“And nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope.” — Robert Frost
I am growing from, and getting over my sense of lost pride and lost hope. Often, my life seemed poisoned at the very source. I can’t remember a time of innocence, joy, or confidence in myself or in my relationships with others. I was sexually abused when I was a young child. I know the pain from that abuse and the stress associated with “keeping the secret” made me feel unsure of my boundaries and re framed my view of the future to one of anxiety and dread. But things are in fact beginning to change, as I change.
To go forward, I have had to admit to powerlessness. That has been hard for me to do. I must admit that I am powerless to undo the hurt and abuse in my past. And I have learned that I can’t “go it alone”. I have been alone way too long! I have my “new and improved” Self, the Universe, and my close friends to trust and confer with.
I am overcoming my past and turning toward the future with growing hope and trust. And then the present, like the New Year, becomes filled with promise. For those that know me well, also know that this “re framing” was difficult and can share with me the joy in my ability to change my way of thinking.
“A child miseducated is a child lost.” – John F. Kennedy
So much money is spent on bombs and missiles and so little on education. With so many children in crowded classrooms and old buildings, with ill-trained and ill-paid teachers, it seems easier to destroy life than to nurture and strengthen it. I’ve thought a lot lately about what it was like for me as a child.
“Education” means leading out from … away from ignorance, defenselessness, anxiety and fear. In my childhood, I was educated in an environment which included neglect and abuse.
Childhood especially should be a time of growth and hope. When memories of childhood are tarnished, bitterness and resentment follow, and these in turn can lead to erratic or addictive behavior. I know what it was like to be pushed away, exploited, even seduced and abused. I hated it and it made me distrustful and angry.
Now that I’m on a path of personal growth and allowing more spirituality into my life, I feel the power of “education” as I learn to leave behind the ignorance, fear and pain of my childhood. I have come to feel the joy of nurturing myself and caring deeply for those around me. I want to be concerned with education as a way of overcoming ignorance, mistrust , isolation and fear.
- The Innocence of Children (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Addiction during the holidays: Recovered or not, it’s important to be prepared (psychologytoday.com)
- Morty Lefkoe: Does Anger Make You Uncomfortable? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dealing with Guilt: Part Two (socyberty.com)
“Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay
Children feel themselves all-powerful in an infinite world. Nothing disappears, nothing passes away. In our earliest days, our pleasures were limitless and timeless. Reality was only an obstacle to gratification.
In our drama, we often remain fixed in a similar pleasure-oriented world. We don’t like it when someone says “no” to us. We sometimes try to manipulate reality to suit our own purposes. We may look upon others as objects of gratification. In our fantasies, we often recreate the omnipotent, timeless world of childhood, where we are in total control. Our pleasures know no boundaries.
We need to stay childlike and full of wonder, but at the same time, we must put away those childish fantasies. We can be creative, without believing ourselves immortal or invincible. We can return to the kingdom of our earliest days without playing the little tyrannical ruler.
Remember the uniqueness of our own childhood and leave behind its self-centeredness. Love of others and love of life is the antidote to the narrow circle of our dysfunction.
- Christmas within the Eyes of a Child (rock-kool-dadie.blogspot.com)
- Lego Universe’s childhood innocence-preserving measures outlined (joystiq.com)
- The Connection Between Childhood Perfectionism and OCD (brighthub.com)
“Desire realized is sweet to the soul.” — Proverbs 13:19
Christmas is approaching. I can recall as a child, every Christmas Eve coming home from church and running up to the Christmas tree, seeing presents – mounds of them, four huge stacks, one for each sibling, towering as high as the top of the tree itself. But even with that kind of excess, one can still experience a lifetime of deprivation. If we were deprived as children, we may still live with emptiness inside. Of what were we deprived; love, security, validation, acceptance, caring, or compassion?
I know that I like many others compensated by learning to bear the deprivation and survive. As an adult, I find myself still surviving. I settle; I don’t ask for things because I believe I don’t deserve anything. But making do with life’s crumbs has brought me to resentment, self-pity and feeling deprived. I remain a child, instead of becoming an emotionally healthy adult who feels competent and worthwhile.
I am learning where the balance is between wanting nothing and wanting everything. If I can continue to work on broadening my thinking to include such words as “plenty”, “fulfillment”, “pleasure”, and “satisfaction”, I know that only then will I start to believe there is enough of everything. It is then that I will become aware of the fullness of life around and within me. Living in the present helps me realize that I actually have everything I need in the moment.
This realization helps me feel worthwhile, competent – and even fulfilled. My prayer to the Universe today will be, “Please take away my fear of satisfaction and pleasure. Grant me an awareness of how good life is, whether it brings me what I expect.”
- Have a Good – Not a Goods – Holiday Season (mint.com)
- 8 Easy Ideas to Help Others During The Holidays From Gift Basket Village (prweb.com)
- Christmas with a Capital C: A Heart-Warming Christmas Movie on GMC (susanheim.blogspot.com)
“No, this is not me; this is somebody else that suffers.
I could never face that, and all that has happened:
Let sackcloth and ashes enshroud it,
And see all the lamps are removed…
I am a person with needs. We are all people with needs. None of us are different in this. I suggest that we are not different when it comes to needs being met (or unmet) when we were younger. I am certain that for many of us, some of our important needs were not met when we were small children dependent upon a world of adults to care for us. Now we’re adults, and the feeling of neediness has for many of us, become a chasm within us. And to make things harder, the child within us still feels ashamed because of our needs.
I have learned that even though my closest friend tries each day to make sure that my needs are met, I must help myself. The same holds true for my consideration when I hear my “Voice from within” wonder, “Am I meeting his/her needs?” Unless we help ourselves, our pain and shame will turn into rage, which only empties us, and we cannot run on empty forever, in trying to hide our own true feelings.
Our needs are real, and we have nothing for which to be ashamed. Whether through reaching out to others or whatever tool we gain along our path of personal growth and development, turning to that force which we believe to be greater than our own Self, or trusting any of our other inner resources while in quiet solitude, we can meet our own needs. Each day, I make every effort to be gentle with my “neediness”. We don’t have to be perfect after all, just real!
I Accept All My Relationships As They Are Today.
I Will Give Them My Best.
“Only one who listens can speak.” – Dag Hammarskjöld
Inevitably, there will always be times in our life when a relationship becomes difficult. Maybe it’s a friendship that has conflicts, a romantic relationship that suddenly, terrifyingly, starts to fall apart or family relationships, strained by years of unmet expectations, become cold and distant.
A shaky relationship can trigger one’s fear of abandonment. That’s when we feel torn between old, inappropriate interactions and any new tools for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and one’s commitment to living life as one chooses. What choices are available? Give up and run? Hang on, even though one may not want to? How honest should one be? What should be left unsaid, perhaps better shared with someone else? These are only some of the question we have to ask ourselves.
The wisdom gained through personal growth do nothing until one makes a choice, deciding the course of right action; what to do. All things, including relationships, are on the Universe’s time continuum. Until – or when – we come to a decision, we can live each day going about our lives. All we can do is live each moment and give ourselves the love and nurturing we need until the difficulty finally comes to an end. The outcome may not be expected, but at last, with reality in our midst, we are ready to accept life and our relationships just as they are, now stronger to face our next challenge.
A Short Story About a Butterfly
She was a beautiful butterfly and she belonged to someone now. Her delicate wings glistened in the light like stained glass windows in a cathedral. She sat on a little twig, her big dark eyes peering out at the world from behind the protection of her glass enclosure. She was happy. She was safe from the world, out there, content to live within the confines of her glass jar; days spent flying and fluttering about almost forgotten.
One day, a boy took the jar with the butterfly in it and carried it outside. “Butterflies should be free,” he said. The butterfly wasn’t so sure. She clung desperately to the twig, terrified of this sudden journey into the unknown world. When the boy got outside, he took the lid off, shook the jar and said, “Okay butterfly, fly free!”
But the little butterfly didn’t want to fly free. She liked her safe little home inside the jar. She liked the twig upon which she perched. She liked the constant temperature of the air, the cool feel of the glass against her wings when she spread them wide. She did not want to fly free. The little boy became agitated. He shook the jar again and again until finally, realizing the butterfly was not going to come out, he threw the jar to the ground and smashed it into a thousand pieces.
Suddenly exposed to the chill of the air, the butterfly cried in terror. “What have you done? You’ve ruined everything!” The little boy didn’t understand. The butterfly quivered on the grass, her wings shaking, her eyes tearing. She wouldn’t move from the twig to which she clung. “Stupid butterfly,” he said before turning his back and walking away.
The little butterfly watched him leave and wondered what on earth she was going to do now. Where would she go? How would she ever feel safe again? Just then a gentle breeze came up and stirred her wings.
“Who’s there?” she asked.
“It’s me. The Wind,” a voice answered.
“The Wind you say? Come on, who are you – really?”
“I can be your friend,” the Wind responded.
“Ha!” chirped the butterfly, her voice rising in condescension. “I don’t need a friend. I need a glass jar.”
“How do you know you don’t need a friend? Have you ever had one?”
The butterfly didn’t want to listen to the Wind. She wanted to climb back inside the security of the glass jar and be safe. “Go away! Leave me alone.” The Wind didn’t listen. He tickled her wings and ever-so-gently stroked her body. The Wind caused his gentlest breezes under and over her as he coursed through the air. “Stop that!” The butterfly cried. The Wind’s friendly breezes were encouraging her wings to unfold.
She did not want her wings to unfold. She did not want to let go of the twig to which she still clung so fiercely. The Wind listened, but reasoned with the butterfly, explaining his many centuries on Earth and the experience he has gained with which he only wishes to do acts of kindness; his present act of kindness will benefit the butterfly greatly and bring great joy. With that, he grew stronger. He couldn’t stop his swift breeze from naturally lifting the butterfly off the ground.
“What? What’s happening?” she cried as the earth began to fall away. “Stop it! I’m scared.” The Wind continued to ignore her cries as he carried her further and further away from the broken pieces of the glass jar that was once her home. He carried her to a garden of bright, brilliant colored wild flowers. Their velvety faces pointed up towards the sun, the colorful heads nodded in joy against the gentle caresses of the breeze as it carried the butterfly through their midst.
“Oh my gosh!” cried the butterfly. “Look at all the colors. What are they?” she asked as without thinking her wings began to move up and down by themselves and she began to flit among the multi-colored hues of the flowers. “They’re your friends,” the Wind whispered into her ear.
Suddenly, the butterfly realized she was flying. She stopped moving her wings up and down and landed with a plop on top of a flower. “Oh, sorry,” she said as she struggled to gain flight again. The flower, a bright sunny, daisy with many arms smiled happily and replied. “Don’t be sorry. You’re helping me grow!”
Just then, another beautiful butterfly came flitting by. He saw the little butterfly struggling to lift off from the flower and settled on a petal close by. “Hi,” he said, his eyes twinkling in the sun. “What’s your hurry? How about sitting with me awhile?”
“Who are you?” the little butterfly asked, trying desperately to fold her wings into her body to avoid touching his.
“I’m a butterfly,” he replied. “Just like you.”]
“Hmm,” the little butterfly thought for a moment as she digested this new information. “And you live out here?” “Where else would I live?” he asked. Growing tired of sitting around in the sunshine, he spread his magnificent wings and took flight. “Come on,” he called back to the little butterfly who watched in awe as the sun caught his wings and cast beautiful colorful prism onto the ground. “Let’s fly!”
The little butterfly looked around. Amidst the flowers hundreds of butterflies flitted joyfully among the flowers. Here and there a big fat bumblebee buzzed its way around as it busily gathered nectar for its hive.
The butterfly wanted to be like the other butterflies she could see around her. Carefully she unfurled her wings. She felt a tickle of breeze caress her skin. She felt her body lifting up. Leaving her fear behind her spread her wings and took to the skies. Beneath her, the glass shards of her forgotten jar glistened in the sun. In the distance, the little boy played ball with his dog while all around her the world revolved in magnificent splendor as she began to fly. She was free at last. Free to feel the Wind beneath the wings, as she moved beyond the memory of her glass jar into the big wide world around her.