Lessons from Life

Try to be a Rainbow in someone’s Cloud, do not complain, never whine; Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.

Maya Angelou

It’s not always easy to do. When, like me this week, your energy resources are somewhat drained, and you are doing what is expected of you, while only giving as much to sustain the impression of being wholehearted, it can be exhausting to be that Rainbow!

Finding the energy to embrace your inner power to create a positive change for yourself (as I wrote about inFinding a way through the darkness) and others isn’t easy when just getting out of bed feels like a huge effort!  My enthusiasm for life has been on the decline these past few weeks and it’s been quite a challenge to create my other persona that is one of cheerfulness and optimism!

However, my vocation is to bring some colour and brightness into People’s world for a few hours a week and it is because of these remarkable people that I somehow find the inner peace which I need to allow me to bring some sunshine into the lives and hearts of others which relieves the pain in my own.

How we approach and deal with our own problems will determine how we allow them to have a greater or negative impact on our lives. I learn this valuable lesson in every moment that I am privileged to spend time with those people I support who are living with Young Onset Dementia.

They teach me that there is a lesson to be learnt from any experience, good or bad and if we can remain positive in difficult circumstances, we can change how we see ourselves, other people and the world.  This enables us to move forward and helps us to avoid self-pity which can be soul destroying and stops us achieving. It’s not easy to turn a negative thinking pattern into a positive one, but like everything, it takes a willingness to learn, patience and belief. The individuals to whom I am a befriender, teach me how important it is to be able to do so in order to live with acceptance and dignity.

Reminding ourselves of what we have experienced rather than avoiding and denying it, can spur us on to do extraordinary things. . This is why the world is filled with remarkable individuals, who have survived traumatic experiences, but who go on to use those experiences to make a positive difference.

If you have enough inner resources, you can live in isolation and not feel diminished by it

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Politician

I support people who are experiencing the life changing challenge of Young Onset Dementia. I will write so much more about Young Onset Dementia in further posts, as it is such a big part of my life but for this post I wanted to concentrate on the one thing that becomes more important than ever when you are diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia; Living in the Moment.

Living in Moment is a skill we can all benefit from in our busy lives as it allows us to make informed choices on a moment to moment basis and if we do this, we can avoid regretting our decisions. Appreciating what we have in the moment, rather than always looking for something more, enables us to live in the present and stay aware of who we are, where we are, what we have, who we have around us and what we are doing and not doing.

When we are constantly aware of time we are not living in the moment because we are planning our next move. For most of us, especially me, it is not an easy skill to achieve in our hectic schedules, but I have been taught that with the right attitude, discipline, tenacity, diligence and dedication, many obstacles can be overcome.

Simplicity of life is not a luxury that those I support are blessed with. Living with Young Onset Dementia means living with immense challenges every minute of every hour of every day. Living in the moment  is not something that they must try to do, it becomes the only way to live without creating any more stress and distress than this condition already causes.

These Friends are completely inspirational and incredibly resilient and I can’t wait to share with you, the ways that they inspire and touch me, and ensure that I try  to never complain, never whine ( Not always very successfully!)  and count my blessings every day!

 A Friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be.

Douglas Pagels, Author

 I thought I’d share some of what I have learned during this journey called life. These lessons have been shared with me by all the beautiful people who I have encountered on this voyage. Each individual has inspired me, lifted my spirits, nourished my soul, made me think or lead me forward in their own unique ways.

Some lessons have been hard to learn and some I am still working at! Life is a school and I am here to learn. Problems are lessons that come and go. What I learn from them will serve me for the rest of my life.

  • Surround yourself with people who you truly and genuinely love and who truly and genuinely love you. Although it is important to be a Friend to those in need, Be careful not to allow your emotional energy resources to become drained by those who are negative. Keep a balance between those who inspire you, and those for whom, life’s journey is difficult.
  • There are times when you will find out who your true Friends really are!
  • Always, ALWAYS make time to stay in touch with Friends.
  • Appreciate the simple and beautiful things in life.
  • Don’t spend your precious time immersed in negative thoughts or things beyond your control. Instead, concentrate on what you can change. It is better to invest your energy in the postive present
  • Life is too short to waste time hating someone
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously, No one else does!
  • It’s not neccessary to win every argument. Assertiveness is about being heard not gettig what you want.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover.
  • Don’t speak ill of people. You have no idea of the highways they have travelled during their lives. Walk in their shoes before commenting!
  • Make peace with your past, so as not to ruin the present
  • Nobody is responsible for your happiness except yourself
  • Remember that we have no control over what happens to us, only what we do
  • We cannot change how someone else behaves, only our reactions towards them.
  • What others think of us is not completely under our control. We cannot be liked by everyone!
  • Remember, hard times WILL pass. Situations WILL change. Life is about taking the rough with the smooth.
  • Doing the things that help me stay happy that I have written about in  “Finding a way through the Darkness”
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