Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Weight of the World

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atlas-woman

I’ve been feeling pensive of late. Restless, as the days begin and end, begin and end, over and over and over again.   I go about my daily activities, do my errands, brushing shoulders with others doing the same.  And too often, we barely make eye contact, let alone speak.

I feel it most often when I take the bus.  Over and over, people get on and get off, staring straight ahead, careful not to stare, or upset the monotone.  And I do it, too.  I get on, sit down, stare straight ahead till I reach my destination, get off, walk away.  Barely any connection is ever made when riding the bus.  I’ve taken the bus for years, on and off, and mostly it’s the same.  The same.  And more of the same.

There is one man I keep meeting on my journeys on the bus who cheerfully says hello to each person he meets.  He has this big voice and a happy smile and he’s..well..kind of like Santa Claus without the red suit.  And you know what? Most people look away.  Like he’s pathetic. No, people! Don’t you see? We’re the pathetic ones, for not returning his happy smile and wishing him a boisterously happy day!

It makes me sad, because it feels like so many people are just DEAD inside.

There’s definitely something rustling inside me to make a change in my corner of the world.  I didn’t make any ‘resolutions’ this year at all, which is not like me.  Usually I spend New Years eve or New Year’s day writing in my journal, looking both forward and back, and creating a plan for the following year. But not this year.  This year I did not put pen to paper at all.

Let’s face it. Our hearts are heavy with war, and fear, and terror, and money problems, and worries of thousands of misplaced families – to name only a few things!  We grow tired of greedy corporations wanting to kill our earth and put garbage in our food and make us believe that their way is the only way and that there is no better way for us.  Technology, while promising connection, causes us to bury ourselves in the pathetic devices we carry around EVERYWHERE with us – causing more alienation than connection.

Perhaps it’s this heaviness of heart that is causing my restlessness.  Lately, that little voice inside me is telling me that I must be the one to reach out.  To extend my hand.  To offer a smile, a helping hand, even a touch.  Sometimes I have these silly ideas.  I think, what if I brought a package of candy onto the bus and passed it around?  Would that make people smile? Or at least, respond in some way?  Or I get this strong desire to be one of those people who take a sign into their downtown core offering FREE HUGS.  Because Lord knows that no one gets enough healing hugs these days. Or to write little notes of encouragement and leave them in random places that I go…

What IS growing inside me is the firm belief that we are connected, and that every time we hurt others, every time we hate and despise and treat badly – we hurt ourselves, too.  And we hurt the world at large.  So, if I am making a belated resolution at all, this year – it’s to find ways to bring more joy. For myself, I need some kind of deeper connection with the world around me.  I need to bring some light to other’s faces, even if for only a moment.  I’m going in search of more ways to do these things this year.

Now, I’m off to create that FREE HUGS sign.  Anybody with me? 🙂

 

 

 

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The Perils of Perfection

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perfectionism

 

I’ve written about perfection before.  I’ve lived with trying to gain power over my need to be perfect in all things for longer than I can remember.  The agony this need causes in me can be devastating.  It causes me, sometimes, to go past the point of no return.  The point where my energy is depleted, my body is sore, and my emotions are raw.

This topic of perfection has been in forefront for me recently as I began to notice it happening again in my every day life.  In the little things.  Like in cleaning my house.  Or helping out my daughter around her home when I’m with the kids.  Or taking care of the administration for the society that I volunteer for. My thought process goes something like this…

I will have already done more than enough. More than I have energy for.  More than I NEED to!  Yet I hear myself thinking – ‘if only’ I can do just this one more thing, then I will be happy/content/feel good about things.  “If only” I can just do this one more job (dishes, laundry, vacuuming, creating the perfect spreadsheet, replying to someone’s Society question with the perfect email – this list is endless)  And all this after I’ve spent more than enough time, more than enough energy, on something to make it Just Right.

The problem with this way of thinking is…it’s never right! It’s never enough.  No. Matter. What.

And in the process, I’m only making myself more tired and grumpy. And angry.  At myself and at others.  I’m only making the need I have, which feels just like desperation, BIGGER.  Is it worth it? Absolutely not.

In a time when I need to stay conscious of how my body is feeling, and how much energy I have or do not have, and where my emotions are taking me – I cannot afford to allow these crazed thoughts to overwhelm me.

But that need to feel I have done things perfectly wraps its ugly tendrils of agony around my brain and drives me slowly back into that place of  desperation.  That’s the danger for me.  That’s where  I go slowly crazy.

I’m writing this today to remind myself that it’s ok to just do enough, and that’s all.  The world will not implode in on itself.  (Actually, that’s pretty much already happening without my help, anyway, so I don’t think it needs me to add any more craziness)!

What I ‘need’ is, to give myself a really big break.  And tell myself it’s ok if some things don’t get done.  I don’t have to make myself crazy. I ‘need’ to remind myself to let go, once again. To remind myself that I will still be safe, even if things aren’t ‘perfect’.  To remember that perfect is not something that’s possible, no matter how hard I try.

So I will take a few deep breaths.  And relax my mind and heart.  I will be ok.  I AM ok.  Right now, sitting here in my imperfect home.  Living my imperfect life, in this imperfect world. Writing in my blog.  Imperfectly.

Sailing Into 2016

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Here we are standing on the doorstep of a brand New Year.  I always feel excited when the new year begins.  It is, I think, that anticipation of something new – even though there are no assurances it’s going to be wonderful.  Lord knows 2015 has had it’s challenges, for sure, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are people out there that are terrified of what’s to come.  There are so many, many uncertainties in our world today.  Crazy, unpredictable weather, terrorists, wars, refugees by the thousands – it is an uncertain world, for sure.

I recently joined  a group on facebook that claimed to be a supportive group for sufferers of Osteoarthritis, which I have, to some degree.  I joined because I am always on the lookout for more natural ways to treat, and to heal, if they can be found.  But what I found on this particular group was, that most people only wanted to come in and complain about how difficult their lives were, how many drugs they had to take, and how frustrated and angry they were.  On the few occasions someone shared something that actually worked for them, the responses were “they’re just trying to sell us something” or “doesn’t that seem like an advertisement to you?”  The responses surprised me, actually, and I realized this was not the group for me at all.

So, I left.  Why?  Because, while I live with chronic pain, and sometimes so much so that I can’t function in a day, I just can’t look at life through the negative lenses that they seemed to be using.  I just can’t!  It’s not who I am.  I need and want to find what is positive in my life – pain or no pain.  I recently spent my last 5 days in bed because of pain from a back injury.  Granted, there were some tears of frustration.  But I used the time to rest, to read, to meditate, to pray and write, and to colour in my new colouring book. (It’s been said that colouring is the new meditation! 🙂

That is the way I choose to look at life as a whole.  While there are always, challenges and uncertainties, I cannot live in fear of the future.  I cannot go about my day grumbling about how bad my life is or how sorry for myself I feel.  I cannot give in to the many fears that might overcome me – if I let them. I will not let them.

So, as 2016 approaches, and I (think) I’m back on my feet again (yay!)  I feel….excited.  What will the new year bring?  What will I bring to the new year?  Even with all the many, many great challenges we face, I believe we can still find joy.  We can still contribute joy.  I Choose Joy for 2016. Despite the challenges, and I know there will be, because they are always there.

My deepest hope for this year is that those who (I see) as asleep – that is, those who’s greatest needs are to hate, to kill, to despise, to destroy, and to fear – will begin to awaken to a world that is filled with miracles every single second of the day.  That this dark time that we live in will begin, even just a tiny little  bit, to grow toward the Light.

My prayer for 2016 is that more and more of us will become alive to the possibilities that we do not have to live in fear; we do not have to reject others to stay safe ourselves; and we do not have to kill and destroy our earth (or each other!) so that we can be rich and powerful.  I pray that these big corporations, these money hungry leaders who lead by fear-mongering, would somehow be exposed to the light of the increasing number of people in this world who are realizing that there is another, more beautiful, more peaceful way to exist together in this great world of ours. A world in which we realize that we are all one, and that when we do harm to one person or one nation, we are doing harm to the world at large.

I love this quote from Chief Oren Lyons of the Onandaga Nation:

“Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life”.

I for one look forward with expectation to this coming year. I truly believe that 2016 will be what we ourselves decide to make it.

Wishing you all a truly blessed 2016.  May you be granted the grace and patience to get through the bad and scary times as well as the happy and loving times.

xo

Chere