Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#102 - Finding Lana Somewhere

Years ago, when I got married at only 18 years of age, I had been such a young kiddo, and I had been full of belief that I would live a rough-edged Fairy Tale kind of existence.

Never did I think that life would be interrupted by things that were completely within our control to keep away, and never did I think that things would interrupt our lives, at such young ages, with young children, in ways that could not be prevented due to catastrophic health disasters.

I learned at a young age that some problems you bring on yourself by plain invitation and other problems come without beckoning.

For me, I feel blessed to have been on the intensely suffering end of lessons about illness, pain, loss, and the brevity of life because I've learned that the simple things in life are the most cherished things you miss when you can't live with simplicity any longer.

I learned that the innocent, trusting, faithful side of me was challenged to the point of me finding my claws and my voice and a powerful inner strength that would help me to fight during unjust times. Most of all, I had quiet moments that ran together for so long that a new existence was created for me...I would discover that I would need to find the strength to take care of myself, even during dark moments.

Basically, I learned how to survive. Oh yes, I learned.

It's kind of sad because a part of me that had been so naive and sweet-minded has received an education into things I never wanted to know about...things I never thought would become a part of my world.

Let me give everyone a secret, if you want the ones closest to you to remain sweet, then don't bring bitterness into the house. If you are loving someone who is deeply suffering, be the loving heart that helps guide them through the wilderness of horrific suffering that some medical conditions can bring. For God's sake, don't add to their suffering, especially if you claim to love them. This is the time to really prove that your love is indeed unconditional and able to reach beyond the agonies of this world.

However, life is what it is. I actually have more depth, more layers of contemplation, and an entirely different plane of introspection in my thought processes that might not have been imagined if I had not faced major hurdles at so many times over the past ten years of my life.

The biggest lesson I have learned is that a person can either work hard to get through the muck and the mud and the mess so that they can find themselves on higher ground, able to reach for the sun again or they can wade in ugliness and fall deeper into the pit while never realizing that their own thrashing is causing them to sink faster.

And, I've learned during these past years about who is truly my friend, who is truly concerned about my health and well-being, and who is truly filled with a loving heart when it really counts. You learn that there are people who might drop you like a hot potato because they are too weak to face tragedy; you learn that there are people who don't have the time of day to provide any kind of support during your time of need because they don't want their fun interrupted; you learn that there are people who will strangely go through mechanical, obligatory motions of showing support, however, their heart is not matching the motions; BUT then you will have people, often a stranger, who need only look into your eyes to feel your pain.

During my years of health battles, I often found that the person who could simply look right through me and see my trials and tribulations as clearly as if I were wearing a neon sign had been complete strangers who connected with me. People with heart. People with compassion that went a mile long. People in tuned with others. These kind of people, I believe, are touched by God.

I have been hugely blessed to have come across many people like these in my life...people with a real heart for compassion.

Going through any kind of tragedy will teach you valuable life lessons, but these lessons are the most precious, and I am thankful for them...each and every one of them because my eyes have been opened a little wider and my naive side has been forcefully reduced, my heart is more protected out of necessity and, I like who I am.

Even if other people don't like me and remain in mechanical motion, it's okay because I really like who I am. These days, I'm no longer aching for the approval or for the love or for the desire to be appreciated for the person I have survived to be after all these years. I have a reason for being here and finding out what that reason is or what those reasons might be...that is the fun part of life for me at this time. It's the challenge that keeps me going every day.

And also, it's kind of nice not being that young push-over girl who was teased for being too naive and too trusting because those years were nice, but not what I'd want to live through again. I look back with a smile at how I had no idea that such physical and emotional pain could exist. My body has been through some horrific medical moments that have forced me to become more tough than I imagined I ever could have been.

If someone had told me about all the nightmarish things that I would be forced to endure under the knife, under the bone saw, under too many surgical glares, then I probably would have faced life with great fear and dread. However, it came in bits and pieces, sometimes too fast, but I was given God's mercy so that I could savor the simplistic things in between each horror. And yes, there would be heartache to add to the mix, but I am now stronger than ever.

Each moment that ticks by, I become stronger and stronger. It can't be stopped. I'm at the point of no return, and I am cherishing life in new ways.

I have been Finding Lana in here somewhere and she is one of those people who notices others on the street who seem to be wearing that neon banner of pain and suffering. It's my personal gift that accompanies me everywhere, and I am going to honor that gift and live bravely for those who have love in their hearts and pain in their souls.

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