Channeling My Inner Ludo ~ Calling The Rocks

Metaphor warning! This post is going to be filled with some heavy metaphors, because sometimes, that’s just the way that my mind works. This morning, I was sitting at my table pondering several things, and for some reason, the image of Ludo from “Labyrinth” popped to mind. When the going got tough, good old Ludo cocked his head back and let out series of deep, throaty howls to summon the rocks. In several scenes of the movie, just when things seem to be at their very bleakest, he howls from deep inside, and rocks of all sizes come rolling to the rescue.

As I sat thinking about Ludo, it inspired me to be a bit more like him, and summon my own rocks. There has been a lot to wade through lately, and I’ll admit that at times I’ve felt like I’m barely keeping my head above water. Then, this morning I started to wonder where my inner fire had gone and it occurred to me that I have everything that I need to reignite it. Instead of being mired down by things which are completely out of my control, I’m tipping my head back and howling.

One of my favorite scenes of the movie has always been the one in which the group of travelers find themselves in the Bog of Eternal Stench, and Sarah is hanging by a vine over the middle of the bog, with no way out. This is when Ludo howls for the rocks to come, and Sir Didymous (the fox looking knight) really gives him the business about howling when someone needed rescued, as he, himself, is just standing there panicking. Then, the rocks start rolling in, making a walkway through the bog, so that Sarah and the rest of the gang can wend their way across.

Step by step, they make their way through that perilous part of their journey. How fitting is it that when they found themselves in the Bog of Eternal Stench that the way out was to summon these steady rocks and make their way through it, one step at a time? I’m thinking about my own steps across this part of my own journey, and have been coming up with individual names for my “rocks”. I’ll be sure to pave alternate pathways so that there are choices in direction. Too much pigeon-holing is not a good thing. The road to happy-town needs to have a few exits! 🙂

Here are the names of my stepping stones:

  • Resolve- to keep going
  • Courage- to stay aware of the fact that I can do what is right for me
  • Self reliance- to keep the knowledge that I can trust myself alive
  • Patience- tempered with a hefty dose of strength
  • Joy- for what is
  • Hope- for what is to come
  • Love- for the opportunity to make the most of the life that I have, and to make a difference
  • Compassion- for others, and for myself

I’ll be working on summoning my inner rocks to pave a path which feels more stable. More than anything right now, I’m craving a feeling of contentment and stability, an overall sense of my place in the world. For some reason, I’ve been having a tough time regaining that sense for myself, and I miss it more than anything. So…let the howling begin! What would you name the rocks for your own pathway?

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Chronic Illness ~ The Elephant In The Room

It is a rare occasion these days that I write a post about anything personal. To be fair, it is a rare occasion that I post anything at all this year. With that being said, I felt compelled to come here today and write about my elephant in the room, which is chronic illness. In thinking back, I’m pretty sure that it has been at least a few years since I’ve shared anything about this, at least publicly. Why now?

In the past year, flare-ups of my conditions have been a fairly regular occurrence, more so than they have been for quite some time. I do know a big part of the reason this has been happening, but that’s not the point of why I’m writing today. This is all about the things that we who have chronic illnesses would like for others to know, and don’t often express. So without further adieu, here are some of the things that I wish for people to know.

  • We do not want pity, but compassion is welcome.
  • We want you know know that when we spend time with you, that we are making a conscious choice to expend precious energy to do so. This often means that we will have to spend a day or two resting, but it’s worth it to us. So, when times arise in which we can’t make it (and they will happen), it isn’t that we don’t want to. Our minds and hearts want to do the things you invite us to do more than anything.
  • We do welcome suggestions sometimes, just not when we’re in the middle of a flare. Giving most of you the benefit of the doubt, your intentions are probably good. If your desire truly is to help, wait until we are feeling better to make your observations and suggestions. To do so when we are sick can feel like an accusation
  • When we tell you we can’t do something, it means we can’t. Sometimes it’s clear that some of our friends and family hear “I don’t want to”, and that is not what we’re saying. We are not making excuses to get out of things. (See bullet point #2)
  • We understand that it can be challenging to be our friend, family member, or partner at times. We lose our patience with our lack of reliability too. Even though we may have to sit things out, please don’t stop asking us. Even though it is disappointing when we have to say no, try to remember how much fun we have when we can say yes. We sure do! Sometimes thinking of the good times is what gets us through.
  • From the outside it might feel to some that we are selfish, or even lazy. We are neither of those things. We often use up all (or much) of our energy doing the things that we manage to do. Even though we may look fine and don’t really say anything, we are often more tired or in pain than you know when we’re doing things. A misconception which might happen with this one is that by letting you know about this particular point, we’re trying to lay a guilt trip. Nope! We are doing all of the things that we do with you joyfully and cherish every moment, despite those things. We just don’t want you to assume that it means that we feel fine and will be able to do the same later or tomorrow.
  • We want you to know how much we appreciate the people in our lives. The little things that you do, often without even thinking of it, mean so much. When you drop by with something to eat or call on the phone just to say hello, that can be the highlight of the entire day. There are times when we may not have the energy to talk on the phone, but just knowing that you called means a lot. When we do not pick up the phone, and may not return your call for a day or two, it isn’t that we’re snubbing you, so please never think so. Unless of course, we never return your call.  >:)
  • Most importantly, please remember that even when things get rough for a little while, that we’re still the same person that you loved yesterday.

I’m sure that there are many things that I didn’t touch on, but for today, these are the ones which felt most important to mention. It is my hope that this reaches the screen of someone who needs to read it. While most of us would not assume that we are owed any of the things mentioned above, I think it’s fair to say that they sure are nice.