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the view from here

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RE: the view from here

Posted by Candace on Jun 18, 2013 3:36 pm

Thanks Dr. Dan, I so enjoy your posts and have gained great insight from them. I appreciate the reminder that what I focus on is where my energy will go. I find feeling the feeling, no matter what it is and letting it flow through me, helps me return to my  intended direction and focus. Carry on!
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RE: the view from here

Posted by linda on Jun 18, 2013 9:43 pm

Beautiful Dan. I cried reading your post. I miss nature so much. Before my accident I used to love walking through the woods, hearing the leaves crush under my feet, hearing and seeing all that nature has to offer. I'm glad you had the chance to experience that. 
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Jun 19, 2013 3:49 pm

I was at an event this morning in my community when I spilled an entire cup of ice tea on my lap. Not really my lap, my crotch! Of course I was embarrassed because I looked like I peed in my pants. Again.
I wanted to tell everyone "no, it's not what you think it's iced tea." And then I thought what's the difference anyway? Whether it's urine or or a cold beverage, my pants are still wet.

There's something about our bodily fluids that are so shameful. Urine, bowel, even mucus are all sources of shame. It's strange when you think about it because it's no different for any of us. We all pee, poop and have snot, so why are we embarrassed?

I know it goes back to the fig leaf thing and very few of us over three years old wants to walk around naked.

But ultimately, are we ashamed of our bodily fluids or are we ashamed of our own vulnerability? Even, perhaps our own humanity.

I've always had fantasies of rewriting the children's story "the Emperor's new clothes". You know, the one where the Emperor was tricked into thinking he was wearing a beautiful outfit when in reality he was naked. He drove around the village feeling such pride while everyone secretly laughed. In my rewrite, the Emperor would know he is naked and still be proud.

So, we're all vulnerable, we all have fears and areas of shame. None of us like being fragile or dependent, but we all are-all humans. And as humans, we all have the capacity to love and laugh-even at ourselves.
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Jul 24, 2013 4:43 pm

Someone told me last week that given my age (67) and the number of years I’ve lived as a quadriplegic (33), my life expectancy was about seven years! I immediately called my financial advisor and said “remember how you told me last year that the way things looked now I might run out of money by the time I was 80? Well I have great news. I just found out that I will probably be dead by the time I’m 73 so I don’t have to worry about that anymore!”

it's a funny thing about numbers and life expectancy. Someone told me after my accident that the life expectancy of a quadriplegic in 1979 was between 11 and 15 years. Meanwhile, my insurance company keeps paying bills and is probably mumbling “ all right already isn’t it time yet?”

Like many of us have come close to death several times. And like many of us it can be ever present background noise in our lives and the lives of those who love us. So what to do with all of this death stuff? Many lives their lives in fear of death. They spent a great deal of money and energy trying to stay a step ahead of that Angel with the sickle.
 
Singer-songwriter Paul Simon once said: “the way we look to a distant constellation that’s dying in the corner of the sky…” Once we experience the fragility of our lives, we realize how precious that life is. Knowing I might not see another summer, I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying watching the colors on the trees and the squirrels and chipmunks playing on the ground. And I would guess that if I am lucky enough to see next summer, I will probably enjoy that even more because I will feel more gratitude that I still here.


Many years ago I became friendly with Andrea Collins Smith. She was the wife, mother of six and had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. She was dying. At the same time, she had the most radiant smile you can imagine. One day in the early spring I called her just to say hello when she told me that she was on the beach in Ocean City with her children. She explained that someone had taken all of them down and helped her to get on the beach and that when I called she was just watching her children run around and play. And then she said “you know Dan, I think this is the best day of my life.”she died several days later

May we all have that whether we live seven months, years or 70 years.
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by RonW on Aug 1, 2013 1:52 pm

I am 70 and have been paralyzed 50 years.  I started out paraplegic (hands and arms) but aging and spinal cord loss at my injury site C4-C6 (the result of hemorrhaging during spinal surgery) has caused an insidious decline making me a quadriplegic and subject to all the life threatening results.
 
In spite of this, my health is good.  My recent physical showed all my blood parameters in the normal range.  My wake-up call last December was the failure of antibiotics to deal with pneumonia and I had to have surgery on my right lung to save my life.
 
I'm an existentialist and writer, like you.  I'm currently completing my illustrated (with many pictures I scanned) autobiography that I started in 1992, typing with one finger at a time.  In the meantime, I've written four novels and two books of short stories that should live well beyond my life.  My legacy, you will, because I have no children.
 
My primary helper of twenty years worries a great deal about my death, but I don't.  I have prepared well with my will work up until the day that I can't anymore writing.  I've always said that my paralysis will shorten my life ten years.  That means that, since my relatives have all lived in the high nineties, I will probably make 80… Enough for me.
 
Ron
Ronald W. Hull, EdD
ronhullaðuthor
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Aug 6, 2013 4:54 pm

Hi Ron,

nice meeting you! I hope I get to read that manuscript before my seven years!!
Existential psychiatrist Erwin Yalom wrote a book about his aging called "Staring at the Sun". What he suggests is that facing your death is like staring at the sun, you know it's there but you can't stare at it very long without hurting your eyes.
I disagree. I practice meditation every day and many of those days I visualize the trees and plants without me there anymore. I do the same with family gatherings-I just picture this interaction going on the same way after I am gone. It gives me great comfort to know that when I am gone, things will go a long pretty much the way they have been.

At my 60th birthday, somebody proposed to toast thanking me for being who I am. I said the thanks really begins with my father's sperm count and my mother's willingness that particular night! You see, all of this is so very improbable-that we have a life and that we have love in our lives and that we have running water and can read and communicate with each other. What are the chances?

Ron, I think we've hit the lottery!

Dan
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Aug 6, 2013 4:55 pm

posting a day early this week as I will be traveling all day tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to join you again next Wednesday.
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by zuzu on Aug 7, 2013 4:54 am

This was in the news today - "Pew also found most Americans unexcited about living more than a century: More than two-thirds said they would like to live somewhere between 79 and 100 years, and some wanted a shorter life than that. Only 4% wanted to live to the age of 121 or beyond." (LA Times)  Sounds like you, Ron, and Dr. Dan will hit it just right.  And I think reading your books, Ron, would be quite interesting.  Don't give up on the one finger method (that's an interesting implication) until you've finished having your say.
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RE: the view from here

Posted by LoriK on Aug 20, 2013 3:49 pm

Hi Ron, I am interested in reading your books. I have spinal cord cancer and I was struck by your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My email is lkempf4@yahoo.com. Lori
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Aug 21, 2013 11:04 am

I just visited South Africa and wrote about it in another topic in this discussion group. But there I was surrounded by animals in their natural habitat. These living beings don't worry much about death also they worked very hard to try to avoid it. But they don't worry much about anything. It is the human brain that it is developed enough to worry about things we have no control over. It's the human brain that develops and identity that begins with "I, me or mine". And because we have these egos, we can't imagine not being here.
Life is precious, temporary and unpredictable. While I was in Africa I met an 80-year-old woman who walked on a cane living in grinding poverty with a big smile on her face. She told me "as long as my hut is clean, I am a happy person"
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Sep 11, 2013 9:54 am

September 11 is a hard time for this country. It's a day of remembrance. But it's also one of the best days of my life as my baby daughter was born on 9/11 nearly 40 years ago.
We tend to look at our lives in myopic ways. We look at 9/11 as a tragedy, but many many things happened in our lives that day.

It's the same when we suffer or feel depressed or alone. We tell ourselves that's how we are feeling these days. But that's not true, that's just the way we look at it in hindsight. Research shows that even people in acute grief feel multiple emotions every single day including joy. But if you ask someone in acute grief how they are feeling, they will tell you they suffer  all day.

If you think you are going through a bad time or a bad day, pay close attention to how you are experiencing your life moment by moment. You might be surprised!
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Dec 11, 2013 4:07 pm

As we approach the darkest day of the year, many religions have celebrations involving light and birth or rebirth or miracles. I'm guessing that is our effort to literally get us through the night.

I wonder what it's like to live in this season for you? For me, it's the anniversary of my accident, the anniversary of my marriage to my late wife, the deaths of both of my parents. The Latin term for the emotions that go with this configuration of losses is: "oy vey". And as of right now, last time I checked with national Institute of health, there is no medication for oy vey! So with luck and a sense of humor, I will soon discover myself one month from now with my disease in remission.

What is this season like for you?
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Dec 18, 2013 2:53 pm

This week will mark the 34th anniversary of the accident that resulted in my quadriplegia. It was a clear crisp December morning when I walked across the frozen grass to climb into my burgundy Dodge dart (okay, everybody makes mistakes!). Little did I know those would be the last steps I would ever take. Little did I know that would be the last time I would pick my daughters up over my head and watch them giggle. Little did I know it would be the last time I would stand up and gaze into my wife’s eyes and hug her.

It was a day many things died. And they died the moment of truck tire bounced across the Pennsylvania Turnpike and crushed my car. I remember sitting in the occupational therapy department at Magee rehab in Philadelphia several months after my accident. I had just been transferred there a week earlier from my acute-care hospital at Jefferson. Sitting next to my OT, I just glanced up at the pale green cinderblock wall with paint stains on it and muttered to know one in particular: “who would have thought I would come to a place like this to die.” My poor OT. She quickly tried to reassure me that I didn’t come here to die, I came here to live. But I knew that we were both right and in this case one had to die before they could live. And so I mourned for many years. That mourning turned into a clinical depression that required psychotherapy and medication. It turned into multiple hospitalizations and it turned into disappointment after disappointment after disappointment.

And that mourning intensified when my wife left the marriage and died a few years later. When my sister died around the same time. But while this was going on, I was working, writing books and hosting a radio show. I was loving many friends and had a few romantic relationships.

I guess this particular anniversary has more meaning to me then I was aware of because I have been having a repetitive dream about my workplace right before the accident. So I woke up and reflected on these 34 years and what’s happened to me, with me and from me. How does it happen that this moment I am happy and grateful and loving and in love and loved? Damned if I understand how this works, but I did have an idea about something universal that happens to all of us:

Broken lives and open hearts
Daniel Gottlieb


When life suddenly comes at you bareknuckled and bloodthirsty.

And you find yourself lying naked and bloody in an unfamiliar land.

And you feel the world is watching you broken and vulnerable.

And you feel more shame than you ever have before.

So you hide your face, too scared to cry because if you do you might never stop.

And everything you thought was true is now gone.

So without a roadmap, you get up. Frightened and fragile, you take your first tentative step into the unknown.

Secretly wishing for yesterday to return, fearful of tomorrow.

You go to doctors who heal your body, but the scars are permanent.

And you see other doctors to heal your broken heart, but those scars are permanent also.

After the shock and anger and self-pity and resentment;

When you are too exhausted to fight against the truth of your life,

You cry and you cry and you cry some more. You cry for all you’ve lost, you cry for this good person who suffers. And you cry for all who suffer.

And then you open your eyes to this new life. And you say “okay, what now?”

And life begins anew. It’s different from before. You find yourself not as strong physically, not even strong enough to hide your own vulnerability.

And then you realize.

The air itself smells sweeter and the sun is brighter.

And your love is less tentative and more generous.

And you begin loving more and it seems easier than ever before.


And you realize all of this love comes through the scar tissue in your broken heart.
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Dec 25, 2013 12:56 pm

Yes my friends I work on Christmas!

Of course, Christmas isn't a holiday in my tribe but Hanukkah is. And although Hanukkah was celebrated a month earlier this year, all of these holidays are celebrated right around the winter solstice-the darkest day of the year.
Christmas is about birth and hope. Hanukkah, the festival of light is about miracles. While the African American holiday of Kwanzaa is about celebration of harvest and, like Hanukkah and Christmas, also involves giving gifts.

It's no surprise that these holidays celebrating hope and light and joy occur during the darkest days of the year when we need those things the most.

I spent some time the other day with a dear friend and colleague. Like me, he is in his late 60s. And a few months ago he was diagnosed with a debilitating and ultimately fatal neurological disease. This kind and loving man told me he wasn't afraid of dying, he was afraid of the mood instability that can go with this disease. And he was terrified of losing his cognitive abilities.

he asked me how I was able to face so much adversity in my life and still be this happy and grateful. Of course, many factors come into this and most of them are probably way beyond my knowledge base. But my experience is that the more I have lived in very dark places, the more I appreciate the light. Especially knowing that darkness will again visit, just like it will with all of us. So we might rail at the darkness of our lives where the darkness of this time of year. But this day, this moment, this life has light in it.

Merry Christmas, happy Kwanzaa and happy belated Hanukkah!
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Audrey on Jan 7, 2014 8:36 pm

The definition of dark is the absence of light.  We never know how good life is until something goes wrong - SCI, illness, breakups, whatever.  Here's to life!
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RE: the view from here

Posted by cinnyd on Jan 7, 2014 9:59 pm

All of this and just read your broken lives open hearts piece made me cry and so happy, thank you
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Jan 8, 2014 4:01 pm

to both Audrey and Cindy (and everyone who reads this),

Victor Hugo said  in Le Mis: "in darkness the pupil dilates  as though searching for light. In adversity,  the heart dilates as though searching for God."

It is in the dilated heart that we find ourselves open, vulnerable  and  more loving, more compassion, more kind and  more comfortable  with who we are and how  we are.

I offered that quote to a group of physicians when I was doing grand rounds at a local hospital. One cardiac surgeon in the back disagreed. He said the metaphor was great, but if the biological heart stayed open, we would die.

I thought about that for a minute and of course knew he was right about the heart itself, but he was also right about the metaphor. In this life that we live, our hearts open and close. When we feel anxious or uncomfortable, when we race around or when we are out of touch with our selves, our hearts are closed. And when the heart is closed, the soul is not getting sufficient oxygen. When the heart is closed, we suffer. And we need care and compassion – from ourselves.

But nothing happens until we can feel that our hearts are closed. Please please check in  with your hearts  a few times a day. It needs your  care and compassion
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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RE: the view from here

Posted by JLo on Jan 14, 2014 9:57 am

Well said Dr. Dan, thank you for sharing that with our community.
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RE: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Feb 12, 2014 5:05 pm

I'm giving a talk in early March to a group of mindfulness teachers and students on the following topic:

From Trauma to Recovery to Gratitude and Love

many of you have been fortunate enough to have taken this path.
Selfishly, I would like you to help give me some ideas for my lecture by telling me what helped you get from trauma to gratitude?

When I look back, it was so many serendipitous things-I was a psychologist before the accident so I had a career to return to. I had two beautiful little girls who needed me. I had lots of friends. And I had very good insurance that paid all of my medical and rehab bills including my wheelchairs and Van. (It was no fault car insurance that took care of their customers from point of accident through death. Obviously, that doesn't exist anymore).
But that part is unique to me. I think what we all might have in common is this –

there is a point where we look around and make a choice about whether to live this life that we have and move ahead. I think when that happens, all things are possible.

And gratitude? I think coming close to death several times and now as I age and my body gets tired, all of these things help with gratitude. Okay, I'll explain. I don't know how many more times I will hear my grandson's voice. It could be 12 million or it could be one. I know that more than intellectually, I know that in my heart. So every time I hear Sam's voice, I feel gratitude and love.

It's a funny thing that some more fragile life feels, the more wonderful it becomes. I was about to say that I don't know if this will be my last snowstorm, but somehow I'm pretty confident this is not the end of my opportunities to make snow quads!

So tell me your story?
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Feb 28, 2014 10:55 am

Adventures in quadriplegia land, Chapter 6,248!
 
And hopefully still counting!
 
 I am about to tell a story that has probably happened to so many of us.
On Friday I went to a doctor to discuss a new medication that might help me with a symptom I have been struggling with. Because he was also a friend of mine, we had a long discussion about the pros and cons-especially the side effects.
 
I have struggling for several years now with autonomic instability and wildly fluctuating blood pressures. I have come to the conclusion that there is no treatment for high and low blood pressure, so I am okay living with it. But I have no strong desire to make it worse. So…
 
Before I took this drug I dutifully called my pharmacist and had her look up drug interactions as I am taking more drugs than probably the entire city of Detroit. I received her blessing. I called my internist and received his blessing. I looked up drug interactions and side effects online and I didn't see any of the dreaded side effects I feared. So…
 
On Tuesday morning I took a tiny dose of this new medication. One hour later, my heart was pounding, I couldn't speak above a whisper and I felt like some overweight human was sitting on my chest. I called my doctor and, predictably, he said "call 911 and get your butt to a hospital."
 
Nothing special when I got there, just the regular joys of being in the hospital-no sleep, significant blood loss for the laboratory, x-rays, CAT scans and medication errors. You know, the usual.
 
But while I was there, my cardiologist was talking to my nurse and referred to me as "brittle". Of course, I made a joke about it saying I preferred the word "sensitive" has brittle reminded me of a 90-year-old woman with stockings rolled up to her knees and her dentures not fitting well.
 
When I got home a couple of hours ago, I got thinking about that word. He might be right. Here I am taking a medication and after due diligence, have side effects that have not been reported before. After living with this for 34 of my 67 years, I have some good news and bad news.
 
Bad news: I am brittle. My body is like a house of cards and I don't quite know when the whole thing will fall down. I have always experienced my body/my health as fragile and, as a result, I live with a sense of vulnerability.
 
Good news: I am comfortable with my own vulnerability. As cognitive psychologist Brene Brown says, without vulnerability, there can be no intimacy. As a result, my vulnerability not only opens me up to having intimate relationships, it enables be to love more deeply than I ever could have when I was pretending to be strong.
 
And none of this could happen if I wasn't brittle or fragile or simply sensitive!
 
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Apr 23, 2014 3:42 pm

ookay everybody  I could use a hand here. In my last post, I talked about my difficult encounter with the doctor during my last  hospitalization. I have a feeling everyone reading this might know a little bit about difficult encounters  with doctors!

Anyway, I wrote a letter to  the medical director of the hospital  suggesting that this Dr. was potentially dangerous. To my surprise, the medical director  engaged in several conversations with me wanting to know more about my  overall care and what could be done to improve it. And the bottom line

And this is where I need help. I am going back to that hospital the end of next week  to do grand rounds.. I will be talking with medical staff about being a patient and what we really need  from people  who care for us.. I will be addressing this issue from both sides of the bed as I am also indirectly in this business..

But this talk would be so much better if I didn't just talk about my experience and some boring research.. I would love to get your  counsel on issues that medical staff need to know about how they can better care for us..

Thanks in advance
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Apr 30, 2014 2:15 pm

When I was a boy, all winter I waited for the first sign of spring. And when it arrived, I took my baseball glove from under my mattress and looked for somebody to play ball with. As a young man, it meant time to go out and play with my young daughters in the sprinklers or mow the lawn and just enjoy the weather

And when I was in my 30s, spring was a time of anguish. There I sat in my wheelchair watching as life renewed itself, but I did not. I watched outside as joggers and sports enthusiasts stretched their muscles. And all I wanted to do was go to bed and cry. I felt so painfully alone in my suffering.
For the next five years I couldn’t go near a softball field or a golf course without wanting to cry.

And as I wrote about in “Letters to Sam”, one day Sam and his dad invited me to go on the golf course as Sam was just learning to hit the ball. Moment by moment I felt exhilaration and gratitude. And in the next moment I felt grief and sadness over all I have lost. A moment later, I watched my precious grandson as he hit a beautiful shot with his seven iron.

And today, nearly 35 years after my accident, I find myself again being like the little boy I once was. Looking forward to spring hoping I would experience the joy of watching the trees bud and the forsythia’s light up the foliage signaling what was to come. This spring is more precious than the one last year. And if I am fortunate enough, I would guess next spring would be even more precious.

The young boy liked to smell the oils in his baseball glove, feels the texture of the ball in his hand. He loved the way his left hand felt when someone through the hardball to his glove. He knew the special feel of his Little League field.

And the old man, smells the fresh cut grass of his lawn, feels the cool air touching his face, loving the richness in life that surrounds him.

And this is The Wisdom We’re Born With. This is how letting go and opening up to the lives we have. This is about Restoring our Faith and Ourselves  and  the world around us.

After all, this is how nature does it and it seems  to work out  pretty well there!
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Danny Gilman on Apr 30, 2014 6:58 pm

Dan Gottlieb:
When I was a boy, all winter I waited for the first sign of spring. And when it arrived, I took my baseball glove from under my mattress and looked for somebody to play ball with. As a young man, it meant time to go out and play with my young daughters in the sprinklers or mow the lawn and just enjoy the weather

And when I was in my 30s, spring was a time of anguish. There I sat in my wheelchair watching as life renewed itself, but I did not. I watched outside as joggers and sports enthusiasts stretched their muscles. And all I wanted to do was go to bed and cry. I felt so painfully alone in my suffering.
For the next five years I couldn’t go near a softball field or a golf course without wanting to cry.

And as I wrote about in “Letters to Sam”, one day Sam and his dad invited me to go on the golf course as Sam was just learning to hit the ball. Moment by moment I felt exhilaration and gratitude. And in the next moment I felt grief and sadness over all I have lost. A moment later, I watched my precious grandson as he hit a beautiful shot with his seven iron.

And today, nearly 35 years after my accident, I find myself again being like the little boy I once was. Looking forward to spring hoping I would experience the joy of watching the trees bud and the forsythia’s light up the foliage signaling what was to come. This spring is more precious than the one last year. And if I am fortunate enough, I would guess next spring would be even more precious.

The young boy liked to smell the oils in his baseball glove, feels the texture of the ball in his hand. He loved the way his left hand felt when someone through the hardball to his glove. He knew the special feel of his Little League field.

And the old man, smells the fresh cut grass of his lawn, feels the cool air touching his face, loving the richness in life that surrounds him.

And this is The Wisdom We’re Born With. This is how letting go and opening up to the lives we have. This is about Restoring our Faith and Ourselves  and  the world around us.

After all, this is how nature does it and it seems  to work out  pretty well there!

Spring is my favorite season.  Living in Vermont is exciting watching "life" bloom in a few weeks time. 
danny gilman
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on May 14, 2014 2:35 pm

I went to the baseball game last night with my 5-year-old buddy Jacob. He is essentially a grandson to me as he and his mother lived in my house for the first 4 years of his life. Anyway, there we were with his mom and dad, my nurse and myself and little Jacob who was having the time of his life.

His mother had a car accident several years ago and now suffers with a variety of symptoms including severe back pain. She feels such guilt about what she cannot do with him, feeling awful about all he is missing because of her disabilities.

I told her I felt that guilt for nearly 30 years. All I could think about was not being able to teach my girls how to ride their bikes, play soccer with them or teach them how to drive. And then I had dinner with my daughter Debbie one evening about 5 years ago. We've always had the kind of relationship where we can have heart to heart talks.

So I shared with her all of the pain I carry for all of these years. I cried as I told her because I felt such searing sadness. And when I was done, it was her turn to cry. She cried only because her father was suffering. She said: "anybody can teach us how to ride bikes and play soccer. And I certainly wouldn't want to learn to drive from you! But nobody could give us the kind of time, patience, understanding and love that you gave us. Most fathers are just too busy. I cried again.

That's why I didn't feel so guilty when I told Jacob that we had to leave the game in the 5th inning because I was freezing my butt off. Because we are such close buddies, at his tender age he understands that I can freeze my butt off fairly easily!
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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Re: the view from here

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on May 21, 2014 3:44 pm

last week  I gave a talk to a group of health care professionals about what we can learn from people who are dying. Of course, what we learn from them  is what's important in life and what is really unimportant. of course, we the living  often get caught up in the unimportant crap and forget the big picture.  But pretty universally the big picture involves having love in our lives.. And generally that love business  doesn't have much to do  with wealth, beauty,, disability or much of anything else..  So it's not what we have or what we don't have, it's who we are  and how we love others.

And yes, sometimes we need to be with someone who is dying to learn how to live.  But most of us  have also experienced tremendous loss. And that can also teach us what's important in life and what's not. It can teach us those valuable lessons,  if we are fortunate enough to go in that direction.

Research shows that those who live  there every day lives consistently with their internal  beliefs  about what's important in their lives and in the world, that those people are happier and have a better sense of well-being.

In the words of a shrink I live with: "so what's your life like?"
Dan http://www.DrDanGottlieb.com
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