Merry (belated) Christmas everyone...?
As we all know some Christmases are merry and some not so much. Sometimes we are surrounded by loved ones, other times we are alone. Sometimes we are so stressed by all the shopping that we feel anything but merry. We just want to get it over and done with! It's all too easy to forget what the heck we are supposed to be celebrating. Where is the love and joy that people are singing about??
Let's talk about love
If you are like me, you grew up listening to Bugs Bunny cartoons. One of my favorite characters was Peppe le Pew. He had SO much love to give this cat (who he thought was a skunk), but she would frantically do everything she could to run the other way!
Why is it that so often we chase after people who don't want our love, then turn around and refuse love being offered by someone else? We live in a world where people are desperately looking for love, but we continue to feel disconnected. Stories of kids becoming depressed or even suicidal because of cruel, hateful remarks on Facebook are becoming commonplace. People sit down in a restaurant or even at their own dinner tables and spend more time looking at their phones than each other. Quality eyeball-to-eyeball conversations seem to be relegated to "I remember when..." stories.
I'm certainly not pointing fingers. When hubby and I first met, we would spend hours on the phone almost daily. Now, after 10 years, it's far too easy to sit staring at the TV all evening. Sometimes we do it out of necessity - like when my ME-CFS symptoms are sky-high and I don't have the strength to talk. Illness has a way of becoming the elephant in the room we try to ignore. That can bring a lot of stress, which has a way of putting an even bigger magnifying glass over problems in our lives, which often brings fear. For example, as my list of symptoms grew, so did my fear that hubby would leave me. I became so fearful that I began pushing him away - I almost became a self-fulfilling prophesy. Does any of this sound familiar? Thankfully, after a lot of prayers and counseling, we no longer wonder if the other person is going to bolt when the going gets tough (well, he could bolt; I would be shuffling along with my walker 😉) . But before we could get there we had to learn (and continue to learn) how to do things God's way.
The paths of our lives and the lessons we need to learn are as individual as our DNA. It took a health crisis to get me to turn to God. Through my relationship with Him, I am learning what real love is and what it isn't. I no longer want to run away from ze love - His Love 😊. I'm finally learning to see myself and others through God's eyes, which makes it possible to give and receive love.
Living with chronic illness isn't easy but I will be eternally grateful (literally) for the lessons, dare I say - the gifts, that it brings.
How has chronic illness changed your relationships - both with others and yourself? If you had to name one positive outcome, what would it be? What are your hopes and goals for 2015?