|#404040; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12pt;">We should be especially grateful for having to deal with annoying people and difficult situations, because without them we would have nothing to work with. Without them, how could we practice patience, exertion, mindfulness, loving-kindness or compassion? It is by dealing with such challenges that we grow and develop.|
– Judy Lief, “Train Your Mind: Be Grateful to Everyone”
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Coach & I attended a birthday party for one of the girls out at the ranch where the pony is living. I enjoyed meeting some of the other horse owners and the food was really quite good. But in the end, I left that party feeling sort of disturbed on some level. People can do that to me from time to time, no matter how centered I try to keep myself. There are just some people in the world who are annoying even though their intentions are most likely good.
The ranch owner’s wife was the cause of my unrest. That particular day I was having a difficult time walking & maintaining my balance so I pulled out the practical, if not purdy walking stick. I don’t like having to use it around people who have seen me walk without it because it invariably raises loads of questions, which is what happened on this particular day. The ranch owner’s wife approached me and asked what was wrong. She thought I was hurt. I explained to her that I have MS and some days it’s more difficult to move around than others. I didn’t go into much depth explaining the disease, only telling her what was currently going on with my symptoms and some very basic information about what the disease does. I did tell her that it is a chronic, progressive, disabling disease for which there is currently no cure. My point here is that she had the important information before she started her attempts at curing me. Okay, that’s exaggerated… she didn’t try to cure me but she certainly told me how I could be healed. Pft.
Wife spent more time than I should’ve given her telling me about all the merits of hands-on healing. She let me know that I should be reading the bible while laying my hands on whatever part of my body is in need of healing. I told her that I read the bible daily, and say the rosary at least once per day, if not more. I let her know that I have a close, personal relationship with God and am very trusting of His plan for my life. She then proceeded to tell me that if I am not yet healed, I must be praying wrong. What? Excuse me…
I continued standing and listening to her preach to me, attempting to indoctrinate me to the hands-on healing approach and all the while trying to stay calm, neutral and remembering that I am living in an area that is full of superstitions, various types of mojo and juju, and all sorts of other unconventional things. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking anyone for what they believe. Not at all. One thing love about people is the various cultures, beliefs, and experiences that make up who we are. What I don’t agree with is pushing someone in an effort to sway their beliefs when it has been made clear that the belief is not something that works well for me.
Not wanting to be rude, I listened to her beliefs, until she started really pushing and telling me that I was doing things wrong. Praying wrong. Talking to God wrong. I believe there is no WRONG way to talk to God. You can simply have a conversation with Him if you like. You can get down on your knees and pray to Him. You can postulate. You can lay prostrate on the floor in front of an altar or other symbol and pray. There is no WRONG way to talk to Him.
Finally, after about ½ hour of listening to her and trying to share my own beliefs (because I believe we should all share our ideas, it’s what makes the world go round), I had enough. She reached out to put her hands on me and pray ON me. I don’t know this woman. I’m funny about my personal space. And I’m also funny about people touching me that give off bad vibes, energy, or juju. It’s a gut feeling that I get about some people at times. My own wonky beliefs or intuitions or superstitions. Anyway, as she reached out to put her hands on me, I stepped back placing my cane between us, not in any unusual way, but just in front of me and I leaned on it just as if it was by my side. I then told her that I believe God has a plan for me. This disease is part of His plan. His plan has a purpose in my life. It maybe never be mine to know… but there is a purpose. Maybe it’s not even a purpose for me; it could be for those in my life or even someone that comes into my life in the future. It’s not for me to know.
It is only for me to know that I have this disease. It is only for me to know how to live with it. It is only for me to figure out what is best for me and those around me. It is only for me to figure out what to do with it and hope that my decisions follow God’s plan for me. It has been almost 2 weeks since this incident and it still has me unsettled. I don’t know why. My belief or curiosity has not been stirred. I have been to churches that practice hands-on healing; I have been to villages that believe in hands-on healing. It is not within my religious faith system to practice it. So I can’t figure out what it is that is still disturbing me about the way this woman talked to me.
Maybe she was a catalyst to change… maybe this experience was a way for me to affirm my own beliefs. Maybe it was a way to remind me of His plan and love. Maybe it is something I’m supposed to use to strengthen my own faith. I just don’t know.
All I do know is that I’m unsettled with this woman.
When we were at the ranch this past Sunday, she was there. I stayed near the truck, reading my book. Coach talked to her for a while though. As we were driving away, I asked him what she had to say. He didn’t share too much of the conversation except that she was asking how I’m feeling and that she hopes I will get better soon. Nope. Not going to get better. At most, I will adjust, stabilize at this level and wait for the next relapse & gift of new symptoms.