Hello, wonderful readers! I have so much to catch up on here and so many things about which I have said I will write and haven’t yet had the opportunity and energy to do so … I don’t want to put up another filler post so I think for the “now,” I’m going to address a “general” thought that kind of covers all of the other subjects I want to talk about this week in an “it-affects-everything” kind of way. It speaks to the reality of living with chronic illness or disease or disability; it speaks to the reality of the “normal, healthy” person’s life; it speaks to the theory I discuss so frequently here and just to the many things that come flying out of my head more quickly than I can attempt to capture them. I have mentioned more than once here that I do not want to delve too deeply into the realm of “free will;” I say that because it is such an incredibly complicated task and there are no means (at least yet!) by which we can ACTUALLY determine whether or not there is such a thing. HOWEVER, we do go about our lives living as if we make choices with some kind of effort or cognition behind those choices; we have certain attitudes, reactions, and responses to various stimuli that IMPLY we have some kind of “free will.” I am really good just with that (at least for now …) – I will say that we DO have “free will” with the caveat that if humans are still around by the time science PROVES we do NOT have free will absolutely definitively, then I will be jumping aboard the “proof” train.

All of that yammering behind me, I have been thinking a LOT about the idea of predestination or predetermination over the last few months and perhaps few years and what it means if we “choose” a path that might be wrong for us but STILL end up on the “right” course – albeit having missed some “time” that we were meant to have. If we believe simultaneously in predetermination AND free will, it has to look something like this, necessarily. I personally like the idea of holding both opinions simultaneously despite the very obvious flaws in any argument that would attempt to reconcile the two with each other. I say this just because of my own life experiences and from very strange long chains of “coincidence,” one through which I have been living for quite some time now. It’s just an interesting prospect – just to have the FAITH that what will be will be and what we do in the interim is up to us. I guess that’s the long and short of it; that in the long-run, more or less, we have a “predestined” love and legacy, &c. to find and to lead IF we listen to ourselves and make the “right” choices along the way. That’s where it gets a little tricky – not only theoretically, but in reality as well – we all know that even the “best” of people are absolutely HORRIBLE at making most decisions. I know this from experience, at any rate. However, I do know because I intensely FEEL the compulsion that keeps me getting out of bed every morning with hope and excitement for the day ahead. I am not a terribly “optimistic” person, but I can genuinely say the days in which I wake up and I am NOT excited for the day are few and far between. One could easily look at a basic outline or timeline of my life and wonder what the hell is wrong with me that keeps me going in such a way – I frequently ask myself “how?” and “why?” – many of my doctors and past therapists have also asked these questions. I cannot answer them specifically – I can only say that I KNOW I HAVE BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS COMING. That although the past looks terribly grim in most places, there are so many places where “seeds of hope” were planted along the way, and I KNOW things will pan out the way they are meant to – as long as I stay attentive and vigilant in and about life in general. I hope this is coming across in some meaningful way – I really do not mean to rattle on!

Basically, I believe that there ARE people who are meant to be with certain other people – it is one of those “you just saw that person for the first time and YOU KNOW” kinds of things; I don’t know if this is true for everyone and if (as I have mentioned in a previous “Soulmates?” post, I don’t know if there are multiple “soulmateS” for every person, but I do believe the above is true – and for me, I want to be the person who listens to it. I don’t want to question the person I’m with in any way – I have been there, done that, spent too many years down the “wrong” path which has led me back to where I am now (basically “getting back on my feet” as I am also doing with every other aspect of my life!). I believe every person has a “purpose” and that purpose could be something that changes humanity or the planet or it could be something like inspiring a child to keep going to school or even just being a smiling face that keeps another person from “giving in” to his or her problems. The SIZE of the “purpose” is irrelevant. It is the idea that it exists; that there ARE loves (and I FIRMLY believe that all “love” is not just between people – I don’t mean anything perverse here, I just mean it is completely possible to have multiple loves like being in love with French Deconstructionism or The Great War – or even one such love, perhaps painting or sculpting, &c.); that there IS a meaning to it all, despite what we see around us on a daily basis. It is just our jobs to listen to what is being told to us through subtle clues. For instance, my first landlady of the past “round” of apartments said to me the same thing I have said to others – basically that it is our job to take the lessons we have learned from the things we have suffered from and to take the love and empathy we have gained from getting through the tough times and to share that with others who are also struggling so they can also get through. It’s really a profound statement and it applies to all of us in so many ways. First and foremost, we have to LISTEN and NOT BE SCARED – it is perfectly “fine” and “normal” for something to be fine for a decade and then BAM! be totally wrong for you … I see this in “relationships” all the time in all kinds of people. It is the same with any relationships including friendships – you can be friends with someone for 20 years and then something happens (like you get sick ….) and that friend never shows up again. I am not saying it is always easy and I am not saying it is not filled with sadness and just the gritty reality that life IS – but I AM saying that we have to listen and be true to ourselves and kind to others.

As to “mistakes?” I don’t know that there are MANY “mistakes” (I cannot disqualify the idea completely because that would insinuate there is no such thing … which there must be if we have the idea of what it means and words for it…. again, that’s too much theory for now!) – we ALWAYS learn something from “mistakes,” even the worst ones and even the “mistakes” that happen TO us. The “lessons” from these “errors” might not be obvious (such as a person really loving someone else they couldn’t have met before they met the person they’re with or a person studying the “wrong” subject in school and learning after graduation what his or her real “passion” is in life and having to start again, &c.), but I do believe there are lessons to be learned in all things (more or less) and I believe it is part of our “job” to help others who are struggling in similar ways by sharing what we have learned in these situations as well. I think of the divorcee who hates her ex-husband but loves her children – the marriage brought her these beautiful kids, how could that be a mistake? Accept the good and the bad, BE GRATEFUL for the good (even if you have to hunt for it!), and just MOVE ON! You only have so much time – and as I have said now a million times, “THERE IS ALWAYS TIME UNTIL THERE ISN’T – AND THERE ISN’T ALWAYS COMES TOO SOON!” There are so many subtleties to the idea of “mistakes” as well – and so many HUGE things. I really wish that I could somehow universally prod people along to just move on and stop wasting time (see: the post I wrote about the fallacy about “investing time” in something that isn’t working thinking it will provide future rewards – NO NO NO!!!) and make life as wonderful as it can be – for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for others who might not even know you. It honestly feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest when I know someone I care about is hurting and there is NOTHING I can do without that person’s assistance … that’s another big part of this I will have to address elsewhere because I know this is getting rambly and so Imma wrap this one up.

I hope to come back to all of this since it is such a “broad” topic – I know I have “sayings” that would be applicable here, but I will leave them for another time (or perhaps an edit!). For now, I just want you all to think about what it is that you are here for, what brings you REAL joy, what is standing in your way REALLY (is it YOU?! All too frequently WE are the ones stopping ourselves!), what you want to leave behind, &c. Referring to another older post about that “Life’s Defining Moments” Ted Talk (*gags*), I also want to articulate that I firmly believe that life doesn’t really START until you have a good grasp on the answers to those kinds of questions and the willingness to sit alone with yourself and really LISTEN to the answers. I hope you all have the strength to do just that – and I wish you all the happiness and health in the world, wherever you might be IN the world! Just know that whatever happens, my heart is unquestionably always with YOU.

Until next time, じゃまたね!

❤ Always, Beth

P.S. I hope to write more about “FRIENDSHIP” WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS (thanks much to a fellow Behcet’s buddy who mentioned the subject on Facebook!) as well as the quatrillion other topics I mentioned earlier today and over the past few days!! I will be back SOON SOON SOON!!


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