Posts Tagged ‘normative’

A big congratulations to my dear blogging friend Joe Hart . He has a double celebration going on. A one year anniversary for his blog and an amazing 200,000 hits. Joe Hart through his writings is such an inspiration. If you haven’t visited his site, you really are missing out.

I have been asking myself, do funerals have to be sad, or at least sad to the extent we often see. I know there will always be an element of sadness with the passing, the loss of a loved one. That is understandable and perfectly normal. I do sometimes wonder though, we as a society are so much affected by the expectations of fitting into the norm. What is the norm for a funeral. It seems great sadness, shows of grief and such. I am not a doctor or a man of the clergy and as such can speak with no authority and am only expressing my own personal thoughts and preferences. I am very sure open displays of grief as we see are very therapeutic for many and help in the healing process. If it is a helpful tool for those left behind, excellent I am all for it. I certainly mean no disrespect to those grieving. Grief is a very individual thing and whatever form works best for you, it the way to go. When there is a loss of a loved one there will always be sadness and grief, I know that.

Still for myself and within myself I have to wonder, is it the only way to get closure? I don’t know.

I have long had the thought in my head. “mourn not what you have lost but instead celebrate what you have had”. I do think this is an excellent philosophy to apply to all things in our life. Good advice, easily said but so difficult to put into practice when it deals with the loss of a loved one. This is a thought though that did help me tremendously at the time of the passing of my loved ones. This is not to say, I wasn’t sad or grieving, it is just that it did help me.

I suppose largely, it will depend on your individual view of death and what follows. At the time I had absolutely no doubt in my mind she was going to a much better place. I still do not question that thought at all. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss them. I can’t help but be happy for them (sad for me) knowing they has indeed gone to such a wonderful place and that when the time is right I will be with them again. Again, words so easy to say, but so difficult to appreciate when in the midst of grief.

Largely, I am not fearful of what lies ahead for me, a little nervous maybe but not fearful. My dread and fear comes in when I think of the loved ones I am leaving behind. I so desperately want them to all have good happy lives. I never want them to ever have any pain or grief in their lives. OK, I know that is an unrealistic hope as some pain and grief will come to all. I can only hope I am not the cause of any of it. Yet it is inevitable when I pass there will be grief and sorrow.

I am certain in some way, in some spiritual form I will be able to attend or look down on my own funeral.

What would I personally prefer to see. My family and friends all gathered in great sadness, in obvious pain or a reasonably happy group gathered to reminisce about our happy times together. Celebrating and I hope appreciating our time together. Laughing telling jokes even if they are at my expense, I certainly know I have given every one enough to be able to come up with some sort of a joke about my often silly ways. Celebrate what we had, instead of mourning what is lost. The loss is only temporary.

I am not sure how this transition from the physical to spiritual works, but I can’t help but think I may be aided on my way knowing, my life gave reason for a celebration.

Maybe, this is a final act of selfishness on my part, I don’t know.

I ask for comments. Can we turn a funeral into a celebration of life? Would doing that take away from the healing process of the families?

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Yesterday was an OK day, not one of my best but not one of what I call my bad days. Evening was wonderful, friends stopped by for a visit. They spent the night and left this morning. They had to be up early and left so quietly, not wanting to disturb our sleep, I didn’t even hear them.

I suppose it is natural that as I spend more time just thinking and reflecting back on my life and even on the world in general, different types of thoughts pop into my head. I suppose that shows my thinking process has changed or something. Even the mere fact that I will just sit and think back, is different from what it has been at times in the past. At different periods of my life there were times when I purposely kept myself so busy that I wouldn’t have time to think about my life. I suppose that showed a lack of internal strength on my part. To me, my life was in chaos and I almost seemed to be frozen in time not knowing what to do or where to turn. I too often took the easy way by not even allowing myself to think of my life at the time. Don’t think, avoid the pain.

I look back today; with I suppose is my “new mindset” and see each of those situations differently. Today, is all the hurt and pain gone? No, and maybe never will be. I can look back now and learn more from those mistakes or events, than sadly I did at the time. I now see each was just one small dot on the overall picture of my life. Each individual dot has brought me to be the person I am today. I am content with that; I am content and happy with my life today. Who is to know, maybe if even one small thing had happened differently in my past, my life, my thinking today could be different.

I even feel kind of silly, thinking of how every day I prayed asking for God will to be done in my life. Yet I fought so hard or felt so hurt when my will didn’t prevail.

I look around me and see so many people getting upset over what really are inconsequential little things. Sometimes it is almost like I would like to go and just give them a good shake, and say. Stop and think, think of the precious moments in life you are wasting being upset. We have to few of these moments and there will come a day when you regret those moments wasted. But, I look back and realize if someone would have said that to me a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have listened. I would have been too busy dealing with the issues of the moment. To busy, to wrapped up in one small dot in the overall picture.

I was out sitting on the front step a few minutes ago and a thought hit me. I have come straight to the computer to write it now or with my memory it would very well be gone shortly.

This sounds very deep and philosophical, but what is life?

Very simply it is the time we spend here on this earth between birth or conception and when we die. Simply that, it is the time we spend here. That is a simple fact that applies to every single person with no exceptions.

Ah, but there are exceptions in how we choose to spend that time. We can squander and waste it or we can live it. Circumstances, position, finances have nothing to do with living life. All of those things just set the stage or the setting in which we can choose to live our lives or we can choose to waste them away. I know what I am trying to say but am not sure if I am using the wording to really describe it. I have often heard it said time is our most valuable asset or commodity. It is only of late that I have been able to really appreciate that fact.

Here is an official “Miq” statistic. OK, what is a “Miq” statistic? Oh, it is extremely scientifically reached. I mull a thought around in my head for 15 or 20 seconds come up with something that sounds about right to me, and there you have it a “Miq” statistic. Now according to “Miq” an estimated 2/3 to 3/4 of the population is not really living life. Oh, for sure, their bodies a physically alive and they get up and fight their way through each day and show every appearance of being physically alive. Physically alive they are. There is a fine point here that is difficult to grasp and it is only of late that I have actually been able to really see it. It takes more than being physically alive to live life. So many just plod along each day struggling to make it through that day that their lives just become a series of one crappy day after another.

I know that for myself, I so often became so entrenched in the events of the moment that I lost sight of the big picture. How do we stop doing that? Really our lives are often seen as what we are living at any given moment. There are all the sayings like, yesterday is but a memory, tomorrow but a dream, all we have is the present. A great saying, great advise. But, what do you do if your present life sucks. What do you do?

You continue to live it; you sometimes just blindly plough ahead. You live it the best way you can getting enjoyment where you can, all the while knowing this will change. That is one of the constants in life, nothing remains the same, and everything over time will change. It is almost like having a big elephant standing in the middle of a big room. The elephant dominates the room becomes like the main focal point of the room. If you are standing in a small room with a huge elephant in it how are you going to be able to see anything else? By taking the time, making the effort to look around and see the other wonders and beautiful things in the room (our lives). There is no denying the fact the elephant is there and must be dealt with. Even with it there it does not change the other beauty contained in the room it if anything, just over shadows it in our minds.

We fill our lives with expectations, which is a hope or desire we carry within us. I know this is very easy to say and so very hard to do. We don’t have to allow external issues affect our internal feelings often because our own life expectations weren’t met.

I really seem to have gotten on a roll here and was going to give examples from my own life to try and explain what I am talking about. It seems I have tired myself right out and need my nap. Have to see some people this evening

Good Day 😀

In addition to the comments left here on the blog, I get many many emails from personal friends, blogging friends and even from family members of blogging friends. I feel honored that many share with me intimate and very personal details of their lives as they struggle with various issues (learning experiences).

I do feel honored that they do feel that level of comfort and trust in me that I will never betray the confidentiality of their messages. Which, I will never do.

It really reinforces to me the idea that “EVERYONE is fighting their own battles in life”. No one is continually living the perfect life. At the same time no one is continually living a terrible life, although it can most certainly seem like it at times. Those were the two keys, in what I am trying to say: “AT TIMES”.

I read a quote somewhere that went something like: “No one ever said life would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.” I am not sure if that is the exact wording but it was something like that and its true IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

I think of life as a journey. A journey on the highway of life. No matter which highway you travel on, you will never find one that goes on endlessly with no bumps in the road, potholes and even detours. Everyone is on their own journey and will face their own bumps and detours in their highways. We have to accept that for ourselves and for all others. Everyone is fighting their own battles. It would be nice if life provided us with a road map so we could know when a bump or detour in the highway is coming. None of us have that and must accept there will be bumps ahead. No, when I think of it, I don’t think such a map would be a good idea. If we had one we would be so focused on the upcoming bump we would forget to enjoy the smooth highway we are currently on. I thing we already tend to do to much of that, worrying about tomorrow to the point we rob our selves of the pleasure of today.
Anyone and everyone can look back over their lives and remember past situations. Past situations that while in the midst of them, we felt despair and even very discouraged. Remember the feelings back then and that somehow you got through it and eventually hit another smooth stretch on the highway of life. How did we get through it, likely don’t even know, just plodded along until we got there. The thing is we got there. I needed to really look at my past to exactly what I am talking about here.

God recognizes us all as being human; He doesn’t expect perfection from any of us only that we keep trying. Just keep trying, plugging away as best we can and we get through it often to our own surprise and at times in spite of ourselves. The how doesn’t even really matter as much as the plain fact that we do get through. Hopefully we learn from that experience and again for a while travel on, on a smooth stretch on the highway of life.

My prayers go to all that are struggling

This may sound strange but the past few days I have been thinking about my thinking, where do some of my thoughts come from. Now I am not talking about here on the blog, I believe I know that. I am talking in just every day, day to day stuff.

At times I wonder about the brain not functioning. It is there, about the size of a large walnut. It’s located on the right frontal side. This is I am told the part of the brain that we use for things like judgment, control of impulsive actions, actually quite a few things that sort of determine the person I am. Our brain is naturally contained within the confines of our skull. Being confined as such, there is no natural room for swelling or for such a thing as a tumor.

I am what I consider to be a deep thinker and not prone to acting impulsively but I have notice that now arising and will just have to be more aware.

Just realized something, if I write something stupid or ridiculous, I can just blame it on the non-functioning of the brain. lol

First off, I believe in equality in every aspect, no exceptions. OK, that is a given. But, my mind is wandering along the lines, is there or should there at least be one additional expectation of men. Maybe some of this stems from something I can remember my mother saying when I was young. You know how something’s just sort of stand out or stick in your mind, well this is one of those for me.

“Always be a man. A real man is a gentleman. A gentleman always shows due respect to others. Under no circumstances would a gentleman ever hit a woman or anyone smaller than himself. He will always stand up to protect and defend his loved ones, himself and anyone in need.”

There may have been more, that I don’t remember. I like to consider myself a gentleman. Have there been times in my life where I know I have fallen short of that definition, sadly yes. But, it is something I have tried to generally live my life by.

I know there is an equally good argument about the ladies standing up and maybe one day I will post my thoughts on that. But, today I am just talking about the men and specifically in the home, thoughts on other areas of life will likely follow.

I just can’t fathom how any male that sees himself as really being a man, “the man of the house” could use his possible greater size and strength to do anything but protect your loved ones. There is no circumstance, situation or event, as angry as you may be, that could justify violence against women and children. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS, NONE. It is time for all real men to stand up and be counted, show yourself as being a man. If anyone realizes in their hearts, changes could be make. How about starting that change today, right now.

As men, we do often possess a larger physical stature and even greater physical strength. Let’s use that in the way it was meant to be used.

I guarantee, I will never strike a woman or child.

I guarantee, I will never use my size to bully anyone, ever.

I guarantee, if we hear a noise in the middle of the night. I will be the one checking it out, baseball bat in hand.

I guarantee, if anyone says or does anything, I ever perceive as being done to intentionally hurt my loved ones. I will be in your face, immediately.

It is almost strange reading that last point. I know it to be true. The strange part is I am a very easy going relaxed kind of guy. Very little upsets or bothers me, say or do something to me and I will very likely just laugh it off. Do the very same thing to my family, different story all together.

A direct question to every male reading this. Are you a gentleman, a real man or merely an over sized jerk pretending to be a man? Give it some thought before you automatically reply.

As I wrote that a thought just came to me. I am a lucky man. Here I am complaining about addictive issues. I think poor me; here I have been fighting this “addictive blow” for over nine years now. I realize I am letting it drag me down a little. I get feed up with the constant huffing, puffing and wheezing. It seems to almost clear up but then suddenly comes back with a vengeance, each time seemingly worst than the last. OK, yes it is getting worse. But, I think in my own mind I am maybe letting it get to me a little more and through that feeling it even more.

I need to give my head a shake and really see things in proper prospective. I am a lucky man. There is no doubt about that. There are so many that have it so very much worse off than do I.

OK, talking to myself: “You are focusing on only one small part of the big picture of your life. Look at the big picture of your life as it is even just today. Yeah, this breathing is frustrating and annoying but really it is a pretty small part of the overall picture. You are still breathing be grateful for that. Fine you can’t walk up a flight of stairs or take a shower without huffing and puffing. Put a positive spin on it, that also means you can’t go out and shovel snow when it is -40 or you’re in the arctic circle, now you have to like that. You are lucky compared to so many, think of those that have been in pain, agony for the past year suffering so much. Here you are feeling sorry for yourself for a little shortness of breath. Shame on you.”

Well I have been sitting here thinking about things for the past 10 or 15 minutes. Actually, that talking to that I gave myself seems to have helped. I am a very blessed and a very lucky man.

I can breathe that in itself is a huge blessing. I have to wonder how many people have ever stopped to think of that simple fact as being a blessing. How many things are there in our lives that we just automatically take for granted just because it is (or they) are there.

Why is it that perceived negativity can dominate our thoughts so easily? What do I mean by that? We can be traveling down the highway of life on a smooth section, life is good. At times like this do we really stop and think, realize at that time the blessings we have in our lives. The things the people we have in our lives that are making this stretch of the highway so smooth. Or, do we just sail along.

Now by contrast, if we hit a little pothole or bump on the highway of life, does that pothole, problem, issue, opportunity to grow, suddenly get our undivided attention. Suddenly forgotten are all the blessings that make our lives so content just yesterday. They are still there, but seem to be immediately forgotten with all of our attention instead going to the perceived issue we are facing. Suddenly our entire life can seem to be wrapped up in that one issue, the issue of the moment.

Almost always the issue of the moment proves to be just a small bump on the highway. But, when we hit it we allow it to take on monumental proportion in our minds. I ask you, why is it we seem to so easily let the smallest perceived negative issue to suddenly outweigh a world or positives and blessings.

What benefit comes from feeling Hate? I posed the question to another individual today and his response was that Hate gives you focus. The few times I have experienced an intense hatred for something or someone I recall that focus. Everything faded about me and all that mattered was the object of my hate. The focus was like a razor and the urge to tear down and destroy the focus of my Hate pushed me to action. This was not a benefit. Much like a horse wearing blinders on its bridle I was blinded to any outside facts. I could not see how my actions might affect others or even my own life if I completed them. Shielded from truths and extenuating circumstances, I was able to hold onto my Hate by keeping focus on my own feelings. This self centered dwelling was a selfish action and brought me no real benefit. In the end, the one time I gave into action, I was left with regrets and knowledge of things I wish I had known before hand. Knowledge that I could have easily obtained if I hadn’t allowed Hate to keep my focus so one sided.

Further discussing this we, the individual and I came to the conclusion that Hate allows you to feel self righteous. You cannot hate something or someone and not feel better than your hated target. “Hate” for someone you feel is better or more privileged than you is not actual hate, but instead is envy or jealousy. “Hate” of self is a sensitive subject. I could be swayed into believing such an emotion is possible, however my companion at the time was firm in saying you cannot hate yourself, at least not in the sense that we were speaking of Hate. You can hate your perception of yourself, believing yourself capable of better, which is a form of self righteous behavior. If you feel a “hate” towards yourself but do not believe you can better your inner being or situation, you are in envy of what could have been or should have been, thus bringing us back from hate into jealousy.

Self righteous behavior is belief in being moralistically superior then something or someone else. It gives a false impression of happiness, because it is not sustainable. We all eventually fall off our high horses through mistakes that we make in our lives. This causes us to doubt our supremacy and brings about negative emotions which a self righteous person is required to deflect much like arrows being fired towards a shield. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that hatred’s self righteousness is a fleeting emotion with little to no real benefit on the psych of the individual.

Ironically, those of us who experience hate often do so with some resemblance of silence. Inanimate objects or organizations beyond our reach never gain a sense of our emotions. Individuals who we might hate rarely know the extent of our feelings and even if they do rarely feel anything more than a passing sense of dismay or amusement. Hate is not a weapon against an enemy you behold; it does not have the power to destroy it, him, her or them on its own.

Hate can have a lasting impact on an individual who feels it. It has been liken to a poison that slowly kills the body. Feelings of intense hate (Hate is an intense emotion, anything less is anger or possibly rage.) can cause a being to feel physical sensations. Illness in the stomach, a weakness in your limbs, dizzy or lack of coordination, fuzzy or temporary lost of sight. These sensations can be linked to several physical responses within the body which change how your heart, liver, stomach, spleen and hormones respond. Hate is part of the flight or flight instinct within us, and can be used to defend ourselves from danger. It’s not designed for a prolong response. Hatred can result in damage to your heart, problems with blood pressure, or physical damage to the stomach resulting in conditions such as ulcers.

Tragically, Hate can kill you. In hating someone or something, you are doing damage to your mental and physical state. Next time you feel that sensation sweep you up and bubble to the surface consider your feelings. In an action of compartmentalization, step back from the feeling and examine it. Separate yourself from the hate and break it down into pieces which you can examine. Decide which parts will impact you long term and look for solutions to solve or endure.  The immediate sensations of hurt, fear or frustration discard as temporary side effects of your situation. Start to slow down the poison that’s spreading within your own body and gain a healthy and happier state of mind

This is the point where I enter a new chapter, a new place, a new existence in this “life, part 2” of mine.

There has been a shift, one so stark and unignorable that I have very quickly made some important decisions about myself and my life and have begun to act on those.

The other night, I lay in bed, wide awake at 2 a.m., feeling this immense pressure on my chest. Everything about my life felt too overwhelming. I kept thinking about this last year, everything that has happened, how it’s affected me, what it all means for my future; I was wondering how I could continue to carry all this and move forward at the same time, knowing it would be impossible, when in a flash, a wave of anger washed over me.

“What the Hell, man?” That’s exactly what I told myself. “Why am I in this agony when I’m the only one in it? Why am I stressing over other people and whatever shit they have going on in their heads, especially when none of them stress about me?” It was a night where I asked a series of questions of myself – a lot of “why’s” – where I indulged in one final pity party even as I lay there facing some very harsh truths.

And from there, it all took a turn. I realized that (due to a few specific events/reasons) I was living in this suspended state of tension – like when you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. And in that state, you just can’t move or do much. I’ve been waiting for something to happen – for a change, for words, for something.

And the truth is, there’s nothing. There’s nothing but all that is right in front of me. How can I wait or wonder about or expect something beyond all that is right before me? I am suddenly very aware of how I apply this concept in all aspects of my life: I am always wondering if the people around me are holding back; I’m always waiting for more – for their real feelings, their real thoughts. Why don’t I just take it all at face value? If someone doesn’t say more, or something different, isn’t there a greater chance that they don’t simply because the more or the different is just not there?

So with all this, during that long, torturous night, I realized I had to stop it. I realized I was entitled to my sadness and my anger and my frustration, but that I could not let them control me, nor let them cloud my life. They are there. They will be there for God knows how long. But they are not me, and they don’t have the right to keep robbing me of all the possibilities before me.

It is just that I am so indescribably tired of everything. I am especially tired of myself, of being this person who devotes way too much time and energy and emotion to people and relationships in way that is just too one-sided. I am tired of hope, of thinking that there must be something better, because that notion will keep me tied to an illusion for an indefinite amount of time if I continue with it. I have told myself for months now to keep my chin up, to be hopeful of life, to stay open – blah, blah, blah. For now, it is just done for me. No more. No more of this ridiculous bullshit; I’m over it.

I have realized that there are just some things that I have to accept, whether I like it or not, whether I think it’s fair or not. I just have to accept it. And I have to do whatever it takes to keep my life moving forward, no matter how drastic, no matter the cost. I have had this recurring vision of myself standing still while all around me thousands of tiny axes fall; it is a bizarre but accurate description of what I feel. I am at this point determined to take whatever measures necessary until I am free of this sucking agony that has taken every shred of happiness from me.

I am done – so, so, so done. I miss smiling easily and being light-hearted and in a playful mood; I miss not being so freakishly sensitive and taking everything personally. I miss my self-esteem and self-confidence. So there is no more of this shit. No more me stressing over others, stressing over what they think of me, what they feel (or don’t) for me, stressing over all the ways in which I fail. There is no more me measuring my words, acting cautiously for fear of pissing someone off.

I haven’t got much of a definite plan right now, but the shift that I needed has occurred. And now, I am committed to seeing this through to a better end.

So yeah, almost done with this semester, closing down business for a month so I can hug my bed every day for a longer period of time.

I have a lot of time these days to sit and think. Now that in itself can be a mixed blessing. When you have the luxury of this time, it can be so very easy to allow your thoughts to wander and stay on the negatives or things that we perceive as negatives in our lives at the time. OK, it is important at times to really think about this sort of stuff but not to dwell on it, if you know what I mean. If our minds are going to dwell on anything, let’s make it on the positive things in our lives. I don’t care who you are or what your circumstances may be, there are many positives in your life. Sometimes granted it seems we have to look for them, but they are there. I have a challenge for everyone. Tonight as you lay in bed, before you go to sleep search your mind to find a positive in your life. No matter how big or small it may be recognize it as a positive, take a moment to be grateful for it, appreciate you are indeed lucky to have it. Every night search your mind for one more thing. In time you can see you are in fact surrounded by them.  I know I have many many things to be grateful for, positives in my life.

I spend a lot of my thinking time, “solving the problems of the world”. Now this is important stuff for me to figure out, should I ever be elected “King of the World”  lol. It would be good to know how to deal with all of this. This is all kind of strange in that the more I read, the more I ponder and meditate, the more I realize I don’t know. Huh, maybe I am moving backwards in this whole process.

I am realizing that there is very little in life that is just straight forward, cut and dry. Very few things are as plain as black and white, there are all sorts of shades of gray mixed in with this all. I am finding there are fewer and fewer issues in life that I am solidly on one side or the other. I am finding myself in that gray zone seeing validity to both sides of most arguments. Now, I am not talking about things like murder or rape or anything like that, I am talking more about life issues. Every coin has 2 sides to it. On both sides you will always have the extremists that believe their way is the only way. But, really how much of life is that cut and dry. Aren’t there always the “yeah, but what if….. scenarios”. You know the exceptions to the rule. The exceptions where suddenly we find ourselves saying: “well maybe given this situation it might be alright this time, but just this once.” I think these are likely the times when the “situation” affects directly on us or one of our own. Are we less likely to see there could be exceptions when the “situation” involves other and has nothing to do with ourselves. Hmm think about it!!

Let me give an example of what I may ponder on. Hey, maybe I will throw these out there more often and get feed back. OK, this issue, I have my strong views and I do lean to one side of the issue but am still a little in the gray zone. I am looking for feedback and I will share my own thoughts in a few days. This is something I have been thinking about but it again brought to mind by a blog I saw when signing on to wordpress this morning.

I am going to try to present both sides of the coin as best I can. Huh, I have been sitting here trying to come up with wording. I am not a writer but a rambler. I realize I can’t really represent one side of the story. It is about abortion right or wrong? I don’t think I really need to present both sides of the coin, I think all know them already. As I have said I already have my own thoughts on this and will share them in a day or two. I ask you some of the questions on which I have thought.

1. Should a woman not have the right to determine what happens to her own body?

2. Life, is a God given gift, what give us as humans the right to decide whether or not a baby should live?

3. Is the situation that cut and dry or can there be exceptions to any rule?

4. Many say abortion is an option if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Who determines what level of jeopardy that warrantees and abortion? How is the mother’s life given priority over the babies?

5. Many claim abortion is murder and even that the doctors that perform them should be charged with murder. OK, if it is murder then shouldn’t the mothers be charged with something also as it was them that instigated the whole situation?

Do any of the above thoughts reflect my feelings, not at all. Just thoughts that come to mind as I ponder. When I do this, I try my best to look at both sides of the coin to see which side I am on. What do you think? Don’t accuse life of being a bitch but it is we who instigate problems.