the rest of the day. Yet that was not my response, instead I saw that small quiet spot. It has not been easy changing medications, changing life patterns – including moving closer to family, but it is a necessity. I am not the perfect hero in this journey. After my day described above, the pain rose quite a bit. That evening I wanted to go back to smokin’ the pipe, even had a short argument with the wife about it. Instead I threw it all in the trash. God provided a promise to us that all would be well on the other side of this. But I had to show up, be fully present, and yet also centered. It is faith, acceptance and responsibility. Probably the hardest thing about change is showing up and getting thru the first 15 minutes. And this applies to almost everything in my life. I have to get up off the sofa and engage, and stay engaged for the first 15 minutes –after that it is easier to stay engaged. The parable of the sower often rings in my ears. If the seeds have been planted on fertile ground, then they will flourish. God granted us a vision that all of this would not only be ok, it was going to be amazing. But at the moment, there is no “amazing”. It’s 3 AM, winter, dark, cold and lonely in a house starting to fill up with moving boxes and nothing known for sure – no place to move to and our current home without a buyer. It is a place of not knowing for sure and this not knowing for sure is a part of the anxiety of daily life. There are so many times when we do not know for sure. Facing this existential anxiety is much easier with God’s promise and that is why it is available to everyone and freely given as part of one’s relationship with God. But one still needs to show up and engage life. The seeds of the fruit tree will only come to bear delectable fruit after the tree has reached maturity, after it has been nurtured every day for years. To stop showing up is like forgetting to water the seed of God’s promise. The result is a barren tree, a life that offers little meaning. Walking the path of the soul’s well being is difficult, and never more obvious then when sitting in a cold house in the middle of not knowing. Yet even in the face of this anxiety, it is necessary to show up every day and water the plant of God’s promise. New Years’ Resolution: Build a healing sanctuary of family, friends and home, an important part of the Parkinson’s rehab plan and showing up for God’s promise. Happy New Year to all and may the Divine light guide your path to well being and a fruitful life. There is a Divine promise awaiting every person. . .
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