Depression

Depression has no season or perfect place to ‘be’. It invites itself into our lives, sometimes at the most inopportune times. It can disrupt the best laid out plans leaving chaos looking like well practiced free form dance steps.

Be patient, don’t judge yourself to harshly and for goodness sake don’t give up. Help is out there, keeping holding on till you connect with it.

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Learning to be YOU

My friendships with others helps me to understand the type of person I want to be. My thought processes connected with my actions, and my perceptions, are learning tools of life.

As I age I realize the necessity of actually listening to others, undistracted listening, and of kindness, especially where truth is concerned. Through living life those two traits are being exposed as two of the most valuable traits worthy of pursuing.

Introspection. . . . . invaluable.

Ain’t Life Grand!

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You Know You’ve Matured When. . . . .

I had a conversation with someone yesterday, whom I had not seen in ages. The conversation seemed just a bit odd or not in sync with how a conversation with that person usually goes. She made a hand gesture that when I saw her do it for some unknown reason I began to doubt the statement that she had just made and thought to myself that she had just lied to me. I passed off my thought as unfounded and went on my way.

Today I had to run errands and ended up making some odd decisions such as where to park and what isle to go down first. I frequent this store often enough to have developed regular shopping habits that for some reason I found myself making last minute direction changes. I then ran into that same person, who was with another person, and was greeted by a situation that I felt confirmed my funny feeling of having been lied to.

Here’s the nice part about what I discovered about myself: I wasn’t upset that I felt I had been lied to. I wasn’t upset about what appeared to be the reason for the lie. What I did feel was a pang in my heart that the first person, and the other person who was there that they had felt the need to lie to me. My heart hurt for them. I then made a blanket comment in an effort to politely infer that I was aware of their situation and that I wasn’t hurt or upset by it in an effort to stop them from feeling hurt, or guilty if a lie had been told. I tried to be generic as it was still just a feeling that I had been lied to, nothing was absolute, but I sure didn’t want my presence there to make either of them feel uncomfortable. We chatted for a bit and I went on my way.

As I pondered the encounter on my way home I came to the conclusion that it’s possible that IF it was a lie I had been told that they may have made their choices out of respect for my feelings and didn’t want to hurt me. I was thankful they cared enough to try to limit hurt feelings. Then I thought that the truth can only exist where it has permission to be. I don’t think a 100% truthful life is something that would be an easy or comfortable existence. I don’t fault them, nor do I harbor any ill feelings over what may or may not have happened.

One thing that working with the recently deceased and their family & friends has taught me is that life is fluid and ever changing. I do not want to be thought of as the total sum of my mistakes. My heart is sensitive, and that’s okay. At times I feel the hurt and confusion of others, I try to speak cautiously and to be kind. There is already enough pain floating about looking for a place to land that I do not want to be the reason someone feels pain. I’m sure at times it has happened, and will probably continue to happen, but I don’t do it on purpose or with the desire to cause pain for others.

So, in ending this little written ponder I wish them peace and hope that I am wrong about what I thought occurred. But, if I’m not wrong I harbor no ill will, I share thoughts of understanding and, of course I wish them peace.

Ain’t Life Grand

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Being Thankful & Showing Gratitude

Being grateful for someone or something and showing gratitude can and often are two separate feelings that can and may be displayed differently, if displayed at all.

Gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness is the proper, fitting or called-for response to benefits or beneficence from a benefactor. ”  Definition of Gratitude

As the years have progressed I have found that I find great value in ‘Thank You’s, not only the expressions of my gratitude TO the person(s) whom have bestowed gifts (physical or emotional) to me, but also in RECEIVING Thank Yous from others.

I send Thank You cards in the mail, and/or email & text Thank Yous, depending on the circumstances and individual who bestowed the gift upon me. For me it is very important for the giver to know how much I appreciate their time to think of me, their effort in acquiring the gift and their choosing to give it to me. I am genuinely grateful to be important enough to that person for all those things to occur.

Now, here’s where I need to do some non judgmental work on my thought process – the NOT receiving a Thank You, especially if the gift took a lot of time and effort to create or cost me a lot of money  (because the expense was me making personal sacrifices to have that money to spend on the other person).  When the person does not show gratitude to me as I would to them had the situation been reversed, I then ‘feel’ as though they do not appreciate the gift nor acknowledge the sacrifices I made in order to gift it to them. In turn I seem to translate that to that person not valuing ME very much – which may NOT be the case at all. The other thought that has popped up is that person feeling as though I owe that sacrifice/gift to them so therefore they do not need to show me any gratitude.

I have to remember to NOT assume other people hold and respect the same Value System of emotions and actions as I do, and THAT’S OKAY – we all have our own unique personal value system designed just for us by our upbringing and life’s lessons. I don’t want to be expected to place someone else’s values and beliefs above my own, so therefore I should not expect someone else to do the same.

We are all unique and that’s what makes us special. As we connect and meld into our own little path of existence in the world we help others see their value and to shine. It’s when we all shine as only we can that the world is a brighter and happier place to be.

Ain’t Life Grand!

 

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It’s That Time of Year, Again

For those who live in areas where there is a definite decrease in daylight hours once a year there my also be an increase in signs and symptoms of depression.  Now, I’m not professionally educated in this subject nor will I profess to have answers. All I’m doing with this post is sharing personal experiences that I hope will offer a direction or insight to others and in turn offer them hope and support.

I was raised with the belief that depression was something that weak people had. All they needed to do was to stop being lazy and selfish, and to quit wollering in self-pity. We didn’t have any family members who had depression, we were better than that.

As I embraced adulthood, and embarked on the trails attached to that endeavor, I have learned a lot about the many different levels or layers of depression. Instead of using space to briefly describe depression I’m including two links: Depression and Clinical Depression.

I have come to understand, and except, that I have always been sensitive. My feelings are easily hurt whether by others or by what I’ve done. I spent years hiding behind the persona of a hard, independent focused person, when in reality I was simply structurally building walls that could easily be defended. Thankfully I have grown past that phase in life and have learned to embrace and even treasure the myriad of feelings that at times battle for a front row seat in my heart. I feel  more now and therefore I can love more, even though that means I hurt more. Nothing is free in life but I find these trade offs to be very well worth my effort.

With my personal growth I have also acquired the desire to see others in a more sensitive and forgiving light. Instead of seeing the mean spirited say hurtful things bully I see a sensitive person who doesn’t know there is an alternative way to be. I now smile kindly at the person in line at the checkout who is being a complete ass – their day may have been horrible in ways I don’t even want to imagine, I’m not going to add fuel to that fire. Instead, I show them that not everyone is mean and uncaring.

For years I had dreaded family gatherings, sometimes even to the point of tears before even leaving my house. I have now learned to accept and even love the fact I am not responsible for anyone else, or what they say or do. I am only responsible for how I view the situation and my reaction to it. I sat down next to a relative who very quickly moved the chair she was sitting in a few inches away from me. Hurtful? Yes. My reaction – I ignored it. That was a start for me. Now, when I go to these gatherings I go right up to that person and genuinely hug her. Looking at photos of those gatherings I notice one person who seems to always lean away from me when we’re photographed together. I make sure she gets a genuine hug too. I’m no longer allowing their negativity to have an effect on me. I have not yet reached the point where I look forward to these gatherings, but I’m no longer making up excuses to occasionally not go or dreading them. I don’t blame anyone other than myself for feeling that way I do about these gatherings. For all I know I have annoyed or offended those people on a regular basis for years and they are simply acting in a way that they find necessary. What I DO know is that I’m responsible for me and my actions and words. I choose to do my best to be a positive energy in these gatherings and to be pleasant.

Now, that last sentence  brings me to my closing thoughts. You can’t ‘look’ at someone and be able to tell if they battle with any of the signs and symptoms of depression. Some people deal with those issues daily while others deal with them seasonally, and so on. Sometimes it’s kind of like predicting the weather, you’re only right on about 3 hours in advance and that too can change. It’s not a sign of weakness to have depression, or have to deal with it, nor is it a sin. We all may have little bouts with depression from time to time and not even know it. It’s what you do at those times that either help you or make situations worse.

Think before you criticize, or share your ‘helpful’ suggestions. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Silent love can be healing, and a hand up for that person.

Depression, It May Not Be What You Think. . .

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Lack of ‘Thank Yous’ & the Ignored Texts

The inability to find the time to acknowledge another person or their participation in your life (no mater the form – thanks yous, text messages and/or phone calls for example) is rude. This alone is a perfect display of a fast moving trend that demonstrates the growing deficit in the current population who has access to electronics’ lack of human interaction skills. Or, on the simple side of this thought – its that person’s easy way to state “You don’t matter to me.”
I don’t ignore texts as everyone is important in their own special way. If you ignore my texts or gifts, I will simply cease sending them. Unfortunately, I will not stop thinking about you or smiling when I recall fond memories of time I’ve spent in your company. I will respect your desire to remove my presence from your life but I will not soil my memories of you with hurt feelings or hateful thoughts. You have simply moved on, and I wish you well.

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control-reactions-sm

fb/theIdealist

I’m getting better at it, though I still encounter times where I fall flat on my face. I find that ‘noticing’ the things that happen around me FIRST helps me to understand my reaction(s) and therefore I can (attempt to) control my response.
Ain’t Life Grand!

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