Although I live with chronic pain and several chronic diseases, I want to broaden my discussions to deal with challenges in general. As we baby boomers age, more of us will be living with chronic disease. More effective cancer treatments mean that fewer people die from cancer, but more people are living with it, on a day to day challenging basis. And there are many other challenges.
Many have social or familial challenges, such as caring for aging parents in their final years, where their social lives consist primarily in their numerous medical appointments. Other friends have children with disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum, where there’s no such thing as a simple life anymore. Mental illness still remain hidden all too often. And there are many other challenges.
There are those of us who are committed to making this world a better place in a larger context, who spend hours a week, for weeks going into years and yet more years, working for social or political changes. The challenges of remaining committed without becoming cynical or burnt out are huge. Developing our consciousness means that once we know what we know we can never not know it again. You can’t take a vacation from knowing and caring about the deep injustices or deep traumas of this world. And there are many other challenges.
How do we live, day by day, with ongoing challenges that may change, but will never fully go away? If a “cure” isn’t in the picture, what do we call “success”, and how can we measure it? How do we keep our hearts open? How can we make meaning and nourish soul life? These are the questions that have grabbed me; this is what I want to write about.
With warmth and care,