Preface To: Song Of Myself.
I have learned much over the years about resiliency, and the ability of the human heart to overcome extreme trauma and develop successful coping skills. I have read much in the area of psychology, but some of the most valuable lessons I have learned have come from personal experiences with others and myself. I have come to realize that no matter how strong a person might be, how good his/her coping skills are, everyone has a breaking point.
At any moment in time, circumstances can occur that change and rearrange all we think is true, or what we believe in, how we perceive the world, and see ourselves as human beings. They can also affect how we feel about God and our relationship to him.
I have learned that age and the amount of resources one has affects favorable outcomes in this journey called life. Each person is unique in the way he/she reacts and responds in the face of overwhelming stress. It is important for me to always remember that when someone reaches the limits of his/her endurance that age, physical health, faith in a higher power, coping skills, resources, and other people make a difference in whether one survives or gives up. Without hope, survival is hard to achieve. Learning to accept what life brings that can’t be changed is so important, yet it is one of my greatest challenges that I deal with in life. I have always believed I could do anything, be anything, or achieve the impossible if only I tried hard enough. It is humbling when that isn’t possible. Learning to have compassion for myself is one thing I’ll be working on for the rest of my life.
In the last four months, I have learned how to: comfort myself and be patient when I am unable to do what was once so easy; set limits with myself and others; accept all the feelings and thoughts I find within myself; and realize my feelings and thoughts come and go with time. My biggest challenge has been in asking for what I need and feeling ok with doing so. I have learned new coping skills as well. This has been a difficult undertaking because of the high expectations I have for myself.
Song of Myself is a story of what happened to me in the last several years. I hope by sharing this story with others, I can give something useful to those who are trying to survive in order to one day, live again, with joy.