Ok, the title of this blog post is probably more confusing than it is enlightening.
Let’s go for “intriguing” and hopefully together we will unpack it’s hidden treasures.
I was listening to a sermon on Sunday morning and the preacher made an interesting comment, causing me to listen a little more intently than I had been.
(Note to self: “Having ” church at home”, requires discipline and means not having your phone in your hand, reading posts from members on your FB support forum!”)
He said something like, “we need to turn the stones on our backs into balloons”
The image for me was a powerful one. I immediately thought of chronic disease being a huge stone on my back and shoulders. Maybe not just one stone but a cluster of stones. Each stone representing a different disease or a set of symptoms.
As I imagined those stones I could feel their heaviness. I could feel the weight of all I’ve lost as a result of my declined health. I could see through the years how stones had been added with each health crisis.
In my minds eye these stones were grey in colour. They were of no particular shape and slightly rugged but mostly smooth. I think the smoothness is my attempt to accept them and make them easier to carry.
The more I looked at the image of those stones on my back the more I knew they didn’t belong there. It’s not how I want to live my life. I don’t want to feel only the heaviness of the stones. I want to find a way to release them, to breathe, to live the best life possible.
I want to turn those stones into balloons!
Get These Stones Off Me Now!!
I suddenly felt a sense of urgency to take my focus away from the grey heavy stones. I needed to replace them and I had been given the key….”turn the stones on my back into balloons”.
As my mind turned to the image of balloons, I saw colour. Red, white, pink, yellow, blue. As I focused further on the balloons, the colours of the rainbow appeared. The colours of hope for a brighter future.
As I thought about removing the stones from my back and replacing them with these balloons, I began to feel lighter, happier and I had a sense of freedom.
Balloons allowed me to fly, despite my disease. A sense of peace replaced a sense of burden.
I realised as I focused on the balloons in my mind I was having a physical response. I was smiling from ear to ear. I was literally feeling relief.
Balloons verses Stones
We all know what our own stones represent and let’s face it, adding stones happens naturally. It’s hard not to feel burdened by chronic disease, controlling so much of our lives, day after day.
Replacing those stones which have made a nice home for themselves on our backs, requires commitment and determination. It’s so worth it though.
So what do the balloons represent? It’s likely different for all of us but here’s some of the things on my balloon list:
- A mindset to focus on “what is,” not “what if”;
- Regular drives in the country;
- Shopping trips in my new wheelchair;
- Coffee shop treats with my husband;
- Morning or afternoon Visits from friends;
- A home fully appropriate for my disabilities;
- A local holiday for a few nights .
My balloon list is colourful and allows me to fly. I love it and I have rolled those stones away so there is no way the balloons can burst.
Our burdens are real. Our diseases are cruel. There is no denying it. The more we allow our thoughts to stay focused on our diseases, the heavier and bigger the stones will become.
The image of replacing the burden with something light, like balloons, can be such a useful tool when you are feeling the sheer weight of your situation.
It’s not to trivialise the seriousness of your health issue, it’s simply to help you cope as you live with it.
Ultimately as you turn the stones on your back into balloons, you will feel lighter, hope may return and an inner joy you felt incapable of feeling again, may begin to flicker.
Love, Sam xx
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story