Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paulo Coelho did it ... again

This morning I am waking up with this sense of fear. I do know why and I don't want to talk about it so I went on Paulo Coelhos webpage and it took all of 3 minutes to find a quote that I absolutely love and would like to share...
"Minds are like parachutes; they only function when they are open."
I like the vision this quote creates it will make it very easy to explain to the kids. Oh yes, they will hear this since I firmly believe that the restrictions in your point of views happen at every age.
Of course, looking at a teenager, one might think that he has an open mind.... but not if it comes to his parents. We are lame. We are controlling. We are so old-fashioned and we have no idea what a teenager needs. Really? Really. I remember growing up my Dad switched off the radio station I had picked immediately labeling it as horrible. I did not like it. And I let my teenager pick the station most of the time. I believe that music is one of the strings that keep families attached to each other. So I am trying to be open minded if it comes to this and some of the music of Julius I love so much that I give him the cd.... only to copy it.
Now whether a younger child has to be reminded of an open mindedness i am not sure. I see the world with the eyes of my youngest and it is all open and fluid. Everything is interesting or at least captivating for a while. Boredom has not yet entered his mind since a lot is new.
What if we look at the world from his point of view? As if everything was new and unknown? Wouldn't that be cool. And scary. For as adults, we have had the one thing that children have not experienced yet. We have stored the negative consequences of actions. My 9yr old is just starting to do it and I wish he wouldn't have to. But if something hurts it is hard to stay open minded and therefore he like all human beings shuts some doors.
I will teach the children though that the mind is acting like a muscle and that if we don't move it it will get rusty.... and that as a consequence of an open parachute you experience the fear of falling but also the joy of landing safely....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Beauty of Watching Children

Over the holidays I have a myriad of opportunities to watch my children. Since Mrs. Negative is part of my personality I seldom miss an act of misbehavior but this time I am really trying to see the beauty in their actions. I have learned from them that in order to be more balanced you go down in the basement and play a round of hockey with silly little plastic sticks. It is very important to move around a lot and pretend to be a pro. At times you have to wrestle the opponent and pretend to roll in mud so it looks like it is a real fight. It is very important to win thus it is quite all right to be mad at the opponents when losing. I am describing this in such great detail since really there is so much truth in that. In order to be more balanced I need to be physically active. They do to except they don't plan a workout in advance, calculate how many calories to burn and what to eat or drink afterwards, they just play and never think of a workout. Why is that? Who makes them do that? ''I will have the same" is what I say (just like the woman sitting next to Sally in the restaurant in the brilliant old movie When Harry met Sally for those of you that still remember that scene...)
So what do I have to do? Beep - I don't have to do. I am now convinced that my children are guided by something beautiful that makes them cruise along through life in a carefree way. I have to admit it is hard to write this since the sceptic in me does not believe it - but I am certain that the drive to behave like this is the voice of God. Somebody out there is watching them grow. Is instilling them with beautiful and healthy ideas . Now that being said, is it also God that makes them scream at each other 10 min. later and yell that they hate each other? Difficult but I feel that this behavior is another sign that perfect harmony is an illusion. For me such an important lesson to learn from - guess who - God. By arguing with each other they are learning to be able to dislike something in somebody without disliking the person. They learn that love tied to certain behaviors is not real love. Again this is Gods message. I am deeply grateful that my eyes  see so much more behind their actions.
Children are the gift of God and many would kill to have this gift. I tend to take it for granted and become complacent. Today I will watch them with God's eyes and be forever grateful to have them in my life. When I will be insecure I will turn to them because they know without having to know.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas is near...

This morning I woke up and felt like I needed to tell the whole world that a special date is approaching. You can easily see the arrogant part in me ... as if people around the world have not been bombarded by millions of messages containing the word Christmas, as if it was up to me to tell others that a day is special but anyways I am very puzzled by this years Christmas.

First, in my mind, Christmas has to be white, in other words snow has to be on the ground. Well, there is nothing except maybe a football that the kids left outside in the rain, on the ground outside.

Second, in my mind there has to be peace and harmony within the family always. At least you pretend. But because i have raised children that are fully capable of expressing their feelings even if they are angry, frustrated or bored or all of those, we have a lot of loud words in the house as well as a a few extreme outbursts of discontent and a lot of smashing doors.

Third, in my mind, you have to be surrounded by a lot of people that know you and greet you with merry Christmas. And I don't mean the cashier at the local grocery store. Well, we have moved less than one year ago, and quite frankly don't know many people too well.

The list could go on for a bit but I will stop right here. Take a deep breath and let the feeling of sadness in. Yes, I am sad with Christmas approaching. My three bullet points contribute to this and it is more than sad that I really still believe it is up to me to control the outcome. I am also sad because I think of the past Christmas dates and that some of them were so special that I wished they would happen again and they won't. Talk about dwelling in the past... Like the first Christmas with my oldest son, 15 years ago. It was just my husband, my newborn and me and I loved every second of it. I had an own family at last! I had somebody that loved me back ! Life couldn't get better. Like the year, where my middle child got the chicken pox at 9 months age and we had to drive to the hospital which was fifty miles away across the border the day before Christmas. And the doctors told us he would be ok. What a Christmas gift!
Or the first Christmas in the US where there was so much snow that we couldn't open the front door and Erik had to stay home from work. I was not scared I just loved the fact that nature was so powerful it could even make my husband stay home!

Anyways, after these moments of sadness I am ok. I know that I have had many great Christmas days. And I don't know if I have many ahead but i do know that I can make the best effort to have another memorable event in exactly one day. I can rely on God having the situation under control and I can just focus on little things. Like making a nice meal, decorating the table, having music on, lighting all my candles and hugging my family. Letting them know how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Calling my relatives in Germany and assuring them that I have not forgotten them and do miss them - even though I am glad to be here.
It is a wonderful time of the year and I am inspired to have a happy and joyous time. May you all have a wonderful Christmas too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The sunshine

Once again, i have seen the sunshine today. Not in the sky but in an encounter with a person. I have no other way to describe this meeting since I feel as if I bathed in the sun the whole time. I have taken a risk today to let another person look into my soul. Usually I don't trust people enough and therefore my life has become a rather solitary one. The ones that don't know me well, would never believe that but I have a very messed up brain and therefore my appearance is far from my real self. That contradiction is difficult to bear at times but since I have made this choice I can handle it. But deep down I always wish that somebody would be able to tolerate the other Susi, the one that doesnt have her acts together and struggles. Falls down quite a bit but refuses to give up. Has a hard time asking for help and an even harder time to accept help. Thanks to this amazing person though I felt safe and was able to share some things. This person is quite amazing since I feel that just by being near, one gets to experience joy. At least thats what I think it is. My spectrum of feelings is limited as a consequence of my disease and apart from negative feelings like anger and hatred I hardly feel anything and have a difficult time defining positive emotions. Still, I think it was joy that arose today and made me feel warm and happy and content. This person is so full of life, so full of energy that it spills over to the surrounding and I am deeply grateful for having been close today. Realizing that my real me does not make everybody turn around is a big thing. I took the risk today and was not disappointed. On the contrary, I had the impression that not only did it make me feel more accepted, the other person was not  making the impression I was too much to bear, something I am always concerned with.
So at this very moment I feel very content and settled and this is unknown territory too. I am not scared though, but just grateful for this encounter and wishing there were more to come. The sun in the persons face has led me to experience that I am not alone and that my life can be more fulfilled if I let others in.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old friends - new friends

I had the pleasure to get to know some new acquaintances more yesterday at a party we hosted. While I realize that we are going to have to put effort into making new friends since most people our age already have a circle of friends and with life being so busy they don't take the extra time to meet people I also am noticing that the word friend is really hard to describe. Growing up I did not have a best friend, I had a personality that made it hard to stick with people. I guess I do miss that feeling now especially when other people tell me about their best friend. While moving around in the world I made a lot of friends. Friends for life? I don't think so. Again, I was like a butterfly flying from one beautiful flower to the next one not sure whether to stay or not. Still, I made sure that from every country we went to, I kept one name at least and since we now all have FB it is easy to connect with them.
I once had a person in my inner circle that I felt was my closest friend I had ever made. She was always there for me and for the first time, I felt safe and ok to let my guards down every once in a while. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to trust and to have somebody else except my husband. I needed that since my other half has developed differently and we don't share the same views or thoughts most of the time. Then something happened and this friend chose to withdraw from me. I was heartbroken for the second time in my life and I believe I never have healed completely. Some things leave permanent scratches on your heart that not even time can mend.
I felt very isolated the last 4 years and this was because I chose to. I felt that it didn't serve any purpose to make new friends for life and became very black and white thinking. I found out too late how many good people were surrounding me at that time and felt sorry for them to have chosen the butterfly. While in hiding I concocted with one person more than with anybody else and she was a wonderful companion. But she was also very vulnerable and sometimes I felt that I couldnt burden her with my personality and held back.
When looking into the new faces yesterday I finally understand my friend the Dalai Lama who wrote on friendship " Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."
By welcoming new faces into my world and not being worried that I couldn't fulfill their expectations or they couldn't fulfill mine, in fact by just not judging, I experienced real joy last night. I could see the people in their beauty, could see how much I can learn from them and that I could maybe even try to let them see behind the facade of me.  I also know that I might never experience the "best friend feeling" free of fear and that is ok. It is me. I am scared and excited at the same time. I am curious to find out more of the new faces. It is nice to be able to have enjoyed the night and not be hopeful for more. Just be present and soak up the liveliness that humans possess.
So I am thinking of throwing another party sooner than later and maybe open up more a bit, but I am not expecting anything in return. I had a great time and enjoyed the laughter beauty and light other people bring in my life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dalai Lama - the wise guy

So today I found my Dalai Lama again... literally. This quote is so true... "It is said that if you want to know what you were doing in the past, look at your body now, if you want to know what will happen in the future, look at what your mind is doing now." 
How did he know that my distorted thoughts are my biggest complaint? I am beginning to wonder if there are other people out there who think as complicated as me. I know that part of my disease is that I am too much in my head. But that doesn't express how loud these voices are. How much it costs me to not listen to them. I feel like there is constant noise racing through every cell of my brain and I don't have the energy anymore to stop that. Stop - not always generalizing. I can act as if I don't listen. Like my kids who pretend not to listen when I tell them to do certain things. In fact, I like this picture. Why not just act deaf to ED ? Or his fellows, perfectionism and inner criticism.
It sounds like I am lecturing myself which I am. I am going to lecture whatever it takes just to stop listening to those voices.
The Dalai Lama has no ED. Still he composed this quote. Which tells me there are a lot of people out there not able to just live in the present but rather comparing to the past or anticipating the future. Both of which takes away the joy of life. I am sure that I cannot change my future since something or somebody has the key to this door and it is definitely not me. So for the next couple of days I want to try to watch my thoughts closely and direct them back to the today. Not all my thoughts are distorted that much I know. I will try to identify the truth from the false ideas. Hard work. But then again - I feel up to it, up to find out more about myself than me just being my disease.
I love the Dalai Lama for his wisdom and will, now that i found his quotes again, read more of him. Life is what I make of it, right? This includes finding and using my resources of which I have many.