Confidence, self-esteem, validation, and greatness.
These are qualities we all crave, but none of them are automatic in life. Many of us grow up trying to find ways to cope. We reach out for our validation and affection in places that aren’t expected. We’re like grass growing from cracks in the sidewalks. Resilient. Stubborn. Read the biography of John Lennon or listen to John Lydon of the Sex Pistolstell his story.
I was four and a half when I started school, and that’s when I noticed that I was different. It’s at this time that most of us started some type of formal school. We either fit in or stick out like sore thumbs, awkward and in pain.
Whether we were the culprit that spilled the glue that pooled onto the floor or we forgot to bring a pencil and had to borrow one from another student. At some time there was the look of disgust.
I remember Mrs. Johnson, my third grade teacher and her clock shaped like a black cat. It had a tail that flicked back and forth distracting me from listening. She liked to ridicule her students. With me, she also sighed a lot. I was usually the last in line, not in a big hurry. I never felt she liked me. So here’s my turn around; I give no stars to Mrs. Johnson. Well, maybe two stars for being there on time.
Who is on your list? Is it a teacher or a family member? I hope you take a moment and give yourself the love you need, because you’re worth it.
While cleaning my bathroom floor, I was disgusted. I had hairs on the floor. Matted swirls of blonde hairs. How did I let that happen? Why do I not prevent that?
Is it possible to prevent a mess? Somewhere in my thinking I believed I was the only one who had hair on their bathroom floor.
I can still hear my family, “Janet, your hair is everywhere.” And, it was only my hair. No one else had hair that floated from room to room. My hair was errant in nature and very naughty. I don’t know how it became so naughty. And then suddenly, while I was on the bathroom floor no less, I realized, myhairs weren’t bad or evil or gross. They are just hair.
Everyone (mostly) has hair. We all have germs. Mine aren’t super alien strong germs either. My hair isn’t magically searching for some solid surface to glue and multiple itself on. It’s just freakin hair and it just freakin needs cleaned off of the floor.
Dirt happens. Pain happens. Death happens and so does life. None of these things are preventable.
When I get on a roller-coaster I never expect it to crash. Usually it doesn’t. When I eat food from a restaurant, I expect it to enjoy it and I don’t expect it to poison me. We are lulled everyday into expecting things to go on. We expect life. We expect health. But sickness happens. You can’t plan for the unexpected. Life should run smoothly. Children shouldn’t die. Roller-coasters are fun amusements and aren’t meant to be dangerous. And cars shouldn’t rear end us on our way to work. Safety is the norm, or so we think. But is it really?
So should we lock down all our facilities? Shut the doors and keep the windows barred? Maybe tag everyone and keep them monitored like sheep. This isn’t the way any of us would want to live. That’s the obsessive way of existing. And even in that, we would still die. We would still have illness.
If someone disobeys or finds a loophole, make a stronger law.
I’ve heard it too many times now. Why was this not caught? How did this happen? I believe we have created a picture safety being the norm. Otherwise how would you cope with everyday life? Would you send your child to school? Drive to the store? Without the story of “this won’t happen to me”, I don’t know if I could fully live my life. The illusion of safety and control of my destiny allows me to fully express myself, to take chances and challenges.
I know the temptation to say, Why me? The why me, doesn’t really mean “Why me, why not Jack?” We really aren’t asking why me at all, but we are trying to grasp the situation. Have you ever tripped and fallen flat on your face? It stuns you. The suddenness of the fall surprises you so you can’t even feel the pain sometimes. If you’ve been in a car accident you know how quickly it can happen.
A friend just lost his wife. Suddenly. She lost her grip on the coffee cup. Something wasn’t right. They went in to see the doctor and found a tumor on her brain. After investigating they realized it was pancreatic cancer that had metastasized into her brain and various organs. Ten days later she was gone. Ten days. Eleven days ago she was the picture of health. Taking her son to football practice and cleaning her house for the holidays. Suddenly life changes. Why me? Why her?
Maybe it’s our form of therapy, these questions of Why me? or Why did we not stop this?
These questions keep us from dealing with the sudden shock and pain of the accident. We take a step back mentally. We have to. The shock is overwhelming to our nervous system. Our brain is not capable of handling the shock, so it handles the next immediate detail, ‘How did this happen?’ If we’d had metal detectors at the door, then no one could bring in a gun. If we’d worn non-slip shoes, we wouldn’t have fallen. It’s our method of handling the tragedy. If we can control this preventative aspect of the accident then we feel calmer. As if by naming something we can understand how it works.
It’s not so bewildering once we’ve identified it. We can look at the situation and say it is less likely to happen again in the future. We can’t process not having control over our future safety. We have to believe that we can prepare, that we can foresee the danger and prevent it.
It amazes me when I watch the news. They seem to tell us that death could be prevented. Whether from massacres, riots, or wars. I’m sorry, I thought we all died. Maybe years down the road and certainly not children, but still death is not preventable. Neither is the mess on my floor. It isn’t because I’m a lazy, irresponsible person. Life is a circular motion of pain and happiness. Joy and searching. Loving and losing. Birth and death. Fear and excitement. It is all of these. Life is a merry-go-round of living.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.-John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy”
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