A Time of Healing
July 2005 – A Time of Healing
by Lisa Guyman
Taking Care of Ourselves and Others in the Midst of Challenge
I’ve been out-of-town 25 of the last 35 days. I wasn’t lounging in a seaside town or on a road trip on the pacific coast, but I was on another sort of journey, one that was challenging, but also one that I’ll cherish.
Life brings us all challenges at times. We can be assured of that. The question is how do we show up during those challenges? Are we present to what is happening? Do we do what needs to be done without asking? And yet, how do we take care of ourselves at those times?
Do we expect our usual productivity and level of connection or do we give ourselves the breathing room we need? And when things settle down, do we recognize the gifts the experience has given to us?
You see my mother was diagnosed with cancer right after her self-proclaimed ‘lucky 77th birthday.’ I flew back to Michigan to be there for her and help in any way I could. This was a difficult time for my mother (and I) on many levels. But three surgeries later she is doing well and I’m very grateful that I could be there for her. This journey has brought my mom and I closer and has also given us both a new appreciation for life.
This challenged showed me that I could step up to the plate. But in the process of being there for another, I also recognized I had to be there for myself. So I took some time for me, too. I had evenings out with friends and walks among the tall Michigan trees. I also gave myself a break by not even attempting to maintain my life as normal, so I let phone calls go, projects slip, etc.
I believe that we can handle whatever comes our way and ultimately we can be richer for it. To paraphrase Maya Angelou – “We can be changed by what happens to us. And at the same time, we can refuse to be reduced by it.”
By the way, my mother still believes it’s a lucky year for her!
Quote of the Month:
“In the face of uncertainty, believe in these two things – you are stronger than you think, and you are not alone.” Maya Angelou