I had one of those Sunday night. I had a chance to visit with a long-time friend of the family, who I only get to see every four or five years. She happened to be in town for a few days, and I (thankfully) was feeling well enough to visit a bit with her and some of my family.
She and I chatted with one another for a little while, and I feel that we connected in a special way. She shared with me how she saw me before the chronic migraines (very active and busy, an intellectual, etc), and then recognized and allowed me to talk about the difficulties that have come with learning to live life with so much pain and so many limitations. She said she knows I've always been determined and strong, and that she knows I'll do my best to be and live as well as possible.
She shared bits of wisdom that she's learned over a lifetime of experiences... bits of wisdom that seem so simple and basic, but are truly life-changing:
- Listen carefully to your body.
- Do what feels right to and for you (call it your gut, instinct, or just a feeling).
- Be okay / comfortable with the decisions you make.
- What others say to / about you is about them, not you.
- Don't spend precious time and energy on wasteful things.
- such as, thinking or worrying about... what others say to/about you, expectations of self and others (what you should be doing), what may or may not happen, and other things that are out of our control.
- There is meaning and purpose in life, even when it doesn't feel like there is.
- The faith that we gain during times of struggle are priceless.
I'm sure there are other things that'll keep coming to mind, as the words shared between us play in my mind further. There were aspects of this journey that I haven't talked about in quite a long time (like identifying myself with my intellect, and the loss of that when I struggled with and then decided not to continue graduate school). It was interesting for me to see what I've dealt and come to terms with, and what is still a little raw to talk about. I know that this is all a journey, and it was nice to share parts of my journey with this friend.
I feel validated and better understood. I also feel a renewed sense of hope and direction that feels great!
I count myself so blessed to have this person in my life, and that she was willing to spend some time sharing with and really listening to me. My heart is filled with gratitude!