Monday, July 07, 2008

I've had many epiphanies in my lifetime, but none so crystal clear and so intensely peaceful as the one I had last night. As such things often happen, I wasn't looking for it.

For such a long time now, both my mind and spirit have been under duress, and in distress. The harder I tried to do everything just right, the more things continued to go wrong. Many of you have been my caring friends on a roller coaster of bipolar meltdowns and fibromyalgia flare ups to the extent that I was incapacitated to do anything at all.

Wednesday I was inspired by the enthusiasm of two wonderful ladies who are in a group that are "Going The Distance" which you know, if you read my last blog, that I joined in and accepted this unique challenge. I had the flame of hope in my heart that I could take up this challenge and run with it, but my body is completely unable to facilitate any such challenge. My knees and ankles are shot.

I don't know if I will ever be able to exercise outside of a pool again, but I do know that I can't do any kind of intense exercise without the buoyancy of water to help relieve the stress on my joints. At first I was upset over this, but then my husband and I went on to have a really wonderful holiday weekend and to work on other problems other than my pitiful attempts to force myself to do what my body simply cannot do. Which brings us to my epiphany.

Are you ready?

I was surprised at its simplicity, but I bet you won't be.

My epiphany is simply this: Self acceptance.

To do what I can, everyday to meet my goals in healthy ways. Trying to accept every challenge and put myself on a level with people who can do them is not healthy, but is obsessive. Without me being aware of it, I had become obsessed about losing my weight. It consumed me. And when I couldn't exercise because of my limitations it depressed me and I started cycling again.

Last night as I was sitting on our sofa, just writing in my journal with my husband playing his racing game and sitting next to me, I found a sweet spirit of illumination encompassing me. I know it was a message from God, because I'd not even been thinking about anything but the lovely time that we'd had. We've had so little of them, not even a honeymoon or a trip to meet his family, that I was astonished by the sudden unsought awareness that was moving in me.

Along with it came my old friend, the Serenity Prayer. For any of you that may not have come across this soothing little well of wisdom, it is this:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

From this moment on I will be saying this prayer every day to keep in focus the awesome gift that God gave me last night, for more than epiphany, it was a gift of true enlightenment, and it did what nothing else has been able to do. It brought me immediate release from all depression and freed me from my own self imposed journey to certain defeat through frustration and anger against my inability to do what I thought I should be able to do.

Today marks a new journey with balance and the understanding that I will finish the race, I will lose the weight I need to, and I will succeed. I may be the last person to cross the finish line. But I will cross it.

The important thing to remember is to push myself, but gently, slowly and with self acceptance and love. To carry within my heart of knowledge that my poor body does the best it can, and it will continue to do so as long as I don't ask it to do the impossible.

To my ladies who are Going The Distance, I will cheer you on and support and encourage you, and I thank you for your warm encouragement to join you, but I simply can't do it.

To all my wonderful supportive friends that have been with me from the beginning and by meeting in groups, thank you so much for putting up with all the ups and downs and in betweens of my attempts to fit in and find my niche. I've found it. Finally and with grace from my heavenly Father, whose wisdom surpasses all other, I have finally found, deep in the quintessence of the all that I am, my niche. I'm at peace, comfortable and have plenty of room to grow.

It is almost 6 months to my 49th birthday and I am now looking forward to the next few years of what I believe will be a very blessed and enriching journey into the best part of my life.

Even with menopause!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 46A39P
    Dear Pami,

    I love the Serenity Prayer. When I am having difficulties, I find myself reciting it to keep it all real. You are doing so well and I'm so happy for you. Self acceptance is huge. Because of what I've recently encountered, my self esteem had been damaged. Trying to get that out of my head and work on the ~self acceptance~ you describe so beautifully. You are a beautiful child of God Pami. I'm so glad we are friends. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and soul. Love, Jean emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4449 days ago
    Pami as always you are a trooper to go through with what you have and to continue to help people the way you do know matter how bad your hurting. THtats a wonderful gift initself to help others like you do and even with this serenity prayer you were doing well you just might of not realilzed it but you were actually doing it. Just by you the way you keep going the help you give to everyone know matter how your feeling and believe you me pami your everything and more you can do this and i will be there for you to if you need me or help or anything. I love your spirit and i love your gumph and i love the way you plug along and i gain inspiration from you alot you know that i hope. I don't like to see anyone not feeling well i just know that if you talk to others it can get better to.It is all about being positive in life and no negativity i know it is hard at times but with friends like us i hope we ease and make your pain eaiser and we hold your hand through out all of this and miss you whole heartedly ya know? Keep smiling and we will smile with you to ok?LOVE YA lots and lots. I am here if you need me.
    4452 days ago
    A big part of maturity is finding your niche ....I am so happy you found yours
    4453 days ago
    We all need to share in that epiphany. Why don't we accept ourselves? Why are we always striving to be different? God made us who we are for a reason. We need to accept that! Thank you for the insight today.

    4454 days ago
  • BECKY1960
    Pami, Thank you for sharing this with us. it was beautiful. I'm trying to accept myself, it is hard. you are a beautiful person. emoticon emoticon
    4454 days ago

    Self-Acceptance may be obvious but not necessarily simple.

    Thank you for sharing your epiphany with me, I constantly have to remind myself to be accepting of myself and gentle. emoticon
    4454 days ago
    Pami - I had totally forgotten the other verses to the Serenity Prayer until I read it here.
    At TOPS club we recite just the familiar 4 line version. I went online and found an interesting article about the origins of the prayer - it's an AA site.
    Thanks for your post and for including us in your epiphany!
    May you find much success, dear.
    emoticon Pepper
    4454 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/9/2008 1:51:05 PM
    My goodness Pami- you now have 28 comments this time- they must have all read my mind and decided to join your blog ministry or whatever is happening this week.

    Again your little prayer after the serenity prayer has encouraged me and I need to copy and paste that to my mirror so I can read it each morning. Thanks for just being you!
    Love and hugs to my friend- Sandi from Christians with fibromyalgia.
    4455 days ago
  • STAHN66
    Pami -
    We are whatever we choose to believe about ourselves. If we believe we are ugly, overweight, and incapable of changing then that's what we are and that's how people will see us.

    I believe you are a beautiful woman with the gift of compassion. I accept you as just that. I pray that you will accept yourself as that too . . . everything else will fall into place once you believe in YOU.

    You are such an inspiration!
    HUGS to you.
    4455 days ago
    Pami - it sure can take us awhile to find our groove, hmm? But God's grace saw you through, and look where you are now! With my blood clots, I certainly know the feeling of wanting to do more than I was actually capable of.

    Why worry about what you can't do? Focus on what you can do! You can exercise in water, so do that. Look at all the ways you're able to squeeze in fitness, and do those! As you lose, you'll find yourself doing more and more, and your focus will chance and grow.

    I believe you'll be able to exercise without water one day, I really do.

    Align your goals with your new attitude and you'll achieve all kinds of successes. I look forward to hearing about them all.

    Your friend,

    4455 days ago
    Thanks for pointing us to your inspiring blog. I am in my late 30s and feeling self-acceptance for the first time too. Life is about so much more than the scale! Please keep doing your workouts in the pool. I got a pair of water shoes and am going to water aerobics some mornings before work. It is a great workout that I could never do outside of the pool with my back and foot problems. God bless, Bee emoticon
    4455 days ago
  • ~NANAK~
    Pami, Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful blessing with us. God is good and always gives us exactly what we need when we are ready to accept it. You are a beautiful woman, and a blessing to so many. Thank you for just being YOU! Karen
    4455 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Pami. The Serenity Prayer has been a major part of my life for over twenty years, gently tugging at my arm when I begin fighting things I cannot change. I'm happy you've been blessed with a "God-breeze"!
    Gentle hugs,
    4455 days ago
    Yay for epiphanies! It's good to see that you've come into a time of self love and positive thinking. Despite everything you've gone through you know that God will keep you going and guide you on every journey you should choose to embark on. (: Have a happy Tuesday!
    4455 days ago
    Yes...yes...and yes....Self accpetance, the fact that looking back and saying I "could have done that" I "could be that if I had done that"....that can be self defeating. Seeing you for what you are and realizing there is always more Good than Bad and that God does not make Junk...that is where we know everyone of us is a piece of God, I have believed this since I was a child. I always look inside a person, before I look at the outside. I too am doing a self examination, and punching up the positives and putting them outthere for me and my future employers to look at. Being 55 with no job and not a failure, it is an adventure and a chance for me and God to travel together to a new destination, I know I am ready. And he is answering my prayers, and so I know he is too. Good luck to you
    4455 days ago
    You, ma'am, are awesome! I love you!
    4455 days ago
    Self acceptance! What a precious gift to give yourself.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4455 days ago
    Pami, Time and time again I have read so many heart felt & moving testimony's here on SP. I live in a small town and when I see the huge numbers of people that are suffering from obesity & depression, and all that follows it. My heart goes out to them. There are so many more out there that need to hear stories like yours, and others stories here on SP. It is very inspiring to me and I believe it would be to those even in your own neighborhood. Take a walk through your neighborhood high school, not to mention the elementary, the amount of overweight children there are in this country is astounding. No one would ever guess that you have had only a sixth grade education. Your expression and vocabulary are amazing. Take the time to think about sharing, either by writing a column in your local paper or starting a book. There are massive amounts of hurting people who would benefit by your God given gift of writing. You have had an awaking, and others need the same.
    May you continue to have the FAVOR of GOD moving in your life richly!!!
    Thank you for your word's of blessing and encouragement!!!
    span> emoticon

    4455 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1248739
    What a lovely blog entry. I, too, need to learn this secret of self acceptance. As I was mowing the lawn over the weekend, I was getting upset with myself over being a perfectionist and giving up too easily. It's hard to explain, but I think the bottom line is that if I can't get it to where I think it's perfect, then it's not worth doing and I give up. Knowing is half the battle though, right?
    4455 days ago
    It is so important to accept and love ourselves the way we are but to want to improve on it is importnat to! We can do it Pami!
    4456 days ago
    Pami - I'm so happy for you. God does send us messages all the time but we have to listen to hear them. I'm so glad you were listening! You are so right. Accept yourself and do what you can do. You will get healthier and maybe as the weight comes off, you will find that you can do more than you thought you your body gets stronger. In the meantime, continue to do what works for you and know that you have so many friends here at SP who are cheering you on and willing to help you in any way we can. You are a wonderful person. Don't EVER forget that! emoticon
    4456 days ago
  • FREE2BEME2010
    Today I celebrated three things that mean so much to me.I celebrated my youngest son's 15th birthday and his being one step closer to being a man.I celebrated the loss of yet another pound in my struggle to lead a healthier life.But most of all I celebrate you my dear friend Pami for you are one of God's gretest gifts to those of us who are proud to call you friend.No matter how many obstacles have gotten in your way,no matter how many setbacks you have,you continue to be an inspiration to all.From your words of wisdom to the strength that flows through you,to the love that you have to share with anyone who needs a boost,a kind word or just to know that they are special.Today I celebrate you Pami and all that you do to keep going and for all that you do to keep the wonderful people here at SP going.May God bless you in everything that you do and keep you strong in the faith and the miracle of Him.

    Teresa xoxoxo

    4456 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3208080
    Pami, I am so happy for you! It is wonderful for you to get to a place where you can accept yourself and your limitations. There will always be things we see others doing that we would like to emulate but we have to be realistic. My friend at work runs 3 miles a day during her lunch hour and sometimes another 3 at night. I would love to do that but it's just not possible. I have to be content with knowing that I can't run but I can walk, so I do that. Find what you can do and build on that. Pool exercises are great!. I think it is very inspirational that you are doing any exercise at all. A lot of people with your health issues would be staying in bed all day! I'm very proud of you and I know you will continue to get healthier in mind and body every day!
    Hang in there and I know you'll be a great success!
    4456 days ago
  • NOMI_822
    So glad to hear it Pami, Your only competition is to do your best. That is all anyone can ask of us whether it be employer, loved ones, or friends. You can do this, I am with you and sending you positive thoughts and hugs. Love ya emoticon
    4456 days ago
    Pami........I am so happy for you.Praise God!Don't we serve an awesome God?I had to learn self acceptance a little while back.
    When I finally did is when I was able to finally start sticking to a healthy lifestyle I guess I finally felt worth taking care of.You
    wil achieve your goals.As you said you do what you can do not what others can.I use to always be down on myself because I couldn't do things like others,I still sometimes do.I thank you for sharing what God showed you.It really helps me.I had been getting down on myself because I don't always seem to have an easy time in my walk with God.You made me realize God knows my heart,He knows I love Him more then anyone in this world.
    We will achieve our goals because we have God with us and He wants to give us the desire of our hearts.
    Be Blessed,
    4456 days ago
    I am so very happy for you. I have found the Serenity Prayer to be a great comfort and affirmation that I turn to whenever times get tough. I often wait too long to go to God.

    I had so much success in the past and I would tell myself a simple reminder-phrase/mantra: "Be kind to yourself."

    What we're doing isn't an easy task. God has given us a challenge and I do believe that self-love and acceptance is a big part of the overall puzzle. When we find self-love, we can truly experience the joy that comes along with change and forgive ourselves for setbacks... and forgiveness allows us to move ahead.

    I write these words to you AND to myself... because there are times that I forget. All the best to you! God bless!
    4456 days ago
    My dear dear friend, I am so glad that God allowed you to finally figure out that's about what YOU can do, not what OTHERS can do, and you trying to keep up..We all have limitations, disabled or not..I, myself, came to this conclusion awhile back, while trying to do team challenges and competitions..All we can do is try and be happy with our own accomplishments; While it may not be the "standard", at least we're doing something to improve ourselves..My nurse, today, shocked me, by saying "I use you as an inspiration" I said, "excuse, me.. me??" Her answer? "We have patients come in here, with diabetes and other health problems, and I always tell them about this lady I know that has diabetes and several other issues, yet she pushes on, and is doing something to take control of her own life and health" Basically, the only person you need to "compete" with is yourself..Don't sweat the small stuff, and at the end of the day, in the scheme of things, it's ALL small stuff!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    4456 days ago
    This was so refreshing to read.
    4456 days ago
    you are going the distance, you are just doing the journey under Gods design and not mans. this came to me as I was reading your blog; and I thanked God for bringing clarity and peace into your life. I am so glad that God created you to be the wonderful, kind, loving, inspirational person you are. Continue to be in tune with him, and the journey will indeed be successful, and peaceful

    The race

    I have for you a path to take
    a beautiful winding road
    with lots of creativity
    that I want you to behold

    Don't hurry and fret
    and pass them by
    for you will miss so much
    I see how hard you try

    The race I created for you
    my dear, is not in speed, nor measure
    the human race is what I made
    that you must learn to treasure

    So, enjoy the journey, rejoice in your days
    and know that I hold you dear
    it's not in the numbers, the weight, or the size
    ITs in the heart to make things clear

    I treasure you so, my daughter
    and I hold you in my hands
    there's not anything that I don't know
    no surprises, no hidden paths

    accept the challenge to seek me first,
    the rest, my dear, will come
    and I will hold you day to day
    walk with you hand in hand
    and when the days get awfully hard
    I will carry you through the sand.

    With love to Pami: from Tina H. with inspiration from God

    keep your eyes looking up, not down at the scale, don't let Satan take your eyes off the prize that God sees in you!
    look how far you have come, not how far you have left to go.
    we all only have one day at a time, treasure the present!

    4456 days ago
  • JILLIAN0223
    You've found the key to it all, Pami. As my mother used to say, "Do the best *you* can. Angels can do no more." You can't do anyone else's best, only your own, with the limitations you have, at any particular moment in time. Your best one day may not be your best another day. It will vary. That's what being a human is all about.

    I'm so glad you're at peace with yourself, Pami. Accepting who we are, warts and all, is very empowering. From that comes a large amount of self-confidence and self-worth.

    What a wonderful weekend that was for you.

    4456 days ago
    Pami I am so delighted to hear you have entered the realm of self acceptance. We can not change a thing in our life without first loving ourself, good, bad and ugly. I am a firm believer in thinking yourself thin. It comes in all fashions and we all have to find the magic combination that works for us. You will succeed, taking baby steps and learning to love yourself along the way. Good Luck and Praise the Lord!!!
    4456 days ago
    YES,YES.Thank you for sharing.
    4456 days ago
    Pami - you are such an inspiration, truly. Just reading your blog gives such insight into the type of individual you are. Being accepting of the things we cannot change is hard for all of us, but to be able to do so and to find a peace about it - well, what can I say? Sometimes God DOES show us things when we least expect him to.

    Thank you for sharing, and for your friendship!
    4456 days ago
    I just LOVE the Serenity Prayer and use it all the time to whack back at the stress demons: Do I have any control over this? No? Then why am I stressing over it? Accept it and move on with my life...sometimes easier said than done, but we reclaim our power when we can do this!

    Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals SparkTeam
    4456 days ago

    Very well put. I understand that there are things that we may never be able to change and we must accept this. Fibromyalgia comes in all levels. Though I've been told that I have the condition several times by several different doctors, I do not believe that I have it as serverly as you do. Even so, I know how it can make such things as challenges (and normal daily life) completely difficult at times. As of now, I'm having a really bad flare up and have been bound to the chair for a couple of days now (note the lack of blogging!).

    While you may not be able to do the same activities at the same intensity as others, I hope that you do not give up on your goals but instead look for other ways to reach them. It may take longer, but I truly believe that even if we never find what we are searching for, the journey along the way is still well worth making.

    I have faith that everyday you will continue to go the distance by taking that journey to a healthier, more spiritual you.

    Hugs to you Rocky-

    4456 days ago
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