Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I get goosebumps when I stop to think about it.

Oct., 1987 - I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. Somewhere in time it morphed into mostly Lupus.

I could rattle off many different symptoms, annoyances, frustrations, obstacles, physical and emotional pain it caused me, but if you are healthy my litany would mean nothing to you and if you are dealing with lupus (or any chronic potentially life-threatening disorder) you already understand. Anyway the dark side of my journey is not what I want to talk about. Not exactly.

The me I was died in October of 1987. You know what, despite all that happened on my journey from then to now; it's not bad that the me I was passed away. Oh that me was a good person. I worked hard in my job. I was truthful; a good friend to my friends and tried to do the right things in my life. I worshiped my Father God on Sundays and even talked to Him a lot in prayer in my everyday life. But I really didn't "get it".

I didn't "get" life. So many people don't.

When I died I didn't see a path to a bright light. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy. I didn't even know I died. I was like millions of other people going thru the motions of everyday life; who don't know they are alive. I really died before my diagnosis.

After my diagnosis I just kept putting one foot in front of the other doing my best to keep going; despite the physical and emotional limitations lupus set forth for me. Slowly after my diagnosis; I realized how much I had taken for granted and how appreciation enriches one's life. Lupus taught me so much. (And yes, even in remission I'm still learning.)

I've learned that most everyone is living "too fast". By our choices we can choose to live "fast" and miss the beauty and treasures of life, or choose to live slower, appreciatively, in a way which enriches our experience of the gift of life.

Are you "taking time" to live? Or are you "giving" time away?
Letting it slip thru the cracks of your life.

I learned as I sat on a park bench one day, how to have peace, by watching ants on the ground below scurry about their duties to their community. Ants really aren't unlike us. Except they work better together. The preciousness of time I learned to appreciate taught me that politics at work or game-playing in relationships of any kind is a tragic waste of precious time, energy and this gift called life. In feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, envy or fear; there is only destruction, a tearing down of all that is good. Time is to fleeting, to precious to waste even one second in negativity.

WHAT IF....we all just learned to get along with respect for each other? How different would corporate life and the relationships in our lives be? How different would each person's life be? And how would that impact the world? Why I think it would be awesome! Don't you? I choose to envision that world.

I learned.....by taking time to experience peace....by taking time to really study the color and beauty of roses and other flowers in the park...and on my kitchen windowsill the value of taking time to appreciate beauty.... I see a richness of color in a red rose or lacy -ridged dianthus that before my journey with lupus I didn't used to see. It wows, thrills and amazes me!

Do you take time to foster your inner peace? Do you have flowers in your living space? You should. It's a good thing to do for you. Have you taken time to study their beauty? The appreciation of beauty creates inner peace. God is a wondrous artist. Our eyesight and the incredible beauty in nature are gifts of unexplainable pricelessness. Do you take time to
feel gratitude for these gifts?

I learned, as I observed people at work, at the mall, yes, even at church; folks don't smile anymore. They frown, they hold their shoulders in a tense, stressed manner and they hurry about their errands. But they don't smile, they don't say hello, their eyes don't meet yours. A mall full of people can still be a very impersonal place! Hmmmm.....

Isn't that a sad observation? I wish it weren't true. A smile given to another person is an immense gift. It lifts both people up. It carries on through-out the day. There's no reason we can't all give the gift of a smile to one another everyday. Please think about it.

WHAT IF......everyone took the time to compliment someone else everyday?
Even a stranger!

Hey, I really like that shirt you are wearing and it really looks good on you.
Hey you have really pretty eyes.
Gee you did a great job!
I know you worked really hard.
You're really good at_________.
Wow you sure keep your car looking spick and span.
I'm glad you're my friend you add so much to my life.
Those shoes really look sharp with that outfit.
You always look so nice!
You have a pretty smile you know!

How much would a few positive words change the world? It would change YOUR world and it would change THEIR world. And it would change it positively. Immensely.That which changes your world; ultimately changes THE world.

We can all change the world in a positive way with even tiny actions. We just have to INTEND to and then take action.

WHAT IF......you took the time everyday to just-for-you "slow down"?

Eat lunch in a park.
Read a personal development or self-help book each week or month.
Meditate for 30 minutes daily.
Set aside time to keep a journal.
Set aside time to take a walk for thinking, observing and appreciating beauty.
Take a bubble bath, sit in a sauna, get a massage.

Your life does not NEED to be hurried or frenzied or overwhelming. Have the intention to have control over your life. Intentionally stop the frenzied hurriedness. And think of the example you are giving to the children and young people in your life. Do you want their life to be frenzied? Life does not need to be that way. It's a choice. Let's teach our children better choices for a rich, full life.

So take time for you. It will impact your health in a positive way. It will enrich your life. You are not taking away from your family or friends by taking time for you. There will be more of you to give to others and a healthier, happier you. If you're happier, others around you will be happier. And healthier!

I learned, in my illness; illness is a teacher and we MUST be good students. Illness teaches us how little time we have and what is important for our survival. Illness is your body crying out for help; for nutrients it isn't getting and love it isn't feeling. When we give our body the nutrients it needs our immune system can overcome nearly every disorder. The exploding
incidence of auto-immune, cancer, heart disease, etc points to the necessity of taking charge of our health and responsibly giving our body the nutrients required to sustain life.
Processed foods, fake sugars and fast food are killing us.

I went to a health lecture the other night. The speaker said something life-altering .....it's not that we are living longer......it's that we are taking longer to die. Statistics are showing the average persons health is failing the last ten years of life. Is this the quality of life you want at the end of your life?

I learned.....we must be deliberate, thoughtful, serious and responsible about giving our bodies the nutrition it requires. I am in remission from Lupus because I cleaned up my act..... took responsibility for my wellness.... gave my psyche a gratitude mindset and my body the nutrition it needs.

What choices will you make?
Will you stop smoking?
Will you stop eating junk food ?
Will you take time for you ?
Will you smile at someone today?

In good choices, in being aware and attentive to your wellness, both physical and emotional, your whole life will be richer. You'll live everyday of your life, instead of dying before your diagnosis.

I wish you wellness and joy!

Pam Murphy,B.S.,RRT

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