A year of ‘lasts’…

Posted in relationships on January 27th, 2016 by gaiaswisdom — Comments Off on A year of ‘lasts’…

 

“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for.”

-William Shedd

 

This year will be a year of ‘lasts’…. Today was the first of them: last ‘first day of school’.

When you have a child, it’s always ‘firsts’: first solid food; first smile; first word; first step; first day at school….. This year my only child finishes school. So I realised this year is a year of ‘lasts’: last school shoes purchased; last school fees; last ‘first day of school’; last drop off and pick up. Ever. That’s kind of sad 🙁

It’s exciting too because there’ll be new ‘firsts’: uni, car, full-time job ….. grandchild. But it’s still sad.lpbcb

Truth is… I never really wanted kids … not like some women do. I was a bit blasé about it. I was fearful when I fell pregnant that I would have a girl: I said to my brother “I have no idea how to relate to a girl! Look at me and mum!!” He told me: “It won’t be the same kind of relationship. You’re not mum, and she’s not you.” And he was right. When she came along I wondered WHAT was I thinking? She is AMAZING! I’m only sorry that we were unable to have others – she would have made an awesome big sister, in the same way she’s been an awesome daughter. In the same way she is an awesome friend to her peers.

I’ve watched her over the years grow, develop, become a strong, independent, talented young woman. She has had some curve balls thrown at her over the last four years in particular and through it all she has managed to stay strong, resilient, and dealt with trials that would send many adults packing. This year she was invited to exhibit her photography in the local art gallery – quite a coup for a 16 year old. People said “You must be so proud of her”.

I’ve never really much liked that phrase. After all, this implies I had something to do with it. Being proud means to have a feeling of immense pleasure in one’s own achievements. I don’t think I did anything to contribute to her achievements. SHE should be proud … no doubt! Sure, we’ve helped her but what have we done that is any more than any other parent does for their child: give birth, nourish, keep safe, encourage, instil a sense of responsibility for her actions. But I’m not responsible for her abilities. But I am proud.

I’m proud I am her mother. I’m proud she chose ME of all others to be her gateway into this world, where she can then showcase HER talent, HER unique gifts, bring HER own special uniqueness and magic to the world.

“Successful” parenting is a double-edged sword. I love this person more than I ever thought possible. I don’t want her going anywhere but I know, once she’s done with school, her world will open up and she has so much to give it would be selfish to ‘stop’ her, to not release her into the world – frankly, a world that needs more people like her. When she came along I gave up my uni studies, left work and opened up my business so I could be with her and be there for her whenever she needed. As she grew we moved our family out west to a better school and a better place for her to grow up. But we know that once she’s had a taste of working in the real world next year, she’ll head off to uni. Living regionally this means she’ll be moving out of home and back to the city and we’ll see her only on breaks. She’ll be off, exploring, becoming her own person. That’s going to be tough …. but isn’t that what ‘successful’ parenting is meant to achieve? So on the one hand you don’t want this exceptional human being leaving you, but that’s precisely what all your endeavours have been geared towards. Production of an independent, stoical, empathic, strong person who will make a positive impact on community. If you’ve done that, you’ve done your job as a parent.

I’m excited to see “where to from here”. But I’m not kidding – it’ll be like losing a limb.

I guess I just have to trust that she enjoys being with us as much as we enjoy spending time with her and she’ll actually want to come back. I also know that as she experiences more ‘firsts’ in her life she’ll still need us – for guidance, support, encouragement. So perhaps things don’t really change THAT much. I have to trust that our relationship will change as she becomes an adult – as it must – where we relate adult to adult rather than as parent and child. And given the sort of person she is, I reckon that relationship is likely to be even better than the one we’ve had for the last 16 years.

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

Tell you a secret…

Posted in General on August 10th, 2015 by gaiaswisdom — 1 Comment so far

Here it is.

I’m an introvert. Some people know this. Most don’t – or more likely don’t really care. Why should they? It’s my issue right?

One of the reasons I don’t put my name to this blog is because I want people to take on the ideas expressed because they speak to them – not because they know the author. Another is because I’m an in introvert and really don’t want – or need – the kudos.

But here’s the thing. Introverts still need friends. Not all the time but like everyone else we like to feel included and liked. Solitude is great for us… but there’s a fine line between solitude and social isolation.

I run my own business and work hard. Since I also work alone this can mean friends tend to forget you exist. Social media is great to counter this to some extent because at least an update now and then lets them know you’re still alive.

I went to an event where I heard friends talking about something they were going to (that I wasn’t). As an introvert I’m used to feeling invisible and most of the time that works well for me – but even I have to draw a line. I can deal with people not asking me to things – I’m used to not being included because I realise most of the time it’s not intentional but simply because introverts are easy to overlook. But talking about it in front of me is a bit much. So I figured, if it’s gotten to the point where friends have kind of forgotten I’m even around, I’ll fix it and ask THEM to do stuff! Problem solved right? Not so much…

Image: Jeshu John - www.jeshujohn.com

Image: Jeshu John – www.jeshujohn.com

Here’s the thing: for an introvert to do that is akin to a couch potato running the Boston Marathon. It means when I ask you to catch up for, say coffee, I’ve probably been working up to it for weeks and gone through at least seven of the nine rings of hell to even hit ‘send’ on the message or pick up the phone. I might even ‘drop hints’ instead as the more comfortable, less confronting option. “So, I haven’t seen you in a while, we should catch up”. “The weather’s warming up, pop down to work when you’re free and we can go for a walk”.

This is probably hard for the less introverted amongst you to understand. I get that. But it’s a massive thing for an introvert to do that. It’s not about being shy or a fear of rejection. It’s about stepping out of a comfort zone. And sometimes we just can’t do it.  (Thing is after asking, or accepting the rare invite, we’re probably already trying to think of ways to get out of going!) When you don’t answer, or say “sure” and don’t follow up, thing is, we’re unlikely to keep asking.

Don’t expect an introvert to keep issuing the invitations. If they ask you over either go, or don’t, but be clear what you’re going to do because they’ll need to prepare themselves for the get together. If they ask a few times and you don’t act on it or take them up, they’re going to stop asking. It’s not worth the energy expended. They don’t have much to spare.

Another tip:  if they do ask you to do something, never EVER invite others to go too unless you’ve checked in with them first! Introverts struggle to spend time with people they know well. Doing so with strangers when they were prepared for spending time with a friend will send them running for the door fast!

Introverts don’t have loads of friends … they don’t need them, and they are selective about who they share their limited energy with. Massive gatherings are a nightmare for them. Even business functions and meet ups are a struggle. And they don’t care how many friends YOU have.  They’re also not particularly competitive so have no interest in how many societies you belong to, how many friends visit you, or who you know. If you truly value the time you do spend with them, best not to go on about it too much.

So if an introvert asks you – even off-handedly – to do something, if you’re their friend, take them up on it before they change their mind. Because what it means is they value you enough to actually want to spend their time with you.

 

Are you an introvert? Do you have similar experiences and if so how do you handle it?

Do you know an introvert and have realised you may have done some of the above things without realising it?

Share your experiences in the comments!

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

One of the Biggest Myths About Atheism, Debunked – | Guff

Posted in beliefs on April 24th, 2015 by gaiaswisdom — Comments Off on One of the Biggest Myths About Atheism, Debunked – | Guff

Nicely written article on ‘angry atheists’

Source: One of the Biggest Myths About Atheism, Debunked – | Guff

Where There’s Love There’s Life

Posted in love on March 6th, 2015 by gaiaswisdom — Comments Off on Where There’s Love There’s Life

I saw this quote the other day and I just love it. I have no idea who said it and can’t find the reference to who spoke the words. But it kind of follows on from yesterday’s Live Life Now post – especially for those who are alone or lonely.

“Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they’ll love you back!heart
Don’t expect love in return;
Just wait for it to grow in their heart,
But if it doesn’t, be content it grew in yours.”

And I think that’s what it’s about! Love is fundamentally the feeling that arises in YOU – we enjoy the feeling of being in love because it makes US feel good! Often we confuse this with the OTHER making us feel that way when in fact it is our own spirit creating the feeling!

Having someone love us should not be the goal!  In the same way no one can make you feel bad about yourself, they can’t make you love. All these emotions arise within and from US as the source – not externally.

Experiencing love – and that can be love for a person, love for an animal, love for a place, love for a pastime – that is what makes us human and should be our goal. So love doesn’t necessarily mean you must be partnered to be happy. It means that if you have experienced that feeling/emotion we call ‘love’, then you have lived!

(The title is actually a paraphrase of a quote from Gandhi: “Where there is love, there is life”.)

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com

 

Live Life – NOW

Posted in life on March 5th, 2015 by gaiaswisdom — Comments Off on Live Life – NOW

We went to a funeral today. A week ago, a man known to my family kissed his wife goodbye and went to work. He didn’t know he wouldn’t be coming home. He died suddenly at work – no warning; no previous illness; not an accident. Just here one minute, and gone the next.

Many people live their lives waiting for … something. Maybe they believe it’s something that comes after death – a reward in ‘heaven’. But is that what life is really about? None of us know how long we have here.  For some it may be 80 years; others 60; still others maybe only 21 or 5. And none of us truly knows what happens ‘after’.

We spend so much time making excuses not to LIVE. “I just have to finish school.” “It’s important I get this job.” “I have to buy a house.” “I can’t leave the job I hate because I have a mortgage”. So when do we start actually living?

When we die I’m sure the last thing on our mind is what our grades were in school, that promotion we were passed over for, or whether the neighbour had a better/bigger house than we did. I’m sure we’re thinking over who touched our lives – and whether we touched anyone else’s. Sometimes, perhaps we’re thinking nothing at all if our life is suddenly snatched away without warning….

lifememeWhat’s the meaning of life? For me, it’s the connections we make. The lives and hearts we touch. Some we may never know. Others are standing right in front of us but fear stops us saying anything. Fear of rejection; fear of being hurt; fear of looking like an idiot; fear of taking the risk. But what is life without a few risks. If the meaning of life really is about living, and living is about connection, then what are we afraid of? Sure it might sting if we put ourselves out there and are rejected, but doesn’t that just prove you’re alive? And with limited time, doesn’t it mean we can move on faster to something or someone waiting … just over there … who we may have completely missed while we waited, and waited …. and waited …. for the other person to make the connection that might never come?

In my town we scoff at the local high school students who seem to change girlfriends/boyfriends every few weeks. But I wonder… have they actually discovered what life is REALLY about? They don’t care what people think when this week they’re with A and in three weeks’ time they’re with B. They are enjoying their young lives. Most, responsibly … some not … but for the most part they have realised that life (especially when you’re young) is about the experience! Sure it may only last a few weeks or a few months, but (provided the connections are healthy and respectful) aren’t they living the meaning of life? TO LIVE!! TO EXPERIENCE!!! TO CONNECT!!! If I get another chance at this, I hope that these lessons remain with me so I have a bit of a head start next time!

I’m sure at the end of this life I’m not going to be thinking about how much money I made, what business deals I could’ve done better, the car I drove, or my grades in school – at least I hope not! I hope to be thinking about the people who came and went from my life. Not all were good but all were valuable in some way.

Don’t hold back. Take that risk – put your heart out there. At least you’ll know you have one! Sharing your life with someone – at 15, 25 or 75 – even if that means sharing it just for now – is how you EXPERIENCE life and enrich it! (And this doesn’t have to mean a romantic connection necessarily! You can share your life with friends, work colleagues, at a volunteer organisation….. it doesn’t just mean marriage or attachment!)

Tomorrow takes care of itself and yesterday is already over. Live now – in the present – as if it was your last day.

Only one thing in this life is certain – one day it will be. Will you leave it better by the lives you touched … will you know you totally experienced the gift that was given to you at your birth … or will you leave it with regret for what you could’ve done if only you’d jumped in and LIVED!!! Don’t wait for ‘one day’. Take that trip; change careers; do that course; stop worrying about money; tell that person how you feel about them and risk being hurt. Live life – NOW – while you have it!

The meaning of life? To live! To experience! To share! To feel!! To love!!

 

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.”

-Maya Angelou

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com