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JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS - January 2016 - Kansas City
One Moment Please!
By Jude LaClaire, Ph.D.
Living in a world of uncertainty with change and challenge swirling around us we can almost certainly feel overwhelmed. How do we not only maintain equilibrium, but also feel as if we are making a difference?
One part of this recipe is acting as though every moment is the most important. No change is made or challenge met in any other way than one moment at a time.
Another ingredient is the catalyst of personal experience. One’s pain, physical or emotional, can be life changing. We can become victims, drowning in our pain, or students of life, learning from it.
I have met some amazing and resilient people at the “Relieving Pain in Kansas City” meetings. This is a group sponsored by KU Medical Center and the Center for Practical Bioethics. People with chronic pain and practitioners meet to give support and to share and develop ideas for better treatment and research.
I met Teresa, a chronic pain sufferer, who has founded “Share the Love House” providing resources for the homeless. She carries food and supplies in her car, coordinating efforts to help those in need. A young woman, a former EMT, who suffered a traumatic brain injury on the job, shares she is speaking to students and health professionals about brain injury. A young man who has spent over 20 years dealing with his Sickle Cell Anemia talks about how he and his family are working to establish residential spaces for people with chronic illnesses.
One of my work colleagues, an immigrant from Mexico working hard to support his own family, collects money to send food and supplies to needy families that he knows. He doesn’t want others to suffer as he did.
My experience with migraines since my early twenties and more recently with arthritis, has helped me to have compassion for people with acute and chronic pain. My work in holistic health was shaped by my own experiences over the last forty years. Searching for my own health solutions, I have explored many different treatment modalities. Having found approaches that work for myself and others, I know there is hope. This is the ingredient that most profoundly affects us.
Having hope in the midst of pain, loss and the inevitable ups and downs of life is the challenge for all of us. Learning the lesson of the importance and power of each moment is at the heart of finding hope. One of the Kansas City Royals players was asked how he dealt with the problem of being behind in a game. He replied that he paid attention only to playing his best at each moment, not really thinking about winning or losing.
The forthcoming film about Mother Teresa, The Letters, based on the book by Brian Kolodiejchuk entitled Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, promises to tell the story of the inner struggle of one of the modern world’s examples of compassion and hope. The revelation of her challenge of depression and internal darkness is good for us to know. Finding hope does not mean all is cheerful and rosy. It often means struggling with our demons.
As we begin a new year, I hope we can all find ways to live the moment more fully, find hope and meaning in our lives knowing that changing ourselves will inevitably change our environment and others as well. Take your challenges and convert them into action and hope in your life. Be well, happy and hopeful in 2016!
Jude LaClaire, Ph.D., LCPC, is a counselor, educator and author. For counseling appointments, seminars, training, speaking engagements or information on Neurobehavioral Programs or Imago Couple therapy call 913-322-5622. For more information about Jude LaClaire or the Kansas City Holistic Centre go to
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