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.

Do Unto Others As They Do Unto You?

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I was watching tv about a year ago when I stumbled upon a rather comical scene in an old movie.  It caught not only my attention and ear but, it made me both chuckle and think at the same time.

“Do unto others as they do unto you,” a young boy said, practising what he thought was the way that statement was phrased from The Bible in “Life With Father”. 

Most of us know by now that the most common quote is a few words more than this.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Somehow though, this young boy’s twist on this famous Bible quote felt more appropriate given what I had been dealing with for the most part of my life and struck me into a thinking mode.

Not consciously, I had been living my life according to the Biblical version rather than this young boy’s interpretation.  I had been doing for others what I wish others would do for and with me.  That’s not the way that it had gone, unfortunately.  It was more akin to me giving and others taking.  It has never balanced out the way that one would think it should and likely never will so, this boy’s incorrect quote gave me pause to stop and think about the way that Life works.

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A short while later, I had flipped channels at the ending of the movie to find a comedy series, “The Middle” .  It’s one of those shows where you have to take a light-hearted view of The Heck Family and their antics but there’s oftentimes some pretty cute anecdotes written into the scripts that leave the viewer with a sense of hope in spite of the dysfunction that goes on within the created family and episodes.

Frankie (Francis) Heck, the mom played by Patrica Heaton of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame, had given up on trying to sell used cars and didn’t try.  That’s when she sold a car.  She preached and raved that the secret to everything was to “stop trying!”

Somehow, I had a feeling that the 2 ideas were connected in one way or another and were aiming their arrows straight at me.  After all, I had been trying hard to treat others the way that I would like to be treated and I had been trying far too hard.  Maybe, I had it all wrong?  Perhaps, I was supposed to stop trying and treat others as they treated me?  Was that the message?  Maybe, The Universe/God/Higher Powers were talking to me through comical characters and situations via a television screen?  Maybe, I need meds because I was thinking that Higher Consciousness would speak to me through a television?

It’s hard for me (and, I’m sure a lot of other people) to simply “stop trying” and “do unto others as they do unto you” but, there’s something in those 2 ideas that were sitting with a huge question mark in my stomach.  They still are.

What if we were to reasonably do all that we can do then, simply stop trying any further?  Is there a middle? (Pun intended).

What if we tried to treat others as we would want them to treat us but, if they didn’t, treat them the same way that they’d treated us?  Again, pun intended, the middle.

I tried them out in real Life.

There’s a crotchety neighbour (the same age as I am) whom I’ve done somersaults to help out for over the 30 plus years that I’ve know her.  She was nice as long as I was doing something for her but, the moment that I had a difference of opinion or couldn’t help her out, she’d turned on me in a nasty way instead of understanding that I simply disagreed with her viewpoint or couldn’t help her this one time.  She was the perfect person to try this theory out with because she fit the criteria of my having tried too hard and the fact that she’d never lived according to the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have do unto you.

As I sat out on the front porch with a tea, ready to simply breathe and relax a bit after a full day’s work, this neighbour came up the street and plopped herself down in the chair beside me on my porch uninvited but typically for her.  She began with her plethora of woes, tales of wrong-doings from others as well as demanding that I help her.

“Sorry, I can’t help you,” I answered nonchalantly.  “I don’t even know these people so, you’re going to have to deal with them this time, on your own.”

There was a stoney silence for a moment or two.  Actually, the break in her ramblings and rants was a bit refreshing. I wondered if it were possible to last.  I knew the answer though and thus, it began.

“You’re not going to help me?” she asked in astonishment and shock that I was refusing  to enter into her issues.

“No, sorry,” I responded to reaffirm what I had just said only a moment or so ago, recognizing that even though I would normally have tried, this time I couldn’t help her.  She went off into a rant and yelled both obscenities as well as personal insults.

Normally, this would have set me off into a state of upset and panic at possibly having done something wrong and re-visiting whether or not I could help her.  This time, as I was allowing my mind to run amok again, I suddenly heard Frankie Heck’s voice as well as that of the young boy from the movie.  Stop trying and do unto others as they do unto you.  A rage filled my inner being that threatened to erupt like a volcano, spewing its molten lava and ash but, I held back quite a bit.

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“Leave my front porch!” I stated, loudly and firmly while pointing to the sidewalk.

“WHAT?” she screeched.

“You heard me.  Leave now, please,” I retorted, still pointing to the sidewalk.

The shock on her facial expression and bodily language told me what she was feeling.  She was both shocked and outraged at the same time.  I could easily see that she had expected the same sort of reaction from me that she’d always had and didn’t like what she was getting this time.  She hurled a few explicative curse words at me before getting up and storming off the porch.  She continued more of them from the sidewalk and paced like a caged tiger, not knowing what else to do.

angry woman

Part of me wondered whether she truly thought that her behaviour and actions, if said loudly and long enough, would change my mind. The other part was oddly both calm and about to laugh.  It was as though I had a bad dream and was seeing the light of day in waking up as to how non-sensical it all had been.  She continued by adding untrue accusations at this point, said loudly enough for the entire neighbourhood and passerbys to hear easily.  I kept my cool and finished drinking my now, cold tea, something I would normally have offered to have made her but, didn’t this time.  I wasn’t going to make her feel at home while she unloaded both herself and her anger, uninvited on my front porch this time.  I wasn’t going to make it easy nor comfortable for her to abuse me as that’s what it boiled down to in all reality.

The yelling, pacing, cursing, swearing and accusation hurling went on for another several minutes.  I simply sat there, letting her carry on, figuring that she’d eventually burn herself out with not only things to say but, also open herself up to scrutiny from others through her own words and behaviour and, turned out that I was correct.  Not only did she eventually give up and leave entirely but, others had heard her and told me so a few hours to a few days later, asking me how and why I had put up with her all of these years.

It’s been nearly a year now since that episode and temper tantrum and I haven’t seen her except from a distance nor, has she bothered with me since.  My life has been much more peaceful ever since and there’s a few others in my life who are in need of a similar type of treatment.  Two things have stood out to me though.

  1. Do unto others as they do unto you after you’ve tried to treat them the way that you would like them to treat you.  If it’s not returned…treat them as they treat you.
  2. When you’ve tried with someone and can’t make a dent in things with them, stop trying.

From my little corner of life, I do believe that Higher Powers were talking to me through these characters on my television that day.  I may need meds to control that type of thinking but, do you know what?  It works!

Have yourself a great day.

Blessings….  love-and-light

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing A Blog Takes Courage And Restraint

kip-computer

You wouldn’t think it but, writing a blog on anything, takes one having courage, conviction and yes, a lot of restraint at times.

It doesn’t matter whether a blog writer is posting photos of their trips abroad, recipes, photos they’ve taken, personal opinions or they are writing about what is considered to be facts from news sources, there’s always going to be someone, somehow, somewhere who will be a Keyboard Dummy Warrior and write something to indicate their disapproval of whatever you’ve written or posted.

Of course, this is the internet where anyone can try to be whomever they wish to be thinking falsely that they have a lot of anonymity.  They also feel that they can say whatever they wish to utter or yell because they figure no one will see their faces or figure out who they really are.  Sometimes, those comments require a lot of restraint on the blogger’s part to not sink down to that person’s level of immature net usage.

There are days when comments come in that simply wreak of someone being both dishonest in who they really are, masked by fake names as well as simply wanting to stir up trouble because a blog post hasn’t agreed with their lines of thinking.

I attempt to be as thorough as I can be when I write a blog piece.  My research may entail news sources, other people’s accounts or stories, my own personal opinions or any combination of the above.  If my pieces are not accurate, it’s because there’s flaws in the reporting of publicly known pieces of information.  I don’t mind new sources bringing me corrections on that information and will amend what I have written to suit the new facts where and when needed.  However, I am not a news source.  Most of my pieces (except for personal experiences) are written from both my perspective and may include  facts from sources that I believe to be reputable.  I also check several sources before I write it as possible fact.  Anyone who pays any attention whatsoever to my pieces, also know that they are labelled as “Opinion” and tagged as such.

In keeping this shorter than my usual length pieces, let it be known that those who wish to comment with nasty comments or those who sign up under false names, we bloggers have something called a “dashboard” where your comments not only bring up email addresses but, if they are made up, we also have access to your IP addresses and a lot of other pieces of information that are easily traceable back to you should we need to take it further.  You aren’t quite as anonymous as you may believe that you are.

From my little corner of life, it takes a great deal of restraint to refrain from retorting back to some commenters in the manner that they have commented to me.  It’s taken years of writing this blog for me to see a comment that contains personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or simply ignorance and simply hit the “trash” button.  I will not post comments that contain foul language for others to read but, I will sometimes post comments that provide personal attacks if it proves my point.  Otherwise, personal attacks are considered nothing of importance to anyone who reads the comments and are not published…though I can think of one topic that I’ve written a couple of pieces on where it fits my blog post points well to publish them and I do.  Those who do this type of thing should keep that in mind before rushing to the keyboards on their computers, tablets or phones to comment.  You’re not as anonymous as you think you are.  You’re actually quite transparent.

Have a great day and read this piece on angry commenters because not only is it hilarious but, true.

Helping: Doorway to Heaven Or Hell

For most of my life, I’ve tumbled somersaults for other people and mothered, mothered and mothered them.  Why, I don’t know the answer to yet but, I do know that the only thing it’s done is to both open a doorway for people to use me as well as to shun me when they don’t want or need anything from me.

Case in point are a few stray family members who will leap bounds to call or to see me if I have something that they want and am offering to give it to them.  The rest of the time, I don’t hear from them or see them.

highway to helping or hell

I was recently concerned about one person in my life who seemed to be at the end of their rope.  I worried endlessly at their words, “I’m tired…I’ve had enough of life.”  Having lost most of my family to deaths, I was worried sick that this person was going to do something I consider stupid to themselves if I didn’t do something.  As usual, I stood on my head, got them what they wanted and needed and did everything in my power to help them through this rough spot.  The calls stopped.  As a matter of fact, all contact stopped.

Now panicked and living quite a distance away from them, making a drop-by not an easy task, I phoned and left messages with no return calls.  Then suddenly, a few days ago, I received a return call, rushed and while they were driving saying, “I got your message but, I forgot to call you back.”  (Think Exorcist with Regan’s 360 degree head-spin and spewing green pea soup upon my hearing that answer.)

“You forgot?!” I answered with surprise, anger and indignation.  “You FORGOT to call me back?  I must be the most forgettable person in the world then.”

“It’s just that I’ve been so busy,” was the beginning of that answer and, I went on to hear a plethora of things that this person had been doing.  Let me just say that they weren’t the writhing ball of tears that they had been only a couple of weeks before where I had concerned my every waking moment with the thoughts that this person might end their lives.  As a matter of fact, everything sounded not only better but, normal.

Most others would have been relieved at the sound of the answers.  Don’t get me wrong, I was relieved but there was a huge part of me that felt both angry and gullible at the same time as well.

I was angry that I had yet again, been taken in by my imagined worries about someone else.  My life had been plagued by worry and fear of losing someone else in my life and that I was gullible enough to have fallen for it all.

I’m sure that at the time, what was uttered from that person’s mouth was feeling real to them.  I’m sure that their spouse was being genuine in their plight at that time as well.  However, Life went on for them beyond my help, concern and worry.  They were in a hole at that point in time but, as most people can and will do for the most part, they had found their way back to equilibrium and were living their usual lives again.

Perhaps, what bothered me most was the fact that I had spent weeks of my own life and personal energy worrying, giving of my own time, energy, thought, deed etc. seemingly needlessly, when yet again, all would have gone back to it’s usual state anyway whether or not I had been involved.  My worry for was for naught and my actions were only appreciated at that moment, not beyond that point.  I was again, faded into the background of those people’s lives as is par for the course with most people.  I seem to be the only person who has not gotten that fact yet.

I’m not by any means advocating not helping other people here.  That’s not what I’m saying by a long shot.  What I am saying is that there’s a difference between helping someone and turning your own life upside down by turning somersaults for them to help or care about them.  There is a difference as I’ve come to learn.  What’s more, I’ve learned that people will take from you if you’re going to lay yourself down and let them walk all over your emotions and empathy.  It’s one thing to help someone else.  It’s another to make it your life’s mission to become their saviour.  There was only one Mother Theresa and even she was not as appreciated in Life as she should have been or, one would think she could have been treated for all that she did.

Today, I am removing my Habit.  I have gotten up off of the floor from this latest knock-down which seems to be a recurring theme in my life due to my own choices in Life.  Somewhere I had turned myself into the World’s Mother and I needn’t have done it because if there’s one thing that I’ve come to learn, people will look after themselves for the most part.  It’s up to us to look after ourselves too rather than everyone else.

Put yourself first.  Put your own oxygen mask on first and deal with your own needs before you go leaping in to help everyone else.

From my little corner of life, taking care of everyone else to excess is a recipe for disaster for yourself as well as the people you are doing this for especially, if it’s become a way of life for you to do. It can also become quite the let-down if you think it will endear people to you.  It doesn’t necessarily work that way especially, when done to excess or constantly.  All that it does it mark yourself as a target for those who will simply take from you.  Help but, do it in only as much as absolutely needed and even then, be sure that you’re really needed before you leap in with both feet to rescue others.  You may be enabling them, making yourself a doormat or opening yourself up to being used by others.  Be discerning with who you help and how much you help.  While helping is oftentimes needed and warranted, meter it out to the right people, in the right amounts and in the right way.  When you do take care of or help others, feel good about it within yourself first and foremost, not expecting others to truly appreciate what you’ve done or how much it took you to help them.  When done in abundance, they will have pegged you as their doormat.

Remember one thing….

Helping can be the doorway to Heaven or Hell, metaphorically speaking.

Blessings, Love and Light.

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.

If You Don’t Love Trump You Must Be A Liberal

 

You'realiberal

“If you don’t like Trump, you have to be a Liberal!”

It’s not quite clear what it is about American politics when you disagree that Trump is a god and the answer to all that ails Americans today.  Somehow, the retort is usually, “You LIBERALS….” as though being Liberal is a dirty word.  Perhaps to hard-core Republicans or Conservatives it is akin to being sub-human.  I don’t know one way or the other but, I’ve heard it often enough when I’ve been in conversations about the Trump Administration of late.

Fact is, I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican.  I take core values from both the Conservatives and the Liberals and see which ones fit my morals and needs most closely and choose from there.  There is no party that will get them all right in my world.  Yet, that statement about Trump saving America will come out of (more often than not) Republican’s mouths faster than a fly can gather around a garbage pile.

I don’t know if it’s a defence mechanism or a built-in set of family or internal rules that one must always be a Republican or a Democrat no matter what bull droppings are being spewed by either party but, it seems to be the case in at least this administration that if one doesn’t love Trump, one has to be a Democrat or heaven forbid, a “dirty Liberal”.

What if one is neither?  What if one simply doesn’t believe that whichever party is in office, is doing a great job?  Is there even room for that type of thinking?  Probably not.  Loyal Republicans don’t seem to believe that there should be for some odd reason or another and therefore, Democrats are always to blame for whatever ails the current Republican administration.  Is it true?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes, no but, whatever the circumstances may or may not be, a Republican will always resort to the age old utterance, “if you don’t like him, you’re a Liberal!”

I’m not an American so, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican.  I turn on CNN or Fox News to hear what’s going on.  Some days, I’m shaking my head in total disbelief at the soap opera that’s going on.  Even when I’m not watching a news station, Twitter is abuzz with arguments and fights over what a “great” job Trump is doing and how the U.S. is going to have a “big” gain or, what a joke he is to the presidency.  I see the division going on and it makes me wonder if perhaps, at least a portion of Republicans are attempting to defend what they know is an issue within the Trump administration?  I don’t know for certain but, the brain cells that seem to share the pundit’s chairs on news stations in favour of Trump and attempts at blaming the Democrats instead for Trump’s decisions and choices, are making huge statements about where their minds are going and why in spite of the fact that I am trying to listen to both sides of the debates happening.  It’s akin to watching a soap opera and, at times, actually quite comical.  It’s better reality television than reality shows.

Though I’m not American, it’s clear to see that what America does, will affect the country that I live in, one way or another as it will affect the rest of the world.  If that ship goes down, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, won’t make a particle’s worth of difference as everyone will be going down at the same time and in the same way.

From my little corner of life, when you’re drowning, it makes no difference in being saved if you’re yelling out, “you Liberal…it’s the Democrat’s fault,” or not.  You’re still going down.

Let’s hope that Republicans and Democrats can stop name-calling long enough to put their heads together and come up with proper decisions versus blaming one another with a political party’s name.

Heaven help the U.S. and the world.

Ahhh….forget it.  Just go watch Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) on YouTube, go vegan and pop some grapes and strawberries.  If you’re really down, we can always have some acai.  Meet you at YouTube.

grin and wink

That’s a JOKE people….laugh!