"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Survivor's Guilt

What was I to do? What do any of us do, other than what seems like the right thing to do at the time?

What I did, while it was right for me, was too difficult for others who I cared for. Life said to me "Make a decision. Decide whether this time you will live for yourself, or ... "

When I chose life, that is what was given to me. While nothing lasts forever, I am not going to feel guilt for having survived, and perhaps, through sheer luck, for having thrived.

I am peeling away and casting off remnants of shame and guilt. What is left is me; grateful for every thing that has come my way, whether I deserve it or not.

After a lifetime of trying to please others and living with feelings of guilt and shame that I couldn't control the world, I did what seemed right. Sometimes the universe is benign. Often it is very, very cruel. For me, there was a gift of healing and acceptance in a way I could never have orchestrated.

Monday, 30 January 2017

How Do You See the World?

A week ago, the message on this poster was added to the banner below my sunrise photo. 

The photo in the poster was taken one grey morning after a very heavy snow storm. Everyone was complaining about how much snow had to be removed, how difficult the driving was and so forth. 

I thought it was beautiful!  ~ I still do. 

I have been saying it for so long, I cannot recall whether I thought of it myself, or someone else wrote it first. I'll be happy to add credit if someone can tell me who the author is (other than me, that is).

Postscript: The puzzle is solved. See Lindsay Byrnes' comment below.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Finding the Upside of Depression

I recall a time not so long ago that felt like the end of the world, or at least, it made me feel that I wanted the world to end - so deep into the spiral of depression that the best I hoped for was an end to it that would leave those I cared for deeply, safe and secure, without me.

This morning I was watching the video linked below, and it brought back those feelings. But it also reminded me what it was, and still is, that others did, that helped me climb back out of that deep hole. It was empathy from people who cared to enough to take the risk of offering connection. They let me know that when I was ready, they were there for me - no ready solutions, no platitudes - but simply a hand held out that told me "you aren't alone". 

I will never be done with the journey. If there is an upside to coming out the other side of depression, it is what I learned, and who I've become, by letting others know who I really am, and trusting that I would find some who would connect. 

It is a huge risk to make yourself vulnerable with the truth. Some might have and did hate me for being who I am. But there were others who had survived; others who would take the risk of saying "I am here to listen and care", and in that way pass along their strength. They might not even have understood the details, but they cared, and would not judge.

If there is an upside, it will be my own willingness to be that person who takes the risk and holds out my hand to others and say, I am here. I've been there. I will stay with you.

Dr. Brené Brown narrates the following RSA Short, with animation by Katy Davis and subtitles in a variety of languages, thanks to Amara. Click on the cc for captions.