Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Are inspirational words or people perfect? If something or someone perfect did exist would the inspirational aspect be lost in the perfection anyhow? We each answer these questions for ourselves. My own answer is that perfection on earth is a myth & I am pretty okay with that. I don’t hold others or myself to perfection but rather to something that sustains me so much more than that. The word I would gravitate towards is grace. This word may evoke different feelings within each person. The way that I have come to know grace has evolved over time & I am grateful for this. When I was in university I thought of grace as someone who has the capacity to not break under any amount of pressure. I think I had grace & perfection mixed up at that point in my life. At that time I was dating my then boyfriend (now husband) & he had a really cool poster on his wall of an egg with 2 vice like grips on either side of it & the picture was entitled, “grace under pressure.” He had a significant amount of pressure during his studies in engineering so he found inspiration within this picture. As a funny aside, I will never forget my then boyfriend telling me about one of his first exams that had 2 questions on it with graduate level math questions & the level of stress within the room. About a half hour into the exam suddenly 2 pigs were released & allowed to run around in the room. It turned out that the exam questions were not the test but rather just the stressors themselves. Maybe the psychology students were conducting an informal experiment on the engineering students. (Just kidding). The engineering department apparently gave this exam that turned out not to be for marks every September to see how much stress the students could endure & then the loose pigs were the comic relief.
Grace I am learning is something almost indescribable. To me it is distinct beyond measure to perfection. Grace is all the way to the core versus merely an outward appearance. In other words, true grace cannot I believe be “put on.” It is not fake in any way. Along the way to grace I have discovered something else & that is it provides for a messy journey. I am okay with that because I realize a few things about messes. One is that when we think back to our childhood, do you find that some of your favourite moments involve less than stellar outward appearance? Some examples of this that come easily to mind are: eating an oversized, 2 fisted ice cream cone as a wee girl from Hammond’s Drug store on a super hot day & the challenge accepted of trying to eat it before it melted. Inevitably, I would be wearing some of the ice cream on my clothes & my face yet what did that matter. Another childhood memory that I love are all those times that I went to the park or outdoors & played & rolled in the grass & jumped off the swings and other park equipment & got dirty & grass stained from what seemed like head to toe. Maybe we even jumped in rain puddles. Maybe we got dirty in the garden. Maybe you liked dirt bikes or go karts or something like that. The point is that there was a time when we did not worry one iota about getting dirty. It maybe even was a good thing. I found many times that the dirtier my clothes were as a kid the better the day had been. Cue up adulthood. Along the way to adulthood a lot of things get sanitized. They get this way physically or literally as well as verbally. We may learn along the way to adulthood that messes are bad. What if we stepped outside that box together & thought of some messes as a very good thing? Let’s take creativity for instance. I don’t personally believe that most creative processes are all neat & tidy & that is a great thing. I know I am not an all left brain or right brain thinking or behaving person. I have learned along the way that I am one messy, what would seem like conflicted responsible yet creative person. 9 times out of 10 I find myself in the outlier side of most things like that age old cliché of being the square peg in the round hole. For a very long time I tried to chizzle away the square edges in an effort to get my life to colour inside the lines. That caused no end of lack of peace while I tried to do that & did not work out in the least anyhow. I learned to embrace my square edges & that has lead to peace within the mess of it all. We might want to take a look at what we think peace looks like within our lives. It is very unlikely unless we put ourselves in a bubble to live within that we are going to have a conflict free, worry free, problem free existence at any given time during our life journey. How do you get peace then? We each may have different answers to that question. My answer has included acceptance & most definitely of embracing the mess of it all along the way. I know for sure that type 1 diabetes has caused a mess at times to my days, my plans & indeed is one huge hassle to put it politely. I don’t embrace diabetes obviously. I do accept it though & that there will be right on blood sugar level days & horrible sugar level days. Some days the levels will have very little to do with my managerial skills & more to do with some sort of invisible curve ball. Some days will be a perfect mess that’s for sure. To find peace even within that is not easy & it is messy yet I have found a way to do it. Sometimes our homes or our hair or clothes can be a bit of a mess. Yikes, tell no one! I am just kidding. Oh my goodness, we are human beings. If my home is a mess however I have been beaten up physically from fighting extra illnesses on top of type 1 then I am going to cut myself some slack. My Godmom once told me to stop apologizing to anyone who drops by if my house is in a mess. She said that people are there to visit with me not attend an open house. She said that if people are coming over to my house & it is in a mess & they have the poor taste to make a derogatory comment about it that I should reply, “if you are here to visit me welcome but if you are here to rate my house, make an appointment.” That kind of stuck with me. Honestly, I have never said that to anyone before yet it has provided an inside smile if a criticism is provided. The other thing is that if I don’t get to tidying the house but have been out with our sons creating memories then I have zero guilt about that too. There is more to life than a perfectly staged house in my opinion.
My heart’s hope is that each one of us has at least one person that inspires us & just has that way of providing hope for our journey. Hopefully we have a whole list of these exact people. I know I do. Some of these heroes I have never & will never meet yet they have added to my strength & for this & more I will be eternally grateful. People that this would include are authors with a very special mention of Viktor Frankl. When I have been at my lowest points in life this hero of a person has metaphorically reached out a hand & helped to introduce me to a stronger me. There are people that I have met along my journey of life so far as well that have been every day heroes to me & inspired me with the way they live their lives & most especially with their kindness, compassion, creativity, bold love, courage & determination. There are both gals & guys that I am forever grateful to & for. It is a gift as well to know that there are people that you & I have not yet met that are also going to introduce us to our own strength through the inspiring way that they live their lives. And hey, did you know that you are also providing inspiration to other people around you with the example of how you are living your life? There are people out there that need you to win within the mess. You will & you do. Life can be a bit of a mess. What do we do with that? That is our choice. The choice we make though will lead to either peace or absolute discontent I find. Life may have dealt us a messy hand of cards especially if we have diabetes or another 365 or a Dear Heart has any of these. Do we choose to be initially like the bear in the children’s storybook, “Grumpy Bear” of a grump or worse a victim or do we stand up a little taller & get to know our own strength a lot better. We get to choose. We don’t get to choose how punishing diabetes or another 365 is at times but we do get to show others around us that all of us are so much more than our bodies. We are champions. Yes you are! We don’t need to pretend that any of what we are going through is short of a mess. We get though to show our lion strength.
A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a quote that I instantly loved. It spoke to my heart & how can I not share that with you. The quote is by Charlotte Gilbert & was shared by a website called, “randomthoughtsandcoffee.com” That is a super website by the way if you are looking for words of inspiration or humorous wee sharings. Here comes the quote:
“The women (sub in and men) whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women (and men) are my superheores.”
You might agree with me that the essence of that quote is that messes in life happen yet of course we can & do become stronger. We did not ask for the mess yet the strength for sure we will keep.
Ok, so now you know you are a superhero. Go put on your cape. It can be invisible yet you & I see it! My heart’s hope for you is that you too live in a state of messy, beautiful grace.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a week worthy of your superhero status & next Monday's story is "Silence that Carries Words." xo