I’ve had a busy week, with a running-on-empty feeling these last few months. I know you can relate. There’s work we absolutely must do and other chores we let slide.
My cat has been sick for a couple of weeks, and I delayed taking Ms. Kitty to the doctor. I work late. And it is difficult to take time out for anything and taking time off work for a pet, that’s ridiculous. But, infected teeth care none for employer’s opinions. Problems get worse when ignored. This morning I realized this shit was real. We went to the cat doctor.
Tonight I’m chilling with my old girl as she rests. Movie time with Ms. Kitty. Her tooth was already out of her mouth, so no extraction was necessary. She received antibiotics and some temporary pain numbing. All is well.
Thanks, everyone for all of the follows and support!
I have been harassed since November 25, 2017. It’s unnerving. This happened before when I was in high school. A boy I dated when I was 16 decided we were destined to be together forever wasn’t letting me go, so he followed me. Everywhere. He showed up at my school, my church, and in the town where I lived. At the time I was still with my parents, surrounded by more protection. It didn’t seem unsettling. Today, I see everything with merciless eyes.
None of this had to happen. I wasn’t in a relationship. So here’s the thing, if I decide I want to stop seeing someone I say so. And I did. No stringing it out, no rude remarks, and no yelling or breaking of objects. Mature adults. Oh, was I wrong. One-sided maturity. I was slapped in the face with a string of drunken texts claiming there were audio sex tapes. (Illegal alert) Days later I was threatened to be exposed for the vile woman I was and told I gave the man HIV. (He had flu-like symptoms.) During this time, he also had contacted a friend of mine and made verbal sexual advances toward her. (Illegal.)
The court ordered the defendant to pay restitution to the women and certified him as a sex offender. — Forbes
As Stephanie’s Law and other unlawful surveillance statutes make clear, invasions of sexual privacy constitutes a crime. – Forbes
Harassment is a crime, as is slander and defamation of character.
Harassment Law and Legal Definition. Harassment is governed by state laws, which vary by state, but is generally defined as a course of conduct which annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety.
If someone is threatening you, tell a friend, phone the police, get a lawyer involved. Don’t let anyone bully you. It’s alright to say no, and you should be free to walk away. There’s no voice without the ability to refuse, and the Almighty “NO!” Courage grows its roots in the choosing.
Darkness. We don’t sit there often. As soon as I get home, I turn on the light, feed the cat, and get the activity going. The dark seems empty. But it doesn’t have to frighten us.
Go back to what you know for sure. Those were the words that I heard when I was in my dark space. It’s taken me some time to understand their meaning.
In the Bible, there’s the story of Jonah, the man who didn’t want to preach to the people in a city called Nineveh. He hid on a boat until he was thrown out into the storm and he was swallowed alive by a great fish. Darkness. Crazily, he ends up back where he was supposed to be in the beginning.
I laugh because if you call the customer support line for help with your computer, the first thing they ask is, did you try turning it off and on again? Restart. That’s their answer for everything.
But start overs are impossible in real life. Aren’t they? A start over, a cleaning, a bottom level, that was the message I got when I heard the words, “Go back to what you know for sure.” What did I know for sure? Love.
Where is the love?
I was uncertain of religion. I couldn’t tell you at that moment if I believed in God or the devil, heaven or hell. I didn’t know if the Bible was real or if the teachings I’d grown up with were true, but I did know there was a love that was buried deep inside of me that I’d felt all of my life and it wasn’t of any religion.
What does that mean? What does it look like? I had to stop trusting in everything else. I only had love. So I let myself sit in the darkness, in the emptiness with nothing to light me but the one candle of love. It sounds silly, but when you’re a traditionalist, and you let the old teachings slip away, the emptiness around you isn’t lonely or scary. The love you feel grows. There’s a freedom in that love. Joy unspeakable.
I haven’t talked much about my dark days. Most of us have them. Some call them Dark Nights of the Soul. Others say they are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. No matter what we call them, the experience is difficult to put into words. And I will sometime. Emotions don’t always translate. That gut-wrenching ache after losing a spouse isn’t the same as being alone on a Friday night when everyone else has a date. The situations are almost similar. Alone. No date or spouse. But there’s a depth of substance not seen.
“There is a season for everything under the sun—even when we can’t see the sun.”
Are you familiar with the story of Plato’s Cave? Here’s a link. Plato’s Cave. There were captives chained inside the cave facing always forward, only seeing shadows because they were too far from the source of the light.
One day a single prisoner was freed and taken outside into the light. For years he’d seen the play of shadows and saw the monsters and grotesque shapes splattered on the wall, but now he could see. He had the sunlight, and he knew they were only shadow play on the cave wall from objects in the cave. There weren’t monsters.
Suddenly he was grabbed and yanked toward the cave. But he didn’t want to go back into the dark, he yelled. In the light, he wasn’t afraid.
The shackles were on him again, and the darkness enveloped him. He was restrained, but this time he was different. There was no fear. He knew. How could he not have seen? He had to explain it all to his friends. Would they even listen?
I can almost hear him singing – “Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!!”
“The new is always at our doorstep when we feel most lost.”
Years ago, when I was married, my mother-in-law shared her memory of the best sugar cookies in the world. But, she didn’t have the recipe. It was her mom’s recipe, and her mom never wrote a recipe on paper. Earline remembered eating them as a child fresh from the oven. They were soft and cake-like, somewhat crumbly. She tried adapting sugar cookie recipes to create something similar, but they weren’t quite right. What’s a woman with a cookie craving to do?
How many times have we spouted the great words of wisdom, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting to get different results?” Psychology Today We sometimes mock people who keep trying, but I wonder if we don’t give up too quickly. Anyway, I call trying and trying determination. There’s also a time to do things a little different. Sometimes calling a friend can help. Or get some air.
I’m tenacious. Sometimes to a fault. That spot is coming out of the carpet. It’s difficult for me to know when to call it quits. I’m uncertain when to stop scrubbing the carpet or to stop trying different cleaning products. There’s not an indicator light to give me feedback, to let me know I’m at peak cleaning potential. At least not until the carpet is restored to the original color. If I succeed, I’ve fed my belief that Tenacity rules! But I tell myself this tale whether it’s true or not.
My motto as a teenager was to not give up. I loved this quote,
Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School British politician (1874 – 1965)
Know Your Team
It’s funny how we can mislabel things for years, misjudge, and misunderstand. Yeah, I went there. I work in the health care industry, so I see symbols all day. Hearts, snakes, and poles. Their meanings along with all of the medical language make me aware of how we communicate with each other. The hearts aren’t referring to love. The poles aren’t sexy. And if you see a naked man or woman, you might want to close your eyes.
Oh, and those weren’t sugar cookies by the way. Earline eventually asked her older sister if she knew the recipe. Sis called them Oma’s cookies. Together they found a recipe for Oma, German for Grandma’s cookies. It’s a simple, no-fuss cookie recipe by the way.
Simple little lies seem harmless. Your cooking is great. You look great in that dress. Those never really bothered me. I tried usually to ask what the person thought. A lie in itself is only a cover. An actor is lying when he plays the part of a police officer when he’s on the stage. He limits himself to the stage or his role in a movie. He isn’t an officer in real life. It’s a lie. It’s pretending.
There were a couple of shows that reminded me that sometimes harmless lies can be forgotten to be lies. They are the new truth. Up becomes down and right becomes wrong. Or, is it wrong becomes right? I’m confused. Anyway, the first was on Netflix. Kumaré-imdb. The second was an episode of Derren Brown which starts as a lie, but for some becomes the truth. Derren and Dawn Porter try to convince an entire town that a statue has special powers. Todmorden’s Lucky Dog (Long version click here)
Here is the short version:
Lies – Ones I’ve told. Ones I’ve believed – Spiritual Mentor that’s in my head:
If I don’t go to school, I won’t get a better job
If I don’t get a better job, I’ll struggle financially
Having all of my needs met is the most important thing.
I am better than others because of my aspirations, opinions or knowledge. I’m enlightened.
These are also illusions. Warped truth, not lies. These are just things that my eyes don’t see clearly. I don’t want them to become my truth. I squint and rub my eyes to try to look at them clearer. The crazy part is that they may be truth for someone else, but that doesn’t mean they are for me. I want to remain true to myself. What’s my truth? What’s the most important thing for me?
I received another invitation to Yoga church. The concept is interesting. I’m not sure how it’s different than going to a temple Sunday morning. Tell me what you think, hype, lie or truth? Yoga church. http://www.truenorthyogacoaching.com/yoga-church/
Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
I used to be foolish and believe what people told me. I do hope I have grown past that by now. Other’s have said that they could look people in the eye and tell what type of person someone is. I don’t have that gift I guess. All I see are blue or green and if they have cataracts. For me, that is like looking under the hood of my car. I can stare all day at the oil dipstick and the battery cable, but I can’t tell a darn thing about the vehicle and why it won’t start.
My way goes back to SHOW me who you are. Yes, people can fake it, but not for long. Something of who the real person is will leak out. I had an incident happen this week that reminded me of this. I was having a conversation with someone, and they had said something but meant another, like “I went to Paris” when they meant to say “I went to France.” I was no big deal, but she was shocked, believing she SAID what she had THOUGHT because obviously her brain doesn’t get her words mixed up. At that moment, I received a very clear picture of that person. Here is a person who never faults herself. It’s not so much that she doesn’t think she is capable of error, more that she couldn’t see it.
Do you know the time when you got that car, maybe the blue one because not too many people had a blue car and especially not the brand that you had? Then suddenly you see blue cars everywhere. You COULDN’T see them before, but now they are everywhere. In that way, SHE couldn’t SEE that she could make an error and didn’t take it into consideration. In her thinking, we heard her wrong. Hmmm, all 5 of us. Blindspots.
Arrogance and Humility
In my eyes, this is the difference between arrogance and humility. The arrogant cannot see the flaws in their judgement. Their opinion is correct because their opinion is all they see. To contrast, there are those with humility. And to that extreme there are the self-abasing humble people who need to see themselves as well as others. These are the ones who have been long considered low on self-esteem and self-conscious. Psychologist have been telling them they have a flaw, and God knows that they are aware of this, and they cringe. They want to hide. They see their flaws and are very aware that of the errors of their ways.
It’s time for some moderation. It is good be kind to others but remember the arrogant ones will never see you except to use you as an example or an icon to prove their “rightness.” You had best move out of their way and shut your doors. The arrogant won’t read this, so I’m not talking to them because they know more than me anyway. So to the humble I say, be good to yourself today. Show yourself some love and lock your doors.
Quit – over thinking. Quit – trying to make it work. Quit – wishing, thinking, pushing, willing, trying so hard, all of those things that make you seem like a fish flopping on the shoreline, out of his comfort zone, out of his life zone. That’s not you. We all do this. We act like we’re afraid. We act like that poor fish, gasping for air. We are not desperate. We might be afraid, but we aren’t desperate.
I have so many questions sometimes when I try new things. I start with, I’m ready. I’m excited. I crouch down like the jumper at a sporting event and I’m ready to take off, but then the questions start. How much pressure do I need to push-off? Do I land on one foot or both? Do I dig in with my toes? You get the idea. So many questions that I start doubting if I can do it or if any of it can happen. Can I really make it work? Am I just daydreaming? We all go through this struggle. We worry. We fight the fear, then we fight the desire by telling ourselves, ‘Well, I don’t want it anyway.’ We try to shut the emotions down because they can be so raw. The open heart can feel so exposed.
I was sitting down with a guy I see regularly and without telling him anything he starts saying things such as, you know you can’t be happy unless you’re with someone who meets your needs. You have to have someone that lets you have room. In essence, it was all the things I’ve been mulling over in my head. Was he reading my mind? Sometimes I wonder. Is the world around me really just a hologram of my own making as the new-agers say? Matrix overload. Tilt. Tilt. Beep. Beep.
I’m afraid. I’m in the open, but I know I’m not alone here. I just have to wait. I did that thing I do so often, I got here early. I got over excited. How did I say that before? You can read that post here: Overeager.
Here are a few items I ran into in the process of writing this blog. I love how when you start pulling strings, the blanket starts coming towards you.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was to get to know people for myself, then decide who I think they are. It’s too easy to listen to everyone else’s opinion of people. It’s tempting to get advice about vacations and books, but there is no accounting for some folks taste.
There are many versions of the cities we visit and especially the places we live in. If you live in a historic city you would know what I’m talking about. For instance, New Orleans. There’s the highly romanticized version that’s in the movies with all the drama and music, then there’s the vilified version that the preachers on television like to blame for the downfall of society. Of course that’s not the only city I could name. I’m sure you could name a few also. London. Las Vegas. There’s an actual list. Top 10 Sin Cities in the World.
And the versions are about as many as there are people. The city varies from, nasty, busy, stinky, a rip-off, crowded, bawdy, etc. I’ll leave the rest to you. Perceptions are plentiful to opinionated people, just as ideas are to inventors. Cheap. What creates atmosphere that you can almost touch and even seem to come to life, is when a story is born. Give me a good story, combined with a strong visual perception, and you have a customer. Otherwise I couldn’t read about Gotham city. Who in their right mind would otherwise want to read about an orphaned child, a corrupt city, with a backdrop of darkly drawn ink caricatured bad guys? But all of us who have grown up with this story line for some reason have loved it. In this story line there is redemption. There’s hope for even the worst possible circumstances.
Some of my favorite stories are from well-known cities with their own flavors. Jim Butcher writes about Chicago in the Dresden files. There are underground tunnels, vampire councils, and of course the a slew of bad guys that no ordinary citizen wants to meet. And Dresden is the guy to take them all on. You see Chicago through his eyes.
Karen Marie Moning starts her Fever series in the peach of sunny Georgia but continues in Dublin. I’ve never been to Dublin but I can almost taste the froth on the beer. And the chill from the misty rain makes me want to grab a blanket every time I read another of her books. I can’t wait until the 20th of this month when the next one comes out.
Currently I’m reading a series by Faith Hunter, Jane Yellowrock, which in the currently centers in New Orleans. There’s dancing, eating, and hunting vampires. Here’s a scene that shows the city coming back to life after a hurricane/storm. If I were a photographer, I’d be itching to take snapshots.
Lanterns, lamps, and candles lit windows. People sat at tables on second story balconies, by lamplight, and the smell of food wafted down. Tinny music came from open windows, battery-powered boom boxes perched on ledges shared a soft dissonance of musical tastes. Live music, a guitar, saxophone, a drum came through an open bar door. Tables inside were lit with candles, a generator roaring in back. Small businesses that depended on the tourists trade twenty-four/seven, just to make the rent, were opening, despite the lack of city power. More generators began to hum. – Blood Cross excerpt, by Faith Hunter.
How does a view of a city apply to people? Get to know them yourself, then decide. Never judge a book by its cover. Think about it. And check out Re-framing.
If the team doesn’t make it to the top, who do we blame? The guy who gave up at the beginning? Not usually. The human link in the chain that just didn’t try? Boys will be boys. Play on player. You certainly can’t fault the one who lasted the longest, claws dug in deep into the dirt of the mountainside. If one person would’ve saved the team, she would have, but that’s just the problem. It takes more than one. It takes everyone to make a marriage. It takes everyone to build a family. It takes more than one to win a game and more than one to strike up a tune. So if you’re going to play with the big girls, if you want to wear the big pants, play your heart out and play for keeps. Because girls that make it to the top of the mountain, break a few nails, but they are strong.
Gears, cogs, pistons, they each have their job. If one malfunctions, you don’t blame the other for the whole machine’s malfunction. When a marriage crumbles, it’s never one person’s fault. I’ve carried around a feeling of failure for years that I realize is wrong. I’m pretty pissed about it now. I know I didn’t fail. I was the unfortunate owner of the hot potato and my ex was the absent person and the only other player in the game to toss the potato to. I hope you feel the helplessness in that. I felt his absence for years. I felt I was the muted voice yelling at the top of my lungs to a deaf man who seemed not to care or didn’t want to carry any responsibility. And I did the hardest thing I could possibly do. I left. There was no more pretty in my pretty please. I couldn’t try harder. I couldn’t try anymore. I was empty inside. I loved that man with all that I had, and it was gone. Somehow, we didn’t match. All of my young years, I had been told, marry a Christian. Marry the man God sends to you. Marry a man your parents approve of. Check. Check. Check. And I was madly in love. What could go wrong? We did the right things. We waited to get married. We had the church wedding. God was surely smiling on us. Delirium. Delusion. Once Upon A Time, Oh wait, wrong bedtime story. I woke up. And I am alive and well.
This is news, a state of affairs due to the significant value of connection, to the power of ideas that spread and to the low cost of production.
Delighting a few with an idea worth spreading is more valuable than ever before. – Seth Goddin
To truly fail, is to not get up.
If you fall, get up. Stand. Try one more time. Laugh again. Or cry. Turn on some Phil Collins or some other good music and enjoy the day. I’m taking song suggestions by the way. I’d like to have yours. Comment at the top of the blog. I have Phil’s song stuck in my head, “I can feel it coming in the air tonight…” and now so do you.
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