When there is a rock in our path, we can stumble over it or use it as a stepping stone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I choose stepping stone

In a comment on my post  "Blogs That Inspire"    where I asked readers for suggestions for blogs that inspire them, Karen suggested that I read CoffeeandChemo  .   I started to read it today.    The blog goes back to 2007.   For now at least I am starting with January 2009 to get a feel for the last two years of the author's life prior to her death from cancer.    I am glad Karen recommended the blog (and would still love to get more recommendations for blogs that inspire).

The January 26, 2009 entry states:

"Though I am religious, and I believe in God (most of the time), I am not one of these super religious types who believes that everything that happens is for the best. I don't believe that God did me any favors by giving me cancer."

That reminded me of something that I have been wanting to write about on here.    You will never see me call myself a victim (of dementia or anything else) or a dementia sufferer.      I absolutely believe that all of life's challenges including loss of loved ones, loss of home, job, terminal diseases, etc. are gifts to us as it during life's hardest times that we achieve our greatest periods of spiritual growth.  

I see these types of things as a pat on the back, a "you are stronger than you think you are, you have handled a lot already and I know you can handle this too.   You will be even stronger for having done so, and better able to empathize with others in the same position and thus help them too" message.     Sure we might feel like the pat on the back is so hard that it knocks us to our knees but that is the best position for prayer anyway.

If we keep our spiritual perspective, then good has to come out of anything that happens to us.     If we focus only on what we have lost or are losing and become guest of honor at our own "oh woe, is me, this is so unfair" pity party, we will lose precious opportunities for our own spiritual growth including the opportunity to be able to reach out to offer inspiration and strength to others.   

We cannot always control what happens to us but we can choose how we will respond to what happens!     We can choose our words and our thoughts.  Since our emotions are controlled by our words and thoughts, we can choose to continually return to a place of  internal happiness no matter what our external circumstances are.     At the top of this blog is one of my favorite sayings:

When there is a rock in our path, we can stumble over it or use it as a stepping stone.

I choose stepping stone!


Karen said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it. (Although "enjoy" might not be the right word.) RivkA also put one of her speeches up on YouTube. If the link is gone I can send it to you.

I am interested in whether you might be Jewish or have Jewish ancestors. Because this is a very Jewish position on suffering, and as I understand it the Christian perspective is very different.

Stumblinn said...

I converted to Judaism around 1978 (would have to look at my conversion certificate to get the exact date). The very rare times I am asked what my religion is, the answer is "Jewish," but I think of myself as spiritual rather than religious as what matters to me is soul growth rather than specific rituals.

My Major Adviser in college was a student of Mordecai Kaplan. My advisor was also the head of the Judaic Studies Dept (which is what I got my degree in) thus many of my courses had a Reconstructionist lean to them and I found much in the "let how you live your life show what you believe" teachings of Reconstructionism that appealed to me as I seemed to be surrounded by people at that time in my life who gave lip service to their religion but whose daily actions said something else all together.

I don't see a link atm (looked on the bottom and right side for it). Thanks, Karen.