Speaker Stardom

Speaker Stardom | An Elite Booking Agency & Academy

For you the meeting planner, Speaker Stardom will spend hours researching our speakers to ensure they have outstanding stage craft, storytelling skills and something fresh to say in their field of expertise giving you peace of mind that earns your confidence and trust.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Seeking the bright side through the darkness

Every cloud has a silver lining, right? Every darkness finds light. Through the rain, comes freshness and growth. From the clouds come protection from the glaring sun, granting us relief from its unrelenting heat. You also have sayings like, "Everything happens for a reason" or "The is a purpose to everything". 

Then you have the clouds of life.  
  
When I lost my job, I lost a steady paycheck of considerable amount, but I gained a way to stay home with my kids. To be a full time mom again. Less money, but more to life.
I've lost the ability to be a biker, but I found one less thing to put me in danger and keep me around my kids longer.

I try to see the bright side to everything I face. To stay positive in the face of negativity. It's not easy. For me, it's harder than childbirth. I'm struggling to find the silver lining to my near-constant pain. To see how it will do good for myself or someone else. How do my migraines benefit anyone? How does the inflammation of a pinched nerve serve a higher purpose than to remind me of my brokenness? How will such a debilitating disease produce positive results around me? I have been asking myself these questions every day for the past week now. I wake up in pain, I go to sleep in pain. And for what? I am still waiting to know the  answer. 

When I was a child facing spinal fusion, I had an answer. I could show courage in the face of uncertainty. I was afraid of what could happen. Paralysis or death could have been the end result for me. But I was at peace. I thought that God had a purpose and could use me to tell His story to family and friends. I'm a medical anomaly. Four doctors in my life have point blank told me that I was scientifically weird. A freak of nature. That I should have felt pain, when I didn't. That I shouldn't be as I was. That I shouldn't have had what I did. That fevers are how things are measured, yet I've never experienced one. I'm the exception they use to write medical journal entries from. I'm the textbook example of what you hope to never encounter. Their student doctors had a field day when I came in. But how about now? I have no insurance or money to see a doctor. Otherwise I'd say God was using me to show science what they weren't able to imagine. Or what they hypothesized, but had no hard documentation for. So what am I good for? Or is it that I'm building up a special case for the day they do my autopsy? 
Let's say that I'm not supposed to benefit someone. What if I'm to learn a lesson? What lesson is it? I think I've mastered pain management 101. My daily pain level is no less than 4. My level 4 is a normal person’s level 1. I have to hit an 8 or 9 before I tap the pain pills and even then, I have to tell myself they are helping in order for them to do any good. I'm using over the counter drugs to battle something beyond their means. So what else do I have to learn? Patience? Oh yeah, I've got a healthy dose of that too. Comes from having 4 kids.
And then I sometimes ask if this is all part of a punishment? People say there is karma. What goes around, comes around. So if that was the case, what did I do to deserve it? What crime did I commit to live my life like this? And how can I fix it? I repent daily for my wrong doings. I make no bones about being a sinner. 

"I don't fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach." 
~ Mary Roach 

I don't fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach. Mary Roach
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/maryroach694746.html?src=t_pain
I don't fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach. Mary Roach
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/maryroach694746.html?src=t_pain
You know what truly makes matters worse? I'm not even 30 years old yet. So when I talk about what I feel or about how I'm built like an 80 year old on the inside, people think I'm being funny. That it's a joke. My great grandmother understood though. She didn't laugh at me when I talked about it. When I told her how much it hurt, she was feeling the same way. And she always told me, "Welcome to the club. It only gets worse from here." Back then, I thought, “Oh great, thanks for the encouragement.” But now, I understand. She was being the most sincere anyone could've been. I will never forget the day I told her I was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 15 as a side effect to my spinal fusion. She told me she was so sorry. That life would get harder so much earlier for me than it did for her. She had worked manual labor jobs all her life. So it wasn't until her late 60's and on that she truly started to fall apart. At first I thought I could fight my fate. I worked out daily. I fought to keep in shape and tried to build muscle in my back. And I thought it was working. Up until a couple years ago. But now I feel like it's just catching up to me. I'm trying to work out and get back in shape. But the more I do, the more I hurt. I tell myself - no pain, no gain. But is it harming me more? 

Always dream and shoot higher than you know how to.
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.
Try to be better than yourself.
~ William Faulkner

I can barely stand upright some days. I freeze and crumple when bending over or reaching for something high. Picking up my daughter pulls the muscles between my shoulder blades tight enough to make me want to cry. After standing with her for 10 minutes, I can't do it anymore. I can't even take in deep breaths right now without a sharp pulling. If I turn my head too far, or at a certain angle, I get lightheaded. Randomly, I will start to have numbness and tingling in my limbs. And the lack of sleep it is causing has me feeling less than nice. I don't want to talk to anyone on a friend’s level. I put on my retail disguise. I don't want to move. I don't want to do anything. I'm so tired of pretending for everyone around me that I'm doing just fine. I will continue to. But I don't want to. This mask I wear is getting worn out. This is not who I want to be. I want to be the mom that chases her children around in a game of tag at the park. I want to take them on roller coaster rides. I want to learn to rock wall climb. I was going to teach them to ride motorcycles so we could one day go together like I did with my parents. I want to work out with my husband. These things are no longer within reach for me. These dreams are being taken away from me. 

You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were;
and I say, "Why not?
 
~ George Bernard Shaw

I told my husband that I will no longer answer his questions regarding my back, pain or how I slept. He agreed not to ask them anymore. Logically speaking, there is nothing he or I can do to change it. So why talk about it and add the “one day” wish to it. One day it will get fixed. One day it will be better. So let’s agree to not discuss it further until “one day” arrives. On the flip side, by doing this, it felt like I had closed off a part of me to him. He’s known from the beginning that I was broken. Deformed. But until now, it didn’t have such a strong bearing on my life. I try to lighten the tone by joking about it not being too late to bail. I still feel, however, that the life we wanted might not be attainable.So what do I do? I'm pushing to make his dreams a reality. At least one of us should accomplish something. And that someone won't be me at this point.He at least has the confidence and ability to pursue his dreams.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

-Henry David Thoreau

So I want to know. What am I missing? Looking in, what do you see that I can't? What detail have I overlooked? What bright side have I lost in the darkness? According to a really good friend of mine, maybe its not about me at all. Maybe it is to teach my children what true love, strength, courage, and determination are. By my pushing through this and still providing them all that I can, I am leading by example. According to my husband, maybe it will help me relate to and assist someone else later down the road who is going through the same thing. Either way, both of them told me I have to wait, have faith, and know there is a reason behind it all.

20 comments:

  1. God doesn't promise us an easy life. He doesn't promise us another breath. Trials make us stronger to deal with what's ahead. Try to remember that when you feel like it is to much. Know He is always there and He said He doesn't give us more than we can handle in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you are right. Perhaps my patience isn't as strong as it needs to be when waiting for answers.

      Delete
  2. Oh my, I have no idea what to say Emily. Words seem quite silly be comparison to what you're going through. I admire YOU and maybe your good friend is right, because you just left a piece of your strength and courage in my heart. All I can do is send you much love from the other side of the world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle! I hope that I can bring that to everyone and that something positive will bloom through it all.

      Delete
  3. I'm not sure what to say actually but you are a strong woman, this is just a phased in life that you have to pull through. I wish you all the best :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jia. I can only hope that it will be a short phase in my life :)

      Delete
  4. Powerful testimony. I believe that your legacy will reach far beyond what you can even imagine. Praying for strength and peace for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly hope that is true. God has a plan and I just have to be patient until He reveals it. Thank you!

      Delete
  5. Experiencing chronic pain is such a challenge. Your desire to focus on the positive is a good lesson for all of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a challenge. One that I am learning a lot from.

      Delete
  6. You are an amazing example to all those around you with the strength you do possess! Life is not meant to come easy, and is much harder for others. I believe that those that have it much harder are just much stronger and He knows they can get through it ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Clair! That is a great deal of encouragement to me. My mother reminded me that God will not give us what we cannot handle.

      Delete
  7. Yes, sometimes (most of the time?) we grow most in our brokenness. And every one of us has brokenness. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy. I agree. I feel broken quite a bit. Perhaps this is another form of "growing pains".

      Delete
  8. Those who have not experienced chronic pain can not imagine what it means. I admire your positive attitude and keep my fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karolina! I have to restrain myself at times when people I know complain about stubbing their toe or having some slight discomfort. To them, my pain would be as death. But seeing the good in it is all I have left to keep me going.

      Delete
  9. My father also suffers from chronic pain due to an autoimmune disease. As hard as it is to see him in such debilitating pain at times, it has also been refreshing to see him stay so positive and happy despite his circumstances. He never takes a moment for granted because for every good day he has, he knows there will be difficult ones ahead. Your positive attitude is not only admirable but it is also contagious and teaches us to appreciate every moment of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry for your father. My great grandmother had chronic pain. These past ten years or so leading to her death were very hard on her. But like your father, she tried to enjoy the good moments. Or the "good days". They are few and far between, but felt like heaven. I look for those myself now.

      Delete
  10. I admire you for being strong and hopeful. God doesn't punish and He has a purpose for everything that will be revealed in His perfect time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm learning that. It is not easy, but I have faith it will all work out in the end. The comments I have received from everyone on here have led me to see so much more than I thought. I appreciate it all!

      Delete