Category Archives: Life

I can do “angry” really well….

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I have recently come to realize a lot of things about myself. My life is a series of learning opportunities. Some I pay attention to, some I do not. Recently it has come to my attention that anger is something that I have used to escape for a very long time. Anger is more powerful than any substance I have ever used, any place I have been, or any person I have ever know. Anger has changed my environment, and has always produced results. At least it has for me. The only down side, as it has recently become more apparent to me, is that it produces the exact opposite of what I was hoping to accomplish in the first place. As an example, I offer a personal battle that I have had many times in my marriage. Let me draw you in to the familiar scene. My husband wants to go out for the evening with his friends. I swiftly proceed to give massive amounts of attitude because I am angry that he is choosing to go out with his friends instead of choosing to spend some quality time with me…. yes me, who is now acting like the Ice Queen and expecting that this will make him change his mind. What does my behaviour reinforce? Only how much more fun my husband would have with his friends because I am acting like a stone cold female dog. So what has this scene proven? That acting out in anger only creates the negative consequences that I fear to begin with. It distances me from people, it keeps me completely self-centred and victimized, and it serves me in no way what-so-ever.
My best friend and I have always joked about our anger. We always have said that we could be the Founder, President and CEO of the “Angry Little Girls Club”. I think in joking about this, I was sitting comfortably in denial about just how destructive a force it was becoming in my life, thus never really needing to do anything about it. I don’t want to be known by anyone-especially my Husband and my Children- as the Ice Queen, or a stone cold female dog.
So I have dropped the rock, so to speak. Let go of the weight that I have been slowly drowning myself with. It doesn’t serve me, and it does not help me to live a life of serving the people in my life that I love so deeply.
I am beyond astounded at the lessons that life continues to hand me. I am beyond grateful that I have the presence of mind to see the lesson and the willingness to change. Today.
That’s Me.

Giving up the Crazy.

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It has been a crazy month.  Literally.  I have felt, at times, a bit crazy.  I am sure to others, namely my family, I have seemed more than a little crazy.  What, you ask, has made me so crazy?  The answer is simple, yet so complex.  The answer is…. me.  For as long as I can remember, I have been my biggest problem.  When I was a small child there was so much going on around me that I could not control.  The things that happened between my parents, the way that children bullied me so horribly- I could control none of it.  I think that somewhere along the way I decided that the only way to protect myself was to do whatever I could do to control what was going on around me.  I had no idea that in order to accomplish that I would sacrifice a lot of wonderful things along the way.  You see, I have always been so busy trying to control the people, places and things in my life, that I have missed out on so many of the little things that have been gifts along the way.   Now, I should clarify, that in no way is this a self-deprecating exercise during which I put myself down for being a few sandwiches short of a picnic.  In fact, it is intended to be quite the opposite.

I have come to truly understand in recent days how little control really serves me.  I have also come to see more and more how little it serves others around me.  The relationship that my sense of control has with my simply divine sense of fear, paralyzes me in a frightening way.  It also takes hostages.  Usually this includes most frequently, but is not limited to, my family.  Isn’t it a ridiculous notion that I fear that horrible things will happen, and so If I control them then surely it will all work out magically?  What is even more ridiculous is that I truly believe at times that this is the best solution.  The result, however, is exactly that which I am afraid of and attempting to prevent in the first place.

Here’s the good news.  If I am the problem, then I can be the solution.  This does not mean that I fix the problem.  After all it was my fear and control that got me into the mess to begin with.  It simply means that I can step aside and let the natural order of things transpire as they will, regardless of my attempt and failure to control them.  The results?  A Husband who wants to be around me, kids that have a happier mom and are happier as a result, and freedom.  Time…. just to enjoy each moment as it comes.  Control and Fear no longer serve me.  I am finally ready to see what my life might be like without them.  Today, I got a small taste of that freedom.

Dare I say, it was better than my Mom’s carrot cake.

The “ARK” Dilemma

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I had a very interesting visit today with my Father in Law. Our visits are always pretty fantastic. The topics of conversation that tend to emerge vary from family history to colourful humour and everything in between. Today though, a topic came up that I have often struggled to live out. Today we spoke about what I like to call the “Act of Random Kindness” dilemma. I am not talking about whether or not we decide to donate 2 dollars to the Sick Kids Foundation or the Cadets at our local grocery store. Nor am I talking about buying a few extra items and donating to the food drive blitzes either. What I am talking about are the Random Acts of Kindness that we live each day.

During our discussion it became very obvious that doing charity work in our community is often encouraged by large corporations such as Sick Kids, Unicef or World Vision to name a few. These organizations do great work, and they make it very easy for the masses to give a few extra dollars a month and feel as though we are doing our part. However, we also discussed that the most amazing acts of charity are the ones that we do when no one is looking, and the ones that impact the people that we encounter everyday.

My Father in Law and I talked about the opportunities that we have had in our recent past to impact the lives of regular everyday people in our communities. He shared with me an experience that he had providing back to school supplies for a single mother’s two daughters. I shared with him the coffee and sandwich that I bought for a man living on the streets of Kitchener. Both acts were done when no one was looking, and both felt amazing because they were done in secret. The acts that I perform in my life when others are looking are often done out of concern for my image. The acts that I perform for others that are done out of my innate love for mankind are the ones that have truly impacted my spirit. I will never forget the man that I spent only a few moments talking with in line with as we bought his food. I have already failed to remember the things that I have done in hopes to impress others.

So I suppose that there is really no dilemma at all. The truth is, I have the opportunity to give something to someone else everyday-be that my time, an ear to listen, a cup of coffee, a pair of mittens or hat that I knit, or a few dollars. If I think about how much time I spend worrying about what others are doing for me, I know that I could find just a few moments a day to focus on what I can do for others. When I doubt that taking the time to do something small could even make a difference in the world, I remember one thing. As Morgan Freeman say’s in Evan Almighty, “Noah built the ARK one Act of Random Kindness at a time”.