07-21-13

The end of another day, and I am grateful for the quiet in our house. A visit to the lake is always busy, even when we may wish for some quiet meditation in the hammock. In the midst of golf, parades, fireworks and sparklers was the mother of all temper tantrums lasting 3 hours tonight. I know Frank was relieved to not have to be part of the entire saga – I cannot say as much for the rest of us here trying to live through it.
I know that a great deal of peace and patience is required when dealing with children – I have three of them and I am well-versed in that skill set. However, some days truly tax those highly defined skills. It is no different in dealing with rough days with a brain injury - some days are just tougher than others. It is nice when the brain injury is not the focus of the day, a child having a long (albeit normal) tantrum of the day.
I was recently made aware of another family dealing with the harsh reality of a brain injury. It is hard to watch the updates with the uncertainties, the scary visits from the doctors, the tests with limited information. I understand that scary, out of control feeling.
I lived it.
For a long, long time.
I feel for those families struggling with the hidden issues of medical and personal struggles. So many people have what appear to be settled normal, easy going lives. I have found out that many people are living quite outside of their “appearance” to the rest of us. When we take the time to check in with those around us, and dig a bit deeper past the hello-how-are-you, we often find amazing stories underneath the happy how-are-you-doing? There are days that I have had meetings with people that start one way, and by the end, have gone a completely different direction. Underneath the façade of daily life is a story of heartache, sadness and often times, great strength - people that are living their life with great burdens that are carried with them every day.
I think it is very easy to not check in with people. It is easy to not ask, to not lean into someone’s business, and to turn the other cheek, and go along our own way. We live our own complicated busy lives, and do we really have time to listen to someone else’s problems, when we have a pile of our own?
I believe the answer is yes – I believe we all have that piece of us that knows we need to check in with one another, and that we need to really listen to what is being said. The people around us need us to listen, so that our gifts, the one’s so many of us don’t use until they are truly needed, can be given to others in their time of need.
My goal this week is to be a listener – not only to myself, but to those around me. I feel guided to slow down this week. I am wandering a bit myself lately, and by listening, truly checking in with both myself and others, I believe I can get and give some clarity. It is amazing what some quiet time can do for not only me, but for those around me.

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