Life isn’t just about the things we can control, and those we can’t control. It is about how we choose to view the world around us.
Nothing can do wonders quite like changing your outlook. I realize how much my life has changed from teaching myself to redirect negative thoughts and feelings and search for what else I may get out of a situation.
The more you inject positive and rational responses into your daily life, the easier it becomes and the lighter you feel.
Search for Opportunities where others see Roadblocks.
When I don’t know something, instead of getting defensive or frustrated, I use it as a chance to learn. If someone is cruel to me or hurts me. I use this as a chance to understand that person, understand humanity and myself.
Even if it’s a relationship that ends or a job. Instead of just being angry or sad, I now try focus on what good was in it. What did I learn from this? How will this help me be a better person and find a person or job that is better for me?
If I have a limitation or I am in some sort of minority group then I don’t look at myself as disadvantaged. Instead, I look at myself as being capable of being more kind and compassionate, because of the life and situations I’ve experienced.
I started with just dealing with the everyday small things more positively, to help me eventually tackle the bigger things.
Small, continually changes to into more positive perspective can change your life.
Today I had someone online, a friend of a friend, end their response to an earnest inquiry I made with telling me if I wasn’t helping people who are being actively oppressed then I was the oppressor. That neutrally doesn’t exist. (We are going to come back to the way I see this as untruth, in my personal case.)
“If you are not helping the oppressed you are the oppressor,” gives me flashbacks to my youth and “If your not part of the solution your part of the problem.” Different words meaning basically the same thing.
Every situation in this world is a matter of perspective with both or all sides thinking they are right.
When Obi-Wan said,”Only the Sith deal in absolutes,” this is actually a hypocritical statement. The statement in itself is an absolute, which would make him Sith. Telling someone if they are not on your side they are on the enemy’s side is an absolute, and we can not have balance our world or in our lives living in absolutes or imposing them on other people.
Now this person writing to me didn’t know me personally. I am a peaceful, pacifist, queer, pagan, who does not identify with either major American party and am the last person to be an oppressor. It is both possible and okay for me to not take sides on an issue when I am searching for facts and questioning everything before I decide how I feel. I do have causes that I support, where I feel like I have enough information and I feel like a group of people is being oppressed and I need to stand by them. (I’ve stood on the side of the Water Protectors in whatever ways I can.) Perhaps, I could see that person’s statement holding validity if I stood by and did nothing, and wasn’t looking for information to form my opinion, which isn’t the case.
If I am not standing on the side of people you think are being oppressed, it’s not for lack of empathy or compassion, I’m just working through the mounds of information, misinformation, and hate before I can take a stance. I need to understand before I can stand up. If that makes some people label me as something I am not, so be it. I know I am a kind-heart amazing, human being made up of understanding, compassion, emotions and logic, no one can take that from me.
Can diving deep into our own family histories help us better understand and be more compassionate to others?
I have been wondering how to write this for awhile now.
Many of us have pride in our heritage, however, many of us never divide deep and see what really lies in the decades and centuries past.
I can trace one of my family lines back to around the 700s in Scotland. I can trace other roots to Sheriffs and Knights in Nottingham, England. I also have relatives from the Azores.
My personal levels of understanding and compassion, however, come from different lines of my family history. I recently stood in Plymouth on The National Day of Mourning, on the side of the Native Americans, and on the side of mother nature. (Water is life.) While there I also walked by a store named after a distant relative who came over on the Mayflower, and who’s son was accused in the Salem witch trails. ( Accused, most likely, for being allied with the Native Abenaki.) I also have Native American Ancestry (Penobscot and Cherokee, perhaps others.)
I am a product of more than one side of history. This has allowed me not to hate anyone group of people, but to examine people’s actions on an individual level. If people in my time are doing things, that harm others, their rights, or mother earth I will stand up to it. I will condone past negative actions of some of my ancestors and praise the ones that tried to be kind and break down boundaries. I hope to do a DNA test some day to explore my ancestry even more.
In short, I believe that if more of us traced, and understood the history and actions of our ancestors, many, if not most of us, would see we are descended from many groups of people and not just the ones passed down by word of mouth. The more we can see how we are interconnected as people, the more we understand and the less hate we bring to the table, and the more compassion we may be capable of the developing.
Understanding ourselves, helps us understand others.
PS. If you’ve ever been interested in family history or DNA test, I implore you to explore them, especially if you find yourself lost in this divided world. You never know what kind of insight you’ll find.
I dream vividly, intensely and often. This happened often in my youth than mostly stopped. The reemergence seemed to coincide with my spiritual journey, with my path to find balance and centeredness within myself. While I do have silly, weird, fantastical dreams, (like the one I had about flying superhero Benedict Cumberbatch) I also have unsettling ones and nightmares.
I’m trying to do better at writing my dreams down.
I’m trying to have more control over them, but it’s not easy.
Last night I had one that I could not shake, nor forget. I was at work, and strange men came to the front of the building, and in plain view and burned a very large over-sized flag of the United States. They were screaming things through the glass. Things that I could not hear, yet somehow I understood. Then I woke up. I tried to fall back to sleep to finish the dream to fix things, or at least to understand them more. This did not happen.
Is this dream a manifestation of the future, my own stressors or just what happens when you read too much news before bed? I’m not sure. All I know that unlike some of the sweeter dreams I have I hope this one never comes true.
Be brave today.
It doesn’t matter what form it comes it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not brave to someone else.
It doesn’t matter if you are jumping from a plane or just taking that one step out your own front door.
It doesn’t matter if you find the courage to talk to a group of people or just one special one.
It doesn’t matter the size of the act of braveness, as long as it’s good.
Adventure is Brave. Self-care when all seems lost is also brave.
Wherever you are in the world today be brave.
Some people care only for themselves.
Some people only care for others.
However, we need both in conjunction, to have the greatest positive effect, and harness the greatest amount of balance.
Trigger Warning. (Suicide.)
I heard about a Facebook Live feed the other day. It was a young girl, who took her own life via Facebook Stream. Why? From what I hear it was from constant internet bullying/trolling. The whole thing was tragic and possibly avoidable. My sympathy goes out to this person’s family.
As a preteen, teenager and even through my 20s I suffered from serious depression. I made many mistakes and did on more than one occasion ponder actions that would not have allowed me to be here today. Fortunately, I did not have access to the just then start of internet bullying. I cannot begin to image what the youngest in our world have to go through, with the rise of the internet and the endless barrage of the media pounding at their self-esteem. (Not that we didn’t have the media pounded at our self-esteem in my youth.) In some ways I was lucky, my worst enemy was myself. Even if others said bad things to or about me it wasn’t the constant influx there is now. (Even if I did let others opinions of me drag me down at times.)
I found myself talking to someone the other day about this story. I also found myself saying that wouldn’t happen to me because I don’t care about other people’s opinions of me. As soon as I said that. I realized it was actually true. The importance of this truth is great because I may have said similar things in the past, but only as a wall to protect my fragile self. I didn’t believe it before.
I am thankful self-acceptance has come full circle.
I am thankful for allowing myself to become a better and stronger person than I was.
My heart goes out to all that didn’t make it. Everyone that continues to struggle I understand and while I can’t promise you’ll make it through, I hope you do. You are all in my thoughts.