.http://patreon.com/jolope

.http://patreon.com/jolope
http://patreon.com/jolope

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Perspective

I just saw this article about what is going on in Japan. Whenever I hear about how nuclear energy is considered "green," I am floored. How is something so potentially devastating allowed to be called "green?"

There is a lot of arguing about whether "Global Warming" is real. Many times the denial of the possibility is justification for doing something potentially - likely - harmful to the planet. And it is OK if it is the planet or the animals. It is not people, after all. 

Whether there is such a phenomena or not I really do not think matters. We suck as caretakers of this place we call home. We could do so much better, and our willful ignorance of the fact that we are not immune to what people do in other parts of our world - whether it is a block or an ocean over - has a way of coming back and biting us in the butt.

Earlier today someone called me "clueless" in response to an ad I have on a site for meeting people. I think maybe he might have meant unrealistic or perhaps idealistic. I do not understand why we have to play games. I call things as I see them. It frustrates me that others think that because things are the way they are, that is the way we should continue to interact with them.  

I am not clueless because I step back to question the things others say are or should be and neither are those people who sound the warning bells about our environment, food, medicines, vaccines, the state of our interaction with one another. It seems to me that those who criticize others who are really seeking better options - or at least potentially less harmful ones - might be standing on the deck of the Titanic in port encouraging others to get on board because they don't know what they will be missing by doing something different, while at the same time being disparaging about the fact that the choices of some did not allow them the choice to be on board.

Those who could not make the choice, and those who could have made, but did not make, the choice to jump aboard like others did are the ones who got to live another day without the terror of seeing others die in the icy waters, or having their own life threatened or cut short.

It could sound like I am judging other people's choices. Perhaps I am. However, I am also saying there is a lot we do not know and do not understand, or only think we do. And while there may be times we think we know something, it may be that we are headed for an iceberg and not know it. For that reason, if someone is unwilling to see things as we do, it does not mean we should jump aboard their ship. It might be we will miss out, but that might be a good thing.

At the same time, there have been a countless number of ships that have sailed on to create new opportunities - a la Christopher Columbus. 

How do we know which ship to board? 

I was watching The West Wing recently, and there was an episode that included interviews with former Presidents. One of them was President Ford. He made a comment about how when he was in Congress he never understood why the President's Office acted as it did. When he got to the President's Office, he did not understand why those in Congress acted as they did.

He was on one ship, and then boarded another one. He, like many of us, do not often understand something until there is some reason we need to understand it because it now affects us personally.

How much of our life is dependent on things we do not understand? How much of life itself is? I would be willing to bet quite a lot, and yet we all too often act with a blatant disregard for our home and fellow planet dwellers.

When the alarm clock goes off there comes a moment - perhaps after we have hit the snooze a few times - we only have enough time to get where we are going before it is just too late no matter what we do.

I really hope we don't get to that point as a people on this planet, but it surely does seem like we could be headed there.





Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Vlog Updates (Video)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blame Game

I have been thinking about the whole "blame vs taking responsibility game." When someone is being responsible for themselves, doesn't that in some way imply blame? Is the difference between the two merely on who gets blamed, the person him or herself, or another?

In considering this, it made me think about the idea of blame. How often is someone blamed for something good? Blame is usually associated with something negative. It is associated with something that somehow did not go the way that was intended.

Even if a person takes personal responsibility for his or her life, there are many times things will not go as intended. I know many who would say that we should take personal responsibility for things, as it gives us a sense of power, while blaming makes us a victim.

I am not so sure about that.

There are times in life we are without control, no matter how much we try to have it and no matter how much we do want it. If I take responsibility for something that I may not be able to control, I am still possibly going to feel helpless and like a victim.

I think about this because in thinking that we have the ability to control things and change them, when we don't do it, or are not seemingly able to effect change, it can leave us feeling like a four-letter-word. It can almost be worse than finding someone or something outside of us to blame it on. We should be able to do something about it, right?

I suppose any idea can be empowering or corrupted in a negative way. Someone might even feel empowered by blaming something on another because then they have the freedom to walk away without the weight of the responsibility. In some cases, that even might be a good thing.

It seems to me that no one likes to be blamed. It is easier to tell someone else to take responsibility than it is to be labelled in some uncomfortable way. As I write this I think about something that happened in the past year. I think about how someone blamed me for something that I was hardly responsible for. At the time, I recognized the fact and very calmly pushed back. But what I did not do was tell that person to take responsibility. All I did was not assume any that was not mine.

Maybe there are times others are to blame. "A" did exactly what I asked him not to do. I had asked him to not hang around because of my diagnosis. But he did just that. I was being "responsible" to myself in having the conversation with him and making the request, but in the end, I still got nothing more than sadness and disappointment and hurt when he went against it. And, it was even worse because I had made the request which he chose to ignore.

I wonder if responsibility and blame serve any purpose in life other than to be markers in a the game? I think we often act like they are the answer to the things in life that ail us. The part of us that always wants to fix things, it seems, uses the words, and the ideas of what they are supposed to represent, in an attempt to effect the outcome we desire.

Is that what we are "supposed" to do with it? The implication is that we can control and fix anything. What if there are things that we can't control or can't fix? Is something always responsible for something else? If we don't know what that responsible piece is then how can we do what we need to get what we want? That somehow doesn't seem right or fair to me. Something is affecting us, we don't know why, and there is nothing we can seem to do about it.

It has been said that we aren't given a wish without the ability to fulfill it. I have had many wishes that I have wanted to be fulfilled. They are things I gave everything I had to in every way that I knew to do. I was left wanting. Some would say that there was something that held me back. It was something unconscious, perhaps. It is one potential explanation in a world in which we often feel the need to explain and understand things and feel like we have control.

But do we have control, or do we just have the illusion of control?

What if the focus on responsibility and blame take us away from what just is? Responsibility and blame have inherent judgments in them. It seems to me that without them, we are without the judgments that can control what we do and what we think we want. What if a life lived within a blame and responsibility framework limits us? Maybe that is what we want? After all, when we know what to expect, there is a comfort level that isn't there when we can't label and control and define things.

Several years ago I was speaking with someone who challenged me to say things in the positive. So many people will think they are saying something positive when it actuality, it is said in such a way that it is negating something else. For instance, they are given a choice between a red car and a silver one, and they say, "I don't want the red car."

(And now I forget where I was going with that.

This happens too much lately. I really hope it is just the stress and overwhelm and tiredness that I feel, and nothing more.)

Oh, I think I remember. I think I was thinking about that because at the time it was something that was foreign to me. It took a lot for me to wrap my head around it. It had to bend it ways it wasn't accustomed.

As I am writing this, it seems to me to be a whole different way of looking at things than I am used to. It is a bit difficult to wrap my head around it. But, even still, I am feeling like there may be something to it.

What would life be like if I just dismissed the judgments, labels and boxes? What if I truly just allowed myself to be in the moment and chose to love myself instead of wondering what, if anything, I did wrong or what, if anything, I should be doing differently?

So many times I get annoyed when I think about how words can manipulate people, and even more so when there are people who will justify it. I am really starting to ask myself how do I "know" anything, and it is not likely that it is going to be through what someone else says or does. It is going to be something I will feel in my gut. And if my gut leads the way, I will have to trust that it is taking me exactly where I need to be, and has brought me exactly where I am - and potentially for reasons I will never understand.

In some way, it also seems to me that responsibility and blame aren't words that exist in the now. By the nature of what they provide, they live in the past or the future. Maybe it is time I gave up responsibility and blame and just took on being as aware as I can be in the now, and doing the best I can at any given moment, and trusting that it is the right thing for me to do and - allowing myself to embrace the idea that it IS enough.

That *I* am enough.

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Feeling...

lost tonight.

I was going to say "a bit," but it sounds more in control than I actually feel.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just Wait Until...

I was just reading an article that was written by a mom. Three little words, "Just wait until..." irk her. As I was reading it, I thought about how so many times in life we discredit another person's experience by words that attempt to compare, or show how there couldn't possibly be any comparison. The other person obviously has it worse.

Often there is no ill will intended. Often people don't even realize how the words come across - until they are the recipient of them at some point.

from cedonaah.blogspot.com
Will there ever come a time that we will be able to just allow others to be where they are? Is it possible? I have had my times, too, so maybe we all need to have our moments. Maybe it is one way we learn.

As usual, I am asking questions.

**

I am not feeling so great tonight. I am wondering if I need to get a Pet Scan, in some part, to ease my mind, or let me know what I am facing. I am scared. There is so much going on and pending, it is the last thing I need to deal with.

I have been doing way too much. I am not taking care of myself the way I would like to. I don't know how I am going to do that. I haven't done any big statements lately about my money situation, but it is definitely a concern. A scary one. I don't know what to do. I really hope I will somehow work things out, and I will be meeting with Disability people next week. Not sure what it will mean, but hopefully within 6 weeks of that I should hopefully know what, if anything, they are going to do.

It is not enough to live on. But it will help.

I really wish I could get off this ride, but the only way that I can do it is to die and I don't feel ready to do that just yet - and it's not exactly what I have in mind, either.

I didn't sleep well last night. I tossed and turned pretty much all night and had to get up early this morning. For the first time in a long time, I might be able to go to sleep earlier than usual tonight.

I can't help but wonder if I "should" be doing things differently. So often I am so exhausted it is hard for me to sit or lay still without falling asleep. That doesn't help when it comes to meditation or prayer or anything of that family. And even if I "should," I have no idea how I can when most of what I need to do is survive and what immediately shows up in front of me.

Fingers crossed my friend's house sells next week. It will alleviate some of the anxiety and need to move and do some things. At least until he buys his next house...and then it is all of this all over again...and that is only until I figure out what's next.

I am exhausted.

My friend just said something about just wanting to get a break. I know the feeling.

Btw, furniture is still for sale. But I may change my mind about the couch. Instead, I may be posting a picture of my friend's couch, and I will get to keep mine a while longer. Ultimately I would like to keep it, period. In some way, it feels psychologically like I am giving up by giving up my couch. I know that may not be the case, but there is something to it.

I want my own place with my own things that I love again one day. Even better, I would love to have someone special to share it with. I sometimes get scared that won't happen. I sometimes get scared my world is shrinking.

I sometimes get very scared.

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Update of Sorts

I am struggling a bit. Maybe more than a bit. I feel like there is an undercurrent of angry. I feel unsettled. I am going to sleep on the average at 2:00 in the morning. My living space is a mess. My living situation is up in the air.

My health situation is unnerving me. My tumor marker went up a bit from last time. It isn't in a "bad" place overall, but it isn't the only indicator of what is going on in my body.

The only way to tell what is going on is to get scans that I don't want to get. As long as I am not having symptoms, and my marker is in the OK range, they're not as concerned as they otherwise might be, and might be willing to delay the tests a month, or so.

I was told the oncologist never returns calls. That's OK, except for the fact that someone should have told me that when I asked to speak with him. As a result, I heard nothing before my visit.

For some reason when they need to do both an MRI and a Pet Scan, the MRI needs to be done first. I didn't quite understand it, but there is some reason it is necessary. I didn't pursue the explanation, as it really didn't matter why. It mattered more to me that there might be a potentially unnecessary test.

From what I understand a Pet Scan is a one-dimensional image that lights up areas of potential concern. An MRI is a 3D image of the same area, so it tells doctors if the highlighted area is an actual growth of some sort. If for some reason a Pet Scan showed no areas of concern, I don't know why an MRI would be done. And this is the question I asked.

I asked if there was a necessity to do an exam if we could start with the Pet, and if necessary, I go back at some point for the MRI. So now I wait to find out if that is possible.

I hate this. How do I know what the best option is? When I talked about the tests causing additional problems down the road, the person I spoke with minimized the concerns. Do I believe her? There are many who wouldn't believe her - or any doctor.

When I got the previous MRI all I kept thinking was that I was hoping that I wasn't in some way going down a path of multiple scans and testing. If I get a Pet and an MRI this year, that will be 2 in the year, and that is after 3 Cat Scans last year and at least 2 Pets.

I also got some indication about my back. The "good" news is that what is going on might be temporary, as long as I don't keep re-injuring myself. The "bad" news is it could take up to six months of temporary. It is no stretch to say it scares me to have to deal with chemo and/or surgery with my back not doing very well. I am not happy about it period, but this added dimension sucks.

This is unnerving me, and wearing me down, on top of everything else. My friend is stressing about the sale of his house. The potential owners are being a pain in the butt. Other than the fact that the deal may come down to the wire, he seems to be handling things fairly well. It could be that they could walk away at a late hour, and that would be pretty messed up.

Having to sell furniture sucks. I don't want to do it, but I can't keep it. I can't afford to. Plus, even if I did, I have no way of knowing if one day I will have a place to use it. It is too bad I didn't somehow know this before I left California. I spent money moving it because I intended to be back on my own within a couple years at most.

Apparently life has had other ideas.

In the back of my mind I am scared. In the back of my mind I pray that everything is OK. I pray that surgery and/or chemo never come back on the table. I pray that I am one who gets to live another day and look back on this as an experience that I lived through. At the same time, I am afraid because there are the most wonderful, optimistic people who don't live to see another day, and their road ends.

When someone who has been dealing with cancer dies, you often hear, "after a xx-year battle with xx cancer, so-n-so has succumbed." I don't want to be that person. I don't want the last thing that someone hears about me to be about how the last years of my life were spent "battling" cancer.

Often I say that while I talk about cancer here, this blog is about life. As I think about what I am dealing with, the experience of cancer is now a part of the weave that is my life. It is inescapable. I keep thinking about how people will view me when my time comes. I certainly hope that is not a sign that the end is anywhere near.

I don't know if I ever said this, but I wasn't surprised when cancer showed up. I think I somehow knew it would. For many years I was concerned about cancer - almost irrationally. Then, in Nov/Dec of the year prior to my diagnosis, I had a thought at one point that I wouldn't have hair the following winter. It was a blip, and it was one I didn't know what to do with, so I just kept going. But, somehow - I knew.

I don't think my time is up, and I hope it isn't up any time sooner than I want it to be. The "good" thing, though, is that I am almost as ready as I ever could be to go, as I have really felt like I have done the best I can do. I would be disappointed to "leave" without writing a book.  Although, in some way, I have written the book by the number and depth of these blog entries.

But I still intend to do more. I still want to do more. I still hope to be able to do more.

I just hope my body and mind agree to a longer lease.


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Day 13: #303030 Fundraiser for Anita for Extreme (Back) Medical Situation


A while ago I started a new thing: 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars. Today I have chosen someone who has come to my attention through a networking group.

Anita needs help because she has an extreme medical condition in regard to her back (Click here for the campaign). There are only a few places that can help her, one of which is in California. She will be going there with someone, and the cost won't be cheap. Having had some of my own back issues and discomfort, I can only begin to imagine what she might be facing, since she has spent most of the last year in bed.

I sent my $1 a few days ago, but this is the first opportunity I have had to share it with you. I hope you will consider helping her out.

If you don't know me, you may not know that I am really in no position to be spending my money on others. I am running out myself after having dealt with cancer since last May. I began this #303030 as a way of living into the idea that each and every $1 matters. I have often said it, but up until this past year, I was not likely to be one to help another, even with a $1. It wasn't that I didn't want to, but often I would be concerned how I would look (cheap?), or think that somehow the recipient might think that it didn't mean anything, or I would intend to do it later, which never came.

I decided to change that. I had to change it. So often I will see those in great need echo my words. They, too, know the value of the little things adding up. It is those who have never had that great need who would likely question the value of what would seem a minor contribution.

It really does mean something to someone who really is struggling. I guarantee it. Not sure if they are legit, or not? It is a valid question. At the same time, if it is "only" $1 to you, then does it really matter if they're not?

In this case, people that I know and respect have validated Anita's situation so if that helps you to make the choice to help, great.

I keep telling people to feel free to reference me if they are looking to raise funds. I really don't mind. Part of my reason for doing this is to show people that if I can do it, they can, too. Even if it was one person, $1, over 12 months, it is making a difference in 12 people's lives in ways you could only possibly imagine.

I really do wonder in the super-sized world we live in if we think small enough often enough.

**

Want to take my idea a step further? Share this concept with others. Imagine what an incredible difference it would make in the world if one day each and every person took a dollar and gave it to someone in need. The thought, quite frankly, blows my mind. In the best possible way of course. I wonder if there would be some way to start that movement. Anyone got any ideas?

Even if not, the $1 you contribute still does matter.

Thanks.

PS Are you around at 4 PM Eastern today? Join me live on WorldofPerspectiveRadio.com

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Furniture for Sale

Well...the time has come to sell things. They MUST go. I really hate to see them go, especially the couch to the left, but storing and moving is cost prohibitive at this point.

I also hate vultures who take advantage at a time like this. I really need help/money, and anything that gets sold will be of a great help to me.

So far I have put 3 ads up on Craigslist. If you could please take a look at them and see if you can pass them along to others, I would appreciate it tremendously.



These items must go by the end of the week.

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4022927625.html couch
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4022945863.html bed
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4022961443.html bedroom furniture
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4023912287.html table and chairs
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/for/4030340533.html workout equipment
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4030341735.html IKEA white coffee table with shelf
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4030342978.html IKEA white desk
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4030343874.html brown desk with one drawer
http://baltimore.craigslist.org/fuo/4030346236.html 2 drawer 2 shelf organizer

Thanks for anything you can do to help make this happen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An Attempt at a Release

I should be in bed. I am going to have a long day tomorrow. But I wanted to write first, to release some stuff.

Today was an emotional day. But it wasn't emotional for any reason you might suspect. It was emotional because I was trying to get some things done that required me to be physical, and in the middle of doing them I heard a crash.

What crashed?

The rod in the closet. All of the clothes came crashing down. It was the last thing I needed. My back, which was doing much better, started to hurt like hell as I moved the clothes. It was hard to bend. It was hard to move. It was hard to get up. Everything just freaking hurt like hell.

It is the last thing I need right now.

I find I do so much better when I don't have extra things to deal with. The minute something gets thrown into the mix, it is just too much. I was even in tears at one point, and could barely move when it was all over.

My friend was telling me about something he had seen years ago about someone who has a very high success rate working with people who have back problems. One woman had tried everything, and got to the point she couldn't even walk. She had to use a scooter. A week after she met with John Sarno she was doing much better. She even got to the point that she could jog.

John Sarno would talk to those who came to him. He would assess if they had any "real" physical problems, and if they didn't, he would talk to them, and have them attend a 3-hour seminar. John believes that in cases in which there seems to be no "real" cause for the pain, the source is in one's own mind. The mind is doing the person a favor by distracting them from emotional pain they are feeling, by giving them physical pain that can be in the neck, shoulders, back.

This is nothing that comes to me as new news. I have known about Louise Hay and her book You Can Heal Your Life for years. In it, there is a "menu" of physical symptoms and the correlating mental state. Guess what lower back pain is. Seriously. Take a guess if you don't know.

It has to do with money concerns.

I have had those for months. And even more recently, as I am worried what will happen in the next couple.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But I can't totally disregard it. I have asked the doctors about the pain, and they seem to think it is my back - nothing more. They think it might just be coincidence that it is bothering me now, that it is not in any way related to what has been going on with me in the last year and a half.

Something for me to think about for sure. Because I probably have pushed down a lot of stuff as I continue to try to cope and survive.

I am also brewing/stewing a bit because I called my oncologist's office last week to ask to speak with him. The last visit the person who works with him gave me an answer of "because the doctor says so" when I asked about an MRI they want me to have. I have been thinking about the Pet and MRI that they scheduled me for in a few weeks, and I have questions. I am not sure I want the tests. They should know by now that I don't just say, "Yes, sir," and do what they say.

Because I felt brushed off, I decided to go straight to the oncologist, who has not called me back. I feel a bit at odds with them at the moment because I haven't been able to have the conversation I feel I need to have.

It isn't the first time. I remember sitting in a room talking about a port that everyone thought I should get, but that I did not want. Unfortunately, they won that battle ultimately as my veins got hard to access with the chemo, and I didn't have much of a choice. I am more or less OK with it, but I think it is a bit more on the less side overall. Anyone who remembers has asked if I am happy to have it. I think they are surprised I don't give the standard YES that so many others seem to.

I am feeling really anxious. Money. Health. How to deal with health. My back. Moving house. Being unable to move much physically. Trying to live while in a state of flux. Watching my bank account dwindle. A cat that may soon have to be put to sleep.

I haven't been going to sleep until nearly 2:00. Tonight it needs to be sooner. I haven't felt this stressed in a while. That dang rod in the closet. I know it may seem small, but it really pushed me over the freaking edge today. That's what happens when you are living in survival mode. Just one too many things, and it is all too easy to come crashing down.

Plus, for anyone wondering about the potential opportunity to speak next month...I am disappointed to say I wasn't chosen. I am sure the event drew some really wonderful speakers, I just wish I had been one of them. I will still likely go, and I will be sharing more info for anyone who might be in Maryland then. I am sure it will be quite an event.

As I think about what has been going on, it feels like things are lining up in the minus column a bit more quickly than the plus one. No wonder I ain't feelin' so great. I feel like I want to cry. It's kinda there. The lump in the throat, the eyes that feel a bit more watery than usual. The tightness in the chest. It is all there, but all I want to do is yawn.

Am I avoiding the pain? As I said that I shifted in the chair to the feeling of incredible pain. I guess I have my answer. Why is that tears flow so easily sometimes, and right now they want to, but are not? Is it that scary to my unconscious to feel the pain of feeling alone, helpless, scared? I have felt those things many times before. MANY. Why is this time different?

Is it that I am building up emotional scar tissue? Is it that I just need to be numb for a while? Is it that I just don't know what to do at this point?

A tear or two.

But then it stops.

Even writing tonight doesn't seem to be helping in the way that it often does. Tears have streamed down my face many times when blogging.

Is it just hard to be nose-to-nose with a brick wall? Is it that my unconscious feels defeated but doesn't want to admit defeat? Is it that I have a concussion and a broken nose from banging my head up against the wall as many times as I have? Is it that to admit defeat means that nothing I have said or done means anything? Is it that I feel like no one is listening, or can hear me through the wall? Is it that I feel trapped?

So many things lately have gone through my mind. So many things I have no idea how to reconcile. So many questions. So many things I just don't understand. Quite frankly, as much as I hate to admit it, I think a part of me is resentful of some things. A part of me feels like she is smiling through the pain.

One of the guys who spoke with the doctor mentioned above about his back pain smiled a lot, too. Too much. Apparently the body isn't too happy about that.

That thought almost did it. A few more tears. It almost came. I think there is something to me having to be so strong all of the time. Even when I talk about things when I feel less than strong, it's like I am supposed to be OK. I am supposed to be able to handle it. I am supposed to be able to figure things out. I am not supposed to struggle. I am not supposed to be anything but OK at the core because nobody knows what to say or what to do. So I feel like I am supposed to smile and say, "It's ok, everything will be OK, I am OK, really." I am supposed to make others feel OK when I don't feel OK. I don't want people to stare at me when I am in pain, and feel sorry for me, but I want their attention. I want to interact with them.

I soooo appreciate those who just allow me to be me. Those who recognize that they don't have to fix anything, but offer what they can in the way of support. The other day someone was suggesting a number of things and I said that I just didn't know what to do with it all, and tried to explain my problem. In turn, she asked me if I would like for her to talk to a few people for me, and have them contact me. Did I? You bet I did. I loved her for making that offer. If only others could see how simple it would be to help me in a way that is helpful, and not beyond their ability.

Dang. Dang. Dang.

I have a push pull thing going on. I don't want it to be about me. But if I am always focused on the other people then it never will be about me. If I don't find a way to awkwardly share my dilemma and limitations, no one will know how much in need I am. I need help. So it needs to be about me, at least at times, and I resent some of those who don't get it, and make me feel badly for how I feel and how I am.

I don't want to be walking around going "woe is me," but I need to find a balance somehow, some way. I sometimes wonder if those who don't offer help don't realize I need it, or if there is something else going on. It gets difficult to have to constantly be explaining my situation. I want things to be as "normal" as anyone around me would like them to be. I just don't know what that is any more, and quite frankly, there is a whole lot of "normal" that I really want no part of any more.

I am tired. And a bit more peaceful. But there's stuff there. I know it. I guess it will come out whenever it feels like it, why would it be different than anything other time?

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

"I Must Follow Them"

A French politician, Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, is attributed with the following quote, "There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader." I keep thinking about it since I heard about him a few minutes ago.

My quest to watch The West Wing episodes continues. In the last episode I watched (2:14) a statistical advisor tells one of the President's advisors of the politician and quote. The context has to do with some info they got back from polling. The presidential advisor thinks the numbers mean that if they pursue certain policy, they will lose certain districts/states. The advisor says the numbers mean to her that they should push harder, engage more - or else risk being like the French politician.

Whenever marketers speak, they always - or atleast often - talk about what the person they want to target wants. The suggestion is to be where they are, to address their questions, their concerns. It is all about them. If you want their business, essentially you have to let them lead by where they are.

I am not going to say this is a bad thing, but it has often struck me as manipulative.

In thinking about this quote/idea, Steve Jobs also comes to mind. Something I saw suggested (so I do not know if it is true) that he said something to the effect of how do people know what they want if they haven't seen it yet? Whether it is true that it came from him, or not, it is a good question.

How can someone lead if they are only following? How many people who market to other people may have good thoughts and ideas that get buried or sidelined in the pursuit of saying the "right" thing to gain someone's business?

Maybe some people aren't meant to lead. Maybe the approach I have described works effectively - for them. I question it when it comes to me, though. I question it because I question so much about where many things are headed. I so often feel like I am going against the tide.

The French leader discovers the direction the people are going in, and gets out front to take the lead. But the thing is, what if they want to change direction? They'll be behind him, with his back to them, will he even know they've altered their path, and abandoned him? How effective is that approach, really?

But what if you - like me - think you have something worthy to share? Something that is not what people are necessarily looking for, or at? Going in other people's direction is never going to work, because the direction is not united - or if united, a part of you is forfeited. People will only follow if they are going in that direction already, or so it might seem.

Does being an effective leader mean getting a sense of direction, and going in it with or without others following? Does it mean having a true sense of oneself and vision? Does it mean others observing you, and choosing to follow, or does it mean you engaging others as you proceed, perhaps even walking backward as you go, so you can remain engaged? Does being an effective leader mean being more focused on the inner voice than the voice of those around them?

Are the leaders the ones that stand alone, and to the side, because they aren't following anyone else? Are they the ones that "don't fit?" If someone wants to lead should they be more of the same, or should they be unique, and stand out in some way?

Maybe being a leader means showing people things they didn't even know they wanted. Maybe being a leader doesn't mean making the popular choices. Why do we need a leader if they are just going in the same direction we are, and felling us the things we think we want to hear? Can we not handle it ourselves?

I am speaking at the moment on a personal level, and not on a larger scale one. I imagine there could be quite the discussion on this topic - especially when it comes to the bigger picture. But it is much too late for my mind to even entertain that question. But I am thinking there may be something to this. I may have to come back and revisit it more when I have had a chance to consider it more, and am significantly more awake.

So I will leave you with these thoughts and questions for now. Maybe they will stir something within you. For me, it certainly might explain why I am often feeling like I am on the outside looking in, and why I am reluctant to look at things the way people keep telling me to. I feel like there is something more to the picture than my just being stubborn. Maybe I just found a way to justify myself, and maybe the degree to which I am "right" is in some correlation to what others may think I am doing "wrong."

I have no idea, and my head is spinning a bit. So, for now, I will just wish you a good night.
Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#303030 Got a Few Minutes? Please Read.


 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars. As of today, I have helped 12 people and 12 people with $12. As I thought about what I am doing, I wondered how to find ways to help people help others. So many are in need for so many reasons. How in the world does one choose? How in the world do all the people who need help get found?

I suspect many just don't do anything, tuning everyone who needs help out, and many who have a need are never found. If I had a magic wand, I would so want to be able to help people who need help. I felt this feeling long before I ever had my own significant need, but now that I am dealing with what I am, my heart feels even more strongly about the desire to help. That is part of the reason that I am doing this "project."

As I was thinking about this, I wondered how it would be to have a list that people can add to of known causes/needs. There is probably some really great, super duper way to do it, but I haven't a clue right now what that is, nor do I have the time or energy to invest in it. But. What I do have is a blog. What I do have is a place that there have been nearly 25,000 visits since it began. And I have a voice.

So...

What I propose is this:

If you know of someone who is in need, and you want more people to know about it, I ask you to comment below with a link to their page. Give some information about the person and the need with the link. I ask you to do this so, as the list (hopefully?) grows, people will be able to scan and see if a particular need/cause/person speaks to them without having to go to the site first. If there is a minimum donation, it would be great if you'd add that info, too. Since this is all about $1 making a difference, it would be great if what is listed allows for $1 donations, but it isn't necessary.

Secondly...

If you are here I am going to make it mean something. I am going to make it mean that you were brought here to make a difference for someone. I am going to ask you to RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT to find a person or a cause to give at least $1 to. Maybe it will be that person you saw asking for help this morning, maybe it will be someone in the list that develops below, maybe it will be me. It doesn't matter who, as long as it is someone.

If you don't do it this second, odds are great you won't. You may think it is no big deal if you don't. You may think $1 is no big deal, but I guarantee you that the odds of what you invest to make that $1 donation happen will likely mean the world to someone.

Third...

Let others know what you did. Not to brag. Not to get notice in some way. But to get others thinking. It what might seem to be a self-serving request, you could even include a link to this page to let others know what inspired you. It would seem to me that it could indeed be helpful to me, but I'd like to think you could see how it could be helpful to so many others that you would focus on that more. Having said that, I don't really care if you do, or not. But what I do care about is people TAKING ACTION. I have seen way too much talk and cheerleading. They serve a purpose, please don't get me wrong. But so does ACTION, and people asking for support need more than just words.

I would love to see comments below of donations that were made. There is this "wonderful" thing called "Social Proof" and I think if others who come here see what is happening, they will be more likely to join in.

Lastly...

I ask that you refrain from doing nothing. If you want to ignore my specific requests, fine, but please consider doing something to let another person know that they matter today. Call someone, tell them you love them, care about them, appreciate them. Do something nice for another.

Why?

Because I am asking you to, and because it is all too easy to get caught up in life and miss important opportunities like this. If you are here - there is a reason you are reading this. Please do not leave this page without taking a few minutes to take an action that makes a difference for another. Don't know what to do? Pick someone and ask what would help.

It's up to you what's next. I can't make anyone do anything, although I so wish I could. :P Someone I know used to call me a "Bleeding Heart Liberal" because I thought we should all help each other out. I seriously doubt that makes me one, but they used a label to divert from my deeper desires and intentions. Who doesn't feel good really helping another and making a difference for them? I am fairly certain most people get a really good feeling when they do something to impact another in a positive way. By doing something for another, you'll be doing something for yourself.

How many things can you do for $1 that can have so much good attached to it?

Help me make ripples. Please.

Imagine what an incredible difference it would make in the world if one day each and every person took a dollar and gave it to someone in need. The small things DO matter - sometimes in a big way.

Thanks for dropping by. Sorry if you didn't know what you were getting into clicking on the page, but hopefully it is something you will find leaving you smiling once you've acted.

I will know how many people read this entry. It would really be great to see that many comments, too. (A girl can dream, can't she? Want to dream with me?)


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Day 12: #303030 Mother of 3 Raising Funds to Pay for Own Funeral


A while ago I started a new thing: 30 Days. 30 Causes. 30 Dollars. Today I chose Brandy Scott. She is a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, was cancer free, but then it came back and is now in several places, including her spine and brain. She was told that if she got radiation every day, she would live longer - but even then, the timeframe she has been given is short.

When I watched the video of Brandy Scott on Fox45, you could see how devastated she was. She has three young children. She isn't asking for money to live, or for her bills, or for her kids. She is asking for money for her funeral, so that the expense won't be a weight on someone else's shoulders.

Cindy Carter of The Cancer Support Foundation is the person who brought this to my attention. She was praising the station for sharing the story. The media doesn't share many of the stories of those who are dealing with the crisis of cancer, so the fact that they did do it was praiseworthy. I wish there was a way to get more stories out into the world through the mainstream media. I don't know what the dynamic is exactly that has something that is very much a story needing attention be a non-story in the media's eyes.

I think this is the first time in this process that I have donated to a story that was on the news. Previously I was trying to find those like me who aren't seen that way. This resonated for me because of the person who made me aware of it, as well as the story itself.

In general, I am finding it more natural now to donate to things when they cross my path. I am not sure why that is, exactly, but it just seems to make sense. It's not like a million things - or even thousands - or even 100s - pass my way. It is just a few. A part of me now thinks, "how can I not help?"

It is "only" a $1 to me, but I know that for another person the dollars can add up. This, as I am still concerned about how I am going to make it. If I can do it, I pretty much guarantee that anyone else reading this can, too - if not to help Brandy, to help someone else whose request crosses your path.

The Brandy Scott fundraising campaign (click here to donate)

Imagine what an incredible difference it would make in the world if one day each and every person took a dollar and gave it to someone in need. The small things DO matter - sometimes in a big way.

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

I want to believe...

everything happens for a reason.

I really want to.

But. Damn. I am bummed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Getting Comfort Through the Uncomfortable

There is something make the news rounds about a letter written to someone in Ontario, Canada who has an autistic child. The letter's message is awful.

When I first saw it I was aghast, like most people who would read it. I then went off and continued my life. I was reading something that Ayngel wrote about me, and it was about how I talk about the things that other people won't, and the letter and story hit me differently.

The letter talks about how the autistic child affects the other children in the neighborhood, and it was so not in a good way. It made me wonder what it would be like if parents talked to their kids and explained what made the child seem different to the best of their ability, so that instead of fear and judgment there could be understanding and compassion.

If that happened, though, the parents would have to first be in that place themselves.

I have been seeing and hearing some things about our northern neighbors that aren't unlike what I think could be found here in the good 'ole US. Sometimes when I write I wonder if instead of talking about "people" in the world, what I am really talking about is people in the US. I don't really like either option, but there are things that are worldwide that suck about how we humans treat each other. I imagine even in the places that aren't as technologically advanced as ours, and don't have all of the things we do, there are things that happen that suck in big ways. We just don't hear about them, given that they are cultures that are not under the microscope and do not have ways to get the word out, either good or bad.

I don't really want to paint the world with one stroke. It is just that I think about these kinds of things from time to time. I think about them probably more than some because I get to see and experience first hand what it is like to have to deal with those who have fear and judgment and a lack of understanding and compassion.

I strongly suspect many things like this are treated in this way because it is not "familiar." When something is not familiar, it is uncomfortable, and when things are uncomfortable people say and do things that many would consider inappropriate. I am not sure I would say inappropriate, but I am not sure what I would say.

I say this because I am looking more at the root than the action. By focusing on the action, we may take action, but it will address the wrong thing. It will address the behavior. Behavior stems from somewhere, and if it is truly going to be addressed, it would be good to figure out where it came from.

While the origination of something may come one's discomfort of a thing, it can "blindly" be passed down to others without explanation, or words that resembles one because the reason is too unknowingly superficial to be more than seemingly real. How many people think they understand how they feel and why they feel it, but what they think is theirs really stems from someone else's beliefs?

Many of life's atrocities came from those who only understood what they learned from others. At least that is how it would seem to me. Hard to say as I wasn't there every step of the way. Even if Hitler wasn't taught that Jews were bad, he may have been taught that something they represented was. Sometimes we are taught things that we do not choose for ourselves. If he was taught that all life was valuable and precious, it seems there was something that came along that had him disregard that. If that was the case - it was something else he apparently learned along the way.

Did Hitler learn the perspectives he had, and to be who he was? Is it all about learning?

I don't really know. But I don't know that we can totally discount it, either. Those who do things like the person in Ontario did certainly aren't adding to our ability to support one another - unless you count the indirect result of the actions of those like me who address it and it in some way brings about something good because it creates the conversation that may prevent others from one day taking the same route because they became aware enough of something to be have enough familiarity to be comfortable enough with it to be compassionate.

In re-reading this, I feel I need to add something. I am not in any way comparing the woman in Ontario to Hitler. As I wrote about Hitler, I re-wrote that part a few times. This blog entry, like many others, is me thinking out loud. It is me speculating and asking questions. Do I know the answers? No.

Many times statements will bring more questions, and I don't think that is a bad thing. As odd as it may sound, it seems to me that some good things can come out of the horror of some really bad things. Yes. I could just focus on the horror, but I have to wonder if that is the best way for us to retrospectively interact with something horrific.

I feel like I got away from my initial point. That seems to happen when I feel defensive, and like someone might misinterpret or twist my words. It is so very difficult to say things in a vacuum. And yet, the minute you get outside of one, there is too much to put everything neatly into just a few words like we seem to like to do these days.

The point I was shooting at when I started: Talking about things more openly, more frequently may give people enough comfort around things they didn't understand to have the potential to make the world a more loving and compassionate place.


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Come and Join Me

I hope you can come and join me!
(Click image to go to WorldofPerspectiveRadio.com)


Looking for Opportunities to be an Engaging Speaker

There is going to be a conference here in Maryland, at the end of September. Today was the deadline to submit an application to be a speaker. I really don't like trying to figure out how to describe a talk in just a few words, but sadly, it is what people require.

I don't like it for a few reasons, one of which is the fact that it seems to be one of the things I have always had difficulty with - and now, even more so. Another reason is the fact that I don't like the sales pitch/"fix" approach that many talk descriptions seem to have. I don't have a "fix." No one does, really. And yet people are always looking for one. So that is how things are often presented.

I have done a talk before on Hypnosis and how our mind works, but I am looking to branch out, given what I am going through. The stretching is extraordinarily uncomfortable. I will have 40 minutes to talk, if I am given a spot.

It is going to be interesting, especially given how things were when I spoke at the CCBC Expo earlier this year. I need to get out and do this kind of thing. It is the only way I am going to be able to get out and do this kind of thing. I have even started fishing a little in terms of other forums for speaking.

The following is what I submitted today. If you have any thoughts on where I can speak, please let me know. These are are a few of the titles/talks that I could give. I haven't been out there in a huge way, having spoken at Kiwanis Groups, Chambers of Commerce, and Libraries. The Expo has been my biggest forum to date, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Thanks.

PS...If you are someone who is adept at helping speakers craft their messages, and you would be willing to assist me, I would welcome the help. I could "pay" you with some form of trade. Just be in touch. Thanks.

Get A M.O.V.E. On: How to Hurdle Life’s Stumbling Blocks
How do I get through – and past – the things in my life that threaten the life I desire to have? How do I deal with life’s challenges that sometimes leave me feeling stuck or left behind? Challenges and changes often leave me feeling like I am “not enough” or “not good enough.” How do I know when I am doing the right thing when indicators – and loved ones – may be telling me otherwise? This talk will address these types of troubling thoughts and questions, offering info on how to help you get a M.O.V.E. on.

The Secret of How Your Mind Works: Learn How Best to Interact with Your Backseat Driver
(Alternate title could be Mind: Your Business)
Learn the Secrets of How Your Mind Works. A diagram will be presented which will outline and explain how our mind works, and why having willpower often doesn’t work. Suggestions will be given on how to help work with your mind instead of against it.  Learn how to do self-hypnosis.

Whose Voice is Coming Out of Your Mouth?
Are you living YOUR life? Why do you choose the things you do? Ever wonder why you feel at odds with the things that are supposed to be “right?” This talk will shine light on things you may not have considered or have been aware of that empower or inhibit you.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Learning the Art of Living from Your Heart.
Are your heart and head constantly at odds with each other? Which one is right? Could be they both are. This talk will address the role of your heart in day-to-day life, and at the core of all things You.

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Speculation

I was thinking today about how most people who are in my predicament only want to be "normal" in some way. I was thinking about how I sobbed with a few people on the phone who I have yet to speak with since. I didn't speak with them because I expected them to have any answers or solutions or brilliant answers for me. For me the talking and sobbing was more of a release. There are times, though, that I wonder if people think I want them to be able to fix things for me or have that perfect answer. When they don't have the perfect answer to the unasked question they may think I am asking, it may be possible that they feel badly about me, my situation, and/or themselves. As a result, I think it is possible they avoid me to avoid further discomfort, pain and disappointment.

from cedonaah.blogspot.com
Even without cancer, many of us don't have the answers to life's most pressing questions. It really is just one big guessing game. So many try to make people who are dealing with cancer into something "courageous" "empowering" "inspiring" and more. Much more. I can't (and won't) speak for everyone dealing with cancer, but all many of us are really likely trying to do is live. Live to the best of our ability, and often in the face of those things that others make our situation that sometimes we would probably never would.

We are all on this journey of life. For each of us it may look a bit different. For each of us it may be challenging in different ways. For each of us, there will be times of pain, times of dismay, times of joy, and times of play. There really is no comparison, and yet often that's exactly what we do. The only thing that we really have in common is the fact that we have a life to live and emotions to feel. But those emotions are like dice in a cup that gets jumbled and tossed. How it lands is anyone's guess.

Once the dice have been thrown, we look to see what we identify with. We look to see what makes sense to us in some way. There are things that can come out of it that are quite valuable at times. And many times those things that resonate the most are the ones that key into the parts of us that are the most basic to our humanity. The things that don't cost money to buy have the greatest impact on us and what we relate to the most and often has the most inherent value in the grand scheme of things.

While so many would make the experience of cancer to be something grand in some way, I wonder if the message really is quite the opposite. I wonder if the message of those dealing with cancer is really one of simplicity. I wonder if it is a message that simply reminds of the greatness of life and the opportunity it gives us to live and love. It is a greatness within all of us that often is deeply buried in the quagmire of what many of us have come to think life is about because the immediacy of our concerns takes up all of our attention. cancer has a way of clearing things out; and those who are dealing with it can often see things more for what they are than what they once thought they were made out to be. 

In this vein, I saw a posting on Facebook that I thought a worthwhile share here. It is from Ann, the author of the blog, ButDoctorIHatePink.com. A bit of perspective from another I think is often helpful. Thanks to Ann for her allowing me to share.


Four years ago today, a radiologist walked into the exam room and told me I had breast cancer. I was shocked and surprised but not afraid. Little did I know what the next four years would hold: numerous surgeries, both big and small, years of chemo, life-threatening infections, constant tests, and the knowledge that my life will be cut short and cancer will be my end. My health is now destroyed - but not my spirit. My love for my children has been intensified and my tolerance for the pettiness of others decreased. I am not a better person because of cancer, nor am I a worse person. I am still just a person. I don't have the secrets of life and humanity, but I do know that worry is your enemy and enjoying each day as it comes is a good way to be. I've learned to be grateful and accepting of the help of others and let those who harm me leave my mind. I've learned a fulfilling life can be as simple as waiting for a hummingbird to feed out of a plant on your windowsill.

I hope that I live four more years - I hope that people whisper behind my back, "Is she still alive? I thought she was supposed to die years ago" but I've seen many with the same hope pass quickly. If I don't make it four more years or four more months, I hope that my children will always know that their mother loved them deeply and would never have left them given a choice. I hope they know that whatever happens to me, that I know they will go on to be successful and happy. I have faith in that.


She also blogged at length. Also a worthy read.
http://www.butdoctorihatepink.com/2013/08/four-more-years.html


 




Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Voices

Perhaps interestingly there have been some things that have come up that have to do with the "weight" conversation. There are three in particular that have shown up in the last day, or two.

One was in a conversation with someone who is dealing with weight concerns and said that when she works a better schedule, she eats better, and often the weight "falls off." In the same conversation, though, we discussed that weight issues can never be "fixed" with a miracle cure. There are many pieces and parts to the weight puzzle, many of which are often missed when the next cure comes along.

Another was a woman in a group I am in. I won't share the detail that she did, for privacy reasons, but she shared how she was treated by someone who perceived her to have too much weight. What she also happened to share was how she was able to become empowered by what happened. I loved what she wrote so much, I offered her a guest post here if she feels comfortable enough to share more broadly.

Lastly was Byron Katie. I can't remember if she posted it, or if it was something another posted, attributing it to her. It was something to the effect of someone can weigh 500 pounds, and how it is OK, if they're happy.

The conversation is one I am all too acutely aware of. My whole life my weight has gone up and down like a rollercoaster. At one point I even lost weight using hypnosis. So, yes, it can work - to a point. From what I now know of hypnosis, I suspect the hypnotist only dealt with the habits I had, not the core of what was creating the weight. As a result, the weight - just like all the other times it went missing - came back.

I have made my own diets. At one point I was working 11pm to 7am at a self serve gas station. I would eat a bagel from the diner across the street when my shift was over, and then stay up for a while. I would go to bed with the plan to awaken around 9 pm. I would then workout with a workout machine I had at home and eat a wheat pita with beef, onion and tomato. I did that pretty much most days, and lost weight.

Another time, when I was in high school, I joined a gym. At the same time, I had this "brilliant" idea to eat less calories each week for 4 weeks. I think I got down to a couple hundred calories the last week. It worked. I was thinner than I had ever been, but then when I went back to school and started to eat normally, I not only gained weight, my body didn't know how to handle the food.

I have had various gym memberships. I have done Jenny Craig and NutriSystem. I have spoken to therapists about it. I have spoken to strangers about it.

One conversation in particular bothered me enough that I will likely never forget it. This particular person was telling me that if I ever wanted to be someone in the world, a speaker, a writer, a public persona, I HAD to lose weight. He practically acted offended that I was overweight. He was telling me what he was telling me for "my own good."

Don't you just love when people do that?

In the last several years, I have learned probably all too easily how to be more accepting of my weight. As my body built up fluid dealing with the tumor, I thought it was "just" weight. I wasn't happy about it, but I was determined to love myself as I was. I was going to do the best I could. I was watching calories, and I was walking and swimming, and I wasn't losing weight, and if anything, I was gaining.

In retrospect, I should have probably said something to a doctor. Although, I do think I did, only to be met by conversations about diet and exercise.

Every time I hear how "easy" it is to handle a weight "problem" through diet and exercise, I wonder who is saying it. I wonder if it is someone who has ever had - or has ever known someone who has had - a thyroid issue. That can be a physical cause/reason that someone might not be able to let the weight go.

When it comes to the mechanics of weight loss, the topic is fully charged and controversial. I wish, as with so many other things, I had THE answers. But I don't. And I am not sure anyone else, does, either. - at least not in a One-Sized-Fits-All form.

But before I go too far afield from where I was meaning to go, I should pull myself back to the topic at hand which was meant to be the difficulty that many have living in a world that seems to have issues with extra weight. Issues, so much so, that many feel the need to not only just sit with and observe how they feel, but to strike out at those who are the thing they feel compelled to criticize. Although they rarely criticize the weight. They criticize the person.

I sometimes wonder how many people who victimize others with their behaviors and perceptions at some time become the victim. There is a lot to be learned when the poles of the roles reverse.

While all this controversy and mess goes on, it has the potential to have people hang back and not do things for fear of how they will be perceived or judged. That was me. That is why I never did very many videos. I see the nasty comments on YouTube. I just knew that there was a good chance someone was going to come along and say something about how they thought I was ugly and fat. It would have nothing to do with the message of what I was saying. It would focus on their judgment of me. In turn, others would gleefully chime in their agreement.

I so wasn't interested.

I knew I needed to get over myself, and I was taking baby steps. I agonized over the lighting in a video and the angles. I started and stopped videos so many times. I made edits. It was a real pain.

I also learned how to minimize the negative comments. Any comments needed approval before going public. I would still see any potentially stupidity, but I wouldn't have to approve them to feed the public fire. However, I still was most comfortable when it was only my voice and some picture of something that made a video.

It is a bit ironic, I think, that someone who has so often wanted to be invisible in life was finding herself dealing with a weight issue which can often bring unwanted attention. I have theories as to why I have the issues I do, but my guess is I have never uncovered the main thing, as I suspect if I did, it would be a lot easier to let it just go once and for all.

Even after I lost 40 pounds last year, I wound up gaining 20 back. Not sure how. Although I did go from barely eating for several months to eating again. I imagine that may have a bit to do with it. But I know it goes beyond the obvious mechanics.

Even writing this blog has been an adventure in putting myself out into the world in uncomfortable ways. Weight isn't the only thing that draws people's attention, ire, and fire. So much of what we do makes us feel vulnerable if we feel that what another says or does can wound us.

Someone used to ask me if I was "communing with the Dalai Lama." It used to bother me because I was sensitive to the fact that I knew I was in waters that many mocked. If they mocked those things, then they also mocked me.

After a time, I started smiling and saying, "Yes." The funny thing? It diffused the person. He stopped asking the question. There was no longer a charge. Sadly, over time, we grew more distant. In some odd way, it seems now like the conflict was what drew us together, kept us connected in some way. I have to wonder how much of life is glued together in ways like that/how much of life is stuck in the muck of conflict.

I am trying to remember something about conflict and connection. Is it something I wrote at one point? I am thinking it might be, but I am not sure. But, regardless, what if there is something to it? What if in the absence of "real" connection, we have the connection that conflict brings. What if we really want to be connected, but don't know how to do it, so we do it indirectly and through the pain of conflict. After all, conflict has the ability to draw us in, and draw on our energies. It gets our attention in a way other things don't.

I said I was going to go back and watch episodes of The West Wing. As I am writing, I am thinking about an episode in which one of the Congressmen decided to change the way he was going to vote on a bill. It turned out the only reason he did it was to get the currency of attention. He didn't care about the bill as much as he cared about getting public prestige. As a result, he got public time with the President for the vote they wanted.

If we can't get positive attention, and we want it, we will find a way to get it negatively. It makes me wonder if that could be a part of my complex weight puzzle. Am I wanting attention, but not knowing how to get it? So I use the weight?

If so, the irony seems to be that there are many days in the last several months that I feel fairly invisible, and that is no matter how loudly I feel I am screaming. I am trying to do things the "right" way, and it makes me think that that is another way to become invisible. Look at what our attention goes to these days. It is to the people and events that aren't "right," that aren't "normal." I would likely get more attention if I was a scam artist or in some way defrauded or robbed someone. At least then I would be on the news.

As often is the case, this blog entry is fairly long. Almost every time I write a longer one, I hear voices in my head of those who think I shouldn't write as much as I do. I am not writing this for you, but even if I was, I really don't know if we are doing each other favors by trying to reduce the complexities of life into soundbites.

Maybe there is a simpler, more concise way to say almost anything. But I get the feeling that times like that it might be missing something. After all, think of "Chocolate Cake." (I am smiling as I begin to type a metaphor that includes food on a blog entry that talks about weight. Yes. I do see some irony there.) When you think of a cake, what do you think of? Is it white chocolate or dark chocolate? Is it frosted? Is it bite-sized, or one that can serve hundreds? Was it baked at a low temperature for a longer time or at a higher temperature a shorter time? Is it one layer or many?

The questions I can ask about it are endless. Perhaps some detail doesn't seem to matter. Maybe the fact that it was a round pan instead of a square one seems like too much information. But for one person out there it might be the most important detail.

How can we possibly know which details are the most important for someone else? And yet that often is how a TV show is created, a movie is written, a book's content is addressed. In effect, I am saying THIS is what *I* deem most important, so you should, too.

In my case, all I am saying is all I am saying. They are the things that float around in my head, and I share them. If there are too many words, people will stop reading them. If the message resonates for another, they'll keep reading as long as it makes sense to.

I don't really care what others think. But I still do hear their voices in my head. The difference today from 18 months ago, or so, is that I am a lot less likely to let them stop me from being myself.

Signed with LOTS of JoLoPe* for the journey that is within you,
Elizabeth

*JOyLOvePEace

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In the Hole (Video)


Thanks to Ayngel Boshemia, I am thinking a lot more about what a "Survivor" is. I see things a bit differently with that filter. Even the words that I have on Relatingtocancer.com under the tree, I think fit a Survivor. 

When I saw this video, I thought of the perspective of the Survivor. A Survivor is probably more likely than almost anyone else to step up to the plate if someone they can identify with needs help. In my case, I might be likely to step up in cases where many would walk - even run - away.

I am not sure who this gets attributed to. Maybe it was something the writers at West Wing thought up. I suppose it doesn't really matter, given the context. I think what is said is brilliant, and also speaks to why there are times I am no big fan of doctors or organized religion.

This video might be a precursor as to why I may become a big fan of the West Wing. I have caught an episode here and there over time. The tale of the man who was sent 3 rescuers but still died, waiting for God to rescue him was first introduced to me on that show. I may have to find some time to go back and watch the shows. I wonder how long it will take.

My list of things to do grows longer. The "good" thing perhaps is that it is at least of things I want to do versus things I "have" to do or don't want to do. 

Now to make it happen.


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

A Dream

Last night I dreamt I had to go up a steep incline. It wasn't easy, but I somehow managed, even though the incline was nearly vertical, and pretty smooth, too. I got to the "top" and it was such a relief, I thought the hard part was finally over. I was aghast to discover that to keep going - and get to the other side - meant that I had to go down, hang on to a rope with my arms, and while hanging move to where I needed to go. I watched someone else do it, and she made it seem so easy. I contemplated following suit. But I was terrified. What if I wasn't strong enough? It was a big drop.

I apparently didn't feel strong enough to continue. I turned and walked away. I think (but don't remember for sure) that I was in tears.

I am not sure how far I got, as it is all I remember.

I don't know what this dream means, but it scares me a bit. Do I have bigger obstacles to come? Am I going to be strong enough to face them? Is the dream just exorcising a fear? I could think it might be a good thing, except for the fact that I seemed to be going back the way I came instead of somehow moving forward. I was in such a hurry to get there...but once I was "there," I couldn't seem to go any further. There was a way, though, it just wasn't one that I felt safe to take.

Maybe I went back to find another route. Maybe I went back to ask myself if that is what I really wanted. Maybe I went back to go forward in a different way than the one way that was obvious, and others wanted me to take.

Hm.


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
Read My Story
View My Vlogs
About this Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
Would you like to be a guest blogger?