Saturday, June 28, 2008

...i uNdeRsTaNd...


Everyone has those days. Some of us just have more than others. When I say "those days", I'm referring to days where it seems no matter how hard you can't do anything matter how hard you isn't hard matter how nice you try to be...the favor is not returned...and then in the end when all else fails, and you decide to ignore keep putting one foot in front of the other...and to try and stay positive or to hold back the becomes impossible to do so and you suffer yet another failure. "YOU'RE A LOSER!" Those are the words I hear in my head on days like that...days like today.

I'm trying so hard to do something. It's really difficult for me to put myself out step outside of my comfort make mistakes and know there are more to come, but I know that growth and change can only come if I continue to matter how hard it may seem. When I try and I fail in these times or when I let other people down in the is indescribable...crushing even. I've NEVER wished for fame or fortune...I've NEVER expected special treatment...I just want to feel I'm worth the air I breathe. It sounds dramatic...negative...exaggerated. A friend once said that I am the most negative person he's ever met. I couldn't defend myself...I know it is true. Even still...he compliments me and reminds me that "I CAN..." It builds me up. That's why I call him a friend.

So many times...things are not as they appear...or seem to be. Anyone who saw me today...standing...laughing...cheering...talking probably thought I was feeling confident...comfortable. I wasn't. I'm a pretty good actress when I need to be. I was scared and unsure...nervous...but I pushed forward. I thought that I had done it...that I had been successful to a certain degree. I was aware of my shortcomings, but still I tried to believe that I did well,...and then I was made aware. It was like a Peanuts cartoon when an adult speaks. The criticism was clear...all the other words were background noise...unrecognizable. I was holding on to the hope that in the end, I would hear "good job"...that amongst all the "wrongs" there was a "right" least ONE. No such luck...not today.

I was told that I don't understand. If only he knew. I don't need details to understand. I understand. He is the one that does not understand. He would regret his words if he knew my secrets...if he knew how I truly DO...understand.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

...eMbrAciNg LiFe...

I try to control everything...I worry too much...I always look behind me because I'm too unsure to look ahead...I doubt my abilities...I hang on every word. This is not living. I need to stop covering my eyes and avoiding the roller coaster ride we call life. I need to throw my hands up and allow myself to feel the wind on my face and the thrill in my belly. I need to enjoy life.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

...LeArNeD HeLpLeSsNesS...

I'm not an animal rights activist. I'm not an animal lover...or even an animal liker for that matter. I don't hate animals. I don't hurt animals. I just don't prefer to have a bunch of pets. I don't want to sleep with animals at night or have them sit in my lap. I'm perfectly fine with fur...I eat meat...and I love leather and snakeskin. I think it's safe to say I won't be joining a PETA protest anytime it goes without saying that I don't read much about "cruelty to animals". I didn't know how circus elephants are "trained" until last week. When I heard the process by which they are made me kinda sad for the elephants...but it also helped put some things in my life into perspective.

Obviously, elephants are very powerful animals...and much stronger than humans. They have the power to escape from the's just that they don't know it. The elephants are caught when they are very young and they are chained to strong stakes that are driven deep in the ground. They struggle and fight to free themselves but the chain is too strong. Eventually, the elephant realizes that it can't break free and it quits trying. From that day on, the elephant believes that it cannot free itself as soon as it feels any resistance at all. In fact, a circus elephant can be tied to a small flimsy stake with a thin piece if rope and it will not try to escape because it has been conditioned to believe that it is powerless. This is called "learned helplessness".

Elephants are not the only creatures that can be conditioned this way. Humans can as well. If a person is told how worthless they are...over and over and over again...soon they will believe that they are. If people tell you that "you can't"...or shouldn't...enough times...eventually you won't even try. I wonder if those elephants can ever be "untrained". I wonder if it's possible for them to realize their strength and their ability to go where they want to go. My guess would be that it isn't possible after a certain amount of time.

I've always felt like I can' I will fail. So many times I've behaved like a circus elephant. I have the power to tear free and do whatever I want to do, but I rarely try because I worry that I'll fail. As soon as I face resistance...I feel helpless. I worry that I have been conditioned to give up. Thinking about this makes me sad. I am so much better than I use to be...than I thought I could ever be. My friend gave me a gift. He brought things out in me that surprised me...glimpses of strength...moments of feeling like a winner. That is priceless. I think that just like the elephant...I will always have some small form of "learned helplessness" that holds me back at times. I can't change what has happened to me, but I CAN try hard to build other people in a sense free them from the heavy chains before they learn to feel helpless. I especially want my kids to grow up feeling like their potential is limitless. I want them to realize the power that they each have within themselves. I want to teach them to fight against any resistance, because I don't ever want them to give up or feel me.