When the pain comes down,

Floods of kindness rise up.

Of course I never want to learn this lesson, but it happens to all of us whether we want it or not. I would guess that you probably know what it feels like to be washed up in a tough place, looking round for some kind of rescue.

A few days ago I fell on the kitchen floor and broke my hip. It wasn’t long before people arrived to help whatever way they could. Even fellow-sufferers on the ward tried their best to spur each other on. When the chaplain arrived she found herself having to pray for me and then the other two women there! Funny how, when we’re at our lowest point, thoughts of the highest power become more vital.

I was thinking that it was easy for people to help me when I was so obviously in need. But what about those who are secretly in pain, when it isn’t as clear that they need help? Someone approached me in hospital who was grieving for her friend. Because she saw my clear suffering, she was able to tell me about hers. I suppose the rule is don’t be afraid to show you are struggling because, in a strange kind of way, it might help someone else.

Of course I wish I didn’t have to learn this particular lesson so frequently, but the overwhelming blessings I encounter along the way are so great.

I truly hope that, if you are stuck right now, somebody else will stop and see your pain.

I really hope that kindness rises up for you too, just like it did for me.

Nothing is

One dimensional.

The way you see things or experience them is not the same as anyone else. Recently I have been learning that. Have you ever heard one event being related by two people with entirely opposite versions of what they thought had happened? Yesterday I realised, to my shame, that I have been so wrapped up in my poor health that I forgot everyone around me is involved too. Nothing in life impacts just one person.

On another note, it is easy to pigeon hole children into the path you assume they will go. My son used to talk about engineering but when asked directly in the summer he said he was interested in medicine! Never say, ‘but I thought you liked’… Always let people step outside of the person you have pegged them as.

The question, ‘what do you do?’ is a very restricted question too. No-one deserves to be pushed into one word. You might be self-employed, part-time, retired, unemployed or too unwell to work at all. But what are you besides that? So much more.

We sang a kids’ song yesterday, ‘you are a promise, you are a possiblity… You are a great big bundle of potentiality’. It’s slightly silly but actually, true. Never think that you are all out of chances. Don’t let anyone push you into one dimension. If someone asks you that constraining question I would follow it up with ‘and what else?’ Life is a multi-faceted, surprising mix of experiences.

You are not one-dimensional.

And no-one else is either.

Dead ends and turning points

I am dreadful at driving anywhere new. I remember going somewhere a couple of years ago. I put it into Google maps, turned the radio off and the spoken directions on. Unfortunately when I am nervous I tend to turn before I need to. That day, I heard at least twice the words ‘make a U-turn’. And then what? I drove on, blindly hoping I was heading in the right direction. A great approach, don’t you think?

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