Recently I read quotes from Wes Angelozzi and Sanaya Roman about better ways to live our lives. These quotes and the WP Discover Challenge helped to inspire my piece of advice poem “Love & Acceptance.”
Love & Acceptance
Embrace me for all that I am, not as you perceive me.
Recognize me for who I am, not what you think I should be.
Love me for me, not what you want me from me.
View me as I am now, not who I was.
Accept my faults, as I am not perfect.
Empower me to be me, because it makes us both stronger.
Don’t do that. Keep off the grass. No loitering. Don’t go to fast. Be home by 10. You can’t. Don’t do drugs. Don’t drive too fast. Stop.
We live a world of the forbidden. It is supposed to protect us. Make us feel safe. But in the end, I only feel smothered.
The majority of the things I’m told not to do are often good for me and the things permitted often are bad. We live in a society where governments, corporations and religion attempt to keep simple thought to none. Because they want people to follow them blindly, without question. Questions are forbidden. Curiosity is discouraged. And free thought is the devil’s work.
We live in a society of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what could happen. Fear of not having enough. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of everything being taken away.
How is it healthy to live in a society of the forbidden? Telling people they can’t do something only implies limitations. Limitations create fear. Limitations stop progress.
And yet I see things that should be forbidden become a main part of society. Lying, cheating, screwing people over to advance one’s self, violence, the rich getting richer while the poor becoming poorer, corporations hiding the truth, corrupt politicians, food that kills and so much more are an accepted part of life. Why are these things okay? Why are they not forbidden? Why do we discourage free thought but accept these horrible things?
Life is simple. Live well. Love Well. Stop forbidding me from living my life, my way.
I watch the grey clouds building outside the window. The day started off nice with glimpses of sunshine and blue sky. Now it’s changing to wind and rain.
Ireland is an island. It’s also a place where the weather changes minute by minute and you go out dressed layers, prepared for both the best and worst possible scenarios. It can quite literally go from beautiful weather to pouring down cold rain and back to beautiful warm weather over the course of five minutes.
I’m enjoying Ireland. Not only is it a beautiful place, but it’s friendly. The people are lovely. It’s a place where I can say hello to someone on the street and they will say hello back, instead of looking at me like I might be a serial killer or asking them for something.
Ireland is a place where my looks don’t stand out. I fit right in. No one gives me strange looks over my pale skin, red hair and freckles. It’s nice to fit in. I realize I am still a unique individual but here on this island it’s nice not to stand out so much.
The struggles of not fitting in I’ve experienced over the past year of traveling, makes me more aware of the struggles of my friends who are truly experiencing the struggles of society not accepting them for who they are. While I feel deeply the ugly looks, nasty words and crappy treatment of those who choose to shun me for being different, I realize my struggles are not remotely as hard as those of my gay, lesbian, transgender, Muslim and non-white friends (I don’t like the word minority. It indicates someone is less than someone else just because of their skin color).
I don’t understand humanity. Everyone is different in their own way. Everyone has issues. Everyone wants to feel love and acceptance, no matter what race, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or tribe. With that need in mind, why is it that so many people are unwilling to accept others for who they are? It’s a question that constantly plagues my mind. Why can’t we all just get along?
You’re taught as a child to share while in the sand box, but the adult sand box is all about grabbing as much as you can, while throwing sand at the other people. It’s about building sand castles with high walls to hide behind. It’s about isolation. It’s about living on an island surrounded only by those we deem fit enough to remain on our island and excluding anything that doesn’t fit what is deemed “right.”
It’s okay not to like everyone around you. It’s okay not to have them all in your life. BUT if you are excluding them for the reasons of who they are or who they represent without getting to know them, then it’s wrong.
I don’t like everyone I meet. I’ve also had people come and go from my life. They fit for a moment or for a while or are still in it. But I do choose the people in my life because of who they are, what their moral values are and sometimes just because we get along. If I don’t like you, it’s just because I don’t like you. Either you did something to make me not like you or our personalities just don’t mesh. As far as choosing you based on your race, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or tribe, I really could care less.
And while I could go on, I will end my discussion of islands here.
“It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last,” Suzie sighed as she stared down at the yellow puddle on the floor.
The new puppy cocked its head, watching her carefully. A slightly guilty expression crossed its soft blue eyes. Suzie gently scolded the grey pup, while grabbing a new roll of paper towels off the counter.
Potty training wasn’t on Suzie’s mind when she picked out the cute little bundle of energy from the pound. Already busy with work, life and trying to get ahead of the bills, kept her busy enough. But loneliness won out.
After Frank left, she was tired of lonely nights, sitting on the sofa watching reruns. “No,” she thought, “better to clean up the mess than be alone.” At least she gained the added benefits of getting more exercise and a cozy bed warmer. And nonjudgmental love and acceptance when she came home. Shaking her head, Suzie pulled herself up and headed into the kitchen to find food.
After dumping kibble into the puppy’s bowl, she turned to the fridge to see what she was eating. Another lean night because she didn’t feel like stopping at the store. Cereal and milk it was. No fuss, no muss. Tomorrow she would make more of an effort to stop. After all, she had made a vow to herself to eat better.
“It’s harder to cook for one,” she mused over the crunching of cereal and kibble. Dinner eaten, she grabbed the leash and the puppy, heading out the door. Cool night air greeted them. Perfect walking weather.
Two blocks down, Suzie groaned, as she watched the pup pooping in the neighbor’s flowerbed. She’d left the cleanup bags lying on the counter as they left. “Oh well. Guess I’ll be hearing it from Ms. Peeler tomorrow. I’ll bring her home cookies from the bakery.” Suzie ruffled leaves and dirt over the poop, hoping to disguise her mistake.
A few blocks later, the pup lead the way into the house. Suzie quickly unclipped the leash and headed off for a warm shower. She hoped to get rid of the stress knot riding tightly in the back of her neck.
Ten minutes later, feeling better, she stepped out of the now lukewarm spray and shuffled across the floor. As her foot slipped in a warm puddle, she yelped. Looking around, she yelled at the offending pup. Shaking her head, she thought “it wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last.”
More Links to Other Discover Challenge Participants:
Conflict, the story of our lives. We work hard to gain much in life and yet, we lose much by working so hard. We miss out on enjoying the little things because we are too focused on the big ones.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I’ve been going through a dry spell as I search for answers to the direction my life needs to take. Conflicting emotions create chaos in a world mixed with happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure. The opposites of my life.
Do we ever really conquer the negativity and find only positive?
Science would argue probably not, since we are programmed with many more negative emotions than positive ones.
Me? I’m completely unsure. All I know, is that I strive to live the best life possible on this constantly changing road. I’m not always happy with the changes but I am learning to accept them. Meanwhile, it’s time to get back to writing.
Today, I’ll continue to reflect on the merits of opposites and leave you with my interpretations of the photo challenge. Please feel free to share your interpretations of opposites or to discuss my interpretations. I am always open for healthy discussion.