POV

We all know how powerful point of view can be and how it can drastically alter things.  In certain circumstances, both parties can be right, even though they have completely different arguments (I’ve personally seen this a handful of times in real life).

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I recently told you about a friend who was having a hard time.

The saga continues.

Since she unfriended me, I usually only see the side of the relationship from her ex.

The way he tells it, she’s doing some very unsavory things, intentionally hurting him, wreaking all sorts of havoc in his life.  He’s trying to be a better person, trying to rise above it, trying to move on with his life.  He doesn’t want to retaliate against the horrific things she’s done to him; he just wants to have a simple, peaceful life without her.  Oh – and he is completely smitten with his new girlfriend who is everything he has ever wanted in a woman.

When I was cruising through her FB page the other day, I saw a completely different story.

She tells of the things he’s doing to provoke her.  She tells of how desperately she loves him and misses him.  She speaks of how much it hurts her that he has moved on in life and love.  She has lost everything – her home, her dogs, and her best friend and husband (both the same man).

The thing is – I know how that feels.  I know the hopelessness of it all, the loneliness, the fear. I can empathize with her when it comes to knowing your one true love is no longer in your life and you’re left to try to put all of the pieces back together again.

I haven’t experienced the betrayal she must be feeling, nor the pain of knowing that he loves someone other than her.  While she’s mourning the loss of her relationship (possibly trying to figure out how to put it back together again) she’s also dealing with the pain of thinking about him with another woman.  It must be devastating!

Neither of them is wrong.  They both are experiencing this moment of time very differently.

And the only thing I can see which might make it easier for either/both of them is to see the other’s POV.

That’s so easy to say!

How can I apply this to my life?  Would empathizing with those around me make not only their lives better, but mine a well?  I think I need to practice this.

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Prayers, Not Anger

I recently saw something on Facebook which said,

How about we pray for our President and staff instead of tearing them down and showing so much anger.

The short answer: No way! We’re too angry!

The majority of us did not vote for him, yet we’re stuck with him.  For this, we’re angry.

He has undone all of the good that Obama’s administration ushered in, so we’re angry.

He’s ripping innocent, terrified children away from the loving arms of their parents, which makes us livid.

And for countless other reasons, we choose anger over prayer.

I guess the next question should be – should we pray for Trump (I refuse to call him my president)?

Personally, I don’t do vending machine prayers.  My prayers consists of “Help me be okay with whatever is ahead of me,” and “Thanks.”  I don’t pray for things which my HP might omniciently know to be the correct or incorrect path.  I don’t pray for things about which I might get my hopes up, just to be disappointed.  Praying for a demagogue to pull his head out seems like a waste of breath, so I don’t bother.

I suppose for those who believe in the power of prayer, a collective request to The Almighty might do some good – if only as a balm for those tired, frazzled souls.  Plus, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for those who have faith to pray for a softening of hearts and a greater understanding to those who are in power.

How about we do both?  Both can be a vehicle of change (potentially.)  Pray for those in the White House to experience a change toward love and tolerance.  And an anger which fuels the rest of us to effect change in a more concrete way.

Without change, what good is the anger or the prayers?  The both just leave us feeling empty, angry, and disappointed.

Cry for Help

With all of the very public suicides in the media right now, I’ve been more aware of it.

That being said, I just peeked in on a … friend?  If they unfriend you on Facebook, but you still care about them, are you allowed to call them a friend?  Anyway, I wanted to see how she was doing.  I know she’s been having a really tough time, lately.  There were some issues with her meds, she lost the love of her life, and she became homeless.  So, similar to what I’ve been through in the last few months, but she was far worse off than me, due to the medication issues (counting my blessings!)

She had reached out to me during that time, in my mind asking me to choose between her and her now ex, but I wasn’t sure I was remembering it correctly (going through my own turmoil at the time).  This morning, I went back through to see how the conversation had actually gone.  She had mentioned something about only being her friend because of her ex.  I reassured her that I had no plans to take sides, but that I loved her for who she was and hoped that she found the help she needed.  She decided to hurl some accusations at me, as well as a little bit of self-pity.   I knew that I didn’t have the training or the knowledge to help her and that a professional would be much better for her.  I suggested that she reach out to me again when she was feeling better, and let her know that I loved her very much.

I didn’t want to cut ties, but neither did I know how to handle what it was she was going through.  She wasn’t being her normal self.  It was obvious that something was seriously wrong with her, and I simply didn’t know the right thing to say or do for her.  At the same time, I knew that I had to take care of myself (going through my own horrible crisis at the time).  In order to keep myself afloat, I knew it was important for me to not allow her to drag me down with her.

As I was cruising through her posts this morning, she mentioned that she had sent out SOSes.  Is that what she had sent me?  An SOS?  If so, did I completely blow it?  How would I have felt if she had done something awful to herself after I failed to save her sinking ship?

In high school, a peer hanged himself.  Shortly before doing so, he had reached out to a classmate, but she blew him off, not knowing how much he needed her.  I wonder if that memory still haunts her.

I don’t want to be that person.  I want to be able to recognize when someone is truly in need of my company, my comforting, my compassion.

And I want to know what it is I need to give them, how I can help them, what it is that they need most.

Right now, I feel completely useless.  If someone were to call me in need, would I recognize it?  Would I be able to help them?   Probably not.

I’m going to have to look into what someone can do in situations like this.  Not that I’m wishing this kind of devastation on any of my loved ones, but I would like to be prepared.

Feeling Powerless

As I sit in the safety of my living room, I feel utterly powerless.   I am angered, but not enough to actually do anything.  I am saddened, but still remain motionless.  What will it take to get me to do something?  I think the point is – I don’t feel like I am capable of effecting change, so what’s the point?

Of course, I’m speaking about the children who are being ripped from the loving arms of their parents.

What can I do?  I mean, it’s not like I can storm into there (where ever there is) and make things change.  I can’t stop it from happening.  One phone call from me to … the powers that be (I don’t even know who I’d call) won’t make one iota of difference.

So, I can sit on my couch, pulling out my hair, feeling terrible for those children, being embarrassed of my country, and hating on POTUS, yet still be impotent.

It’s a very yucky feeling.

This morning, I saw a post on Facebook which said that there are a large number of American citizens who fully support what Trump is doing.  This dumbfounded me!  How could anyone agree with the atrocities he’s committing and believe his lies?!  I was aghast!  I felt so thankful that I don’t have anyone like that in my life.

And then I saw that a loved one of mine might be confused.  She posted something on her Facebook page which compared these refugees to a criminal who is behind bars.  The criminal had her children taken away and handed to CPS – why shouldn’t the refugees be treated thusly?

Well, because the refugees are seeking asylum.  They haven’t broken any laws.  They aren’t criminals.  They are legally entering our country, hoping to save themselves and their children from the horrors in their country which I will never understand.  They are not criminals.  They are seeking safe harbor in a legal way.  Okay – not all of them, but most of them.

What about the people who are trafficking children through the border.  When we take the children from these monsters, we’re just trying to protect the children, right?  That is such utter BS!  You’re trying to tell me well over a thousand children are being trafficked and caught trying to cross our borders in less than two months?  Do you really believe that, or are you just trying to justify your deplorable actions?

And these children aren’t being handed over to CPS, like the children of accused criminals – they’re being delivered to empty big box stores where conditions are not comparable to those children who find themselves in a foster home.  And, there is no system in place to reunite the children with their parents, if that’s even possible at this point.

That’s why the situation of the refugee is not even close to that of an American criminal in jail for the crime(s) s/he committed.  To compare them is ridiculous.

What does this have to do with me?  Well, on my FB page, I usually try to stay fairly neutral.  What if it’s time for me to start posting things which might wake up my well-meaning, but uninformed loved ones?  While my phone call to the White House might go unanswered, maybe making sure that those around me have good information might do some good.  Maybe if everyone had all of the facts, they might be able to make better decisions.

Alright Team – what else can I do?  I hate complaining about it, but feeling like I can’t do anything.

No More Knights

I recently saw this on Facebook, and it kinda made me angry that there was only one option:

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At face value, it looks like there are two options: her “man” fixes it or another man does.

Whoa!  Is it the new me, or is this absolutely ridiculous?  There is only one option there – that the poor little damsel sits back, helplessly, waiting for a man to come rescue her.

Blech!

Are there really still women out there like that?

Sure, I like to be spoiled.  Sometimes, I even like to be lazy.  It’s nice to have a man take care of some of the grosser or more physically demanding tasks.

But, if I realize a man isn’t going to do something for me, I don’t wait around for another man to do it!  When I was a single mom, there wasn’t a man around to take care of me.  I learned to do things on my own.  And I actually took pride in it – changing headlights or taillights, swapping out air filters in my home or car, mowing my lawn – I felt like such a big girl!  There really is something to be said for stepping up and taking care of things on your own.

With my Saturn, I even had to have a special tool to change my lights.  I can’t tell you how special I felt just for having the stupid tool!  Actually, I took pride in all of my tools (which mysteriously disappeared from my toolbox!)

Yes, I understand that there are women out there like the woman mentioned above, and they make me really sad.  To me, they are helping to keep women as a minority.  If we expect some knight in shining armor to swoop in and save us, how can we expect to be treated as equals?  Put on your big girl panties, go to the car parts store yourself, watch a YouTube video and change your own damned light!  Seriously!

Now, I’m still old-fashioned in some ways.  I still like to have doors held for me, but I’m not going to stand at a door, waiting until some man comes along to open it for me.  I’m going to do the things I can, whenever I can.  If I really NEED help, that’s when I’ll ask for it.  But, my sister and I moved a washing machine all by ourselves, and we only needed the help of our mother to move a fridge – no men required!

Time to shout out!  What accomplishments of yours are you proud of, which normally would be considered “man’s work?”

 

Puppy Pics

Last Sunday was Father’s Day – a day which usually passes without much hoopla.

I haven’t spoken with my father in years, I don’t celebrate with my children’s father, and I don’t have a partner in my life who is a father.  So, to me, it’s just another day.

I went hiking with my mother and sister.  I planned ahead and was able to pick up my dog so he could go with us.  Honestly, that day was more about my dog than anything else.  Normally, on hikes, I take all sorts of pics – flora, fauna, breathtaking views, my family.  Not that day.  It was all about my dog.  The only pics I took were of him.

I didn’t really notice the scenery that much – too busy making sure he was behaving and doing okay.  And he did really well – very little barking, tried to restrain himself when all he wanted to do was make friends with every living being who passed us, and even helping to pull my mother up a particularly steep hill.

It was a good day – I got some fresh air and exercise and I got to spend time with my family and my dog.

And then I got home and looked at Facebook.  Oops.  Should have known better.  There were dozens of posts about people loving on their fathers and their husbands.  All it did was remind me of what a rotten father I had and that I made a bad choice when it came to the father that I chose for my children.

I don’t normally think of that day like that, but it just kinda hit me hard.

But, to end on a happy note, here’s my adorable puppy!

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Stronger than Love

I recently came across the questions – Is there an English word that is means more than love?

The easy answer is – no, English sucks big time in that way.  So many other languages have multiple (dozens!) of words for “love.”  Not English.  Lame!

But then I started really thinking about it.  Why?  Why do we need a word stronger than love?  What is love?

unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

That sounds pretty complete and deep to me.  Why should we need a word that means more than that?  Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern.  If a man loved me that much, what else is there?

I think it’s because we throw that word around so much.  Teenagers who’ve been dating each other for, like, three minutes profess their love to each other.  It’s haphazardly used on those we feel strongly about, are attracted to, or lust after, but we really don’t know all that well.  I’ve even heard that some people use that word so they can get what they want from the other sex.

And then, our emotions about so many other (less meaningful) things in life have become so exaggerated.  “My new iPhone is the greatest thing on the planet!”  “I would literally die if I didn’t buy these shoes!”  “These tacos are life!”

Is it because we have attached the word “love” to things which don’t actually deserve such a word?  “I LOVE my new pen!”  “OMG!  You would LOVE this recipe!”  “I’m totally in love with the character on this new TV show!”  Somehow, these don’t seem to fit with the above definition.  They cheapen the love that is shared by an adoring couple who are committed and devoted to each other.

I think what we should do is use alternative words which mean less than love.  “These tacos are amazing!  I’m so glad I tried them!”  “Those shoes are so terribly cute!  I really want to add them to my already ridiculously massive collection.”  “This recipe makes the most delicious dessert – you won’t be disappointed if you try it.”  Have we over-used the word “love” (and thereby lessened it) out of sheer laziness and lack of creativity?

I like the definition above.  I think I might print it out and keep it.  Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for another.  If I can find someone about whom I feel like that (and who feels that way about me), I will know that I’ve found the one.  I will have found love.

 

Father’s Day

Once again, Father’s Day is coming up.  Once again, I don’t have a father to celebrate.  No father, no boyfriend with a child to help celebrate the day.  Isn’t it funny how that works?  You leave all of the men in your life, and you don’t have anyone to celebrate on Father’s Day.  Huh.

From time to time, I do think about my father – I wonder if he’s still alive or not, but that’s about it.

For this Father’s Day, I’m going to be hiking with my mom and sister.  Yay!

The only time not having a father makes any kind of difference in my life is when I think about my future.  What if I want to get married again, someday?  Who would give me away?

I really don’t have a father-type-figure in my life.  The closest thing I have is my uncle.  Will he be around long enough?  Would my brother come up to do it?  Would my brother-in-law think it weird, were I to ask him?  And… that’s about the extent of men in my life.  I really don’t have many.

I guess it really doesn’t make much difference.  I gave myself away at my first wedding; I could do it again.  I guess I just wanted a second wedding to be more special than the shotgun wedding fiasco.

Obviously, it’s a moot point.  No boyfriend, no plans to get married.  Why do I even think about this silly sort of stuff?

I guess I need to do some sort of fatherly thinking when this day comes around each year.

Living a Nightmare

I had a nightmare a few nights ago.  You know me – normally I laugh about them, write them down, and then move on.

The one from the other night lingers.

When you look at it at face value, it doesn’t seem like much of a nightmare.  Actually, it kinda seems like a dream come true.

I was in this beach cabin, relaxing for an unknown period of time with my best friend.  Quite the nightmare, huh?

But then you get into the details.

We were trapped.  Not physically, but the owner of the cabin somehow had us in a trance so we were quite zombie-esque.  We didn’t realize it was always twilight. We didn’t realize how long we had been there.  We didn’t realize we were being held captive.  We just… existed.

And our husbands weren’t there (another thing of which we weren’t aware.)  When I finally started to “come to” I realized that the men who were supposed to love us forever weren’t anywhere to be found.  How long had they been gone?  Had they escaped?  Did they mean to leave us?

How was she keeping us in this trance?  I had to figure it out so that we could escape.  I had to figure it out…

And then I woke.  So frustrating!  I hate waking before I can save myself!

As the dream fades (ever so slightly) from my memory, I’ve had time to ponder it.

Is this my life?  I’m just kind of… existing?  I’m not really living?

What would make my life more worth-while?  Obviously, being able to support myself with my writing would be a game changer.  Maybe finding the love of my life?  Maybe … volunteering?  Or finding a new hobby?  Or… ?

Honestly, right now, I do kinda feel like I’m waiting for my life to start.  It really sucks!  I seriously hate simply existing.  I want more.

And then I think about all of the time that I wasted while I lived with my ex.  I was home full-time!  I could have finished at least one book!  I could be published by now!

I’m so kicking myself!

Maybe the hike tomorrow will help me feel better.  Here’s hoping!

Back At It

Isn’t it funny how when you get caught up in something, you seem to lose track of other things?

I just realized that during the last few weeks (while I was concentrating on flirting and having fun with attractive men) I haven’t worked on my book.  At all.  Any of them.  *Hanging head in shame*

When I moved over here, I was all fired up about my newest book.  I was working on it for hours every day, seeing the huge leaps and bounds of progress I was making.  And then some tall hunk of a man contacted me, and that all flew out the window.

I really need to learn to keep my priorities in place!

I need to get back to the book!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still been writing (ie – blogging) almost every day, so I’m still working on my art, but I haven’t been working on my book.  There’s a small difference, but it is still there.

And now that I realize how remiss I’ve been, I’m getting kind of excited to work on my book again.  Now that I’m working full time, I won’t be able to put in hours every day, but I feel like I need to put in at least a half hour every day (or every day that’s possible) toward my book.  At least I’ll still be making some progress if I do that.  Right now, it’s sitting as stagnant as… as my other books.  😦

And yet, life will still get in my way for a little bit.  I can’t do it tonight – I have too much to do.  But, if I get all of my chores done tonight, I might have time to work on my book tomorrow.

Here’s hoping!