Posts Tagged ‘life’

If and Then

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Concrete Jungle Life
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Tell me if this statement sounds familiar: If I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently.

Sure we all have said that once we have experienced the consequences of our past actions, but believing we would do things differently is a false assumption and here is why. Unless, you are keenly aware and spiritually sensitive to your current actions, employing some kind of spiritual kaizen to improve your ways, at best you are repeating yesterday’s agenda.

Most people will not take the high road and make the necessary changes in their lives because, quite frankly, it is hard work. It is painful to employ analytic thinking only to discover your thoughts are dripping with unchallenged prejudices. It is disturbing and uncomfortable to live with the collateral damage of decisions made twenty years ago. We get easily sidetracked by peer pressure, the cares of this life, the lust to compete with people we do not know in order to impress people we could care less about.

What’s equally disturbing is that some of us are so far removed from the decisions we make that we are numb to its immediate effects and blind to the long-term collateral damage. I know this to be true because my “if” became my “then” and slapped me into an awakening. By one admission, and I will be the big girl and say, it was voluntary, I set things in motion of which I had no control over. Not only the result of the decision, but the subsequent events that came afterwards.

I know what it feels like to live in a perpetual merry-go-round and hoping it would stop, but there is one thing I have learned, in order to stop the dejavu you have to bite the bullet and end the cycle yourself. Crying about what I did doesn’t help and hoping that some magical white knight will come and rescue me will never happen. Not to mention learned helplessness is very unattractive. No one likes to be around someone whom they perceive to be needy and at the mercy of the universe.

So I clip and cut. This time I take many pauses and determine that whatever I do, to ensure I have sufficient to see it through.

Lady Fate

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Rat Race
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There are times when work life becomes a series of events of layoffs, involuntary demotions, or even the promotion of others at your expense. Sometimes, it appears that those who jumped ship before the Titanic sank just happened to do so at the right time. We all experience these scenarios and if your situation is such as the cards of life have dealt you a bad hand the last thing you need is to hear some insensitive prick say things like, “you should have seen that coming,” “get over it,” or “move on to bigger and better things.” Quite frankly that is crass and if someone responds in such manner it is a sure sign you are speaking to a obtuse idiot. Sometimes we do not see the writing on the wall either because we felt entitled to the cheese or we were surviving on what little cheese we had left to feed a household and pay bills. In any case we need to learn how to be tender because as Lady Fate would have it your day is coming.

Have you ever experienced a hail storm, tornado, and earthquake all in the same day? I have not but it seems like the oceanic waves that bombard my life feel like all three cataclysmic events happen simultaneously. Back to back. Heaps of stress, anxiety, and fear of what I think will take place grips my soul until one day I made a conscious choice to stop believing that when negative events snowball in my life that these were individual storms. Now, I think otherwise.

I believe we can only endure one storm at a time. One major things happens and life goes awry with events unfolding as if someone unleashed the dam. It has to be one storm because there is no way with so many things rushing towards me at the speed of light that it is two or three storms. How do I know? Not sure if I know rather I believe for this very reason: at what point in time do I get to recoup and not become destroyed? There must be a pause or else I would be consumed.

One storm brings much collateral damage. We see it in the tornadoes that sweep across certain regions of the U.S. Is there such a thing as a tornado taking place and ruining one house, one street, or one car without touching anything else? Even in the Wizard of Oz it was not so.

Unfortunately our one storm does not land us in a magical place surrounded by little people, accompanied by an adorable dog, talking tigers, animated scare crows and a tin man craving to be human. We are not graced by a good witch, tormented by her evil sister or haunted by the all-knowing twit behind the curtain with an escape plan of clicking those magical ruby red slippers three times chanting there is no place like home. No, instead we are challenged to recover in the face of so called friends who claim to provide us comfort and support.

Instead of the damage left we should focus on light and calm after the storm that reveals the true nature and character of our and associations. We see who the fair weather friends are when the illness is extended. No money to pay bills or shamed to accept assistance from the very persons we despise. It is in this one storm that people witness if we live out what we believe or say what we think we believe. The one storm reveals the hearts and minds of those so called along friends who patted us on the back while we were promoted on the job, married the person of our dreams, or lost weight. The storm hits and all we hear is “dear you must have done something wrong to bring this upon yourself.” “I guess you were not so righteous after all.” “Had you listened to me,” and “I tried to warn you now” becomes the script of our non-scripted reality TV show.

One storm. It is only a snap shot of what took place at one time. It is not the filmstrip of our lives. Only a single event in a series of moments.  Glad to know that when I encounter a storm, it will be only one.

I know when my life is out of order just by looking at my closet. It reveals things about what is going on with me like no other. On the outside, I keep a clean, clutter free desk. From time to time I let a few things stay in the back of my car. Occasionally I will break away from my regularly scheduled routine and treat myself to the forbidden lemon pound cake at Starbucks. As such, none of these things appear to be abnormal; however, if one were to take a look at my closet during distressing times it is a sign that something has gone amuck.

Irritating numb nuts in traffic. Rude and obnoxious tellers at the bank. Co-workers not pulling their slack let alone having to go to the grocery store and they are out of your favorite desert. One thing after another and before I know it, I pull away from life and retreat in a corner. Perhaps what I am really doing is making excuses of not dealing with life. Then there are times when things get so bad, I have to withdraw. I get sick and tired of being sick and tired and just wish that Earth would quit rotating for one moment and put life on pause, but it does not. It keeps on going. While I muster up enough strength to knock the living day lights out of what seems like waves of cosmic forces, my closet becomes more disorganized by the day.

If I do not check myself, you might have to do a closet intervention and rescue me from closet hoarding. Shoes all over the place. Pants dropped on the floor. Blouses barely make it on the hangers and open boxes of papers all over of which I cannot remember what I was looking for in the first place.

My closet is a reflection of what is going on internally. It is not open to the public for my eyes only. Like my delicate items that I guard ever so closely. When I step back and look at my mess, it screams at me “CLEAN IT UP!” It pains me to consider that if my closet is that messy, then what areas of my life are so messy that life is telling me to “CLEAN IT UP!”

Point well taken closet skeletons.

That which was our present has now become our past and we cannot recover time lost, opportunities wasted, or undo mistakes. We can never over emphasize how time waits for no man and there is no physical hand to extend to manipulate it. We, not the universe or our fellow man must take the initiative to set things in motion that would cause us to move forward and not backward.

What is it about this thing called yesterday that is so appealing to the mind? The heart? The soul? The good things that happen we want to relive again. The bad circumstances that take center stage we desire to change as quickly as possible. Why it is that a bad yesterday becomes our future which is tomorrow and when we get there it is that thing called today.

Tick…tick…tick….tick….tick. It is never coming back.
Déjà vu. Tick…tick…tick…tick. Something to be learned.

What do we need to know about yesterday that helps us to better deal with tomorrow? Maybe it is perspective, judgment, or the power to live in the present. Not the moment, the present. You know how it is. Someone is talking to you and desiring your attention when you would rather be elsewhere, so you take a mental trip to your favorite place all the while not only are you missing the moment. You are missing the very essence of being present in the now. If we choose to live more passionately and full of purpose, then we can only hope that our yesterday be the past and never to become our future.

The law of the jungle states that every man is for himself. Understood. Preservation. It is our method and mode of survival, but what about perspective? What we see, where we see it, and how we see it is everything as it relates to our endurance. In fact, I must contend that it is not what we do first that keeps us alive. It is what we see first, then what we do.

Nevertheless, even in our seeing if we do not perceive things accurately we could get killed. Perspective without context is meaningless. Better yet, perspective without appropriate context is a violation of reality. Without proper context you will never begin to see the truth and you know exactly what I mean. Mr. Pitiful filters the world through the lens of his own pain and it appears without rhyme or reason, he bleeds death by a thousand cuts. Moping in shame and in disgrace he persists in believing a lie that others are the cause of his own pain while refusing to acknowledge that he was party to the situation. Instead of helping him, we witness his foolishness and keep our comments to ourselves because we want no part of his delusion.

Then comes Ms. Déjà vu. Same bat time, same bat channel. Unable to break the cycle she attributes her woeful life to persons, places, and things. Shaded by her own shortcomings and failures, the bitterness of her soul spews out hatred and all the while she belligerently defends her case. Not only is she often held in contempt of the jungle court because of the obnoxiousness of her arrogance, she forever remains shackled to the law of insanity. So what does she do? She traps another victim and ensnares the once pure unsuspecting soul.

Permit me to digress from the jungle metaphor and reference this piece from Drs. Elder and Paul (2007) the authors of Analytic Thinking. They say, “Most of our reasoning is unspectacular [and]…it tends to become explicit only when someone challenges it and we have to defend it.” (p.6) I added this in because for all of us, in particular Mr. Pitiful and Ms. Déjà vu, the purpose of the pain or challenge is to aid us in becoming clearer in our reasoning not hurt us. Yet, being the creatures we are, we submit to a base self, illogical feelings, and distorted thinking forever shackling us to the muck and mire of an abysmal experience.

So before you are so quick to provide sanctuary for untested thoughts and declare the remaining jungle population anathema, ask yourself: What is my fundamental purpose? What is the main question I am trying to answer? Hopefully, you will see the world is less about you, and more about what you should be doing in it.

For months the beat of the jungle was not playing according to its natural rhythm. Jungle friends and foes alike were coming and going. Silence was weighty and loud. Many were not behaving in their usual manner because something felt wrong. Even among my kingdom Animalia Rodentia Order, there was suspicious activity. I for one attempted to continue business as usual with a moderate degree of success. Yet, even I have to admit that it was not easy.

Then it finally came to pass. Word from the World Wide Rodentia Council came together, representatives from all kingdoms convened about the future state of our glorious world and it was settled: We shall continue on and be strong!

I for one was relieved because for months our livelihood, security, and well-being were hanging in abeyance. During this arduous wait I discovered nothing is ever secure. What you have today can be gone tomorrow.

I felt reduced, diminished, and subjugated under someone else’s control. A grip without the hand. A snare without the pain of the trap. Then I began to wonder when the smoke cleared do I fare better to take matters into my own hands or is it possible for providence and self-determination to peacefully co-exist?

4:51 JT (Jungle Time) and I awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to face the day. As cliché as this is, today truly was the first day of the rest of my life. This was the day I choose to believe there is more to life than what I see. More to life than what I do. It is in this big cosmic maze that I decide whatever I do that is different from before was going to be that thing called change.

Will someone please tell the Emper-ah he has no clothes on!?

I see the emperor all time in various parts of the jungle exposing himself as if it is legalized pornography and the reactions are horrendous ranging from sheer horror to excessive vomiting. Upon entering the scene the atmosphere transformed by his perfumed arrogance is on the level of an atomic fart bomb. Those associated or more poignantly subjugated to the effervescent terror are not shielded. Some recoil in fear, others bow the knee and kiss the graven emperor image, and the smart ones run for their life.

With feline finesse and swagger I gallivant up and down the landscape observing the emperor’s ways. He struts in delusional glory, purports himself an intellectual superior, and if I did not know any better, I would say he is borderline omnipotent. In spite of his masquerade, I know his dirty little secret. You see, there were two evil geniuses who persuaded this self-righteous idiot that they could make him an invisible outfit and only the poor and ignorant bystanders would be unable to detect his new coat of armor. I am impressed. Not because of the fashion concept, rather the executed duplicity in selling him on the idea. These dudes deserve a standing ovation.

We know that one of the laws of the jungle is every man for himself. Simply put survival of the fittest, yet I am not implying that you compromise your integrity, self-worth, and honor in preserving your soul. If escaping shows you up as the sore thumb, then we must resort to being agile. Our continued existence depends upon three things: stealth, speed, and environmental flexibility. These three things the emperor does not have.

For one, we need stealth or the ability to move secretly without being detected. The Naked Emperor cannot do this because everything about him must be a Macy’s Parade. It is to your advantage to always and at the opportune moment navigate about without leaving a scent or trail. Second, living in the jungle requires speed and the best of us acquire it over time. Without rapid momentum and the capability to keep up, we will soon be ensnared. The Naked Emperor has one problem: the size of his head does not allow him the swiftness needed to run when danger is ahead so he eventually becomes destroyed by his own sense of greatness, only it is in his head. Lastly, our greatest weapon is environmental flexibility. The vicissitudes of life force us to adapt and we must if we want to secure long term survival. Similarly the entitled rodent in “Who Moved My Cheese” refused to adjust because his cheese was gone. Likewise it is so with the Naked Emperor. The prideful disposition that leveraged him this false sense of power is the same that will lead him to his inevitable demise. When the circumstance and environment changes, he will unwaveringly demand that things should return as they once were. The only thing is, it never was what he thought he believed it to be.

So, once again I ask will you please tell the emperor he has no clothes on.

Hateration (hay-tur-ra-shun) The inordinate, overinflated of self worth deflected upon innocent bystanders of one’s excessive and high levels of acidic envy, strife, and jealousy of your accomplishments.

It is epidemic. It is contagion. It is called hateration. Something we cannot avoid but can mitigate its lethal effects. As I was standing over the kitchen sink this morning I was thinking about some of the things I would like to pursue, and then it was apparent to me that I had been bamboozled by the seductive voice of deceit. Infuriated I thought how could I have allowed myself to be deceived and why did I listen to the critics from the Peanut Gallery? Perhaps it was my own insecurities or not realizing and honing my personal potential. Was it my less than desirable environmental conditions? The Man? The Government? Excessive leisure time spent in front the one-eyed monster? Take your pick. The excuses are endless but one thing is certain, no one can stop you from doing anything you want to do.

In this epic quest of self discovery I have come to encounter more doubt, opposition, and ridicule when I start talking about my dreams and what I will do to bring them into fruition. Truly, it must have been divine. It was as if I experienced an epiphany that these self inflated, superficial wonderful goobers were really projecting their OWN personal insecurities. It had nothing to do with ME, but everything about how they perceived their own reality.

I would like to have a Dr. Phil moment: How is that working for you?

Apparently it is not working for you my friend. If it were, then I would not have to be held hostage to your melancholy, woeful sonnet about the abysmality (I so made that word up) of your reality.

If there is any consolation to you, I am not the standard. Yet, should you be persuaded to believe so, I choose not to challenge your perception which is your distorted reality. I choose to be and because of this I AM. So, Lady Cheetah what is the mitigating influences to shield me from the members of HATERATION INC? It is the opposing forces that emanates from their souls that actually propels you forward and provides the momentum you need to make things happen in your life.

So where does that leave us? Do we shake hands, walk away, and be friends or do I intend to exalt myself as your ongoing confidant, counselor, and ego masseuse to fully persuade you against your will. I prefer the former, but here is the revelation. If I were not, then you would not do. However, because I AM you see yourself as NOT.