Conversations with Mom – Courage and Character

daffodil

Mom was a very courageous woman.  While saddled with disabilities her whole life (chronic asthma and chronic diabetes), she still managed to “stay with the crowd” and raise her eight children the best she can – in spite of it all.

On many, many times over the years, I witnessed the strength she showed in both words and deeds – and nothing came easy to her.  Regardless of the circumstances, she made the best of it.  In her limited ways (also a brutal husband controlling her), she always created an environment of safety and care.

What I remember and admire most about Mom was the way she was able to “take on” risk with such ease and confidence.  She lived without fear.  (For a woman, she had a lot of balls!)

I remember asking her when I was a teenager about her viewpoint on Risk.  I don’t remember the exact circumstances to bring it up; but I remember she defended someone in the family (against some institution) and rose to the occasion.

I was in awe.

For the first time, I witnessed the power of her words and the strength in her actions.  I finally realized and experienced the courage she displayed in doing so.

Shortly afterwards, I asked (not exactly in these words) if she was afraid to take that risk.  I know I was scared as heck.

Well, Mom had a vocabulary that was a little fractured – but very understandable in any language.  Not shy to use ‘colourful metaphors’ when angered, she told me in her unique way of her philosophy regarding character:

“I don’t care what people think of me –
as long as I can hold my head high in integrity.”

Her response was ground-breaking for me.  I didn’t realize before character and dignity could be related.  I always thought dignity was controlled by the actions of our character; and if we did things that were un-liked by others, then we were to be shamed.  Then this lesson.

That empowering personal lesson stays with me today.  In every act I perform in life, I not only ensure my dignity remains intact; but I also advocate it for others.

The lesson I learned that day:

Healthy dignity (our self-esteem) is a right to everyone.  Nobody can or has the right to take it away from us.

Thanks Mom.

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Getting A Meaning of Life

dave

I got this message

just the other day;

and it only took

forty years to get.

*

It wasn’t subtle and

made me almost weepy.

And for once, finally …

I listened honestly – I heard.

*

In this awakening,

love from a glowing energy

gave me the courage

to accept another forty more.

*

On a Journey’s path unworn,

I will carve the way on

to generating discovery;

a  “fly in the butter of life“.

*

I take from this lesson:

Never misguided directions;

in this game of real life –

It will never “just depend“.

*

Passing on this wisdom:

“Forever in this moment

of Life and Opportunity …

Let your Life Purpose glow”.

*

(c) 2013 – Kevin Collins
– dedicated to Douglas Tardif –

Is Something Wrong? or …

“My rant against the bias towards Disabilities”

Serene Pathway

*

I swore that I would,

if only I could

change my life completely around.

From many time of trying,

I’m now used to the dying

when you tell me my mind is not sound.

*

I look in your face,

vainly search for a trace

that makes me want to believe.

I’ve heard it before,

and I’ve come to abhor

your labels designed to deceive.

*

Your smiles are crooked,

and your posture does show it

there’s something amiss in our sharing.

Thinking you know,

I’m not status quo

without ability for the Daring.

*

My abilities – yes different,

my mind – most competent

seeking out dreams – just like you.

I certainly can’t,

and most definitely won’t

humble myself for you.

*

Disabled you call me,

Unable you see me

But I don’t fit your profile.

I make no transgression,

I work at discretion –

your feigned ignorance reviled.

*

Scandalous at times,

most shameful, poisoned minds

your integrity completely lost.

Stolen power is yours

knowing patience wears,

at attempts to create trust.

*

Challenges – indeed,

I still look to succeed

not discouraged from daily falling.

Strength I am gaining,

gathering, sustaining

towards living my personal calling.

*

Chasing My Dream,

Life begins to redeem

and is giving me freedom to live.

I refuse to give up,

I’ll keep getting up

I refuse to be held in captive.

*

I pass now to you,

a chance to renew

your desired belief in another.

I willingly stand,

to help you understand

we are, after all, here for each other.

*

*

Namaste

(c) 2013 Kevin Collins

Conversations With Mom

Growing up with Mom was very … hmmm … very interesting.  I think she’d sum it up the same way – only differently.

irony

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633

.

I don’t know if there is any other way to describe our relationship, because she and I were both alike in so many ways; and yet, we were almost as distant as Venus and Mars.  I love(d) her immensely – she knew it – and I suppose she loved me.

I asked her once:

Me: Mom, why have you never told me you love me?

Mom: I thought it was understood?

She was very cerebral.

I never did hear what I wanted (and needed) her to say.

It took a lot of years to get that one.  8-}

.

… to be continued.

k

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 3

What is Life like Without Purpose?

Bob drops himself down on the sofa and lets out a huge gut of air.  Collecting himself, he looks around: converter on his left, laptop on right, 2 cans of beer and some chips in arm’s reach, and his canine buddy – ole’ Smokey napping by his feet.

Bob grins and for a change (on a Sunday), he pauses for thought.

His mind drifts to a feeling of contentment.  He has it all, he figures – the kids are almost grown, work steady, mortgage is getting paid, and the wife puts up with his habits and complaints.  Yes, life good!

Then all of a sudden, the feeling disappears.  This time, his mind decides to go a little deeper into thought – and he remembers this process – his heart begins to race a little and in the slideshow of his life history, he runs through some past life events in his mind and thoughts (both enjoyable and disappointing).

A kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings emerge; and although Bob dislikes the moment, he continues to think even though he knows he actually has a choice in the matter.

He remembers back to the summer when he took a car apart and re-assembled it in his garage.  The feeling of satisfaction from learning and accomplishment gave him reason to feel happiness.

Bob remembers back to the economic recession a few years ago, and how a near-breakup of his family over money almost destroyed him.

And his mind skips back to the time when he showed his son (and having him understand) how the cylinders of a car engine worked, and almost crying from the experience.

He remembers his father telling him many years ago to be practical with his life and get a job with benefits and a pension.

“Here it is, Sunday,” He thinks to himself.  “I’m supposed to feel good on Sundays – I like football.”

Bob begins to wonder why he feels this way, and can feel himself being pulled deeper in thought.

As he feels a sense of desperation lurking and waiting to take over, Bob summons the strength to bring himself back to his front room and the pre-game show.  Bob blinks wide-eyed and gives out another long sigh.

Glad the moment is over, he grabs the converter and calls ole’ Smokey over for a loving scratch behind the ears.  As a can of beer pops open in his hand; Bob puts his feet up and settles in for another Sunday of sports entertainment, and in relief, puts these thoughts behind him once again.

— * —

Especially for those of us over 40, we all know the expression “mid-life crisis”.  We can all recognize it when someone else is having it – and we are scared, stupid, and wacko when we are in it ourselves.

All joking aside, this crisis we all seem to go through, is at a time when we look at our own life and ask questions like:

  • What have I accomplished in my life?

  • Is this all there is to life?

  • Am I doing all the wrong things?

  • Having I been missing the point all along – and now my life is wasted?

  • Should I be doing something different with my life?

.

How Do We Know These Questions Exist?

We just have to look at the news and entertainment gossip to see how these personal questions are answered in our lives.  Look at the divorce rates?  Seen any over-50 wannabes re-living their youth by driving around in a sports car?  How about those Second Career night schools and mature-student college applications?  This is a normal part of being human, this being aware that we are humans with ability.

This forms part of the foundation of our Life Purpose.

There are many reasons why people go through this crisis – and it is not always limited to the over-40 crowd either.  Many people wander through their whole life living in this constant crisis.  Not knowing how and not able to confront this wall.  We’ll get into that in a future post when I discuss obstacles to living your Purpose..

Seeking our Life Purpose is the subconscious/unconscious act of going through that (not-so mid-life) crisis with the understanding that it will allow us to be happy and fulfilled (whatever that is, right?) when it is all said and done before we die.

This happens to people every day in every corner of the earth.  Some people call it a religious experience, or a voice in the head, or a force calling them … whatever.  Thing is, young and old, man and woman, and then and now; we have either felt something like it in our lives or we know someone who has felt or achieved it.  It doesn’t even have to be a major health crisis either.  There are as many reasons as there are people because everyone has a beautiful and unique gift to share from the expression of their Life Purpose.

Before I finally got it, I used to curse the world for punishing me for being a good guy, and always giving my best to everything and everyone – and still I had no joy or fulfillment in my life.  Of course, during those years, I didn’t know about my disabilities or the education from life introspection and social observation.

When I said in an earlier post about “blood, sweat, and tears” being a part of seeking Life Purpose, I wasn’t kidding.  In my case, I was blessed/cursed with having many talents, curiosities, and opportunities to use my self as a lab rat in this search.

During these years of searching, I felt as if there was a reason for my being here on this planet.

It wasn’t a religious or existential conviction; rather, it was a deep sense of being able to do something worthwhile with my short time life – so why not?  Besides, I thought it was better to get along with people rather than always fighting.

.

Feelings We All Share

These feelings and type of experiences are not limited to just my life.  Our life “stories” are just as similar, just the names, people, and activities are different – but still the same.  It all comes down to the same basic questions and emotions we experience ourselves:

  • Feelings of emptiness, being lost, and unfulfillment

  • Always questioning our selves in our motivations, needs, and wants

  • There is something missing in our life – “is this all there is?”

  • We are secretly lonely (not even close loved ones may be aware)

  • Feeling like life is out of control

  • Envious of others when they have successes – especially when we intuitively recognize they are living their Life Purpose

  • Feel like we are always making the wrong decisions

  • There is lots of drama in our life

  • Begin to feel victimized (whether real or perceived)

  • Wondering if we really ARE just automatons (or robots) living out our time

These thoughts haunt many of us consciously, subconsciously, and/or unconsciously.  Regardless, it is usually present in our lives and forces us to wonder.

What is the “story” of your life?  Is your wonderings painful?  Are you enjoying the learning experience of your life?  Is it difficult?

In the next post, we will look at the great joy and benefit of Living A Life WITH Purpose.  See you next time.

Kevin

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 2

Why Is It Important to have Life Purpose?

If I may make a first brief request before we begin; I’d like you to think about something:

  1. What was it like waking up this morning for you?  What did you do?  How did you feel? What was your state of mind?
  2. Now consider the same questions and think to the time(s) you had your greatest experiences.  What were your moments like then?
  3. How different were the 2 experiences?
  4. Which do you experience the most?

 Which would you prefer?

 ***

A quick reminder note:

Don’t believe anything I write, OK?  It’s NOT the truth.  These are just my assertions, opinions, and observations based on my personal experiences of life.
If I may suggest to you:  Try this stuff out.  Look at it and think about it.  It won’t hurt.  Use what you like (if anything), and throw the rest away.  Deal?

 —– : —–

Eternal Life

Having the opportunity to Discover our Life Purpose
(that’s always been lurking and poking itself in and out of our experiences) is

AN AWAKENING

after years of desperately feeling around in the dark
(like the scene played by Patty Duke in the movie about Helen Keller)

and appearing to go nowhere without understandable reason.

Always wondering “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!”

 —– : —–

As expressed in my last post on “What is Purpose?”, I asserted that in our life when we get to express our Life Purpose (often or always – whether we know it or not), we experience a shift in our lives.  Do you wake up in the morning jumping out of bed declaring your excitement for getting the opportunity to go to work?  Do you feel like you will be off to work to make a difference in someone’s life?  Are you doing something that adds value to your life?  We give ourselves a reason to wake up in the morning.

We all do know the feeling of joy because we’ve all been there – I’d say probably up until we learn to walk.  After that age, life is rough because walking was just the first thing we had to learn – and we didn’t know that.

Okay, maybe a little harsh or off the wall; but the point is, the reality is that joy of waking is not always a joy for most of us – and it hasn’t been for a long, long time.

— : —

With Discovery Comes Understanding

The greatest feeling when discovering our Life Purpose is a magical experience; but getting the opportunity to live our Life Purpose is altogether on another plane: it’s just freakin’, fantastically amazing!  It’s like getting ECT (a hefty jolt of brain-zap); and all of a sudden someone turned on the lights (that we didn’t even know existed … though we had a feeling…) on our life.  Of course, being human; when the light went on for me – I made myself feel stupid and brilliant all at the same time.  (Is there an ailment that describes this, lol?)

The Best News

Anyone can feel this way (without the ECT, of course).  All it takes is just some personal conviction (not a conviction!), courage, and an emotional investment to live this kind of life.

Yes, it’s also difficult and easy to do all at the same time.  We’ll look at this in future posts.

The Disguise of Life Purpose

Here’s the most incredible thing I’ve noticed from the thousands of people I’ve known and met.  I’ve seen countless men and women from all walks of life nervously balancing the tightrope they call their life and expressing their Life Purpose – and almost every single one of them didn’t even know it.

When it’s pointed out to them (from many people) how great they were at what they did, it’s often just brushed off as ‘something I just happen to be good at’.  They don’t have an awareness for the gift they offer others.  For many, it’s just a personal hobby or interest that lives in the backburner of their life.

Yet the power of Purpose has no bias on who it chooses to affect or impact.  I’ve met personally irresponsibe people who’s lives got caught in the social disease of their circumstances; yet, they are the most genuine and passionate individuals when they are ‘in their element’ and expressing their Life Purpose.  Regardless of their life situation, such as poverty, mental health issues, or other outside interference of their social lives, there is always a look of love expressed in their eyes (their window to their living essence).

— : —

courtesy of Anne, Newfoundland.com

Why is it so important?

The main reason is because it gives our life (and existence) what we need and want from it.  Our health is emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically healthier.  Our body needs and deserves this.  And that’s a proven scientific fact in many areas of study.

Of course, with today’s lifestyles, it is easy to think we get everything from life we need and want already as life occurs.  Yet, you and I both know intimately that it may be possible what we think about and do with our time may be just distractions (TV, pub night, social media, addictions, etc.).  It helps us either to forget or forgive ourselves.

In a nutshell (greater detail in future posts), here are some examples of the amazing benefits of a Life with Purpose (and I kid you not!):

1 – We are Wealthier

Internal life benefit:

  • We do things better that creates value
  • We are willing to do “good work” with/for others
  • We share more
  • People want to give things to us
  • We spend less money on frivolous things

2 – Happier from the Self-Expression

 Internal and External life benefit:

  • We value the joy of doing what we love
  • We see beauty in everything
  • We see possibility in everything
  • Everything is experienced differently
  • We get a better perspective on our life

3 – People like to be with us

External life benefit:

  • We complain less about life
  • We like to be with others
  • People like to be with those that are happier instead of always complaining, etc.
  • We become good sources of ideas and solutions for problem solving
  • We become more empathetic to others’ situations
  • We don’t talk about or complain about others

4 – We are Healthier

 Internal life benefit:

  • We have less stress
  • We want to be healthier because we ‘have things to do’
  • We take care of ourselves
  • We understand the value of balance in our lives

5 – We feel valued (valuable)

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We feel like we are doing something of value
  • People are happier around us and share
  • People seek us out for advice
  • We love expressing ourselves as individuals

6 – We relate better with others

Internal and External life benefit:

  • We become better listeners
  • We are interested in others and what they are up to
  • We are more honest
  • We are non-judgmental
  • We like to laugh

— : —

 In the next post on “What is life like Without and With Purpose”, we will look at examples of what life actually looks and feels like when we are living a Life with Purpose – and of course, the other side of the coin with looking at what life is like for those of us who are still struggling with this dogged and elusive enigma.

Until next time,

Kevin

Earl Nightingale Says …