The Thought That Counts

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One of my goals, as I return to blogging on a regular basis, is to share experiences I have survived and grown as a result of.  The question I have been asked repeatedly is…”How are you surviving what you are doing?”.  Many people have told me they couldn’ t possibly have been a caregiver for both a father and husband for three years.  My answer is that I can’t imagine having done anything else.  No, it wasn’t easy, but love sees us through the most challenging of times and this certainly has been one.

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Over the years various people have come into my life not only as friends but as teachers.  I am a very open minded person and have always worked and done my best to reach out and learn whatever I could from someone.  I believe the most important lesson anyone has ever taught me is the importance of positive thinking.  The fact that “Thoughts are Things” has been proven time and time again yet so many of us continue to allow our minds to wander aimlessly, captured by random thoughts, feelings, emotions….a sort of mental clutter that really has no place in our lives.  It is not who we really are.  I have spent hours in silence, turning my thoughts off and allowing a calm peace within me to fill the space in which random, mindless thoughts had been running wild.  And YES! you can control your thoughts.  Or you can be the victim of them.  Being able to work through the difficulties my family has faced has been a challenge for each of us in our own way.  My choice has been to realize the thoughts are not who I am and I have the power to release them and simply be the space through which they flow.

You may be scratching your head now and thinking I’m a bit off but this technique has served me well.  It is how I survived the loss and dealt with what each day brought into my experience.  I will never be the same person I was prior to 2015 when our lives were turned upside down.  I have learned to let go and, let me tell you, being a control freak most of my life made that quite a task for me!  The moment I realized I had absolutely no control over what was happening other than my response to it was a life changing event.  I had the choice to flow with what was happening or I could make myself miserable fighting against it.  And I also had let go and allow both my father and my husband to make their choices and to respect those choices.  Boundaries were created and we worked together to make life as pleasant as possible.

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Just as thoughts are things, we are our choices.  By practicing the exercise of quieting the mind and listening to the silence our choices will be made clear.  Answers flow in the softest voice, a whisper of knowing what the right choice is.  When I feel a sharp twinge in my solar plexus at the thought of something I now stop and listen.  That feeling is a warning!  It’s saying look at what’s happening here, don’t rush, don’t push, take your time.  The peace that comes from that is so calming and filled with love.  Practicing the same habit of stopping before speaking has also served me well.  To stop before reacting and look at whether our words are necessary or not is so powerful.  We become conscious of life rather than pawns or victims of it.  We begin to experience a flow in all areas of our lives and this flow opens our hearts to the pureness of love for ourselves and everyone we come into contact with.  I, personally, began to feel a connection with everyone  as our home filled with hospice workers, medical equipment, pharmacy delivery services and friends who stopped by to help.  I could sense the connection we all shared in the care giving.

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Life is about change.  I would not have chosen the sadness and loss but I had to accept it.  And I had to choose how I handled all that happened on a daily basis.  I am no saint, I have a temper and I get frustrated.  But by doing my best to control my reactions and let things be what they were I survived well over a year of very difficult challenges.  I have a sense of peace now that I have never experienced in my life.  I believe it stems from the fact that I truly and deeply loved for the first time.  I will never look at the people in my life the same after experiencing profound loss.  Each person has a uniqueness and a loving core, whether they have activated it or not, that I connect with.   A friend talked with me a few months back and spoke of what an honor it was to have the opportunity to care for my dad and for “Mr. T”.  She said that I was walking them home.  Tears flowed during that conversation but she was right.  The entire time created a depth of feeling in me that nothing can replace.  Life has a new perspective now.  I am thankful for each new day and I work to do my best no matter what I am faced with.  This is how I handled all that had to be done.  And this is why I now have a firm I CAN attitude.  Life is a gift and love is the power behind everything that is authentic, good and pure.  Many doors are opening for me now that I never could have imagined before 2015.  I’m working on my visioning book and creating what I want my future to be, knowing that I will have to go with the flow if the Universe has something else in mind.  Speaking of visioning books, that’s a whole blog post in itself!  Stick around and watch what happens.  I hope my experiences may benefit my readers as I work to be the change I would like to see in this world!

6 Responses

  1. Susan Says:

    Melissa, It’s wonderful to see your blog posts again. I’ve missed them and am glad to have you back in my life here in New England.

    I totally agree with the value of being able to direct your mind and organize nagging throughts. For many years I’ve practiced quieting my mind (when trying to go to sleep inparticular) by visualizing one of the wonderful places we’ve traveled to. Returning to Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos or snorkeling in Bora Bora never fails to chase the demons away. When putting the boys to bed at night I’d ask them to tell me all the nice things that had happened that day and it put them in a good mindset as they went to sleep.

    I hope your journey to craft a new life after your losses gets a bit easier each and every day.
    Fondly, Susan

  2. Melissa Says:

    I really appreciate your words. I’m glad to be back…or moving forward!

  3. Nancy Says:

    Melissa – I’ve often thought that life was about sharing. We will always be connected by sharing a pivotal year: 2015. You gently opened doors for me that year that I had shut long ago out of disappointment and anger. I did not walk these last 3 years with grace, that’s for sure. But as I read your words today, I can recall many times I did not listen to that deeper urge to embrace the quiet. To let the thoughts pass through, as you say. I like that and will practice making that change. Timely. I have been searching for just that nugget of gold. And, that, dear friend, is what makes sharing so meaningful.

  4. Melissa Says:

    I love you Nancy. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. Sally Says:

    Beautifully written and felt. You’re a survivor. Always have been. I’m glad that we have made our journeys together. Love you!

  6. Melissa Says:

    Dearest Sally…45 year’s of friendship and counting. I always love you…always.

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