” No, don’t judge yourself by the years. You are as young as your heart feels”, says a granddaughter to her grandma couple days before her 90th birthday.
“Well, then I am already buried”, she answers…
These words struck me like lightning. Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease. It takes a healthy mind a locks it up in a dark room with no memories, no past, and no future. You are in the darkness, scared, confused, and basically almost dead.
We all make the same mistake. We think we have enough time to do or say whatever but, in reality, we don’t. Her answer keeps echoing in my mind over and over and the more I think ( I know, I should stop thinking) the more
Her answer keeps echoing in my mind over and over and the more I think ( I know, I should stop thinking) the more I realize, the death is near. Yes, it could be 50 or 100 years away but it also could just a second away. It doesn’t have to be the actual physical death, it can just be something that erases the awareness of who I am.
Of course, people are not afraid of death, they are afraid of non-existing, they are afraid of not being able to think, to feel, to relate to their surroundings.
Feeling, thinking, relating to situations, people, and surroundings is existing. You don’t actually have to die to be dead. So, when you have one of your fits about your broken nails or rush hour, of not having milk in the fridge, or that annoying co-worker, just take a deep breath. Feeling and getting angry or annoyed means that you are still alive. You are not trapped in your body not knowing who you are or who you are talking to.
When you get worked up about something, remember that how we perceive the world and people in it is not actually what is. You need to remember that everyone has their own perception of reality. Every situation has two different stories and two different realities. The world doesn’t revolve just around you.
However, life is also way too short to beat around the bush. Say what you mean. Don’t insult and be rude but be honest and true, be open-minded, and be ready to learn that what you think might not be the only way.
When we live in a narrow world of me…me…me, we put hurdles in our own growth. I don’t mean that other people should tell you what to do but I am saying that other people might have an interesting perspective. You might not agree with it but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t mean that they do not allow you to see beyond your own narrow-minded beliefs.
Being stuck in a dark room with your own thoughts that you do not have any control over is the scariest thing in my books. Being trapped in your mind where you can’t tell what’s real and what is an illusion. Being trapped in a chaos of thoughts that don’t make any sense. Being trapped in a vacuum of no memories – that fear alone makes me want to get over myself and my ways of looking at the world.
You do not have to like people. You do not have to agree with their choices. You do not have to do anything. Life is at your feet. You can choose any path you want. You can keep any person in your life and you can exclude any or all of them. You can make any choice you think is right. Just remember, whatever you are afraid of and whatever you are using as an excuse to not do something, it is nothing compared to being afraid of just being because you suddenly realize you have no clue who you are…
That moment when people talk to you like they know everything about you and your life but you don’t know who they are and you do not know who you are must be one of the scariest nightmares a person can live through…
So, find a way to get over yourself. Whatever it takes. Dance, listen to music, quit your job, learn a language, travel the world, get divorced, get married, rescue an animal, tell your boss to go somewhere, don’t show up for a party, tell someone you love them, buy a stranger a cup of coffee…
Life is extremely unpredictable. When you think it can’t get worse, it comes up with something spectacular and blows your mind. Not necessarily in a positive way.
Small ups and downs are just a part of the ride but major blows that tear your heart apart is hard to comprehend.
Not enough that some people are a living proof of a day-to-day struggle of trying to make ends meet, or trying to stay sober, or trying to kick an addiction, or just trying to not kill themselves, Life sometimes decides to add an extra special gift of taking away what you love the most – a life of someone dear.
Every struggle is different, every fight to get over whatever you need to get over is something that nobody but you will be able to experience.
There are more questions starting with: ” how do I…” than answers that start with: ” This is how you…”
Why do we as a society pay more attention to teaching how to celebrate a win, a victory, an achievement, instead of teaching how to make sure you are alright when you suffer a loss?
So, when the sun goes down in your own life or your friend’s life, how do you figure out what to do? There are many books written about “how to..” but we are all still lacking this important life skill and we are at a loss when the time comes. You can’t possibly suddenly rush to read a book for dummies on “how to…” and still be able to comprehend and adjust your feelings to feel or do the right thing. And what is the right thing to do?
We are so unequipped to handle any loss in our lives – loss or a job, loss of a house, loss of a pet, loss of a friend, loss of a family member, and even less equipped to handle anything when a friend suffers a loss.
I am just curious, why we do not teach our kids that death is part of life, that loss itself is inevitable, and how to deal with that.
Why do we just hide and hope that it will pass? Why do we awkwardly turn our heads away in emotional horror when we see a person who just lost a family member?
When the sun goes down, we all are left to deal with sorrows on our own and hopefully, someone is there for us to offer a helping shoulder when you feel like disappearing into nothingness to avoid feeling.
When the sun goes down, for some people it might not ever come up again. So how about bringing a little piece of your Sun, your strength, your presence?
“Fostering is what brings us together today” as Peter Cook would say.
When we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat in 2015, I thought my heart was shattered in pieces and I would never be able to have another cat. Oh, boy, I was wrong.
Truth to be told, no other cat will ever be able to fill Alex’s shoes as she was an extremely special girl who taught us so much about unconditional love and trust. However, she opened up a door that is impossible to close.
Forward 6 months, we decided to open up our house to a new adventure – fostering. We didn’t choose a cat to foster. We decided that we want a cat that needs us, which just meant that we asked for a cat that is going to be hard to adopt and requires a very attentive foster house to work with. And the Universe has heard us, we have had an amazing ride with many amazing special needs foster cats.
I don’t know how people can say – that is just a cat or that is just a dog or that is just a bunny. There is not such a thing as “just something”. Same as humans, all of them have personalities, all of them have things that they like, things that they hate, things that make them happy or angry. You just need to make an effort and give them a chance to show you.
It doesn’t matter if you are fostering animals or you are fostering children, it brings a different meaning to your life.
Fostering has opened up a floodgate in my heart and sometimes I think I might not make it out alive. I used to live in ignorance and stay in my comfort zone. I used to…now I can’t.
I chose to close my eyes to the most obvious truth – if I do not care, there won’t be anyone else to care.
Fostering taught me that no matter how much it hurts, it makes you a better person for yourself. You stepping up and unconditionally loving your foster – be it an animal or a human child, gives your foster another chance at having a good life. You opening up your heart shows that humanity still exists.
Every foster (rescue) that dies or gets adopted breaks my heart. They take a little piece of my soul with them but, I know, I have done my part. I have shown them that humans can be trusted and that humans do deserve a second chance.
I feel responsible to provide as much love as I can to make up for the evil that walks the earth hurting and abusing those who can’t stand up for themselves.
One of my foster fails – a 15 pound Maine Coon has two BB pellets embedded in him. One is embedded in his shoulder and the other is stuck in between his throat and the spine. Someone used him as a target practice and a punching bag. Do you think he hates humans?
He is a cat, I wish, the majority of humans would be like. He loves everyone – dogs, cats, humans. He is a gentle giant who trusts without hesitation. It blows my mind to think that he still trusts and loves humans in spite of what they have done to him.
His unconditional love is something I wish for. I can’t say I have the ability to forgive and move on like he has.
So, fostewwing….is something that definitely makes me a better person in my own eyes. It gives me hope that I will never live in blissful ignorance again.
Haven’t you thought that it would be wonderful if you could just stop hitting your head against same walls? Sometimes it seems to me that I can never learn the lesson.
The adventure of the repeated nonsense and the foreseeable end result could be something to write a book about but it gets old and gets definitely annoying.
I thought about it and decided to come up with the list of most common walls we as humans keep hitting and wondering why things never change.
The list of walls to avoid:
- The Trump wall.
I don’t mean it in a political way. I am talking about the wall that he hides behind. Some people are so insecure about themselves that they require a constant approval from others on how great they are. They keep trying to boost their own confidence by affirming to people something that they think is extremely important for them to know. Something like – I was chosen by so many people; It was the best ever and will be remembered forever.
This wall takes us nowhere. We keep going in circles and, eventually, people turn away from you. They get tired of hearing how great you are and how many wonderful things you have done. They start seeing you either as a person who constantly puts himself/herself above everyone else or a person who needs help.
- The wall of flying under the radar.
This is a tricky wall as there is a slippery slope. You either do good because you are just a good person and you do not need an acknowledgment or you do it because you need to prove to yourself that you are a good person.
How do you know which category you belong to? I guess, if you keep doing good and feel that you are not doing enough and you do not get satisfaction, then you are hitting the wall.
Whatever you do, make sure that you do not do it just to make yourself feel useful and worthy. You do not need to save the world to be somebody.
- The wall of Ignorance.
This wall comes in so many colors. Anywhere between living in denial and being afraid to change anything to just simply choosing to be ignorant while being well aware.
The wall of ignorance is usually the one that always leads to an extremely painful outcome. Karma is not a nice person, she always finds a way to pay back.
Are you ignoring your illness? Are you ignoring your financial troubles? Are you ignoring your unhappiness? Are you ignoring somebody else? Are you ignoring your feelings?
I have gotten hurt so many times by this wall that I have to say that at times it seems funny and at times it definitely does not seem funny at all. However, I have learned to question my attitude – Do I ignore the obvious? And if I do, why do I ignore it? If I keep this up, how hard am I going to hit the wall and how much is it going to hurt?
- The wall of self-pity.
Don’t we all know this wall intimately? “Oh, poor, me!”….”Why me?”..”What did I do to deserve this?”…
If you are hugging this wall and keep hitting your head for years, it’s time to step back and give yourself a chance to have a life.
If you use this wall to get yourself back on track, then this wall is just a step to have that heart to heart conversation with yourself and then pulling yourself together and moving on.
Self-pity and Trump’s walls, in general, make your life miserable.
- The “I can’t do it..” wall.
I love this wall. Anytime I don’t have the guts to admit to myself that I don’t want to do something, I hit my head against the ‘I can’t do it” wall. Anytime I am afraid of failure, I end up going at it.
It is a brilliant wall, that’s for sure… can’t I really do it or I am afraid to do it or I don’t want to do it?
There are so many other walls that we should probably keep an eye for and maybe try to avoid them. Nothing good comes from them. They impact your growth. They definitely impact your happiness as I have yet to experience any feelings of happiness after hitting my head or plastering my entire body against the wall. Even though we are talking about emotional walls, the pain and discomfort these walls cause, are quite detrimental.
I am walking down the street. I see you but I do not care for you. I see others and I also do not care for them. Sounds insensitive, sounds offensive, almost sounds like somebody to isolate from the society.
But, guess what, you are also walking down the street and see me, and you also do not care for me. You do not care for the person next to me or the person behind me.
You will care for me only when you have a space for me in your life. You will care when I mean something to you, only when I either create positive or negative emotions. So till that day comes, you don’t care.
As longer you live as more you understand that your space is reserved and it has a limited capacity. As more people you let in as more cluttered it gets. This doesn’t mean that you are a selfish person, that you are a snob or that you are a cold-hearted person. This just means that you know who you are and what you need to be able to grow.
There is nothing wrong with not caring and there is also nothing wrong with caring as you have to be extremely careful and keep your space available for those who come into your life to either leave footprints in your heart or teach you a lesson.
The question of the day is – how come you don’t actually give a damn but then somehow still give a damn?
I wasted 30 minutes of my life today to think about this dilemma and concluded that there is a huge difference between not caring about something and then there is not giving a damn about it.
I don’t care is more in line with a lack of interest or strong feelings about the outcome, whereas, I don’t give a damn is about having strong feelings about the outcome but giving up or writing off any attempt to try to change that outcome at the same time.
If you give a damn about everything, then you create a perception that life should be an easy sail. You create a perception that you should always be happy and comfortable, and this is when you get slapped in the face and start thinking that life sucks.
Life is definitely not easy. Life is definitely not a piece of cake. Life is definitely not a well-drawn graph line that perpetually goes up or stays horizontal.
Life is a series of little miracles and, sometimes, impossible things become reality and, sometimes, possible things become not possible.
What is possible or impossible is just a product of our beliefs and not actually a product of something being true. It is not a product of our or somebody else’s capability. You can even say that what’s possible or impossible is a product of our beliefs about who we are.
I guess, regardless if we believe that something is impossible in our lives or even if we think we know something is impossible, what actually matters is that by being yourself you make sure that there is something wonderful in the world that was not there before.
There is no other you. So, guess what, you are impossible to replicate and that means you are a miracle.
If Life was easy, adventures would never be possible. Happiness is not a destination. Happiness is a journey. And what kind of journey would that be if there were no adventures along the way?
In other words, my life is an utter chaos and it will stay that way, and I better learn to love it. I am impossibly possible … I ‘M POSSIBLE
Oh, the joys of life. Shit doesn’t stop coming till the day you die.
Life must be a fan. Because when the shit hits the fan, it is obviously entertaining for somebody somewhere but not necessarily for you at that exact moment.
It would be highly appreciated if we could get a heads up like receiving a text or flashing banner: ”Incoming!” or “Duck!”, but, I guess, it is a bit too much to ask.
Living is difficult. It is definitely not an easy thing to do especially if your life has gone from typical difficulties you can recover from to a consistent streak of loss, stress, pain, exhaustion, bad luck, etc., without any breaks. And what if that streak lasts for years?
I guess when you have one of those streaks lasting for way too long, the future might start looking bleak, the belief that it will get better starts fading and is replaced with the feeling of being backed into a corner.
At that point, you do not expect a miracle. A little break would be sufficient; an opportunity to escape for a short period of time and not think about responsibilities or despair of things you can’t change.
So, what should you do when it hurts too much to live?
- Remind yourself that everyone hurts sometimes. You are not alone. It doesn’t change anything but the fact that you are aware of other people being in similar situations, makes a difference.
- Celebrate successes. Even in the worst situation, there are little successes that you can acknowledge and celebrate. Even the fact that you got out of bed and made coffee is a reason to be proud of yourself
- Find something good. Yes, it takes imagination and effort to be able to see anything good in a painful situation but not impossible.
- Be compassionate towards your own struggles. We are able to show compassion towards others but mostly lack the ability to show compassion towards ourselves. You are only a human and you are struggling. Be compassionate. Understand that sometimes there are forces beyond our reach and beyond our influence that determine what happens.
- Accept the burn. Accepting the situation, accepting the emotional burn, allows you to use the light and the power it generates (anger, determination, and stubbornness) to guide you through whatever you are going through. Don’t let it burn you. Use it as a motivation, use it as a driving force to hang on a little longer till you find your way out
- Remember, you always have a choice…There are always two ways out of any hopeless situation. They might not be pretty and might not be what you’d want, but you either fight or give up
I say, let it burn, go with the flow, and see where it takes you….