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daffodils_awakening

 

daffodils_awakening quote

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/awakening/

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explore. dream. discover.jpg

Exploration is so often linked to travel to distant places.  Yet, exploration of the self is a commitment to that distance as well.

It is easier for some to run away, to turn, to keep busy, to occupy, to plan, or escape rather than search inside themselves.

Memories and habits are limited, or measured in a harsh light, and the preparation to understand ourselves and our reactions to things is something we would rather not delve into too deeply.

quote_carl jung_who looks inside awakes

For me, there is so much to explore in the brain and personality, yet we have so little information.  Each person is a universe of billions of cells and neurons that we have yet to discover.  In the scheme of things, we know so little with limited ways to learn about ourselves and others.

Possibilities and options – different ways of thinking, being, and doing – is a way to explore each day without leaving home.  There is no equipment or packing needed, and no travel to faraway places, to explore in the reflection of the mind, accountability and development of self, and our relationships with others.

people are oceans.jpg

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/explore/

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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chain

 

I don’t have a lucky rabbit’s foot or any other form of good luck charm.  My daily life has its own anxieties, but none that I could cure with a specific talisman.

However, one piece of jewelry remains with me and its presence has a very powerful influence upon me mentally and emotionally.  I am aware of the love and connection beyond time, the strength of a mother’s love, and the devotion to preserving memories of those who have come before and deserve to be honored long after their passing.

This particular necklace was 72 inches in length, in rose gold, and worn by my great-grandmother, Amalia.  As she had three sons and three daughters, at some point she chose to have the necklace broken into three separate chains, one for each of her daughters, as a legacy gift.

However, the gift became even more meaningful as it is literally the only physical item that we have from her other than our genetic makeup.

Exactly 80 years ago, in the devastating rise of the Reich and rampant anti-Semitism, my grandparents decided to leave Amsterdam for the safety of the United States. There was a great deal of paperwork, they needed to be sponsored by an uncle, and prove that they could support themselves with genuine employment skills and would not be a burden to the government of the United States.

This necklace was given to my grandmother, by her mother, at a train station in Amsterdam in 1938.  My grandmother was 25 years old and it was the last time that she would ever see her mother.

My great grandparents and my 12 year old great uncle were killed on September 24, 1943 in the Auschwitz concentration camp.  My grandmother was 52 years old.

All of the records of our family members’ birth and death dates, as well as the respective cities, was available from the Dutch Government Registry of Persons killed in the Holocaust.

During a trip to Holland in 1994, my mother collected and compiled all of the data that she was able to for her grandparents, first cousins, aunts, uncles, and great-grandmother. In all, more than 75 members of our family were killed in the Holocaust.  Many more relatives were not accounted for.  As my mother grew up with no extended family, she respected their lives with uncovering their stories and honoring their legacy.

My grandmother gave the necklace to me, her oldest granddaughter, in 1995.  My grandmother was 81 years old at that time.  She had many health issues that she survived including breast cancer and two heart attacks during her lifetime.  She felt that it was much more important to give her gifts to each of us “with a warm hand” rather than a cold one (after her death).  Throughout my grandmother’s life, until the time that she gave it to me, she never removed it from her neck and kept it close to her heart.  I believe that it pleased her as well to see her granddaughter, named after her mother, wear this necklace with pride and respect.

Perhaps, what gives it that spark of a talisman is that it continues to carry the strength of its history, love, and strong emotion each time that I wear it.

According to an actual appraisal from a professional jeweler, this necklace is not worth very much and may have a small boost in its value for strictly historic reasons.

As an actual link to family and my place on the chain of mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, it is priceless and could never be replaced.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/talisman/

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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invisible_illness

There are many ways in which people feel invisible and isolated, but one of the most widely known, and unknown, ways in which people use more strength and effort to achieve what others take for granted is living with an invisible illness.

Pushing through your daily routines with pain can be truly punishing and at the end of the day exhaustion ensues.  For some, such supreme effort can keep them homebound for days seeking recovery.  The mental and physical fatigue is very real and cannot just be “slept off.”

It is estimated that over 10% of the population in the United States has an invisible illness and the percentage expands for those with an invisible disability although I suspect that the number is actually higher (these are classified differently under the Disabilities Act – the U.S. Census estimates that 19%, 1 in 5, of the population – over 56 million people – have a disability).

Many invisible illnesses have neurological origins and are woefully misunderstood.

The saddest truth is that you will be judged and quite harshly by some.  There are more critics than those who will empathize.  Some will create drama over their aches and pains and soak up all the sympathy that they can.  But, as Maya Angelou aptly put it, you don’t have to be one just because you have it.

invisible_maya angelou

I don’t feel that those of us with invisible illnesses are looking for pity or a public showing.  However, private concern, compassion, kindness, and understanding seem like too much to hope for, but are genuinely desired.

The range of invisible illnesses include genetic diseases, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, to Multiple Sclerosis, ALS and Alzheimer’s in early stages, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Depression and all mental illnesses, to Heart or Lung disease, Endometriosis, Diabetes, and Cancer.  The broad scope and list of such illnesses is long and very real for those suffering.  We want to remain positive, we want to feel good, and we want to live without pain.  We wish that we could.  But, when we have experienced it we have two options: selfishly claim that ours is worse than others and become bitter or empathize with another’s pain and acknowledge with comforting compassion and patience.

Those suffering with invisible illnesses often feel that they live in an invisible world, as their lives and feelings are hidden away to please others (who rarely are) or prevent discrimination from affecting them in any way at work, school, or social situations.  They fight twice as hard for every day in misunderstanding, fear, and the vast unknown.

invisible_disability

While completely misunderstood, you cannot classify hundreds of millions of people around the world as “faking” or seeking attention.  Most will not receive any and will struggle alone.

Life happens and we do not always have the choice of health and wellness.  Masking it to make others feel more comfortable only adds to the difficulty.  Each of us is fighting a battle that no one else knows.

The first step is empathy and acceptance. Appreciate that while beauty may be skin deep, illness can and does indeed go to the bone, and strong people bear it as well as able every day.  The majority of people do not want to experience pain, struggle, or seek medical attention as often as they must to live active and functioning lives.  However, criticism, demeaning, and intolerance wound further.

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If you are living with an invisible illness, what has your experience been?

Thank you for sharing.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/invisible/

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