Hope Feed

don't give up

 

Don’t give up.

Don’t give up your dreams and don’t you dare plan a yard sale.

Don’t ever give up on yourself.

No matter what.

There will always be another day. There will always be another moment.

To fix what’s broken. To repair, repurpose, and reconsider.

Time is on your side.

Never forget that.

At times, it may not seem to be, especially when you’re surrounded by raging fires or when you’re in the middle of a vicious thunderstorm. The flames burn hot and the lightning crashes without any concern for your safety.

It feels like nothing matters, and that your persistence doesn’t really make a difference.

You feel so weak and helpless. Tired. Frustrated that your contribution is always immeasurably a touch too short. Too little to count. You feel like it would be much better for everyone involved, if you just stepped aside and let someone else have their turn.

But like the waves that crash upon the sand, life continuously gives you countless opportunities to compose yourself and rise again.

Your feelings are powerful.

No doubt about it.

But they are only an indication of where you are. They do not explain where you have been and are not a reliable to instruct you where you need to go.

Feelings come when they want. They do what they want. They grab a hold of you. Come uninvited. Refuse to leave and sometimes ignore your desperate pleas to stay.

Feelings exhaust your patience and strain your ability to think straight.

But they never last.

They always fade away.

Like raging fires, they eventually burn themselves out. Like powerful thunderstorms, they tire themselves out.

Your life too will get better.

I almost said normal, but I’m not really sure what normal means.

We are all so different. With different stories. Different experiences. Different thresholds to withstand pain and suffering.

What crushes some, motivates others. They rise and lead revolutions.

What is too much for one person, might not be quite enough for another.

We are so amazingly different. So miraculously human.

And it’s important that we allow ourselves to discover what it means to live a meaningful existence, and what contribution we wish to make.  

It’s important that we give ourselves a chance to continue our quest. The impossible dream. Some more time to rage war against the unaccounted windmills of our life.

We need to savour our magical quest because we are so irrefutably interconnected. Each one, interwoven with tiny, little, imperceptible life strings.

Who we are, and what we do, connects us to those we love, and even those, we;ve never had a chance to meet.

You may roll our eyes when someone mentions that we are all part of the human family, but that is exactly what we are.

It is precisely what you need to remember when things aren’t going so well.

We are a dysfunctional, and rather large human family.

So don’t give up.

When you’re down, take comfort that someone else is up.

When you’re tired, take solace that someone else is well rested.

It doesn’t all depend on you.

There is no reason to carry your burden alone.

See your life for what it is.

A spectacular, beautiful, and powerful series of waves, crashing and embracing the sands of life.

Relentlessly. Unapologetically. Unrepeatably.

 


it's easier to have hope when you're not about to crash

 

Human beings are meant to fly.

We are meant to be happy and live meaningful lives, and not content to remain miserable or malcontent.

We are people of hope.

A nation of faith, and boy, do we need some right now, at this very moment. In this seemingly stifling time of darkness.

We all need it. We crave it. Every single one of us.

The whole world thirsts for hope. A divine reassurance that everything will be fine.

In every crevice and in every broken or shattered heart, exists a yearning for a meaningful life, for something different, for something better.

But why do we wait? Why do we wait so long for hope?

Why do we only look for hope when we’ve lost all ability to fly, and are about to crash into the ocean?

It is foolish to rely solely on the benevolence of magical fairies or angels to swoop down and keep as aloft.

But they get tired and frustrated too.

So, we need a bit more hope, a little more often, before things become hopeless.

You must embrace your humanity and believe in hope.

Being human and being alive is not curse.

Hope calls to you.

Everyday

She is read and available to anyone that looks for her.

Hope is available anytime, but not in the few minutes before you panic and put on an exhaustible freak show. With your perpetual and uncomfortable rubbing of your hands, your screams of incoherent self-loathing, and the tears of misguided emotions. The tapping of your hand upon your head, the sudden movements, and the triumphant donning of your tinfoil hat.

This doesn’t account for the ill-timed wishful thinking you cling to, or the desperate prayers you mouth, that you hope will somehow conjure up the fairies and angels to make everything better again.

Things don’t just get better.

Hope is not a thing.

It is a daily practice.

Hope is just for the hopeless.

You should embrace hope every day.

She’ll walk with you when you stop gossiping and ripping people down.

She’ll find you, when you immerse yourself in a good book, or a thought provoking lecture.

She will hold you when you create art, or do something kind for someone.

She will remind you of your greatness, when you find yourself sitting alone, praying for the most vulnerable, the abandoned, and the imprisoned.

Of course, it is a lot easier to find hope when you are not about to crash.

Keep a daily journal of all the things you are grateful for. The things that went right. The people who are in your life.

Make a list. A simple list. You’re not writing a memoir. So, list five, or ten, or fifteen things that you are grateful for each day.

If you can’t find them, brace yourself for impact.

Write someone a thank you note. Perhaps a love letter. Or a script of gratitude that will become a sign of hope for their life.

Avoid negative thoughts.

Embrace positive people.

Seek them out.

Nag and beg them to stay. Chain yourself to their pant leg and refuse to let them go. Be persistent, until you are handed a restraining order, then let go.

If you do this, you’ll soon discover that people of hope are everywhere. There is no reason to beg them to stay. There is no reason for chains, and certainly no need for restraining orders.

Hopeful people surround us. They are everywhere. 

We don’t see them because sometimes, we are too busy flying and crashing. Not to mention the enormous effort it takes us to recover our wreck.

Believe in hope.

She believes in you.

Seek, and you will find.

Seek hope today, and you’ll become a source of comfort for the comfortless. You will be a light in the darkness.

You’ll save others from needlessly crashing into the ocean.

 


entanglement with Latin

 

I don’t really want to write about yesterday, but now that I have some food in my belly and the coffee is aromatically tickling my senses, I am open to the possibility.

I’m not sure if this will have any value, but I have learned that I cannot be trusted to see the value of what I write or what purpose it will serve. What I see and what you see, seem universes onto themselves. I have learned to let things be.

My task is not to waver, to let go, and come back to write tomorrow.

4:02 am.

The time I choose to wake up every morning.

As much as that time scares some people, today, I eagerly anticipated its arrival.

Yesterday was a shitty day.

I usually don’t express myself in Latin, but I’ve searched and searched for better way to express myself and came up blank.

I’m not sure what happened yesterday.

I just gave up.

Overcome with terrible pangs of loneliness. Preoccupied with the unrelenting onslaught of wave after wave of anger, I ran away from my family, and hid in plain sight, on the couch, by the kitchen table, and on the sofa.

I shut down.

I haven’t shut down like this in a very long time. My body was well but my state of mind was sick.

I called myself many names. Troll being the nicest, if I am to avoid more entanglement with some Latin verses.

I am a forty-five-year-old man and yet, I still berate myself.

I refuse to make eye contact. I interpret everything with a bitter tinge. I tell myself that I am worthless. That what I write is stupid. That I am a failure as a father. A failure as a husband, and a fraud of a human being.

And then later, when the storm subsides, I ask myself if I am finished?

I’m not really sure where the new confidence or outlook on life is coming from. Perhaps it’s the weight training in the morning. Perhaps it’s the commitment to write every day.

It might be the hour or two of motivational talks I hear every morning. Perhaps it’s the good books I am reading. The gossip I have avoided. The television I don’t watch. The social media I ignore. Or the people I have surrounded myself with.

I’m not really sure what’s working, but I am mightily vigilant and cautious, of even letting one of them go.

I don’t want to be who I was.

That man is dead.

I even threw out his double XL clothing.

It wasn’t always like this.

My melancholy was long. Drawn out. Filled with long, melodramatic episodes of quitting and stomping my feet like a little insolent child.

Sometimes, you just have to go to bed.

You have to wave goodbye to a shitty temporary existence and wake up with a new soul, a new mind, and decide to steer in a new direction.

This all sounds a lot easier on paper, I know.

It seems false and contrived as I type it, but if you know me, you know I have no reason to lie.

Whatever your struggle. Whatever your disappointments. Whatever your failures may be.

Despite their length or intensity.  

No matter the regret or guilt, you might surround yourself with, and wear as a blanket of comfort.

No matter what.

Failure comes to an end.

It always comes to an end.

Don’t hang on. Let whatever imprisons you, large or small, die.

Bury it.

Pound the dirt with your shovel.

Yell, scene.

And begin anew.

 


the illusion of retirement

 

The very idea of retirement is now not only outdated, but outright barbarous.

We have been preconditioned and desperately long for retirement. We all pine for the days when we don’t have to file into work anymore, into our real or imagined cubicles, to follow a set of predetermined systems and procedures, in order to achieve a set of measureable predetermined results.

And for what?

We work so hard to pay off our mortgage, to educate our children, to have a healthy investment portfolio, and to maximize our retirement package. If you’re lucky.

But for what?

We salivate and await our curtain call. We wait for our moment to finally rest. To retire. To finally get to the important things of life. Our moment of greatness. That moment of anticipated glory and majesty, of doing, and being everything we promised ourselves we would be, when the day would finally come.

Retirement.

The grand finale of illusion.

The truth is, there really is no retirement.

There is only living and then the rest is silence.

Living requires work. Living involves pain. Living calls for sacrifice. It calls for perpetual sweat and toil.

There is always something. Something to do. Something to overcome. A promise to fulfill.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what health condition you find yourself in. It doesn’t matter, because life demands and nudges all of us, to keep expressing the simple truth and glory of being alive.

But how do we treat wisdom and the glory of being alive?

When you get old. When you retire. When you finally learn something worthwhile to share and leave behind, the world no longer finds a use for you.

The next generation of dreamers gets to work reinventing a somewhat worn but still a well-built wheel. But they never ask about the road ahead.

The road ahead.

They work so efficiently and so tirelessly, and so blindly, I hasten to add, just like you did, to get a head, to build that perfect thingamajig, and to steal precious time from the things you promised yourself you would finally get to, when you had the chance, and definitely, when you retired.

I hope you were lucky.

I hope you loved and accepted love in turn. That you build a loving family and that the wisdom of your old age is not a burden, but has become a beacon and a celebration of a well lived life.

Those didn’t are usually being locked up.

They are in a prison.

They sit alone, in retirement homes, in hospital beds, in dark basements, waiting and hoping that someone, anyone, will come and spend some time with them.

So much wisdom wasted.

So much wisdom locked up and hidden from the world.

So many songs yet unsung.

But the young will always remain restless and misdirected. It’s the human condition. They chase bright shiny objects and are so easily distracted by the simplest flutter of a butterfly.

They too are alone.

They live inside their headphones. Inside their social media compounds. They guard their feelings. They hide. They run. They take shelter inside the countless photos of things they do not really care about. They take pride in accomplishments they will soon forget. They are agitated, impatient, and hungry in their search for meaning.

They are everywhere.

They are no different than you and I.

I wish they could leave their prison.

I wish they could visit wisdom. To go where wisdom lives. Abandoned. Forgotten. Retired.

If we could only get them talking.

That would be a marvelous sight.

A fulfillment of a dream. A promise delivered. A beautiful and magical sight of hope.

I for one still believe.

I believe in wisdom.

I just no longer believe in retirement.

 


setbacks and days of fog

 

This is not an exercise in failure. There is a subtle but important difference between experiencing our mistakes and living with setbacks.

Failure feels permanent. It burdens our soul. Setbacks, on the other hand, although we bear the same impact, do not produce the same lingering effects.

Setbacks are lighter.

In a sense, there really is no proper difference between calling something a failure, or a setback. To be honest, they are really one and the same, but our language is what matters. What we say. How we say it. What we do with what we say, makes a big difference.

Failure seems eternal. A setback feels temporary.

It doesn’t feel good. That’s for sure. It will never feel good.

But that’s ok.

We still experience the same angst, fear, worry, and dejection. We are spared absolutely nothing. We have to battle our setbacks just as hard.

But unlike a failure, setbacks include a real and timely possibility of reversing our fortune. A more immediate chance at redemption. A direct response.

The time it takes to recover from a setback is much quicker than a failure. We spring up faster. We think much less. We deal better with our complex emotions. We seem to recover faster because we have already made a commitment to ourselves, and we prepared for rain and thunder clouds.

We didn’t expect the sudden change in the weather.

We got jolted awake by the inconvenient, inclement weather, but we are better prepared.

We are positive.

Despite not being able to do anything about it, our minds bend; they do not break. We made the decision to kick some ass and take down names and we penciled out our parade route. We did this before the torrents and the hurricanes.  We did it before the storm clouds appeared on our horizon.

True.

Some storms gut us. No doubt.  

They shake the wind out of us, leave us battered and blue, but even those hideous monsters yield little power over us, if we perceive them as a setback, and we don’t get seduced to take the defeated posture of failure.

Along with setbacks, there are also days and weeks when we get encircled by fog.

Our visibility and enthusiasm becomes low.

We haven’t done anything wrong. There is nothing that we could have done differently. Nothing we forgot. Nothing we needed to adjust. We just feel stuck. Unglued. Unfocused. Tired. Inundated with feelings of general malaise.

We are in a deep fog.

Seth Godin calls this the dip.  A deep valley of nothing but work. Devoid of feelings that bring us excitement. No line on the horizon. Just the sweat on our brow, and more dirt to shovel.  

There is nothing we can do about the fog, except keep going.

There is nothing we can do about the dip, except continue to rise.

Life tests us.

God asks how much do you really want this? What will it take? Do you want to quit? Or are you truly committed? Are you prepared or have you been seduced by another fleeting flight of fantasy?

So, brace yourself.

Brace yourself for any setback, when it comes, and keep positive.

Stay hopeful. Remain faithful. Be kind.

Remain diligent.

Become assiduous as you walk through the fog.

The sun never fails to shine.

The fog will dissipate.

A glorious morning is coming.

 


words of courage on a dark morning

 

Darkness is slowly overcoming all semblance of light. The world seems hopeless. The darkness and gloom, deep within our minds, is in a bloody and destructive battle for our souls. As the weather gets colder and the darkness gets longer, we must remember, more than ever, who we are, and the power we can embrace, that’s within our grasp.

We are powerful beyond measure. We are decedents of Kings and Queens. We were born to be Champions. To be warriors and defenders.

Protectors.

I don’t believe you.

I don’t accept your stubbornness and dejected resignation, when you tell me that that this is not how you feel; not with the mistakes you’ve made, and certainly not with the time you’ve wasted.

I accept where you are, but I reject your defeatist submission to failure.

You are not beaten. Far from it. At least you don’t have to be, if you choose not to be.

You are an ass kicker from way back. A black belt of love. A soldier of hope. A scientist of faith. So, reawaken your majestic spirit. Choose today to be the day, despite the many tears and years of hiding, to be counted, and reawaken your spirit to serve.

Don’t hide anymore.

Stand up. Traverse forward. Stop retreating.

Leap.

Leap in hope and trust.

Have you ever been camping?

Away from the noise and the hustle of the city?

Have you ever awoken in the middle of the darkness, on a moonless night? Perhaps to pee, as you get older, or perhaps because your blow-up mattress is making you terribly uncomfortable and cramped?

You walk outside your tent to a firmament of light. Light as bright as the sun.

Brighter and unassuming.

You look up and marvel at the billions and billions of stars. For a moment, you become breathless, when you realize that each one of those tiny little shimmering lights is a sun, a star, with its own set of planets and undiscovered mysteries.

You marvel at the distance between everything. The possibility of anything.

It has taken us this long to struggle in order to reach the moon, yet our human hearts long our fly among the stars.

You look up and are moved by the idea that some of those stars that impress themselves upon you, have long disappeared. They are gone. Gone supernova. They have disappeared, but yet, they continue to shine their light. They continue to be visible for all of us to see. They continue to give light. Light as bright as the sun.

You are also one of those lights.

An you matter great deal.

It doesn’t matter when you start or how you start. It doesn’t matter what people say, or how often they say it.

The truth is, the greatest evil resides right inside of you. Your soul gets devoured from within. Your unabashed demon conducts his sermons within your very heart. And you listen intently.

We are our worst critic.

We berate ourselves for every single mistake and failure we’ve ever made. We refuse to let go. We refuse to forget. We refuse to heal. To move on. To grow up. We refuse to love ourselves. To have faith in our own light. To take shelter in our own dignity and humanity.

I offer you words of courage this morning.

I am hoping to plant seeds of hope. Hope, that you will help you get over yourself. A hope that will inspire you to start making a difference. A difference, in your own life, but more importantly, in the lives of those who are deaf and blind. Crippled with doubt. Imprisoned in loneliness.

I hope you reach out to those that needs your kindness and your laughter. Those that depend on you for your spirit, and even those who have yet to meet.

I offer you courage. Courage to know that you are not alone. Courage to walk with your own loneliness. Courage to embrace your fear. Courage to leap into an universe of possibility.

Please, believe in your dignity.

Believe in the possibility of doing the impossible.

Take heart. Find courage.

Be a light for someone else.

You can’t do everything, but you can do something.

You may fail to do, but you can never fail to be.

 


staying afloat in society's negative sewer system

 

Monday.

A glorious new day. A beautiful new beginning. A new promise. A possibility of a new life.

I won’t lie to you, that I don’t approach my Monday’s with a little bit of pragmatic caution, or my Friday’s with a little bit of hopeful optimism. I admit that I am as susceptible as anyone else, to be negative and pessimistic sewer system I’ve grown up in.

It’s easy.

The whole society is just a big waste disposal system. We are lucky to get to navigate it, and try to stay afloat, for as long as we can.

It’s a terrible world out there, they say.

Every newspaper and every television broadcast pontificates the coming of a terrible winter, inevitable conflict, financial ruin, and the latest thing that will inevitably kill you.

People hate Monday’s, but how can you blame them?

They begin each day by waking up their miserable bodies in alarm and grinding out through their morning, so they can show up for work, and go through the motions of efficiency.

They cope by making little, stinging, sarcastic remarks. By rolling their eyes. By complaining. By bitching and whining. They try to uplift their misery by slinging as much human excrement as they can.

And for what?

I’m not really sure.

We all seem to do it. We’ve all done it. We seem destined to continue to do it.

What a waste of a morning. What a waste of a day. What a waste of a life.

Being negative is easy. You just flow with the stream. You don’t resist. You follow blindly, bob up and down, but be prepared to shoulder the burden of the consequences.

Or you can choose to resist.

You can turn off CNN, and let world leaders handle Donald Trump. You can stop reading the daily papers, and let police officers police the streets, and let the firefighters take care of the accidents.

You can turn off the sports radio stations, and not get angry and wrapped up in the argument if Dion Phanuef is truly overpaid, and earning his keep as a top four defender.

You can turn off your television and stop going through people’s storage lockers, listening to them bitch and moan about the perfect wedding dress. You can stop watching people compete for a million dollars, through treasure hunts, and other, seemingly infinite, asinine activities.

You can choose to eat lunch on your own on occasion. Away from the gossip, the complaining, and the stench of misery and failure.

You can surround yourself with good books. You can devour great motivational or educational podcasts. You can listen to inspirational music.

You can choose to spend time with friends who don’t suck the living life out of you, and are genuinely trying to make a difference. They are trying to live meaningful lives, and don’t mind your meaningful company.

You can do a lot to resist, but the question is, do you really want to?

It won’t be easy. It will not happen in one day. It will take persistence. You will experience moments of loneliness. Periods of misunderstanding.

But it will be worth it.

The choice is yours.

Just remember.

You look pretty silly as you trade away five days of the week, for some illusion and blissful anticipation of the weekend.

In the end. You are at least guilty of some terrible math.

 


life is not fair you said

 

Life is not fair, you said.

You finally stopped talking, for a moment, and you pondered the futility of your situation. You lovingly gazed into my eyes, searching for an answer, but instead you found munificent silence.

Not the, I told you so kind of silence. Nor the, I don’t know what to say, so I will just say nothing at all, kind of silence. In me, you found a compassionate, challenging, kind of silence. The kind that understands the question and sees a way out, but also knows the cost and the unavoidable price for being a human being.

Life is not fair, you said.

I agreed.

Life isn’t fair.

Being black is different than being white. Being Indigenous, at least in North America, is something completely different, all together.

Practicing and sharing your Muslim faith in the United States of America, or expressing your Christian values in Iran, let’s say, will present its own set of challenges, to say the least.

Life is not fair.

Whomever did you believe that told you otherwise?

Nothing will make the reality any easier when your child is born with cerebral palsy, or dies too prematurely. When you can’t have children at all, or find yourself in hell fighting post partem depression.

Life won’t be fair when your husband of thirty-five years, had an affair for thirteen of those seemingly precious years.

Nothing can really help you deal with the destructive reality of your brother’s gambling addiction. Or that your sister is a drunk. Or that you have an inoperable tumour.

Every stage of life, no matter who you are, or where you are, presents its own set of scrapes and struggles. I almost said problems, but they are not really problems.  They are challenges. Life is not something to conquer and overcome.  Life is something to experience and live. The struggle is the fuel. It’s not about doing, it has always been about being.

There is no point gathering wood for your fire, if you have no intention of doing something with the light.

I hope you can see that there is so many things you can do with that glorious light!

Life is not fair, you said.

And you are right.

I answered in my silence.

It is not fair, but it is still worth living.

Viktor Frankl, a beautiful man who survived the hell of Auschwitz, gave us a transformative insight about our last human freedom.

When it is all going wrong. When the pangs of hell are at your door; the attitude you take towards your unavoidable suffering or the things you cannot change, is your last and only hope. It is more powerful than you would care to believe.

It’s not easy.

You cannot measure a person’s pain or the depths of their sacrifice. You cannot count the cost or fully repay the debt you owe to those that helped you along the way. 

Life is not fair, but I believe that is whole point of it all.

Right to the end. Despite of everything. You get to choose how you feel, think, or what you want to do. Your attitude towards the unavoidable reality of your life is yours. It is magnificently placed in your hands. It doesn’t change the truth or intensity of your situation, but it does build your character, and it makes God smile.

No one will be shocked if you give up. No one will blame you if you quit. If the burden of your agony buckles you at the knees.

There is no right or wrong answer. Your life and the decisions that you make are simply beyond all measurement. No one can judgement. Not even you. In fact, there is never a right or wrong time to do anything. There is no magical place. The right advice. Pivotal insight. Maps. Guides. Badges of accomplishments or monuments of greatness.

There is no thing. Nothing. Just you and the universe that is set before you.

You are never out of chances or possibilities.

You control your last human freedom.

Life is not fair, you said.

I agreed and answered in the undeniable silence of your attitude towards the things you cannot change.

 


the glass half-full, half-empty debacle

 

The glass may be half full, but it sure as hell ain’t half empty!

Reading the Ben and Rosamund Zander incredible book, the Art of Possibility, I realized recently that this seemingly age-old example, that so clearly divides the pessimists from the optimists, is nothing more than a distraction from the real, meaningful questions.

There is a glass.

It’s half full. 

Why?  I don’t know.

You are asked to decide if the glass that you see, or metaphysically behold within your mind’s grasp, is half full or half empty.

If it is half full you are an optimist, if half empty, you are a dejected pessimist.

But let’s hold on for a moment.

Clearly there is some water in the glass and there is the glass, but how to you behold, measure, evaluate and embrace nothingness?

If you believe the glass to be half empty, you draw a line in the sand, and disappear into futility and absurdity. You place yourself on the side of something that doesn’t exist.

The same holds true for the word nothing.  The word is an illusion because it is a placemat for everything that doesn’t exist. But if it doesn’t exist, then certainly it doesn’t need a placemat, because we never need mention or think about it again.

Welcome to the linguistic cluster stank.

I think we need a better question. A better analogy and a fresh metaphor.

What if we were asked if we would bring a fish finder on our boat, while we angle our way to some Large Mouth Bass or a Muskie?

How would we answer?

If you would bring a fish finder on your boat, you are concerned with catching a big fish. You want to measure your experience.

As a sense of pride, investment, or just because you’re hungry, you will judge and evaluate your day based on what is in your belly or in your fridge.

Catch nothing, and it was a wasted trip. Catch a lot, and you will return over and over again.

If you don’t bring a fish finder, or even leave the boat at home, and simply cast your fishing rod into the lake or river, you are going to measure your experience by something else.

You are probably with someone, or are seeking peace and solitude on your own.

There is nothing to measure and judge.

Being surrounded by nature, being close to the water, enjoying your home-made sandwich, and your thermos tea, gives you validation why it is wonderful to be alive. How great it is to be human.

The same can be said of swimming.

If you are Malcolm Phelps, your goal is to swim the fastest from one end of the pool to another. You chase gold medals. You are satisfied with silver and bronze. You feel dejected if you don’t make the podium.

If you are a competitive swimmer, you judge your day by the strides you have made or lost. You base your happiness on a measureable outcome.

If you put on your board shorts on the other hand and go surfing, or you dawn a polka dot bikini, and head to the ocean for a swim, you involve yourself with something completely different.

There is nothing to accomplish by swimming in the ocean. There is nothing to do. Nothing to find. Nothing to conquer. Nothing to regret and push towards.

It’s just you and the ocean. United at last. Happy and glorious.

So, drink your glass of water because hydration is good for you.

Grab a snack and head to some water.

Stop judging your day, begin to imagine the possibilities!

 


be kind to yourself instead

 

Somewhere between love and hate is the forgotten realm of kindness.  It is an old and noble kingdom that is often ignored and definitely taken for granted.  We often pass it by, on our way to wage war with ourselves or each other. Running back and forth between loving and hating.

So be kind to yourself instead.

Sometimes love is a very tall order, and hatred just comes a little too easy, especially since we are constantly encouraged by the choir of voices on social media, spurring us on.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

We don’t have to dig trenches and embrace either extreme, and fight a battle that will ultimately end with an unavoidable stalemate.  A war that proves nothing, and inflicts much pain and destruction along the way.

So be kind to yourself.

To be honest, I experience loneliness very often. It feels very comfortable after so many years.

When I look around I get a sense from those I meet, that they don’t really see me, or even care to.  They talk at me, they see through me, as though my life didn’t really matter. I only serve a commercial purpose. I am nothing more than a cog in a progressive wheel. I am simply admired for keeping up my end of the bargain, and not being a financial burden on society.

I have a deep unquenchable desire to live my life with great meaning and I try to act with purpose every day. It’s just that the things I care deeply about and the things that trouble me, don’t interest most people. They seem more interested in making money, building a better home, and entertaining a new fashionable affair.

The things I care about trouble deeply, and cycle back to me over and over again.

I want to know for example why it is that we have to die. I want to know who I am and how to live a meaningful life. I want to know how to raise my children to be hopeful people, despite knowing that a day is coming, when I will have to say goodbye, and they will cry, like I did ten years ago. 

I think about my past and all the things that I could have done a little better but I also think of the things I have done well, and feel a sense of joy knowing that I have become who I am.

I try to be kind to myself. 

Kind, because I have done nothing wrong by being born. I am in a struggle like everyone else. I make mistakes like everyone else. I desire to know the mysteries of our existence, like everyone else.

I think we do ourselves a great injustice when loathe and hate ourselves, even a little. We have no right to be our own worst critic. We don’t even have the right to be a mild critic. We have no right to any criticism at all.

Our mandate is to love ourselves, but for right now, I will take a bit of kindness.

Kindness when I fall down and gossip. Kindness when I look at the shape of my body in the mirror and laugh at the futility of change. Kindness when I overeat. Make promises I cannot keep. When I get lazy. Angry. Get judgemental. Proud. Arrogant. Jealous.  Kindness, when ignore those that love me, and run back into the cold arms of loneliness.

We need love.

We need to fight hatred.

But first, we need a little bit of kindness.