Five Things

Five Things

Several weeks ago, I was nominated for a challenge: the “5 Things I Like About Myself” challenge. For this nomination, I would like to thank Cherylene, from living vs. existing, wherein she provides incredible, thought-provoking, and enlightening posts. Cherylene radiates joy, empowerment, and elegance in her writing—be that in her posts or comments—that continue to engage and encourage whomever stumbles across her path. Her site can be found here, and as her personal responses to this challenge can be found here.

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the nominator
  • Display the picture on your post
  • List 5 things you like about yourself
  • 1 thing must be a physical attribute
  • Tag 3 or more people

5-things-i-like-about-myself

Five things:

Before I begin, I’d like to make note of the first thoughts that came to mind upon receiving this challenge: (1) immediate flattery to have been asked to participate and share my answers and (2) instant fear about delivering an honest and well-articulated answer. I feel many may not find themselves circulating this latter thought; however, I also feel that it is a relatively common and difficult one to pave through in order to find personal truth in such a heavy challenge. These days, it is either more simple or more difficult to outline the attributes that make you who you are—that mold and define you—that you also cherish—like, or love—about yourself, without doubt. Personally, I go in and out of life’s peaks and valleys, wherein one day I exhibit passion about one characteristic I possess, and another day I begin to question, doubt, and feel a need to rework my Being. Nonetheless, as with life, I believe that liking “things” about yourself—for the purpose of appreciating and bettering yourself—is a never-ending, perpetual activity which must be practiced repeatedly in order to grow, develop, and truly find joy in your Being; in yourself.

  1. My curly hair: I feel truly blessed for the bouncy, fluffy mess atop my head. Never (to my recollection that is) have I wished for straight hair, or any other hair style. Also, I will disclose something that is not so secretive: I consider myself quite “lazy” when it comes to beautifying and hairstyling, so being able to wake up and give my head a bit of a shake works perfectly for my lifestyle. It is a defining feature that I love, wholeheartedly.
  2. My willingness and ability to listen: Given the situation in which I find myself, I have learned to appreciate the value of listening. We all have stories, daily events, hardships, accomplishments, and thoughts that reside so subjectively in our minds; waiting to shared, and heard. I find so much fulfilment in being able to converse, relate to, and listen to those I get the chance to spend time with. I am amazed how much one will share with you when given the opportunity—when you listen. I have recognized my need to share and be listened to, and continually strive to be present, inquire, and listen. I find it is the best way to learn.
  3. My mind: Although paradoxical with my MS diagnosis (due to the fact that my mind contains lesions), I am in awe at my mind—how it continues (despite my lesions) to rewire itself, attain new information and retain knowledge, host my innermost thoughts, maneuver me throughout the environment, adjust to the ever-changing environment, and communicate with the rest of the world. The list is endless. I am so grateful for my mind and its complexity; for its openness to the world; and its willingness to be enlightened or hold strong to its values.
  4. My perseverance: I believe we find strength during our struggles. When we find ourselves in hardship, and in need, we (more often than not) develop the strength required to persevere and overcome. This perseverance can be either short-lived or a lifetime’s worth of effort. Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the perseverance that I have demonstrated (and continue to build) since my MS diagnosis; to name one challenge I openly struggle with. Regardless of the situation anyone finds themselves in, it is truly fascinating to see the transformation we undergo, to find strength and persevere. I am in wonderment.
  5. My humility and sense of humour: Oftentimes, when I find myself in awkward situations, I have noticed my habit to lighten the situation and add some element of humour to the rye dish. Be that with my MS (more in the initial stages of my diagnosis and acceptance) or a casual conversation. To me, laughter is essential, as is the ability to act humbly during times of tension. I certainly know that I do not always exude this to my best ability, however, it is a practice I hope to strengthen in my daily life—to lighten the burdens of society’s stresses and life’s illnesses we all, to some degree, face. Humility and humour are invaluable tools to live well.

My nominees are:

Anyone who wishes to participate!

Alyssa

ellie894

Invisibly Me

Laura Bon

This is the first time I have been asked to participate in something of this nature–a challenge. I will forever be developing my love for these attributes, as well as the many others that distinguish me from my past self; accepting my self and bettering my Being.

Kindest

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Listen and Hear Me

Listen and Hear Me

The sincerity of listening–reaching out, attending to, and valuing the thoughts and needs of another–has no comparable measure. To listen and to hear, truly, is a comforting blanket of care–support–most valued. It is most needed during times of vulnerability, self-doubt, and health struggles; both mental and physical. Moreover, the comfort is felt from both ends as the blanket stretches its warmth, understanding, and consolation; extending towards empowerment. We are not on placed on this earth to be alone, so it is imperative that we recognize what is missing. Listen and hear me. Gain understanding. Grow a community.

myms2016

Listen and Hear Me

How do you know when it’s all worthwhile? How do you know that everything you’ve put forth is right? How do you know when you’ll be hurt, or when you’ll be healed? How do you know what step to take next? Will it be for you, or for the collective, or some other incomprehensible congress? How do you know…?

Sitting – soaking – sinking into my thoughts; my insecurities, my fears. Immobilized by my own mind, though my body has already claimed this control, I feel lost and don’t know how to fix this; this feeling of gross uncertainty. I seek council, guidance, and support.

‘Help me, God,’ runs unbroken through my mind – thoughts of desperation. I reach out and feel nothing; out again, feeling walled. I retract my reach and wrap around to find comfort in myself – I will listen.

We call unceasing…

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Confounding Principles

Confounding Principles

There is something that has never settled well with me. Something—a conversation—I keep finding myself having; and it leaves me disheartened.

We have these amazing and near-perfect notions of what we want; what our life will be and how it will play out. These notions are, unfortunately, not as incredible as we imagine. Not even close; because they are figurative and exist entirely in our imagination. In reality, with which many of us have lost touch, events are much more…well…real and often disappointing. They are not disappointing relative to the entire definition of the term; no, they are disappointing because reality has proven itself once again that we do not live alone in an imaginative world where everything runs according to our rules, wants, and wishes. These realities are the laws of life and of our relationships within life.

When we consider commitment, we conceptualize fantastical ever afters of bliss and belonging. We also obsess over the strain, stress, and caged-in effect that commitment poses; from which we are repulsed and often decide to reject proposed promises made by ourselves or another. And that is disheartening. This is a continued conversation of life, living, and finding someone with whom we truly belong.

Nothing ever occurs as expected. If it does, it is a rare occurrence that should not be expected following any decision. And this is an issue we must grapple with because expectation is formed unconsciously; or in our suppressed consciousness. We are intelligent, so I also believe that we play the ignorance card by adopting negligent patterns while living. It is rather astounding and quite unimaginative—ignorance—that leaves us in a state of stagnation, wherein growth does not occur nor does companionship. I find it so unfortunate that we continuously decide against a proposal—a decision—because we fear what may be expected thereafter.  That we would rather be in a constant state of conflict, destruction (of ourselves and of those around us), and dejection—a state of nil commitment and eternal loneliness.

I am confounded by such tenets—these unhealthy realities.

POEM – Paper Palindrome

POEM – Paper Palindrome

Words keep spilling over paper.

The words are loud,
producing sopping wet pellets of ice

that ricochet towards the readers’ eyes;
burning holes in their minds
and eroding into larger spaces

where nothing settles—
everything just spills.
The loud pellets of wet ice burn

endlessly in the hollowed readers’ minds;
never settling. And still

words keep spilling over paper.

Seeking Control

Seeking Control

Photo by Jamie Nix

I feel the countless burdens and pressures that life’s queries and realities present to a person in his or her mid-twenties. Is not this age for security to begin; in at least one of life’s areas? Is it not at this age that change happens and, although many unknowns persist that are both challenging and motivating, some form of “home” is formed or found? Perhaps my perceptions are wrong. Perhaps my desire for security—my expectation for it—is, in fact, why I feel I have not attained it in its entirety.

Seeking control, irrespective of the control that is already had, may be that final ingredient of perceived unhappiness and lack of control. Maybe not. Maybe seeking control is exactly what must occur to actualize oneself. I believe in both. Life is a circular road: queries-realities-control-happiness-queries-realities-control-happiness…

MS has taught me that it is good—healthy—to be quizzical and (with realism) to search for understanding and a control that, also, is healthy. Some things we must accept. Some things we can change. But, we hold the wheel that dictates direction; therefore, that is our responsibility. Isn’t that powerful?

Shared post: What’s the Rush…Where are you Heading?

Shared post: What’s the Rush…Where are you Heading?

Reading and stumbling across written words that have been swimming through the mind shows how in-sync this world is; and can be. Life has become clockwork; but, no matter our speed, we must ask, are we really getting to where we want any faster? Then, where exactly are we wanting to get so quickly? Life is a blessing.

This is a great read that addresses queries of mine about life and what we are (what I am) doing–where is all the effort leading? A highly recommended, reflection-invoking, read via What’s the Rush…Where are you Heading?

Let me waste your time

Let me waste your time

“Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing.”
– Albert Einstein

Photo by Jamie Nix

Occasionally, I catch myself allowing time to slip away. I let it slide through my fingers without much effort to slow it down; without much effort to cease each moment and make it count by occupying it. This occasion happens much more frequently than can be considered as seldom.

While in this reflection, I can’t help but recognize how each passing moment, whether filled or empty of any action, lasts differently to the next. Two hours can feel like two days, then suddenly speed by in less than a minute. We say that time is relative, which I truly believe it is; however, how then can we understand what time is worth to another—to another with whom we spend our time?

I think to myself, in question, “What if I enjoy my time, but am wasting another’s?”
There is no doubt that I have felt reluctant about my use of time, whether it was spent with someone or whether I allowed it to pass by with an activity I am not in the least fond of.

We discuss time, in terms such as days or weeks, in an attempt to synchronize our many selves with one another. And we use it to measure our doings throughout life; appearing to be in control, although in fact, we are not. We have permitted “time”—how we’ve chosen to calculate it—to dictate the happenings that occur, their order, and even their importance in our lives.

I recently finished the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” which touched on death in the final chapter. I will try not to give any spoilers, but Manson discussed many pressing points, one in particular being our fear of dying; which often prevents us from living because it is the only thing that will, with compete assurance, happen. We all die, but “when” is what we find troubling; as is the “how.” I do agree with Manson that, in order to be happy in life, we should accept that we will die and live life without worrying. I will go further and say to live without being concerned about whether or not nearly all our sand has fallen through our life’s hourglass.

Time is a great tool of measurement; although I believe that we do not use it specifically in this way. Instead of simply measuring our length of stay or participation, we go a trillion steps further and measure our productivity; which then determines our worth, which then dictates our purpose, and on to our meaning. Schedules can be liberating, but for the sake of opposition, they can also be limiting and misrepresentative of what is important to us in our life and what we consider to be truly meaningful. Moreover, although time is one of the closest methods we can use to relate to one another, it also passes at a speed dissimilar to any other person’s concept of space and time. That is why time is truly relative. It is weighted differently and felt differently by all. I believe that the closest we can get to synchronization is through time spent together, but even then time never lasts the same for either parties.

While speaking to a class of students about living with MS, I was asked what my biggest “take-away” was. Being the person that I am, I wanted to provide an answer with importance and significance. I wanted what I said to be powerful and unforgettable. And to be honest, I am uncertain if what I said was actually taken this way; but, for myself, it has stuck and is an answer that I continue to think about and remind myself when days—even minutes—become arduous. What I answered, after comically stating that I wanted my answer to be a “good” one, was that we are all different and take our own time to carry activities out. I said that we are unlike anyone else and cannot complete any goal or occupation the same way, nor in the same length of “time,” than any other person. That this perpetual need to compare ourselves to others is completely unnecessary and is actually what hinders us the most from finding success in our daily doings; especially in our biggest struggles. As an identical twin, I can whole-heartedly confirm this because, as similar as I may be to my sister, we have struggled and fought to be “the same” on numerous occasions and have not been successful thus far. My MS diagnosis was a major indicator of this fact.

Time is relative. Its worth does depend on what you do with it. But, because it is relative, its worth is personally determined and is unlike any other moment in any other person’s life; nor is it like any other moment you have experienced before or will experience again.

Is time really wasted if you cannot measure it or see when the last grain of sand will drop? Waste it or use it. In the end, it is all relative.

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