With so many of us participating in NaNoWriMo, as well as having other IWSG blogs to visit, I’ll keep this short. I know, I know…you’ll believe it when you see it. Yeah, me too. How about I shoot for somewhere in the middle?
Many of you know that my mom passed away in early summer, but most of you don’t know it was followed in mid-September by a breast cancer diagnosis on my twin sister—Triple Negative BC, if you’re up on the subject. Even its name sounds foreboding.
She will have to undergo several months of chemotherapy before receiving a double mastectomy.
Then there are health insurance problems, as in, she doesn’t have any insurance. So we’ve been seeking assistance, and it’s taking too much time. I’ve really been relying on faith—right now it’s all I have—and even that’s been running dry.
Meanwhile, I’ve been on a quest for answers. There’s been too much of too much happening all at once, leaving me in a negative space for far too long. I’ve spoken with friends and professionals, read websites and books on different philosophies, and have reached some conclusions in my search for the meaning of life—yes, the meaning of life—or some reasonable facsimile. Do I have a definitive answer? Of course not, nor will I ever, but I’ve delved into a deeper understanding than before, and will continue to journey further. My results thus far:
As creatures, we are a Triune.
- Spiritual (the unknown—theological, metaphysical): Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what you believe on a religious level—whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Humanism, et al—you are a spiritual being. That is to say, you seek answers on a metaphysical level.
You ask questions dealing with epistemology (origin of humanity: “How am I here?”), ontology (the nature of existence or being: “Why am I here?”), and cosmology (the origin of the universe: “From where did it all come?”). The answers you have gleaned or been taught heretofore, whether correct or incorrect, form your Belief System, which governs your thoughts, which in turn, govern your actions.
- Physiological (the body—physical and chemical): This is self-explanatory; we are corporeal beings as well as spiritual beings. We have bodies. On an elemental level, only six components make up 99% of the body, the remaining are nominal or trace. Pretty cool, huh? We’re merely Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Calcium, Phosphorus and a dash of salt, walking around as the product of one big, human-shaped, chemical equation.
So what makes us different from that rock on the ground? Was it once alive, too? For it’s due to the life force, the soul, the spirit that resides in us that we draw breath. From where did that spirit come? Again I get philosophical.
- Psychological (the mind—emotions, thoughts, behaviors): At present, this is where I struggle. A rattling of my spiritual and physiological systems has upset my psychological well-being, and the result has sent me in a tail-spin—a place of sadness and depression. My mind tries to make sense of all this on a logical level, to find an answer to the question: “Why?” I’m at a loss. There doesn’t seem to be a greater good to any of this.
Which is what my post addresses—Positive Psychology. Turning the negative thoughts into positive ones: the pursuit of happiness.
A friend of mine, a psychologist herself, directed me to The Positivity Ratio by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. The website has tools, such as various meditations, and self-testing to determine your positivity ratio on a given day. Dr. Fredrickson has also written two books: The Positivity Ratio and Love 2.0. I encourage any of you going through a hardship that is affecting your happiness to check out her site.
With this insecure writer, a little doubt goes a long way. I begin to question everything, and nothing seems to live up to my scrutinous expectations, especially my writing. Do you find this to be true, as well?
At least all of this analysis into the intricacies of human behavior leads to deeper character development. That’s one thing to be positive about.
Until next time…
An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.
He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.