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Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

Connection

I would never advise someone to place others on too high of a pedestal. It’s a long way down. We are all human and we will never meet every expectation from others in life but we continue filling our trophy rooms with idols. We choose someone-maybe they have done something which seems extraordinary-maybe someone has hyped them up-maybe they are the center of media attention-but there will always be something that will cause us to think, wait, maybe they aren’t that great after all. Whomever we choose to idolize, we should be prepared that they aren’t what we expect.

 

Brené Brown is my idol but it’s not the person that I idolize. It’s what she has to say. The first time I heard anything about her was this TED talk from 2010:

 

 

She talked about shame and vulnerability and how it takes courage to overcome these things to find connection but it takes a sense of worthiness. I took identity with this – my crazy way to say that I identified with what she was saying. I was like-where has this person been all of my life? This is me!

 

She appears GENUINE. She talks about her personal vulnerabilities and how she wants to conquer them. What catches my eye is her imperfection rather than the perfection that much idol worship seems to be centered around. She references authenticity in her works (and a bit in this talk) of how we have to be authentic to ourselves and to others but that we are scared of being vulnerable. We don’t want to feel the pain of shame. On the flip side, if we aren’t willing to take risks to face our vulnerabilities we will not find connection. If you have not watched the video, I encourage you to do so.

 

As for her approach to raising kids, this is what she had to say, “You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

 

Just think what could happen if we were to change our attitudes. We are more interested in blaming others than working on what we can do to help us with our pain and shame. Life could change. We could work toward things-positive things. Our politics could change. We can’t grow if we don’t face our shame. We can’t conquer our vulnerabilities if we avoid and numb. And, when we accept that we are worthy, we are able to make connection.

 

 

Connection

Vulnerability       –          Shame

Courage

 

 

She has another TED talk from 2012:

 

 

But… my very VERY favorite of all things in video form is this little goody of how she describes empathy:

This is truly the best to me. I love it!

 

We need positive people in our lives. We need guiding forces. We need to understand that people are not perfect but that many have a message that is genuine. To me, life is growth. We must continue to identify our vulnerabilities and shame and then work to deal with them making us feel worthy and more connected.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

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Sacrifice is one of those things that most of us shy away from if we can help it. It even sounds painful.

 

I really didn’t understand self-sacrifice until I was in middle and high school. In the effort to control my seizures, I learned how to control my body. I would get auras right before a seizure and I learned to ward them off as much as possible through meditation when medication was not enough. It didn’t always work but it helped. Later, when my dad was sick with cancer and not long before he died, I quit eating. I had started to become anorexic. I saw myself as fat. Others noticed I was shrinking. My clothes were falling off and I still could not see it. I would not eat. Had I continued down that path I would have been in the hospital in a few more weeks.

 

I learned how to sacrifice or more appropriately—how to withhold “rewards” much like someone withholding love. That’s what happened in my first marriage—love was withheld. And, when love was withheld in my second marriage, I tried to ignore it but felt that I was not deserving of love. That is a dangerous place to be. I further sacrificed so that my children would have what they needed physically and emotionally—another dangerous place to be. I didn’t feel worthy of anything. I pretended my life was good even when I blogged those many years ago.

 

It is hard to unlearn these things. In fact, I don’t think I can. It’s difficult to talk about and to admit my failures. That is the way I would see things. In reality, I am not to blame for everything but I was taught to see things that way—that the only thing I needed to do to succeed was to try harder. Well, things don’t always work out that way, but I wasn’t taught that. In fact, I don’t have a STOP button on me. Moving on.

 

Love. What is love? I know what love is. I know what it looks like. I know what it feels like though maybe only briefly. But … it is like a helium balloon that has just been released from a child’s hand and is working its way up into the sky. I am chasing the balloon. As I reach and stretch upward so far, it is just out of my grasp, and it continues to lift up into the atmosphere. That is me and love—romantic love. Sigh. The string can be in my hand but it slips away. What is even worse is when love chases me and I fight it off building a wall to keep it out and it still finds a way over the wall only to break my heart once I decide to give love a chance. Sigh.

 

I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to fall in love again—well, not anytime soon. And, I was doing good—fairly good at it. But, I did fall in love again. It wasn’t easy at first. I had become accustomed to being by myself. I enjoyed my own company. I enjoyed my time so it was difficult at first learning to share again. I fought against it—I didn’t want to be hurt. I kept saying it was too good to be true. It’s hard to explain but I did fall in love and I fell hard. I believed he loved me just as he said he did. Hmmm…a tear just ran down my right cheek. By now you know for sure this doesn’t have a happy ending.

 

It’s funny. I know what reality is. I know there is no promise of tomorrow. I know that we don’t even have the guarantee of today but I still believe in happiness with a mate—a significant other. I want to believe but … love and me … well, we don’t see eye to eye I guess. Call it fate. I don’t know. Some say I give my heart too freely and others say it isn’t really love. Sigh. So here is the meat of the story.

 

I believe love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I am willing to sacrifice a little too easy and that can cause problems. People take advantage of that. Do they mean to? I don’t know. It’s hard to see what the other person is willing to sacrifice unless it is tangible or visible and I don’t want someone to sacrifice for me—to lose something in order to gain me. Why would anyone want me? I would like to think I am worth it, but going back to my earlier days, I still have a problem with that. However, I need to know that he is willing to sacrifice for me because that is true love. I never want to ask that of anyone but to love fully there is the willingness to do whatever. Both are willing to make sacrifices for the other and the other never having to ask because they know. That is the story of true love. Sigh.

 

I really hate having the life story ending like “The Titanic” or “Romeo and Juliet” or the stories of both of my grandmothers. I just want some time to rock on the porch and hold hands as the sun sets—to be there for each other no matter what. That’s my dream so I really fell for him when he said he was the one to sit next to me and hold my hand for the rest of our days. Big sigh. The other part of love and sacrifice is to know how to let go.

Boy, that part hurts.

 

May your days be filled with love and support from a significant other and may you always know that you are truly loved no matter what. Happy Gardening! 🙂

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  • Stigma is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD for short) as:  An association of disgrace or public disapproval with something, such as an action or condition.
  • Google defines the word as:  A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

Whatever you think of this word, it is not a positive sign. The word disgrace per AHD:  Loss of honor, respect, or reputation; shame.

 

Hmmm…the lacking of what we all strive to have—honor, respect, reputation. When I think of disgrace, I think of how some of the more Puritanical religions and sects shunned people for doing something that was unapproved by the rules. In other words, one has been judged unfit. Wow! What does that do for one’s self-confidence?

 

Think of what that might feel like—to have your family turn against you—your friends—everyone who you had trusted and believed in. It’s an awful feeling to know that this thing you have done is so bad that people—your closest family—would turn their backs to you. In essence, you have become an outcast of society even by the closest allies–those who are supposed to be there for you no matter what.

 

This may sound archaic but stigma is still around today. Sometimes we are stigmatized by choices we have made but sometimes we are shunned not because of choices but rather because of whom we are or how we are judged.

 

Stigma. Perhaps you think of hiding in the shadows or having periods of guilt and shame. Whatever images you have it is a word I know and I hope to write more about it in the days ahead.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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Injustices in the world…I believe we are here to help others. If you knew of a needy family, would you offer aid? If a child was going hungry, would you offer him/her food? We are all humans in this world. Sometimes we are in need.

 

I remember when my youngest was born—two weeks before Christmas. My husband had just lost his job. He had been overseas for Desert Storm and was called back home because I was having such a difficult time with my pregnancy. His employer kept him the 30 days required and got rid of him so we were without insurance, food, everything but we still had a roof over our heads.

 

I remember how humiliating it was to be in need and I couldn’t do anything about it. My eldest child had just begun walking. My mom had a stroke earlier that year–it was an awful year in many ways. I was at my wit’s end and had to participate in the WIC program for my baby. Not to be critical but even my church didn’t offer any aid. I was ashamed of my situation but this isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Government programs exist because there are those in need. There is nothing wrong with participating in these and we should never shame anyone who does.

 

I doubt anyone would fault me for participating in the WIC program especially with a newborn. In fact, it was required that I do so by the hospital in order to be released. But what if it were a family who needed help? Would you grant them this same sentiment? What about refugees who come into this country? Would you turn them away? Would you refuse help after they have been settled? I hope you wouldn’t turn people away.

 

Well, my governor has just ordered all government assistance to end in giving refugees aid. There is a child about 4 years of age.

  • Is this ok with you?
  • It isn’t ok to me.
  • It breaks my heart.

 

There are many of us who welcome refugees into this country because we can empathize with their situation no matter who they are. To me, it doesn’t matter what religion, what color, what race, what anything… What matters is that we do unto others as we would want to be treated. There is no other option to me.

 

There are terrible things being said—hateful things. I have been writing about attitudes for a long time now. It is up to us to reach out and do what is right. I cannot apologize for the way I see things. I do not like politics but I am being forced to get involved though I am only one person. I encourage you to get involved and let your voice be heard. We are to love all people…not just those who we want to be here or those who look like us. Many of us in the US have some European ancestry. Might I say that Europeans are not native to this land. People have become so selfish. That is what I see.

 

Again, I encourage you to get involved…call your legislature, governor, representatives. I hope you will show love to others and not judge everyone by the actions of some. We are all connected.

 

Happy Gardening! May your gardens be filled with an abundance of love. 🙂

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I am not in the habit of saying I will do something and not follow through. When I commit, I mean it but I went back on my word (twice) and I am truly sorry. I bow my head in shame.

 

I have been following Sreejit Poole for a good while..not sure how long..a few years? He has been one of my spiritual guides, if I can call him that, on my journey of life—a type of mentor yet he does not know that (well he knows now if he reads this, lol).

 

He is very talented in so many ways and he did something so special for the month of November on his blog called The Seeker’s Dungeon (link). He had guests post each day about their “walk with intention.” 🙂  If you haven’t already checked these out, please do so. They are words from the heart and there is an adventure waiting for you for all 30 days. The link is at the bottom of this posting.

 

Each of us travels on a journey whether we want to or not. It is up to us to decide where that journey will go and what we make of it. So often the focus is the destination but it is the journey that teaches us each and every day if we only stop and allow it to do so. It really is about the journey if you have not figured that out yet. 😉

 

We decide what we carry with us but very few of us realize that we take something from everyone we meet. Just think…we may not be consciously aware of such, but we pull from that interaction in some way. And the same happens in reverse…people take from us so we should be cognizant of what we are portraying. Imagine…something you take from someone that can impact a world tomorrow or vice versa for someone else. That is how important it is—of our journey and how we act toward others.

 

Think about this the next time you meet with someone…observe others…or when you are meditating about the day you have just experienced. Which people have impacted you? What have you learned and what can you apply? It may surprise you how easily people pick up things from us and use them in their lives. Sometimes we pick up these things and we don’t realize it.

 

Check out the Sreejit’s November daily posts beginning at30 Days of Walking with Intention (link).  

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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Wisdom #3

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Always use separate tubes of toothpaste in your partnership to keep the harmony in your lives.

Do you know how many marriage problems begin with the simplest thing? You know…when you have one person who squeezes from the bottom of the tube and another who squeezes from the top? Such a simple solution! 🙂

 

May your gardens be happy ones! 🙂

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Are we having fun yet?

I have been suffering from an autoimmune issue where I am allergic to myself—really. I have had an awful itchy rash from head to toe since July. It is called chronic urticaria and it takes all of my energy just trying to deal with it. My allergist is a really nice lady. She is confident that I will go into remission soon…lol…even if she has a patient that hasn’t been in remission for over 10 years.

 

I never knew I had this but evidently I have had it all my adult life just never to this extent. Usually a shot and series of prednisone and I’m good to go but not this time and I can’t find what triggered it—as in what I am allergic to. So…my life has been miserable to say the least.

 

Some days are pretty good and some are downright awful. I have tried everything including a new medicine that is used to treat leprosy—no kidding. I had to go off my blood pressure meds for this and I was taking so much antihistamine—a double dose plus 2 doses of Benadryl and nothing made it better. I tried meditation and other things and then I began to bleed under the skin—bruising for no reason other than my veins began to leak. I was concerned that my AVM might rupture so we dropped off the Benadryl and all pain relievers…eeeeeeeekkk!!!! 😦

 

Then I began to notice that I felt like I was producing more adrenaline than I should. I feel like the hair on my body is standing on end all of the time. I can’t control it. I did some reading. Mostly in men if there is an increase in adrenaline then there is a drop in testosterone. Hmmm. That’s interesting. While the two don’t really work together they affect each other. So I began to wonder if I bring up my testosterone level if the adrenaline will ease up. It is worth a try.

 

I added some magnesium, zinc, and calcium along with some B12 to my daily routine. It’s best to get vitamins and minerals from foods but I need to experiment to get this stopped. I’m able to exercise more and I actually had a decent day for a change—not great but decent. I found that there have been suggestions that excess adrenaline can lead to autoimmune dysfunction but usually it isn’t caught before people begin to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis for one but there are many other things out there in the autoimmune disease category.

 

Someone suggested the Paleo diet plan and I looked into it. It’s pretty good. I tried the AIP diet but my doctor said she would rather me just to eat healthy so I stopped—it is a little difficult to just jump in if one is used to eating about anything. So, I’m trying to get good nutrition. One thing that is important is to get enough probiotics in my colon and then feeding the good bacteria. So often we take in probiotics but we forget that the bacteria need certain foods to sustain itself and there are better foods than others. Sounds complicated and it has been.

 

I just know that I’m tired of the itching and discomfort and everything I have been going through. I have been at the end of my rope, crying with pain and itching. The next stop if this medicine doesn’t work is a drug that costs a lot of money and my insurance may not pay for it. We will see. Fingers crossed that this will go into remission with this medicine that I am on. Oh, and I have to carry an epipen around—are we having fun yet? 🙂 I hope everyone is doing better than I am.

 

May your garden grow full of love and goodness. 🙂

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