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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wishful Thinking!

Every day is a beautiful testimony to life. Good things happen, bad things occur, yet life keeps moving. I know, nothing magical here! Some exist, some live, and some are tolerating life. I think I wish for a more dutiful and serene vision of the world. Is my age factoring into my perspective of the world I see? Of course, it is! However, I would like to contemplate the perspective of the world that is PRESENTED to me – whether through social media, newspapers, magazines, daily news, or those less informed people who think they have it figured out.

Thinking

When I go to social media sites, the fake news and the ‘real’ news seem the same. I cannot tell one from the other. I cannot be the only one that is in this happening to, am I? I mean, I am not a follower of news. Ok, maybe I indulge in the celebrity news a little more than other things, but truthfully I believe the truth should be easier to ‘see’ than what is presented in the mainstream media. I wish for honesty and forthright information being presented to everyone. This may help alleviate all the ‘hatefulness’ that seems (or does) exist. I see people taught to love all their lives, react to fake news like someone stole their favorite CD or video game. Like it was deliberate and personal. How did we become so reactive and irrational? Or is that just my vision (I am sure it is) through my limited windows?

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I am wishfully thinking that someone needs to fix this. How? Who? Well it begins with each of us, right? I do not react to the stories that media or fake media creates to cause controversy or conflict amongst the young and old. My world exists for me, I can stop what I do not want but if you watch carefully, your life becomes isolated and solitary. Who can you trust but yourself, and after few months by yourself – you won’t trust your own thoughts either.  I know when I am in my community I see tons of lovely connections between people, animals, nature, and culture. It can also be hard to NOT see the ugly (this is a relative term), or wait, is that just my vision? I know I can change what I see, how I see, and my deep emotional reactions, even at my age, but HOW do we get everyone else on board. I am wishful thinking that we can make big changes with such small tasks of our own design.

Staying Focused!

Is it POSSIBLE? To stay focused. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have heard it all. I was NEVER that person, I could focus on the most minuscule thing possible and never lose concentration. Today, bahhh-humbug. What is going on? Is it boredom? Has my brain finally given into the temptations of being distracted by EVERYTHING. I know, it is a huge ordeal at this time in society. Kids cannot focus on one specific thing unless it’s their phone, then it is everything about the phone. Too much stimulation? Again, what happened to us adults (or what we consider as adults)?

I have read that brain stimulation increases creativity. So, maybe I need to find a creative outlet? Should I paint? Should I do crafts? Plant a garden? Build a house? Wait, I can barely focus on doing minor tasks for work or school, how can I focus on the details of creating something? Sure, it could be more fun or it could be boredom; or worse, lack of actually caring. Could that be it? Lack of caring. Wait, that feels more consistent with what I think is going on. I don’t actually care about what is going on around me. Work? Yeah, what of it. Doesn’t stimulate any emotional need to do good. School? Yeah, well it doesn’t give the satisfaction that I am accomplishing anything, anymore. So, what is happening then?

There may be something to this lack of caring scenario. I have read, re-read and found numerous stories about regaining focus, A.D.D. and A.D.H.D, but nothing seems to make sense and they are repetitive (each stating the same thing over and over). However, none are a cure for those, like me, who just lost their desire to focus. I used to be on top of my game at work, loved being the “Go To” person for what needed to be done (and done right). Now I know what needs to be done but cannot seem to find the gumption to care if I know the answer or if it’s right by anyone standards. Now, I am seeing this, FINALLY, after sitting a room full of my colleagues that seem to be really focused on what we were working on and knowing the who, what, where and why we were discussing. While I was sitting there trying to remember how or why I couldn’t remember what I have learned and taught many others. Hence, my current state of what happened? It’s not a disease because I am not sick, forgetful, or blacking out in any way (not that any of these are diseases but self-diagnosis of what I see that could be an issue). A lack of emotional connection and self-realization about what is or may be driving my mind to find what is more important for me. Now, staying focused to find my true purpose. Hold the phone…there are squirrels in the backyard. focus