Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Telling the Truth Tuesday - How not to feel "Why me?"

Today was chorus rehearsal for the Choralaires, a group that has been singing together for 35 years at Palo Duro Senior Center in Albuquerque, NM. There are a few members who have been there from the start. Others who have been there a long, long time, and still others who are fairly new, like me.

Ages range from 54 (the youngest) to those in their upper 80s. There are no wheel-chair bound members, but many use walkers and canes. But oh, can some of these folks sing. Gives me chills to hear those male tenor voices sing out. Most of the women are sopranos, which makes it hard for alto me to reach some of those notes. There are about a dozen members who regularly do solos or duets. It is an inspiration to me that I might still be able to sing 25 years from now.

One member, I'll call her T., announced today that she will be taking September off. She's going to the hospital next week to have part of her kidney removed--there's a cancerous tumor on it. I think T. must be in her 70s - it's hard to tell because she is one of the most vibrant, happy, charmismatic spirits I have ever met. There was not one ounce of self-pity in her voice or in her being when she told us about her health today. Someone said, "You'll be fine," and she said, "I know I will."

I found myself wondering if she was just acting and deep down she's terrified. But I don't think anyone is that good an actress. To her, Faith is everything. And if you have Faith, there's no reason or room for self-pity. It was a powerful lesson for me. Years ago, I heard that it's all right to host a pity party, but you have to set a time limit to sit on the pity pot. Then you get up and get on with things.

But watching T. today, I was struck with how elegant, loving, and self-assured she was, despite a health crisis that is scary. I am learning so much from being with seniors who are quite a bit older than me about living life to the fullest the best way we can. If they feel sorry for themselves, it sure doesn't show when they come to sing.

So the phrase, "Why me?" is now officially removed from my vocabulary. I'm looking for new ways to shift that negative energy into a place of Faith. How do you handle adversity without self-pity?



Patricia Stoltey said...

Wondering, "Why me?" when illness or disaster strikes seems like a very human reaction. Those who appear strong and brave may simply keep their self-pity private rather than wearing their emotional pain in public.

Rebecca Anne said...

I loved this entry.
A person with her spirit is the person who will be fine in heart and thats 3/4 of the battle. Can you imagine if everyone adopted that attitude anytime something negative rolled along? It's beautiful.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This is a wonderful post. It would be great to be able to sing!

I try to use humor to deal with my problems.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Marvin D Wilson said...

"Good for you!" said the The Old Silly as he stood clapping his hands.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

She has the faith and the right attitude!!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

Helen Ginger said...

Wonderful post. A Why Me? seems to be a natural first reaction of most of us, but it would be great to drop that from our thinking. It feels too negative. That senior group sounds like a fun group to be around.

Straight From Hel

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Agreed, Karen. Why me?, though natural enough is wasted energy. So, expect it, then recognize it, then use some mechanism to move on. I generally focus on the how-to-fix-whatever-the-problem-is energy to cope. Seems to work…usually.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Stephanie Faris said...

I think we learn a lot about ourselves and others in the way we/they handle adversity. Anyone can be strong while facing everyday life...but adversity is a true test of character.

DebraLSchubert said...

Why you? Because you've won an award! Stop by my place to pick it up.;-)

Tabitha Bird said...

wonderful post. I love the way you look at life. I hope to be as content and happy one day. I guess I am better at handling adversity than I used to be. I am not so much a 'why me' person as a 'right, who the heck am I going to knock for six because this happened?' Okay, I might not be that dramatic. But I am more of a fighter inside than a 'lay down and ask why.'

I am learning to find balance between things worth fighting for and things worth letting go. A balance between stillness and action. God will probably be working with me a while on that one though!

N A Sharpe said...

I think faith and outlook have a lot to do with how you face these type of situations. It sounds like she has things figured out pretty well!
Great post. Thanks so much for sharing this very inspirational story.

Nancy, from Realms of Thought…