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Both.

It’s a shame that the quietest souls are the ones with the most wisdom to express. Or is it the lack of expression that is wise? The loudest shouts are typically based in stupidity. Here I am, using a lot of words... In hectic times, news becomes olds when the same stories are mercilessly shoved down American’s throats. Force fed topics that have validity but are so hyperbolized that it sends us into a tailspin. With people choosing to either defend themselves or go on the offensive. Isolating moments in time where their generalizations prove to be true. Looking through lenses that corroborate their intentions, whether it be connected to financial concerns or foundational justices to name a few. We all need a blank slate. Is that utopian? Yes and no. The blank slate happens in this moment; it begins and ends with personal change. If you, me or Dorothy can make personal changes, that is the best foot forward. I am white. My opinion is tenuously placed on a delicate fringe wherein most of what I say can potentially be twisted. I mean no harm. I only want to see balance in our society wherein everyone is treated equally. In this moment, we cannot make up for the devastatingly painful history of our country, but we can work to embody the kindness, peace and equality in our everyday actions. We can stand for every human as deserving of freedom to achieve their highest soul potential. Funny enough, WE often get in our own way of maximizing our times here on this beautifully deranged planet… and sometimes we look to blame everything else but ourselves.

What has gotten in the way of me and my happiness in the past few years? 1) Let’s start with my own expectations. When you set such a hard drawn line of what you expect out of yourself in life, in volleyball, in love. Then you will come up short 9 times out of 10. Sure, growth is in setting high reaching goals. And I have grown, but I have also grown increasingly frustrated. Decisions are put under a microscope when every action is a detailed prosecution on my commitment to my own health and volleyball supremacy. Life’s not fun wearing rubber gloves all the time. Looking through this perfectionistic lens becomes painful over time. Losses are more painful than the sighs of relief after victories. The one practice you finally perform at your peak is the only one worth mentioning. I urge young athletes to be kind to themselves, to salvage the joy of the sport above all. Results will come, and can be appreciated, but not held as a measuring stick for their value. 2) Thinking, overthinking, and then analyzing how much you think. Think about it. Thoughts thoroughly limit touch with reality. I am just finally dismantling my own dependence on thought for protection. We have this sick tendency to believe that every moment of joy and success in our lives can be tied to the amount of effort and thought we put into action. When out of balance, this can leave us feeling nothing more than we believe we should. The greatest moments of our life always happen in the present moment when we are connected from the body and our beating hearts. Flow is an incredible space in which we can feel oneness. In our minds, we connect this feeling to our piles and heaps of hard work. While I believe this has something to do with being an expert, a lot of the time we are just getting in the way. In the time we took dissecting our last poor shot on the volleyball court, we could have hit 5 more shots and felt the improvement ensue. We like to take credit for our growth as opposed to witness it and allow our emotions to flow through us accepting all on the spectrum of our wonderful humanness. 3) The limits of self-judgment. This one falls into all of the other categories too. When we are operating from a mindset or frequency that believes something is wrong or has to change for happiness to be available, then we get stuck in a perpetual loop of healing ourselves. That’s not natural. I have been often catalogued to be over the top open with my personal affairs. Expressing my worries over sexuality and chronicling my struggles to know who I am. Looking at the system as broken and holding me back from personal freedom. The constructs of capitalism and the seeming ensnarement of committing to anything longterm. It all traps us, but it’s not as bad as I have made it out to be. So I have hit the road on a relatively empty tank. Searching for passion and purpose outside of what has started to feel self absorbed and complacent. But ironically, the mission to do so was quite selfish. This life is full of these contradictions. Wherein I have learned to say: BOTH. It is not always so black and white. Let’s bring some color to the gray area. Some awareness to the fact that most of these two-sided debates to the death have a lot more intricacies. Compassion finds these spaces in every nook and cranny. No matter the sexual preference, skin color, or demographic, we can continue to recognize the differences we have and celebrate them. As well as recognize the deep seated similarity we share in the heart and soul. Both.

This outlook has given me freedom during times of tumult. Both. So when we start to stir the pot of our own experience again, and we are left with a vortex of spiraling negative energy to deal with, can we take a breath and relax in the fact that change takes times? But also believe and truly feel that we can find happiness in the smallest little granules of life here. In those infinitely precious moments, we realize that change isn’t even necessary. And maybe from this grounded revelation, change will occur. The ways in which the world operates is based in the energy of its people. By focusing on an individual level to promote kindness and love, the system cannot stand as it is. But by fighting fire with fire, we will continue the cycle of devastation. And as I rant and ramble, and do my best to express, I take it upon myself to be the best I can be. To speak my truth. To balance this with kindness for the situations graver than mine. To drop the guilt, and use my position to spread good and positivity as opposed to stoop to the level and feel as if I need to actively attack this moment as a problem. Everybody has their own way of responding to these times. And in an effort to understand each other better, let’s start with asking questions as opposed to pointing fingers. The better we can communicate from the heart, the more we will learn and the better we can serve each other. Lovingly listening. Every soul at the root of their journey has something that will make our heart open. Compassion for the killer who was abused by his father. It’s hard. But it’s better than wasting our energy fighting reality.

Aw heck, both. Drift into the silence…

Both

The space in between

Uncertain forever

Pretending to know

A disguise that is clever

We argue and bicker

Strong in opinions

Sucking down liquor

’Til our energy thickens

It’s smoother it’s safer

To depend on the labels

Choices for choosing

Judgment our fables

Decision are tougher when

There’s a right answer

But nothing is wrong

Even disasters

For in it is learning

So nothing needs changing

No mental conclusions

Incessant arranging

Asking more questions

With no rhyme or reason

Letting it happen

Compassion in season

Loving our neighbor

With a deep understanding

That everyone’s journey

Can be so demanding

Look in the eyes of

A friend or a stranger

Connecting together

No imminent danger

So the next time we talk

Leave space for not knowing

With this perspective

We’re endlessly growing


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