This time I am here with my oldest. It’s been wonderful to see him get excited about being in these historically amazing places!
I try to surround myself with an eclectic mix of people. I like all sorts of personality types. I get along with most everybody.
I also try to find people who have strengths where I have weaknesses, and people who are weak where I have strengths, because we are all constantly learning. I want to learn from those who have strengths where I lack. And I hope I can help build up others in my areas of strength.
But I have come to the poignant realization that there are people who only want to bring me down; who won’t share their strengths; whose insecurities chip away at us both.
I have a tendency to give far too many chances. Maybe that’s a weakness of mine. I have felt it was a strength. I believe that no one is perfect and we all need chances. I’m not one to hold a grudge, and I try to see everyone’s viewpoint.
I make the best of whatever situation I’m in and often I give up some of myself in order to keep things going smoothly. Another instance in where I think it’s a strength, but maybe I’ve been looking at it wrong and it’s really a weakness. At the very least, it’s something people take advantage of. I don’t know…
I hope that being accommodating of all kinds of people, letting others be human without expecting them to be my form of perfect, is the right thing. Because it’s how I see the world.
I am learning however, to see things differently, seeing that I don’t want to include the people who don’t share that desire to learn from each other, and build each other up.
Have weaknesses, ok; choose to tear others down, or treat them like something to use, be only as nice or giving as far as you can get more out than you give, not ok. Use my weaknesses against me, not ok. Tell anyone who will listen whatever makes you look good, no matter it’s level of truth or who it hurts, also not ok. Try to twist and turn truth to suit what you want others to believe, not ok.
I always find it interesting how people will tell me not to let others take advantage of me, but then get upset if I don’t let them….
I am strong. I have been through, seen, and learned from more than most will ever read about. And I see things with a deeper clarity because of what I’ve been through. But I’m also human, with feelings and a need to be treated well.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m also grateful that there are far more good, encouraging, helpful people to surround myself with than not. I’m grateful for my ‘soul tribe’ to borrow a phrase from a friend. The people who don’t expect reward, payment, or ‘loyalty’ for their support and friendship.
I’m grateful for the circumstances that help me see who I can count on and who I can’t and under which circumstances. And grateful that I get feedback from my tribe that says they know they can count on me for whatever I am capable of, just because. That means a great deal to me, because I do try to be there for others with all I can.
Last night I was blessed to hear from one of the lovely ladies who keeps me grounded, listens and shares, and helps to build up those she surrounds herself with. She is a wonderful reminder that even when things seem out of control, you can still find the positive, and be a positive influence to those around you.
Here’s to surrounding yourself with positivity, building up your tribe, and being good people to each other.
I’m learning to be more discerning, but also learning how much better the reward of friendship can be when it’s built on mutual choice to enrich each others lives.
Gratitude, love, light, and peace to you all!
When I’m teaching beginning English learners about verbs, I categorize them into 4 basic types; state, do, feel, and think.
A state verb is basic ‘to be’; I am (a woman, a mother, a daughter, a teacher, alive), I am — years old, I live in –. Your basic states of being…
A do verb is whatever you do…. Run, eat, play, sleep, etc. Feel verbs are happy, like, love, angry, wishful, etc. And a think verb is along the lines of want, plan, consider, believe.
So, what is respect? For me, respect is a think. Respectful can be a feel or a do, or even a state, but actual respect is a think.
And along the lines of you can’t love anyone else until you love yourself first, I believe that you can’t respect someone else until you respect yourself.
So how would I define respect? I find it difficult to define think verbs without using variations of the word, but if I had to choose one synonym it would be equality.
When I believe that the life of another is equal to mine, I respect that life. Which, when turned around, if I believe that someone else’s life has more worth than mine, I cannot fully respect myself. If I believe that my life has more value than someone else’s, I can also not fully respect myself, because then I have subscribed to a value system that ranks life value, which automatically places me on a spectrum, in which I can be less than, putting me right back at unable to fully respect myself.
So, in my definition,
Respect is the belief of equal value of life, its states, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When I feel respected I feel as if I am seen with equal value. When I feel disrespected, I feel that I am seen as having less value, by the other person.
This concept of respect, it is something I think about a lot. I’ve been through enough situations, seen enough abuse in my life, that I’m constantly trying to figure out how to respect myself and others, without being victimized.
Can someone be respectful without having respect? Yes. Doing a respectful action is part of social manners. Someone can know and perform all the social manners without having ‘the think’ of respect for the other people they are performing those manners around. Abusers use that skill very, very well.
Abusers are sure to point out all the “nice” or “good” things they do, trying to prove they’re a good person. Look at this thing I did. I do everything for you. Watch me do this good thing, see I’m good. I got this for you. I did that for you. I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I would never hurt you, remember all those good things I do? Those prove what a good person I am.
But see, abusers don’t respect themselves or the people they abuse. They’re trying to stay on top to prove they’re not less than anyone else. There’s a deep need to be seen as being good, that people who respect themselves and others don’t have. In my experience, people with high levels of respect don’t have to point out the good they do. They hardly even recognize their respectful behavior as anything but just what should be done. There’s no need within themselves to prove they are good, they just are good. It becomes a state verb, not just a think verb.
Abusers, in my opinion, have subscribed to a rather stark value system; one with very few steps between, a rather black and white system. They need to feel as if they are seen at the top of that system, because they feel that they’re not. They make sure to use more, have more, be more so they aren’t seen as less.
And they see their victims as lower. They test, and then pick people that have more respect, who subscribe to a much different view of the value system. Isn’t that the crazy thing, I think to myself all the time; the people who respect others, who value the people around them, treat people well, fairly, respectfully, those are the people preyed on by abusers.
Truly, I think that if we subscribe to a value system on life at all, we are all, at some point or another, within a wide range of abuser and victim. But, it has really struck me that the people who respect the lives of others, treat others the way they want to be treated, are caring, empathetic, giving, those are the people most often targeted by abusers for relationships.
It’s a weird kind of circle, abusers feel afraid of being less, so they make others feel less, to feel like they are more. If you stay, you are clearly less because the abusiveness is tolerated. But….. at the beginning, it’s tolerated because of the very respect for others that makes them a target.
And if you show any kind of equality, then they must knock you down to make sure you are less. Insults become more personal, more derogatory. Threats become more realistic. And, I’m sorry’s become more frequent.
Sociopaths and narcissists aside, the abuser feels bad for being abusive, making them feel bad about themselves, perpetuating the need to make you feel bad, so they can feel good, which cycles around and around and around.
The nice side of an abuser can only be seen for a limited time though. An abuser can only allow themselves to be seen as not having the power for short amounts of time. Those short amounts of time are a manipulation, a way to stop the consequence of losing their victim; win them over again, prove how good they are again, be equal again.; because they want the respect, from their victim, that they can’t give themselves.
That respect then becomes demanded for. Respect me. Look at everything I do. I’ve been good, now respect me. I’ve been respectful, respect me. Respect me -or I won’t do these things -or I’ll take these things away -or I’ll make you fear me. Fear=respect right?
Once those cycles have repeated enough….. it can, and often does become more than threats, more than derogatory slights.
People who haven’t seen these cycles, in all their stages and multiple wraps around a relationship, struggle to understand. But it really comes down to value, equality, and respect.
I continue to stretch out and increase the many increments of the value system, trying to get as close to the zero point on this half-life depreciation. I meditate and pray for help to respect myself, by seeing the intrinsic value of all life around me, as well as preserving my self-respect by not allowing others to treat me as less than.
I’m not finding it very easy. Power is a corrupter for those who don’t respect themselves or others. I do not seek out power. Others see that as weakness. I am open about my short-comings, because I want to learn, not because I think I am less than, but others see that as a weakness. They cannot see their own faults, and so shift the repercussions of their faults to me, blaming me, saying she even says she has faults, this is her fault.
Because I do not seek out power, does not mean I don’t have power.
I have my power, my control of self. I do not need to control others, because I understand that any form of trying to control someone else, is abuse. But others see that as weakness.
I am not weak.
I keep getting up, and I learn. I learn and I grow. I have been getting stronger and stronger.
Just like learning a language requires repetition, practical experience, and meaningful use, so does truly learning respect.
I’m confident I can say, I respect me.
I respect you too, so understand that means that I won’t accept your disrespect of me or others.
I’ve spent a life time earning my own respect through giving, forgiveness, educating myself, kindness, tolerance, and doing my best to understand even those people who have hurt me terribly. I’m not perfect. I still have trouble fully shaking the value system. I have spent a lot of time working through that system to get where I am now. I still have much to learn; but I respect myself enough to understand I don’t know it all. I respect others enough to know that I can learn from them, I can talk with them, I can share with them, without ever needing to hurt them, belittle them, or make them feel less than.
This is my life in words. I keep writing about abuse, learning, traveling, and being me. Glimpses into my head means glimpses into my progressions through healing. It’s a freaking process man.
Maybe someone out there today needs to read that they’re not alone in trying to understand respect.
Maybe it was watching the special on the Dalai Lama….. maybe it’s just my life right now……
Whatever it is,
Light and love to you all.
I, to the dismay of a few people, spent my New Year Eve in my apartment, in meditation. As many of you know, I have had my share of demons these last 2 years. As the weeks coming into the close of 2016 began, I felt myself begin to turn inward.
There were moments these last three weeks when I felt almost outside myself, looking at myself begin to fold in on myself as the year-end approached. But, whereas in other times that would scare me, there was no negativity in this turning inward. I sensed nothing negative or bad about it, just a simple realization that it was happening. And, the realization that I needed to heed the call to heal myself so that I could emerge on the other side of this in a good place.
And so, I sent out my request to be left alone for the evening, and began to prepare myself for whatever was going to happen.
One very, very good thing that came from 2016 is the reassurance that when I leave myself open to the possibilities Spirit can bring me, no matter the challenges, great things are part of the package. It is only when I close myself, believe that I know what is supposed to happen next, that the challenge is only a challenge, none of the greatness gets to come along. Essentially I block my own ability to progress. I stay stagnate in the challenge every time I say, “but if I do this, that is supposed to happen”, “I want this thing”, “.
Also, the old adage, “You made your bed, now lie in it”, Yeah, that one can go screw itself. It is nothing more than a progress blocking saying. You can’t learn from that place.
Some would try to say that the saying is about consequences, but in truth that saying is dictating remaining in an unlearned and harming place as a punishment. AND I SAY NO WAY. I will rip the sheets of that bed, I will over turn that bed, and I may very well burn that bed. I will learn my lesson of how not to get put in that position to begin with, but I will not just bow my head to the whatever gets dealt out because that bed got made to begin with. The lesson is the important part. I will learn the lesson and move on.
Being open to the possibilities of my dreams does not mean there won’t be challenges, of course there will be. I will make mistakes along the way, no doubt. I will learn the lessons as I go and become stronger for them. But the challenges have a different ring when they are part of the progress towards the goal, than when they are consequences based on a bad choice or someone else’s abuse. I spent this New Year’s Eve releasing the negativity from my challenges, while keeping the lessons learned, so I don’t need to repeat a lesson.
Recently, someone said, “You keep bringing up things from the past.” I thought about that last night.
On one hand, there is the forgive and forget idea. And I agree, if I, or anyone, is bringing up past events as a “punishment” or a reminder with a negative connotation, that is not ok. I need to watch myself, to see if that is what I am doing at the time. It certainly could be, and if that has been true, I offer my sincerest apologies.
BUT, and for me this is a big but, if I am bringing “it” up as a positive reminder of a lesson learned that I do not want to repeat; if the past event is an action I have to base how I will decide to react to ‘this’ event about to happen, then it is not a punishment to them, or a negative moment I am dwelling on. It means I am trying to make a decision on how to proceed, and based on what I know to have happened before, I want to know if there is a conscious choice happening for things to go differently. It is only by confronting the choice that we can make a conscious one.
I spent some of my meditation time releasing ties to those who have hurt me, and those I have hurt. I also allowed myself to heal from those pains. It’s an ongoing process, but it has to be a conscious process. Emotional wounds dig deep inside, the mind plays them over and over. Some of them have been playing for so long, there are Grand Canyons that I need to heal inside. That doesn’t happen overnight.
I was given a vision of what happens to our pain as we release it. I’ve been afraid to release; I felt that I didn’t want to put the pain into circulation. I was afraid that if I released it from me, the pain would go to someone else. My vision was the most healing part of my night, it brought an understanding that Spirit is truly magnificent and that energy is always positive until intended to be negative. When released in a neutral or positive way, it will always return to a positive state.
My intentions going into this new year are for an increased openness. I will be open to all the positive, no matter the challenges that brings to overcome. I will be open to healing myself and others. I will be open to whatever Spirit brings me. And I will be open to becoming what I am meant to be.
I have a great dream. A dream that is part something I have been dreaming of most of my life, and part something that I have recently acquired. There is a long way to go to accomplish it, a lot of work I need to do. There will be challenges along the way, and there may be direction changes I am not aware of yet. But isn’t that a wonderful thing? To know that if you are open, there are even better than you could dream of things yet to happen?
There is a saying that I really don’t like, “F@!$ my life”. Guys, I have been through some astonishingly sick things, things that many people could not have gone through; yet, I will not say “F@!$ my life”, I will not. My life is good.
I have so many larger blessings. I have great children. I have great friends. I have family that tries to keep me part as I heal. (Progress can be heart-breakingly slow, I know.) I have a career I love. I have been traveling around the world for the last 4 years and seeing so much.
None of my life that is negative, has stopped the blessings from coming. I have a good life.
This was my “guide” as I began my evening. I wrote this in contemplation. I believe I made the best choice for myself and in turn for those that I influence in whatever way.
May everyone’s 2017 be one of openness, of love, and of greatness.
Though I mourn the loss of our many amazing entertainers this year, there is much to be grateful for.
My wonderful daughters marriage for one.
My son’s are both healthy and happy and becoming wonderful men. Watching these three blossom is a highlight of every year. I was greatly blessed with them.
Because of good friends, I am in a new and wonderful country, and good things are happening, despite a few set backs.
And right now the city is decorated and beautiful.
So to ring in the New Year, here are a few pictures of the city.
To all my family and friends, happiest of holidays to you, May your 2017 be fantastic. May you feel joy and gratitude. May you know how much I love you all.
2017, be gentle, kind, and peaceful to us please.
Are you kidding me?
I pretty much require the equivalent of a freight train to rile me up.
If I have an issue, I do my best to address it first. I try multiple approaches and attempts to address it in a positive way.
If that doesn’t work, I ask for help to address the issue. I do not feel, nor have I ever felt, that asking for help is a weakness. I believe it is a strength to understand your limitations and try to overcome. If that requires help, so be it.
If we can’t solve the issue, I try to change the situation for the betterment of everyone. I never make a rash decision when it comes to the difficulties in my life. In hindsight, I may actually allow too much time and effort to pass before choosing to leave a situation.
If I’ve been pushed to my point of leaving a situation, you can be assured I have made a valiant effort, for an extended period of time, to find a way to make the situation work first.
That said, my “‘how much I’ll take’ometer” is getting set a bit closer towards zero, especially when it comes to being judged about my decisions to leave a situation.
So, here’s the deal. If you are going to judge me and my choices based on how other people treat me, instead of on who I am and how I treat others, don’t expect my respect or any remaining relationship.
Eyes to Subconscious: Hey, I see light… what time is it?
Sub: I’m not sure any more, I don’t even know where we are these days.
Eyes to Stomach: Dude, is it morning, afternoon, or evening out there?
Stomach: I thought it was morning on the last plane, but then the stewardess brought chicken and asparagus, so I’m as lost as Sub up there.
Eyes: I don’t know if I should let Conscious know to wake up…..
Left foot: Hey we rolled the other way, I’m getting blood again, Conscious is about to wake up anyway!
Eyes: Crap! Conscious is gonna be pissed it wasn’t me. This is not good! What am I gonna do???
Stomach: Yup, Conscious is not going to like foot being the waker.
Eyes: I know!! What am I gonna do?!?!
Sub: Puff up! Quick! I hear it confuses Conscious, she won’t know it wasn’t you!
Foot: Here it is! The needles are here! OWWWWW!
Sub: She’s waking up!! Puff Up!! Puff UP!!
Me, staring in the bathroom mirror 10 minutes after my foot and leg stop feeling like a million needles being pushed through it in rapid fire succession…..
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY EYES!!
Woah, I didn’t even know they were capable of swelling that much.
I’d be impressed if it didn’t hurt so much.
Airplanes suck the life out of me.