We have just been reminded, in our hearts, what we knew in our minds: That my mother can get cancer, like anyone - again.
And the fear that she is somehow 'especially prone' to the illness, I suppose.
That new, starker, more resonant fear will not go away anytime soon, only be dimmed by time and need to live. And live well.
I guess we will have to find ways to enhance that need to live well, as an opposition to that fear which can probably never be eradicated, even if my mother is cured this time and never has another sick-day - until the final day.
Opposition or balance in our life experience to the things we cannot change. Or: Light a fire to keep us hopeful in the dark.
Its's an old truth, but it might as well be lived again.
These things work to de-escalate anger and become calm: - stop the situation, remove yourself; then clean up; music ... and a hot mug of coffee. Do something nice for yourself, too.
These things work. So if it ain't broke ...
“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Whenever something dark happens in my family or to myself I've had a lot of joy out of reading John O'Donohue; joy and strength and wisdom, all bundled. I got his first book - Anam Cara - as a gift from a man I had barely met, right in 2005 some weeks after I had been hospitalized with rampant anxiety. He sent it by snail mail, saying he felt I should have it. One of those small miracles. The book was my strength and you have to read it to understand why.
As for successful business-persons, lifestyle gurus, movie stars or other famous people who seemingly have it all together, you might get tempted to think that it's because of some extra special personal quality that they have, but you don't - or can never achieve.
Or worse: That it's just pure luck and that's why you should play the lottery, right? You might become one of them overnight! He ...
I have fallen into these pits from time to time - hell, more often than I care to admit.
My only real salvation has been that banal, but very powerful, realization that I only achieved some kind of peace, meaning and coherence in my story when I allowed myself to love it more.
Stress handling is NOT about trying to gain immunity from stress - that is silly and counterproductive.
It's about as quickly as possible regaining balance and calm when problems bring you out of balance - make you angry, confused, overwhelmed, etc.
I spend at least 2-3 hours per day cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking and doing dishes, and I can spend those hours better. Like trying to make more money than we pay the cleaning lady.
So I just have to do that.
And be patient until I can do that, because cleaning lady or not, I still have to get up at night and carry Jay to Char so he can get his food - and many times during day, changing diapers, everything. We can't hire us out of that as long as Char's hand is damaged.
We can only wait and remain calm and have faith that we have enough money - and help from our families - to do this, without too much cost.
So that is what we do.