Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I’ll never forget the day my brother brought home one of his buddies when I was probably around 12 or 13. It was a summer day and I was wearing shorts. My brother said, "That’s my kid sister, Karen." The boy looked me up and down several times and then said, "hmm, you have knobby knees…" and then he went off to play with my brother.

I was mortified! I never actually gave my knees a second thought. So, because I didn’t have a full length mirror in my room, I jumped up on my bed to have a better look. "Knobby knees! Really? They just look like regular ol’ knees to me!"

The next time I saw him, I said, "I had a closer look at my knees and they look like knees." He looked again and said, "You have weird spaces between your legs when you stand too."
SPACES! Yup, the air between my knees was no good either…air that I couldn’t even claim to be mine.

I ran into my room and jumped on the bed and had a look again. I decided that I needed a better mirror so I dismantled the mirror from the dresser and put it down on the floor sideways. I started finding all sorts of problems. The problems were everything from the texture of my hair down to my feet that seemed too flat. I began to cry.

I look back at that as absolutely ridiculous. I was doing ok until this boy started in on my knees. The mirror is a very dangerous place that I think we spend too much time in front of. I know it’s fun to grab a hairbrush and sing into it pretending you are singing to someone, but when you start using the mirror for inspection like that, you are tripping down a very slippery slope. Top models find flaws too. You can actually talk yourself into thinking something is there that isn’t. But so what if it is?

The problem with mirror-inspecting is it can’t possible set the mood right for the day. If you require it for a task like putting on mascara, flossing or doing your hair, it’s fine. But when you strip down and stare wishing something could be flatter, bigger, smaller, smoother… then it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. I think people should throw out their bathroom scales too. Losing weight and building muscle probably won’t budge the scales anyways so why have them? You retain water a few days and gain a few pounds and then starve yourself from guilt. They are just bad.

What happened to me as a young teen was an unhealthy obsession with body image. It didn’t even come from magazines back then. It came from a boy. That really sucks too because that particular boy would have made a horrible boyfriend. If you think about it, would you want a guy who would point that out? Perhaps it isn’t that I wanted him as a boyfriend, but his comment may have made me think I could never have anybody with my knobby knees. You know what the problem is there? I can’t exactly cosmetically make my knees look less knobby. So, I live with my knees. Why? Because they are mine. Every part of the body is given to us…the body IS a temple. If we don’t protect it, who will? I understand people wanting to feel better. So if we want to do something GOOD for our body, I am all for it IF the motivation is to feel better. But if we need to change something to win someone else, we’ve lost ourselves in the process.
Is that a good trade-off?

We don’t really seem to be too concerned with what we put in our body either. What if the mirror showed what was going on in there? Talk about horrifying.

Much love on ya!
Karen :)

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." ~E.B White


Speaking of Incest

I was told by a friend yesterday that Mackenzie Phillips came out with a book outlining her drug use, crazy upbringing and a 10 year period of sex with her father John Phillips which started as rape and grew into a consensual sexual relationship.

My first reaction was, "Why would she bring it up now, oh yes, writing a book so of course she’ll make a ton of money."

But you know, I don’t think all the money in the world could make me admit to something like that. The shots she is taking for it can’t be smoothed over by money. It’s almost self slaughter.
Then I watched her in a fairly lengthy interview. I’m not going to say she doesn’t have many moments reminiscent of drug usage, but she’s forward. I will say that for her. My initial reaction was wrong.

Part of the interview that got me thinking was when she said she hoped that the story could bring incest survivors out of the shadows and get people talking towards healing. If you think about it, it is one of the most taboo topics out there.

I thought I’d share my experience seeing as nobody likes to discuss it.

I was not personally involved in an incestuous relationship. I am a victim of sexual assault by my mother’s boyfriend who lived with us, but I was clearly the injured party. The reason it felt incestuous was that he was supposed to be taking on a Father role and he abused it. So not only was I a pre-teen and he in his 50s but I became extraordinarily confused by his position.

As far as true incest goes, there is a history of it deep in the roots of my family. My great grandfather slept with his daughters (I didn’t eventually come from that, I came from one of his sons) but the crazy part I have had to deal with is the fact that it was laughable in all the generations that followed. There were definitely a few people down the line who came on to other people in the family. Jokes like "incest is best" and the jokes against the Amish/Mennonite communities around us were considered funny at the time. Have you ever noticed how many people cover up pain with a joke?

I have learned that it’s not normal nor is it amusing. Incest is an abuse of power. Incest has ruined lives…ruined future relationships and put a crazy distortion on intimate encounters. But like any racial bias or slur, we think it’s perfectly fine at the time. Humor can paper a nice floral print over ugly cracks in the walls. Incest for many families is the elephant in the room. You don’t just feel its weight but you have to come up with clever ways to get around it.

I think it’s massively important that we make ourselves a really good, non-judgmental people in order to allow those who hurt the freedom to open up without fear of criticism or ridicule. The baggage from these incidents carries into countless other areas which are stopping people from moving forward with meaningful lives.

You will never be judged by me or laughed at. This you can count on. I will not participate in that.

Karen :)

"A lot of people say they want to get out of pain, and I'm sure that's true, but they aren't willing to make healing a high priority. They aren't willing to look inside to see the source of their pain in order to deal with it." ~Lindsay Wagner



What is deception?

I decided to write on the word 'deception' because the last few blogs and responses have alot of talk about the phrase, "wolf in sheep's clothing".

Here are some synonyms...which, depending on what or who is involved, could be deceiving in itself, right?

trickery, double-dealing, deceit, dishonesty, fraud, chicanery, subterfuge, duplicity, mendacity, untruth, dupery, insincerity, indirection, craftiness, circumvention, juggling, treachery, treason, betrayal, pretense, disinformation, falsehood, trickiness, trumpery, beguilement, cozenage, humbug, hypocrisy, lying, sophism, deceitfulness, equivocation, prevarication, cunning, artifice, guile, misleading, deceiving, imposture, imposition, bamboozlement, snow job, skullduggery, flimflam, blarney, hanky-panky; dishonesty, hypocrisy.

I wanted to include some of those related words because sometimes a word that means the same thing can trigger you and make you think, "Oh yeah! That happened to me!"
For instance, I have been a victim of fraud but also encounter hypocrisy on a daily basis.
We think it's someone from the opposing team, the inlaws, opposing religions, opposing political parties...opposing countries. But to be TRULY deceived means quite often, you had NO clue.

You could be deceived by a magician, they trick you but you sort of expected it. A band playing a certain type of music with a certain look could be deceiving, but that is elementary-level sleuthiness to figure out their message. A car salesman tricking you is a form of deception but really, we see it coming. When you look at someone and you have left a 10th of a percent of doubt there, you aren't truly deceived. But, when you truly thought, "This guy's the real deal" and they sucker-punch you, you are left with WTF?

Have you ever taken a hit to the center of your chest by someone you admired? By someone you followed? By someone's title being the opposite of their actions?

Children raped by their parents or church leaders. That is an unbelievable form of deception. When you have been married 25+ (what you thought were loving) years and they cheat on you. That is unexpected deception. When the person who gave birth to you deceives you...THAT is overwhelming deception. I have followed many Hollywood stories over the years where a child turns around and sues the parent for dirty business practice. Isn't that also deception at it's finest? When your own parent does it to you and you could have sworn they'd be the last?
We are constantly being warned about being deceived and yet we look for all the usual suspects!!!

I have a laundry list of people who have deceived me and guess what? They came from inside my very close inner circle. From inside the family, from inside my church, from inside the cause I was fighting for, from inside my various teams and groups I have been a member or supporter of. The same people who I got to sign crucial documents have done it. It's not enough for someone to have their fundamentals in place. It's not enough for someone to say all the right things.

What I have found very helpful is not to look at the promises of any one person, but their motivation...essentially their heart. People will have a track record of being trustworthy when the motivation of their heart is in the right place. For me, purpose-driven people keep my trust above those who are driven by their goals (to the point of stepping on anyone to get what they need or bad-mouthing them). A person who puts themselves that high won't blink twice before stepping on heads. Many people who are really driven by their own selfishness try very diligently to come off as being good. I think it's important to look at the small cracks in their foundation as opposed to the paint chipping from the walls.

Something I also equate to true deception is the feeling of wanting to throw up after. If you half-expected someone to double-cross you, it hurts, but you prepared yourself somewhat. But when you take a huge gasp of air in and think, "OMG! How could they?" and you pace your floors in the house wondering if you should pick up the phone or find a weapon... that is when it's happened to you.

It's difficult to keep an eye out for the potential of anyone deceiving us and it can breed paranoia. But if we keep a close eye on the motivation of people, we can be supportive of those who have a loving and good heart as opposed to supporting something that can be destructive in the future.

This shouldn't be confused with people screwing up, we all do. But as you know there are some huge issues at everyone's table right now and the potential deception looming can be harmful from a domestic level all the way up to a global scale.

My motivation in it all? After having a very sore, bruised, shredded heart, I'd like to minimalize the pain in everyone else's. Pretty simple. It doesn't feel very nice.

Now the trick is to find an inspector to assist in looking for the cracks who is trustworthy,

"Life is the art of being well deceived; and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted." ~William Hazlitt

Grabbing The Electric Fence

It's kind of like knowing the ice is thin but you wanna jump on it anyways...or someone posts a sign saying "Electric Fence" but you get some twisted idea that you'd like to grab it just to see what would happen.

Tonight reminded me of the night that for no intelligent reason, I put on the rings from a past relationship just to see what they would look like on my hands after pretty much not wearing jewellery for several years. It's a memory-trip I think each one of us has been entangled in. It can go from pulling out old photo albums to driving by an apartment or house you used to share with someone. You are extraordinarily happy to be away from the scenario, so it's not a matter of wanting to dive back into the fire, but it's like a sick curiosity that sucks you into wasting minutes or hours saturating yourself in the negative and destructive emotions that go with it. You find yourself at Google or Facebook searching their names to see where they are or if they are alive. You realistically don't want to do any of these things or go to that dark place, but sadly...there you find yourself.

Well, I feel like I have graduated past alot of those self-inflicted evenings of pure torture.

Tonight was a mini journey I find myself visiting more often than not. It's much like re-reading an old diary, but it involves music. Many people understand the nostalgic feeling of throwing on a record or cd of an artist from yesteryears. There is a certain type of music you associate with old school settings...there are songs you remember from church, weddings and funerals. Everyone seems to have at least one song from a movie that will move them even if it came on the radio 50 years from now.

Tonight wasn't any of that.

Tonight was the same as every time I decide to do this sadistic listening session.
I have written well over 800 songs in my own personal library and that doesn't include songs I have written for or with other artists. I think I am about done counting, 'cause by this point, do the numbers really matter? The songs are in strange places. Some in LA, some in Canada...some on hard drives, cds, dvds..."tapes" and floppy discs. I have boxes upon boxes of words on paper that I haven't even gone through. I may have as many words now as times that I have blinked. Because I sucked at every other subject in school, I found solice in writing and reading. Words are empowering because they stir imagination.

So, tonight I put on headphones and went through several old songs. Not every stage of my writing makes me feel this way. I have silly songs, really I do...lol. It seems the bulk of work I revisit is the gut-wrenching rip your heart straight from your chest ugly ugly ugly material. I'm almost embarrassed to hear it. But, with the voice of my mother firm in the background of my conscience, I continue to write down everything because she told me to.

What I always find with this revisiting of old archives is the intense illness inside my stomach that can appear instantaneously. Alot of these songs aren't produced very well. I would give most of them a 2 out of 10 in production and an 11 out of 10 for having the idiotic nerve that I could write them in the setting I was living in. Very courageous or stupid. They affect me so much when I listen not because they sound particularly good, but I sound mentally disturbed. I feel like I am listening to a girl who needs serious help. For the first few minutes I feel sorry for her...then I become her...and that is the scary part.

I think because my mind is so much clearer nowadays, I find the listening experience immensely disturbing. It was disturbing that I was so ill. With this new clarity I found myself massively pissed off at the people who dominated my subject matter. It would be mature of me to simply forgive them and just view this as a diary entry and oh-so-historical part of my character, but the truth of this situation is that there was over a decade of straight brutality preceded by years here and there of nausea. When it sounds like a singer is getting sick while singing about the subject, it's hard to just chalk it up to a character-building experience. Weird to remove myself from that person like that.

Much like trying on all that old jewellery, I think that this is a similar category of revisiting things I am simply not ready to keep a clear head about. It's too too much. I have won some pretty epic battles in my fight to get me back, but some of these archives are incredibly painful and leave me quite sour. I guess I could have learned the lesson when I was trying on those rings...but you'd think."Oh this is something artistic in my past..that doesn't compare." But it does. It's like asking myself to fight quicksand. The torture is bizarre.

Above all that, I feel like I just wasted a bunch of time that I could have been doing something else. I learned not to drive by those old houses. I don't weep in old photo albums...why would I revisit this archive of songs now?

There has to be a time to move forward. I don't hate the songs, on the contrary ...I feel sad for them.

But you know the shittiest part of tonight's listening? I'm doubly pissed off that I wasn't allowed to take all these ill-produced ideas and give them the production they deserved. Now it's too late to do that because I emotionally couldn't take it on nor would there be enough years on earth to do it all. For that, I think I will always harbor some resentment to those who were in the subject matter even though I preach forgiveness.

Those songs were abused children...it seems so utterly unforgiveable to me.
However, I learned once again tonight in listening to them, that they aren't the ones to blame...nor was I when I wrote them. It's a bloody wonder I am alive.

And...................now done feeling sorry for myself. I'm going to bed.

Have you wasted time like this on things that simply aren't helpful to the balance of who you are? Is it just that we hate things left in an unsettled state?
I feel like it's just breeding unnecessary anger this evening for me.

Ah well, this kind of writing helps. Looks better on the computer screen than in my head. That's for sure.


"Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word."~Laurence Olivier

Bird With A Broken Wing

I am not one of those people who believes, "whoever dies with the most toys wins". In fact I subscribe to the belief that you can't take it with you...but then from there, I believe there is something better after all of this where there are gifts and rewards and parties and friends and all those things deemed lovely. But, I think the lessons are set-up in life where by the time you die, all the rewards we are promised won't even matter because there is an eye-opening enlightenment where we truly figure out what matters.

I believe all of that, let's get that out of the way. I am quite purpose-driven and perhaps writing this down will keep me reminded of that so I don't go into self-centered mode.

Today was a more earthly enlightenment. This was more about my own character discovery/(some may argue)flaw.

I have a (bad?) habit of finding and aligning myself with those who require more than I do. Now I will be the first to stand up and say I have been known to be emotionally a high-maintenance person, although that is becoming less that way as time moves forward. But see, one of the things I love to do is assist other people. As usual, I am not claiming martyrdom...there is always something more complex coming when I say things that seem like I am drawing attention to my good traits. :) HA! Helping others is very rewarding.

Paying it Forward heals society. I am big on it. As far as getting credit goes for helping others, I am sincerely not interested in that. There are a few reasons. One, I would rather people go pay it ahead than stand and thank me for hours. Being thankful is lovely and more people should do it (me included) but it's really not worth an award or anything. Being nice, being helpful...giving an ear to a friend(or enemy) in need is supposed to be normal. So I feel like when I am not helping others, that is the thing that is a problem. Being a friend or friendly is normal, although it's increasingly unpopular nowadays (do I sound like your Grandmther yet?) Two is that I generally have bigger reasons than credit for being of service.

Here is my gripe. I am amazed how a Good Samaritan can have good motivation(oh, that is what I strive for by the way, it is NOT my title...lol) but be treated like a Jail Mate.

Let me give you an example.

A man is raising his children alone. He works both night and day to keep things afloat after his ex leaves him with the responsibility. His bills mount up high, taxes go unpaid...the house turns into a war zone, he barely sleeps and barely gets by. He meets up with a new woman and they decide to get married. She comes into this insane responsibility both work-wise and emotionally.

Because she loves him and the children, she throws herself into the scene with both feet and her caution to the wind. But because she has never had children before, it's a very difficult transition. She almost ends up looking as rough as him and the two of them are in a crazy scenario of stress.
Now, her motivation was to be helpful because she loved them. But at the very second she decides she needs some time to herself or has been unsuccessful at cleaning up his past mess, she takes the brunt of his past stress. As they fight, he says things like, "You have a roof over your head...why are you so ungrateful?" She complains they never spend time together... you know insert your own scenario. This is quite common.

The problem with this scene is that her heart was the type to bring home the birds with the broken wings. She loves to be helpful and do her best to fix things. But generally speaking and I need to really stress this point, this kind of person is usually very disinterested in obtaining credit. You see, credit alone is not enough to sustain a person through these types of relationships. Simply having a roof over her head isn't enough to stay in that kind of work-load.

Her motivation was to be helpful to the ones around her, but now they have dragged her down into their festering pot and the little things she used to do don't exist anymore. She is made to feel guilty if she has anything in her life that is enjoyable because everyone else is so dysfunctional around her. Misery LOVES company. ...and the more, the better. A person who is miserable can quite often sabotage their own happiness because they have no idea what that means.

So the Good Samaritan in the situation becomes like them...because they are more comfortable when she is burned out, tired and unhappy. She's invited into their jail and her loving/giving heart makes her feel guilty enough to go there.

As far as the people I align myself with, I have the tendancy to try and help those with BIG suitcases of skeletons. I think if I was more equipped like a doctor etc, I could handle it...but like Alanis said, "I am not the Doctor" and therein lies my revelation. I get so absolutely pissed off when I take the brunt of their stress because not only am I not the Doctor, but I didn't make the mess to begin with!

So two things need to happen. I either have to go and get my psychotherapy degree so I can get paid to be shit on, or I can stop helping others.

I am unwilling to do either because a) I don't like that job and b) I am not going to stop helping others because it's a human trait we need to keep So off of that, I think I will stay a musician and keep a safe distance from those who need me who are "needy". I will help where I can, but I have been suicidal. I have been depressed. I have looked and felt like hell for much of my life...little sleep, poor health etc so I need to draw the line on what and who will suck me down with them. It's not selfishness, but how can I possibly continue to assist those who need me when I am in need of too much assistance?

While the birds break my heart DAILY, I am going to try making wiser choices about what I can physically handle. It just makes more sense.

Even though my mom died of cancer, I would say her affliction was "care-giver burnout". From taking care of the elderly, to looking after us...friends and other family, I believe she took on more than what she should have. I love her heart for it! But I believe it contributed to losing her ultimately.

I remember an ex-employer once told me, "Karen you work really hard, but you're not working smart." This means picking the battles and looking after myself first so I am more equipped to assist others around me.

How many people do you know who have lost everything because they put others first? I admire them...please know that I do. But if some people are burning out, it means others may not be pulling up their own socks. It's really important that when you see someone you know giving more than they should, that you not only pitch in(I don't mean take-over) but allow them to take some time for them.

And on top of that, if someone is working really really hard, they don't necessarily want credit. They may be trying to alleviate your work-load so they can spend some time with you...or they simply want you happy.

It's not fair to always assume in an argument that someone needs credit. Even if they are proclaiming they don't get your credit, it could be a sign of the fact that they deem you ungrateful or their heart feels unfairly judged.

I really don't know very many people wh put themselves in torturous situations simply for a pat on the back....so a statement like, "What do you want from me, a medal?" is entirely useless coming from the person they are assisting.

Things like clean houses don't matter if someone is not happy.

And on that note, trophies are tacky anyways. They are usually gawdy gold and require dusting. Nothing like having the extra responsibility of shining the damn things, right? ;)


"Helping someone is what life is all about." ~ Willie Stargell

Have You Switched Over?

I was not popular most of my childhood. But I really wanted to be. When highschool hit, I grew legs and alot of hair. I got popular. Most of my teen years were in turmoil emotionally, but I had alot of potential partners snooping around. I confused their attention for their respect. I worked in several professions but I liked acting and songwriting the most.

The problem with those choices of professions is that you also confuse the attention of people for their respect. So, I started hanging out in studios to show off my skills and try and gain the attention of other producers. They just saw legs and hair too. And if you have any self-esteem issues you will understand that I took that kind of attention because it was better than nothing.

In looking back at my life, I spent countless hours primping in front of the mirror. You basically stand there and wonder who will look at you that day. In the nightlife scenarios, I wanted to be THE chick that turned heads in the bar, not just one of them.

I am almost embarrassed in looking back at it...and although it's fashionable to say, "Oh I don't have any regrets...life is one big lesson, yadda yadda yadda" I did regret those times because I could have used my time more wisely for personal growth. Like for instance. I write alot. (lol...didja notice?) So I wished I wouldn't have skipped typing classes instead of taking the afternoon off from school to go joy-riding in the back of some friend's pick-up truck. (ewwwwww...wow...that was stupid.ha!)

All for attention. Ridiculous.

But what time in life should a person switch over? We all want children to concentrate in school so they can have awesome careers. So we would prefer them concentrate on building their brains coming out of the womb! When I say switch over, I mean go from caring what others think to caring about our own growth. When is it time to let go of the hairspray and make-up and curl up with a book? When is it time to stop going to the bar on Saturday night and take up an instrument so we can jam on Saturday nights instead?

I don't have an issue with socializing, my issue was "unfulfilled" socializing. ...the kind where you go home feeling as empty as before you went.

What I mean by switching over isn't me saying we should all "grow up", but for me personally, I think it's about reaching a time where self-discovery happens. Instead of seeking the attention of others, would it be better to learn a new skill? Instead of spending the time on physical appearance that masks good health, maybe go work-out instead and change our eating habits? When is ok to start wearing flat shoes if they are more comfortable instead of high heels to impress others?

The hard balance is that many will feel like they are "getting old" if they get rid of some of the things they equate with youth. I was not into giving up those things either! This is really about freeing our minds of what others think of us. You'll hear me say a million times, "When I quit caring what others thought of me is when I became truly free." This is what I mean.

Are you currently free? Have you switched over to this kind of freedom?

It's a beautiful thing to not feel tied to the things we do to impress others. Why is attention so important? Is it not more important to have a purpose?

While I do have the respect of my peers in the music industry, I don't require it now. You know why? I am far too busy being emerged in creativity and doing the things I love to do to even notice. Being free to create is one of the most amazing things ever. But, you can only do it when you don't care what others think. I do love to share what I do with others, but their stamp of approval isn't necessary. We all enjoy compliments and kindness though. I try my best to be encouraging of others according to what their purpose is. I'm not always perfect at it, but I try not to EXPECT anyone to look or act a certain way. The world is comprised of unique individuals who are masking their individuality by coloring their world the color they think others want to see.

What is truly interesting to me is to see the real colors. Even if those colors are black or white. We need to be true to who we are.

I guess the question, "Have you switched over?" could be better stated as "Have you found YOU again?" ...or for the first time even? :)

I'm eating brownies for breakfast today...and I don't care. (it's ok, it's just fun, not my every day habit...LOL)


When you please others in hopes of being accepted, you lose your self-worth in the process." Dave Pelzer

Bleeding Hearts

I was called a "Bleeding Heart" once. It was derogatory and mean. I was told I was overly sensitive, a cry-baby, unstable and volatile. I have been called many things, but the "Bleeding Heart" ticked me off the most. We're not talking about a scene (Bleeding Heart Yard) in a Charles Dickens novel.

Although metaphorically, I guess I was made to feel that way. lol

I was the most upset by it because I came to someone with a need and was told, "the world is tough, you gotta pull up your socks...nobody needs another bleeding heart like you. Get over it."
Well, suffice to say my heart went from bleeding to crushed. Like I don't know the freaking world is tough! It's such a condescending, militant stance.

I was mostly bothered by it because it took everything I had to ask for help only to have my emotions packaged that way. I did learn this was not a good friend for me, obviously, but the bleeding heart label stuck with me for enough years to stop discussion of any kind with anyone.

I received an email from a friend here on myspace this week. When she originally emailed me, she said she didn't want to bother me. I instinctively assumed I was viewed as unapproachable, but after some email exchange, I realized she was a highly intelligent person who was simply hurting. It turns out she was just trying be respectful of me when she said she didn't want to bother me, but I guess I have been turned away enough times from people that I built up these calluses where I was scared I was being thought of as unapproachable. Ah, even when we think our baggage has been dumped in the sea, another suitcase rears its ugly head. In this case, my suitcase has the person in it who called me a bleeding heart. (Shall try to dump that one in the sea also).

She had a question for me. I asked her if I could post it on here in the hopes of starting a Q and A blog. The reason isn't because I am trying to prove I am easy to talk to, but because I would like the opportunity to answer some questions any of you may have if it assists either you or others on here in reading it. I'm no Ann Landers, but I feel like I have lived the life of an 80 year old
woman sometimes!

I also love the people in this community. I think if we start this, there are enough great thinkers on here who could also answer questions.

I'll start with her question. She said I could post it. I said I would not post who it was.

"I was wondering, how'd you find your way from where you used to be to where you are now? I'm speaking psychologically, from mentally bad to mentally good. I hate to ask, it's not who I am, but didn't know what else to do. Was it just a way to constructively express yourself or was there some sort of insight or perception change? Just one person who can't seem to find the bottom asking one person who's already finding their way back up."

Here is my partial response;

"I'm not sure I am confidant enough to say I am 'mentally good'. LOL
I guess my good days are finally outranking the bad ones, but it's been years of getting here. I did let go of one thing I found to be helpful. "Control".Basically, the words of a therapist I met with years ago still ring true. He said, "When you have expectations of people, you WILL be disappointed."I am realizing we are all butterflies here. Nobody controls anyone and yet we somewhere along the way thought that was ok. So, when someone hurts us, we shouldn't be offended. They are seeking their own path. I also quit caring so much about what people thought about me. I also am approaching life with a sense of purpose, meaning I feel like I have bigger jobs to do than just chase my own goals. I try to be attentive every day to where I am supposed to be and what I need to do. It releases me from feeling like I have obligations.' For the greater good' may be a good way to say it. :)"

Please feel free to post your questions in this blog, I will answer best I can inside this thread. If you see a question from someone else on here that you feel you have some experience in answering, please feel free to do so. I don't like the idea of anyone feeling like their hurts don't matter. Sure hearts are bleeding, but saying "the world is tough" and to "get over it", isn't helpful. It's obvious we should count our blessings. It's obvious there is always someone way worse off. Just because someone has bigger problems than you, doesn't give anyone the right to diminish what is hurting you right now.

Have a great day!!

"Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death." ~Frederick Buechner

Pay It Back Or Pay It Forward?

Lindsay is 22. She's a young girl I was talking to about her recent breakdown. She's not the only one, there are tons. I guess some might assume you need to be at least double that age to have a breakdown as young people are deemed 'resilient' and they 'bounce back easily'.

Breaking down in the way of having your nervous system collapse is what I am seeing with her. It's not just a crying session or angry fit, she has lost control. Some of you understand what it means to break down completely while others may have some areas of your life that are just very difficult. Like in the 'Bleeding Hearts' blog, many people noted how one person's pain is not higher than another's, but I think there are various levels of instability that can come from pain. Let's not forget mental illness playing a factor or past skeletons, those are their own topic.

I will tell you why I took a special interest in Lindsay. It's not because I don't believe everyone has potential, quite the opposite, I know everyone can reach their potential and push it farther and beyond. But Lindsay reminds me of myself and so I like to think I perhaps relate to her easily in a mirror kind of way.

She has the whole world in front of her. She's a smart girl who has many, many talents. The problem in her world is that by either poor luck or bad timing she has managed to align herself with the most abusive, condescending, ego-deflating individuals who are holding her head below water. She is angry beyond words and quite rightfully so. The levels of cruelty are unspeakable. I understand Lindsay because every word she says I feel like she stole from my own mouth.
There two things that are currently happening as a pattern post her abuse. She is either saturated by vengeance or unknowingly treats others the same way. She makes statements where she is consumed by "payback is a bitch" or says things like, "Nobody will EVER walk on me again". PAY IT BACK or PAY IT FORWARD.

I was considering these two terms in looking at her world because while she's doing all this "paying" she's not receiving anything. If you were to ask her why she reacts this way, her answer is much like mine has been, "It doesn't matter if it feels good, they can see what it feels like" or for the cases of new people she comes across, "Ya, well the world sucks, they better learn now".

If I felt like revenge was a good fix, I'd be doing lots of it! I don't think it is fair to mistake yelling at someone for feeling good. When a person feels good, they hang out, party, sing crazy songs together or relax with a good book. Anger doesn't feel good, it's just a release. You have it pent up, it has to come out. It's much like air from a balloon. The air inside gains momentum after tasting the air outside and soars through the air squealing until it's gone. Then guess what? It's the saddest looking site when you look down on the ground (or the flowerbed it's landed in) and it's withered up and dead. As far as her teaching new people a lesson, I've tried this approach also. Self-appointed teachers...this the world does not need. This I feel, is also an element of control.

So why do we feel the need to negatively pay back or pay it forward? Is this not like giving someone your attention when they clearly don't deserve it? Paying back someone you owe money to feels really good. You feel like you made good on your debt. Often people who dismiss the debt which you own them will say, "Oh your debt to me is forgiven...you should go pay it forward to someone else". This is healthy and it feels fine.

The hard part is convincing Lindsay about this negative payment being unhealthy. Confronting someone for resolution or to get something off your chest has its place. But, plotting your course of retribution keeps a vicious cycle going. 'Settling the score' feels really mafia to me. Now, there have been times in my life where I couldn't get help from the law to take care of business and my instinct was to be the justice-seeker and it's still what I consider both my best and worst character flaw. I am big on defense of a third party! It pains me to listen to Lindsay talk. I simply am not the vengeful type anymore (although it creeps up from time to time).
Lindsay and I have been talking a lot and I am trying to get her more focused on the positive things in her world. My concern is that her mental health is so reckless that she is simply missing out on her amazing life that is in front of. Time is ticking!

When you personally look at your PAY IT BACK or PAY IT FORWARD equation, what percentage of time are the figures representing? Are you engulfed by retaliation and a hardened wall around your heart? Or are you in a place where you can move ahead and PAY IT FORWARD the way the phrase was intended? And what are you paying back and what are you paying people forward?

I'm not completely on the positive side in my own life, I see challenges every day where I am trying to watch which account my emotions are being thrown into. Hopefully, by adding your responses here, people like Lindsay can begin to get a grip on what to pay back and what to pay forward. I am trying to differentiate the two in everything I do.

Think I will just serve the ice cream cold instead,

"Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you."~Austin O'Malley

Battlestar Galactica Leadership

This is a continuing thought from my previous, "Endorsing Love" blog...

I really wouldn't consider myself a sci-fi nut. Over the years I have found most of them to be (to quote Mr. Garrison from Southpark) "a little dry and science-y for my taste". My biggest peeve with most of it is the lack of story and lack of characters.

My friend Phil highly recommended the Battlestar Galactica series and because I watch shows via Netflix, I am caught up to the end of Season 3 now as well as watching Razor(the TV movie that accompanied it). I must admit, the beginning of it had me thinking, "Oh great there's the bleach blonde, sex sells" but as promised by Phil, her character took on many variations that had me very intrigued as it went.

Without discussing a show that perhaps many of you haven't seen, I was struck by the writers' ability to weave in dozens of metaphors in a strategic way that had me thinking about everything from religion to politics. In a nutshell, I would say this show brilliantly illustrated the difference between compassion and arrogance as a general leadership approach. So as not to spoil it for you in the event you haven't seen it yet, let me just say there was a stark difference between the two major leaders who made contrasting split-second decisions in similar incidences.

I've touched on the topic of compassion before and how there isn't enough of it. Many people will excuse their arrogance in all areas of life, relationships, politics, religion etc by suggesting "principal" "patriotism", "doctrine". Why must so many cite their reason for showing less love and compassion as "I am right"?

It's no wonder I have been such a shut-in for so long. It seems that every time I leave my place, I encounter it. Just this week I had a social evening where someone I just met was very adamant on their religious argument and then their political stance. Another person in the room strongly disagreed. There were ruffled feathers and I was placed in the middle with feeling like I was supposed to side with one or the other. I basically on the spot made a quick decision to not engage completely. The reason wasn't because I was spineless or lacked my own belief or integrity, but because it wasn't worth it. "But Karen what you believe IS worth it! Make your voice HEARD! Stand up on PRINCIPAL!" These statements really bug me. The world doesn't require one more voice spouting off words that gravity won't hold down.

I had an opportunity to introduce myself to new people and make friends. Well, I gotta be honest, I have become fairly picky in my old age about who I hang out with, but this is not to say I am not interested in the chance to assist someone who needs my help. In some cases, I am thrilled if I leave somewhere and I simply represented my character appropriately.

While I have no issues with holding integrity, having principal or making one's voice heard (heck I ramble on here a lot...lol) my problem with it is when those things outrank a person's choice to show more love and compassion. If a person really believes their religion is better, I'd rather them SHOW ME, not TELL ME. If their political stance is better, I'd like to see it in their LIFESTYLE. I am pretty sure that by now I have heard every argument anyone could possibly give (seeing as I have been around for awhile now and there is nothing new under the sun...lol) and unless their character is on an equal playing field, it's not going to sink in for me. One of the people at this function had a personality which turned me off long before I ever heard their position on politics and religion, so the bottom line is their argument didn't hold much water for me. Some people manage to accidentally have good ideas and a poor character but that is more the exception to the rule.

This doesn't mean that I don't screw up. Many people could poke all sorts of holes in how my words don't match the character I am portraying. But I am reminding myself daily to at least make an attempt to represent my thoughts through my actions.

This is what I admire about a few of the people who were leaders on the Battlestar Galactica series. I didn't focus on their screw-ups, I was watching for their motivations. It's not enough for me to admire someone's principal or their integrity. People walk around spewing off about that all day long. The fact that some people have the ability to speak respectfully and consider compassion as their first option above being patriotic or sticking to their doctrine is inspiring to me.

And when a person is able to consistently show compassion AND hold their integrity? That is pretty much superhuman these days. In looking over my own life, I have managed to do one or the other in certain places, but doing them at the same time and consistently is the challenge!
Will keep working on it. lol

Wondering why the Battlestar wants to find Earth... (I'd personally like to find the Battlestar)


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~John Quincy Adams

Endorsing Love

I am a big believer in seeking the truth. I am also by nature a justice-seeker especially when it comes to defense of a third party. I like a good debate as much as the next guy. It can feel invigorating to get the old brain cells knocked around the head once in a while...

I don't know if it's enlightenment, maturity, IMmaturity ...lol or an increasing intolerance to crap, but I have been simplifying a lot of things. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I've been throwing out a lot of things and enjoying the simple approach.
This also goes for my general views and belief system.

Never in my entire life have I (between emails, Facebook, Myspace and even on my phone) been quite as inundated with invitations to be part of a cause. Most ring like this;
(insert racial group, political group, religious group, men/women) AGAINST (insert something they really hate)

If you were ever wondering what is drawing lines in our society it's the word AGAINST.
Now, don't mistake this for being a bad word. Like for instance when I see "Women AGAINST the inhumane treatment of animals" It's obviously not a bad concept. But I will say, it's a word that can turn people off. It turns me off. Let me explain why.

Most people who have groups with the word AGAINST in it will usually tell you that it's not the person they hate but the thing that person is doing. That is "fundamentally" correct. The action is what is to be hated, not the person. In the case where I agree with the cause like ones that are against animal cruelty, I say YA GO FOR IT...but can you change the name of the group? "FOR the humane treatment..." may be better...I dunno...don't have it completely figured out. FOR can be taken as a negative too though, depending what someone is for.

So let me move away from that as an example because I really am against animal cruelty.
I think the word AGAINST alienates the people you really want to reach. There is nothing positive about it. Yes some things are worth fighting for and if these groups are making a BIG difference, I am all for it. There is a difference between just growing your group's numbers and being a positive vibe in the world. You could have a group of millions and that doesn't equate to being a success.

I simply believe some self examination needs to happen to see how things can be improved. Picture a huge group of people saying, SUCH-AND SUCH IS WRONG!!!!! Ok, so you've determined it's wrong, so shall we fly all the people who don't believe it or are afflicted with your so-called disease to the desert or an island and just dump them off there? Are we not supposed to live as a society? Who exactly decides what the law is supposed to be? One guy with a brain full of ideas?

Where I have the issue is when someone creates a group based on their belief system that targets individuals who simply believe something different. You are probably witnessing it a lot in politics right now, but it's all over religion too.

If your current GROUP says something like,

"Christians/Muslims/Jews/Satanists/Atheists/Women/Men etc AGAINST (insert a large pile of people who don't share those beliefs)

Then, I have a problem with it. This isn't because I don't have my own beliefs, but because of the word AGAINST. It's not only negative in some instances, but I don't think it helps a cause.
I am bringing this up because I believe some people get offended if I don't join their group. I used to join groups on myspace unknowingly because, well, it was the myspace thing to do!

I am reaching the point now where I don't want to be part of a fundamentalist group. I love "friend groups" That is what we have going on here...and the positive ones are great! But I mean the ones that say AGAINST, spawn hate or are simply redundant and not assisting the growth of people. It feels cultish to me. I also mean the ones who have decided to argue doctrine and morals over using that time to assist others. If you have the power to start a group, I would hope you would be questioning your motivation in it. If your group has begun for the purpose of alienating more people who need our love, I am not interested in it.

You see, I am all done with being a fundamentalist. I am all done with "peeling back the layers to seek the REAL truth" I am done with "conspiracy theories" I am all done being saturated by "doctrine". I don't want to come off as "endorsing". I could tell you individuals that impress me and even groups that impress me. If you were to ask me outright my stance on something, I do have an opinion. I believe in joining forces with like-minded spirits for the betterment of humans in general. But I take great issue with the groups that divide us and do not pull us closer together. This world is in great need of healing and love. If your group is not building love and healing as its first priority, I am not interested in joining it. This doesn't mean you can't hold your opinions, but I am just not going to join it.

In Politics, Religion, Family, Business, Relationships there are a multitude of opinions among a wide range of people. All I am suggesting is that we each have a certain amount of time on this earth and we get to choose how we spend each and every moment of it. I urge people to defend what they believe in, sure! But is it humanly possible to do it in a way that doesn't alienate others? Have you examined your group of friends to see if it's positively influencing people or are you simply TALKING AMONGST YOURSELVES? Exclaiming you are against something may not be the best approach. In my very humble and sometimes not-so-humble opinion, it's usually useless and angry and causes more division!

On top of all that, is being part of these groups the best way to spend your life here? I'm not suggesting I have it all figured out, on the contrary I am growing some days and shrinking on others...but I am very exhausted about hearing people complain or defending principal but the world is getting lonelier and lonelier by the day. Principals and integrity are amazing characteristics. I guess we just have to ask ourselves if our talents and gifts are better served out in the field rather than sitting alone on the floor of our closet or with a group who already thinks like we do and we are simply talking amongst ourselves. Being right or in many cases 'righteous' has it's flaws.

I for one am interested in spreading more love around and seeing more people smile. I'm not great at it, but I am working hard on it. I refuse to believe my purpose here on earth is to draw more lines of division. I unfortunately blindly joined a lot of groups on here by simply clicking 'add' at one time or another. I regret most of those and am not sure when I am going to find the time to delete myself from them all.

All that being said, I am sorry I am not joining your group. But it isn't always based on agreeing or disagreeing with the group concept, so much as it's very difficult for me to be part of something that divides. I am sick of intolerance and I'm all done with hate. It is more important in my world to make love the priority and to stop squabbling over who is right and who is wrong.

Compassion; one of the most underused emotions of our time.

Perhaps a group that starts to spread compassion would be a good one. :)

Love, Karen

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

My Face In My Hands

Have you ever sat for an extended period of time with your face in your hands? I'm not sure why I do it. I think I am hoping that when I lift my eyes back out into the light, the problem will have fixed itself.

It's called exasperation. It's one of the highest levels of frustration where you feel like the first thing coming up is the white flag of surrender. My patience level sometimes gives up.
Some days will go by and I'm pretty good overall. I am generally ok these days. It seems like between the redneck neighbor (before you pounce on me, please go back through the archives and read about that one. It's a lifestyle not a monetary circumstance) bad news and mean people, I find myself saying, "Hey God, that rapture you promised? Anytime soon?" lol

Please understand it's not anything personal that I am going through, just this sense of anarchy all around me. While I am good at closing the windows and blinds and shutting out the world, it saddens me every day! I think my biggest issue overall is the way people are talking to each other...their spouses, neighbors and children. Everyone seems so mean!!!! I know siblings are that way, I mean I was left for dead in many a cornfield growing up, but it seems so unnecessary. Have you ever been the person in the room while others fight and you are told to mind your own business so you suck it up? It simply makes me sad!!!

As I have previously discussed, I am working on showing more kindness overall...kinda like that song we sang as kids, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me..." But holy crap! It's tough going it alone!

I found myself reading a story today(it's bizarre, but quotes and stories find me more than I find them) about a soldier who felt this way and so obviously with me being safe in my home and not being shot at (although I am in LA...lol) it deepens the perspective.

He had enlisted to go overseas and while he believed in what he was doing, he found himself in a situation where the character of everyone around him had changed. What he was determined to maintain during his leave was a sense of being a peace-keeper. He talked extensively about the people around him. He cited examples of men he considered his brothers who started to treat it like a videogame. He also added that war plays wicked mind games on you and that he didn't necessarily blame them for it, but did explain his disappointment in them. Long story made very short, he was left with saying, "my face was melting in my hands".

While he and I don't have much in common because he is literally risking his life and I'm not, I did use his thoughts as a means to lift my face up out of my own hands. It's perspective that he offered me. But what I also have in common with him is the sense of simply being sad that so many people whether we know it or not(or allow it or not) are changing.

If you look back to your own childhood, maybe it was very rough and it's changed for the better, but an overwhelming number of people I talk to, have had good childhoods with lots of giggles, laughs and memories and it's their adulthood that sucks. So what's changed?

I think being an adult can be sucky. We have obligations. We are faced with crazy decisions. We have extensive responsibilities and our limits are being pushed as well as our buttons...almost daily. I think we drop our faces into our hands in order to escape it all. For some reason the darkness makes you feel like nothing else exists. The perspective this man gave me was that it can get really rough. You can literally witness someone you love kill someone. In this man's case, he's killed people himself. So how do you go from your face melting in your hands to opening your eyes and walking on? How can we continue to grow as humans and get our character back and feel ok about every day again?

For me today, it was perspective. Yes my hurts matter...bleeding heart, right? (past blog also) but sometimes the story of someone else can show us some clues in how to manage our own.

He also said he was by no means perfect, but he was determined to be a positive example to his brothers in arms. After all, we are all being pushed to the max...and a little understanding and a good ear can go a long way.

Yup, it's easier to shut the blinds and windows to lock out the noise. But if I crank my tunes really loud, perhaps my music can infiltrate the neighborhood.

Hmmm, Master of Puppets or Paganini?

Breathing is good,

"The world itself looks cleaner and so much more beautiful. Maybe we can make it that way - the way God intended it to be - by giving everyone, eventually, that new perspective from out in space. "~Roger B. Chaffee

Listening in Real Time

It's interesting how many times someone has emailed me or called (or how many times I have emailed or called someone) with a long rant about some issues. Then, by the end of the phone call they say, "Wow, ok I think I'm good...uh, I don't need you to do anything after all!"
So, you hang up and think...Geeze, I didn't actually do anything but listen! But isn't this more powerful sometimes than a lot of dialogue?

My Mother and my Gramma Stever were two of my favorite people growing up. I loved that they were both unconditionally loving people and very good listeners. My mind can be a bit all over the place and I would consider myself a good listener, but not great at it. I am zeroing in on why I am not great at it when I think I could be...someday.... lol

What I have noticed about myself is my tendency to offer advice either too quickly or based on where I think their part of the conversation is headed. I have heard so many stories in my life that are similar, that I think what my mind has a habit of doing is assuming the next sentence out of a person's mouth will be what I have heard so many times.

Well, obviously in our society today, it can be easy to see the similarities in each person's life. A lot of people are depressed. A lot of people are out of work. Many people have health concerns. Many people are experiencing bad relationships. While I am listening to many people, my mind will wander to where the National Average goes. "X"% of people are unhappy, so this is what is wrong with the person. I like to think one of my traits is to attempt to approach things from a non-judgmental p.o.v. but I think what needs to happen more is to start slowing my brain down.

My question overall for myself is, "Am I listening in real time?" When someone is talking, am I already drawing conclusions or am I hearing them out to the end of THEIR thoughts not mine?

It's easy to shut off what someone is saying because we don't have time or we are tired. It's kind of like a boring sermon at church. We find ourselves saying, "Oh yeah, heard this before" and we snooze. But what if during our catnap, some information was offered that we didn't know was coming and couldn't possibly have predicted? It's the same when a friend is talking to us about their thoughts, feelings or opinions. There is an inclination that creeps in and has us summing up their life before they are done their thought based on thinking, "Yeah, I have heard this before."

The groovy part of allowing someone to talk until they are done is I have found that more often than not, they were able (and just didn't know it) to fix whatever was bugging them. Why? Because they could actually hear what they were saying without interruption. When we are enormously upset about an issue, it's easy to entangle our poor brains in too many conflicting thoughts that don't offer solutions. I have had many experiences of being allowed to articulate my thoughts and the solutions were apparent upon hearing myself say them! Arguments tend to cut thoughts off and add too many new ones. There is nothing more aggravating in a dispute than to have someone say, "I already know what you're going to say." That is so unfair. Yes, I agree some people are skipping records, but chances are, if their record is skipping, we may have to take a closer look to see if the problem comes from a big scratch in the record or if there is some lint on the needle. We kind of have to allow the record to skip again to investigate.

Wondering if my record analogy works in this year, lol

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, he knows something." ~Wilson Mizner

Monopoly VS The Game of Life

I do love people. I am a people watcher by nature. It's not just the obvious visual differences but the personality clashes always make for good drama, right?

Had I not been into music so much, I may have entered the world of journalism. You get to write and you get to learn. I genuinely like asking questions because human beings are simply fascinating! More often than not, when I attend social functions I find myself walking away thinking, "Wow, that person was REALLY like that. Wow." You sometimes can't make it up, ya know?

I used to be a "net-worker". Many people frequent as many parties, bars and studios as possible to try and sell themselves. Los Angeles varies a bit from say, Toronto but I have grown nauseated with the showy "look-at-me" fodder. I would like to go to one social outing just for one hour even of one night and have someone just have a human discussion without trying to sell their resume to me.

Now, I am totally aware of people needing to get work and I completely applaud the tenacity behind the driven people who actively look for work, this is cool. But when you are sitting across the table at some pub or restaurant and someone is talking to you for what seems like hours wishing you were a mirror, that's when I just about lose my mind! (unless it's like the mirror the lady held up in the Romper Room episodes that was just a frame and no mirror...HA!!!) I don't need to be doted on, that is clear by my meager social schedule.

So here's what I have done to cut a bunch of crap and still maintain my cool. ;)

Whenever I meet someone new, I start the Q n A technique. Now many of my friends on here are no nonsense people who probably would advise me to cut the crap and just leave the party, (I hear ya! I do!) but between my fascination with people in general and my need to maintain my need to positively affect people, I maybe stay at these awful functions longer than I want to. (or I have a twisted affinity for the Peanuts Teacher waaaah wahhhh wah wah waaaaaaaaah...)
But, here's what the Q n A does for me.

When I steer the conversation by asking someone about 'their' life, I find two things emerge;

1. I get to meet a brand new potential friend in my life and I walk away thinking, "YAY, cool new person!"

2. I find out I never want to talk to that person again. lol (nah I'll talk to them again, I'll just allocate a lot less time...heehee)

For the last few months, I have been trying this method. I guess I am blowing my cover for anyone reading this if I haven't actually met you in person...you'll be onto me. HA!

I start by asking questions. I will ask as many as humanly possibly...dozens and dozens. At some point during the questions, the person sitting across from me will either ask me one back or bring someone else into the conversation (if they finally notice them sitting in their peripheral vision). This little science experiment is usually an early indicator of the type of person I am dealing with. I personally get bored listening to myself talk, but if they at least ask something back, I find out they want to have some human dialogue.

Here's what is AMAZING to me. I would say that while I don't see these meetings as a waste of time because I do like people, I am overwhelmed how many people LOVE to hear themselves go on and on and on and on (much like a STEVER blog, right) lol

So here is my public plea;

When you go out somewhere and you meet new people, is it possible to ask someone a question about them? You know, possibly be aware of how much time in an evening you talked about yourself? I have been guilty of this...I've heard myself blithering. I think I tend to ramble more about some news topic more than myself, but I can understand "monopolizing" a conversation. I guess I have just heard enough people do this that I think, "OOOOOH if that is what I sound like, I need to shut up!"

SO next time you go out somewhere, I recommend trying this experiment. See how many people will just go on and on and on. I giggle at how they don't even notice they are being interviewed! Sometimes someone else in the room will say, "Hey Karen, are you interviewing them?" And in my head I think, "BINGO!" And damn if the person I am interviewing STILL keeps talking about themselves EVEN after someone brought it to their attention! LOL!

OK, so I am always less annoyed after sharing with everyone on here. Thanks for listening to me take over this space. Oh you sometimes have to amuse yourself, right?

So, tell me about you! Your turn.

Whenever I think about Romper Room, I think about the Polka Dot Door. HOW FREAKING GRAND ...that song is in my head now....geeeeeeeeeeeeze.

Cutting the crap and leaving the party now,

"Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction." ~Gregory Bateson

When Something Feels Like IT!

The strangest thing in the world has my mind all reflective today. You know how on myspace they have ad banners that show the 'Sleepy Baby Chick', 'The Dolphin Head butt' etc? Well, there is one that has this contorted girl on a pool table.

Ok, so that picture will take 1 million minds in possibly 1 million directions, but I'll tell you where MY mind went. LOL

When I was a teenager, we had a pool hall downtown where my brother and I would go to "shoot some pockets" HA! (and no, I did not do anything remotely close to what that girl did on the pool table) Tino ran the joint. We'd buy cigarettes from him and play only a few songs from the jukebox we liked. One was Van Halen, "Dance the Night Away" and the other was Ratt, "Round and Round". Then there was a bunch of other garbage, but those two stay front and center in my mind.

It's bizarre to think I even hung out there. My teen years went through a flurry of numerous fashions and modes. I bounced around from Metal to New Wave and a bunch of bits and pieces in between. I was thinking back to a guy I was dating at the time. He was a biker and was a "bad boy". This guy lived close to the pool hall, so I could always count on meeting him there. The way to get to the pool hall was to go with my brother as Mom wouldn't have allowed it otherwise. My brother was known for "laying guys out flat" if they crossed me. So, I always felt safe. It took a while for my brother to warm up to him, but he was ok with it.

One of the things I thought at that time was, "This guy is IT!" The one for me!!! THE soul mate...and all that crazy malarkey we feed our brains. Well, relationship after relationship, I kept thinking THIS IS THE ONE! EVERY BLOODY TIME! Looking back through each one, I can't believe I thought any of them were. Where was my mind?

How can a person know so definitively that another person is THE ONE? At the time, we are a thousand percent positive they are.

I don't look at anything like that anymore. Call it extreme disappointment or massive fear of future failure, but since I have taken the stance where I allow life to unfold itself, I don't stress about the fairytales anymore. Now, I believe that stuff matters less and less. I now believe that my purpose is greater than my dreams. I believe we sometimes pass through one another's life for a time. This could be a few seconds, a minute, days, months or years. Is it completely necessary to view life as falling in love and dying together? I think it's fantastic to hear stories like that. My grandparents (both sets) were married over 50 years, so I know it does happen. But why are some people alone forever? Is their purpose any less significant than someone who lives out the honeymoon, marriage, children and grandchildren? What if that is simply not part of their greater plan and purpose?

I'm past the point of making something "IT". It's a shame I spent so much of my life looking for it. I have an uncle who flat lined two times in one year due to pancreatitis. It sure changed his views. He said he planned on taking his grandkids to Disneyland, but he was going to take a lot of time getting there and wanted to make lots of stops along the way. His point being the journey is just as important if not more so, than the destination.

Glad to be past the pool hall phase of my journey, although I hope God doesn't have any future big jobs for me to do there.... shudders...... PHEW!


"Do more than exist, LIVE.
Do more than touch, FEEL.
Do more than look, OBSERVE.
Do more than read, ABSORB.
Do more than hear, LISTEN.
Do more than listen, UNDERSTAND.
Do more than think, PONDER.
Do more than talk, SAY SOMETHING."~ John H. Rhoades

Source of Inspiration

An article on the top 10 "inspirational" quotes caught my eye. I guess we are all looking for something to inspire us. These people are all very prominent thinkers in their own way. But which one would inspire you? Is there one that stands out as being part of your own search for inspiration?

*I'll go through these and just briefly give my own thoughts.

1. Mark Twain
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

* One of the things I've always said I don't want on my gravestone is, "Karen kept a clean house" and that one of my biggest fears is regret. I think the disappointment he is referring to is when fear stops you from doing something you've always wanted to do. :) "I wish I would have" can be haunting. But my own Mother took up guitar lessons just a few years before she died. She obviously thought it was never too late to start something. She was really good at it too. She learned many cool diminished chords too not just a few. Cool.
I also love the word "discover". Too often we think our world ends at our window looking out. There is an amazing world out there. I recommend the Planet Earth series from the BBC. Breath-taking!

2. Luigi Pirandello
"In bed my real love has always been the sleep that rescued me by allowing me to dream."

*I've only just nicely over this past year and during the making of the last record realized that sleep truly is a gift. I now guard my sleep like sheep from wolves! Very sacred.

3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

*Know the phrase, "to psyche yourself out"? That was me for a very long time! It still can happen too! It happens when I allow the negativity to take over and make decisions. Faith makes me feel like a little girl. It makes me feel a little more fearless and hopeful.

4. Zig Ziglar
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

* Ah yes. One day at a time is good for starting over when yesterday was bad. I liken this quote to filling up at the gas station. Car can't run on empty and we need something to fill us up daily. Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally. This world can deplete!!! I know this all too well!

5. T. S. Elliot
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

* I adore many quotes from Elliot. I find risk increasingly difficult when I am around people who don't take risks. I think we tend to measure our risks by the percentage of population who do something. But, I am reminded that most of the people I respect and respond to are in fact risk-takers. I haven't jumped from an airplane though and I'm not sure I will by simply surrounding myself by people who do. HA!

6. Buddha
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought."

* I'm not sure I have seen a quote so open to interpretation but I think most Buddha quotes are open enough to make them apply to our own situation much like perception of art at the Art Gallery. I guess even if someone else has heavily shaped who we are be that positively or negatively, it's ultimately how we view ourselves which defines us.

7. Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

*Emerson may be one of my favorite thinkers. The words are always so lovely. I do agree with this quote as I tend to go off the path a lot but I don't necessarily feel a strong need to leave a trail behind me. I guess I just don't worry about it.

8. Peter F. Drucker
"We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it."

*I don't even know what to do with this quote. I know he's written dozens of books, he must have been motivated to do so.

9. Nora Roberts
"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place."

*This reminds me of a friend of mine who said he's probably asked 200 girls to go out with him before one said yes. Tenacity, huh?

10. Stephen Covey
"Begin with the end in mind."

*While I don't tend to really look at the potential end, I think this may be a good exercise in momentum and assuring we move ahead.

Overall, I find people who are over-comers inspiring. The people who have hit below the bottom and came back.

That was actually a good exercise to get my gut reactions on each. If nothing else, it focused the topic a lot more for my own situation. I don't expect you to type as much, but I personally found it helpful, maybe you will too!
Perhaps you have strong thoughts on one or two of them?

Hope you find your inspiration!

PS Don't think I need to add another quote at the end. lol

Do You Currently Own The World's Best Pillow?

I was struck with an odd thought.

While going through a migraine attack, having a really bad nightmare is a welcome thing...
..because it means you were actually able to get to sleep.

For any of you who suffer from them, you will know exactly what I mean by that. For those who don't, let me assure you they are the world's ugliest beast imaginable. I quite prefer fire-breathing dragons coming to get me in the middle of the night.

Now I understand everyone gets different symptoms, but mine are the kind which have baffled doctors and neurosurgeons for years. They cause flashing lights like you see on police cruisers and squiggly lines followed up by vomiting and some other ugly stuff. It's been over 20 years.

There are even Migraine Institutions clear across the world because they are so bizarre. You could go online with your symptoms and come up with hundreds of "answers".

(and we can put men on the moon? Don't get me started on the common cold)

I am really fortunate that my migraines have corrected themselves as I have become older. I missed a few days a week in my second year of high school, so much happier now. I haven't had one in months and months and months now.

Last night, I was working on some lyrics and the words all started to blur together.(my classic sign) so I immediately went to bed and fell asleep immediately. (this hasn't always happened it the past)It's not often one would come at bedtime, so I was thankful for this. Long story short, I slept straight through but had the most unbelievable nightmares while I slept. I don't think I have had such boogeyman dreams even as a child! LOL And so my thought as I stated initially, I am ever so thankful for these nightmares because they saved me a world of hurt...if you can believe it. I started to look at patches of my life where something super traumatic saved me from something potentially deathly and said a wee thank- you prayer. Now obviously, I would have been more thankful for birds and butterflies in my dreams, but I doubt that is physically possible when I know my head was on fire against my pillow.

WHICH!!! ...brings me to my bigger point. I had a few words with my pillow today. lol
I believe I have single-handedly kept all the pillow companies in business over the years. I fell victim to the "bean" pillows, orthopedic dream-come-trues and have spent hundreds on cheapy pillows to get me through. Maybe my head is not meant to have this relationship with a pillow that I so desperately seek, but I always manage to have some percentage of "crunchy-neck" when I get up. (before you link the migraines to them, I have gone months and years before without them and can get them when I am feeling perfectly fantastic) I simply never feel like I am enjoying my pillow the way the commercials depict. I feel like I am missing out.

So, my question to you is simply, "Do you currently own the World's Best Pillow?" I'd like to hear about it...make, model, size, do you flip it, fluff it, wash it, stack them or beat it pre-bedtime?
I would be ever-so-grateful for your expertise. :)

Off to give mine a good beat down,

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."~Author Unknown

Break-ups, part 2. Extra Yuck.

It was both heart-breaking and encouraging to read through some of the responses on the previous blog. It’s sad to hear this topic is not only familiar but continuously relevant and so multi-layered. It is however encouraging to hear from a few who have some practical experience and are able to share with others.

Now, while I am experienced, I’m really no expert. To me the expert is the person who manages to make the relationship work. I rather suck at that, thus why I have such a long history of bad scars on my record. I will say though it wasn’t necessarily my fault, but you can’t help feeling some sense of failure when it doesn’t go according the commitment you made.

One of our friends on here, Valerie brought up an excellent thought. She wondered about break-ups when you are simply not in love anymore. The person hasn’t really done anything wrong, you just want out. This I can truly say I don’t have any expertise in as any time I wanted out, it was for either physical or mental health and it absolutely had to happen. But she did touch on a topic I at least have an opinion on having watched people go through it, but I would really like to get many opinions on it because I think it’s one of the biggest issues facing relationships today.

My thought with this particular challenge is that we need to go back to the very beginning of the relationship. It would seem to me that people don’t really fall out of love the way they say they do. Maybe they ‘thought’ they were in love and realized they weren’t, but I don’t think it’s as clean cut as 'Oh I fell out of love'.

Should we at least discuss what being in love is? Does anyone really have a definitive answer on it? My thought is that most people tend to fall in love with the idea of being in love. You know what I think differentiates the two? If some guy asked you to get married and invited you to his cardboard box under the highway (not as a surprise to you by the way, that’s something else) and you were ok with living in the box together because you were so in love, I would say that is a good sign to start the relationship because it means as a team you were willing to go through anything together. But, if someone brings you over to their loft apartment and cooks dinner for you and you fell in love and then 10 years later, he loses his loft and is unemployed, it would be fair to assume your love waned because of a situation rather than something else. (people who shake their responsibilities is also a whole new topic but anyways…)

My mom used to tell me, "You should marry someone when you love them so much you can’t live without them." She didn’t say, "You should find a doctor/lawyer who will support you" or the opposite, "You should marry someone who needs your help."

So back to the very beginning…why do couples get together to begin with? The reasons are varied and massive. If you are considering breaking up with someone because you feel like you are not in love, I would very humbly suggest (not to be condescending in any way) that you seek counseling ..not couples counseling, just go by yourself. I say this because the amount of women specifically (this does go for men too, but my experience is more with women) who say this usually have some personal issues to work through. Many people who hate their job, hate their body weight, hate their overall place in this world or even have mini aversions to some of it, tend to act on something they can fix quickly. If we hate our body for instance and our husband hasn’t complimented us lately and some guy on the street corner shoots us a kind word, we tend to equate that with, "See? Someone else appreciates me." And we break up with our spouse. I think we screwed up the order of events. I’ve come up with a preliminary order that anyone here is free to revise, but it’s just kind of my take on it. This is not for abusive situations, please keep that in mind.

1. Get some personal self-help counseling while you are in the relationship. ie; do you want to leave because your eyes are wandering, from boredom etc.

2. Once you have figured out the source of your personal issue, take the necessary steps towards fixing that part of you that needs fixing.

3. Once you feel like you have attained personal happiness while inside the relationship that is in question, ask the other person if they are willing to take steps 1 and 2 unless again, you still believe they have done nothing wrong.

4. If they are, then the two once again happy individuals can seek counseling together to determine if the marriage has a shot anymore.

And that is where I bail on the next solutions. :) The reason I propose this is because I don’t believe happiness comes from another person (your spouse or a new person outside of the relationship) It has to be in the individual. Having spiritual, emotional and physical happiness is the only way to grow. While others make us feel pretty awesome at times, it’s not substantial enough.

But, in looking back at the beginnings of many relationships, I would dare say a whole slew of people got together who were never compatible to begin with due to other reasons, family pressure, money etc. There is probably a good chance that if it didn’t start for the right reason, then it isn’t going to work. I’m not trying to be negative or promote divorce, just babbling about it.

I try to keep in mind at all times that as individuals, we have to get ourselves strong and quit relying on a relationship being good to have happiness. It’s a quick fix solution. Two independent people coming together to share their lives usually makes for the best relationships.

We live in a culture that is constantly bombarding us with images of 'grass-being-greener' but I firmly believe we have the capability to get the lawn in tip-top shape right at home. (wow, that analogy was so obvious I had to type it, but it was a little silly…lol)

When all is said and done, I would ask that if you are planning on breaking up with someone who you think "did nothing wrong" you make sure you place the blame solely on your shoulders, don’t pick a fight to make the break-up easier on you and be as forth-right and honest as possible because if your spouse truly did nothing wrong, they deserve to get on with their lives and they deserve a respectful conversation where they don’t have to live with the guilt you inflicted.

But again, what do I know? ;)

"There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination." ~Mencius

Break-ups, Yuck.

The topic of ‘break-ups’ might be the ugliest dialogue at a social gathering of any subject you could bring up. If you haven’t experienced a break-up first hand (what planet are you on and how did you attain the superpowers the rest of us didn’t get?) then, you know someone who has. You were most likely the person listening on the other end while they sobbed, you maybe had to go to the person’s home and physically get between them before police arrived or you actually had to testify in court on someone’s behalf on the matter of abuse or custody. Whatever the case, you are familiar with the subject and it may be redundant to go through the steps.

There are a million reasons why people break-up. It was abusive but on paper they call it being incompatible, they screamed the foulest words but called it inability to communicate or they cheated and called it not having their needs met. No matter what the reason and subsequent excuse or slick adjective that accompanies it, the two people simply cannot live under the same roof and it’s time to move on.

When I am in a room full of people, ‘moving on’ is the topic that the majority of people can’t seem to get a grip on. I mean, why should we expect anyone to be civil and mature during the break-up when they were a complete imbecile during the relationship? It seems shocking that a person can act so immaturely during it and then they turn around and really nail you to the wall when you thought you’d both decided to part ways. I would go so far as to say if you are still at war, you are not truly free of them.

Let’s cut to the Facebook murder that happened recently. From what I understand, the woman turned her status to ‘single’ after moving out, the guy lost it, she didn’t return phone calls and then he paid her a visit that ended in her losing her life. Shocking you say? Well, yes…and completely inexcusable, but I have not only been in near death situations but have been the person intervening and prying the two individuals apart to inhibit a death. Crazy, huh? Our emotions have the capability to drive us into a state of being OBLIVIOUS.

To be oblivious is to be unaware. When we are oblivious to what is going on, we have lost control. Because we are a naturally controlling society, we just love to control each other’s actions. It makes us totally loopy that we cannot make our now-an-enemy do what we NEED them to do. Why do we have this need to control? Like, we freaking NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to control. It burns in our veins…we HAVE to make them hear us. We NEED them to see it our way. How long can we slam our head off of cement before realizing that a) our craniums cannot handle it and b) the other person hasn’t budged to assist us?

Back to moving on. I think what makes it so complicated is that our need to control stems from being hurt and when we are hurt, we want to do the hurt transfer. ‘You made me hurt, so I am now going to give you the hurt I am feeling. Vengeance is mine?’ Ya, well have it. It’s a burden.

If we so desperately need to get away from someone who has hurt us, I think it’s really important to recognize a couple of things. Whatever they did to us means we no longer are happy. In order to attain happiness, we need to have closure. Closure is generally associated with forgiveness, but we tend to equate closure with justice. That to me is where the confusion is. We don’t usually feel very good just because they got what was coming to them. While I believe Karma can be real, I don’t necessarily think it is something we should wish on others. “What goes around comes around” may be a truth that is very real, but the wishing it on someone else doesn’t lift our burden, it occupies our thinking time.

My big question is, if we devote all this thinking time to justice, vengeance, hate, hurt and pain, at what moment in our series of daily moments are we going to find our own individual BIGGER purpose here on earth? Does that just get back-burnered while we wallow in self-deprecation? How long are we willing to wait to truly start LIVING?

I don’t believe we can dedicate one more single ounce of energy on the childish behavior that accompanies a break-up. I believe each and every one of us has a gift, a purpose and a reality not yet discovered that we need to spend our very very very precious time on. It’s extra important that we recognize that even the person who we think is our enemy ALSO has to start devoting the same time to initiating their new life.

As individuals, is the hurt inflicted on us bigger than our reason to live? I don’t think so.

Break-ups suck…big time. I’m very experienced with them. But we simply can’t afford to give them such a high place on the priority list. For those of you who are driven to madness over it, I encourage you to lift your chin just slightly higher to see above it. It’s not worth it.

I think we’ve all fallen short. I know I have. But that’s ok, new beginnings ROCK!


“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~Henry Ellis

Do You Consider Yourself A Misfit?

I’ve really enjoyed the Carnivale series, although it was cut short by the networks. I felt it had the potential to grow well past most of the series I have been watching. It’s really a shame.

The casting was particularly ingenious in that I felt these were all believable characters with natural flaws. The women don’t have silicon, everyone looks like you’d expect to see in the 30’s. Somewhere along the way, we decided that a certain image looked good on the screen and that was it. It’s funny how the world has over 6 billion people and we are meant to believe we are all to look super tanned and botoxed. Bizarre.

I could go on and on about why I love this show. Pretty much every reference in it I have already written creatively on paper somewhere so I felt like I had reunited with a long lost family member. I felt instantly comfortable. What really made me feel connected though is the cast of misfits (being Carnies and all) We are continuously taught that unless we look all Hollywood, we can’t "make it". (whatever that means)

Something struck me about one of the main characters named Samson. The actor Michael J. Anderson has had over 25 years of acting experience and has had some fantastic roles along the way. If you want to read an inspiring biography, look him up on IMDB. The thing about this guy is that he is 3’7" tall and after about 2 sentences out of his mouth you don’t even consider that he had the history he did. His personality is 100 times bigger than him and I fell in love with his spirit almost immediately. It wasn’t until well into the second season where another character on the show started poking fun about his height that I found myself thinking, "Oh what a jerk that guy is for making fun of him." But the funny part is that Samson was way smarter than him and so it just made the guy look stupid.

I am inspired by this actor’s ability to separate himself from all the stereotypes. From what I have read, he is very well respected and rightly so. But, in reading his story I also realized that he is an overcomer. He had a hundred broken bones by the age of 20. He sang for tips and slept in his car. Yet, somewhere along the way he must have decided failure was not an option and he went with the thing that was his strong point; his personality.

When a person’s personality is actually bigger than them, it becomes all that you see. I am sure he’s talked to many other people under 4 feet tall and they have told him their story of being disrespected much like women in offices complaining about things, various groups complain about racism…the list goes on and on. At what point in time do we decide that we will not compete with people on their level, but define what our own strengths are and press forward in that area? It saddens me to see pretty girls who are capable intellectually of writing novels still spending all their time at the malls and clubs trying to look the best. Isn’t it more productive to seek out our own strength and dive into making that gift the best it can be? I totally understand competition. I was expected to make more money than other girls in acting and modeling, but instead I have worked really hard to do well in the audio world. I have been disrespected by other producers (and especially when I was blonde) so I know what that means but it’s way more fulfilling to be part of the world where I know what I am good at…and finally I am seeing people look past the looks and gender. It’s because I am getting better all the time at what I am good at. I tell ya though, it’s exhausting. It’s very difficult to make something on our insides stronger than what is on the outside. It’s hard work but very rewarding. I’ll keep ya updated, not there yet. LOL

The need to physically compete wears us out. If we can continue to develop our inner strengths and forget that we are growing older, I believe that we will feel the rejuvenation of youth without actually altering the natural lines in our face that come with age.The misfits of the Carnival found each other. They respect each other. They found a home and a family and more importantly the license to find their own unique potential. This to me is the most important part. How else can we even begin to find our individual purpose here if we are stuck on how we look?

It could be argued that their physical differences is how they made money, but between them all, they looked past it like I do while listening to Samson. That guy is an overcomer…and he has ALL my respect. I look at his awesome career so far and wonder how many beautiful girls are still waiting for their big break…and how life does pass us by… Hmmm, interesting…

What’s your gift? Are you nurturing it? Have you even discovered it yet? Are you a misfit or are you just trying to "fit in"?

Rethinking my role models,
Karen :)

"Time makes ya bolder even children get older and I’m getting older too…yeah I’m getting older too."~Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)

"People May Care, but I Feel Like Nobody Understands"

You may have noticed the last two entries are in quotes. They aren’t statements I am making, but am quoting others. But thank you ever so much for being concerned! As I have said before, I am no stranger to them.
The last entry was crazy busy with response, huh? I read them all while they were being entered and it seems everyone gets it…whether or not it’s a sentiment you share, you at least understand. I decided to follow up with this entry because I noticed many people commenting on feeling loved or feeling like others cared about them but feeling misunderstood like nobody ‘gets them’.

Have you ever run into someone whether at a party or bus stop where someone actually said something where you wanted to jump at them and say, "YES!!! SEE…YOU GET IT!" They could be talking about some relationship they had with a spouse, parent or child, they could be talking about music, politics or religion, but you were left with the sense that this person must have been divinely sent to you or they were conceived to be your soul-mate.

The reason this is so awesome to us (and foreign even) is because I believe it instills or reinstalls the magic we had as a child. There were things that happened in our very young days that had no explanation. Things seemed simpler then. For the most part we felt like we could run through meadows even while living in a city. Our spirit felt more free to be alive and be ourselves. If you evoked creativity in others around you, they would play back and participate in your improv.

When I started acting years ago in Toronto, I took improv classes. The teacher said his number one rule of improv was, "Don’t say no." This doesn’t mean roll over and let someone kick you, this means if someone has an idea, say yes to it, roll with it and let the scene play out. His analogy was that most improv failed when someone would start with an idea and the other actor would shut the idea down with a brick wall instead of playing along. I personally believe the happy people will play along a bit. Please don’t mistake this for being some spineless jellyfish who doesn’t stand up for themselves, but this topic is geared towards people FEELING AWFUL with some possible analogies of why this is. In my own childhood (which I believe was so far the happiest period of my life) we didn’t necessarily understand each other in some deep metaphorical scenario, but we did play along.

But people don’t act like that growing up, they formulate opinions. We engage in debate (which clearly are more arguments than good healthy debate for the most part.} For some reason, we feel like if someone doesn’t agree with it, they must not "get us". I kind of think what happens is we would like to be understood, but our counterpart is not playing along. Perhaps they are not listening to what we are saying. For the most part we enjoy being heard.

This is logical. We take the time to prepare our opinion as we don’t enjoy it falling on deaf ears. It’s the difference between not hearing and not listening. I’m pretty sure our trumpet-like shouting is heard, but whether someone is listening to us is definitely up for debate.

I’ve shifted into listening mode lately. It’s a strange place for me. (you may be suspicious of that statement considering the amount of writing I can spew…lol) I had a lifetime of feeling misunderstood until I met one person in particular who was such a good listener and so bright that I finally thought, "Oh good listener and smart? Hmmm, wonder if the two are supposed to come together." I will throw the word content in there too. This person is all three. So, I thought if I started listening more, maybe I could learn what it means to understand. If I can learn to understand, perhaps I too could be understood.

So this was my mission to be a better communicator in order to be understood. But then guess what has been happening to me? Not only am I less concerned about being understood (although as you can see, I am typing a bunch of stuff in a way that I can be better understood…lol) but I am letting go of the things that are no big deal. I am analyzing the areas of my life where I made a big deal out of something and it seems to not be so important that I am understood on it. So all in all, one could say I am picking my battles. When I pick which things are brutally important to me, I can make an intelligent case for it that has a better chance of me being understood than by being assessed as a whiner who constantly becomes the mosquito in the ears of others. Then, they don’t want to listen. It’s my 101 portion of communication that I am trying to grasp.

But as you can see, I am still all over the place, but that’s what writing installments are good for. It flushes it all out. :)

So, believe me I get it. I know it’s painful to not be heard, to not be understood. I know the feeling of not having another person in the universe who shares the same core values, interests or opinions. But I believe it starts with us. We don’t have to all agree in order to have sympathy. We don’t have to play a character we don’t like when we play along. And maybe, just maybe the people who we think don’t understand us are sitting in a big old chair feeling perfectly misunderstood as well.

Or you could do what some other people have done here and hook up with other people in this forum.

We have a great bunch! LOL!

"The tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood." Henry David Thoreau