Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Giraffes & Training: Together?

What do you do when you find yourself cross eyed for a cupcake and so blind to the sugar that your loyalty is on yourself, and the sugar, more than on the supplier?

Just as with humans, animal relationships are the same. It's all a philosophy of looking at souls. It's
not about black skin or white skin, it's not about a dog or a giraffe. Building a relationship to a point of loyalty and trust takes a long time, it takes a lot of deposits into a trust account. Only once you have that history can your relationship handle withdrawals and a few dips in the market. Anything, over time, can fade away, and sometimes it will break without a warning. At least not a warning that is immediately identifiable, but there is no reaction without an action.

Whether you are training an animal to allow you to stick a needle in them, or you are creating a foundation of trust and love with a close friend, if you don't allow them choice and control, or options to participate willingly, there is an inevitable end where the behavior or the relationship will break. With time you can bring it back, until you can't anymore. You never know when that point is until you've reached it, but hopefully with an enlightened point of view, and a willingness to admit fault and grow, with conscious effort to be better, the chances of that are dramatically decreased. Pez-feeding a relationship with cupcakes, crackers, words, or gestures can only sustain it for so long. Allow them the option to choose to be with you; help them fall in "love" and genuinely enjoy your company, so that when the inevitable down slopes of life occur, they know that spending that time with you will make it better.

It's natural to crave a level of intimacy in our relationships that fills our desire to be needed and wanted. Whether we are moving onto a new career, or starting a life with a new family, or even just starting a new relationship with a new soul, we all want to feel "helpful". Sometimes that helpful is to bring an animal comfort and joy when they are around us or see us. Sometimes it's to help a close friend through a tough time, or even an easy time, but simply being there to curse, or listen, or have a tissue or a beer fulfills our sense of duty and obligation.  When someone leaves you unexpectedly, it makes you want to crawl into the hole they left behind and stop trying.

But you can't. Well, you can, and your soul simply won't grow, and for some people that's ok. After enough cycles, we build resilience and a little voice inside drives us to keep going, it feeds us keep going signals even when we have no faith in hope, because we know, that it's ok. We know that it's for a reason and on levels we don't even consciously recognize, there is a comfort in that. It isn't hope that drives us at that point, it's a resilience built from lifetimes of fighting and pushing and growing to where we are now. And for those around us 'old souls' that struggle and fall down and need a hand, we feel obligated to be there for them, sometimes even when all we want is to leave the world behind, because it's the right thing to do.

It may not be the end of the world, but pain is perceived differently by everyone. Who knows why one cryptorchid moose will allow a hand in places that cause grown men to blush, but another won't approach a human they've known for years? One heartbreak might bring a grown man to his knees, whereas a thousand broken hearts leaves a woman standing stronger and unflinching. Until the soul she never thought she'd lose, the one she felt more akin with than her own even, becomes like a will-o-wisp and leaves a tangibly empty hole that brings a pain into her life that infiltrates everything. No matter the pain or anger caused by other fairly substantial events, the repeated phrase is "I think you're more upset about 'her'. Someone who has nothing to do with this event directly." And each time, there is zero denial and 100% acceptance of this statement.
Ultimately we are all stronger than we think. It takes a strong crash to awaken us to it sometimes, or a needle poke to realize where our loyalty is. Is it with the supplier of the cupcake, or have we been cross eyed this entire time? Where do we stand now?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Satiation and hormones vs romantic (or Oceanography)

With frustrations in life we tend to vent about them, yell at the object of our frustration, write down what we are feeling, yell about them, hit things, meditate and let the feelings go...there are many different ways.

And then once the satiation is met, the tide recedes and emotions are temporarily at ease. Life is a
constant roller coaster; an ebb and flow through time of ups and downs. Through it all we have a few constants, just like how the same wave doesn't surface exactly the same, but the ocean is always there below it...there are people in our lives that are either waves or the depths. And then there are tidal waves. Let's call satiation the tidal waves, hormones the waves, and romantic the depths.

Sometimes romantic can also simply be the close friendships that we create and have in our lives; not always romantic involvement but they are people in our lives that know us better than we know ourselves sometimes. One of those people that I am so incredibly grateful for in my life is Eekhoorn. Not because she makes me say "eek" at some of the messages I get from her, but because is a perfect combination of strength, steadfastness, inappropriate humor, sass, empathy, and understanding all rolled into one beautifully quirky woman! I will be forever grateful that she started a conversation and invited me out to a beer, that was one of the best decisions of the year that I made. She, along with a select few others, have kept me sane this year, and in the same breath has not only encouraged my craziness but embraces it and matches me step for step.

The waves are only natural, and some days are definitely better than others. It's when the tidal waves rush in; the calm before the storm is eerily silent and the next thing you know an overwhelming sense of emotion washes over you; leaving nothing in its' wake unblemished. At the end of the recession however, the depths are still there, understanding and accepting that sometimes, things happen. Usually a tidal wave is a cause of a resonating earthquake or other massive natural disaster; the tidal wave doesn't always follow immediately.

As frustrated as it is to find yourself caught in a tidal wave, and hating every single uncomfortable toss and turn, it's inevitable in life and eventually the rushes will stop and the deep sea will settle once again. Knowing where the rushing tides are gathering and trying to keep your senses about you can be tough, and it's okay to not resist the every time. Taoists will teach to go with the natural flow of life and not fight against nature; I think that sometimes these tidal waves are a natural effect from a cause that we can't always control.

Even if we find ourselves wanting nothing to do with certain souls (and we know deep down that we have taken precautions to protect our hearts and created walls), they find ways to interject themselves into our lives and test our barriers, even with hot wire and sharp bite, they'll still jump in and try to pet the warthogs. An earthquake will rumble down the mountain and with a smile to cover the canines we feel deep in our bones that trusting what felt like nothing may very well create a tidal wave in the future.

What do you do when your gut tells you one thing, and every fact points to other logics? Sometimes all you can do is ride out the storms, fall back to the depths for stability, and prepare yourself for the next wave. Thank goodness for the ocean, because without it we would all be lost.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It never gets easier, and life is pain

Whether it's pain, death, a break up, rejection, failure...life...it never "gets easier". If anything it gets harder because with each loss we learn to love a little more, we learn to try a little harder, we learn to become more resilient to the pain from that specific incident but life rarely gives us the exact same situation twice.

Even when we know better, we put ourselves in situations that we know will be messy or cause us pain, because we know that we can't go through life in a bubble. For me personally, I have always been attracted to pain. Emotional, but pain nonetheless. I've tried to pinpoint where in my life I began to feel dead inside, how I became apathetic, and I'm sure it was a collection of many moments. As a young child in elementary school, I remember often being outgoing and friendly, always being the one to help someone else, and often labeled the 'teachers pet'. I used to give my teachers a hug every morning, the thought of that now blows my mind, that I used to enjoy human touch and not hold back from it.

My family are not the "touchy-feely" type, we don't say "I love you" and we don't communicate well. My parents way of giving me "the talk" was to hand me some books that described the male and female anatomy and how babies were made. This was in the sixth grade. I can't help but tense up when my sisters try to hug me or are close to me, for some reason that I have yet to figure out. Some people give me the same reaction, and then others I feel completely comfortable around and actually enjoy the closeness.

And yet one of my top 'love languages' is physical touch. In an intimate relationship I thrive on it, not as much as words or time, but it becomes something that I need as much as air to breathe some days. How can it be that we can be so strong on our own, so independent without any support, and all of that can seemingly change when someone enters our lives?

Maybe deep down, the real me is the cheesy, sappy, romantic who wants someone to spoil who will also spoil me with their words and attention (fun fact, one of my weaknesses is someone who will send me photos and videos of what they are doing throughout their day...nothing dirty, but just honest, genuine glimpses into their day. I love that.). And how is it possible to become so attached to those feelings, those intense, all-consuming emotions that connect us to another human being that we become totally different people overnight?

What does it mean when an individual that rarely cries but can become so engrossed in emotions when the time is right, feels so lost that for once in their life they find themselves holding in tears for themselves. When the pain of being hurt by someone that they love more than they thought it was possible to love, and the heartache of realizing what they have isn't what they hoped couple together and numbs them to the core....and they are left with the realization that they are lost and their closest loves are no longer there. It makes being on your own feel empty.

It never does get easier. That isn't the way of life, you build strength so you can get over the next hurdle with a bit more ease but the hurdle is still there. The disappointments, heartaches, loss, and tears will always be a part of life, and I for one am oddly grateful for the reminders that life is pain. Through the pain we grow, we learn about ourselves and what we are capable of.

To the people out there who will argue with me that life is not pain, that life is how I view it and if I don't accept God into my life, become an optimist, and embrace love and peace I'll never be happy...go screw yourselves. I have God in my life, I don't need to pray to him in a congregation of bible believers to have him in my life. Optimism is ridiculous, the glass is never full of your favorite beverage. And I do embrace peace and love, I don't openly invite chaos, deceit, and pain into my life. Life is purely pain and stress and we can find peace and love in our days, we can find happiness within ourselves and with God, and good things can come along but it's foolish to set ourselves up to assume it will always be like that.

I continuously find myself imagining the pots repaired with gold tonight, wondering what will I find
to repair the cracks and broken parts of me. Will the gold be love? Self or given by someone else, or with God. Will the gold be passion in my career? Will I find it by traveling and stumbling across some treasure chest of unknown discovery of myself?

Wherever the repairs come from, I know that they will come, and even though hope sucks, and life is pain, I still have hope and life is still worth living and enjoying. Friend that don't judge us, memories created with loved ones, finding time to do what truly makes us happy...these are the moments that create a life well lived and worth living.