Elizabeth Taylor, Me and Morality

*** NOTE: this post was supposed to be about my recent SHARE on Facebook (see below) but then I got a bit deep. ***

Looks like I insulted a whole lot of people AGAIN!

I shared a quote from Elizabeth Taylor (from the photos of Fibro News and Info) on my FB site:

In my view, the quote expresses what we, as FM sufferers have to do every day. Some days it doesn’t actually work, and we don’t actually get up, but we all try. We have to keep going. We have hurdles (they may last a day, a week, a month, etc) but we struggle to continue with our lives.

This is what I thought the quote expressed – it described our struggles; it wasn’t a direction on how to live life!

Now, how can people be insulted by that, right? Wrong!

One comment: …nice & true, EXCEPT FOR TAKING MY GOD’S NAME IN VAIN…SHOW SOME RESPECT. Please, it is a quote – I cannot change the words in the quote to suit everyone (it wouldn’t be a quote, then!). But I still posted it as I felt it expressed our daily struggle. And the phraseology really got my back up –  ‘MY GOD’ as opposed to my God or your God or any other higher being that some-one may believe in. I do not believe that Elizabeth Taylor meant for anyone to take this as a personal insult.

One message: It is absolutely uncalled for to post anything using God’s name in vain!!! I no longer have ANY respect for this page!!! It is not my quote (or even Fibro News and Info‘s quote). It is a quote by a famous individual. As I said previously, I cannot change the words in the quote to suit everyone. But I still posted it as I felt it expressed our daily struggle. Sometimes I curse and sometimes I use God’s name in vain (and I have trouble believing that there is an individual out there who has NEVER done so), and I am disappointed that a fellow FM sufferer cannot understand the need to express oneself in any way that one can.

This also leads me to think about the way different cultures understand and express themselves.

As you know, I am Australian. I think we (Aussies) tend to see ourselves as very much like Americans. That is, until it comes to cursing (we call it swearing) or using the word ‘God.’ I don’t think the use of any of the words that seem to cause a bit of a ruckus on my FB site, would make an Aussie (or even a Brit) blink an eye. (And the Americans are the ones with a constitutionally protected freedom of speech!)

It is not that we are less religious or less Christian (within the Judeo-Christian concept). Perhaps we are more accepting or realistic? Or we believe that our belief in a higher spirit (whatever you call him or her) does not come down to such minutiae? I can’t say any of this for certain but I can talk about my own beliefs…

I know that my own belief system, which stems from a Jewish upbringing, is based upon knowing there is a higher being (whether that be God, the universe or something else, I am not sure). This higher being has a plan for all of us (but this is not to say that we don’t have some power over our own futures). It is a belief in universal, not relative, morality – ultimately, I answer to this higher being, not to other people. I believe that, in general, I should try to lead a good life. A good life does not mean a perfect life as defined by the Old Testament or the New Testament or the Koran (etc. You get the idea!), or so I believe. It means treating others as you would like to be treated. It means helping others if you have the means and/or ability to do so.

I do not believe this makes me a bad Jew (or Christian or anything else).

For example, as a Jew, I am not supposed to donate my organs (who would want them?) upon my death (although as medical transplantation methods have improved, rabbinical opinions are becoming more accepting) because:

  • The needless mutilation of a body is forbidden (hence no tattoos, either);
  • Preparing a body of a Jewish donor for transplants delays the burial process and paying respect to the deceased;
  • It is forbidden to gain a benefit from a dead body; and
  • A person should be buried whole with all their body parts.

However, I have always believed that ultimately the saving of another life (or lives) by donating my organs is a much more moral choice.

Similarly, as a child and young adult, I was taught to never write the word ‘God:’ as a sign of respect, I was taught to write G-d. Now, as an adult, I have decided that the way in which I write the word does not change the way I feel towards this higher being.

I do not believe that cursing (swearing) is going to bring the wrath of this higher being down upon me. Neither do I believe that using the word ‘God’ is going to make very much of a difference to whether I live a good life or not.

But these are my beliefs – you can read about them or not but I will not be forcing them upon anyone. You have the right to your opinion but please don’t force your beliefs upon me.

For the Love of…Writing

The art of writing is being lost. Perhaps the most significant sign of this is that, for the first time in 35 years, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was not awarded.

I am not talking about the act of physically putting pen to paper but, rather, the expression of one’s thoughts, feelings and experiences. This art, like law, is something to be practiced, never to be perfected.

I preface this post by not professing to be a master of the art. I am merely a great aficionado. I love to read (although my ability to concentrate on extended pieces of prose has diminished in direct proportion to the period of time that I have had fibromyalgia). But, I had forgotten that I also love to write. I loved to write fully referenced and foot-noted essays of law directed at academia. AND I also love to write this blog. Perhaps I simply love to write for a specific audience.

I always attempt to ensure that my syntax and spelling are correct; I try to make sure that my writing is easy to follow (except when I am trying to give you a perverse glimpse at the internal workings of my mind – then you gets whatever happens!); and, mostly, I try to keep to the topic (that one doesn’t always happen, either!)

I may be showing my pre-technology age when I say that I cannot stand reading pieces with lazy abbreviations, for example: 2 instead of to or too; U instead of you; da instead of the (although, having recently joined TWITTER, I can vaguely understand it – all posts must be under 140 characters long); or too many spelling mistakes; or, especially, the mis-use of homophones (that’s a new word for me, too – a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning).

For us, FibroMAGICians (this is my new word), writing is a blessing.

  • Writing allows us/me to express what is going on in our heads. If I need to search for a word, because it is lost in the eerie recesses of my addled mind, I can use the thesaurus or, better yet, I can leave it out until I remember later (ummm…if I remember to return!)
  • I can choose the audience for whom I am writing (at least when I first started. Now, I ‘know’ some of you and, although it may not always seem like it, I try to write so that YOU can understand and/or enjoy what I write).
  • I can write about anything – it is not often that I am given an opportunity to discuss ‘poo’-ing and sex positions in the same place.
  • I can edit what I have written at a later stage. This medium allows me to re-read what I have written, omit parts that are REALLY boring and insert the stuff that I forgot.

Can you think of a better place for a FibroMAGICian to dwell?
Glitter Photos
[Glitterfy.com – *Glitter Photos*]

Handling Disappointment

(with some omissions) from My Unplanned Life.

During this past week I have been spending time thinking about disappointment. True, honest disappointment…the gut wrenching kind that comes suddenly and without warning. The type that often leaves you with the feeling of sadness or displeasure that haunts, when hopes, aspirations or expectations are not fulfilled.

When this happens I am usually able to pick myself up, wipe off my scrapes and keep on trekking following such a disappointment; however, not this time. Could it be because I am getting older? Am I used to being disappointed? Am I jaded? Or, have I had enough?

There is no two ways about it; we have all experienced disappointment. We’ve been disappointed in ourselves, others, outcomes, the weather, our job and just about anything else we can think of.

Most of the time I am proud to say I am able to overcome disappointment. I take it in stride. I try to find the good in every situation and move on, proving this basic quality of champions. Disappointment can break down the spirit of many people, and this past week I have watched it break down mine. This is life. In all of our lives, I have learned we each have to face our fair share of disappointments and setbacks. After all, that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Or so I have been told.

For once I have decided not to list the many woes leading to the many disappointments I have experienced lately. Let’s just say they range from several medical setbacks, financial hurdles (my continual frustration with our ever declining Social Security disability system) and the people in life who are supposed to boost you up when you are down are the ones who continue to offer nothing but negativity — the toxic people who suck the life out of you.

Since I have been struggling with personal disappointment I decided to look for ways to best handle it. I found a few that captured my attention.

I found maybe if I viewed life as an adventure it would allow me to enjoy the greatest variety of experiences. I would still have the expectation of adventure, but I haven’t hemmed it into a preconceived package. Instead, I have made myself open to just about anything that comes along and my enthusiasm remains high. Life is always an experience. If I can do that, maybe I will enjoy the ride. Just maybe.

Secondly, there are valuable lessons in every experience we have. How do you feel about these life lessons? Truth be told, some of our most profound learning comes from situations that didn’t turn out the way we thought they would. Much of the time we get what we need rather than what we want. If learning and growing is a top priority, we will find reasons to appreciate a wide range of outcomes and experiences.

In the long run, it’s mostly up to us to decide what value we place on any experience. I believe if we are looking for disappointment, that’s what we are going to find. Things don’t always turn out the way we might like, that’s a fact we all live with. However, I can honestly say I didn’t go into my appointments looking for disappointing results or hoping things would change. They just did. So now I have to accept my fate and move forward whether I like it or not. One foot in front of the other. However, I must admit…it’s easier said than done. And, regarding this post, was it rather disappointing?…I hope not!

The Purpose of Life is a Life of PURPOSE

– Robert Byrne

In 2008, I hit depression and it hit me back – in fact, it sucked the air out of my lungs, swept my legs out from under me, vacuumed my head of any reasonable thoughts and sat me, quite firmly, on my arse! Supposedly, this was all brought on because I was working full-time in the casino (an intrinsically depressing place at the best of times), while studying part-time for my law degree.

Anyway, at the time, I thought it was because I had no PURPOSE – I was stuck. I had 3 years to go with my degree. I had a mortgage. I couldn’t really look for a meaningful change in career quite yet.

I stuck it out (with a couple of extended pauses in there) and graduated with Honours (just HAD to put that in here!) at the end of 2010. I thought that the noble profession of law would be my PURPOSE.

Well, I only got to practice for one month before my body said: “Tee Hee, ready for the next hurdle?”

So, here I am.

Under legislation, I am not allowed to practice unsupervised for 2 years, but it seems that I can’t work for some-one because I can’t be relied upon for scheduled work days/times. My employer has been very considerate and co-operative in regards to my condition. We have tried different combinations (eg: 3 hours x 3 days per week in the afternoons, working on the weekend when there are no distractions or noise, working late at night when I seem to be less distracted) however none of these have worked on a consistent basis. I cannot envisage how I can maintain employment with this thing called FIBROMYALGIA.

So, once again, I am confronted by what my PURPOSE might be…

Getting up at 6.30am (doctor’s orders) is mighty difficult when there is no reason to be up at that time. Sitting on the couch until my mother can pick me up to take me out is hardly meaningful. Scheduling when to shower so I have enough energy to walk to my doctor’s appointment is not inspiring. Playing with my nieces and nephews will not change the world.

Now, that’s it. My psychologist and I were chatting last week about this topic. She said maybe my legacy would be via my nieces and nephew? But, to me, that’s not good enough – I want to do something big. I NEED to do something worthwhile (not that the kids aren’t worthwhile). I want to DO something, like discover penicillin or change laws.

Hmmm…I do have an idea for a round thing that revolves on an axle and is fixed to another object to enable it to move over the ground?