Family, The Defining of

Family – [fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] – Noun: All those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor. (as stated when searched on http://dictionary.reference.com/)

Wow! That is a rather broad way of looking at the meaning, isn’t it? How far back does one go to define who was the common progenitor? Do any of us really think of the definition of “family” that way? I know I don’t. I mean think about it, depending on the start of the line of that common progenitor, one would have to start on January 1st and tirelessly work non stop just to get all the family holiday cards out on time. Okay, so lets narrow this down some.

Family – Any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

That is getting closer to how people think of the word family right? We start drawing the common progenitor line at the person known as “Grandparent” or even “Great Grandparent”. It does cut that family holiday card list down a bit. However, there is part of the definition that does not work for me, “closely related by blood”. Maybe it is because some people I am closely related by blood, are not part of my life. Now before you start thinking, ooh boy, here we go with the “broken home syndrome thing”. Let me pause in saying, I do not subscribe to the notion of blaming our parents for things we do in our adult lives. There is a reason why, even in nature, there is a time when it is up to the individual to make decisions on their own or die.

Family to me is defined not by whom my common progenitor is or was. Family to me is not defined as someone with the title of “Grandparent” or even brother, uncle, aunt or cousin. I did and do have those people in my life that hold such titles and I think of them as family. Just as I did and do know people who too hold such titles and yet I don’t think of them as family.

For me, the defining of the word family is: any person that willingly and repeatedly decide to attempt to be part of another’s life, in a positive way, and allow for that other to willingly and repeatedly attempt to do the same. That to me is a better definition of family. The give and take of attempts from each of us in the hopes to make life fulfilling in a positive way.

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A Lesson Forgotten

While chatting with a very endearing person yesterday, the subject of circle of friends popped up. The comments were neither positive or negative in nature but rather just an observation on how they change. One could tell just by the subdued manner of the conversation, there was underlining sorrow being felt for some of those changes. After our conversation had ended, that sorrow stuck with me for a while leading me to think back on people who have come and gone out of my personal circle. I have found there to be a great emptiness left with the lost of some of those I once use to see almost daily. I realize the lose of people out of my life where to no fault but my own. I had personally through my own stubbornness and selfish acts, cause them to grow away from me.

“They” say, people come and go into our lives pending what lessons we still need to learn in our life. I personally and whole heartedly agree with that statement. I can not think of one single person I have not met, I have not learned from. Now I know what you’re thinking. Really? Every single person you have met? Come on now! But really, think about it. The lesson being learned does not have to be something so complex it is akin to learning a full and complete mathematical equation to the universe. The lesson can be as simple as learning how they smile.

I was reminded of one person whose name I never knew. A few years now have pasted since this chance encounter with nothing more but a smile and a single comment made. I had almost forgotten the event but now picture it as if it were only moments ago. You see, I was having an awful day, for reasons that now I can not remember. I do remember the feeling of dread, loneliness and being just utterly lost all together. I was at a local department store, finished with my checkout and walking towards the exit. Suddenly this woman smiles at me as says, “Smile, things really are not that bad!”. With out missing a step she simply continued walking past me. I paused only for a second then continued to the exit, horrified at the thought that I was so transparent. I thought about that simple statement and how by the time I had reach my car I had starting laughing at myself for allowing myself to get so low.

Recently and on top of the thoughts of long-lost friends, I had almost totally forgotten that lesson. A lesson from a perfect stranger with a lovely smile. “Things really are not that bad!” I want to thank that endearing person I was chatting with yesterday. Matt you helped me remember a lesson that I should have already known and should have never have forgotten. Thank you!
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Blinding Sight

The darkness of the room weighing heavy in the air.  You can almost feel it pressing against you, as if trying to will itself into some type of tangible existence to consciously and savagely thrust down upon your soul.  The flood of sensation you feel surging from every hair as it instinctively stands, starts to cause great confusion, an almost primal panic develops, every one of your scenes becomes heightened past their maximum thresholds.  Your breathing is tight, labored, shallow, wheezes out of your dry, constricted throat, making even the slightest audible noise impossible, as your body enters into an icy cold sweat and paralyzing state of fear.

Slowly, cautiously you open your eyes, expecting to see a legion of demons in a pouncing stance ready to devour you down to your very essence and deliver you to the master where he waits eagerly at the gates of hell.  Instead you see nothing, only the blinding blackness of pure emptiness.  The silence is deafening, almost painful, leading you to a loathing feeling that you would rather experience the piercing pain of a hot knife be slowly pressed deeply into the soft fleshy parts of your gut.

Your energy zapped, drained, dwindling  down to the point where you don’t know if you have the strength to take another breath.  Your desire, drive, and willingness to push yourself to take just one more gasp of air is quickly becoming almost as feeble.  The feeling of helplessness is so overpowering, so vigorous as it battles you with tools and weapons that mock any major world power’s elite arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, it forcing itself to be felt not only by your mind, but by your heart, and ultimately turning it sights to your soul.

Tightening your eye’s, painfully straining them shut as if the fight to keeping them close was tied directly to your very existence. The pressure builds, becoming daunting, but still you don’t let go, you can’t let go.  Using all of your reserves of energy, strength and hope, you tighten your lids, bring on such pressure, such cramping pressure, it causes pure white, blinding flashes of false stands of light, those of which can be likened to staring at the summer solstice sun at mid day.  The contrasts shock you into an almost seizing state.

You lie there, willingness to fight gone, your drive depleted, your hope no more, totally stripped of even…. Faith…..

That’s when you see it, there in the blinding darkness of nothingness or is it there in the bright, burning, seizing light?  You can’t tell, for now they seem one in the same, one inside the other, so much so you can not tell which one is which, as if neither one begins because the other one never ends.  But you see it.  There before you, set up in plain sight, you see what you have been fighting against.  You see is as if you could reach out and touch it.  It’s smell is both tantalizing and putrid, fills this universe, your universe with a aroma of a flesh so sweet yet sickening and spoiled.

It is there in front of you, used, old….  Dead…

You lie there, and realize this thing, this object, this event, this want, that you so thought was a need, and fought so desperately for, as if should be a need, is nothing.  Nothing that should be praised as a want, and nothing that deserves such a title of a need. At one time, maybe.  Maybe at one blink of an eye, it should have been wanted, something to draw you to it to teach you some life lesson.  Something wanted, only to show you a side of yourself that needed to be seen, but nothing more.  It was never meant to be something to be held on to and kept.  It was never meant for you to hold on to and protect.   It was never meant to become anything for you except maybe to notice that it was something that you would never need.

You lie now relieved, tired but somehow empowered and stronger.  Your code of arms lay besides you, tools used during your battle to keep and protect something that needed no such act.  Saddened by the thought of the time, energy and resources wasted in such a undeserving thing.  Yet, you now smile with this new feeling of empowerment, this new understanding, that you never realized you could feel or know.  You allow yourself one last look, one last glance at this thing now so lifeless, this thing now so undesirable, and through the sight of a single, joyful, uplifting and spiritual tear you open your eyes.

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Music – Sounds We Live By

music to live by

Music surrounds us.  Even in a silent room, listen closely, hold our breath, and find that even then, the ever present thump of your heart whispering its beat to your ever listening ears.  One might even find them self tapping along with their foot or hand, gently swaying to the tune.  Walk alone sometime in the seemly dead months of winter, in a leafless forest, and find your self standing center stage in front of an orchestra of sounds as the wind uses the never lifeless limbs of even fallen trees and leafs to orchestrate a song that could have you almost dancing.  Trust me, if you allow yourself, you could end up leaving the scene with a playful bounce to your step or an even gratifying tear running down your cheek. 

One only needs to look at their personal collection of music to see just how we almost need to be surrounded by the beats, tones, and tempos of sound.  The primal need being emotional, physical and spiritual. 

Cleaning out the chaos of music files, CDs, sound files, and other media bits scattered as if it where a mosaic throughout the home network and pushed back in each room’s junk drawer.  I found myself emotionally tied to each file, diskette, cd and sound playing birthday card.  Each emotion fluctuating stronger and weaker then the next, but all tied to moments in life both pleasant and tortured, and yet all treasured.

May we all be able to take a moment to reach to the back of each room’s junk drawer, and allow ourselves that one second it takes to simply remember.

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Empowering My Faith Over Fear

Hands

Giving all of yourself, or to state more accurately, allowing yourself to give all of yourself to someone else is sometimes more difficult than looking into the eyes of a child and leaving them with an unanswered question to “How” or “Why”.  Those of us that have done such of an act know just how heart wrenching it can be.  Obviously, the act of giving yourself to someone is not just in a physical sense.  Compared to the other essences we can define as “yourself” our physical self is by most, the easiest part to give.  What about the other parts or essences of yourself? Can you honestly say that you have given someone all of yourself? Have you given someone not only the knowledge of your most beloved dreams but also handed them the knowledge of your most dreaded fears?  Have you ever informed or shown someone just how to uplift your spirit as far as the heavens above while also teaching them just how to drag your soul down to the very gates of hell?  Have you given someone so much and everything of yourself, that if they were to walk away, your very existence would seem to walk away with them?

Yes? No?

I can honestly say “No” I have not given all of myself to anyone.  I have came close, oh so very close, to giving someone that much power over me. I have walked down that path only to stop at the fork, and chose to take the other path.  I do not .. no.. I do know why I chose to walk the other path instead of allowing myself to feel the release of giving the ultimate gift.  That reason being nothing more than fear.

It is nothing more than fear, stated like it is some simple thing that should be as easily cleaned up and tossed away like droplets of spilt milk.  So if it is nothing more than fear stopping me, holding me back, not allowing me to extend all of me to someone else, not allowing me to ascend to that higher feeling of wellbeing, then why do I not just face it, become a “David” and smite my “Goliath”?

We all know that when it comes down to it, fear is no little thing.  There is no easy way turn to and face such of a primal emotion and beat it back like it was not some goliath of almost unfathomable power.  That is just it, isn’t it?  It does not really have unfathomable power.  It only has the power that we give it.  So, how do you not give it power?  How do you take away that what you have already given it?  How do you turn your stone and point it at yourself?  Faith?  Take a line read off of a 30 second commercial and “just do it”?

I guess it is faith that is really holding me back.  Maybe it is not the fear.  The fear that if I give someone all of me, they would use it against me.  Maybe it is the lack of faith.  Not faith in a god or a belief system, but a lack of faith in myself.  Maybe if I had more faith in myself, that if I did give someone access to all of myself, and they did use the knowledge and turned it back against me, I would, in the end, still be able to stand up and use the experience to not only learn from it, but to also make myself stronger in my faith to be able to dust myself off and try again.   Well, at least I have something to put that extra energy into now that I am taking it away from fear..   Right?

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The Hill

We all should expect to experience the moments of “What IFs” that will inevitably bombard and sometimes seem to attack our lives from time to time.  We should know that there will be periods of time that cause us to expend energy pondering what is next, what could be and what should be.  We should understand they make us second guess our actions, thoughts and others.  Why then is it so difficult at times to have the ability to know which “What If” is the right one to expend our energy on, and which “What If” is going to be the next one to focus on after that? Which “What If” thought process will lead us to the next step, the next path, that will ultimately lead us to that proverbial dream we all desire to reach?

I have those moments where I say to myself, “That was one of the more stupid choices you have made”.  We all and should have those moments.  There are some that I wish I could take back, get a second chance, or flat out wish, with every fiber of my being, that I never did.  Then, at that same moment, I say to myself, that I am glad I did it.  I am not glad of the outcome, that obviously was not the desired result.  More of a thank you to the fates for the lesson learned.

I am at a period of time in my life where I feel bombarded and at full fledged war with the “What Ifs”. It is almost like that proverbial dream is there on top of a hill, in the middle of the field, just feet away from me.  However the road I am on and must take, is heading in the wrong direction away from that hill.  I know I can not take the shortcut and just walk off the road, and cut through the field to get to “the hill”.  I know doing so will leave me pondering “What If” I am on the wrong hill, never mind the fact that climb there will leave me feeling empty and undeserving.

I do have one thing that is seeming to work out in my favor in the war with the “What Ifs”.  It is the knowledge that I know for now, I am on the right road.  There are many forks up head, and they all seem to lead me away from that “hill”.  The only thing I wish and pray for, is the hope, the strength, the wisdom learned and the wisdom yet to be learned, will lead me to the ability to make my way back to “The Hill”.

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