Sunday, 29 November 2015

Thought for the day: stormy waters

I sat down on a bench, overlooking the sea.  It was a stormy day, and I was looking upon an angry sea.  I watched as the waves crashed against the sea wall, then spilled over onto the promenade, calmly rolling back to become part of the angry sea once again.  What was turbulent became calm, then became turbulent once more, before becoming calm again.  I thought of how much this resembled life.

Sometimes we feel like we have been swept along by events, like they have their own momentum and we have lost control.  As much as we resist the current of life, it pushes us back further, until we feel we are making no progress.  Then, the waters become calm once more, and it is easier for us to get to the shore.  We can focus on how far we have been pushed back, or we can concentrate on getting to where we want to be.

Recently, I've been struggling against a strong current in my own life, unaware that, given a little time and patience, the strength of the current will decrease, and I should just allow myself to be pushed back.  In essence, I was pushed even further back by struggling against it.  Now, the storm is passing.  Enough of a calm has taken hold for me to realise that I just have to let things be, take the time to repair my damaged vessel, and find my way back to shore.  The storm may rage again, but I will at least be back on dry land.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


I watched, from a distance, as nine people linked arms and danced, can can style, to Frank Sinatra's rendition of "New York, New York".  They seemed to be enjoying themselves and, for reasons I won't go into here, I couldn't be a part of it.  Not for the first time that evening, I felt alone: completely and utterly alone.

In some ways, it was a good thing.  I'm not the best when it comes to asking a lady to dance.  It just happened that the courage required to ask some of the ladies to dance was less than the courage needed to deal with feeling so alone.  It's not a feeling with which I'm unfamiliar, and it's a feeling I've had to explore this week.  Looking into that feeling was distinctly uncomfortable, and led to the revelation that my life has mostly consisted of me feeling excluded or rejected.

Earlier in the evening, I'd asked someone to dance who I hadn't asked previously.  That's a big leap for me.  I've danced with her during the lessons, of course, but I'd never danced with her outside of the lessons.  She immediately brightened up, and maintained her smile throughout.  I bowed and thanked her as the song ended, and walked away, feeling utterly alone once again.

I'd previously developed a close friendship with someone in the class: someone who, for a while, made me feel that I wasn't alone.  Through a series of errors and misunderstandings (on both sides), that friendship recently came to an end, and I suddenly felt more lonely than I had in a long, long time.  Worse, it felt like I'd been rejected again and, due to the composition of the venue and the existing friendships between those within, the loss of one friendship led to me feeling excluded, unable to spend time with other friends I'd made at the class.  I should be used to this feeling by now, but it doesn't get any better.  It never gets any better.

For a brief time, I felt that I should stop going to the class, that I shouldn't put myself through this again.  The catch is that I love to dance - something that came as a surprise to me

I have come to terms with the right of another person to either accept or reject me.  It's their choice, after all.  I can't pretend that being rejected doesn't hurt, though.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Thought for the day: breaking down a wall

Earlier this evening, I took part in some counselling skills practice.  The rules surrounding these things mean I can't tell you under what circumstances this happened, or identify those with whom I was partnered for the exercise.  What I am going to focus on is the fact that, yet again, playing the part of the client was uncomfortable for me.

There were a number of issues I could have chosen for the skills practice, and I chose what I thought was a minor issue, the one which I thought couldn't possibly trigger difficult feelings within me.  It was foolish of me to forget that fairly major issues can often hide behind those which seem to be of relatively little importance.

As the practice came to an end, I was asked how I felt.  I replied that I felt exposed, vulnerable.  When I was asked where I felt vulnerable, I deflected the question.  The truth is that I felt the shield with which I had been guarding myself had been taken away, and I'd been hit by a truck.  I was asked if I wanted to continue, and replied that I'd rather the focus was put onto someone else.

I seem to be talking in metaphors, but that is my way, and I have no better way to describe how I felt.  I would liken my feelings to those that are felt when a wall is knocked down, we see how things look without the wall in place, and wonder whether the wall should have been left standing.

During the session, I'd made mention of wearing a mask - another metaphor.  To deal with situations in which I feel uncomfortable, I take on the characteristics of someone more comfortable and confident in that situation.  Maybe it's an act, and maybe it's dishonest, because maybe it's not really me.  Or, it's an aspect of who I am, and only comes to the fore when needed.

Yeah, I'd much rather talk to other people about themselves than about me.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Today, I took away your power over me

Today, I took away your power over me.
I decided to reject the things you've said.
Your words describe the world as you see it,
and not as I see it through my own eyes.

Today, I saw the good in myself.
Admittedly, I saw the good in you too,
But you won't convince me that your truth is mine.
Your truth belongs only to you.

Today, I thought of you with kindness.
I considered how much you must be hurting,
but this is how I've thought of you all along,
and still you chose to attack.

Today, I took away your power over me,
and while our relationship has not imploded, like a dying star,
I will not accept your negativity.
Holding on to it will bring neither of us peace.