I Will Persist In Order To Resist

This country and indeed the world is a horrible place filled with hatred, inequality, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, and antisemitic behaviors, just to name a few.

Intolerance rules from the top down and lends justification to those who harbor thoughts to act upon them. It’s a sick and cruel world full of unprovoked shootings and mass carnage with no regard for human or animal life.

The toxicity of this time makes those of us already struggling with anxiety disorders and depression struggle all the more. And it has swelled our ranks with new sufferers at a time when privileged, uncaring, self serving, loathsome government officials want to strip away healthcare. They are causing the need for more but are to selfish, beholden, and blind to see that fact.

America, the self proclaimed bastion of justice and democracy leads the way in this new world order of intolerance, violence and hatred. We are where they want us; splintered, divided and fighting among ourselves. Slowly, democracy, if it ever truly existed, is fading.

For my own well-being I’ve vowed to not engage any longer in negativity. I keep informed and at times it’s a struggle to not virtually engage in the discourse, but it does nothing but cause me more turmoil.

I can only lend my voice to love, harmony, inclusiveness and peace. It is what I must do to survive, heal and thrive. It is what I must do to prepare myself for the bigger fights yet to come, for they loom closer on the horizon each day. When they do come we will all have to choose on which side we stand; love or hate, right or wrong. It is now, and will remain, that simple.

Love, light & peace…..always

“caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde

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Letting Go

What do you do when you can’t let go of toxic emotions, fear, and endless swirling negative thoughts? What do you do when you can’t let go of pain, from all sources, that keeps you in an endless loop of heartache and misery?

Seriously, I would like to know the secret of truly and fully letting go of something.  I am not sure I ever have completely let go of anything.  This clinging is what has compounded over the years to produce my current state of ill health.

I still suffer from the illnesses I’ve talked about in my posts, which in this post shall be referred to only as the illnesses.  I’m not attempting to take anything away from their cause and effects, rather, I am linking them to a root or major contributing factor in their development.

I came to the realization that in some way they are all rooted in my inability to let go.  To let go of fear, grief, and pain is something I strive to do everyday, with every therapy session and with every thing I read or listen to.  Try as I might it doesn’t seem to be enough.  My intellectual self is aware of the impermanence of life and I try constantly to be present in the moment.  I think I’ve made great strides in that regard.  Yet, I find I cling to the past as a person clings to the edge of a building, afraid to fall.

This clinging to the past, to my grief and to my pain feeds the fear.  I am afraid to fall.  I fear what is around the next corner, my next step, tomorrow and the days beyond.

If I am being honest with myself, my personality is heavily slanted to these behaviors.  I am stubborn, persistent, relentlessly curious, and obsessed with finding answers.   In many ways throughout my life these qualities have served me well professionally and personally.  What once helped propel me through life is now taking my life away,

I can’t change my personality so what I am looking for is a way to adapt my personality traits, how I utilize them, and how I emotionally react to them to better serve the current situation and the person I am now.

I’m participating in a new therapy approach that I believe is guiding me on a path that will enable me to better let go of things.  I’ll have more on my experiences with EMDR in my next post.

Love, light & peace….always

Thoughts Not of Cakes and Candles

 

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Another year has passed, marked on the calendar that is me. Like a blink of an eye or the slow movement of a glacier, depending on the day, mood or perspective.

A year of waiting, my life in limbo. A year of pain, trials, procedures and emotions; non-linear, full of ups and downs, but always returning to purgatory.

For all that is uncertain, the constants of love, support, and my appreciation for those by my side are juxtaposed.

Life unfolds as the universe will have it unfold. I am here, grateful just to be, for I have persisted and continue on the journey that is me.

Luckily, I do not journey alone. I am thankful I am able to give and receive love. I am thankful I can remember to pause and feel the warmth of the sun, see the clouds above me, hear the birdsong and appreciate all the beauty that the universe presents to me daily.

Love, Light & Peace…..Always

Technology, Friendship & Unfriending

I believe all people enter and leave our lives to love us, befriend us, help us, or teach us something.  It’s not unusual for friendships to change over the years, due to distance, life’s circumstances or other reasons. A close friend today might be less close tomorrow and a new friend might quickly become close. Our lives continually change and the people in them change as well.

If we are lucky we have some friends that are family. These are the special friends that no matter how much time or distance separates you, you just pick up right where you left off.  Others come into our lives for a short time, burn bright, then fade away.  These fleeting friendships serve a purpose, even if that purpose isn’t immediately clear.

It wasn’t that long ago that we kept in touch with our friends in person, by telephone, or by putting pen to paper. If we lost touch then the only way to get back in touch was to make an effort in those same ways.

Today it’s different.  We can interact online with our friends, share thoughts, pictures, and update each other on our respective lives.  This newfound connectivity has its advantages and disadvantages, which are continually debated.

In my experience it has served to keep me in touch with old friends who, without this technology, would be lost.  The flip side of it is that it has reduced communication with closer friends.  Picking up a phone and having an actual conversation seems archaic, requires more time and a higher level of commitment than is always convenient. Instead we text or have Facebook exchanges that can be spaced out over hours or even days, allowing for multitasking and living busy lives.  Although convenient and less demanding, I do often feel shortchanged by these interactions.  Friendship, like every human connection needs nurturing, and nurturing requires commitment, time and dedication.  What harm, if any, is being done by not having a more organically committed friendship?  Is technology saving us or hurting us?

All this leads me to the inevitable sting of being unfriended. I have a friend, at least I thought we were friends, that I don’t see often. We are separated by distance, and we no longer have the close relationship we once enjoyed. We worked together, spending many hours a day in each others company, and occasionally interacted outside of the workplace. We did, until recently,  keep in touch by text and an occasional phone call, and of course we were Facebook friends. I know things change, yet I find I am nonetheless hurt his unfriending me.

There are ways built into Facebook that can limit what you see from someone while still keeping them as friends. A way to avoid unfriending. You don’t have to see someone’s posts in your feed but you can still visit their page, look at pictures, and view whatever posts might interest you, avoiding those that don’t.

This was designed as a way to keep friends you seldom interact with; but has it also become just a step before unfriending?  Is it being kind or simply a form of avoidance? Is it better or am I just trying to mitigate my own hurt?

I don’t want this friendship to fade away but I also don’t want to force it to stay.  I’m uncertain what, if anything, to do about it.  Is this the new way a friendship fades?  Has technology just added a layer to the complexities of some friendship’s fleeting nature?  I haven’t the answers. All I have is a feeling of being secretly discarded.

I suppose when it comes right down to it I obviously placed more importance on this friendship than the other person and I will have to deal with that fact and the feelings that arise.  Although I’m saddened and hurt over losing someone I valued as a friend, at least by their unfriending me they are communicating their intentions, even if passively, that they are less invested than I am at keeping the friendship alive.  Knowing how they feel and being cognizant of the impermanence of all things in life will hopefully help lessen the sting of rejection.

I welcome your thoughts, opinions and feelings on this subject.

Light, Love & Peace…Always

Heal is a Four Letter Word

via Daily Prompt: Heal

To heal implies a resolution of a condition or a disappearance of a wound.  To heal implies a cure, a complete reversal of illness.  It’s my experience and opinion that we never truly heal from a mental illness.

Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD don’t disappear.  Symptoms may diminish and sometimes we can learn how to carve out a way to live day by day with them, but we are not healed.  We are altered, forever changed by the experiences of pain, trauma, and the uncontrollable emotions these illnesses inflict.

Everyone’s experience is as unique as a cloud in the sky.  Our illnesses manifest individualized and fluid.  Each of us rides the wave knowing that when the next wave comes we will be changed.  Hopefully we can ride the latest wave with more balance and skill.

We may improve and our demons become less visible, but we never heal.

Garage Sale

I walk the tight isles haphazardly set up in the oversized garage. So much is packed into the space it’s impossible to focus my eyes on any one thing. My wife was a collector, he says. She passed away recently. We chat as I try not to stumble while navigating the maze of tables and shelves. He lost his wife nearly a year ago. They were married 58 years. She had a lot of collections as well as multiple examples of household items. The years of her life on display.  Her life’s work up for sale.

I understand there is pleasure in collecting. Satisfaction from the hunt for a missing piece or special memento. I collected things for a while myself. Until things began to lose their meaning and the act of collecting became a distraction and a way to escape from reality.

When my reality crashed, I let them go, save for a few items that held special meaning in my life or were an item of remembrance from a loved one. After the purge I felt lighter, less tied to things, and more open to the richness of nature and people. Now I collect birds in song, butterflies in flight, and clouds in the sky. I treasure the people in my life, the new ones I meet and the stranger in the street. The Passing glances, smiles, a chance encounter, or a brief interaction.

Everyone should have something special in their lives that remind them of happy times or special loved ones. If you collect something that is meaningful to you, treasure it, revel in the joy it brings you, and perhaps pass it on.

In acknowledging the impermanence of life I strive to travel lightly. I do my best to appreciate what the universe puts in my path to see, feel, and experience. Those things you won’t find at a garage sale, which is fine by me, because I don’t want to end up a garage sale.