I am obsessed with the “F” word”. I can’t live without the use of it. No matter where I am or who I’m with it somehow pops out of my mouth with a natural ease and flow. I’m sure my use of the word offends some people but that’s okay, I use it anyway. As a matter of fact, I recommend incorporating the “F” Word into every aspect of life. Once you become comfortable using it and doing it (yes the art of doing it is equally as important as saying it) you will find there is empowerment that comes from its use. What is my “F” word of choice? It is the word “Faith”. My husband might say that it’s a different “F” word that I use when I communicate with him, but that’s a completely different subject.
For some strange reason incorporating “Faith” into ones life leaves an uneasy feeling. People are not comfortable with living by faith. I personally don’t understand how one goes about not having faith but that’s because my life’s existence has been driven by letting go, trusting and experiencing God’s power take over each time I’ve surrendered. People are so afraid to lead their life by faith. A friend of mine once admitted to me that she feared letting God control her life. As long as she called the shots her life would go according to her plan. She felt secure in her lifestyle and didn’t want to jeopardize it by surrendering to God. I’m sure many people feel the same way. They equate God to the bad things in life. Perhaps they turned to God at some point in life and felt abandoned. They lost trust and made faith a taboo subject. Faith is not getting our way. Faith is trusting God’s way. It is knowing that despite our fear or doubt we can rely on God to carry us through.
I learned at a very young age that trusting God and having a sense of humor were two essentials in surviving life’s challenges. Without these two elements, I don’t think I would have made it. They are my tools for survival.
Like everyone else, I have learned that crap happens. Sometimes life just gives us the shits. Just when we think we’re done we get hit with another bout. We have to learn how to take that manure and turn it into fertilizer to help us grow. Who knows, maybe that’s where the term “Holy Shit” came from! In any event, life has given me the “shits”; I’ve taken it and I now have an abundance of fertilizer that I like to spread wherever it’s needed for healthy growth.
There is a movement out now called the “Me Too” movement. We are all subjects in this notorious group. Each of us has a story to tell and a message to share. We can either say “Me Too” as a victim or as a survivor. I prefer saying it as a survivor. The power is in the survival. I have been through the trauma of the divorce of my parents, the murder of my dad, being sexually taken advantage of, infidelity, learning that I have to live with Parkinson’s, then finding out I had Cervical cancer and a list of other things that could have taken me down. Instead, I began to cultivate the “shit” and benefit from it. I don’t have to like what comes my way but I do have a responsibility in how I cope. That is where faith and a sense of humor come in. As soon as something out of my control occurs I drop the “F” word. I go into faith mode. The only thing I know for sure is that no matter what, my faith and trust in God will carry me through. It always does. When I surrender, everything becomes easier. The next thing I do after I surrender to faith is I look for the funny. If I dig deep enough I can usually find a humorous anecdote to alleviate the pain. This makes it bare-able and minimizes the power of the negative.
I’d like to share how Faith and finding the funny help me deal with Parkinson’s. One day I noticed a slight involuntary twitch in my left pointer finger. I remember immediately dropping 4 “F” bombs simultaneously. First the obvious, F… I have Parkinson’s, immediately followed by “fear”, then “faith” and finally find the “funny”. I found the funny, I had faith but my fear prevented me from going to the doctor for confirmation. It.took me 4 years to go to a neurologist and have him confirm my self-diagnosis. I had this “disease”. The doctor suggested I find out all I could about the disease. I decided to find out all I could about me. After all, it was my “disease” and I needed to know what kind of effect I was going to let it have in my everyday life. Trust was easy. I trusted God. The problem was I didn’t trust myself. I had to dig deep to discover who I was. I started out with the obvious”. I had a sense of humor. Great. I’d use it at every moment of uneasiness. This immediately minimized any self-conscious moments. Next, I had to look at how I would allow the disease to affect me. What type of person was I? That too was easy. I am basically a lazy ass. Being a homebody I did what I wanted when I wanted, and how I wanted. When I didn’t want to do something I had a list of fake excuses to choose from. Now I had a legitimate excuse not to do what I didn’t want to do. Parkinson’s didn’t alter my lifestyle it exposed it. It allowed me to look at why I lived my life as I did. It made me come face to face with every fear I hid behind. I became aware that even though I trusted God and had faith that I still had fear hiding behind my faith. Faith is a gift that we give to God. One that gives back to us in ways we can’t begin to imagine. Fear is an action that prevents us from healing. It is a false sense of security. I have been hiding behind mine most of my life. As long as I control what goes on behind that wall I feel safe from the pain of being hurt. One would think that I would leap over that wall into the healing Hands of God, especially since I have experienced many times, what faith can do. I realize now that fear and self-sabotage stunt our growth. They prevent us from cultivating ourselves with the proper nutrients. In order to prosper, we must remove the weeds that seek to destroy us.
Parkinson’s is the “Gift” that keeps on giving. Granted, I might move a lot slower (you’ll always be ahead of me), my hand may shake a little more (if you’re standing to my left, you’ll get a quick massage) but other than that the only thing it has had a profound effect on is my deśire to rid myself of all my fears. Live by this equation. Faith – fear = freedom.
Married 44 years to my hubby, whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: ‘How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else’. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.