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Love Must Expand To Understand

In life, we meet various people. Some become our friends, some become lovers or life partners. But do we truly understand people who have history to which we cannot relate?

Often we subject people to our half-knowledge, or partial understanding. This is a huge disservice. We need to love enough to learn more. Then, and only then, can we truly understand others. This is the dignity they deserve.

If we are trained as a paramedic or nurse, we tend to expect patients to fall into certain categories. The thing is, people are unique and may have a rare underlying condition that confounds the medical understanding.

So it is if we apply our understanding to others. We only partially understand. Therefore, we are not loving. Our love must expand to explore the other. Listening actively, not asking closed questions, watching closely. All these deepen our understanding.

In my profession, I observe a lot. I think I have always been an observer anyway. Observing informs a lot, but open questions, patience, and a desire to learn are key to loving people better, more fully.

Love bears all things, love is patient, kind,…the greatest of these is love

If we do not have love for others, we are empty. Yes, empty. Look at a baby. It thrives because it is loved and so it loves back. A baby that is never touched will die. Even if it is fed. We need love in order to live.

Those of us who are mothers know our children inside out. It is just that way. There are interferences that can damage this.

We cannot love our children through manuals. We love them by instinct and passed down wisdom. They display their personality as they grow and have the ability to decide and choose.

If we are an addict, we do not understand all addicts. Only the cycle of addiction. If we are artists we do not understand all artists.

So it is with the human condition. We are all human, but we fail to understand each other. It takes love to desire to fully understand.

We have a habit of confusing our half knowledge and partial understanding with actuality. We mistake what we know for the thing itself, or the subject, topic, person.

Our blinding preconceptions limit us to remaining half knowing, half understanding.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

So, to be better humans, better friends, lovers, life partners, professionals, we need to expand our love, our compassion, so that we don’t do disservice to others.

Published in Contemplate

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Hospital again…

This morning I went to my hair salon. It started well, but I began to fade. Once out, I felt better and got a few bits of grocery. I went home, ate lunch and responded to emails.

I initiated some work with SWAST. Then I started a bit of gardening. I began to struggle to breathe. I felt concerned. I did not want another crew fixing me short-term. But eventually the inevitable had to be. So I was ”fixed” but then brought to hospital. Five hours later I am still in Resus. I do feel better now.

Arriving here was hell on earth. ED is no place for anyone with a neurological disease. With PTSD it is even worse.

I am so grateful to the paramedics who treated me like crystal, but handed me into hell.

And a doctor from hell too.

Now I am waiting to go to a ward. I am exhausted, hungry and tired.

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Boy Wonder

The joy, oh the thrill
when I cantered Boy Wonder
around that menage
my love for riding renewed

American saddle, new to me
but I had him the right leg*
every time, and I laughed
with sheer pleasure for living

And every one gaped
as they’d thought he’d
take me under the branch
to rid himself of me

My horsemanship not lost
though American saddle so strange
I guide him, communicated
we became as one moving being

Strong nature but sweet
his action was a dream
the joy, oh the exhilaration
when I cantered Boy Wonder

*right leg as correct leg. A horse riding term

Published in The Lark

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We Cannot Hide Ourselves

f we live our lives on purpose, we cannot hide ourselves. We may believe that we can, but in truth we can only hide facts.

People who know me know me as well as they want. I was saddened recently when a friend of thirty years crashed my boundaries repeatedly, despite my request after the first time. In all those years, she had never asked how my rare disease affects me. I don’t offer this freely, as in a loving relationship it is observed.

I am incapable of having an image. What should it look like? How do I maintain it?

Strangers, of course, will have various views of me. If there is a loud piecing noise, a stranger will see me cringing and stressed, whilst on a peaceful sunny day, they see a smiling, warm, generous woman.

In my professional life I am known as hard working, but also expectant of high standards. I don’t like a colleague not grasping my knowledge until they look it up on the internet. I expect that my knowledge will be embraced.

Who I am is very diverse. I am a consummate gardener, a lover of travel and new experiences. I love lipstick, I like to wear clothes that suit me, albeit they are all second hand.

What is hidden about me is the fact that I experienced severe trauma and experimental surgery. This accounts for my stress with loud noises: the last remnant of PTSD. If the smoke alarm goes off, I end up in a heap on the floor. This occurred three times when my daughter was a teenager.

My close friends know that I am caring, generous, kind, laughing, but also capable of tears. Tears of compassion for others, and tears of despair about my health.

People who think they can be someone different at different occasions lie to themselves. Even reading here on Medium, I can tell a lot about people. It runs through their writing

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

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Departures

Dusk at another airport
one can see the heat hanging
a yellow orb is low in the sky
slowly turning to egg yolk|
and then mango

Sinking slowly as a goodbye
turning the color of oranges
finally some red markings
as that sun drops away

Published in The Lark

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My Mother Loves Me

My mother hates me –
oh wicked liar I am,
she says she loves me
And everyone tells me so

I can do nothing right
And she chases me
, hairbrush
In hand to hit me all over
She says she loves me

I can say nothing right for her
I am rude, ungrateful,

And rewrite the history
Where she smelt of roses

No shouting at me, no threats
Not biting me, not calling me whore

There was no conflict ever
And she never kidnapped me

She hasn’t said I’ll come to no good
Or that she’d be a better mother
For my daughter, who hates her
She never stamped her foot

I’ve torn my hair out, actually
I’ve clawed my face and hit my head
But now I just don’t bother
When I can, I go to bed

See, I have responsibilities
And love my daughter dearly
So I need pay the bills, buy the food
I can’t indulge my memories

She didn’t shout when I was mute
By operations on my brain
And never felt sorry for herself
When I was totally helpless

Promise me this; never be
Helpless in front of my mother

She’ll shred you up and spit you out
You need to close up like a clam

Years of practice it took me
To tighten up that shell real tight

And become invisible to all
No more audible than a mouse

So it took years to let friends in
But still keep out my mother

Leaning to be a ducks back
Whilst alive to my loving pals

Am I then a schizophrenic?
No, I’m simply grown up wise
And cannot allow further hurt or hate
To waste my life and time

Written in 1999

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

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Accepting the Faults of Others

In life we are surrounded by people who have faults. Heck, we are one of them.

I tend not to be affected by people’s faults as I realise they are just humans. A friend is persistently late, so I don’t hurry. Another scoffs at the foibles of low esteem, so I don’t share those things. I know my friends. I know what their weak spots are and recognize they are different to me in various ways.

Of course, I want to be accepted too, and I have many faults. So, we all need forbearance. Only good friends can do this. A flake will push you away, forgetting they are imperfect too.

Really close friends are able to say what bugs them. This is healthy, and we may well be working on that fault anyway.

With colleagues it is harder. I have one that cannot apologize. It is not in her vocabulary. The closest she gets is ‘’I’m sorry if you…’’ which is no apology at all. I don’t mind unless she has greatly inconvenienced me, or insulted me. This occurs a lot so I do feel frustrated — take myself out in the garden, pull a few weeds, water something, and then return to my laptop.

I can accept any fault in anyone except; dishonesty, not keeping their word, and personal attacks. Those are my boundaries.

So when that happens, I must address it. I do this by talking about my feelings. So, I say ‘’I feel …. when you do…’’

I use Do because it separates the deed from the person. ‘’Do’’ may not always be the right verb, so I find another way to separate the action from the person.

Always, I try not to do this in anger. I wait until I’m relaxed and calm. Otherwise, it is simply destructive.

It is best, too, to correct a child without anger. How do we get angry at a child for being a child?

Whilst we must accept the faults of others, we must have boundaries in place.

Published inKnow Thyself, Heal Thyself

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No Churn Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blackberry Cardamom Jam Ripple
2 cups blackberries
⅓ cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp cornstartch
1 tbsp of cold water
½–1 tsp cardamom (depending on taste)

Beat the softened cream cheese with the vanilla, condensed milk and lemon zest. Whip the cream until stiff and combine with the cream cheese mixture. Freeze for six hours. Make whatever flavour you like.

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How To Cope With Difficulties

We all lead different lives. We are all unique in our view of life. One thing we do have in common is that we face difficulties of various magnitude. For some it may be life changing or it might be a family issue.

Whatever it is, we need tools to get us through it successfully, otherwise we can develop unattractive traits.

How important is it? This is what we need to ask first. Some difficulties or problems can wait until we have more time in which to deal with it. If it is an argument, wait until your feelings are settled before resolving it.

Are you the right person to deal with it? Sometimes we need legal advice. Or advice from trusted people who may have experienced a similar problem. If you have no experience of whatever you are facing, if people have no knowledge, try the internet.

Stay calm This is important as we can’t be of much use to ourselves or others if we are angry, tearful, frightened etc. If you are with children, you have a responsibility to remain composed. Otherwise, self-care until you are ready to carry on.

Find support If you have been bereaved, witnessed a terrible accident, or anything else that causes traumatic response, get with people who love you. Allow yourself to be loved and hugged. If this is not possible, get wrapped up in bed or the sofa and soothe yourself with beautiful images in your mind and tell yourself positive things.

Let it go Some things just aren’t worth your time or energy. If someone is rude to you, decide if they matter enough to warrant a request for an apology. Some people don’t apologise. Others will make a quarrel. The kind of person who apologises won’t be rude in the first place.

Forgive We sometimes hurt people that we love. We never hurt people that don’t care about us. Forgiving is to let the hurt go, for our own sake, If we hold onto a hurt, only we are suffering.

Don’t let people live rent free in your head Try not to revisit a quarrel, break up, or any other incident. You have better things to do.

Break things down Imagine an elephant. Now see it made of chocolate. If you ate it in one go, you would be sick. Such it is with some problems or difficult tasks. Make it into bite size pieces. If you have a sprained wrist, vacuum one room only at time. If you have a long road trip, plan where you can stop for a rest.

All these are tools to overcome almost anything. They have gotten me through many adverse times. Keep breathing, stay calm and spend time outside.

Published in Grab A Slice

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Aine MacAodha review of ”Caught by The Moon”

The artwork on the cover by Tania Fonn Carswell catches my eye along with the title. Already stirring my spirit. Many of Chrissie’s poems are gentle in nature, a writer who sees the minute details in
‘A sunny day in Coney Island’
and the grace of Haiku that dot the pages. ‘Photos of my Mother’ is a favourite of mine.
Yet her poems ‘War and ‘Black Boy’ shows her deep passion for people, animals, the earth and the unfairness
that exists in our world today.
in ‘one thousand Cranes’
reminds us of the horrors with
“Make a wish Japan
fold one thousand paper cranes
you are awash in radioactivity”

I love the details in Chrissie’s poems things in nature that jump out of them to surprise and uplift the soul,
like “cobwebs that hang from a tree’.

In her poem ‘Stars’ as it unfolds is about so much more than thought at first. its about deep love, memories and sadness.

I would highly recommend readers
to the work of Chrissie. This book of poems will ignite beauty and also draw you back to a world stained by pain and anger to the prejudices in life today. (less)