Our society expects us to maintain a facade. We must never seem broken or fragile. Society sees this a weakness. Underneath all of that the reality is that it is frightening. If you are shattered maybe that will happen to me.
Think about how we greet people. “How are you? I’m fine.” We may be suffering but oh dear we better not share it. I have heard people respond “not okay” and the other person doesn’t even acknowledge what has been said. Too often we don’t want to hear it. It might draw us into the pain and suffering that we don’t want to see.
In truth, most of us are balanced on a precipice and feel that a little shove might push us over. We wouldn’t want anyone else to see this as that would diminish us in their eyes.
Most of my life people have sought me out to share their fears and their pain. I don’t think I am at all special. It is because I have never hidden my own wounds and am willing to open myself to others. I’m not sure why I am this way but it is who I am. Being this way is not always comfortable but it has given me the opportunity to show compassion and love.
Never be afraid to share your true self. Some will turn away but it is their own fears that cause that. Showing others how you have learned and continue to move on will give them hope.
I read a blog today that was an interesting discussion. There was much back and forth about life and death. It was quite technical. At some point a meaningful life was mentioned and it seemed to me to most participants completely let that drop for more esoteric thoughts.
I am totally concerned about life having meaning. At this time in my life I have no doubts that mine does. This may be hubris on my part but over the years I can see where something that I did or said changed something or someone. I have had people that I don’t even remember who they are come up and say that I changed their life. I can’t remember what I said or did but that doesn’t matter. Somehow, at the time, I was blessed with the right thing to say. Does this mean that I am special? No way. I was just a catalyst…a stop on the road.
For me, these are the things that make life meaningful. Was I able to help someone? Was I in the right place at the right time? Did the right things come to me out of the blue? Yes! It was not me. It was God, or a higher power, or coincidence. Whatever works for you. But this is what helps me to understand how our lives are meaningful.
Loving, giving and sharing our stories and our pains helps others along the path. Because of this I can know that even when I messed up my life has had meaning. I plan to keep on loving and giving until the day I die.
What we are taught from childhood on is what carves us into the people we are now. Children absorb not only what they are told but also what they see. Their world is their home and family. What happens there sets the path.
Have we been teaching children to think only of themselves?
Have we taught intolerance?
Have we taught hatred?
Have we belittled them?
Or have we taught love?
Education is not just what we learn in school. That is important and the more we learn the more we can understand about the world around us. The more we learn about the lives of others the less likely we are to be intolerant. However, learning in early childhood is crucial.
Every kind of education is necessary to make the world a better place. We must help families to teach their children well. We need to marry what we learn at home with what we learn of the world. The more knowledge the better. Never stop learning.
What is is to search for our own soul. (It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is our inner core…our best self.) How do we turn away from the things that our society has led us to believe are the ultimate good? When are we able to grow enough to cast aside the ideas that we have been taught from birth?
Most of us who have spent our lives in western society have been taught to reach for things that are finite. We look to find joy and peace in things that fade. We want everything taken care of NOW! We are impatient and want pills to cure our ills that work fast. If we feel the slightest bit bored we want entertainment that distracts us from spending time with ourselves. We want to be as beautiful at 80 as we were at 25. The look of youth is the ultimate. We want things to feed our emptiness with…cars, jewelry, clothes, electronics, houses….anything to make us important. We want to seem important, looked up to and emulated. We think that these will be fulfilling. They won’t. Their rewards to us are ephemeral.
Turning away from these illusions and seeking the soul itself is a challenge. Can we go against society and understand that love and compassion and empathy and generosity are what matters? These are eternal.
Seek inside yourself for the things that really matter and pursue them.
This is an absolutely wonderful video from the Mayo Clinic. The conclusion is a new way to think about finding happiness.
Yesterday I spent down in the dirt so today was a rest day. Altogether a nice day. I still hate the time change and it will take me at least a week to adjust. I got up at my usuall time although it was an hour early. That is the only way I know to adjust.
Lately I have found myself prone to tears. I seem to weep at anything. It is not depressions but almost an acknowledgement of the sadness I feel for others. Being sensitive to other’s trials and pains is sometimes a difficult road. It does reduce me to tears on occasion and lately more than usual. That is probably because I am seeing more pain around me. Not just those I know but in the world at large.
As an elder I worry about the world that will be here for my grandchildren and great grandchildren. I hope that some of the abuses, anger, going too far in many things will swing back to reason. We have pushed the limit on so many things. Here in the US sexuality has become such an issue. Why do we have to be so concerned about the private lives of others.
Admittedly we see too much on media that is painful and disturbing. I have to turn some of it off for self preservation. Sometimes there is enough to handle in your own space, Many are in overload and it is no wonder that depression and anxiety are rising. A friend of my grandson spent the first semester of his college term not attending classes and obsessing. He has threatened suicide and his parents and having trouble finding appropriate care.
Life today is not easy. As I have said before it seemed easier when I was growing. Was I living in a bubble or was it really easier?
Anyway that is just my train of thought for today. Hope everyone had a good day!
Following is the prayer we said today at Ash Wednesday service. I think that these words are something that we all need to hear. All of us have things to regret. I have printed it complete on my other blog.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
Our past unfaithfulness, the pride, envy, hypocrisy, and apathy that have infected our lives, we confess to you.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, we confess to you.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to share the faith that is in us, we confess to you.
Our neglect of human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, we confess to you.
Our false judgments, our uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, we confess to you.
Our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, we confess to you.