Grab It Whilst You Can!

Way back in the 1960′s, when I was a teenager, I read a book about two lads having a great time with life and I believe that paperback was called “Grab It While You Can”.  The book has long since been lost or given away and the author’s name a mystery to me now.  Still the title stuck with me as a way of living your life.  Life seems to get shorter with age so I am firmly of the belief that you need to get on living your dreams or whatever life you want to create for yourself.

A couple of weeks ago I was traumatised when I went to see an elderly Aunt only to discover that she had fallen upstairs in her house and could not summon help.  I had to get the police to break a window and a lovely ambulance man dove through and let us in.  I had expected to find her dead, yet what we found was a crumpled heap -  cold but alive.  She had been in her very cold bedroom, on the floor in a nightie, for about 4 hours.  Still she was lucky and is now in hospital and recovering.  She looked so frail when I found her.

The trauma for me was that it re-created when I found my Mother dead.  In both instances my body’s reaction, as I called the emergency services, was to shake uncontrollably.  It has taken me all this time to be able to feel normal again.  My reactions are probably worse because I struggle with Post Traumatic Stress as a result of abuse in childhood. 

Nevertheless, it has been a good reminder that we all need to grab life NOW!  I have so much I want to do and time seems to be shortening.  When young you feel as if you have forever to accomplish your dreams.  Not so…get on with it.

Bereavement and ill health are forms of loss.  You can also experience loss and need to grieve when you lose a job, a pet, a friend, a relationship.  Learn to understand that the process of grief is, in simplistic terms: feelings of unreality (shock), sadness, anger (yes even if unreasonably at the person who has died and abandoned you) and acceptance. 

This is not a linear progression.  You can be sad one minute and angry the next.  The feelings can come at inappropriate times like whilst shopping.  The first year is the hardest and the second is slightly easier to bear when there is a serious loss.  If you feel stuck in grief do get some counselling to help you move on.  Whatever you have lost cannot be returned into your life by holding on to the pain of the loss.

Luckily in my thirties I experienced ten family deaths in six years.  A lot for any person.  I now consider it fortunate as I was forced to learn to cope through those losses.  My e-book Loss is Part of Life is available in this website’s book store or via Amazon worldwide.  It was written with the intention to help provide support and understanding.

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Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret) also wrote The Power (about love) and The Magic which is about gratitude.  Yes, I know lots of people have slated Rhonda for The Secret and trying to get people to understand the law of attraction.  Still, I think that what she has written is correct and needed saying.  It is no different really than cognitive therapy which fundamentally is that: what you think (cognition) is what you get in your life.

I have long been aware that the richest of people have nothing if they cannot experience gratitude for what they have – whether it’s money, property, love or family.

A friend recently lent me a book by Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo entitled The Voice of Silence (ISBN 0-7126-1445-1).  In this book Oonagh recounts a situation dealt with by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India.

Mother Theresa used to go out and collect the poor dying in the streets.  One day she came across a woman still alive, but with maggots already beginning to eat her flesh.  Mother Theresa took the woman into her hospice, cleaned her up and dressed her in a clean, white sari…the woman’s last words are quoted as:-  “I was praying to God I wouldn’t die in the gutter”.  Moments later she died.  She had gratitude.

Sitting in my nice, clean home with food in my stomach I feel very humble when I think of Mother Theresa and in particular that woman.  I have so much to be grateful for in my life.  Yet, sometimes I do forget.  I fume over small things that truly do not matter.  Then something reminds me and I get back to being grateful for all that I am and all that I have in life.  I am very blessed.  I have seen hard times and have overcome them.  I believe that there just has to be God (or The Universe) taking care of me.

The Desiderata hangs above my desk and provides support in times of need.  This poem quoted by Oonagh, whose author is unknown, also gives me strength.

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the better of her…but the woman of strenght gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…a woman of strength reliases life’s mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face…but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…but the woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey she will become strong.”

I am so very grateful for my journey.  What is it that you are grateful about?




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