Do they know how to fix it?

Technology is wonderful….until it isn’t. The more complex it gets the more can go wrong. I have spent three days trying to resolve a problem with my cable, phone, internet, provider. Their system has become so complex that even the people who work for them don’t know what is going on.

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The first person I dealt with was in the store. A very nice person who admitted that so much had been changed with their offerings that he was unsure about what channels were available with each plan. My husband was adamant about having certain channels and we were assured that they would be there. You guessed it…they weren’t. I had a very unhappy husband when he turned the TV on.

Next I got on a chat session with another agent who assured me that adding one premium channel would fix the problem. Ha! Didn’t happen.

The next morning I again chatted with an agent. In the meantime I had spent time on the web site searching for quite a while to access the channel line up so that I knew what had to be done. I told the agent what was necessary to fix the issue. He agreed but then wanted me to sign up for home security. The total would be less that I am paying now. Because of that I agreed. He made the changes and guess what? Still no channels!

This morning I again tackled the problem with another agent on chat and wrote out step by step what I wanted done. I didn’t give him a chance to decide. By this time I could work for the company. Finally what I needed was taken care of and we are all set.

It is amazing that things have become so complicated that even the people who work with them don’t know what is going on or how to fix things. I am reasonably tech savvy and wanted to just do the fixing for them.

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My level of frustration was high after all of this and I took to gardening to reach a level of calm. Potting plants can sure remove tension!

Kindness heals

Today has been a better day. The hurt of yesterday has had time to be absorbed and put in its proper place. There is a difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is something for me usually comes from the outside and gets logged into its place. Depression hangs on.

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So, I will still feel that hurt but it will not push me into depression. It will just go its way in time. Thanks for the kind words that lifted me up.

A Serious Problem

Caveat: This blog talks about the partners addiction and suicide.

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Recently our family has watched a (for me) distant member continue to self destruct. From early on in his life he has been addicted. I suspect alcohol at first but quickly drugs. He has been to rehab many times and now in his twenties he was in a serious accident with his transportation. A short while before this he was hospitalized for an overdose. In the hospital following this latest incident it seems he has expressed that he couldn’t cope any longer.

I can imagine that to have spent most of your life battling addiction, always needing drugs, in and out of rehab unsuccessfully, it would be difficult to see anything in your future except continued pain. I can understand the desire to end it all.

Several blogs have talked about that kind of hopelessness. It is devastating to feel that there is nothing that you can do to stop the circle of pain. Most of the blogs that talk about this have suffered from mental health issues and many have found help with medications, therapy and coping skills. Unfortunately, I know several families who have suffered with the problem as it relates to addiction and wish there were more successful help for sufferers. Some people are helped by rehab but there are those for whom rehab is not enough. It has made me suspect that for these people there are underlying problems, possibly mental health issues, that have never been identified and addressed.

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It makes me suspect these victims have spent their lives self-medicating their unaddressed mental health problem with drugs and/or alcohol. I hope that as we look more carefully into the people who are suffering with this that more help can be found.

Why?

Often we wonder if all the trails and pains of life have any purpose. A number of years ago I wrote this poem expressing that I can see a reason.

Why?

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The pain of aloneness

not belonging

not accepted

 

Is an instrument

carving out the soul

making a space

to hold and heal

someone else’s pain

 

©Suzanne Boyd 2018

 

A season of gray

I worked for a Lutheran church and I now go to an Episcopal church. I love liturgy. It has form and function. In the midst of a chaotic world it continues an age old pattern. That gives me comfort.

dreary-rural-road-landscape-on-260nw-466153421We are now in the season of Advent. Advent arrives in the darkest time of the year. Where I live it has been gloomy for the last week. We have had cold and rain. The sky is gray, the trees are gray…it feels as if the world is gray. The weather at this time of the year can be really depressing.

We are at the time of the year when a lot of the world is preparing for the (dare I say) Christmas holidays. Hanakkuh is also being celebrated. Even people who have no religious background or affiliation get into the season. It is hard to resist lights, trees, and presents. The commercial world is pumping out enticing ads and people are binge watching holiday movies. For most people the mood is bright.

Xmas-lights-2However, this can be a difficult time for some. Think about those for whom this time of year is hard. For the homeless it is just cold and miserable. We see them huddled on the streets and in cardboard boxes cringing away from the cold. Those who have lost loved ones during this season struggle with their loss. There are so many memories. People who are without family or friends see the season highlighting their loneliness.

This can be a wonderful time. Anticipation can be joyful. It can also be devastating. Look around you at those who suffer in Advent. What is coming for them can be sad and lonely. Do what you can to help.

 

A safe place

The only people who change, who are transformed, are people who feel safe, who feel their dignity, and who feel loved. When you feel loved, when you feel safe, and when you know your dignity, you just keep growing! That’s what we do for one another as loving people—offer safe relationships in which we can change. This kind of love is far from sentimental; it has real power. In general, we need a judicious combination of safety and necessary conflict to keep moving forward in life.  Richard Rohr

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This is an amazing statement. It is important that we feel safe. That safety has nothing to do with being safe from accidents, guns etc. It has to do with having a safe ground beneath our feet. A tree is able to grow to great heights if its roots are deeply set in the ground. The same is true of us. We can endure the winds of life buffeting our branches if we have that grounding. We can survive and be strengthened by the challenges in our lives. We can grow tall and strong.

This follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Safety and security are the base of his pyramid. For him it has to do with  food, safe home, basic needs fulfilled. Rohr recognizes that there is more.  We all need someone in our lives to acknowledge our existence and to show us that we matter.

safe placeChange is inevitable. We need to know where our roots are held fast and then we can move with the change. We may find that grounding in God, in a person, or in a community. Where is not important. Find your ground.

 

Hands + mind + eyes = calm

Is there something in your life that makes you feel good? Something that you like doing and it puts you in a calm place. There are several things that I do that calm my mind and my mind is peaceful. I do Mandalas. I started these after seeing the book by Judith Cornell  on Mandalas for healing.

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String of Pearls. This is a small mandala I did after having my mother’s pearls stolen. I was grieving her loss.

 

I am not artist but just creating something while in a meditative state gives me peace. I also use the book Praying in Color as a way to pray for others using drawing. Again, I am not an artist but the action is calming.

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Writing is also calming for me (most of the time). Writing poetry allow me to vent my feelings in a constructive way. I also like to play the piano.

The point of all of this is that if you can find something that is calming for you and that you like doing, use it. If you, like me, tend to binge on TV to reduce stress and keep your mind from freaking out, try something like this instead. There is something about engaging your hands, eyes and mind all at once that soothes us.

Both of these books are available at Amazon

 

 

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