Food for Thought:
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
-Agatha Christie, An Autobiography
The following article hits especially close to home for me because many years now (decades actually); I have tried to have a loving relationship with my sister. It has been mostly a tiresome and extremely hurtful journey for me so recently I made the decision to let her go. I read something once that spoke to dysfunctional family relationships and it explained that just because people are your family, it does not give them the right (or allowance) to mistreat you & cross boundaries time and time again. This made perfect sense to me due to the fact I feel very strongly that family should care for you, love you unconditionally. Shouldn’t family members be a source of support, security and comfort and offer a safe place for you to fall when times get tough? I think so, and I have lived my life treating my sister as a precious gem only to be rejected by her time and time again. There have been times I have questioned what’s so wrong with me that my sister chooses to treat me so disrespectfully? Well, I now know that although I’ve not been perfect, I have given our relationship my all and then some. I am given out. I now have made the decision to sit back and what will be, will be. If she chooses to reconnect with me, I will always be there with open arms to welcome her back into my life; but the relationship we’ve carried on in the past is not an acceptable one. Boundaries will be set and therefore reinforced. I do pray our estrangement comes to an end with much hope, sooner rather than later.
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.”
At the end of my first long-term relationship in college, when it was clear there was nothing left to salvage, I told a mutual friend that I “had to make it work.”
The idea of moving on seemed incomprehensible. I’d invested three years. We’d loved each other, laughed together; hurt each other, grown together. I was young and I made him my everything. How could I possibly let go of us when my own identity was inextricably wrapped in our pairing?
The friend told me I talked as if we were married with kids. I didn’t have to make it work. There was no good reason to stay other than my resistance to the pain of leaving.
How do you ever know when it’s time to walk away from anyone? It always feels so much safer to stay—in a friendship, a romance, and especially a relationship with a family member.
It’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that love often means letting go. We can still have feelings for someone and recognize that the relationship is irreparable. Sometimes moving on is the best way to love ourselves.
It’s a choice to set two people free instead of continually reliving the same arguments, denying the same incompatibility, and opening the same wounds knowing full well they’ll only heal with time and space.
But the truth is there are no simple step-by-step instructions for knowing when it’s time to move on. Surely there are signs. But the most important is that small knowing voice within that says something isn’t right, and it can’t be fixed.
It may never be easy to admit this. Endings always lead to uncertainty, and that can be terrifying.
But they also beget new beginnings, and new opportunities for relationships that don’t leave us feeling depleted and defeated.
How do we know when it’s time to move on? It’s when we find the courage to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that staying will do more harm than good.
We’re the only ones who can admit this to ourselves. And we’re the only ones who can change our lives for the better by finding the strength to walk away.
“I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!
I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.
Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I’ve got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial!
“The Paradox of Our Age”
by Bob Moorehead, Words Aptly Spoken
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!”
I wonder if nasty people know they’re nasty, or if they think they’re perfectly agreeable and good. Maybe they know they’re nasty, but don’t much care. I’d put nasty clown Donald Trump in that category.
I’m not talking about occasionally nasty people (I surely fit in that category). I’m talking full on nasty, 24/7. People who can’t utter a sentence without it sounding like they’re trying to put you on the defensive. People whose faces are perpetually scrunched into scowls, the corner of their mouths turned downward, their slitty eyes menacingly staring at you. These people are usually controlling and paranoid, too, a lovely combination that makes you want to scream.
If I put on my amateur psychiatrist hat, I think nasty people are all unhappy people, but not all unhappy people are nasty. I know a man (I’ll call him Robert) who ranks right up there in the ranks of nasties. Even after he had a major heart attack, he told someone I know that it “didn’t change him a bit.” If it wasn’t so pitiful, I’d laugh. Someone else I know, who is unhappy about being unemployed and can barely make ends meet, doesn’t have a nasty bone in her body.
The most effective way to deal with nasty people is to avoid them. If that’s not possible (let’s say you have to work with them), it’s wise to smile, kill them with kindness and not let them bother you, hard as it may be.
Nasty people usually get their comeuppance somewhere along the way. But remember, that even if that doesn’t seem to be the case outwardly, chances are they’re suffering inwardly much of the time. It doesn’t make you like them a tad more, but it makes it a lot easier to suffer them!
Author extraordinaire Erin Morgenstern—and the genius behind The Night Circus—shows us those brief, unexpected times that elevate life into a mirror-shimmering otherworldliness that’s still undeniably real.
By Erin Morgenstern
When It’s 3 a.m.
I like to call it nighttime brain: the way your mind seems to function on a different frequency than it does during daylight hours—which can be good or bad but also can lead to unexpected epiphanies or experiences that wouldn’t be the same at any other time of day. They say it’s darkest before the dawn, but it also tends to be quietest, and the quiet lets you hear yourself better.
When You Experience Kitchen Alchemy
You don’t have to be a chef or even a particularly good cook to experience proper kitchen alchemy: the moment when ingredients combine to form something more delectable than the sum of their parts. Fancy ingredients or recipes not required; simple, made-up things are usually even better. Apples made luscious with cinnamon and sugar and butter or fresh tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt. It tastes even better because you made it yourself.
If you’re like me, you are constantly learning new skills — gardening, carpentry, pizza-making, languages, sports, and so on. And I think this is a fun and wonderful thing to do.
But what’s the most important skill?
That’s debatable. I think compassion is a huge one, as is mindfulness. I’d go with those two any day of the week.
But if I had to pick just one, it would be this: learning to be happy with yourself.
That seems too simple, to trite! Too mushy and New-Agey! And I’ll grant all of that, but I stand firmly by my pick.
Why? The answer has to do with how this one thing can affect everything else in your life. If you are not happy with yourself, or your body, you become insecure. You think you’re not good enough. You fear being abandoned and alone. You do lots of other things to compensate, and these lead to problems.
So many of the problems people have stem from this one thing — being unhappy with themselves (often in the form of being unhappy with their bodies). Let’s take a look at why, and then look at some ideas of how to master the skill.
If you are not honest in dealing with the people who care deeply for you in your life; the relationship is then built upon falsities and deceit. Nothing in life is harder to live down, undo, or do damage control for, than when it is born out of a lie. When we choose to lie to people, we are saying to them “I don’t trust you enough with my personal truth, and/or, I don’t trust your character enough to accept me fully, flawed and all. When we choose to lie, we cheat ourselves out of a life we were born to live.