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Being Human: A Life Without _____ Is A Life Not Lived
It’s hard to believe it’s getting close to a year and a half since I parted ways with my job.
It’s been quite a roller coaster. I’ve had a lot of changes to get used to, a lot of decisions to make; and most of all, I’ve had to get reacquainted with parts of me I’d forgotten, locked up or ignored.
There have been a lot of feelings going on in my head and it’s not always easy.
It’s called being human.
I’m about as human as they come. I could never be accused of being a robot. I tend to wear my passion for whatever I’m doing, on my sleeve; and as a result, I may come off a little intense and dramatic.
Out in the real world it is expected that you behave with a certain amount of coldness. Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as: professionalism and decorum. This requires you to bottle things up and not be completely honest. That lack of honesty, my friends, is one of the biggest failures in our society’s increasing isolation. Real communication is becoming obsolete.
Time and time again, I have watched people sit completely stone-faced and not express themselves– when I know they have definite opinions or feelings on the matter. It’s really hard to watch. How do you interact with that? I know, I’ve tried it– how should I say it… in the name of civility… and I usually fail miserably.
One of the biggest realizations I’ve had to face is that the feelings and responses to the things around us aren’t always going to be considered appropriate. We have to be okay with that. I think of all the people that medicate just to avoid feeling and I never want to be in that place.
We can try to ignore and avoid our feelings… even feel guilty about them but then how much are we really living? How much are we really experiencing life? It’s not always necessary to express all our feelings to other people but we at least need to acknowledge them ourselves. Appropriate or not, our feelings are real— if only to us. The people with whom we engage have those feelings too. Everyone deals with things differently… the important thing is that they are dealt with and not ignored.
It’s far too easy to become numb and go through the motions of living.
It can happen for a number of reasons:
- We’re too busy, obsessed or focused on one thing; ignoring, or refusing to deal with everything else,
- Afraid to become emotionally involved; of being used or hurt,
- Lack of self confidence and feelings of inadequacy; fear of being judged,
- Expectations of professional demeanor, void of expression; always holding your cards close,
- Purely for self preservation; protecting your self, job, relationships or image,
When we allow ourselves to fall into any of these patterns, we start living a life without. We alienate ourselves and our selves. We may find the temporary protection we need to get through any given situation but if this becomes the way we deal with every day life, something is missing. We can become lost.
Being human is thinking, feeling and expressing through our experiences.
Life is joy, celebration and happiness— anger, heartbreak and tears. It’s connecting and sharing those feelings with others that make us human.
It’s important to feel things.
It’s important to express things.
It’s most important that we not lose who we are in the daily routine of survival.
Take away these human traits and what do you have left?
A big blank. A life without.
The Power of Dreams
I debated about whether to write about this but here it goes…
I woke up this morning from one of my dreaded dreams… in it I was outside with my Boxers, Cash and Roxie. We were by
the side porch and Cash had a stroke and rolled over on his side with Roxie standing looking on. This is not an unusual dream for me. I dream about them a lot. The most frequent dream is that they are outside and the gate is standing open. Nothing ever happens in these dreams… just my unconscious voicing my inner fears. Cash and Roxie are 8 years old which is getting up there in years, for larger breeds. They are such an important part of my life I worry about them constantly.
So I lay there this morning, Cash snoring and snuggling my side and I just hugged him… petted him and scratched behind his ears, giving him a kiss before I got up.
I used to be really interested in dream interpretation until I realized most of it is a bunch of malarkey. Aside from a few reoccurring nonsensical dreams, most of the ones I remember deal with unresolved issues I’ve struggled with; or often people that were mentioned in conversation the previous day. Sometimes I’ll dream about someone or something from my forgotten past and I’ll spend hours trying to figure out what prompted it.
I’ve found some of my dreams are rather disturbing and others make me happy or peaceful. I’ve actually caught myself waking up, laughing out loud in/at my dreams.
So, two questions:
1) Do you dream in color or black and white? Supposedly, most people dream in black and white but I dream in color. When you ask that question, most people have to really stop and think about it. I found most of the artistic people I’ve asked, dream in color.
2) Have you ever died in your dreams, or has anyone else (or thing) died in your dreams? I never have. I’ve had falling dreams, dreams where I’ve faked my death or I’m at my own funeral listening to what people say about me… I’ve dreamed about people about to die or after they died… but never actual death. I’m not sure whether it’s an urban legend or what– but supposedly if we were to actually die in our dreams, we’d really die.
I’ve had some really crazy dreams over the years. Many dealing with the theatre and crazy impossible situations with combinations of people who have never met. But two reoccurring dreams stand out.
In the first, I’m either graduating from college, or finding out I never graduated from college (24 years ago) because of my Spanish grade. To this day, I believe my last semester Spanish teacher gave me a passing grade so I could graduate. (But I swear that woman had it out for me.) I think I’ve continued to have that dream because Spanish is something I’ve never conquered. I’ve considered buying one of those language programs to teach myself. Here I’ve been to Mexico twice and run in to Spanish-speaking people on a daily basis… I should really be able to speak it. Maybe if I did, that dream would go away.
The other most vivid reoccurring dream involves my maternal Grandma. In the dreams, we are having some sort of present day family gathering and she’s just there. Everyone is acting like everything is perfectly normal except Grandma is there. I had this dream over and over for many years. At one point, it would really upset me. I would ask my Mom (in my dream), “How is Grandma here and nobody thinks its strange?” I usually woke up before I got an answer.
After a few dreams and attempts to analyze it, I stopped asking the question and just enjoyed the dream, everyone together– one big happy family. It was never an upsetting dream but it did become a very peaceful dream. One that I noticed I often had when I was under a lot of real-life stress.
My Grandma passed away, unexpectedly, during my senior year of college in 1988. She was in the hospital for routine surgery, I was home for spring break– and I didn’t go to see her. I talked to her briefly on the phone, but I was too selfish with my time and didn’t go. No sooner had I gotten back to school when I got the call.
I carried that guilt of not going to see her– with me for a lot of years.
I always felt she was my guardian angel, watching over me during some really tough times in my 20’s. The dream always seemed to reinforce that she was with me.
When I was finally at a point that I was able to forgive my selfishness and stop beating myself up for not going to see her.. the dreams stopped.
I miss her… and I really miss that dream.
Today’s Pic of the Day: Thank goodness they marked it FRAGILE! With all the hubbub over the Post Office raising rates and cutting back services… I found the condition of this box from Kohl’s pretty amusing. Thankfully, there was nothing breakable inside!