What life has taught me

In the past few months, I have learned some very hard lessons. Ones that I don’t think I was ready for. They came like a shockwave, jolting my entire system and shattering everything around me. Honestly, I’m still going through most of it, trying to make sense of it, but I’ve absorbed it as much as I can.

A few highlights:

Try to listen first. There is a time to talk and a time to listen. Sometimes, just listening is all that is needed. Sometimes, your opinions don’t matter. There will be occasions when your words are needed, but try to listen first.

Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of anyone else. I struggled with deep depression as a teen. It was dark and all consuming, but I made it through with help from others. I can’t imagine what may have happened to me if they hadn’t been there, hadn’t been strong enough to help me. I came close to sinking back into that familiar darkness recently, but the will to find my happiness brought me back. I’ve realized that no matter what is happening in my life, if I want to help those around me, I have to take care of myself first.

Never take peace for granted. Whether you notice it or not, everyone strives to have peace in at least one aspect of their lives. Work, home, hobbies; some part of their lives. When every part of life seems chaotic, that sliver of peace is the safe haven a person can curl up in and recoup. Never, ever take that solace for granted. Cherish it completely!

Love will always triumph over fear. I know it sounds very Frozen movie-ish, and I do have a five year old daughter who loves those movies, but it’s true! Love is the greatest weapon, the ultimate conquerer of fear. As life throws me around in this unforgiving sea of fear, I am holding on to the one anchor I know is always there. Love is stronger than fear.

I’ve been learning these lessons hard recently, and I am taking heed. If nothing else, these past few months have given me such clarity in these four aspects of my life, for the rest of my life. I just truly hope life can finally come to a place of peace for a while.

Active listening – does it exists?

Do we ever go into a conversation without expectations of what we are hoping to hear?

Think of a time you wanted to have a conversation without any other purpose than just talking. Can you? I don’t think I can either. No matter the circumstance, we always have a reason behind the conversation. We want answers. We’re lonely. We need stimulation. There is never a time you look at someone and just decide to say hello without an expectation of being responded to and for no other reason than to just say hi.

We’re wired for conversation. We crave discussion, debate, and just down right acknowledgement. We have a side to share, a story to tell, and we’ll be damned different we don’t say it, especially if we believe it is relevant to the conversation.

We aren’t programmed to listen to understand; we’re taught to listen and respond. We aren’t mentored to speak without reason; we learn to talk to our point.

If we listened more without formulating a response in our heads as the speaker is talking, we’d understand better. Active listening is paramount in any conversation, but all too few of us actually go into a conversation without finding a way to make a point out of our side of the discussion.

Not 140 Characters

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Am I coming in clear? Can you hear me out there? For all the world, and all the universe, I hope you can. I send this to you this day, so that you may understand.

What’s happening?whats-happening-on-twitter

With me? With the world? With this very existence on this small blue dot? I don’t even know anymore.

What’s on your mind?fb-whats-on-your-mind

The words I would speak aloud? Or the words only my conscious has ever heard? I can’t tell you how many times I have had to defy my own will in order to keep from saying the words dancing on the edge of my tongue.

Share your story here…img_96621

My story? You want my story on this blank canvas? My story is my own, but if you wish it, I may share it with you. Only if you promise no judgement, and no hate. Only if you promise you will listen with open ears.

All the words we speak, feel, think, and cherish in this life, can they really be requested in simple phrases? Can we real consolidate them to short blurbs of nothingness and send them out to the world without a bat of an eye? Are we really so far gone that none of it has any meaning anymore? Take a snapshot, and give it one word; you can’t. Stop asking for everything, but expecting nothing. If you want to give it all, share it explicitly, or not at all. If you want to keep it in, protect it, but don’t give it a chance to glimpse even the slightest bit of freedom and dull everything you ever knew.

Live without simple phrases. Live without consolidation. Live without mindlessness. Live free. Speak all. Feel all. Think all. Cherish all. This is life. Not 140 characters.photo-1465145177017-c5b156cd4d14.jpg