This year has been a difficult year for me. It’s been a year that has been particularly brutal to my physical and mental health.
We sold our home of 16 years in June and until we moved into our new home on December 6, we were nomads. Living out of a suitcase isn’t all it’s cranked up to be. It’s been a stressful 6 months which taxed me emotionally.
Throughout the summer, I experienced severe pain in my left knee, muscle spasms in my left leg, numbness in the first toe on my right foot, migraine headaches, and extreme fatigue. Since I didn’t have insurance at the time, I put off seeing the doctor until September as that is when my Medicare Part B took effect. To make a long story short, I was able to convince the doctor to test me for Lyme Disease. I was even able to get her to start me on Doxycycline. Sure enough, I had Lyme Disease. It has taken several months to recover from this devastating disease. Lyme Disease is serious business.
Next up, I get an exam from my “new” doctor in Eugene, Oregon. Because of my age, he decided to give me an ECG (electrocardiogram). The results were not what I wanted to hear. I have a left ventricular block which means that my heart is working overtime.
I told you that to tell you this. Blood flow blockage is not a good thing. I decided to consult the expert, Dr. Dean Ornish. He recommends diet changes and exercise along with meditation and something else. Dr. Ornish suggests that we practice “forgiveness, altruism, compassion, and service” and that “it takes strength and courage to forgive; those who are afraid to look weak often preach vengeance and violence”. He mentions that he was inspired by Nelson Mandela and he quotes from Mandela’s book, “Long Walk to Freedom,”
It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
This made me start thinking. If I truly want to regain my health, then along with diet and exercise, I need to be more positive about life, more forgiving of others, and less angry about things that I cannot change.
We all have the power to create our own view of life.
This is our Open Thread. Enough about me. Now it is your turn to Speak Up!