God, are you laughing at me?

we have all heard the statement “God works in mysterious ways.”  he also has a sense of humor.  sometimes i feel like i am just a little plastic moving vehicle on his game board of life.  i guess i am, kind of.  sometimes his moves i like.  other times, i resent the path he sends me on.

but that doesn’t mean i am not grateful for every move he makes on my behalf.   if i am left to control my own game of life, i’d be screwed.  so go ahead God, make your move.  i may follow kicking and screaming, but i will follow.

and then there were three.  three girlfriends.  brought together for reasons out of their control.  clearly God’s work.  no explanation given by him…im forced to follow.  a smoke-filled car.  loud music.  three girls.  laughing.  crying.  stillness.  anxiety.  peace.  uncertainty.  confusion. laughter. love. running, yet staying close.  faith.  oceanside.

WTF just happened?  

i do not need to know the mathematics of it all.  why we landed up together as we did and under the circumstances that we did.  it just is, and that is good enough for me today.  knowing that my higher power has a plan for me, helps me during the harder times in life.  the questionable times.  the faithless times.  the times where i would prefer to just say “F-it.”  God shows up for me, and when i show up for him, life syncs.  and it did, this past weekend.

i feel blessed this morning.  grateful for the life experiences i continue to have.  grateful for the feelings i am able to feel.  when i was drinking and using, i felt nothing pure.  nothing but anger and resentment.  purity and truth did not exist in me.  i was fueled by my own potential demise.  today i get to feel from the inside out.  some feelings are painful, some bring warmth. i welcome them all, for they are new experiences for me now, and they remind me that i am alive.

life is good.

and then there were three:

 

thank you my friends.  and thank you God.  

xoxo

random act of kindness #9

yesterday i was so busy with work and feeling stressed about a few things in my world.  at the same time i was thinking of my friends and missing them.  i wasn’t able to pick up the phone and chat with all of them at that moment.  i was in a time crunch.  but i could easily send a quick text message letting them know i was thinking about them.  i know that when i get a random text from someone in my life, it makes me smile.  makes me happy if i was otherwise bummed out.  a simple text says so much and many people don’t realize that.

in today’s world of technology, it is easy to get away from one on one conversation and hide from any real face to face or voice to voice  interaction with other humans.  for the introverted type like myself, that can be dangerous.  for anyone really, it can be dangerous.  texts, social media, emails…can all act as a shield from society.

but there is a flip side….

this same technology can act as a bridge for connecting people as well.  when life is busy or has its own plans for me…it prevents me from having the time to call everyone on my list or to check in with those i love.  that’s when the beauty of texting comes in to play.  i can say “hello”…”thinking of you”  in a matter of seconds.  and the receiver is sure to appreciate the act (generally) and will then know i am thinking of them and they are still on my radar, even though im not present or able to pick up the phone.  texting is a way to stay connected to those i love.  and i am grateful for that.

so random act of kindness #9 was texting a few friends that were on my mind…just to let them know i was thinking of them.  it’s that simple.  and it generally has  a big (positive) impact on the receiving end.

use our technological world in a positive way to stay connected.  it works.

IT’S SO SIMPLE AND THE KINDNESS IS APPRECIATED….

 

words leave marks!

wow.  i just ran across this story about a young girl who was bullied via facebook (and at school) for being “fat” and “unattractive.”  under a photo the girl posted on facebook of herself, a teen boy commented that she was so fat and disgusting that no one would want to rape her and that she should die and her body should be donated to science.   not sure if those were the exact words, but it went something like that.  watch the video for yourself.  it disgusts me. and saddens me.

this case made news originally because the young girls mom allegedly choked the teen boy after bullying his daughter. no, didn’t choke him to death, just seemingly grabbed his neck with force.   im not going to focus too much on that side of the story.  i will only say that i do not agree with her actions and think things should have been handled differently.

my focus here is going to be on the bullying of this young teen girl.  it breaks my heart.  makes my blood boil.  brings back memories i’d like to erase.  bullying was bad enough when i was a teen…today it is out of control. made worse through social networking, instant photos and videos, etc.  humiliation can be spread in seconds.

sadly, teasing is part of growing up.  almost every kid will experience it at some point.  however teasing turns into bullying when it is repetitive and done with intention to hurt.

as a child i was considered fat.  i was, as i recall, the biggest girl in elementary and junior high.  or at least that’s the way it felt.  i recall very few days that i was not bullied at school.  being called fat. fat ass.  ugly.  gross.  wide load signs put on my back.  cornered by teen boys who would steal my belongings, etc. the list goes on.  i cried all the time.  it was daily humiliation.   i was sad.  depressed.  scared.  and worst of all i hated myself.  eventually i began to believe all the horrible words these bullying kids threw in my direction for so many years of my childhood.

words leave marks!

       

so what effect can such bullying have on a child.  here are a few troubles that may transpire for the victim of bullying:

anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, poor social self-competence, depression, psychosomatic symptoms, social withdrawal, school refusal, school absenteeism, poor academic performance, physical health complaints, running away from home, alcohol and drug use, and suicide.

using myself as an example, by the time i was about to depart from junior high school, i was very depressed, my self-esteem was non-existent, i was horrible in social situations because i felt like no one would like me and i wasnt good enough, my self-confidence was shattered, i was often withdrawn, i faked sicknesses so i wouldn’t have to go to school, and i didn’t want to be alive.  when the time came for me to join high school, i lost a lot of weight, in all the wrong ways, because i couldn’t imagine 4 more years of hell.

as an adult…i am still uncomfortable in social situations, i am very introverted and quiet by nature, my self-esteem certainly resurfaced in adulthood, but has never reached its full potential, same goes for my self-confidence, my alcoholism and addictions were in full throttle as i entered early adulthood, i am rarely happy with my physical appearance and am constantly telling myself i am fat. i believe most of these characteristics developed as a bullied child and stuck with me into adulthood.  they are wired in my hard drive now.  i have a great life today and i do have confidence and self-esteem, and i do like the person i have become, but the ghosts of my childhood past still linger.  naturally.

so when i watched this video of this beautiful young teen, crying as she repeated the words of her bully, my heart broke.  i know what it feels like, and i don’t wish those feelings on even the worst of enemies.  emotional abuse is just as sad and just as dangerous as physical abuse.

how can we stop bullying?  how?

although being bullied as a little girl continues to affect me in some negative ways, i am lucky in that i didn’t grow into a mean, angry, bitter adult by way of my childhood emotional abuse.  i grew into a very emotionally sensitive, kind, thoughtful, and gentle woman. (most of the time-cause im not perfect) and  one who knows the dangers of abuse by words, and who can’t even imagine being so mean to another human being.  in fact, if i witness someone else saying hurtful things to another person, child or an adult, i feel it penetrate in me. and it makes me extremely uncomfortable.  not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  but it just is.

seriously…what can schools/parents do to prevent bullying to such extremes?

i hope this little girl who recently felt such emotional pain from bullying…can keep hold of her self-esteem and confidence and is shown, by way of love, how beautiful she is and how much she shines in this sometimes very cruel world.

please watch the video from the Dr. Drew show.

i am just posting the part regarding the bullying.  if you want to see the whole video, please visit HLN’s/Dr. Drew’s page.

i forgot how to use a pen!

not really, but do you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter from someone?  or the last time you sent a hand written note to someone?  do you recall the days when getting the mail was exciting…..the possibility of a letter from a friend or family member?  or lover?  the anticipation?  or the surprise?  those days a re long gone.

random acts of kindness pledge-day 4:  writing a hand written letter to my best friend, sarah.

we have been friends since age 14.  we’ve laughed, screamed, cried, fought with such loud vocalizations, God was telling us to shut up.  thankfully we never really physically fought,  although we did once get into a physical brawl over a beer in high school.  go figure.  that was quite a funny scene as i recall.  teenagers!  we were trouble back in the day.

so… i was thinking of dear sarah, and decided to sit down and hand write a letter to her.  i wanted to be personal, and a text or email just didn’t feel personal.  we use to exchange “notes” in high school daily.  personal little letters.  with silly sketches and drawings.  it was so fun.  and the handwritten quality of the notes made them personal.  writing with a pen takes effort and more time then a text or email.  you have some thoughts.  you put them down, pen to paper.  stuff it in an envelope.  throw a stamp on and hand it to the postman.  the receiver gets your thoughts a few days later.  not instantly via text or email.   there is an excitement nowadays, i would imagine, when a letter is found in ones mailbox.  it is a nearly extinct practice today.

with all the advancement in technology, the human race has become much less personable.  less social.  less friendly.  and much less authentic.  there is no need to be as real anymore.  at least not socially. true face-time is limited for many these days. and im not talking about the video chat application.  im referring to real face to face time spent together talking.   luckily most people still need to show up for work and school, so there is some human interaction there.  but it is far less than it was 15 or 20  years ago.  everyone is hiding behind their online profiles.  there is no need to be real and truly personal today, cause we are able to hide behind the facade of a social presence…called facebook. pinterest.  twitter.  foursquare. and the like.  as well as text messages and emails.  it’s the perfect hideout, especially for introverts like myself.  i do it.  im guilty.

however, i don’t think its the healthiest way to “socialize.” or  to show kindness or sentiment.  some things should be left offline.  which brings me back to the hand written letter to sarah.  i could have easily sent her a text message saying “hey, thinking of you and missing you.”

blah.  in using that route all the time, the meaning gets lost after a while.

but a hand written letter, unexpected.  that my friends, will put a big smile on sarah’s face…i suspect.

and so my  4th random act of kindness has been completed.  and in writing that letter, i got a rush of great memories of our fun times together back in the day…before marriage, kids, careers, and life stepped in.  it felt good putting pen to paper.

 

i hope she doesn’t see this blog post before her letter arrives.