BITTER OR BETTER?

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What I love about Michelangelo’s sketches is the different sides of humans he manages to brilliantly capture. Like these two images I put together of anger and calm. People say one cannot be appreciated without the other. Perhaps that’s true – without having experienced rage, can one truly strive for calm?

If the rage comes from things life throws at us that make us angry, maybe the calm comes from accepting that life does this, and will continue to do this, and that ultimately our peace of mind is in the way we react to it. Or don’t react. It’s not up to life. It’s up to us. Our ultimate challenge in life.

Like when people cut us off on the road. When my husband and I go for drives, we have to agree beforehand that we won’t react to anything. Let people cut us off, flip us off, act however they want. It’s their issue, not ours. We will not react. It’s very difficult. We’re conditioned to react. And we’ve both had life throw things at us to make us angry, which is behind my writing Gothic novels.

But we’re realizing that we have a choice. We can hold onto that anger and let it define us, or we can let it go. What happened in the past isn’t going to change. But it’s over. We need to learn to let it be over.

Of course, it’s complicated. We find ourselves reacting to people and speaking to our own kid in ways that are colored by our own negative experiences, without realizing it. All we can really do is think afterwards about how it affects our kid, and how it reflects experiences that have made us angry and unhappy, and decide to be mindful of it going forward. I will not be defined by the past is one of my regular mantras. I will not be like my parents. I will be better, less judgmental, kinder. And it makes me feel better about myself. Because when I act like those I didn’t like, I don’t like myself. That makes me angry with myself, hate myself even, and it taints my perception of things and my behavior towards others.

Recently I visited an old, dying relative who clings to things from the past that eat him alive. And he’s dying. Really? I wanted to say. This is what you focus on as you die? I did say, “Let it go. It’s not worth obsessing over 20 years later.” And he said “I can’t.” It made me incredibly sad. For him and for all those who feel this way. Maybe this is a current awareness, what with meditation and mindfulness becoming fads. And people from previous generations just don’t know how, aren’t even aware that letting go is an option. But for me, it has become a goal. For my own sanity.

To end with a quote that totally hits the mark: “You either get better or you get bitter. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” – Josh Shipp, award winning speaker on teen issues and bestselling author. Well, we’re not teenagers. But there are issues that permanently stain our lives, way past the teen years. And it’s really not simple at all. But we owe it to ourselves to try to get better, to find the calm, don’t we?

Sorry I haven’t written in a while! I’ve been totally bogged down with marketing my current book and writing the next one in the Owl Manor series! Peace.

Language of the Soul

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Anybody who has been deeply touched by music will attest to the fact that it is the language of the soul. It gives voice to our emotions and makes us see what a privilege it is to feel, which is what makes us human. Relevant to every age, every culture, whether you’re in a sad place, happy, or angry place, music will touch on those feelings and play them out.

The music that has been doing this for me for a long time is that of Mr. Peter Gabriel. His prophetic voice, his endless vision and creativity, his ability to get to the core of life. His songs made me cry when I was an adolescent, and they make me cry now. His lyrics and sounds carry the joys and pains of our existence, and appeal to our primal instincts, the raw emotion that we all try to deny for it might drive us mad.

But sometimes madness makes you feel, and that’s part of us, right?

Those who think “Sledgehammer” or “Big Time” when they think Peter Gabriel…there’s so much more: “Rhythm of the Heat”, “Mercy Street”, “That Voice again”, “Here comes the flood”…I don’t know where to stop. These are the ones that reach deep into your soul and consume you, take you on a journey in which your emotions are wrung out and leave you feeling drained…and cleansed. It’s therapeutic.

Here are the lyrics from one of my all time favorites, “That Voice Again”. I took out the refrains. And below the lyrics is the song on Youtube. Watch for the part where he sings “Only love can make love”….aaaahhhhh, thank you Maestro. You are a constant inspiration to me.

I want to be with you
I want to be clear
But each time I try
It’s the voice I hear
I hear that voice again

I’m listening to the conversation:
Judge and jury in my head
It’s coloring everything
All we did and said
And still I head that sharp tongue talking
Talking tangled words
I can sense the danger
Just listen to the wind

I want you close I want you near
I can’t help but listen
But I don’t want to hear
Hear that voice again…….

I’m hearing right and wrong so clearly
There must be more than this
It’s only in uncertainty
That we’re naked and alive
I hear it through the rattle of a streetcar
Hear it through the things you said
I can get so scared
Listen to the wind…….

What I carry in my heart
Brings us so close or so far apart
Only love can make love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHjmwq3NbE4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHjmwq3NbE4

Does anyone have a musician they have been deeply touched by and would like to share?

 

 

The Vision of your True Destiny

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“Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.” 

― Anthon St. Maarten

 
 Wish I had read his writing when I was growing up!
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