Recently I went for a mammogram. It was my third medical appointment in two days, an effort to catch up with myself after a couple of challenging years.
(BTW, Click here for info about low cost or free mammograms)
On the way to the appointment, I found myself humming and suddenly feeling grateful to be past those tough times. I simultaneously understood that there’s no guarantee of a trouble-free future…
On the side of the road, I saw a lone fiery red maple tree, branches parallel to the ground as the wind whipped through its leaves. I understood right then and there that taking myself to these appointments signals to my inner self loud and clear,
You’ve hung in there. You are taking care of yourself. Go, girl!
I connected somehow to the fierce color and strength of that maple tree, holding on to its blazing leaves. Bending as the wind tugged. I spoke out loud in the car, “I know the feeling, maple tree! Hang onto your colorful self!” I was laughing.
Symbols, signs, and certain gestures help me deal with life, in times when I’m full of life and color, and in times I’m navigating dark gray storms.
I often wear this necklace. It reminds me to stop and breathe for a moment, to take care of my needs, to remember who I am.
I use lots of verbals and visuals to encourage myself. One time, when I was in the middle of an unpleasant disagreement with a friend, I deliberately wore the shirt she’d given me so that I could “wear her” around with me, reminding me to think of her as a human, with a beating heart. Rather than as a monster. Earlier this year, I bought these socks:
That is one heck of a good message!
I’ve read books (see below) and articles and heard speakers say that what we expose ourselves to, we become. The “garbage in, garbage out” idea. People, objects, music, art, and places have big effects on humans. When I saw that maple tree, I realized that I’ve absorbed this truth as my very own, and can use it to my advantage.
What symbol, then, can I wear or post for Paris, for the world, for the future of the human race? FaceBook was full of profile photos bathed in the stripes of the French flag. I’m touched by the response of the world to the horror that happened there. I’m also touched by the posts that remind us that Baghdad and many other places have also suffered terrorist attacks. Here’s an extraordinarily loving post from a man who lost his wife in the attack at the Bataclan concert hall: Antoine Leiris.
As for the symbol I’ll hold up to cheer myself and others on? I haven’t found one yet. I think it’ll be about renewed commitment to answer the clearer-than-ever call to act when I see a need I can fill from my own basket of skills and resources. Maybe I’ll find a piece of jewelry to wear or a meme that echoes a scripture I found once, a while ago:
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated.”*
For me, Love needs to be the ultimate goal, even to the point of loving our enemies. The passage continues:
“Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”**
So be it.
So, be it!
In the meantime, here’s a symbol I can wear for strength and alertness:
*(The Message, Deuteronomy 31:6)
**I prefer not to use masculine-only language for God. In this case, the message was so good that I quoted it directly from the book, which meant that I had to quote it as is.
To Find Items Alluded To, Mentioned Or Pictured:
Affirmation Calendar: I Can Do It® 2016 Calendar: 366 Daily Affirmations
Book: You Can Heal Your Life
BE necklace (bought it a LONG time ago, so may not be available): Delaware Art Museum Gift Store
You’re Beautiful socks: Blue Q You’re Beautiful dont change Socks Womens Shoe size 5-10
Coffee/Tea Cup Charm: Dirt Road South