Children fascinate me. There was a time I thought I’d never have any and that they were pretty scary; mostly because I used to have nightmares about evil babies that always tried to kill me (THOSE WERE FRIKKEN SCARY). Glad I don’t have those anymore. And because children fascinate me so, I find myself observing them quite often. It’s amazing how those little bodies have all the same organs I do, it’s fun watching them learn how to crawl, babble and coo, recognize faces, and all that growing up stuff. As they grow I’ve come realise that there are quite a few things we can learn from them; they also have the tendency to teach us things about ourselves we would have otherwise not learned.
Kirsten, my cousin, is an only child and loves Caitlyn (another cousin), obsessively some might say. It’s really the sweetest thing. Kirsty (3) is 5 years younger than Caity and does everything Caity does. Caity gets really upset sometimes because Kirsty copies her… A LOT. As much as these two may love and miss each other when they’re not together, they fight every bit as much when they are together. Of course the infamous line “Arn not you fren any moo!!!” pops up more than once. This is nothing special and unique to my family only, I’m aware, I’m just giving a little background to what I’ve learned from these youngsters that I wish I could apply to my life.
In one moment Kirsty and Caity are both so angry with each other that they can’t stand the sight of each other, and the next, once apologies are made, they’re good as new. I think there is a lesson to be learned there. They love each other and they fight, to them these are ‘gigantor’ problems that they cannot see past; yet they forgive each other and move on because the love they feel for each other is bigger than the sum of all their problems. It’s quite common today, to see family members or even close friends torn apart because they can’t get over their problems. So that is a lesson I’ve learned from the innocence of children who have not been tainted by the anger the world is consumed by.
Lesson: You hurt me, but I love you! I’ll let it go.
Let’s face it – we all get hurt and at some point we end up hurting someone else, intentional or not. Everything doesn’t have to be about revenge and making the other feel the pain and hurt they made us feel. We (or just me?) envy children because of their freedom, the simple way they view things, the way they can go on with life even when faced with trouble, and most especially their happiness. So why not take a lesson from them?
True; everybody lives and everybody dies at some point. Unknown is what lies beyond the grave, another life, the fiery flames of hell or the white pearly gates and streets of gold in heaven. In a poem called Death the leveller, James Shirley says “Death lays his icy hand on kings: Scepter and Crown must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made with the poor crooked scythe and spade” , reminding us that in death we are all made equal even with that of kings. What we can be certain of in death is that we take nothing with us, not our money, not our cars, not our clothes, or children, or friends, nothing? What interests me however, is though we cannot take any material possessions with us to the grave and beyond, what of that in our hearts and minds? Those secrets never told.
My Uncle’s grandmother passed away some time last year but before she went from earth into the great unknown there were a few tales to tell and some tales she would take to the grave. The 98 year old spoke of her first child being left in an orphanage until she was able to care for her again, she told her family that had filled the hospital room, of her involvement with different men and her 15 children having different fathers and when questions were asked no answers were given. This old woman had said all she needed to and the rest she was happy to take with her to her final resting place. You can imagine the gasping and shock ridden faces that pervaded the room. Now any more truths for this family can be all but guessed at for the rest of their lives. What strength and courage it must have taken for this woman to keep these things secret until she was certain she could keep it no longer, or what cowardice to say so much and so little and leave with that much more unsaid.
Can it be so easy for someone to live an entire life keeping such major secrets from their loved ones? Seeing you children, grandchildren and possibly great grandchildren at Christmas, New year’s, Holidays, all going through life believing certain truths when in fact they are nothing but lies. And why not just never tell them if you waited so long anyway. In some ways I think it’s best to tell those secrets, perhaps earlier than a not-long-before-you-die type of situation because what good can keeping all these secrets be. When you have information such as “the man you used to call daddy is actually not your father” then information should be shared, preferably earlier in life. Because as you get older, and I could be wrong, the blow of such news can be much harder than when you are younger. This is not to say that finding out you have a different father to some of your siblings can ever be an easy pill to swallow but at least when you’re young you feel as if you have more time to make sense of things, time to be angry and time to forgive. Let’s face it, there isn’t much time to be angry with someone who’s on their way out of life and then live with that kind of regret.
Then again on the opposite side I’d say, take those secrets with you because telling them so late in life just leaves one asking more questions. Questions he/she may very likely find no answers to. If you’ve kept those things hidden in the dark for so long why shed light on them. Surely your family would be happier never knowing as they’ve lived their lives never knowing. What is it about knocking on deaths door that makes people suddenly change. Whether it’s them changing their attitudes or wanting to tell long ago secrets, it seems there is something at the entrance that has the ability to do what life never could, for some people of course. I can’t say I’m too keen on finding out but it certainly is intriguing.
So we live and we die. And sometimes we definitely take things with us that hold more value than any material possessions. Good or bad the judgment has not been passed yet. I’d say it’s an individual choice but in making that choice, who are you protecting more; you or your family? Will it do anyone any good? What harm will it cause? This of course applies mainly to those gigantic shock-horror-gasp kinds of secrets. And if the choice to keep a secret is made, why not keep it that way. Secrets seem to have a way of disturbing life especially when those secrets seem unfathomable.
Do you ever feel like even though you love people, relationships are strained because everyone’s under pressure?
Tired of being too busy?
Tired of feeling strained?
Are you just tired, drained, and flat lined?
- Stress is the body’s non-specific response to demands.
- The body’s Autonomic nervous system (i.e. that part that operates on its own) has two operating systems:
- The sympathetic or general alarm – This is the fight or flight response for emergencies.
- The parasympathetic – has to do with relaxation, renewing, repair, regeneration, rest.
- These two operate back and forth
- No balance = Things happen when you DON’T NEED them.
- During “fight or flight” = digestion slows so blood can be directed to the brain or muscles (for strength, focus and ability that u don’t usually have
– This allows for you to respond in times of need – oxygen goes to the blood and muscles and to parts of the body that need it, your heart speeds up, and breathing gets faster. If someone is chasing you with a knife, threatening to take your life or your child is caught under a car; fight or flight kicks in.
– Ever had butterflies? These are all signs of the body saying its ready for a fight or flight .
- Muscles begin to tense = preparation for important action
– Chemicals are released to make the blood clot more rapidly so if you’re in an accident (or fight) the body fights not to lose as much blood
- Sugars and fats = poured into the blood to provide fuel for energy
- Hormones are elevated –Known as adrenaline
– Cortisol is elevated to prepare for vigorous physical activity.
– Unfortunately – one of the functions for cortisol is to break down lean tissue for conversion into sugar as an additional source of energy and blocks the removal of certain acids in the blood stream.
- When people are stressed all the time they are living in this constant fight or flight mode. Cortisol is going through your body – it kills your brain cells, it has the ability to unravel your chromosomes, causes you to get sick (weakened immune)
What I’m trying to say is that stressing, especially if its constant, is a lot more dangerous than we realise or choose to believe.
Stress is different for everyone. I for one stress about not stressing, so then I am stressing but about nothing. So the causes are different. Author Richard Swinson said in his book “Margin”, that there are many causes of stress but negative people and conflict in relationships are the worst, they drain our energy, shoot down our enthusiasm, chip at our ideas, nip at our self-confidence and leave us feeling weak and drained.
To that I say there are a lot more things you can ruin your life over than just one person or relationship. Sometimes we just need to weigh our options, cut our losses, and let go. JUST LET IT GO!
Take some time out, remind yourself of what’s true about you, what’s true about life, what’s true about those around you, take a walk, jump around, sing out loud, and laugh at yourself. This will do wonders for helping you let go of the stress in your life. Yes sometimes it takes some time but with global warming, Zombies that want to eat your brain, Vampires that want to suck your blood, drunk drivers that want your life, and soooo much more to put you in hospital or ruin your life, I mean stress doesn’t seem half as cool anymore does it?
A large group of people gathered outside a shop at the corner of the street. We were a few cars behind and could not see what the commotion was about. The traffic light turned green. We approached the crowd and saw what was going on. Two ladies were fighting. At that moment, Lady A pulled Lady B and threw a couple fists, Lady B tried to block her face but she seemed unsuccessful. Lady A hopped onto Lady B who then fell onto the ground. B tried to scratch or hit back but A’s sidekick was there and… that was all I saw. My father asked what was going on and was really not happy that I didn’t tell him it was a lady fight, so he sped up, trying to find a road to take us back. Thankfully he got caught up by a few people and by the time we got there the fight was over. Lady A’s neck and chest had red marks and was still shouting at a very confused looking Lady B. Lady B was quite a mess, she lost some hair, and her baby was crying for. People in the crowd laughed, looked confused, or walked away when it was done but no one seemed concerned, nor did anyone attempt to stop the fight.
Of course it got me thinking… It’s no wonder we have wars. What’s the point of hoping for world peace? Have you seen the people we live with or better yet have you seen the people we’re becoming? We watch people fighting and then we call it entertainment. I’m not saying I’d have stepped in or anything, I would have liked to but I’m sure Lady A would have killed me; but I would not stand by and just keep watching. We’re so consumed by watching people do things that are detrimental, whether to themselves or society, that we don’t see how dead we’re becoming on the inside. We’d rather watch others fail than to build each other up. Maybe I dream of a perfect world and that’s not very logical but I don’t think the world we are creating for ourselves is either.
Sometimes I get on my last nerve. There are times when I can’t continue with whatever I have to do next or sleep because I’ve got to write what’s on my mind down first. If I don’t I’ll just recite it over and over in my mind. But anyway that’s a habit and it helps a lot. Especially if I feel emotional or have something to tell someone, writing it down helps so I don’t have to keep talking to myself about it. But there are some things I could just kick myself for. Though I’m happy it doesn’t happen too often.
I had an awful Tuesday; my emotions were just getting the better of me in the worst way. And so I went to bed pretty miserable, that was around 10pm. I woke at 12.30am, it was most involuntary. I felt hot and bothered so I got up and drank a glass of water. Upon getting back into bed, I did the worst thing I could have ever done!!! I spoke to myself. It was very therapeutic for the way I had been feeling, but finally falling asleep at 4.00am? It was way too therapeutic! One would think I know everything that happens in my life, why do I need to still talk to myself about it!
I spoke to myself in different accents, created a story surrounding the name “Elima”, analyzed two dreams I remembered in-between checking the time and typing it out in a message to my dear Weasel. I roll played, typed out (thank you Blackberry) my feelings about a particular topic and created a scenario in which I got an awesome job out of the blue. I demanded I go to sleep maybe about ‘a billion times’, when trying to force myself to sleep I’d unknowingly stop breathing because I tried to stop thinking… still not sure how that made sense to me. Then I’d remind myself to breathe thus talking to myself and a new conversation would begin. Then around 3.00am I thought about writing about this in my blog (that’s why I’m doing this- I owe it to myself). So I thought about what I’d write and imagine the scenario. Another ‘worst’ thing to do when trying to fall asleep; every time I demanded I go to sleep, I’d try not to think then start thinking about how I’d add that in my blog! It was quite funny at the time and frustrating.
My favourite part though, was the annoying buzzing creature that was constantly buzzing close to my ear. So I thought there is no better time to train my other senses. I was going for a Bruce-Lee approach. I told myself to be calm and just listen. I listened to the buzz and waited…and waited… then HIT! And MISSED! But I would not give up so easily. Oh no! I tried it again, and again, and finally on the fourth try I got the bugger. He was out for about 30 minutes. I think he was afraid. He got me back though; when I finally did fall asleep my sleep was interrupted. I woke up ‘a billion times’ to try and escape the buzz.
I was up and ready to go again around 6am. Though I was most unimpressed with myself for being such a chatter box, I woke up feeling a lot better and thus my cure (not to be used too often) for a bad day. I feel sorry for those who have INSOMNIA!
I’m grateful not to be one of those people who have suffered the loss of many loved ones to the devourer known as death. My Grandpa was the last person I truly cared for who died, and that was about 10 years ago. There is another loss though that brings pain and sadness to one’s heart; and that for me, is the loss of a pet.
My cousin’s dog, Teddy, who I was very fond of, was knocked by a car. The driver was speeding down the road, and Teddy did what any sane dog would do when she had seen the gate open… she ran like the gate was open. The murderer, oops! I mean the driver (whom I’ll give the benefit of the doubt), did not see Teddy. She knocked her though, and continued on her way. Teddy’s face and nose was cut and her one of her legs broken. It was too late to get her to the SPCA (against cruelty to animals). So she had an uneasy, painful night. We got her to the SPCA the next morning. There was nothing they could do. The leg that was broken could not be amputated as she had cancer. The tumour could not be removes as her bones we too fragile, even if they could amputate, they said she was too big to survive with just three legs. We said teary, sorrowful goodbyes; and it seemed like Teddy knew what was about to happen. As we left the room she tried to get up to come to us… the look in her eyes, the distressed moan she made; would break your heart as it did ours.
She was getting old, she would pee whilst sleeping because she just ‘couldn’t keep it in’, and she wouldn’t even fight with the other dog when he wanted her food, but she was ours and she was the prettiest dog around. We’ve got some great memories with her. One of my aunts lived in the same road as my cousin and one evening Teddy escaped. She ran up the road and found her way to my aunts. She ran right into the house, panting she walked around the table stopping by each person as though greeting everyone. It was that night I was having a talk with her. She reminded me of a lion and I thought she was too timid and friendly, so I thought if I told her she was a lion she would begin to believe me. “you arrrre ly-on, you arrrre ly-on…” I told her over and over… it didn’t work. Pets are special and it is especially sad to lose one. Of course nothing like losing a human (to most people that is), but a loss nevertheless.
To my rabbit, who’s ‘droppings’ looked like raisins and therefore almost eaten by me (I was a baby OK!), to Tess, my dog; to Junior, my other dog; to Storm, my other dog, to Cheddy and Spike, other dogs; to those birds I don’t quite remember and finally to Teddy; enjoy animal heaven?
Sweeping through the flat one day; listening to some old ‘jams’. Just sort of gets one in the groove for cleaning… well not really but I was in the mood. Then one of those songs comes on that makes the broom your microphone, and you just let her rip you know.
I’ve heard the song many times before but this time I actually took the time to listen to the words… MAN!!! I was ready to weep for the brother. He sings it with such passion. I put myself in his shoes and tried to imagine what I’d feel like if I were ever in that position. Before I go on, I’m talking about Michael Bolton’s, “How am I supposed to live without you”. Anyway I was not too successful imagining how I’d feel… “Sad” is barely a good enough expression. I guess it would be difficult for anyone really, to accurately feel what anyone in that position would feel.
Other than that though, I thought; “well he’s really silly! Who in their right mind continues to love someone who has no intention of loving you back in that way? Is that not torture? Good! Cry!” that’s probably a little unfair, considering I’d never been in that situation. I’m learning more and more that the heart is not something you can always simply reason with. It’s one of those things reason takes a back seat on BUT sometimes we can be pretty dumb.
Anyway the song made me think of all these kiddies in high school that are in-love. 1st of all – WHAT THE HELL!!! How do you just enter high school, find the girl/guy of your dreams, love them and LOVE them a bit more, dream ends, find the second girl/guy of another dream and the cycle continues. Of course these 13-17 year old dears are now the experts on love and when they play this song to express their feelings… GASP!!! Read the lyrics and tell me if that is even legal! OK it’s legal, but it really shouldn’t be.
I think I’m justified in being annoyed with ‘these’ little people? Acting as though their lives are so difficult because of a break up? Seriously; they should still want to play outside, climb trees and just enjoy their adolescence. Though there was need to be mature and in a sense, grow up a little faster when I was younger (because I’m so old now), but I enjoyed being a child. Wow! I have no idea where this blog went. Well, don’t grow up too fast, or express yourself through songs you really have no idea about? Yeah that’s it.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
How carefully do you weigh the words you speak? Most people are far less considerate of what they say, when, and to whom… and I shouldn’t say most people because I really can’t back that up. However from my own experience and interaction with others, it is apparent to me that many speak without thinking. I myself have fallen victim to this more than once and have come to regret those moments. Since then I have been trying to be a lot more careful. Yes you may brush it of as simply being honest, which I suppose is fair, but who says honesty has to be mean or degrading? But that’s just me.
Anyway that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve come to understand that the words I use are important. In my life I have seen the words I use build me up or break me down; and that’s all because consciously or unconsciously my words paved a way forward. Maybe I had a low self-esteem (I’d argue though, that a child is rather pliable), when something negative was said I tried my best not to believe it, however the more I heard it the more I began to believe it. The same applies now, the only difference is I know myself so most people’s words don’t harm me so much so as my own.
Our words play a strong role in shaping who we are and what we think about ourselves and others. Being a Christian, I often heard the scripture quoted “Life and death are in the power of the tongue”; which from my understanding simply means what it says… it means that what you speak out has a strong impact on your life, your successes and failures, your family and so on. Some of you may not go the biblical route but rather “the Secret” route. The Secret talks about speaking out what you desire to the universe, visualize it, be thankful for it; all even before receiving it and it all ultimately boils down to your thoughts and your words.
The reason for my ranting is because:
1- It bothers me, the kinds of words that parents use when talking to their young children. In the first few years of a child’s life it is the parent that shapes and molds the child and thus what and how the child sees themselves.
2- Words are important!
So the next time you say: “I’m a total failure”, or “strike me dead now” or, “you’re an ugly cow and your mother was a fish and I wish you’d drown in a puddle of cement”, just consider your words :).