I am the wind of change
Harsh and abrupt I call to you
Some praise me
Some curse me
But none can rid themselves of me
I am the inevitable
Some fear me
Some love me
Strong I am constant in my ways
I am the wind of change
I am the wind of change
Harsh and abrupt I call to you
Some praise me
Some curse me
But none can rid themselves of me
I am the inevitable
Some fear me
Some love me
Strong I am constant in my ways
I am the wind of change
Something I have been trying to make more sense out of is the difference between reliability and trust. Many people may think that it is the same thing, but I beg to differ. I believe that these two concepts, though similar, stand alone in meaning. To me, trust is a matter of truth while reliability is a matter of follow through, and you don’t necessarily need one to have the other.
I personally value both of these skills differently because within my personal context of life, I strive to be trustworthy and am but am very often unreliable. To keep your word, to tell the truth, be honest with yourself and with others is to be trustworthy. To show up, not cancel last minute, keep in communication, etc is to be reliable. I value reliability in communication much more than physical reliability because I understand that circumstances with arise where you may not be able to follow through with plans, but if you communicate that you have done your part.
Communicating consistently allows for a demonstration of respect, loyalty and importance for who ever you are planning with. In my circumstances, I can’t always follow through with plans, and I have come to accept that as a fact. This doesn’t make me happy, I am not forced to stop making plans, but I do have to maintain a realistic self-awareness all the time and communicate that where necessary. Because of this though, I consider myself unreliable. It is the times that my health issues are debilitating, where I have no control over the situation, that I really consider myself unreliable. There is nothing I can do at that moment in time, but that doesn’t change the impact on the people around me and the things I need to do.
On the other hand, I pride myself on being trustworthy. I am a listener by nature, and have always been there to offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and a hug to hold. I don’t give unnecessary advice, I don’t force my opinion on others. I don’t share what you tell me unless it is something that directly involves me and concerns me alone, at which point it is my information and I have a right to share with someone to keep myself sane. I talk to a very few people about the deepest parts of myself, but for the most part, everyone else gets the very surface and no one knows who said what to whom. I’m not a gossiper. I’m not there to pick drama and start a fight. In those actions I consider myself truthful, honest and therefore trustworthy…
But just because you can trust me doesn’t mean you can rely on me being around. I don’t usually run away and hide myself from social contact, though it does happen. I usually get swept up in the busy nature of adult life and time flies before I can’t even cast a second glance. Or more often I will be physically unable to be around, which is usually the cause of my disappearing and being a hermit, but I am up front and honest about that.
Trustworthiness and reliability are two very distinct skills and I honestly think that people need to start recognizing that and acknowledging that difference. It would save a lot of hardship and pain when people have to maneuver the expectations that are bestowed upon you at every turn and stage of life.
Sometimes all it takes to find yourself or the half you feel you are missing, is to find that missing piece. Now I’m not talking about that sweeping majestic romance that tears you off your feet and flings you into the thoughtless careless flight of puppy love, I’m talking about finding the partner that was meant for you. I personally do believe in the concept of soul-mates, that there is someone out there who is just right for you, but I don’t believe we all are given the opportunity to find them in our lifetime.
There are so many people on the earth that it is nearly impossible for everyone to find them, but I think that there are ways to tell whether you have the chance to at some point in your life. I’ve personally always had this instinctive gut feeling that there was someone out there for me. I knew I would find him, and I knew what I was looking for. I had a list of characteristics of his personality and basic physical features that I always knew were just right for me. I used to pretend that because someone displayed some of these character traits they must be the right one! I would focus so much on those traits that I would ignore the rest of my gut feelings that screamed “no! It isn’t right! Stop it! It won’t last!”. I wanted that person so badly that I would be certain in my impatience that he would just show up the next day so I could live my happily ever after….
Then I realized that I had been imposing that lost on all the wrong people, that I had been impatient and dumb about my romantic choices, and that I needed to take a break and stop looking. I looked so hard for so long that I didn’t know how to stop looking, but I figured it out by distancing myself from the idea of relationships and smothering my own heart. I knew that I would find someone right for me, but that knowledge gave me dangerous rose coloured glasses. Yet, as soon as I stomped on those glasses and looked out with clear vision, I was met in the most unlikely situation of finding him. Finding the man I had known was right for me.
We clicked and sparked like wildfire from the moment we met. A short conversation at a party led to exchanging Facebook info, and plenty of very riveting conversations. We had planned for an evening hanging out, but the closer I came to the night the more my heart fluttered at the thought– which I would promptly stomp on and repeat to myself “Stop it! You are not allowed to talk yourself into thinking he is the right one like all the other silly times you’ve done!!”…. It turned into a date as soon as the evening began. It was the first time I had met someone who understood me so easily and deeply, without any idea of what I had been through. I kept my thoughts in check and have stayed grounded and realistic though, and still my heart hasn’t faltered. We keep communication open, we talk about everything and plan together, we are both seriously committed to eachother and understand that to make this work takes effort. We understand that life will change us, and that we can’t know what will come, but the universe has seemingly sought out to ensure we have a solid foundation. Everything with my health has flared up worse than it has for a good two years; my fibromyalgia, my migraines, my celiac disease, medication failures, I went through drug withdrawal in the transition to new medication, sickness (bad RTI), and that’s the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve actually been through together already.
I can’t say that love is easy, that love makes things go away, that love fixes anything, but I can say that it makes it so you aren’t going through all those ups and downs of day to day life alone- and if you feel like you’re missing a part of yourself, can make you feel whole.
When you walk through the park in spring and summer, it is easy enough to tell when the seasons have been rough. Trees you’ve once known to be proud and strong are barren with the smallest bloom of new growth riddled around the roots and trunk. The limbs stand there, empty husks to the life they once knew. They have been beaten by the weather, resources or infestations, and you can see the scars. Though they are still alive and burst into life from the source, the dead limbs stand with no strength ready to fall at the lightest pressure. When we see these trees we don’t choose to burden them with weight by building off of them or climbing onto them because we know that something is wrong.
We see these trees with a small sadness for their loss, but more than anything we understand that they need to heal in their own time and require no pity. The need care and fair treatment, plenty of light and water.
I am like those trees but the piece that couldn’t survive the weather is inside, unseen to the naked eye. I am strong as I have regrown around the husks and grew vines to cover the dead limbs in a mask. I can survive and grow on my own, though I need to be careful what I weight myself down with. I don’t need pity, but I need care and consideration.
In my opinion, any mental or physical chronic illness functions in a similar way. Until you can regrow what you feel you have broken or lost in yourself, there is a feeling of being incomplete or weak inside. No one can see the effects of the environment on you, and your roots are firmly in the ground, but you cannot build when the rest of the structure of yourself is faulty. You cannot grow when you force yourself to bring life to the branches that are lost, you have to start again from the source, the roots of your very self before you can reclaim yourself, but you won’t ever be the same. Those dead limbs will always be there, shaping the way your new growth can take. They become a part of you, and as you grow into them, you begin stronger and stronger.
I have spent most of my life researching this obscure, hard to define concept of “religion” or “spirituality”, have just graduated with a degree in religious studies, am working towards a double major in religious studies and linguistics before doing graduate studies in religious studies. I grew up in an agnostic household with familial Catholic roots, explored my own spirituality from the age of ten and have spent countless hours researching everything that wasn’t the abrahamic religions until second year university. I know much more about neo-paganism than any other tradition in a broad sense, and am now a Catholic Druid. I practice a syncretic form of Catholicism and Druidic neopaganism spending mist of my life as a Buddhist practitioner or neo-pagan Druid. I don’t speak Christian Vernacular, but I am beginning to understand it in pagan terms as time goes by.
My theory is one that I currently cannot prove, but have found strong evidence towards the possibility and is as follows:
There is a physiological aspect of the human being that is spirit (or participant in an energy field non reliant upon our physical substantial reality) that develops as a soul like any physiological part of the human anatomy or psyche, leaves our bodies at the time of death and turns into a spirit. Here the soul is defined as the organic substance that is in a state of growth and change, while the spirit is defined as the final state of a soul that no longer grows in an organic fashion and returns to the base energy from which everything exists. In the spiritual development of a soul, or the time in which a soul is able to grow during life, an individual will grow in conjunction to their natural physiological calendar, specifically, their neurological development. The likeliest source of the connection of an individual that allows them to sense the spirit which permeates all existence in our universe is developed in conjunction with or through the development of the frontal lobe.
My theory suggests the involvement of the frontal lobe in the development of controlling the soul’s interaction sigh the spirit because of the patterns displayed in human developmental patterns as well as sociological aspects indicating possible connections to this development. A soul will develop whether the individual interacts with the spirit. In the early development of children, as their higher function emerge (Freud’s 4-7 years old), they often demonstrate the ability to interact with the spirit in a way that later is over ruled by the next stage of development in reasoning and critical thinking. In the teenage years, individuals may begin to develop skills or question, as this is often a large period of growth. I am more familiar with young children as I have two young half sisters whom I have cared for often and have been teaching and tutoring elementary school aged children for the last 6 years in varying capacities. For adults, modern research has found that the final stage of development of the frontal lobe occurs in the early to mid 20s, which is concurrent with the occurrence of spiritual awakening or exploration.
I have a fair amount of research that I can apply to this go support my theory, but I have not done adequate research for opposing this theory and have not pooled together a credible bibliography, so for the moment this theory will remain an idea that is open to research and scrutiny! In any case, I like my theory as it does explain a great deal of sociological confusions surrounding religious traditions from an anthropological and sociological point of view.
Sometimes I feel like I’m lost here, like this world is a dream and someday I will wake up and find myself far away from here. It’s funny because you might think that I am running alway, wishing to escape, but I’m not. I know that my life as it is now is real, that it is no dream, and no matter how much I might wish it, I most certainly won’t be waking up. I’m scared, out of place, in fear of myself and my life itself. I fear that which I’ve always been, that which I’ve experienced, that which I may one day face. I feel alone and lost, even in company. I feel like a stranger in my skin, and I always see more than my poor eyesight allows. I’ve sought out answers to my questions and with each answer I’ve asked five more questions, found myself more and more helpless to the truth.
When I am awake, my thoughts stir with life and ideas of a greater picture for humanity, one that needs more than I think I can give. I feel disheartened and heavy. I feel tired, and I wish beyond belief that this reality wasn’t mine. I wish that I could give it away, that I could turn my back and run… Run and run and run until I’ve run so far that I have run from myself. There is nothing I fear more than myself. I fear truth because I have grown to doubt what I know from being surrounded by disbelief… Unfortunately, knowing people often find disbelief in things that do exist doesn’t make it any easier to exist through. Some say that I’m strong, some say that they take inspiration from me, but I don’t believe them… I know it is the truth, but I can’t bring myself to believe them, because I was taught to question myself. I’ve grown so used to others not believing in me that having support is foreign and scary.
If I could turn the clock back, I wouldn’t, but instead, I have been pretending the clock doesn’t exist. I know that I feel surreal because I have continued true on my path through life when others would say I wasn’t good enough, or would say my pains or illness were all in my head… Maybe it is from this that I want to wake up from. Maybe I don’t want to face everything I’ve been through, because that would mean admitting it happened. Admitting it hurt me, left me more scarred and maimed inside than I want to admit. I can’t avoid the surface scars– the neurotic tics, social anxieties and problems with control– those are always present to me and those around me, but the deeper ones, the places I’ve hidden away from even myself, those I don’t want to see. I don’t want to be broken inside, I want to be that ideal picture of greatness that was set for me to strive for… But that ideal doesn’t exist, and I feel like if I admit that, I will be weak. If I admit what I’ve been through, what I’ve really been through, I won’t be accepted, I won’t be liked, I will be shunned, called names, and I will be forgotten.
I panic when I am alone because I am faced with myself. I’m faced with a lifetime of memories that are so different than anything I had thought was normal. I’m faced with memories that predate this life in this body. I’m faced with glimpses of my future that I’ve known since I was little, and have one by one come to pass. I’m faced with my heart, my ideas, my opinions… And I want to run away from them… But with each step I take in escape, I am face to face with everything and want to cry.
As much as it pains me though, I will never back down or give up. I take everything my life has in store, and I continue, I move forward and I go on. The only solace I have found in this emotional and physical burden is my spirituality and intellect. Where others can find peace or relaxation in video games, art, reading or such, my health has kept those from me. I still enjoy them, but I can’t guarantee when I can or can’t do anything– but even when I can’t understand the world around me, even when I can’t speak or read or interact, I can think and exist in mind and spirit. That is my only certainty in this life. Night after sleepless night I escape into myself and find peace in the knowledge that I am here with a purpose. I am a messenger, here to iron out as many wrinkles as I can, and teach people to prevent more wrinkles than are needed in our societies. I think about what I have accomplished and plan for the future with hope that things will work out in such a way that my plans can work.
I am a dreamer, a thinker, a creator and a doer… And it scares me. Not because I doubt my own capabilities, no. It scares me because I know what I can do it and I do it without any doubt. Though I run away from my emotions, I am real and driven in ways that surprise everyone who doubts me. I have been and continue to do everything I set my mind to and succeed– but my drive and accomplishments do nothing to wash away my pain. As hard as I push and fight in my uphill battle, I’m still running away from the ghosts that haunt me too. They scare me so deeply, and I don’t know how to face them. I don’t know if I want to face them, though I know eventually I will need to. For now, I will keep running… And someday I may muster the courage to face myself… Because there is nothing in this world scarier than myself…
PS. Insomnia doesn’t make running away from yourself any easier because everyone else is asleep while you sit in bed with your eyes closed, willing sleep for hours on end, trapped in a dark room with nothing but the shadows peaking in the reflections of your mind.
While I wait to go forward the night and darkness over take me
I am lost to the abyss and stand perilously close to the edge
Peering over the side I find myself stranded and lonely
Hands reach towards me to pull me away and grasp the nothingness within
Sullen and worried the stand as wisps so far away in the dense fog
Yet again I look around not knowing what I see or hear or touch
I am stranded confused blind and dumb waiting for something else
I’m lost and teeter dangerously closer to the edge and want to fall
Heavy and leaden I am pulled from afar down into the gruesome depths
I don’t know where I’m falling or how long I will have to fall
I don’t know if I will stand again or if I am lost to the dredges and smoke
Maybe I am not falling but floating motionless in the expansive void
I contemplate how I came to be trapped in this listless colourless fog
I want to make my body stop and rest in this fog under an eternal shroud
Too tiring to act like I am not addled or lost to this confused state
Sitting alone the fog settles in around me with no hands grasping me
I feel warm and peaceful yet I’ll at ease in this void within my mind
Maybe I could learn to exist here and forget that I am more
It would be so easy to lose myself in the fog so maybe I never truly was
There is no past present or future in the swimming cottony fluff
There are no plans needs wants or expectations when I am lost
There is no certainty of knowledge or flow of the streams of time
There is only me
I am the nothingness that twirls around and fills my very being
There is no reality in this dreamy cloudy weightlessness
I am not here nor there nor anywhere
There is just an endless fog in my mind
It is as simple as this: I hate medication.
I am currently unable to sleep because my acute migraine treatment medication has reacted with the super uncomfortable tingly sensations reaction everywhere rather than make me sleepy like it has previously. My last meds for migraine and FM treatment worked for a month before failing, and the ones before that to treat just my migraines gradually stopped working after 3 months of use and failed completely after 7 months of use. Pain medication doesn’t help my FM or my migraines, and I can’t swallow anything during a celiac reaction so relief from that is non existent. My body metabolizes medication quickly and normalizes to it without fail, and I’m worried that I will be stuck on an endless medication trial and error period with brief respite followed by overwhelming pain as the medication fails and my body is no longer used to being in that pain all the time. When I was in the hospital with appendicitis, I was given a narcotic that has since aggravated the nausea/vomit response in my body that I had not had to experience in conjunction with migraines before hand. My old family doctor had me on estrogen birth control with my aura migraines for four years, and it took switching to a new doctor to figure out why that caused constant migraines and neurological symptoms.
Medication doesn’t solve the issue, it just puts a laced bandaid over the issue at hand and causes more problems than it seemingly tries to fix.
Vitamins are useful when paired with a balanced diet, but those and allergy medication are the only pills that have actually had a positive impact on my body.
My rant is done.
It’s a wonder how little you need to escape when you have found yourself in a safe place, but when you’ve lived on the run, where do you go to find strength? Is it somewhere outside, or is there a way to find that inner strength used to run away. With inertia gone, all those fears you run from come crashing inwards, a surging tidal wave over your heart and it feels like you’re drowning.
I’m in a home where I am safe from conflicts surrounding myself, where I am not a burden, where I feel that I am loved for who I am for the first time in my life, and in the peace of mind it brings I am lost. My health is shaky, my medications have failed, I’ve had to drop out of performing in the choir I’ve rehearsed with all year the week before performances, I’m searching for new employment because the elementary school I worked at is done for the summer, and I’ve just finally recorded from a terrible respiratory tract infection that had me bed ridden for most of last week. I had to cancel plans for today last minute because I woke up to a throbbing, nauseating migraine after experiencing the scariest rare auras again for the first time since November on Friday (where I lose fine motor control in my hands and mouth and can’t speak though my thoughts are uninhibited). I have been blessed with the most patient and loving of partners and love my boyfriend dearly for his constant support and strength; and the hopes I once had of finding my safe home taking more of my problems away and making life easier have all been burst. Living in a healthy home has certainly made my life better, but in no way has it become easier… And that makes me wonder if my spirit will ever find respite from the constant tired and worn away feelings… Whether I will struggle forever, or whether someday something will ease up.
I haven’t faced the pain from giving up on the things I love because of my health problems yet, and I know I have bottled it up. Missing my choir’s performances has left me feeling hollow and empty in my creativity, I’ve given so much of what I love up over and over that it feels as though the universe is trying to teach me to not care… If I don’t care, I won’t lose anything, because there won’t be anything to lose in the first place. It isn’t a healthy way to look at it, but I feel more broken now that I’m in a safe place than I ever did trying to escape from unhealthy living situations. In safety I’ve been given the chance to see everything I’ve hidden away and bottled up, and it is daunting to find in myself. The pain from my migraine has worsened this sensation as it cements the immanent nature of the effects in my day to day life that I have had to deal with for the last four years now of chronic migraine and eight for fibromyalgia. I’ve spent my life fighting for each day, and I’ve succeeded, but at a cost. The cost is my own self, because the longer I fight, the harder it is to remember why I’m fighting in the first place, the easier it is to see where I have failed, and in my new experience with a healthy partnership, the harder it is to be alone with myself especially in times of flare ups or illness.
I’m not running from anything harmful anymore, I have the direction planned fit my life, I’m taking those necessary steps, but it’s hard… Incredibly hard.
Something I have been going through lately in my spiritual journey is figuring out an understanding of what it means to “Offer up” your experiences for others. I was stuck on how simple it was to just say “I’m in pain… I offer this for—-.” and just be done with it, not really knowing what that act really meant. Well, in truth, it can be likened akin one of the Races for Awareness. How? Let me show you.
In a race such as a race for Cancer foundations there are two goals: 1) raise awareness for the disease and research needs, 2) raise money for the research foundations. In donating to the race, you are giving up something you have worked hard for in order to help people you don’t know. In running in the race, you prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally to invest yourself in the experience of running for a cause that is important to you. You are the one physically giving your time not only on the day of the race, but in all the preparation for it. You also act as a lowly messenger, going from person to person, networking your way through individuals to raise everyone else’s awareness of the cause. We do these types of awareness fund-raisers all the time; the first one I ever participated in was Jump Rope for Heart in elementary school. Everyone should be familiar with this concept of giving and sharing awareness to help others, and this is how “Offering it up works”.
In “Offering” our experiences to God for the purpose of someone else, we are Running a Race for Grace. Instead of collection money, we are collecting Grace to be shared with whoever or whatever we ask. Instead of running an actual race, you use your day to day lives as your time and energy being spent in offering. You spread awareness by the impacts your life has on others through this act of offering and finally, the effects for yourself are astounding. Whether you look at it from a scientific, psychological or religio-spiritual perspective, the act of offering your personal experiences has a tremendous effect on your day to day lives. God can’t take away suffering, so if you have to live through it anyway, why not do it for a cause? Like the grueling training routine before a race where you push yourself past the point of comfort and start to suffer from muscle aches and pains, if you go through it for a reason it makes it so much more worth it. Same goes for Thankfulness and Love, or anything really. Offer your thankfulness and love for the purpose of others and not only will you be helping them, you will be a much happier person. We have proven that thankfulness is one of the best ways to increase happiness in anyone, so if your thankfulness has an extended purpose, you’ve just given yourself immensely meaningful happiness.
Like St. Therese said in her Path of the Little Way, not everyone is meant to do great things in large obvious ways. The most satisfying things in life come from selflessness, thoughtfulness and love. Most notably, when you take a careful look at the special small things, purposely done just for someone important specifically by you. Through Offering up your experiences you turn your life from ordinary to extraordinarily meaningful and fulfilling, no matter what you go through.
I personally can testify that through my experiences with divorced parents, emotional abuse, adhd, dyslexia, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, chronic migraine I have found purpose through my spirituality– and in the time since my baptism, I’ve found that purpose through the Church. Not because I wouldn’t have meaning otherwise, but because I know I can have my hardships mean more than just pain and end up with a positive effect on the world, and that my thankfulness will do the same.