Friday, November 27, 2009


I'll admit it.

I've been throwing a pity party for one and I have a front row seat.  

I know I've got much to be thankful for but all I think about are the things that take away my joy and makes me focus on not being thankful. My health, my finances; the list is endless. I've been on my own and doing well for so long it is so difficult to watch it all go down the toilet.

I emailed my friend and she always gives me just enough of a spanking to put things in the right perspective.  Of course, I haven't told her the depth of the issues just an overview.

Thus my introduction to 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. She left it on my doorstep because I don't go out or even answer the phone when the black hole encompasses my life. Let me rephrase that. I do just enough to get by but I hate it. I feel safe in the comfortable cocoon that I've built. I don't like face to face interaction anymore. I stay in a phone and email world because it's easier than my friends or family seeing how miserable I really am.

One of the first things that caught my eye was there is a strong connection between high levels of stress and autoimmune diseases. Also, the symptoms that I started noticing recently have actually been plaguing me off and on for years. I actually thought that I thrived on stress. Life wasn't fun if I wasn't in hyper-drive and multi-tasking my little heart out. I am Type A squared.

As I started reading this book I understood the author very well. She was my neighbor in the black hole that is my current residence. When she first heard about the prescription she was given she thought it was stupid and it probably snapped the last nerve she possessed. All these problems and your fix is giving???

Oh, please.

All of a sudden something happened. 

It falls under the heading of when you've got nothing to lose you've got nothing to lose.

The basic premise is to get your mind off of yourself and give something everyday for 29 days. It isn't something that has to be material or monetary. You have to give of yourself or do something for someone else. It's not just throwing a dollar bill in the shiny red Salvation Army bucket and then walk off thinking "hey, there's one gift knocked out."  It's so much more. It's thinking about, recognizing the need and acting on it.  I think that if you're so busy doing for others you don't have time to magnify the problems that you do have by focusing on them 24-7. She wonders what would happen if everyone committed to 29 gifts in 29 days? What would our world be like? What is the correlation between your mind and body and what happens when you "think you can?"

What would I be like? I've had trouble in the committment area. I start off strong and then I lose interest and, just like that, it fades into the atmosphere. Am I disciplined? No. It sounds like I live in denial and fear and maybe I do. Funny, so strong in some areas and so very weak in others. For me there is no middle ground. Again, the crux of the problem. It's all or nothing. Win or lose.

When I got the book there was one caveat.

I have to pass it on.

I've thought about it. I think this is going to the daughter of my heart. She is suffering from Fibromyalgia at a very tender age. She just got married and was struck with the inevitable pain and fatigue that this illness brings. I hurt for her. I hurt for her new husband who loves her dearly. This is an illness that tries the best of them and if this book can help her then I give it gladly and with all my heart.

When we think we have plenty there is scarcity. When we think we have nothing left to give, giving gives us plenty. We get lost in our pain or in our circumstances. That's what chronic pain does to you. It sucks you down into the black hole and it's comforting. That's the illusion. The pain of this illness seems like such a curse but hopefully it can be a blessing. Maybe this will bring a new thought and a new purpose for my life.

O.K. I'm in.

The first day of giving. December 1.


I can't think of anyone better for my first gift.

Pass it on.



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