30Jun

Personal Faith in You

Magic

Magic

You have magic

Magic is a force

You can own the force

12Jun

Stephanie

Stephanie

They wanted you to have chemo when you were pregnant with Dom.  You refused, you thought they exaggerated the need for chemo.  You also decided that it was too much of a risk for Dom.

You thought you got away with it.  And now you are dead and gone, cancer got you and that’s the end of it.

Dom is beautiful (as is Vienne) and vibrantly alive.  How will they ever know you?  Will their father tell them what you did to keep them healthy and chemo free?

You spent your life getting to this place called motherhood and enjoyed it for so little time.

All of those conversations, all of those years ago, I always knew you were headed there.  Motherhood just seemed to fit you.  Now that I think about it, we did so much together, so many conversations and so much understanding passed between us.  You saw plenty of the bad in me and you hung in there for the good.  It really was a pleasure to be us, our friendship, our understanding, ourselves.

Thank you for not letting me smoke, that day I was craving a cigarette in front of the TC.  I’ve never smoked since.  Thank you for hanging out with Eileen and I and making us feel like we weren’t over the hill, still young enough to be interesting to a woman younger than us.  Thank you for letting us do for you, Eileen and I both felt maternal towards you, always.  It was a reward for Eileen and I to be able to give to you.  Remember that day at the mall?  The three of us trying everything on and trying to figure out what worked? 

Remember when I was at your clinic in Miami and Kleinman’s nephew called me a MILF, you just about jumped down his throat?  He never called me anything like that again.  You were seriously a damn good clinician.  The staff was our very first project, but boy, oh boy, the patients benefited greatly from your work.

You knew things from people that I couldn’t figure out and I was grateful when you shared them.  Sometimes it was painful, “did so-and-so really do that?”  So honesty was important, but it was a GIVEN.  I always believed you, never needed to question anything you said.  I know you didn’t tell me all of it.  I know you didn’t, but I didn’t expect you to.  You knew I couldn’t take all of it.

Amazing woman, I will miss you.  I already miss you, I’ve been missing you.  Goodbye Stephanie, the universe is so much better for having you.  Au revoir

God'sKissToYou

God’sKissToYou

09Jun

No One Knows Her, or About Her

I was eleven years old when my mother’s best friend committed suicide (or so they said).  My mother didn’t believe it because Linda had apparently hung herself with barbed wire.  My mom just couldn’t believe that Linda would do that to herself.  Barbed wire is a painful way to hang yourself.  My mom was always suspicious of Linda’s husband.  Couldn’t she have been murdered?  Instead of taking her own life?  Couldn’t there be some other reason that she was dead and gone?

Linda’s daughter Sandra was my best friend.  For whatever reason, I never saw Sandra again.  I do remember my mom’s sleepless nights and once I overheard her talking, she said “I should have gone and seen her, she called me to talk, but I was just too tired to go and visit her.”  She felt guilt and pain about her friends death for many years.  Every once in a while mom would remind me how she met Linda.  It seems that after a painful miscarriage, Linda was walking our neighborhood and cut across the field close to our house.  Mom said hello to her and they never stopped talking.  Until.

About twelve years later, after I returned home to live, my mother had news for me.  It seems that Sandra had committed suicide.  I knew from my psychology studies that parents who commit suicide often pass the trait on to their offspring, but I didn’t know that it really happened until it did.

As children, Sandra and I had been very close.  We were alike in many ways.  We both liked to stay close to home and we both were enamored with our mothers, it was the kind of similarities that gave us an instant and unspoken understanding of each other.  We were comfortable together and didn’t have much need for anyone else.

Then there is a gap, because I lost Sandra.  Then there was an ending because Sandra lost her life.  So who remembers her and her mother?  Are these endings final?  When you are gone and there are none to remember you, are you more gone than perhaps the day before, when you were remembered?

Rainbows

 

08Apr

Believing in Karma and in Hell are Not Good Things

Concepts of Karma and Hell, Do Not Serve Us Humans Well

Humans believe that justice is attainable via Christianity and/or Karma.  They see justice as a function of the universe.  The popular conversation is as if injustices will be managed by the universe through Karma or through the use of an afterlife called hell.

So when the downtrodden and the poverty stricken are beaten down even more, they appease themselves by believing that the perpetrator will go to hell.  The perpetrator will receive all kinds of payback at the hands of God or at the hands of the unforgiving universe.  I propose that this is not true.  Perpetrators do not receive revenge by the hands of God or through Karma.  They live their lives with their ill-gotten gains and then die, happily grasping their ill-gotten gains.

By believing that the universe will dish out the evil-doers just desserts, we skip our own opportunities to deliver retribution or even (gasp) revenge.  We allow people to get away with some really awful stuff, all the while saying to ourselves “he will get his someday, and then he won’t be so happy about taking away from me.”

Think of this concept from an historical perspective, when feudal lords in England and Europe were raping women and children and stealing from hardworking farmers, the Catholic church was busy telling the peasants, “you will receive your reward in heaven.”  The peasants were comforted by these words and thoughts, and so the habits of repression could continue as long as the peasants could believe in a hereafter that gave them power and punished the sinner.  It is these beliefs and habits that produced a careless princess who told the starving peasants to eat cake.

It is this way today in America.  We have left the confines of religious beliefs behind, and yet now, Karma has taken over as the new revenge machine.  Karma is ‘all the rage’ for the tormented women and other such victims of America.  The word is used all over Facebook, Twitter and on Meme captions.  We want to believe in Karma and in the revenge of a just God.  This helps us to get through the suffering of the trauma of a hardship caused by another.  It helps us to make sense of being victimized or of our loved ones being victimized.

I will never forget my girlfriend telling me that she needed to believe in karma, it was the only way she could live with the knowledge that her husband had beat her every day for ten years before she could get away from him.  She said that if karma did not exist that it would hurt her terribly to know that nothing would happen to the man who had inflicted such suffering on herself.

No, I thought, though I did not say, he died and he got away with it.  No one hit him back, he never went to jail, he never suffered the horrifying fear of knowing that another beating was coming at any moment.  He got away with beating his wife every day for ten years.

So, if you know that your perpetrator, that your bully, will get away with whatever that person is doing to you, would you be more likely to want to pursue justice yourself?  Would you be more willing to make sure that your perpetrator faced a judge and some justice?  Would you be less likely to hope that karma resolves your need for revenge?  Would you be less likely to wait for heaven or hell to get your justice?  I think so.

We cannot wait for “outside” to bring justice.  We must take justice into our own hands.  We must make sure that some future promise is not what we are hoping for.  We must make justice now.

This is never to say that vengeful violence is the option to pursue.  This is to say that we must speak up, we must pursue justice ourselves and not leave it to others, nor leave it to the universe.  We must seek it by telling others of the crime, by ensuring that potential victims are aware of the perpetrator’s history.  We must, ourselves, block further efforts of the perpetrator to commit more crimes.  This includes the idea that we must protect our own self from others.  We must never allow ourselves to be beaten and stolen from. Report the criminal behavior.  Even if no one believes you, the perpetrator is sure to continue the behavior and someone will eventually believe you.  Your story will help keep others from being hurt.

Remember the saying “My reward may be in Heaven, but rent is due here on Earth”.  Use this wisdom as your guide, don’t be a victim of anyone.

 

02Mar

Psychopath

There is so much on the internet about the sociopath and/or psychopath.  Yesterday, I read another article about how to manage psychopathic behavior in your life.  This article was about “Psychopathic bosses”, how to recognize them as psychopathic and then how to manage the behavior.  The more I read the description of behavior, the more I think that it is “spoiled brat” behavior.  I don’t want to generalize; I just want to point something out to make some distinctions.  Selfish “me-focused” behavior is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture.

People who are only concerned with themselves and who will take negative action against others in order to have personal gain are more and more common in our culture.  It is our own doing, because we have clearly aggrandized the successfully greedy.  We have made people who do nothing and yet earn millions the most popular and “followed” celebrities.  It is clear in our admiration that we will follow those with money, even if they are greedy and mean, victimizing people in order to put money in their own pockets.

For the most part, we won’t even find out what kind of person we are admiring.  Papa John, who makes pizza, lives in a 40,000 square foot house, but pays his staff $8.00 per hour.  He is a thief of human well-being and uses capitalism as defense for his crimes.  Papa John is followed for his business acumen, but his formula is very easy.  Use your superior position to take advantage of others, as much and as long as you can.  Use your money to legislate in your favor, pay senators and congressmen to ensure that minimum wage is not increased.  Make it impossible for people to get health care, it is very expensive and as an American business man you will pay for nothing that is not for yourself or your own family.

On a therapist’s sofa the American business man would be diagnosed as sociopaths who engage in psychopathic behavior.

It is no surprise that spoiled brats run amuck in our culture.  Our role models are incredibly horrible examples of humanity.

 

29Oct

The New Religion

It's About You

18Sep

Sky

The sky is always beautiful.

The sky is always beautiful.

12Jan

Good-bye Kurt

Death to the Living: Who, but the living, ever die?

1/11/16 Kurt

How do we process the death of those that we care deeply for ~ that leave so suddenly we do not get our final conversation?

In retrospect, I will review our last conversation, my last feelings, my last mood with you.  My frustration with you seems so useless in the face of your death.

Why didn’t I phone, why didn’t I speak, write, or any of all of the things I could have done in order to have that conversation, you know, the final conversation?  How did I miss telling your lost soul that you had provided light and substance to all that you touched?  Your laugh was infectious and your sense of humor even more so.  You gave yourself and you gave the world: healing, dignity and fun.  We could not have asked for more.  The sudden exit from the living, well that, I would have asked to be different, but you could not have obliged me.

Your destiny is your deal with God, it is not for me to understand, judge, approve or, in any way, know.  I hope that wherever you are, you are laughing with the pleasure of a glass of wine and some very good company.  I hope that you are getting; so much of what you gave to us.

Alone to your destiny, as we all must go.

Alone to your destiny, as we all must go, alone…

22Dec

Karma in the Western World

I have lots of friends who are good “Christians” and they LOVE karma.  They love the idea that the universe has laws that bring justice to humans who do bad things.  The idea is that “what you do, will come back around to you”.  I can’t disagree with the idea that karma exists and yet, I believe that our construct of karma is very wrong.  Justice is a human construct and it is humans who wish to gain revenge over others.  I don’t believe that the universe has an idea of justice.  If the universe had an idea of justice, so much about this world would be different than it is.  For example, money would not have so much power as it does.

I cringe when I hear people saying with glee, “karma is going to get you!”  They are taking the idea of a religious principal and applying that idea to their personal concept of the world.  Dare I say?  Yes, the point is almost always revenge.  I am not claiming that justice is not very real and very necessary, I am simply calling attention to the perversion (=the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended[Google]) of a religious concept: Karma.

The second important point of this discourse is that Christians who follow the new testament (in other words ALL Christians) are supposed to adhere to the concept of forgiveness.   In fact the basic tenet of Christianity is one of forgiveness:   Christians believe in justification by faith – that through their belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and in his death and resurrection, they can have a right relationship with God whose forgiveness was made once and for all through the death of Jesus Christ. [Google].

So how is it that Karma is so popular with Christians?  Because we are humans who want to know that our hurt that was caused by another can be revisited on that other in equal measure.  We do not want our pain to be suffered alone, we want someone to blame and someone to be hurt as we are hurt.   We are a vengeful culture, indeed, according to society, revenge is a priority for any of us.  While we are hurting, we cannot grasp forgiveness, while we are hurting it is almost impossible to think of the perpetrator in any way except with anger.  So, while I believe that vengefulness is quite natural as a feeling, I would draw the line here.  Society attempts to bring structure to human feelings and thoughts.  Forgiveness is a higher good that is conceptualized in all of the world religions.  We humans want to act on our hurt and vengeful thoughts and when we cannot act on them, we will depend on Karma to get revenge for us.

This way of thinking is not towards a higher good; Karma is not an instrument of human justice.  Further, Karma is conceptualized in Hinduism and Buddhism, not in Christianity.  The Christian tenets are of forgiveness and love.

This is what makes me cringe: we don’t like politicians who do not have firm and unshakable beliefs; we don’t like capitalists who mindlessly work on their own behalf while treading on others.  We get angry with people who try to “bend” truth and or reality to their own preference.   This is hypocritical of us, if we say we are Christians, but we are incapable of forgiveness and would rather preach Karma.

I am not a religious person, so I am not sure what the rules are, but I do know this:  Karma is not a misconception for revenge.  Instead it is a holy practice for living, if you are a Buddhist or an adherent of Hinduism.  It is a reflection of the golden rule; it is a macroscopic view for “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Living your life as if what you do, is what you get in return, is a way of living that ensures goodness.

15Sep

Kim What’s-her-Name (Davis)

Beauty and love come from unusual places.

Beauty and love come from unusual places.

The Kentucky Clerk who believes she is above the law and can behave badly to same sex couples-
I’m not upset by this horrible woman’s horribleness. Others have said it well “haters are gonna hate”! She can be angry and sanctimonious, I don’t care. She is judgmental and reveals her bitterness by voicing her false belief about her own piety. She is not a pious woman, instead she is one who excuses herself and condemns others. This is such a common human practice! Most people will excuse their own behaviors easily with reasons that they hold dear. The same people will say, “oh, look at that bad behavior”, only when observing others!
This is my upset ness: don’t blame yourself on Jesus or on God. You are not behaving badly, meanly to humans, because you are a Christian. Christianity would never advocate for such treatment of others.
Secondly, “why do I have to see you at all? You don’t deserve a news broadcast, I don’t deserve to have to see you.” Better that I never knew about you and your meanness.
“Please, leave Kim What’s-her-Name out of our next news cast, we don’t want to see her meanness anymore.”