Ugly

I was at a stoplight, and the light had turned red when the pickup truck behind me decided that stopping was not convenient for him. He found space to pass me and ran the red light.

I know I seem like a small-town girl, but this place where I live isn’t a big city. We still claim a few rural, country roots. But we’ve certainly forgotten our manners.

We can’t pretend this is Mayberry and that we live in the scripted world they did. It’s a free choice, do as you please, live free kinda life now. This country dude didn’t know me, and his action wasn’t personal. He had an agenda of his own. If I wasn’t here, it would have been someone else he’d pass.

Keep on truckin’

Fly in the soup

Bullying has been around for ages. Sometimes we call it helpful advice. Or nagging. People who honk when you drive too slow or stay too long at a stoplight think they can push you into doing what they want. Maybe it’s your brother who wants money or your dad giving advice or your wife who hates your music. The stress of this can build until life becomes unbearable. We can learn to live with it, but how? How we handle the push is a personal choice. I do have a suggestion or two.

“Hold your own, know your name, and go your own way.”

Jason Mraz

Learn to take care of yourself. Know where you are going and watch your surroundings. Don’t get embroiled in the road rage drama. I’ve been in dangerous situations that I didn’t cause, but because someone believed I had slighted them, they sought revenge with their automobile. Believe me, early in the morning, while heading to work is not the time to check the status of your brakes. When testosterone-filled young men driving little red cars pass you and then stop, it doesn’t matter if I did something wrong or not.

Idiocy is everywhere. I decide if it ruins my life. I get shaky after these events, but I realize they are like storms. It rains on everyone. Some people become offended and believe they are persecuted, but they’re not. Unless you’re a person who creates trouble, most things are random. You can’t prevent everything. Shake free of the event and go on with your day.

Remember your values. The pebbles in your shoes, rude people, can soon become spikes in your soul. It would be sad if you lost your way and let anger, disappointment, and revenge become more important than love, kindness, and charity. Your standards are essential to this culture’s survival.

What do you there’s a serious a abuser in your life? Find help. Seek counseling. Talk to friends and ask for advice. Most importantly, find a safe place, a safe lifestyle for yourself.

see also Softness Is Your Strength and Pebbles in My Shoe

Softness Is Your Strength

Were you the child who was always helpful? Did you share your pudding cup or cut your sandwich in half when you saw someone who didn’t have any lunch. You noticed. Kindness wasn’t only a word for you. It was a reflex. You gave. Keep it up.

Nikita Gill

You opened your heart to people who lost everything and needed clothing and shelter. There have been floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and loss of all kinds. You gave. These are challenging times in which we live. Your gift was a comfort, and to some, you might have been their light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose heart. Keep the fire of love burning.

You’re beautiful people.

Holy

There’s a part of me still trying to prove she’s okay. The good employee. The daughter who loves her parents. But dammit I keep failing even those. Good is a lie. And honestly, my boss doesn’t want me to be kind. She wants a result.

There’s an ugly side of being too eager. In the middle of being the best is a gooey center of false perfection. For a goddamn moment, you think you’ve reached nirvana until reality slaps you in the face. All of the meatless meals and chanting won’t keep your lungs free from exhaust fumes. We work as we are able, living in as much grace as we are given.

One of my favorite YouTube creators recently shared that he is doing the 75hard challenge. I’d not heard of it before, so I went on the website to learn. It is WORK. If you want to feel you’re accomplishing something, here’s a plan for you. 

The Challenge:

Do 5 things a day for 75 days. No excuses, no stopping, no missing anything. If you miss something, or cheat, you go back to day 1!

  1. Strict Diet – No Cheating, not even one bite, and No Alcohol!
  2. Two Workouts per Day – At least one outside and both at least 45 minutes each
  3. Drink One Gallon of Water per Day – Nothing but clear, plain water counts
  4. Read Ten Pages per Day – Non-Fiction self help or business book
  5. Take a Progress Picture Every Day

On display

We wear badges and gather tokens without realizing it. I accumulated my own display and allowed them to become my story. Look at me, they say. Like certificates on a wall, I displayed my trauma, my failure, and my illness as if they were the only parts which had a right to speak. But there are other pieces, the loving and healthy portions, which had every right to be heard.

Society is complicated, and so are the problems we’ve inherited. And yes, I said inherited. I doubt any of you created the homeless situation or understand the dynamics of solving it. For more info read The History of Homelessness in the United States. If the solutions were clear, they would have been done. Instead, the homeless are hidden from sight, bused from one city into another, herded like zombies in The Walking Dead. No one has a fix.

I question whether trauma takes an emotional toll on society’s collective soul if there is such a thing. I’m speculating. What would that look like? Anxiety and unrest? Anger issues?

Let me know what you think in the comments below. What are your opinions on society? Have you tried the 75Hard? I would love to hear your stories.

Portals and Spells

Magic isn’t candles and herbs. Enchantment whispers telling us we’re beautiful. And all things are possible. Or the opposite. It stops us where we stand to make us forget how dazzling we are. Someone else is prettier. All that was brilliant clunks like a piano out of tune. Ugly. We are ugly.

Trauma is a gateway

I watched a YouTube video to help me line up with the Universe. That’s a good thing, right? It’s the current “The Secret” guru-ish Vudu spell casting thing. But this one hit me at the wrong moment, and I was in the worst mood. Triggered. What the video was trying to say was, “Do these things, and you will be in a better position to receive.” It was good advice. Only, I heard, “You’re a fuck up. You can’t get it right.” This is bad magic. It’s the hurt that runs through the veins of scarred people and causes us to warp the words of others. The piano is out of tune, and it’s not our fault. Something is twisted, scarred, bent or broken, and we are a little off-balance.

There are ways of relearning, but it takes time and dedication. We must be patient with ourselves. It’s essential to surround ourselves with loving friends. Those who are kind are the only ones who should be allowed to stay. If you’ve made it this far in life, you deserve good friends. Let go of people who are cruel or who don’t support you. Learn to lean on those who are good. Remember you are probably better than think you are. Your vision is usually skewed. I know mine is.

Support

A good resource for healing – Spartan Life Coach Richard Grannon has been both a martial arts instructor and trauma counselor. His style is easy going. He knows his stuff.

Always Well Within Blog lists several good books

Kris Godinez deal mostly with abuse but also with trauma. She’s blunt and a straight forward person. She’s a writer and public speaker.

My Purpose

There are mornings when I wake, and I don’t dread the day ahead. There’s a slight thrill running in my veins. I enjoy this feeling and wish I could recreate it. Bottle it and save it for a rainy day.

I once believed that if only I had a calling or a mission, it would be so easy to jump out of bed each day. I’d want to walk out the door and help others. Passion would be a part of the package.

(Success is about a happy life, and happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people do not allow the happy moments because they are so busy trying to get a happy life.) Esther Hicks

Now, my bones creak more, and my muscles have less vigor. Aging has brought experience also. I’ve paid attention. There are people with ordinary jobs who do them with the enthusiasm of an artist. I’ve seen love smiling through the eyes of a neighbor. And kindness, I believe is appropriate anywhere.

Maybe you have a unique voice and can say the words which need to be said. One person to one person. One person to one thousand. If you help one person in your life, isn’t it worth it? Don’t hesitate. Our gifts can be lost in the noise, the hatred, and the confusion. Turn off the distractions. Put joy on your list.

Why are you here?

Stop! Don’t Make Your Point

It’s alright if you don’t have an agenda sometimes. Relax. It might be healthy.

Too often when we enter a conversation, it’s to make a point. But what if we didn’t. Next time, we could let the unimportant stuff slip away.

Choose your stressors wisely. I pulled this post from psychologist Rick Hanson’s post, Just One Thing. You are free not to do these anymore.

Freedom not to

How?

For one or more of the items just below, imagine what it would feel like for you to have the freedom not to:

• Press your point home

• Struggle to get someone to change his or her mind

• Have a second drink. Or a first one.

• Worry what other people think about you

• React to what is swirling around you

• Act on an impulse

• Get into an argument

• Be swept along by anger

• Identify with a mood or point of view passing through awareness

• Take something personally

• Take responsibility for the experiences of other people

• Criticize yourself for not being able to fit into a pair of jeans

• Resist what’s unpleasant

• Drive toward what’s pleasant

• Cling to what’s heartfelt

For one or more of the items just above, imagine how your greater freedom would help others. Also, let others be freer themselves with you; give them room to breathe, time to think and feel. – Rick Hanson PhD

Have a beautiful day!

Strengthening Character

At the end of the day, it’s only you. Alone. How you met each challenge and each conflict was up to you. Did you face your demons or pretend they didn’t exist?

There’s a lot of talk about being real. Authenticity. For me, it’s not always easy to be myself. It’s not that I try to fake people out by pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m not an impressive person and never wish to be.

My nature is to relate to people on the level they are. You might think me inauthentic at times because I’m a human who has been damaged by life. My cracks show.

When I feel I’m in an emotionally dangerous situation I’ll plaster a fake smile on and spout out the trite phrases, whatever it takes to get me through the situation. This is the game we call life.

Our character is built by the choices we make. We develop strength or kindness or wisdom through practice. Such as continuing to practice grace and mercy if you’re wishing to become a more forgiving person. Truthfully, it comes down to living intentionally, as best you can.

In Your Face

FaceTime, Facebook, we are up close and personal. You would think we all loved each other like cult wives, but we don’t. We’re afraid of getting lost.

 

Lost

Our world is too busy, and we have lost touch with each other, so we place our close conversations and intimacy on Reddit and SnapChat. Our birthdays are celebrated on screen as well every relationship status and break up right down to the dramatic ending.

We long for exposure. It isn’t enough anymore to enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of apple pie. We talk about it. Share. Instagram a pic of it in nostalgic shades. Touch me, see me, like me. Am I real? Do I matter?

Mind Numb

Our chase of meaning only comes to one conclusion. The need for another try. The system is rigged against us. The game is a casino slot machine. Pull the lever and hear the bells. Watch the lights flashing again. How many times have we done this? Have I been sitting here long? My butt is numb. Oh well, I’ll do one more quarter then go home.

Please and thank you can be used by everyone. They are the salt and pepper of society. – JW

Spells and Magic

If this were a magic spell being cast in a children’s fairytale book we would be screaming at the characters. Run. Get out of the building. Turn off your phone. It’s a plot by a wicked queen. But we know these are not fairytales. There are no plots, right? Well, there is the one guy who says otherwise. I’ll link to his Ted talk HERE.

Acknowledge

How do we take care of ourselves since we are aware of our need to be noticed? Acknowledge it. Post the wedding pictures. Enjoy the Likes. But try to find a life outside of your profile. Give to others. Remember to show respect to those around you.

…and my mouth said, “It was his way of saying he loved me. He used to say, ‘I see you Yi-yi.’ ” – Jada from Feversong: A Fever Novel, by Karen Marie Moning

A complaint I heard recently is when a man opens a door for a woman many times she walks through without saying a word. Not even a Thank You.

Here in my part of the country, men are taught to open doors for women, to take out the trash, to say, ma’am. These are courteous actions yes, but so much more. Please and thank you can be used by everyone. These acknowledgments are the salt and pepper of society. Without these ingredients our lives become irritating. Life chafes from constant obligations. It’s not an enjoyable way to live a life. Kindness is needed to keep our society healthy. I want to support others, to see them, show them love, every day.

Namaste

What Are We Saying When We Are Saying When We Are Saying Namaste?

 

I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Two Fold Kindness

An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...Be kind. That’s simple. And there’s more than one approach. Each religion has some form of the Golden Rule. You can look it up here, TeachingValues.com

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buddha – See more at: http://www.verybestquotes.com/buddha-quotes/#sthash.nqTbafBi.dpuf

Kindness is…

Most of us understand kindness.  If I tell you to be kind, spontaneously you’d think of giving to others. You’d think of caring for your great-aunt Susie when she was ill or your mother’s dog that has arthritis. You might think of giving up the seat on the bus when someone else could use it or splitting a sandwich with a friend who forgot their lunch when you were a child in school. This is kindness. We know what it is. And we know what kindness is not.

Kindness is not kicking a dog when he’s down. It’s not pulling wings off of butterflies just to see what happens. It’s not tossing your extra slice of pizza in the dumpster when you could have handed it to someone else to share. We know this. These are not kindness.

Kindness is also…

We know about kindness to others. And we know it’s important. What about kindness to ourselves? Is it important to be kind to ourselves? Those that tend to value kindness to other are the same ones who would likely give themselves too freely to a cause, be the last one standing, or actually give their last bite of food to help another. Here in the states there’s not a good chance that any of us are going to starve soon for sharing a sandwich. But we can’t forget that we need kindness to ourselves. Sometimes we give to others because it’s our drug of choice. It helps us feel better when we think our life stinks.

When life is out of control, we often reach for whatever we know to make us feel better, and sometimes jumping into a fund-raiser or a charity drive is the thrill that gets us through. There are times when it’s alright to sit down and receive some charity. Let others be kind to you for a time. It’s the give and take of life. After all, when you were born, you didn’t come into the world on your own. You were tugged, pushed, and yanked. Tight fisted, red faced and crying. And so was I. Someone else wrapped us in a blanket, gave us some milk, and wiped the ick from our eyes.

Kindness has no ledger of debt and balances. It would be impossible. So just be kind.