Friday, September 29, 2006

To be a child forever

The young aren't worried about what people think; the old have learned to stop worrying.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The beauty of aging

I know my last post on living with confidence sounds like I've got it all together or something. I hope I didn't sound like I was expressing pride in my ability to be open about myself. I'm only trying to encourage others, to help others realize that living unashamedly with bipolar disorder is possible. (though I realize not for everyone - but maybe down the road somewhere?)

Having reached the wonderful age of 60 has an advantage. I've had lots of experience. I very much want to pass on what I've learned.

When I look back on my younger years, I see a shy woman, very unsure of herself. I became part of a camera club, became good at photography, won prizes, and came to be loved and respected for who I was. The focus there was photography. Personal stuff was not discussed much. There were times when I got sick, obviously so. I'm sure I was talked about. But I was there as a photographer and, as such, respected. My self-esteem grew.

There were few people with whom I openly shared my mental health problems, though I very much wanted to, even then. I had to hide it. And because I had to keep this part of me a secret, I felt a certain amount of shame. But I felt loved and that helped.

Years later I became part of a writers' workshop. That is where I began work on Riding the Roller Coaster. This group encouraged my honesty and helped my writing improve. They were with me through the entire process. My confidence grew. In spite of their knowing my most intimate secrets, they respected what I was doing. I felt loved and accepted.

I don't have time to write an entire book here, though I'm tempted, so I will cut this short:

At church the same thing. Once people came to know me, once I became an active part of their community, I felt loved for who I was. They looked on me as someone special - and not in a bad way at all. They only had to learn to know me. And I had to learn to be myself.

Most importantly: I repeatedly prayed to God to fill me with His love and to help me share His love with others. When I showed my love to others, they loved me back. Ultimately, this love is the most important thing for a meaningful life. It's the love of God and the loving support from others that helps me be well. Love has strengthened me and given me courage.

When I began this post, I didn't know that I would end up talking about love. But I'm glad that's where I ended up. Faith, hope, and love are all great things, "But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 That's a fact....Take it from an oldie.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Living with confidence

It takes great effort trying to live with good self-esteem when the disorder we have is so stigmatized. It's so utterly unfair that we, who, through no fault of our own, have a disease and have to hide it and live in shame. If you've read some of my earlier posts you will know how angry I am about this.

But what if we were to not feel so ashamed about it? What if we were to recognize how wrong society is about us and say to ourselves, "to hell with them". We know we're ok people.

The tough thing is that, when a person needs to keep something like this secret, it breeds a feeling of shame within himself. How can we possibly win?

I pray that there will be a day when society will be better educated and understanding of what mental illnesses truly are, diseases that happens to affect one of the organs of our body. And it just happens that this organ controls thinking and feelings.

I found a quote recently - don't know who wrote it but thought someone might be inspired by it:

"If anyone speaks badly of you, live so that none will believe it."

In my own life, I began speaking out about my bipolar disorder ten years ago. I think that writing about it and having a book out helped people respect me. If there are any who think I'm strange because of it, I don't notice it. This has put me at an advantage in many ways. I feel absolutely no shame. I only talk about my disorder when there's a reason for doing so. But it has become more and more my life's work to raise awareness. It is my passion.

I don't know and don't care if people are speaking badly of me. Maybe some do. But I stubbornly live, being the person God made me to be - myself.

How I wish this would be possible for everyone who has to live with bipolar disorder!

Monday, September 25, 2006

A crummy day

This has NOT been a good day. The only good thing is that it's almost over and I can start all over again tomorrow, hopefully in a more positive vein.

Yesterday someone I've been giving support to hurt himself quite badly. It was a shock. I've never been so close to someone who has gone that far. I wondered if I could have done more for him than I did.

So this morning I woke up at 5:30 - way too early - feeling bummed out about everything. Then, as I washed my face, I noticed that I had forgotten to take my evening meds last night. That was bad news. It was too late to do anything about it. I knew the day would be difficult. This was not a good time to be forgetting.

Then we had to go to my mom-in-law's, one hour away, to take her to the doctor. She probably has pneumonia. This is a worry because she almost died from that last year. And she's 95 years old. We had contacted doctors on Friday and Saturday. The one we talked to on Saturday said he would drop in and visit her. But he didn't. Our requests for help were ignored.

I get the feeling that doctors don't treat elderly people with as much dedication as they do the younger ones. Somehow I get the feeling that they think their time is almost up anyway and they don't work as hard to help them. I know this sounds like harsh criticism, but I'm seeing it time and again. (I have a 92-year old mother as well that I look after, so I have a lot of experience.)

I've been eating junk food most of the day. No appetite or desire to make a proper meal. My husband says he suspects a depression coming on.

But maybe it's all the bad news, combined with missing my meds, that are the problems. I must try to move out of this rut I'm finding myself in tonight.

Talking to a close friend tonight made me feel better. She's a dear and truly cares about me. She mothers me at times and other times I mother her. I promised her that I'd try to do some baking tonight. It would be a nice surprise for my poor husband when he gets home tonight. I hadn't even cooked him dinner, even though he had to go out and work for four hours tonight. My body and mind just went on strike.

But this is just one day. It doesn't mean that this is the beginning of anything. I just need to push myself a little. Making some muffins or squares should do the trick. Sounds like I'm trying to convince myself, doesn't it?

Saturday, September 23, 2006


My pastor gave a wonderful sermon on rest a few weeks ago. Today I'm trying to follow his/His advice. I've been very busy lately, overwhelmed a bit by all that's going on in my life. Today I need to let go a bit and not feel like I need to be accomplishing something every minute of the day.

I'm listening to one of my favorite singers, Roger Whittaker. I love his fatherly voice and the messages that so many of his songs carry. It's comforting to listen. And I will write here today, just emptying myself a bit, not trying to say anything terribly wise, not trying to play teacher, preacher, or mother, something I tend to do.

The sun is shining in and the house is warm. I have been puttering, trying to tidy things a bit. A person can clean up and be resting at the same time, can't she? Sometimes it's more stressful looking at the mess around you than it is to take action and clean it up.

Yesterday we had the second meeting of the group. Another small attendance, but that's ok. The time was valuable to those of us who were there. I'm finding that some people who attend really yearn to have a place where they can talk about their faith and how it relates to their mood disorder. I know we are needed and I have faith that, with time, our attendance will go up. How many we have is not really important. Simply serving the people who ARE there is important enough. And where two are gathered together... When I got home, there was a message from someone else who wanted to know how to get to our church. He may come next time.

This afternoon I will go for a walk with a friend, a dear person with whom I've never had a chance to connect one on one. I'm looking forward to it. She is a follower of Christ too, though we've never had an opportunity to talk about our faith together. She also struggles with things in life, though her problems are not related to moods.

My mom-in-law is sick and I'm concerned about her. She's 95 and coughing badly. Last year we almost lost her when she got pneumonia. Everyone was expecting her to die, but miraculously she recovered. It was amazing to watch her recover. It was a joyous experience when she began to be able to eat the thickened juice and thickened soups that we fed her slowly, spoon by spoon. She had to learn to swallow all over again. Over the last few months she has been working on quilts with a quilter's guild she belongs to. She is still a vibrant person, an amazing individual. A doctor will go and see today her at the home she lives in. I pray that God will be with her as she struggles once again.

Well, that's enough for now. I'm finding this blogging wonderful, but addictive too. And I must begin spending more time on my book. If there are days I don't write here, you will know that I'm writing somewhere else.

BTW, My book is inspired by Psalm 40. Can you relate?

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Light in dark places

I've been reading Corrie ten Boom's "Hiding Place" for the second time. It's a wonderful story about how Corrie and her sister, Betsie, ended up in a concentration camp during the second world war. They had been hiding Jews in their homes. With great ingenuity Corrie smuggled a Bible into the camp. I know it sounds like a horrid story, but believe me, it's inspiring.

Betsie was the ultimate optimist, thanking God for everything under the sun, asking God to help their guards, cruel as they were. When she thanked God for the fleas that infested their barracks, Corrie thought she'd gone too far.

In the evening they began to have worship services under the one bare lightbulb in the huge barracks. After singing in the different languages of the women there, they read the Bible. It was a Dutch Bible, but Betsie and Corrie translated it to German which was understood better. Then they would hear the "life-giving" words passed on around the room in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, and back to Dutch again.

This was an amazingly beautiful thing to be happening in such a terrible place, where people were suffering so much. In Corrie's words, " darkness God's truth shines most clear."

I remember the numerous times I've been in darkness, misery that in some ways paralleled the concentration camp experience. Often God has then seemed distant - unreachable. But there have also been times like that when He seemed more real than ever. It's at times like that when I found out what Betsie said in the book: "...there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."

Corrie and Betsie always wondered why the guards, who controlled their every move, never checked up on what they were doing. Why were they allowed this freedom? Why was their Bible not taken away from them? One day they found out. It was because of the flea infestation that the guards would not set foot in the barracks.

Neat story, eh?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When is much, too much?

It's happening again. Something that happens to me over and over it seems.

I take on one little thing. It's little - can't hurt, can it? Then I take on another little thing. And the little things lead to other things. I find it so hard to say no when I'm asked to do something. I love doing so many things. But, unasked for, the little things turn into big things.

And I begin to feel tired, even when I don't seem to be doing very much. And the things that are little begin to seem big, even though they aren't.

I think this is what's called "stress". And the funny thing about stress is that it doesn't go away by resting. I have to just carry on, one little item at a time, and find activities to relax me in between.

I know that this feeling is a wake-up call. Maybe I'm not organizing my life the way I should. Maybe it's not balanced enough. I'll have to watch that I don't fall off this tightrope I'm walking.

So what can I do that might help? Take a nap? Go for a walk? Visit a friend? Read a book? What kind of a book? Do some cooking? Clean up the bedroom? I know that any one of things "might" help. But none of those would help get rid of the work I have to do - the stuff that is pressing on my brain, making my entire body feel weary.

The best thing of all that I know of is to make a list. When I make a list and check things off as I accomplish them, my responsibilities don't seem nearly as heavy as they are in my mind. As I work I can tick off my accomplishments. And as I tick them off, my burdens become lighter.

When my head seems crowded with stuff, causing me stress, quite often things are not nearly as bad as they seem. Putting things on paper clears my stressed brain. I have found that out in the past. I'll just have to remember that today.

Monday, September 18, 2006


This is a picture I took a long time ago. The little girl is now seventeen.

My announcement at church

My pastor invited me - a few days ago - to talk at church about my support group. He wanted me to tell the congregation why I had decided to form the group. This would lead into his sermon on building authentic community.

I don't usually get too nervous speaking at this church. The people are friendly and I don't have to get up behind a pulpit or anything like that. Everything is very casual. But yesterday, for some reason, I felt a little more nervous than usual. You never know how you're going to be ahead of time, do you?

When my time came to speak, Don introduced the "Living Room", the name we are giving the group. I started by telling everyone that I had lived with bipolar disorder for forty years and that I cope by taking medications, trusting in God, and with the support of good friends. I told them that I'm not always as good as I was yesterday - that I struggle often.

I quoted the beginning of 2 Corinthians: that "God, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort...comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." "One good thing about having a lot of troubles like I've had," I said, "is that I've received a LOT of compassion from God. It's helped me realize how real He is."

Then I told them about the countless people who have depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders, how most of them are alone with their troubles, ashamed to share them with others. I told them how wrong I thought that was. Not only do they suffer from the symptoms of their disease, they are forced to feel ashamed. They should not have to suffer alone. They need to realize that there are others who share such troubles. There needs to be a place where they can share openly what's in their hearts.

I told them about the secular support groups where people don't feel comfortable talking about God. And I told them how, at the church's Bible studies, people are often uncomfortable talking about there mental health issues. Living Room will be a place where they can talk freely about their faith AND their mental health issues.

The purpose of Living Room is for members to provide each other with love and support; to remind each other how great God's love is; and to seek transformation in their lives.

I found it interesting to see which people talked to me afterwards and which looked at me, seemingly not knowing what to say. But one couple came up to me and very much wanted to join. They told me I was courageous.

When I began writing about my struggles with bipolar, I knew I would be giving up a lot. With the publication of "Riding the Roller Coaster" my life became, literally, an open book. It continues to be that. I guess it was a form of sacrifice. But I feel steely strong inside, wanting more than ever, to bust that ugly stigma that causes so much grief. So what if there are some people that think I'm odd? They don't truly know me. I know I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I have many friends and feel loved and that's all I need. God gave me a purpose and this is what I'll continue giving my life to.

What's more, although my life is tough, it's generally a happy one, probably because of this strong sense of purpose I have. I'm a very fortunate person.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Church support: the good, the bad, and the ugly

I recently wrote an article with this title. It will be published online in a few weeks by the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). But I feel I want to say a few things on the topic today.

We all know how bad the stigma towards those with mental illness is in society. But I think stigma is at its worst when it presents itself in the church community. And, let's face it, there is a lot of ignorance, especially in that community. I think this is not only unfortunate, it's tragic.

All too often the message that comes from the pulpit is that we should be able to deal with all our emotional problems through spiritual means. Many Christians don't believe in the medical aspects of mental disorders and encourage their friends to "Stop taking those pills. Taking pills shows that you don't trust in God. If you're feeling down, you're probably not right with God. Just confess your sins, and you'll be alright."

Now this ignorance is of course not present everywhere. There are many of us, myself included, who find wonderful support in their church. In fact I think the support from friends who share your faith can be the best you can get. Those who truly try to emulate the character of Christ by sharing their love - non-judgmental, compassionate love - with those who are suffering give better support than can be had in almost any other segment of society. They encourage their sick friend to follow his faith and to cling to the knowledge that God IS there, even if he doesn't seem to be. They become God's representatives to their hurting friend.

But bring into this picture a misunderstanding, uneducated church friend or pastor telling you that there's something wrong with your relationship with God, and the results could be tragic. In this kind of situation the church can do more damage than any other part of society. When a person who is already feeling the terrible pain and negativity of depression is then told that the fault lies within himself or that he is possessed by a demon (yes, there are still some who believe this) - I can't imagine anything worse for a person with mental illness.

The worst problem a newly diagnosed person has to overcome is the acceptance that she needs to take psychiatric medication. So many fight against treatment and thus have a huge struggle with recovery. The process of acceptance is difficult. How much worse it is for someone of faith to be told by their church friends not to take the medication - in fact, to be told the medication is somehow "evil". I recently read a pastor's blog that claimed that the use of psychiatric medication was "sorcery."

Christians are supposed to be "followers of Christ." As such we need to love as He does. Our role is to be compassionate. It's God's role to judge, not ours. Dr. Harold G. Koenig, M.D., author of "New Light on Depression", said that the unconditional love that Christ displayed and that Christians are called to emulate, is "the ultimate long-term antidote for depression." I believe that to be true.

I know that it's through the love my church friends have shown me that I have come to fully grasp how deep God's love is for me. That helps me to hang onto my faith, no matter what. This is what gives me courage and strength to continue, even when my road turns black.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Support group - a report

Today was the big day. We had our first meeting of the support group. It was a tiny group; there were only four of us: me, my co-facilitator and two others. But, though there were few, we had a good meeting. Lots of good sharing. I was very happy with how it went.

A few weeks ago I felt nervous about facilitating. But today I felt prepared, and actually eager to begin. I felt comfortable in the role. I can sense that this is work God truly wants me to do.

I know that the group will grow only gradually. It takes courage to join something new like this, especially if you're not well. And even if there's only a handful of us, it will be worthwhile. I think that all of us who were there got something out of the meeting.

Our pastor sat in on the first half of the meeting. It's so good to have a sensitive person like him supporting this project. In fact, he's excited about it. If only all churches had leadership like this. He has inspired me and encouraged me. I'm so grateful for all the support I've found in this church.

Soon I will be getting back to work on my book. I know that one thing I will have to write about is this program. I want to describe how we run it and the benefits it provides, not only to people in our church but to the community. Perhaps readers will be inspired to start such a group in their own church.

Today I'm thankful for all the friends who are supporting me and my work. I know there are people praying for me and I can sense it helping. Today I very much felt God's presence.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Photo break

My son told me that it's always a good idea to include pictures in my blog. And since I am a photographer I have lots of pictures to share. Here is one of my favorites.

Who cares if it's not on this blog's topic. Sometimes we just need to take a break from words.

A wall to wall busy day

Today was so busy that I didn't have a chance to slow down until after supper. The support group starts on Friday and there is more planning involved than I thought there would be. But I'm sure things will be easier as we go.

Many people have shown an interest and I know that this kind of group is something that is needed...and wanted. There are quite a few secular support groups, but it's important for people of faith to have a place where they can talk about how God fits in the picture. It will be interesting to see just how many attend our first meeting. I'm so looking forward to it - so looking forward to meeting a new set of people who struggle as I do. I don't feel nervous, though I don't know how I'll feel on Friday.

Once we've had lunch (yes, we're providing a light lunch for them) we will open with a reading of Psalm 30 from the Message. I will tell the group how, if David was alive today, he might very well want to be at our meeting. His moods were very strong too, and very much like a roller coaster ride too.

I like vs 5: "...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
and vs 11: "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."

No matter how deep the depths David was in, at the end of his Psalms he always praised God. He went through hell, but remained hopeful in spite of it.

When I journal, I sometimes write a bit like David did. I cry and complain, but end with a short prayer to God, thanking him for being there. Just writing that prayer makes me feel better, more positive.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm sorry...

As a writer who tries to encourage those that have to live with bipolar disorder, as I do, I'm afraid that at times I might be coming across as someone who thinks she knows it all. I can't stand people like that and don't want to be like that...and if I ever tend be that way, I'm sorry... and ashamed. But it's a constant battle to be honest with my readers about who I am and just how well I truly cope. In my effort to encourage, I try to show only the best, when what I should be doing is recognizing the reality of the tough stuff. When I talk about my faith, especially, I tend to perhaps suggest that it's THE answer for our problems - that everything became perfect once I began to follow Christ.

The honest truth is that I have a biological brain disease that will always be with me. My brain is the way it is because this is the way God made me. My faith does not make this go away. I need medications (God-given) to survive. I often have to suffer.

Erwin Raphael McManus said it well in his book, "Uprising": "Followers of Christ suffer just like everyone else. The pain is just as real, the disappointment just as deep, the tears just as profound. Yet how we face suffering is quite different."

And how we face this suffering is what I think I covered in my last post. We know that there is some meaning in it. That, if we persevere, today's pains will transform us. I have learned this well. This is what gives me hope and helps me see the positive side of the struggles I'm forced to endure. After 40 years of this, I have found meaning in my life by putting to use what I have learned. I want to try and encourage others. I want to whittle away at the terrible stigma that exists in this world.

So, as I carry on writing these posts and the last chapter of my book, I sincerely hope that I will be able to face the reality of who I am, how well I do, and how severe the struggles truly are. I want to be honest; I want to be real.

Life with bipolar disorder will never be easy. But I thank God for showing me a way to serve him. It's in serving that I find my strength.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Faith and mental well-being

I have lived with bipolar disorder as a person who didn't believe in God. And I've lived with bipolar illness as someone who learned to have faith in Jesus Christ. And, though my faith did not "heal" me, I have become a stronger person because of it.

Trusting in God has removed a lot of the fear I had. I don't become anxious as often. I know that I'm on a spiritual journey that will never end until I go to heaven. Some anxiety and some fear will always be part of my life. But I live with a hope that keeps me well more than I would otherwise be. And, though I know that depression will still periodically hit me - as it has quite a few times over the past 18 months - I've learned that, every time I come back into the light, I'm a different person in some way. My moods teach me things, even if it's only to have better compassion for others who suffer in some way.

The Bible says "...we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has give us." (Romans 5:3-5)

Although suffering is painful there is something about the pain that does build character.

But I think the greatest thing I've learned since I began following Christ, was that God loves me unconditionally - no matter what. When I go through the pain that comes periodically, feelings of abandonment and darkness, I try to remember Jesus who is well acquainted with those feelings. He also suffered greatly - all for us. God knows what our pain is like. When we suffer, he suffers with us. We are not alone. To this knowledge we can cling.

I have known of God's love for a long time, but I haven't always felt it, or grasped just how great it truly is. But when I did, I became more confident, more assured of my worth. And all I knew I wanted to do, was to work for him, to help others understand how wide and long and high and deep his love is.

Friday, September 08, 2006

All shook up

I had a wonderful five days away - my husband fishing, and me reading, writing and knitting. It was so relaxing to sit in the sunshine looking out over the lake - quiet, warm, peaceful.

But tonight I'm not feeling quite as peaceful. I was in a traffic accident, broadsided on my (the driver's) side of the car by a bus. It seemed to happen so slowly. I saw the bus coming at me, honking like crazy, and there wasn't a thing I could do. I just knew he would hit me and that I might be hurt or not even survive. He was able to brake well enough so that he didn't hit too hard. I only ended up feeling very shaky and with a bit of a headache and slight neck pain. The car does not look like a bus hit it, but I'm sure will cost a bit to fix.

I am so thankful. It could have been so bad! Thank God!!

When I was working so hard on my book, before I decided I should put it aside for a couple of months, I used to worry whether I would die before I had a chance to finish it. I felt such pressure to focus, focus, focus. Since I began work on it 1 1/2 years ago I've always felt that it's the most important work I could be doing. If there's nothing else I accomplish past this point in my life, this book has to be finished and find a publisher...and today could have been it for me.

It just proves to me how important it is to get back to work on it as soon as I can. No more putting it off. It proves how fragile our lives are.

The book I'm working on is about how God has worked in my life with bipolar disorder. I am hoping that it will help promote a better understanding about mental health issues in the Christian community. There is still so much ignorance and stigma in the world, and in churches as well. Yet churches, probably more than any other single portion of society, should learn to understand. They should learn how they can love and support people like us who suffer from a disorder that is not our fault. Followers of Christ believe in loving people unconditionally. And it's this kind of love that we need to help us survive and grow. This kind of love gives us confidence and courage to face what living with mood disorders does to us.

I've felt God's hand help me in this writing. It is not something I'm doing on my own. And there are so many who I know would be helped.

I'm grateful to have survived another day. It was a wake-up call.

I feel better now that I've written this - calmer. Amazing how writing can help a person come together, isn't it?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Finding meaning

I won't be posting for a week or so because we'll be going for a brief holiday. That's good. I look forward to some real rest. While my husband fishes, I'll read and knit on a scarf. I'll also play with some ideas for the last chapter of the book I'm writing, another book about living with bipolar disorder. This chapter will be about finding meaning in life or at least, how I found meaning in my life. It's different for everyone, isn't it? I'll explore how having purpose for my days helps me stay well. Anyone have any ideas you'd like to share with me?

I'll miss posting and reading the posts I've become attached to in the last 1 1/2 weeks since I became a blogger. But I'll see you back soon.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My rainbow

I want to reprint a little piece I wrote for my book, Riding the Roller Coaster. In retrospect, it doesn't truly reveal the pain that I feel in the deepest of depressions. Please forgive me if it seems I'm making light of feelings that cause true suffering. The thing is, when I'm on medications that are working for me and my moods don't go to extremes, this analogy would hold true.

"One of the things I don't mind about having a bipolar disorder is that it's provided me with a veritable rainbow of feelings. A rich assortment of feelings and moods is ever-present in my day-to-day life. The 'colors' range from joyful to painfully sad, but I've learned to value many of them.
Everyone has feelings, but I believe that people with my illness tend to sense things more strongly than many because our moods go up and down to such an intense degree. In a way it's good to be able to feel strongly: to know what it is to be swept away by beautiful music, to be deeply touched by a friend's words, and to sense fully the excitement of doing creative things.
It may seem strange, but I even value being able to feel sorrow deeply. What if I weren't able to feel? What if I were like a stone - insensitive? There is a richness to a heart that can contain truly deep feelings - in laughter
and in tears. When I feel strongly, I sense my humanity intensely.
I am happy and grateful that I have a brilliant rainbow inside me. I know that
all the colors - from blue to green to yellow and red - are necessary to make it what it is. Although some of its hues may be painful to me, the arch, in its entirety, is a wondrous phenomenon and the beautiful part of a storm."