I had a brilliant thought early this morning and when I showered and got ready, I lost it. I hate that. I used to have this philosophy that those types of things, a lost thought or riff or twist of words, were sacrifices I had to make in order to continue to be creative. Gifts to the Gods if you will. Now, I’m not so sure.
Last year during school, I talked to my class a lot about the power of ideas and thoughts. I’m not really certain if there is a huge difference between the two, thoughts and ideas. They all come from the same place and have similar power. The power they wield over us, though, is important and I wanted my class to understand how powerful they are to make decisions, create, and just be.
It is my mission to empower others. That’s what gives me the most satisfaction. Sure, I love to write and play music, those give me great satisfaction, too, but empowering others is what really does it for me. Seeing my kids grow and become adults is very satisfying. Working with students and seeing them begin to understand a bit more about their world is wonderful. I wish everyone got the same kick from supporting others. The world would be a better place.
The thing is, we can all do things. We make decisions all day long. Our brains are constantly working, even when we are asleep. As I’ve mentioned, I have wild dreams. Last night, I was having this very chaotic dream. I was on a team of people and we were pitted against another team in a physical and emotional fight. It was exhausting, even while I was sleeping. At one point, though, I saw that one of my adversaries was clearly struggling with something and I sat down to talk to her.
She wanted to open some sort of site to help people. All the sudden, she was not my enemy anymore and I told her I could probably help, and we started talking. She was showing me what she wanted to do, and I explained a bit about my background and then I woke up. Alarm went off.
And now I remember my thought. It’s not brilliant, but it pertains to myself and a lot of people I know. My thought was this: We are not our trauma, and we don’t have to live like we are constantly its victim.
It’s not an original thought. I am not a self-help guru. I am just a guy who experienced some trauma when I was younger. My parents divorced when I was very young. Five, I think. It’s hazy and it still makes me sad to this day. Not because it wasn’t the best thing, because it was the best thing for my parents. It hurt for us all. Divorce is trauma.
My only memories of my parents being married are unpleasant.
There was a time when I was young where it seemed like they got along pretty well, and we even had some fun as a “family” a few times. As I became a teenager, things got very strained, and I was a part of that strain. I will always regret the role I played in that because it put some deep nails into the coffin of my teenage relationship with my dad. Nails that were hard to loosen up over the years.
I saw family abusing each other growing up, too. I saw a lot of emotional abuse happen and that is trauma, but it’s not me. It helped to mold me, yes, but it is not me. I could make a long list of traumatic things that impacted my life, but that’s not the point today.
Today I am owning that I am who I am and I can be who I want to be. I can make amends or not. I can be better or worse, whatever I choose. I can choose to be strong or weak. I can be weak when I need to be, just like you can, or strong if I am needed to be or need to be strong. I can rest when I am tired and go hard when I am ready to rock. It’s up to me.
I know that is easier said than done. Part of what I have learned, though, is that just as I gave myself permission to act out in negative ways because of the pain and trauma I have felt in my life, I also have to give myself permission to move on. I have learned that it is okay to say “No.” I have learned that it is okay to say, “You aren’t my friend anymore.” I have learned that it is okay to say, “Hey, you know what, I need you to do something different than you are doing.”
I have also learned that it is okay to feel.
When I was young, I was prone to cry. If I got really scared, I would cry. If I got really mad, I would cry. If I was sad, lonely, hurt, confused, etc., it was quite possible that I would cry. I didn’t find the tears of joy thing, though, until I was older. Now I know that part of life well and embrace it. I don’t cry easily anymore, but I do cry while watching movies and television shows and even while reading the occasional book or looking at an incredible sunset while listening to the perfect song.
I was also taught that boys don’t cry. I think I probably frustrated the hell out of my dad by being emotional at times. I remember him getting pretty exasperated with my tears from time to time. I get it, too. Men were taught not to cry, and, in some cases, that also meant, “Do not feel what you are feeling.” Of course, we know it is impossible to not feel without the help of drugs and alcohol and even then, it is just postponing things.
I have learned, though, to embrace what I feel and learn from it. A friend of mine said recently, “Feelings aren’t facts.” He’s right. They aren’t “facts.” Feelings are real, though, but in a different way than how a fact is real. Both are true, but one can change. Feelings also come in waves and bunches and groups. One leads to another and leads to another and so on.
I’m babbling at this point, but I hope I have given you something to think about.
See you tomorrow.
So, the other night we were at Haley Pond and the moon was just about full. Here is my version. I think Rhondi has a better one.