Saturday, October 29, 2011

CLOSE TO HEAVEN

I recently read a book where a character expounded on his belief that heaven and hell are states of consciousness deep within us. It was one sentence in a book that I vaguely paid attention to but in recent weeks the words have badgered my brain. I immerse myself in prayer because it is the only thing that sustains me twenty-four hours a day. Even in slumber I know my spirit is deep in prayer because I cannot disconnect myself from the circuitry that keeps me sane and human. Lately, most of my prayers consist of cries of anguish, despair, and torment. Sometimes I wonder if God has both hands covering his ears and thinking, "Oh stop! Stop it already! ENOUGH!" It is only in my waking moments that I am consciously aware to praise God for my blessings. I force myself to enumerate those blessings to swing my focus away from the negative. 


I told my friend that I didn't mature and grow up when I had children or when I became a grandmother. I reluctantly grew up when my dad's health deteriorated this year and the indomitable father I once had became a frail, old, sickly man. Every day I feel like I'm juggling a bowling pin, an apple, and a golf ball while standing on one leg with my eyes blindfolded and one arm tied behind my back. I could deal with my grown kids and their needs or my granddaughter and her needs or my sister and her needs or my boyfriend and his needs but I am helpless under the weight of my parents' dependency on me. My parents have never asked me for anything but when they ask that I accompany them to my dad's doctor appointments or trips to the emergency room I know their requests aren't made in vain. 

On the days that I am in the office at work I have many moments of panic and anxiety. I remember the innumerable nights I've spent in the emergency room with my sick kids and the recent hospitalization of my dad holds much more desperation than the latter. Insensitive people have reminded me that this is the cycle of life. Yeah, no sh*t. Those same people have graciously added that health care just plain sucks. Really? You mean the words "health" joined with "care" is an oxymoron? I often wonder what their reaction would be when THEIR turn comes to care for aging parents? 

Thus, the hell I live daily.

To combat my hell I've learned to seek my heaven. In Joel Osteen's book, It's Your Time, he talks about staying away from negative people. "You shouldn't go to lunch every day with somebody who is always crying the blues and talking about how bad the economy is. You can't do that without it affecting you." Those words were like musical notes to my deprived eyes. On the days I work in the office I've decided to take advantage of my close proximity to the beach and utilize my lunch break to run/jog/walk there. Alone. It is as close to heaven as I can get. And for the rest of the day my spirit is at peace unfettered by negativity, anxiety, and fear. I am reminded to choose Faith over fear.



I use my Nike+ application on my iPhone to track the miles during my runs and to snap photos for my Year of the Instagram Photo A Day project.