Saturday, December 29, 2018

My view on the Bird Box movie. (Spoilers)

That Bird Box movie... (Spoilers ahead)

First I want to start by saying that I’m not a fan of horror movies and do not really do well with suspense either.  However, because of all the memes and apparent hype of this movie, I felt oddly prompted to go ahead and watch it.  Fourteen minutes into it and I paused it so I could go read what the movie was about and how it would end (I told you, I am terrible when it comes to suspense, there’s enough of that in my life already).  After watching the whole thing though, I felt that the movie was completely dumb!  I mean, we don’t ever get to see what really was causing some people to commit suicide and others to see these "invisible" monsters as something beautiful.

I went on one of my social media pages and expressed my dislike of the movie.  One of my friends pointed out that the movie is about blinding yourself when it comes to evil things that happen and also to try and not pay attention to bad temptations.  This didn’t quite resonate with me as I don't feel we can just turn a blind eye to the “bad” that happens out there and ignoring temptations can most times make us feel more tempted. Of course I responded to this with guidance from my spirit guides and angels (as I often do) and said that it’s more about fear and making us aware that those things we fear don’t go away just by ignoring them.  We have to have the courage to accept those things we fear so we can finally confront them and hopefully let go of them.

But what exactly is this movie showing that we fear?  I decided to continue to meditate on this and ask Spirit why I was moved by the hype of the movie (which I am not usually moved by).  I really didn’t know what the movie was about other that Sandra Bullock being blindfolded for most of it.  Before I started to watch it I seriously though that Sandra’s character was being kidnapped along with her children and was being forced to wear a blindfold the whole time.  The name of the movie was beyond my comprehension, maybe she was kept in a cage like a bird too or they were looking for a bird box and that is why they were kidnapped. Anyhow... what is this movie showing that we fear and what is it that most people seem to be missing here?  Mental illness!

The entire premise of the movie is that people are affected by some invisible force that makes them commit suicide while it causes others to see it as something beautiful.  Depending on how you look at this movie; you will either feel that this movie stigmatizes mental illness even more OR it tries to help point out that we shouldn’t blind ourselves to it.  That mental illness (more specifically depression) is an invisible force that most of us don’t understand but we should try.  I was divided on this until again my wonderful spirit guides reminded me of the part of the movie where the picture above shows up.

The guy who drew those pictures had survived seeing these invisible monsters.  He saw them as beautiful, even though they are obviously ugly and scary looking.  He came into the house telling a story about how people in a mental institution all survived seeing these monsters, how they all said they were beautiful, and how they wanted everyone else to see them.  I found it interesting that it was those who were already dealing with mental illness the ones who survived seeing the monsters and the ones who were happy to see them while the others would be filled with the desire to end their lives.  The message I got from people with mental illness surviving this was that they were happy that now everyone else could see these monsters.  They saw them as beautiful because now everyone could see them.  For a moment everyone else was able to feel what they feel on a daily basis and most people were not able to survive it.  Those with mental illness survived the invisible monster because they were already living with it.

So what was my message after watching this?  Well for one it made me more aware about how people see mental illness.  How fearful they are of it and how most wouldn’t be able to live with it for long.  It made me realize that those who are continuing to live with mental illness, depression mostly, are way stronger than one can think, stronger than even they think they are.  Even those who have given up and decided to commit suicide; they lived with an illness who most don’t understand, an illness that can’t be seen, and a pain that was endured for far too long.  They’ve dealt with something that most people stigmatize and see as something that they should just be able to "get over."

Don’t get me wrong, i am fully aware that a person has the responsibility to reach out and ask for help.  They have the responsibility to accept the help that’s being offered but I know it makes it harder to accept help when mental illness is so stigmatized.  When a person with mental illness is looked at as someone who is just whining about something they shouldn't be whining about.  I cannot imagine the embarrassment a person feels when they are unable to just do what others tell them and “get over it."  I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to want, need help, and be afraid of asking for it for fear of what others would say about it.  I mean, I still remember being told by domestic violence advocates and family law attorneys that I had to hide from the courts that I was going to therapy for the trauma I had experienced.  I was told that if I shared that I was receiving help to deal with that trauma then the judge would use it against me.  How sad it was that they were not wrong; the outcome of all that was a judge trying to ensure I was put in a situation where I would experience more trauma and wouldn't be able to get any help.

Each of us has at least one person who is suffering in silence and shouldn’t be.  I know I won't stop talking about it, I know I will not stop learning about it.  I know I will not stop speaking up against those who make this issue more controversial than it needs to be.  I wish more people realized that if there came a time when each of us would be hit with the invisible monster of depression, that very few of us would survive it, so maybe we should all be more compassionate about those who suffer from end and those who didn't win the battle against it.  It is time we stop fearing mental illness, learned more about it, and open up the conversation on it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Let's talk about depression...

I have to admit that until about a few months ago, I had no idea what depression really was.  As a matter of fact I would be one of those persons who used the word depression very lightly.  I was also one of those persons who thought that depression was something you could just snap out of if you just started to think more positively.

I have to admit I was so very wrong!  And now that I have learned more about depression, I feel the need to apologize to those who suffer from it.  So here it goes: I am sorry guys.  I didn't know how an ill brain worked until I started reading about it.  I have to admit that I did not start involving myself in learning about depression until after I found out that someone I love very much suffers from a mental illness that has cycles of depression.  I decided to learn because I wanted to understand them as much as I could.  I figured that understanding them would better equip me to help them. 

What did I find out once I started learning about depression?  I found out that every time I have said "I am depressed" I really wasn't.  I was sad and I can say that I have had many periods where I have been sad, but being sad is not the same as being depressed.  I can tell you that because the depressed brain does not really snap out of the thought process.  The depressed brain is constantly thinking about what the person did wrong and how they did it wrong.  The depressed brain has an extremely hard time finding the good even when there is nothing bad happening.  The depressed brain does not like any kind of interaction, not because it is trying to sort things out but more because it does not feel like it deserves it. 

With that said, I have not ever been depressed.  The times I have been sad and wanted to stay in bed all day without any contact at all was because I needed to sort through my own emotions and thoughts.  It was because I needed to recharge myself before going back out there and talking to people again.  Each time I have been sad and have taken time for myself I have come back with solutions to whatever issue was the one that made me sad.  Each time I have been sad I didn't get stuck in feeling like I always do something wrong.  Each of the times that I have taken a time out from people, each of the times I take a time out from people is because I need to sort through my own thoughts and feelings and not because my thoughts and feelings are taking over my entire life.  

That's the difference with depression.  A depressed brain is an ill brain that takes over an otherwise healthy person.  The depressed person does not just simply snap out of the depression; if they force themselves to do things, they do so while constantly thinking that whatever it is they are doing is not good enough.  The depressed person cannot just simply grab a self-help book, follow its guidance and suddenly see life differently.  I know that they will want to and that when they can't often times they feel more of a failure.  I cannot possibly imagine how that must feel to someone because to me is very easy to find the positive in any situation.  I know that if I am not finding it, then all I have to do is stop talking to people about it and sort through my brain on my own.  A depressed person can't really do that... Being alone trying to sort things out only makes depression worse, not better. 

So, why did I want to talk about this today?  This is simple really... Because of stigma.  There is so much stigma out there about mental illness and there are too many people suffering from it.  The stigma we have about mental illness and our lack of education on it is making people not seek help for it.  The stigma we have about mental illness is making people suffer in pain alone.  The stigma we have about it is making us treat those who have a mental illness without kindness and compassion.  

Now, I am not saying that a person with mental illness does not have some responsibility in seeking help and learning to manage their illness, what I am saying is that a person with mental illness has a harder time seeking help because we stigmatize their illness.  In this sense, we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to talk about mental illness in a different light. 

Why I say this?  Because the person I love has tried to seek help in the past and was confronted with that stigma and with very little support.  Once I found out that they were suffering from a mental illness and I started to learn more about it, a lot made more sense to me.  I have to say that I offered help and I offered support.  I offered to be there... My offer was not taken and in turn what I have seen is a decline in their mental health.  I know that I cannot force them to seek help.  I know that I cannot make them accept my support and I know that seeing the path they were taking (as much as it pained me to do so) I had to do what they were asking of me (even though I didn't want to) and walk away.  This didn't make me love them any less, but it made me think about how society views mental illness and how stigmatizing mental illness is not helping many people. 

In learning about mental illness, I found that those who had good support from family members and friends have been the ones who have successfully learned to manage their illness.  Those whose families didn't stigmatize mental illness and whose families were open to learning about it are the ones who have had more success than others who did not have the same support.  It seemed like even though it was hard for them to get up and seek help, once they did (because they had the support of others) they stuck it out and led as normal a life as they could.  

So maybe we all need to make a little change in our lives.  We should all talk about mental illness like we talk about any other illness, because that's all it is an illness.  We should talk about it openly and focus on educating ourselves and others about it.  We should learn to separate the illness from the person.  Mental illness is the only illness that is used to describe someone.  I don't know how many times I hear people say "she/he is just depressed" or "she/he is bipolar" or "she/he is anxious."  Imagine what would happen if we separated the illness from the person, what would happen if instead we said: "he/she has depression" or "he/she has anxiety."  How different does that sound?  How easier it is to then see that it is not that the person is that way but that the person has an illness that they are dealing with and need to learn to manage.  If we did that, the person would be looked at with more compassion and more support. 

I imagine that if my loved one would have had more support.  If more understanding about the illness would have been there, then my loved one would have an easier time dealing with it.  Then maybe they would have an easier time seeking help, accepting their illness, taking responsibility and learning how to manage it.  They would have an easier time accepting help and support when it is offered and would not be suffering in silence and alone.  Yes, I am fully aware that once they have been offered support and help that it is their responsibility to take it and no one can force them to... but I am also aware that an ill brain that has constantly seen the stigma of mental illness being used against them has a harder time accepting the illness and taking the necessary steps to seek help and support.

It is time we stopped looking at mental illness with fear and looking down at people who have it.  It is time we stopped stigmatizing it.  It is time we stopped making it controversial.  All we are doing by that is making things worse for everyone who suffers from it and making it worse for those who have a genetic predisposition to it.  There are great things that can happen when you are open about it and educated on it, therefore it is time we all learn about mental illness and became more educated about it. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Fear of Death

"Today you are alive and no one is beside you, but if tomorrow you were to die, many would come to see you.  Today you are alive and no one will give you a hug, but if tomorrow you were to die, no one would want to let you go.  Today you are alive and no one will give you a rose, but if tomorrow you were to die, they would send you bouquets and wreaths of flowers.  Today no one pays attention to you but when you die you will be popular for a full day.  They will post pictures of you on social media saying how much they love you, how special you are to them, and how they can't live without you.  Today you are alive and they make you cry, but if you were to die tomorrow everyone would cry for you..."

This is one of my favorite short poems.  There have been no truer words said.  Yesterday night I was talking to a dear friend of mine who can see the energy of spirits forming their image.  I had sent her a picture and she said that there was one hiding behind my door.  I was not surprised since in my years of spiritual practice I have come to sense many of them.  She said that this particular one almost looked like Death.  I said to her: ohh great!!! they are finally taking me!!! I am done with whatever my purpose of being stuck in a human body is.  It will finally be over and I am finally going home!  Happy Dance!!!

I decided to post that experience on Facebook, there was obviously a reason for it because to tell you the truth I already know how humans react to the idea of death.  It was not quite clear to me why that inspiration had come, until this morning.  I woke up to the song Over the Rainbow playing on my phone, I usually fall asleep to healing music every night and the loop of it continues until I wake up.  It has never been so that this song plays on the loop I have set up, but it did...  This song used to give me goosebumps because the person who wrote it, wrote thinking about heaven.  They were describing how home (heaven) feels, even though they didn't really say that out loud.  Most people know though, it is a popular song played when someone passes.  Anyhow, I went to check Facebook and sure enough, humans were commenting...

One of them had posted the emoji that is rolling their eyes, they know I am not afraid of death and that I am happy that this physical body I am in is not eternal.  But I know they don't like the idea of it and I know that they don't like to be reminded.  Then there was a friend of mine who is like a little sister to me, I told her to make sure to call me because I was leaving soon, she said I was being crazy...  Someone else was wondering what was going on... And then there was one that was probably the most irrational one, it was someone who only interacts with me on Facebook.  I don't speak to this person outside of my Facebook posts but for some reason they said they did not want to say goodbye to me yet.  That one started to irritate me a little because the physical absence of my body would really have absolutely no impact in their life, they don't even know who I really am, even though they think they know because they know one of my biological parents, but neither of my biological parents know who I am.

I stepped back from all that, grounded myself because feeling negative emotions means I am allowing my human self to take over too much, and then I smiled and laughed.  Humans are so afraid of something they don't really know about.  I was immediately reminded of a meeting I had last Friday where we all mentioned that with technology we have created this idea that our human bodies have to live forever, and if they don't then we feel this extreme pain.  It used to be that people died a lot more than they do now; I say a lot more because there were no treatments for a lot of diseases that would have extremely shorten a person's life but know there are.  Now, we are used to going to the doctor and getting a pill, a treatment, something to make that illness not progress as quickly.  We want people to live, we want to save them.  It can be seen as a noble idea but more often than not, it is a selfish one.

I have gotten into arguments for saying that, but I know I am not the only one who thinks that way.  I have been lucky enough to meet people in the past few months who see it for what it is.  A friend of mine and I were chatting the other day and she was explaining that her grandmother keeps going through surgeries she does not want only because she wants to make her children happy.  Of course, none of her children see that she is suffering and she is ready to go, they just keep pushing her to keep living.  I told her that I could not find one person who could give me a logical explanation why someone should keep living when they are in pain, the only reasons they could give me was their own selfish ones.  The person should live because there are many people who would miss them.  What about the people who still need them?  What about how their family will feel?  They are not thinking about anyone but themselves when they are thinking they want to die.  It was all emotional responses, I said to her.  Her answer was that someone should live because there are things they still want to do while in physical form.  I said yes! Someone should live because they want to continue to live, not because of what anyone else wants.

It is true, in the end the dead person is no longer suffering.  The dead person is free and the only ones who suffer are the ones who remain alive.  I wondered why this phenomenon happens because to tell you the truth most of the people who cry and suffer for the dead person did not even spend enough time with that person to feel that way.  Their physical presence was more than likely not something they experienced on a daily basis and therefore the idea that you would miss them to me seems irrational.  I now bring you back to the beginning of this post... the best reason I can come up with and the one that fits perfectly is REGRET.

Regret is one of the things that humans carry with them on a daily basis.  We are all always thinking that we have tomorrow to make decisions, that we have tomorrow to change something, we have tomorrow to talk to someone, we have tomorrow to spend time... And then when that tomorrow takes that someone or something away, we feel sad because we are hit with the reality that we don't really have that much time.  It is funny because every time someone dies, that is the mood of the funeral or memorial but then the very moment the funeral or memorial is over we go back to the same way of thinking.  It is why I don't like them.  I was taken to one last year and every one of the persons who knew the diseased would say something great about her and then would add how life is short and it should be enjoyed.  How we should cherish those who are still here with us and be grateful... I know that the majority of them went on after that to live just the same, until someone else dies at which point they will all say the same things.

Isn't it amazing though? Humans fear death because they fear loss, but they live their lives as if they will never lose anything or anyone.  They keep away from the people they love and who love them because they think they will all have tomorrow to enjoy it with them.  They stick around toxic people because they think they will have enough time to change their lives and enjoy it later without them.  They put themselves in situations that will require an extreme amount of effort only because they think that they will have time to enjoy themselves later.  They overwork themselves because they think they have time to enjoy the fruits of their labor later.  They get careers in fields they don't want because of the same thing... And then eventually it catches on to them that they didn't really have enough time.  Illness kicks in, death comes to visit, and suddenly it feels like all of it was time wasted.  Regret sets in and pain usually follows.  But God forbids we actually acknowledge every day that our physical lives are short and we actually take the time to let those we love that we love them.  Take the time to spend it with them, to enjoy them... We won't, we won't because even though we know we have short lives and that they could end at any point, we still deceive ourselves into thinking that we do have time.  That those we love will wake up tomorrow and we will have another opportunity, so it is ok to sit and think about doing that today without actually doing it...

We can get rid of the people who don't fill our lives another day, today is ok to answer them out of respect and out of courtesy.  It is ok to do the things we don't like today because tomorrow is another day and we will definitely have an opportunity to change things.  The truth is that we are not even promised the next second of life, so we should take the opportunity now.

Why am I not afraid of death?  Because I have taken the time to let those I love that I love them.  I have ensure that I did everything I could to spend the time with the ones I love.  I know I have done everything in my power to be there and to do the things that bring me joy.  Even though some of them have not wanted to be there or spent time, I made myself available because that is all I could do.  I have enjoyed every moment I have lived, even the bad ones because I have learned from them.  I have fallen many times but I learned, got up and kept going.  I left the bad taste of it behind and took with me the lesson which in turn helped me grow and do things better as I continued.  So, when the time comes I will go happily... I will go happily because I lived the way I wanted.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Knowledge Is Power

I realized how much power knowledge can give an individual the day I found out my then husband was a drug addict.  I had missed all the signs because I was ignorant about drugs, their effects on people, and even drugs that people could get addicted to.  My ignorance was so big that I always passed the hydrocodone he had in a ziploc bag for aspirins that he was supposedly given by his orthodontist.   I laugh at that now because it sounds so silly and dumb, but that was my reality then.

After I left him, he would use my ignorance to scare me.  The torturous texts and calls about what he supposedly could do to me took a huge toll on me.  Eventually I learned that he could only scare me because I really didn't know whether or not what he was saying was true.  That is when I then decided to acquire knowledge of the law and that is when his words had less effect on me.  The more I learned, the more fears I conquered.

Today I was reminded of this again because I have shared a period of my life with someone who has bipolar disorder.  It is a disorder I had absolutely no knowledge of and something I did not know they had until things got too out of control for my taste.  When things had begun to spiral out of control I was scared, I was scared because I had no idea what was going on.  It had been in the past that I could sit down and talk things out with my partner and we were able to work things out, but when things were so out of control I felt so scared of saying something because I thought I would make it worse.  The truth is that looking back now, I know that if I would have remained calm like I usually did, I wouldn't have.

Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood mental health disorders out there.  It is the toughest to diagnose because usually providers only see patients when they are depressed and they don't mention the times they are or were manic.   Anti-depressants can make bipolar disorder worse, they can send that mania into hyper drive.  Certain drugs and foods will do exactly the same, but I was not aware of this.  Now that I am, I look back at our lives and a lot makes sense to me.  I am writing this because it helps me and because I know that there are people out there who have a loved one diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I know how crazy life can seem with their ups and downs, and I know how much it can affect you not only emotionally but physically.  I want you to know that you are not alone and that if the person is willing to learn to manage their illness, you can have a successful relationship with them.  You can communicate well with them and be able to get your needs and theirs met in a healthy manner.  If they don't want to work on learning to manage it though, or they don't want to talk about it with you openly, then there is not much you can do but walk away.  This illness is hard to manage on their own, and I have learned from speaking to many people who have bipolar and have learned to manage the illness that they could not have done it without the support of those who love them.  It requires a great deal of patience, understanding, and sacrifice but I feel that when there is love, the rest just falls into place.

He never told me he had this illness, and I understand why now.  There were a lot of things that did not make sense then, but in hindsight they make sense now.  A person with bipolar disorder does not want to have bipolar disorder, they don't really like the instability it brings.  When we moved in together, he made it a point that he wanted to ensure we only ate certain foods.  I didn't know why this was so important, it was too important to him... It seemed something trivial for me, because I am the type of person that says hey if you don't like certain foods then you don't eat them and if I don't like them then I don't eat them.  If I want fast food, I can get fast food and if you want something different we can go get that for you, come home and we each eat what we want.  I mean the point was that we each ate what we liked.  In looking back, I realize now that it was not about that.  It was not that he did not like the foods I ate, it was that he knew diet played an important role in managing his bipolar, more so when he was not medicated.  He was trying to manage it, he was trying to stay away from things he did like but that would make his mood swings worse.

I wish he would have told me though, because looking back now, the most stable periods of time he had were when we were eating at home.  I was the one cooking and making food in the most natural way possible.  During this time he was also sleeping well, which plays a huge role on managing bipolar disorder.  We hardly ever went out to eat and at times I missed that, but now I know that not only outside food would play a role on his mood but also the busyness and noise of a restaurant could have an effect on his mood swings.  It is amazing what I can see now that I look back and that I have more knowledge about the disorder.

Summer kicked in and I was not aware of what summer can do to a bipolar brain.  From reading hundreds of articles, it seems like summer is a trigger for mania.  I am a spiritual advisor and I read energies in order to help my clients, during the summer the energies are super high and daylight is longer.  Everyone is wanting to go out, be with friends and family, and all of it can be erratic.  There was an added twist to this, the work he did.  His work is the busiest during the summer and that alone can trigger manic episodes.  I didn't know this and thinking back I feel that was one of the reasons he wanted to leave that work behind.  He was looking for stability for himself and in a way at that point he was looking to remain stable.  Whether he did it consciously or unconsciously, wanting his stability is one of the main things he always looked for.  He knew what triggering a manic episode would do to him and the relationships he had.  He also knew that we needed to make some money, and because of this he decided to go into it full force.

It was also during the summer that I decided to get involved in his work and because of this I stopped cooking at home; we both started to eat out.  Not only that, but usually I would have left overs at home so he would always have food ready to just eat.  Work being so busy also made it impossible to keep a schedule where we were eating regularly.  Not eating regularly in turn made it impossible to sleep well at night.  All of it together made it impossible to prevent a manic episode.  My ignorance about his bipolar combined with my frustration of this new behavior that I did not understand did not allow me to take control of what was happening; instead it made me anxious too.

Eventually, not only was I anxious but I was also scared.  The fear of not knowing what the hell was going on made things worse.  His anxiety due to him having to be the sole provider for the household (because now I was working more with him and not working on my own business) pushed him to smoke weed.  The weed made things worse, not better.  It made it so bad that he had hardly slept.  One morning he woke me up with this surge of energy.  He couldn't understand that I had only slept for a couple of hours because I had been working on a report all night and I was exhausted.  I needed to sleep!  Later that day, we got invited to go camping... this was the first time I was going to go and I was exhausted and frustrated.  All I really wanted was to sleep, we didn't really have time to get ready for an overnight camping trip.  I really had no energy to even begin putting things together to go anywhere other than back to bed.  The drive to the campsite was going well until we hit the mountains.  When we hit the mountains, he got even more manic.  I asked to drive the truck but he wouldn't allow it.  He didn't see himself and didn't see the look he had in his eyes as he was driving, it was very scary.  At some point I thought he would not realize that there was a turn and we would end up getting into a bad accident.  I know his intention was not to scare me, I know his intention was not to put me in danger, but at that moment it was not him in control; it was the mania.

By the time we arrived at the campsite, I was crying and he was frustrated.  He was frustrated because he was expecting me to enjoy the crazy ride just as much as he did.  The thing is that I was not manic, he was!  He didn't see what I was seeing, all he saw was "this is fun."  I know that if he would have seen it from my eyes, he would have stopped himself and allowed me to drive.  That was my first camping experience, to me it was absolutely ruined, I just hated it all.  Even when I asked for a moment to get myself together, he was frustrated because he didn't understand.  I didn't understand either and couldn't explain what was happening to anyone which didn't make it any easier.  But now that I do, it all makes sense.

The next morning things were more settled, I had slept and felt a lot better.  That day we actually had fun, but for him the bitter taste of the night before never really went away.  I would have wanted to have another go at it, without the mania at full blast, with more time to prepare.  To tell you the truth being in nature is so grounding and peaceful.  In the mountains of Colorado even during the hottest summer nights, it is never uncomfortable hot, so it is even more perfect.  Eventually I will go ahead and get my chance, on my own more than likely but I will do it.  Years ago one of my moms taught me that even when someone ruins an experience for you, you can find a way to re-do that experience and make the experience a positive one.  You can do it again together, on your own, or with someone new.

For many years my biological father had ruined my experience of going to the beach, then other people added to it.  There was always discord, there was always an argument, and it had stopped being fun.  So, I hated it! I couldn't stand it!!! I have an aversion to conflict and I feel that people should try to listen to each other rather than yell at each other.  But when my mommy told me she wanted to go to the beach with us and that it would be fun, I gave it a try.  She told me at what time she would stop by to pick us up and to be ready then, and so we did.  We got to the beach prepared, not rushing, and when we got there the beach was pretty much empty.  We were talking and building castles on the beach, the kids were having fun, there were no arguments, no conflict, no discord.  It was fun!  That is how she taught me that sometimes you can change things for the better and that previous experiences are just that, an experience that you can learn from.  Once you learn from an experience you can make the next one even better.

As humans we tend to hold on to the bad though, we do it because it keeps us from getting hurt again.  Instead of focusing on what we can change we focus on the things that went wrong and we carry that with us for so long that we end up missing out on great experiences.  I know this now, and because I know this, I have made it a point to not allow that to happen again to me.  I won't allow it to happen to me because if I do, then I will definitely miss out on amazing opportunities that life will send my way.  I won't allow it to happen because knowledge is power, and once you know about something, your fear about it goes away.   It is less scary, it is more manageable.  I wish I had known about bipolar disorder, I wish I had known that he had it, but I also know that I can't change the past.

We went through what we went through for a reason, and now that I know about it, it will help me in the future.  It will help me because I am not scared, because I now understand a lot more than I did before and because of that it won't affect me the way it did before.  Just like when I gained knowledge of the law and of drugs, same way here.  It will help me because now I have friends and clients who have bipolar disorder or have someone they love with bipolar.  Knowing about it helps me help them and guide them the best way I can, so I continue to learn.

The more we know, the more we can be in control, the more we know the better we become.  I guess that is the reason why there is this saying that "readers are leaders" because the more you read, the more you learn.  The more you learn, the more power you gain and the less fear you have.  A leader might have fears, but they know how to overcome them.  A leader knows that whatever they are afraid of, they must learn about it in order to conquer it.  I am glad I learned and I am glad that I appreciate each of my experiences.  Without my experiences I would not be the person I am today and would not be able to become the person I will become in the future.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Communication and Relationships

I have been thinking about this picture lately... A while ago, when I first started college and I was just 17 years old I had to make a presentation for Speech class.  My presentation was about what made relationships work and last a long time.  Everyone was baffled when I said that it was not the amount of love that people had for each other but how well they worked on communicating with each other.  By this time I have seen relationships fail because of the lack of communication.  My biological father's first wife and him would always argue and throw things to each other, eventually they would physically fight and hurt each other.  During high school, I had had two different relationships.  The first one ended because he was jealous and instead of telling me how he felt he would just react.  I would try to talk about it without arguing but it was pointless.  I couldn't stand it, so I broke it off.  The second one ended up kissing someone else, talked to everyone about it except me... I remember not hearing from him for a few days until someone else told me what everyone was talking about.  I was more upset at the fact that he didn't come to talk to me first.  We used to talk for hours him and I  and in a way I expected to be told, not be kept in the dark.

Those were my high school relationship experiences, neither of them lasted too long.  I had tried it again with the second boyfriend, but it ended when there was an issue with mutual friends and instead of asking about my side of the story, I was told off.  On each instance, there was no effective communication.  It was either only one person talking or both not talking at all.  It didn't matter that I loved both of these guys, I truly did, because in the end love was not enough.  As I grew older and I kept seeing how my biological father behaved, this communication thing became of utmost importance to me.  You see, my biological father is an abuser (I think I gave that out earlier when I pointed out how he fought with his second wife); one of the things abusers do is that they will use words to hurt you, they will physically hurt you, and then they will gaslight you.  An abuser will hurt you one day and then come back the next day pretending nothing happened.  They will act completely different and not ever want to talk about what happened before.  Then later on IF you bring it up, they will either tell you that it never happened or they will blame you for it.  Back when I was younger and around this individual, I did not know that was it.  But still, I despised that he did that too many times and because of that, I made it a point that when I got into a relationship the person I was with would be someone with whom I could communicate effectively.  It could even be someone who didn't know how to communicate effectively but who was open to learning and growing with me in that regard. 

During the first serious relationship, we were great at communicating with each other at first and everything worked out great.  We would talk about what bothered each of us and we never really fought.  As the relationship progressed we started to not say to each other what was bothering us and so the communication stopped.  Instead of coming to each other to communicate what we needed from one another, he started to go to his parents and I would just keep it all to myself.  Until one day he was ready to leave and didn't tell me.  At that point we actually talked, but because he had spoken to his parents about what he didn't like about me, now his parents didn't think we should be together.  That put a strain in the relationship and after that it was just all downhill from there.  Once again, lack of effective communication ruined that one.  I loved him and we tried to work on it, but the communication factor was pretty much gone and that made things extremely difficult.  We ended up as good friends, who eventually drifted apart but I always left the door open if he ever needed someone to talk to.

Relationships, any kind of relationships, whether they are romantic relationships or friendships, require people to communicate.  There is no relationship, it does not matter how much love there is for one another, that will work without two people knowing how to effectively communicate with each other.  Today I was wondering why it is that we stop communicating effectively with another person.  I know in my experience it has been because I was hurt and couldn't find the right words to say to the other person in a way that I would not hurt them in return.  Sometimes it was fear of how they would react to what I said and that was just me remembering the relationship I had with my biological father, who would always lash out and get defensive when you told him you felt something he did was not right.  That ended up being the same with the guy I ended up marrying, he is also an abuser and while I had learned to communicate more effectively even without really having good role models, I took a few steps backwards with that marriage.  Of course, I knew that would end because there was a lot that was hidden and a lot that was never said. 

As far as other people go, I think it's similar reasons... Some of them feel like they would be ashamed of saying something they feel, or telling someone about an experience that might explain their reaction because someone else reacted back at them and so now they want to avoid it.  It is trying to avoid confrontation, avoiding a fight, avoiding doing things that might make things worse.  And so instead of communicating, they withdraw, they stay quiet and then all those feelings just get bottled up and shaken around like a soda bottle... until eventually someone opens the bottle up and everything comes out bursting...

So how is it that one can change this?  By being aware... In your relationships, any of the ones you have, you have to be aware of how you feel and you have to make time to speak about it.  Both people need to be receptive to the other, and not take things being said as an attack because as soon as you do that, you will stop being receptive and start being defensive.  Both have to be open to growing and set fear aside, and talk from a place of love.  It seems something that is very easy to do, but I have found many times it is not.  There can be an extreme amount of love between two people and instead of using that love as a driver to continue what made the love grow in the first place, they use that love as the only basis to the relationship and they forget that is not what made it work to begin with.  I have lost many relationships in the past, and they have all been lost because of that lack of communication, I know some of them could have been saved if communication was opened but I also found myself in a place where there was only one person willing to do so... And so I realized it would not work.  Some of them have hurt losing more than others but, in the end I think I have learned from each of them and I have taken comfort in that.  They have helped me grow in many different ways and understand myself a little better, and for that all I can do is say thanks.

Effective communication is to a relationship like a good balance between water and sunlight are to a plant.  They are needed in order fora plant to grow, just like it is needed in order for a relationship to flourish.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Why should we be at peace with our mortality?

There are two ways to look at life.  The first one is as if every day you are given one more day to live, thinking that if you knew for sure this was your last day, how would you want your last day to go? Would you want to be happy or would you want to let things bother you?
The second one is seeing this day as one less day to live.  One day closer to the blissfulness that awaits us all when we pass. In this case, if you are one day closer to that blissfulness why not be happy about it?  Why not enjoy that you are almost done? Why not celebrate?
In either case none of the things that happen today will matter, so why let them bother you?
To me it does not matter which one you choose, each of them should be respected by others.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

In the process of ascension, one of the things we learn is to be at peace with our mortality.  To accept our mortality and that of others fully.  Spirit once said to me that only those who stay alive are the ones who suffer, everyone else is free.  I wondered what exactly Spirit meant by that and then I had a few people around me who lost someone they loved, each of them were devastated.  Everyone was crying, everyone was remembering all the things that they didn't do with them.  Everyone would point out how we all have very limited time and we should be happy that we are alive.  The misery that came from every death was astounding.  I couldn't understand because to tell you the truth, whether you believe in Spirit or not, when it comes to death... It is just an ending... It is the end of every bit of suffering, every bit of pain and so that person was not suffering anymore so why be so miserable that they were gone? Why not be happy that they are now free?

In my belief, the only thing that dies is our physical body and nothing else.  The physical body though is just a vessel to carry the energy that we are.  That energy is released and freed when we "die".  That energy goes back to the source of all life, to a place where there are no bounds.  And that place is the most amazing place ever.  It is a place full of peace and love; a love that no human could ever understand because it is a love that no matter what you do, you are worthy of.  And with this belief I started to realize how bad I just wanted to be there, how ready I was to go back to this place I call home.  The first time I felt this it felt bad that I wanted to go, it felt like I was resisting and everyone around me, those who are not as awaken just made the feeling be even worse.

Eventually I stopped saying anything, I just kept waking up saying to myself: "You have one less day here, you are almost home, you are almost done" and those words made me keep this joyous feeling alive, it made me smile.  Everyone else was oblivious to it, they didn't know why I was so happy but I felt like I couldn't tell them because as soon as I did I would fall from my happy place.  They would all start to pull me down with their words and their lack of understanding.  Some of them would even stop talking to me, not realizing that more than likely when I actually do go home they would end up talking about how much they wish I was still here.  They would all start saying how much they missed me, but none of them would ever acknowledge that when they had me here, they pulled away out of fear of losing me.  It will all then be very hypocritical because the time to be around, the time to talk, the time to enjoy is now.  It is not tomorrow, it was not yesterday, it is today.

Two days ago I let people pull me down from that, as soon as I said I was ready to go home they all started to give me reasons why I was supposedly still here, why I needed to stay here.  Oddly enough all the reasons that they gave me were based on the same reason they were saying I should not want to die--selfishness.  There was not one of them that said to me: "You are almost there, so don't fret" each and everyone of them said something like: "I am happy that you are still here" or "I don't like it when you say that because I want you to still be here" or my favorite "There are people who still need you to be here".   It is pure selfishness, the same selfishness that they throw in someone's face when someone says they don't want to be here.  All those statements are about them, they are not about me, they are about how they feel and what they would feel when I am no longer in physical form.  It is not about caring about me, it is caring about them.  It was not respecting the things I wanted, but only making sure that the things they wanted happened.

It used to bother me that they didn't understand, that they didn't get it.  It was frustrating that they didn't see how selfish they were too by putting themselves before someone they say they care about.  I asked Spirit why it was that I was so bothered by this, why is it that I wanted them to understand so much.  And then I realized that I was putting too much weight on the things that people who are unable to understand my path (they really don't have to) are feeling.  You see, I am not here to make anyone feel better.  I am not here to control anyone else's feelings.  I am here to guide some of those who are open to learning, those who are open to understanding of a different way of seeing things.  I am not here to push anyone to believe any different, I wish people could respect what I believe more but I also know that I can't make them.  And so my other job is to not let them affect me, what they want and what they feel is not my concern.  Giving guidance does not mean the others will do as what they are being guided to do, no matter how much you would want them to.

So what next? Since I realized that most humans are not capable of being at peace with their mortality, I have also realized that the more I point it out, the more of those people who are not in alignment with me will go.  The more of those people who don't really care will walk away, because they can't handle it and that is ok.  The relationships will evolve to something different and that will be amazing to watch and create.  It won't mean I love each of them any less either.  It will just mean that their actions, no matter how much I care about them, won't bother me.  It also means that I will not be afraid of telling them that whatever they feel about whether or not I am here in physical form or not, does not matter to me because they don't get to choose what will get me to my happy place.  They are not in charge of my happiness, I am.  And because I am in charge of my happiness, I get to choose how I get to that happiness, they just need to worry about how they are going to get to theirs.

So why should we be at peace with our mortality?  Because we are all going to die.  The sooner we come to accept and be at peace with that, the sooner we will start living life differently.  The sooner we will not worry about the things we can't control.  The better life will flow because then you realize that no matter how you look at life, whether it is one less day to live or one more day to live, what happens today will not matter when we are no longer here, whether we die today or in 30 years is irrelevant.  All we gotta do today is celebrate either that you are closer to your destination or that you were given an opportunity to do something different.  Either way, the goal is the same--to get happy.  Whichever way you choose to look at it is up to you, all the rest of us have to do is respect it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

I don’t belong

I’m tired...
Dear God, I’m so tired of being here,
I’m tired of the struggle,
I’m tired of the indifference,
I’m tired of you giving me happiness only to take it away,
I’m tired of the constant fight,
I’m tired of the bickering,
I’m tired of the lack of freedom,
I’m tired of being in this body,
Every day and every moment I ask for you to make it the last,
And somehow I keep waking up,
Somehow you still keep me here,
You still keep me trapped,
You still keep me hurting,
You still keep the sorrow going,
I didn’t want this, I don’t want this,
I need you to let me go back home,
This is not home,
This is a hell you created for us,
I’ve done what you asked of me...
I don’t belong here, I don’t belong with them,
They don’t understand who I am,
They are ungrateful for what is given,
They are always gonna be unhappy,
They don’t know how to really love,
What’s worse of all dear God is that
These humans will never allow themselves to be loved by us,
So do me a favor, just one tiny one,
Let me be free now, let this physical body rot
And let my spirit be free again...