No One Has All of The Answers To Life’s Problems

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No One Has All Of The Answers. You know just as much as others.

Beware of those offering you the way to happiness, success and fulfilment via what one can consider a magic wand way of thinking, eating, behaving or rituals that they claim ensure that you’ll have Life in your pocket.  Life doesn’t work that way and what works for one, doesn’t work for another for we are all individuals with specific needs, wants and circumstances.  There’s no magic cure for all that ails mankind.  If there were, the world and everyone in it, wouldn’t have problems or they would be short-lived.

None of us walking this planet have the answers to Life’s issues, problems or the resulting emotional turmoil that we go through with each of these things.  Though Youtube and other sources are filled with sometimes, helpful tips and hints that make us temporarily feel better, the reality is, the Youtube makers don’t have their lives as put together as they would love their viewers to think.  Remember that there’s a camera, lights and action on an actor/actress in front of us.  As cheerful as that person may seem, it’s guaranteed that once that camera is turned off, there’s editing and, that actor/actress goes on with their less than perfect life in a way that you won’t see them talk about on camera, unless that’s what their vlogs are about to begin with.

There’s no short cut to having everything or being happy and certainly, none of us have everything and though we can all fake it for Youtube and even Facebook, no one has their lives all put together nor, themselves.  There is no magic to it so, anyone who portrays that they have it all together for themselves and tries to tell you that they do, are usually out to sell you on something, in some way.  That statement includes some of those that people on the net tend to look up to as well.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you cross paths with someone who tells you that they know how you should live your life.

  1. These people aren’t walking in your shoes or living your life.
  2. No one has it all together no matter how strongly convincing they may seem
  3. There is no One Size Fits All solution, magic or otherwise bullet or wand that works
  4. Eating or not eating a certain way isn’t the answer for everything
  5. Someone constantly telling others how to live their lives, are often those who are trying to convince themselves or make money off of you
  6. Religion and Spirituality can give hope but, they cannot or will not solve all of your problems.  You were given a brain of your own to use and a life in which to learn lessons…even if they are learned through pain and suffering
  7. No one knows it all in one area, let alone many so, when you hear someone telling you how to solve issues on many different topics, think twice and realize all of the above points
  8. What works for one person, doesn’t work for another, let alone everyone and every situation
  9. There’s no one walking this planet that has all of the answers to Life so, following them by the letter is a recipe for disaster for you.  Find your own ways
  10. Don’t try too hard.  Each of us have differing lots in Life to deal with.  While it’s desirable to seek out answers to our problems, sometimes we simply have no control over certain things and have to let them pass or seek out professionals in those areas to help us through them.  Ultimately, we have to do the work but, trying too hard, too much or worrying about whatever we’re facing, only leads us to being less happy.
  11. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.  Some of the happiest people on the planet, have little but, are happy anyway because they don’t know what they are missing.  Be a little less knowledgeable and being happy may be more simple.
  12. Learn what you can about your situation within reason but, don’t go crazy, trying to learn all that you can about everything going on in your life.  It only leads you towards anxiety, depression and realizing that what you do know, is only the tip of the iceberg about what else you don’t know about it.
  13. Knowing too much and continuing to search and seek out more and more information, keeps you focused on what your problem is until it becomes an obsession.  When you dwell on your problems, you’re actually keeping them with you and making yourself worse.
  14. Turn off electronic devices for a while each day.  Stop researching, reading and even texting your friends or family.  Get dirty and sort through piles of belongings, get together with those friends or call them and talk instead of texting or social media.  Social media can actually make you feel worse about yourself and your life because it’s not real.  It’s only what people want you to see or know.  Their real lives don’t look anything like the picture they’ve painted for you on their walls, Instagram, Twitter or other accounts.
  15. Be aware that Youtube video makers have a purpose for doing what they are doing. Not all are doing it for money but, the “greats” are out to make money off of you.  Even when their videos are free, they can and do make money by getting subscribers and likes. Every click a lot of these chronic Tubers get, converts to a monthly check/cheque being sent to them.  These people live off of your need to know something but, they may not always give out correct information or, they could be giving you information that hurts you versus helps you.  It’s only later that you figure that much out.  Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) is one of them.  Look at the sheer number of topics that he makes viewers believe he has the answers to.  He doesn’t.  He’s good at reading articles, books and studies.  Look at the sheer number of videos he puts out per week. He makes money off of your Youtube clicks that pay his bills so that he doesn’t have to work a real job.  He’s not an “expert” on anything, including psychology.  Beware!

Realize that Life is going to be fraught with uncomfortable situations.  No one is walking around this planet with pure happiness nor, does anyone have all of the answers to everything.  In today’s age, we have once again begun to look for magic wands, fountains of eternal happiness and answers to everything that ails our lives and us.  While there’s something to be said about trying to change our situations, remember that there are some things for which we have little to no control over.  Someone else, telling you that you do have complete control over everything if you’ll follow (fill in the blank), is full of proverbial dung.

At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.

Be Well, Love and Light.

Have a great day or evening.

 

About Worrying

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For most of my life, I’ve felt that being happy was:

  1. Impossible
  2. Only possible if everything was going great
  3. If everyone else around me was feeling great and doing well

I worried endlessly.  I still do.  I worry intensely and more often than not, unnecessarily about everything and everyone who is important to me and far more than most other people would worry about me.  I feel it’s somehow, my duty.  If you love or care about someone, you worry and you wonder, right?

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Or, I worry because I think it helps in some way for the following main reasons:

  1. If you worry, you’ll come up with a solution and be prepared to deal or cope with every possible scenario that could crop up within and outside of the situation at hand
  2. Worrying will keep problems away because of #1
  3. Not worrying means that we’re ignoring things we should be worrying about
  4. Being worried, anxious, depressed is a shorter fall than already being up in the air somewhere, happy…when troubles hit
  5. Besides #1 and #2, if we worry about something, we are “magically” (Magic Thinking in Cognitive Therapy) actually warding off negative happenings, events or such for ourselves and others we care about.

Reality is though, I’ve worried myself into a tizzy that I have had a hard time getting out of.  Once a pattern within us, we need to retrain our thinking into different patterns.  Sheer brute force of trying to stop ourselves from worrying, doesn’t help or work because it’s fairly ingrained in a lot of us, if not deeply ingrained especially, if we’ve begun to think of it as a coping mechanism or magic spell so to speak.

What is worry?

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Worry is the emotional and physical reactions (such as anxiety) created by dwelling on certain thoughts concerning perceived, imagined or real difficulties and problems.

Notice the term “dwelling on”.  It means constantly thinking about whatever issues you or someone close to you might be feeling or going through.  It can encompass everything from simple to complex issues but, the idea behind it is that we tend to linger, ruminate and even obsess endlessly about real or imagined problems, issues or imagined troubles that may or may not be the case.  In turn, our thoughts produce a physiological response similar to those who are facing real and imminent or immediate dangers.  Our bodies react with all sorts of the same bodily and brain chemicals as it would were we to be faced with a real crisis situation that is either of utmost importance or, life and death.  Picture a tiger attacking us or about to.  We react with the same types of physiological responses.

Does Worry Help In All Reality?

Worrying is one of the most useless emotions we could have.  While I know that it may sound counter-intuitive right now, “aren’t we thinking about the problem and that’s a good thing?” and, I still have my own work to do within myself as I’m still chewing my nails down to the quicks, shivering and shaking through my imagined crises often enough, the answer is a simple, NO…it’s not helpful in any way.  As a matter of fact, it’s destructive in many ways to us and the situation.

Why Is Worry Not Helpful?

Worrying is an emotional response to a thought or set of thinking.  It is not a solution.  It’s a reaction within our bodies to a constant plaguing thought or set of thoughts and renders us (eventually, given enough worry) as ineffective.  We freeze up when we are over-burdened with fear and its chemicals.  Our bodies begin to react with adrenalin and other chemicals while we shake, shiver, don’t feel like eating and our blood rushes to our limbs, not our brains where we should have the blood flow to solve the issues wherever we can.  In other words, it detracts from our ability to think straight, clearly and rationally.  Instead, we are simply “reacting” within our bodies but, doing no good anywhere.  In effect, all of those fear chemicals, when kept at a higher level through worrying, actually do our bodies harm.  Our blood pressure rises, we sweat, cry, feel nauseous, head to the washroom often and all of the other responses that we get with fear and anxiety.  Over time, a pattern of constant anxiousness can lead to a true disorder where some people can’t move forward and others are so distraught that they can’t even leave their houses and beds.  Done long enough, it can turn to depressive thinking and depression.  In short, nothing gets resolved and we only hurt ourselves in many ways.  Even relationships dissolve over a chronic worrier who has gotten to the point where they drag others down with them and their worrying, anxiety and even depression.  The point of this piece though is not to have you worrying about worrying so, bear with me as we go through this further.

Worrying Begins With Thoughts

We all have doom and gloom thoughts.  Our imaginations are marvellous portions of our brains.  It can conjure up whatever we wish it to create for us.  Some of us chronic worriers could match Stephen King and surpass his knack for the macabre. We’d likely make money at it if we were to put it onto paper or the big screen like King does.  It’s amazing what worriers can do with simple thoughts by blowing them out of proportion and taking them down avenues on tangents.  In other words, one thought leads to another and another until we’ve worked ourselves into a tizzy, needlessly and may I add, fruitlessly.

My cat, whom I love dearly, is diabetic.  I’d give her insulin shots twice a day.  This wasn’t my first time as I had a previous diabetic cat whom I’d do the same for and not even think about it beyond the initial learning curve on how to give him his shots.  After awhile, it became routine and the vets worried about the rest so to speak.

With this cat, I figured, “oh yeah, I’ve been there before.  I did it then and I can do it again.”

Stupidly, I decided to look up feline diabetes on the net since it had been over 10 years since my previous cat and I’d forgotten a lot of things.  Big mistake.  There are a lot of sites on the net and a lot written on the topic but, there’s only a few sites that hold any real merit and accurate information about treating it.  Instead of simply giving the shots as directed like I once did with the other beloved cat, I delved into a site that not only held days and days worth of reading but, also a member’s board and proclamations that by following their “protocol” (based on a small study done on a handful of diabetic cats by a doctor who was a scientist, not a vet), people were dosing their cats and testing their blood glucose levels with human home meters, claiming that they could revert a diabetic cat by following this method.  Off I went for over a year with this site.

I bought a home meter and I tested the poor dear’s ears until they were raw (yes, cats are tested with a small blood sample from the marginal vein of the ear).  I drove her nuts and myself with spread sheets the site had electronically stored online with your profile and I literally became obsessed with every single number I got.  When things weren’t going the way that I had read they should go, I felt like a failure and more than that, I panicked that I was doing more harm than good.  I imagined myself a failure as a caregiver and I’d drive our poor vet out of his mind, phoning him several times a week to ask what to do with this number or that number.  I wasn’t sleeping anymore.  I was up all night, watching the poor cat, testing, worrying fretting and literally, wouldn’t leave the house for more than a couple of hours at best in case her glucose dropped to a hypoglycaemic number.  In short, I was obsessed and a mess.

“She could die, you know!” I’d exclaim to my husband who was now both fed up and tired of being in the house all of the time with me as a basket case, overwhelmed to the point of being dysfunctional.  I was no longer thinking rationally anymore but, I had taken this to realms of worry to the point where most cat lovers and pet caregivers would have had me committed to a mental institution.

It wasn’t until the poor cat hit a crisis point where she wasn’t eating for 24 hours and I had her self-diagnosed with what’s called Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver that cats get when they don’t eat) ketosis (an abundance of ketones that become acidic and can kill the pet or person), stomach and bowel cancers, as well as a whole host of other diseases that meant certain death almost immediately.  It was when I insisted that we take her to her vet with those thoughts running amok and had me shaking like a leaf, paralyzed with fear and not knowing what to do that her regular vet took one look at me and said, “I’m more concerned about you than I am about her.  She’s fine,” that I realized that I was going to slowly kill myself if I didn’t stop this insanity.  It was my own thoughts and more than a bit too much reading on the net (consider it obsessive reading and site involvement) that had led me to this state of worry, fear, anxiety, panic and cleaned our wallets dry when I hadn’t really left the house for more than an hour or two here and there.  I had hovered over her incessantly and wasn’t living my own life nor, letting her or my poor patient husband live theirs.  That’s when I had her put into a 24 hour vet clinic and simply said, “straighten her out”.  Several thousand dollars that we didn’t have later, she was much better and I felt much better, knowing professionals were taking care of her 24/7 with all of their knowledge and technology.  In all reality, they didn’t do much for her except wait it out and watch her, giving her some fluids and something I could have given her at home.  Actually, having had a 4 day rest from all of the caregiving, getting some sleep and food finally, I didn’t want her to come home at that point and had even briefly considered re-homing her for someone else to take care of.

The moral of this story is that for all of my worrying, fretting, obsessive hovering. For all of my shaking, sleep deprivation, fear, anxiety and panic, I had not only not helped her but, I’d harmed her, myself, my husband and my relationship with him and her as well as not wanting to be me.  All of that worry did nothing for anyone that was good. Most of all, it began with wanting knowledge and thinking which turned to obsession and fear, worry and paralyzation through the worry and panicking.  More than anything, none of us were “well” and I was only going deeper into obsession. It had turned us into dysfunction and our cat’s diabetes wasn’t the only thing I had been worrying about at the time either.  As is my pattern, I’d also taken on everyone else’s problems, cat health issues and everything else you can imagine.  Once the snow ball starts down the hill, it only becomes bigger as it goes down, threatening to crush you in its path and, it does.

Great, So How Do I STOP Worrying Before I Become A Psychiatric Patient?

Worrying is a pattern of thinking that is learned.  It has its roots in feeling a lack of control and trying to gain control where none or little can be had no matter what you do or don’t do.  Worrying gives us illusions that….

  1. We have control where we don’t really have it
  2. We have control over things that we have imagined that are likely not the case or, if they are, we likely can’t control no matter what we do or don’t do
  3. It attempts to foresee the problems that may be there or are and goes beyond that level by imagining other scenarios and trying to solve them before they happen or get worse
  4. It causes our imaginations to put 2 and 2 together to arrive at 5, 7, 9, 10, 21 and the list goes on
  5. It creates a pathway within our brains where neurochemicals are emitted into our bodies that lead us to paralyzation, not proper or fitting action and reactions that we think or feel is doing good when it’s doing harm in many ways
  6. We can foresee every possible scenario that might or could crop up, well into the future and a method or plan on dealing with it
  7. Somehow, magically, we are warding off what we consider the “bad thing” from happening because we’re on the ball
  8. We once worried about something and it never came to pass therefore, worrying is a preventative measure and can stop the ills of the world or, at the least, our own lives
  9. Worrying doesn’t let us miss anything so we’re more effective
  10. We’ll somehow come up with a solution to everything and everyone else’s issues.  The God Complex so to speak.

Worrying about something does NONE of these things.  It’s not a magic cure nor will it prevent anything from happening or not happening.  It doesn’t have that kind of control because we don’t have that kind of control.

Life is filled with uncertainty and it’s learning to live like everyone else does, with that uncertainty while doing our best about what we can do something about but, leaving it as it’s out of our hands once we’ve done that much.

We cannot foresee every possible outcome, issue or problem and come up with a solution for it.  As a matter of fact, most of what we worry about either never comes to pass or if it does, not in the manner that we dreamed up during our worrying so, those imagined solutions to imaginary problems were, in fact, useless.  There are just far too many variables that can come into play for us to be able to foresee and plan for even should it happen.

A worn out person, mind and body through worrying ourselves into a state of panic, can’t handle anything well, let alone what may or may not be coming our way.  We are less prepared to deal with anything when we get to this state of being.  In effect, we can become ineffectual and there’s only so long that our bodies and brains can handle being in that constant state of upset and fear.

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Here’s A Few Tips

  • Stay calm and keep busy with other things especially, things we enjoy doing.
  • Recognize and drill into your mind daily that we aren’t omnipotent and can’t control everything no matter how badly we want to stop “bad things” from happening
  • Set aside time to talk out your worries, fears and anxieties over your imagined scenarios.  It can be a good friend, a partner, spouse, writing them into a journal or, seeking out professional help to get this worrying habit more into perspective
  • Give yourself a “Worry Time” where you allot yourself perhaps, 20 minutes once or twice a day to worry.  Either ask someone to be your worry board to bounce it out of your brain or what most people do is to journal it into a dollar store notebook.
  • At the end of your Worry Time, close the book or talk to your worry buddy about other things that please you or make a cup of tea or eat a yummy snack that you like….reward yourself in a pleasant way that you’ve closed that door or book cover on your worries
  • Don’t allow yourself to worry about anything in between.  Tell yourself “STOP…that’s for later” and save it for your Worry Time.  If your mind wants to worry, your mind isn’t busy enough.  Get busy even if it’s to watch tv with something you enjoy (not news unless it’s a topic that you are truly interested in..news is all doom and gloom because the good stuff doesn’t buy airtime yet, there’s plenty of good in the world that we never get to hear).  Bake a cake, fix your car, build a wall shelving unit, paint, sew, watch a ball game…anything that you enjoy that keeps your mind occupied in a constructive and distracting way.
  • My favourite is to get outdoors and into nature even when it’s bitter cold. Watch the birds, the clouds or go to a friend’s house for coffee or a juice or tea or whatever your favourite is.  For me, birds have a cute nature and they say that one can’t be negative when looking up.  Look up.
  • Live in the moment and what you’re doing but, when the moment is not pleasant, distract your mind towards a time in your life when things were great, happy and constructive or relaxing.  If you can’t do that, think of a movie or television program where there was happiness, comedy or whatever makes you feel better
  • If you can, tire yourself out by getting physically active.  Take a walk, lift weights, put on an exercise video, vacuum, go to the gym (company and exercise), turn on music and dance (two things at once…enjoyment and exercise).  Do whatever you enjoy doing.
  • When and if you can, remove yourself from the places that feel negative to you.  If you have a rotten neighbour who loves to come lean on your shoulder and makes you feel worse, make up an excuse or tell them, “not today, sorry”.  Even if you can only do so for a bit of time, try to get to a physical space that allows you to feel safe and calm for even a tiny bit of time
  • Face your fears head-on.  That worst case scenario that you have running through your mind may or may not occur but, only by facing it and dealing with whatever you need to deal with, can you get rid of that worrying.  The sooner, the better.  It’s usually the unknown and uncertainty that has us stuck, obsessed in thoughts and thinking about it.  Don’t avoid facing a situation if it’s going to happen.  Face it and deal with it the best way you can figure out at that moment, given the circumstances.  Even if it’s uncomfortable, there’s nothing as bad as our minds portray it to be.  We are in more torture by imagining the worst case scenario than we are when or if we actually have to deal with it.
  • You’re already imagining the worst case scenario more than likely.  Gather your thoughts about that scene.  What can you do about it and what can’t you do about?  Decide on a plan of action with a few simple steps that you can take and realize what you can’t do anything about, leaving it behind in the dust.  If it’s not yours to deal with, you have to leave it up to others to deal with while you do other things whether you like their choices or you don’t.  If you can do something and it is your responsibility to deal with something, come up with a few key ways to deal with the situation then, leave it be.  Let it go.  Worrying about it won’t solve it.  Only action will deal with it or solve it.  Think about ways to do something about it but, end it at thinking (which doesn’t involve emotional reactions) and end it once you have a plan.  Then, move on to other things in Life.  There’s always something to move on towards.

Remember this portion of a poem you’ll likely recognize:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change those things I can

Wisdom to know the difference

We all face things that we don’t want to have to face.

We all have problems as no one is without them in this Life.

None of us are alone in this world no matter how isolated we’ve allowed ourselves to become or are have been made to be.

There’s always an answer to everything even if we have to go through the emotional or physical pain it causes.  We may not be able to have any control over the situation.  That may be out of our hands no matter what we do or don’t do.  It may be in other’s hands or even simply whatever you wish to call it, Fate, The Universe, God, Higher Powers or whatever.  The reality is, this too shall pass.  Even Death as a worst case scenario may or may not be able to be stopped but, is it really so bad or might it eventually feel like a blessing for us or for those we love and care about?  In spite of grief if we are left behind, Life goes on somehow.  We find ways for it to do so eventually.  Worrying about dying is not going to prevent it.  Thinking about ways to stay safe can help so think about it but, don’t DWELL on it.  We’re all going to die.  No one gets out of Life, alive.

One woman once told me as I was fretting, stewing, brewing, fearing, worrying and feeling dreadful about a possible outcome of surgery, risks of anesthesia and dying,

“What are you worried about,” she asked nonchalantly.  “If you die, you’re either going some place beautiful with peace and joy and no pain but, love and happiness or….there’s nothing….and, you won’t know the difference.”

Right there, she had the worst case scenario and she ran past it with both the best case and worst case outcomes and honestly, I didn’t see either as being bad.  Both were fine.

From my little corner of life, worrying is a wasted energy and one to be dealt with.  We will all worry about something or many things.  The trick is to minimize it as quickly as possible and recognize that it only harms us, others and the situation.  Life is filled with uncertainties but, it’s meant to be lived with as much quality as we can.  Worrying only detracts from that ability.

Be well.  Love and Light to you.

Have a great day or evening.

When Do I Get To Have Fun?

Young man sitting on edge of bed, looking out patio doors, side view

Thinking About Having Fun 

I woke up this morning and the first question or thought that hit me was, “when do I get to have fun?”

It may sound strange to ask oneself such a question when we are really in control of things like that.  Yes, we all have responsibilities and some of them are all consuming with our time and energy.  Sometimes, those tasks are more energy draining than we have internal strength, time or power to overcome.  I was no exception to that rule throughout my life.  I was a caregiver for more than I care to think about and, they kept me occupied for a good chunk of my life.

From a young age, I took over a mothering role with my youngest brother when he was born.  My mother became an alcoholic and I had to grow up fast, much faster than what I had ever wanted to, intended on or should have had to have to have done.

My father had a heart attack at 39 years of age and his health also became a concern with a great fear of losing him to yet another attack.  In those days, the reality was that there wasn’t as much that could be done for a heart patient as there are now.  While most parents would have tried to have sheltered their children from the harsh realities of death and illnesses to some degree or another, my mother and her family’s drinking patterns weren’t exactly ones of nurturing children, let alone sheltering.  As a matter of fact, it was an environment that threw us into survival mode and left my brother closest in age to me and myself, as parents to our parents and a much younger brother.

Throughout my life, I became chief caregiver and bottle washer for many family members on both my family and my husband’s family as they all eventually, one by one,  became ill or aged and died.  I have buried more people and pets than I can count and more recently, my own daughter had decided to move out with a drug-riddled jerk who has a narcissistic personality disorder.  She stopped seeing, talking or communicating with us in spite of my efforts towards trying to get her to work things out with us.

I don’t begrudge any of those things because I personally believe that it’s made me a much stronger person because of it all.  I have learned more about what’s inside of me than what I knew existed within me.  I found a sense of power that could be brought out when needed while at the same time, I had weakened in other ways.  Long-termed stress can do a number on one’s mind and body.  It’s been a double edged sword but, not as bad as some people on this planet have had to face.  I won’t complain.

Perhaps, it was a dream that I was having that awakened me with this question?  I have no idea but, I do know that it’s a valid question that only I can answer and do something about.

There’s no one left to care give for other than my husband and our pets.  Even our grown and adult daughter is no longer part of our lives and therefore, I have no obligations towards her in any way.  My husband is now retired.  We are living on a fixed income but we had the foresight to put away some savings towards our future.  Of course, we don’t know if it will be enough and we have to be careful but, I do know that it can allow us some room to relax a bit as long as we’re careful about what we spend.  We are not living hand-to-mouth at the moment but, there’s little left for frivolities.  Still, there is space for at least a comfortable living if we’re careful with our savings and pension.

The real hindrance is ourselves and our overly cautious and responsible natures.  My husband is worse than I am in that arena.  He is more afraid of changes than I am as the only constant in my life has been learning to adapt to and deal with changes.  While I have been far more willing to make changes, my husband remains with his feet stuck in the mud of routines.

What I have thought about throughout the day today is that I am the only one who can create situations for fun.  Everyone is tasked with that ability to make choices.  It’s up to each of us to make decisions which can lead us towards new adventures and fun or to stay mired in routine and simply move from one crisis to another, breathing in between and hoping for peace.  Maybe that’s what most people hope for and I am expecting too much?  However, having lived a life that was filled with responsibility from a far too young age, I am ready for fun.  I’m ready for changes in routines and I’m willing to make changes.  Now, to convince my husband whom I’ve been with since I was 16 years of age. I have no wish to leave him behind at this point in my life no matter what but, I am not willing to remain the same for the rest of our lives having lost so many people I was close to throughout my life.

I’m sure that over the next few weeks, I will come up with a list of things that I wish to do.  I’ve never given myself that opportunity to think of what it is that I wish to do with my life but, I suppose that most of us are running on auto-pilot and simply doing what we need to do versus what we want to do.  For some, that will include and be focused solely on survival so, I can’t complain in all reality.

What is the purpose of this piece beyond me whining, you may be asking yourself right now.

The purpose is to say that fun is important.  Whether we are laughing for a short period of time with others or, walking beaches with warm sand and water running between our toes, or a lounging evening in front of a good movie on the television set, fun is an important part of both our mental and physical health.  It’s an element of us that needs to be considered fully as part of our healthcare regime and darn it…I am going to find a way to put more of it into my life now that I’ve done enough for everyone else for most of my life.

From my little corner of life to yours, may you make the time to laugh, be silly and have fun.  It’s important.  It’s also something that shouldn’t be put off because none of us know what tomorrow brings.

Be well, stay well, blessings, Love and Light as I have found the answer to my question by simply writing this piece.

THE TIME IS NOW!  Have fun.

Serenity In Life

serenity

Life and living it have a way of teaching us all lessons.  Some are not what we want to learn but rather what we need to learn.  Not all of Life is under our control just as most other people are not under our control.  That’s a hard lesson to learn but one that needs to be remembered by many of us at all times.

There’s an old poem, The Serenity Prayer that possibly says it all as concisely and nicely as anything or anyone can say it.

Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change those things I can,

And, Wisdom to know the difference.  

Not everything we do in a day, week, month year or even our entire lives will be serene.  Serenity does not come from outside of ourselves but rather, from within.

We won’t always like what happens in our lives.  There will be times when we’re feeling like our world is crumbling down around us.  For the most part, it’s learning that there are things that we can do something about and other things which are beyond our control while knowing the difference which is what gives us that much needed serenity.

If we have done all that we can do then, we have no regrets.  Having no regrets brings us a sense of serenity, even when all else around us is breaking down.

When we recognize that there are things that are not under our control and can let go of those things and move onto things that are within our control, we have the serenity of knowing that it was never ours to deal with in the first place and, whatever happens, was going to happen…good or bad.  Again, no regrets.

  • Nothing remains the same as everything is constantly changing.
  • The only constant in life is change
  • This too shall pass

It’s hard wired into us as human beings to want to do all that we can to solve crises that happen in our lives.  None of us will get through Life without some form of it or another. It’s also in our nature to want to do something about everything we can unless of course, we are emotionally lacking EQ (Emotional Quotient) or have a form of inability to care about things in our lives.  That’s rare.  Most of us want to solve our issues now and when we can’t, we pray, hope, wish, keep good luck charms or even run away from those issues rather than face them and figure out how to deal appropriately with them.  The one thing that we all know is that eventually, no matter what is troubling us, it will pass as nothing remains the same forever.

Key Questions To Ask Yourself: 

  1. Is this situation really something that I can do something about?
  2. What can I do?
  3. What have I already tried to do about it?
  4. Did anything work to change it?
  5. How can I move onwards?

If you answered questions 1 to 4, it means that you’ve already tried.  At the least, you have thought about what you have done or could do.

If you answered question 4 with a “nothing I’ve done has worked to change it”, it’s likely that it isn’t yours to do anything about and whatever happens, will happen.  It also means that it’s time to move onto question 5 and figure out how to move onwards while the situation(s) evolve or devolve into the way that they’re going to go.

How To Move Onwards

  1. Recognize that you’ve done all that you can and there’s nothing left for you to try.  Key to this point is remembering that continuing to do the same things and expecting a different outcome is the definition of either obsession or insanity.
  2. Offer the situation up to either a Higher Power such as “The Universe” and leave it there or, if you don’t believe in anything higher than us, recognize that you are limited in your ability to solve it.  That’s key.
  3. Though you may not want to or it may hurt, moving away from the person or situation may be your only choice.  It’s not easy and it doesn’t always mean a geographical move but, rather one of emotionally distancing yourself from the person or situation.
  4. Get busy!  Find other things that you can do something about.  We all have many things in our lives that we can find to occupy not only our time but, also our thoughts.  Doing laundry, getting out with friends, joining a group or club of others with like-minded interests, listening to music, journalling our thoughts, volunteering for those who need help, taking up a hobby of your interest, working out, getting away on a vacation, changing jobs if possible, leaving work at work, moving stations if possible at work to get away from the person causing you the issues, talking your feelings out with a loved one or good friend…even a certified counsellor, just do something else that takes you away from the person(s) or situations that are bothering you helps.  Remember that a mental break from it is equally helpful as it is to move away physically.
  5. Staying in the “now” is overrated with some things.  During times of great stress or upset, staying focused on the negative happening in your life is not helpful.  Distract yourself during those times by doing things you love, or by enjoying a cup of tea, coffee, warm milk, or whatever it is that you like.  Taking a walk, or observing other things that appear normal to you, will help.
  6. No matter how badly you feel at the time, things will change and it will pass.  Remembering that will oftentimes get us through our roughest times.  Time is a wonderful healer and getting away even mentally can help us pass the time until things change if there’s nothing left for us to do to change it.
  7. Get away from people who are abusive.  You’re likely not going to change the abusive person unless they express the wish to change.  Even then, unless they are seeking out professional help or showing great attempts and making progress at changing, they’re not likely to become someone or something you’re going to want or will be helpful in your life.  Extricating yourself or even spending less and less time with them, is helpful.  The more you concentrate on doing things with people who are more positive, the more you are going to feel positive.  That attitude might be all it takes for you to finally realize that you’re worth more than what this person is handing you and you’ll move onto others who will give you what you need and deserve more fully.
  8. Grieving the loss of ability to change things or people only lasts for so long before one becomes tired of waiting around for change to happen.  If you can make other choices, make them.  Don’t just sit and wait around for change to happen.  Get on with your life and interests, needs, wants and doing what you can for yourself that can help you through the grief.  Grief ends at some point or another.  At the least, it lessens in intensity which allows you to move forward again.  Take that step and move forward.
  9. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  It takes putting one foot in front of the other and taking one small step at a time before we realize that we’re miles away from where we were to begin with.  That’s forward movement.  Whether you are one step or several thousand away from where you first began, you are moving in the right direction as long as you are moving forward.
  10. Never down-play yourself to yourself or anyone else.  You are worthy of being here and being happy just as much as everyone else is.  You are no more and no less than anyone else.  You deserve to be happy.  Take aim at happiness and move towards it while letting things go that you can’t do anything about.

 

Last but, not least, think about the fact that we have power over only so much in our lives.  No matter what else, we have the power of free will or choice.  Make the choices that are propelling you towards things that are good, healthy and joy inducing versus staying put, banging your head against a wall in trying to change what was never yours to change in the first place.  If you’ve done all that you can think of doing or if it’s someone else’s responsibility…drop it and move on.  No regrets.

From my little corner of life, serenity comes from knowing when to stop trying to change something you cannot change and learning to recognize the difference.

 

David Blaine’s Stunts/Illusions Need Clarification As To Real Or Illusion

Illusionist David Blaine's stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

Illusionist David Blaine’s stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

We all know that Magician/Illusionist, David Blaine is both a genius and a total obsessive compulsive freak with his illusions.  The man has gone to no ends to figure out how to perform wildly different versions of old magic tricks.  There is no refuting that point.

We also know that Blaine has gone to extraordinary lengths to get himself in shape to do his stunts.  Some of them have been pure mental and physical training where he’s put himself in great health danger but, for the most part, Blaine’s illusions are more the result of lengthy, oftentimes a decade or more, of re-creating newer and more exciting versions or spins on old magic tricks done by many before him.

One stunt stands out in mind as perhaps, one that is a combination of disgusting as well as worrisome.

In Blaine’s television special which aired back in November of last year, entitled “Real Or Magic” Blaine proceeds to seemingly and realistically, put an ice pick through his hand on a couple of occasions, in front of celebrities.  He also seemingly sticks a metal skewer through his arm in the bicep area and has someone else pull it back out for him. No blood, no pain on his face (except for his smirky, quirky grin), he pushes both the pic and the metal skewer through both his arm and his hand on separate occasions.

Watch actor, Ricky Gervais’ reaction when Blaine sticks the skewer through his arm at the bicep.   Note: if you’re faint of heart or squeemish, you may not want to watch this one.  

A fantastic and magical endeavor but, one in which it has an ethical dilemma that it leaves behind for younger people.

Blaine leaves in doubt whether this is an illusion or whether he’s simply a total freak or to use his word, a “maniac”.

While there are people throughout the world who have meditated and can do this type of thing in reality, Blaine has had people talking about this on boards all over the net. Most people don’t know how it’s done but, know enough that sticking something like an ice pick or a metal skewer through parts of their bodies, isn’t something that anyone should do.  However, there are younger people and even older people who are curious enough to want to try this.

A lot of people are under the assumption that Blaine is actually sticking these objects through his body parts and Blaine has done nothing to uncover the reality behind this illusion.  He leaves it to the imagination as to whether he is really doing this or it is an extremely well done take on a very old illusion.  It is also leaving behind, people who will inevitably, sit in their own livingrooms, bathrooms or bedrooms, sticking needles through their hands and biceps, figuring it is real.  Afterall, Blaine has bragged about his “training” for other stunts.

There have been several explanations for Blaine possibly really doing this illusion.

Some have hypothesized that Blaine studies with swamis and mentally prepared himself for pain and to control bleeding.  Others have thought that Blaine may have had tubes, surgically implanted in these body parts to pass the pick or the skewer through with the skin having become scar tissue over both sides.  Still others, have hypothesized that Blaine had spent years of sticking needles through exact spots in his hand and arm, working his way up to a thicker gauged instrument.

No matter what hypothesis one can come up with, this is dangerous to go on believing that Blaine has done this in reality.  It is a trick…an illusion that many before him have done.  It’s simply a far more clever variation than what has been done before.  That is what took Blaine the 13 years that he claims it took him to prepare to do this illusion.

One of the best known versions of this came back in the 80’s when actor and amateur-comedien magician, Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame did his stunt in front of audiences.  Again, if you are squeemish or faint of heart, you may want to by-pass watching that video but, know that it IS a trick.  Anderson is really not sticking anything through his body.

Anything dangerous that is an illusion, shouldn’t be left to the imagination that it’s possibly “real”.  It not only allows for imaginations to run wild in those who have more guts than brains but, it opens doors for kids to get themselves into serious problems. One can only hope that Blaine will come out and tell his fans that this IS an illusion and not to try this as a real event.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life but in the meanwhile, let’s lighten this entry up with a parody on David Blaine’s Street Magic.