"Keep Your Eyes Open"




Be strong, but not rude.
Be kind, but not weak.
Be bold, but don't bully.
Be humble, but not shy.
Be confident, but not arrogant.

I don't know who came up with the above quote but I'm pretty sure they were on to something. I often cross these lines. Sometimes on a daily basis, if I'm honest. That's not an easy thing to admit either. We will call that pride...

I try to live my life by the golden rule-- you know, the one found in Luke 6.

I often fail miserably at that too. I find that I don't really want to put myself out there in the world in any capacity where things I say or do might come back to bite me. Because believe me, I WILL do or say something stupid that I will have to own up to. It's just a matter of time.

I was thinking about this today when I went for a run. Running can either be my friend or foe mentally. It gives me time to process and do some introspection. Often times it brings crap to the surface that I've managed to push aside and not deal with. These make for long and painful runs, my least favorite but most productive. 

I won't go into the boring details of what my thoughts were today other than this: I tend to keep to myself and not put forth a whole lot of effort in taking myself out of my comfortable little bubble.

As I was finishing my run and transferring into the cool down period my play list started Needtobreathe's Keep Your Eyes Open. Have you heard this song? It's got a great beat. Today, for the first time I really listened to the lyrics. Really listened. 

If you could soldier on
Headstrong into the storm
I'll be here waiting on the other side
Don't look back
The road is long
The first days of the war are gone
Take back your former throne and turn the tide

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So tell me you're strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my love

Just past the circumstance
The first light, a second chance
No child could ever dance the way you do, oh
Tear down the prison walls
Don't start the curtain call
Your chains will never fall until you do

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know I'll never let you fall apart if you
Keep your eyes open, my love

Open up
Open up
Open up your eyes
The weight is unbroken
Open up
Open up
Open up your eyes
Keep your eyes open

Don't let the night become the day
Don't take the darkness to the grave
I know pain is just a place
The will has been broken
Don't let the fear become the hate
Don't take the sadness to the grave
I know the fight is on the way
When the sides have been chosen

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown
Open up your eyes
Keep your eyes open
So tell me you're strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my love
So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know I'll never let you fall apart if you
Keep your eyes open, my love

Keep your eyes (Keep your eyes open)

Ummmm, is this a hint that I need to break out of the bubble? Because, I really, reeeeaaaaallllyyyy  like my bubble. 

What is my true reason for staying within my comfort zone? Oh, that's right-- it's comfortable! As long as I'm comfortable in my little zone my chances of screwing up are pretty slim. Or at least the audience is a little nicer and more forgiving when I do. 

That's just pathetic. I'm a little embarrassed to have admitted to this. OK, a LOT embarrassed.

So where do I go from here? How does one break free of the comfort zone bubble? How does one not panic, hyperventilate, run back screaming and slam the door in the face of the unknown? When did I become this person?

I have a feeling chronic illness has quite a bit to do with it. That's a great excuse abut that's all it is. It doesn't keep me from doing everything I love. Sure, there are days and sometimes weeks even, where I can't do what I enjoy. It doesn't keep me from picking back up as soon as I feel good though. 

Here's what I think: when I was super duper sick pre-ileostomy, I had no choice but to give in to the disease and it's daily debilitating yuckiness. I had to pick and choose carefully what my time and energy would be spent on. Post-ileostomy I still have to prioritize and take care of myself because I do still have bad days and nights for that matter. I may have what feels like copious amounts of energy compared to before but in reality, it still has a cap on it. So, all that is to say this: I got comfortable in my protected little sickness bubble. I've come out of it in many ways but as far as pursuing new friendships heck, even maintaining some of the old I'm doing a pretty pitiful job there.

I am quite content alone. Maybe too much so. This is something my hubby gets frustrated with me on. I don't need a lot of close friends. I'm fortunate in that the hubs is my best friend and I have a great family which provides me with several close relationships. Branching outside of this is hard. I enjoy meeting new people and hanging out with great friends but I tend to keep just a little bit of distance there. This is an area I hope to be bolder in.

I guess it's time to leave home and venture into the great unknown...






Comments

  1. I can relate to this post in every way. I still have a couple months a year where my pain gets really bad. One thing that I have found that really separates those with chronic illness from the others is that those who are fortunate enough to have their health often become frustrated (even if they don't say it to our face) when we have bad days and just don't even feel like talking to people. I have ran into this over the last 13 years, and I know it is true. I even feel I have lost many relationships due to this fact. So, try not to be so hard on yourself. There IS a reason you have become comfortable alone, and it IS hard to try to make new friends and also hope that they will understand our limitations. It is frustrating, but I find that I often find myself stepping back from venturing out when I am feeling great, because I know that there will come a time when I am not feeling good again, and then that which we try to forget when we are feeling well - the pain, the extreme fatigue, and the other things which are specific to our diseases return - and nobody wants to hear about it. And that hurts. Not that they don't want to hear about it, I can understand that, but that they just don't care to understand. I do not feel this is something people consciously do either. I find that most people are this way unless they have dealt with somebody with a chronic illness on a personal basis. So, try not to be so hard on yourself. Do know there are people out there that understand what it means to be down it out, but it might not always be the people we would be hanging with on our good days - and usually not our post-illness friends. I do believe people try, I really do, but there is a disconnect there that just can't be ignored. I've seen it over and over again. Stay positive Monnie - you know that is what keeps us going, and of course our families. You are very lucky to have your parents and a strong backing there. I never have known that, but I do have a wonderful husband that, like Shannon, is my best friend. Stay strong!
    -Talese

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