Archive for insanity

Constant Change

Posted in Life, Past, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by Shea Atkin

If I look at the span of my 31 years, the only true constant has been change.  This is completely contradictory to my natural state.  I try to find normal, only to discover that most of the time it is synonymous with complacency.  There is a fine line between stagnant and serene. 

Through these past couple of months, life has been extremely unpredictable.  If growth comes ftom pain, I must be a giant.  What I have learned about pain most recently is that it exposes areas that I can improve in.  Not necessarily by overactivity, but by allowing the process to occur without interruption.  Just letting what is, to be.  While feeling that my world is falling apart, I have a peace that transcends my day to day “crazy”.  

My default behavior is to make myself really busy so I don’t have to think about what is really happening.  In turn, I become irritable.  To stop this cycle, I choose to stop what I am doing and just sit in silence while letting my thoughts go by without judgement.  Silence can be very uncomfortable.  It means I’m alone with myself.  Scary. But, the more I practice this, the less I fear. Confronting the fear, diminishes it.

Not knowing what the future holds scares the hell out of me.  I know I just have to trust that if I do what is in front of me (not referring to the past or trying to affect the future), everything will happen naturally, organically, as it should. Allowing life to happen on life’s terms.  Sounds great in theory.  Practice is a different story entirely.  I’m doing it though.  Every day. And every day I become more grateful to be allowed to live in the moment.

I’ll continue this journey into the unknown, sometimes kicking and screaming, and sometimes serene.  The longer I live, more is revealed.  And I feel more like myself with each passing day.

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No Words

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by Shea Atkin

 

Recently, I have found myself here quite often. 

 It’s that point to where I am at the end of myself .  You know, that place where you are sick of talking about doing and actually start ‘doing’. Whatever that means in your life.

The less I say, the more I listen.  Paradoxically, the more I listen, the more I will eventually have to say when the timing is right.  I have done a lot of observing lately.  I am starting to recognize the traits in others that annoy me are usually the exact issues that I struggle with. As soon as I take a step back (from myself), I can usually see where my thinking was distorted.

At this place of no words, I can finally admit to myself that I don’t have all the answers.  There was an illusion of comfort when I asserted control (perceived or real), but ultimately brought nothing but burnout and despair.  I want to not want all of the answers.  It’s exhausting.

This realization makes me very thankful for simple things.  The things I was too busy to pay attention to before.  But this doesn’t mean that everything is feeling good.  Actually, quite the reverse.  I feel more vulnerable and sensitive than ever.  It’s in doing the things that make me extremely uncomfortable that I stumble upon the faith to grow.  It’s being open to the opportunity that I find the lesson.  It’s tough and messy and feels totally wrong, but I have a tiny grain of peace that gets me to the next thing.

In times like these, when I feel no desire to write, it’s probably because life is just a little too real. I’m glad that I decided to push past my feelings of being uncomforable to do what I truly love.  I’m myself when I put pen to paper.  It’s just bringing me back to the present, one day at a time.

Rhetorical Domination

Posted in Life, Poetry, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Slipping through the cracks of myself

Hiding behind words that I have conjugated to fit into the persona I have created

Fooling myself and everyone around me–but the joke is on me

Seeking solace in the unknown

A vast canopy surrounds my shattered soul

Depending on restoration–while the process is unbearable

A selfless cry sheepishly lunges out for comfort

Finding myself in the place I thought I could never arrive through all of my attempts

Spontaneous glimpse of healing from the unlikeliest of sources

Slamming the door on what has kept me isolated–

As that door slowly opens back up–a flood of compassion enters into this grieving spirit

Revitalizing what was once something special

It’s not even a restoration at this point–it’s a brand new life

Ready to live instead of preparing for death

Happy to be a part of what I once thought was being stuck in the middle

Reaching out for a hand to hold

All that is required is a willingness to know that I will never have all the answers

Will lay my head on the pillow tonight knowing that control will never bring me peace.

Rat In A Cage

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Today I can really relate to the Smashing Pumpkins lyric : “Despite all my rage , I am still just a rat in a cage.”.  I don’t necessarily have rage, but I do feel like sometimes I am just running and running without and end.  Cognitively, I know the steps to take for serenity to occur, but my fight or flight response gets so high that I default to the adrenaline rush fix.

A few minutes ago, I walked into the backyard with my bare feet to sit in the hammock for a few minutes and listen to the sounds of nature while being aware of my surroundings.  Automatically, I felt the desire to write about it, so I cut my meditation/prayer time short so I could come into Crystal’s room and type out what I was feeling.  I wish my computer was not stolen when we were robbed.  My blog time has severely been cut short.  Plus, it’s not often that I am the only one at my residence.

I love my job, my family and friends, my passion and drive.  However, I tend to prioritize inefficiently.  Sitting here in the silence, I am reminded that if I am not working on myself being whole–I will never be whole for anybody else.  So when I wake up in the morning, I have to do the things (especially the little things), to set the stage for the rest of my waking time.  These things are what keep me sane and restore my awareness of God and Creation.  Otherwise, I’m just running in circles like I used to.

I’m thankful for my natural gifts and I want to use them to the best of my ability.  I don’t want to just be a rat in a cage–especially the overwhelming anxiety that accompanies that feeling.  Today I will rest my mind and my body, and not worry about all of the things that need to get done.  I’ll shut off my phone for a designated time and concentrate on the things that are most important.  Most of the stuff I strive so hard for, I can’t take with me when I die anyway.  So why?

Today I will be aware and present.  Kind and compassionate.  Loving and thoughtful.  All things that do not come naturally to me, but are extremely rewarding and satisfying.  I’m headed back to my hammock now.

Prejudice

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by Shea Atkin

 

It’s not just about color.  What if we decided to just banish preconceived notions altogether?

 

PREJUDICE–

1.  An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought or reason.

2. Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.

3. Unreasonable feelings, opinions or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious or national group.

4.  Damage or injury; detriment

http://www.dictionary.com

As I read these definitions, I think about how many times I have been guilty of it.  This hits home on a variety of levels.  I think of all the times I have prejudged an instance before it even took place–most of the time resulting in a one-sided approach on my part (because I have already decided the outcome).  Whether good or bad, this means that I was not currently living in the present.  It means that I already had judgement.

How different it would be if I arrived with an open mind.

Learning to see past my pre-judgements, if truly embraced, changes the course of my life.

Instead of assuming, I would listen for commonalities.

I would be able to love with no strings attached.

I would wake up each day without fear of what lies ahead.

We would all be able to share in the fact that we are, in fact, all in the human race–TOGETHER.

My adversaries would become my partners.

There would be no war.

 

Utopia?  Perhaps.  But I don’t think it’s too far fetched if we just allowed understanding and decency into our worlds.

I’m not naive to our current condition.  However, this concept is needed more now than ever.  If we continue to live in ‘life bubbles’, the world around us crumbles and we remain isolated and destruction takes place without knowledge.  It takes hard work and pushing our own buttons (and ego) to purge the inactivity.  Most of the time, we aren’t even aware that we possess a certain prejudice.  It surfaces when least expected and then is pushed back down because of shame or unwillingness to address it.

I choose to start each day with the willingness to admit if I’m wrong.  This doesn’t mean I become a doormat, it means that the weight of the world on my shoulders, lifts.  If I am upset about something (or someone), I pull out a notebook and start writing what area of my life this affects.  From there I can trace it back to the root.  I write out a gratitude list when I’m not feeling particularly grateful for anything.  These steps get me out of myself and into service for others, and in turn, shifts my perspective.

Adhering to the way I always did things is just pure insanity.  If I want change, guess what?  I have to initiate it.  No one can do it for me.  I have to accept the responsibility, follow through, and persevere.  Thank God I’m not in it alone.  There is no way I could do it by myself.  It takes a village and thankfully I’ve got some pretty amazing neighbors in mine.

I pray peace, understanding and willingness to the reader.  I’m in the same boat.  We all are.  Let’s make it a better and richer existence by listening, accepting and loving.

 

 

 

 

Completely Different But Exactly The Same

Posted in Present with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by Shea Atkin

Sometimes I experience the same feeling but on opposite ends of the spectrum.  It kind of goes along with the continuum theory that I believe in.  Most of the time I notice it when trying to work on a “core issue”.  Feelings arise and I have to trace back to the origination.  I find that a lot of the time, my maturity was stunted at an early age.  Not intellectually, but emotionally.  Going back and righting some of the “wrongs” that I did feels very juvenile–because it is.  It’s stuff that could have been addressed 15 years back, but never was.  Until now.

Usually I have no trouble writing what is on my mind (or heart), but this is tricky.  It hits a certain area that has been lying dormant for quite sometime.  Not addressing it has caused not only a dichotomy, but an internal war within.  Ever reminding me that nothing is ever solved by avoidance.  It only prolongs the inevitable–dealing.  It feels jumbled and messy, but I know that I have to walk through it to gain anything positive.

I used to act as if nothing was wrong….Like, if I didn’t talk about it–it wasn’t real.  Now I realize that if I talk to God or a trustworthy friend, I can be totally honest about where I am presently at.  This usually entails talking about the huge metaphorical elephant in the room.  At first, this felt completely foreign and out of character.  But the more I practice this “bearing of the soul”, the more freedom I feel and the more authentic I am.  Things that I was not able to access a few months ago are coming to the surface.  On the continuum theory, this is progress.  I’m either moving forward or moving back.  Being stagnant is not an option.

When you break it down, we all have the same core issues.  They might manifest completely different–but they are exactly the same.  Basically we are all searching for the same thing.  People that I thought I could never relate to, are actually extremely similar souls.  Yesterday I heard someone say: “We all seem to suffer from terminal uniqueness.” So true!  If I continue to see myself completely different from the rest of the Universe, I will never work on the areas that we all have in common and help each other with.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone is created unique and different with a distinct purpose.  What I am referring to is the notion that “nobody can relate to me…..oh poor me–I’m all alone in the big bad world that has wronged me” type of stuff.

Soapbox done.  It’s much more scattered than normal, but unedited for a reason.  It needs to get out this way sometimes.  Rigorous Honesty.  Moving Forward. Becoming Whole.

Jealousy

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by Shea Atkin

” A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~Robert A. Heinlein

“In jealousy there is more self-love than love.”  ~François, Duc de La RochefoucauldMaxims, 1665

“Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.”  ~Josh Billings

“Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there is no single advantage to be gained from it.”  ~Honore de Balzac

Definition of Jealousy:

1. Jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself..
2. Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry,unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.
3. Vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. ——- Dictionary.com
I’m guilty of it.  How bout you?
I find that when I feel that green dragon beast well up inside me, it has less to do with the person it is aimed at and more about the lack of security within myself.  It’s in the moments where I feel like I am cosmically owed something.  As if the Universe or God or whatever has slighted me…  Has forgotten about me….What else I could have done to make myself worthy of what I am envious of.  These are not the right thoughts to go to, but I am also human and probably a pretty naturally easy emotion to default to if I’m not spiritually in check.
Most of the time I don’t realize it until it has already had an affect.  By nature, I’m not necessarily what would be described as a “jealous person”, but I still have my moments.  Like, if someone possesses something that I wish I had by now.  Or if there is a certain quality that I admire in an individual.  Respect slowly turns to jealousy and the admiration sours to bitterness in a split second.  I’m learning to catch it quickly now so I can label the resentment and move on, but earlier–it would fester and I would feel a certain entitlement to be bitter about what I did not have.  Not cool.  Not cool at all!
The people that I look up to and admire have had their long, hard road and are benefitting from their past pain and living in the moment .  THAT is admirable.  They have had their share of heartache and don’t sit around, wallowing in self loathing and bitterness.  They picked themselves up and kept on walking.  They didn’t stay stagnant.  They persevered.  They didn’t take “no” for an answer.  They didn’t continue to live in the past.  And they definitely would not want anyone to be jealous of them!  Now, there are such unfortunate cases that have acquired a substantial amount of material possessions through wealth (and flaunt it shamelessly), but that is not the point of what I am writing about.   I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs 16:5  which states: “God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.”
So, I guess what I am getting at is the root of jealousy is insecurity.  The only person that can choose to deal with the insecurity is me.  I must be the one to want to change.  It’s not everyone else that needs to change.  It’s me.  If I think that everyone else is the problem–chances are, I am the one with the problem!  I’ve seen it quite a bit in others recently and observed the detriment that comes along with the baggage.  It’s a terrible emotion to possess, but with any sort of pain, this can be good.  Pain exists to show that there is a problem.  If there were no inflammation (pain), I wouldn’t know that there was an issue.  So for the pain, I am thankful.  It shows me how to move forward and be happy for those around me who have already gone through this season of life.  I learn from them on a daily basis, and instead of being jealous of what they have–I am honored to be able to learn from their past mistakes and their present good fortune.