Saturday, August 29, 2009
It’s at this time of year I notice the sun’s position in the sky, realize the leaves on the tree once bright green are fading and notice the light’s daily display is a little bit shorter. The Summer is fading fast and soon the Fall will be on our door steps. It’s usually at these brief moments that I pause and look back. I think of the Summer fun I’ve had, the Summers of recent past and long-past. Technology has brought an amazing sense of happiness while thinking of those Summers long past since reconnecting with my dear childhood friends, my high school friends and then, folks I somehow lost touch with or the new people I’ve connected with.
This Summer has been filled with smiles and excitement. So much so that any disappointments that may have arisen are by far over shadowed. It’s been a good Summer and while I may be a little wistful at seeing it start to come to a close, I’m prepared to embrace the next season, Fall. Fall is my most favorite season of all. That feeling the Spring brings most people is lost on me. The Fall puts me in that heady, romantic and dreamy state for reasons I just don’t understand. Maybe it’s the cooler nights that eventually set in, maybe it’s the visible shedding of things past and the preparation for the bare nakedness of Winter…the moments just before rebirth. I’m not sure but Fall seems to be that season where I can let all of the things I’ve learned, good or bad fall away from the places in my heart and mind that I’ve collected them. As the leaves fall from the trees, the pain of lessons learned, the intense emotions of happiness and fun drop away as well leaving me centered, neutral and completely stable with my thoughts. It’s like a pause to relax, acknowledge and then slowly begin to move forward into Winter’s slumber.
This year has been an amazingly good year. So many triumph’s, milestones and lessons learned. Being drawn into the next two seasons leaves me feeling peaceful and accomplished. I see the changes all around me and embrace those changes with a completely open heart and mind. I won’t be carried away by politics, emotional drama or the pressures of the world that are not mine to take in. I will stand tall, accomplished, happy, proud of my progress, grateful for friends and family and simply enjoy this next season. My hope for everyone is that they might pause to think for a moment about the year’s progress, personal achievements, lessons learned (even if painful) and realize as the leaves fall from the trees, you can use such a time as a visual representation for letting go of the pain and disappointments from memories past, allow new thoughts and ideas to develop over the Winter and spring into fruition in just a few short months. May you all find a measure of happiness at any time of the year’s seasons, at any time in the season’s of your life. All moments are beautiful moments, all memories are beautiful memories and all lessons are beautiful lessons.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I read a study today that indicates loneliness is bad for your health. Staying in a lonely marriage is bad for your health. Extroverts need friends more than introverts to avoid being lonely. I’m reading all of this and I cannot help but wonder if we continue to point at the finger pointing at the moon instead of looking at the moon. Stay with me here a moment and think about this. Is loneliness a real feeling or emotion or is it a perception that spawns emotions we choose to hold onto? Think about it before you jump right out of the gate and say loneliness is real.
Then, the next step is, if you decide that you really are lonely, what will you do about that? Will you sit there feeling bad because you think other people aren’t lonely or that other people have a mate, a friend or a family and are lucky they don’t have to be lonely? What if loneliness is just a want that you perceive can only be filled in a certain way? That means your perception would be set by certain expectations and those expectations may keep you lonely unnecessarily.
So, I’ve had lonely times in my life but I don’t mind my own company. I once purposely remained alone, aside from my kids, on purpose for 3 years. I wanted a good long amount of time to think about my life, where I had been, where I was and where I might be going. I couldn’t do that with the distraction of friendships of any kind. So, I became a hermit mom by choice. I felt lonely but never depressed because I was alone by choice. On those rare occasions where it got to be too much, I’d take myself out to dinner and eat at the bar where the other single folks dined. I’d strike up conversations with servers, bar-tenders, other customers. I’d go shopping and talk to people shopping. I’d go to the beach with a cup of coffee and smile at people, talk to people and just enjoy wherever I was and whatever I was doing. I’d then go home to a peaceful home.
Some people lock themselves into a lonely reality by taking the “green light” approach to life. All the lights must be green for 5 miles down the road before you could get into your car and head to a destination. But, what if instead, you made left or right turns? What if you threw your destination out the window, tossed convention, eradicated expectations and walked out into the world open minded with a sense of wonder and invited contact by being open to it? There would still be those days that people just weren’t talking and on such days, I’d think to myself that "This is a good quiet day." I’d get on the internet instead or read a great book. I would draw, write, fantasize, nap, organize, play cards or exercise. I ended up a bit lonely last year and so took up a tennis class. It was fun just for the human relation factor and it was not expensive at all.
When you drop expectations and allow yourself to be open to new experiences, people and new things, they come and loneliness becomes an indulgent feeling you mire yourself in. You’re only lonely when you want to be. If you want to talk, go talk to a neighbor. If you’re bored, go see if you can volunteer at the local elderly residential home or the hospital. You can offer to read books to sick children in the hospital. You can get involved in a cause. There are so many things that you can choose to do instead of sit inside the walls of your home feeling sorry for yourself and so sad that you do not have what you perceive you need. Live your life optimistically and never give up that optimism. Never give up options. Never lock yourself into only a certain way of approaching life or approaching the world and people in it and you will find that loneliness is a fleeting indulgent feeling. If you must indulge, accept that you are lonely, feel it for a few moments and then let it go by doing something about it. People won’t typically fall into your living room and want to talk. Sometimes you have to get out there and be the ear or voice that you need and that act will ultimately bring you friendship and people that will help keep you from feeling lonely.
Just food for thought.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Your criticism used to hurt me so much...
The way it was specifically designed
To push my buttons related to those things
I cared about most in the world.
I used to wonder if you got off on the fact...
That you held that much power over me,
That although you said you loved me,
Somewhere you must really detest me.
But, I learned that seeing that side of things...
Was truly seeing only what I wanted to see,
And I began to look deeper, look past my own pain,
And there it was, plain as the nose on your face…your own pain.
I came to realize that I’m certain of your love for me.
I trust that more than anything else in the whole world...
And I see now how it is that you analyze and criticize yourself most of all.
Inside you lives a harsh and critical judge…you see in me only what lives inside of you.
You can’t hurt me anymore in that way...
Because I’ve moved my buttons so you can’t get at them.
Nothing has really changed except now I see what’s really there.
I see the source of your criticism and the diversion it brings you.
You are in pain from so many sources,
And so you call it out in others in the hopes that they may heal it,
Because if they do and you can see that happen...
It builds hope for you that you can heal your own pain instead of escaping it.
I see you, straight through to your bare and beautiful soul,
There is no mal intent within you.
In fact, there is the deepest kindness, gentleness and caring.
And so, I don’t need to react, my ego is just not that wounded.
I thank my lucky stars that I’ve been given this sight,
This inner knowing that allows me to see behind the facade...
Behind the mask that you put on in such instances,
And I won’t give your pain the satisfaction of company.
Instead, I will show you nothing but balanced, focused attention.
Instead I will give you what you really want more than anything...
Love….compassion…acceptance and understanding.
This is what they call unconditional love, thank you for showing me the way there.