1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, Travel, TToT

TToT: Storage Almost Full – Victorious! #10Thankful

“The trees were still leafless, black, cold; but the fine twigs were swelling towards spring, so that looking upward it was with an expectation of the first glimmering greenness. Yet everything was calm, and the sky was a calm, classic blue.”

—Doris Lessing

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

It was a lovely afternoon, writing outside, on my back deck, while a day-time music jam went on in my basement.

So much about families who have had humiliation and abuse happening, I’ve been hearing about this week. Last weekend was International Day of Families. I had lots of family time this last week, with taking care of each other, helping each other out, and a birthday celebration too. I am glad I can be there for them when they need me and that I have them when I’m the one in need.

This week I did what would have been unthinkable, even just a few months ago, and I found more inspiration to keep doing new and exciting things.

(For a first glimpse, a reveal if you will of my developing violin talents – read on!)

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For my family.

I am lucky. I know.

For the chance to learn about a part of the world I know very little about.

I got a detailed account, during a car ride, about China, a part of the world I’ve never been to and know very little of.

It’s so wonderful, to me, when we can learn about a place that feels so very far off and foreign, but that’s why I love a well narrated travel tale.

For yet another nearly perfect checkup for my transplanted kidney.

I am now less than one month from marking 19 years with my father’s kidney he donated.

My creatinine level was once again 70 and this is where it has stayed, for years and years, where once it reached an all-time dangerously toxic level of twelve hundred

Anything under 100 is perfect, as long as the number doesn’t keep increasing. Mine has been no higher than the eighties for years.

For a catch-up lunch with someone from my past and that of my brother.

We shared news and it was no longer a strictly teacher/student interaction.

We conversed as three adults, a definite shift from how it once was. I even gave her a copy of the anthology my story appeared in last year, as a thank you.

I wanted to thank her for all she did. She taught me braille and got me through so much. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance all those years.

For the chance to perform my violin for my sister, as her birthday present.

I thought that could be the best present I could give her this year, other than the trip out to the nail salon together last week that is.

I was nervous, with my first real live performance, second song ever learned.

I don’t know how musicians perform in front of groups of people like that. Although it was only a small group of six, I felt apprehensive and later decided to share it on Facebook.

Reason is that I hope it will give me motivation to keep working hard to improve.

That a friend from far away happened to see the post on Facebook.

I appreciated her unexpected support, only in that it was a surprise to me that she happened upon the video in the first place. She’s one busy lady.

For the smell of BBQ somewhere in the spring afternoon air.

For a beautiful day to be outside while musicians played their hearts out inside my house.

Other times it is later in the evening. This time I could enjoy the warm weather and the music wasn’t quite so loud from inside the house out to where I was relaxing.

For the opportunity to reflect on what it takes for me to show myself a little self compassion.

Loving My Self-ish, #compassion #1000Speak

Another 20th of the month has come and gone and I nearly skipped it, but glad I decided to write what came to mind.

For a promising start, the hope that I won’t end up one of those one-hit-wonder song lyric writers.

My brother and I are beginning our second collaboration together and I am really excited to see where it might lead.

I didn’t think I could do it last time and now I have “Don’t Look Back” of which I am immensely proud.

Announcing My Lyric Writing Debut

I have high hopes for “Decade Adrift” in the days and weeks to come.

But now…without further adieu:

Happy Birthday Song For My Sister (violin edition)

Hope that wasn’t nearly as painful for you to listen to as it was for me.

Hope I can get this post added in time. It’s off to sleep for me now.

Happy Victoria Day or whatever long weekend holiday you’re celebrating. Hope no more fireworks keep me up tonight.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Spotlight Sunday

Loving My Self-ish, #Compassion #1000Speak

“Every day is so wonderful. Then suddenly, it’s hard to breathe. Now and then i get insecure. From all the pain, I’m so ashamed.”

Beautiful – Christina Aguilera

I don’t look forward to these months, I have to say. This month’s topic for #1000Speak is “Self Compassion” and I find that one most difficult to write about. I could go all day long about any other topic under the “Compassion Umbrella” but when I must turn all my reflections inward, on me as a person, I struggle and even debate skipping May’s linkup altogether.

But here I am. I do like a challenge. Showing myself self compassion is just that.

So many of us wrestle with turning our writing in on ourselves. I know I am not alone. I have my reasons, for why I resist showing myself the kind of compassion I fancy myself so good at showing anyone else, just like everyone else who can’t show themselves that very same courtesy either.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of awful things. I’ve heard from so many with terrible stories of difficult childhoods, all setting them up for failure with self compassion, and I have none of that. I know I am lucky there.

I had supportive and loving parents and a close family growing up. All still true. Every one of them contributed to the best of who I am, not the worst thoughts and ideas I think about myself, during those darker moments.

It is not in spite of them, but because of them that I have the sort of love for myself as a person that I do. I do see my own worth. How could I not, with family like mine? They made me who I am.

We all have our own unique struggles. We are taught a lot about arrogance and narcissism in our world. It’s all around us. How to avoid taking on the worst of those qualities? If we love ourselves a little too much we are called out on it. If we constantly put ourselves down we make it too painful to be around. How to find a balance?

Well, without a stable childhood it is made one hundred times harder. I have the advantage there. I try to show myself compassion and then the negative thoughts creep in. It didn’t start from a need to be loved, not by family, to be perfect, but I got it anyway, in my own way.

Growing up with a disability makes you stronger. I can readily admit that. It teaches resilience and determination. That’s all well and good, but it also creates vast amounts of insecurities and guilt.

Am I worth being around?

Am I good enough?

Am I good at anything?

Am I or have I ever been a burden for someone?

Am I enough, in friendships and in romantic relationships? Do I deserve happiness? Will I ever find it or am I meant to end up alone?

Is that a bad thing in the end? Could I survive it and be okay anyway?

So, how to get okay with any of these?

Of course, I am familiar with the truth that “we must love ourselves before we can expect anyone else to love us” and I agree. My whole life, up until now and going forward, is focused on developing the skills and the belief in myself, to become stronger, for better or for worse.

I don’t know how anyone knows they love who they are enough that love from someone else will work out. Do I push people away? Is there something in me, a doubt and a faithlessness, that anyone I attempt to get close to can feel, of which inevitably ends up driving them away?

These are all questions that run through my head. I don’t know how to make it stop, how to finally answer for my own personal satisfaction.

So, then the challenge becomes finding meaning in what I love and what I know I am all about, a new internal fight begins. It’s more uncertainty that nags at me by this point.

So, I can repeat continuous statements of positivity in my head, out loud, or in my writing. I can then hope those thoughts take hold in my mind, as I desperately hope to believe I can be happy.

I try things like write down what I’m grateful for. I try to remind myself of the things I can do, instead of everything I cannot. That scale often feels unbalanced, but I steady myself whenever possible.

If I feel like I’ve got no friends, no hope for finding love, like I’m not meant to ever have children and a family of my own, like I will never find a job and support myself, like I can never look the way I want or be at the right weight then I would drown in a sea of hopelessness. I have somehow found a way not to lose hope, to keep the faith, even during the rougher moments.

Underneath it all I was raised to value myself. That is a foundation that will never let me down, one which I can always count on and look to for strength. It’s the building up from that initial base, since then that sometimes threatens to crumble. I must do whatever I can to stop that destruction.

I have no finality on this matter, no answers, nor conclusions. I am still figuring it all out.

This month…

And every month, or as it should be.

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

Self Compassion Heals

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