Between Surviving and Living

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Photo by Larisa-K at source.

Some years are full of positive wonder, excitement, new experiences and growth. I’ve had a few of those: there were seconds, minutes and hours that turned into days, weeks and months of learning and making all the right mistakes. Yummy, yummy years.

Sure, there are years that can only be synonymous to thriving. You know that you are fully and properly alive. You’re growing into who you’re supposed to be and it’s wonderful.

2016 was one of them. But only a little and only in the first half. Mostly.

And then come the days where you force yourself to open your eyes. Knowing full well that opening them will only bring you back to being worried. Back to being scared. Back to feeling helpless.

A lot of people say that 2016 was a REALLY (REALLY!) crappy year: for the planet, individual countries and communities and within themselves. I can’t say I disagree, but the optimist in me will always want to fight back. I try very hard to see the good in all the really crappy situations. Sometimes it’s hard as hell and sometimes it just comes naturally: the balance between surviving and living. 

Finding optimism at the end of 2016 did not come naturally in no way, shape or form. I’ve been worming my way through the days and sometimes I’m so sad, I just want to curl up in a ball of tears and cry until I forget the source of my tears, because my eyes now hurt more than my heart. Sometimes I cannot be the clown to cheer everyone up and sometimes I just need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay and that this, too, shall pass. I’d like to believe them. The huge lump in my throat and stomach won’t allow me and they won’t go away.

So, yes. Right now, I’m merely surviving. Trying to find the meaning and a means to truly live: despite and because of it all. 

The first few days of 2017 have been pure torture. See, sometimes there are things in our lives we can’t control and right now, my life is a web of obstacles. I feel like I’m swimming in a lake full of sticky, gooey tar. It’s getting into my eyes and lungs, but I know I still have to get to the other side. The other side is the only solution, but my eyes are stuck together and it’s getting hard to breathe so I have no real sense of where I’m going.

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Photo by Hans at source.

Yes, it’s hard, but the messy black stuff only really scratches the surface. Inside, I still hold the light. The light of hope that all will be okay and that I’m exactly where I need to be. I shall get to the other side: worn out and hollow, but with so much room to grow, because now I’m wonderfully carved out. I’ll have flushed out what needs to go and find space for a fresh breath.

This experience might wear me out, but I’ll be damned if I let myself become a shell of the person I’ve become. 

This, too, shall pass.

Falling into a sense of our lives being out of control and foul is really easy- scary how easy it is. Crawling towards the light (and forgive me for my cheesiness) is so goddamn hard- again: in a scary way.  Things really worth doing are hard: we seem to keep forgetting that.

If you’re like me and have found yourself surviving and doing it just barely, know you’re not alone. The world of social media or just the world around you in general might have you thinking that everyone around you has it so good and that you’re the sad soul trailing behind, leaving huge gloppy tar marks.  This is especially true for December when it seems like everyone is having a ball while you’re just curled up in one.

We all hurt and we all worry. Sometimes our lives bring us up and sometimes we take a tumble. Sometimes we get to experience the most kick-ass awesome, heart-striking moments and people. And sometimes we have to find the energy to survive. One day at a time.

It’s okay.

This, too, shall pass. 

 

One Step Forward, Three And a Half Back … Or Is It Vice Versa?

Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” (Unknown)

Where have I been?

I write a lot. I do it as a career. I have my little organised desk, a sleeping dog at both sides of my chair and tea. It’s where I get lost: I explore, plan and think about how I want to put things so that others may have benefit. My fingers are very much used to the keyboard and my body moves without thought. My soul, on the other hand, has been just a little vacant.  My brain has been in overdrive in the past few months, but I’ve been creatively drained and preoccupied.

The funny thing is that I thought I was happy.

This, right now, feels so good. Just letting the words flow. Not really thinking.

Do you know the feeling of being trapped and free at the same time? It’s where I’ve been for the past few months: wonderfully elated and scared as heck at the same time. I thought I knew how to swerve and steer away and around all the bumps in the road. Life, on the other hand, had other plans and different cards were dealt.

I guess I don’t have it all figured out.

Gratitude saves me. Keeping myself actively awake saves me. The past has taught me what it’s like to be completely in the dark in regards of who I am. My life was all about others and what I thought might change their lives or cater to their needs. The hard lesson was that I can only change myself. No matter how hard I try, I cannot fix the ones I love. This gave a little light. But I still didn’t love myself and I didn’t like the person I was. It was a bumpy road, but I managed to see myself as someone worth loving. Not by others, but by myself.

The darkness has been creeping up lately. I feel the need to fix the ones I love more than I ever have. I feel the need to control things I have little or no control over and letting go is so hard. I’m starting to slip up and forget about the woman who vowed to make herself look in the mirror and find at least one good quality.

I find myself craving more of life. I have all the tools to do so. Yet I’m so afraid.

I feel like I’m in a cocoon: warm and cosy in my little bubble of the things I know and the people I love. And very blind. It seems like I’ve poked a hole through my little piece of unregistered heaven and am now peeking out like the little scared critter I really am. I didn’t expect to tear a hole while being so very careful not to stir up the only place I know as home. I have worked so hard to build it. The hole is now here and I cannot ignore it anymore. The proverbial excrement has hit the fan.

I find myself lacking patience and strength to continue to set aside what I want for my life- just mine. I’ve been serving others for as long as I can remember. Sure, I’ve made plenty of progress and a few lines were drawn, but even writing about what I want or like feels inherently wrong and selfish. That can only mean I’m not there yet.

I can only change myself. I won’t make new year’s resolutions. I won’t go jumping off airplanes any day soon. I will, on the other hand, strive to find out what it is I want for my life, make the hole in the cosy cocoon a little bigger and see where life takes me.

So, no. My value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see my worth. I now see I’ve done that quite perfectly myself. And enough is enough.

Wobbled Balance

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Photo by theilr at source

I won’t go into how crazy this world is. We all know it. The juggle is real: a big mass of people living as a part of a flock with every member trying to stick out and be noticed, all the while struggling to have more than others.

I get anxious even writing about it.

What it the counter balance to that, though? How do I become an entity of my own little peace amongst the jungle of people hustling around me?

Well, I’m a firm believer that we make it hard for ourselves. I also think you have to work hard to make your dreams come true. And we forget that the goal should be happiness. How can one be happy without balance? We focus so much on our goals and forget to enjoy the process. There’s a chance at every moment to at least give thanks and be appreciative of the life you live. You’re working on a dream here. That’s important! It will all be for naught if you’re miserable each and every step while working on your life goals- even if, in the end, you achieve them. What I’m saying is: there’s a chance to enjoy the process and there is also an opportunity to see that a part of the destination’s end also belongs to the journey. So, yes, give thanks to the process that is leading you towards your goal.

One other thing I like to do is remove myself. Get out and away from the mass of people or the workload and come back to it. Take a walk and just be. Hug a tree or two ;). If there’s no time to do that and I’m stuck working in front of my computer,  I at least take a minute to look out the window and watch the leaves on trees turn and sway in the wind. There is something really comforting in the fact that the world and universe are so much bigger than we are and it will all continue to move and spin even if we fail in the given task; big or small. I know it’s scary how small we are, but that’s a fact you cannot change. Why fight it?

I try to guard myself from other people’s negative energy as much as possible. Yeah, as much as possible. I haven’t learned how not to let others affect me, but I at least try to not take it personally as much; I fear I’ll go crazy if I continue to let it all get to me. There’s nothing wrong with being emphatic, but not sleeping at night, worrying over other people’s destiny (which you have zero control over) is not productive for them and neither is it productive for you. You can give more when you are calm, relaxed and in control of your thoughts.

All in all: try not to take life too seriously. In the end, your life will end if you spent it having fun and being happy or going through it miserable and envious of other peoples’ happiness. Choose your state of mind.

 

I Sit Here Hearbroken

I’m crying my eyes out as I sit here and write this. Sometimes it’s so hard to be a part of this world. It hurts me so much. I see so many people and animals in dire need of food, water and simple human kindness and there aren’t enough of us out there who give a crap. My heart feels like it’s going to explode with the amount of grief I feel right now. There are so many wrongs and I feel I’m too small, too unimportant to fix, to make the hurt go away. So I suffer with them. With the abandoned children, with the neglected elderlies and the little critters around us who just need some love and a little kindness. I suffer with them, though I know I can’t even imagine the extent of their hurt and loss. My heart is broken and today I have a day of no silver linings. I’m simply hurt and I don’t understand.

Why is it that hard to have a little compassion?

What will you loose if you share a little something of your own?

Is showing a little gentleness and empathy going to kill you?

This world has so much potential. But we ignore it. We have so much potential. And we ignore it. Wake up! You only have to gain if you share a bit of yourself.

Please, please be kinder to the world around you. Don’t just keep your hands to yourself and let a little light shine through. Help. Give back. Don’t hide away from those who need you to be strong. Their love and the gratitude in their eyes will lift you to heights you can’t even imagine.

Just try. Please try. The world needs you to try.

 

Is My Mental Lifestyle Working Out For Me?

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Photo by: Eddl van W. at source.

Who we are is made up of things we couldn’t/can’t control and things we can. Our reactions, however big or small, will come from one of those positions. Things that we cannot control and are instilled are things like our biology and genetics. We can, on the other hand, control how much time and energy we spend on our mental state.

Answer these questions for yourself:

Do you work out and if you do, how much?

Do you eat what you consider a healthy diet?

Do you think you generally take good care of your body?

On the other hand:

How many times a week do you do things like meditation or how many times do you choose to work out your brain?

 

We like to neglect the organ that is, in my opinion, the most important part of our bodies. We don’t do it on purpose, of course, but it is a reality for most of us. Our brain has the sole capacity to keep us alive even in the most dire circumstances and when all else fails, yet we seem to think we have no power to manage our brain and how they work and react. Most of us pull more focus on our extremities and how strong we keep them than on our very cores (and there’s nothing wrong with keeping our bodies healthy, don’t get me wrong). Here’s where the term “mental lifestyle” comes in: a choice of how fit your brain is and the manner of how you choose to perceive things.

I wrote about things like out genetics and how we cannot control that aspect of our psychology. That’s a given. The amount of success when working against the grain of your genealogy is debatable and I find myself completely incompetent of saying you can or cannot overrule what Mother Nature gave you. My way of thinking is more collaborative: actively working with what we were given in order to achieve balance and happiness. Sometimes that means pushing ourselves a little against what we were given and other times working with what we’ve got: finding balance whenever we can.

My way of looking at my own mental health is a partnership with myself. I won’t always be able to push myself all the time and stubbornness will only get me so far. My mental lifestyle is centred around 1) being gentle with myself when it comes to mental health and how far I’m willing to push myself and 2) being kind to the world around me. Staying happy and healthy (physically and mentally) is very important to me. But to me, being happy and healthy also includes others. Earth’s mental lifestyle is important to me, too. My happiness is, generally speaking, a collaboration between my mental health and the mental health of the planet.

I’d like for us to leave an inheritance of positive outlooks and a planet that is healthy. We can only do so by starting with us and a little bit of a changed perspective of how we see our lives and the importance of the ones around us.

Kill Them With Kindness!

I’m a quick thinker- well, at least in the sense that it doesn’t take me long to form an opinion: if something sounds good, I’ll usually take it on board without giving it too much of my mind space and time, then use it when I need to. This also happened with the “Kill them with kindness” phrase. It sounds good: it’s always great to be kind and that’s that. I heard it and I liked it.

And then something strange happened :D. I started thinking about what I ACTUALLY think about this sentence and why it felt off.

(Sidenote: wow, does all this sound horrible: I feel like I’m a loonie who never thinks of anything and now I’m putting that “confession” on the internet :D. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with a mind as quick to form an opinion as mine is, so that’s okay too, I guess.)

I usually let phrases like this help me with certain situations and this particular little sentence helped me out when I felt a little disappointed with someone’s rudeness and lack of manners towards me. So I said to myself:”Smile and kill them with kindness.”

The phrase suddenly felt off to me. Why?

If you split the phrase into two parts, you get, of course: 1. Kill them, 2. With kindness.

The second part is not a problem … duh. But the killing part? Killing is never, under any circumstance a good thing. So you’re essentially hurting someone by being kind to them. To me, that means that when someone is being nasty to you and they expect you to retaliate, you fight back with being overly kind and thus making their lives even worse, because now they feel beaten by you: you’re the bigger person and they’re petty and small. You’ve won, they’ve lost. Ha ha!

How long does this “Ha ha!” moment last? How does it make you feel? Probably like a five-minute winner.

And it works, this way of hurting someone by being really really nice to them (possibly with a nice cynical smile). It works if you’re a child (a child that will hopefully overgrow this way of dealing with a certain situation), or an adult with quite a lot of personal growth that still needs to be attained.

Killing someone with kindness is just another way of being mean. It’s so hard not to be petty sometimes and not let the inner child come through and just rip someone up with words (it’s even worse when you act like you’re not phased and you’re just simply being a lovely person towards someone being extra mean). I know it’s super hard and being cynical and extra nice is so easy, plus it seems so rewarding.

But you really have nothing to gain in the long run.

Kindness should never be a weapon. People will sometimes be nasty and hurtful: it doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s kindest or meanest person. It will happen and there’s not much you can do about that. It’s up to you to make sure that no matter what, you stay true to yourself. Be a winner for life and strive to stay gracious when you feel attacked, don’t stoop to a level you’ll regret later. It’s not worth the loveliness that is you. Instead of “Kill them with kindness” think “Cure them with kindness”.

Cuteness Overload for When You’re Feeling Down

This will be a post with very little words an plenty of photos. It’s a post fo those days when you feel like your name is Debbie Downer and there ain’t nothin’ that could take away your blues.

WELL, PUPPIES AND KITTENS AND EVERYTHING ELSE CAN! 🙂

Fluffy and non-fluffy little critters have the power to go deep into our hearts- deeper even than humans sometimes can. Let the love flow over you as you take a look at these images …

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Photo by 820453820 at source.

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Photo by 820453820 at source.

Feeling any better yet? 🙂

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Photo by Belal Khan at source.

 

I can’t stand how cute these little munckins are!

P.s. It’s time to take the Debbie Downer name-tag off and go send some good cheer into the world :).

P.P.s. You’re welcome 😉

I Love My Country!

Whenever I think about my homeland, my first thoughts aren’t about how crappy the socio-political situation is, I don’t think how I should move out, because there’s no real future here and how my fellow Slovenians are severely introverted drunkards with no future (these are the things I hear people complain about most often). And I do agree for the most part- I don’t judge people as general drunkards though.

BUT!

My country is my home. I live in a small place, sure, but it’s lovely. With only a few hour’s drive I am able to visit the plains of Prekmurje, then just a few hours later I can go swimming in the sea. I can go hiking in the Alps and visit the caves of Postojna. It’s all compactly packed in one chicken-shaped little package.

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Photo of Bled lake by Mirci at source.

I love my little microcosms, too. I live surrounded by forests and get to breathe fresh air. I get to see plants grow in our garden and hear birds chirping when I sit outside early in the morning. All of those things is what make my country great.

Sure, we have our problems. They’re not even little problems: huge political problems, corruption, crappy law and judicial system, high unemployment rates … don’t get me started. I sometimes see the injustices, sometimes feel them on my skin, but I’ll never say I’m not proud to call myself a Slovenian. I know, see and believe that we (can) surpass whatever our strugles are.

I love my language. I know I write my thoughts here in English, but that has nothing to do with how I feel about the land that raised me. I love the land; even if I disagree with some aspects of how things are done or ghow they currently stand. We’ve come so far and have lived under bigger countries for so long. Now that we’ve chosen to live independently and have done so for 20+ years, some of us fail to see how young we still are and how much we have to learn and how much garbage there still remains to be cleaned out.

We’re good people. We’re generous, we’re hard workers and we know how to pull together when we need to. We still have to learn how and when to raise our voices and not be afraid, but we’ll get there. I now we will.

I am lucky to live where I live. I feel safe in my country. I know there are many people that can’t say the same.

I somehow feel like a lot of us have forgotten what the word homeland means and globalisation has erased some of the love that was once deeply integrated into our lives. I like to read about our history and how we have had to fight for our country, for our language and our unity. We have managed to do so for many years and I hope our children will see our countries (no matter where we come from) as places worth fighting for.

“My Name’s “Blurry Face” and I Care What You Think”

When I first heard this part of “Stressed Out” from Twenty One Pilots, I was like: “Yeah! Exactly!” I’ve thought of this statement plenty of times, but I’ve never found the right words for them. So, thank you, Twenty One Pilots!

How many faces do you pass every day? How many of them do you remember?

Don’t you feel like we’re all morphing into one another and it seems like it won’t be long before we all look and function completely alike: generic looking clothes, subscribing to beauty ideas, the same haircuts and mannerisms? It’s weird, because I feel like soon we’ll look like the citizens of Suzanne Collin’s Panem. So different, but so alike. And my concern is that I’m no different. I hop aboard trends as much as anyone else and my brain probably gets washed just as much as the next girl’s/woman’s. Creepy.

We hardly know the faces we pass, but we let them pass judgement about our lives. We let them judge and we worry about their blurry opinion about our blurry faces.

I understand we’re social beings and I guess it all comes with the territory. We let it happen and we’re not even aware of it. I sure wasn’t. But, hey, now I am :).

 

 

Am I Strong Enough to Help You See the Light?

I’m not a religious person. What I mean to say is that I don’t go to church, don’t pray every evening and I don’t see the Bible as something holy to my heart. I do see myself as a spiritual person on the other hand. I’m moved by kindness I see in others, I say thanks for my blessings and I strive to see the Good. I used to be so confused and unhappy, but then something clicked (I’ve yet to pinpoint the exact moment) and I started looking at things from a different perspective. As my body and mind started to heal, so did my mental state. I started seeking wisdom from the most random places and I saw that I always have a choice. Sure, I get crippled with hurt or fear and there are certain things and situations I still can’t get a grasp on (I’m not sure I ever will). But I guess I’m not talking so much about the specifics of one’s life right now, but more about a person’s general mind-set: Are our glasses half-empty or half-full?

I don’t really have a wide social network, but I do have a few people in my life that I care for dearly and see that they’re amazing people, but I feel like they’re struggling (I’m sure they think it’s really the other way around) and I’ll be damned if I won’t try to help fix that ;). Some of them seem to think that I’m the crazy one with my way of seeing the world and that, sooner than later, I’ll give up my crazy ideas and start being a damn realist!

In truth, I don’t think that my ideology is that crazy and I know for a fact that it’s not some New Age mumbo-jumbo and I’m not this amazing person who thought of it all. No. Not at all. I also haven’t bought any self-help books and have chosen to “live by the words”- not that there’s anything wrong with that. All I know is that for a time that seemed like forever, I was like a prisoner in my own body: I wanted to be calmer and more positive, but nothing good ever seemed to happen. Happiness was a drug other people with better lives were riding on. Not me. Everyday I felt uncomfortable and uneasy and wanted to get out, but didn’t know how. It was like my mind was in the gutter, but my soul wanted to fly.

After my little brain-click happened and I still was who I was before, just a little more optimistic, I continued to have those wonderful people around me rolling their eyes at my new-found “ideas”. I would partake in quite a few debates where I’d try to persuade them to look at things from a different perspective and they’d try and help me come off of whatever I was so obviously on :D. It makes me sad because my heart wants to find words to help everyone see that things like hate, impatience and self-loathing aren’t the means to a happy life (and it honestly pisses me off when I hear that life obviously hasn’t taught me, because if it did and I’d suffer enough, I’d share their opinion- it also makes me afraid of them actually being right).

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Photo by Sonny Abesamis at source.

I’m not this holy person who never sees a fault in anything, I’m far away from being perfect and I don’t think of myself as better than everyone else. I’m very much trying to get out of my comfort zone and smile more, live my truths and let others see them. It’s not easy to show kindness when you’re hard wired to keep your cool at all times. I am trying, though. I know I want to be kinder, I want to help people and I want to understand. I know a few people who make it seem so easy: they’re attentive, always have the right words to say and a hug on offer. I’m sometimes shy and at other times totally outspoken, I form opinions too quickly and I don’t think before I speak. Those things and so many more frustrate the living daylights out of me and I sometimes see how far away I am from letting myself shine my own Light, let alone help others shine theirs.

I truly believe that every life matters. We may be just one little entity on a big planet in a immeasurable Universe. And we’re really tiny when it comes to changing things  that really matter and come down to saving the Earth. I get that. The only “problem” is that there are so many of us and if you combine all of us in one big organism, we create a majestic creature of awesomeness or a dark gargoyle of destruction. All out seemingly meaningless actions matter! And it all starts with the state of our minds. That’s the message I’d like everyone to receive.

I don’t know where the future will take me. I know for now, I want to be the change I want to see in the world. I guess I’ll always want to change people’s minds: YOU CAN BE HAPPY: RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. It will change your life and the lives of people around you. And I’ll keep on repeating that to myself as well …

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