Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Power of Mind and Words

When I was in my early thirties a friend approached me about attending a prayer meeting. I was told a very famous "hands on healer" would be there and she thought if I went I might get a chance to be touched or even better healed. I thought she was joking at first, but saw she was very serious. I was very touched by her focus and hope for me. It's very hard to say no when someone wants to join the fight for your life.

The room was over flowing with people, anxious and full of hope. I was instantly very uncomfortable and we headed straight to the back of the room. Everyone was waiting, for what I had no idea. My friend was one of those friends who would yell at somebody for being in a disabled parking spot when they were not disabled. She began to push me closer and closer to the front with a tenacity that I thought was border line rude. She was telling people "this woman is dying, excuse me, excuse me please." I was absolutely horrified, not only was I not on my death bed, but these people were helping her to get me up front. I was being shoved toward this woman who had her hands on another women, eyes shut in prayer. Her voice was so low only the people up close could hear her prayer.

The woman's "helper" took my hand and helped me into the chair. All eyes were on me and I would have given anything to escape. She laid her hands on me and was talking to God. I don't know why that surprised me, but I was relieved it was God she was asking to help me. Her eyes opened, her prayer had ended and she looked directly into my eyes with a distinct look of sadness. She said" My dear child you cannot be healed because you don't want to be healed." WHAT! I thought what a waste of time and just blew it off and went home.

I could not get her words out of my head, which forced me to look at my life on a deeper level. I had realized everything I did or said was wrapped around my illness. I had become my illness and it was consuming my life. I was not depressed, angry or whiny. I thought I was happy and dealing with it all like a champ. This woman did heal me, she helped me move on from preparing to die to living a full and purpose filled life.

I used to pray every night to see my kid's graduate high school. The doctor said "most ALS people live 3-5 years, so you have been very lucky to get this close to your goal". As they were in high school I was slowly needing more help with meals and showering. I was scared to drive and if I were to be real honest I was nearing my goal and giving in. I hated not doing for myself and the last straw was having supervised showers so I would not fall down while I was alone. So once I made up my mind to live, yet again, I started Phyiscal therapy in a pool, started driving again, and got the guts to date online. I now do water aerobics, drive anywhere I'm comfortable going and met my hubby Dave (online). I continued a full life, I saw my girls graduate, my youngest marry and the birth of my 1st grandchild. I just hit year 16 with ALS and that puts me in the 1% group, not too shabby.

I have learned, the hard way, how powerful our minds and words can make dramatic changes in our lives. I will probably take steps backwards as I progress, but I'll always remember "God helps those who help themselves" and I'm not ALS.


Chris said...

I agree that our mind has the power to change things for us. You are a walking miracle my friend, and a true inspiration!

Jolene said...

I found this entry very moving. The power of words is very strong, as is the power of one's actions. We can move mountains, bring tears, and laughter.

TJ said...

Tammy I am sobbing...what an incrediable person you are! Not everyone has that kind of courage, not everyone understands that we are all dying it is just a matter of when. My oncologist once asked me if I would speak at a group meeting...although I was honored I was thrown back. I told him I wished I could but I hold on by so little if I give it all away I will have nothing left for myself.
He got closer and looked me in the eyes and said as serious as can be.."BULLSHIT" we both laughed. I was trying to steal one moment of pity pot...and once that left my mouth I wanted it back. That was my moment of drama. I love your entry...your words and honesty.
You keep on track...and blow your own horn when you can.

emmapeelDallas said...

Oh Tammy,

I love this post. I'm not religious but I'm spiritual, and there was just one prayer that I recited with all four of my kids each night when they were little:

Help me to work
Help me to play
Help me to learn
A bit each day
Teach me to wash
Teach me to scrub
To hang my clothes
To clean my tub
To put my toys
Upon the shelf
Help me, dear Lord
To help myself.

I think it's a great prayer for grown-ups, too, and you, my dear, are the embodiment of that prayer. Thank you, dear friend.



betty said...

Tammy; awesome song!! Thanks for the heads up about it. I usually keep my speaker turned off so I would have missed it if you hadn't told me about it. I love it!

I'm not sure if I agree with what that faith healer said; I'm not sure what I think about people who profess to be faith healers. I think I read or heard somewhere that healing should be part of a ministry but not a main focus of a ministry so I'm a bit leery of them (just my opinion). I'm not sure why the Lord chooses to heal one person and not another. He's sovreign and that's something we have to trust about Him. But, by not healing you perhaps the way you wanted to be healed physically, he definitely healed you emotionally and spiritually and for that we will give Him the glory.


thebluestbutterfly said...

I am glad that you have gotten to have so many happy things in your life.

Gail in MN said...

You just really blew my mind with this post! I really can't put my feelings at this moment into words, so I'll end this with a big {{hug}} and a thank you.

tara dawn said...

What a great post, Tammy! How true your words are, and how inspiring to me, especially tonight. I have found myself thinking so often lately of the irony that it often takes us experiencing some essence of death in order that we may live a full and meaningful life. How grateful I am for these moments, these experiences, that allow us to open up and truly begin to LIVE!
I am so grateful that you have come into my life and continue to find inspiration in your words and your support.
Love and hugs!!

Chris said...

Wow! When you said healer I rolled my eyes. What a 'effin great entry. Not only did you hit this one out of the park, you hit the lights like in the movie The Natural!

Excellent entry Tammy. You rock.

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Bon & Mal Mott said...

Dang, Tammy, you should have posted that joke in your journal! Anyway, thanx for leaving it. We enjoyed it.
How we face life depends so much on our outlook, a lesson that sometimes takes many years to learn. You have learned it well.
Bon & Mal

georgiacoast said...

What a great story! I'm at a loss for words, just know that I think you are an INCREDIBLY strong, intelligent person. I wished wisdom could be taught, because I would ask you to teach me.....

Paul said...

You have dealt with ALS with astounding courage. I support an event here in Massachusetts called Squirrel's Run.

I am a born skeptic, and I won't credit the "healer" with any of what you yourself have accomplished.

V said...

The "healer" was only a spur that would have appeared to you in some way. It`s your courage & faith that should be applauded.