I choose…

This life gives us such amazing choices, well when we seek options. The conflicts come when we don’t know what we want or which direction we want to choose. I love the idea that I have a choice to make and have the ability to make those choices. Are the decisions different or harder for others? I would think no, but I am sure that I am not completely attuned to how others are paralyzed by choices for fear of the wrong choice. How can a choice be wrong? It might not be the best choice but guess what? We can change our decision, go left instead of right, go back to where we started and make the ‘other’ choices we didn’t make to see what path it creates. I believe that we have spent so many years being critical of ourselves and each other that we lose confidence in our own way. We lose our ways because we take the way that causes the least amount of pain for us.

Interestingly enough, that has been a huge focus lately – pain. I have been listening to books, videos, and speeches about how we (as humans) go above and beyond to avoid pain, whatever pain means to us. Well crap, all this time I know we, humans, like to procrastinate and avoid the things we don’t want to do for whatever reason we deem necessary. What did not know is that we (humans) have (or society reflects) made ‘us’ into avoid’ers of things that are necessary for living life. Think about it, technology has created a world much more interesting and enjoyable than the reality we are faced with every day. Between Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google, and the 12 million other internet based ‘things’ that keep us distracted from the reality of what we should be facing. I miss the days of having to find things that interested me, I am bored on a daily (almost hourly) basis. And YES, here I am writing my blog about the distractions of online activities. However, my direction is only to reflect how we are avoiding other important life activities. Yes, you know the ones that are not as exciting (as opposed to what other people are doing on Facebook) like picking weeds out of the yard, washing the car, cleaning out the garage, or (like me) not re-writing my dissertation. Right now, many are using COVID-19 as another excuse for not dealing with the reality of the world around us.

Choices

What are you going to do? I am going to delete all those stupid games I play to pass the time, you know – CandyCrush, Words with Friends, Fishdom, Blasting Balls, Wordscapes, and so on.  I am going to pay close attention to what I am trying to avoid so I don’t become a zombie in my own damn life. I am going to do things that I know I like and love to do, and ENJOY the moments I have doing exactly what I choose to do. I know you can argue that when you are playing a game you are CHOOSING to play, you are correct! But what are you choosing to avoid by choosing to play that game or search aimlessly or scroll endlessly? I am going to choose me. I choose to know my mind, better. I choose to find out what makes me WANT to avoid the pain of whatever it is I have been convinced is painful. I am going to choose to see where and why my mind takes trips that lead to nowhere. I choose to find myself in a world that many seem to want to lose themselves in anything but who they really are.

What is your _____?

The neverending thoughts that go through many adults as they progress through their careers and personal lives. Struggling to identify who they are to themselves much less the rest of the world. I think, hard, about this every day recently. Several life events have led me to this time and I do not regret anything I am much more concerned about the fact that as I reach a pinnacle point in my adult life I question everything I have done up to this point, not because I regret anything, but because I took a path that has led me to crossroads that I never saw coming. No one really talks about them, Okay maybe some people call them mid-life crises but I am not in a mid-life crisis, just in a truly mind evoking search for purpose.

Why did I buy this house? Oh, I love it. Why do I have this car? Eh, because it made sense at the time. Why did I get these degrees? Because I was told when I was younger I would never amount to much. I wanted to prove everyone wrong. The life lessons I have learned over the last twelve months has given me such clarity that I am not stuck. Stuck in my own mind of what to do. I am a firecracker and nothing normally EVER stops me when I get my mindset on something. However, I have my mindset on finding what my true purpose is for my life, this life. Interestingly enough, I find that nothing brings joy right now, I have moments of great joy, definitely. True joy if you think back to our truest forms of humans, when we found or learned something that made our hearts jump, smiles broaden, and minds soar. Where is that now? When did my mind jump off the tracks? I am pretty sure it was when I realized the most important things in life are those that you don’t realize are things at all. We take for granted the things that make us – us.

lifecycle

Do you remember what makes you – you? Like a special time as a child that you still think about and remember with great fondness. I remember a stuffed pink bunny, I named Pinkerton when I was just 6 years old. Why? I don’t remember exactly why I loved it so much or why it was my most precious friend, but I remember with such love and innocence that it makes me want to cry. Then I recall a time when I was in girl scouts when we got to go horseback riding. I had been riding when I was young on my Aunt’s farm, but this was different because I was 10 years old and got to go by myself. The animal was amazing and the stable girl helping me seemed so in control, well the horse was irritated and reared up, then off I went on my ass. I wasn’t hurt, a little freaked out but the stable girl was like, get back up in the saddle and never be afraid. I did and never was afraid again. I still have a passion for horses and riding. So many memories and things; my grandmother’s cooking, my grandfather’s pipe, swimming in the ocean, climbing cherry trees, they go on and on. So what in the world happened to enjoying the moments given to us, like there is no tomorrow? Is it about mortality? I think not, really. I mean if it was then wouldn’t we be throwing caution into the wind and living every second to the fullest? Or would be keeping our heads in the sand? So what is your ____? I am still searching for mine.

Seeing inside me

Life trickles along no matter what your pace, your perspective or your heritage.  We grow exponentially in so many ways, yet we don’t grow in many ways that benefit us, as humans, at all. The biggest percentage of people spend their lives trying to find peace, happiness, and purpose. Yet, what we have inside is what matters, at least that is what I have been told. The struggle to see what is inside of myself, and others, is truly real and heart wrenching because many times we see what it is inside too late for actual understanding.

The older we get the more real somethings about life become. The older we get the more sensitive and cognizant we get about mortality and love. What I see inside me is a downright struggle to be who I am supposed to be for me. Not for the world, not for family or friends, not for work…just for me. I know so many areas of who I am really well, then I do something that comes out of left field or have no actual feeling toward it all. Complacency is a scary place. I want to see what is inside me before I no longer care or worse I damage my life in ways that damage my heart and love for life. I know sounds so dramatic, right? However, if you think about how people become addicted to drugs or fall into deep depressions…while addicts may have chosen their paths (the outcome is one that they struggle to overcome) and anyone who has had or knows someone with it understands that no one chooses that place, and coming out of it changes you.

You can always choose to appreciate and love life more and better than ever before but what if you struggle to even accept life as a choice. Seeing inside me would greatly increase my odds of understanding, overcoming, and living in a space within myself that is unequivocally loved.

lifekey

 

Losing who I am

Ahhh, the proverbial act of losing – the loss of anything is good, so I am told. I have read how losing builds character, makes one humble, is considered self-growth, builds confidence (really?), helps build confidence through repetition and practice by gaining lessons learned and skillsets. Alas, can losing who I am mean that I am growing as an individual, a woman…a human? Or is something more profound like finding a new me that takes those lessons learned (or not) and creates a new persona that is more perceptive, more docile, less aggressive but with more heart? Now I have to say, as a woman of a certain age, I look back for that girl, lady, young woman – who was burning out of control for LIVING. When did I change? When did those dreams, aspirations, attitudes, and desires change so drastically (seemingly)? I dream of a different me who loves more openly, gives more freely, and thinks more thoughtfully…yet lives more vibrantly.

I love the thought and concept of living more vibrantly. It can mean anything to anyone, yet be simple and penetrating or bold and daring. It can be all those things. I find myself seeking to lose who I am to be who I want to be. Mind you, I am still who I am – I love her, she has been amazing all these years, but can I be more without taking on more or being less? Many might think that losing who I am is losing my true self…but if I am making the choice to change, then my true self is the new ME. Sounds simple but I am pretty sure some people might not agree. This isn’t about losing who I am because I am trying to be something I am not…WAIT, yes it is. However, it isn’t being forced, it is being desired. I am not sure if I would consider it a better me than I am today, some may believe it is selfish or ignorant to even have this conversation, but I do not.

loss

I have followed, read, listened, wrote, prayed, talked, and searched for building a better me. No one ever discusses the loss of who you are when you try to make resolutions or changes to yourself that are superficial or driven by something less moralistic or virtuous to become someone you WANT to be. Not to say being (or attempting to be) the best at anything isn’t virtuous but sometimes our desires drive the wrong part of who we are. I am suggesting that I am choosing to lose who I am to be me in a new way through vibrantly living and letting go of who I thought I should be. Let the losing begin, this is life for the choosing and living.

Fear of Living

An interesting thought came to mind this week, are we programmed to fear living because we know we will die? I have thought about many things in the last few weeks and mainly because of a friend, and then a parent both were diagnosed with lung cancer. My friend just passed away, so the obvious thoughts ponder about living and the fears that surround our mind and soul. However, I have read many views and perspectives about death and dying, no one really knows until they are looking at the end (or beginning depending on your views) with their own eyes and mind.

fear

I have friends that are scared to do anything for fear of dying or failing to succeed at whatever is randomly placed in front of them. I am looking at life now, because of my mother’s recent diagnosis with a very different perspective. I am graced with the opportunity to LIVE, fear is a weakness I cannot afford to have in my life. My mother is an amazing 83 years old, now she didn’t do anything extraordinary with her life: no skydiving, mountain climbing or sailing around the world, but she has seen a lot and continued on. She lost all her siblings, one by one, over the last 20 years; yet she kept going on. She hasn’t been married in over 45 years (longevity of life maybe?) and is somewhat of a hermit, if she wanted to be (or if my brother and I would allow).

 

I am thankful that I have an opportunity to “see” the fear and how it can debilitate and strip someone of the wonders of the world, but I refuse to accept the fear as a way to live my life. Fear of the unknown, be free find out and don’t be afraid – knowledge is power. Once you know, you learn and conquer – baby steps if necessary. One step at a time, imagine what you can accomplish from just taking a deep breath and do something that is fearful to you (your mind, heart, etc…). Then see how you feel AFTER you do it. Again, one step at a time. Live. Do not fear living. Fear dying without living.

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Forbidden Words

Is there such thing as a forbidden word? I know as a society we have sensitivities to the what words mean to others and the potential impact those words may have on perspectives about who we are as individuals. Interestingly enough, I believe I have one sanctuary in this world, my home. Where forbidden words can be openly and freely discussed or used. No judgment, it is my home. The only place I am truly allowed to be me, ME…not what my work environment expects, not my in-laws home, not my mothers, or even dinner at a fancy restaurant. My home protects me from being judged, or at least it should. Why are forbidden words used as a crutch to chastise or judge others? They are words, and the only meaning or power they have is what we as humans give them. Nothing more. I know this is why we have the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Freedom of Speech. What does that actually mean anymore? As an adult, I struggle with being true to myself while maintaining an expectation of respectability. Ironically, my education, job status, or historically ‘clean’ record of love, kindness, and openness doesn’t matter. WHY? What have we become when in our own homes we could be so cruelly treated like we have crossed the road to rendition and commit the ultimate sin. I don’t believe in sin, that would mean I believe in judgment of outside forces or afterlife. My beliefs are not on the table for discussion, however, the judgment by others and the continued use of forbidden words that impact my sanctuary is. Forbidden words are in direct conflict with whom I am as an individual. Nothing in my world is taboo or off-limits, I don’t care about race, color, age, creed or gender. I am willing to accept and be accepted – regardless of the words used or said.

 

_Forbidden-Definition

 

The folds of love

The glorious folds of love, like beautifully bound books, are stories about who we are as humans. Whether the impeccable love of a newborn or soulmate, the way love folds us into our life is incredible. I find love to be everything I hope it would be emotionally while allowing me to see with new eyes. The new eyes require new folds to see love in ways that were obvious, yet never experienced before. My heart expands and contracts with the new folds of love, searching for ways to grow and fold. I hope, the human I am is reflected in the folds of love that this life has graciously given me.

The slippery slope of change

change

The ponderance of change is a slippery slope. Change is all around us, every moment of every day is a change of something or lots of things. As life changes around me at an uncontrolled speed, I seek to capture it for me. I love change, if I could embrace it I would bear hug it! I change my focus at least a hundred times an hour, so why is it so elusive? I am talking the long-term permanent change too, not this I can change my hair color or clothes quick and nimble.

If I desire change, I am seeking it out, planning for it, and working at it then shouldn’t it work—- change!??? It should just happen, right? I know that is a big fat NO! If the mind and heart are seemingly the control towers to our souls who or what is managing change within ourselves? It’s a crazy game of cat and mouse! When I was younger I thought I could change with determination and grit. I probably did, for a while! Because if I had changed permanently then I would not be here at the start of 2018 wishing for a permanent change.

2018

What am I trying to change; what is that is eluding me so cautiously? My true self-worth. Shocking I know! However with all my abundance of self-reflection recently I have found my Achilles heel, that chink in my armor that could take me down so easily. Unlike Achilles (he didn’t know his weakness), I know my weakness and we are friends, companions, even blood. We cannot change the past, we truly can only change the present and pray for the permanent change for the future!

I know my self-worth don’t get me wrong, I am amazing! I love myself, take care of my heart and mind to ensure I maintain my self-worth for all future endeavors within life. Unfortunately, the part of me that controls my worthiness so I can prepare for a great life, do fabulous things for my those I love, to build a good life for myself as an independent strong woman is in constant need of self-validation. You know these things, don’t you? I work hard so I will give myself this and this, oh and this too. Filling my holes with things because I have been unable to change the way I see and feel about my own self-worth.

So today, I am vowing to change. For me. For the future me. For all the real things I want; that I have hidden from because I was afraid of succeeding and not knowing where to go or what do once I was there. Afraid of being alone with no companion or friend to help me through my weak moments. I vow to be worthy of self-gratification that isn’t tied to filling a black hole created by a cruel past that broke a child’s spirit, therefore creating a self-crucifying prognosticator that doesn’t know change. Change will be found whether friend or foe, a common acceptance of our limitations and faults, but walking tall and happy with nothing except a heart full of love for myself and change in my pocket! The slippery slope of change is gratifying.

change nowbehavior-change-expert-questions

Purpose of Remembrance

Today of all days is a true day of past, present, and future. On Christmas Day, people from all walks of life are on a journey – a symbolic journey of Christmas’ past and present with hopes for the future. While it sounds like a Charles Dickens story, I swear it is about remembrance. Relatable and relevant to the stories by Dickens. However, my thoughts are more significant to what we remember of our lives in general. Now some may reflect on remembering things on a birthday or after a tragic event, but on Christmas (if we can admit it openly or secretively) we think more about the meaning of life and how we measure ourselves against what we did, or did NOT, do or give than any other day of the year. What or how our previous experiences were on this holiest, celebrated, caring, and benevolent day of the year (arguably, I know). Was it actually holy? Or celebratory? Caring or benevolent at all? Maybe not. Maybe you wanted to change that in your future, maybe you want to change that in your present or maybe it was something you do not want to think of again. Alas, I plead you should.

While there are dedicated days of remembrance (there are several within the U.S. alone); Christmas brings about memories long lost, forgotten, or hidden. Some precious as a diamond, some as scary as monsters, but many are priceless heirlooms of ourselves. As our lives change; we become adults, have kids, kids grow up, we grow old, etc… so do the visions of what or why we do certain things during the holidays. Yes, as we grow older we reflect with great pensiveness but I believe because we begin to remember those things that we were too busy or caught up in the holiday rushes to truly reflect upon. I believe there is comfort in looking back and remembering WHY we do so much for so many at Christmas time. The memories are revered for a lifetime. As a parent with a grown child now I am saddened by the lack of surprise and excitement of the day; while there is joy and love in abundance, the memories are rewinding like B-rated movies. In the past, my happiest, yet poorest, Christmas’ were those when I was excited by the opportunity to give when all I could give was straight from my heart but still beyond my son’s childish expectations. Why is this remembrance worth writing about? Because remembrance of those things that matter most to our heart and soul is prevalent on this day.

Today I thought deeply about why I felt a slight twinge of sadness, guilt, and melancholy. I believe because I remembered what I did in the past and what I always wanted for my future Christmas’. Unfortunately, I realized that I didn’t have a purpose this year. I felt aimless and insignificant to what was going on around me. While I felt more in touch with my spiritual side, I felt more out of touch with where my purpose was for what to do this year. I wanted to do and give so much but fell short of all things my heart wanted. So I spent time just remembering what I seemingly always did and felt during my years as a child, young adult, young mother, then now as an older parent. Through remembrance of my many Christmas experiences, I forgot something important. I forgot to exude love at Christmas, not because someone tells me it is required on this day, but because if nothing else this day is about love. Giving love, sharing love, savoring love, love in all capacities. So, my quest for remembrance is about purposefulness of staying thoughtful about whats in my mind and heart. Knowing why we love, how we show love, and staying conscientious of what or why we are giving or reacting to activities for the sake of creating memories. The purpose of remembrance is to recollect stories of our life, making them purposeful is a choice.

dr seuss

Loose-fitting Love

In our life we find, keep, throw, use, abuse, lose, squash, show, hide, squeeze, build, cherish, and seek love. Why is it seemingly so easy and so hard at the time? Can love be the one thing that could bring world peace? I see so many opportunities to have love be a glove that fits us during all aspects of our life. Is love fleeting or does it seem so, depending on what side of the fence you see it from?

The mind is capable of amazing things, but the heart is capable of a mind-blowing extraordinary phenomenon. Together they can make, break, or destroy all that is designed. The will to think or love is even more extraordinary than the heart. Your will controls how, when, where or why your mind and heart see, feel or react to life. Many forget this controlling mechanism that is truly an important visionary to being love, giving love, and keeping your wits about you.

I seek insight; not into love or the mind but the will that is truly the keeper of how love and thoughts fit us. I know, sappy right? However, I am taking this a step further. I am seeking how a person’s pure will can dictate, determine, direct, or delineate from what the heart desires or the mind covets. Why? Why not, I ask. So many painful and joyous journeys, does anyone believe that love – whether tightly bound or loose-fitting – is truly a product of our own free will?