Thursday, January 15, 2015

What do you feel?

A Platform that is put forward by a Party is something that lists out the things that the Party thinks is important to the voters, and will ultimately get financial backing and support for. I went to look for the Platforms of the two main parties. For some reason, I had some difficulty with finding the Republican Party's. The following is what the Democratic Party stated:
Moving America Forward
    Rebuilding Middle Class Security
        Putting Americans Back to Work
        The Middle Class Bargain
        Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
        Economy Built to Last
    America Works When Everyone Plays by the Same Rules
        Wall Street Reform
        21st Century Government: Transparent and Accountable
        Lobbying Reform and Campaign Finance Reform
    Greater Together
        Strengthening the American Community
        Protecting Rights and Freedoms
        Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life
    Stronger in the World, Safer and More Secure At Home
        Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq
        Disrupting, Dismantling, and Defeating Al-Qaeda
        Responsibly Ending the War in Afghanistan
        Preventing the Spread and Use of Nuclear Weapons
        Countering Emerging Threats
        Strengthening Alliances, Expanding Partnerships, and Reinvigorating International Institutions
        Promoting Global Prosperity and Development
        Maintaining the Strongest Military in the World
        Advancing Universal Values
Out of the things listed, many are broad. Many of them do not directly impact many who are in need. Yes. "Putting Americans Back to Work" sounds good, but how many can't even work, as it is? They talk about a "Fair Share," but according to who? I bet those who think those who are sick or Disabled are sucking off the system think they're not doing their "fair share."

There is nothing about empathy in here. Of course, you wouldn't likely find a trait like empathy in a list like this. Empathy can't disguise itself as a type of action item like "Wall Street Reform" can.

Odds are things like this entail lots of words and documents and hours of meetings. When was the last time that was done with "empathy?"

When everything has to be an Action Item of some sort, those things that do not translate that way become things that live on the periphery, if at all. Yes. We live in a larger world, and the macro world DOES matter. The whole in part provides us what we have in our slice of it. 

At the same time, though, what happens within one piece of that whole, how seemingly small, can have a huge impact on the greater picture, as seen by many of the events that have occurred in the first part of this year, and what has been going on in the last several, even in the known history of anywhere on the planet. We have seen how when a person has an idea it has the power to become something - for good, or for evil. 

e have seen how one person can make a difference for others by taking down the walls, and making their own rules. I just saw something today about a pizza shop in Philly (lol...speaking of slices). People can pay an extra dollar, and buy a slice for a homeless person who needs one. That is definitely thinking outside of the box. And that wasn't the part of anyone's platform. It was a person seeking to help another, and is now being the conduit to help many others. The store has a wall full of post-its that can be exchanged for a slice. Even better still, the homeless who go in there are treated like "regular" people by those who do not know they are homeless. 

That is a form of empathy in action, and probably months of meetings never had to happen to make that a reality.

The more we are aware of each other, and connected to another person, the more inclined I think we are to want to want to help when help is warranted. Somewhere along the line there has been a HUGE disconnect that has happened. We have become more suspicious of each other, more involved with ourselves, more protective. None of those things are particularly suited to being empathic to another person.

But the thing is, being connected can be scary. If you were connected to a person who was hit by a lightning bolt, you would undoubtedly not only feel a lot of what they felt, but also have a lot of your own pain. By getting up close to someone you are in their "pain" space. You may feel their frustrations and pain and it may really suck. You may also feel it more if there is something about it that you can really identify with. Then the pain is no longer theirs, it has awakened your own.

Do you have any idea how often people have not been able to deal with my pain? Do you have any idea how often I have been told to be positive. To change my attitude. To transform things. To...

Exactly two years ago today I wrote a blog post. I know this because yesterday I went looking for this particular title, and when I discovered the date, I thought it an interesting coincidence, given where many of my thoughts and conversations and things being read are going currently. "Allow" the Negativity to Gain Your Freedom was one of my most popular posts for quite a while.

In the post, I talk about allowing feelings. It seems almost odd to talk about something that is so natural to us as humans, and yet, we have become really good at ignoring how we feel. We make up stuff to ignore it, we ignore the people we think prompt it, we "think positive," we do so many different things, except perhaps, the one thing we SHOULD do...FEEL.

I cannot also tell you how many people were telling me it was "OK" to cry the other day. They didn't need to tell me. I wasn't embarrassed, and I wasn't even remotely tempted to stop. As a matter of fact, part of the reason I didn't necessarily want attention at the time was that I didn't want anyone to in any way to try to encourage me to stop, or tell me I was OK, or that things were OK. They weren't.

At that moment in time, I fully, completely embraced just how not right things were. I was in the muck. I was feeling the pain. It was exactly where I needed to be in that moment. It was yucky. It was messy. It was miserable. It was wet. But it was exactly what I needed, and I knew it.

Other times in the past,  I would have just cried. This time I made a point of telling myself to FEEL. FEEL what I was feeling. Not think. Not have thoughts. Not be logical. Feel. Bathe in it. I still cried after that. But it was amazing to be able to let myself just go where I needed to go - in that moment.

When I began this blog, I made myself a promise that I would talk about all things, including the "bad" and the "ugly." I knew there would be things that would make me look and sound horrendous. I didn't like the idea, but it felt important to be real, and to not hide behind some superficial public veneer.

There are times being real sucks. There are times it is misunderstood. There are times it is understood, but not at all appreciated. But the one thing I have discovered is that being real is the best gift ever, for me. I never have to hold back or hold things in again. I don't have to repackage them and hope they'll go away. I don't have to tip-toe around the things that bother me. I don't have to keep track of stuff. As a result, a lot of "stuff" dissipates a lot faster than it used to - if it even did at all.

There is an incredibly wonderful book that I have been reading that is incredible validation for how I have been handling things, and it explains why it works for anyone who wants to be logical about the seeming illogical. Apparently, we think thoughts are what has us holding onto things. It is actually the emotion we have attached to it. The minute we can fully feel the emotion related to something we can let that something go. We tend to forget those things we don't have an emotional attachment to any more. That can certainly be good news when it comes to the things that we deal with that aren't so pleasant.

But the key is, being WILLING to go "there," wherever there is. And it can be painful. It can be uncomfortable. It can be hard to live with, or look at. So we try to avoid it. But as long as it is there, there will be things that will come up in our life that will remind us of it. It will be like pulling off a band-aid in some cases. So...we wind up trying to avoid and control a lot more than what was in our past. It very much winds up affecting our present, and those in our lives, and those with whom we no longer interact, or those we have no desire to interact with.

(What's the name of the book? I need to find out, but I don't want to leave my writing mid-stream. If I forget to include it before publishing this post, I will be sure to come back and add it, or talk about it in another post. I think the title is something about the "Power of Letting Go.")

I have many thoughts around this that have been showing up. It is a bit different than the way I started, talking about a platform. My initial idea was to make up my own platform, and ask you to "VOTE" for me. After all candidates ask for money, and they get millions, even though much of what they offer never truly directly affects any of us, at least not often in any immediate sense. 

If you liked what I had to say, then I would ask for your support. I would ask that you help "elect" me to a life that is more than barely, financially viable. So many have told me that I have impacted them over the years, and through this blog, and in a myriad of other ways. I thought about asking if you were one of them, and haven't yet helped my financially, if you would consider doing so at this point. It doesn't have to be a lot. It just would really be helpful if it was something.

This blog post is already long enough. And while I don't exactly have a platform, much of who I am, what I believe, and what I want to accomplish in this world is sprinkled throughout my many videos and words. To spend any time with me, I think you can get to know a lot about what is important to me. Like any politician (perhaps) I would like to hope that what is important to me is also important to you. I would really like to have a shot at accomplishing more before it is time to leave this place.

But...as they often say...I can't do it without you. And unfortunately, or fortunately, it is a very true statement. Each vote matters. Each voice matters. Each person matters. We just tend to forget that part until we're the one hoping that others will remember that we matter, too, especially when we become one of those in need.

Want to help? Please consider visiting Heartsgiving.com for details on how. Thanks.


  1. I love what you said about completely embracing how not right things were.. and that crying was the most appropriate action in that moment. I can see how that can also relate directly to an effective, authentic platform.

    Glad to visit from the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am a melanoma survivor. It changed my life.

  2. You are right, in spite of the fear, that connection to others is so important. We cannot be an island to ourselves. I'm finding the same thing with my vision impairment, being there isn't always comfortable, BUT it's up to ME to make others feel more comfortable in reaching out to me. And I can only do that when I feel confident to make my needs / outreach to another person. :)