Tag Archives: #compassion

What We All Want

I was standing in my kitchen, sipping on a fresh cup of coffee, when I glanced outside my kitchen window.  I saw my two granddaughters outside laughing and swinging.  I smiled and went outside to have a closer look.  The lawn had been recently mowed and looking fresh.  However, I couldn’t help but notice the dog had recently done his business!  So I got the doggy doodie tools and went to pick it up.  I noticed a couple of others.  I just wanted my grandkids to play in safety without slipping or falling in dog poop!   Just wanted them to have a grand time and not worry about getting poop on their shoes.  I wanted their play experience to be pleasant, even though there’s the occasional fall or cry when someone’s feelings get hurt.  I am well aware of the little trauma moments that children can experience.

As I went around the yard, making sure it was clean, I thought about the recent fear of my granddaughter going to school.  I worry that she could be caught in the crossfire of someone’s shooting spree.  I thought, what has this world come to?  What are we doing to our kids?  Why is everyone so sad, angry and stressed out?

Learning is supposed to be fun!  I remember teaching my kids to use a crayon because it was fun to color a picture.  I remember teaching them to hold a rattle in their hands so they could hear the funny sound.  I remember giving them different toys to see what they would do with it.  Yes, naturally they progressed but still the best learning atmosphere is one of fun, lightness and curiosity.  These children nowadays aren’t having fun!  They are worried for their lives.  They are worried about stresses that they should never ever have to experience.  Let’s not forget adults also work in toxic, stressful and competitive work environments.

Why have we forgotten the meaning of life?  Why have we forgotten to have fun?   Why have we forgotten to laugh at the silly worries of life?   Life can be serious, but the seriousness should not permeate our hearts and souls.  We should be able to relax, knowing that we are safe from harm.  We’re safe from bullying, and we’re safe to be ourselves.  We’re not under judgment, condemnation or an unfair grading system.

The goal in school is not to produce human working machines, but happy and confident young adults who can stand on their own two feet, make tough decisions, and create a life of meaning for themselves.    In order to do this, we must change the environment of our schools, homes, work, and institutions.  It’s not enough to recognize when someone is having a problem, it’s important to intentionally raise our children to be sensitive, mindful, compassionate, and caring human beings, not in competition with one another.    The quality of our lives depends on it.  We all want to live happy lives.  We all want to live in safety and security, but not at the expense of another!  Remember to love one another.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  It is very simple.

We can do so much better.  We can create the life we want for our children, and future generations.  It starts now with consciously choosing to be the difference, to be the peace, to be the love and compassion we all need right now.   It starts by living from the heart.  The heart knows the way.   Let your heart direct your thoughts and actions to love one another.   Just be love.

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Love for Every day

A lot people wait until they’re death bed to finally forgive and let go.   They wait until they’ve been given their last few months and go out to make amends with people, get their affairs in order, tell everyone who is important to them how much they love them.    I wonder what would I do if I was told that it was my last year, my last month, my last hour, or last minutes.  What would I do?  I’ve lived sort of a full life.  I don’t exactly recall anyone I need to go and forgive or someone to go love.  I have strived to live every day as if it were my last one.

So I’m going to ask you, what are you waiting for?  What did you always want to go do?  Who do you need to call?  Who do you want to reconcile with?  What was that argument you had which ripped your relationships apart?  Could you do it?  Is it important to you?  Do you absolutely love your life and the people who are in it?   Is there someone to invite over?

This is not a fearmongering or doomsday type message.  It’s simply your wake up call.  It’s your permission to go and do what is meaningful and important to you (so long as it doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s right to pursue love, liberty and happiness.)   I’m serious here!  It’s okay to call someone I hurt and say, “ I’m sorry for my actions or inaction.”  It’s really okay to take personal responsibility.  It’s okay to say, “Can we start over?  Can we try again?”  It’s okay to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me!”  It’s okay to say, “I forgive you, I love you, whatever it was doesn’t matter right now today!”   It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry for the words I spoke.  I’m sorry I judged you.  I’m sorry I let trivial things get in the way.”

See how easy it is?  See how easy it is to love your self and then love others?  See how simple the process could be?  Maybe the other person won’t be ready to forgive or move on, but that’s a reflection of them, and not on you.  We can all stop with the guilt and shaming of ourselves and others in the name of being right or whatever you want to call it.  I’m telling you, my dear, when the final curtain drops and the lights go out, some things in this life just won’t matter.  What are you making a big deal of right now that won’t matter when this life is done?  Go ahead and fix it now.  Fix it for love’s sake.  Fix it for compassion sake.  Fix it because you really want to.  Fix it because you are ready to move on to other things.  Fix it for no reason, but because you can!

Love is always ready to love again.  Love is always ready to forgive.  Love is compassion.  Love is forgiving.  Love is getting up and trying again.  Love patiently waits and willingly forgives.  Go ahead and give out that compassion, forgiveness and love like candy!  Just pass it out and give it away to those who matter to you.  Give it to the brokenhearted and those in need.  Give it freely from your heart.  Love is always standing by to love some more.  Love is the answer.  Love yourself.  Love your life.  Love is the most important thing.   In the end, only love remains.

The Good Years Outnumber The Bad Years

Many years ago, a good friend told me, “Sophia, someday, your good years are going to outnumber the bad years.” I had no idea what it would look like but I looked forward to the day. The measure for me was that the first 18 years of my life were hell, so I figured after I turned 36, they would start to get better. However, by then, I had full blown major depression and PTSD, and there didn’t seem to be any end in sight. It took me many more years of healing before I finally saw the good years outnumber the bad ones. Sometimes I lost hope, and I forgot about what she said. I just didn’t even want to try anymore. I’d give up, but then a spark of hope would get me going again.

During those years of trying to overcome my past, I had no idea what I was reaching for. I thought maybe I just didn’t want to be depressed. I didn’t know what true happiness looked like. I thought maybe I didn’t want PTSD but I didn’t know what exactly was the alternative? When you have been living with a condition for a long time, it can easily seem like it’s been this way since forever and it’s never going to end. Time doesn’t really heal all wounds, but after a while, our perspectives do change, for better or worse. No one really knows what another person is going through unless they’ve been exactly in the same place and feel the exact same way. We all do have pain and suffering in common but everyone deals with their issues from their points of view, their own life experiences, and sometimes other people just cannot go there with us.

This is why it’s important to let love, compassion, and patience be your guide with loved ones if they’re going through something that you don’t understand, or you think they should be able to snap out of it. It took me decades to reach the other side or to finally get to the point where my good years did in fact outnumber the bad years. Have a little faith and trust in the process. Eventually, I did heal from my past, the depression, and PTSD, too.  For years, I took different psychotropics to manage my illnesses.  I no longer take any medications except one for an underactive thyroid.

Sometimes you’ll have a bad moment, but don’t think it’s going to last.  Or it could be a bad week, month, year, or even a decade or two.   Life really does change.  People do change.  Don’t ever give up. Keep hope alive.   Love yourself!

Looking Within

It’s not always easy to look within. Sometimes I would rather not see or know what is hidden deep within, but I have a natural introspective and curiosity bent. A few years ago, I began a regular meditation practice because I wanted relief from anxiety and peace of mind. I got a whole lot more! I realized the areas of my life where I was faltering, I saw where I could improve but most importantly I learned acceptance. Prior to this, I was just angry, depressed, and confused. I blamed my parents for my f**ked up life. I blamed the cards I had been dealt. I blamed the people who had hurt me. I blamed everyone for the direction of my life and could not see a way out the darkness and confusion. I had no idea that I held the key to my own happiness. I didn’t know I could choose my own destiny. I thought I would just spend the rest of my life coping, struggling and surviving rather than thriving and living life to the fullest by my own will.

I realize not everyone is willing to look within. If I looked at just the external circumstances of my life, everything looked rather bleak. I was just a bad person with bad karma, and nobody loved me or cared about me. Yet, taking a peek on the inside of me, seeing that my heart hurt, yet had a lot of love to give was a bit of a shock. I could hardly believe that inside of me was a wounded little girl in need of love, acceptance, and compassion. This was a good starting point for me to turn my life around. It was a nice starting point to see where things had gone wrong or I had come to believe I was unlovable, unworthy, and dejected. It was an excellent place to begin to love myself. The more I loved and accepted that little girl, the more my love expanded to all of me, and the more I began to heal all the broken places within.

I’m very thankful I had the courage to look within. From outward appearances, I thought I would see just a dark and lifeless soul, but instead I met the loving, peaceful, and radiant woman I’ve become today. I had to go deep within to bring her out though. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a beautiful gift to give to yourself, the gift of your true self. Look within, you’ll see the light that’s been hidden, you’ll find the true person under neath to accept, love and embrace. This is the person before you were wounded, the one before you were given a label, before you put on the masks, the one before you were told who you are supposed to be or how to look, your true essence of self. I always love and accept myself now.

Being Sensitive

Years ago, I went to see a psychiatrist because the dentist required it. I wasn’t taking psychotropics but I had honestly answered on the dentists questionnaire that I had been a psychiatric patient in the past. This sent red flags to them! I had to find a psychiatrist to see me to get clearance because my mouth was in pain and needed some dental work. I had to wait a couple of weeks since not many psychiatrists have immediate openings. Yes, I was angry but I was patient and understanding.

So there I was sitting across from the psychiatrist. I told her my story of all the medications I took in the past, the diagnoses I had, and how I was healed and no longer needing the medications. I told her I just needed a note to clear me for the dentist. Her comment to me was that I had many facial expressions! She said I was a bit animated. I was a bit puzzled by it. Was it a good thing?? I remember being on medication though, and being very much like a zombie! She said I didn’t look like I needed medications. She asked me if I felt like I needed them, and I told her I did not. She concurred and gave me the Doctor’s note.
Looking back on that moment, of being told I was animated or had many facial expressions makes me laugh out loud. Hehe. I’ve never actually had a poker face. For a long time, I did look very sad, angry and depressed. I remember a friend told me, “if looks could kill”. She said until she got to know me as the sweet wonderful woman that I am, she didn’t know because of my face!
This brings me to the topic of being sensitive. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. When I’m sad, I cry. When I am angry, I look angry, I might raise my voice or pout a bit. I have trouble expressing anger though. When I’m happy, you can just tell I’ve got a glow, smile and laugh. I have so many feelings and emotions which for a long time I hid from them. The medication numbed them which made it very easy to not have to deal with life. However, the fact of matter is that you must feel to heal. Let me repeat that, you must feel to heal!\

I now have a wide range of emotions which I allow myself to feel. I do not hide my tears. I cry easily. I see something sad, I cry. Sometimes, I cry out of joy and happiness! You really have to ask me sometimes if you’re not sure! But sensitive people will grieve for a very long time. A heart break, a sharp word, criticism, condemnation or anything will bring on sad tears.
For a very long time in my life, I didn’t know what was going on. I had so much love and compassion in my heart and these intense feelings. I thought I was going crazy. Or I’d see an injustice and I would get sad and mad, and would want to do something about it, but my voice, I had no voice. I was scared more than anything. How do I explain being sensitive without sounding crazy?
Many people are very sensitive and the people around them are not aware of it. They don’t understand that a gentle correction is more efficient and powerful than yelling, screaming and hollering. Yet, even the sensitive person may not understand what’s happening for them because it seems so out of the ordinary. People tell you to suck it up, grow some skin, or get a back bone. You feel like a little child inside and then people treat you like one as if something is wrong with you, but there isn’t!
There is nothing wrong with being sensitive. There is nothing wrong with seeing something sad and having compassion and feeling deeply about it. This is not a reason for a padded room, medication or shock treatment. It’s a very delicate situation that requires understanding, patience, lots of love and compassion. Yes, sometimes someone might need psychiatric or professional help when it gets bigger than one can manage. However, I suspect sometimes it gets big because we’re told to shut it down, to show no tears, no fear, nothing! Don’t let them see you “weak”.
I feel like it is a grave disservice to people who feel things deeply to be treated as if they’re crazy. Sensitive people don’t have thick skin. It’s not easy to just move on.  Crying is a sign of strength! It’s pure strength to feel so deeply and yet to get up everyday and face the world of people who have put on thick skin or wear masks to face the day. Tears are releasing of all the pain, frustration or sadness. A good cry is a healing balm for the soul. Holding them in is actually does more harm than good and builds up toxic feelings inside. Next thing you know there’s an explosion of feelings or maybe the person can seem to have gone postal or sometimes shut down everything; Or privately cry inside and unable to share the pain with anyone.
The world right now is need of gentler and sensitive people. Sensitive people do not need to adapt, it’s the world who needs to adjust how they treat one another or someone who’s just having an off day. There are times when I stop to think about my life, my direction, what I’m doing and whether it is meaning to me, whether it’s really my passion and lines up with my core beliefs. I really do stop, meditate, ponder and contemplate the state of my life and the world because love, compassion and peace starts with me. When you see me, however I present myself to the world, know that this is me! It’s really me! I’m not wearing a mask and not hiding from my feelings. It’s me and I’m a sensitive soul.

Everybody’s Crazy

Many years ago, I was very depressed and taking numerous medications for my condition. It was complicated by personality disorders and PTSD. One time, my sister called me around my birthday and asked me what I wanted. I told her, “what I want, you can’t buy.” She asked, “what is it?” I told her I wanted a right mind. She said to me, “Oh, Sophie, everybody’s crazy!” I quietly cried feeling very misunderstood. She didn’t know how bad I was feeling. She didn’t know I just wanted to die. About 20 years later, I finally understood what she meant! This is about how long it took for me to get myself together, too, in order to start making changes in my life so I could heal. I started to realize everyone was crazy so I wondered, What the hell am I trippin’ on???

There is a difference between someone who is going through a chemical imbalance of some sort and the normal everyday crazy.  However, many people don’t understand this. They don’t understand a person who feels they are not in their right mind feels crazy, out of control, like something has taken over, as if they are lost without a body, just wandering around like a lost soul. So many people throw around phrases like, “that’s so crazy” without understanding how it effects people who think they might be crazy. I used to just go “crazy” when people used phrases like, “that’s so schizophrenic” or would cavalierly call something crazy. It would embroil me and get me all worked up. I try not to use the word “hate” ever because it’s a serious word and I hardly truly hate anything or anyone, but I do hate the “crazy” word. Although, sometimes, I’m known to sing, “boom boom, ain’t it great to be crazy!”

Once I woke up to the reality of everyone’s general craziness, it wasn’t so bad. I could relax and not try so hard to be “normal” whatever the hell is normal! Lol. Relaxing, I’m able to be a bit more objective, understanding and compassionate towards myself instead of constantly striving to be something or someone else to fit in.

Today, many people strive to be themselves, start their own trends, wear whatever colors they want, do what they want, without checking to see if it’s the current fad or craze, nor seeking anyone’s approval. Everyone is not striving to fit into some category or box. There is a bit of chaos and craziness involved! However, in my mind, trying to look like others or fit in, is a bit of craziness, too! There’s just no other explanation. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be outspoken or quiet. It’s okay to be upbeat or sad. There’s nothing wrong with being human! There’s nothing wrong with feeling your emotions deeply. There’s nothing wrong with not feeling your emotions. Why must we constantly look at someone and judge whether or not they are behaving normally? Normal simply doesn’t exist. I realize there may be some signs that someone’s life is off balance and maybe they need assistance with it, or not.

What I know is that many people suffer in silence out of shame or guilt. They don’t want to be pointed out, don’t want to be judged, don’t want to be called, “crazy” or “insane” so they keep their own opinions and preferences to themselves. I know I did. Starting from when I was little, someone would ask me what I want, I’d say, “I don’t care.” I was afraid to make a choice or to state my preference for many reasons, but that was my general answer. Mainly because I had seen others teased for liking something different. I’d seen people ridiculed, laughed at or picked on for wearing different clothes, liking other music, choosing other foods, etc…

Nowadays, the “c” word doesn’t bother me so much, but back when I was struggling with my mental illness, it was very disheartening. People who are different are not crazy. People with different perceptions of reality are not crazy. People who choose to live their lives on their own terms are not crazy. People who dance to the beat of their own drum, even if you can’t hear the drum beat, are not crazy. People who are sensitive, delicate, or don’t fit into a boxed category are not crazy. People with a mental illness are not crazy. Oh, yet, everybody’s crazy!

Beauty of Hindsight

I don’t know how many times I have wondered, “Why did this happen to me?” I don’t know how many times I wondered why I was let go or dismissed. I thought I had done everything right and followed all the rules. I put my best foot forward, I was nice, polite, and “something else”! Yet things didn’t go as planned! What I’ve learned is many people learn their lessons in hindsight. After all, if I’d known a relationship wouldn’t pan out, maybe I never would have started it. If I had known the job wasn’t a good fit, I wouldn’t have tried it and left. Perhaps it was meant to go that way to teach me a lesson! Not many of us have the right perceptions in order to avoid seemingly “disastrous outcomes.” Yet, I believe all of these experiences are life lessons.

However, it usually takes a long time to learn the lesson when I’m resisting it. Like many years ago, I was very depressed and hurt at the way my life was going and the relationships not working out. I wondered what I had done wrong. I didn’t feel like I had done anything wrong. The more I pondered it, the more I wanted an answer, the more I stewed and couldn’t let it go. This is where the danger of falling into depression and being unable to cope comes in. Yes there were many other factors, but at the time I didn’t know how to just let go. I didn’t have the life skills, yet this exact situation was teaching them to me! Resisting, and insisting on answers caused me to lose the lesson until many years after I had finally moved on, and one day I had an “aha” moment of revelation!

I often ask myself now, when things seem to be going awry, “what is this situation trying to teach me?” Sometimes, it’s apparent and other times I need to wait. When I’m stuck in the middle of something, it’s hard to see where it’s going, and what I’m being taught. I’ve learned to be patient, compassionate, forgiving, and loving with myself so that I can continue to function and breathe without spiraling down. This in turn empowers me to give others patience, compassion, forgiveness, love and grace when they’re going through their own struggles. Once I figured out that I learn things in hindsight, I was able to love, forgive and move on.

Resistance slows the process! I had to learn to go with the flow! It takes patience, wisdom and trust in yourself, that you’re going to okay.  As I look back on my life, I see I have overcome so much, and I’m grateful for the beauty of hindsight!