Thoughts on a Sleepless Night

I struggled with going to sleep last night.  Finally just got up and started jotting down the random stuff floating around in my brain.  Tired and underenthused about dealing with life today…

“Welcome to the innerworkings of my mind”…for what it’s worth here’s a sampling of my thoughts:

  • Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean they are wrong (or right) – it just means you don’t agree with them.
  • “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
  • How much money is it going to cost to try and remove Robert E. Lee’s name and image from schools’ and everywhere else?  Maybe we could find a better use for that money?
  • Not all racists are violent.  Not all Muslims are terrorists.  Not all “whites” are entitled.  Not all of Mexican heritage are illegal.  I could go on and on.  Maybe we should just start treating people like people.
  • Maybe some people just need to get over themselves.  Your childhood sucked.  I’m sorry.  That was then.  This is now.  When are you going to make it your life and start living it?  Sitting in the past and feeling sorry for yourself is stupid.  This applies to everyone including myself.  Get a life, literally.
  • Sometimes people can do great things in their life and bad things.  The bad doesn’t always cancel out the good.  That’s a good thing ’cause I can’t think of a single perfect person I know.  We can try to tear down our heroes by pointing out their flaws all day long.  All that does is leave us with nothing.  Maybe we could just acknowledge that a human can do something great and heroic and then screw up.
  • Speaking of heroes…let’s bad mouth Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Martin Luther King Jr., the police officer next door, and anyone else you can think of who actually tried or is trying to make the world a better place (whether you agree with them or not) and let’s exalt “celebrities” who are actually doing jack-shit except having a big butt or getting drunk or doing nothing whatsoever that is productive.
  • I like my chickens.  I could watch them for hours.  They have a very interesting social order.  They get along beautifully.  They may not be very smart, but they learn from their mistakes.  If you acquire two groups of chickens at different times (they weren’t grouped together as very young chicks), they will never really socialize together well.  They may hang out together and fight over the same grasshopper, but in the end, they prefer their own grouping.
  • Having the right of free speech doesn’t mean you need to exercise it all the time.  It’s also good to know when to keep your mouth shut.  There’s a difference between standing up for you believe in and just “stirring the pot” to get a response from people. While some folks are making a lot of noise, others are quietly actually doing something about the problem.
  • No matter how bad you think your life is here in These United States of America, you are still probably better off than a lot of others living somewhere else.
  • There is always going to be someone who is “better off than you”.  There is no such thing as having it all.  Anyone who is ridiculously wealthy or powerful  sacrificed something in order to get where they are.  They may be looking at your life and wanting something you have.
  • Why do some things ignite a passionate outcry among people – and other things just fade away in the news.  Thousands of garment workers die in Bangledesh factories and yet we keep buying cheap T-shirts.  Good men and women working as police officers die doing their job and we only make a big deal of their “victims”.  Soldiers die serving their country and we never hear their names.  Thousands of people die around the world because they are trying to worship as they believe, but nine seem to outnumber them.
  • We spend more time and resources arguing over terminology and semantics than we do really trying to solve the problem at hand.  Hate crime?  Terrorism?  Isn’t the taking of a life hateful and terrifying enough?  Do we have to define it further?  Murder is wrong.  No matter who does it.  Or why.  Wrong.

There you have it.  When it’s all in writing, I can see why I was having trouble going to sleep.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that lots of good stuff happened in the world today.

I Am Enough

“I am enough!. I am full of sparkle and compassion. I genuinely want to make the world a better place. I love hard. I practice kindness. I’m not afraid of the truth. I am loyal, adventurous, supportive and surprising. I am a woman. I am enough. I make mistakes, but I own them and learn from them. Sometimes I make lots of mistakes”   – Molly Mahar

I found this today while I was searching for a new quote for my next guerilla art card.  Haven’t heard about those?  Check out my other blog:  unearthedart.wordpress.com

I don’t know who Molly Mahar is, but someday I’ll look her up.  Right now, all I know is this quote was something I needed to hear.

Who is that voice inside my head that tells me I haven’t done enough?  That I can’t sit down to rest at the end of the day because I haven’t accomplished enough.

The voice that tells me my house should look better.  My car should be nicer and cleaned out.  My art doesn’t look right.  I should look younger or wear makeup.  That jeans aren’t okay everyday. And so on…

I think that the voice is a composite.  I hear my Mom in some of it (and I hear myself repeating some of it to my kids).  Some comes from media – advertisements, television, and movies.

The rest of the voice – I’m not so sure.

It sounds like me.

Should I tell myself to shut up?  I’m “crazy” enough without walking around talking to myself all the time!

Telling myself to shut up doesn’t seem very kind.  I think I need to be kinder to myself.  Maybe I just need to change the message.

“I am good enough”

The internet is fixed (obviously).  Here is the ugly painting from last night – it did reflect how I felt.IMAG0576

And now – a work in progress – just like me.  Perfectly imperfect.

IMAG0577

P.S.  The fridge and pantry are still clean and tidy!

Behold!

I seem to be on a word binge lately – remember juxtaposition, plethora and epiphanies from yesterday’s post?  I don’t actually talk like this a lot in my everyday life.  I am usually prone to conversation (often one-sided) that goes something like this…

  • Did ya’ pick up your clothes off the bathroom floor?
  • Did that seem like a good idea?
  • Take the trash out – NOW.
  • If you don’t pick up your room now, I’m coming in with a trash bag.
  • Did ya’ pick up your clothes off the bathroom floor?
  • Go do your math – NOW.

There is more, but you get the general idea.  So, this blog is fun for me.  I get to remember that I actually did go to college, am educated and could converse in a pompous manner if it is ever required again.  I am flexible.

Today’s word is “behold”.

I have a revered reverend friend who pondered yesterday about why the word “behold” has fallen out of use.  I pledged to use the word today…so here it is.

Behold!

I looked up the meaning to make sure I got it right:

Basically it means to see with attention, to see clearly, to direct the eyes to, or fix them upon an object.

And somehow that totally fits with what I am thinking about today.  I love it when those mysterious coincidences happen.

I suppose that when you behold something it seems to happen in an instant…Wow, look at that! I am suddenly seeing that for the first time.  Amazing!

Sure, the actual seeing happens that quickly.  But, what groundwork was laid before.  What brought you to that moment when you were able to behold?  When the realization and recognition were possible?

Take, for example a seed.  It’s tucked safely in a seed package.  There’s a picture on the front of the package, a promise of what’s to come if, and when, that seed reaches it’s potential.  You see the picture.

But, a lot has to happen to that seed for growth to occur. Work has to be done.

The seed has to be planted and watered and have the warmth and light of the sun.

And it has to change…to be damaged in a manner of speaking.  It can’t stay the same.  It has to be broken open and exposed for the sprouting to occur.

It has to struggle to break free of the confines of the earth that has nurtured it.  Yet it can’t leave the earth entirely.  It must remain firmly and extensively rooted or it will not thrive.  It must continue to grow and branch out in the world.  It’s hard work.

And then, one day, a bud…a possibility.

And then, BEHOLD!  A flower, some fruit.

It’s not the same as the picture on the package.  You saw that.

But you can “behold” the actual flower, the fruit.  It’s real and you can experience it.  Smell it, taste it, touch it!

How well does this apply to us and to our lives?  To the growth we are striving for?

The growth I am striving for…a life lived more intentionally.  Potential realized.  Filled with peace, joy, love and creativity.

The promise of the seed is never realized in the package.  The potential of the seed is merely an image.

I want to rip open the package, to break open and strive and grow…to bear bountiful fruit.

And I am afraid of it.

The choice is – to look or to behold?

It’s not a choice you make once and it’s done.  The choice has to be made over and over and over again.  Sometimes daily, more often moment by moment.

A rich, full, intentional life is hard.  It’s full of mistakes, and do-overs.  Lots of learning and frustration.  And rewards.

Today, I’m going to choose to live a life that can be seen clearly.  Behold!