17Sep

Why Do We Have to be Strong A.L.L. the Time?

It is as if, there is shame in weakness.  Worse yet, illness is a condemnable offense.  I don’t understand this, because as mothers, we realize that there are good days and bad days.  As mothers, we don’t hesitate to provide love and care to our family members no matter who and what they are, or how they behave.

My challenge is this: why aren’t we women defining society?  We understand, we acknowledge the different faces of the human condition.  As women, we should be defining the societal structures of being human in America.  It’s ok to be weak, it’s ok to be sick, it’s ok to be ignorant, why add insult to injury and shame those less capable than the strong?

This strength thing has become its own illness, in the sense that lots of people say and think, “I don’t need anyone and I don’t need anything.”  This can go past the point of wisdom and could even cause self harm.  Look at those who die after refusing medical help, or women who are murdered by a husband or boyfriend because they refuse to go to the police?

This norm of strength is fostered by our society.  Perhaps it is the pushback from the way people are treated when they are in economic need.  Our society is not very nice to the poverty stricken, but again that is because we all believe in this notion that strength is enough to overcome anything.

Needy people are normally put down, made fun of, ostracized and of course, they are deprived of very real and very normal opportunities.  This can become a hamster wheel of frustration along with denial that keeps those in need – in need.

How do we balance all of this out?  Strength and weakness, need and satisfaction?  How do we ensure equality in spite of the fact that not all humans are strong?  Those that are strong, what price do they pay to exhibit that strength?

Mother and Son, modern life

15Sep

To Women Everywhere

PinterestMM by WarholI hope you are beautiful for as long as you want to be.  And I hope that when you lose your beauty that you love yourself enough that you don’t care what happened to your beauty.

I hope you admire the beauty in others.  I hope you know that you are as important as any other human being and as important, that you treat other women as if they are important also.

We deserve to be loved for our being.  We don’t deserve to be thrown away at age 40.  We have the power and with each other, we are ridiculously strong.  It is up to us to redefine the social structure.  It’s up to us to make women important, to make beauty unimportant.  It is up to us to give meaning to just being.

We can’t possibly create equality if women will not support each other.  It is just too difficult to navigate through society and to deal with another woman’s hatred, jealousy or condescension.  How can we show the world women’s strength and power, if what we do to each other is brutal?

So please be beautiful inside and out, proud and happy with your looks, with your brain and with other women.  It’s our only route to equality and ultimately to equanimity.

 

26Aug

The Pressing Need to be Better Than

This universal pressure here in America permeates everything, in almost every way.  People have a need to be better than someone, almost any one will do.  Most of the time, this need manifests itself blatantly.  Men who buy the biggest truck, they may have no need for a truck, but they must display the largest truck.  Women who spend an entire paycheck at the spa, getting manicures and pedicures, as if to say, I don’t have to work, look at my manicure: perfect.  In these situations, for the most part, it is a matter of successful marketing and is harmless, except perhaps to the wallet.

However, there is nothing harmless about the crushing need that certain sectors of our society have to be better than entire races and cultures.  This “being better” ideology allows a belief system to justify harsh and hate filled judgment of others.  This harsh judgment separates humans from each other and consequently allows cruelty to proliferate.

What I don’t understand is where does it come from?  In almost every conversation, particularly in business and social settings I see the conversations slipping into comparisons of wealth, status, intelligence, to say nothing of displays of wealth and privilege.

Not all societies have this need, and certainly there are gradients to the need.  This need is causing more destruction than can be counted.  One-up-man ship is a relationship killer, so we can readily acknowledge what it is doing to the melting pot of America.  Throughout our short history we have punished and denigrated all new cultures, indeed, beginning with the genocide of the American Indian.

Long term world peace is a real goal.  The attainment of such peace must begin with the individual who is willing to be equal in rights and privileges to all other individuals.   That can be a scary thought, as we can’t seem to imagine the abundance that is enough for everyone.  We want our own wealth and an assurance of survival.

As long as America grants person status to corporations and idolizes wealth and the wealthy, we will struggle with equality.  That is shameful for a nation founded on the tenets of equality and emancipation.

18Aug

Disturbing and Worse, it Continues

I think John Kasich said it best, when asked why no one is taking action against Trump “Well he’s the president.”  Under that simple statement lies a plethora of beliefs, some of them American and some of them Feudalistic.

I watch the news, I read the news, I hate it, but I do.  There seems to be universal agreement that we have made a mistake electing Trump and allowing him to stay in place.  Yet, there is no one to step forward and do something about this travesty.  We listen to Klan members telling us why it was justified to kill a 32 year old woman.  We listen to Trump justify the actions and the words and yet, here we sit.

The clinical side (and thousands of therapists have banned together to make these statements), is that Trump is a narcissistic man, with a disregard for humanity and a never ending interest in self aggrandizement.  The “duty to warn” case law is very clear, if a therapist can realistically predict harm, then the therapist must act to warn those who are in danger.  America, we are in danger.

For whatever reason, we allow this monster to proceed down a path where human life is inconsequential and his own comfort and pleasure are monumental.  Two things, our capitalist culture  values wealth above human life and admires wealth as if it is meaningful in some way.  This is part of the reason Trump’s dynasty has continued.  Trump is seen as a Demi-God, after all, he is wealthy.  Of course the fact that he is president stops us from taking action against him, and we must.

Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a selfish, antagonistic childish man who does not deserve American respect.  He does not deserve admiration for his wealth, he is neither responsible for it, nor responsible with it.  He is a sexist, power hungry, nasty little boy and he needs to be removed from office.  This is America people, not North Korea, we have the right to require that our leader be humane and compassionate.

13Aug

Envy

Quintana RooI remember vividly the two most prominent cases of envy that I have felt for another.  My envy always starts with me and what I feel I don’t have.  As a young woman (in my early twenties), I wanted very badly to go to college.   My family of origin didn’t have the funds (nor the inclination). By the time I met Brigitte, I had children and could not even consider a college education.

Brigitte was a cocktail waitress who worked with my mother.  She was tall and beautiful and had movie star hair.  Her hair was a deep brown, naturally curly and framed her face naturally and provocatively.  My mother marveled at Brigitte’s choices as Brigitte had traveled the world with her military parents, spoke a foreign language and had a college degree.  I saw and met Brigitte many times.  Once, on a cruise dinner party that I attended with my mother, Brigitte was present.  I was a bit lonely and it must have shown as Brigitte spent a lot of time befriending me.  She was sweet and loving and beautiful.

I met Brigitte’s boyfriend, who was a highway patrolman.  They seemed happy together.  Secretly, I nursed a grudge against Brigitte.  I thought that she was wasting her college education working as a cocktail waitress.  I felt that I should have been given her educational opportunities as I would have made use of them.  I felt that the world was unfair, giving gifts to those who don’t care or don’t appreciate.

And then I got the call. My mother asked me to come over.  My mother told me “last night Brigitte and her boyfriend were arguing.  Brigitte went home with another one of the cocktail waitresses and a male friend was with them.  Brigitte told her boyfriend where she was.  Sometime between 3:30 and 5:00 a.m., he found them.  Brigitte’s boyfriend took his gun and shot all three of them.  Clearly, Brigitte’s girlfriend ran, because she was found in the hallway with a bullet in the back of her head.  The only survivor was the male, who was shot in the face”.  He suffered a deformity for the rest of his life.

It came to light that Brigitte’s boyfriend was a combat veteran who had served in Vietnam.  For the next fifteen years I was afraid of Vietnam vets.

My next example of Envy is much, much later, after my divorce from my husband: the father of my children.  It took us quite awhile to finalize our divorce and he struggled mightily to avoid our debts and to avoid paying child support.  It was an extremely difficult time for me as I could never quite pay ALL of my bills.  Taking care of the kids financially always left me feeling inadequate.  I took a second job and just kept trying.  My ex-husband remarried and I was so very envious of their financial security.  They bought a new home, drove new cars and had a vacation home in North Carolina.  In the meantime I couldn’t afford a new prom dress for my daughter.  I envied my ex-husband’s wife’s financial security.  She is childless and could focus all finances on her self.  I went five years without buying new underwear, I just couldn’t afford it.

And then, the unthinkable happened.  My ex-husband died from his one and only heart attack.  He was only 54 years old.  The new wife got to keep the estate, but it didn’t matter because my children’s father was gone.  That single event shattered everyone’s security for many years.

And now when I look back, I think Envy is the most wasteful emotion of all.

17Jul

Dishonesty

Unknown author

Unknown author

For the first time since I started this blog, I am materially aware that I have an audience.  It has stopped me from writing.  I have been through a painful experience which made me leave my job.  I have been grappling with such issues as self control, my ability to modify my environment and the effects that another person can have on me.  In some ways my experience has been at odds with my belief system, which has caused a cognitive dissonance.  As you can imagine, I have been struggling.  This does not cause me to write less.  Indeed if you know me, it actually causes me to write more.

What has caused me to write less, is this awareness of my audience and the fear that my life would be negatively effected by my work here on the blog.  There is nothing more anxiety producing than losing one’s income.  I am not willing to be a starving artist, I have too much going on in my life to stop the train for the sake of my own written word.  Trust me, I have saved the words.

Some things that have caused me concern is the idea that my old boss, who is vindictive and mean spirited, would work hard to block my efforts to find new employment.  Another concern is that, a person interviewing me (with hiring authority) would turn out to be a Trump lover.  Based on experience, I know that these things can be real and I want to avoid the effect of someone’s negative feelings on my future.

Today, I read some research about why we want to believe that the universe is just and that things happen to people because they deserve it.  It’s far easier for us to believe that the universe will treat us right if we act right.  We can then believe that we have some control over life.  We can believe that people get what they deserve, even when there is an injustice.  I have known that this is not true for many years.  The universe is full of injustice and apathy and even evil.  We humans do not have control over the universe.  We are subject to life.

Which is why, in order to thrive, we must sometimes resort to dishonesty.  I have dishonestly withheld my truth from this blog, in order to create a transition as painless as possible.  My feelings had endured enough pain and I would not be my own perpetrator.

I have been dishonest with my blog, and I hope you will forgive the lapse.  It was intentional and it is over.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading.

 

20Jun

Some Things I Have Learned

No matter how much I cover myself, if others want to blame me, I will be blamed.   No matter how much I cover my ass with documentation, if someone doesn’t like me, I will be wrong.

It’s important to NOT give up.  (I have not given up.)  Renew and refresh goals for the future.  My body deserves continued commitment to health…so does my mind and my pocketbook.

Preternaturally calm means “beyond what is normal or natural” calm.

Trust your instinct: you don’t have to go with the plan every time.  You just have to have a plan so that you are prepared.

Notes to Self:

Failure to support: don’t be that.

Keeping distance: sometimes you have to.

And finally ~ Abundance and Prosperity in all things.

 

21May

If You Are Uninformed/Ignorant, Stay Out of the Conversation

If you don’t care enough to look past the PR campaign and search out the truth, you are irresponsible.  That’s important and I’ll tell you why.  We are living with a crazy president, we are not buying soap.  Your ignorance is causing my life problems and that is unacceptable to me.

PR is okay for purchasing cereal, it’s not okay for running a country.  Just so we are clear here, PR is ‘public relations’ and is most usually associated with lies and fairy tales.

We have a responsibility as human beings to know the truth about the people that we trust with our lives.  If the leader of our country is making billions of dollars by cooperating with a foreign government on oil deals and other commercial enterprises not available to a private citizen, that is criminal.  It is also a way to sell Americans for the evil of “the love of money”.

We Americans are unhappy and we have every right to be.  We live in systems that take advantage of us.  No matter how much we work hard and earn, there are mechanisms in place to break us: minimum wage, the price of healthcare, racism, sexism, bigotry, and the big one, greed.  Greed creates political systems that steal from us, Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.   Another recent example includes fighting in wars that protect oil wells instead of human beings.  These governmental activities cost money and we forget, that we pay those bills.

As Americans we need to know when politicians legislate for their own personal profit.  We need to know when our trust is betrayed.  This requires work and information.  As Americans, we must sacrifice our ignorance to a greater good.  That good is to know when we must act, and that time, the time to act, is now.

14May

On Missing My Mother

I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mom died, it was awful.  Going through the big retailers in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day was very painful.  The balloons and flowers were reminders that I no longer had any reason to buy a Mother’s Day gift.  It seemed as if there was a huge absence within my essence.  It was an absence that would never get better.

Every time my friends talked about how challenging their own mother was, it sparked anger in me. I said “at least you have a mother”.  I was angry.  How could she leave us so soon and at such an important time?

Over the years (21) the struggle lessened.  I became less angry and my pain less acute.  There are some days, like today, when randomly the hurt becomes acute again.  I don’t know why or wherefore that the hurt just bubbles up within me.

I wish that there was a comforting thought or prayer to make it go away, but there is not.  It just is.

08May

The Truth

Why is it so hard to convince people that the truth is rare and certainly doesn’t exist in their heads?  So many people believe that they know “the truth”.  Not so.

It is “a truth” that some police officers are violent with innocent people.  It is not “the truth” that policemen are arbitrarily violent with innocents.

It is also true that if a person repeatedly shows violence, that person is violent.  Nothing that we think can change that.

As humans, we want our own truth to be “the” truth.  No, specificity is the only real truth.  Generalizations do no justice to anyone or even to our own selves.

Isn’t that why freedom is so important in this world?  Not just here in America, but everywhere.  We don’t want to be generalized, we want our own individual chance to demonstrate our choices.  And yet there are those who will close their mind to the possibility of goodness in others.  It is not okay to be this, it is not okay to do this.