Posts Tagged With: forgiveness

Day 1272: If I Ruled the World

If I ruled the world,

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my creative son would become President of the United States,

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there would be dedication at every turn,

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people would give forgiveness and accept their own greatness,

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all houses would stand against hate, prejudice, violence, and homophobia,

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everyone would practice kind listening and kind speaking, and

nobody would be afraid to sing along to songs like “If I Ruled the World” (written by Cyril Ornadel and Leslie Bricusse).

What would the world be like if you ruled the world?

Thanks to all who helped me create this worldly post and to all who are reading it right now, because you rule!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1170: Live in your strength

Yesterday, when I was having a grumpy day, I saw this on a teabag:

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What does “Live in your strength” mean to you?  Does the strength of that advice live, for you, with any of my live-in-your-strength guesses?

  • Appreciate what strengths you have.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Take advantage of what life gives you.
  • Find strength wherever you can.
  • Expand your understanding of your own unique gifts throughout your life.
  • Embrace what you’re good at.
  • Share your strengths with others.
  • Let go of judgment about your limits.
  • Challenge yourself, with kindness.

Which of my other photos from yesterday best illustrate “live in your strength,” for you?

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On the strength of my including two photos of the same lively yellow moped, above, I now want to share these strong life memories:

When I was in my early 20s, I went to Bermuda with my friend Peter and rode a moped for the first time. That made me feel so alive, I bought a yellow moped when I returned to Boston, exactly like that lively one I saw yesterday. For years, I lived on that moped, riding it to work and all around town. After my lifestyle changed and I stopped riding it, I  still kept that moped, no matter where I lived. When I moved to where I live now, four years ago, I sold that yellow moped  to one of the lively movers. Ever since then, I’ve missed my yellow moped and I’ve envied the lives of scooter riders that live all around me. However, my  cardiologist strongly advises me to live the remainder of my life off of mopeds and scooters, because of the strong anti-coagulant medication that helps me live a normal life.

Which “live in your strength” music would you choose for this post? I choose the strongest (or, at least, most popular) song from 1975, the first time in my life that I lived on a moped.

I now invite you to live in your strength by expressing any thoughts and feelings in a comment, below.

Live and strong thanks to Peter, to my cardiologist, to Terry S. at work (who owns the “Daily Bitch” calendar), to the Captain and Tennille, and to all those who live in their strength, here and now (including you, of course).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1020: So Close

As I’m typing this “So Close” post, my cat Oscar is SO close to me. My phone is NOT so close, so close down any expectation of seeing an in-the-moment photo of that. However, this other photo is so close to my current experience, that I’ll share it:

Photo on 9-15-15 at 6.50 PM

I hope Oscar’s not so close to biting my fingers — as he often is when he’s so close while I’m so close to my blog, every morning.

Oscar likes to get so close to me and my boyfriend Michael, every day. He’s also fearless about getting so close to strangers, vacuum cleaners, and our downstairs neighbor’s dog, Faxy.

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Oscar’s behaviors are not so close to other cats I’ve been so close to.

I know there were other reasons why I chose the title “So Close” today, but I’m not so close to remembering those, right now.

Was it about being so close

  • to cold and snow, here in Boston, Massachusetts?
  • to collecting data to publish an article about my therapy groups?
  • to putting down a deposit on an office which is so close to my home, so I can do even more therapy groups, which are so close to my heart?
  • to finishing my thesis for a masters in Film Studies at Boston University in the 1980s, but never completing it?
  • to forgiving people who have hurt me, including a doctor at Children’s Hospital in the 1960s?
  • to superstar Jackie Chan, at a fan event  in the 1980s, when he was so close to becoming so famous in the U.S. (instead of just being the #1 movie star in Hong Kong, China, and other major parts of the world that are so close to us)?
  • to singing sensation Clay Aiken in a 2007 performance of the musical Spamalot on a Broadway, because I was the lucky audience member sitting so close that I was chosen to come up on stage and be so close to the action for so close to 10 minutes?

Because I’m so close to quoting Wikipedia whenever I’m so close to Oscar and to my keyboard, writing my daily posts, I shall now insert this quote about the musical Spamalot:

A large stone block showing a combination of letters and numbers is also revealed. (The letters are based on the seat numbering system used by each theatre. They are changed from performance to performance to discourage audience members from intentionally booking any of the possible seats. The seat is typically on the aisle in one of the first few rows nearest the orchestra. In the Broadway production and on the tour it is either A101, B101, C101 or D101; i.e., Seat 101 – which is house right of the center aisle – of Rows A, B, C, or D.[3] In the West End Production a word is revealed – DONE, CONE or BONE, referring to D1, C1 and B1 respectively.) After pondering the final clue, Arthur admits that they’re “a bit stumped with the clue thing” and asks God to “give them a hand”. A large hand points to the audience and Arthur realises that the letters and numbers refer to a seat number in the audience. The grail is “found” (with some sleight of hand) under the seat and the person sitting in the seat is rewarded with a small trophy and a polaroid photo. (“The Holy Grail”).

Because that quote is not so close to capturing how much fun it is to be so close to the actors on stage during a performance of Spamalothere’s a photo so close to me:

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I am so close, but yet so far, from why I initially started this “So Close” post, which is this:

Last night,  two items for side-position sleeping were so close to me as I was so close to falling asleep.  Throughout the night, I was so close to retrieving the side-positioning pillow and the McGyvered backpack I’ve been using. But I never did.

Why, sometimes, are we so close but so far from taking a small action we know will help us?

Are you so close to leaving a comment, at this point?

I am so close to finishing this post, but I still haven’t included any photos I took yesterday, when I was so close to all these things:

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Now that I’ve shared those all-new images, what music am I so close to including here?

Inspired by one of the photos so close, above, I am taking the small action of resharing this video, where Tom Waits is so close to sounding like the Cookie Monster:

I am so close to laughing whenever I watch God’s Away on Business, created by somebody who is so close to being a total genius.

Now, I am so close to finally finishing this post! Here’s another all-new photo, from yesterday:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 356: Signs, Full Stop

Like yesterday’s post, this post begins with a mistake — with something I mis-remembered.

When I woke up this morning, I knew I wanted to re-use this photo, which I took last week:

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I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those signs with Extra Added Stopping Power (flashing lights edition).  I hadn’t, until my trip last week through space and time to sign my will.

After I woke up this morning, I knew I wanted to use that sign, again, in today’s post. And before I trudged downstairs to begin writing, I had many thoughts about what I wanted to tell you, including this:

During 1991, when I was in my late 30’s, and was in the middle of an upsetting law suit (which I had decided to pursue), I ran a stop sign and hit another car. The other car was driven by a mother, who was with her little girl.  

To this day,  I still have a vivid image of the mother, afterwards, standing outside her car, crying, her daughter standing next to her, frozen, and a bag of groceries spilling its  contents into the street.

Today, the image of that accident is still there, in my mind, for me to look at.

Even though nobody was really hurt (physically), I wondered afterwards whether I would ever recover, and let go of my guilt.  My mind kept telling me, “It was your fault.” “Being distracted and upset is NO excuse.” “The red of the tomatoes from the grocery bag could just as easily have been the blood from that little girl.””You are guilty. Period.”

I worked on that experience, in therapy, for a long time.  And I remember also thinking this: if I had actually seriously hurt or killed either of those people, I would never be able to live with myself.

But why such a harsh sentence, for myself?  I mean, my mistake was being distracted, momentarily.  I’m usually a good, observant driver.

And, honestly, I still get distracted, these days, too.  I’m  not a perfect driver. I could still kill somebody, some day. That could definitely happen (to me, or anybody else, no matter how well we drive).

And I still wonder: Would I be able to go on, if something like that happened now?

In my work as a therapist, I talk to people, a lot, who feel guilt about something they’ve done. They often use words like “terrible” to describe the deed. Usually, whatever they did, they didn’t mean to.  It was an accident. They were distracted. They were dealing with difficult emotions. They were, often, doing the best they could, at the time.  But still, something awful happened, and they can ascribe the blame to themselves.

In therapy, we have very interesting conversations about those experiences. Here are  some things I try to communicate, to those people:

You may feel different in profound ways, but you’re still the same person, with all your flawed and beautiful human qualities, as you were before this happened.

If this hadn’t happened, would you feel differently about yourself?   Well, you are still you, only now having made a (terrible) mistake.

Why condemn yourself to a sentence of never-ending guilt, for something that you cannot undo?

I hope they hear — and take in — invitations to forgive themselves, whether they hear them from me, or somebody else.

I hope I take those in, too, because — just by living as long as I have — I have several memories of times when I was imperfect, made mistakes, and hurt somebody else.

So, what’s my unfinished business, for this post, right now?  I told you, at the beginning, that I had made another mistake — related to my memory of that stop sign, above.  You can see evidence of that mistake, in the title of this post.

I had (mis)remembered the part of the sign that says, “all way.”  I thought it said, “full stop.” And I was all ready to say lots of things about the phrase “full stop,” including references to punctuation marks, among other things.

When I first realized that mistake this morning, I entered “full stop” into Google Images, because I wasn’t ready to let go of that (misremembered) phrase. And here’s what came up:

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i-d-rather-be-a-comma-than-a-full-stop.american-apparel-unisex-fitted-tee.white.w760h760**

download (7)***

keep-calm-and-use-a-full-stop-at-the-end-of-the-sentence****

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And I liked those images, partly because they reminded me of other posts I’ve written for you (and me) this year. (See here and here for two of those posts.)

But here’s what I want to say about the phrase “full stop,” right now.  I wish I had come to a full stop at that stop sign, so many years ago.  But I didn’t.

Maybe, if a sign like the one I saw last week — with its flashing lights and a stop sign at every corner —  had been at that intersection in 1991, all three of us — that mother, the little girl, and me — would have been okay.  In other words, maybe the accident would not have occurred.

But it did. So the best I can do, in the moment, is hope that all three of us are okay, now.

I am.

Thanks to good-enough therapists, drivers, rememberers, healers, and forgivers, wherever they are. And extra special thanks — with flashing lights — to you, for reading today.

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* I found this image here.

** I found this image here.

*** I found this image here.

**** I found this image here.

***** I found this image here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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