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My Mother died of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when I was 40, at that time there was no cure. She however lived her life fully for about 5 years after being diagnosed. This was truly the worst time of my life after she passed. However I grew stronger from it and eventually divorced my husband who suffered with depression and addiction but also was a womanizer. I was told I was co-dependent and eventually learned to walk down a different path and not fall in the same hole! I fought for custody of my children and won. I raised two wonderful children. Unfortunately my daughter ended up with the addiction gene and that continues to challenge me. I push myself to learn and get support for this current challenge . I am very lucky to have a very successful son and adore his Fiance. We have all owned a couple of homes together and get along wonderfully. I do have a guy companion that I sail , hike and travel with but I am content being independent mostly and have been divorced since 2004!
I think it is when I have taken time out. Going to a retreat or just taking time out for self. Allowing time for my Soul to catch up in the face of a hurried life. Taking time to reconnect and build depth. Taking time to commune in the silence and stillness.
The last 2 years have shook my world to my core. I left my home on the west coast to tend to a family health emergency in the Midwest, not realizing I would be away for 15 months.
I took care of my beloved brother who was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was my 95 year old mother’s caregiver, so I became her caregiver as well. I did everything for them both, it was just me. No one came to help to me, it was just me. All of this during a pandemic, no less.
My brother succumbed to the cancer, my mother went to a nursing home. She has recently gone to Heaven. They were my world.
After my brother passed I had to sell cars, clean out homes & apts. in 2 different cities, settle estates etc., etc. and grieve.
I returned to my home here on the West Coast 15 months later. I am licking my wounds as they say, practicing self care, honoring me, building my strength & grieving.
My whole world fell apart, I lost my anchors. I lost my friends. I lost my family. I lost my job. I am left now to pick up the pieces & go forward. Some days I feel sad, empty & untethered, however I am determined to find my way forward. I have worked hard to strengthen my faith & trust in a higher power. Mother Nature, especially the Redwoods have been my medicine.
I am learning to adapt to my new way of living.
Thank you for letting me share, it is therapeutic.
Thank you for trusting us by sharing all that you have been through, my friend. I can’t imagine. You have such courage to continue on and find your way.
My prayers are with you. And you are right about the Redwoods, or any tree…I find them very healing.
Thank you for sharing your tender and sad story PKR. I can relate to some of it having lost my mom and brother too and often feel without relatives. Friends become family. Keep moving forward.
To start, I have faced very few challenges relative to many people. That is not to diminish what I have experienced but acknowledge my privilege.
For many years, I pursued a career in television. It is always an uphill battle, and I can discuss the highs and lows in detail for anyone who is interested, but it is ultimately a trial by fire. Along the way, I began taking jobs in other fields to make ends meet. Almost exactly 10 years ago was when I accepted my first full time job at a nonprofit, and I have since grown into a whole new career.
I have issues now, certainly. My situation is not perfect, but this transition showed me not only how much I am capable of but how much can change. Many people I know who had more success in television at different points than I did are now struggling. It is a changing industry.
Thank you for sharing this story about how career change can be a benefit. Sounds like you are helping other people pretty directly in your new job too. What could be better than that?
All of the “mistakes” I made and the difficult times of life. out of my control. Looking back on the arc of my life these are the most impactful and led to more strength and resilience, and truthfully would not change any of them (Ok maybe for others like my wife’s illness) even if I could.
My husband suddenly stopped working in his early 60’s. He was the primary provider for us (in a very successful career) and it threw our lives into chaos. I was so angry at him for so long. Finally I realized the anger was getting me nowhere, and I made some changes in my own life. I developed my career and became successful in my own right.
I realize he had a breakdown, the results of a high stress career that finally brought him down. It was a very painful few years, but both of us adapted and grew into better human beings.
Encouraging story about faith in the future. Thank you Linda.
Linda…thank you for sharing. Your story is one of resilience and strength and reminds me that at times us women can be warriors in this life!
So true, Diane!
My divorce, three years ago, was a turning point. Coinciding as it did, with a mental health low point.
But here I am. I’ve made changes. I’m surviving. I have grown in many ways, big and small and I am continuing to learn and practice. I can now say that I am grateful for that crisis, and all the challenges that have been in front of me. Not sure where I heard this, but living here in the wine country of California as I do, I’m fond of saying, “wine grapes are like people, they are much more interesting when exposed to adversity.”
I was caught off guard at this question. The responses made me believe, again, in the power of sharing. I have gotten through many a challenge because of the support I have sought and received. I have been taken care of in countless ways by a book, phone call, card, money, a job offer, etc. I hope I have grown and have become a better person because and not in spite of hardships. Thank you everyone!
Too many to mention. The experiences were there for me to move through and I did, but to grow and adapt from them was a different thing entirely. It took grit sometimes, and I didn’t always do well through them. What made the difference for me most times was knowing I was not alone, and that nothing lasts forever. To know I was not the only person who had ever experienced this circumstance or situation made a difference for me. This attitude helped me tremendously in going through wonderful experiences as well as tragic experiences. To be able to share the joy of an experience with others really made a difference for me, and the same with tragedy. My faith-not my religion-has helped me see the impermanence of an experience, and to enjoy the good ones, and realize the tragic ones will not last.
Breathe. Everything changes in time. I remember a quote that goes something like…the only thing that does not change in life is-change…..or something like that. Once I got that, it was so much easier to adapt and learn from the experience…..am not sure I am putting in writing what I am trying to relate..more coffee please!
You put in writing very well. Thank you.
For me, this question is difficult. I look forward to reading the responses of others. I will say that I think all experiences hold the potential for growth. After pondering on the question more, I found myself looking up a meditation I wrote many years ago on Psalm 34 . I’ll post it in the Gratitude Lounge.
I like to think of these questions in a different way. For this one, I thought of what good experiences in my life have been useful in problem resolution:
Learning to read so I can seek information
Learning to use the library and the computer
Developing friendships with wise people like all of you on this site
Interacting with people in all areas of life and learning from them about what to do and what not to do
Being a good listener
Continually trying to be better about decision making which is a real challenge for me
There are so many experiences that have challenged me and help me grow in the capacity of adapting to change! So I’ll just go with the last few which have been health related and adapting to a whole new lifestyle!
I think the pandemic has made us all adapt in new ways right ?
I’m grateful for having more time at home even though I thought that would be the worst thing ever !
I have practiced meditation so much more due to being able to have way more free time. It’s amazing how so many blessings can come from things we label as “bad or negative “!
After 33 years as a pastor I shifted to another expression of my pastoral vocation. That shift was intentional and well-planned, yet I am very much learning and growing into my new life that includes margins of time for birding, traveling, coaching and consulting.
I have experienced many challenges and many of them were brought about by my own behaviors. My youngest brother took his own life September 2002. It was during a period of sobriety for me but my brother had begun drinking again. I asked him why he began drinking again and he told me he found life too boring. He left behind a wife and 16 year old daughter, 5 siblings and our parents, along with many friends. This past September was 20 years and I know I finally processed his suicide in a much better mindset due to my current sobriety, practice of gratitude, mediation, mindfulness and therapy. RIP Michael.
You are teaching all of us about resilience. Thank you Joseph for being here with us.
My father’s death at the age of 56. Walking the path of Alzheimer’s with my mother. Becoming divorced. Raising two wonderful daughters, loving their spouses, and watching my granddaughter grow into adulthood. Living with music throughout my life – such a gift! Living with chronic pain.
Good morning Pilgrim.
I echo what Rabbit has shared….thank you for your courage. It is an inspiration to me always.
My own father died in a fire at age 51…I was young and because my mother divorced him and didn’t want us to have any contact with him, I am still mourning the missed opportunity to know my father as an adult. I have so many questions that will forever be unanswered.
With 2 daughters of my own, and living with chronic pain….once again I am reminded that we are kindred spirits. And that means the world to me.
We have beautiful snow here today.
Have a blessed day my friend. 🙏
Dear Diane, We certainly carry stories within us, that shape us and have long lasting effects, the positive and the difficult. It means so much to me to have found you a kindred spirit on this site. Such a blessing!
Here, the sun is out and the squirrels are having a lot of fun in the leaves all over my back yard.
Blessings, my friend!
Thank you for your courage Pilgrim.
You are so kind, Rabbit. Thank you.
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