Do you have SISU?

September 7, 2016

From the Jack’s Winning Words blog come the inspiration for today’s post –

“I have perceived that man with courage and will-power can overcome anything.” (Scharnhorst)

Jack went on to write – Determination?  Persistence?  Tenacity?  Guts?  The Finns have a word for it: SISU!  Sisu is even in the Bible.  “I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me.”  Paul wrote this while facing difficult situations in his life.

I often advise my real estate clients that selling their house will take patience and patiencepersistence. They must get into the habit of keeping the house in a condition such that a showing could take place at any time. That means allotting some extra time in the mornings to make sure it is show ready before heading off to work. It helps if you can exercise that patience with a good attitude.
In life in general, those with SISU as part of their personal makeup most often succeed. They have the courage to try new things and the will-power to stick with it until they succeed. They have SISU.

sisuSometimes we need the extra little boost to our SISU in our daily lives that a little reflection in prayer can add. Perhaps you could find strength and resolve by just repeating that little phrase that Jack mentioned in his post – “I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me.” For some the opening lines of the 23rd Psalm is a pick-me-up – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” For others the fear of the unknown or of failure is stripped away be this passage, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

The common theme that runs through all of the supportive scriptures that I might mention is that you are not in this alone, if you accept and believe in Jesus Christ. He is always with you and with Him in your corner you cannot fail. You may suffer setbacks from time to time, but your willpower, courage and tenacity (your SISU), strengthened with God’s help, will pull you through.

Video game players know that in many video games there are secret treasures to be found that have restorative powers. The character that you are playing may be beat up, injured or otherwise in bad shape due to setbacks in the game; however, if you find those hidden man prayingtreasures they can restore the character to full strength immediately, ready to go with the game. Life is a little like that; although the restorative treasures aren’t really hidden; they are most often just forgotten about. Those restorative treasures are the words of God as found in the Bible. A few have been mentioned here, but there are too many to list.

Here’s a link to one site that points you to several uplifting passages that might help make you day better. Find a few for yourself and see if they don’t restore your SISU.

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Dealing with life’s pains…

September 27, 2014

“Knowing that there is worse pain doesn’t make the present pain hurt less.”  (Real Live Preacher), as seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

We all experience pain from time to time, whether it is real, physical pain or emotional pain. Sometimes people will say things like “shake it off” or maybe “it could be worse.” Those sage pieces of advice seldom help in the moment. In fact, recent studies have shown the harmful effects of decades of sports coaches telling a player with a concussion to shake it off and get back in the game. There are tons of stories from ex-athletes about how they wish now that they had taken better care of their bodies, instead of “playing through the pain.”

On the emotional level, people who have just experienced the loss of a loved one or child cannot be consoled by adviceremorseful from others. Theirs is a deep person pain that only they can feel and understand. What is really needed in those moments is a hug and a shoulder to cry upon. The release of letting it out through a good cry is much better than trying to maintain “a stiff upper lip.” The emotional pain that we experience in such times is our minds trying to get itself around the overwhelming senses of fear and confusion and loss and concern for the future all at once. It is too much to process and organize and compartmentalize, so we break down in tears and that somehow helps. The tears provide a way for it to all wash over us at once and get out.  After a good cry, you head can clear and rational thought return.

Once the initial pain subsidies we often settle into a period of dull, persistent pain, whether the injury be physical or mental. That can come in the form of a throbbing, back of the head pain or as sharp little jibs of pain as we are reminded of the loss or the initial injury. We begin to learn how to deal with the persistent pain and perhaps start the rehabilitation process to try to get back to a new “normal.”

Soman on cruthesme injuries in sport are career ending and many losses in life are life-changing. Things can never get back to the way they were, so you need to focus upon living with things the way they are. That is hard on ex-athletes and on people who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Many ex-athletes suffer though bouts of depression because they can no longer perform at the level that they were used to; but, more importantly, they are no longer a member of the team that defined them as people and served as a “family” of sorts.

People who lose their life partners suffer the greatest sense of loss of all. It is hard to lose a child, especially for a mother; but to lose your life partner is much worse. A successful long-term relationship with a life partner results in the melding of the two souls to such as extent that the loss of one will leave the other feeling only half there. The pain of having half of who you had become in life torn away is beyond that of all other human pain. Yet, we survive. We may cry longer and with deeper emotions that at any other time in our lives; but we live on.

When you are a child and got hurt, your mom might kiss your boo-boo and make it all better. You probably never toldcaring her that kissing the boo-boo really didn’t make the pain go away; but that being held and loved made bearing the pain a little easier. As adults we seldom still have mom around to kiss our boo-boos; but, if you are lucky you have friends or relatives who are there to give you that hug of assurance and tell you that things will be alright. In that moment, let yourself go; become that child again that finds comfort and relief from the pain in someone’s arms. Have a good cry; then, thank them for being there. They may not even understand what they just did for you; but, they’ll be glad that they were there to help.

An what if they aren’t there when you need them? Remember that you are never alone. You have only to acknowledge that God is there to comfort you to begin feeling the warmth of His embrace. There’s no boo-boo too big for God to handle, if you go to Him for a hug.


Make the pain go away…

April 9, 2014

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; here Norm goes off on another esoteric riff on emotional pain and how to deal with it. I’ll get to that later, I promise; if I can figure out how to fit it into three little words. If you need an emotional or musical fix on that in the meantime, here’s the premier video of the band Brad doing “Make the pain go away.”

What I want to talk about today is real, physical pain; the kind you get when you do something stupid to your aging body and now it hurts. I guess it also applies to younger bodies too; I just have an easier time relating to the old dude doing stupid things description.

Actually it doesn’t really even require doing stupid things. As we get older our bodied change and not necessarily for the better. We get less limber, less able to stretch into the positions (yoga or otherwise) that we used to do with ease. And, we become more prone to slip and fall accidents. But falling down stairsmaybe for you who are younger it’s just pushing that one little bit beyond what you are still capable of doing. In any case, you can hurt yourself and you need help to make the pain go away.

Today I want to relate a wonderful experience that I’ve recently had and give a shout out to a particular practitioner of a healing art who helped make the pain go away.

I was out walking my dogs in February, when took one of those falls that you can only take when you hit an icy patch in the dark. Down you go, before you know it. I was just thankful that I didn’t break anything. At my age, breaking stuff is really bad. Anyway I landed on my shoulder after a failed attempt to catch myself and hurt something bad. I got up and made it home OK; but, I could not make the pain go away.

Being from the “old school”, I determined that there were no bones sticking out anywhere and I could move my arm, so nothing was apparently broken. There was pain; but, I thought it would get better over time. Weeks when by and it didn’t get better. I needed to do something more than just take Aleve to make the pain go away.

Tammy ware 2Fortunately I have a cohort in the local Chamber of Commerce referral network that I’m in who is a Massage therapist. Tammy Ware is co-owner of Essential Massage and Wellness Center in Highland, Michigan. Tammy has over 20 years of massage therapy experience and is trained and experienced in many different massage techniques. I decided it was to see if Tammy could make the pain go away.

What a wonderful experience! I had been having trouble sleeping because of the pain in my shoulder. On the first visit I nearing fell asleep on the massage table because of the wonderful relief from pain that Tammy was able to provide.  Just a half-hour of deep tissue massage was able to loosen all of the muscles in my shoulder that had tied themselves in knots because of the pain. Tammy was able to make the pain go away.

The relief provided by the massage session eventually faded and I returned a couple of more time, each one a respite from the pain. Tammy advised me to seek the opinion of a doctor because my shoulder was not getting better and it turned out that I have a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery and rehab. You can bet that a part of my rehab will be regular visit s to Tammy because I know that I will need someone thin who can make the pain go away.

Tammy and the massage therapy that she represents so well is just one of the alternative medicine approaches that are currently gaining support and credence in the healthcare world. There is growing recognition that therapies and alternative treatments, such as Chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and meditation and yoga have a place on the spectrum of care for many non-disease conditions. It turns out that modern medicine doesn’t have a pill to prescribe for everything. And sometimes what they can’t drug or operate on will respond to other approaches. In the case of many muscular-skeletal issues massage therapy is the best way to make the pain go away.

I certainly endorse it and wholeheartedly recommend Tammy Ware and her business – Essential esential massage logo
Massage and Wellness Center
–   if you happen to be I the southeastern Michigan area. If you are not from around here; at least make sure to get a therapist who has extensive training, certifications and experience. In Michigan massage therapists now have to be licensed as healthcare providers. That’s a good thing and is leading to more and more healthcare plans covering massage therapy as a valid treatment option to make the pain go away.

Of course there are other reasons that one might get a massage. It is a wonderful reward for yourself (do they call that selfie reward?) after a long hard week or just because you need to relax. Tammy also specializes in pregnancy massages because pregnancy can apparently make things hurt in places where you didn’t even know you had places. There are also the self-indulgent hot rock and aroma therapy massages, as well as the facial and sinus massages to relieve tension and sinus pressure. She even does Thai massage which looks in the pictures more like she’s trying to make pretzel out of you, but which is wonderful for maintaining flexibility. Whatever choice you make, remember that above all she has the ability to make the pain away.