A most beautiful mind…

Exand your mindHow much effort does it take to be civil? A great deal it turns out, at least for me. Being polite does not come naturally. It is practiced rather than instinctive. Journeying into thoughtful territory is going the extra mile and apparently I’m usually short on fuel.

Another characteristic I’m proud of is that while occasionally I give folks the benefit of doubt, I’m more often quick to find fault. But you see, I can judge with wild abandon because I myself am sheer perfection, the standard to which everyone aspires. Furthermore, I’m always right which can be off-putting, I guess. I try to mask my superiority behind a wide smile and a few common courtesies, but being super-human (or should I instead say ‘superbly’-human) puts me at a disadvantage. Truth be told, its hard being me.

Now, you probably think I’m kidding. I’m not, not totally. I believe what I’ve written to be an accurate description of me – or – was an accurate description. I don’t think I’m a total narcissist anymore. Sure, I have my days, but mostly I try to be nice – the operative word being ‘try’. That I fail miserably a whole lot of the time is not worth discussing. I try which should be good enough.

So perhaps, because I’ve been reflecting lately on these less-than-flattering traits of mine, I’ve become like a vacuum cleaner. Ruminating on dirty can bring on more dirt and so it was last night when I hoovered up an arrogant know-it-all who reminded me that my nastiness isn’t as nasty as I think. Wait. I should reword slightly. He wasn’t ‘nasty’ in the sense of mean but more very, very, opinionated in the sense of youthful naiveté and false bravado. The latter is mostly born of inexperience. Anyhoo, the encounter caused me to ‘check-in’ with myself.

As many of you know, my blog began as a redo. Over 365 days I was going to get worthy, clean up my eating, and start moving regularly. My desire to transcend the ravages of time continues. On the physical side of things, being in a somewhat rugged part of the world, I’ve come upon a great many ‘seniors’ who can easily outdistance me. They cycle, surf, rock climb, and hike extraordinarily tough terrain for hours. I find it encouraging. When I proceeded to explain to this young man part of my blog’s intention and some of its subject matter, he scoffed and became Forrest Gump stating, “Reality is what reality is.” “Pardon?”, said I.

So as not to wax verbose, in a nutshell, his view is that we are all slaves to reality – wait – we are slaves of ‘his’ reality – and life begins, proceeds, and ends according to the paradigm he believes is capital T, Truth. Goodness, I thought, it’s been a long time since I encountered such a view. Even more disheartening was his level of academic study. Was I so narrow minded when embarking on post graduate studies? Maybe I was.

Anyhoo, suffice it to say, I was knocked back and became a bit tongue-tied. The only good thing to come out of the discourse was a wager. He bet me that no 100 year old has run a marathon. No 80 year old could climb Everest. They would die. Happily he was incorrect on both counts.

Now, of course there’s only one centenarian marathon runner and one octogenarian climber. The Briton Fauja Singh retired at 102, or 103 and is alive today at 105. Yuichiro Miura reached the highest spot on earth in 2011 at 80. Regardless, I won the bet.

The point of all of this is not to dis anyone, however. All of us are entitled to our views. The point instead is to remind myself (and you by virtue of your reading this post) that we are both limited and expanded by our mind’s view. No, we do not live hundreds of years, our frail bodies eventually losing the race, but our minds are capable of far more than we give them credit for during whatever time we have. Reality is an always changing construct, one we continue to redefine almost daily. Popular thought once professed the world was flat and that we could walk off its edge.

I am not a quantum physicist, nor an accredited philosopher, but my gut tells me repeatedly that we are greater than the sum of our parts with access, always, to the ‘whole’. We might not connect to it wisely, we might disregard it, weaken the link, but we are never severed from it. We are one. Therefore, we have potential as yet untapped. Don’t we see it every single day? We are more amazing, loving, capable, mean-spirited, ugly and violent than ever. Hmm, evolution.

My wish today is for generosity of spirit. Let it wash over you. Lather yourself up in it. I began this post railing about my flawed being, my inability to find my loving heart. I began that way to make a point about our thinking mind and how what we tell ourselves is who we become. Change your mind. Tell yourself a different story. Be kind to YOU. Be civil to YOU. Go the extra mile for YOU. Be superior in your belief that YOU are a good human, being the best human you can be. Rinse and repeat and then start all over again. In time you will find that spirit born of the whole. It doesn’t need to judge or diminish. It loves unconditionally, gives endlessly, and can change the whole wide world starting with your own beautiful heart.

Until tomorrow…

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Breathe in then out…

BreatheToday was particularly harsh and my energy tonight is particularly low as a result. Some days are harder than others for no obvious reason. It’s just the roller coaster called life.

A beautiful new acquaintance who is quickly becoming a friend, listened to me today without judgment, and gently reminded me that dark days make us appreciate the light ones that much more. She also suggested I simply breathe. I’ve done the latter that and it has gotten me through to this hour. Thank you, J.

And so I’ll offer my wish this night which is for surrender. I wrote recently about having waved a great many white flags in my time. I’ve got more to raise it seems. Sometimes when you feel perplexed and desperate, the fight or flight response nudges you to raise your dukes or make like Forrest and run. And it seems natural. We aren’t relaxed or comfortable doing nothing, are we? But when we surrender and let things be, we drop any resistance to whatever the situation is and let go of the desire to fight or fly. We simply breathe. By doing so we create a space for new direction, or healing, or more love or all of the above. Siiiggghhh.

Until tomorrow…

On the road again…

Hedgerow.JPGI haven’t written for a few days. My arse is sore from all the kicks I’ve been giving it so sitting down has been a challenge. It’s better today because I’ve left my self-flagellating ways behind for the time being. Of course, I’m speaking figuratively, but it’s a good attitude for me these days. A really good one. I’m gradually coming around to a better frame of mind and along with arse kicking, have kicked some old habits to the curb, or at least am trying to create a new habit of kicking those old habits out. I must be patient but diligent, which makes me think of a story.

Anyone who has ever visited Devon knows about its roads. They are narrow, twisty, with loads of ups and downs. Some single-track roads as they are called are not suitable for vehicles other than cars and tractors. The best single-tracks have lots of lay-bys, extended widths to allow passing one at a time, while others have few and can require some savvy maneuvering by drivers. Locals tend to be good at things like backing up on the fly and looking ahead. They also seem to be able to squeeze into spots I barely notice.

One thing that’s a huge waste of time if living in this beautiful place is a preciousness about your vehicle. No car can go unscratched for long. Most seem to look just fine to me but my ‘up close’ vision ain’t what it used to be. Still, it’s quite naïve to think when you pull over to let a Tesco delivery truck go by on a road that’s more of a laneway and about as wide as a postage stamp that you’ll avoid a scratch as you drive away from the ages old rose bush branch that’s resting on your review mirror. But hey, it’s Devon.

After all my time here, despite loads of sheep and cattle roaming in pastures on the other side of the hedgerows, I’ve had only one experience of an animal jumping out in front of me. Of course, there’s a bit of road kill, but no more than anywhere else. It’s amazing really. It’s likely due more to speed than anything. The roads simply do not allow for it. And most of us get that. We also behave courteously. It’s what’s done. When the “wave” doesn’t come, you figure the person behind the wheel is a tourist. (Everyone waves, nods, or flashes lights as a thank-you to the person who has pulled over to let them by.) I’m still learning about all kinds of things needless to say, but have learned to relax, slow down, and expect the unexpected like tourists and their driving skills or lack thereof. Which is the point of this story.

Yesterday, the sun shone and the temps were super high. It was a beach day, for sure. I knew the hot spots would be jammed, so headed to a place “off the beaten”. The way there is along one of those really narrow single-track roads more suited to a horse without a buggy. There are few spots to pull in. The road winds its way up, then down with absolutely no visibility on the corners. Trust me, in some places there is barely room to squeeze by a hiker should you come upon one. Anyhoo, I know this road fairly well and have somewhat memorized lay-bys and lane ways should I need to reverse into one. About halfway to my destination, as I rounded a bend, I met a mid-sized black Ford sedan.

Inside the car appeared to be a family with a youngish fellow behind the wheel. I signalled that I’d back up and did so, squeezing over and into the hedgerow’s thicket as tightly as I could. He had room to inch pass, but clearly could not judge that for himself. Either he did not want to run the risk of a scratch, or he was unable to gauge the distance accurately. He started to reverse.

As mentioned, I know this road so knew he had a long way to go before he’d find a spot to pull over. If another vehicle came along, well, heaven forbid. I could do nothing but sit and watch patiently.

Now, the usual habit is to chase down the car that’s reversing, in other words, you drive toward the car that’s backing up. I sat still. In due course, there was a full-sized Range Rover behind me and another little car like mine. All we could do was wait and watch.

At one point, I laughed out loud wondering if he’d end up going back into the village from which he’d come. I kind of thought the Range Rover super spooked him. If he couldn’t get by me, how the hell was he going to get by it?

Finally, he reached the bottom of the incline where the road disappears completely into a sharp left turn. There is a laneway there and I figured he’d back into it. The line behind me, now up to five plus me, was getting anxious to move. But to my amazement, he did not pull over. Where the hell was he going, I wondered? I needed to intervene. I struck off, rushing a smidgen. I wanted to get his attention and wave him into the laneway. I hoped the Range Rover would stay put, or at least stay back far enough to let me reverse up. Happily, he did.

I caught up to the Ford quickly enough and honked making a time out gesture with my hands. The woman in the passenger seat touched the man’s arm and pointed toward me. I was halfway into the turn by this point. Range Rover figured what I was doing and I saw him back up a tad. It was at that point Ford man noticed the space behind me. I could actually see his shoulders relax. Poor guy!

I smiled, motioned with my thumb over my shoulder then gave the thumbs up sign and smiled. He smiled back with a wave and then the thumbs up to show he knew what I wanted him to do. Whew. What an event!

Now, stuff like that is rather common here, but not as much as you might imagine. Most issues are caused by us tourists. The worst situations occur when you’ve a line of traffic and a couple of big trucks, but I’ll not bore you further. Hehe. Thing is, nobody seems too stressed by it. You simply plan accordingly and use lots of patience.

So that’s my wish. That we all find some patience and diligently work to keep it. Becoming angry, or wanting to change what is happening is a form of resistance, isn’t it? In that case, we are making matters worse. If instead, we take a deep breath and maybe find the humour in a situation that otherwise is making us mad, we might actually laugh out loud and realize we’ve taken ourselves way too seriously.

Until tomorrow…

P.S. Yes, folks, that is a road in the picture. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. 🙂

Let the truth be told…

Head in sandWhat I’ll own up to in this blog has been long promised. I’ve hinted about it on numerous occasions, beat around copious bushes, and side skipped opportunities to come clean. I’ve battled against owning up until this morning when I woke in a panic. After passing another restless night, the second in as many days, I knew I couldn’t avoid it a moment longer.

Avoidance is just another name for resistance. And like procrastination, it can be a dangerous thing, especially when you have consciously asked to align with the greater good. The prolific and wise author Michael A. Singer writes, “If you are resisting something, you are feeding it. Any energy you fight, you are feeding. If you are pushing something away, you are inviting it to stay.”

In these last few years, I have relaxed into an odd way of living. Each and every day requires more surrender and despite waving quite a few white flags, I’m still running, seeking an escape route instead of facing my enemy – resistance. I blame it on my built in default setting, if you will. But now that I’m fully aware of what I’m doing, I owe it to myself to try to change it. Not an easy task for even the most stout of heart. In my case, I’ve been running and hiding my whole life – from myself.

When I started Redo 365 I pledged to be honest. I’ve not always been and needless to say, what I’ve failed to take responsibility for is troubling me. Not to be wrongly self-deprecating, I have indeed transformed and made a lot of progress. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, until the last couple of weeks. I guess some conditioning isn’t going to dissolve without a fight.

Looking at myself honestly isn’t easy. In fact, it’s very, very hard. Because I believe we are one, I also believe all the grotesque lives in the same house as the beautiful. We are both yin and yang. I have written about this before, though, and do not want to lose the plot of this post. I just wanted to highlight that we, all of us, have a dark heart, too. We have free will, happily, and many of us are making enlightened choices. Hurray. Lately, however, I’ve not been choosing wisely and want to kick myself in the arse because of it.

So what’s going on with me and why so solemn? Well, I’ve been wasting my time. In fact, I’ve wasted decades. I have found any number of foolish diversions and strayed simply to avoid becoming a better ‘me’. Now, looking back, those decisions are breaking my heart.

These last months, instead of staying on course with my book, I’ve played Solitaire or Candy Crush for an almost infinitesimal number of hours. I’ve lied to you about not having Muse around. I’ve just been lazy, allowing self-pity to rule the day and passing the time with digital cards and colourful screen figures. And there’s more. I have gone out to socialize in an attempt to dull the tinge of loneliness. I have tried to make friends, but I couldn’t do it without drinking. Paradox. I make friends who party but I do not want to spend my time that way, so, I’ve made new acquaintances I can’t socialize with. Get the picture? Still losing days and wasting my time. Oh, and by behaving this way, I can then beat myself up. Brilliant strategy, eh?

My habit is to run around in circles and then complain about my failures. Why? I do not know why except that perhaps, it all goes back to the beginning when it was easier to make up a story about why I didn’t do something than to actually do it. It was the perfect way to enforce and embed further a deep seated belief that I was a loathsome creature who was not good enough to succeed at something she wanted.

I think many of us face degrees of this. But that’s little comfort to me when many of us haven’t. I’ve wasted way too much time and there’s no going back for a do-over. Not now, not ever. So, here’s the plan because I have to get a handle on this. I am not going cold turkey on the games but will restrict them to after a productive and reasonably normal work day. (Even now I can feel the longing to split my computer screen and play a game. Grrr.) As for the booze, I left it behind last year which was a good thing. Going back to it has shown me that we don’t mix. I don’t do moderation! So, it is cold turkey on the alcohol with the mantra, “I love and treat my mind and body with respect.”

And that’s it. I’m sure some of you are disappointed. Do I hear Peggy Lee’s iconic, “Is That All There Is?” being sung? Others of you might be disappointed in me feeling I’ve let you down. I cannot control any reactions but do apologize for not ‘fessing up sooner. My only hope is to become a better person and I cannot do that if I’m dishonest.

My wish if for courage. I’m not a brave soul in any way but can hope to step up. Perhaps real courage isn’t brandishing a sword but facing our own flaws and failings? Maybe it is surrendering rather than fighting. Maybe it is in negotiating a peace accord with the critical voice in your head. Perhaps it is in trying to unwrap our masks so the world sees us. Maybe it is in throwing caution to the wind. I do not know except that I see courageous people everywhere because I believe that sometimes simply opening our eyes is the most courageous thing we can do.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

It’s all in my mind, mostly…

Healthy mind.jpgI did an exercise this morning. Some might call it setting an intention. For me, it’s serious stuff, very necessary, and uplifting if only for a second.

After all the block-busting of this last year and then some, habits or feelings that recur on a regular basis are clear and I’m so over those that pull me under. Since they keep visiting, however, I’ve obviously got more work to do. Hence, setting the intention this morning to start my day as a healthy, productive, active, and abundant person.

A healthy mind is a glorious thing. It is free from worry, and focussed on the task at hand. It tends to be solution based and quick. It dwells neither in the past nor the future but might wander to either place briefly for fun. A healthy mind reinvents stories, alters situations in a way that serves many, and can pause to review a situation before making a judgement. A healthy mind picks its battles wisely, does not waste time but knows relaxation is a critical key to wellness. A healthy mind likes stimulation, deep breathing, and calm, and knows how to get what it needs. In full cooperation with its body, a healthy mind ensures overall wellness and happiness.

Now, when I write about the assurance of health and happiness that comes with balance, do not misunderstand. Life will continue to happen. There’s a lot – I mean a LOT – of shitty, awful stuff that happens outside of us, not to mention inside if disease strikes. But how we decide to handle the horrors is what keeps the good energy flowing. Does life happen to you? I’m pretty sure that’s a recipe for a savory stew of victim-hood. I’m also pretty sure I’ve lived a lot of my life letting life happen and was an unconscious victim. I know better now though so must do better.

I did manage to roll with the flow of many opportunities that showed up for me, however, but did not understand the concept of perseverance, or how tenacity could make things happen. Any rejection at all became my cue to change gears which usually meant giving up on those opportunities. But then, to save face, I’d have to invent a story about why I gave up, who did me wrong, or what cataclysm befell me to crush my dreams. All that excuse narrative afforded a chance to write some juicy stuff, too, but instead of constructing an Austenesque novel via my optics, I just flapped my gums. Drat.

I’m getting pissed off with meself, so will end. I have a proposal to write and want to reclaim the focus of my initial intention which, was to stay positive today.

So, my wish is for perseverance and tenacity. Holding firm to a dream and putting one foot in front of the other daily to achieve that dream will always bring about success. There is no judgement in the universe, only laws like cause and effect and attraction. Of course, world peace is best put out as a dream of the collective, and might yet be centuries away, but believing I am worthy of love is doable now, in this very moment. Wonderfully, the magic is in the statement because as I write it, I can feel it. And if only for a second I am uplifted. Sweet.

Until tomorrow…

Real softness…

Hard-softWhy is it, do you think, that I have such a hard time living my own reality? Heck, I’m pretty privileged and could have done a lot more with my life had I not found the present moment wanting. What I’m trying to say is, no matter what is going on, I’m only partially checked in. Put me in a novel or a movie as the heroine on the other hand, and I soar! Before you can wink, I’m Elizabeth Bennett baiting the sombre Mr. Darcy, or, I am Kathleen Kelly secretly emailing Joe Fox. I’m a sucker for a happy ending and still looking for a knight to ride up and sweep me away. An aging dreamer.

In everyday life I struggle to show up, but in my fantasies I sparkle. If I behave badly in my imaginative narrative there is only a brief time for remorse because the storyline ends in 75 minutes, or 100 pages, and forgiveness has to be bestowed and the world made right beforehand. I love living an entire lifetime in a day. Call me Clarissa Dalloway.

Lying on my comfortable bed with the built in drawers and covered headboard, I find myself staring nostalgically at colourful curtains chosen carefully for a room I decorated decades ago. There is nothing else in this room from that time. Things that would complete the picture are still in storage. At this point, I’ve no idea when I will see all the pieces of furniture and knickknacks sent over almost a year ago. No matter. Those curtains might not be seeing too much activity these days but they watched over some good times all those years ago – real-life times.

When I married I tried to come out of my head. When the kids came along, staying present was an important part of being a good mom. I was still making up a lot of stories and found it hard to differentiate fact from fantasy, but I did make an effort. I made a lot of mistakes. My choices were suspect at best. Reality was hard for me to grasp. What I knew to be real was the love I felt for my girls. It kept me grounded despite an ongoing urge to sail away.

Looking back today, I wish I had done better. Hindsight isn’t helpful unless used to monitor progress in the present, of course, and I’m not doing particularly well today. It’s a good thing there’s tomorrow to look toward.

My wish tonight is for softness. I, for one, can be hard, stubborn, and inflexible. Being soft with yourself and others is akin to kindness and brings similar benefits. Softness is sometimes viewed as a weakness, but listening with hearing ears requires a certain type of softness so space is held for the other. And that is a lovely thing. Today I need to be soft with myself.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A breaking heart…

FlowersHeart ache is an extraordinary thing. There’s the clinical diagnosis when a heart is sick and then there’s the other kind that comes when a heart breaks. When little, I was told no one dies of a broken heart. After six decades, although life has shattered mine into thousands of pieces more than once, because I remain very much alive can testify to the truth of the adage.

The pain caused by a heart as it breaks is excruciating, not easily numbed, and resistant to pain killers of all sorts. The most effective medicine is time and tender loving care. It’s important to note, however, that scars left behind weaken the muscle leaving it quite vulnerable. And, like an elephant, the heart never forgets, so the experience that caused the break is etched forever in body and mind. Neither the strongest drug nor endless time will erase it.

The odd thing, though, is that no matter how battered, bruised, and torn up a heart is, it usually continues to beat. Its resilient tenacity to keep on keeping on is nothing short of miraculous. And despite one’s desire to make the heart stop beating in order to ease the pain, it will not do so. The heart seems to have a mind of its own. Perhaps that is a good thing.

Can you recall your first heart break? Was it the boy in school who spurned you, or the girl who laughed at your bad hair? Was it something much worse like a death? No matter the incident, each time you are reminded of it, can you feel a familiar twinge in your chest? I can.

Today passes as a reminder that my heart still beats despite its being shattered countless times. Fragments of the blood coursing through my body are ancient while other bits new. My being holds within it an energetic link to the near and far reaches of this universe and my emotional body can hold all the pain and sorrow I’ve experienced throughout lifetimes. A mystery of sorts, I suppose.

Doctors have recently restated their position on death by broken heart saying they believe the experience can, in fact, kill us. For those living with what for them is unmitigated grief, death would likely bring relief. As for me, I openly admit to wanting to die on several occasions. I persevered, however, and learned many lesson over time. Those lessons continue to serve me well. To some, the lessons of diligence, determination, and simply waking up in the morning might be cliché, but profound truths are often viewed as trite because few have the courage to be taught, let alone absorb fully the teaching.

I have not yet fully absorbed all the teachings laid out for me but I am still breathing so there is hope.

Today as I write about broken hearts I know there are some of you suffering that fate. I have a wish for you which is to be grateful. Yes, be grateful for the well of sadness you feel swallowed by. Be grateful for a feeling of unfathomable emptiness. Be grateful for the life, or lives taken from you causing your heart to break. Breathe in and with each gasping breath feel gratitude because you are able to feel immeasurable pain. When it finally subsides – and it will – you will have room for the opposite of what you’re feeling now – more joy, more love, and more compassion. We are all able to feel the depths and the heights. Always remember that and be grateful for it all.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

It’s that easy…

Climber reaching outWriting has been challenging since my last post. It is too easy now to talk myself out of putting some thoughts into a word doc before cutting and pasting into WordPress. Once there, it’s a quick scan, a click on “Publish” and voila, fait accompli! Odd how only a few months ago the promise to post every day made it happen. I guess I’m proud of myself for living up to that promise. I managed to say something no matter the weather, mood, or level of inebriation. Suddenly, I’m struggling to string one sentence together let alone a few dozen. What’s up with that?

Well, I do not know the answer in spite of having asked the question a few times. Tonight, as I bask in the glow of an exquisite crescent moon (exquisite because for a change there are no clouds so I can see not only a lunar glow but stars, too!) I am simply dumbfounded about it all. I figured I simply needed to touch base even if little or nothing is really said. Except that maybe there is a little something. Or, maybe two.

The first thing is that I might have been on to something with wishes. What harm could it do to share a wish every day? Maybe I’ll think about that and see if doing that is doable.

Second and lastly is that something very sweet happened today and it reminded me that people care.

I’ve been feeling horribly out of sorts for a few days. The last two have been particularly frightful. At times I felt I would explode. I couldn’t put my finger on a cause, it did not resemble a depressive episode (though they can be tricky), and the feeling felt quite new to me. As a result, I was not sure how to respond.

My standard pattern, (after initially feeling the panic when the feeling is new and all) is to relax and surrender. This can cause a disruption to your day let me tell you, but it’s the only thing I’ve found that works effectively. It gets to the root of the “problem” at some point.

Anywho, I was feeling bereft yet again this morning after a lousy night’s sleep and decided to call someone. Lo and behold, she’d been thinking to call me, too. After about 30 minutes, I began to lighten up and insights came. I could see a few things I’d been doing – or rather not doing – which was part of the reason for feeling the way I was. Miraculous.

I won’t elaborate further tonight because I just won’t, but promise to get back on track somehow with my posts. There are things I’ve not written about that I said I would. There is lots to talk about in general, yeah? And seriously, it helps. It just does.

Tonight I wish for silvery moons and clear skies. I wish for helpful conversations that uplift and affirm. Sure, that’s kind of vague, I suppose, but sometimes vague is obvious. Beneath the silvery moon and clear skies are troubled souls in need of understanding. Tomorrow, when you buy your morning coffee, lunch, or after work drink with friends, buy an extra one for a person who needs to be uplifted and affirmed. No questions. No conditions. Just do it. You’ll be connected to an unknown stranger you’ve touched deeply. Goosebumps.

Until tomorrow…

We all have ’em…

EyeI re-watched a good movie from years ago the other night. The ending brought me to a place I’ve not been for a while, if ever. The scene was a reunion of mother and son, the latter having been told the mother had died. As I watched the onscreen embrace, my heart ached a bit. My mind said, “You missed out on that, didn’t you?” I could only reply, “Yes.”

No matter how many times I rationalize my life’s experiences, or logically review its sequences, the heart reminds me of its finished or unfinished business via emotional nudges. Yesterday was no exception, the sorrowful feeling lasting throughout the night and into my day. But it is okay, as am I. I am happy to be able to feel. It is proof positive I am alive.

Our emotions are barometers to living, and like the weather, pretty changeable. Predicting them accurately is not necessarily something we humans are good at. Some of us are experts at avoiding, pretending, squelching, and recommissioning emotions while others are completely out of whack and end up being tossed all over the place by feelings. We’ve work to do, methinks, to regulate and come to respect emotions, but in fairness, we have made some strides in understanding ourselves. A short time ago women were institutionalized with what we now call PMS, so yeah, we’re getting a bit better at understanding. Bottom line, though, “What we resist persists” quoting Jung. In other words, as long as we deny we have a feeling, we’re gonna have that feeling. Of course, we like the good ones so there’s no resistance. Not so with the difficult emotions. They’re the ones we most need to learn from.

I don’t intend to ignore my sad little heart today or any day for that matter. I’m also not going to crawl into a hole, make more of it than I should, use it to gain sympathy, or judge it or blame anyone including myself, for what I’m feeling. I will purely and simple, allow it and know that when it has had its say, it will move on. The joy in this procedure is that I know without any doubt that the more I do this, the more healing will occur in my life. And that is wonderful.

My wish tonight is to allow healing. Most of us have a wound from yesterday or a thousand years ago that hurts too much to look at. In order to really heal, we must let the light at it, though. We have to stop its festering by cleaning it up. Yes, it might need to be covered up for a bit, but that’s okay as long as we remember to change the bandages. Soon, they can be removed all together. Gradually, all that’s left is a beautiful scar as a reminder of a powerfully moving event in our life – an experience that shaped us into a more understanding and compassionate human. Wow.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Taking a higher road…

Not as it seemsIn the checkout line at the grocery store today an altercation erupted between a patron and the cashier. It had to do with the purchase of liquor for minors. The strawberry blonde refused to sell two cases of beer, politely stating it was illegal to do so. The clerk remained polite, non-confrontational, and calm despite the customer’s increasing frustration. Management arrived and supported staff with the same composure. The situation quickly deescalated and it was over.

I was impressed.

Last week, I witnessed another situation where a person behaved gracefully under pressure, avoiding drama and choosing a peaceful approach. This involved liquor and theft. Different from what I’ve seen in the past, no police were called, the booze was retrieved gently but firmly, and the story ended.

I was impressed.

Until tonight, I would not have considered myself jaded but my reaction to these situations suggests otherwise. I am surprised. Is it that I’ve little faith in people? Has my experience not shown me mature decency?

It’s probably that I expect confrontation and instead of looking for goodness, have been enamoured of the histrionics of bad, or at least more aggressive, attitudes.

I much prefer what I’ve been seeing. It is exemplary behaviour and I’d like to see more of it. It is kindness manifested. It is thoughtful.

I am impressed.

These lovely incidents have reminded me that goodness still exists. But then, why wouldn’t it? I’m basically good even if inconsistently so.

My wish tonight is for the courage to see and then, act. If what you witness stirs you, then it is a signal. How does the stirring make you feel? Do you want to recreate the experience, or change it? Whatever the case, it takes a brave soul to try to make a difference.

Until tomorrow…