RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

Prayer, the City, and Nature

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Yesterday,  I prayed. I sat outside on a unseasonably warm winter day and I prayed without words. I heard cars driving by, large trucks making loud noises, a motorcycle taking off down the street. I leaned back in my deck chair and kept my eyes on the blue sky and wispy clouds moving above. I heard car doors slamming, people talking loudly on their phones, and shouting loudly across the way. I watch the birds fly high, chirping amongst each other in the swaying trees. I saw man made birds taking people to their destination. I felt the cool breeze blow and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. Sometimes I closed my eyes, but most of the time they were open.

Communing with God, I always escaped to a quiet place. I like it better. I am learning to pray in places I cannot escape so easily physically, pray in the space of chaos. Pray in the space of noise. Hear the noise and mentally turn it down by using your senses. Bring your focus back to nature…back to me (God within). Listen, speak or not, or just be. I felt peaceful. I believe God was teaching me a very valuable lesson. We often think we can pray anywhere. We often think prayer is asking, words, thanking, etc. We hardly think it’s just listening or meditating. We only think of prayer and meditation in limited ways. I believe God wants to expand my mind and thoughts in prayer.

My body has RA, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoarthritis. I experience noise and chaos in my body. Something’s  hurting, something’s achy, anxiety, depression, frustrations, etc and that is the door slamming, a large truck beeping, loud conversations, honking horns, jets overhead….that is noise! Chaos. The city in my body. But I can still use my senses to turn on peace, to focus. Getting to calm so I can commune. I need these things to do what I was sent here to do.

~Nikki

 

Would That You Might Pray?

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“You pray in your distress and in your need. Would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance?”- Kahlil Gibran.

As I slept last night a pain woke me up. It was like a shock through my left foot moving upward and landed in my left shoulder. I knew it was fibromyalgia. Still half asleep I felt pain in my shoulder blades and in my wrists. I realized they had gone numb and I reached for my braces for the carpel tunnel. I wanted to take some pain medicine, but I just couldn’t seem to get out of bed. I dozed off and on until the wee hours of the morning. I knew if I would have taken the pain medication, plus I’d already taken a sleep aid, I would be no good in the morning. When I did get up….I was still no good this morning. I could not push through the tiredness like I did yesterday.

After breakfast I sat down on my bed and when I woke up it was almost noon. I felt so bad about needing rest and so guilty the Holy Spirit must have felt it necessary to whisper “It is okay to need the rest. It is okay to rest. You are not lazy. You are tired from the pain.” I prayed and I thanked God for strength, energy, rest, for my body. I thanked God for my creativity and for the ability to write my first two novels.

I got up from my nap and I read the next chapter in the book I am using to help me excavate my authentic self:

“You pray in your distress and in your need. Would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance?”- Kahlil Gibran.

I wondered if I had prayed the right thing as my mind went immediately to “I don’t feel joy and now is not a time of abundance.” Then I thought wait, let me think. Oh!  Yes it is! I don’t have to wait until money rolls in to know I have abundance or for my books to become best sellers or movies to have joy. I already have these things. So yes! Yes I can pray in the fullness of my joy that I once almost died on an operating table and I am still alive! I can pray with thankfulness and gratitude in the fullness of the joy that I have shelter, food, and clothing. I have family. I have friends that care. I have creativity and I love it sooooooooo much! I have a beautiful daughter and I love her soooooo much! So yes…I might pray also in the fullness of my joy and in my days of abundance…right now.

~Nikki