That time of the year when people suddenly need to come up with a new plan of attack – resolutions, better health, new dreams, new goals, new me, new you, new approach, and etc.
News flash, most of the time Jan 1st is identical to December 31st. You wake up the same person and the day goes on the same way as it was going the day before. Life doesn’t judge. Life doesn’t have time boundaries – we do.
What we do with our time depends on us and not the calendar.
Being kind only during holidays is not going to get you extra kudos of appreciation. Buying a cup of coffee for a homeless person around holidays is also not going to make you a better person.
Holidays are tough because of all the commercial buzz around gifts, around family quality time, around being more thoughtful, around being the best you can be.
Homeless are hungry other days too. Abused animals are hurt, hungry, and need medical help every single day. Single parents struggle every day. Abused women and children need help and protection every day. Elderly people are abandoned and forgotten every day.
I could go on and on….
It makes me sick to my stomach to look around at all the cheerful decorations, all the cheesy commercials, all the lights, all the music, and seeing how fake people become.
I enjoy Christmas. I enjoy my time by the fire place with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. I also enjoy family time. But somewhere deep down in my heart I can’t fight the feeling of sadness and disappointment.
Another year, another Christmas, another fake: let’s be nice to each other, let’s be kind and thoughtful, let’s be aware and generous, and let’s feel good about remembering and reaching out to those we do not think about for 300 days or till we get reminded that it’s time to buy gifts and get festive.
I am all about being thankful and thoughtful. I am all about reminding myself that there are less fortunate. I am all about being kind to people around me.
Some people will say that I must be bitter or unhappy or jealous. Not really. I just can’t buy into being fake.
Let’s just stop for a second and take a breath.
Seeing a coca cola truck drive by all festive and lit up, is entertaining. Seeing amazingly done commercials, also eye catching and soul warming, but the fact that their product is extremely not healthy and their diet product linked to cancer and diabetes, that’s just a minor detail.
Going to the mall and seeing all the discounts and huge sales and being able to afford to buy things that you might not have been able before the discount, is great. But to think that the markup on that item is mind blowing and that they still make money off you even with a huge discount, is disheartening.
Seeing a homeless person with a new blanket and a few present boxes, heart melting, but seeing the same person 30 days later being passed by by the same gift giver turning his/her head the other way to avoid eye contact, is, again, heart breaking.
Seeing people donating money to all kinds of charities during holidays, honorable, but ignoring any other engagement from these charities during the year and not even sparing $5 dollars, is being a hypocrite.
So, pardon me for being a negative Nelly and refusing to ignore the truth and the ugly reality of this. My consciousness doesn’t allow me to be fake neither during holidays nor during any other day of the year.
At first, I wanted to write about being more kind. Then I wanted to write about anger. A bit later I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to share my frustration and then I wanted to share my displeasure with the ignorant people who can’t see beyond their own selfish needs and wants and intentionally stay narrow minded. I wanted to but then I changed my mind.
There is only one world that we share. There is only one little bundle of air, water, and earth, and we together are trying to either save it or destroy it.
There is a whole bunch of us, amazingly knowledgeable and experienced but ignorant at the same time. We either know a lot about one thing and nothing about anything else or we know a little about a little, or we are just full of empty air and think that we know everything.
Some days I feel like I am running around with a plunger trying to unclog the shit that I have produced in my own life. I can also see others joining me with their plungers randomly buzzing around and helplessly hoping that the answer to their ability to breathe freely is unplugging something.
Unfortunately, it is all just for fun. You can run around with the plunger but if you create a world around yourself by making wrong decisions, by surrounding yourself with wrong people, by not choosing to be who you are, or by choosing to follow rules that you do not understand, then you just feel foolish and still are that person with a plunger.
Your life is only yours to live. You have only one chance at it. You can take as many plunges as you want and, most likely, right after somebody has already told you about the same plunge they took, but as long as you learn to appreciate the journey you are on, you should be able to realize that the freedom to inner peace has nothing to do with blaming others or yourself.
People do what they think is right. People might cause a lot of problems, they might anger you, and they might hurt you really badly, but remember, you are also that somebody who does the same thing to others.
Start with being kind to yourself, everything else will somehow fall into places.
“….Have you ever quenched your thirst with an unfilled cup? Or drenched yourself completely in a heavy rainfall, under a clear azure sky?
Have you ever emotionally moved the heart of a heartless soul? Or became the soul of its bleak shadow, latched unto transience?
She may ask me how’s my day going, but all those lumps in my throat talk in tiny wisps of smoke, telling her that today feels like the first day of drowning….”
Those words dig deep and turn everything inside out.
It’s almost Christmas and I have been feeling like I am drowning for some time. The truth is, usually around holidays I have to start paying attention to how I feel and thoughtfully adjust the direction I go with my thoughts.
Some things are hard to change, especially the ones that have been engrained in me since early childhood. Christmas had never been a happy time. It always brought pain, sadness, emotional distress, and some level of depression.
As I figured that life is an amazing journey, I learned to not live in the past but use it as a guiding principal.
Realistically, as life is an ever changing river that can flow calmly one moment and become a raging rapids caring beast and, all it takes is a minute, we have to learn to float and enjoy the flow. You can’t control it, but you can control how you feel and how much enjoyment you can get out the journey.
You can choose to fear everything, you can choose to be afraid of all kinds of possibilities and spend your precious time worrying about what can happen, or you can trust that whatever comes is as enjoyable and as awesome as it can get.
It’s been years since I had an episode of sadness and it seems I can’t shake it off. Christmas don’t excite me, the spirit of holidays has not come, and the peace and harmony is nowhere to be found.
I just hope that this is time to reflect – the time when I need to stop, take a deep breath and check, if I am still authentic.
I used to think that being happy meant being able to trace down the treasure map and check off all check points before you hit the jackpot.
I used to think that I will never ever be able to be happy because there was no way in the world I could manage to achieve everything that I had to.
I used to think that I had to meet people from all kinds of walks of life and tell them about me and my dreams because there had to be someone out there who can help to make it happen.
I used to think that it was absolutely necessary to have achievable dreams in addition to dreams that are almost impossible to achieve on your own.
I used to think that I was not worthy of basically anything.
I used to think that I was too dumb, too ugly, too weirds, too out there.
I used to think that I was too introverted to have a satisfying career.
I used to think…..Emphasis is on USED TO…I don’t anymore.
And, no, I have not had a huge life changing event that showed me the light in my own heart.
And, no, I have not read a lot of self-growth books that inspired me to change.
I just got tired of thinking other people’s thoughts. I just got tired of living my mother’s fears. I just got tired of thinking and being afraid instead of living.
Why don’t I have children? Just because.
There is no particular reason why I do not have children. There is no particular reason I choose to stay introverted and weird. There is no particular reason I do not have dreams or aspirations or complicated career path plans.
Why do you have children? Why don’t you have cats or dogs instead of children? Why don’t you commute instead of driving your car? Why don’t eat spinach? Why don’t you live in a tent? Why don’t you become homeless? Why don’t you sponsor a Syrian asylum seeker?
Why don’t you…..fill in the blank….?
Maybe tomorrow things will change, but today life goes on with or without dreams and huge aspirations, with children or without children, with stuff and without stuff
They say it’s okay to be afraid because you are about to do something brave. In my experience, quite often being afraid leads to making some extremely not bright decisions.
So, I would like to paraphrase this saying.
It’s okay to be afraid because you are about to do either something brave or something stupid.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict which direction you are going to go.
When life is driven by do’s and don’ts and when you have to re-discover yourself after hitting rock bottom, most of the time you have to start from the very beginning.
You have to start with the question, do I know what is happening? Not literally understanding what and who and how but look deep into yourself.
You need to understand how you got here. You need to understand what choices you have made that brought you to this point in life.
You have to understand what you are avoiding and what you are running away from. You have to really understand what exactly you are trying to achieve and what drives that desire.
I am not talking about the lamest statement one can provide – I want to have a good career, decent life, family, and etc. These statements could be recorded and replayed for every single person as these are passed on from generation to generation as a to-do list.
I am referring to actual reasons why somebody is making choices.
Maybe you were bullied as a child and now you have an internal burn to proof that you are somebody.
Maybe your parents got divorced and you felt like you were not needed or loved and now you subconsciously continue choosing partners, jobs, friends that continue making you feel the same way.
Maybe you subconsciously have chosen to go down the other rabbit hole and keep choosing people and jobs that make you uncomfortable with their affection, attention, and constant need for you to be their center of attention.
Maybe your parents didn’t teach you that you are not the almighty center of the universe and now you believe that you deserve things and that world owes you.
Maybe you learned not to care because you are not worthy.
maybe, maybe, maybe….
People say, we learn from our mistakes. People say that if you do not make mistakes, you are not growing. Yes, there is an aspect of truth in everything said.
But these genius quotes do not cover the stupidity that is caused by choices that were driven by the emotional trauma. You can be stupidly brave and do something that will change your life for good and you can also be just stupid and hurt yourself or someone around you.
We all have that one person in our lives that make stupid decisions that are brave in their own right but can be classified more stupid than brave. You know why they make choices they do and you try to help them see the driver behind those decisions but nobody can help them unless they help themselves.
And when that day comes when they ask you – but what about me, I hope you are brave enough to tell them that the only way around this is to start loving and accepting themselves.
When you understand why you make stupid decisions, you open the door to be brave, and that is when it is about you….
She opened her eyes and looked around. “That’s what I thought…” she whispered and took a deep breath.
She knew she probably should be scared and her heart should be racing uncontrollably but an utter peace and comfort was all she felt.
“How often does it happen when you wake up in the middle of nowhere with no people around, no voices, no movement, no objects?
Am I supposed to have a meaningful conversation with myself?
Am I supposed to look for answers?
Or maybe I am supposed to give answers?
Am I dreaming or is this real?”
“..hello…?”….No echo, no answer, not even a drop of water somewhere in the puddle. “Weird” she repeated for the 10th time.
“Is this one of those Matrix movie moments where I am stuck in the limbo and I need to get myself out of here? But where is here and even better question is, where is there? Did I take the red pill or the blue pill?”
“What happens when you remove all of your memories, all the chatter, all doubts, all “must do”, and all expectations?”
“…I know, I know, you are supposed to have one of those “Who am I” moments, right? You are supposed to look back and see your entire life and then come out a totally changed person because you had a life altering awakening moment, right?”
She looked around one more time just to make sure. “Nope, still nothing…”
Day 5 out of 5, let’s talk about Being …
I was wondering about the topic I want to tackle as my last little challenge when I stumbled upon a post written by a guy I was following a few years ago. His name is Steven and he is paralyzed. One little mishap of trying to dive into the pool and he ended up with a broken neck and unable to breath on his own.
Steven is bed written and can blog only by using voice. His writing is catchy and well done. It sucks you in.
Every time I had an extremely hard day, I remembered him and I had no excuse for feeling sorry for myself. That was just a day and that was just a temporary experience. It will come and go…
“…There is a way to be happy again despite living with a disability, a way to have a purpose and a way to be thankful for all that you still have….” says Steven.
The word BEING has so many meanings and it means so many different things to people that it is almost impossible to try to use more words to explain.
Being is like an amazing adventure with all kinds of curve balls, ups and downs, smiles and tears, anger, happiness, frustration, and excitement.
Being is like everything and nothing at the same time. Being means something only when you have a meaning behind everything you do. Yes, even if that is a spontaneous action.
Being is not just existing. It is more like your thoughts and feelings going on a fritz to catch a moment of life. I know, way too philosophical but when I think of the word Being, I also think of Steven and realize that there is so much more to living a fulfilling life than being able to physically move around.
Some people don’t have that luxury but it doesn’t mean the end of life, it just brings another dimension of being.
In reality, it is so easy to give in and eventually give up the opportunity to live if you have a disability and if that disability means that your body is just a structure to house your living spirit.
I am not religious and I do not mean spirit in a religious way. Spirit of a person, spirit of an amazing living person who has so much to give this world, and who loves life despite of it being complicated.
Most of us, people with all legs and arms and ability to move around and have a physical contact with others, only imagine Being as a combination of physical existence and emotional needs to be accepted, loved, acknowledged. We think of the meaning of life, we think of us and the reason for us being here.
It’s not like people with physical disabilities do not ask: who am I or why am I here, but they see existential questions in a slightly different way. Some of them carry the burden of the society’s opinion of them, they carry the burden of labels that are attached to them by the society, and they carry the burden of being different.
It’s hard to explain what I am trying to say but just the word – disabled – is a label attached to a person because they can’t exist in a world that was built for fully abled.
I do not have a physical disability and I don’t know how it feels to be in a wheelchair or have a prosthetic limb or how it is to be paralyzed but I am pretty sure it is not easy, especially in this world.
So, when I think about what it means to be, I am sometimes wondering if I am actually living or just existing.
Does being in this world encourage you to explore, feel, enjoy, live to the fullest, or being in the world is just making through the day hoping that somebody else will save you?