Sometimes we need the right tool to do the job. We’ve talked and planned, but now we need to work. Here are a few tidbits to start. The first one comes from one of Richard Grannon’s courses. I wish I could tell you which it was from exactly. I’ve worked through both the Discipline and the Emotional Flashback Course. The following is a loose version of his formula.
I am not my flashbacks
Name my goals. (Agency)
I welcome my feelings (anger, fear) name current emotions.
With time and generous amounts of love, you can heal. If you make your goals distinct-it will be more obvious when you meet them. If you know that beginning meditation is a goal for you, then you have to start practicing. Make a goal of sitting for 15 minutes daily or five of the seven days this week, and listen to the sounds around you. Sit, listen, and breathe. And celebrate your successes. It is important. There’s plenty of pain in this world, so finding joy in the everyday stuff is crucial.
What if no point of view is correct? We both are wrong. Me in my strong moral righteousness and you in your idea of keeping America safe. Is it possible I am wrong? Is it possible the wool was pulled over both of our eyes? Is truth in neither of our hearts? About this, I have always worried. What if?
What if there is someone who has a reason to keep you and me apart? If we are not a whole group, we can never be healthy if we are always at odds. The strength of the people–against all the odds–will undoubtedly win. It’s a winning team. Why would that be bad? About this, I have always worried. What if?
What if we can never heal in this lifetime? Is love not enough to heal a nation of people, a race, a community, a world? I have been on both sides of the political ticket. Once I was a Republican, then a Democrat, I’ve known both sides’ frustration. I walked in the shoes of the Fundamentalist, the Christian, and the Agnostic. In the middle of this country, walk a group of people who are hungry for truth. They long for it. We believe we are right. Until a new reality shows us we are not. About this, I have always worried. What if?
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Augustine
--Around the year 2000, I was awakened to a reality I didn’t know existed. It was as if someone turned on the lights. About this is what I’d always worried. I could see that I’d been stumbling around blindly looking for a pot of gold, but the rainbow’s end had been moving. Now I knew why. There wasn’t a goal. There’s no end of the rainbow to locate. No certainty. I’d been cheated. I was lost and so alone, even in the middle of my own family. I cried and prayed. The word came from inside of me, saying, “Go back to what you know for sure.”
All I knew for certain was love. It was and had always been my compass. Follow love, and not fear. It was the only commandment from Jesus. I grabbed that as if it were my lifeline. Right now, I’m throwing that out to you. Your lifeline is love. Guide your life by love. Follow the light of love.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
In my years of recovery from abuse, I’ve learned that a victim’s coping methods are smart. List making and stocking up on supplies are virtues we admire in others, but we can use them to hide also. It’s like procrastinating until it’s too late. I’m the same way, there are many healthy habits we can develop.
Creating small memories throughout your day is a great way to build a beautiful life. Totems can be made to honor your life. It’s an easy way to remind yourself of your values. You can have unique traditions or days of your own. My two girlfriends and I created our winter holiday in which we exchange socks. The holiday is our day. And it is sacred.
Only you are in charge of your life. Yes, others cause things to happen around you, but you are the ultimate chooser. Be well in your life today.
“Simply asking yourself the question, ‘How am I doing right now?’ is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself,” Hill Kooienga said. – HuffPost
Thanks for your patience while I am recovering from my surgery. Healing is slow but sure.
I look back at work I wrote a year ago, and I don’t recognize it as my own. Yes, I know the piece. I wrote it. The characters are mine, and the art is authentic, but sometimes as if another person works through me.
I DO ME
Flow is the place we aspire to be. It’s a surfer’s dream. To lose the struggle and only know exhilaration and glory, man! That’s the ideal. We all want that, don’t we? Then why do I white knuckle it?
Losing control is not a feeling I enjoy. When I was younger, the coasting downhill on my bike was good. Not flying through the air and losing my sense of direction. But in my fear I find release. There’s a comfort—An “Oh dear gawd I’m going to die—Okay maybe not.” And relief that I didn’t. All is alright. It’s a time when I learned to let go of me.
The greatest benefit of being a solo performer is that it is seriously frightening, but at the same time very empowering. It’s just you and the audience. All the weight is on you to deliver the songs.
Some of the things I’ve done which scared the shit out of me, I leaped into them fully, feet first. I had an idea and started. Once I painted my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I researched the hows. I bought supplies. But I had no experience. I took the first step, then the second. Sometime in the middle, I realized there was no turning back. I was committed. I would finish this project. It’s at these junctures when you turn the music loud and get to work.
In a split second, we make judgments. Is a person tidy or dirty? Creepy or beautiful? Whether we are determining the fate of another person or choosing which shirt to wear, these observations slip in before we can reject them. And do we know why we’re attracted to another person? Is it their looks or kindness?
Do you want to get real with yourself? Find out what you value. I’ve spoken about this before in a previous post, How To Be Strong, but I believe it’s worth repeating.
And if you don’t know your values at this moment, there’s an easy way to learn. What excites you? Angers you? If you don’t give a shit about it, then I’d say it’s not a value. There’s also a link to a helpful site at the bottom of this post.
So how does knowing a value change your life? Well, maybe you’ve always let life happen. Whoever was helpful or befriended you became your bestie regardless of their character. But this person might be a user, borrowing money all the time and smoking in your car. If you know your values, you can say, enough. “Man, it’s nice to have a friend, but I value keeping money in the bank and a clean smelling car.”
People who know their values such as “family time” or even “alone time” have more direction in life. Imagine knowing yourself that well, enough to know that being a charitable person is essential. It’s more important than taking an extended vacation. For some people this statement is true.
So, what do you need? A clean space? Steady work? Adventure? Family?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
When I first walked away from Christianity, the one thing that scared me was dying. And the no-life-afterwards stance of Atheism. I felt like a child whose Halloween candy had been stolen. I’ve held on to the opinion that Atheists could be wrong. Denial in the first degree!
People like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, have stripped away my belief in a separate soul, so what would be left to carry on after my body dies? Energy particles? It’s taken some time and lots of truth seeking. Richard Dawkins attitude has really helped with my perspective. Yeah, I may not have eternity in white robes, but I can live a full life and celebrate every day right now.
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”
Denying truth doesn’t make it disappear. What happens after I die can’t be prearranged. The events are out of my control. Maybe I’ll be happily surprised with more candy or maybe I won’t. Either way it’s done. Richard Dawkins is right. We are the lucky ones.
When I started my wandering it wasn’t just with doubts. I’ve always questioned Christianity being the only way. I’ve always been skeptical of their notion that the God that loved the world enough to send his only begotten son would send him for just the little group in my part of the world. The God who created the heavens and the earth, who breathed life into all creation, could only save the ones who believed the way my church believed. It seemed narrow-minded to me. And not just to me. The more exposure you get to others who are not like you, the more you see a lot of narrow thinking. At least, that’s how it started.
The pendulum swings
I believed in God, I believed in love, and I believed in Jesus because that was the color of religion that raised me. Had I been born in India, I’d most likely be a Hindu. I’d probably be in the same place of questioning my faith also. Most that speak to me about my loss of Christianity tell me it’s because I grew up in such a restricted upbringing, but I disagree. I believe it’s because I grew up in the dubbed, days of awakening, for lack of a better term. Born in the 1960’s and growing up with the massive explosion of information and exploration, suddenly the world around us widened with possibilities. We were on the moon. We didn’t have to wear dresses as women. We could earn our own money. I even felt forced at times into becoming more liberal. Not from anyone in particular, but from society’s expectations.
As pendulums do
Today I feel a bit different. I’m nowhere. As expected, I feel a bit befuddled. I nostalgically see the village I came from and its homey appeal, but I keep yanking the cords that try to draw me back in. I find the easy comfort has a strong pull. But I can’t honestly walk back into that. Yeah, it’s familiar. It’s also a little like making your bed and sitting down at your parents’ table again. I’ve been there and done that, and now I am so much more. I also didn’t lose my Christianity as some suggest. I walked away.
The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
I’ve taken a second look at complaints. Once I thought I was in error or somehow rejected if someone disagreed or complained. But there are many situations in life that need disagreement, complaining or feedback.
Exercise requires it. You do a new workout or do the same workout with more intensity, you expect your body to give you feedback. Sore calf muscles are wonderful. You know you’re strengthening your arms if they hurt. Here is an interesting article on barefoot running, http://xeroshoes.com/barefoot-running/surfaces/
Recently we had a project at work. Not unusual in itself, but this one required a significant amount of work that needed multiple people to sort and find information. Usually, I do these myself because I’m not sure how to divide the spreadsheet and explain how to locate the information we needed. There was no simple A. B. C. directives. So I assigned the project as best I could and asked for feedback if they were having any issues. Are we finding what we needed? Is there a better or faster way? I expected, wanted, and requested feedback. If no one gave me feedback then how would I know if we were doing it correctly?
Most of the time we as people or as workers hide from feedback. It scares us. Like being called into the principal’s office. A friend of mine always reminds me that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. It’s a freeing thought, and I don’t mean it abusively. It’s too easy to get stuck and not make any decisions for fear of making a mistake. No one likes the yelling or the correction. It’s an automatic thing to hide from yelling.
Feeling like a victim or thinking everyone’s out to get you is backward thinking. Think of a pinball machine. Designers use a series of launchers, bumpers, and flippers to play a game. Life is a series of walls, springboards, and hurdles sometimes. When I run into a wall, maybe I need to reevaluate. It doesn’t matter if Tom, Dick, and Harry did it that way, it’s not working for me.
A true victim is someone who was acted upon by an unusual circumstance, not due to their own negligence or negative feedback. I often hear people at work complain that no one is listening to them or that management doesn’t notice their abilities. Speak up. They will listen and act upon anything that will actually help them. If they don’t notice your abilities, maybe what you are doing isn’t helpful in selling their product. If I’m needing water to drink, having a truck load of peanut butter is not very helpful, even as much as I think peanut butter is delicious. And you may have a lot of it.
Use the walls or negative feedback as guidance. Your outlook on life will change. You’ll notice that you’ll be able to make decisions easier. You’ll learn a “Let’s try this and see if it works” attitude. Take a chance. Go forward. If it doesn’t work for you, move on and try something different.
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