Master of None

It was 2014. I woke up one summer’s day and decided that enough was enough: no more mental walls, no more negativism, no more excuses. I worked hard to see myself become smarter and stronger over the next few months. The manifestation of the brand-spankin’ new me was a much lighter version of myself with nothing but optimism in the bag. I walked with confidence, I felt powerful, I felt like I had awoken from a passive dream of dread. I was happy.

The peak of all that was last summer: for the first time in my life I felt like I knew where I was going and what my purpose was and I liked the prospects of my future-self. The relationships I’ve helped build were strong and getting better and I found myself finally and for once looking forward to the future.

December came and took it all away. The tears I have yet to cry have pooled in my insides and have now flushed out all the terrors of my past.

Now, for the fist time in my life, I find myself more lost than I’ve ever been. It’s not an easy thing to admit and to put in writing. I am very-well aware of all the blessings of my life, but still feel empty a lot of the times: I’ve spend all my life taking care of others and have failed to see that I matter and I, too, can have hopes and dreams. I’ve been so busy accommodating everyone else and failing to make sure I fit into myself. I’ve shrunken my ideas to the point of little droplets with no particular form to them. I let myself be led because I have no power to speak my mind and am afraid of more people walking out of my life. I keep on asking myself: Who’s next?

I’m afraid of letting new people in because I’m afraid of seeing them leave and I’m having a tough time letting the ones I care about come closer. Closing the gates to my inner world is what I’ve done to survive. Solitude has once again become my blanket of comfort. At the same time, I don’t like it. I know I have people around me who care for my well-being, but I feel like I don’t deserve their attention and I don’t understand why anyone would want to spend time with me. So I just shut off. There’s so much I want to say, but it all gets stuck in my throat. There are emotions I’d like to express, but I feel are unworthy of reciprocation. Last week a friend asked me to name 5 positive traits of mine and all I came up with is that I’m sometimes kind. That was it, that was all I came up with. We then simply stared at each other while I had the depths of my depravity on my lap like a dirty coffee mug.

I’ve always been hard on myself as I’m sure most of us are. This harshness has helped me tear through sleepless nights, it has helped me shield myself from daggers being thrown and it has protected me from breaking down and shutting off completely. But maybe it’s time to simply allow myself to say that I’ve been through some pretty tough stuff and that maybe it’s okay not to have it all figured out all at once:

Yes. My father passed away. I walked with him as he was dying and now he’s gone. I miss him. It isn’t getting any easier, it’s getting tougher. 

Yes. I’ve had to let my fluffy, smelly ball of fur go. I still wonder if I’ve made the right decision. I miss his warm hazel eyes and the truest of all unconditional loves.

Yes. I’m re-calibrating some of the longest- standing relationships of my life. It’s hard and I am lost. The confusion here is endless.

Yes. One of the people who should, in theory, love me most, blames me for their losses and are working very to make me feel them, too. 

Yes. I have a though time with some of the new relationships in my life. I don’t know where I stand and feel I have very little control over the situation. I’m afraid of losing them and have a hard time expressing myself. 

Yes. I’m ill and have been for a while now. I’ve been taking care of myself as best as possible, but my body simply won’t cooperate. I’m tired and I’m tired of always feeling tired. 

Yes. The list does not end here. 

Maybe it’s okay to admit I need a little time to think things over and maybe it’s okay to admit that I need a damn vacation. Maybe it’s okay to let myself be taken care of sometimes. And just maybe it’s okay to let people in- even if they choose not to stay. Maybe it’s okay to sometimes say no. Maybe it’s okay to think of myself first sometimes.

But the little monster of love within me is still here and waiting, purring ever so gently. It’s a little fluffy critter who loves the world, loves jumping in puddles, loves to laugh, is silly and playful. It’s a tough little cookie and it won’t  go away no matter what. This little monster helps me get up every morning and try to be better, do better and see myself just a little clearer. I know I’ll get through this somehow: it’s a little hard to drive through life right now, but it won’t be like this forever. I’m getting stronger each day. I’m not only learning to live with just myself, but am learning to like it.

So it stands that my heart has a banner with the tag “fragile” on it.

Because of that, darling Universe, if you can see this, thread lightly over it. I’ll try to do the same.

 

Angels Wear Fur

The month of May was a tough one. Well, to be really honest, the whole of this year was tough and heavy on the soul. I won’t go into too much detail about what has happened, plus I’ve written a post about it, so feel free to be in the loop by reading it.

Yes, my father is gone. I cannot believe it has almost been a month. I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and family who have helped me stay strong and have, at the same time, taught me that it’s okay to sometimes not be okay. I have also had a little help from my furry little creatures which are just as much my family as those who use two feet to walk with. The love, graciousness about life and kindness from animals are incalculable and cannot be quantified by our little inferior human means of measure.

I have gotten more wet kisses, warm hugs and cuddles than I ever thought possible. My tears were wiped away numerous times by my two little angels.

And now I only have one little furry angel with me.

I have had Lili since she was a tiny little thing and she’s been a huge part of my life for the past five years. Rex, on the other hand, was a little more unplanned and a decade or so older when I got him, but I loved that dog just as much.

He had a heart that shone through his eyes. His love was palpable. His story is a mixture of sadness, agony and one of love. 

RexI got him from our local shelter after seeing him on Facebook and reading that he has gone unnoticed for almost five years. Five years! My heart broke for those caramel eyes. I wasn’t planning on getting another dog, but something told me that it was a path that had to be taken. The keeper at the shelter told me he was found starving in a box on an abandoned farm and has since had little luck of finding someone to take care of him. He had a gentle disposition and a friendly attitude and we were all a bit beguiled as to why he wasn’t adopted earlier. His size didn’t help him. He was a big boy: I think he was a doberman-shepherd mix. He was also old. He was at least ten or eleven when I found him last November. He was ill and was gaining weight rapidly. They performed some tests and after they came back negative for some sort of syndrome, we took him in. I knew what I was very probably getting myself into. Two days after we took Rex into our home, I found that my dad was seriously ill and had little time left. I knew I had a hard road ahead of me: I had to be there for my dad, for my mom, for my family, had to work and take care of two fur balls: both with specific health problems.

There wasn’t any love lost for Lili. She treated him like she would a piece of furniture that was a bit annoying because it wanted to sniff her butt all the time. She quickly learned that he was slow and could easily steal his treats, climb on the couch where he couldn’t reach her (not that he ever tried) and ate his food (the little witch!). He was never bothered by it.

He was happy to be loved, well fed and that there was always someone there with him. He tried so hard to please us: he stopped marking the inside of our house, learned to wait for his food patiently, learned to stay on command and learned to bark from Lili. Oh, what a barker he became! 🙂

Love came naturally to him. He treated me like his guardian angel an in turn became one for me- even if I didn’t ask that of him. He became protective and wouldn’t allow any mischief in my company. He was big and so people were a bit afraid of him. I found it amusing. He loved it when I sang to him and his favorite song was “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. He’d put his big head on my knees and fall asleep whenever I sang it to him.

But his lungs wouldn’t let him stay with me for long- the parallels with my dad’s story were painful, to say the least. As it grew warmer, his breathing became heavier and it became so bad that his tongue would turn blue and he couldn’t catch his breath. He also had problems with his joints, we couldn’t get his weight down and so he started going down quickly.

We had to put him to sleep two weeks after my father died. He fell asleep with his favorite song in his ears.

I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and find him in his younger years. He had so much to give. All I can really do is find comfort in knowing he found love- however brief it was. I love my big boy and even though taking care of him took a lot of time and energy I barely had because I also had to take care of my dying dad, I wouldn’t take any of it back. He’s part of what helped me get through those days and nights of true terror and torture. He’s helped me prepare for what was to come.

I promised my father to live bigger, better and bolder in his name. I also promised Rex to help spread some love, kindness and awareness of those around us in need. I’ll do my best to make both of them proud to have been a part of my life and me be a part of theirs. My life is blessed because I have so many guardian angels.

 

 

 

 

I Miss You So Much …

My dad used to drive me to high school almost everyday. We had this easy-going relationship back then. We both liked Shakira, so we’d listen to her music in the morning and speed down the motorway in silence. If we ever passed a truck with cattle, I’d always ask him where he thought the animals were going. I knew the answer, of course, but my dad knew better than to tell me the truth. He lied. He lied because he loved me enough to try and spare me.

That’s also the reason he lied about his illness. He hid the fact that his cancer was causing him a lot of pain for two years. He knew and decided not to tell us. He worked through his last stages of cancer and suffered in silence. I can’t imagine the pain he must have gone through.

But the tumor in his head grew too big and he lost his grip.

Early December came and so did his diagnosis: stage four small-cell lung cancer that was spread all over.

Six months have passed and he is gone.

They were the worst six months of my life. His illness ate him alive and there was nothing I could do, but be there.  I rearranged my life to accommodate what was left of his and I would have done anything to spare him the agony of his last few moments. All I could do was stuff him with pills and pray he’d sleep, then gently rub his arm to try and soothe him.

I would sometimes pray he’d fall asleep and not wake up in the morning. He begged me to kill him and I wished I could give him what he wanted.

But I learned life is too short not to tell someone you love them and so I told him I loved him and for the first time in my life, I really heard him saying it back to me without feeling awkward.

I loved my dad. I love my dad. And I will always love him.

He was my rock. His smell calmed me down and hearing his footsteps brought me ease. And now he’s gone. And I miss him so so much.

We had our arguments and things were sometimes far from rosy, but I wouldn’t have anyone else be my father. I cherish all the spoken and unspoken words and I wouldn’t take any of it back. This experience was a life lesson that hit like an atomic bomb: I will live bigger, better and bolder in my dad’s honor. I miss him, but I won’t let that be the focal-point of my life. Missing him will only fuel me to do better and be a better person.

Dad, I miss you so much. I wish I could touch you just one more time and tell you that I love you and that I’ll make you proud. I’ll try and be there for mom and my sisters and brother. I’ll take care to be there if and when they need me. Your life was riddled with sorrow and pain, but it made you who you are. I’ll make sure to catch those important life lessons when they come my way and I’ll make sure to create something good out of them.

I’ll be the change I want to see in this world.

Write One Dot Instead of Three

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” 

(Ben Carson)

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Photo by klimkin at source.

I find joy in giving: friendship, support, love, kindness. It makes me happy to make others happy- it’s quite simple. I find that my life’s mission is to try help people see that kindness is a very straightforward and effective path towards both personal and collective well-being.  But I have also noticed that we’re prone to put a price on the things we do for others: if nothing else, we EXPECT a “thank you” in retribution for our commendable actions. We send something out into the world and then expect things in return for them. We give only to receive: our wonderful acts of kindness are full of sentences that end with three dots instead of full stops.

Sure, if nothing else, it’s culturally appropriate to say “thank you” for the things or actions we get from others- this is the responsibility of the receiver.

What is the responsibility of the giver? 

I’m no different and am guilty of wanting people to give something in return for whatever I’ve done for them. I only figured this out after being sad, irritated or even angry because the receivers in my life “failed” to produce the response I deemed appropriate. In the end, it all boils down to a very simple fact: I know that I can only control myself.  There is no way I’ll be able to make someone be the person with the responses I’d like to see. So why even try in the first place? Why try to calibrate potentials of others when I can’t seem to calibrate my own?

Now I strive to send things away from myself and expect nothing. I do things for others and put full stops on the sentences of kindness I write for the ones around me. I know what I give, but the receivers are the only ones who really know what they got.

And I also know what it is I receive for what I’ve done: my own and personal inner peace and happiness. I receive that from myself. A positive response from the other party is just an upgrade of it all.

Seeing things this way takes away the pressure of always expecting something. Living this way gives opportunity for others to be who they really are around us. People usually give more if they feel free, safe and unburdened. People who feel free, safe and unburdened around us also feel free to shine, because there’s nothing to loose and a lot to gain. They know we won’t judge and they relax, because there’s this one person who lets them be who they are. They become the best possible versions of themselves. This in turn helps them pay it forward.

Open-ended sentences have a place and point in our lives. They belong to us, not the things we bestow upon others. They give us potential to wiggle around and grow. People we like, love and cherish, on the other hand,  should only receive complete and well-rounded sentences from us. They’ll give them the assured freedom they need to wiggle and grow.

 

The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.”

(Carol Ryrie Brink)

 

 

 

One-On-Top-Of-the-Other Action to Get Things Going!

Get your mind out of the gutter, people! This ain’t THAT kind of blog post :P. You’ll see what I’m talking about, so just bear with me ;).

I believe that kindness can save what’s left of this world of beauty we seem to take for granted. I write a lot about being kind to each other, all things living and the planet … it’s old news by now. But something I did yesterday got me thinking: after I washed my face, I grabbed one of the two moisturizers I use. One is for daily use and one I put on in the evening (duh!). I keep them stacked one on top of the other. I closed the night cream and automatically put the daily cream on top, so that I’d have easier access to it in the morning. Silly, right? Well, not really. The reason for my little stacking-by-need action was done is because I was being kind to the sleepy-just-woke-up me. It’s a teeny-tiny thing I did, but I did it to save a second of my precious time in the morning. And you know what? It put a smile on my face this morning. One, because I thought of what a nincompoop I am most of the time and because I cared enough to do such a seemingly silly thing.  And then I stacked my moisturizers so that the night cream is now stacked on top.

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Photo by chezbeate at source.

How many times a day do you put a smile on your face because of something you did yourself and for yourself?

We seem to think that our happiness will suddenly occur after other people send a smile our way, after they give us their time, after they acknowledge how special we are, after we receive whatever it is we deem worthy of our greatness to receive. Our happiness is always a slave to other people’s graciousness and decisions: Happily Ever After after we get what we want from others and not a moment sooner! We base how fully we live our lives on things we cannot control and we can’t control how people treat us. We can’t control their level of kindness towards us. We can only control ourselves.

What if we stared being randomly kind to ourselves first? 

My little moisturizer-on-moisturizer action isn’t really anything life-shattering, I know. Who cares, though? It’s my little bubble of self-love and it made my morning a nuance brighter. To one-up that, I’ll do other things to make sure my life is full of love: eat healthy, work out, meditate, work hard, play harder and LIVE.

Loving myself means loving others and with full-force. Accepting myself fully means accepting others in equal measure. I cannot close myself away from myself and invite others in at the same time.

Self-love and kindness aren’t selfish. They’re necessary. They make our world of beauty …well … beautiful.

 

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. (Og Mandino)

I am currently working for and with a colorful sum of people, as freelancers tend to do. Communication is key- with any kind of relationship. I’ve learned early on that my way of living fits best with encouraging, giving back and paying it forward. In short: being kind. This goes for my personal and professional life. The easiness of the latter was shown to me by a dear friend I used to work summer camps for children with. She led with her ears and heart and she made you believe you mattered. She is still one of the people I look up to most, both professionally and personally.

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Photo by reneebigelow at source.

I have a sensitive heart and hearing others be mean to each other sends my anxiety levels up, up and up. I’ve heard quite a lot of that recently at one of the offices I have business meetings in. The atmosphere was a little toxic, people were taking jabs at each other and I wanted to crawl up in a corner and create the tiniest ball of myself. Why is it so hard to find a speck of change of tone, grab some patience of the dusty shelf and use it once in a blue moon?  That particular office would benefit from it and so would the planet.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. (Aesop)

I am also lucky enough to meet a lot of wonderful new people, start personal and business relationships with them and continue to work with those I’ve had for years. I know form personal experience that all relationships, both personal and professional, work a lot better if the underlying tone is one of kindness. In practice, this simply means that you write an actual “Hello!” at the beginning of an email instead of barking orders online and off, wishing them a lovely day and listening to them when they speak.

This also means smiling at a random stranger, wishing the sales lady a nice day or helping someone find their way through the streets.

You get so much and loose absolutely nothing. 

People seem to think that kindness is expensive somehow. Sure, your path will cross with an occasional asshole on a vendetta against life itself and life doesn’t always serve unicorns shitting rainbows all over our days. But those are the situations where kindness matters most. They are situations were you grow from keeping yourself away from the toxicity and venomous vapors. Little, random acts of kindness help you grow, make you want to do more and be more.

Kindness is not the hard path. It’s the easy one.

It was awkward at first: wishing someone a kick-ass day, giving someone an extra big hug, telling people around me how proud I am of them, encouraging people, helping random strangers, wanting to help expand other people’s businesses and going the extra mile to do so and so much more. Now it’s necessary. I need all that because it makes me smile. I see the difference kindness brings to people around me: there’s a switch that turns on and a light that wasn’t there before shines through. The walls start to slowly come down and the wonderful colors of kind personalities emerge. It’s a sight to see.

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Photo by reneebigelow at source.

Kindness brings forth kindness.

I have never regretted being kind to anyone, ever. I have, on the other hand, deeply regretted being mean to people. I’m not a saint and I have plenty of far from gracious moments. Those moments are never said or done because of malicious intent. I am, alas, only human.

If you take the time to think about how you feel after delivering a really low stab at someone you fully deem deserving, you’ll most probably see that is usually comes with an aura of crappy emotions and lumpy throats. We rarely feel good after bad situations: either on the receiving or giving end.

Have you ever, on the other hand,  felt excited about a particularly well-planned birthday present for someone? It makes us happy just thinking about how happy the recipient will be and we can’t wait to see the joy we’ll be bringing into their day.

That’s the difference. Negativity brings negativity and the same goes for all things deemed wonderful. It’s not rocket science, but it has the capacity to save the world.

It’s as easy as that.

 

Freedom Within the Form

 “Why they always look so serious in Yoga? You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. Practice tonight at hotel. Not to hurry, not to try too hard. Too serious, you make you sick. You can calling the good energy with a smile.”
Elizabeth Gilbert (From Ketut Liyer, the Balinese healer)

Do you believe in horoscopes?

I’m not sure myself, but I do know that I’m the very definition of a Gemini. Meaning: my mood swings are giving me whiplash!

I like to keep things in their place: nice and neat. My life is very organised and when I don’t have all the strings tied up the way I want to, I find I am a wee bit lost.

Then there’s this other part of me that likes to play: just let things be as they may and see what happens.

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I struggled with these polar-opposites of being very strict with myself and being a total freedom lover for quite some time, because I felt like I didn’t know who I was. I was really confused.

Then I started doing yoga a few years ago.

With yoga, it’s all about balance: finding places to lift and places to ground down. This goes for both the physical, but also for the mental and spiritual.

Some people take yoga just as a great workout, and it is, of course. For many of us it’s also a way of life. Yoga has given me an opportunity to find freedom within the form. The hour a day I spend on the mat, gives me an hour I spent on myself: I feel better physically, but also strong mentally. The more yoga I do, the more balance I find. I can do more, but I do it not because I have had to count out the repetitions, but because I choose to listen to the metronome of my breath.  I do the poses, but I take the liberty to play around within them. I try to take it all into my day-to-day.

I’m still a complete control freak. I love being organised. I like to keep things in their place.

But I also like to splash in puddles in my pink salamander wellies, love to laugh and make huge messes all around.

It’s who I am. And it’s more than okay.

 

 

 

Gripping a Wall on a Slippery Street

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

Nido Qubein

 

Yesterday was a completely normal day: did yoga, worked, had a meeting, went for a drink with a friend: I had a perfectly nice time, but I started to feel weird while talking to him.

Really weird. We were talking and my brain felt fuzzy somehow, I started loosing words, I was really nervous, my chest started constricting just a bit and my heart felt like it started to miss a beat or two. I ignored it. I guessed I have plenty enough reasons to feel stressed or nervous, so I chose not to explore it or mention it.

We said goodbye and I went for a walk through the city.

The feeling of being constricted came back. Full force. My breath evaporated, my chest felt like it’s being squeezed and my vision became foggy. I knew from experience that what I was facing in that cold and poorly lit street was a panic attack. I grasped a wall and tried to make my body see sense. It was dark, I was alone and the streets were wet and slippery. That wall was all I had. 

For those of you dealing with panic attacks, you know your brain knows that what you’re facing isn’t really physical. You also know that it is extremely physical. The pain is very real. The shortness of breath doesn’t just go away and the tightness is the one painful thing letting you know you’re alive, but just barely.

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Photo by profivideos at source.

 Yet you’ve probably learned to live with it (or you’re still learning) and you try to help your body calm down. Breathe slowly. Breathe slowly. You can breathe slowly. Breathe in. Now out. Slow down. It’s O.K. Over and over again.

Those forced thoughts are mixed with those of extreme fear which come without invitation and you actually feel like you know you’re dead. But you have to make yourself breathe.

So I did. I managed to get up and calm down enough to start walking again. Walking helps me, no matter what I’m dealing with. I walked it off.

I went home and to bed.

The aftermath of a panic attack for me is usually a pretty bad headache, so I knew sleep was out of the question. I put some music on and tried to relax. I read, stared into the darkness and waited for morning to come.

And then it hit me again. 

I calmed down.

And again. 

At that point I though I’d have to get help. My body was completely and utterly spent. My head was pounding and I felt like I’ll never be able to get up again. But I calmed down again. That’s how I greeted the morning today.

I had to get up: I have to work to do and an ill father, two dogs and a family to look after. I have no time for this.

Failing to be strong is not an option. 

Panic attacks are still considered to ail those with “weak characters” or those who are simply “too damn sensitive”. For those with first-world-problems.

Well, tough luck. People with panic attacks aren’t weak in any shape or form. I’m still here. I’m working, functioning and living. Yes, I’d love nothing more than to put on my bear onesie, climb into bed, cry and watch Netflix. But I refuse to let it get to me, because I’ve done that in the past and it almost killed me.

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Photo by hansbenn at source.

This thing that happens to me from time to time is just a way of my brain telling my body that something isn’t right. That does not make us weak. It’s just a way of dealing with stress, emotions or hardship.

I know there are plenty of people suffering from panic attacks or anxiety, but they’re somehow afraid to tell anyone. They seem to agree with the opinion that having panic attacks somehow makes you weak and a target for those seemingly stronger to push you aside as someone not even worth considering.

Don’t let that be your life.

I’ve learned to be proud of all of those fall-to-the-knees moments. I’m the one that’s had to survive the gut-wrenching aftermaths of my unbalance and I won’t let anyone pity me or see me as weak. That’s simply not who I am.

I am strong.

 

 

 

Social Media Slavery

We live in an age where there is a firehose of information, and there is no hierarchy of what is important and what is not. Where the truth is often fashioned through a variety of digital means. Are you your avatar? Who are you in social media? What face do you turn toward the world? How much does it have in common with who you actually are?

(David Carr)

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Photo by jaychoi2770 at source.

Most of us take great care to protect the image of ourselves. We only show the good, crazy and epic parts of our lives. We show the glamorous side and we want people to know how great we’re doing. We’re all connected and the world is getting smaller by the minute and other peoples’ happiness becomes a burden and a source of anxiety, because: When’s my life gonna be this great?

It’s all void and fake.

There isn’t a single person on this planet with a perfect life. Everyone has regrets. We all have fears. We all have bad days. Our lives aren’t set up perfectly and we don’t have actual filters on our faces to make it out like our lives are wrinkle-free (even the best make-up fades away). It just doesn’t work that way. Please, don’t let yourself be discouraged by other peoples’ seemingly perfect lives. This unsubstantial perfection has no real link to reality. 

We’ve created a tangled mess of having everything on one hand and making slaves of ourselves at the same time on the other. We do so willingly and happily. We tend to overlook everything else and only see the numbers on our social media platforms. Slaves had to and have to have their heads cast down in oppression and in fear of punishment. We cast them down at our devices. We do it willingly and happily. They had to and have to go through life not being free to speak, do and be. We do so willingly and happily. We stop ourselves from saying things we think other might not like, we shelter our true feelings and nature in the same way. We’re self-serving slaves of ourselves, our devices and the illusion social media brings. We see each other as competition and are far from happy for others when they share the success they’ve had.

Social media is not at fault, though. We, as individuals, are.

Social media can be an excellent means to connect, entertain, educate and inform. It is a tool with great power to use for a greater good. We make it into what it is. 

Don’t let it be a source of frustration for your life. Share what you think others might find interesting, share your values and share stuff that you think someone might use or might benefit from. The word “social” is the opposite of “self-centered”. Try to find the positive in what others post, lift them up with encouragements and if you think your life isn’t worthy of a single post (even though I don’t think that’s really true), try to find inspiration in others. Try to find the light in what you see. 

You are the person to choose how you see the world around you and you’re the one in charge of what people see of you.

 

Social media is an amazing tool, but it’s really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.

(Felicia Day)

 

 

 

 

Savior in a World of Too Much

Most of us have so much, but appreciate so little.

One day, things we’re going as usual and the next, life as I knew it ended. My plans ran out alongside with my freedom and they took a Geronimo-style leap off a cliff and I found myself gasping for air in panic attacks that seemed to get worse by the day. My spine felt like it would snap from the tension and my head was void of all music that is vital for my life.

I started counting on days being really bad from now on. I started counting on not being able to sleep any day soon. I stared counting on being sleep-deprived and miserable form now on.

But.

Gratitude saves me.

You think it can’t get worse. You’ve reached the end of your rope and you have nowhere to go. Then, just when you think there are no blows to be dealt, you get a kidney shot that makes you collapse to the floor. It cant’t be worse, can it? Sure it can. It can always get worse. Someone will surely want to kick you when you’re down- no problem finding some of those.

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Photo by JayJayCookPro at source.

 

But it can also get better. As long as there is life in you, you can pick yourself up.

Gratitude will save you.

I believe that if you actively seek out the good in life, you will find it. It’s your job to now hold on to it and then tomorrow, find something else and hold on to your ever-growing list.

One of the problems I see with people around me in their search for happiness is the lack of gratitude for all the “little” things. I put the world little in quotes, because they’re actually quite huge. We take things like water, food and fresh air for granted. And those are just the stereotypical basics. They’re not just there because you deserve them and are entitled. You were just lucky enough to be blessed with them. And if they’re here now, doesn’t mean they’ll be here tomorrow.

I cannot even begin to explain how active gratitude saves me and how much peace it brings me.

I went for a walk with the dogs today and it was cold as hell, but the sun was shining. I stood there, in the middle of nothing, looking at the shadow my body left on the floor, felt the winter sun on my back and smiled at all the little specks of glitter the sun left on the seemingly dead surface. I wanted to somehow erase my shadow so every little snow particle could sparkle away in the too-quick-to-fade winter sun. It was beautiful. I was grateful for the moment, away from the hardships and the workload. I simply was.

I took that gratitude with me through the rest of the day. I said thanks for the food I ate, the water I drank, for the warm house I was able to go back into. For so many other things.

I started the day with a crappy attitude and a bad headache. I’m ending it tired, sure, but also just a little more optimistic and with a more positive outlook on life.

Some say this is some random hippie mentality and that I’m probably on drugs, but I don’t care. Don’t judge something until you’ve given it enough heart to try. I’d much rather be called a hippie and see the world for all the good it has to offer than live my life in perpetual shadow and only see the misery. I cannot take negativity if I can have happiness.

Life’s too short and you don’t know when you might run out of things, experiences and people to be grateful for.

Sure, I’m still heart-broken and I can’t sleep through most of the nights. I’m tired and afraid. I’m terrified of the future. But I have my moments of peace, where my mind is full of nothing, but the time and place at hand and my heart finds an appreciative smile: I have so much to be grateful for.

 

 

 

 

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