The holidays are upon us, those days that most associate with happier times that included family and social connections. Some find this time of year a struggle that drains them, reminding them of what is lost or has never really been there, and everyone around them busting with excitement doesn’t help.
For those that are bursting and overjoyed, those that aren’t can seem like party poopers, spoiling the moment, yet ask yourself why it is that they feel that way? Do you know enough about those around you to be able to interpret why they think, feel, and act as they do? Ever considered that not everyone has lived our life, gotten what we have, or is seeking what we do?
We often make our judgments of others and situations based on our experiences and expectations alone and, in the process, deny ourselves the ability to empathetically connect. Our understanding of other’s seemingly unnatural responses leads us to a greater appreciation of all that we have and our lives have offered us. Not only do the holidays cause these kinds of feelings, you know, but divorces and other changes can also be just as daunting at times.
My point here is that the only thing that doesn’t change in all our lives is the process of change itself. We all get older, people come and go, jobs and hobbies meaning fade, social media no longer empowers our identity, and we are left asking ourselves the same questions.
Who am I and where am I going?
When did this happen?
How am I going to survive?
The list goes on and on, my friends, yet we all ask ourselves these things. It is only by reaching out in love and empathy to one another that we find the answers because retreating within only builds walls that undermine new additions.
Every year I struggle to find ways to connect, remember and be remembered, love and support, encourage and enable because if I don’t then nothing happens. Change happens, sure, but if I don’t actively engage in the process what will take shape?
We, each of us, are co-creators of our lives, and every decision we make impacts how it takes shape for ourselves and others. Choices define our reality, positive or negative, and what we sow reflects what is within and what we harvest from without. So, look around you and pay attention to what you see, and you might just find that you can become the answer to someone’s pain or loss. Ask yourself these questions:
What do you seek in life?
What do you seek to for nourishment of your needs?
What do you want?
Where do you look for what you want?
How do you deal with change?
When you pause from the maze of your life, what message do you see handwritten on the walls?
If you are intrigued by what I am asking, I suggest that you read the book entitled, “Who moved my cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. Take the time to think about how you recognize change in your life, how you adjust to it and adapt, or do you lock up and rebel against it?
I know many of you have wondered how I survived and grew as a man and person over the last 21 years in prison, and often the messages that I share are laced with pain and hurt from the past. It is my hope to share things that enable me to see things as they are, not as I am, and in the process inspire you to do the same. Every day we are exposed to messages that influence how we see things, what we want and do and feel, and more and more we forget what we value or what matters in our lives.
Each day, when I look at the TV, I see political ads that promote one individual over another, pointing out the flaws of one and strengths of another, and society as a whole is enflamed by rhetoric and judgments that cause violence. Anyone who claims political speeches don’t cause a certain action yet takes the time to take part in them wants you to act blindly on what they say while ignoring who says it.
Every day we are pushed and pulled by our needs, beliefs, pain, loss, friends, family, ambitions, and many other subtle persuasions from sources we can’t label. It took me stopping, looking around, listening, to see where I was and who I had become. Every day, you are being asked to see and do things on a subconscious level, by the programming that shaped you into who you are. Be aware of the things you tell yourself, what the world and others are suggesting, and figure out what your cheese is and how to get and keep it. 🙂
As for politics, take the time to figure out what a Democrat and Republican are, what they say are important to them, and vote for people that would best represent your interests. You are electing those that will create and interpret the laws that will govern your life, and on either side of the fence, it is important that we have leaders and mentors that seek change that benefits our society. Not a party or a person, but the ideas and beliefs that made this country great.
Equality is central to all that we hold dear, and to be equal we must all be part of the whole. Every vote matters, you matter.
Be a blessing, Heath