Category Archives: Acceptance

When I Am Not Enough… Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Thank you to Chris The Story Reading Ape for his enduring support of authors. I’m so pleased to have another guest post featured on his outstanding blog 💚

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

a5rmmt

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Throughout our lives, we hear ourselves say:  ‘I’m not that good!’  ‘I’ll never make it.’  ‘I wish I could write that well.’  ‘If only I had said. . .’

Words are powerful. Energy follows thought. The words we speak to ourselves drive our subconscious minds. Diminishing thoughts tell the subconscious we are not enough.

The subconscious mind is self-serving. Its mission is to fulfill our every desire, and it sets in motion the means by which to do so. It takes our words at face value and strives to manifest what they represent. It assumes that what we think and say is what we hope and dream.

How often have we heard ourselves utter, ‘Did I say that’? Unless we’re channeling spirit, the mouth speaks what the subconscious mind thinks. If thought rests in the conscious mind, we are aware of it and can choose whether or not to give it a…

View original post 869 more words

Advertisements

Chronic Illness and Self-Acceptance

Living with a chronic illness is a challenge at best. If the illness is devastating but not recognized by the medical establishment, convincing ourselves life is worth living becomes an uphill battle.

Lucie Stastkova Art
Photo Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that presented as a drop-dead flu. I’d been symptomatic since in the 1980s, but early on, flareups were few and far between. Innumerable doctor visits always produced tests with negative results. Over time, symptoms increased in severity and duration until they became immobilizing and constant in 1999.

I knew my doctors thought I was malingering. I felt invalidated yet knew damn well something was wrong. I lived in fear of a dreaded disease not being detected in time to be treated. Simultaneously, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. By 1999 I was nearly bedridden; in debilitating pain; overwhelmed by fatigue; suffering varying degrees of GI problems; plagued by sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, free-floating anxiety, panic attacks, and depression; and had a constant low-grade fever with sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. It wasn’t until I consulted a rheumatologist that I finally got a clinical diagnosis – one based on physical examination, as no definitive tests existed.

Since I was too sick to work and had been denied disability for two years, I exhausted my savings and retirement. Add to this that I had to advocate for myself while nearly bedridden, exhausted, and in constant pain, it’s no wonder I reached the point of planning to end my life.

So what stopped me? I had lists made of people to whom all of my possessions should be given. I knew where and how I would take the final leap. The only question left unanswered was when. What prompted me to delay making a decision?

Lucie Stastkova Art
Image Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Antidepressants helped somewhat but left me feeling flat and worthless. I also hated putting pharmaceuticals into my body. Two things saved me: my spiritual practice and the constant reminder of love from treasured friends. I had to learn to grant myself the same acceptance, compassion, and love I so freely bestowed upon others. It has been said by many – myself included, at times – that we are incapable of loving another if we do not first love ourselves. But I found the exact opposite to be true. I felt deep love and compassion for others, but every time I looked in the mirror, I faced self-loathing for the specter I’d become. I knew that in order to survive, I needed to turn the same love and compassion inward.

My belief that Mother Earth is a schoolhouse deterred me from ending my life. If we incarnate to learn specific lessons, and if we leave short of learning those lessons, we’ll need to return and undergo the very same experiences in order to grow. I didn’t want to backtrack. I didn’t want to suffer the same ordeals when all I had to do was commit to seeing them through this time around.

It hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding. I’m no longer taking pharmaceuticals and don’t rely on allopathic medicine for anything more than relative diagnosis and emergency/trauma care. There’s no known cure for this illness and the etiology is unknown. I still have flareups, but other than low-level pain and fatigue, the symptoms are no longer constant. I’m still learning to love myself, and I wonder if that isn’t an ongoing struggle for all unenlightened humans.

My biggest challenge is keeping up with social media. Writing can be accomplished when I’m feeling well enough, but maintaining an online presence can be demanding. I often find myself merely treading water. And when in a flareup, I feel as if I’m trudging through neck-high water, pushing myself to complete the simplest of tasks.

Lucie Stastkova Art
Image Courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

I’ve lived with this condition for over 25 years and generally take it in stride. But since flareups are random and of unpredictable severity and duration, I’m finding it difficult to plan and write blog posts, visit other’s blogs and share their posts on a regular basis, and read the books on my overflowing TBR in a timely fashion. When I visit blogs, my ability to comment depends on my cognitive state at that moment.

When in a flareup, I have to accept a stop-and-start work scenario:  work a little, rest a little; work a little, rest a little. And I’m usually unable to do little more than click on a few share buttons, unless the fatigue and mental fog clear long enough for me to write a few lucid sentences. If lucky and my head isn’t dropping to the keyboard, I’m able to do a reblog or create a post. The challenge in all of this is self-acceptance and not giving in to frustration.

I remind myself each day not to become my own worst enemy. Self-acceptance on all levels is crucial to survival. Compassion for oneself is as vital as breathing. What concerns me most is not being understood by the people in my life. It’s difficult to imagine – much less believe – what someone else is experiencing when their condition or situation borders on unfathomable.

I hope my fellow bloggers will understand when I’m unable to visit their blogs as frequently as they visit mine. I hope my fellow authors will understand when I’m unable to read and review their books as quickly as they do mine. My desire and intention are to pay it forward; at the very least, to be reciprocal. Yet when a flareup strikes, I fall short in meeting my goals. I’m still learning to accept this as a life lesson for which I contracted before I incarnated. We all choose the lessons we want to learn before we come in to this earthwalk. The trick is not to give up on ourselves.

Self-acceptance. Self-love. Self-compassion. I’m still a work in progress . . .

Until the next time, my friends . . .  Namaste

© Tina Frisco 2017

Remembrance Day Tribute by D.G. Kaye

Remembrance Day in Canada, as well as Veterans Day in the U.S., are set aside to honor all those who fought for our freedom. In her inspiring post, D.G. Kaye reminds us that during this time of upheaval and uncertainty, it is in our best interest to remember that we can choose how we behave toward our sisters and brothers across the globe. Will we divide across fear-based lines of prejudice and hatred, or will we unite under love-inspired hoops of kindness and compassion?

remember-by-debby-giesAt a time when the world seems divided with so many fears of uncertainty, it’s a time to remind that we all still have a choice to unite, not only to make America great again, but help to make the world great again. Strength is in numbers, not held solely in the hands of an elected official. It’s the numbers that put these officials in power. The damage is done, as has been in all wars. It’s now up to all of us to work hard at being kind and compassionate to our fellow man.

Today I went out on my balcony for a breath of fresh air, and something which stares me blatantly in the face every time I do so, became so much more polarizing. An apartment in a building across from mine flies the Canadian flag proudly every day. I watched as it danced in the wind in all its glory and served as a reminder that no matter how much I’m unhappy about the state of our economics in my province, and particularly my city, that I am grateful for the many other things we have in this country.

poppy-by-debby-giesTomorrow is Remembrance Day, a day to reflect and remember all those Vets who fought for many of our countries for freedom. November 11th – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is when we take a pause for a single moment of silence to pay our respect and remembrance for those who fought and died in battle for us, to end hostility.

Despite the loss of life, the world didn’t seem to learn after that war, as the second World War emerged only two decades later. In the decades that followed, more wars around the world ensued and still, there’s a nagging question mark lurking in the minds of many, wondering if it’s only a matter of time until the third World War might . . .

View original post

Serpent Ring And The Magic of Acceptance

Mira Prabhu beautifully exemplifies the magic of acceptance in this compelling post, which I hope you will do yourself the favor of reading. Acceptance of anything negative in our lives is something most of us rail against. Many of us even have difficulty accepting the positive ~ such as a gift ~ feeling we are unworthy. Yet acceptance truly is Divine magic, because in accepting, we acknowledge our role in creating. Then and only then can we let go and move on…

mira prabhu

Kiri 16GB sd card 5294I met a wild looking sadhu on the way up to Skand Ashram many moons ago, and noticed that he wore incredible jewelry, all in the shape of serpents, and fashioned of copper and gold.

He told me a jeweler in a town far away had made it for him. I asked if he could make me a ring, and he agreed. I gave him an advance and the ring came as promised—a golden serpent coiled like the kundalini with a small ruby for an eye.

I have grown to love this ring for it represents my passion for the serpent fire (Kundalini)—which is nothing less than the energy of primal mind that fuels the process of enlightenment. Nothing but this fiery energy can halt the power of my chaotic mind, and I use a kundalini practice as a base for Atma-Vichara, Self-Investigation or the Direct Path, as taught by Ramana Maharshi.

Anyway, my friend James recently…

View original post 558 more words

Tolerance Is a Double-Edged Sword

Most dictionaries agree that tolerance is the ability or willingness to accept opinions, beliefs, behaviors, and ways of life different from our own, even if we disagree or disapprove of them.

On the surface, that seems an estimable quality, perhaps even exemplary. But tolerance is double-edged. It has a sharp edge and rough edge. Its sharp edge is broad-mindedness. Its rough edge is permissiveness.

Image is courtesy of Lucie StastkovaImage is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova LuSt4ART

What might we expect from the rough edge of tolerance – the indiscriminate acceptance of injustice; violence; abuse; suffering? The answer to this is evidenced somewhat in our global society today, a large element of which is immune to the subtle and progressive infusion of violence; a world hardened and unaffected by behaviors that harm and by the elements employed to inflict it. We’re being brainwashed by a handful of plutocrats who seek to gratify their unquenchable thirst for money and power, and to hell with the rest of us.

When I first heard the words, “Teach Children Tolerance,” I wanted to shout, “We already have! We’ve taught them to tolerate and permit all that’s wrong with the world.” In other words: tolerance run amok.

We’re bombarded daily with images of violence. The news, TV programs, movies, and video games are rife with aggression, murder, hatred, and fear. These images are so frequent and pervasive that many have become desensitized to them and no longer question their presence, validity, or veracity. If it was on the news, it must be true, right? Adults have the ability to reason, but what are we teaching our children when we passively accept and don’t speak out against violence for violence’s sake, violence to make headlines, violence to gross millions?

We’ve grown complacent, even apathetic. Worse yet, we’ve come to expect hatred and violence. When we hear about travesties like the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, we’re incensed, but we’re not surprised. When we hear about yet another terrorist strike somewhere in the world, we’re terrified and infuriated, but we’re no longer surprised.

Expectation is a powerful magnetic force. Many of us don’t realize or understand the inherent and powerful energy dynamics of the human mind. And of those who do, many don’t believe that the energy of thought and intention can travel at the speed of light, both inwardly and outwardly, and thus affect the world around us. The subconscious mind believes that what we expect we therefore desire. And the subconscious mind seeks to serve and gratify.

When we wield the rough edge of tolerance to the extent of habit, we become complacent. Once content inside our familiar little cocoons, it becomes ever easier to turn a blind eye to the injustice and devastation outside. Violence blaring from the TV soon strikes a deaf ear. Images of abuse and suffering crash and collapse against the doors of a closed heart. We soon find ourselves standing on the threshold of apathy. And apathy is a tough nut to crack.

So how to turn this around . . .

Short of an epiphany or incapacitating personal tragedy, disgust and desire come to mind. Both of these emotions can act as internal dynamite. That may sound overly simplistic, but I know that I’m never more moved to take action than when thoroughly disgusted or when aroused by desire. And I’m not referring to sexual desire; although that, too, is a mighty catapult! I’m talking about the urge to alleviate suffering and oppose violence; the compelling force that has its origins in love. I’m talking about the sharp edge of tolerance.

The sharp edge of tolerance allows us to accept without judgment those who look differently, believe differently, worship differently, love differently – all within the context of being rather than harmful action. Simultaneously, it doesn’t condone inflicting harm. It doesn’t sit idly by with remote in hand while suffering is perpetrated, injustice is legislated, and violence is wielded as a means to an end.

Within the context of being, the sharp edge of tolerance moves us to embrace cultural diversity. Within the context of harmful action, it moves us to confront wrongful adversity. It is not complacent and it is not self-righteous. It recognizes what serves and what does not serve to advance and enlighten the spirit. It has the keen ability to split a hair right down the middle, because life is not simply black and white.

Tolerance is a double-edged sword. It can engage and embrace that which serves the advancement of spirit, or it can idle in neutral and accept that which harms all of Mother Earth. It has a hand in defining who we are as a species. I wonder which edge of tolerance we humans will ultimately wield . . .

Until the next time, my friends . . .  Namaste

© Tina Frisco 2016