And They Came To Believe And It Came To Pass ~ Late Evening Thoughts

[updated video link 9/26/2012]

Hopefully, by the time I’m done this post will make sense.  Starting with Friday, this was an amazing weekend for me.  I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday, went with two VERY dear friends to Rocky Horror Picture Show with a wonderful, silly and noisy audience, and Sunday went to a club where I actually felt free to dance and not worry about the “youngers” standing on the sides going “ewwwww”!  I also, at the club had my inner theater geek (30+ years in theater will do that do you) explode as I got to see ~ but sadly not touch ~ the computerized controls for the entire light system.  Yes, it was an amazing, exhausting but fun weekend.  A true mountain top experience.

As we all know, you really can’t live on the mountain top ~ you inevitably must go down into the valley.  And that’s where I came to today.  One thing I’ve learned is that there’s really no good grass or water on the mountain top, it’s down in the valley.  While the valley may not be totally comfortable and it’s certainly NOT the high of the top, it still is very, very important and extremely worthwhile ~ if you let it.

As I was dealing with the “down” of today, my mind went to some of my friends complaints that I have a tendency to believe in people far longer than I should.  I know that it is sometimes a problem.  I had one person I was trying to help who fell into the pattern of using me to “have a place to stay to sober-up, get a little food to eat, clothes washed and a little money” – rinse, repeat.  I have another that I have such a soft spot for…a couple of years ago, he was trying to spark a business and I made an investment.  Not in the business, but in him.  I believed in him then, and I believe in him now.  I’m seeing some pay-off from the investment, but I must be the only one so far.

But as I was wondering in my mind ~ there is a saying that “My mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied ~ especially at night ~ I began to question my belief in people.  Then, my inner “me” took me back through much of my life … the problems in college, relationships that failed – badly, the three suicide attempts.  It was the third attempt  (which I posted about here before – feel free to read the history),  when at the CRU – the Crisis Residential Unit – that someone actually said they believed in me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty that believed in me, but somehow I had to come to the bottom before I could really realize it.  And as I climbed out of THAT “slough of despond” I became acutely aware of how powerful our belief in someone can be.  Oh, I’ve done it before, but there always seemed to be an agenda.  Now, I’m working agenda free.

To me, that’s where the power really begins.  You see someone not just as they are, but as they could be for themselves…..not as the person YOU want them to be.  I can’t change anyone, I can only encourage and believe in them.  They may not take the paths I would have or would have chosen – but they are on their own journey not mine.

I’m going to post more on this at another time, but also during the “down” of today, I found this video.  Here’s the power of only ONE person believing in someone.  He had only one person, his grandmother…I still cry each time I watch this video.  I want my life to be as she is … in the background, but believing.  That’s one of the things I’d like to be remembered for when – in the not too distant future – I’m gone that someone will say: “He believed in me”.

First off, I’m sorry there will probably be an ad (it is from You Tube after all) and please watch it all the way through and see what terrible power being told “you’re not good enough” can have over someone.  I’m not saying we have to encourage someone when they obviously can’t do something.  There’s no way at my age and (ahem) physical condition I’ll be an Olympic athlete – but there’s other things I can do…. and so can you.

[It appears I own an apology to Freemantle AND X-factor UK …Here’s the video embedded]

See people where they are, and for who they are … and as I used to tell my speech students, don’t change the pattern, just eliminate the flaws.

Early Morning Thoughts ~ Truth or ? (part 5)

When I started this journey with truth, I really hadn’t thought about other connections it might have. But when I decided that I wanted to have my childlike enthusiasm back it led directly to how I choose to deal with truth. After all, children live authentically, seldom afraid or embarrassed to seek out what they want or to speak their minds, unless they have been taught to fear or feel embarrassed to speak their truth.

Of course, as we grow older, we are taught to put that authenticity/enthusiasm away and adapt to what is considered to be “normal” to society. This isn’t a discussion about social graces or manners or integrity or ethics. What I’m talking about is the truth of who I am truly am – the characteristics, behaviors, passions and visions that are uniquely me . . . the true inner me. Without the masks of necessity, the hiding and lurking that living in society requires to function

This is motivating me to begin to be who I truly am and to discover my full potential. And to learn to work within the world around me without abandoning my authentic self. I may not speak my opinions or passions, but that doesn’t change the fact that I possess them.

It is very important that youthful authenticity and truth make up the qualities that help make me who I truly am. This is the true self – living authentically – . . . making time for things I love, enjoy and project who I am. It does require at times leaving the expectations of others behind and moving toward what I feel is the most worthwhile.

I need to become self-focused in a healthy way, doing what you know is best for you, regardless of the opinions of others – even the opinions of close friends and family. Living authentically means that I begin to make choices without fear, trusting in my soul’s wisdom. Denying my unique truth can lead to feelings of failure and dissatisfaction because I am no longer acknowledging your true self. In living in truth, there are no pretenses. Everything I do will reflect the choices I make. That in itself is a MAJOR challenge.

When I am unsure who the authentic me truly is, I need again to look inward and ask myself the same question I ask my friend with the serious illness: “Where am I?” This mean I need to look again at what my purpose, values, and needs are. I need to honor my strengths and try not to fall into the trap of being guided by what others expect of you. It’s a journey that is going to allow me to rediscover my passions of new things, and sticking with those things that stir my soul. I found a quote that I absolutely love:

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

The Gospel of St. Thomas Logian

However – don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook!(again, watch out friends)

Unless you are willing to look into yourself, you will miss the opportunity to know the real you—a life spent, not in living, but in keeping your feelings, desires and dreams at bay. If you look into yourself, you will confront your own, ‘enemy in the jungle.’ Unless you actively seek personal change through the hard work of introspection, you will, to some degree, have lived a non-authentic life and have been, to some degree, only a shadow of your true self. This, then, is your greatest personal tragedy.

And last, for this post, Let me leave you with a quote that I have been dealing with for several days. It really is an amazing challenge/caution.

The essential aims of life are present naturally in every person. In everyone there is some longing for humanity’s rightful dignity, for moral integrity, for free expression of being and a sense of transcendence over the world of existence. Yet, at the same time, each person is capable, to a greater or lesser degree, of coming to terms with living within the lie. Each person somehow succumbs to a profane trivialization of his or her inherent humanity, and to utilitarianism. In everyone there is some willingness to merge with the anonymous crowd and to flow comfortably along with it down the river of pseudo-life. This is much more than a simple conflict between two identities. It is something far worse: it is a challenge to the very notion of identity itself.

Vaclav Havel, “The Power of the Powerless