Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fit In? Why?

    Life, my life, is never as easy as I could wish. I try to move forward, make what the world deems to be positive changes. I sometimes wish I could fit in with what other people seem to expect of me. I sometimes wish my life was more plebeian, run of the mill, socially acceptable. I sometimes wish that non-conformity wasn't hardwired into my soul. I know that the way I live may seem chaotic, untidy, scatterbrained. But it is who I am. I can't change that. I am over half a century old and have fought against my nature for most of that time. It has only been in the last few years that I have felt more in control of who I am, the mistress of my destiny, the hand at the tiller. But still I fight against my true nature. What do I want from life? Where do I want to go. What do I want to be when I grow up? These are valid questions. Questions that I actually ask myself. Yet I seem incapable of answering them honestly, even to myself, because I want to give the answers that are expected of me. Today I decided that I need to learn to answer myself honestly and with integrity, and to hell with what I think other people expect to hear from me. What do I want to be when I grow up? I still don't know. But then, who says I have to grow up at all? Now, if you don't mind, I am going to get back to work on the epic fort in my back yard.

I Believe I Can

    Lately, I have felt a loss of focus and direction with all aspects of my life. Nothing huge, or blatant. Just a pervasive feeling of floundering. I am busier than ever, so much to do all the time. Triathlon training; firefighter responsibilities and ongoing training; planting my garden and adding to the collection of fruit trees and vines; leather business; creating my stone patio and fire pit; revamping my shed into the ultimate fort; time with my beloved family. So much to do, and yet I feel unfocused and adrift.
    I am having trouble seeing things through to the end. What my friend Mel calls "Task Completion." So much to do that life feels like a constant distraction. Am I enjoying life? Hells to the yeah. I love my life. But have still had this sense that something was missing. Today was the epiphany.
    I was on my bike, pedaling, sweating, when I realized that with all the focus I have put on my physical and mental condition, my spiritual connection has slipped. I have disconnected, lost my way, wandered from the path. I have always considered myself to be very spiritual, and still do. But I think I need more. And maybe it isn't so much about regaining my spirituality, as it is integrating all the parts that make up the being that is Me.
    I used to write so much about Brain, Body, and Spirit. Each as the important entity that they are. Each as an individual aspect, and yet all part of the whole. I have known that I need to keep Body strong to shelter Brain and Spirit when they falter, or are thrown against the rocks in a storm. Body has always been the strong one, the fortress, the temple. I have devoted a lot of time and energy into maintaining my strength and physical health. Brain has been on the mend and continually improving over these last few years, once it was free from the hamster wheel of anxiety and depression. Spirit has always taken a bit of a backseat in regards to regular tune-ups and maintenance. Spirit always seemed to do well on its own, not needing quite the obsessive care and feeding as did Brain and Body. But even the most durable of vehicles will begin to falter if it is neglected and taken for granted.
    It is time to integrate Spirit into the daily workout regiment. I have neglected this vital aspect for too long, and I am beginning to pay the price. Today I realized that it is this disconnect, this negligence that is at the core of my vague feelings of unease and dissatisfaction. I think that by reconnecting with my spirituality that I can regain focus, find my path, and lead myself to fulfill dreams and desires that I have thought were unobtainable. I believe I can do this. I can reestablish my inner energy flow, tap into the source of life and creativity. I believe I can do this. And it all begins now.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Heart of an Empath

I am not inclined to post the work of other writers. But I read this, and it struck home on every point. I felt the truths in this in every fiber of my being. I have tried to explain why I avoid large gatherings, and most social interaction, but my pithy attempts fall flat. I try to make people understand why I have lived alone for so long, it is self preservation, actually. I avoid confrontation of any kind because it causes a tremor through my body that leaves pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and anguish in its wake.  Having the heart of an empath is painful, and a constant cause of distress, even as it makes my world a wondrous place. Here it is, written in glorious prose.  (*I apologize for the weird formatting*)

Written by Naomi Hon

"The word ordinary ceases to exist in your dictionary.

    Every experience resides on either end of an extreme.
    Every day you see things that evoke so much emotion, your mood changes shades the same amount of times the sky does. It yo-yos between streaks of blue and glimmers of yellow—but never without silver linings of glitter. Life is but a giant paint palette of emotions, its colors too obscure to separate.
    You’ll find poetry in every conversation you have, sheltered amongst breaths and pauses, sideways glances and tones in voices. No one else sees, hears or feels it. But you always do.
    Your fingertips trace scars on lovers instead of perfect features.
    You see stories in the eyes of passersby on the street because you see souls instead of irises. You brush past them wondering who they love, what they’ve lost, where they’re going and who they’re trying to be.            Everyone and everything has a story you’re dying to memorize.
    Your heart bleeds at the sight of beggars because you know that somewhere under those rags lies a treasured item they’ve muffled roars of hunger to keep. It could be anything—a rusty gold locket, an oversized coat handed down by a deceased parent,or a crumpled picture of a loved one they’ve lost.
    Children in elevators fill your heart with so much joy, you always smile just a little wider the second their parents notice your gaze. You see the exhaustion in their polite smile, and picture the love they put into raising their children every day.
    Oil spills in gutters look like mini rainbows. Raindrops on windshields look like fallen stars. Fizzy drinks in glasses look like the evening sea. There is no such thing as a mundane day, and boredom is a problem you’ll never be plagued with.
    You enter rooms filled with strangers and feel suffocated by the invisible sparks of electricity flickering in the air. You can pinpoint who’s fighting or flirting without knowing either party from 20 feet away. Like a wet sponge, your body has this tendency of soaking up all the energy around you. Negativity gets sucked into your pores, and affects you so much it almost always ruins your day.
    Not caring just isn’t an option.
    No one has ever done you wrong, no matter how bad the crime, without you understanding why they did so. Friends seek your solace because they know you’ll help them realize what the person they’re angry at could be going through. This makes it virtually impossible for you to detest anyone. So you end up detesting yourself instead for never not understanding why.
    But this very trait enables you to love the broken. You refuse to believe everyone isn’t good at heart even though this permanent naivety is usually what ends up stinging you.
    To have the heart of an empath is both a blessing and a curse.
    You have no control over the intensity of things you feel, or how other people’s feelings affect you. But empaths were born with copious amounts of compassion and endless empathy for a reason. In a world where people numb their feelings and ignore chaos, empaths are there to demand that feelings be felt.
To see the beauty in the details, and in sadness, too."