Posted in Life

The Trappings of Change

If we do not embrace change, it becomes more painful than it has to be. By fighting against the winds of change instead of embracing it, we will ultimately be dragged as man never wins against nature. Complacency is no safer than change being dangerous. Familiarity can be more detrimental than the unknown.

Change is in evitable.

The automatic panic we feel from change is not actually loss, but fear of the unknown. Holding on to anything that no longer serves us, hurts us. Do any of us still own the walker we used to learn to walk when we toddlers? Can you just imagine how silly, painful and possibly dangerous it would be for us to try and get into our childhood walker as adults?

Adapt or die

We are resilient and adaptable; an example is how we preserved the past three years and counting. We prepare for changing seasons, inclement weather, and the like. It’s interesting how change can throw us off. We lull ourselves into a false sense of security and when change finally manifests, we fight tooth and nail until we eventually acquiesce. Many a time, in hind sight, we come to realize the change was for the better. It challenges us, shapes us, and sheds light on the people, places, and things that we have grown out of. Change is a vital component of life and maturation that we all experience, numerous times throughout or lifetime. If we try to fight it, it becomes painful, and we die little bit inside every day because of the misplaced energy we put into holding onto whatever no longer serves us or whatever is simply no longer there.

Posted in Life

Soulmate(s)… What if I told you….

This topic of soulmates continues to make a cameo among conversations I have had with various people as of late. And like many catch phrases, like: karma, gas lighting, and psycho for example, it is misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied.

A soulmate may not be the end all be all as far as romantic relationships are concerned. In addition, your soulmate may not be someone you are romantically involved with at all. In an ethereal sense, a soul really has no gender. This, like time is something that is bound to this plane of existence. You’re drawn to certain people to learn from them and after that lesson is learned, well, then… assignment over; such is life or any curriculum.

What is a soulmate?

A soulmate is a person to who you share a deep spiritual connection that is just “natural.” With this very simple explanation, we can conclude that it is possible to have more than one – several even! We all create deep bonds at different periods of our lives with different people. These bonds can span a lifetime. These bonds are commitments mutually agreed upon.

Some soulmates may stay throughout a lifetime and others for a moment in time to help you develop and evolve in life.

Should you be searching for your soulmate?

In essence, it does not really make any sense. Reason being, if you are not even sure what a soulmate is, you may have already found them. Furthermore, on an ethereal level of understanding, your soulmate(s) will arrive at the divine time that they are appointed and not moment sooner or later. It’s a bit beyond your control. Whether it’s kismet, serendipity or coincidence, it will happen when it happens – and depending on whether the person is here for a reason, season or lifetime, will determine if you “end up together.”

Truthfully, we have all had multiple soulmates and will probably encounter more and what a blessing that is!?! All the love, support, lessons and growth opportunities we have as we navigate life with the multitude of soulmates. Sure it’s great to romanticize it, but I mean… there are 7 billion people in this world and we are not likely to meet them all. It really is romantic to think their is just one person out there, but I mean… it’s really like picking up a single grain of sand on a beach. That’s OK. Who doesn’t love a beach?

Posted in Life

Auld Lang Syne

Around this time of year we are naturally drawn to thoughts of old acquaintances and many of those old acquaintances should probably remain forgotten. Yet, the spirit of the season bring with it, good cheer with a side of romanticism of the way things were.

It is a feeling, and like all feelings, are mostly fleeting. Should you feel the unbearable urge to reach out, perhaps assess your heart to see if its sans hope or agenda and just a sincere wish of wellness, otherwise go watch a holiday movie!

Posted in Life

Could normalcy just be a “feeling?”

What exactly is, normal?

adjective

  1. 1.conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

Once upon a time, it was normal to think you can sale of the edge of the Earth. Infanticide was normal in the Sparta, because if an infants couldn’t survive in the wilderness they were “defective.” It was normal for females to begin birthing children at the start of menstruation. Slavery was normal. I am sure you too could come up with numerous things that were once, “normal.”

The deviation of anything that is common place could throw an individual completely off and make them feel out of whack. Normal is an illusion. It is subjective.

Who decides what is normal?

In this post modern world, normalcy is a rapid cycling fad and a parody of itself at best. We are living longer, having babies later while maintaining a six foot personal space perimeter in public and demanding to see people’s medical history before interacting with them. We are bombarded with of images by the millions, assaulting our senses on a daily basis, and the conditioned response to “want to be the things you see” has transcended from commercial advertisements to social media platforms with no reprieve. If it isn’t a billboard, it’s a jingle between music streams. If it isn’t a commercial on regular television it’s two 15 second car insurance commercials before viewing your how-to video. If it isn’t a pop up ad in the right column while reading your email, it’s a pop up ad in your social media feed. It’s everywhere praying on that need to feel “normal” – what ever that may be at any given time of the day.

Who is considered, normal?

I guess it depends on where you are and who you ask, right? Normal is an elusive theoretical personification of the zeitgeist of any given society. It can be aligned with morality or abstracted and convoluted. It is a gang mentality of sorts that is fueled by a feeling – an emotion… a yearning to “confirm” to feel safe and in sync. How can one truly ever sync in a rapid cycling fad? Once you get the hang of it, you find yourself back at square one. Normalcy is a dangling carrot before our eyes. Normalcy is a hamster wheel to “keep up with the Joneses or the Kardashians (if you will).”

Posted in Life

Ports in the Storm: Support or Abort?

We can find ourselves a port in a storm where we want to shelter our loved ones. It’s a natural reaction to feel hurt as a result of them hurting. Some circumstances can drag out certain storms for extended periods of time. It can batter all parties involved. The emotional and psychological pain a storm causes impacts the supportive loved ones as well. The peripheral damage can yield separation and even severance of ties.

It is important to note that when trauma happens there is the primary party whose storm this is, and the secondary party who is providing support and love and comfort throughout the ordeal. Navigation through storms are not clear cut or simple. It can be quite complicated and equally frustrating to the secondary party – particularly when the primary party decides to take a path that puts them square in harm’s way. This change of course can drive a wedge between the primary party and the secondary party; in response to a change in course, the bewildered second party may react in a way that is perceived as victimizing the primary party all over again. This can create a decomposition of relationships.

How do we avoid it the decomposition? Take note of what is actually happening so that the amount of emotional/psychological investment is tempered. If this isn’t done, it’s easy for the energy from the chaos to take up root in the secondary party and support may be strained. The following things need to be considered:

Is this a venting session?

Is every solution suggestion is shot down or ignored? If you find your self trying to encourage a proactive stance in your loved one and they don’t seem receptive to it, don’t push it. They just want you to listen and aren’t ready to make any moves. Just listen. Solutions are not welcome here at the moment.

Are they re-calibrating another approach/attempt?

Are they talking about the situation like they are able to fix it? Some people like to give it the old college, grad, and post graduate try. Who are we to criticize? If this is the case and your loved one wants to run through plans A-Z and 1-3, co-pilot, and try to influence with practicality. Some people are “fixers” and where there is a will there is always a way – or at least many ways to try and they will exhaust them all before giving up. Keep in mind, we are not obligated to the exhaustion by association.

Is the narrative being presented in a way to influence support?

If things are not adding up and pertinent details are being left out to incite sympathy, it is a clear indication that a loved one does not want a solution but to shift the focus in a way that absolves them from having to make any efforts to address the problem or admit their role in the situation at hand. Maybe they are not ready. Maybe they just don’t want to. Maybe by convincing you, it’s a means to convince themselves, thus buying time to continue the carousel ride. Proceed with caution, listen, and do not pour all energy into half baked scenarios because feelings are fleeting and as the plot thickens, points of view may cause drastic pivots.

Are they emotional but unwilling to let go?

When emotions run high, many things are said and done: allegation, declarations, ultimatums, declarations, vows, promises, threats …etc… and once the storm is over and the emotional flood subsides,… it back to being all good until it’s not. This is the termite that eats away the emotional support of loved ones because there are but so many rinse and repeat cycles a support system can endure. If it is clear that a loved one is in the rinse in repeat cycle, reassessing how much emotional/psychological energy you are willing to invest is crucial because it’s easy to get caught up in the storm and lose oneself in it. Nothing good can come from that. One cannot pour from an empty cup and if a rinse and repeat situation is draining… withdrawing for a little self care is paramount as no one can pour from an empty cup.

Closing thought

Some of the hardest decisions to make is whether to stick it out or walk away. It can be excruciating to watch a loved one go through some of life’s most difficult moments. It’s a delicate dance between empathy and practicality. The head and the heart must be of equal measure to provide support. If one supersedes the other, pulling back may be the healthiest option.

Posted in Life

Notes to Strangers: addiction to shittiness?

There is a plethora of toxic relationship dynamics that, if gone unaddressed, can become normalized. This dynamic can essentially rewire perception, reality, and world view dramatically. Although, it is clear it is unhealthy, it is still accepted. This can become very dangerous because when a healthy person comes along offering healthy unconditional love, it can be rejected as boring – or perceived as there is something wrong with the healthy person because they are giving love, attention, support and loyalty without requiring a long journey through hell walking barefoot across broken glass and hot coals.

The more one suffers does not demonstrate how much one cares. While there are sacrafices to be made in relationship dynamics, suffering and putting up with shitty behavior does not validate the love for another. Love is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured. Naturally, challenges will come along but if the entire relationship dynamic is an incessant challenge, then… what is the fight really about? Is it that there is a compulsary attraction to the relationship and all the negativity that comes with it?

Posted in Life

What I have learned in 365 days

We are already three months into 2021 and when I look back, it is crystal clear that I am not the same person I was back in March of 2020.   Enduring the past 365 days with all its trials and tribulations was not easy for anyone.  Although it seems like a decade has passed, along with it, is a world view I had not given much thought too and the short list of gratitude that I had.  Challenges abounded at every turn both intrinsically and extrinsically.  There was no area that was not left shrouded in the cloak of mundane responsibilities or the platitude of “there aren’t enough hours in a day.”  Gradually, hours became days… for many of us, it seemed as though we had time on tap.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We had time to think about all things we wanted to do but never did.  We had time to think about the things we wanted to say but never said.  We had time to think about all the things we do for the sake of doing them.  We had time evaluate whether we are living up to our potential. We had time to contemplate our purpose. We had time to inspect all the cracks that began to show in our relationships and motivations.

With that in mind, as we gallop toward reopening, I find myself contemplating how I will reallocate my time.  I find myself thinking about what matters most and being mindful of squandering my time for fruitless outcomes that ultimately make me feel unpleasant and drained.  I find myself making concrete plans to do the things I always wanted to do as opposed to thinking of these things as abstract ideas that hypothetically take place in the obscure future.  I find myself looking at the time that I have as the most cosmically valuable asset and intent to invest it in ways that will mature my well being and those around me – mind, body and spirit.

Posted in Life

Alpha! Alpha! Alpha!

Despite our longings to break out of categories and labels, we find ourselves circling back to self identifying or boxing ourselves into a “type” or characteristic trope. More often, we aim to be the most overused type or trope, thus, abandoning our own unique qualities that may be attributed to another. Such is the case with the Alpha personality. One can be a leader, a go getter and a tough contender despite not being an “Alpha” personality.

Many identify themselves as Alpha personalities. Although some may display such traits, they may not necessarily be Alpha personalities as there are more than just Alpha personalities or Beta personalities. Neither personality is better than the other.

Each personality has its positive attributes that are unique, valuable, and essential to their social spheres. Each stand out respectively. Whatever your characteristic attributes may be, accentuate them. Hone your attributes – all of them. Not just the ones that fit into a desired type or characteristic trope.

Posted in Life

Notes to Strangers: Looking Back

Ever look back and say, “WTF?”  As time passes, we don’t realize how much we deal with or are going through as we are going through it.  Coming out on the other side after having been through so much seems like just another day, when in fact, it is post completion of an obstacle course of trials and tribulations that require intensive mental and emotional gymnastics to conquer with very little time (if any) to process it all.

What better time than now, to look back and say, “Wow, I’m still here.  Thank you, God?”  Life’s kinks, twists, and turns require a perseverance, resilience, and strength that many of us do not realize we have.  Even after it’s over and the dust settles, it may seem surreal.  It may seem like it wasn’t you; but lo and behold, it was you amidst the vulnerability, uncertainty, and fear.  Despite the adversity, you overcame.  You are here now.  That is something to feel good about. Way to go, you tough cookie, you!

Posted in Life

Unforgiveness: Purloiner of the Heart and Soul

In relationships, arguments and fall outs are inevitable. People we love may not be likable all the time. Seeing that love is a verb and sometimes requires action that include but are not limited to: compromise, understanding, patience, communication, and forgiveness … the latter can be either what nourishes relationship vitality, the lethal blow that severs the relationship, or twisting knife that perpetuates a toxic dynamic.

Unforgiveness is interesting because it is often misconstrued as a character trait. It can also be misconstrued as being strong. In actuality, unforgiveness is the worm at the core of the soul. It is an emotional parasite that syphons our life force. It is parasitic in nature because it takes a lot of energy to maintain while it purloins precious time that can never be recovered.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

How does unforgiveness manifest? How does it grab a hold of us? This excerpt so eloquently sums it up: “many people who have been hurt feel insignificant and powerless; therefore, they try to get their need for significance met by withholding forgiveness. Unforgiveness gives them a sense of power and superiority. If you were ever betrayed by a friend, for a time you may have felt powerless to stop the pain.”June Hunt

Time does heal, if you allow it; but the tricky thing about unforgiveness is that it requires us to relive the trauma that caused it. It creates a negative feedback loop that we subscribe to and if gone unaddressed, it can lead to bitterness. Bitterness, over time, becomes the norm and can be quite oppressive hindering the ability to thrive in life. While it may seem as though it is harder to forgive and let go, on the contrary, it takes more energy to hang on to the transgression because holding on to the transgression requires fuel. It requires the long painful trip down memory lane and reignition of that initial hurt.

How do we STOP the pain?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Forgiving, much like love, is a verb. The pain must first be addressed irregardless of having received an apology. Making peace with the past, and recognizing that what transpired is in the rearview, and choosing to move forward and focus on today is paramount. It is a personal choice to choose the here and now and rebuke what happened because nothing can change the past. It is a personal choice to choose to take control of the here and the now and seek to bind up the emotional wounds. In making these decisions, we empower ourselves to be able to look at the situation through the scope of our current selves ; With what we know now versus what we knew then, the perspective will be quite distinct from our former selves – and that is a start!