This is another of the New Age-isms that I take issue with. I am all for opening up our children and filling them with light and possibilities but I also believe in teaching them discernment and truth.
I grew up in a world where little girls, especially, were raised to be “nice.” Reduced to expectations, that meant that having an idea, opinion, feeling, or need that was not the same as other people’s – made you bad, needy and selfish. You were meant to go along with the flow, to always sacrifice yourself for others, and never ever ask for anything. Your happiness lay in making others happy. Period.
The seventies had a mini revolution to guarantee women more rights, including the right to actually self-determine their own lives and not just be a host for their partner and children to suck the life out of. Well, that is what the pamphlets said.
Today we tell our children that if they will just reflect kindness and love, if they will be positive, or visualize nice things . . . they will get nice in return. We tell them that is how the world works.
But that is absolutely NOT how it works. The world is not fair. There is no balance, where in the end, everything always gets neatly tied up in Fair Wrapping Paper bought at the Justice Store. Often the mean horrible people end up getting all the breaks and living with money and power. The bullies don’t end up alone and miserable. The nice guy frequently does finish last and he is left as the only idiot being nice, being honest, loving and respecting others while everyone else takes advantage of him. They go on to amazing success with a world that claps every time they fart and the nice dude ends up living alone, in poverty, with other people’s cats that they could not be bothered with.
Who says that people do not care and that compassion does not have power to change lives. All it takes is just for each of us to do what we can where we are planted.
What really matters in our lives? What is worth our time and energy and what is just an illusion? None of these people may ever have fame or wealth. They may never be known, but they will be remembered. They will be remembered and loved for having made a difference in the lives of the people they lived amongst.
I have never seen the world as it is. I freely admit that.
I don’t ever remember any time of knowing where I did not completely understand that I was different. I have always understood that how I see things and the way I think about them, is NOT how other people do. I had two choices, to forget who I was, or not. Except it is never as simple as that. Choosing to hold on to me came at a bigger cost. It meant I would probably always be on my own at best, and at worst, I would be the one that others directed all their personal angst at. I would make myself a life-long target.
It might have been different if being me was about going quietly on my way but being me is loud and full of laughter and excitement and enthusiasm. It is compassion spilt all over everywhere and tears . . . tons and tons of tears . . . sometimes in sorrow but also in pure joy and love. I love people with loud exclamations. I fight for the people I love and I fight for those that no-one loves. I never sit down and keep my mouth shut. I see everything. And everything means something to me. I scream for people to see the elephant. I draw chalk outlines and colour it in so that everyone has to be able to see it. I call people liars when they refuse to see it.
The Pez annual Easter Egg Hunt for Children, in Connecticut had to be cancelled. It wasn’t because of “the kids these days” either. Nope, it was because of the people in charge of raising “the kids these days” – their parents.
Adults suck because they are always painting their own agendas, fears, insecurities, beliefs, etc . . . all over the innocence and fun of children. Children are capable of running and playing and having fun with all the other kids. They win, they lose, they share. When they don’t share, the natural consequences of the herd take care of that. The other kids stop wanting to play with you until you learn to share. No-one gets killed or trampled in the process, you just learn that “friends” require give and take.
This Easter, one family of grandkids arrived at our home for an Easter egg hunt. It contained an older sister and 3 very close in age, very aggressive, very male, little boys. They ranged in age from 2 – 5 and are constantly competing for all things life. As they ran back and forth on the lawn finding their eggs to put in their “baskets” there were shouts of happiness and good natured taunting. There was some impromptu racing for the egg spied across the yard in the birdbath, a little bit of shoving, but mostly laughing. In the end, all tired and sweaty, proud of their efforts, they handed over their eggs to be put into the fridge to keep them from melting. No-one cared about counting who had the most. In the end, when they came out of the fridge, the children wanted them divided between them all, regardless of who had found them. Kids are capable of a heck of a lot of decent human behaviour when the adults can just back off and not project all their own crap all over them. Continue reading →
I have recently started colouring, blaming my daughter Tina who gave me a colouring book and crayons for Christmas and unleashed the monster. Then I joined a couple of the groups on Facebook and it was kind of like baptism by a dunk in the deepest ocean . . . while holding a heavy rock .. . . . duct taped to your hands. Suddenly my life was everything colouring and the passion and intensity of people driven to colour every day, in every way, endlessly, over and over, buying and consuming all things colourful rip tided me way out into the deep beyond all rescue. My life was taken over by the raging river of nonstop posting on my Facebook. My phone sounded like it was having an epileptic attack with all the dinging to notify me of another post.
I couldn’t even see anything my friends or family posted on my feeds.
Best week of my life.
And most of the work is exceptional and beautiful beyond what you could imagine possible with a coloured pencil and those that are not quite up to that standard are just beginners who will nail it and surpass their teachers in no time.
I spent a lot of time researching, as is my way, and learning about the terms and the supplies etc. I always figure, if I suck at colouring, I can impress them with how they make those prisma coloured pencils or which paper is the best to use and why. I am never sure if people are impressed with what I have to say or just that any human being can talk that fast and for so long without breathing.
I received a phone call this morning from a young woman who asked me to check my email. She had sent me a copy of Family Law Reform Coalition press release. I was impressed because in her little corner of her world, where much of life passes her by on a regular basis, she was awake enough to care about what is on her plate. She is not likely ever going to be anyone that the world will know, but with each event in her life, she is waking up, paying attention and engaging. I admire her for that.
An overhaul of Family Court is due in most countries. The only people who do not understand the need for this, are those who have never had to use it.
Family court, unlike any of the other courts, makes allowance for people’s emotions during a difficult time, which is the only excuse I come up for as to why they do not enforce the basic rules and codes of conduct that are upheld in the other courts. The most blatant of which is the amount of lying that goes on. People lie in their affidavits. They lie to the court ordered psychologists and psychiatrists. They lie in their testimony. They lie for themselves. They lie for their families and friends. And those lies are often proven during the course of the case that is being decided, and NOTHING is done about it.
By nothing, I mean I have never heard anyone being charged with perjury, despite the same wording being on everything people sign regarding swearing that you are telling the truth and it being a criminal offense to lie.
The problem with this is that it leads to people lying to the Police, to Social Services, and to Maintenance. In some instances it is even teaching the children involved how to lie and that our courts do not deserve respect. Making you swear to tell the whole truth doesn’t actually mean the “true truth.” Based on these lies people’s lives are ruined, their wages are being garnisheed and charges and judgments are placed against them. Continue reading →
I escaped over the past few months. I slipped off the restraints and ran naked into the night.
Ok that sounds a lot more poetic than it actually was. I packed and drove to the airport. Then I came back, only I had a bunch of shit to do and ya … Christmas . . .
Anyway I am sure many of you are lying on your death beds waiting for some word that I have returned so consider yourself worded. I have returned.
Running away used to be fun. First there was that panic in the adults voice if you disappeared because they were still so sleep deprived and possibly on post natal drugs, that they believed you were some angelic being that transformed their life into little shimmering lights of meaning. Of course I am talking pre-teething and pre-two-year-old. Continue reading →
So many things seemed so important at the time and with the passing of the years, they aren’t and never were. I wish I had taken the energy I expended on pushing my children to comply with being good students so they could fit in and to be able to “compete” in the world, more into the moments.
I am sitting here this morning, drinking my coffee and looking out across the most beautiful landscape that is the backyard of my home. I have a full life time of experiences, some of them would fill you with awe and admiration, some of them would make you weep. I have made colossal mistakes that still pull me to the edge to revisit them years later. Those highs and lows are not my constant companions. This morning I can only remember my youngest son and the way he smelled in my arms when he would stop whatever he was doing and would rush to me, urgent in his need to climb into my lap and to hug me.
He did not want or need anything. He did not hurry away. He ran to be with me and sit there with love being the unspoken bond between us. Continue reading →
“We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and our youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.” Robert R. McCammon
We are all imperfect human beings, trying to do the best we can with what we have. We make mistakes. Some of those mistakes are easy for others to see, which makes people easy targets for others to shake their heads and call them stupid. Some mistakes are easily spotted by some or even most people. With my own children I often see where things are going to lead long before they hit the mud. Sometimes it is appropriate for me to caution, more often, now that they are adults, it is not. Parenting is a life time responsibility to love and support the human beings you birthed into the world.
It is interesting watching your children grow as adults. I am amazed how little the details matter – like what kind of car they drive, what their partner looks like, or what they do for a living. The things that give me the most pride is when i see them making choices that show they know how to love and to forgive. When they are mistreated and they do not retaliate with cruelty, when they pu aside their needs and wants for the greater good of their own children . . . even if no-one else will ever know the sacrifice they made,…
Sadly, too often, children become weapons for one parent to use against the other. The need to be right, to get revenge, to hurt someone like you feel you have been hurt, takes over and we can waste a life time teaching our children to hate and carry out our endless acts of revenge against their other parent. Think about that. Think about the legacy that leaves for the world and what kind of people those children are going to be. Would you want your child to end up with one of them as a partner?
Please pay attention to the children who are being raised in broken homes and advocate for them. Tell your child it is not acceptable for them to trash your grandchild’s parent in front of the child. Tell them that a child needs to know they are loved by both parents. Help your child, your friend, to grow up and do the right thing. It strengthens and heals the children, allowing them a chance at being decent people with happy lives, and it can do the same for your child. As wounded as they might be, hanging on to hate, and spending a lifetime championing that emotion, only cancers us all.