Life can only be understood backwards;
but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
(1813–1855, Danish philosopher, social critic, and author)
“There comes a time in your life when you finally get it ... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out "ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on." And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.
..........This is your awakening."
Excerpt from The awakening, bySonny Carroll 2001
Today, I have been thinking about my own boundaries, despite my good intentions, and about my powerlessness to change, what I cannot change.
In the words of the famous Serenity prayer, I can only change the things I can.
I awoke later than usual today, and everything went to “hell in a hand-basket”, (whatever that means..)
I found myself rethinking my whole blog topic, and change my entire presentation, because of my circumstances and my mood.
I am not immune to negative influences, and sometimes I need to throw up my walls in order to keep out the noise that invades my psyche.
I turned my mind to research to quieten my irritation with life, and found some very wise and leveling encouragement.
Among the writers and poets I researched, I discovered that Charlie Chaplain was actually a poet, as well as an actor, and a writer. He was a very compassionate man, who believed in Love for the greater good.
He wrote a very insightful poem about learning to love oneself, and acceptance, in order to cope with everyday challenges. He breaks down each important attribute into short and sweet verses, keeping it simple, but effective. He said that his favorite friend was his mirror, who never laughs when he cries, and despite his feelings inside, he always kept a smile on his face.
One of his most famous quotes explains, ” The Most sweethearted people are the most mistreated people, “ and he went on to write this poem called,
As I began to Love myself.
Poem by Charlie Chaplain
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!
I also found an anonymous poem, written in Prose about setting good boundaries.
Learning to receive good, also means learning to refuse harm.
It means accepting a life free of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse.
Affirming in ourselves in this way sometimes means walking away from a conversation, confrontation, or relationship.
Sometimes it means asserting ourselves by refusing to do things for others that they can do themselves.
We are responsible for setting boundaries on what we will accept from others.
We can understand and forgive them, but we don’t have to accept their abuse.
We deserve to be respected and valued in all our relationships, when we take responsibility for refusing to accept harm, we become freer to accept good.
I accept freedom from harm in all my relationships.
Getting rid of toxic people in your life is not easy. Often they come in the form of friends or neighbors, or more often, work colleagues. We do not choose who we work with, but we can choose how we react and how much energy we allow them to take.
In her poem, Awakening, Sonny Carroll talks about self-care, and healthy boundaries, and learning to rid oneself of negative influences. She says you must move on in order to make healthy progress.
“Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn't change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past.
So you stop lamenting over what could or should have been, and you make a decision to leave the past behind. “
Sonny Carroll 2001
This is where I find Creativity brings me such joy, such positive energy, such all-consuming relief. Whether it be making music, writing poetry, writing stories, painting, sewing, photography, it feeds the soul. Josh Stone, the British female singer, famous for her incredible bluesy voice, just released a new album called “Water for the Soul . In an interview on NPR this week, she explained how barren and depressed she feels when she has not been creative for a while. She talked of how much her song writing feeds her soul and helps her to self-actualize.
Recently I have enjoyed connecting with people on Instagram. I do not have a lot of time in my day for social media, and frankly, I find Twitter less and less alluring. There is such negativity and judgement going on that it takes a lot of effort to maintain relationships with like-minded individuals. I appreciate discussion and diverse opinions, but bigoted conversations turn me off. On #Instagram, one can enjoy a purely creative outlet, and read or appreciate another Artist’s work, and choose who to follow without fear of retribution if you don’t follow, or you say the “wrong “thing. On Instagram there are people who are fighting for a good cause, be it saving animals or saving water, but they do it in an essentially creative way, instead of slamming with offensive or impulsive comments.
I am generalizing of course, there are some very creative and level-headed people communicating on Twitter. I use twitter to promote my book and my Brand. But in some ways I find it too noisy to be of benefit to me.
As I get older, I have learned that Life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you deserve, and I have had to stop personalizing every disappointment.
So to end today, I will include this lovely little prayer that my sister Kate sent me via #Facebook.
I think it just about sums it all up.
Letter to God:
So far today I'm doing all right. I haven't gossiped, lost my temper; been greedy, grumpy, selfish, or self-indulgent. I haven't whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I haven't charged anything on my credit card.
However, I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think that I'll really need your help then.
Have a great weekend, and.....
May you always have...
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.
An Irish Blessing