Tools for "Suffering In Style."

Resign As General Manager of the Universe

Live in the Moment

Schedule Joy in Your Life

Think Like an Optimist

Think about Thinking´╗┐

                                    Life Changing Books

A Gift from the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

If You Meet the Buddha On the Road, Kill Him- Sheldon Kopp, MD

Man's Search for Meaning -Viktor Frankl, MD

The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck, MD

When Bad Things Happen To Good People - Rabbi Harold J Kushner

Less is More the Paradox of Choice - Barry Schwartz

The Search for Momma and the Meaning of Life- Irvin Yalom, MD

Flying Without Wings Personal Reflections on Being Disabled - Arnold Beisser, MD


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Lucky Me




I was thinking about St. Patrict's Day and the "luck of the Irish" We associate it with shamrocks, 4 leak clovers, pots of gold and, yet, the Irish have suffered famines, war, starvation and prejudice, Pat Moynihan once said "if your Irish you learn at an early age that the world will break your heart." Their humor and story telling gifts are testaments to their ability to "suffer in style." They personify the advice of mythologist, Joseph Campbell to "participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world."
Seeing the bright side of bad luck is one of the basic psychological traits lucky people possess according to Dr. Richard Wiseman, psychology chair at the University of Herfordshire in England. He wrote a book called “The Luck Factor” and believes that luck can be learned. He claims lucky people think and behave differently and have: the ability to maximize chance opportunities, to listen to "gut feelings," and to expect good fortune.
I’m a very lucky person! Everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am. Once as I was driving on the freeway to the senior center a ladder flew through my windshield. How lucky I was that I wasn’t killed!
    Some years ago my oncologist told how lucky I was that they found my cancer early and I was strong and healthy so I could win that battle ( do healthy people have oncologists?) A few months later I awoke in the middle of the night to a burglar in my bedroom. He was already in my room by the time my old deaf dog alerted me (although he did bark at every policemen who later came to investigate.) I wasn’t hurt and the only thing taken was some cash. One of the officers told me how lucky I was that I wasn’t killed. I said, “I’ve had a run of good luck lately.”
          When I was visiting my mother in Florida we were confronted in her parking lot by two robbers. The one on my side had a gun and said “we just want your purses, if you scream I’ll shoot.” No sooner had he said that than my mother began to scream and hit the one on her side with her purse. Since I was the one following orders I debated whether to point out that she was the one screaming and he should shoot her. Once again I was reminded by the Fort Lauderdale sheriffs how lucky I was.
        Recently I told my brother that the huge tree in front of my house fell down in the last rain storm (I was lucky it fell toward the street and not on the house) he asked me if I had read the book “The Secret”. I haven’t but I knew the premise - our thoughts create our reality and we attract what we expect. The implication - I created this dark cloud over me like Joe Btfsplk in L’il Abner. I won’t take on this “new age guilt” I have enough of the regular kind. There’s a lot of us out here lately with those clouds.

That is one of the main reasons I believe so strongly in the power of support groups. Listening to another’s story enables you to see that you have not been singled out for special punishment. You are not a tragic hero but rather a part of the human comedy.

There’s a story in Jewish tradition that on Judgment Day there is a Tree of Sorrows and everyone can hang their troubles on a branch. Then you can walk around and decide whose troubles you’ll take in place of yours. As we walk around we think “oh, I couldn’t handle that,” “no, that’s too painful.” Eventually, we take back ours and walk away happy with our own troubles. How lucky we are!


Reader Comments (2)

Great piece Judy. Thank you - nice to know the luck of the Jewish is there too.

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered

Where are you? Are you ok? Regarding conference on June 16th?

I am worried about you...cannot reach you. June 2012

Cheri taylor
Porterville Adult Day Services
(559)783- 9815 or ((559)361-1159

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheri Taylor

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