Friday, September 16, 2016

A Place For Everything (Anna): The Voices Inside My Head

Image result for tree roots  
  C.S. Lewis
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. ”
C.S. Lewis
tags: family     

There are many voices in my head.  No I do not talk back to them or with them.  They are the little sayings, teachings if you will, passed to me from generations before, that I have remembered most of my life.  Many of these voices have no body to them now; but they have been reincarnated in me.  Leaving Karma.  So begins a series of short blogs called The Voices In My Head.  Enjoy :)


          My dads mother was named Anna.  Of all the people in my life she enters my mind the most.  She fascinated me and for this fascination left me with many life lessons.  The stories I heard of her and my grandfather life while they were young, growing up, and married are sketchy at best.  I learned what I know of her, and her life, by watching her and listening to her.  A true role model.
          Anna's house was full of memories.  There was a china cabinet crammed full with small items collected through out her life.  Valuable only to her.  I remember watching her dust and polish them with loving care almost every time I visited her.  She had a shoebox, kept in a closet with a dark wooden door, next to the china, cabinet full of greeting cards sent to her, over decades, by family and friends near and far.  The fireplace mantle in the front sitting room had photos, small dolls and watches under glass, a chiming mantle clock, and every holiday decorations that she had treasured for a life time, sometimes more than one lifetime.  Entering any of these rooms unattended by an adult as a child was forbidden, but she made sure to take frequent visits with me.
         The furniture through out the whole house was always the same.  Polished, clean, and comfortable.  She had a prized feather bed with ropes holding it in place, not a box spring.  Boxes full of jewelry, all valuable to her which she passed on to me and my cousin of the same age.
         My Aunts room was still the same from when she had moved out decades before which we were allowed to look, from the doorway, in awe, at the desk where my aunt, one of the first five women to attend Wayne State University's Law school in her time, the first female lawyer in our family.  There was a wooden banister which, as a child, I was allowed to try and slide down; even though I found that getting to the bottom was not as fun as it looked in the movies.  
          My Grandmother passed on cooking recipes that were passed to her.  Learning these gave a new meaning to patience, a pinch of this, a smidgeon of that.  From her I learned that a family recipe didn't mean that it had to stay exactly the same from generation to generation, it could be changed and improved upon, but the root always stayed the same.  Her home, and make no doubts about it, it was her home, my grandfather had enormous respect for that fact, was always full of warmth and good smells.
          I would sit closely next to her, snuggled under her arm on the back porch, which had been converted into a "TV" room, while she watched what ever was on the black and white TV and crocheted.  She taught me how to crochet, what can only be described now as, a worm.  Just a long chain which she glued two googly eyes onto to make me feel successful at my first crocheting attempt. 
          There were candy jars always filled on the two tables flanking the old well worn, well loved, comfy couch we sat on, which, when my dad wasn't looking, she would share with us.  One jar was always filled with a sweet which was just for her, chocolate covered cherries, Mary Janes, or Chocolate covered toffee.  Each of her grandchildren sneaked a piece of her candy from time to time, and she knew it.
          As I grew there were no more snuggles, no more candy.  She was old country and believed in showing love through strength.  Which is why no one in the family new she was so ill.  She struggled with undiagnosed diabetes until 2/3 of her stomach had ulcerated and had to be removed.  Gone was the soft, snuggly, candy giving, warm woman.  As a teen I was recruited by one of my aunts, her eldest daughter, the lawyer, to help my grandmother clean.  I had watched her do this often growing up and was confident I could do what she did.
          The first day, armed with a vacuum and feather duster, I entered the hollowed front sitting room where the mantle, and fireplace, took up the whole east side of the room.  It was with a sense of awe and joy I entered the room, finally, unaccompanied by and adult, able to closely look at everything on the mantle; even getting to touch the precious items with could only be described with, even now, as reverence.  I carefully took each item down and looked them over.  I felt a happiness and joy over what each item represented.  Her, her life, our family, and me. 
         Grandma quietly, with some difficulty shuffled in, her slippers making soft whooshing whispers on the rug.  She quietly, with purpose, and a slight frown on her forehead, stood next to me at the mantle and began to carefully rearrange things back to where she had always had them.  Even though I thought I had already tried so carefully to do so; she new exactly where everything belonged and how they were exactly to be positioned.  Then she said to me, quietly but firmly,"A place for everything and everything in its place."
          At that moment in time, and for the first time I can ever remember, still to this day, I felt irritated with her.  The woman who had warmed so many recesses of my heart had disappointed me.  I felt that I had failed to please her and I was crushed.  It was only later, after I became a wife, mother, and soon to be grandmother, that I understood the importance of her words.
         There is a place in the universe for everything and everyone.  While it is important not to become so attached to anything that we cant readily give it up with kindness and compassion, what we have should be given great care, including ourselves.  None of us are so strong that we don't need someone else's help sometimes.   In giving someone help the helper needs to remember the strength that comes with helping.  We don't help/give to give ourselves personal satisfaction, or power, but to give the other person a peace of mind, to give them strength and power.  Giving help is the easy part, receiving help is something else entirely, especially for a woman who grew up during WW2 and the depression. 
          I think back now and remember everything my grandmother helped me learn about life.  Love, patience, nurturing, respect, and I feel a sense of loss.  How wonderful it would be if we could go back in time and say all the things to the people who made a difference in out lives.  Then I think, she knows.  What she taught is reincarnated in me.  We don't have a lot but what we have is passed down from generation to generation and cared for by each generation.  I don't keep everything in the same place year after year, but everything I do have, the mantle clock that was hers, some knick knacks from her china cabinet, an Antique Ukrainian doll, are kept dearly in my heart and the hearts of my sons.  What she has left me, and my family, is roots, a sense of belonging.  "A place for everything and everything in its place."  Now I get it...

Emaho Namaste Peace out

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Leo Tolstoy
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
J.K. Rowling
“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
tags: age, family

Friday, August 19, 2016

Its Beyond My Control

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         Everyday I look for something new.  Something I've never seen, never experienced, someone I've never met.  The older I get the more difficult this seems to be.  I find myself often thinking, "Been there done that."  I try to keep the idea of your never too old to learn alive.  What I learn most from, still, is people, and the challenges they confront, endure and sometimes how it affects me and life in general.
          Lately, and with out going into detail, many family members are going through some pretty life altering challenges.  I try to be supportive by mostly listening.  Trying to only give advice when it is asked for, although, honestly, sometimes I will do it whether it is asked for or not.  Being a mom, and because its just the way I am wired, I have to fight the over whelming urge to rush in and solve problems for the people I care for.  At times this takes a huge emotional toll on me.
          I have very few people I talk with.  I am a fixer and a listener.  I do for people they don't do for me.  Because my inner circle is minute, by choice, finding someone to vent to is an issue sometimes.  If everyone in my inner circle is going through challenges I don't feel that it is my job to add to their challenges, so what do I do?  All this has a point and it will connect so bare with me.
          Recently I took a huge leap of faith and reached out to someone I normally don't.  This person has, on many instances, shared that they would be there should I need them.  In short I took her up on it and it turned out, I can share very happily, to be absolutely true. 
          I learned that reaching out to someone who you normally wouldn't proves exceptionally beneficial.   Not only did I add someone to my inner circle whom I can now trust with many thoughts and feelings that I wouldn't even share with others in my inner circle, but this person gave me some very valuable, nonjudgmental insight. 
          We were able to share our frustrations over certain circumstances that we share which was helpful to both of us.  This person also gave me a fresh perspective on a few things, one of which was very valuable and helpful, which is the point of this blog.  Some wisdom learned and worth sharing for others to benefit from.
          At one point of the conversation, after sharing all that my loved ones were going through, and how utterly helpless I was to do anything but listen and stand by and watch, I said, "I don't understand why all of this is so difficult for me.  I'm Buddhist, I understand the concept of suffering, things beyond my control, and being honest, stating what you feel and backing away from it; but I cant state how I feel under any of these circumstances because it wont help them, it is all beyond my control."
          She looked at me with a little smile and a understanding look in her eyes and said basically that the control rests with me.  How I choose to deal with the circumstances.  I remember looking at her and thinking, how the fuck did I miss that?  (I may have even said it out loud.)  Well I missed it because everything that I am dealing with has to do with people I love. 
          I suddenly remembered some social work advice I use to tell many care givers/parents. They should never advocate for their loved ones, get some else to do it for them.  Share what you want with the advocate and let them speak for you.  Well that advice doesn't exactly apply here, but the feeling they would have when confronted with that choice does. Not being able to do what you really want to do for someone you care for.  It is realizing that you must trust someone else and that things are beyond your control.
          I meditated on this for a few days and I suddenly had an epiphany.  The Pith of the Matter.  It came to me as many things do, in a huge wave of peace and realization.  The old child development phrase.  Gain control by giving control. 
          I believe and tell others, often, maybe too often those close to me may state, that the universe has plans for us and it will push us in the direction we need to go.  Sometimes things feel hard because they are; we need to just push through them until we get it.  Sometimes they are hard because we need to let them go.  Knowing which is which is the hard part.  The only way to know which is which is to keep moving forward until the universe shares which it is.  This feels like an agonizingly slow process sometimes. 
          When dealing with those around you whom you love and care for its pretty obvious which way to go.  You sit back, watch, and wait, for what seems like and eternity.  Sure most of think we have the answers, we've been there, we know exactly what needs to be done; but sometimes the answer is not giving the easy answer.  So instead you meditate, pray, breath, hope, and trust, have faith, what ever faith is to you, and wait.  And wait. And wait... 
          Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could fore see every outcome to a difficult situation?  It would make life so much easier, but we can't.  All we can be sure of is our own behavior.  All we can do, give, is what we all have to offer.  Love, patience, compassion and kindness.  That's it, simple really when you think about it.  Those few simple things give more strength to yourself, and all involved then anything else you can do.  Love really is the answer and that is not beyond your control.
Emaho  Namaste Peace out

Image result for buddhist quotes on control

James Frey
“Pain is the feeling. Suffering is the effect the pain inflicts. If one can endure pain, one can live without suffering. If one can withstand pain, one can withstand anything. If one can learn to control pain, one can learn to control oneself. ”
James Frey, My Friend Leonard

Terence McKenna
“Chaos is what we've lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.”
Terence McKenna

Steve Maraboli
“The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Its Been Done Before

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Why write about that?  Its been done before.
Why read that?  Its been read before.
Why draw that?  Its been done before.
Why grow that? Its been done before.
Why wear that?  Its been worn before.
Why watch that? Its been seen before.
Why go there?  Everyone does.
Why believe in that?  Everyone does.
Why believe that? No one does.
Why think that?  Everyone does.
Why think that? No one does.
Its all been done, except by you.  The path you walk is yours.
Emaho  Namaste  Peace out

Gautama Buddha
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha
 Garth Nix
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?”
Garth Nix, Sabriel
John O'Donohue
“So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown.”
John O'Donohue
tags: path

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Phase Of Peace: For Men About Women

 Image result for women peace        

          Women pass through many phases in their lives.  I am familiar with some of them due to experience, and some because of my education.  I have noticed that women, for what ever reasons, be it the tides, the moon, or what ever, seem to share phases.  I feel there is a reason for this and it should be noticed.
          When we are very young we are cared for.  We are taught by those around us, role models if you will, what kind of a woman we should be.  We are also taught by social media.  While our culture has taken great strides in women's progress we did, and still do, receive the same basic lesson.  I strong woman must look beautiful, speak softly, and not make the same mistakes as a man. 
          When we make the same mistakes the punishment is not the same there fore sending the message that we are not equal to men. I'm sure some of my male readers out there right now are raising their eye brows and feeling perhaps more that a little discomfort, and disbelief, at this perception, but its true.  I think you would be hard pressed to find many women out there who didn't feel this way.  While the suffragettes and women's movements are pretty much done with their work, and have achieved many great accomplishments for women, it does not mean that many of us do not fight the good fight daily.  How do we do that you ask?  Sit tight and read on.
          Some history for you on the females evolution into being a woman. 
          When a women hits puberty it is not, for most of us, a joyous event, even when our female role models try to role model that it should be.  Our right of passage into womanhood is messy and bloody.  It is scary, uncomfortable, and painful.  You will not find a woman who speaks fondly of this right of passage.  In fact this monthly reminder of womanhood continues to be an uncomfortable reminder most of our lives.  What makes this experience more bearable is other women who are sharing the experience.
          I had a professor once who spoke directly to the males in class and basically shared the following.  When a man is feeling achy, having stomach cramps, feverish, to the point that it makes him feel unable to cope with the world he will stay home and someone, usually a female, cares for him.  This is how a woman feels every month, and yet most males choose not to recognize this and care for the woman in their lives, whether it is their mom, sister, wife, girlfriend, etc.  Why is that?  Why is there a message out there that says to everyone, male of female, that this is to be endured quietly and nothing can be done about it?  My perception is religion has something to do with it...just sayin.
          We get past the rite of passage and realize that there is power in our changing body's in the form of sex.  This power is once again a awesome, thrilling, scary, and yes even bloody experience if not used properly.  It is during this phase that we learn what kind of man, or woman we want to spend, or not spend the rest of our lives with.  These perceptions at this time are also modeled by the people around us and the environment we are in.  I have never met a woman who has shared that her first sexual experience was wonderful.  It is once again messy, scary, and bloody.  (If you understand virginity and what happens when you are not one anymore you will understand the bloody perception.)  If a woman is with a significant other who is not understanding of how the second right of passage of loosing your virginity is into womanhood then this experience can, for many females, leave bitter memories that sometimes last a life time.
          We get through the power of sex phase and enter our me phase.  There is a few years in our twenties, sometimes into early thirty's where life, for most of us, is pretty good.  We are going to school, working, being independent, finding our path in life, making friends, many of which will last a lifetime.  (Even if you loose some of these friends they come back around, trust me.)  It is during this time of confidence that we usually find someone and decide to spend our lives with them, build a family.  We get married, have kids, and our lives become messy and scary again.  For some even bloody.
           Many of us settle into the role of wife/mother/working female/house keepers/nurse/friend/lover/teacher/cook/maid...too many to list, but its true.  Once again I feel some eye rolling going on from my male readers; perhaps you are thinking, at this point, that I am just another female feeling sorry for myself and/or getting up on my soap box/pedestal, complaining about things that men have been dealing with for century's.  Yes I, and other females, have heard these statements from males for generations.  I call shenanigans on many levels.  Just a thought.  What would the world be like if that thought I just had was not in my, or your your head?
           I know many males who share all aspects of life's responsibility's with their significant others, my sons included.  But even my sons, from time to time, share their confusion on the inner working, feelings and emotions, of women.  Why is there this confusion? 
          This phase exhausts us, both men and women, and even at times makes us feel extremely small and insignificant in such a big world that has already brought us so much fear and chaos.  Often times we sit and look at our choices and wonder why did we make this choice.  Unlike men however women rarely keep these thoughts to ourselves. 
          Many of us vent our anger, frustration, exhaustion and disappointment to the most important choices in our lives out of fear.  I have always believed a couple of things here based on my own personal experiences.  The first is that a good defense is the best offense; we sometimes choose to act crazy out of fear and disillusionment over what feels like a lack of control over our lives.  Second, we need attention, someone to tell us that everything is ok, that we are doing a great job, and that we are still treasured as a woman.  Third, we need someone to be our anchor from time to time.  To step in calmly, quietly, (quietly is important here), lovingly, and just take care of us for a change.
          I have heard many men have the same complaint; that no matter what they say, or do, sometimes it doesn't matter.  OK a couple of thoughts here.  Be strong, ride that storm out, if you love her be patient and understanding.  Some where in her head she is thinking that she does the same for you more often than you notice.  When you come home from work and are grouchy, tired, and distant you are giving her your version of bad behavior in a marriage.  When you forget, or ignore how she is feeling, and use excuses like I don't understand, I don't get where this is coming from, or just tell me what you want me to do and I will do it, you are sending a clear message that you are not being thoughtful and/or engaged in the relationship; that you leave all that messiness, and fear to her...alone.   If we wanted to be alone you would not be there, we are not that shallow which why many men have a hard time understanding women. 
         Men and women are wired differently, women think, analyze, examine every angle, men just act.  If men don't understand what they should do, if they have never been taught what to do while growing up, they will do nothing, not because it is the right thing to do, but just because they have been taught that what to do is, nothing.  It is often frustrating to women to have to teach their man what to do, but when it is successful it has great payoffs in the relationship.  The trick is not to be demeaning, and embarrassed about it.  We choose to be in a relationship with someone mostly out of trust for the other person, always assume that the other person has your best interest at heart.  Be thankful that that person is there to help you be better, listen to them, learn from and with them.
          While women learn to navigate this phase we learn to be strong.  Yes, some of us break during this phase.  We do what men have been doing for century's, we leave, we self medicate, we abuse. The law now recognizes that because women have the same rights as men we also sometimes loose our family's just like men have. 
          Most of us learn to become strong and get through this phase.  Some of us raise our kids and send them out into the world, once again dealing with more fear and mess.  All of us watch the relationship with our significant other change.  What was once, for most of us, a relationship defined by common passions, for almost all areas in life, and an excitement for adventure, now turns into mostly routine, and neglect.  Now, I would like to point the finger at males at this point, but I cant, women play a part in this phase also.  But perhaps not for the reasons you think.
         I'm going to be completely honest with you.  Any relationship cannot be defined by sex alone.  It is not sex that will endure, it is fear, mess, and change that endure; for these reasons everyone should find a way to make their own individual lives better.  Relationships are also not defined by what you do together and how often.  They are defined by what you do together when you are together.  Quality not quantity.
          Relationships are defined not only by the time together but the time apart.  Both people in any partnership should remember this.  If you choose to spend quality time with your significant other than make an effort to do so and don't make excuses.  Don't let anything else come between you and that promise.  It is the promises broken and kept that everyone remembers.  Break enough promises and other things will break as well. 
          On the other hand understanding that change is the one surety in the world never forget to forgive some of those broken promises.  Set reasonable boundary's.  Know and define," what is my self worth, in order to be the best person I can be this is what I can, and cannot tolerate."  You must always understand that perfection is impossible, we are all human and learn from our mistakes. 
         Understand the concept of deal breakers in a relationship.  Abuse, severe neglect, repeated substance abuse, any kind of repeated destructive behavior.  The most obvious example of something like this is adultery.  Most people who have been married a long time will tell you that one, or both of them, engaged in another relationship while being in a committed relationship with the person they have spent their life with.  It was the suffering, the forgiveness, the wisdom, that came from that choice that actually caused more closeness, and the strength to endure.
          Some where in our 40's, the next phase, females will once again take a long hard look at their lives.  In human psychology, and sociology, there is information on this.  Suddenly we re-examine our spirituality, our careers, our relationships', not just with our significant others, but friends, and extended family in general.  In a nut shell we start discovering that we want to live an authentic meaningful life. 
          Yes being a part of others lives, in what ever definition/perception that is for every individual woman is and, was, an important phase of our lives.  But we hit a phase where suddenly feeling meaningful means more about us as individual's. 
          I think this phase is sometimes confusing to men.  It is not just about empty nest or getting old.  It is wanting to know that you put as much energy into yourself over the years as you did to others.  It is about understanding how to appreciate yourself as much as others.  It is about finally understanding that appreciation can only be given to yourself by yourself and that it is not dependent upon others.  It is a strength, a wisdom, a gift to ourselves by ourselves, independent from others.
          I cant tell you how many women I know that after a long day of working, cleaning, caring for others, loving, being compassionate, kind, etc. go home and cry.  Many men see this as a sign of weakness?  Why?  Because they were taught to do so.  In reality women cry to release stress, it is the stress releasing that causes women to live longer then men.  The worst thing you can do is ignore this.  I have heard many women share that they feel silly, and weak for feeling the effects of the stresses of their day.  I say embrace those emotions.  Use them wisely.  Teach anyone who is watching that yes you feel like crying sometimes, but you still get up the next day with a smile on your face and carry on.  This does not make you crazy it makes you a woman, and a human.
             I have learned something important after getting through my 40s.  I am a far better person for it, my relationships are stronger, I have new interests, a new spirituality, and life is a wonderful adventure for me again.  I also learned something even more important.  I did not need anyone else to learn and endure this, my life. 
            This was a revelation to me, and my husband, who suddenly remembered that not only did he have options in life, but so did I.  Now don't get me wrong.  Sometimes some reminding on both halves has to be done to encourage, and support, the partnership, and individuality.  The bottom line is by finding myself as a person again I was, and am able, to once again put my energy into being there for others.  Which, for most women, is what drives us. 
            The Pith of the Matter is this.  From the start life is scary and messy.  It is full of suffering, it is unavoidable.  It is how we are taught to deal with all the messiness and fear that defines who we are.  It is our perception of our life that make us who we are as individuals. I have no respect for anyone who looks at someone and places a label based on age, sex, religion, social status, etc.  The bottom line is this.  WE WILL ALL go through the same exact phases of life at our own time in our own ways.  Understanding this should not divide us.  Cut yourself and those around you a break.  Learn to go with the flow a little.  You don't need to have anyone share in the joys, fears, happiness, failures, triumphs, chaos, changes, in your life, all of them are yours alone.  If anything feel compassion for the person who chooses to ignore you and how special you are; think of all that they are choosing to miss out on.
          Yes sometimes others make a contribution, but whether those contributions are good or bad in the end their perception of events will differ from yours.  Your feelings on your perception are yours alone.  Just own it, its ok.  With ownership comes great power, confidence, and most importantly peace.  Peace is a great thing after all the fear and messiness.  It will not be peaceful all the time, but the moments will be great and wonderful. 
The phase of peace, I wonder what's next.
Emaho  Namaste Peace out

Jane Austen
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
Jane Austen, Persuasion

Robert A. Heinlein
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
Robert A. Heinlein
tags: cats, humor, women
(see Fairy Tales blog;postID=2913142971048119951;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=51;src=postname )

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The One

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      Been a long time since I wrote anything.  Why you ask?  Well there is a story in there I think.  So I will tell it to you.  (see Buddha Was A Story Teller Blog)
      A few months back I decided to go back to work.  I didn't want to have a career again, I had two pretty successful ones and felt pretty content with in that fact.  I just wanted a job now, one where I could earn a little me cash, get out a couple of days a week, and keep busy.  I like to work.  I like to work hard.  So the jobs I looked at were ones where I knew I wouldn't be sitting around watching the clock slowly tick away, breaking the time up with an occasional yawn, or two, or three. 
      The first job I found was at a well known hobby store chain.  This started off being what I thought was a pretty good job.  Craft store!  Surrounded by arts, crafts, and like minded people.  I did pretty well and was asked by the store manager to switch to over night stock.  "Take one for the team," he said.  "Its the only way you are going to get the hours you want." he said.  (I momentarily thought,"but I want only like 15 hours a week?"  But what ever)  Then he said,"We need smart hard working people like you there."  I thought,"Really?  Stocking is synonymous with smart?" What ever...It was obvious he really wanted me in that shift so I said yes.
      So begins my adventure into the 3am to when ever the shift is done world of stocking.  It started off pretty good.  I was optimistic.  I perceived that many of my co-workers were do I put this...NOT the optimistic kind of people.  To put it more to the point, a lot of gossiping, back stabbing, complaining, etc. people. "Its ok." I thought I can still do my job well with out their mindset effecting mine.  Silly me...
      I was doing fine until, for what ever reason, the gossiping and back stabbing started being directed towards me.  How did I know?  Well kind of hard to miss when you walk up behind someone and you hear it.  Now no one knew me well enough to formulate any real opinions concerning my life and who I am, so it was just basic I have nothing better to do then start some gossipy rumors about someone I don't know to make my life and job more interesting.  Drama and Karma may sound the same but they are not.
      We all encounter this sometimes.  More often then perhaps any of us want to deal with.  But here's the thing.  While I did meet a couple of people there who I still keep in contact with; like minded intelligent compassionate people who I hope I will know for a long time. I started feeling like its awful hard to get up at 3am work my ass off for 8.50 and hour 3 days a week, to be treated like crap.  I don't think there is any job description that says if you make under 12.00 an hour you will and must be treated like less of a human being by not only supervisors but coworkers.  I think actually it should be the opposite.  Treat the people who work with you and for you no matter what the pay scale with decency and respect because we are all after all fighting the good fight.
      So I started job hunting and happened to get a phone call from a thrift store.  I interviewed, got the job, and moved on.  Better pay, better hours, and best of all this particular thrift store supported a worthy non profit shelter for family's of abuse.  Lots of very hard work but I loved it.
      Days went by fast.  Customers were great.  Lots of perks at this job...except for one very important one.  The supervisor, and I use that word very lightly, was, and still is, bat shit crazy...seriously not kidding, no way to ice this one over.
      In a nut shell when I left I made it very clear to her, HR, and co-workers that I wanted a supervisor who treated people with respect.  Which she didn't. She didn't single me out, she was nasty, cold, hateful and angry to everyone.  We lost customers because of it.  I find out later she has had more people than anyone was willing to admit when I interviewed walk out on the job.
      So I'm out of a job again.  Feeling defeated I started doing some real soul searching.  What was wrong with me?  There must be something wrong with me that I cant seem to find some kind of decent part time job?  More than once people treated me like I was just some silly retired woman looking to fill the emptiness of her life while they were real hard working people.  I was made to feel guilty and why?
      Sure in the current society we work in there are many people who are still out of work.  But heres the thing.  I showed up and worked hard.  I treated everyone I came in contact with with respect.  I honestly don't give a shit how much money anyone has or need money is not the real issue here.  I care how someone treats themselves and others...that's it, simple.  Now, perhaps at this part the reader is thinking, "Well that's easy coming from someone who has money."  Stop there, hubby and I make very little money, when I share the amount with someone whom I trust they are always shocked.  We are careful with our money, and even though we don't have much we are always quick to share with those we care for.  Karma
      Then I started thinking.  What if it wasn't me?  What if this is just the way the world is?  Full of suffereing.  Some of our own making sure...but there none the less.  What if we are  in charge of our own suffering ultimately and can only help those who really want to be helped.  You know once again...Karma.
      When we think of suffering, and alleviating it, we asume it is by doing what is considered to be charitable acts, helping the poor, the needy, and injured, in what ever definition and perception that falls under.  But what if most of the suffering in the world is just in the day to day bullshit?  What if its the way we talk to each other?  What if its in the way we acknowledge what we do as individuals, as a team, and or for each other?  Who decided we were suppose to feel guilt, feel weak, feel less than anyone else for wanting the world and the people in it to treat each other with just a little kindness and compassion to alleviate someone, anyone's, suffering in the everyday bullshit we all go through? 
      I got angry...It suddenly became very clear to me that I have been making myself suffer by letting ANYONE make me feel less because I think, in fact BELEIVE, that treating people, and myself, with respect is something we should put at the top of our to do lists. 
How do I deal with this? 
      Simple. With confidence, love, respect, compassion.  How can anything that makes me and those around me feel good be wrong?  Unless its drugs...that's wrong, you know its the unhealthy addictive consumption thing.
      When did we start criticizing anyone for just wanting to do some hard work?  AND WHEN did we become a nation who thinks less of someone for aging but still wanting to do something with their life?  I looked closely at the people who momentarily made me think and feel something about my self that I didn't like.  Then I remembered that our greatest teachers will be our greatest challenges.  The challenge is how to interact with so many people in the world who find it much easier to be angry, disrespectful, narrow minded, etc. 
I looked at Facebook and noticed something.
      I started observing how we interact with each other generally.  I was standing in line at a popular convenience store and there was one cashier, alone, trying desperately and as calm as he could to stay on top of a job where it was pretty obvious to anyone who took the time to notice that he was in the store alone.  A couple of guys in back of me started complaining.  "Convenient stores and not so convenient anymore...should change their name...its just another symptom of how the world is going to shit..."  Seriously?  Your the reason the world is going to shit I wanted to say.  Instead when it was my turn at the counter I said to the cashier loud enough for the two grumbling guys in back of me to hear, "Your doing a great job."  The cashier smiled and said thank you.
      I know someone who does nothing, and I mean nothing, but worry, complain, and be angry about every aspect of their life.  Spouse is crap, family is crap, work is crap, no one understands, the world is shit...Now I could sit there and either A) Get on the band wagon with this person and reinforce the crap. B) Tell this person to shut the fuck up. I'm sick of listening to it. or C) Listen as best I can and share words and feeling of love, respect and compassion.
       Everyone knows of the recent tragedy in Orlando.  Lots of FB posts on it lately.  Lots of comments about it also.  What I want to know is this when one person makes a post on Facebook concerning something, anything, negative there will be at least four people who like it, usually many more than that.  But make a post about something positive and rarely do you get even one.  Why is that? 
      Then it occurred to me.  Its the safety in numbers thing.  Many would rather jump on the band wagon of hate, and anger then to be alone, the one, who is different.  The challenge is to be the one.  Always be the one.  That's it...simple. 
      No matter where we go, what we do, who we're faced with. Speak the truth as you know it with love, compassion, respect, and understanding.  Then back away from it.  You don't need to argue it, convince people that your way, your path, is the right one; who cares if anyone see's anything the way you do?  The world can be a good place. It is my Karma.  With that said every thing came into perspective for me. 
      Its ok if I haven't found the one job that I can call home yet.  Its ok if I choose NOT to want to work with people and in an environment where people feel the need to group together in anger and hate.  I can be the one as long as I can live with my self in the end.  May be if more of us were the one we would end up making a difference?  One is better than none...