Minister’s Musings June 2016

Reflections on Mortality and the End of Things  7PrinciplesInWheel

Some of you may be aware that I have been ill and in the hospital but am home now. Hospital visits have a way, don’t they, of focusing our attention on our frailty and mortality? Of course, we all get sick and will be called upon at some point to pay attention to our inevitable decline. I am not being maudlin or fatalistic, just self-aware and practical.

Young or old, illness strikes and when it does, our attitude about life and death come into play. The mind-body connection can be a powerful way to deal with illness. While I am not sure this connection can heal or cure us, we each need to be open to its possibility. We need to have an inner spiritual fortitude,call it a positive mental attitude if that language speaks to you. I prayed for healing in a most eclectic interpretation of that word. I think of it as an internal dialogue with no external answer expected,even if I hoped for “to get by with a little help from my friend” (the Beetles for the younger crowd) …God if you will.

I learned a valuable lesson while in the hospital that can apply to all of us. God, love, the universe helps those who help themselves. We cannot be passive witnesses to our own lives. To quote Emerson,“whatever you do you need courage.” We need that to face our sometimes daunting reality. We can neither be passive or surrender to illness or the problems / challenges we confront.

While in the hospital I received abysmal care and when I finally had enough of bad treatment, I screamed, literally and figuratively and finally got heard. I took control of my treatment, filed complaints against the inattentive abusive Dr. and got results. While I am not recommending that behavior as I became my mother, never a good idea, lol; but I am recommending that we all take responsibility for our lives and take care of ourselves. No one can do a better job of self-care than you. We all need to give ourselves permission to do that. Don’t become a victim to bad medical care, an abusive spouse, a demeaning, bullying boss, disrespectful kids. You have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and to be heard clearly.

Our seven UU principles remind us of our worth and dignity. Taking care of ourselves is empowering.  Try it, you just might like it!

Yours in our shared faith,

Reverend Paul


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