Life Is: But A Prayer

Despite life’s uncertainties and living with a disability, I believe our lives are but a prayer.

What is prayer? An address or petition in words, thoughts, emotions, or actions, to God or a god, person or thing for help and/or enlightenment, of praise and/or thanksgiving.

For as long as I can remember, within me has been a deep knowing that God is there. He is my Father, and Friend. Even in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battles living with a disability, I know ALL is well with my soul. It’s not up for debate. It’s a foregone conclusion. It’s the truth. Period. All I have to do is be still, be quite, and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.  It’s so simple to pause, yet so difficult to stop thinking, worrying, emoting, and imagining.

Like I told you in my last week’s article, I’m in a bout with the herpes zoster virus: shingles. Before the blisters appeared, I ignored the early “electric nerve tingling” symptoms; they’re typical in living with SCI.

The shingles diagnosis was a shocking surprise for me because my mother had told me that I never had chicken pox. Well, obviously, the truth is: I never evidenced symptoms of chicken pox, but the virus took up residence anyway!

From reading my books, you know what I believe and where I dwell, despite the battle. Shingles is a physically painful and mentally challenging battle.

My eyes behold the inflamed skin encircling scattered islands of blisters. My body’s tactile sensitivity to the viral nerve attack keeps me mindful during the day and awakens me in the night. So, how do I respond?

Just as the confused house wren awakens me at 3:55 and 4:15 many mornings, I have succumbed to the confusing ifs: What if the virus lives on? If it hasn’t died, will it present its venomous head again?

I don’t like to think these thoughts anymore than you do. But, I take security in knowing that they’re merely thoughts.

Thoughts aren’t necessarily prophetic—thinking them will not make them come about.They’re not the truth—thinking them doesn’t make them real.

I can hear my thoughts, but I don’t have to listen to them. I filter my thoughts by weighing their motivation. If they’re beneficial, creative, and productive, I give them power by indulging their possibilities. If not, they get deleted…every time they try to put fear in my heart. As you know, some thoughts are very persistent! (I dedicated one section of my book HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU on how to change unwanted though patterns.)

The other morning when my faithful little wren woke me, I was instantly made aware of the shooting nerve fire down my leg. Simultaneously, I was distracted by what I thought the wren was saying. As clear as any chirp ever was, it said, “You feel the pain. You feel the pain. You feel the pain.”

I certainly could—feel the pain, and I gratefully thanked God.

Sometimes, we have to accept the good along with the bad. That’s life. Whether it’s living with a disability or dealing with life’s curve balls, no one is exempt. The important thing is where we put the emphasis.

Practice makes perfect.

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