Posted in Compassion, Did you know?, Grief, Haibun, haiku, Reflections, Tournesol whispers

Welcoming the new year 2017

This is the time when one thinks back on the year that has just passed. For some they may feel they have barely survived this past year, having struggled through many difficult passages and obstacles.

For others it feels like a chore mixed with very brief moments of light to make them smile. Perhaps it is the giggle of their child, or watching an old lady with a hunch back hanging onto the arm of an old man with a cane…watching them shuffle in the mall together, giving them hope.

Some have had a year filled with pleasant surprises…a child has learned to walk, another has made his first goal, a daughter copies you when you put on your make up and whispers in the mirror next to you, “I want to be beautiful just like Mommy!”

Teenagers are faced with a rollercoaster of life mixed with raging hormones and still have to try and concentrate in high school! Imagine a woman in menopause or a man in mid-life crisis trying to learn new things and cope with an ever-changing body! Now add to that, personal strife and home
life that can, for some, be challenging!

There are children and youths of all ages as well as adults who may be passing through difficult times before walking into the realm of a new year; they may be missing a loved one…a sibling, a parent, a grandparent or a spouse either through death, separation or moving far far away. One cannot shake off the grief, the loss and pained memories of this loved one. And one doesn’t! His or her memory walks along with them, stepping into the new year. That person is smiling and laughing when they are happy and weeping when they are sobbing.

Some may find solace in a higher power and an afterlife that comforts them, thinking angels and the Great Spirit have welcomed a new member into their paradise. Others are lost and confused and are not too sure, yet, the memories still hold strong and carry one over to the next day and so on and so forth, day after day, month after month.

remembering
sting of loss and regrets
untold narratives

Time is often their sole consolation. In time the sting lessens, but the memories of “what was” still keep them company and warm through the cold winter months of January and February. The blossoms, however, are also figments of these memories in springtime turning into new promises. Hang on to some of those memories that soothe you and let the March winds eventually take away any disappointments.

Perhaps someone has promised to be there for them and “life” got in the way, leaving them bereft and empty but mostly disappointed and alone. That may also be an opportunity to depend on one’s own strengths and reach out to different acquaintances, slowly turning them into real friends.

Relationships change as one grows just as their needs do. As a single person, their perception of the world is so very different. As a couple it shifts and blends and as a parent it opens up to a whole different world…someone else matters just as much as they do! One now focuses not only on their individual needs but more importantly on the wellbeing and happiness of their children who are a part of them. Children help them open their eyes to another sphere. Children allow them to grow and open their hearts to “others”. Let’s face it! It is rewarding to give, is it not? And through some of these challenges in life, one also learns to look beyond the people who have received from you and find comfort when someone “new” gives to them…take it, for this is also blessing that person’s need to give.

Change is the only thing one can truly count on in life and with it comes other kinds of losses. It could be the end of a career, a promotion, the end of a relationship or moving to a new home or city. Despite the positive and wonderful aspects of any change, there is still a letting go of a life that was. Embrace it, look at it and only then can you adjust and welcome these new life changes.

untold narratives
lost in the wind
silenced
locked in the heavens
angles singing ballads

Wishing you hope, faith and peace in the new year for you and yours.

© Cheryl-Lynn 17/01/01

 

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Posted in Bullying, Compassion

Parents, have your say on cyberbullying before October 21st!

Parents, now it’s time to have your say on cyberbullying. Take the parent survey which ends Oct 21, 2016.  Click here for survey

The mission of PREVNet is to develop a national strategy to reduce problems of bullying and victimization throughout Canada. Recognizing that bullying is a community problem evident across the lifespan, and not just a problem in schools, PREVNet utilizes a collaborative model that establishes partnerships with researchers from universities across Canada, national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and governments in order to create safe, healthy environments for all Canadian children and youth.

Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)

PREVNet is an umbrella network of 126 leading Canadian research scientists and 61 national youth-serving organizations. Launched in 2006 with the Networks of Centres of Excellence, PREVNet’s mission is to stop bullying in Canada and to promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. Created and led by Scientific Co-Directors, Dr. Debra Pepler of York University and Dr.Wendy Craig of Queen’s University, this national network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing an unprecedented opportunity to change the way we understand and deal with bullying problems in this country.

Everyone who is involved in a child’s life, and every place where Canadian children and youth live, work and play, needs information about bullying problems and strategies to promote healthy relationships. Before PREVNet, there were a number of different bullying prevention activities in use at local, provincial and national levels, all of which operated in isolation without an evidence-based national platform for coordination and implementation. As a national network, PREVNet is now bringing together researchers and national organizations to enhance awareness, build research capacity, assess bullying problems and promote evidence-based programs and effective policies across Canada.


Bullying Policy & Legislation

How the Law Deals with Bullying Across Canada

Want to know more about Bullying and the Law in your province?  Check out this link with an interactive map of Canada giving you information on where your province stands on Bullying.

Check out their Blog here

Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Grief, Re-blogs

melancholy (haibun)

Some call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. Others call it pre-holiday blues and some simply acknowledge how much they miss that significant other. It is sometimes like missing a limb or a deflated lung…we all have our stories.   What helps you through these times?

Tournesol dans un jardin

This is a time of year a virus peaks its ugly head around mid-November.  It  spreads its infections to those most vulnerable. You may not “catch” it at the same time; you may not catch it every year and yet, there does not seem to be guaranteed antibiotic to cure its infective powers.

September days start waning as the sun sets sooner; October days rob you of nature’s dinner’s sweetest and most potent “digestif”.  November drops its veil of hoary matter and thickens day after day, week after week hiding nature’s Monet, slowly slipping into Picasso’s  Blue period.   Nights are longer than days and symptoms of this virus multiply

Humans are deprived of nature’s nutrient feeding brains with hope and cheer. Life, death, separation and loss blend.  Waiting, as it stings open wounds and those who’ve barely healed  are reminded  of life’s demises.

Children as well as adults struggle…

View original post 137 more words

Posted in Bullying, Compassion

Be the change!

We often advise youths how powerful bystanders/witnesses of bullying can be. It has been proven on school playgrounds, in school hallways, if a group of bystanders spoke up about their disapproval of any kind of intimidation or cruel bullying, it usually stops within seconds.

True, many are afraid to get bullied in retaliation if it is only one or two who speak up. I get that. In fact sometimes it is safer to walk away but sometimes even speaking “after” the bullying is helpful too. Telling a person that you feel bad for them or that you understand how difficult this must be.  That can go a long way, telling a youth, they were acknowledged.

As adults we are not much different than youths on playgrounds. On the subway, bus or train, what do we do if someone starts making rude, racist comments to someone?  Do we look the other way?  Do we move to another seat to get away from the person?  Anyone who takes public transit, has witnessed this more than once.

Here is a video that restores hope…it shows how much power we can have in situations like this.  A group of people who know what it means to “be the change”

 

Muslim woman tells how Newcastle passengers
ejected racist from train

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2015/nov/24/muslim-woman-tells-how-newcastle-passengers-ejected-racist-from-train-video?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

 

Posted in Bullying, Compassion, mindlovemiserysmenagerie, narrative

the gifted child

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/week-72.png?w=285&h=333At Mindlovemiserysmenagerie Wordle, we are told to use at least 10 of the above words to create a story or poem (this is a tough one!)The words can appear in an alternate form; we are to use the words in any order that we like. I took a chance and tried them in the same order 1. Bastard 2. Glimpse 3. Rubble 4. Trickle 5. Bonfires 6. Wallow 7. Supplicant (a petitioner, a beggar, a pupil) 8. Tenacious (holding fast) 9. Pique (to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride) 10. Bulge 11. Circumspect (cautious, prudent) 12. Liminal (relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process, occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.)  I have also written this for the Photo Challenge at Mindlovemiserysmenagerie

*********************************

© Nekneeraj

“GrandMaman, what’s a bastard?”

Grandmaman’s eyes widened, she sighed and looked up to the sky for a moment as she was weeding her vegetable garden, and crossed herself.

“Hum, bien tu sais, “bastard” has different meanings for animals and for humans.”

“Huh? Je ne comprends pas, Grandmaman. Les `tit gars à la garderie m’appellent un Baltard. ”

“Mais, why do the children say this to you, mon petit? ” GrandMaman could not help but notice a glimpse of sadness mixed with confusion on her grandson’s face.

“Jean Noël said his mother said I was. So what is it? They had a weird look on their faces like I was a bad person.”

GrandMaman stood up and took her rake to remove the rubble along the riverbank, stealing some time to shake the anger that had trickled inside her soul. She noticed tiny branches in the debris and gathered it together thinking this would make a nice little bonfire for tonight. Yes, she thought, this would be a nice way to end the evening rather than wallow in self-pity for the ignorant bullying her grandson was exposed to. Her grandson looked at her in supplication, half expecting bad news but hoping for the opposite.

“Mon cher petit, sometimes children overhear their parents gossip. Gossiping is talking about this and that and sometimes untrue stories about people.”

“But why would grownups tell untrue stories about me, Grandmaman?”

“Tu sais mon amour, the world is made up of many kinds of people. When a miracle happens some people do not want to believe it. Some are even jealous. Ils aiment piquer le monde autour d’eux. Their tongues become sharp and resentful. ”

Poor little guy just looked more confused at his grandmother’s explanation. His head hung in quiet desolation.

“Écoute mon enfant, some use this word to hurt people thinking we do not know the true root of the word. It is like using the name of the Lord in vain. They use something beautiful and in their tenacious vindictiveness, they turn it into something ugly.”

He sighed loudly and shouted, “BUT WHAT DOES BASTARD MEAN!!!”

“It means “love child” mon amour. You are the product of pure and innocent love and you are a blessed miracle in your maman’s life as well as mine, mon trésor. Tu comprends, maintenant?”

The little guy’s eyes bulged as he could not believe what his grandmother was telling him. He kept thinking this over and thought of stories GrandMaman told him gifted children and how many were circumspect around them. He kept thinking of stories of Jesus of Nazereth and how he was so innocent of his specialness yet was threatened by some.

“So children’s parents are jealous because I am a love child, GrandMaman? What does that make me then?”

“It makes you the most unique and loving miracle, mon amour, and must not ever let ignorant or jealous people put you down. They do not know what they are doing and know not what they say. Keep love in your heart, mon amour. Now help me weed this garden, so we can get supper ready and a nice feu de camp later with des guimauves. Allez…allez…”

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/08/03

Posted in Compassion, Reflections

Feel good living

I grew up in the era of “Mad Men” where women were slowly coming into their own.  It was the sexual revolution and women were screaming to be treated equally.  I think back about that and I smile wondering  how I would have went on through life if that wave had not rolled in.  I had my grandmother as a role model and despite being a leader openly or more subtly, I think a woman could still influence in so many ways.

My maternal grandmother was the matriarch in our family; a strong and compassionate woman and midwife who had learned her profession from her mother and the village doctor; she was very religious saying the rosary every evening, going to Sunday mass and the first Friday of the month as well.  I remember reading somewhere in my prayer book or in catechism class that one gained indulgences for following these rules.  My grandmother had earned so many indulgences to fast track to heaven, I am sure she banked extra ones for her children and grandchildren. I am hoping to cash in on some of her indulgences so I can, at least take the express route, but you never know with inflation what those tokens are worth now.

So I decided in my early twenties to invest in benevolent work…volunteering and helping in my community like visiting isolated and ill persons, new mothers in post-natal care, distress lines, mental health outreach programmes and children in bereavement.  I never did them to get tokens, however, but selfishly.  That’s right, I had ulterior motives…it made me feel real good.  Cliché as it may sound, helping others gives you back so much more.

I wonder if that will even count since I do it because it feels right and gives me a purpose in life. Well, I guess I will figure that out someday when I meet my creator, won’t I?  I do hope that GrandPapa, GrandMaman and Mom will meet me at the pearly gates to give me the good or bad news because coming from them will feel better.

I remember hearing this when I was a young child and maybe I was at the right age to truly grasp its meaning when John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you! Ask What you can do for your country!

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” 
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Written for http://theseekersdungeon.com/2015/04/30/dungeon-prompts-myth-making/

Posted in Compassion, Did you know?, Grief

“Dead” is a four letter word

b me november 3We live in a society in Western culture where we do not even say the D word.  We say passed away, no longer with us or has gone forever…he or she is dead seems to scare us.  Dead is a four letter word but not an offensive word.  Since we feel uncomfortable or awkward we do not always know what to say.  Sometimes we laugh at the wrong time at funerals…that’s okay.  Other times we will hug a grieving friend or relative and just say, Gee, I’m so sorry. And THAT is enough.  The person grieving usually cannot even remember what you have said but remembers the genuine warmth and compassion of the person.  I know I just appreciated a good long hug and that even if I cried, the person still held on.

The ups and downs with the emotions for many months to come (and years) are abundant.  I have written about youths and bereavement here .  We feel feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, confusion to name a few and I would even add, temporary loss of memory  and  feeling like you are in a daze are “some” of the feelings we can experience when mourning the loss of a loved one.

I volunteered several years when I lived in Toronto for Bereaved Families of Ontario where I was surrounded by the most compassionate and caring people I have ever worked with. Here is a link of amazing articles on grief and a few written by a woman who trained me, who supported each volunteer and gave of herself tirelessly, Betty Ann Rutledge.

Grief,  to me, is like a pair of orthotics.  I have the ONLY pair like it. I am not talking about  those brands they advertise on television that you step on a machine and that company mails you one of the dozen models they have. I mean the foot doctor that evaluates the way you walk, examines your old pair of shoes and how they are worn out in some areas more than others and makes a mold of your foot…so don’t tell me the lumps, bumps and curves on my foot are identical to anyone in the world…I will not believe you.

So be mindful when you are writing a sympathy gushed condolence card to a friend or relative…not to assume how they are feeling or even try to write it out how they are feeling and will be feeling because you have no clue exactly how they feel. Heck, they don’t know half the time when some of their roller coaster emotions are part of their grief.  Many do not. Just keep that in mind.

Oh and that includes any person of any age and someone who may have lost a pet.  For many a pet, is friend who loves unconditionally…such a huge loss to experience.  Saying, “you can get another one” is NEVER helpful.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/01/24

Posted in Chronic Pain, Compassion, Depression, Grief, Homelessness, Mental Health, poetry, Stigma Talks

A holiday haibun with a smile

© Clr - Christmas Eve dinner with my children 2014
© Clr – Christmas Eve dinner with my children 2014

Ah!! the holidays are among us, where many families and friends get together. Notice I said “many” but not “most” or “all”. For many people and children, it is a day like any other day except the stores are closed, restaurants are too…eateries and diners where one might want to kill a few hours before going back home alone. What happens to those soliciting for “spare change”? Well, now the only people at subway entrances coming and going are people “usually” going to meet family or a friends or just a friend to share a bit of holiday love…cheer? I worked Christmas Day early in the morning and was surprised to see so many people at 6am on the subway and then it dawned on me that many revellers from the night before were coming home on the earliest subway after 5:30am. No one looked cheery though except the bus driver when I wished him Merry Christmas. And why must everyone be cheerful on this day? That is being presumptuous now is it not? Sure, we can feel blessed, heart warmed by a card or smile that week, we can feel lucky to be healthy enough to get around be if on foot, car, on scooter or wheel chair and able in some way to get OUT of that condo/house/flat. Connecting with people even silently is connecting and that is what I felt sitting in the food court December 23rd.

I needed a few spices to add to my turkey dressing…it tastes almost like my grandmother’s…you see she never gave her recipes. But I taste, add a dash of this and that and taste several times until it seems pretty darn close AND my adult children love it! That IS the strongest motivator to cook anything. Bake? Um, not really because I am not much of a baker but I may try a pie or two this coming week…

I purchased the items at Loblaws and crossed the street to the mall that is situated right across the street from my home. I wanted to get a few small gifts to give to the adults since my majour gift for the past few years is my Christmas meal and gifts for the children, currently, 3 boys and 2 german shepherd sisters. Ah, yes, nice socks are always needed because almost everyone I know gets a sock or two eaten up by the dryer (where else does that lost sock go?) It was already five and I thought I might get a cuppa or get a nice buttery and salty giant pretzel and sit to people watch. A line up at Mr Pretzel made me think of those long dreaded line-ups, Christmas shopping and the whole commercialization or C.S. {croc of shit or capitalism snares…take your pick} so I moved over to Thai Express…one person waiting, so I thought, that would be fine. Wait, wait, wait…I ask the woman at the counter if they were closing, she shakes her head, no smile and does not take my order…wait, wait, wait…a woman goes up to the cash and gives her order…I am stunned, frustrated and just leave…why should I give my hard-earned money to a business who cares less, right? On to another fast food place, order to eat here and find a most comfortable place with chairs with armrests…wow! and relax. I love to eat but you know, it is a social thing…so it is nice to be among people even if we aren’t talking. Not much different from some couples we see sometimes who eat and never look up at each other or talk, not much different from a parent sitting with their teenager who thinks talking to anyone 10 years older is uncool…and the list goes on…so sometimes our own individual self is just fine.

© Clr '14
© Clr ’14

I pretend to be looking at a text message on my camera and take a few photos of the group of men playing cards in front of me. It looked like a serious game and I wonder if they were regulars here. I mean, I see early morning regulars of older adults who come before the shops open to have their walk and by 9:30am. they are sipping coffee, reading the paper and many are in groups chatting about their plans for the day. But now it is after 5p.m. so I figure they are a group of men who are single for a few hours with their wives busy shopping or cooking a day before the eve of Christmas.

I am not much of a card player and wonder what game they are playing with soooo many cards. The only game I know of with that many cards is Canasta but I doubt these men are playing this. When they end the game one of the men who was just watching folds up his book where I wonder if he is entering scores for later payment…I wonder. Now that would be a cool story, eh?

Walking out the food court, I pass couples sitting, staring…no one talking, a woman with her little girl and the woman looks totally exhausted, a bunch of teens giggling and taking pics of each other and at the entrance of La Baie, in the comfortable overstuffed armchairs, two elderly men reading a news paper and one either sleeping or daydreaming. I wonder what their stories are. Being in the suburbs, people are often living with family…but there are many alone and I wonder if aloneness is more painful here or in the city. In the city we are closer to one another; in the burbs there are so many different stories but closeness and collaboration may be in clusters…I don’t know. Where I live in my 8 apartment building, the only people who were friendly lived on the second floor. Three different tenants and they were the ONLY tenants who talked to me, helped me with heavy parcels and always asked how I was….they were from Portugal, Florianópolis, Brazil and the most recent from around here. My next door neighbour never says hello unless I do first, his 20+ yr old son smiles and moves off even when I trying to lug my 17-inch tires with hubs to my car…no, “need any help”…nope…and that same neighbour who asked our landlord to take my parking spot so his son could take his…yeah, well, I must say it is not that friendly here either. Walking to the grocery store last week with bags in hand, that same neighbour just drove by me…could have saved me a few minutes …oh well.

As I left the mall to come home, I used my usual short cut walking down the tiny slope before getting to the sidewalk across the street from my building. It was not slippery at all but my ankles just gave up…down on I felt flat on the sidewalk trying to hurry to lift myself off the sidewalk but no feelings but pain in my ankles, and my right knee was already throbbing from the fall and I knew my left knee was bad enough…{had not knelt on it since last May!}…so wait a few moments, whimpering like a big baby…hearing cars go by and whimpering more for cars who had not EVEN slowed down. All I needed was a hand to get me up and I knew I could cross the street just fine…slowly …but fine.  But no cars stopped even if my winter coat was white…so puleeze do not tell me they did not see a human being flat on the sidewalk. I was careful as I worried I might fall again but this time on the street with my luck no one would stop…even after.

I made it home feeling so sorry for myself, limping and then examining the damage when I got home thankful I wore an old pair of leggings since that big hole could not be mended now.  Sure the aches and pains came later stronger but what hurt the most was the “laissez-faire” of folks…have we come to this now in our world? That makes me very sad and not safe at all.

Christmas Eve was lovely, eating good food…{well, harrumph…I made it (smiles) } and it was nice resting on the sofa admiring the fire, listening to the children play with my son, having my daughter take care of the planning, picking me up, setting the table and taking care of timing everything so we could all eat  and serving as hostess…thankful for my grandsons who were amazing considering the hype and anxiety before Christmas morning…grateful to my son who seemed to have fun playing with the boys and my son-in-law who is an amazing person, man, partner and son.

 

© Clr '14-25 6:40am.
© Clr ’14-25 6:40am.

 

The next day I left for work at dawn and hoped I would get a few pics of the sunrise before getting into the office at 6:45 a.m. …but nope…it remained dark. Well, then at least I made up for lack of nature’s beauty with an amazing sunset at 3:45 p.m…so gosh darn early!! on my way home.

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Today I am relishing the peaceful feel of the day  and missing my mom; wishing I could have been there more, said more things to her, yet I think she is hearing and feeling it now; however sometimes the silence is deafening and wonder how it is for many who have no choice but to sit in this painful dark place day after day even during the holidays. There can be many reasons … financially strapped, family and friends estrangement, a recent loss, a loss long ago that ripped their spirit, physical illness, mental illness and the latter sometimes being such an invisible disease no one can understand…unfortunately, too many do not try.

The next time you are out, if you see someone alone why not smile and say hello, offer him or her a good day…offer your seat with a smile…open a door with a smile…you have no idea how that may enrich a person’s day!   Our good memories are what soothe us, wrap us up like honey for a bee, warm our hearts like a duvet cover and make us smile like looking at a newborn baby or puppy tilt his head to the side.

Blessing and happy holidays to this amazing WordPress community and my readers. ((((((hugs)))))

Cheryl-Lynn

kindness
heartwarming like a duvet
honey to a bee

© Clr 2014/12/26

Posted in Compassion, Reflections

Just agree to disagree

B questioning me nov 13How often to we hear comments like “ah you are always so extreme” or “you’re so obsessed” or “you’re crazy to think that way”?  Too often, right?   If I were to translate some of these phrases, they still would not interpret what the speaker meant. Sometimes it really means, “Well, I don’t agree with you, hence you’re wrong to even think that way!”  And the list goes on: you think too much, you don’t have enough feelings, you have too many feelings, you are impulsive, you don’t think things through…I don’t understand where you are coming from.

Would it hurt so much to ask, “What do you mean?” or “Tell me what that looks like to feel that way”.  Do you remember when you were a young child and you may have had a falling out with a friend or someone tripped you and you cried, not because your knee hurt when you scraped it…because your feelings were hurt.   And then an older person came up to you and blew on the wound and said, “There there, it’s all better now…don’t cry.” If you were brave enough, you would whimper and say “I feel sad” and how often have you heard, “Now, now, you’re not sad…come along now, let’s eat some ice cream”. Distraction was thought to be one way of helping an unhappy child.

Perhaps that was how things were in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s…or has it really changed that much?  As adults, many parents are  certainly more aware of acknowledging a child’s feelings. But many still carry the mindset of stiff upper lip and you have to toughen those kids up if you want to prepare them for the real world.  I agree that we need to help a youth set boundaries on when and where to express intimate feelings but one still needs to recognize them. To set aside until at a safer place or time is one thing but not to teach only to stifle their feelings, to not recognize certain triggers that may alert a person to prevent impulsive behavior later!  We need to teach our youths how to be self-aware to self-care.

And what about someone who is “madly” in love with someone. How often to you hear, “Oh she/he is so needy…co-dependent…in French we overuse the term “dépendance affective”. Yes there are persons who may have this strong need to be approved, to be loved, to be noticed…but all too often we label anyone who is head over heels with another person.  I like to explain to youths at work how great it feels to be in love especially those first few months when we are in that “GA GA” phase…crazy in love and can’t even think of anything else but that person.  It has actually been scientifically proven that those stages neurotransmitters in our brain jump hoops and ride like a roller coaster.  That need to be with a person is our brain reacting.  But let’s not go into the science of this because it takes the fun  outof feeling all goofy and dreamy.

There are so many discussions we could have just about now. There  are so many directions I could go with this now but I will stop because I think I made my point.  Be mindful of your critical comments. They are not always “just in fun”.  You know they are sometimes rooted out of your own misconception and  sometimes lack of understanding. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t see it that way but maybe I am not understanding how you see it.” Sometimes it’s okay to just say, “Let’s agree that we disagree.”  The latter does not make you or he/she wrong…just of a different outlook.  We cannot all see life the say way…we look out of a window and interpret the world painting it with hues from our past, shaded with life experiences.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/12/21

This post was inspired by a poem written by The Real Cie I read last week at Poetry of the netherworld at Blogspot.  and was given permission to share. It was a response to a list of words used as prompts to create a story or poem.   I’m inserting a few lines to entice you…

Forever Your Little Loser

~Cie~

They say that I’m a lunatic

They say I’m nothing but a loser

Because I say I want to take a spacecraft

And go spinning past all the planets…continue reading here.

Posted in Did you know?, Grief

Letting go before moving on

What is change? What is transition? What is grief? These all have connections.

Have you ever had a promotion or learned you were going to a better school and still felt unsettled?  Perhaps you just got married or purchased a new home and you would think that you would be elated, right?  Perhaps you are but that little gnawing tugs once in a while. For some it is total confusion and disparity.   You would think that change for the better would automatically make you happy, right? So why the mixed feelings you wonder.

Imagine that your former life (single life, old school, old employment and home) are on one side of a building. Each in their separate room and in order to get to the newness of whatever you have earned or acquired, you need to get out of the room. You open the door and find yourself in a long corridor. The new life is in another room across this hallway and the door is slightly ajar.  You excitedly push the door open and start to enter, filled with a joy yet trepidation.   The longer you stay in the New room, the anxiety mounts or you start feeling depressed. What the heck is going on! You shout at yourself and are boggled about what could be happening to you.  You run back into the hallway and aren’t too sure what to do.  It is safe in the hallway but inside you feel chaos in your gut.

In any type of change or transition in life there is also a grieving process to let go of the old before taking on the new. Even if the old was not that great, it was familiar and it was a part of who you were and who you knew for some time.  For some people, that mourning phase can take  a short time and for others a bit longer. What IS important is to acknowledge you are turning a chapter in your life.

Years ago, I read Transitions by Bridges and he called that phase the “neutral zone” as it has a bit of positive and negative feel to it.  For some it is apathy…totally neutral but unfeeling…not happy or sad, just apathy.

A woman gets married and moves into her new home with her husband.  The first few months it is like an extended honeymoon but then she starts having bouts of mood swings.  A mother gives birth to a healthy little boy and several months later she is feeling sad.  It`s not postpartum she was told by her doctor but still she can`t shake the longing for her old life and now starts to feel guilty.  A man gets a huge promotion with big pay increase.  After working at the new position for a few months, he is feeling sluggish and not comfortable in this new change in his life.

Most people have adjustment periods they need to transition into a new role but most are never told why.  We are back in that corridor again.  The new life door is open and yet you cannot totally embrace it until you close the door to the former life. And you can`t really close that door until you actually give it one last glance.  Does this make sense?

It is a bit like when you move out of a house, before you give the key to the new owners/tenants, you walk around each room, pause at some areas, a window…reminded of something you did, heard…it was here you celebrated the news (new job, wedding, etc.).  Embrace those memories, walk through them one more time…and slowly let them go.  Now you can close that door and confidentially cross through that corridor and open the door to your new life.

I am simplifying this a bit but if you are interested in reading about this further, I recommend you to read Bridges’ book. I have used his techniques many times over the years with adults and youths.

Before turning that last page of your life chapter make sure you have read it entirely.

© Cheryl-Lynn ’14/11/11

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges