What To Do with Loneliness

To be fully known

Appreciated for who we are

And understood

Who doesn’t have this longing?

Yet no one can really do this for us

Just as we can never fully do it for another

“We live as we dream–alone”

Yet this is not the cruelest of punishments

Rather the chosen field for banishing loneliness

With connection to the mystery of the Universe first

Then to the deity within ourselves

And, at last, to the innumerable others facing the same fear

Of darkness or annihilation

Needing the help we are here to give

Taking Mental Side Trips?

Taking countless mental side trips while someone is talking to me–visiting my anxieties, grocery shopping, planning what comes next, or stressing over what I should have said or done–is generally how I roll.

We can think so much faster than someone can talk.

So if I don’t use my “excess cognitive capacity” to focus my whole attention on the person talking, what is being said, or why it is being said, that excess cognitive capacity will be “working” somewhere else.

An honest and mature evaluation of my past and current relationships tells me this is an important project.

Immersion

Similar to the new Van Gogh exhibit, I dreamed I could ask Alexa to project whatever art I requested. In the dream, as easy as asking for a song, I could completely immerse myself in the colors, movement, vision, and talent of the requested artist–on the walls, on the ceiling, on the floor–everywhere.

I woke refreshed.

Today I am thinking about using my everyday power to immerse myself in what is beautiful.

After all, choosing the images we dwell upon has always been the superpower of poets and overcomers.

Surrounded

Having been raised on horror films, I can still weird myself out thinking about what is lurking. Especially when I am alone, in the dead of the night.

Last night I had a dream about haunting spirits but, in the dream I decided to face them with curiosity instead of fear.

It worked.

✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔

Mysterious things are always lurking

But some of them are angels

All else that may be there

Yield to those who stand ready

To help me learn how strong I am

Good Reason Not to Fear Getting into Hot Water

Caution is great.

Planning is mandatory.

Integrity is imperative.

But, in the absence (or even in spite) of these, when at work or home, we find ourselves in hot water (and we will), there is no need to panic.

I find this G. K. Chesterton wisdom particularly helpful in the dead of night. When either a bad dream or a lurking fear grabs my imagination and tempts me to run circles around my problems, the idea that trial brings benefit gives consolation and helps keep things in perspective.

Bring on the clean!

Original Post April 2013

Getting Unstuck

My friend who was on mental-health leave from a brutal work-environment told me that his counselor encouraged him to make a list of daily activities such as brushing his teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed so that he could check them off as accomplishments (if he managed to do them). Seemed ridiculous but it helped.

Every time we check something off a list, our body releases endorphins (natural pain killers). When we are paralyzed with pain, doubt, fear, or disappointment, pain-killing is the first, critical step.

Pythagoras and my friend’s counselor seemed to understand the simple formula of:

  • One foot in front of the other
  • One step at a time
  • Bite-size pieces
  • Just get dressed

…as a path to the impossible.

(Originally posted July 2017)

Tip for Being Less Irritated with Irritating People

In movies, theater, and television we seem to tolerate jerks and weirdos and be more interested in someone’s mundane life because:

  • we have glimpses of their history and the heart behind their actions
  • and, quite importantly, the well-crafted soundtrack

I’ve proven this to be useful in real life with real irritating people by:

  • considering what may be behind the irritating actions or demeanor
  • and thinking of them while listening to soothing or upbeat music
Image result for L.H.Cosway quote

For Even the Smallest of Tasks

The smallest tasks have turned against me

Into ridiculous challenges

Going from minor to major

Or bad to worse

In Charlie Chaplin fashion

Or hanging over my head like a guillotine

In the most routine of days

And, even in my dreams like a biblical plague

Yet

Stopping the unstoppable, eye-rolling pain

Of these tedious inefficiencies

Was always out there as an option

But it was an option I resisted

Because it involved the absurd practice

Of quietly surrendering my thoughts

To insights from a knowing Universe

For help even with the smallest of tasks

Humbly aware of the biggest difference

They can make

Prayer is talking. Meditation is listening. Together they make peace.

And all real progress starts with peace.