I am not yet in the habit of giving thanks every day for my blessings. So here goes a try…..
I have a beautiful (inside and out) daughter. She is healthy, funny, smart, caring and resilient. I have a loving husband and understanding in-laws. He is non-judgmental and generally puts up with my anxiety that surfaces almost every day on some level. My in-laws also are not judgmental. I have a very good relationship with my Mom who is 83 though this has not always been the case. Now, she and I can talk pretty openly about events of the day including things that are hard emotionally or difficult because of my diagnosis. I have a solid rapport with my older sister who lives up North but continues to be a support for me every time I ask which is fairly often. I have a therapist I can trust and a doctor/ psycho-pharmacologist who I can talk to about raising or lowering meds depending on what’s going on with me. I have seen my therapist and my meds doctor since 2008 — there is little they don’t know about me and that is a blessing. I take meds that are largely therapeutic for me. I recently had a scare (this summer) with breast cancer but thankfully the mammogram, ultrasound and MRI were all benign / negative. I have strong bonds with my best friend from 1985 forward. She and I can talk to each other about everything and anything pretty much.
In writing this, I am noting that most of the things I am thankful for are relationships and health. Does any one else see a pattern in what you are thankful for?
I went for my breast MRI last Wednesday to see if I have breast cancer. I had already had a mammogram and an ultrasound. Was praying a lot, trying affirmations, resting.
Just heard from my doctor yesterday late/Friday….. All is benign! Thanks for all your support!
My therapist tells me there are two ways of being – through the Ego or through Spirit or God. The Ego is all about me and what I have accomplished with little glory to God. The Spirit is all about what can I do to be useful with all the glory for accomplishments to God. Like most people, I struggle with this dichotomy. I would like to use that big Ivy League brain graduated magna cum laude for some great invention or some great medical break-through like the cure for HIV/AIDs or the cure for cancer. At the same time I am increasingly aware that my Spirit self seeks to be in situations or in jobs where I can serve the Will of God no matter how great or how small the accomplishment. It is my Spirit self who finds solace in cleaning up the kitchen after Wednesday Night Supper or feeding the homeless. It is my Spirit self who finds comfort and a sense of self in providing a healthy meal to my family. It is my Spirit self who can stop and acknowledge the efforts of my husband toward the goings and comings of our everyday household. In short, my Spirit self is thankful and mindful of others including God.
I am at a cross-roads right now in this journey to find God or Spirit as evident in my work life. I have not found that place yet, what it looks like or what it will become. I do know that I have an Ego that tends to get in the way much like that person who was arguing with Einstein in the dream I wrote about in the letter to David Bohm. I also wonder out loud if writing about my illness might be the best way to serve others. If I can share my experience of bipolar illness in a way that is helpful to others, maybe I am finding God in my work (or He is finding me).
Since the time of writing that letter to David Bohm in or about 1995 or 1996 (see prior post), my Ego has gone through what I call a shredding machine. I feel 150% less sure of myself in terms of the kinds of jobs I can hold and keep. At the same time I feel that my Spiritual self is more and more in control as I seek God in daily or even mundane interactions. The satisfaction I gain through clean-up activities at my Church on Wednesdays or after feeding the homeless is real. Right now I am feeling my way through the process of having very little Ego to fall back on which means more “pressure” or maybe better stated more “room” for God to step in and be in control. Perhaps this letting go for God is also responsible for my drafting this text and for deciding to share its contents with others struggling for stability.
Just as an update, my church-related activities largely have been suspended due to covid-19 and due to a situation at my place of worship. I continue to pray on a regular basis, but could definitely improve in the area of giving thanks to God.