Skilled Response Required

Redux

I Write Her

not-sure-if-overly-complicated-or-if-i-am-stupid

I’ve always said humans are both – detrimentally stupid and utterly complicated.

The wide variety of situations we find ourselves in and the sheer volume of inappropriate choices we make, show us time and time again we are. We depend on our feelings and instinct, and then stupidity inevitably makes an appearance. Full-on reaction mode.

The best stance to take in all complicated situations is to clearly and calmly reflect on what the hell occurred to create this current tizzy. Determining the next best, logical step to take would be most prudent.

It’s the guaranteed solution for less stupidity.

Complicated is a permanent state.

You’ll still need to buckle up.

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On Drinking

I’ve recently been thinking about alcoholism because of Gabriele’s post regarding the subject. His position tells me that he is against it. I am, too, since I grew up with it in my life, and it wasn’t pretty.

He has this to say, “Alcohol is like a hook .. they bite the most tempting palates. And as Saint Augustine said: Perfect abstinence is easier than perfect moderation,” which prompted my response, “It is a great quote for alcoholics as they are the most tempted, but I think he was referring to sex? Got me thinking – maybe someone who felt pressured to not have sex because of religion should not slut-shame others. LOL” It was more to indicate that St. Augustine probably wasn’t speaking in regards to alcohol.

But the post did get me thinking about alcoholism and my family’s struggles with it. In an alcoholic’s mind, their desire may be perfect moderation, but that will never happen because that is precisely the definition of the disease – being totally out of control. Maybe a better way of saying it would be, “Perfect abstinence is better than imperfect moderation?” Sure would have been nice if that thought had crossed a few minds in our family.

My dad was an alcoholic. For the most part, he was an absentee father, which was more the predominant injury than his drinking. Not that his drinking didn’t harm, as I recall quite a few instances from my childhood were problematic. My dad mostly pulled my mom into his drama. Us kids stayed away from it, but I do remember her being somewhat humiliated because of it. There was usually an awful lot of crying and hysterics going on; in one incident, she had ketchup all over her shirt. 

My stepfather, divorced from my mom a long time ago, was a heavy drinker and, I would say, also an alcoholic. Booze always available and readily stocked in the globe-shaped liquor cabinet for him to imbibe whenever he chose. I remember stealing a nip or two from it myself when my sister and I first experimented with alcohol. Again, with regards to his drinking, humiliation seemed to be a recurring dynamic for my mom. One afternoon, I believe it was a Saturday, he’d already hit the stash pretty hard, and my mom’s leg became the receiving end of a glass shard from a glass he’d decided to slam down on the dining room table. I could hear her screams outside on the front lawn where I was playing with my friends. I remember them surrounding me because I was panicking and crying. Going into the house to confront him or maybe seeing that my mom was injured made him realize he’d gone a step too far, and he calmed down; I don’t know which one was the catalyst for peace from that point on. Regardless, I remember many instances where he put all our lives in danger with his drinking, primarily that he would always drive home drunk if we’d gone anywhere that he’d had a few. We were lucky that nothing unfortunate happened on the road.

After I left my home, I had several failed romantic relationships with alcoholics. In the early years of my adulthood, I’d indulged in risky behavior concerning drugs, but that stopped entirely in my mid-20s. When I became a mother at 29, even my drinking slowed down, although I never eliminated it. I remained a responsible social drinker with my second child. That is not to say that my kids or my husband, especially my friends, haven’t seen me ingest copious amounts of alcohol. Fun times were had, for sure! I paid for it the next day.

I have to be honest and say that I enjoy drinking alcohol for its effects on me. Other than weed, I don’t know of any other substance which can make me feel that relaxed or not have a care in the world. If weed were legal here in Kansas, I’m guessing I probably wouldn’t drink at all. Because let’s face it, alcohol is not good for you, and we all know that. Consuming large amounts of alcohol and being dependent on it will damage you physically and mentally, not to mention that it will impact your relationships with family and friends. It may not happen right away, but it will eventually if drinking goes beyond a social setting, beyond moderation, and is something you are addicted to. 

At various stressful points over the years, I’ve worried about becoming an alcoholic. Genetically, my kids and I are predisposed to being alcoholics. For as much as I’ve enjoyed drinking, it’s always on my mind to be careful. I know things can quickly get out of hand. And I hope I never go down that path that the alcoholics in my life have. I think it would hurt too much to lose the ones I love and, for that matter, their respect for me as well. I wonder if my father and step-father ever thought about the damage their drinking caused to our connection, or if they even cared enough about it. I’m guessing not. But I’ll never know now since they are both dead.

It’s sad. Such a wasted opportunity.

Embodiment Of Self

Alexandra Mirgheș – Unsplash

Inspired by Suzette B’s Blog – A Supreme Self

Suzette gave me one of those opportunities that I thoroughly relish: examining someone else’s thoughts and re-examine my own previously held views. Thank you, Suzette. 

And this is why I thoroughly LOVE the WP Community! Isn’t this what life is about?

While I agree with the quote she posted, a question arose for me. How do we get there? From what I see around our world, people are either worshipping something outside of themselves or do not even have the slightest idea that they have it within them. And in between, others are working towards more understanding.

For me, this is indeed the happy place we are trying to reach. It feels like it would be a place of peace and calm. Where our supreme self exists and allows itself to express to everyone, the people that I’ve encountered in my life who seem in agreement, this is where I have felt the most ease. But maybe it’s more of the idea that they have accepted me? Because I know that many of those I am close to still struggle with issues themselves. My comment on her piece was merely to explain what I felt would be what that would actually look and possibly feel like…

The place within us that has forgiven all the hurts, remembers all the joy,
and knows itself honestly and completely.

Do I, myself, or others achieve it 100% of the time? Hell no! But I would think it should be the end goal. Your thoughts?

Faith

The dictionary would define faith as having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. For those with a religious bent it is strongly related to a belief in a god and the dogma or doctrines of their chosen religion. For those indoctrinated into their religion as well. Faith to me simply means trusting something or someone without evidence they are worthy of that trust. And I generally don’t do that because I question everything that has not supplied me with reasonable evidence to be trusted.

Roots of Hope by Shantanu Baruah inspired me to think a bit deeper on the topic of faith and it also elicited this comment from me…

The roots of faith are steeped in commitment.

What a person believes deeply without evidence is their prerogative. I’m okay with that. That’s why my comment reflected what I felt about faith. Most believers of anything are committed to what they believe. It feels natural, correct and unquestionable. That last bit – unquestionable – is the part I’m not okay with.

Since the beginning of time, we have seen simple beliefs overturned with explanations as to why they are not the truth. As we increase our foundation of knowledge, beliefs get tossed out right and left, leaving us with more surety than what we had before. Belief in something then just becomes silly. As an example, how many of us were told that Santa Claus existed? And how many of us still do? If you do and are no longer a child, please seek help! But seriously, you understand the concept of “When you know better, you do better.” that Maya Angelou was referring to – when truths make themselves known, you can’t simply continue to believe in what is not true. It doesn’t make sense.

Many of you know that I don’t subscribe to the supernatural. I prefer a life based in reality and knowns but I realize that there are still many unknowns to contend with as I go about living. What I feel I do know is that those truths haven’t been understood or discovered yet, and may never present themselves in my lifetime. And that, makes sense.

Engaged

The piece below by Walt Page prompted this comment from me –

We should empathize with our eyes, our bodies giving full attention, letting the sounds
 of sincere words resonate in our ears.

– as well as embroiling me in more thoughts about listening. Thank you for the inspiration, Walt!

He is so right that it’s time, beyond time. I wonder why it’s always been such a difficult thing for us humans. Communication is such an important aspect of relationships. Yet, we shy away from it initially, fail miserably when the thresholds of civility are pushed, and feel hampered when trust is thin. I’m generous; probably more than a small minority is afflicted.

After letting my mind wander through possible reasons for this, I go back to being a small child, when I was chastised or told to be quiet way too often. My opinions were shot down often, me frequently having to defend them in heated arguments, taken seriously rarely or worse criticized for having them. I honestly think it hampered my ability to listen and limited my desire to communicate sincerely. There was no genuine intention for all parties to be heard. My upbringing and my incessant need to prove myself was far more important. I was, more often than not, considered a hothead at the very least, argumentative. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

As I grew older, living on my own, raising children after two marriages, I feel like I softened. Not right away, more like when I reached middle-age. First, I had to admit to myself that it’s not always fun to embroil myself in heated arguments. Secondly, I finally got to the point where I felt the need to be heard wasn’t just the communicator’s responsibility. My ears had to be in the conversation too.

My parents may have screwed up in their parenting, but being an adult, I realized how important it was to engage and to do it sincerely. Most people are horrible communicators, but maybe I need to remember that maybe they had terrible parents too.

It’s Time

It’s time to listen
to really hear
to pay attention
to what’s being said

too often we pretend to listen
while our minds are wandering
worrying about money
the corona virus, our children

even when we are alone we don’t really listen
we don’t hear the sounds of silence
the songs of the birds or the power of the wind
what our animals are saying with their eyes

so listen… really listen
hear the sounds around you
the music of the night
the time has come

it’s time to listen

~The Tennessee Poet~
©Walt Page 2020 All Rights Reserved

Sticking To It

When I was younger, I followed the adults before me and made a New Year’s Resolution or two. It’s as if January 1 were some magical day, which that alone ensured success for those things I’d wanted to change. More often than not, I’d fail to follow through. Eventually, I stopped doing that. On the day I decide when I’m frustrated or dissatisfied enough to warrant some change within myself, I do it, whatever that day of the year turns out to be. It seems it works better for me this way.