Help Me Understand


I need help understanding why some are incapable of exchanging points of view without making a personal attack. Why do so many lack the ability to debate without hate? Why are some of us born with open minds while others simply switch off at suggestions of  different points of view? How is it that some people repeat only what they hear, never stopping to ponder logic or offer opinions of their own? What triggers the closing of minds –  ignites suspicion, fear, bigotry and exclusion? Help me understand.

Strong opinions from politics, religion, environment to my silly dog; I make myself abundantly clear – writing from the heart without mincing words. No intention, other than matching word to thought.. What you see is what you get; this is who I am. Along the way I’ve met people with vastly different viewpoints – people who present their side of an issue thoughtfully, concisely and without malice. People I respect and consider friends, people willing to “agree to disagree”.  This I understand.

I encounter closed minds – those wishing myself or family harm; people full of hatred. These are the people quoting opinionated broadcasters verbatim, people choosing to spew unsubstantiated rhetoric, people without an original thought or perspective to cloud their venom. Help me understand.

If I didn’t possess a fundamental belief in humanity, my ability to function without despair would have collapsed years ago. I shake my head, scrape my jaw off the ground and carry on. That said – at times the weight of closed minds becomes unbearable. Help me understand – what would it take to strip the blinders from millions of scared, angry people?

Stress


A lovely friend  sensed I was feeling rather low. I’ve had a rough couple of days; as if causing several thousand dollars damage to a parked car with our company vehicle wasn’t enough – I came down with a brutal cold; the first cold of the season that leaves you shivering under six blankets, still shaking like a newborn kitten as you reach for the box of Kleenex. At times life tries to suffocate you with buckets of nonsense – pinning you down with wave after wave of in your face “deal with it” crap. Often all it takes to snap out of it is the gesture of a friend; someone with the power to gently snap you out of your funk. Thank you Rena, you put a smile on my face and compel me to share your words.

A Great Lesson on Stress:

A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water while leading a seminar and explaining stress management to her audience. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, “Half empty or half full?’ She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry ours burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practised. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Pick them up again tomorrow if you must.

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

20 *Save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate!*

Today someone asked me if I liked you. I laughed, and said, “Ha! That’s funny!! I absolutely LOVE that woman!! She’s funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she’s reading this email right now & I love her!!”

Send this to ten ladies you love!! & I better be one!!!!

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~ “Oh Crap, She’s up!”

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Dear Erin


Dear Erin,

We only crossed paths for a short while, always at work, and only for the blink of an eye. You were there one day, gone the next. Inquiries as to your where-a-bouts met vague explanations; dealing with health issues, needing some personal time, taking care of family matters. Not my place to press the issue – I backed off,  yet you never left my mind.

I doubt you understand how gracious and beautiful you are. I say this because even though I know nothing about your life, I was able to read your eyes like an open book. I had those same eyes many years ago; eyes that gave away any attempt to feel “normal”, eyes pleading for something they couldn’t define. I recognized your pain, stoic attempts to pretend life was under control.

I don’t know why you’re so sad, but know you where damaged along the way. For what it’s worth –  damaged people are the most interesting people I know. People who are able to show compassion, view the world slightly off centre, and accept unconventional points of view. Without even knowing it, you demonstrated these things over and over again.

Wherever you are; know that it’s OK to be damaged, let down and disillusioned. Understand you are not defined by the past, and deserve a future. Whatever sorrow holds you down, also makes you shine. I doubt you comprehend the impact you have on those around you. Your spirit, kindness, empathy, and compassion rise above bottled bruises. I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but it’s my way of telling you how special you are.

Sunday Morning Inspiration


We spend our lives rushing about, wrapped up in our ever so important little worlds. Hearts and minds closed to all but an Instagram of our twenty dollar lunch plate. Homeless people disappear into the shadows as we scurry about; invisible and discounted, a blight on our otherwise sunny day.

Listen to this video, and try to tell me you ‘re not touched. Every last one of us could fall on hard times, succumb to mental illness, or fall between the cracks. We all need to open our eyes and look into the shadows.

Extraordinary Ordinary


Extraordinary Ordinary

I live in a place known for rain, a Canadian city released from the grip of old man winter in exchange for grey days. Occasional snow storms break the monotony, sunny days are few and far between.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recognized affliction; a form of depression caused by lack of sunlight.Winter is predictably gloomy, yet short – over in the blink of an eye.

My eye sees beauty in all that grey. Overcast skies are a gift, offered in exchange for stoically splashing through puddles. Ponder that gift of sight, and accept the opportunity to view the ordinary as extraordinary. Discover our world beyond sun splashed postcard expectations, and you’ll discover layers that expand horizons.

Click on the link above – extraordinary ordinary.

photo.

Salmon mural

Feet


I never liked my feet. My mother used to tell people that when I was little, my footprints in the sand; looked  like a duck had waddled by. My foot shame grew as I did; shapely legs, slender ankles came to a grinding halt at the abomination called my feet. Nothing dainty about them. Size 9, just about as wide, and the ultimate cruelty; a second toe longer than the first.

Growing up on a farm didn’t help the situation much. As soon as school ended for the summer break, the shoes came off. We called them our “summer feet”; they were impervious to pain. My siblings and I put a lot of effort into this pursuit. For the first week of vacation we hobbled about gingerly – hot pavement, gravel, brambles – miraculously each of us declared the arrival of our leather feet. We became unstoppable; we ran like the wind, oblivious to all but the sharpest misplaced nail.

Old people’s feet horrified me. Nails so thick and curled it would take a saw to cut them, toes bent and misshapen, callouses glistening with a sickly yellow hue, veins swollen by time. I stared in astonishment wondering how some of these people found the courage to don sandals. Sure it was hot; but think of the children. These props belonged in a horror movie.

I buried my feet in the sand, suffered in shoes half a size too small, and sadly said goodbye to summer feet. I missed those summer feet most of all. My head sternly told my heart I could avoid making a bad situation worse by letting them go. It got easier once I moved to the city; before long I was doing the ouch ouch dance on hot sand just like every other city dweller.

As time passed it started to matter less and less. I found myself looking at feet with interest rather than repulsion. Feet told me a lot about the person, they posed questions, were a window into lives. I painted my toe nails, let my feet touch grass, and swear I’ve tasted summer feet once or twice. The other day my daughter said – holy crap, look at your feet. Hardly even curling my toes I smiled inside, knowing she’d figure it out someday. Once you find beauty in feet, your eyes are open to beauty in the most unexpected of places.

Feet Study 1 by irysching

 

Rather Blind than Fat


I’m no Kate Moss, nor am I over weight. By America’s Next Top Model standards my healthy size 8 would be considered “plus size”. North America has a massive problem with obesity. Statistics on childhood obesity are staggering, our “supersize” world is out of control. Just as remarkable are eating disorders, in no small part a result of impossible standards set by the fashion industry.

Arizona State University published the results of a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health. Based on a “blind study” of 100 women the results set me pondering. A shocking 1 in 6 said they would rather be blind than fat. It didn’t stop there; 1 in 4 would prefer herpes, severe depression, or alcoholism over a bulging waistline.

To be honest these results strike me as more disappointing than shocking. Women fought hard for the vote, equal rights ,abortion, and pay equity. Choosing a disability or social stigma in exchange for a size 2 not only defeats the battles, it proves women will never be equal.

Obesity is society’s problem, not limited to women; a concern to all. Until women are able to wrap their heads around the power of the mind, not the body – they will continue to be judged by their dress size.

Eating Disorders

Thehealthtime.com