Month: March 2018

Tikkun Olam

“Tikkun Olam. It means that the world is broken and that it’s our job to put it back together again.”

I’ve seen more death this week than I have in my entire life.

Unintended death.

Intended death.

Unexplainable death.

But still at the end of the day, death.

When I was little a picture was painted in my head of a god that loves everyone, that forgives us of our sins, and welcomes us back into his arms when it’s our time to go. I was told of a place that took away all pain and suffering, and replaced it with eternal happiness. I was told of a place that washed me of my sins.

But what even are sins anymore? And what makes one persons worse than the other?

What if the person that robbed the bank was doing so because their children at home were starving?

What if the girl that lashed out came from an abusive home and knew no different?

What if the alcoholic that caused the car crash was merely drinking as the only coping mechanism left after losing everyone he ever loved?

So how are we supposed to know who gets to go where, whether we evened out our bad with our good. Wether we get the golden ticket or not.

I don’t believe in the picture that was painted in my head as a little girl, because I’m not the little girl anymore.

I am not naive to the awful in this world, but I am also not blind to the greatness in this world.

I do believe though that from the time we are born to the time we die, we are given an unknown number of days on earth, and what we choose to do with those days is entirely up to us.

I know that whether I like it or not, society will continue on for quite some time after I’m gone. Time does not stop, once my time stops.

So I’m going to believe in Tikkun Olam. I’m going to try to help as best as I can to put the broken back together.

How I’m going to do that I’m not entirely sure, but if it finds me in the back of my ambulance with someone on the verge of death then I’m going to do my best.

This week challenged my strength in more ways than I thought possible. Emotionally I’m feeling slightly numb. Slightly drained of my normal overflowing pot of comfort I usually have to give. But I feel comfort in knowing where it all went.

So when I found myself in the one, two, three, four, five different occasions of death this week it was okay. Because I was doing my best at piecing the broken back together, in the best ways I know how.

I don’t sing, I’ve told you this before, but yet I still continue to find myself in the back of my ambulance using my best singing voice I can muster up as I hold my patients hand and we sing together their favorite songs.

I don’t usually hug people, I’m not much of a hugger, or really a touchy person in general, but yet I found myself hugging my patients loved ones, as their tears left tiny spots on my shoulders.

I don’t pray, but when she said “I’ll pray for you Merideth”, before I even realized it I told her back “I’ll be praying for you too”.

This world stretches me thin some days, and when I don’t think I can manage to put anymore pieces back together they still continue to find me.

I know I will never know why I was put here, but I also know I am going to do my best damn job to piece together as many of the pieces that make their way into my life.

Healing isn’t my job, but helping is, and I will always be there to help, until I can’t possibly help anymore.

Tikkun Olam.

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“We can do hard things.”

“It’s a new me!” “Newer than the ‘new you’ you talked about six months?” “Yep, an even newer new, the newest of new.” That indeed was the conversation I just had in my head with myself.

Yes, I still have conversations in my head with myself.

You see the thing is I very much am still adjusting to life outside of being the sick kid, and  I think more so now than I really ever have. I’m learning and adjusting to focusing on my emotional wellbeing now that I don’t have to spend all that time focusing on the wellbeing of my health. With that comes adjusting my attitude, and my personality, and my thoughts, as well as emotions in general that come with the craziness that is life. I’m learning and adjusting to focusing on my physical wellbeing outside of just merely trying to survive. That means working to keep my body in its best shape, and learning to eat things that are going to better my health instead of the latter.

The last month I’ve been rather negligent to those around me, I’ve distanced myself so that I could in turn give myself the best opportunity to really truly focus on me. This has resulted in more conversations with myself than I could begin to articulate to you.

I’m not saying that in a months time I’ve completely changed and evolved all the impact the last five years has had on me, but I’ve started to. “This is a marathon, not a sprint” who knew those words Dr. M spoke to me five years ago would ring true in so many different ways.

I beat myself up time and time again over the fact that I still to this day struggle with things as a result of my accident. I feel guilty for allowing it to interfere with my daily life. Saying that I have PTSD from it seems wrong, how could I have PTSD from something like a cheerleading accident? How can my daily life still be altered from something that took all of 60 seconds to happen?

But the truth is that’s just life, and life is hard. And as Glennon Doyle Melton, one of my favorite humans ever says, “We can do hard things.” And it’s true. Who am I to judge myself for how I am feeling. I find myself telling those around me all the time in their times of trouble that “Whatever you are feeling right now is okay, no emotion you feel whether it’s sad, mad, angry, happy, upset, none of those are invalid. Your feeling whatever they may be are valid.” so then why am I over here stabbing steak knives and into my head and legos under my feet for feeling things? Maybe because I’m still learning how to feel things again after telling myself I couldn’t feel things for so long?

So yes, I told myself it was a new me, and I vowed and promised myself to a few things, as part of the new me:

  • To FIND something that I enjoy doing, and to make it a priority to do it, for myself, and not for anyone else. (I wanted this to be something meaningful, and gaining my strength back is something I have longed for, for a while now. I knew that by doing this for myself it would in turn not only make me feel better about myself, but provide me with time to myself, for myself. I’ve started going to Pure Barre, I try to go every day that I don’t work, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I chose this over just vowing to go to a gym because I knew I would feel lost in a gym, the motivation wouldn’t be as strong, and I likely would lose the determination. With Pure Barre I’ve become encouraged by those around me in the environment, the class is structured so I know I am benefitting my body, and I simply enjoy it so I know it keeps me motivated to go.)
  • To FOCUS on eating healthier. (I by no means meant this as going on a diet with intentions to lose weight. I am not at an unhealthy weight currently, however I do often feel hat what I have been putting into my body has made me feel more sluggish, and overall just bleh. I knew that some drastic vegan or paleo eating style was not something that would work with my lifestyle, nor is it something I am really interested in. I decided that making this commitment would mean trying to cut down on drinking things like soda and energy drinks, and instead replacing it with more water. That instead of turning to picking food up for dinner or lunch I would make a greater effort to cook more meals at home. This is a little change type of thing for me. I’m not drastically changing my eating habits, I’m just bettering and adjusting them along the way, in tiny ways. 
  • To LISTEN to my emotions, and to put them as a top priority. (I have a very big habit of going out of my way whenever I can, for whoever I can. This is just my personality, and I know it is not a bad quality to have but it often leaves me feeling emotionally drained, and empty. I decided that I need to be better at listening to myself, and what I need for me emotionally, not what others need from me emotionally. This has caused me some conflict with myself because it at times makes me feel a little selfish, but I am learning to better understand that in order to be the best to those around me in my life, I need to at first be my best. This means taking a step back in situations and thinking them through, deciding what will truly be the best decision for me, instead of rushing into something because it seems like the right thing to do.)

 

Find, Focus, and Listen. These are my goals. I know it’s okay to have bumps in the road along the way of reaching our goals, and I know this isn’t a “snap your fingers” and it happens situation either. I also know I have plenty of more goals I want to accomplish in may life, but that in order to achieve each one to it’s best potential I need to take the baby steps, and to be patient, instead of just jumping right in full force like I tend to do.

“We can do hard things.”