Don’t Forget

“All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!”
― Dr. Seuss

 

 

We need to remember. The number one person we need to like us – is us.

We are going to be alone in our own skin quite a lot, without a distraction.

Do you like yourself?

Do you have self-compassion?

Do you respect yourself?

Trust yourself?

Hold your boundaries (part of respecting yourself)?

Are you comfortable when you’re alone in your own head?

 

Last question: Are you uncomfortable when you’re alone in your own head?

If so, you probably have an addiction of some sort so that you can keep yourself distracted OR you are highly sensitive to the possibility of becoming an addict.

 

We need to like ourselves. If not, every other thing in life is quite pointless.

Because if you hate yourself, you most likely are not living and are not loving in a healthy manner.

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A FLAME’S PERSPECTIVE

I already commented on the Northern California fires. I told you some of what I felt and how I let it work for my good while I waited to see if the fires would reach me or not.

It also allowed me to do something else.

Change my opinion.

Or, rather, my perspective.

 

ONE

We are all equal when natural disasters look at us.

Hurricanes destroy the rich and the poor. Fires burn the athlete and the old in age with dementia. Earthquakes split highways regardless of whether there are black people or white people, Native Americans or Asians, navigating them.

A flame doesn’t look at someone, their life, their behaviors, decisions, bank account, yada, yada, yada. A flame doesn’t look at you. It burns you.

But natural disasters give you a lot of room to grow. Everyone knows we learn best from pain, whether it be emotional, physical, or a combination.

I heard about a man with fireman equipment at his home and was capable of keeping the fire away. Instead, he helped the people without vehicles that he could see wouldn’t be able to make it out of the fire’s path on their own.

A woman lost her entire house, counted herself amazingly blessed to have family in town to live with (keep in mind she still lost all of her and her family’s hard worked for belongings), and spent the rest of the fire helping mothers and their infants to whatever they needed from her shop in town, free of charge.

People, where I live who were untouched by the fire, took time to listen to people’s stories, grieve with them, spending time with them. We donated clothing and plushies, time and love.

 

 

TWO

I decided to stop seeing only my pain.

And start seeing, appreciating, and focusing on my joy.

It’s no secret, I have a lot of medical issues. I was recently diagnosed with a new one, one that proved more challenging than all my others, and equally intent on staying.

I’ve been focusing on how much I can’t do. How I can’t keep a full-time job. Ways I cannot help people in life.

After the fires – no, during the fires, I realized real solidly how negative that was.

So, I stopped. I’d already been working on it, but the fires really woke me up.

I can help.

I do work.

I care about people and I can find my callings in life. Just because I’m not physically able to do the jobs most people can doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It means I get to do some other things. We all have things we excel at. Time for me to find mine instead of ‘boo-hoeing’ on not excelling at what others do.

I can become who I am, joyfully. Validated by myself, my conscious, and my Higher Power.

Instead of looking at who I can’t be, all that I can’t do, and wringing my hands in despair.

 

 

THREE

Be actively grateful.

For me, there’s a difference between being grateful and really acting grateful.

To me, it’s the difference between two people.

The person who says they have so much to be grateful for (but typically only list off the same five or so and don’t really seem to feel what they’re saying) and then go right back to complaining about all the wrongs in their life. They don’t want to make changes. The focus on the bad things in their life and/or health.

Don’t get me wrong. We all have reasons. But that doesn’t make them excuses not to do what we can do.

Being positive, focusing on the good instead of only on what’s horribly wrong in life, is something we can all do.

The second person is someone who understands this. Recognizes their limitations and does what they can. And they do it well. They excel at it because they try. They aim to find what all they can do and enjoy doing it, while coping with the illnesses and pains they have in life. They find what is wrong in their world and if they can, they take steps to change it.

I want to become more like this second person.

I’ve been in a limbo in-between them for quite some time now. Not complaining but not really searching for the positive.

And so I have. Become positive. Grateful.

I can jog, write, read, play with my dog, communicate in meaningful ways with my family and friends because my legs work, I have the proper coordination, I’m not blind, not deaf, not mute. I’m not missing limbs. I’m not eating through a tube. I’m not in a hospital bed. I don’t have cancer, I live in a country with running hot water and refrigerators, ovens and laptops. I have a solid roof over my head and air conditioning and a heater. I have so much.

How often do I really count my blessings?

I heard this slam poetry kinda thing earlier this week and I loved it. The last thing the poet said really struck me.

“You are alive. Act like it.”

I don’t think we’re really acting like it if we have a ‘poor me’, ‘look at all this horrible stuff in my life’ attitude.

Look at all the beauty. The opportunities for change. Look at all the good.

The Fire I Let Burn Me

Face to face with:

  • My mortality.
  • I didn’t care if 1/3 of my stuff burned.
  • The unknown.

 

What occurred to me:

  • Fire is cleansing.
  • I’ve already taken suitcases, packed my life into bags, and lived in a 9x20ft. room with my entire family.
  • I was not frozen in fear.

 

What I did:

  • Packed my dog a bag.
  • Packed 10 bags/tubs for me.
  • Made a list of what to do if fire hit my town.

 

What went on inside, chronologically:

  • Fear.
  • I need a purpose.
  • I can and will survive no matter what happens. And not only that. We will be okay.

 

What fires?

Last week in Northern California fires broke out. Everywhere. Overnight.

People just miles from me were awoken by a neighbor pounding on their door, yelling for them to run. They walked out their front door and saw fire eating toward them. Grabbed their families, their pets, jumped in their vehicles, and did just that. Ran for their lives.

And lost everything.

There was a fire about ten miles in front of me. A fire twenty miles to my side. A fire fifty feet behind me. (those are my rough estimates)

I was waiting.

To see if my apartment would burn.

 

A funny thing happened.

 

 

I threw out old, huge paintings. I threw out clothes I never wear. I threw out clothes I loved but never wore because they were itchy or constricting. I threw out loads of books I no longer wanted to read again or that were lukewarm.

I decided I was tired of lukewarm.

I went through my entire room and got rid of things I never used. I got rid of one-third of my belongings.

And it felt good.

Scratch that.

It felt great.

I took everything off my walls.

I have a bag full of papers I’m going to burn (in a safe way, don’t freak out).

It was this insane burning inside me. This sudden, intense urge hit. But it didn’t just hit me. It ran through me. It brought me to life. It let me look at everything I owned and see it as a part of myself.

Some of me was cankering, old, dying. A piece of nature needing to be pruned. Weighing me down.

So I pruned.

 

I’ve changed.

In the past five years, since moving up here. I have changed. Insanely. Beautifully. Messily.

But my physical environment had not.

 

Somehow, I took the instant fear due to these fires, and let it almost just as instantly change into something purifying.

Something purposeful.

Creative.

 

I re-organized my entire room.

The place in the living room where I write. (my version of an office in an apartment where I share a room lol)

The wall next to me in the living room.

 

Let me tell you.

It feels good.

Genuine.

 

The point I’m trying to get across (mostly to myself, but hopefully, your eavesdropping can help you) …

I let it

Move

Through

Me.

 

I didn’t run from what I felt. Even though what I was feeling was quite scary.

I gave myself a purpose tied to what I was feeling.

I did not deny.

I did not ignore.

I did not justify.

I did not make excuses.

 

I felt.

I decided.

I did.

I created.

addendum

I AM

throwing out all

my masks

they no longer

fit

 

I AM

checking under

my bed

for all the

monsters

I’ve stored there

 

I AM

peering into the

hollows

behind my eyes

coaxing out

my soul

 

I AM

rewriting my

future

keeping the

pens to

myself

 

I AM

demolishing

the porcelain

walls

and painting

the air

black

 

I AM

coming home

to myself

nothing can

stop me

not even me

 

I AM

smoking out

the lies

untwisting

the truths

 

I AM

tired of pretending

so I’m not

anymore

 

by Daphne Shadows

 

We Have ALL Made a Terrible Mistake

We have made important things

Cliché

Trite

Corny

 

Even those of us who do nothing to create it

Laugh at the jokes

Discount the truth

Mock

Roll our eyes

Buy In

 

Real Love

Trust

Truth

Joy

Happiness

 

Important Abstractions

 

A child’s love for their parent

The misery created via tragedy

The seeking for something better

The pain everything can entail

The hope

Striving

Searching

Hurting

Finding

 

We’ve made a joke of it

All

Human Emotion

 

If it is genuine

I suppose

The world

Will

Mock

 

And what

Will

We

Do?

…..this time…..

today

right now

tomorrow

 

I mean wow

We’re low

We’ve even found a way (and not just A way but many ways) to make a joke out of sex – the most vulnerable, most alive, most real we can be with another human being, the truest form of love incarnate

A Joke