The Many Forms of Mercy

In my previous post I shared the experience of an ER visit and resulting surgery to implant a pacemaker due to third degree heart block with complications. When I wrote that, what had not yet returned to my memory was an incident that happened while I was in the ER. I wanted to share it with you now because I believe it is an example of how mercy in our lives takes many forms.

One of the ways we are protected by God, the Angels, our Guides, and whomever or whatever else we believe are by our side, is to limit our memory and our sensory awareness during and after traumatic events. And so it was that a couple weeks out of the hospital and into my recovery, I was struck by a memory of my time in the ER. As the memory surfaced, I recalled it as vividly as if it had happened just moments before, and I even reflected back to the time I was in the ER and said to myself, “Yea, I remember that!”

Swarmed n the ER in "Hallway 13"

Swarmed n the ER in “Hallway 13”

I was lying on the gurney in the ER, all hooked up to monitors with the doctors, nurses, and techs running around, and up walked this nicely dressed man with an ID hanging from his neck that read, “IU Health/Chaplain.” He looked at me and looked around, and then looked back at me. He looked up and off to my side, as if directing his attention to someone off to my left, and he said, “Does anyone need Last Rites?” He then looked back at me. I smiled broadly, and as if I was the one he really wanted to hear from, I said with a laugh, “Not me!” He smiled back. A few seconds later, another chaplain appeared and walked over to the first man. The second man, now with his back to me, both of them standing near the foot of my gurney, began talking with the first chaplain, who would occasionally glance over at me. Within a couple minutes, the second chaplain walked off without looking at or saying anything to me. The first chaplain looked over at me again, smiled, and said something like, “Have a nice day.” I said, “You too,” with a smile. I was planning on it!

What I realized, with increasing emotion as that memory unfolded, was that the chaplain had been called there because of me. After playing the scene all the way through, that notion hit me like a ton of bricks as my eyes filled with tears, and I felt more grateful and so blessed to be alive, to have been in such good care, and that, by the Grace of God and the Mercy of All who protect me, I am alive and well and did not need Last Rites.

We are so completely protected by God and the Universe, and my Angels knew I  was not ready to go, that I have too much yet to do, and in order to make sure I was okay, they kept that memory hidden for the few weeks I needed to get stronger before they brought it back to my consciousness. I also needed that memory to return so that I could realize, even more than I already had, how protected and loved I am, and how grateful I am to be here, on this planet, able to share lessons I’ve learned so that others may benefit.quo_edickinson

Next time your memory seems to fade or you have trouble remembering something, perhaps it may not really be a bad thing. Perhaps there is little reason for you to remember what it is you are trying so hard to remember. Maybe you are being protected for some reason, because you are certainly loved and protected, too. When you allow the fluidity of life and mercy and grace to flow, life can be simply awesome! How cool is that!

How to Stay Positive No Matter What

Is it really possible to stay positive regardless of the circumstances?  Wouldn’t that be awesome if that were true?  I’ve met some really positive people, and I remember wondering if they were actually being honest or if they were just pretending to be so positive.  I remember a coworker who came to work the morning after her vehicle had been stolen, and she had the same smile and sunny disposition she always had.

So how can you stay positive regardless of the events you face?  Much can be revealed by how we react to the weather, traffic, and other rather routine events.  Listen to your own internal dialogue next time.  We have all dealt with adverse weather or traffic jams, and though they aren’t typically dramatic (absent the recent winter storm), we usually don’t let them get us down.  We just deal with them and look forward to another day.  We all know people, however, who tend to look at the negative side of things or who complain about nearly everything, including things they can’t control, which is the perfect formula for misery.

Our behavior and mood are reflections of our internal dialogue, which is based on our model of the world and our beliefs.  Those who seem negative most of the time, may believe that the world is a scary or mean place or that everyone is out to get them.  This could have a foundation in a more fundamental belief about their own worthiness, but the gist of it is that they see the world in a negative way.  So, the inverse is also true.  Those who are more positive have a positive, joyful model of the world and themselves.  The most positive and successful people also have what I believe is the most empowering belief  for having a positive perspective and leading a successful life.quo_edickinson

What would happen if we knew that when negative things happen in our lives, they actually result in a positive outcome no matter how negative the event seems at the time?  If nothing could happen that would result in a long term negative outcome, there would be no reason to have a negative outlook.  I realize this sounds far fetched, but think of it this way.  If you knew you were living the life you were meant to live and that everything that happened was so that you could realize your fullest potential and joy and dream, in every way, wouldn’t you look at life more positively, no matter what happened?  You would indeed! How cool is that?

Change is Natural

You need not be wrong or bad in order to make a change. When you first come from loving acceptance (of what is), then the positive changes you desire come more easily. Change, after all, is natural. I adapted the previous from something Louise Hay wrote, and I wanted to share this with you because, in my own experience, both professionally and personally, I realize the power of this concept.

Many people view change as difficult, and sometimes, even unnecessary. Have you heard the expression, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it?” That may not be exactly the way you heard it, but you get the meaning. Certainly we understand the notion that if something is working perfectly well, why change it. We can’t really fix something if it isn’t broken, right? My mother used to tell me to, “Leave well enough alone.” As a recovering perfectionist, I understand that, now. I also understand another perspective, one the Japanese call Kaizen. This philosophy is based on and also known as, “Continuous Improvement,” and W. Edwards Deming helped bring it to industry in Japan and later, around the world, by developing a system and processes based on statistical analysis.

Much of what causes people difficulty with change, is not only the belief, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but also the belief that change is difficult and painful. Actually, the change we find most difficult or painful is change we are forced to make, not change we initiate. So how can we use this knowledge to support our own, Kaizen, our own continuous improvement? How might we view change positively so that we can continue to evolve and live the best life, the life we deserve?

As important as it is to review our past mistakes and to do better, what I have learned is that if we concentrate on our mistakes, we will tend to repeat them. We will remain in the negative state associated with our “failings.” When we continue to focus on what is wrong, we end up getting more of what we don’t want. So, a more productive process is to look at what you’ve done well, on what has worked, on what you want more of. When you concentrate on what you want, and look to make small, incremental changes that get you closer to where you want to be, then the change you make is easy as well as positive. And the best part is, you don’t even have to think of there being anything wrong with you to make those positive changes. You can simply decide to be even better, every day. How cool is that?