Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Originals & In This Together
Do you remember one of the first times that you heard the words, “you are doing that the wrong way?” Perhaps, the words were in response to a question that you had or maybe instead they were in the form of unsolicited advice. What is it about unsolicited advice that can turn an otherwise calm, rational human being into an emotionally-charged person in record time?
Of course others have experience with most things in life yet each & every single one of our lives is original. No one can live or fully understand the life that we have been given to live. There are points of a great deal of understanding yet none of us are meant to be carbon copies of any other person who has ever lived, is living or will live in the future. I am personally big time excited about that. That means that we each have a “mission” on this earth that is ours alone. It can take time & willingness on our parts to see our purposes revealed to us. It will come to each of us. I don’t believe that at least for me that I would ever know what my purpose/mission is if I lived constantly within the world described in “The Screwtape Letters.” In other words, it takes energy & action to take ourselves out of the “noise” of the world & the overstimulation & messages that just simply may not fit us. Purposeful silence is not really promoted by society. The thing is though that we always get to make a choice day in & day out as to what we are going to push through to feed our purpose. Some days, it could be as small as a 5-10 minute scheduled time of silence in prayer or meditation. Or it could be a walk in nature with the discipline to not text or talk on our cell phones during that time. To quote one of my favourite children’s authors, Dr. Seuss, “oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise…” For sure The Grinch was referring to something completely different in terms of the noise. The noise of joy & children’s laughter is something that I absolutely love. The noise however of something ringing frequently or cars zooming about, the tv blaring and things like these are something that requires an escape hatchet. It is the easiest thing in the world to have a day full of noise from the time the alarm clock goes off in the morning until the time our eyes close at night. No wonder many folks are “edgy” out there in the world. It does take intentional actions & choices to air lift ourselves out of the noise for brief intervals each day. Like many folks, I do not succeed in grabbing even 5-10 minutes of silence every single day however most days, I will give something else up in order to get the silence.
Recently, I have come to realize that it seems to have a better outcome for me when I have structured silence. You see there is a wee conflict within me. It is that I love to create & I naturally gravitate towards the “flying by the seat of my pants” approach. Are you familiar with that one too? Enter type 1 diabetes almost 6 years ago though. I found that once type 1 arrived, my former approach did not serve me well physically or emotionally. When do we tend to change the way we have always done things? Some of us welcome change. Habits though, we may agree can be a bit trickier to change. First, we come to realize that we have a habit that is not serving us well. Then perhaps we fight the habit for a while. We may just accept the habit versus changing it. It depends upon the price perhaps. We may ask ourselves what the consequence of not changing the habit is. Through our actions, we do communicate with ourselves whether we are willing to pay the price or not. The physical habits may be a bit easier to identify as either health building or otherwise. If it is a good physical habit, then we are going to choose hopefully to continue with this. If the habit is not health building then we have a choice about the price of this as well.
A new friend of mine shared with me a few weeks ago that she is going to give up smoking. Inside I felt jubilant. She is aware of the health risks & is planning to try to improve her health. I am not yet sure what I can do to help her in her plan to give up this habit. It is a balancing act in life sometimes between being careful not to offer unsolicited advice & caring enough for others to support them. In this case, my friend had opened up the door so to speak on the subject of smoking. I tried my best to give her words of encouragement & potential ideas for her to choose from to replace that habit with other habits that could lead to her being healthier. We talked about walks, tea, and other ideas. I like to call this “solicited support.” When we ask others for help, there is something very powerful about this. Then we get to share ideas of ways to get to our goals. I know that I have walked in the footsteps of “giants” of support & still do. Why would I not offer my heart in any way possible?
If we have type 1 diabetes or another “365” challenge, we may find ourselves on the receiving end of unsolicited advice on the other hand. Yikes! That can be exasperating. We may try our best to be gracious when folks who do not have the challenge share advice out of the blue with us. They may tell us about a “cure” that they read about. Cinnamon seems to be one that I keep being told about. It can be tough not to “implode/explode” when folks share in an unsolicited manner that my type 1 diabetes can be reversed. Come on! Guess what, if that were true, then why would any of us choose to continue to voluntarily live with type 1! It is not logical so why do folks sometimes share this nonsense with us? You know what, I don’t know. I try my best not to resort to either sarcasm with people or negativity when they offer up these “cures.” Do I feel frustrated often about this kind of thing? You & I both are likely answering with a resounding, “Yes!” That’s our opportunity to advocate, correct myths & educate. My style is “feisty love.” You will have your own original style & that is just right. One gentle approach is to hand the person the title of a book to read that is accurate. How about when a sentence has the word “should” in it when it comes to unsolicited advice? Personally, that is a word that I would not miss if we were to discard it entirely from the English language.
We may share the feeling that unsolicited advice when it comes to our diabetes or other “365” challenge is unwelcome. Do we all get unwelcome things in life? We probably do. Take type 1 diabetes as the prime example. That is the hugest unwelcome event in my life. None of us “solicited” our health challenges. The question is how much grace can we muster, collect & instill within ourselves to serve us on life’s journey. Realistically, we are very likely going to continue to receive unsolicited advice where our challenge is concerned. What do we do with that? We each answer this question for ourselves. We are in this together after all yet we are at the same time each exact originals. Maybe we respond with “feisty love” advocating, or gentle education in the spirit of “that’s not okay or right” or something positive & impactful.
My heart’s hope is that whatever our original responses are to unsolicited advice that although at times we feel like rolling our eyeballs in frustration that we instead dip into our own personal supply of renewable grace & choose to educate others on the truth. That is after all why the quote “shed some light” on any given matter is stated often as being a reference to the truth. We get to be lights. That is something that we are in together as well with our own individual styles.
Smiles, Saundie :)
May all the advice that you receive this week be in the form of encouragement that you have invited. Next Monday's sharing is "Factoring in the Cheese & the Balloons." :)