Dreamer’s World February 27 2017 – Daily Prompt “Center”

img_20170227_074759

The Daily Prompt is “Center”. To me this means the point at which all things converge, and therefore, the place where we must deal with them all. When I studied meditation (not seriously) I was advised to find my “center” as the point where I had absolute control. I was to then either allow or reject all of the things that demanded to get into my “center”. In effect I was triaging the events and issues in my life and determining which ones had to be dealt with immediately as opposed to those that simply wanted attention that was better directed elsewhere.

The first step was to empty the “center” and become calm. This was a lot harder than it sounds and is the place where many give up on the practice of meditation. It takes time and patience and continuous practice to get to the “center” in a clear state of mind. Each step was a journey as I tried to learn to block out all of the things that demanded to go along for the ride with me.

Once there, the second step was to learn to embrace and enjoy the peace that the “center” offered. It is a spiritual experience once you have mastered the willpower to get there in the right frame of mind. It always helps to have a singular focus point. I would visualize a candle burning and try to think of nothing but the flame.

red-candle

It was a living thing as I learned to watch it and see how the variations happened. I didn’t physically look at a candle, I simply imagined it in as much detail as possible. What at first was rather boring was in fact a way to focus myself. I had to learn to let the distractions go and simply keep my mind on the candle.

Step 3 was to learn how long I could maintain this “center” and the peace it provided me with. As time went on, I was able to stay there longer and longer. I then began to learn that the “center” is a place that we should only visit occasionally.

There is a scene in the Harry Potter movies where Harry sees his dead parents in a mirror. Obviously Harry doesn’t want to leave and constantly gazes into the mirror because it makes him feel complete. He has found the thing that he always knew he was lacking. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” is the advice that Dumbledore gives to Harry, and he is absolutely right.

The hardest thing about the “center” is letting go. When I broke away too quickly, I was overwhelmed by the onrushing issues and concerns that I had just recently escaped from. I had to learn to gradually put out the flame on the candle that I focused on. I would slowly extinguish the flame and then I would picture myself turning away from the candle and leaving the room and locking the door behind me. As I did this I was consciously allowing the real world to filter back into me. In this way, leaving the “center” was not as hard or painful.

The “center” is within each of us. We should all visit it regularly, but learn to never overstay our welcome. The temptation is great to never leave, but I refer to the quote listed above as to why we all must leave it. It will always be where we left it, the journey to find it is an exercise in self-discipline and is worth the effort because once we have found it, we can return as needed.

Dreamer’s World April 10 2016 – Siblings Day as an Only Child

I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing as Siblings Day until today when I saw friends posting about it on FaceBook. It seems like a wonderful idea to celebrate one’s siblings so I am surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before. I am sure that I would have remembered this from the past, because it does hold significance for me, although not in the way that it does for most people.
     I am an only child. The reasons are complex, but they center on the fact that my Mother was rather small of stature. I found out when I was a child that my birth, had it occurred naturally, would most likely have killed my Mother and that was why I was born via c-section. Obviously, this led to the decision by my parents that they would not attempt another child at the expense of my Mother’s health and/or life.
     I have always envied those who have siblings. I choose that word carefully because I am NOT jealous of those people, I envy them. The best way to explain that rather deep sentiment is that I can envy someone who is rich, because I have never been rich. I can only be JEALOUS of someone who has something similar to what I have, but which I feel is better than what I have. I hope that clears things up.
     Growing up as an only child was something that I was aware of, but that also involved the realization that there was nothing at all I could ever do about it. I asked that question about why i had no brothers or sisters when I was very young, because all of my friends did. When I was told about the medical issues with my Mother, I understood and never asked again.
     And so, I lived my childhood knowing that I was different to a degree. I was never spoiled, but I was made aware that I was special and unique. I was given a healthy sense of self from both my parents and I am grateful to them for that every day of my life. I learned responsibility by being the one who was responsible for things, not for being one of a group of people. I had no fall-back position if I did something wrong. I could not blame anyone else for my fuck-ups. While this lesson was not particularly pleasant, it was very important as I journeyed through life.
     I found this picture and it does resonate with me as I talk about this. After the death of my parents I am totally alone. There is no other real family left. I have my relationships, and I cherish them, but they are not the deep bond that siblings have. Siblings know that they carry on what was given to them collectively. They remain as sources of support throughout their lives, and that is beautiful. Anyway, back to the picture
 img_1467
I am the figure on the path. I may be moving towards the viewer, or I may be moving away. It is beautifully indeterminate, just like life itself. For me, as the figure in the picture, my reality is where I am on the path. It is everything else that changes as I move along. As much as I love Hal (person), this path is my own. Only a sibling would have enough of the commonalities to be pictured as walking with me.
     Surprisingly to some, I seldom feel alone. I feel normal, as I always have. My path was always the solo path, fate made it so. To be miserable and feel overwhelmed and alone would mean that I would stop moving altogether. I will never stop moving along my path until I die, there is too much to see. The direction I choose to move in is irrelevant from this picture. If someone sees me moving away from them, then so be it. If they choose to see me moving towards them, then so be that as well.
     I will get to where I am going, through the sun and the shadows. I will not get there by standing still. For those on their own paths who are fortunate enough to have siblings, enjoy the journey together, and may there be as few forks in your path as possible to separate you. My path may have forks in it as well, I have the freedom to take them to see where they lead, knowing that only myself will answer if things go wrong.
     That sense of freedom is exhilarating and scary at the same time. Not having to worry about a family member is a blessing and a curse. In the end, it all evens out, and my Type B personality just tells me to take things at my own pace and enjoy the journey.
     Happy Siblings Day to everyone. Hold them close.

Dreamer’s World February 22 2016 – To Be Happy

One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life is how to be happy. Being happy is a choice that we all have to make for ourselves, no one else can ever make us happy without our choosing to be happy first.
This isn’t an easy thing to do. The world seems intent on not allowing us to be happy. The pressures of everyday life can be overwhelming at times, and so many of us react by throwing ourselves deeper down the well in search of relief rather than just stepping away from the edge and re-evaluating our lives. That feeling of impending doom is a warning to us, when we ignore it we have willingly chosen to deprive ourselves of happiness.
Remember that each one of us is special and unique. We can never be replaced. We deserve to be happy and to let others around us see that happiness as an inspiration to them. When I tell friends this theory, they look at me like I have lost my damned mind, but that is because they fail to see the truth in it from their inner perspective. They look at this as the world tells them to and this won’t give them the happiness they seek. You cannot buy happiness, as the old saying goes and it is very true. Only you can choose to be happy within yourself first. After that choice is made, it is amazing how much easier it is to deal with the world, and it is also amazing how people respond to you after you make that choice.
Being happy isn’t some mystic roll of the dice. It is a choice that each of us has to make.