Category Archives: Reflections

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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Loving Yourself – Can You? Do You?

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Loving-ourselves

 

A friend recently asked me why I had stopped writing in my blog.  I told her, because sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say, that’s all.   Sometimes I feel I have words that the world needs to hear. (And wow, doesn’t that sound boastful?)  But so does everyone and their brother nowadays! Other times I think, with all the people who are trying to get their words across on the internet these days, why on earth would anyone want to hear what I have to say?

Perhaps it’s just that I’ve been trying to learn something important.   You see, for as far back as I can remember, I’ve tried (and tried and tried and tried!) to be better in some way.  As if who I’ve been has never been enough.  I’ve read books (oh-so-many-books) on how to be this or that, or how do this or that even better.  I’ve read articles, I’ve watched videos, I’ve gone to support groups and women’s groups and prayer groups and church groups – because my belief has been that I must always strive to be better.  But I’m tired of striving!  I’m tired of reading, watching, and attending!  For the first time in my entire life I’ve been asking myself – what’s so wrong with me that I need to change everything all the time?

And the answer that I’ve come up with is…..nothing.  Nothing is wrong with me.  I AM good enough, just the way I am.  I don’t need to be fixed. I don’t need to constantly be berating myself because of some random thought that I had that I felt wasn’t appropriate. I don’t need to continually be chastising myself because I ate something (or did something or thought something) some vague person or article said wasn’t good for me.  Who gets to say what’s good for me – or not good for me?  Shouldn’t that be ME, after all?

More and more I’ve come to believe that I no longer need to search for answers outside myself.  I believe I’ve talked about this before somewhere here, but this is becoming clear to me in a brand new way. I believe, now, that the constance with which I berate myself for the way I feel I’m never doing it right (whatever IT is) – that this way of being is a complete disconnect to myself – body, mind and spirit.  I’m coming to believe that if I constantly hate on myself for what I’m not, then I’ll never, ever achieve a true sense of being ok with who I am, right now, warts and all.

And believe me, I have warts – BIG ones.  I worry and fret way too much over things I cannot control.  I spend too much time regretting things in my past that I cannot change. I procrastinate.  I don’t have a body that is – how shall we say – acceptable – in today’s society.  I sometimes over-mother my kids and grandbabies.  I perhaps spend too much time alone.  I am what I like to call myself – a reluctant servant in the work that I believe I’m called to do in my little corner of the world – meaning, I don’t always do what I know I have to do willingly, but instead go kicking and screaming.  I often relate to the story of Jonah, in the Bible, who kicked and screamed (and ran away and spent 3 days in the belly of a whale!) Yikes! Hopefully that will not be my destiny -cause, ya know, I don’t like fish! 🙂

With all of these not-so-positive ways of being, these days I’m still choosing to be ok with who/what I am.  To have compassion for myself.  To stop reaching for ways to do it all better, and just love myself for who I am.  And I’m beginning to believe that once I can reach that place of real love for myself in all my ways of being – well, that will be a peaceful state in which to live.

Can I love myself through all of that – and more?  Can I quiet the frenzied self talk that goes on and on, day and night?  All I know is that I must stop pushing and pulling at myself, sending myself in a thousand different directions.  It’s not good for me, in any way.  And so, I’ve stopped reading so many articles. I’ve unsubscribed from newsletters whose owners promise the next big change if only you do it this way. I’ve stopped following gurus’ and men and women who are claiming to be leading the way in health and wellness.  It’s all become tiresome.  It makes me wonder what kind of world we might live in if we all really and truly loved ourselves from within?  I believe that entails getting to know oneself inside and out.  Hearing what our inner voices tell us. Listening to what our bodies say (because I believe our bodies speak to us daily).  Becoming able to hear our own self – and drown out the cacophony around us.

There are a million more voices ‘out there’ that tell us to try this new way or tell us this is the way we should eat nowadays, this is the way our bodies ‘should’ look, or this is the car, house, education, vacation that we need to have.  But what does our inner self tell us? If we can listen and hear that inner voice, perhaps we might stop getting caught up in the millions of voices we hear chattering all around us that tell us we will Never Be Enough.

So, perhaps this is the reason I have stopped writing.  I have been learning something new – something important to me, something deep within myself that maybe I need to authenticate before I can write again.  I make promises that I wish I could keep, but I don’t keep.  And I’m going to be ok with that for now, and I’m going to say that I will write when I feel I really there’s something on my heart I wish to share.  And I will  try to write, not as someone who needs the world to know something, but perhaps as someone who is learning instead, and who is wanting to share that learning experience.

Perhaps getting to know/love myself just as I am has been why I have not been writing just now.  Perhaps it’s just not been the time to write, no matter what my ‘intentions’ were.  Can I be ok with that? Can you?

Namaste

 

 

It’s One O’clock am, And What Am I Doing Here?

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I cannot sleep.  It might have something to do with the wind, which is howling outside my bedroom window.  It may be because I have my window full on open, so I can hear the wind howl.  I love windstorms – ever since I can remember I have loved them.  Thunder and lightning as well, though we don’t get that so much in the part of the country I am in nowadays…

Why am I so wide awake?  Is it because this evening I poured over some of my old journals, and they took me back? Back to both good places, and not so good places.  They made me realize just how far I’ve come these past few years…and that made me feel proud.

It might also be because lately, I’m finding that I feel more intensely than I ever have before.  This morning, as I sat in a restaurant for breakfast, at the table next to me there was a 3 year old girl crying.  At one point her father told her that she’d better stop crying or he’d take her out to the truck and leave her there while he and her mother finished their breakfast.  My heart felt as if someone had stuck a knife in it, and I grieved for that tiny child.  In my heart I cried out to that father…please….please don’t say things like that!

And later in the day, as I stood in line in a grocery store I watched as a young woman turned a tiny boy (maybe two years old?)  over to a young man…..a separated couple, perhaps?  Maybe Dad getting custody of his son for the weekend?  Just speculating, but that little boy was upset.  He did not want to leave that woman, and he clearly did not want to go with that man.  His sobs got the attention of many of us standing in those grocery lines…and I found myself praying for that tiny boy, asking God to wrap arms around him and calm him…asking that the man this boy was going with would not become angry with his cries…

Somehow I can’t stop thinking about those two children that passed through my life  today. And thinking, too, of my own two year old grandson, who is loved beyond words.  Children are so incredibly precious.  They arrive here on earth so innocently, asking  little, yet teaching us so, so much!   And sadly, still, even in this day and age of awareness,  too many  come into this life and are robbed of the love they deserve.

Children are a gift from God.  I believe that, with all my heart.  And it is for us as adults to cherish them, to honor them, and to handle them as carefully as we would handle precious jewels…because that’s exactly what they are…..precious jewels.

In my prayers recently,I have been asking God to help me see the world through His/Her eyes.  Is this the reason for my intense feelings of late?  Today, those two sad children made my heart hurt.  

Is that how God feels when we are sad?

Amidst The Unknown

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I stand here

In this strangely unknown place

A twilight zone, of sorts

Learning to be content

With not seeing

I left behind familiarity

Though, troublesome as it was

Was still routine

Predictable

This place that is between this

And that

Here

and there

This place of discomfort

The In Between

I do not like this place

And yet,

I’ve been here before

Many times

And that voice within me

That God-voice

reminds me once again

to have patience

to have faith

to trust

and things will unfold

as they are meant to

in time.

And so I stand

and when I can, I take a step or two

when I see a clear path

a way to go forward

But mostly I wait

in expectation.

On the edge of something, though I’m not sure what,

Waiting for something, something new,

To unfold.

Blessed Solstice

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Hello Blogworld,

This morning I am sitting here staring out the window at this grey, wintery day, and thinking about change.  I have always had two times during my year that I reflect on change – around New Years, and in September – when there is that ‘let’s get back into it’ kind of feeling in the air.

But, today I’ve been reading a few articles on Solstice, and how many cultures and religions have thought of solstice as a time of renewal, a time of goal setting.  And I never really understood what Solstice actually was until today – the word Solstice comes from the Latin words (sol) which means ‘sun’, and (sistere) which means ‘stand still’, and is an actual celestial event.  At the solstice, the sun actually stands still, before changing direction according to which part of the world you live in.  Interesting, huh?

And for many, the solstice brings a time of reflection, a time of ‘going inside’ to regroup, a time of setting new intentions and making new plans. And though my own ceremony of looking back and making plans for the future year happens around New Years, I am taking a few minutes today to honour the process of standing still.

In today’s world, standing still for very long is virtually impossible, isn’t it?  But to be honest, standing still is the only way there is to really hear what’s going on inside us.  That still, small voice cannot, will not be heard in the craziness that is around us every moment of every day.  And that tiny voice inside, that ‘God-voice’ (is what I like to call her), is the most important voice to be heard, particularly if you wish to live your very best life.  And while not all of us do have that wish, that particular wish has been in my heart for as long as I can remember, and has been the reason I have chosen to do some very painful work inside me.  That still, small voice has been my driving force, and will continue to be so…..

So…..stillness, today, in this day of Solstice, when the sun (the source of all growing things here on earth) is itself standing still to change direction, I honour you. And while I will not be making any changes this day in particular, know that the upcoming year has been in my thoughts now for several weeks, and yes, I will be looking both back and forward in the next few weeks – setting intentions, making plans – and as I did last year, I will keep you posted, blogworld, because even though I have not been very faithful in keeping up with you these past few months, my long term intention is still….to keep on writing.   Namaste.

 

Something Shifted Today…

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It occurred to me, as I was working today, that I need to step back from this situation at work.  I’ve become too enmeshed in the whole thing.  And, why?  It’s not as if it’s my company, after all.  Yes, I have been greatly invested in it….but maybe that has to change.

So today, I felt myself taking a step back.  A step away.  I’m not going to fight, any longer.  I’m not going to be horrified, or aggravated, or annoyed, or sad, or devastated.   I cannot change the way things are.  I cannot ‘make anyone see the light’. (As if I have the light…ha!)  I can only change myself.  And if I am to take care of myself in the way that  I need to…..I cannot make myself crazy over a mere job.

A mere job…it’s sad to say that, though.  Because once upon a time, I was passionate about this job.  But I’ve seen that working for a non profit, having to wait for a volunteer board to make decisions about direction, finances, people, etc…well, maybe it’s just not for me, is all.  I wanted to work for non profit because I need to be doing something meaningful with my life.  But the headaches are great.  And unfortunately, it seems the way a lot of non profits are run, the good, well meaning people end up leaving due to the exhaustion of not having enough money, or having to wait forever for the board to move on something, or the frustration of having a board make decisions that negatively impact the very people that are trying to do good for those that are being served by the organization.

It’s madness, it really is.  So, for now, I’m going to do my work and go home.  That’s it.  And in the meantime I’m looking into other options.  Monday morning, I have a meeting with Business Victoria to see if I’m a good fit for an entrepreneurial course they are offering.  I’ve taken a step.  Now, we’ll see.

I’m through investing my energy there.  It’s not worth it.  Especially when I start feeling crazy inside….like I have this past few weeks.  I think what it comes down to, for me, is I cannot keep doing a job that I have no control over.  That’s why the idea of entrepreneurship has come to the forefront for me.  I cannot continue to give away my power.  Not after spending so many years learning how to find and walk in my own power. No. Absolute. Way.

And, as for my friend….well, I think maybe I put too much hope in him, as well.  By saying he’s the only one who could have turned the place around…what is that saying about the rest of us?  Not much.  Those of us who work there are ALL totally capable people.  Capable of many wonderful things!  So, while he means a great deal to me, I’m letting him off the hook – in my own mind, at least.

I’ve been going crazy trying to talk to so many people, trying to make them see another way of being, trying to convince them….if only I can convince them………….if only……….well, if only is magical thinking.   It’s the thinking of a frightened child. There’s no such thing as if only.  And while on some levels there might be a frightened child within me, I am an adult, not a frightened child.  And it does not serve me well to behave like one.

Que sera, sera.…….whatever will be, will be.  And my craziness is not going to change that.  It only hurts me.  So, as of today, right here, right now, it stops.  They can do what they want.  And I’ll do what I want.  And, quite possibly,  we’ll all live happily ever after….

 

On Motherhood, and Letting Go…

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How does a mother let go?  I’m sure I do not know, maybe I will never know.  I try.  I try not to be possessive.  I try to respect boundaries.  I try to let them live their own lives as much as I can.  But it seems I still do too much….just in asking how they’re doing and if they are happy and have everything they need.  It seems even doing that brings annoyance.  So, I give up.

I will try to remember when I was their age.  Maybe that will help.  When I was in my early twenties, I moved about two hours away from home.  It was not easy for me at first…but I came to love it.  I thrived, actually, during those few years.  And guess what?  I never phoned home, either.  I mean, rarely.  I was living my life, and I was having fun doing it.  I didn’t need to keep in touch.  Let’s tell the truth….I didn’t want to keep in touch!  I had my own life and I was living it, with no one to judge me or tell me what I was doing wrong. My family was out of sight and out of mind, soooo…

Now the tables have turned, and I have a very independent child who moved far away and sees no need to stay in touch.  Who gets very annoyed, in fact, by my (maybe overly?) motherly concerns.   Funny, yes?  The tables are turned.  And it causes me anxiety…

Thing is, it most probably is more about me than about them.  Isn’t it always, after all?  As some of you know, I am trying to heal from deep abandonment issues that rise up way too often for my liking.  But, that’s not my child’s problem, is it?  That is something that I need to learn how to deal with..it’s not really fair to put my stuff on them…

Sometimes mothers will say...just wait till you have kids..you’ll understand.  Well, now I do.  I realize, now, what my mother must have gone through, waiting to hear from me, wondering, always wondering…is she ok?  Does she have enough to eat?  Is she happy?  Does she have enough money?  And so on….

So, my child, I don’t know if you read my blog at all, but if you do, there’s only one thing I can say….just wait till you have kids….then you’ll understand….