Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Mother Nature versus Human Nature
What do you think about as you experience another Fall season? Is it your favourite time of year or is there another season that speaks to your heart? Why is that? Do you feel in step with Mother Nature during some times of the year & not as much at others?
I love Fall big time! I love it until every last leaf has fallen from every last tree & then I feel a sense of melancholy & I think maybe even a sense of inner conflict. Nature has to know what it is doing I am sure. There is such a cycle of renewal evident it seems like in spring, summer & in another sense during Fall I believe. Winter though is by far the season that I experience resistance with nature the most. I would love to see the trees actually hang on to the leaves that look like they have been hand painted. I would love to have a perpetual Fall season yet maybe that is just because it is wishful dreaming. Perhaps if I could have this wish come true, maybe, just maybe I would tire of Fall. I will never know. The thing about Fall that I could learn so much from is that near the mid-way point of Fall roughly the leaves turn their beautiful myriad of colours & then they let go. That is one thing that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember…letting go. I have trouble letting go of good things & bad things really to my own detriment. My challenge with letting go has proven to be a hindrance in moving forward towards better & new things at times & just plain acceptance at other times. It could be that my sentimental heart has turned me into a naïve target at times yet still I refuse to give up on anyone. Not giving up on others is a great thing yet being pulled under water is another thing. There is a situation that I found myself in beginning about 3 years ago & I know in my heart of hearts that I have to find a way to love from a distance. I will help anyone that I can as long as they are truthful & are putting in the work needed. When I offer up support to link folks up with professionals who have the expertise in especially the area of addictions & offer to drive them, and other things as long as they put in the work & they instead say one thing & do another…well, I need to find a way to love from a distance. My experience has been that while I know the signs of manipulation, I get in neck deep before I know it when it comes to doing too much for some folks with addictions. I have found that it is a work in progress finding a way to start to let go & of course leave the door always open & offer a bridge to professionals in the field yet let go until the person takes on what they need to do to help themselves. It is big time tough to be a part of honestly. That is okay but it has taught me along with the season of Fall that letting go can be a very natural & renewing thing for the other person & myself. I cannot keep the leaves attached to the trees & keeping certain folks attached to me does not help them to do what they need to do to be their best selves. Letting go can mean not holding onto the stiff upper lip too hard at times too. It can mean sometimes getting into my car after a tough interchange with someone who is a little not quite in their best minds & just letting some tears go. It does not have to mean that I am too soft or anything like that. It can mean that I am just letting that moment & situation at that time go.
Yes, I still fight Mother Nature in that I am still most apt to hang on at all times instead of discerning when it is best & right to hang on & when it is right to let go. When it comes to type 1 I find that I have a constant tug of war going on inside of myself to hang on & let go all at once. It can be difficult to know when to cut myself some slack & when to push myself to do more in an effort to reach my A1C & other health goals. My body really has not been cooperating with me more & more. In the last year I have been bombarded with 3 additional autoimmune chronic illnesses to fight in addition to type 1. Please do not get me wrong because not for one second do I feel sorry for myself. I do not bother anymore to ask myself, “why me” either. It serves no good purpose for me. I just know that on any given day I will be strong enough…not by myself but I will have strength from somewhere when it is needed. The thing that I haven’t let go of though with the additional autoimmune 365’s is the exact same A1C goal that I have always had. Recently I received my A1C results for the past 4 months & they were not even close to my goal & man had I been working hard. I had hung on big time to my goal. When I got the results I felt a sense of the wind coming right out of my sails for a full day. I hung on so tight that I inadvertently felt so much self disappointment upon getting the results. My endocrinologist is an amazing doctor & she is so respectful & encouraging, professional & gracious & she was quick to explain to me what the other autoimmune illnesses do to my blood sugars. I have super high expectations for myself though. I am still admittedly hanging on to my goal for next time. What I will let go of though is blaming myself because I put in the hard work every minute of the day. I am giving it my all so it is time to let go big time of the beating myself up over numbers not achieved.
Here’s a different kind of question. What if we belong to a support group that “behaves badly” towards one another? I belong to support groups for type 1 & find them all profoundly encouraging. I don’t just sign up for every single one though. I usually ask a friend who is already in that group what the tone of the group is first. Since I have only been diagnosed with my other series of autoimmune illnesses in the last year, I do not have any friends to ask about the support groups for the other groups of autoimmune illnesses. I guess I decided to go on a fishing expedition of sorts. I like to get myself up to speed as fast as possible when I have a new diagnosis so that I can understand the beast & do as much to make myself as healthy as possible. I like to learn from many sources at the speed of light. I feverishly joined a lot of support groups amongst other things to get myself up to speed on the real deal. It still strikes me as a strange thing when folks attack one another verbally within support groups. What is the point of that? It makes zero sense. Why belong to a support group & then become combative & just plain mean I wonder, wonder, wonder. No, it is not okay with me. Again I will say that 99% of the groups that I have belonged to have been & are big time fabulous & supportive of all. Oh that 1% though of misery. Yikes, big time yikes! I have only withdrawn from a support group 2 times. The first time was when a lovely person was being scorned & put down & the other time was just last week in a gluten free support group when a small group of folks started bullying & verbally abusing a bunch of other people. It was so strange. The verbal abuse went on for hours & hours especially towards this one mom yet stretched out to other people too. I realized that I would simply state my position that this behaviour was not okay & then leave the group. I am not interested in being any part of such a group so I just let that go. There is a time to let some things go. The thing I keep being told over & over again by my health team & others in my life to let go of is stress. I am not trying to invite stress yet I know I am not doing my best to let it go either. That is worth putting more effort into.
The thing that I love about Mother Nature & the seasons is that even within the bleakest late Fall or winter days, the hope of renewal is there. The spring comes again & we see new growth again. And we see something else which is so brilliant. We see so many plants that although only planted once seem to sleep for a time & then come back to life again. The leaves let go but the promise of new leaves coming back is there Mother Nature knows. I don’t have the best luck with indoor plants in particular. Outdoor plants though seem to flourish despite me which is a great thing. I remember a couple of years ago that I did not quite get to bringing in one of my outside mint plants that was in a small planter outside before the snow fell. Oh well, I thought, the mint is a goner so I will have to buy a new plant next spring. The following spring, that mint plant shot right back up in the planter outside & has since become a huge plant that I have split many times over & it continues to do so well.
Maybe just maybe I could learn something from that little mint plant too. If the essential things needed are given then it will do its best to flourish. That is what I try to do within my type 1 diabetes care day in & day out. I do the dozen blood tests day in day out, eat in a healthy way, exercise, take insulin, correct & try to keep my other autoimmunes in check. If I let go of some of the self imposed stress that this over achiever personality of mine has then maybe I can let more light in. Yes, I am going to let in the light.
My heart’s hope for you is that your strength, hope & determination are always renewed no matter what season we are all experiencing. May we each give to ourselves what we need to be our healthiest selves in all seasons.
Ironically, this morning we woke up in our area to a blanket of snow on all the trees & the leaves have not even finished falling yet! When there is snow on the leaf pile outside you know maybe even Mother Nature is in transition. My hope for you this week & always is that you experience joy in every season. Next week's writing sharing is entitled, "Are Polite Adults Allowed to Say That?" It will be my 7 year "diaversary" on November 29th & you know I will be celebrating the gift of another year of messy, beautiful life :)