The Painful Truth

helping-handsI have never found it entertaining to watch people get hurt on tv “ video” shows. It is physically painful just watching. I have never found it entertaining to watch someone on tv in a situation that is very uncomfortable for them….it becomes very uncomfortable for me. There is an overwhelming ache of uselessness in knowing I possess no ability to intervene and help them. So is the life of an Empath. I suggest to you that it can be truly painful to the spirit. It is also the pain I experience when watching a lifeless child being scooped up off a foreign shoreline, or the nameless face of a war victim, stunned and shell shocked, calmly wiping blood from his 3 year old eyes….Pure agony.

It might be hard to believe that I suffer from this overload of sappy empathy. Stupid to some, I’m sure of it. Ironic since I have looked into the faces of numerous dead babies- victims from abuse, held the hand of children too afraid to talk of the monster in their home, and listened to the cries of women who were raped at the hand of a trusted friend. But in those situations I could help or at least try to make a semblance of such. That is what an Empath does.

I believe that the nature of an Empath can be found in many progressive liberals. It is necessary for us to feel the pain, the joy, and the despair of the desperate. It is within us to try to make life better for them. We are mocked for our bleeding hearts and our inability to see the justice in survival of the fittest. We are tomorrow’s victims in the world of bullies and yesterday’s crybabies. We find life bound together with others not by our differences but by our souls. We care too much… to the dissatisfaction of some.

Today, my spirit and soul hurt with such pain. I know there are many very fearful and overwhelmed people in America who do not know what tomorrow will bring. In life, competition is the daily bread for many. In life, many cannot afford bread nor have the will to compete. Someone must feed their spirit and guard their souls and we take it upon ourselves to do it. If you are not an Empath this may never make sense to you, but if you are, I send you many hugs. Almost intolerable at times, this witnessing of empowered haters and racists, misogynists and those who just simply don’t get looking out for the other guy takes its toll. So I say to you, be kind to yourself dear empathetic friends. Rest well, reduce the toxicity around you and connect with like individuals. You are needed to continue the call…and the caring. This is your painful truth.

 

Aloneness

 

It is quiet now and the click of my keyboard the only voice in this darkened room. Another weekend winding down in silence. New precious moments with my family being filed as memories like many before them. Life is like that as it bursts full like a flower in bloom only to close in repose when the laughter and sharing is gone. In this current stillness I feel age in my soul as I reflect upon the many changes in my life. So much has happened…so much time has passed. At this moment I yearn to maintain the feeling of connection with those I have so much history with- whether apart by many miles or many responsibilities. But aloneness sits here beside me as my companion.

I find myself sometimes deep in aloneness. Whether I enjoy the solitude of my inner soul depends upon where I choose to land my thoughts. There is a certain fear that may rise with being alone. When there is no distraction to drown out the insecurities and doubt that have held their own deep inside. Heavy with issues of melancholy and disconnection that can crowd within and remind me of my singularity in a world of masses.  Alone can be a hard place to be.

Yet I know that being alone can also provide a beautiful rejuvenation of the spirit. A time to relax and reflect. The inner voice at peace with life and unnerved by imperfection. A reconnection within myself that reminds me of the strength of my soul in a crazy world. Alone can be a renewal of spirit. A time to converse with the universe. A time for the flower to fully bloom.

So where do I choose to drift on this dark night. Where shall I dare a journey.  I believe I will smell the flower of nostalgia for a while.  Oh but to remember yesterdays with games of rummy, chess and tripoly – and bantering with my brother. I choose to feel my childhood home surrounding me in the comfort of my family. Naïve in thinking life would always be so simple and sweet.  Alas…a time when I do not truly know how painful it is to lose a loved one. And in this I know that I am not alone.b3a49050703a786153aac3ed1b8ce05b

The Road Less Traveled….

  Facing social issues tends to cause more cramping and discomfort than constipation for many. Therefore, denial becomes the medicine that is fed by those who themselves fear evolution of the human spirit from intolerance to acceptance. I think these same individuals would certainly still shout that the earth is flat because it was so written- if it were not for the brave, adventurous souls who dared to prove them wrong. To them change is dangerous, as it opens the doors of freedom of thought and discovery…away from the safety of rote thinking.

      I admit there is some benign comfort in hiding behind blind traditional beliefs. Recitation and rituals of psalms and pledges- even if one does not take the time to understand the meaning behind the words spoken. Tradition is comfortable and soothing with little responsibility of individual input and thought processing. Our morals and values dictated to us from those before us. The ways of the world mapped out already and the road ahead marked for us with directional signs clearly pointing which way we shall travel and how we shall think. We are assured that to follow along is the road to redemption. But is that really what traveling through life is all about? Only taking a glance at a detour sign when you hit a bump in the road. Only turning off from tradition when you are personally affected by the journey ahead. The desire to further question only then appears as a viable option…and thus one turns down the road less traveled.

      Oh the road taken only by those whose journey includes a search to understand humanity, society, morals and coexistence. Those willing to unmask tradition and seek deeper meaning to life beyond the man made boundaries that currently exist. Those who find more hard questions and less easy answers. Sadly, this road is mostly driven on by those on a personal mission for clarity. For the love of another overrides blind tradition and stirs one past intolerance quicker than anything else. Love seeks acceptance for another. Love has brought them here…to the road less traveled.

       It is my sincere wish that in the quietest of moments, full of solitude and spirit- more people would dare to turn away from the easy road. Not waiting until a personal crisis pulls them to do so. Our society is pleading for our attention and deep reflection. Turn to the road less traveled and use empathy for humanity as your map. Be brave, consider if you must- how would you feel if personally affected by the issues of today in some other unique way before such presents itself to you to face in your tomorrows ….take the road less traveled.

      There is a chance that you and I may never have to personally face many of our societal issues but we must still own them as our own. Less we forget, we are a family of humanity on this planet. Someone else is facing the trials of intolerance, bullying, bigotry and the humiliation of homelessness. Someone else has lost a loved one to a senseless shooting or the abhorrent hold of addiction. Someone else is hanging on- just waiting for you and I to extend a hand without judgement but as an equal. I urge you to think deeper about all sides of an issue….and take the road less traveled.

My Resolutions…2013

526772_532712873423076_748988913_n      New Year’s Resolutions….too often equated with a silly annual attempt to make some drastic life change. Why does this have to be a half-hearted thought complete with a nod and wink to defeat. I vow that this year…it will be different for me. Oh I may try to eat healthier…sleep more…and cut out some of the wine (maybe). But these are not resolutions about my life, they are mere attempts I will make now and again to get my body back on track. My resolutions- declarations as they are- will encompass my life as a human being and not what society determines through mass commercials of dream diets and exotic exercise equipment.

     As you sit and ponder your New Year’s Resolutions…I ask you to consider this to be the year of your personal declaration of who you are and strive to be each day. There will be moments of regression (much like eating cake on a diet) but overall…the awareness and focus of being a better person within our souls regardless of our body shapes and sizes.

So here I write my life resolutions….

I resolve to be a better listener to others- for when one speaks they do so with the desire to be heard. One of the greatest gifts we can give another is letting their voice speak their thoughts. Wars have been fought over the right to be heard and many have died trying. It is a basic human right to have a voice, to be seen and noted. Yet, this is difficult…very difficult especially when the words do not connect with my own. I realize this and desire to make a better effort to open my ears and close my mouth more.

I resolve to be a better steward to the planet earth. I am concerned about the future of the earth and our impact upon what life holds for our children and grandchildren. Nature’s beauty and our wonderful planet has been taken for granted way too long and I must do my part to respect this world that I live upon. I have so long been a taker and cluttered the world with my garbage. I hope to explore ways to change, be kinder in my consumption.

I resolve to live more in the present. It is truly a gift from the universe and one I never fully unwrap as I throw back the covers and begin my day. I have lists of things to do, lists of things undone and lists of things yet to be completed. Lists upon lists filling up my tomorrows before I ever get there. I am clearing them from my head and paper. Today I will do what seems to fit into my day and no more or less. I will find contentment in this day and when it is done…be grateful for it. I will enjoy each season as it comes – unique that it is and full of the unexpected. I will breathe deep the crisp, cool winter air and amaze myself with the world outside as it rests in wait of spring. I will marvel at the new spring buds and blossoms as they unabashedly abound with a desire to survive. I will warm my bones and my soul in the summer sunshine and welcome the sweat of the summer heat. I will watch the beauty of fall, walking in the woods and sitting by a fire as the world gets painted in warmth of reds, oranges and yellows. Knowing that soon winter will be back and change will circle around again.

I resolve to spread kindness…pay it forward if you will. It can be free to give and anyone who receives unfettered compassion from another will tell you- it is priceless. To keep myself mindful of this, I will each month have at least one anonymous act of unexpected kindness completed…maybe more. Each day is filled with possibilities…and honestly should result in at least one simple act of kindness on a daily basis. If you have never done this before, try it. The unexpected thoughtfulness may really make an impression on someone who needs to again believe in this world. Unfortunately, we see mainly that which is dark, depressing and violent in our world as we watch the news. It makes us scared, defensive and builds walls of insecurity that separates us from each other.  I do not want to live in such a world that fills me with fear and the utter belief that I have no control.  Actually, I refuse to believe it.  So I will take control of my world, resolve to live in the present, effectively listen to others, be kinder to my planet and sprinkle a bit of kindness, compassion with others and see what grows. I invite you to join me and see what we can do over the next year. We can make change and it is time to do so. I resolve to try.

My Anxiety Ritual

taken from ...Tao and Zen

taken from …Tao and Zen

It is the feeling of being alone when I am in a crowded room of friends. It takes control of my emotions and leads me away into a grey filled nether place. Seeing it approach me, I summon it to leave me alone. I am fine and do not welcome its attention. I do not want it to pretend to befriend me again. I know it is really not my ally as it fills my head with an uneasiness quite unlike any other. This annoying caller always visits me after the holidays, sometimes impatient enough to tiptoe into my world in the midst of the celebration…waiting for the moment to tap me on the shoulder and remind me that it is waiting…to carry on our ongoing discussion of life.

I have seen a lot of depressing things in my time. I have been “awakened” in a sense, to the world around me, finding it much more complicated than a Rubik’s Cube…but none the less a pattern presented to ponder upon. I think some people believe it is this awareness that causes my anxiety ritual but it is not. I suffered from it way before I saw the ugly in the world. This false cohort sought me out in childhood as well. No, I think it is a product of my soul-searching to bear witness to the grace and charm of life. I have always sought to be surrounded in family tradition as it glued my world together past and present. I hold many shared moments in reverence …vacations with my parents and children/ card games at the kitchen table with my grandmother/
my years of taxi mom to school functions/ my children stepping out on their own/ my wonderful husband and our conversations that only soul mates can carry. All of these fill my heart and head…beautiful experiences and I know that looking back I will always see them as such. However, as I revel in these times I also worry that they would someday end…and thus my anxiety takes over.

I also love the beauty of life…simple beauty of the sunrise and sunset, snow glistening on the hillside as well as the beauty of hope and compassion and love. I tend to try to drown myself with just my head above -not totally lost within…and as I do, I remind myself that all of life is fragile…the sunset will soon be gone, the sunrise as well and there will be days of hardly a hope and little compassion to be had out there. This is life I remind myself. No one said living would be easy…but the world reminds us that real living is full of the beauty and charm, love and laughter- as well as the deep emotions that make the heart heavy.

Oh my anxiety softly sings the song of never know what tomorrow will bring…and I have my quiet reflection on the hard truths of life that I have seen over the past years.. But I tell myself that pure love never leaves…it can’t be taken away as love is a forever bond. Even with the death of a loved one, the love remains within me. And the love of my family and friends..their love will remain forever within me too. Ah! I tell my little transient banshee as we stand face to face, I know this to be true as it quiets his ramblings in my head… and this knowledge keeps me one step ahead of my unwelcome visitor.

I take a deep breath…it is my saving grace in times like these. I remind myself that the beauty of life is still here…yet to be found another day in some new and provocative way. I pull my memories of family and friends to help me see what a treasure I have already collected. I again awaken to see the beauty of hope for tomorrow more clearly, new experiences to be had and memories to be made. The pattern begins to be seen and the joy of my journey with it.