Stream of Consciousness

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.

Stream of Consciousness

Are You Sorry?

“Sorry”

I hear that a lot.

For about the past five or so years, I’ve grown rather bitter towards this word.

Sorry is defined as meaning, “feeling distress, esp. through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune”, according to Google Define.  “Feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence; mournful, sad”, according to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary.

 

THIS is how it’s used when I hear it:

Oh, no, you caught me/called me on my crap, so I’m sorry, I’m going to respond with extreme outrage and deny everything, or wither into a pool of self pity and whine about how I’m trying so hard and no one understands how hard life is on me. I promise I won’t let you catch me again/I’ll come up with a better lie/excuse next time.

And then they do it again. And again. And again. And say sorry. Again, like it means something.

And for those who say they’re trying ‘so hard’ – how are you trying if you’re doing the same thing over and over again the exact same way, wanting the exact same thing, and knowing you’ll get away with it just exactly like the last times – and with the intention and full knowing that you’ll do it again? You’re not trying. You’re making an excuse so that those outside of the situation think you’re trying (and if the person you’re apologizing too then doesn’t accept your apology, they’re the one looking as if in the wrong) and you can continue to NOT try to do anything to right the wrong you’re continuing to do.

 

I am sooooo sorry. Really.
I am sooooo sorry. Really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promises mean everything but once they’re broken sorry means nothing.

– Unknown

 

Sorry is not a rubber stamp, making whatever you just got caught or called on doing, okay or acceptable. Sorry, does not magically erase everything you just said, caused, and/or did.

Sorry does not take away the sting, the pain, the memory of the person who you just wronged.

Sorry, is when you truly, really, 100% feel REGRETFULL about what you did, DON’T want to do it again, WISH you could take the pain away from the person you just hurt, and WILL try your hardest not to do it/cause it again.

 

Sorry should not be a knee-jerk-reaction. It should not be the response you throw at people in normal conversation.

But that’s what it’s been reduced to in my life. And really, I’m tired of it.

 

So. If you’re going to say sorry to me – MEAN IT. Or shut up. I’m worth more than your empty words.

And I’ll work on not saying sorry about things I’m not actually sorry about, like apologizing for having my own opinion or having pale skin or a strange outlook on life. Nope, not actually sorry, so why am I apologizing in normal conversation when no one got hurt?

 

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What did you just say to me?

 

It’s not about how many times you tell someone that you love them, it’s about how many times you prove that you do.

– Unknown

 

They say when it comes to relationships, have a little faith. Well, to that I say – I’m tired of having faith in people, only for them to let me down. I think it’s high time the people in my life prove they love me, prove they’re a real friend.

Prove I mean something to you, not by your words alone – I don’t need lip service – but by how you treat me, how you interact with me, what you do for and with me, and why. And better yet – just be a good bloody person! If you want to be my friend, you can’t go around beating waiters and burying bodies. (Well, maybe, under specific instances, but whatever.) Don’t treat other people like less than human.

Don’t give me hollow words. Treat me like I mean something to you.

 

We think too much and feel too little.

– Charlie Chaplin

 

*Okay, mini rant over.* 😉