Saturday, March 24, 2012

Words from a 15 Year Old Girl

It's almost scary how she already knew.....


"When someone special comes into your life you wonder what will happen next. Every day has its turns, its ups and downs. The important thing is to keep going, to never give up. Believe in yourself. Never give up. You'll only regret it if you do. Look towards that person. Learn from them, but don't try to become them. Be your own person. Find yourself, for someday they will leave. Maybe one day they'll come back, but it's unlikely. Even if they do it won't be near the same the second time around. Tell them how you feel, let yourself go, be free. Free to live, free to love yourself, free to be yourself, free to believe that you can do it, free to stand up for yourself, free to accomplish your goals, make your dreams come through. Have fun, for life is short. Make sure those who you love know it. Spend time with them and yourself. Don't try to change anyone, you'll just waste your time. Instead change yourself. Change your reactions. Never mope around the house. Do something about your problems. Solve them positively. You have the power within your mind. Once you become determined, look out world. For no one and nothing will be able to stop you."

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Wisdom is not necessarily comprised of concrete knowledge or the ability to make the "right" decisions according to some generally accepted standard. It is an individual skill, I think--a recognition of what feels right for a single person in a given set of circumstances, an ability to listen and trust your own voice. Not the dichotomous ones that we often hear, but the calm, steady one that seems to come from an internal center-place of peace and omniscience.

I've recently been reminded that I know how to do that. I know how to trust and follow my own calm, steady inner voice, even when it's being shrouded by the opinions of others that I may value and respect. Even when my doubts are trying to silence and discredit it. I've realized that this is a skill that I have not only developed through my own experiences of being "different" in some way, but by living with the example of someone who did just that. Despite the familial abandonment, the years of financial distress, the emotional taxation that came with the job, and the inability to at times, juggle her spiritual and physical purposes. Some of those consequences have more than reconciled themselves or been replaced by something more worthwhile, if not intangible. Some of those consequences are permanent parts of the deal she signed up for. But she never stopped listening, or fighting, or lost the courage to keep doing something that was connected to external and internal parts of her self. She may not always understand or agree completely with her daughter's own inner voice. But she knows that I'm completely tuned in this time--and I'm not switching stations, for anybody.

Sometimes that means going against conventions. Sometimes it means acknowledging and agreeing with the well-intentioned gestures of support from people that you admire, but realizing that you have to accomplish your mission your own way, in your own time. And--not be in a hurry to get it done and over with, because you've been "wasting time." I don't believe that any time is wasted. The calm, steady inner voice of wisdom that we all have doesn't see time as an excuse or even as a valid concept. Periods of stillness and retraction can be just as beneficial as periods of movement. Reflection, after all, is what drives action in the first place.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of something, it can be difficult to know how much or how little to show and how fast (or slow) to move. The most important thing, as my current mentor has said, is to keep moving.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A List of 2012 Mantras: We Believe What We Tell Ourselves.

I took a break from reading the latest novel on my MFA project period contract list and found a link to this great list that a friend of mine had posted on FB. I think it's so great and inspiring that I'm making it a part of my 2012 mantras. I also thought I would share it with all of my readers. I hope you find it as affirming as I did.

The HIYLife - We believe what we tell ourselves.: We believe what we tell ourselves. Tell yourself: Everything will work out. Things will get better. You are important. You are worth...

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Prejudice: 1. an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts; a preconceived preference or idea. 2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. 3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion. 4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others. (Definitions taken from The Free Dictionary)

Most of us are familiar with the blatant forms of prejudice--racism, sexism, etc. Some of us don't realize that we have prejudiced ideas and thoughts until we are confronted with certain situations and circumstances. Almost all of us have some ideas, opinions, and perspectives that are rooted in prejudice based on our own race, socioeconomic class, religion, sex, life experiences and influences. Subtle forms of prejudice can be harder to recognize or even admit. Challenges to our preconceived notions about others who are different from who we are can make us angry, flustered, and defensive. However, almost all of us are capable of changing that if we're willing to look beyond our own lenses. It doesn't mean that we're going to change our own journeys and our own dreams, but we can at least get to a point where we can acknowledge that there is more than one reality. And those realities are neither better or worse than the others. Each one has its value. Each one can co-exist with the other.

Subtle forms of prejudice are sometimes hidden behind "statistics," "facts," "old wives tales" and similar notions. Differences can scare people because they don't know how to control what they don't know. So we put a name on it, blame the person rather than the real cause, and isolate them in "punishment" for their difference, in a misguided attempt to control rather than understand, change, and heal. And god forbid that we ourselves should be different or go against the "culturally accepted norm." We might find ourselves alone and having to think for our own selves, rather than being "an engine that simply adjusts to the driver's choice of gear."

Subtle forms of prejudice exist everywhere in our world society. Some of them have become accepted theories, ways of life, or "just the way things are." Like the belief that an introvert can't possibly be a good leader or a good salesperson, because he/she must be "timid," "afraid of people," "unable to communicate," "unintelligent," and "not willing to be a team player." Or the belief that a sexual assault victim/survivor/conqueror must have placed herself/himself in that situation, "asked for it," was dressed "inappropriately," "should have known better" or "should have expected to fulfill his/her partner's sexual expectations."

There are more forms of subtle prejudice, such as the belief that someone with a skin disorder doesn't have "good personal hygiene habits," when in reality he/she just got the "bad gene card" and may be on many prescription medications that simply either don't work or aren't as effective as promised. My personal favorite is the preconceived notion that people in bad circumstances or who come from bad circumstances are to be ignored, looked down upon, will turn out to be "delinquents," are "harmful to society," "mental," "in need of serious intervention," etc. One thing that growing up with a social worker taught me is that we're all one paycheck or one step away from those "bad circumstances" and that each member of humanity is more alike than different. Each of us has our own unique value, whether we are homeless or royalty. Each of us has our own set of wounds. Some of them are obvious. Some of them are hidden. But each of us has the power and gift of potential transformation. Sometimes we need a little support in getting there, but anything is possible. And no one is untouchable. The person that ends up rescuing you may be the one who was once in need of rescue.

Instead of talking to each other, we assume. Instead of attempting to understand, we either attempt to push people in our own directions or we push them away. We don't want to confront the fact that our nice little outlines of what life should be may, in fact, change when we explore what's beyond the dotted i's and the crossed t's. Because then "right" and "wrong" don't exist, and external validation and exaltation become crutches that no longer stand. We ignore freedom and growth in lieu of fear, resentment, expectation, segmentation, and limitation. We fail to realize that differences are the true path to completeness.