Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Left-Hand Story -- ''CONGENITAL''


CONSIDER THIS...
''I JUST ASSUMED YOU ALL KNEW THE STORY.''

---I don't know why I thought everyone would know this, but come to find out, very few do. It is about my left-hand. No matter what you may have thought or may have heard- these are the facts. I Was Born, Missing Four Fingers On My Left-Hand. Where self-acceptance has taken me, is another story.
---I hitched across the US in the early '80's. There is not a big story to tell. I stopped in California, because I couldn't hitchhike to Hawaii. I started out in Massachusetts and was trying to get as far away from there as possible. It was nothing illegal or anything like that, just a personal journey that seemed right at the time.
---Massachusetts represented an unreal situation for me as I felt patronized by everyone I knew and everything I did. I was trying to free myself from my past and the attitudes I was holding on to, but I was more like the ''Leopard who was trying to change his own spots.'' I needed some space. I felt like I had painted myself into a corner. I spent the first 29 years there, did a lot of my living there, but it was time for a change.
---Getting back to the hand story. People have asked me how is it that I know the kind of things that I know? Here's the way I see it; We all have something we are saddled with - something about ourself we would rather not have. We spend a lot of time, trying to deal with this thing we would rather not have. We learn certain lessons as we relate to this thing. Eventually, we kind of get it- and we see that everyone else has their thing that they're dealing with. We see the part that ''Knowing Thyself'' and ''Self-Acceptance'' plays, and how important they are.
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---LEARNED About HEALING---

.---This is one of the things that I learned- The Healing is NOT in growing my fingers, but in the ATTITUDE of ACCEPTANCE I have about my hand - It really just IS what it IS. It took a long time for me to know this. No matter what it is that bothers us, if we work toward ''accepting'' it, we are that much closer to a healing. If we resist accepting it, it persists as a ''problem.'' What we resist, persists.
---With myself, it was very obvious that my thing was my left-hand. On most others, it is not so obvious, to me, anyway. The situation is that, with a little bit of digging, you can find within yourself what it is you are saddled with. As I said earlier, we ALL have something we would rather not have. What Can Seem To Be Our Greatest ''Curse,'' Is Really Our Greatest ''Blessing.'' '
---Acceptance is the key. One thing to remember is that it is the same as facing any fear at all - it is more frightening ''thinking'' about facing it, than actually facing it. Leaving Massachusetts, probably, had a lot to do with being so stuck in the ''thinking about facing it'' stage and all the fear that went along with it. Facing it turned a lot of negative energy, positive. Be Well.
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(The Picture Above Was Taken In 1951. As You Can See, I Had It ALL My Life.)
(From Book)
(I Can Relate To The Woman in Heading Above. The Lies Were My Own Untruths, To Myself)


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Left-Hand Situation -- ''ACCEPTANCE''


The ''LEFT-HAND'' Situation

---To state more clearly and to answer why this particular essay is so important in my own life and why I think it is important to ALL of us. It is an example in my own experience of how one goes from the ''darkness'' into the ''light.'' Well placed Affirmation along the way gave me what I needed to continue.
---I was born with my left-hand missing four fingers. The stages I went through toward Acceptance are very much the same as Kubler-Ross' stages of accepting situations in our lives. She, herself, came upon these as she was looking into how we ''grieve.''
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---FIVE STAGES---
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---DENIAL - Keeping my hand in my pocket and not letting others or anyone see or experience the ''real'' me. It ''seemed'' easier, but I wasn't being ''honest'' with myself and that is very important.
---ANGER - Came about in the form that I should be able to show my hand, but I just couldn't.
---BARGAINING - ''If God will grow my fingers than...'' I became a bit irrational at times because it would keep me from having to face the reality of having the missing fingers. This stage taught me much as I could see that I had some growing and learning to do. My ideas of ''God'' greatly matured here.
---DESPAIR - Realized that there was ''nothing'' I could do to change my situation-except Change My Attitude. Growth was happening, Acceptance was taking place, but I felt very helpless. I needed to ''Trust'' that it was ''okay'' to be me. I had to ''Let go'' of the way I thought ''it'' was ''supposed'' to be, and actually get on with things. It was one of the most ''painful'' situations I ever had to face, but it carried great rewards with it. I was closer to being the ''person'' I was born to be. It was in this time-frame of my life that I became a serious candidate for joining the Jesuit Priesthood.
---A word to the wise in all of this. It is a ''PROCESS'' and one will HAVE to allow some time to embody what is going on with oneself. Take it slow and don't try to ''force'' anything. It is a natural growth process so all we have to do is just be honest with ourselves each step of the journey we are on. We will grow ''into'' whatever we are to gain from all this. Be good to yourself and keep it simple.
---ACCEPTANCE - ''Gradually'' you find yourself NOT hiding your hand, or whatever it might be, in your ''pocket'' or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, your attitude can turn so much that you ''forget'' that at one time it was even an issue. It is the process where suddenly you can see that which you thought to be a ''Curse,'' is really a ''Blessing.'' Be Well.
(Picture By Lauren S.)

Monday, January 02, 2012

A ''LEFT - HANDED'' Compliment


Paul C. Says -
(About Book)

---Everyday at 3:30 Paul H. stops by my office on his way to exercise in the therapy gym. We typically chat about the day's events or other commonalities. We've both recently been in the market for a computer and we've been sharing opinions about the different possibilities. On Tuesday of last week, Paul wheeled into my office and handed me a book. Actually I can't say he handed it to me because he doesn't have a hand on one side and is so tremulous with the other hand that he can't hold things without dropping them. I'd never asked Paul why he didn't have a hand and the subject never came up in conversation, but when he gave me the book it brought back memories of another friend of mine.

---Several years earlier, when I first started working at the hospital, I was carpooling with a group of other hospital employees. Being new to the city and the hospital, I was anxious to find friendships and the carpool seemed a good way to get to know some of the folks I worked with. As it happened, one of the members of the carpool was missing a hand in almost the same fashion as Paul. In my eagerness to get to know the group I nonchalantly asked Nancy what had happened to her hand. During the next 45 minutes she explained the whole story of getting her hand caught in a leaf cutter and all of the details of the ensuing physical and emotional trauma. By the end of the ride she was crying with the telling. She apologized for her emotion, telling us that she hadn't actually told the story in many years and was surprised herself by her reaction. This surprised me because the other carpool members had been riding with Nancy for over 5 years. I asked one of them later if anyone knew Nancy's story, but no one had thought to ask. That morning ride was a defining moment in the group and helped to solidify some relationships that I carry to this day.

---Paul gave me the book and excused himself from my office with only a brief comment that he hoped the book would be useful. Ironically, in the first chapter Paul tells the story of his hand. He said that most people assumed that he had lost his hand in an accident, but the truth was he was born without it. He tells of a painful childhood where he made great efforts to hide his hand by sticking it deep in his pocket, even among people that knew he didn't have the hand. He goes on to talk of how he gradually embraced his loss by forcing himself to keep the limb out in the open. While I was reading the story it occurred to me how I had been hiding some of my own missing parts and how there might just be value in bringing those into the open. In other words, the telling of Paul's story touched my life in a deeply personal way.

---In the carpool I had thought to ask the question of how Nancy had lost her hand and that ultimately led to a deeper relationship with her and the others in the group. Paul's story had a similarly compelling effect, but I could have gotten there sooner had I thought to ask. We talk about patient centered care from the perspective of trying to make a home like environment, or scheduling things according to our patient's needs, but we seldom take the time to ask and we don't expect to be changed ourselves. It's in the asking that not only gives us the appropriate perspective but can ultimately lead to
fundamental changes in who we are as individuals.
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Paul C. MPT, GCS was Rehabilitation Coordinator, at the Hospital. Thanks, for the Appreciation. More On My Relationship With Paul C., On - At The Hospital...(click link above and scroll)

Monday, December 26, 2011

WHAT STAFFER LEARNED FROM A RESIDENT -


Friend - Elizabeth C.

What a Laguna Honda Staffer Learned From a Resident

You may have seen Paul H. He’s the fellow in the wheelchair with long brown hair and a patch over one eye. He also has only one full hand (he was born that way). On his other hand, just one finger.

Paul gets around, and he knows a lot about Laguna Honda. He’s been here about 6 years, and he’s past president of the Residents Council. He’s also written a book called “CONSIDER THESE...It's About The Importance of Self-Acceptance.”

The two of us have talked a lot about how to improve communication between staff and residents. We agree that people often assume certain things about other people that simply aren’t true.

Not long after he came to Laguna Honda, Paul formed a bond with Paul Carlisle, who works here as Rehabilitation Coordinator.

They used to have a daily chat in Paul C.’s office, and they discovered many interests in common.

The resident also gave the staffer his book.

Here Paul Carlisle takes up the story:

”Paul gave me the book with only a brief comment that he hoped it would be useful. Ironically, in the first chapter Paul tells the story of his hand.

“He said that most people assumed that he had lost his hand in an accident, but the truth was he was born without it. He tells of a painful childhood where he made great efforts to hide his hand by sticking it deep in his pocket, even among people that knew he didn't have the hand.

“He goes on to talk of how he gradually embraced his loss by forcing himself to keep the limb out in the open.

“While I was reading the story it occurred to me how I had been hiding some of my own missing parts and how there might just be value in bringing those into the open. In other words, the telling of Paul's story touched my life in a deeply personal way.

“In my early days here, I carpooled with other employees. I had thought to ask one of them how she had lost her hand. It was a sad story, and it affected everyone hearing it. That ultimately led to a deeper relationship between her and the others in the group.

“But no one else had thought to ask her what had happened.

“Paul's story had a similarly compelling effect, but I could have gotten there sooner had I thought to ask.

“We talk about patient-centered care from the perspective of trying to make a homelike environment, or scheduling things according to our patient's needs, but we seldom take the time to ask, and we don't expect to be changed ourselves.

“It's in the asking that not only gives us the appropriate perspective but can ultimately lead to fundamental changes in who we are as individuals.’

Something all of us, residents and staff alike, can remember. Wouldn’t it be wonderful as we move on, to move closer to each other as well?
And think how much we all can learn—just by asking.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jessica Cox


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---I do know what she means when she says her brain is wired to her feet. But, you probably do too. I think I would like to spend some time with this lady. I think she radiates beauty.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jessica Cox Story

http://www.mediafire.com/?dzznjmzmquo
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---The indomitable human spirit strikes again...bigtime!
Her YouTube - above.

Monday, April 12, 2010

BE LOVING and ACCEPTING

---An increase will certainly improve your life. As far as I am concerned...there is NOTHING BETTER. Self-Acceptance is the ''ROAD TO HAPPINESS.''