Archives for posts with tag: words words words

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. 🙂

My work day is over. My Traveling Partner, and friends, have journeyed onward from this place, for places elsewhere, undetermined, and for me, unknown. I am tired. Figuring on writing a few words before (quite probably) napping… maybe… It was a short night. I sat down, fingers poised over the keyboard… Nothing.

I find myself wondering “why”, which so often leads to attempting to attribute a cause to this or that experience, which tends to lead me away from just having – and being present for – the experience, itself. More thinking about, than doing. “Because…” is sort of funny that way. We use it to excuse, to justify, to explain, to support – we squeeze a lot out of that one word. I’m not certain of the general usefulness of “because…”, considering how often I am just fucking incorrect in some momentary reaction to some circumstance or situation; I just don’t know enough to root-cause every detail of my life, and I’ve finally realized that it doesn’t actually help, most of the time. So… I mostly avoid “because…” these days. It’s a word that seems to immediately precede not continuing to live life, but instead toward pausing to re-evaluate it, often repeatedly. Tedious.

…Have you ever tried to go through a day without using the word “because”? Like, actually live life without making excuses, or trying to tie one event to another using causality? Instead, just accepting the moments, one by one, living them, observing the experience, and practicing both compassionate acceptance and non-attachment? I often try. I often fail. It’s more challenging than it appears.  I could use more practice…

…Right now, though? I mostly could use a nap. LOL

I’m always on and on about beginning again. (New beginnings are awesome, just as they are, so it makes a certain amount of sense to embrace the opportunity.) It’s not a matter of the clock hands moving a notch and calling it done, though, and I guess maybe it’s been awhile since I looked more closely at what I mean, myself, by “begin again”.

I mean, it’s mostly obvious, right? Isn’t it? …Isn’t it?

Is it?

Look, I fuck stuff up. I make mistakes. I succumb to my own bullshit. I overlook details that could give me clarity in a moment of confusion. I forget stuff. I get attached to an assumption or expectation, or cling to some pet idea, and find myself stressed out, feeling “attacked by life”, or just weird and broken. All of that and more. Each and every time I fall for my own nonsense, or overreact to some moment (or person), and every passing mood or moment – I have the chance to start over with that much more experience in life, that much more perspective built on that experience, and that much more real wisdom, built on perspective. Wow, right? I mean, fuck – every bad bit potentially builds a future of greater wisdom, balance, and resilience, if I view it from the perspective that I will have learned so much more, and be that much more able to make wise choices in life for having learned from my experience. That’s powerful. It implies, though, a missing step. I should clear that up…

Thing happens. I learn from it. Life improves. Okay, sounds easy enough. Here’s the thing. The “begin again” piece falls between “I learn from it” and “life improves”, not immediately after “thing happens”. The critical piece is definitely the learning. Without that step, I just keep repeating “thing happens” over and over again, without change or progress – because I’ve clearly set myself up for it, with that passive voice, right there, in my own thinking, lurking in the background, waiting for me to experience a failure or setback – “thing happens” is expressed such that I can so easily overlook who, or what, happened it; I’ve left out my agency. “Learn from it” reliably brings my agency back to me, even in the most bleak and broken moments. It’s an important detail, most particularly because of how often my own choices are a distinct part of any moment of suffering. (And yes, this includes my fairly difficult day, and experience, yesterday.) The bit about beginning again is my reminder that taking what I’ve learned from each experience allows me to move forward in life choosing my words and actions quite differently, perhaps, and most definitely based on that refined understanding. Forward momentum. Growth and change. Choosing wisely.

So many verbs involved. I’m not saying this shit is easy. I am saying, maybe, that looking back on it, it feels somewhat less difficult than it may have felt in the moment. Not gonna lie, though, it’s been a difficult journey in spots. That’s what makes each new beginning its own tiny triumph, too. Each time I fall, each time I fail, each time I cry, each time things just don’t work out for some reason, I can take another look at things, learn a bit more from what I’ve been through (or put myself through), and make (new)(different)(other) choices that get a better result over time. It’s just fucking slow progress, so I’ll call that out right now. Change is. We become what we practice. There are verbs involved. We each walk our own hard mile. Everyone’s results vary. There are no shortcuts. Incremental progress built on experience and reflection is sort of slow. Hard to see in the moment, easy to spot looking back, after a while.

Be patient with yourself. (How many times have I looked myself in the mirror with that advice?) Things didn’t work out? Begin again. Each and every time you begin again, do your level best to be the human being you most want to be, yourself, for you, based on your own values. Your results will vary. That’s just real. So start over. Yes, again. I know. Omg – so many beginnings. It’s almost like… it’s a journey. Up a staircase. 🙂 If you just stand there at the bottom, staring upward at all those god damned steps, it’s pretty massively overwhelming. So, just take one step. Give that some thought. Take another. Don’t be fixated on what’s at the top of the stairs, so much, and focus more on taking that next step. Consider your missteps, and maybe don’t do what didn’t work last time, when you take that next one. It’s honestly that simple, and it’s worth some repetition, and I found, for myself, that those two simple words communicated enough; begin again.

Oh, hey, look at the time! It’s a worthy moment for a beginning, on a Friday morning, and… as it happens… I’ve just now finished my coffee. 😉

 

*Note and reminder and words of thanks; we’re not in this life alone, we’ve got help, if we choose to accept it. Yesterday evening, my Traveling Partner pointed out choices (of my own) and recent circumstances that were very likely to result in a difficult day (for me), which I had entirely forgotten could be significant. That bit of additional insight and perspective were helpful and grounding. Definitely don’t forget that you are not alone. 🙂 Not really – there are millions of us on this mud ball. 😉

I’m thinking about a lovely compliment I received last night. A few years ago, I’d have walked in the glow of those words, maybe for days, without a hint of humility, or wisdom, or a moment to reflect and gain perspective. I like compliments. lol This time, I smiled, expressed appreciation for the lovely words, and reminded myself that words are plentiful, easily shared, and not something to become attached to, generally speaking.

I’m very human. No compliment can overwrite my humanity and make me something – or someone – other than this human being who I am. Here’s the thing about lovely compliments (and vile insults); they are words. Perspective shared by someone else. Their perspective. However much those words themselves may carry a valued message, they are not my words, not my perspective, and there is no easy way to narrow things down to be entirely certain they are wholly true, when it comes to a compliment. I’m not even sure that matters; the truth of a compliment doesn’t reduce its power to send me straying from my path. So. A smile. A moment. A lovely compliment.

Then I begin again, and move on with my day or evening or moment, on my own path.

Don’t let compliments (or insults) distract you from your forward momentum in life, if you can avoid it. I’m not saying don’t enjoy the moment, but I find that remaining connected with my sense of self can tend to insulate me from wandering off my path tempted by lovely words. 😉

You are getting that all of this also applies to negative words, criticism, insults, hurtful mis-statements, lies? It’s no more personal than a lovely compliment, inasmuch as even when entirely intentional on the part of the person delivering the words, those words are still more about that person than they are about you – a statement of their beliefs, perceptions, or understanding, at best, and no more a reflection of who you truly are than an astrology reading; not a reflection of you at all, unless you choose to adopt it.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

I think a moment more about lovely compliments, and hurtful insults, then notice I forgot to make coffee. LOL I guess it’s time to begin again. 😉

Language is funny stuff. I sit here amusing myself with rephrasing passive-aggressive posts in my feed, and vague-booking posts, and always/never posts… basically just reading posts and rewriting them in my head to be clearer (to me) and more frank and… more honest.

Seriously, though, what’s with the bullshit that fills up our thoughts and clutters our minds? “I always…”, “you never…”, “you always…”, “I never…” We could just start and end right there with that one. Those are not just wild exaggerations (and for my own amusement, I’ll say “they always are”, which is likely only mostly true) – they are the sort of subtle lies that set us up for failure.

“Can’t” versus “Haven’t”.

“Always” and “never”.

“Have to” and “Can’t”

“No one ever talks about…” (seriously with that foolishness?)

We put our experiences in context, but rather unfortunately I suspect, we own not only our experience, not only our “content”, but also our context – which we get to craft ourselves from whatever notions and moments we think make sense together. lol We’re not super skilled at it, and fill our heads with narratives about good guys and bad guys, and us versus them, and walls and borders and restrictions… still sucking at real boundary-setting, still sucking at being our authentic selves, still sucking at honest self-reflection…

…Still sucking at accepting and encouraging the varying experiences of others, which differ from our own…

…And we wonder why our lives are filled with drama? LOL Omfg – because we create our experience specifically that way! 

We (and by we, I specifically mean you and I) can do better. We can for sure do differently. We have choices.

Choose your words with care. You aren’t only communicating to others, you are setting a tone for yourself, crafting the narrative of your life that you may share with others intending to communicate something about yourself, and literally creating your own understanding of the world. I’m saying your words matter, specifically for that reason.

Treat your own sanity well, specifically by practicing using skillfully frank, and yes also kind, language with and to yourself. Stop trying to “sell it” and just be clear.

I know, I know, this is me saying this, and you know I love some words… Just, …choose them as you would anything else that really really matters. 🙂 Because they do.

Ready? It’s time to begin again. 😀