Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2014

Think

Think

And in the physical world too! Why that subject all of a sudden? Well, I read something by Ravynne Phelan on her Facebook page that I found very interesting and oh so true. All this about being “invisible”, that words will not do any harm and such things when we are out on internet. Me thinking of what will things look like when my daughter becomes older and start finding new friends and people with similar interests on the internet. What will it look like then? I know about bullying, I’ve been in the “receiving” end of it, not in cyber since that wasn’t something for everyone at that time, it had just started with schools that maybe had a computer or two and nothing as advanced as todays technology. No, it was the old fashioned way of taunting words, names, pushing and stuff like that, but it is no difference how or where it happens, it is hurtful and it takes years to get over it, if ever. I do think that even if I have put those things mainly behind me, I still am cautious around people I don’t know very well and sensitive to what is said and done around me. And as I notice more and more, becoming the Mama Bear when my kid might be hurt in some way. Just because I know how devastating it can be to grow up, not feeling confident, secure of yourself. Do those who bully others really understand what they do to the ones they target? Will they ever understand? I don’t know.

This is what Ravynne wrote and that I asked her permission to publish here:

With today’s sad loss of Charlotte Dawson – a victim of cyber-bullying – I find myself once more determined not to embrace this ugly behaviour, but also not to tolerate it in my space or presence. So what is cyber-bullying? And why do I say that I will not embrace this ugly behaviour? Cyber-bullying is the act of ridiculing, making humiliating, embarrassing, and spiteful remarks and comments about someone and/or their beliefs or feelings, spreading rumours about others, or discussing others in a judgmental or condemning fashion in a manner that is meant to bring the subject of the discussion hurt or upset. It is a pattern of behaviour that sadly so many embrace with a complete lack of awareness, and without the awareness that their words and actions can and do cause hurt.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me!”

How many times were we told to say this in response to teasing and name-calling as children. The truth is though, the names did hurt. Unfortunately, as an adult, I am only too aware of the fact that words have power. They can and do inflict deep emotional and psychological wounds. Words have the power to kill, so it is of crucial importance that people become more aware and responsible for their own actions.

Too many take advantage of the fact that they can be anonymous in cyberspace. They can be whomever they choose to be, and behave however they choose to behave, and do so without consequence. But there is always a consequence. Always. For good or ill, all actions will inspire a reaction.

Cyber-bullying also does not have to be aggressive and overt. It can be passive and covert. It is behaviour that is too often disguised behind a good ol’ joke and a laugh – when one person laughs at or ridicules the behaviour, beliefs, or feelings of another, and supports and inspires others to comment in the same manner. It is the act of questioning another’s way of life, or beliefs, or feelings in a manner that is not ‘educational’ but more so the person asking can offer contrast and promote their beliefs as being better. It is the act of making -anyone- feel less confident or happy within themselves by tearing them down.

Sadly, it is something done all too often in spiritual communities, because too many carry a very arrogant belief that we, as individuals, are responsible for our own feelings and reactions to what others do and say. We have a choice in all that we experience. Yes, I do believe this truth, but there is so much more to it than that. Life is not built around a single truth, but a weaving of many strands and layers, and that one strand of truth does not run through every person’s tapestry.

I have reached a point in my life where I understand and accept that I have a choice in how I react to my experiences, but that is me. There are many people out there with minds that cannot yet conceive this big universal truth, and they are not lesser beings just because they do not. It is not my place to make them feel less because they do not yet understand the power of their minds. It is my role to coax them forward, to feel confident to seek and explore, and open their minds without fear of their being slapped or laughed at because they do not believe in the same way as I do.

A sadder truth is that the belief that we must be responsible for our own feelings and reactions if often espoused by those who do not wish to be held responsible or accountable for their own actions.

Please stop and think the next time you join in on the laughter and teasing. Stop and ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed and you were the person reading remarks you knew to be targeting you. Stop and ask yourself if what you are writing or saying may inspire fear or upset in another. How many times have you wanted to ask a question but have been afraid to because you have seen others with ‘different’ beliefs be laughed at? The next time you take part in a ‘conversation’ on Facebook that involves questioning another individual or group’s beliefs or actions, stop and ask yourself how you would feel if your own choices and lifestyle were questioned and scrutinised.

Ask yourself if you are being supportive in championing another’s beliefs at the cost of tearing another down. Is that what you really want to do? Is that how you want to be seen by others?

Not a single one of us is perfect. Not a single one of us leads a life that is above reproach.

And despite what we would like to tell the whole world, it does matter how others see and perceive us. We are all connected after all.

“People in glass houses should not throw stones.”

It is time for people to move through life remembering that we all live in glass houses, and here in cyberspace words are like stones. You throw them, and you will not only break the glass houses, but you risk breaking the person within.

And if you think that the person you have chosen to target should be responsible for their reactions, then think again. They are not. They are victims of -your- actions. They are only responsible for their own actions; they are not responsible for yours.

I grew up in a household were I was bullied and as a result I became one. I grew up in an environment where passive and covert bullying was a way of life. It was how one showed their displeasure without hitting. But as I grow older and wiser, and begin to unlearn many of the lessons I was taught in the family home, I come to see just how much insidious harm this behaviour does. Words have scarred me. I have carried hurtful names close to my heart for decades. I know how deeply they can scar, and how they can alter and lower one’s self-esteem. I know how they can inspire fear, and prevent one from speaking … and from loving unconditionally.

For many years, I believed that if someone hurt me, as long as I did not attack them personally, it was okay to belittle them in other ways – their actions, their goals, dreams, beliefs, anything that they did that I did not agree with. Now, I see this for what it is – a passive-aggressive form of bullying. Sadly, when I came to Facebook, I came to see that I was not the only one who behaves in this manner and who believes (no longer) that it is acceptable. What makes me weep is the fact that so many are often – at the heart of it – good people who just do not realise that their words and actions reach out to touch and influence others.

They become those who teach others that the more passive aggressive forms of bullying are acceptable. They say that as long as the ‘discussions’ are not personal in nature then nobody has the right to be offended or feel hurt.

But again, I ask you … if the shoe were on the other foot, and it was your life, your beliefs, and your feelings being held up for “discussion” how would you feel?

I choose now to live aware of the fact that I am connected to everyone, and that my words have influence for good or for ill. While I do still slip up on occasion, I now try to moderate my thoughts and words a little more. Some may have noticed that I have not posted inappropriate content for a while. In part, this is because I now choose to think of others and not just myself. I choose to be aware that whilst this is my patch of cyberspace, it is also a very much a glass house and many people can see in. Now, I might still have days when irritation or impatience gets the better of me, and I will always be a little naughty and improper at times, but now I also remember that we are all connected, and that what I do influences and impacts upon others.

It’s also not a question of changing who I am, but simply of being mindful and understanding how powerful we are as individuals and as a collective. I choose now to be aware that -everything- that I do here in cyberspace touches somebody. I dream of a gentler, kinder world, and so I choose to make my ‘touch’ a little lighter, kinder, and gentler than it used to be.

No, I am not afraid of what others think of me, but I do care. I don’t want people to misinterpret, to misunderstand, or to think poorly of me. Nor do I want to inspire people to speak ill of me. Yes, I accept that I cannot please everyone all of the time, and that some people are just not going to click with me, but let it be due to the fact that we believe differently and nothing more.

I am happy within myself, yes, but I am happy within myself because I create a happy environment around me. I am connected to each and every one of you by a complex web of energy and I want the strands that bind us to be loving, supportive ones, and this space to be one where people are not afraid to share themselves. I can only create this by being the change I wish to see.

Simple.

Ravynne Phelan on February 22, 2014

For those of you that scratch your heads now and don’t recognize her name here you can find her and her art on Dreams of Gaia, or Pinterest and search for Ravynne Phelan – Dreams of Gaia on Facebook. Fantastic art. I have her Messenger Oracle and am very happy to use it, it speaks to me and the words in the booklet usually fits like a glove. Thanks to a dear friend in Australia I will have her coming tarot deck too when it is published.

Read Full Post »

Or in some order anyway. The cold is slowly going away, except that cough that seems to linger for a long time, my back is finding its way to normal again too.

Imbolc has come and gone and I didn’t do anything particular those days, simply because the cold still held me in a firm grip. But I lit candles, thinking, feeling and having my mind on a picture I saw where you can see a woman down in the ground slowly stretching her hands up above, where the snow is still covering the ground. The Goddess is stretching and waking up a little more every day and so are we and all nature. Having a feeling that the trees prepares to wake up soon as the days grow longer and a little warmer. Even if I seldom do rituals or celebrate very visibly its still inside me, in my mind and in my heart, how the year changes and the moon come and go. The rhythm in my spirit.

So the rest then, all those things starting with the letter T? Where to begin? It is sort of related even if I didn’t think of it like that to begin with, but it is a lot about healing, nature, balance and other things linking together in one way or another.

Tarot, I’m part of a test group that is trying a course based on the Thoth deck, well you don’t have to  have that one, but it’s easier if you do. This first part we’ve been working with four cards, The Empress, The Emperor, The Lovers and Art (Temperance) and when you start looking at them it’s like having opposites and wholeness, completion, healing, balance and harmony. Maybe that is what I need more of in my life too, and not only me.

Thoughts then, just to keep on with my list of T. It started yesterday really when I was trying to finish a tricky game on the computer and daughter beside me trying to help me out and finding solutions when she all of a sudden starts this conversation:

“Mum, sometimes I feel like I’m such a failure…”
“Why is that?”
“I don’t know, sometimes I just feel that way.”
Me, while putting an arm around her: “You are never a failure, ever! You are the best that has happened to me!”
Feeling that she is relaxed and content I continue:
“At every given time you can only do your best at that particular moment and place. Next week or month you might be able to do better, or even the next day or perhaps in 10 years, or maybe never. But just there and then you can’t do anything else but your best, no one can.”
Apparently content with my answer I had a hug and “I love you, mum”.

I don’t know where that thought came from, if it’s something they’ve been talking about among friends, at school or just picked up from somewhere else or if it’s just that things have been very demanding on her lately. I hope she feels she can come and talk to me another time if she needs to.

Trees then. Well, its sort of related to the tarot and the cards from the course. Singular, duality, wholeness, healing, balance. In the photos I’ve taken there are trees standing alone, those who are almost as Siamese twins, those whose top once broke off and it healed and ended up in two tops instead of one and still no problems to go on living, just a different way of looking than the rest. Twisted, straight, curved, alone, in pairs or groups. And the art of nature where snow or drops of water have fallen in snow and created a pattern all of its own without any human interaction. Many thoughts and feelings moving around.

Hugging trees?

Hugging trees?

 

Sharing the root

Sharing the root

 

 

Just natures way

Just natures way

 

 

Birches

Birches

 

 

Growing together

Growing together

 

 

Split stem

Split stem

 

 

Another one

Another one

 

 

A third

A third

 

 

Three pairs in a row on each side.

Three pairs in a row on each side.

 

 

In every direction

In every direction

 

 

Snow on rocks

Snow on rocks

 

Read Full Post »