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“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
Rose Kennedy

angry and alone

image courtesy of diabroticd.wordpress.com

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There are times when, for no apparent reason, we feel depressed and alone. Grief wells up and carries us away for a time. Then there are the times when we know why we feel as though our insides have been ripped apart.  There are also times when the knowledge of why isn’t enough to pull you through the barrier to the next level and we can begin to move forward again.

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As this full moon draws closer it seems it has been a time of  reflection on those we have lost and the memories they evoke. At times they can be bittersweet memories and as I type this I’m listening to the mournful call of my Mopoke owl.  Normally I’m thrilled to hear him and on one level I still am. Yet I cannot help but associate that sound with the mournful calls I heard on the long nights I used to babysit in England when  the wind blew and whistled around the house causing chills to run up and down my spine. There were plenty of owls calling throughout the nights there on the edge of the Yorkshire moors.

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yorkdhire dales
image courtesy of lovetoescape.com

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It’s a strange feeling since most of my memories of the moors are the idyllic days spent in the heather, listening to the birdsong, my dog by my side, watching cotton puff clouds lazily float across the sky. We would picnic under the blue sky and visit Haworth Manor, home of the Bronte’s.  Perhaps they are so closely linked to my family it’s the reason I’m thinking about them so much now.

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north yorkshire moors heather

image courtesy of north-york-moors.co.uk

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So for the past week I’ve been remembering all those I’ve loved and lost, here and back in “the old country” and remembering the times we spent together walking the sheep trails through the heather. As the weather warms up so quickly I’m reminded of the fresh breezes on the moors and how we could walk for miles without turning into a puddle of perspiration.

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My grandparents were all left behind in England. My parents I lost here, my mother only a short time ago.  They try to say “time heals all wounds” but I think it’s more we become better at handling the painful memories of loss. When those losses coincide with Christmas – well, it’s as though a knife is jabbed into an open wound and it’s as raw and fresh as the day it happened.

So,  this full moon I’m releasing the hurts of lost loved ones.  I will endeavor to pull memories of happier times from the memory vault and try not to let the sadness of not sharing a special day with them make me feel too sad, at least for my children’s sake. I will share stories of the madcap things we all did together – in the heather and around the Christmas tree, and of course in the snow!

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sorrowful lady
image courtesy of gsp-shadow.blogspot.com

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Yes, the memories are bittersweet, especially at this time, but there are many more happy memories and those are the ones I’ll share. The sadness I’ll carry for a while longer, although I have a shoulder to lean on now. In time everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

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hope

image courtesy of lilliesloves.wordpress.com

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“Sometimes, however much you plan, however many precautions you take, something happens, and in a minute the world is changed. After that, you’re the person on the other side of that minute.”
Frederick Weisel, Teller

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“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
Thich Nhat Hanh quotes (Vietnamese Monk, Activist and Writer. b.1926)

2 business people backs to each other
Have you ever been in the situation where an innocuous statement has been totally misunderstood and you have  found yourself  hot water as a result?  It’s not very pleasant and sometimes, even with the best will in the world you cannot get the other party to see what you were trying to say.

I believe it happens for a reason, not that we appreciate the lesson at the time, but it is usually a very good lesson to learn.  We are all individuals and we operate from our  own unique frame of reference. We have to simply because we all have different things to learn, at different times, and thus we have gaps in understanding each other   Having said that it most definitely doesn’t make for harmonious living or relationships.  In fact it can tear friendships or relationships apart.

business people arguing
image courtesy of  123rf.com

Humans are  strange creatures. We can wander through our lives in , barely aware of what is occurring around us, unless of course it happens to impinge on something we  have a vested interest in    Take for example, an accountant who is busily preparing his client’s tax returns. It is a busy period and his focus and attention is firmly fixed on getting those returns done, as quickly and efficiently as possible since his clients would like their refunds as soon as possible. If they are fortunate  enough to be receiving one that is.

What would happen if someone from , lets says, the ATO makes an appearance at his office and announces that the rules have  changed, not only that but it means that some, or perhaps all of the work this hard pressed accountant has already done will need to be reviewed or re done!    “Danger Will Robinson!”

The probably hard-working and mild-mannered accountant becomes hot under the collar at the cavalier way in which all his hard work has apparently been undermined. He gets upset and annoyed and heated words are exchanged. He hasn’t advanced his cause with the ATO in any way and may have  ensured his name has been noted for further scrutiny. Not a propitious outcome, is it?

So what has really happened?  The accountant has been preoccupied with his work and perhaps misinterpreted or misunderstood an innocuous statement by the ATO. representative.   The representative on the other hand has been upset at feeling attacked for delivering an insignificant  or perhaps a significant piece of information to help the accountant. Both parties are feeling aggrieved . Misunderstanding is an understatement!

confused person

image courtesy of bigisthenewsmall.com

If either person had been fully present with the other, paying attention to what was occurring around them the misunderstanding  would have been averted.  From this point the situation has two ways of developing: it can either degenerate further or common sense may prevail and it may be smoothed over .  The sad fact is that if each person had paid attention to the other, been fully present with the other than no misunderstanding could have occurred.  It also means that each person would have been showing respect towards the other paying the other the attention they deserve.

The  unfortunate part of this story is that it is repeated often, daily, hourly, by the moment because we have fallen out of the practise of fully being with another.  Our conscious mind is elsewhere and the subconscious substitutes what it feels may fit the bill at the time.   We need to be mindful of our thoughts, our words and our actions and the effect they may have on another.  We need to remember that if we want to have the attention we deserve we must also  give that respect to others.

respect

image courtesy of facebook.com
It is, at the end of the day, only moment of time to ensure we have heard the message being delivered and we do that by being fully present with whomever we are engaged with at the time.  If we pay attention to what is said, ensure we understand what is being said, confirm the message if we are unsure, we are, in essence, in fact, showing that the person and the message  are valued. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous thing to offer everyone we had dealings with, be they work colleagues or family and friends?

I know that I personally would be much more grateful for the time and effort being shown to me, to allow me to remain fully up to date with whatever was occurring.  Being able to be fully present with someone, perhaps even enjoy the exchange, forge a better relationship, make future work together something pleasant and not to be avoided sounds ideal. The benefits far outweigh any possible downside. Is there a down side?

dog sled team

image courtesy of hammerweb.co.uk

Even a dog sled team must work in unison, harmony, despite the “pecking order” to achieve the result of forward motion.
So what do we need to do to ensure that the situation doesn’t arise where someone says, “Did I say That?”  It’s simple, we need to be fully present in the moment, pay attention to whomever or whatever is occurring and hear the message before we start to interpret it. If we can all do that there would be much less angst, misunderstanding and ill will floating around.  The world would be a better and more harmonious  place for all. It’s definitely worth pausing and thinking about.

happy multicultiral group

image courtesy of myspace.com
“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~Henry Ward Beecher

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happy picture

image courtesy of facebook.com

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couple in love

Couple in love, courtesy of istockphoto.com

“Love knows no boundaries” – Marius Gherghinescu.

For all the romantics who abound in this world, the above quote is most probably a truth they live by, however, for the many sceptics who feel all that ‘mushy’ love stuff is ridiculous, I’m sure they would prefer,

“There are none so blind as those who will not see”, a proverb traced back in English to John Heywood, 1546.

In reality both statements are true. Life simply cannot run as smoothly as a mill-pond. There will always be those twists and turns, which whilst unexpected, should really be expected because life never runs a smooth course. At least I haven’t heard of one going so smoothly. If life were so smooth, no bumps along the way, then it would be truly boring. Yet conversely, all those twists and turns, those bumps, the cavernous drops in the road ahead, all these can make life a struggle from beginning to end. It makes one wonder why anyone would bother with such a mammoth struggle. The reason why is simple, “Love Conquers All” which derives from the Latin phrase from Eclogue X by Virgil, “omnia vincit amor“. With love in your life, a belief in unconditional love from either another person or the Universe, all these hiccoughs along the way temper the character and make everyone appreciate the rich tapestry of life. In fact it irons out the twists, turns and bumps.

So where do the ‘skeletons in the closet” come in? That’s life, in all it’s rich and colourful complexity. The star struck couple have formed a deep friendship, trusting in each other and sharing the life lessons from their pasts which have made them into the people they are today. All is well, and time flows on smoothly. If there are any odd flashes of intuition which tells her that something isn’t quite what it seems to be, then she ignores it because she really wants to believe in him and doesn’t want to accept that there may be something, or several things which have been ‘glossed over”. In due time she finds out the wrong way ( is there ever a right way?) that the ‘glossing over’ is not a mild understatement but a complete obfuscation of fact! She has many faults of her own, not the least of which is an uncompromising view of the truth. In a world where white is never white and black is never black she holds the view that a lie is something which is something either said or misled or if omitted altogether is still a lie, a lie of omission. None of which fall under any category she allows as being acceptable. They jury is in and the gavel has fallen.
gavel

Gavel, image courtesy of saramarberry.blogspot.com

Through the unkind generosity of a computer hacker, who decides to disseminate the information gleaned back to her, she learns of every twist and turn her new-found love has travelled along life’s highway. The problem with this, he hasn’t told her about it, he has ‘fudged’ about other parts of it and completely obfuscated about a great deal of the rest. Does it really matter now? That’s a question a better person than she would need to answer. She only knows that the truth she holds so dear, especially after the misfortunes in her past love life, have left her without a clear barometer with which to calculate this information.

At every twist and turn this information rears its ugly head and plays havoc with her mind. She cannot, irrespective of how hard she tries, block it from her memory or ignore it. The questions multiply at an alarming rate and it threatens the peace and longevity of this wonderful relationship. There are many who would say it couldn’t be such a wonderful relationship if there are so many problems and lies at such an early stage, yet these are two people who know they have travelled life’s road many times before and are meant to be together again. This is a battle to put the past in perspective and relish the fortunes of the future, and so the truth will come out!

A business arrangement, from its outset blatantly abused by the other parties, has drained the reserves and strength of her partner. He had nowhere to turn and no one else to turn to. He was so close to finalising the business venture yet the capital fell short. Along came a funnel-web spider, disguised as a bleached blonde, intent on capturing its prey by whatever means at its disposal. Now, I cannot comment for anyone else but I hate spiders, and women who deliberately set out to ensnare men are lower than a spider. That’s simply my opinion. Here is an honest man, trying to do the right thing, being taken advantage of because of his good nature and is now falling into the clutches of a nasty death-dealing arachnid! Oh you can tell I don’t like spiders!
funnel web spider female

Female funnel-web spider ready to spring, image courtesy of smh.com.au

A business agreement is entered into and in time the business fails utterly. The man is devastated, everything he worked for is gone, without a penny to his name he has nowhere to live. Destitute. Does she act honourably? Does she understand the depth of despair this man is now drowning in? Not one whit! She blatantly propositions him for sexual favours. “Sleep” with her and work her farm and the loan is forgiven. Forgiven! Forgiven!! I must be dreaming. This is a business venture, a loan for a business venture and the business has collapsed. The business and loan have vanished into the ether and cannot be recovered. She is going to devour this man whichever way she can. Like any good flesh eating monster she simply revs up the attack.

What happens next? Being rebuffed does no good at all. She persists, like a spider who has its prey wrapped securely in a cocoon for digesting later, she sinks her fangs ever deeper and watches the death throes as he tries to survive.
funnel web abd prey

image courtesy of superstock.com
spider bite
funnel web bite – day 10. image courtesy of declubz.com

So what happens when his lady arrives on the scene and she, of the funnel-web analogy, finally cannot deny that her fangs have lost their deadly grip and he isn’t going to be her dinner? Then she becomes a death dealing viper, a fork tongued cold-blooded reptile who will destroy him in any way possible. She lies, she cheats, she tries to sue in court. She deliberately swears on oath that he lives in a place vacated years earlier. She knows where he is because she arrives uninvited one night and meets his new lady there. Yet lying to the court if the other party cannot get there to defend himself is easy. She glories in her perjury!

Synchronicity – what a wonderful thing. Through unbelievable twists and turns the information about the court case arrives at it’s intended destination, but not through any action of hers. With the smallest of margins ever he is able to get a defence lodged and fight the spurious claims she has perjured herself making. The truth finally sees the light of day. There is no validity of a court case where the truth is not in evidence. There is no possibility of a financial outcome. Even the solicitors are finally aware they have been duped by the venom of this creature. There has been a vexatious waste of the courts time as well as the solicitors, who cannot be recompensed for their time and efforts. Perhaps justice is served after all as the court throws the case out and the “plaintiff’ has to pay costs for bringing a claim without valid grounds. Justice is blind, I agree, but just occasionally Justice prevails, as it has this time.

blind justice Blind justice, image courtesy of boxing.com.

winning judgementWinning judgement; courtesy of ehow.com

Sometimes you simply have to believe and have faith. Love does conquer all!

VIVE L’AMOUR

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Best friends

Best Friends by oneinsightcloser.com

As small children it seems easy to make friends. We actually do it without thinking, a new child appears in the group and they are automatically included and join in whatever is happening. The most beautiful friendships can develop from there, some lasting a lifetime. The innocence is heartwarming and  everyone loves to see it. The friendship of small children is like a garden of flowers, bright, beautiful and always making you smile.

It’s a proven fact that the majority of friendships are made during the school years.  Some of us make them throughout lower school and some during university. The bonds of friendship are tested through time and we have someone we can rely on in good times and bad. They are there when we need a shoulder to cry on when our first love disappears, and are there with a hug and  simple acceptance when life turns sad as we lose someone close. There  is a closeness which nothing diminishes and we are all the better and stronger for it. Grief seems easier to bear with a close friend and a friendly shoulder.

Yet there are also those of us, who, for no apparent reason, go through our young lives without forming those close bonds. We may have been picked on because we didn’t conform to the norm. We were ‘fat’, wore strange clothes, had funny hair or spoke with a different accent. Sometimes there is no reason we can find for not being part of the group and not finding that closeness that friendship can bring. Occasionally something happens and after being part of a circle of friends the group decides to ostracize you. There seems no rhyme or reason yet it happens and you flounder to find a way through the rejection.  My friends ‘came back’ once they realised that I wasn’t going to ‘moon’ around after them. In fact I avoided being anywhere near them and they found that too uncomfortable. So, being in a relatively small community, I was invited back in again. There was one rather major problem though. I didn’t like being rejected and I definitely didn’t like being hurt. I rejoined the group but not before I had made a solemn promise to myself. Never again would I allow anyone to have the power to hurt me in that way again. No-one would get ‘in’ to break my heart.  For a long time it worked too.  I moved through life, apparently part of a group of friends, without anyone special, but still one of ‘the pack’.
Sad girl

Unless we are in this lonely situation we may not even think about it. Life is too hectic and we have too many things to distract us that we don’t see what may be right there in front of us. Of course, even worse than that blindness is being in the midst of that isolation yourself.  Who do you turn to for support if you don’t have a close friend, or for that matter, anyone you can call a friend. It’s not simply sad, it’s not even pathetic, it’s crushing and soul devouring. It can be even worse. My garden of flowers had become overrun with weeds.

Not long ago I was in the situation where a long-term marriage was reaching its last gasp.  I had used up all my reserves of energy, was worn out and could no longer think of any alternatives to try in order to save a relationship already dead, it simply hadn’t remembered to stop breathing yet.  Everything had been tried. We talked to counsellors, friends, family and probably driven each other to the edge of insanity trying to talk through insurmountable problems with no end in sight. At least they had become insurmountable as I realised we had drifted so far from each other that there was no point of reference at which to begin a ‘rescue attempt’.  It was heartbreaking, not being able to save something I’d given over two decades of my life to and had believe would last a lifetime.  Two strangers sharing the same space with nothing in common any longer.   Ironically for me, my husband at the time really couldn’t see that we had a problem.  “Had a problem”, that was a laugh, the problems were so many it was hard to know where to begin when the counsellor asked what the problem was. I believe that was the point at which I realised a rescue attempt was simply not going to work. So he blamed me for the demise of our relationship. there always has to be someone at fault.
arguing couple

image courtesy of ourwayit.com

I wanted, for the sake of my  – our – children to stay as long as possible and let them have a ‘family’ life.  For me, for us, it was a stupid mistake. Instead of seeing a good family life they say what can happen when love has simply drifted away.  The best of marriages are founded on a basis of friendship. That deep connection where two people know, without words, that the other is always there for them, a support in good times and bad.   Now we had a situation where, whilst not enemies, there was nothing there to build anything on, not even for the children’s sake.  Yet the parting held “no such sweet sorrow” but only relief.  If only that had been the end of it. Some things just linger on and on.

There is a prevailing belief in society today that marriage breakdown is a disease, something which can be caught if you aren’t careful. All the ‘friends’ I believed I had suddenly melted into the ether.  Far from having someone to talk to, to help ease the confusion and sadness, share a coffee with and provide that warm hug to help give you strength, I found I was isolated and alone.  From a place where the struggle had been a nightmare, a new nightmare began.  For some reason this seemed even worse than before.  Now I was faced with a situation where I felt there had to be something ‘wrong’ with me or I wouldn’t be rejected yet again.  All the old hurts from my childhood returned with even more vigour and I had nowhere to turn to find out why it had happened.  My garden of weeds had become a jungle of weeds, thorny and poisonous.
thorny weeds

image courtesy of mooseyscountrygarden.com

I’d like to say there is an easy solution. I’d love to say there is a solution at all. I still don’t have that wonderful friend I’ve been searching for, someone to share a laugh and a coffee; go window shopping or watch a movie together’ share a heart to heart when we need one. I feel the lack frequently when I hear or read about someone enjoying time with a friend or friends.  I haven’t worked out what to do although I’m told I’m a nice person, helpful, kind and considerate. Not to blow my own trumpet, but who else will.   I need a friend. I know that and would welcome one into my life and one day one will turn up. That will be a beautiful day and I will treasure it forever.

There is a happy ending though.  After finally giving up on relationships completely and deciding to ‘retire’ to a unit ‘far, far away, spending the rest of a long life become a crabby old spinster, knitting in my rocking chair,  I met a wonderful and charming man who completely knocked me off my feet.  He was, not to exaggerate, everything I had always dreamed of but doubted I would ever find.  He is a gentleman. He opens my door and carries my parcels for me. Not because I can’t but because he likes to do something nice for me. He loves to make a cup of tea and we share cooking dinner together. In fact we share almost everything and it isn’t overpowering, it feels darned good. I can finish his thoughts, and pick up on what he is thinking. We will both decide at the same time that we feel like going out for a coffee or a movie, a walk on the beach or sharing a picnic when the moon is full. I found my ‘soul mate’ for real, and I couldn’t be happier for it.  My life has turned full circle.  My ‘best friend’ (apart from my husband who is also my best friend as well as my husband, lover and partner) will arrive one day soon and life will be complete.  We  have so many things we are planning, work, travel, fun, new businesses we love, life is so full it is breathtaking. I have been truly blessed. I know that life will continue to be blessed. Why, because that’s how it’s meant to be, how we are planning it to be and so it will be.

Garden of roses

Keep the faith, friends come and go, some take longer than others, weeds always grow in untended soil but when the roses bloom, magic fills the air, and of course the fairies.

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