Other People’s Stories, Parts 3 and 4

There is only one more after this; then I will probably post a few “My Stories.” Of course, most posts are “my stories” but the story posts in question are all about my issues with a currently popular “philosphy.” I am putting these 2 together because they are the stories that kept me stalling. I am just going to try to keep it brief…

Okay – now when you read these, imagine this is you or someone you love. Then how would you feel to hear “Everyone creates their own reality,” “Everything happens for a reason,” or similar sentiments?

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Part 3) In the past 5 years, over 7 people to whom I had an emotional attachment have died. Few of these people were elderly, some were children, and most died from terminal illnesses, most notably cancer. I miss them.

I don’t like to say people “battled” with cancer, because it suggests that survivors “beat” cancer and those who didn’t survive, well, that cancer “beat” them. And I don’t like to think of it this way. People do the best they can with these things, and sometimes they survive. Sometimes they don’t. That’s it.

I read an essay years ago by a woman who had been a member of the “science of the mind” movement until she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of cancer. She had to make a break with the movement because her friends were implying that she must have given herself the cancer with “negative thinking” and that if she got her “thinking right,” she’d get well.

What the hell kind of community of faith is that?????? I realize that people love to latch onto things that give them some sense that they can control things that, in fact, they can’t control. But damn…that’s ugly.

Personally, I believe in miracles. I’ve witnessed a few. But hoping and praying for a miracle is not the same as expecting people to PERFORM miracles. No, it’s not.
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Part 4) Through my role in a community to which I belong, I have become close to a handful of young women who, along with some adults, immigrated to the US from the Sudan. Do you know what can happen to girls in the Sudan (trigger warning)?

Though I am only aquainted with him, there is also a man who was a “Lost Boy” who is part of this community.

I don’t think I need to say anything more about this…
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But I’ll say THIS again – imagine this is you or someone you love. How would you feel to hear “Everyone creates their own reality,” “Everything happens for a reason,” or similar sentiments? Really?

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11 thoughts on “Other People’s Stories, Parts 3 and 4

  1. Denise

    Well, if it were true that your thoughts make you sick then only hateful, ugly thinking people would get sick and nice, innocent people wouldn’t. Mmmmmm, so why do children get terminal illnesses? Why do seemingly wonderful people who live good and giving lives get terminal illnesses? Why don’t we all get some type of terminal illness because at some point in our adult lives most, if not all of us, have had ugly thoughts about someone or something. Does our “illness” go away when we begin to think positive and bright and shiny again? The age old question, why do bad things happen to good people. What can we do to change things?? Just try to be nice? That’s what I try to do. No, it’s not easy some days but I still try. Does this mean that I may avoid a terminal illness because I’m basically a nice person as an adult? Who the hell knows but the Allmighty. And there ends my rant for the day……..sorry My Lady Momsomniac.

    1. ALSuperMom

      Denise, keep being nice. Keep trying. I do.

      It becomes easier only when you realize that you are treating that person (or persons) like you want to be treated. That’s the Golden Rule. And, you can sleep at night and look at your reflection in the mirror and know that you did the right thing.

      1. But you are SO MUCH better at it than she is, ALSSuperMom (okay, I get to say that just because she’s my big sister and right now I am too far way for her to pinch me:) Yes, I know – it’s like we’re still 7 and 10.

  2. Rant Away, Aunt Denise. But I should tell you that I think you shouldn’t TRY to be nice. If it doesn’t come naturally, if it doesn’t feel good, then it’s pretty unconvincing. Plus, I suspect that if it doesn’t feel good TO you, it probably isn’t really what you need to be doing…

    Maybe you should just follow people around with your index finger out, about 2 inches from them, saying “I’m not touching you; I’m not touching you; I’m not touching you.”

    (For those of you confused by this comment; she’s my big sister. First part of the response was my serious response, second part – well, I just couldn’t resist).

  3. ALSuperMom

    Most times, we simply do not know why things happen to us or other people, but we have to believe that there is some reason for it. I am reminded of the story of Job in the Holy Bible. Job lost his children to destruction, all of his livestock, his servants (except those who came to tell him of the losses he had incurred), and his health. His friends and his wife said that all of that had happened because of something that he had done. But, Job knew that he had not done anything to deserve what had happened to him, and he told them that he was innocent.

    I believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, the reason is to teach us something about life, about others, or about ourselves. Sometimes things happen to toughen us up for something that is going to happen in the future. I think that mistakes happen so that we can learn from them.

    The Bottom Line – God is sovereign and almighty. There is a reason for everything and a lesson to be learned from everything. Everything. We learn from each other, too.

    If we choose to wallow in pity when something bad happens, we prolong the pain. We stay in that one spot of pity, waiting for something or someone to cheer us up. If we take the time to think, to be silent, to ponder what lesson we are supposed to learn, we move forward. We rise. We stand. We persevere.

    1. As long as people don’t blame themselves for the awful things or blame others, I have no issue with what you are saying. Though I do think a young girl being brutalized in a war zone will simply feel what she feels, and I have NO right to have any opinion of her feelings. A parent who has lost a child will, likewise, will never get “over” it – but, at best, will simply learn to go on.

      As I usually say when people tell me things happen for a reason, “Maybe, but I will never be able to understand the reasons for some things and that doesn’t mean it won’t stink for me personally.”

      And yes, God’s reasons are not our own. Knowing that, deep in my heart, sometimes helps ME keep going.

      Hey, shoot me a private email and let me know how things are going for you, okay?

    2. Oh, and to be fair – I know you didn’t say anything about anyone “getting over it.” That was a knee-jerk response to something that gets said a lot -but not by you.

      What I should have said is that I don’t think we should expect people to learn from everything. Sometimes, just keeping going is very hard….

      Wasn’t Job’s MAIN thing not that he learned anything, but that, in despite all that tragic loss, he did not lose his faith?

      1. ALSuperMom

        You are correct. After I typed my response, I started thinking about the “bad things that happen to good people”. I am especially sensitive to the mistreatment of children and the elderly (if you ever really want to see me angry, then mistreat a child or a senior citizen in my presence).

        I read the story of Job last week, and I must say that you are correct in that he kept his faith even though he suffered greatly. His story inspires me. I can relate, in a very small way. When I lost my job, thank God that I knew in my heart that I had done nothing to deserve being singled out for being laid off.

        Also, I must say that people who are sensitive to others’ suffering or misfortune never say flippant things like “get over it”. We should be empathetic.

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