” And hard times are good in their own way too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well. It’s all about light and shade. Balance. “
- Gabrielle Williams
I have found this to be so true in my life, and for that reason I wouldn’t completely eradicate the dark times. While I live inspired and write inspiring things for my readers (and for my own healing for that matter!), it is important for me to also share the hard times with you. I want you to know that my living inspired is a choice. It’s grown out of a 15 year journey of personal trials and self discovery, which has ultimately led to finding myself again. I am having a challenging week. This is why I have not been writing much. I have been resting and allowing myself to just BE , with no obligations other than to take care of myself in the midst of a week of stress.
I don’t feel like writing any fancy poetry this week, but for those of you who love my Friday poems, I want you to know they are NOT going anywhere. I will be in a poetic mood again soon I am sure . So instead I will write another “Letter from Rebekah” , which is more like a diary entry or a letter to a dear friend. Imagine me penning an old fashioned letter on parchment with a quill pen. Sitting at my desk near the window that overlooks the garden and updating you on my life. If you don’t like hearing about a person’s personal struggles, you may want to skip over this post. I do promise you that by the end of it all, I will have found the joy and inspiration in it to share with you .
The week started off with a series of robberies & vandalism in my neighborhood and beyond. I live in a small Midwestern town that is a bit of a time warp in many ways. We don’t live in a crime ridden city. The neighborhood I live in, is the same neighborhood I have lived in since I was 14 or 15 years old. It has always felt safe. Almost like a community of its own, being that all roads back here are dead ends and it sits on the edge of town. It is a bit like country living, minus being out alone in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, I digress….
The next door neighbors had all 3 of their vehicles ransacked. Their kid’s backpack was stolen. A ladies coin purse was stolen. Their car radio was knifed. It happened around 1:30-2:00 am. I happened to have been awake, but didn’t know it was happening. I actually had my bedroom window open and that window faces the driveway, which is close to where this took place. The thought of that makes me cringe a little, and lets just say my windows are staying locked now! I should mention at this point, that I was sleeping at my parents house, so it is actually their next door neighbors and not mine that had this happen. However, my parents house is in the same neighborhood as mine is (same street, but opposites ends). So these vandals/thieves continued to do the same thing to several other homes up in here, and also several other homes down the main street that leads to our neighborhood.
They wound up in an apartment complex nearby , where the neighbor’s kid’s backpack was found in the dumpster. Matt works with a guy who lives on this main street where the apartment complexes are, and this guys wife had her purse stolen from her car too. To my knowledge they haven’t caught them yet. A year ago, when we were brand new home owners, Matt texted me around 2 am (I wasn’t at our house) because he awoke to a flashlight being shined on his face when he was sleeping in the 4th bedroom down in the basement. This flashlight had been panning the rooms downstairs (first the den, and then the bedroom where he was). Luckily that situation turned out okay and whomever it was left (I’m guessing because they weren’t expecting to see a man down there near the window). Anyway, I don’t know if the two incidents are in anyway related, but that was one freaky thing that happened this week.
The other thing I’ve been dealing with is health challenges again. The day after Halloween I had a scary vertigo spell. It has been almost 2 years since I had one. I started using over the counter Dramamine whenever I feel a dizzy day coming on, and that usually works. I don’t have to take it very often, but anyway, on this particular day I woke up feeling like I’d been run over and I took a pill right off bat. I never did feel quite right that day, but was able to make dinner and sat down to watch TV with Matt. I started getting sleepy, so I laid down on the couch and when I did I got that Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole feeling.
Now I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced dizziness when lying down, but it really does feel like you are spinning down a hole or something. It scares me when that happens, so I sat up. Well when I sat up, it got worse. I had a hard time focusing in the room around me and I quite frankly felt like I was either going to faint or die. I drank a bunch of water (which sometimes helps) and somehow, with Matt’s help got up and got in to bed at 7 pm (nothing else you can do in this case). The silver lining is that it did not last long this time! About 2-3 hours. Thank God , because it is a very scary feeling!
In my clumsiness I walked in to an open dishwasher and landed a huge bruise with a big bump on my leg -ha! Kinda like a hematoma or something. My dad used to work at a hospital, so he took my blood pressure to make sure it wasn’t low or something (hence the dizziness). It turns out it is in the pre-hypertension range. 139/89 with a heart rate of 111 ! yay me! I’ve always had a live ticker, but wowza. Now lets add more to the pot, because this just isn’t enough yet. An old knee issue I haven’t had for years cropped up again. I awoke with a stiff, sore knee that if not tended to immediately , will get SO stiff and sore, that it will be completely immobile and I won’t be able to walk. Keep reading though- because I am getting to the gratitude part soon….
During all of this two other majorly stressful things were occurring. One of which I am not at liberty to write about, but it affected my sleep and broke my heart a little bit. The other thing is that my aunt fell suddenly ill and was dying. The day I found out she died, I had just laid down after taking an anti-vertigo pill and was on the phone mentoring a student of mine, when got this FB notification on my phone. I shouldn’t have looked right then, but I did. It was a photo of my aunt that I had been tagged in announcing that she had died. I was the only family member to not find out “the proper way” via phone or in person, but instead found out on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I like social media, I use it. But- I don’t like it when it comes to stuff like this… there is some other drama that ensued on that post, but I will skip that part….
Now that you know why I haven’t written in awhile, and what is going on in my personal life , I will tell you that I am ok. When you have trained yourself to be a “blessings hunter”, you can find the gratitude in these situations. In honor of Thanksgiving, I am going to end this letter with just that. Because- aside from love, gratitude is one of the most powerful transformers! (and really aren’t they similar?)
- My knee pain is now gone. I am so grateful that over the years I have gained wisdom to know exactly what to do to head off the pain and stiffness before I get “crippled” from it. I used to suffer in bed with excruciating pain for a week, needing assistance at times to even go to the bathroom because my knee would b immovable and I could not walk. I haven’t had to suffer from that for years now, because I now know what to do! Sweet!
- The vertigo only lasted a few hours. That is doable. 2 years ago it lasted over 2 months. So, I am EXTREMELY grateful for this!!
- Our cars did not get broken into. We were safe.
- My aunt lived a long life, and she loved God so much. I am told she said she was ready to leave this world to go home. I will miss her greatly, but there is at least comfort in knowing she was ready. There are many out there that die young.
- God has provided me with the most wonderful support group of fellow tender hearted souls, that have been SUCH a comfort to me in these times. The first decade of my often difficult journey, I did not have such a group. I mostly kept my struggles to myself (or shared with Mom or Matt), because I did not have much community. Now I do! So, I am immensely grateful for that. Thank you to all who are part of that community!!
Yes, the darkness makes it so much easier to appreciate the light! It is because of the dark times that I am so happy most of the time and know HOW to live inspired!
I know this was an epic letter. It is probably the most epic-ly long posts I have ever written! I hope at least you will find some inspiration in the fact that if I can have these struggles and create my own joy and gratitude despite it all , that you can too! You are not alone in your trials dear friends. <3
Remember to hunt for the blessings (and feel free to leave your struggles and gratitude in the comments section..I would also be glad to pray for you if you’d like),