“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – William Shakespeare
We are each ourselves up to this point; yet the present is malleable and the future not yet written. That which will be is unknown. We all have a choice as to our situation; one can choose positive or negative. Trust that the former me did not have the present me on the horizon. I knew what I was, which was absolutely a wreck, but absolutely! had no idea what I’d become. Quite frankly (I was told this by medical professionals) if I had continued my lifestyle, I would have been dead by age 24. I did not expect that I’d be healthy and happy at age 37. I realize each day is but a gift, today I appreciate each day I’m alive and choose to live to the fullest. I am no longer in mental anguish; no one is required to be, yet so often are. The philosopher Epectitus held the idea that a person is free if they choose to be, despite the confines that restrict them. I am quite fond of Epectitus, as his values hold court with mine. I truly believe each man and woman cannot control external circumstances, yet has the power of choice regarding their minds. I know well, we cannot control our brain chemistry, yet we choose things such as deep love, gratitude, and whether or not we will be positive in the face of adversity. Whatever we presently may be is subject to change. If you are clinging to pessimism, negativity, and formerly or presently horrible situations; there is no time like the present to change and be what you may be.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
― Saint Augustine
Humility is indeed an art form; I write and talk explicitly in the hopes of encouraging and inspiring. The mere fact that I am writing publicly about humility is indeed any oxymoron. I am definitely not the most humble person in existence, yet I try my damndest. One need not be boastful about their accomplishments (I often am), but let their life and actions speak for them. I am indeed very little if I am mere talk with no actions behind me. Talk of one’s humility is extremely ironic, for often if one speaks of their humility, they are not such. I have many friends who are humble to a fault and do not like to be recognized in ANY fashion. I respect the hell out of them! It is not in my nature to do such; I try my best, but often fall short. I am well aware that I am not the smartest or most beautiful person that ever was or will be; I am neither a saint nor brilliant nor supermodel, but I am loved and that is good enough! I will attempt to practice humility as best I can… while still blogging J
“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world.
There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created
in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores
of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will
appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.” –Leo Buscaglia
This world is writhe with choices; kindness and love is a choice not unlike any other. Happiness and sadness both take the same amount of effort on our parts. I can choose to be grateful for what I have… or I can wallow in misery. I have reasons beyond belief to feel sorry for myself, but what good would that do? The past is behind me. I can place blame or I can take responsibility for my present actions. I cannot control the actions of others. Seriously… I can’t even control my cats! I have no power over what is said or done to me, but I can, indeed, choose how I interpret such things. I am indeed blessed to have people surrounding me who deeply love me, unconditionally. Those who do not know me judge me based on my history and appearance; it does not affect me unless I let it. Generally speaking, a kind word or a smile tends to soften such pre-conceived notions. It is relatively funny to see someone with a walker holding the door for someone with a wheelchair. If all you can manage is to tell someone you love them today; do it. The world could use it!
Let it be clearly known; I did not just suddenly become good. It has taken years! of extremely hard work to become who I am today. I have a horrible past, writhe with substance abuse, cheating, lying, things done to me, self-mutilation, serious eating disorders, disabilities, death, etc., etc. I am not my past. Yes, it affects me, but I had to realize; either I live in my past and wallow in misery or I learn from it and move on. I have spent enough of my life feeling sorry for myself; I know what it’s like to dwell amongst the weeds. I choose to live in the sun, with the flowers, today! There is no magic pill. Often, we seek out a quick fix for our problems. I can use alcohol and drugs and food and sex and love and psychotropics as a temporary solution, but it is just that; temporary and fleeting and I am thus left with myself, after all is said and done. It is not until I search within, am honest with myself and others, and do not hide and suppress my true being, that I find solace. If I am not doing well, I don’t hide it. These days, it is rare that I’m not. For example, one of my very dear friends passed away a month and a half ago; this was followed by 3 other friends dying and the anniversary of my father’s suicide all within one week. Needless to say, this took its toll. I did not, however, take these things to heart and use them as an excuse to feel sorry for myself; how I meet challenges is a choice…these things only stop me if I give them power over me. My attitude is more powerful than people and events in my life. I am not Superwoman, I have flaws; I am perfectly imperfect. Love yourself despite your past and your flaws and I challenge you to be patient and honest and kind to yourself and others!
I am fine! Life just got away from me; I have been busy adulting. I belong to an organization that requires MUCH of my time and effort, and have been writing for them; I simply haven’t had the energy to write for my own blog! As adults, we are often tasked with things which we don’t necessarily enjoy, but are the right thing to do. I am beyond fortunate; I enjoy EVERYTHING I do. Even cleaning cat poop is a joy for me; when you have a grateful heart, even the mundane becomes wonderful. Cleaning cat poop means my cats are healthy and I HAVE cats. Waking up super early means I got enough sleep the day before; attending things I’m supposed to and participating makes me a productive person and not because I HAVE TO but because I WANT to. These days, I only surround myself with and participate in things that bring joy to and enrich my life; I have spent much time simply going through the throes of life; working to make ends meet, having relationships and friendships expected of me (luckily, I have also had some WONDERFUL friendships built on love), and feeling deep shame for not being and doing that which I felt was expected of me. Today, I can truly that these are things of the past. I challenge all of you to break your chains and step out of your boxes; to truly enjoy your life and be grateful for what you do have, even if it is not much. There is absolutely plethora of things to be grateful for; simply pause and count your blessings 🙂
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” -Walt Whitman
No matter what you have faced, know that there is light beyond the dark. Everyone has events, people, and/or things in their past that effect their present; it is a choice as to whether or not these are used as motivation or if their used to feel sorry for oneself. Absolutely harrowing events are a fact of life; they happen to the best of us; no one is immune. Do not let your past keep you from embracing your present. It is never too late to be the person you never knew you could be! Settling is also a choice; the alternative is best. Choose love and life and happiness!
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home
My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead
This is quite possibly THE most depressing song ever; it was also one of my favorite songs as an adolescent. I considered the song poignant and a soundtrack to my adolescence. You know because as a teenager with a complete family and plenty of money, life was soooo awful. Apparently, I didn’t heed the warnings of others who had traveled similar paths. I was in love with sadness, the dark, and the macabre. I still love my heavy music, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t internalize the chaos. I printed the lyrics out for my deaf friends reading this. The video is below.
No amount of dwelling in the past, wishing for things to be different, or harboring resentments will change that which is. Everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today, and all in all, I love me today. I love my life today; yes there are things I have done, were done to me, or simply occurred in my past that I find wholly disagreeable; I would change nothing. These things only have power over me if I allow them. Today, I will not live in my past; it is April 17, 2018. It is not 20 years ago and I need not let past misdeeds effect my present. I have a horrible and destructive past, but I have forgiven myself; thank God for second chances and redemption. It is never too late to begin again; this requires taking responsibility for your actions and being blatantly honest with others. I am far from perfect; I am fortunate that people close to me love me despite my shortcomings. As someone with an awful past, who has rebuilt their life, I can say that I see the beauty and possibilities in others that have walked or currently follow a similar path. Events in the past cannot be changed; it is about the here and now. This moment; what can I do NOW? Not 10 years ago or even 5 minutes from now, but right now.
So often we complicate life and ignore things in their purest and most simple element. Laughter, happiness, the ability to physically function, freedom, air, etc. Simple things that are, indeed, largely taken for granted. As a handicapped woman living on her own, I highly value my freedom from bondage and respect simple things, such as owning a walker and handicapped bars. I also am enamored with the love I have in my life. It’s the simple things; we compound our lives with judgments surrounding appearances, gossip, and hate and fail to look beyond at the purity of what “it” actually is. I have found in my life that there is much joy in the simple things and much heartache in the complex. Putting one foot in front of the other and facing troubles and naysayers with bravery has become my “go to”. I am not brave by nature; this is a learned behavior I have cultivated primarily by being grateful for the simple joys and pleasures in my life. I have faced death, disability, multiple mental disorders, etc. in my past; if I did not remain optimistic and hold onto little joys, my head would surely explode. Love and happiness, these are the things I cling to these days; in the face of adversity, I have love and joy and no one can take that away from me. Life has ups and downs, twists and turns; with the good there is bad and with the bad good, but optimism can remain constant, despite. I have a health complication, with which I am currently dealing, but I also have tremendous love in my life; bad and good can simultaneously exist. It is vital that we break things down as basic as we can get them; a lifetime of judgements and layers compound our vantage points. Once upon a time, we were free this hate and condemnation that so often sways our judgments and controls our lives today. Hate of others and not forgiving past misdeeds are often poisoning to the soul and can eat at the psyche like a cancer. This includes not forgiving oneself and complicating life with “if only”. You can’t change the past and ruminating on it can drive you insane. It’s putting one foot in front of the other, facing obstacles with bravery, focusing on the simple things, and remaining optimistic.
My weekend was interesting for sure, but all in all very good. Sometimes a proverbial wrench gets thrown into the mix; things do not go as planned. Life is messy, but can be great when we accept “what is”; ignoring the flaws and foibles of our time. All and all, everything is pretty amazing, once viewed as a whole. Trust that I have not always thought this way. Over time, life has appeared increasingly optimistic and I have come to realize that the energy I unleash will thus be returned to me. It’s best to be kind and loving whenever possible and not take one’s self too seriously. I received news which I wish I hadn’t this weekend; it struck me as funny and absolutely ridiculous, although it was serious. Luckily, I had people I love to discuss the matter with, though not at length; simply mentioning it helped me tremendously. Existence, if viewed as such, is a comedy of errors rather than a veil of tears. On a regular basis, I deal with judgment, bad news, etc.; I have come to have a strong sense of self, however, and simply allow this negativity to bounce off of me. I am NOT Superwoman, was not born with an innate ability to withstand criticism, am not inherently strong. These are all LEARNED behaviors that ANYONE can have; I am NOT special. In the past I have been a criminal, a liar, a cheat, an active addict and alcoholic… amongst many other things too vast to mention. I have become the person I am today through hard work and acceptance of my situation(s) and acknowledgement of the imperfections of life. With all its twists and turns, it is definitely how you view it.