Fear, My Greatest Nemesis

Scared child

Scared child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I felt the tears well up in my eyes before I typed one word. I’m not shocked, I know myself, most of the time. I was given the gift of an unexpected compliment and I broke out into a wide grin.  I wear my heart not only on my sleeve but like a red neon sign on a black night in Broadway, flashing, off and on, non-stop.

Fear is my biggest nemesis. Fear has held me back from so MANY things too many to list. But, I know It has shaped my life. I lied for fear, I changed plans, directions, walked away because of fear, stayed home because of fear. I only hid fear for my children, my gift to them.I didn’t want them to have the same life I had. I’m proud to say they are fearless. An Academy Award please. Thank you. Now, it’s time for me to work on me but it is a little more complex.

Those of us who are called “Empath Intuitives” are sensitive, very sensitive people. Sensitive to others’ emotions but also sensitive in the world we live in. It can be more of a burden than a blessing. You need to grow into it, I’ve learned. As noted earlier, a word of kindness from a stranger means so much to someone like me, it happens so rarely, but when it does you feel it all the more.

My soul sniffs out secrets that I don’t want to know but I feel them like chips of ice starting at the base of my neck and roller-skating slowly down the middle of my spine. They cannot be undone. It will be very hurtful but it will be truthful. I feel much more pain than pleasure in this sad world. Does everybody? Or does it become level at a certain age? I’d say over 50-55 your view on luck starts to change in a downward spiral or maybe the rough patches are more consistent, last so much longer and connect.

I feel someone’s pain before they know it themselves, I can’t read their minds but I can sense what is on them, what they are feeling. I’ve had this quality since I was a child. In many ways, when I was young it only served to hurt me. My family always told me that everything was my fault because “I was too sensitive.” It took many years to figure out that I wasn’t too sensitive but they were not sensitive enough. We just didn’t see things from the same lens.

I believe the answer to fear is to do what you are fearful of. What other way is there? Stare it in the face, you are the boss, not fear. I’m totally guessing here. You control it, don’t let it control you and whatever you do, don’t stop. Face fear and do it and do it until you are not fearful. Is that the only way to go? I’m assuming. Feel free to live other suggestions.

Fear, change, sensitivity, joy, kindness: we are who we are.

Be kind to one another. Take a minute to try to understand not judge.

Celebrate that.

 

 

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Kindness: The New Normal

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Equating kindness with money is a complete misconception.You don’t need to make a grand gesture to be kind to someone. You don’t have to pay their entire bill at a restaurant when you don’t have enough money. It doesn’t mean writing a large check to a charity, you can send only what you can afford. It can cost nothing but a conscious thought.   These days I try to be CONSCIOUS of my actions and interactions during the day. I try to think before I speak, I try to think before I think and no, that’s not a typo.

My intentions are good, they come from a good place inside me. However,  their impact may not always shine through. That’s a problem that I need to work on. I may be perfectly happy and walk down the street with a frown, thinking about money problems or something unsettling. The fact that I’m frowning gives off bad vibes to other people, so I am trying to change that before I start. I really have practiced grinning when I find my muscles tighten, it actually works and it does pull me out of whatever (foul) mood I am in. It’s contagious too. I try to say hello to everyone, not everyone answers back but that’s fine, some reply, some smile, some ignore, most people react in a wonderful way. It’s a small thing but it is a kind thing to do. There’s too little of that in this world.

The holidays are rough for me and for many others. Many people don’t know that or understand that, most people don’t talk about it. I’ve never been shy to talk about my emotions. I get in trouble for that sometimes but I’m too old to care. The only gift of getting older is  wisdom. If your heart is in the right place, if you are being kind and gracious that’s all that truly matters. You are not frozen in terror like you used to be when you were younger when you kept asking and re-asking yourself if you did the right thing. You do the very best you can with pure intentions and an open heart.

Examples of things to do with NO money involved:

Hold the door open for someone.

Let them get ahead of you in line at the grocery store.

Pay for your cup of coffee and tell the server you want to pay for the next person too.

Smile and say hello to the next 5 people you meet.

If you know a family is struggling, why not ask how you can help them? Or, just help them.

Free babysitting.

The list can go on and on, it’s just that in our busy lives we sometimes forget to think about others and that’s normal. So, today, why don’t you put two or three minutes aside and see how you can make the world a nicer place, a kinder place. It costs you nothing and you get back in return, everything. Let’s make kindness the new normal. Thanks!

It Matters (Carry On Tuesday – After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day)

Shandi-lee X {pieces I}

Image by Shandi-lee via Flickr

After three days of cold, grim weather and not wanting to get out of the comfort of my bed, today I saw the first suggestion of sunshine, still hidden behind the trees. It was a hint, a mere lighting of the sky but it gave me hope. I stood by the window unclothed until I saw lines from the white venetian blinds stripe my body as if I was a lioness; I threw back my head and laughed with delight. I marched straight for the shower, feeling empowered just by the light of day, not held captive anymore by the banal, grey, humorless me.

I dressed quickly, as if I had a purpose, and rounded my dog up, leashed her and took her outside for a walk. “Come, girl,” I said, “I know, it’s a surprise for me too.” She chose the route and I breathed in deeply for that first attack of the fresh, cold, crisp air, like the first bite of a fall Macintosh apple. We passed a tree that had small, round inedible, red berries on it and I stood there for a few moments looking at them through different angles of my cold hands through the frail winter branches against an intensely rich blue sky.

I thought of what I had been through the last year and the first thought that entered my mind was that “it matters.” People don’t truly understand that when you promise something, and you give people your word, they believe you. They may never bring it up to you again,  but, they do remember. It’s not some hazy questionable memory either, it’s with alarming clarity. “You must come for dinner” people told us when we had no place to live but a single hotel room, “I will call you this week” they said soothingly as I sobbed on the phone, feeling utterly helpless, my husband just having had surgery, believing them.  They never called, they never came through on their empty promises or the promises they made at the time, apparently off the cuff. Next time, busy people, try to think it through because for people who feel homeless or displaced, we cling to the thought of an offer of a home-cooked meal, an offer from your heart when we feel we have nothing left.

“We’ll miss you, we love you” said the young replacement friends in the temporary home and of course, I am too gullible. I am too sensitive and too thoughtful and I take things too seriously. I believe people and even at my old age, I still have not learned that most people, the majority of people say things that they do not mean. Even one of my best friends knew I was in trouble and yet she did what most people would do and pushed me off into a corner until she had more time on her hands. I know my standards are high, too high, but I could not do that and sleep well at night; actually I could not sleep at all. Even when I was crying out for help albeit weakly, people acknowledged it and said “after all, tomorrow is another day” and turned their heads away.

Be careful of your words, be careful of your intentions, be kind to one another. Don’t offer things unless it is with a true heart  especially if they are vulnerable and lost unless you KNOW you can carry through. We have all felt lonely and sad and desperate one time or another. Remember that feeling when you see someone suffering like a child gripping her mother’s hand in fear. Remember too, that it could be you someday, that it could be you.