Archives for posts with tag: we’re all in this together

There are other voices than mine. There are other lived truths than the truth I live myself. There are other perspectives, other viewpoints, other angles from which to consider each very human moment. There are other tales to tell, told by other travelers. Each existing alongside all the others, their existence, itself, does nothing to diminish the truth of the others; these are narratives. Subjective experiences of being human, in all its wonder, glory, pain, and joy. I tell mine here, my way. 🙂

A friend posted on Facebook recently that she is undertaking her own healing journey, walking that hard mile, processing trauma, seeking healing, and that she had started a blog. She started a group, to post to, understanding that perhaps not everyone wants to share that journey with her. I appreciate the consideration. I respect the journey; I’ve been on my own such journey for a while now. I reflected back on that moment when I decided to start a journey, and a blog, and considered how that “went down”, and the reactions I’d gotten at that time, from friends and loved ones (a fairly discouraging mix of disinterest, distance, and patronizing comments, generally, and a couple folks sincerely interested in being supportive). I asked myself, explicitly, “how do I want to ‘be there’ for my friend, and her experience, right now?”

I provided a reply I hoped would be welcoming and supportive, and accepted the request to join her group. Why would I not? Reluctance to be triggered? I grant you; it’s a risk. (People in my life spend a lot of time opening up to me about trauma, as it is. I’ve survived it so far.) People need to feel heard. They need emotionally secure relationships in which to open up about what hurts them. Me, too. Can I “be there” to support that? Of course I can. It’s on me to set and manage my boundaries, if it gets to be too much, and even that is a way of being there for a friend or loved one, setting that powerful example that it is also okay to set boundaries, and showing what that looks like, in practice. Practice. Yeah – and also, because I, too, am entirely made of human, I need practice, myself. Practice at listening deeply. Practice at maintaining perspective on past trauma. Practice understanding that we each walk our own hard mile. Practice at “being there” for others. Practice, frankly, at being the woman I most want to be – in every interaction, every moment, on every day. Words are just words. It’s the verbs that make changes come to life. It’s what we practice that matters; we become what we practice.

This morning I read the first of her posts (that I’ve read). I savored her voice. The difference in her style of communication. I read from a place of non-judgmental acceptance, and non-attachment. Her tale is not my tale, however similar some details may seem; she is having her own experience. I listen with empathy, consideration, compassion. I listen deeply. I recognize her humanity, her unique experience. I acknowledge the human experience beyond the words. I nod quietly, more than once. “I know you,” I think to myself. Still, I also allow her her moment; we are individuals, with our own experiences, our own pain. We’re in very different places on our individual journeys. That doesn’t matter as much as “being there” – being present, aware, and compassionate – because although we are each having our own experiences, we’re also “all in this together”. I sip my coffee and contemplate the journey stretching ahead of her.

Ask the questions. Do the verbs. Begin again.

I woke gently after a restful night. I woke with a song still in my head, left behind by my dreams. A song, in fact, with so many covers and remakes, that I didn’t realize that the version that as for me the version, is, itself, a cover. lol I’d never heard the original, until this morning. It’s a very different song, with a different feel altogether. It got me wondering… what would it sound like in this decade? Like… a really recent version? Is there a trap remix…? lol Of course there is.

…Why do I do this?? lol

I sip my coffee and consider the day ahead, the drive down to see my Traveling Partner this weekend, the days and weeks to come, filled with change. I click “play” on my favorites playlist and change the moment, the mood, and the momentum of the day. As if I pressed a “restart” button on my consciousness. I’ve got shit to do today, damn. 😉

I contemplate the timing of changes to come, the planning involved in making them weave gently together, the consideration involved in limiting any negative outcomes for others in changes they may not have expected or planned on, the celebration involved in savoring changes that are chosen, or fortuitous. Have I learned to step beyond accepting – even embracing – change? Have I somehow grown to enjoy it? To seek it? To craft it? Huh. Interesting… I think I may be okay with that. 🙂

I take a moment for gratitude; I have worked at getting where I am in life, but, and this is just real for all of us, I didn’t get here alone. I’ve had some lucky breaks, some assists, some opportunities that were unexpected, others that were almost forced on me inconveniently, but which turned out rather well, and at every turn I have been on a shared journey; we are all in this together. Every moment of feedback that resulted in self-reflection and personal growth helped get me here. Every great suggestion that got me thinking differently about where I stand in life – and what I stand for – helped get me here. Every fumble, stumble, and moment of panic, taught me something that eventually brought me here. Every friend. Every colleague. Every conversation. Every moment of support, encouragement, and help. Every angry conversation that sparked growth. Every example set by another person doing their own thing, and making their own choices. Every bad choice, good choice, or other choice – all of it. I did not get here alone.

…That’s also been true when I’ve stood in shitty circumstances, wondering “what the fuck did I do to get here??”. Whether I have celebrated or suffered, I didn’t make my way to that place alone. Something to consider. Relationships matter. How we treat each other matters. What we accept in treatment by others matters. Boundaries and expectations matter. Our words, actions, and values – all of it matters. 🙂

What are you going to do about it?

…This is a good cup of coffee, and a lovely moment. I sit with it awhile, before I begin again. 🙂

 

I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about the world, today. Wondering how I can help. What I can do to contribute to a sustainable success for humanity. You know, a long-term win, in which human life is sustained and sustainable, and not at the expense of everything else that lives, breathes, and uses space and resources on this wee mudball hurtling through space. A proper win for all of us, is what I’d like, ideally, see be our mutual outcome. What part can I play in making that happen?

It’s a worthy question; large or small, every action we take contributes to our global shared success… or it does not. Similarly, everything we do pushes us toward humanity’s destruction of itself and the planet… or it does not. These are big, fairly obvious buckets, and there is much that can be divided in this similar way. So…

…How do I help? One human. This one human, right here. What do I do, to ensure our survival as a species, and also prevent us destroying our world? If you could know there is an answer, and that the answer was entirely doable, realistic, feasibly within your control and abilities… would you immediately set to work doing it? Would you persist at it… indefinitely? Would you make it a part of your “life’s work”? Or would you… not?

What are you doing to help make the world a better place (for all of us, and every creature)?

Maybe just, at least, really think about this question… and do something.

We’re all in this together. Each of us, for now, is trapped on this rock in space, competing for resources with everyone (and everything) else. There’s enough to go around, but we’re not very good at sharing; humanity seems to enjoy zero sum games best of all. Winners and losers. It’s pretty weird. We could do better.

I’ll start. 🙂 Today, I’ll make each choice with the additional consideration of whether my decision-making improves life on earth, itself (or at a minimum, legitimately does no perceivable harm). I’ll go forward learning more about the damage I may be doing, unaware of it, and attempt to correct that, too. Maybe I won’t save the world, but I bet I could be a better citizen of the earth, in general. Is it enough to do better?

What about you? Do you want to save the world? How will you begin? 🙂

I am home for the day, preparing for the long holiday weekend ahead. Having a quiet cup of tea, vaping something pleasant tasting, and watching the vapor curl in wisps as the cloud breaks up as I exhale. “Vaping” is a verb now. I ponder the way language changes with the times. I wonder if things are still “on fleek” and if “fam” is still “lit”. I smile, breathe, relax; this is my time, my moment, and I am content with it just as it is, wedged between the shhh-shhh of commuter traffic at the edge of the driveway, and the chug-chug of the washing machine, down the hall. The noise doesn’t matter, this evening, and it is not disturbing this somehow-still-quiet moment.

I am thinking of “is” and of “isn’t”, and the year just finishing up, as I peer cautiously ahead to the year that is imminent. I am thinking rather carefully of “essence” and “essentials”, and hoping to stay on the path of sufficiency. Right now, at least, it is rather easy not being tempted by excess. I just don’t have the resources for that, and 2019 looks like a year that I will spend rebuilding reserves, planning with care, and being most particular to avoid wastefulness.

I catch my thoughts on a hook as they brush past a word – “essence”. Fancy. What is “essence”, really?

…I love the future. 😀

So… yeah… “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character”. Essence. Got it. I ponder the word, and the idea of it for some minutes.

What “is” my “essence”? Is that a thing that I am? Have? Is it a state of being? A verb? An experience of self? A defining characteristic identified by others? Do I choose it? Chase it? Live it? Question it?

Is “what is my essence” simply a fancier, wordier, version of the lingering question “who am I”?

How would my “essence” influence my experience of life – or of self?

Are these questions that need asking, and answering, or is this a game?

Just questions tonight, I suspect, as I close in on the New Year. It’s a season of change, and of reflection. It is a season of choices, memories, and moments.

…the new year is a blank page…

I put questions aside, and make time for gratitude. The house is comfortable, tidy, and warm. The bills are paid. I have what I need, generally; I am fortunate. I reflect on good fortune, and the temptation to feel “deserving” or that this life is entirely “earned” on my own effort. Both the notion of being “deserving” and the notion of having gotten here “on my own” are illusions, nothing more, and I turn away from the thinking errors that bring me to those ideas. I’m fortunate. I’ve had a lot of lucky breaks. I’ve had help, encouragement, support – and all of that matters. I would not be “here”, had I been less fortunate, or if I had had to make this journey entirely without friend, or aid, all alone. I’d be somewhere quite different, and, perhaps, however grateful to be in that place, I might also be an entirely different human being, with a different understanding of myself, and different dreams, walking a different path, toward a different future.

That, too, I let go, as the twilight of winter evening slowly fades to the darkness of nightfall. No reason to become attached to notions in the darkness. Grateful and inquisitive – these seem worthy of being some part of my essence. Contentment, too. I smile, and make room to appreciate the journey, and the woman I have become over time.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin again. There is further to go. 🙂

I am sitting here with my coffee, grateful to be out of the office today. My coffee is still untouched, though I’ve been sitting here with it for half an hour. I have a cold and feel fairly listless and awful. It could be worse, of course, it’s really just a cold.

Having a head cold was not in my plan for today. I am volunteering some of my time… and I am so glad that’s a little later. I take a sip of my insipid, possibly terrible, coffee (is this head cold why it tasted “off” yesterday morning, too?). It was my plan to spend the remainder of my weekend shopping for a car. It’s time. I don’t much feel at all interested in that, at the moment, and I suspect it would be a colossal dick move to go car shopping while contagious. I’m definitely certain it would be grossly inconsiderate to spread this shit around knowing I am ill.

It’s weird to me that many businesses strike a pose of actively discouraging employees from calling out when they are sick, in some cases even penalizing actual sick people for not getting over being sick fast enough. Many do, though, and the effort is leveraged primarily at entry-level workers, and lower paying middle management jobs; humans involved in the day-to-day work of keeping business going. You know, “the working class” folks. I’ve not ever seen anyone in the executive class actively discouraged from being out of the office… at all. Ever. I have reached an understanding that the amount of energy put into “attendance policies” (again, those are rarely applied to senior managers or executives at all) and convincing sick people to show up for work (in spite of potential risk of contagion, or delaying a person’s recovery) says a lot about the high value of their labor – and if those employees cave to that pressure, and work while sick or develop a tolerant acceptance of their exploitation, it says a lot about how poorly they value themselves. There’s definitely profit to be made in human beings undervaluing themselves – they cost so much less! It’s an understanding that, over time, moved me further and further left on the political spectrum as a human being, as a worker, and as a manager. “Who actually benefits from this policy?” became a question I learned to ask – a lot. It is heartbreaking how rarely, in most places, the answer is ever “everyone who works here benefits equally”.

Enough about things to do with working. Bleh. Actually, “bleh” is a good descriptor of where I am with my whole experience, just at the moment. I’m not quite sick enough to give up on everything and just go back to bed (although my coffee is really not the experience I’ve grown to love, and I feel fairly crappy, generally)… and I’m definitely not well enough to pull on my hiking boots and get a couple of miles in before I head to the VA.

…Just thinking about going back to bed, and looking at the clock… I don’t know… bed sounds okay… even if I didn’t sleep… I could just lay there being miserable so gently…

…I can begin again… later…