Acceptance can be looked at in many different ways. The simplest way maybe is the acceptance of compliments and small gifts which were unexpected. I always find it hard to accept compliments but that is just me!
Some things are difficult to accept. Such things might be a debilitating illness, a disability or even death of someone close. I know from personal experience how hard these things are to accept. But you have to accept so you can move forwards.
But there is also the acceptance of being part of a group. Acceptance in this case means being accepted by others. This can include work situations as well and sometimes that can be hard too. One of the problems with being accepted by and into a group can be just the fact that you are new to the group and those already in the group have formed close friendships. In these cases it can take a long time to feel that you are accepted by the others.
Another important part of acceptance is accepting others for who they are and not expecting to change them into something else. I am one of those people who try to stay true to myself and if someone doesn’t like what I do or say or how I dress, then I tell them it is their problem not mine. Acceptance of others is important in the world of today. You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. You can however encourage others to change in good ways so they become better people but they have to do that themselves.
There is a lot more to acceptance than what I have written here. I would love to know how you feel about it.
I don’t know what happened but all my writing just disappeared so I shall start again.
If you use social media then you may have hundreds or even thousands of friends but are these really friends? At one time you could organise your social media friends into groups so I had a craft group, a healing group and a group of close friends. I’m not sure you can do this nowadays. But what is friendship?
I like this definition I found; ‘Friendship for most people is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. The general traits of a friendship include similar interests, mutual respect and an attachment to each other, and in order to experience friendship, you need to have true friends.’ This definition represents how I feel about friendship.
For me it is important to be able to have deep discussion with my friends, to share with them my thoughts and feelings, to cry with them and laugh with them. I want to help them to achieve their goals and of course this all works vice versa.
So what about the other ‘friends’? Some of these might be people I see regularly but do not have that deep connection with them, others are just acquaintances. A true friendship can last many years even if you don’t see each other very often. I have friends I meet occasionally sometimes after many years but our conversations carry on as if we had only seen each other the previous day.
So I am grateful for those true friends that I have, with whom I share my feelings and thoughts on a regular basis. They have supported me and still do, through times of stress and upheaval. I hope I do the same for them.
Last week I visited a friend staying for a few days. It was a busy but wonderful time. Other friends came to visit and we caught up with each others news as well as having deep discussions about everything spiritual and otherwise. London Midland rail staff were very helpful and I really appreciated this and told them so. The less said about East Midlands trains the better. I enjoyed visits to the local park where I was able to take some good photos, eat good meals and snacks in good cafes and the purchase of a lonely teddy bear in the charity shop who is now used for Reiki sessions.
I was rather tired when I returned home but happy and excited about plans I had made while away. My dark cold flat soon took the edge off the happiness and I found that the following day I was ill with vertigo. This often happens when I do too much. I keep going until my body makes sure I have to stop so stop I did. I am now recovering but not yet 100% but then again it is hard for me to ever be 100%. I do try to listen to my body and try to slow down when I feel the need to do so but sometimes it is much easier to keep going until I do have to stop. The excitement of writing new books for example keeps me going at a rapid rate until forced to stop. Looking back over the last three months I can see that the move to this flat was stressful, then the bathroom work was also stressful and travelling is stressful for me as well.
Maybe in the future I should learn to slow down a bit but I feel I still have so much to do, new books to write and Reiki to teach as well as other ongoing projects. Pacing myself should be easy enough but I do tend to go with the flow especially where words are concerned and writing. Do these kind of things happen to you? Does your body let you know when it is time to rest or take a break? Or is it just me?
A different heron photo from a different park taken while I was away. He was extremely well camouflaged in the willow tree but I waited patiently and did catch him when he put his head out!
So often I hear words said about being happy. I hear people asking others what will make them happy. Will a new gadget make them happy, a new car perhaps or something else. I have also heard people say that they can’t be happy unless their partner is happy too. So what is happiness?
Happiness can be defined as contentedness, satisfaction, delight and joy or even just good spirits. For me there are deeper levels of happiness. You can have what I call the more superficial levels of happiness where you feel happy because of something you did or someone else did and you felt happy at that. Listening to music can make me feel happy too But there is a deeper level of happiness that resides in me, somewhere deep down in my soul. It is about being contented with who I am and what I do. It is accepting who I truly am and allowing me to be that too. I am happy as I am, I do not want to have more material things as they do not make me happy and so on.
My happiness has a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. I know who I am and what I have to do to keep this level of happiness and I am not likely to let others get in my way or try to change me. Are you happy? What makes you feel happy? Bear in mind that happiness comes from within, no-one else can make you happy. How do you define happiness?
Sometimes tiny things can enhance that happiness like the bunch of flowers given to me the other day quite unexpectedly. But those kind of gifts are not necessary for my happiness. Of course we all have days when we might feel sad or other emotions but if we have that deep seated happiness it will still be there after those days and the bad days are less bad because of this if that makes sense.
The photo here today made me feel much joy inside me and enhanced my happiness.
I often hear people of my age and older saying how hard life was for us when we were young and that today’s young people have it easy. So first of all let me tell you about my life when I was young. I was born during the Second World War so things were a little difficult to say the least. Food and clothes were rationed and we had a ration book we had to use to buy things. My parents had saved enough money to pay a deposit on a new semi detached house. But it was not as you would see one today. In the kitchen there was a Belfast sink and a small gas cooker. A heavy wooden draining board was attached to the sink. My mother washed everything in this sink and used a hand wringer to squeeze the water out of the clothes. There was a washing board for putting clothes on which needed scrubbing. (the washboard later became a musical instrument with Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle group) There was no refrigerator but a larder or pantry with a heavy marble slab in it and on the slab stood a mesh cupboard known as a meat safe. Milk was delivered in bottles which were washed when empty and put outside for the milk man to collect. In the dining cum living room (the front room was only used when we had visitors) there was a coal fired range with two ovens and a hob for boiling things in saucepans. The kettle was put on this hob to boil. We had a radio as well. There were two wooden armchairs and a stool for me. We played card games, dominoes and snakes and ladders of did jigsaws in the winter. My dad grew lots of vegetables. When we went to buy them we took a shopping bag and whatever we bought went straight into the bag. No packing stuff at all. Meat was wrapped in a heavy white paper and handed over to go in the bag. We did not have a car until my dad was in his forties.
So life was hard in many ways but we had lots of freedom to go out and play in the open spaces and in the woods coming home dirty but happy. Young people today do not have that freedom. They do have lots of electronic gadgets and washing for example is done in a much easier way. But is life better? I look at the young ones of today and the pressure put upon them to achieve at whatever cost. Everything is measured, education especially and certain standards have to be reached or else. Then there are the adverts on the TV and all around which keep saying that you need this and that to make your life better and easier and give you happiness. I don’t think they have it easy. They have to make far more choices than I had to and many do not cope with the pressure put on them. They all want the latest designer outfits not because they really want them but because their friends have them. At least we didn’t have that worry. My mother made most of my clothes and her own.
So how do you look back at your past? Was it good or better than what younger people have now? If you are young and reading this, how do you feel about what I have described? I know that when I was teaching, my class could not understand why we did not have a TV.
It is that time of year when I spend a lot of time reflecting on what I wish for others. So here goes; I wish you all a happy day whatever you are celebrating whether it is Christmas or some other festival.
I wish you peace and joy;
I wish you the joy of sharing with your friends and family;
I wish you the joy of giving and the joy of receiving;
I wish you the gift of compassion and understanding;
I wish you the joy of counting your blessings;
I wish you the joy of helping others who are less fortunate;
I wish you the gift of strength to follow your truth and your path;
I wish you the gift of strength to stand up for your beliefs;
I wish you the gift of positivity;
May you be strong in adversity, healthy in body, mind and spirit, caring and loving to others, follow your dreams and be happy.
Last week I wrote about Trentham and how much joy it gave me to walk around the estate. This week while out there a woman came by and said ‘What joy in nature there is here’. We smiled at each other in recognition of our similar thoughts and she moved on.
But then I started to think about other things that bring me joy. I am creative, I write, paint, make music and do various crafts. Creating things is a large part of my life. This week I have been creating music and photo slideshows. I learned how to do this earlier in the year but had forgotten some of the technicalities involved so another learning curve began. After some frustrating moments I did this and the following day a friend suggested I load the video to YouTube and so I learned how to do this as well. But just looking and listening to this video brings back the memories of that time in Trentham and so it brings me joy. The actual work involved also brings me joy. Here is a link to this;
But there are many other things that bring me joy like playing the piano and composing my own little pieces of music. So this is my ‘hobby’ at the moment and although I use the computer for this as well it is very satisfying to learn something new each day. The learning itself brings me joy.
My photo this week is from a series taken last year but when I look at this photo I see so much beauty that I feel joy too.
Have you ever thrown a stone into a pond or river and watched the ripples spread out? They go on for ages and ages. I find watching these is a wonderful way to think about how we live our lives. Over the last couple of weeks here in the UK large stones have been thrown into the pond and the ripples are still moving along reaching all parts of the world.
These ripples affect everything they come into contact with and we do not know what that effect will be. We need to have faith that all will be well, that whatever the effect of the ripples it will be for our own good. But this is hard to do. The future is uncertain and we need to have trust and faith. We need to come together, to forgive others for their harsh words and to move forward in peace. But those who have been badly hurt by the throwing of the stone are finding it hard to forgive. But forgiveness is important. If we don’t forgive and move on, then hate and anger fester inside us making us ill and also making us hurt others who we see as enemies.
Those of us who work at higher levels of consciousness often see what is not seen by others We know that the way forward is not via hate and anger but is by love, peace and understanding. We need to be united and work together to help others to understand this. Anger and revenge is not the way to go. Time out in nature can help us to reflect on the ripples that go out after the throwing of the stone and how they interact with other ripples thrown by other stones. Take time now to contemplate on your actions and your way forward.
(the only good photo I could find with lots of ripples is this one.)
I do a lot of walking; this is the rambling part of this blog. I am still walking with a crutch but I do get around and see some lovely parts of my area. There are lots of open spaces and places to walk where you see a lot of people dog walking. But the main problem is not the dogs or their owners.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning the open space nearby has far too much litter. Cans, bottles and takeaway wrappings. There are plenty of bins to put this stuff in so why aren’t they used? From talking to some of the younger people around me, late 20’s and early 30s in age, I find many of them have lost their way. They see no point in doing anything or complaining about the litter or other things because they say nothing gets done and no one listens. They are happy to drink to excess and eat what I would call rubbish food because they say, life is not what they would like it to be but they have no idea how to change it. They don’t want to vote in elections because they say it does not mean anything as nothing ever changes.
I am doing my best to discuss stuff with them to help them find their way but they are so disempowered and have no ambition to change. What would you do?
I have always felt that life is full of lessons to learn. When we are born we have to learn to walk and speak and then learn to do things for ourselves. Every decision we make brings us a new lesson. When we look back at some of the decisions we made we think that they were wrong. But at the time we made those decisions it was the right one as that gave us another lesson to learn.
I look back at many decisions I made in the past and can see how much I learned from them whether they seemed right or wrong at the time. These lessons can also be seen as challenges and at the moment I am wondering what the current lesson is for me. I have got to the stage in life where certain things are more important than others, good health for one. I have the other important things, important for me at least, a roof over my head, enough food and clothing and heat and light. What I don’t have is mobility and this is getting to be a very big challenge. I am going to have to rethink how I live my life as I cannot walk more than a couple of yards without excruciating pain and that is walking on crutches as well. Does this mean a wheelchair now and if so how do I deal with this challenge? I love the outdoors and always have. I loved the freedom of being outside and always pushed myself to my limits in order to be outdoors.
I am also very dependent on others now and this brings me to something else which I wrote about last week, friendship. People are so busy nowadays that they often cannot find the time to be with others especially those who need not necessarily help but companionship. Conversation is important for us all and having a good conversation is part of my life, but good conversations are infrequent. A ‘friend’ once said to me a few years back that she did not call very often because she was sure I had others coming in to visit every day. She was far from the truth and I wonder how many others feel that way. Is this another lesson for me, to learn to be alone?