Sunday, July 31, 2011


It is so important to be kind... you have struggles, but so does everyone else. It's good to think of others and not always yourself. When you take the "I" out of every single interaction, you become a rich and open person. You are flexible and get to experience more connections and more joy in life. Those who live without the want for human good and give less than they take will be alone in some capacity. It's all about giving, sharing, apologizing, being a big person always - not just to show off who you are. Those who are great people, don't need to show it off... they just are. We're all the same... we all make mistakes, we all get dealt hard breaks, but it's how we handle ourselves and how we treat other people that matters most in this world. The best quote ever is: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou... It's true. Your actions and how you enter a space determine how someone else feels. Yes, we are all accountable for our feelings, but if someone walks into the room with a sour look on their face you will begin your time with them sour-filled. We need to be responsible for what we feel - surely, but we also need to be held accountable for the energy we fill a space with. We each are people. Equal in value, equal in humanity. Don't look someone up and down and expect them to think highly of you. Your judging turns off even the most loving person. If you want love and happiness - truly want it - then give it out whole heartedly and without question. You give what you get and by golly if you choose to give of yourself and nurture and love those around you - you will have such a full beautiful life... Just ask my Mom! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Human Experience

I love learning about the human experience. The trials, joys, victories, kindnesses, moments of weakness, and all the rest. We all have the best intentions (I hope) and yet we are all human. We all make mistakes, we break each other's hearts, we say things we don't mean, we side with negativity from time to time, and we just don't always get it right. It's often used as an excuse, "hey, I'm human," but sometimes there's much more involved. 

When I make a mistake or feel guilty for my actions, there are usually three commonalities behind why I acted the way I did. 1) Experience - what I've seen and heard in my past experiences mold how I react. 2) Feelings - emotions are intense. They can take hold of you and influence how you react. Crying, yelling, silence, laughing, etc. all come from emotional control. Very hard to have emotional control - at least for me. 3) Pride & Integrity - when someone has wronged you over and over again. You feel a sense of pride. You don't want to make amends because they wronged you. They need to apologize to you. There is also the Integrity factor. When someone acts in such a way that goes against your moral fiber and all you stand for, it's really hard to just sit idly by and watch their actions hurt those around you or you yourself. 

I have a certain "relationship" which is beyond repair, I fear. One of my elder family members chooses to make me a peer instead of someone to nuture and love. Jealousy, judgment, and even put downs have been the treatment I receive instead. It's really hard for me. Recently, I've excluded myself from anything to do with that family member because it just hurts me so much. The 3 commonalities always come into play. 1) Experience - So many times we've had our issues and disagreements and then we talk it out and then we're close and happy for a while, but for some reason the trouble comes back around. Then again, I'm hurt and vulnerable and let down. It has gotten to the point where I don't want to be on that roller coaster anymore. 2) Feelings - my feelings get hurt. I'm emotional and sensitive and I am so glad that I am. I feel so deeply and so passionately and because of that my life is rich beyond material things. So when this person says or writes such mean things or acts so mean to other family members I have intense feelings. I get angry and I get bitter. 3) Pride & Integrity - There is a fine line in this situation because I would never want to treat people in such a manner as I've been treated, but there I go also treating this person differently than anyone else because of my prior experiences with them. I have pride in myself and I feel that I shouldn't have to do anything I don't want to do (nobody else does) which includes faking kindness and interest in someone who hurts me constantly. Integrity is important too. I believe that silence or just not interacting is better than interacting and feeling negativity or against who I am. Why would I want to save face and go against my grain just to make everyone comfortable? If you're uncomfortable, those are your feelings and my actions don't make you feel a certain way, you do. Just as I make myself feel hurt and sad about the lack of relationship I have with that one person. I own those feelings. I have tried to the best of my ability to get along. It hurts, but you move along...

It's a constant struggle though. I don't always feel so convicted. Last night I had a hard night and woke up early thinking about family and how the relationships within the family unit are just so messed up. Cried a little and got it out. It hurts me to not be able to be close to everyone I love. Yes, I love everyone in my family, but that doesn't mean I like all of them. It's just one of those things. Perhaps as I grow, I'll learn the tools to look past differences and not take things so personally. I'm growing, I'm 30 and I'm trying and doing the best I can. I truly believe that. If I just continue to let myself be walked all over, It will take me back down the path of low self esteem and low pride in who I am. I stand convicted and I own my choices and decisions. I learn by example and I really would like to think that all these experiences are helping to shape who I'll be. I want to nurture all the children/youth in my life. I want to feel blessed to see the world through their fresh eyes. I want to instill morals and kindness into every young spirit I encounter. I want to fill the time with words of literature, arts, beauty in the landscape, music, education, and things of importance. We may indulge in E! Entertainment shows, reality television, etc, but when it comes to real life - gossip shouldn't be such a favorite past time. It's great to talk about someone's achievements or the daily events, but when you relish in someone else's misfortune or you criticize someone for their choices with large groups of cackling hens it becomes unhealthy and unproductive. Fill your time with more enriching activities! Wouldn't it be great to shower these types of beliefs onto the young souls of the world? I truly can't wait to have a child and help mold them to be better than I. The next generation should be viewed as the 2.0 version. Your wisdom + their wisdom = a smarter, more grounded generation of people. 

I have said this time and time again. "If we just put ourselves in other's shoes, most problems would be solved." Judging is huge. We judge someone before even thinking about why they may act a certain way. We judge someone because they are making choices that we don't choose. We judge a person just for dressing a certain way or liking a certain thing. We all have our own identities and we all are different - that's the glory of the human race. So, as I get older, one of the biggest revelations I've made is my parents are PEOPLE too. In your younger years you see your Dad/Mom as larger than life, god-like caretakers. They are there for you and you alone. You really don't think about how they have dreams, goals, desires, and hopes too. You just see them as your parents. It's really amazing when you realize that they want love, they want success and they want happiness for themselves. So much attention gets put on you as their child, but it's great when you can put the attention back on their achievements and happiness. Your Dad is not just "Papi," he's a husband, brother, hard worker, hiker, son, friend, sports enthusiast, writer, athlete, lover of literature and music... etc... WAY more than just "Papi!" Your Mom is not just "Mama," she's a sister, daughter, teacher, friend, hard worker, singer, writer, artist, runner, hiker, wine enthusiast, caregiver, lover of all the arts, hopes to find love... etc... WAY more than just "Mama!" It adds a new flair to your relationship because you can converse about more than just your schoolwork and your dirty room like you did as a child. You can really talk about life and learn from each other. It's a beautiful thing. You have to put yourself in their shoes though before you come to this realization. 

I've noticed recently that there are many other relationships that really require stepping into each other's shoes. For instance - a Mother loves her child and would do anything for her. Sometimes when there's multiple generations it's hard for roles to be clear. A Grandmother has children and she loves all her children and does things for them because of that love. Grandmother's children have children of their own. They love their children as much as Grandmother loves them. Still, it's not always respected as such. Say the Grandmother does something for her child, but then when her child wants to do the same for their child it's veto-ed or frowned upon. Seems hypocritical, but all that it takes is stepping into her daughter's shoes. Your love for your child is the same love she has for her child. Another instance has to do with siblings. Moms/Dads and their children should be close and do things together. Sometimes it's not always true of the sibling relationship - brothers/sisters aren't always close. Just depends. Still, a Mom should realize that she cannot force this closeness upon her children. Also, the sibling should see that a Mom should want to be around all her kids as much as possible, but it doesn't mean they have to go along. Put yourself in your Mom's shoes, "She's a Mother loving her child." Put yourself in your children's shoes, "She's a Sister and doesn't always feel so deeply for her siblings, but that means nothing - a Mother's love is supreme and should be more abundant." Every Mother loves their children abundantly! If you're a Mother, another Mother feels the same about their children as you - as simply as that! Respect that bond as you'd want your bond respected!

Human experience is often valued by what you have instead of who are as well. Greed is a scary, twisted way to look at life. If you see your value in what you own instead of what you have to offer the world - you are leading a sad exsistence. It's all about giving back and giving what you have to those in need. How sad to sit atop your pile of gold alone! The saying is so true - "You can't take it with you when you go." Money is nice to have, but it's there to use. "Spend" wouldn't be in the dictionary if this weren't true. Money is to be spent. It's a tool to help you experience life. I love what Chris Rock said on the Oprah show: "Money gives you options." It's so true. If you look at it that way, you're golden. Find ways to earn it so that you can fund a good life. Take only what you need. A 20 bedroom 5 bathroom home with a bowling alley and movie theater is a waste for just a couple of people. What do you need all that for? It's frivilous and unnecessary plus it takes away from experiencing life. You're sheltering yourself away in your retreat instead of going out to bowl or see a movie. You're sheltering yourself from the human experience of meeting and seeing people. I believe that the more you keep for yourself, the less happy you are. When you give, you feel so rewarded and so good about your imprint on the world. If someone is struggling, especially in your family, it's the kind thing to do to help them if you have the means. If you can't - don't feel that you have nothing to give. Support or ideas can be lent which cost nothing. Don't feel badly for not being able to give monetary help, but if you do nothing - give no love or hope which is free and so appreciated as well - you are taking the value out of support. Support and love are  so valuable. 

Looks and weight are such a focal point in our country. What you look like is judged the moment you enter a room. It's so interesting to me because back in the beginning of time they didn't have make-up or name brand clothing and they judged by character and other attributes such as skills, creativity, and strength. Where did we get so superficial? Spas, mani/pedis, $200 haircuts, $100 pair of jeans, botox, liposuction, teeth whitening, and all the rest have become a normal part of the vernacular. It's puzzling to me. You could be a beautiful person on the outside - great hair, nice clothes, perfectly applied make-up, high dollar shoes and handbag, but if you're a mean person you instantly turn ugly. So, why not work on who you are on the inside and let that shine outward? Really bothers me that we've gotten so into sizes and measurements. That a girl like Jennifer Love Hewitt can feel fat in a size 5? It's just not right. I have let myself get caught up in all that - I'm not going to lie. You hear it enough or get looked up and down enough that you fall into that way of thinking. Luckily, I snapped out of it. I'm working on my health and size because I'm not comfortable in my skin completely. Being honest, but I don't see myself ever getting into less than a size 10. That's just my body and I own that and am realistic about that. I go to Supercuts and buy my makeup at Wal-Mart. I use my Grandmother and Mother's beauty secret - Oil of Olay every single day to keep the wrinkles away. I have a few more wrinkles than I'd like, but that's my life lines. I own my appearance and my inexpensive clothes - because I don't spend a gazillion dollars - I can get more and still have money to enjoy life. Heels? I'm already Godzilla - no thank you plus they hurt and why do women do that to themselves? Beauty is what you make it. Own your look, your regimine, and don't ever compare yourself to the air brushed ladies in the magazines - it's a false reality! You are beautiful and let yourself age... take care of skin, but own god's graces. Whatever makes you feel good and stand tall is the right choice!

Life is ever evolving and ever changing. We're all growing, learning, and hopefully doing the best we can. It's all about observing and reflecting, but not too much. In the moment, you have to enjoy it and fully take it all in. Experience, Feelings, Pride & Integrity are important factors when reacting to any situation. If you aren't happy with the outcome - see if you can't control how you react, by thinking before jumping to a decision. Nurture the youth in your life instead of resenting them for their youth. Engage and enjoy - don't retract and gossip. Put yourself in other people's shoes. Take the "role" out of the picture and see those around you as people, not just your Mom/Dad/Sister/Brother/Daughter/Son... etc. Give far more than you get. Take only what you need. Love the person you are inside and out. You're beautiful! 

I don't pretend to know it all. I'm an observer and a deep thinker. My soul and spirit have a rich joy in life and all it has to offer. We all have different opinions and as long as we hold onto ours, but still keep an open mind, we can become closer to people and stronger in our characters. It's all about how you treat people. Recognize when you may be going against your grain or treating someone in a way you don't like to be treated. Reflect and try to remedy the situation. If you can. Don't be upset if a remedy is out of your control. Every relationship is a two way street. Yes, I merely sit and reflect onto this page. None of us are experts. There are so many different situations and experiences to go through that we will NEVER know it all and that's the beauty of this life.