I was writing on the envelope that I need to send out with my estimated tax payment in it and as I wrote the word “Greenbelt” with my medium point Sharpie, I had had this image of scrawling something on a cave wall. I thought about how many things had to happen for me to scratch something in black onto that white envelope, and for those scratchings to mean something to me, and to others who would see it. How some of the others that are united in the ability to recognize that the scratchings mean something would find a way to get my piece of paper where it needs to go. Also, inside is currency. Currency also built on the premise of scratchings on paper. Even the little thing that sticks into the corner of the envelope is currency and made of pictures that mean something.
I want to start this off by pointing out something that has been a theme on social media: people complaining that people are “offended” by stuff and how dumb that is. First of all, those folks seem pretty damned offended for people who don’t like it when people are offended, so – “glass houses” is what I have to say to them. I would also offer up that much of what is happening isn’t about being “offended” but finally FINALLY validating that there are certain segments of the population who are marginalized and in some cases don’t and haven’t had equal rights. That goes beyond being “offended” by something. It’s simply standing up for your rights and your viewpoint.
The movement to take down the confederate flag, the distancing from Donald Trump by businesses, feminist speakers facing threats of rape and murder, and the marriage equality judgement, with all the ensuing arguments, are all about pretty much the same thing. And people who want the flag to stay on government property and people who embrace Trump and his racist comments and people who are threatening women and ranting about the downfall of America because of same sex marriage equality are reacting from a place of panic and resentment. Maybe they do actually believe that America is under some kind of threat of too much fairness and love. But it’s pretty disturbing to see the amount of hate pouring the direction of people who are finally feeling like somebody is listening to them after a very long time of not being heard.
The time for the rights of these marginalized groups to be equally recognized and validated has arrived. If you are worried that your race or your religion will become the minority, ask yourself why you are worried about that. Nobody is saying you don’t deserve your rights, just that they want theirs, too!
You can still wake up today in America and express yourself through your right of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. No Christian has lost the right to worship. Why not count this as a blessing? No man has lost his rights because of feminism. The Westboro Baptists can still picket funerals if they want. KKK can still assemble in public and have websites. You can still say ugly things about the President and not be arrested and put in a government holding facility. You can still hang the Confederate flag all over your property and your business’s property, if you want. You can still call somebody horrible racist and sexist names or to tell people they need to repent and that what they do is an abomination. But there is a movement across this country right now that is saying that the days of passively validating these things is over. That people won’t be in silent compliance with these things anymore. That discrimination is no longer socially acceptable and people who don’t like it are losing their minds over that, like they have lost freedom of speech. Like they have lost a civil right. No. NO! They still have that right, it’s simply becoming NOT OK socially – FINALLY! Ignoring privilege and pretending it doesn’t exist, has come to an tipping point in history in this nation. We have an opportunity here, now, to do something great and love each other an come together. Or we can repeat history and fight each other. And what a shame that would be.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you
I’ve been thinking about resentment, jealousy, envy and their impact on happiness. Also, all of the irony that surrounds the topic.
We all want to be happy. Or at least we think we want to be happy. We can’t decide sometimes, because the definition of what happiness is varies as much as the definition of beauty. That’s where the whole thing gets even more complicated.
I guess the first thing you have to do is look at your life and see if there are things to be grateful for. Then look at the world and see if there are things you can be happy for that are going well for others. I am pretty sure that is a big part of growing happiness in your own garden and spreading seeds of joy for the gardens of others as well.
Today I’m thinking about potential. My personal potential. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I came across this quote by him.
if you can’t run then walk,
if you can’t walk then crawl,
but whatever you do you have
to keep moving forward.
Perhaps I am engaging in risky behavior by telling you that I feel better. After two weeks of coughing, sore ribs, fevers, chills, aching and feeling like a “wet dishrag” (as my mom used to say) I feel human again. I still have a little bit of a cough, but I was actually able to walk a couple of blocks today without getting utterly winded. I even carried a heavy load of groceries up the stairs. Yay me.
I wore nothing but jammies and stuff made of jersey knit for the full two weeks.
I drank gallons of Throat Coat tea and hot lemon water with honey and ginger. I stayed in an antihistamine and ibuprofen induced haze. Sometimes cocooned in the blankets, other times throwing them off in a sweat.
Fortunately my sweetheart was a little better ahead of me and was able to do things like run to the store for cough drops and saltine crackers.
Monday night was the first time I’d put on moisturizer, make-up and shoes since the end of December. It felt nice to put on regular stuff and go out and see friends. At first I was resisting. I kept telling Will that I was feeling introverted and it was hard to put on pants. I’d even tried painting my nails and messed it up. But he texted me, “I think you’ll feel better if you see your friends.” So, I hopped in the shower, re-painted my nails and this time they came out ok.
We went by the event we’d been invited to and I actually had a decent time. I wanted to do a lot of dancing, but I was pretty easily winded, so I wiggled around a bit to some great songs. One of which I will leave you with.
I did have a hard cider and I thought about Stevie who’d passed away. Who’s funeral had been that day, and I didn’t go. I’m not sure I would have made it through a funeral almost an hour from here, but I felt guilty for not going anyway. So, I said a little toast to Stevie in my head and drank my cider.
I’m thankful to be feeling better. Wearing regular clothes and eating regular food. When I’m so sick like that I totally understand how people die from these things. If it were to go on too long, you’d just want it to be over. Part of my gratitude is for it being brief enough to endure, but it also sure makes me appreciate feeling well.
I’m also grateful for a pretty nice view out of my bedroom window.
And I finally FINALLY managed to finish my New Year’s cards that Will, Jade and I made for about 100 folks. Man, that was a lot of card assembly and we were all sick the first week of January. So, I managed to get them in the mail today. I wasn’t about to waste all that work.
I know my last post was pretty negative. And I’m not all sunshine right now, either. But I do feel a bit more able to handle the world right now.
Enjoy this song by The Flaming Lips – thanks to DJ Gina for spinnin’ the tunes and making me wanna dance.
“Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1”
Working for the city – she has to discipline her body –
Cause she knows that it’s demanding to defeat these
Evil machines – I know she can beat them -Oh Yoshimi
They don’t believe me
But you won’t let those
Robots defeat me
They don’t believe me
But you won’t let those
Robots eat me
Those evil natured robots – they’re programmed to
Destroy us – She’s gotta be strong to fight them –
So she’s taking lots of vitamins – cause she knows that
It’d be tragic if those evil robots win – I know
She can beat them –
I find evolving as a person to be difficult at times, to say the least. Sometimes I want to hang onto childish jealousies and spiteful thoughts, just because those things were conditioned into me for so much of my young life.
That’s the reaction. The immediate. Somebody does something and you feel your lizard brain REACT. You’re mad. You’re hurt. You’re afraid. You feel disrespected. The immediate reaction is what flashes through you. It’s your inner seven year old. And for years I didn’t know any other way to handle things, other than simply reacting. And the hurt often came with lots of comforts at some point, which were nice. This people is what we call the forging of an unhealthy cycle.
I thought it was being authentic and my version of boundaries. But some time in my late twenties, I started to realize that it was actually harmful to be addicted to hurt. I still have ghosts of that behavior from time to time and I have to consciously ghostbust.
In order to love better and be better and evolve, we can’t just be junkies for that fire that makes us feel a rise in our emotions. And yes, like adrenaline or booze or cigarettes, that rush of emotion can be addictive. Particularly if the feeling is towards somebody you are very bonded to, emotionally.
The things that bite me sometimes surprise me. I think to myself: Oh gosh, I’m SO OVER being jealous. I’m confident. I’m a Goddess. I’m soooooo gosh darn evolved. I’m smart. I’m clever. I’ve learned that I matter and give myself permission to be wrong or make mistakes. Things bounce off of my shield of self esteem like so many bullets off of Wonder Woman’s bracelets. That can’t hurt me, I’m too secure. I’m too certain. I know the way it is.
Oh, yeah – those are the kinds of thoughts that happen right before Mistress Life wants to make sure you have a lot more to learn, little girl.
It’s not easy to strike a balance between what you need for your heart needs and what somebody else needs.
Relationships are always about compromise. Every relationship is about compromise.
I don’t do some things I might like to do because I’m in a relationship. I don’t even go places in my brain or my imagination sometimes because I am in a relationship. I don’t typically express that somewhere. But I’m doing it now. Because I need you to know 1) You’re not alone in making sacrifices to be in a relationship. 2) Sacrifices aren’t bad things. They can actually help you grow as a person. And 3) You only make sacrifices if you really want to. And if you choose to, it’s very unfair to express that it’s somehow the other person’s fault or because of them you can’t be who you are. If you can’t be who you are you are then you are in the wrong relationship.
You should be with people who make you want to be a better person. Not people you are addicted to.
You should be with somebody who you feel secure with and trust. Not somebody who puts questions in your mind every day as to their devotion to you.
Somebody who truly loves you can say, “I need this if we are to be together” and you can choose. You have a choice. You can tell them what you need and they can say, “I can’t do that–” and then you have to move on some how. You jut have to. Your heart may not ever be the same, but you will survive.
I know I’ve stated some of these things rather simply, but they can take years to manifest. And sometimes you think you can live with something and years later you realize you can’t. And that’s hard on everybody. But ask yourself some questions before you try and leave a relationship, make sure you aren’t doing it for the same reasons over and over. Because usually – that’s about *you* and not about *them* – so you’re doomed to repeat it. But that is also hopeful because it means you can look inward and work on yourself, if you want to.
Also, somebody wise once told me that your relationship isn’t just about you, it’s about the whole network of threads that attach you to the other person and all of the things that they are attached to as well. You have to think about all of the things you’ll be losing. But if you are gaining more than you’re losing, then I think the answer is obvious, but not necessarily easy.
We had the prettiest roses on one lonely little bush outside of our apartment building. I took some photos with my iPhone then Instagramed them. Then ran some more filters in Photoshop and they came out so ethereal. I love how easy it is to take photos these days.
I took the photo and added one of my favorite Anais Nin quotes.