Archives for posts with tag: choices

Monday dawned sunny and bright. I was fortunate to awake to the sound of waves lapping at the lakeshore and the sun peeking over the hill top.

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(sunset shot the night before)

There was already a lot of ugly and sadness I could have focussed on if I had let myself. And I admit the temptation to let it swallow me whole was palpable, but I put my big girl panties on, pulled up my positive pants, threw on a great pair of shoes, straightened my tiara and topped it off with bright lipstick and mascara! Well in truth, I took a deep breath, threw back the covers and made a CHOICE to CHOOSE beautiful; to see it, believe it and channel it. And I made that choice over and over when the temptation to doubt tapped me on the shoulder.

Later in the day the headline on my news feed about Manchester appeared.  Manchester – a place from far away that I’ve always associated with sports and music for some reason until that head line. The choice to see beautiful became even more difficult. My shoulders slumped, I just felt heavy.  I felt raw and numb all at once. I think a lot of us did.

Tuesday morning Huffington Post reported “explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.”  at an Ariana Grande concert. I witnessed the feelings come out through social media and in the news.

A friend posted, “Tears for those who just went to a concert. Tears for the world.”

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A cousin asked,

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And then I read my friend Michelle’s eloquent and heart felt Facebook post and am honoured that she gave me permission to share her words with you. When things happen which are impossible to make sense of, in the end all we really want to do is keep our precious treasures, those we love, safe.

Bubble wrap.
I need so much Bubble Wrap.

You know… The stuff you use to keep the things that are most precious to you, safe from harm. We wrap them up so they don’t get broken.

Bubble Wrap… Safe, dependable Bubble Wrap.

It may give one peace of mind, but there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world on a day like today. On any kind of day in a world like the one we live in this day.

“Prayers for…”
“Our hearts and thoughts…”
“We stand with…”

These phrases are like labels now. Words we use to tape together the Bubble Wrap that we place around our hearts and minds to help keep us sane enough from locking our children in their rooms and nailing shut our windows and doors to keep out all the Bogeymen outside that lurk within a world that keeps getting smaller, from stealing their innocence, our naivete, and our collective sense of normalcy.

There is nothing normal about any of this. Even though this insanity is quickly seeming to become the norm. Padded rooms were once for the insane and yet, here I am, wishing I could wrap every precious being in my world in Bubble Wrap. How insane is that? And yet, Bubble Wrap was my first wish… My first “logical to me” thought while my heart screamed “Why?” and it’s echoes throbbed through my head.

Just as “There are no words…” is heard echoing thoughout the world.

But there are words…
“Please.” and “Stop.”

And there are so many echoes.

Because there will never, ever be enough Bubble Wrap.

©Michelle Laing Hoffman 2017

 

But until that plea is answered, in amongst the tragic and terrible burns the eternal flame of human kindness and compassion.

Huffington Post reported, “Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.”

As the BBC noted, Then there are people like this young man who says “We can react in a lot of ways. We can react in anger. Or we can react by doing. This city is a community.”   The news outlets are capturing more than the devastation and carnage, they are capturing the humanity, compassion and resilience as well.

I think Grande summed it up for many of us with her tweet, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

“When someone says, “There are no words,” it is there I will find them and we will meet in the silent language of grief.” Benjamin Allen

While I have no words left, I do have kindness and compassion, and with those I will continue to shine my light more brightly so the darkness has no place to grow.

Please.  Stop.

Shine Brightly.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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You may have heard this or seen this on social media but when I came across it this week it really has been sitting with me.

 

I am enough.

I keep telling myself that. It does’t mean I can’t do more, or be better, or be different or that this is the end or the time to stop, or that I’m perfect or finished. But it does mean, for the most part, we can all stop sweating life. We are enough. We really are. I know it’s easy to argue that, I can come up with lots of evidence that may “prove” I’m really not enough, but either or, those are just opinions, perspective.

 

Now here’s the wow moment I got last night. When I believe I’m enough, I actually become enough, find my flow state and shine.  When I believe I’m not enough, I struggle, I shrink, I slow down and I stagnate. Wow!

 

Here’s the other thing I realized. While I try my best to get my validation from within – because I know in my head that’s the only true validation there is, some external validation is still nice and something I think most of us require at least a little of. When I surround myself with people who believe I’m enough and tell me and show me sincerely that I’m enough, I shine. I glow. I am motivated, I have power and focus and direction and and and and life is good!  However, when I’m with people who do not help me feel like I’m enough…. well you get the picture.

 

I think most of us are very much like this. As well, most of us also have both kinds of people in our lives. I love the posters that say surround yourself with the people who help and let go of those who don’t. I believe that so much, but also know that in the real world, while it might be just that simple… it isn’t that easy.  Wow, so not easy. Because sometimes those people are pretty close to you. I’ve also learned though that you can not change anyone. They can only change themselves. You can be a catalyst, you can help but you are powerless to really do any more than that. So…. you can set boundaries, make requests, but you can’t actually make them change or treat you the way you want. What you do about that becomes your choice.

 

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I realized something else. Some people just seem to be jerks, they want to bring themselves up by bringing you down. But there is another, more subtle way most often used by those who actually care a lot about us, that constructive criticism. Now personally, and many will argue with me I’m sure but I don’t believe there is such a thing. You’re either critical or you’re constructive. I get what the goal is, but it seldom works. At least, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t work as well as pretty much anything else you could choose! Now sometimes, used sporadically and at the right times with the right person sure, it’s all good. But too often the message received isn’t wow I can do better! It’s, wow, I didn’t do well enough. Therefore, I’m not enough. I believe it takes a pretty strong person and a very determined person to weather regular “constructive criticism” well.

 

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My editor  was a perfect example motivating me and setting me up for success. She did not give me false praise, she did not tell me my manuscript was perfect, because we both knew it wasn’t. She did however tell me all the good things and work in the things I could improve. But she always made me feel like I’d done well. She made me realize I am enough and that made me want to make every change she suggested.  Here’s an example from her notes.

 

You and I must be kindred spirits because you seem to love using the semi colon as much as I used to. My professors had to break me of the habit. They aren’t really very necessary – especially in fiction for young adults. They are used to tie together two complete sentences (not fragments), which, together, form a whole idea. But usually it’s better to just end one sentence with a period and start a new sentence. I’ve removed most of your semi colons, as my profs always removed mine. Welcome to the club! 🙂 – Natasha Morrow

 

I admit I am sensitive to criticism even when I ask people to review things or give me honest feedback. May I say, my editor could have shredded me and made me feel like an idiot but she didn’t, she ensured that she made me feel like I’m not only enough, but part of a club, I’m freaking normal for pete sake! And by starting out her feedback so positively she as able to be a bit more forthright later on without me feeling bad at all, I was actually craving more info so I could make my story the best it could be – without feeling like it was “not enough” as it was either. Thank you Natasha Morrow, you are wonderful.

 

I am definitely enough. So are you. So is the person that is driving you nuts today. And the person who cut you off in traffic, cut in front of you in line, took your parking spot, and left the toilet seat up or the milk on the cupboard.

 

We are all enough, masterpieces, works in progress. That doesn’t mean we are done, or that we’ll always agree or get along. But I have started to say under my breath when someone makes me want to snap.  You are enough, just the way you are and I am enough too.

 

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 Marisa Peers video about how so many of us have this overwhelming feeling of not being enough and just how important reminding ourselves and each other that we actually are enough really is was very interesting. (50 minutes)

 

 I fell out of gratitude for a while and it resulted in me seeing less good so I started with small again. Things like I’m grateful for the sun. I’m grateful for 5 minutes alone. I’m grateful no one knocked on the bathroom door (ummm no, I don’t have small children).
My gratitudes have evolved in the few weeks I’ve been dedicated to doing them. I’ve also found that for me at least for now, mornings are my best time to reflect on my gratitudes so that’s when I write them down. I review them in the evening and sometimes add a few more. Here are todays. 🙂

 

  • I am grateful for all the good in my life, even when I don’t recognize it
  • I am grateful for all the challenges in my life because they enable me to grow
  • I am grateful for all the opportunities in my life because they give me hope
  • I am grateful for all the people in my life because they are my teachers
  • I am grateful for my life because within it I find my purpose
 
 

 

Even on the bad days, it’s important to remind yourself, there’s plenty to be grateful for if you are willing to practise being present and look for it with an open mind and an open heart.

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Sometimes inconvenient interruptions are exactly what you need to make your day a little more perfect.

I live on a farm.  Every once in a while someone breaks down on the road by our place and they trundle in looking for help or a phone or directions.

The other day a woman ran out of gas and came a knocking (my door bell apparently is’t working).

I walked to the door trying to quiet my barking dog, wiping my hands and sighing because yet another interruption.  I’d had enough of those already to last an entire lifetime let alone a day.

I opened the door.  She had this big smile and a big hello.  She’d run out of gas and left her phone at home.  The smile, the situation, suddenly for some reason I just connected with her.  Maybe it’s because I could have seen the exact same thing happening to me.  And if it did, I’d want a safe, warm place to ask for help.  Maybe I just needed the smile and the hello.  I don’t know for sure, but whatever it was, I happily invited her in and offered her a coffee while she sorted things out. She introduced herself, April. I’ve always liked that name. Thoughts of spring flowers and gentle warm rain showers, rebirth and renewal.

It’s one of those things that I will forever be happy I did.  We spent over an hour together, getting to know each other, finding all sorts of things in common and laughing.  Oh how we laughed.  Almost like old friends.  Within an hour we even had inside jokes. I felt so relaxed, at ease. Finally her rescuer arrived with gas and her phone and off she went. We laughed some more as we said good-bye and I waved as they drove away.

I closed the door and realized I felt so relaxed and at ease. I felt completely in the zone. As I leaned against the door smiling I realized that it was a truly beautiful moment. And as with many beautiful moments, it contained a lesson.

When April ran out of gas and had no phone, she wasn’t thinking abundantly good thoughts.  When the knock came at my door, I was dreading yet another interruption.  But when I opened that door, I allowed a wonderful experience into my day. Our perceptions hadn’t been true and thankfully we were both willing to allow something better to unfold for us.  Running out of gas and having an interruption actually turned into something incredibly beautiful.  It created a situation for two souls to be touched, for two people to meet and for the day to be even more brilliantly bright than it already was.

Seeing beautiful and rising like air really is all about perspective and how you choose to look at things.  There’s that word again…. CHOOSE.  That’s really what life is all about, the choices we make. And it’s not about choices even being good or bad or right or wrong.  It’s about what you do with them.  And that my friends, is always up to you and you alone. It’s always your choice.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Last year David Durant from Under The Radar Live Sessions shared a song that quickly became a regular on my playlist.  It’s called New Year and is by the wonderfully talented UK artist Tiger Lilly  Her bio perfectly describes her as refreshing and bold. Her musical talents have created a piece that touches the heart and inspires the soul “cause this is gonna be a new year.”

Our wish for everyone is that you CHOOSE to make 2016 YOUR YEAR.

Your life is your own, live it.

Your story is your own, write it.

Your happiness is your own, create it.

Make the choice to step out of the shadows and into the light.

Make the choice to shine because you can.

Make the choice to see beautiful because you can.  

Make the choice to rise like air because you can.

Make the choice to be a life vest for someone because you can.

Make

The

Choice…

 

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New Year – Tiger Lilly

Everybody’s out tonight

Waiting for the fireworks at midnight

But I won’t see the stars, I won’t see the light

Cause I’ve been hiding in the shadows

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

Dry your eyes, wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

You’re not the only one

Who’s ever been afraid of fighting alone

For what they believe, for what they can see

Cause they’re hiding in the shadows just like you are

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

Dry your eyes, wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

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Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Hope will keep us braver than we’ve ever known

Hold our head up and be stronger… hope will save us

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year….

All lyrics and music ©Tiger Lilly

Enjoy the official video from Tiger Lilly below.

 

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©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Words of wisdom for all of us from a friend and guest blogger Khurram Shahzad.

 

Hello Everyone!
First of all I’m not a first language English speaker so please forgive any grammatical or spelling mistake.
I would just like to take a minute and talk on the topic of “opportunities”.
Opportunities are our chances at life. In our life we set a goal and we pursue those goals and these opportunities are our chances to finally get our reward.
And believe me, as i speak from personal experience, opportunities are very rare so never ever let them slip by. Whenever they knock, get up and take them because you never know if you will get another. Life is full of twists and turns and you never know which breath might be your last. 

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So go out there, live your life like it was your last day. Make the most of it. Don’t ever turn away thinking that what will others think because believe me this is your life and you should only care what you think. 


Psychology says that the biggest regret of people on their death beds is not what they did, it’s what they didn’t do. 

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So my point being that please live life to the fullest. If you like someone, go tell them. If you have a dream job, go get it. Don’t EVER give up on your dream. When I was 9 i think I once interviewed a doctor for a project and she told me that perseverance commands success so I should never give up on what I believe in. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read this, i just felt like sharing this thought with someone. Have a blessed day!

 

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Today the world reels from yet another terrorist attack on everyday people doing everyday things.

The fact that the attacks on innocent everyday people in France occurred on World Kindness day somehow made it even more surreal.  I can’t help wondering if that was actually part of the plan.  But it doesn’t matter.

What matters is how we face this.  Not just the victims, not just the French, but the entire world, as individuals and as a whole.

For many of us our gut reaction is a desire for retaliation, revenge, an end to the needless slaughter any way possible.  An end to the fear that courses through our veins every time we hear the words ISIS or terrorist.

But I truly believe the words Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;

Only Light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate;

Only Love can do that.

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On days like this, many of us want to forget those words in the raw and viseral emotions we are experiencing. Hating becomes so much easier than loving. It feels justified, powerful. But Martin Luther King, Jr. was and still is right. More hatred, more fighting will not solve this. It might temporarily stop it, it might drive it further underground, but it will not stop it from simmering and boiling over again at some other time.

Only Light and Love can truly tame the demon, the unruly beast.

And now, when it is truly the hardest to share our light and love, when we most want to hide it away and change our mask to something fierce and dark, it is the exact time we need to stand tall, and let our light and our love shine through the most strongly.

I encourage everyone to stand together and let our light and our love shine brilliantly so that there is no longer room for darkness, no shadows left to hide in.  Let there be only light and love and may we all be part of saving the world from the darkness that still has shadows to hide in.

I leave you with a quote from FB that Shane Koyzcan wrote this morning.

The wake of a tragedy often becomes an incubator for outrage. Many, with their prejudices already intact, will allow hate to reach further inward and surround their hearts with its grasp. We mustn’t let the those who carry out such atrocities become a symbol that represents the whole. There is no greater ignorance than to stand in judgement of an entire people based on the actions of a few.

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Sending much light, love, kindness and peace around the world today.  Standing in solidarity, shining brightly.  No shadows remain.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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We all have tendencies to judge.  I know, it’s natural. It’s about being aware that we’re judging, realizing we might not actually see the whole picture or know the whole story.  Once we acknowledge that we’re better able to tease the “facts” out and make better decisions.  Often our initial labels and judgements are proven to be less than accurate.

A friend passed a video on this morning and in just a few minutes, it proves the point oh so well.  Don’t be too quick to judge.  And don’t forget, other people judge us too quickly too – so don’t let their labels and judgments define you. Don’t let it become a battle.

Be you.

That’s who you are.

And no one, not a single other person, not even your identical twin can be a better you than you

Not by far!

And that is truer than true.

The video is a collection of Ameriquest commercials which tackles the subject of judgment in hilarious fashion, which in our opinion always drives the point home better.

Remember.  “Don’t judge too quickly. We won’t.”

If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilites the benefit of the doubt?  David Sedaris

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.  From: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Please note:  Rise Like Air is not affiliated with Ameriquest in anyway and makes no endorsement for or judgement against the corporation.

© 2015  JFries / Rise Like Air

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Michelle Nicholson- Managing Editor-The Star Newspaper: March 6, 2015.

Michelle Nicholson- Managing Editor-The Star Newspaper: March 6, 2015.

Last month, just before International Women’s Day, our local paper ran the above editorial.  Considering our little paper is, well, quite little, I’m always impressed with the quality and content.  Michelle Nicholson’s editorial caught my eye and she has been gracious enough to allow me to reprint it here. I chose to wait awhile because I think we need reminders more often than once a year to ensure we don’t become complacent for the other 360+ days in the year. The editorial is simple enough, a gathering called Pamper Yourself Expo held in a very small community.  Just a blip on the radar.  But that’s the point.

There are fantastic women absolutely everywhere!  In sprawling cities, tiny towns, on farms, on the road, in their homes, in the workplace.  Wonderful women, super women, everyday women.  Women that make the world go round every moment of every day. Michelle recognized that the expo was filled with wonder women. Wendy, Betty and Janet, awesome women, and I’m sure they weren’t the only ones there.

A celebration of awesomeness. I’m glad to see more women admitting that we’re important.  Women who no longer just smile and say, “Oh it was nothing.”  It is something!  Our contributions are important, are meaningful, are needed.  There is no reason why we shouldn’t admit our awesomeness, our value and accomplishments. Michelle notes all too accurately,

How come we as women don’t see our own awesomeness or the awesomeness of the women around us on a more consistent basis? We need a day to celebrate being a woman.  Men don’t.  Telling.

It’s not easy to change our thought patterns, our habits or the way we look at ourselves and each other.  Our perceptions have been coloured for so long by society, patriarchal attitudes and poor representation in history that we’ve come to accept it as true reality rather than just an incomplete perception. However, we are women, staying the course, changing, flexible, adaptable, these are all traits that lurk under the surface within us if we haven’t already teased them to the surface.  It’s time, as Michelle says, to

remind each and every woman and myself:  you are awesome, you are loved, you have value and you can do it.

It’s not about one day a year, it’s about every single day.  Women step up to the plate every day.  We work, we love, we toil, we pick up the slack, we persevere.  Some days we succeed, some days we don’t, but we keep going.  It’s not about doing it alone, being a hero or being perfect.  I think International Women’s Day has it right.

We together: Stronger, Better

It’s time to look for the best in each other, to be part of the whole.  It’s not about competing or being better than someone else.  It’s about working together, being together and supporting each other – together.  It’s about today, and every other day too.

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Helen Reddy – I Am Woman

A very special thank you to Michelle Nicholson from The Star for allowing me to share her thoughts with you.

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Photo Credit:  Jade Beall Photography from the "Bottle and Breast" shoot.  Rise Like Air has no ownership of this photo.

Photo Credit: Jade Beall Photography from the “Bottle and Breast” shoot.
Rise Like Air has no ownership of this photo.

I was reading Jade Beall’s FB post yesterday which included a photo from her “Bottle and Breast” shoot.  It was of the most beautiful mom Maveny and her sweet twin boys Oliver and Elliot.  What struck me the most was how much guilt this mom felt for things that are the most natural and common experiences of mothers in the world.  Breast feeding isn’t always easy or possible, isn’t now, never was.  Bearing children has never been a walk in the park for most women. At some point whether it’s pregnancy, labour and delivery, child rearing or letting go – at some point, it’s going to get tough.  Fair warning.

Yet somewhere we’ve gone from trying to empower women and mothers to judging them.  Empowerment means doing what’s right for your baby, yourself and your family.  That does not mean what’s right for anyone else.

About not being able to carry her beautiful babies to term Maveny laments, “Right off the bat I felt guilty for not being able to carry them until they were bigger.” About not being able to nurse and having to pump instead, she remembers, “I felt at the time this was another failure.” And about having to stop pumping and begin feeding her boys formula, “I was disappointed, but I reminded myself that our journey is not going to look like everyone else’s.”  And finally the realization and acceptance, that,

There is nothing wrong with that. I got what was most important to me, that time back to hold them and whisper things to them and enjoy our time uninterrupted. I had finally found my stride as a mother. I had found my delight.

Too many of us are trying to find a way to be the perfect mother.  Do it all, do it right, do it now.  That’s the mantra unconsciously muttered by countless mothers. And as if we aren’t hard enough on ourselves, we’ve got another array of mothers and women and whoever else judging our every move, ready to pounce on the slightest perceived infraction to perfect mothering. Most of us have experienced at least one such look down your nose type of comment, such as, “We wouldn’t introduce a pacifier,” or “I never laid little Stevie on his stomach ever!” or “Always carrying a baby spoils her,” or maybe it was phrased as an innocent question, “She’s still not sleeping through the night?” or “You use formula?” or my favourite, “He’s still not potty trained?”

I’m all in favour of opinions, just not always sharing them in every circumstance. No matter how hard we try we’re going to end up doing some things better than others. Parenting, no matter how well read or versed, is all ways a little bit of trial and error and a little bit of trial by fire.

The best thing any of us can be is supportive and patient rather than judgemental.

As women some of us will choose to become mothers, some will choose not to while yet others will have it thrust upon them and some will only be able to dream.  As Maveny said, “our journey is not going to look like everyone else’s. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Maveny’s story started me thinking about the process of going from a woman to a mother and the wide range of experience that entails. In the end all I have to ask, are your children loved, healthy and thriving? Then let’s toss the guilt.

As a Woman,
You join, you love.
You conceive, you love.
You carry, you love.
You birth, you love.

As a Mother,
You nourish, you love.
You teach, you love.
You protect, you love.
You listen, you love.
You worry, you love.
You hope, you love.
You argue, you love.
You guide, you love.

You weep, you love.
You support, you love.
You release, you love.
You watch, you love.
You wait, you love.
You smile, you love.

You accept, you love.
You love, you love.
You love.

Y    L

O   O

U   V

      E

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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Bullying and the potentially horrific results from it, have played out across media graphically. It’s a subject most of us are aware of, but few of us truly feel comfortable or capable of adequately addressing the issue that has plagued us, probably in one form or another, since the beginning of time. The Huffington Post recently ran the piece I Was The Maid Of Honor For The Girl I Bullied Mercilessly For Years.  Author xoJane admits to being bullied and then becoming a bully herself, something that’s not that uncommon.

So it was pretty great for me when Flick showed up in school. Finally, I wasn’t the biggest weirdo in town. I was pretty relieved everyone seemed to be bored of picking on me, and had moved on to something else.

And, as is unfortunately the case in too many schools,

In my school, tormenting others was the top social currency. I soon realized that not only did I need Flick to distract people from my own inadequacies, but if I joined in with everyone else, maybe I’d finally be accepted.

And while wounds may heal, as my mother loved to remind me, the scars may not fade away.

Years later and eating dinner at Flick’s house, her kid sister burst out, “Didn’t you used to bully Flick?” As I sat, frozen in shame, Flick replied, “Yeah… how embarrassing for her!” She winked at me, a familiar expression. That night, I gave her a long-overdue apology. “When it happened to me, I wanted to die sometimes,” I said. “Yeah,” she replied. “I know what you mean.”

It reminded me how complicated reality can be, victim, perpetrator, the lines can easily become blurred. Stress, fear and trauma can do strange things to very ordinary people. At least for these two best friends, past transgressions didn’t stop a true friendship from blossoming.  It was refreshing to read such a candid and honest experience that resulted in a very happy ending.

Not long after reading that piece, some friends and I were discussing a video  shared with us on Facebook. While bullying is a tough subject to deal with death is one a great many of us try to avoid or dance around completely. Suicide is even harder to face. This senior project created by Kenzie Marcigan riveted us to the screen while shredding our hearts. We each related to this video for our own reasons.

I’ll warn you up front that it is rather raw and heart wrenching. It brought every parent’s fear to the surface; the possibility of losing a child because they’ve given up on themselves, believed the lies other people have tormented them with, or maybe that they’ve tormented themselves with.

One of my friends shared an insight and it kept running through my mind for the rest of the day so I thought it was worthy to share.  The emphasis in the following quote is mine.

So very sad. I was bullied in Middle and High school. I was just the new kid who moved there, but I never fit in with those who grew up together. I had abuse at home and at school. And I too tried to kill myself more than once.

I’m so very glad I was never successful because I would have missed so many wonderful things that came after those terrible school years.

But kids need to be held responsible for their actions and have severe punishment for what they say and do. I was mean to one girl in collegeeven knowing how awful I felt when others were mean to me – and 30 years later I still feel bad about it, but she is no longer here to apologize to. So I strive to do better every day. ~ name withheld by request

Bullied, just the new kid, never fit in, abused at home and at school all becoming too much and creating the sole desire to make it all go away for ever.  But when it gets overwhelming and you can’t find a way to cope, or to make it go away, you decide there is one thing that you can make go away.  Yourself.

Experience doesn’t necessarily develop empathy or compassion. We know that the abused can become abusers.  For many of us who have been bullied though, eventually, even if we’ve bullied someone else, the seeds of empathy and compassion often slowly sprout and we grow from our experience, but live with the regret of our actions.

As for our friend, I have to say I’m so very glad too. Words of truth, “so many wonderful things that came after those terrible school years.” There are a lot of us who value this person, I’d hate to think that those horrid times in middle and high school may have robbed us of an opportunity to call them friend.

And that’s the thing, I’m willing to bet that every single person who has given up on themselves would ultimately find a loving, welcoming place, if only they could find the will to wait, to realize there is more beyond where they find themselves right in that instant, even when the instant feels like eternity.

Why do so many of us feel compelled to refer to at least a portion of our school years as “terrible” or “horrible”. Why is it still so and for how much longer must it remain so?

Close the door to your past, open the door to your future. Take a deep breath and step through to a new life.  Unknown

Close the doors that cause you pain, anger and suffering so you can open the ones that bring you love, acceptance and inner peace.  Unknown

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds. Uknown

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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