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Archive for the ‘Various and Sundry’ Category

In Between.

There is always something happening in the area occupying the “in between.” Life is in between two points of not being – the vast voids before conception/birth and then death (and if you believe as I do, eventual rebirth). Happiness falls in between bouts of unhappiness or even simply existing. Inhales happen between exhales. My favorite finger is smack dab in between index and ring… 😊 Most of the best things exist in the in between.

Sometimes the in between kind of sucks, though.

This is where compassion labors to take precedence over ego. These are times when maybe you are so frustrated and resentful, when your very soul feels battered, but you want desperately for someone to be okay even if they are the cause of your pain and confusion. You love them, but perhaps you really want to run them over multiple times with your Jeep at the same time. You feel righteously indignant at their behavior, even if it isn’t about you. It impacts you profoundly, but it isn’t about you. And so you dig deep into your well of understanding and gingerly fish out what you know to be true: that surely anyone who is struggling this much needs tolerance and charity, not a lecture.

Today, I’m facing THAT in between, not the happier, inhale/exhale kind. And guys, I’m working on the understanding and empathy, but damned if I’m not also feeling a bit furious and bent out of shape. Empathy is funny that way – it will only get you so far and then you’ve got to figure out where the hell all your zen went. This is going to be a long, long weekend of biting my tongue and lending myself to listening intently for comprehension.

There are days when life is certainly quite a conundrum, but maybe this in between is simply intended to remind me of the happiness that was before, and the happiness that is sure to visit again.

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I am.

I am not pretty. I am not nice. There is no piece of me so halfway as to be narrowed down to bland, vanilla-pudding words. I forget that sometimes. I make myself small often so that others might be big, and sometimes, some days I need to remind myself exactly who I am.

I am whispered ancient wisdom and wanton, reckless abandon. I am electricity in the air and tingles on bare skin. I am both fists clenched, and I am claws raking.

I am outrageous laughter skirting a despairing abyss. I am blazing inferno and destruction. I am fury, and I am chaos.

I am cooling water and forgiveness. I am love at the expense of everything else. I am sacrifice.

I am a mother f*cking force of nature. I am the perfect storm.

There is nothing halfway about me and I will not be chiseled away, chip by tiny chip, until there is nothing left.

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On Sharing…

Guys, I’m having a hard time lately with the notion of generosity. For all my ranting and promotions of generosity, for the numbers of times I have been a genuinely happy giver, I have hit a brick wall with a round of giving that has me feeling a bit bitchy and taken advantage of.

See, I was raised to know that to give is our reason to be. It’s why we’re here – to leave this world a better place than what it was when we first got here, and that means giving to others, whether that’s your time, your love, your money…whatever. You give so that your life actually meant something when you’re gone.

So, why all this grumbling in my head about “they should have planned better/known better/figured it out/done without?” I don’t get it. I always thought of myself as generous, but for many reasons, this time it’s different. It’s harder, and I’ve had very little luck changing my attitude about the giving (or the recipients). I can afford it, but for some reason, I just don’t want to.

I dunno. I’ll keep working on the kindness and understanding thing and keep writing checks – maybe if I fake it long enough, I’ll start to feel it, too.

 

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Assume Good

I’ve seen this phrase thrown around a LOT lately, and it kind of surprises me that it’s being considered some kind of “new best thing.” Have I spent so many years just being really ahead of the trend???

I know this may come as a shock to some, but you do not necessarily know what someone else is going through. Sure, a complete stranger may snap your head off at the local Starbucks, simply for saying hello. It happens. But you don’t know where they’re at in their life, or even in their day – you shouldn’t assume that person is just an a**hole and snap right back at them. What is the point in spreading MORE ugliness in this world that’s already so full of rage, hurt, and grief?

Yes, it’s true that in that scenario, the intentions aren’t clearly/obviously “good.” But since a somewhat crazy reaction to a simple statement is also very unlikely to be about you in any sort of way, it isn’t clearly/obviously “bad,” so much as it’s an impulsive reaction to something else going on in that person’s life. I mean, if you’re going to make up a story in your head, does it have to be a snap judgement about how this person basically just sucks and it a hateful troll? Sounds lazy to me. If you’re going to make up a story anyway, put some effort into it. Maybe this person just lost someone dear to them and they don’t have a single ounce of energy left for idle chit chat with strangers. Maybe they’ve just spent all night up with a new puppy who cried all night until it threw up all over the carpet and now they have to go to work, exhausted, guilty about removing that little baby from its mama, and with the smell of puppy vomit etched indelibly in their nostrils. Maybe when they got to their car this morning, they saw someone had stolen all of the contents out of their glove box and keyed their doors. Maybe their boss yelled at them for something that wasn’t their fault. Maybe you look a lot like their ex and they can’t look at you without wanting to cry or swing an axe in your general direction.

My point here is, you just don’t know. Assuming the bad stuff about anyone else’s negative-seeming behaviors says a lot more about you and where YOUR head is at, than it does about them. Fix your mindset. Adjust your attitude. Assume goodness in people.

As for that stranger in Starbucks – smile as kindly as you can, gently, and leave it at that. Ironically, muttering darkly under your breath to point out their rudeness makes you, well, pretty impolite. 🙂

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Remembrance

Today, especially today, do your best to be a beacon of gentle kindness in this world so desperately in need of healing love.

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I just read that Cornell recently did a study that concluded that marriage might be at a 150-year low due to a lack of “economically attractive men.”

Ahem.

I can only assume that the study was performed largely (or even solely) by men, attempting to shine a glaring light on these feminine gold diggers. I’m going to offer up a different opinion (because, you know, poor guys actually get married all the time). This avoidance of nuptials might be, just might be, because women are more empowered now than ever, have a much broader support system, and are far less likely to accept abuse, cheating, the apparent inability to perform household tasks without a gold star, and an overall lack of good manners in a marital partner.

If you want to be/stay married fellas, money isn’t really the key denominator – being a good human is. These days, the unmarried/unwanted option that used to be negatively designated “old maid” is becoming more and more appealing to women everywhere, given the often unfortunate alternatives.

But sure, let’s blame it on income.

 

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Judgement

I’m going to talk a little today about judgement, specifically, judge-iness. We’ve all been guilty of it at some point – it’s pretty hard to live in the world we live in without occasionally feeling super snarky about someone and their lifestyle (you’ve all seen it in vivid technicolor glory on this blog in the past).

Today at lunchtime, my daughter came home from work. She was feeling a bit grumpy about a few Medicaid patients who came in and didn’t have their $2 co-payments, and who wanted to argue about the cost. Surely, she said, anyone could come up with $2.

I told her quietly, “You don’t know their lives. You don’t know what $2 means to any particular person.”

“Oh yeah. I mean, that’s easy to see, when they come in carrying their Michael Kors bags and a Starbucks, with their nice shoes… THIS is why Medicaid patients have a bad name – because of patients like this.”

Well. This was not going to stand.

Patiently, I explained to her how there have been times in my life where $2 was the difference between having gas to get to work the next day and having to call in sick. Or where $2 meant we weren’t going to be hungry for a few more days and that I was embarrassed that she seems to have painted over brief periods of her early childhood. Our lives have not always been, “The lawn guys come on Friday.” I reminded her that her OWN Michael Kors bag was purchased when her grandmother passed away and left her a bunch of money, not because she worked to earn that bag. And that most of her lattes are bought and paid for by ME. I gently admonished that being poor doesn’t mean you don’t ever get to have anything in your life that makes you happy or brings you pleasure and that nobody is poor because of their Starbucks habit.

This refresher course in “How to Be a Kind and Loving Human Being” came complete with notes on how most of us are just one tiny hiccup away from needing help from SOMEONE, and how she doesn’t get to feel holier than thou while she lives in my house, rent-free.

And do you know what happened?

She paused. She considered. She smiled. She thanked me for the reminder and the lesson in humility and gratitude and grace. And when she left for work, she told me she was going to be sure to share this talk with her coworkers, because sometimes, we all need to remember how fragile the lives we have built for ourselves really are.

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Gloaming

I love words; I always have. So, in the interest of seeking higher forms of thought, this morning I downloaded a “Word of the Day” app to my phone, not necessarily to learn new words, but to be reminded of how many great words there are out there. I figure it will be a great nudge to my creative self, and maybe help me to move out of the grumpy rut I’ve been in. Grouchiness, I’m convinced, makes us fat and gives us wrinkles.

Today’s word was “gloaming,” as in, “In the gloaming, oh my darling, when the lights are soft and low,” the old – way older than me – song, that my grandmother used to hum when she did the dishes. If she sang it, she added a lovely Irish accent, though she wasn’t but a smidgen Irish at all. 🙂

Anyway, gloaming is the time of day just after the sun sets. It’s a romantic sort of word, one that helps us to imagine a time long, long ago, when people would while away the early evening hours by candlelight or gas lamps, where shadows flickered instead of remaining hard and fixed at the dark edges of today’s incandescent (or worse, florescent/LED) lighting. A time when people actually used cool words like, “gloaming.” I suppose the modern equivalent is simply, “tonight,” which does not have the same sort of ring to it.

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I’m just gonna say it. THIS girl needs to get her sh*t together and stop focusing on politics and get back to the business of self-aware wellness, because frankly, I have spent a whole lot of time being hellawicked mad for the past 3 years and I can do better than that. Affecting change is superior to being angry, so I will work harder to change whatever parts of the world I can by bringing a more useful me to the table. That is not to say I don’t care or I’m checking out or not speaking up – quite the contrary. I’m just going to speak up in places where my voice will make a difference (I’m also stepping up my volunteering efforts because what better way to make the world a better place than to put some skin in the game?).

To the “self-aware wellness” end, I’m journaling again. I’m practicing yoga again. I’m juicing and being more actively grateful again. I’m avoiding social media like the plague on humanity that it often is, and reading books for enlightenment and books for enjoyment (the two are usually not synonymous for me, unfortunately).

One simply cannot hope for more light in this world, cannot share more light with others, if one isn’t prepared to BE light in the first place.

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So…2019…amirite?

I have been in a bit of a funk lately (one of the unfortunate side effects of being an empath, is that when the world feels so much sorrow, it’s hard to get out of bed sometimes). How, then, how does one go about healing a world so in desperate need of love and understanding? I just don’t know.

Guys, I’m gonna tell you, never have I seen so many people so gleefully revel in the misfortunes of others. Not in my whole life, up until these past few years. I see people who I have known and loved for many years justifying shootings (or at very least acting more horrified at the thought of stricter gun regulations than they are about, you know, people dying), and kids in cages (“they” broke the law!) and talking about how “healthcare is a privilege” (so basically people dying should have thought of not being able to afford insurance before they got cancer/diabetes/heart disease/pregnant). That they’re fine with children not eating if their parents can’t afford food. “If you can’t feed ‘em, don’t breed ‘em.” Yes, I saw that on an actual meme. Who are these people? It wrecks me, thinking that I don’t actually know some of my friends and family like I thought I did. People who I thought would do anything for anyone out of the kind gentleness of their hearts, have shown that they would do a limited number of things for only someone they deem worthy, and those worthiness lists are pretty darned narrow. (it might interest folks to know that none of this ugliness, not a single iota, is coming from my atheist, pagan, Hindu, or Muslim friends… I’m just sayin’)

I dunno guys. It hurts me to see anyone hurting, so how are so many able to find some sort of twisted joy in all the suffering? And if not outright joy, at least smug satisfaction that someone “got theirs?” I honestly don’t get it.

Today, I’m going to practice some self-care and avoid humanity and all vestiges of news and social media. Because. This. Is. Not. Okay. I’m sad. I’m pissed off. I’m completely grossed out by sweeping portions of humanity, and I’m exhausted from absorbing the copious amounts of bad juju surrounding us all. I don’t know how to deal.

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