Sunday, March 5, 2017

Meaning, Love, Joy and Peace

Our society has a fascination with novelty. Out with the old, in with the new, start fresh, quick fix. Buy a better house, get a new car, new season? New clothes, new job? New friends, unhappy marriage? New partner. Feeling sick? Take a pill, feel ugly? Surgery.

One thing you cannot get yet is a new body. But science will soon provide us the pinnacle of consumerism. The ability to purchase bespoke organs and body parts.

The question is why? It all seems somewhat out of balance. Unhealthy. Unwise. At some point in the busy consumerist flutter of modern life we have lost the concept of valuing and looking after what we already have.

Your iPhone works well but you want a new one. You relationship is working but you are looking for a better one before you commit.

It is all rather reactive. Not well considered. Mindless. For most of us, who have the luxury of being born in a wealthy country, if we slowed down and enjoyed our life, we might just find we already have most of what we want and need.

If you are a hammer all you see is nails. If you are a consumer all you see are opportunities for consumption. What about anticipation and savoring? Valuing and enjoying? Maintaining? Reflecting on what is already good in our lives?

If we can slow down just enough to smell the roses. To take the time to look at the beauty and joy already present in our lives. Maybe we wouldn't need so many products, pills and quick fixes. We may find we already have gifts far richer. Meaning, love, joy and peace.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Deep Mourning

Everything I've ever done, I have done by myself. Every award I’ve ever one, I made it by myself. There was no support crew, there was little nurturing, no base. There was no acknowledgement of my needs or my grace. The loneliness of not being adequately cared for. The loneliness of being second, third best, not as important as the rest. The feeling of surviving, making your way on your own. In your heart the feeling that no one’s home. The loneliness of losing family. Of losing your heart. The pain and the anger of losing that one person in your life that could be your rock.

I never realised how alone I truly felt. I never realised why I wrote my poems and raged and wept. The loneliness of loss, of grief all alone. The loneliness of changing schools, instability, moving homes. The wondering and the hoping that someone might notice the pain in me. The striving and achieving that I thought would set me free. I never truly realised how all of this could interweave. But now I realise how the loss of family, of love, send me so young and so deep into grief. No one at school or in my young life, adult or child, could understand the source of my pain. So I ran wild.

How much pain and loss can one child take? All the destructive things I tried to make the hurt go away, to stop the ache. I have been into the darkness, and I've found my way back to the light. I have swum through a deep ocean of pain, sifting through my emotions trying to set it all right. Only now that I am older, wiser, can I see the patterns in my life. So much set into motion from one fateful night. The loss of my father, age 10, the one who was most like me, left the hole in my soul that no one else could see. They could never understand my behaviour, my rage, my need to fight. But all I wanted was to feel loved again, to feel held, for someone to tell me it would be alright.

When you deny a child the right to be playful, young and carefree, you create a rift in their being, their soul, their sense of self belief. The saddest discovery I have made in my journey so far, is realising the guilt that I have held deeply, secretly carried so far. You see the mind of a child is not fully grown, it has thoughts and feelings not fully formed. So much of my frustration, my rage and my pain, came from my innocent belief it was my fault that he died. I couldn’t save him but in my heart I tried. But a child is not responsible for the death of their parent, and now twenty year later I am seeing my truth, the source of my lament.

All of these feelings that lay hidden in my being, have found a way to emerge, to process, the result liberating, freeing. I am no longer a victim of my history of sorrow. I am releasing my hurt, my mourning, I am finally free to leave my past behind and live for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why I do what I do

At some point I realised that life is hard. Life feels shit sometimes. That we are as a species are probably screwed. That the greed of some, or perhaps all of us, has led us to destroy the world we live in.

Despite all this, I realise that the only thing I take real pleasure from is to help others. Perhaps it is my childhood, my conditioning, I don’t know. But I do know that the only way I ever really feel deeply happy is when I am making like easier for another. 

Now obviously this has a limit, I am not going to be a doormat. I am not an endless supply of energy. But that is the reason I wanted to be a doctor. That is the reason I wanted to be a teacher or a counselor.

For me the payoff is helping people. Little acts of kindness are just as important as large ones. I always look to see how others are feeling. What others need and want. 

My job frustrates me because I want to help people but as a teacher, it sometimes feels really difficult. Because teaching doesn’t necessarily feel like help to the people receiving the education. What I am doing is facilitating them through a rite of passage. In our society, to get anywhere, you must go to school, learn about the world, about other people, learn to fit in. etc. 

So for me the pay check isn’t money. The pay check is helping, or rather the acknowledgement from others when they realise that I am there to help them.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Learning how to live

For as long as I can remember I have pushed and struggled through life. 

I have walk a difficult path. I have moved countless homes, schools and social groups, resisted and changed, conformed and rebelled, stagnated and progressed.

I have sunk and survived, risen from the depths. I have tried and wished, hoping all the while I wept. And finally I made it here.

I have crafted for myself a good life. From all the pieces, people, memories and lessons. Not the one I imagined, but a good life none the less.

The hard part now is learning how to stop. Just for a moment, to let go of the next challenge. To enjoy and relax. To remember to breathe deep and be calm. I don’t have to climb mountains any more, but I can if I want to. I can move away from anxiety because I don’t need to worry about the future. Through all the confusions of living, the moments of sadness and joy, I have gained a priceless gift. I have learned how to live well.