Is Everything Going To Be Okay?

June 2, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

First I used to ask my best friend if everything would turn out well.  Then I asked a therapist, my late husband and then the new best friend.  What I was really asking was: regardless of all that is going on in my life today, tell me that in the end I’m going to be okay.  I will be left standing and happy.

As I extracted these assurances from others, deep down I knew no one could guarantee the outcome of anything.  But, hearing the words “everything is going to be okay” – even knowing they held an empty promise – made me feel safe.

I am spending time with my dad, who is 87 years old, and who last year spent two months in the ICU.  No one thought he was going to come out – including me.   The combination of 47 years of cardiac history, age and a nasty lung infection did not bode well for a good outcome.  But, he did come out.

My dad has forgotten how close he came from dying and is unhappy by his current physical limitations.  I reminded him, at his age he has outlived everyone in his family.  And yes, at 87 his life is different.  He can still have any experience he wants in his mind and heart, but not in the physical world.  His frame is frail.

Life is seldom what we imagine it to be.  It is what it is.  What we do with it, is where we get to express who we are.  Am I lucky to be alive at 87 years of age or am I unlucky to have limitations?

I still ask from time to time if everything is going to be okay.  I ask that when I feel vulnerable and need a quick fix of an empty promise.

But, most of the time I have learned to appreciate what I have in my life and trust the never ending flux of opportunities.

Truthfully, I don’t really know what having everything turn out okay really means.  What I do know is from each obstacle I have to surpass, I learn to jump higher and my legs get more limber.  And in the end I’ll be left  holding a large bag of wisdom.

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Managing Life’s Struggles

May 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

So, I’m in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  The people are beautiful and friendly and the beaches can be exotic or inviting – it all depends on your mood.  But, I’m really here to visit my aging parents.  Rio is the city of my birth.

Anyone, with older parents knows how difficult it is to see our loved ones struggle with things that used to be easy to do.  To witness their health wane.  In my case I also have to deal with the distance between Los Angeles – where I live – and Rio de Janeiro.

My visits are always full of mixed emotions; happiness in seeing them and stress for not being able to stop life’s unstoppable march.

By nature I am a caretaker.  When my late husband became ill, I spent the better part of two and a half years taking care of him.  I was by his side every minute of his journey.  My husband died at home by my side.  We slept in the same bed till his last night.

Through all my experiences of care taking, I have learned that we can only give if we take care of ourselves as well.  If we don’t fill up the well, it will eventually dry out.

Pain is part of the human experience.  There is no way around it.  Even if nothing tragic ever happens in your life – yes, there are a few of you out there – one day you will have an aging parent.   One day for sure you will have pain.

It is in these times of emotional stress that we need to remember to willfully seek beauty.  As sure as I am that we all deal with pain so am I that we can all have beauty.  It is all around us.  We just need to open ourselves up to it.

Beauty comforts inspires and fills up the well.

Diligently taking breaks to renew our emotional well allows us to go through the different pains life brings us from time to time.  It also allows us to give more.

If you are today going through a difficult time find the beauty in your world.  I know it can be difficult.  I know you can easily dismiss it by thinking “I have no time for this”.  But, you do.  And it is the only way you will be able to sooth yourself and others.   Go out with a friend.  Do something that is fulfilling to you.  Beauty is pain’s antidote.

 

 

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Don’t Let Fear Of Loss Close Your Heart

November 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Angie Rubin

I’m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the city and country I grew up in, visiting my parents.

I have not lived in this city for over twenty years, and so being here is always very emotional as I reconnect with past feelings and history.

I am here staying with my parents who are now in their 80s. I’m aware of their frailty and our time together coming to an end.  I’m not living the pain of loss, but I recognize the beginning of my own grieving process. I honor my feelings while I create new experiences.

As I deal with my emotions, thoughts come to my mind:  would it have been easier if I had let past disagreements have broken us apart?  Would it be easier now, if I had stopped myself from loving them as much as I do?

As I entertain those thoughts I realize that’s what so many of us do with our relationships, wishes and desires.

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