Total Pageviews

Monday, February 25, 2013

Going with the Flow

The past few days have been crazy while we are in the process of renovating and putting in a new kitchen, etc.  If you want to go for a modern day test of your Stoic equilibrium, home renovations would be it.  We are slightly delayed by a week for the countertops to be installed now but plywood counters are just fine as a temporary measure.  It has been a good exercise to run into these unforeseen issues and sort out the problems by "what is in my control", "what is not in my control" and planning ahead to the worst case scenario.

I am blessed with food in my belly, a roof over my head and the love of family and friends.  Everything else is just gravy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

At the Journey's End

Today's reading from Words of the Ancient Wise was:

"HOW do we act in a voyage? What is in my power? To choose the pilot, the sailors, the day, the time of day. Afterwards comes a storm. What have I to care for? My part is performed. The subject belongs to another, to the pilot. But the ship is sinking: what then have I to do? That which alone I can do; I am drowned, without fear, without clamour, or accusing God; but as one who knows that what is born must likewise die. For I am not eternity, but a man; a part of the whole, as an hour is of the day. I must come like an hour, and like an hour must pass away. What signifies it whether by drowning or by a fever? For, in some way or other, pass I must. -

My response to this was "Have courage to face the inevitable with reason and peace. Do what you can to influence or change your circumstances, but when you have done all that you can, act with dignity."

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I have recently experienced a momentous loss in my own personal life.  My mother passed away from a terminal form of cancer within four months of diagnosis.  The example that mother gave me of "grace under extreme adversity", "peace when the storm of life is raging", will stay with me for the rest of my life and with anyone who witnessed her incredible dignity and fortitude.    Upon her initial diagnosis she spoke with her doctors and specialists discovered that there was little medical intervention that would prolong her life considerably and made the choice to accept the inevitable and to spend what little time she had left with family and friends around her.  She chose not to rail at the circumstances or to fight the inevitability of death, but to accept things with serenity.  Her moments, although tinged with regret that she would not experience the future with those that she loved, were filled with important words, love and friendship.

I am blessed to have been part of her final days, blessed to have had such a mother.  I am blessed to have known such a woman;  an example of dignity and virtue in the face of insurmountable and unbeatable adversity.

When we are given a circumstance or challenge in life; first we must virtuously examine our actions moving forward, secondly we must act as we have determined virtue would demand, and then we must accept the outcome understanding that we have done all that we could.  We can then let go and move forward into the sea of life, able to release the outcome and enjoy the journey that is left to us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

When the Rain Falls

I have been telling myself for the past few days that I need to write in my blog so here I am again.

I have not posted much on my blog lately as I have wanted to keep details of my life that involved others off of my blog and I cannot do that if I actually write!  LOLs...

I have recently experienced a huge loss in my life, my mother, and have been processing that loss and I have been busy with dealing with that loss.  My mum was a wonderful mother and a lovely human being.  We had a few months to deal with the news that she was dying but at that moment when the news of her passing came it still came as a huge loss.  Her memorial service was a lovely celebration of all that she had been in life and all that she would continue to be in our recollections, photos and memories of her.  Going through the experience of my mother's illness and her death was a purifying experience, putting all of the mundane and minutiae into sharp contrast with what was important to me.  To focus on family, home and relationships with even more vigour, to fill my life with abundance and live every moment.  To squeeze every last drop out of the fruit of my life.

The study of Stoic philosophy and its practice in my daily life has made a huge difference in my coming to terms with her loss.  When I compare my reactions to the loss of my father before studying Stoicism, I am amazed by the contrast.  I know that death is a reality of life, we cannot have one without the other.  Although I will miss her awfully, I know that my mother has completed the cycle of life and lived her life and loved her family and friends fully.  I am encouraged to live my life even more every day by her example.  We who are left behind to remember her do well to honour her memory every day by living with joy and embracing the world with happiness and wonder.

I now move forward into the world as an orphan yet not alone.  I am surrounded by the love of those who came before and those who are yet still my companions in this life.  I will live more fully and more boldly, having a greater appreciation for each moment as it has been refined under the magnifying glass of terminal illness and death.  I move forward with the motto of Carpe Diem, to seize the day, to savour the moments before they slip away and are lost to the stream of time. To take each moment as a gift, each sunrise as a promise, each moonrise as a benediction, to live.