Monday, April 2, 2018

Picking at bones for peace (pardon the expression)

Sometimes, in order to feel at peace, I have to write about the bones I'm picking. This morning, what's bugging me is certain other people who want everyone to behave just as they do.

Recently, I heard, through a very trusted source that someone thinks I'm a user, due to the fact that I'm ill and can't work and my husband pays the bills. And to make matters worse, I have realized that it's because they don't take me seriously as his wife.

And ya, I get it. I'm much older than my husband. And he is my common-law husband, not my “real” husband whatever that means. Maybe on the surface, I don't appear to be a mother's dearest wish for her son. But I spend most of every single day doing things for my husband that he does not have the time or energy to do. Our relationship is a huge part of why he is monetarily and otherwise successful.

Our relationship is very positive. It strengthens us both. Neither of us takes advantage of the other. We both contribute a lot to the relationship. We're both extremely happy. My husband has no problem supporting me financially because he knows very well that what I do for him more than justifies it.

And we both know that in the event, and this event is coming, believe me, in the event that I can no longer do what I do for him, we will still be together as long as we are both breathing. Why? Because we love and care about each other.

Our relationship is not based on who owes who or who does more for who. We're just not those people. Arghhhh! Has this person never heard the portion of the wedding vows that refers to staying together in sickness or in health? For richer or poorer? For better or worse?

Do they not realize that if the situation were reversed, I would do exactly the same for him? I mean, for heavens sake, we've been together 11 years. This is not a fly by night thing. This is permanent!

My husband and I may have never recited vows in front of our family and friends, but we live them daily. In fact, I would venture to say that when compared to many people we know who are “really” married, our relationship stacks up pretty favorably.

Oh, and another picked bone: If one more person gossips about how we are enabling the people we love by being nice to them, helping them, guiding them through their their struggles, etc.. I think that, as peaceful as I am, I'm going to punch them straight in the face. Hows that for keeping the peace?

This is our choice. Sure, it can be frustrating at times. But family is about love. It's about working together. It's about forgiveness. It's about lending a hand and being kind and patient. Certainly, no one wants to be taken advantage of. But turning away someone you love who is in need (or suggesting someone else turn away someone they love) says a whole hell of a lot more about the kind of person you are than it does about how much someone else is taking advantage or being taking advantage of.

I'm a good person, dammit. I'm going to keep being kind to people. And my husband is going to keep being kind to people, me included. We're going to keep being kind to each other. We're going to smother each other and everyone around us with kindness, generosity and love whether you like it or not. It's our life, not yours. #DontJudge #BeNice

Ahhhh …...peace at last.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Focusing on my focus

As we all know, 99.9% of having a happy, peaceful life is attitude. So, lately I've been focusing on what my focus is. If I think I should be miserable, chances are, I will be. So, I'm trying to retrain my brain to shine a spotlight on the good things in my life.

Thoughts and circumstances are fleeting. No point in dwelling on those that bring me down. What's more? Why not also stretch the duration of things that lift me up? When I allow happy moments to grow joy in my heart and soul, they literally expand to block out pain, sorrow and regret.

Aggravation fades into the background when love and understanding take center stage.

And yes, I am human. I can't help but feel frustration and anger. But when they surface, I try to control how big a role they play in my life by switching my focus to positive outcomes, rather than negative circumstances. Or, at the very least, I try to see the humor in the situation.

I've never subscribed to the notion that one must be giddily positive at all times. Shit happens, as they say and sometimes, that shit becomes a literal shit-storm. That's when it teaches. That's how we learn and grow and move forward. Negativity is inspirational in a way that positivism can never be. It moves us to do better.

However, as I struggle with my hard earned lessons and spread that all important awareness, I am increasingly careful to keep my inner eye trained on the good things in life. Because the brighter they shine, the brighter my path becomes. And who wants to walk in darkness all the time? Not me!

Life Goals - Don't Be a Nobody

That's right, I said it. There are a lot of nobodies in the world and while I love some of them to pieces, I'm not that fond of their behavior and I wouldn't want to be one. So what's my idea of a nobody?

Well, nobodies are those people who make all the messes for the somebodies to clean up. Who used the last of the toilet paper without replacing the roll? Well, nobody, of course. And nobody spilled the food on the floor and left it either. Nobody let the trash overflow. It was nowhere near full last time nobody checked.

Nobody noticed the laundry piling up. Nobody cleaned up the doggy poo in the back yard. Nobody saw the faucet dripping in the kitchen. Nobody washed the dishes when it was time to do them. Nobody touched the mirrors and got their fingerprints all over them. Nobody weeded or watered the yard and garden, planted the flowers and veggies, trimmed the bushes, raked the lawn or even thought about it.

Apparently, nobody knew that when it snows, the walk needs shoveling because nobody ever takes care of that. Did you know it was important to conserve energy in winter months when the heating bill goes through the roof? Well, don't feel bad, nobody else seems aware of it either.

Nobody knows that when they eat, they get crumbs on the floor and table that need to be cleaned up. Nobody notices that there are no clean towels in the bathroom. Maybe that's because nobody showers daily. Eeew! Or maybe nobody saw the pile in the laundry room waiting to be folded and put away.

Nobody saw that someone spilled soda pop all over the floor. And if they did, and somehow, miraculously attempt to clean it up, well, nobody told them to use a wet mop. I mean, a dry dish towel is so much better. That way, you can get the dish towel so dirty that it can't be used as a dish towel again, plus, you get to leave a nice sticky residue on the floor.

Nobody saw the tracks they left when coming in from outside. Nobody knew that dirty hands equals dirty walls and germ covered surfaces. Nobody. Nobody took the time to pick up their dishes and bring them to the kitchen. Nobody bothered to retrieve their other belongings from common areas and put them away, either. Maybe nobody ever heard that saying about there being a place for everything and keeping everything in its place.

But guess what? Luckily, there are somebodies in this world. Because somehow, even though nobody noticed it, all of this happened and got taken care of by somebody, right?

Folks, I have a long way to go on the peace path. And being resentful of the nobodies is certainly a part of that. Likely because I'm exhausted from picking up after them. But at least, I can be at peace with the fact that I've never been and never will be a nobody.

I am a somebody and proud of it. How about you?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Making peace with zero page views

I've been in love with writing since I first learned to form letters, make words from them and put those words together to make thoughts appear on paper. In short, since I was about 5 years old. Back then, I didn't care who read my thoughts. Surprise! I don't care now either.

I write for myself. If no one reads what I write, well, that doesn't make it any less valuable to me. I also don't care if my grammar is picture perfect or my punctuation is on point. I write how I talk. It's legible enough. It's not completely ghetto. And anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to read it. So there!

If all that makes me sound a bit narcissistic, well, I don't care about that either. People can think what they want because I also don't judge the way others write. Practice makes perfect and maybe they're not there yet. Or maybe they're like me and don't care if they ever get there. Ha!

I have a lot of blogs that nobody reads. They make me about a penny a month. OK, maybe a little more. But hey, since I don't ever cash it out, I might have a whole dollar by now. Woo-Hoo! Celebration time! Maybe I could frame it and hang it on my wall.

Meh, who cares? I think the almighty dollar gets enough air time. I save my decor space for family photos and other things that really matter. Like dream-catchers, tapestries, artwork, various handmade dangly things, cute signs and such. Most of which is truly “unprofessional” and maybe a bit sloppy. I love it!

And sure, there is an off chance that someday, someone, somewhere will find that either my meanderings or my artwork warrant a deeper look. Maybe there's even a ,little monetary compensation in my future. Still don't care. Besides, likely that would mean writing/creating the way everyone else thinks I should; conforming to consumerist demand, etc.

Nah, I'm happier just the way things are. Doing what I love to do, the way I love to do it. No promises. No demands. No battlefield. No blood shed. No deadlines. No editors. No rules. No pressure. Just the freedom to write/create as I wish.

I'm at peace with my non-existent page views. In fact, I prefer them. They represent my aforementioned freedom to be who I am. They reflect my true self; good, bad and ugly combined. They empower me like no amount of money ever could.

And you can take that to the bank.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Merry Sleigh Bells on the naughty list?

I love a good Christmas tune as much as the next person. In fact, maybe a little more. I start singing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving. I also grew up in the country, where animal husbandry is huge a part of life. Nevertheless, on my path for inner holiday peace, those merry sleigh bells are high on my naughty list. How so?

Folks, we've been using horses to do our dirty work since, well, I don't know when. In any case, it's been a long, long time. And we certainly have it in our heads that being pulled around town for a holiday joy ride is a joy. That's probably because it is a joy for us. But what about the horse?

Due to how deeply ingrained the use of horses and other animals is, we may not even think about that. Maybe we should. After all, finding peace within yourself begins with giving others peace. And I don't believe that horses being shackled to a sleigh and forced to pull us around are having a good time of it, no matter how you look at it. They're certainly not at peace.

Sure, they're strong enough. They look absolutely regal doing it. And yes, they may be well cared for. Still, it's not exactly a pleasant task to undertake. It's not fun for them. They didn't volunteer to do it. Who would? In fact, if you allow yourself free thought, you'll quickly realize how wrong we are in thinking it's OK to do this to a living creature, especially in the name of entertainment.

Now, I know a lot of “horse people” would say that “their” horse enjoys being ridden. I know because I've heard them say it. But is it really the ride they take pleasure in? Or is it the companionship?

The fact is that riding horses is physically damaging for the horse, no matter how much we tell ourselves they enjoy it.

We even refer to trained horses as “well broken.” 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you don't have to “break” anyone into doing something they enjoy. If it was natural and pleasant for horses to be ridden or pull us around in carriages, we wouldn't have to "break" them to do it would we?

But it's not natural. It's not peaceful. It's not even wholesome. Bits cause injury as do saddles, spurs, whips and other gear. Then there is the actual burden of carrying the rider. We literally ride directly on the horse's spine. Take a good look sometime at a horse that's been ridden a few years and you'll plainly see the curvature. It's just not healthy and in fact, causes shortened life spans.

In the case of pulling sleighs, well, imagine yourself as a rickshaw driver. Does pulling others around town all day in a cart seem like fun to you? No?

You see folks, ultimately it's really just long standing tradition that gives those sleigh rides the illusion of being merry and wholesome holiday fun. Pulling sleighs is not and never has been fun for the horse. It's not wholesome and harmless in any way.

It may not be fun for us to realize that. It may not even be widely accepted. Once our neuropassageways are programmed, it's a real b**** to convince them they're out of line. But it is the truth. And in the case of those merry sleigh bells, the truth shall set you free to live in peace. But more importantly, it will do the same for the horse.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mistaking my ego for my identity

Oh wow! Today's revelations are huge, much like my currently over-inflated ego. They came to me like most things do. That is, after experiencing, reacting to or passing judgment on something/someone and realizing that I'm not, nor will I ever be perfect myself. And that, while I like myself, I have a few things to work on. OK, quite a few. And a lot of those things stem from ego.

Now, those of you who know me well, likely think of me as very simple and humble. Not exactly someone who lords it over people or thinks their you know what has no odor. For the most part, yes, I do try to remember that I'm just a speck on a tiny planet in an infinitesimal universe among more infinitesimal universes.

But folks, my ego really does get the better of me sometimes, just as it does every other human on this earth. And like every other human being, I have a tendency to think of my way as the best way of living. And if you don't think we're all wired this way, at least to a certain degree, just go on Facebook and spend some time in those comment sections. Do you see it now?

Socializing in general, at least lately, seems to have an underlying current of proving others wrong, therefore proving ourselves right. Heck, I can't even go to a restaurant for a peaceful meal without overhearing conversations of judgment passed on others or how they live their lives. And the nauseating thing is, that I see myself slipping into that mode.

Therefore, in order to be at peace with myself, I have decided to make an effort in recognizing whether it is my reasoning brain or my diabolical, self-defeating ego that is running my life and determining my actions. Because, I am not my ego. And my ego, much like everyone elses, does not have the power to reason outside of it's own selfish agenda.

My ego likes to tell me that I am right about everything. That's a problem. But the real issue is that my ego doesn't seem to be aware that being right is not all that important in the scheme of things. So, while my identity, or self, if you wish, is on a path to peace, my ego is constantly running interference. In my opinion, a superior attitude has no place in a mindful, peaceful life.

In fact, one can drive oneself literally nuts by living life according to one's ego and opinions. And yes, this is my opinion, but honestly, I just feel it's better for me personally, more peaceful, if you will, to practice understanding, rather than condemnation, spread joy, rather than focusing on the negative news of the day, etc.

I find that it's better for me, psychologically, to practice being humble/kind/considerate and admit my own faults, rather than exhausting myself by trying to disprove others or add more air to my ego balloon in an effort to make myself feel better. Because, you guys, we really are, much as our egos hate to admit it, quite small in the scheme of things.

And maybe my theory doesn't hold true for you. That's OK. You do you, as they say. And I am no better than you for following my own inclinations or feeling the way I do. That's the whole point. Folks, none of us really knows how to do life. We're all just winging it and hoping for the best. No point getting a swelled head over our triumphs or kicking people when they're down.

So, it seems I have discovered another huge step to conquer on the peace path. Better break out those walking sticks. This one's a doozy.

Your “mistakes” are not my problem

Taking giant steps today, at least mentally. Putting them into action may take time but here we go with another one. I have to stop taking responsibility for the “mistakes” of others. For one thing, they may not be mistakes as far as they are concerned. Either that or they haven't seen them for what they are yet, just as it takes me a while to see my own missteps.

For another thing, when did I become the logical choice for deciding other people's fate or how they live? Have I really done a perfect job of mapping out my own destiny? Of course not. Because none of us have life 100% down, do we? If we did, surely things wouldn't be so difficult, would they?

Why are we all so hell bent on reminding others of all their faults anyway? Isn't it more important to support their triumphs and allow them to deal with their own issues as they see fit? Don't we have enough on our plates without getting over-involved, handing out unsolicited advice and generally knocking on doors all over town, “spreading the word” of our choosing and annoying the heck out of people?

Wouldn't it be more constructive to allow them the peace required to come to their own logical conclusions concerning the areas in their lives that could use improvement? Wouldn't it be more productive to set a positive example by minding our own lives well and allowing them to draw their own conclusions concerning theirs?

And what do we expect to happen once we dish out our unasked for opinion, anyway? Do we really expect people to have revelations based on our ego-elevated opinions, raging firestorm fits and harsh judgments? Isn't that a bit egotistical, not to mention unrealistic?

And wouldn't it be healthier to allow others the freedom to make their own choices so that we, ourselves, also have the much needed time and energy for our own extensive self improvement?

I'm still working on what to do when someone elses choices negatively impact my life. Socialization is not my strong-point. It's hard for me to get past the hurt and express myself lovingly when my ego feels that I've been wronged.

Still, I'm going to try my utmost to leave people to their own devices and conclusions. And maybe that's a good first step toward not being hurt by their choices as well.

Learn and grow. Learn and grow.