The Decision To Make Positive Change In The World Starts With You

I recall a controversial gay marriage issue some years ago involving a soldier named Tammy Smith and a woman named Ms. Lamb who was raising a 17 year old child. I do not remember the details. I am proud of these two brave women for taking a stand for what they believe in. They were trying to secure the same basic human rights enjoyed by every other American. I am not gay. I support these two women because I agree with their aim to promote equality.

I believe in giving a voice to those who cannot advocate for themselves. I worked for a public office (as a support worker) for over twenty years. Public defender attorneys are not very popular in our society because they defend the so-called “bad guys”. I believe that these legal professionals play an integral role in the judicial system. Without them, innocent people could be taken away in the middle of the night . . . never to be heard from again. It happens in other countries.

I also want to say that lasting change does not come from passing laws. People ignore the laws they do not like. If we wish to instill positive change in the minds of others, we need be mindful of how we behave in front of others. Actions speak louder than words. Our behavior makes an impression on others. Treat others how you wish to be treated. That is called the Golden Rule. If you treat others with disrespect, it is likely that your poor behavior will be reflected right back at you. This kind of behavior only reinforces negative beliefs and stereotypes. I am not talking about turning the other cheek. We all have right to defend ourselves. I believe there are right ways of doing things and then are other ways . . . some of which are not so productive. Knowing when to make a statement and how to carry it out is crucial. There is saying for this “Lead by positive example.”

I noticed that whenever a mentally ill person commits a terrible crime. The public focuses, not on the circumstances of the case, but rather on the mental illness. This kind of attention reinforces the belief that all mentally ill people are dangerous and need to be locked away. This kind of thinking has caused suffering too many, and not just to the mentally ill population.

It’s interesting to me that more and more people are taking Prozac type (SSRIs) medications in an effort to treat depression and anxiety. If you are taking medications for either one of these conditions – you have mental illness – as defined by the psychiatric community. These conditions have become more prevalent in our society (in the last few decades) because we harbor unresolved internal conflicts – over issues like gay and lesbian equality. We do not need to hate ourselves for being who we are. Nor is it necessary for us to allow others to create false beliefs in us. Trust me this is all a choice.

I support people like Ms. Smith and Ms. Lamb, not just because I agree with their aim to secure the same rights enjoyed by other Americans. I also see them as decent human beings worthy of my respect. I say this even though I do not know them. It’s important that we learn to accept and love people for who they are . . . as human beings. We need to allow to people to have their harmless beliefs and lifestyles without forcing our own beliefs on them. Until we learn that beliefs are nothing more than that, the world will continue experience significant pain and suffering in coming to terms with this reality.

If you are in pain, emotional or physical, I suggest you do a self-examination of your feelings and beliefs. Determine which beliefs are causing this pain and let go of them. You will not be free from this pain until you confront and eliminate your fears. The truth does hurt.

Purpose? Find Yours!

I’m writing this on the veranda overlooking the grounds, lake and woodlands of my ‘away from it all’ place. I’m spending time reading, writing, reflecting… and getting up late. I miss breakfast time but it’s totally worth the joy of not needing to be up at any particular time!

And as I write, I’m remembering a recent telephone conversation with a colleague. We were discussing living our respective passions, what stirs us, what enthuses us, what pulls us forward whether we know it or not.

And these words seem paltry compared with the sensational inside YEEESSS! you feel when you’re on track with yourself and your purpose. There’s no vocabulary for this or the certain uncertainty which accompanies you when you tread a path you’ve never trod before… yet you know ‘this is it’!

Our conversation also reminded me of the many times I’ve said ‘NO!’ to that urging, that which captures my attention and tugs at me to follow the sign even if I don’t understand what it’s about or exactly where it’s going. The times when I’ve raised my eyes to heaven, and still do, yelling, “Haven’t I done enough already?!”

The answer is of course “No!”… Because my purpose unfolds and develops just as I unfold and develop as a person. The ways in which I can express my purpose change over time as I change and grow. So there’s always something else to be done… which is exciting!

It’s also more than just a bit flipping scary!

But when I think back to my earlier life when I stuck to the straight and narrow, did what was expected of me, behaved as I imagined I was supposed to behave… you know the rest! Although I was ‘living dead’, I was also in pain, a restlessness, a feeling and cognition that ‘there had to be more to life than this’. And of course there was and is.

So, if you sit very quietly with yourself you might just hear your own restlessness, your own inner ‘voice’ calling you to what floats your boat even if you don’t quite know what that is right now. What you’re most likely to do is to tell yourself it’s nonsense.

I remember when I wanted to do a degree my ex husband saying to me that I should have thought about that before I got married. And that’s one of the kind of excuses you can give yourself… that it’s too late, it’s not the right time as if there’s ever a right time! or who do you think you are to be different… or even “Who me?! I can’t do that.”

And even when you know your purpose and passion, you can still trick yourself by using the same old cruddy excuses. I know because I can still do that to myself sometimes!

However, the truth is following your passion, being successful at what you be-do, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to overthrow your current life at all… or if you want to that it has to be done in one almighty tumultuous crisis. Although of course that’s up to you!

What it does mean is you start living dangerously exactly from the point where you are in your life right now. You get a sense that there’s something for you to be-do in the world, however small or large that is. Whether that’s growing African Violets or nurturing your children or becoming the next Anita Roddick… or all three!

And despite the scariness, I promise you you’ll feel skin prickingly alive if you do… trusting the not-knowing and how little by little, if you don’t already know them, it’ll show you your passion and your way forward… for now!

Here are some questions to start juicing up your purpose and passion…

#1 What billboard attracts your attention and what message does it give you?

#2 What subjects did you love at school… even if you didn’t pursue them?

#3 What are you doing when you feel most alive and enthusiastic?

Look for the theme or themes running through your answers and you’re right on track for uncovering your own purpose and passion!

Holiday Loneliness

Loneliness has many kinds and anyone may occur to you to disturb your life. There are people who have problems with their relations and friends. They find it difficult to have any emotional attachment with others. This leads them to be absolutely away from all sorts of connections. Holiday loneliness has its own aftermath. It seems to be a simple kind of loneliness but for some people it becomes the one of the severest kind as they might think of committing suicide during holidays.

Holiday Loneliness and Myth

Myth goes that a person should enjoy on holidays and should be with family, children, spouse, relations, and friends and so on. This is the norm of the society as well as the expectation of the people. This type of loneliness may easily be cured if you are provided with the circumstances when you may be with your loved ones but mostly it does not happen and you have to live away from them due to separation, law-suit, divorce, and many other problems. These sorts of things are really disturbing for you as they may lead you to some heinous thing in your life.

Define New Parameters

The cure of this sort of loneliness lies in the reality that you should change your mind to a whole of new parameters. Yes, holidays means to live with your loved ones but what if you are away from them just for the sake of them alone. You want to alleviate their difficulties and troubles; you want to provide them with better shelter, better home, better education and other facilities. This is why you are away from them and this is the very reason of your remaining aloof from them. They are physically aloof from you but they are close to your heart and will remain there for ever.

Self Realization

If you develop this kind of self realization, you will be successful in getting rid of holiday loneliness. On the other hand, if you start complaining to your own self and the people around that you are filled with loneliness and don’t know what to do without your loved ones, then you will get negative ideas of committing suicide or bringing any other harm to yourself or the people around you who are celebrating their holidays with full zeal and fervor. This type of self- realization is necessary if have to overcome the whole of these severe kinds of holiday loneliness.

Christmas Loneliness

Christmas holidays bring a lot of changes in one’s life and they mean the re-union of families and friends for some days. People make plans to celebrate these holidays with their loved ones or friends. Special preparations are made in this respect and it is celebrated with great fervor and arrangement. Extra Funds are reserved by every family for the purpose. But a person away from all these relations at Christmas will be devoid of any happiness as he can not go anywhere. He has to live at home, companionless and friendless. He doesn’t know what to do in these circumstances as the holidays are long ones and loneliness at Christmas is pricking and biting him.

Thus, a loneliness of this kind may be overcome through a changed set of mental attitude. Christmas and holiday loneliness is quite disturbing but not if think in the other dimension and visualize that you are with your loved ones as you are away only for their sake.

Five Ways To Rid Yourself Of Loneliness

The anxiety of loneliness can creep into our lives at any time. The best coping loneliness strategy is to not put oneself into a mindset or position where we let being alone or lonely feelings get to us. As any medical doctor will tell you, prevention is the best medicine. This simple advice is one to heed when dealing with loneliness. Here are some of the best prevention methods.

Organize

One of the feelings those who suffer from loneliness report is a feeling of not having control over things. Cluttered environments at the home, office, even in one’s car can contribute to this feeling. Regular sessions of organizing things has twofold benefit: one’s life will be simpler, contributing to less chaos; and it is shown that the physical act of organizing has a companion effect on the brain, leading to clearer thinking. While some are naturally more prone to being disorganized than others, make a pledge to organize on occasion as a means to take charge.

Adopt Positive Habits

Negativity is often a precursor to the feelings of loneliness. One of a number of cures for loneliness is to try and develop regular behavior that enhances one’s life. For example, the simple act of taking a walk in the morning, at lunch or in the evening is a behavior with many benefits. Simple physical activity keeps one from dwelling on emotions and falling into bouts of self-pity, while at the same time keeping our body in better, more healthful condition. Activities do not need to be exactly the same. Adding variety will help keep things fresh and likely lead to longer term adoption. For example, pledge to visit a different outdoor space – park, recreation or hiking area, etc. – every weekend.

Exercise

Physical movement benefits both mind as well as body. Exercise does not have to strenuous or take up too much time. A simple walk, a yoga class or just walking the stairs on occasion at work are all ways to clear the mind during one’s day. Joining a gym or dance/exercise studio is a bigger commitment, but can also provide company and companionship and the potential for meeting new people who share a similar interest.

Hobbies

A hobby is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. What a pleasant way to combat loneliness! Choose a hobby according to one’s needs. The other thing to think about is finding a hobby that can be done alone or with a group. For example knitting is becoming popular again for women and men alike and knitting circles are becoming popular again. Even more solitary hobbies can lead to connecting with others via the internet, as most have online forums where people share experiences and provide support for one another.

Charity Work

Activity that also yields so social benefit is a great way of beating loneliness and preventing its return. Charity work not only keeps one busy and active, but the effect on one’s overall mindset is immensely positive. It is well said “Doing good leads to feeling good”.

Preventing loneliness from taking hold of our lives takes action. Activity breaks the cycle of being lonely and can also lead to greater health, a clearer more creative mind, and benefit others. With these benefits and positive outlook, loneliness will not have a chance.