I can imagine that – this conversation for many folk, would lead to some common “threads”. “Our” answers may include:
*To raise my children by example, to be responsible human beings with a social conscience.
*A contempt and refusal to be “hoodwinked” by media and those in positions of governance.
*I don’t have a faith; I just hate violence and the bully tactics of those who perceive themselves to be superior.
*My pursuit and love of truth.
For me, I think and feel it’s all of these things and a whole lot more (in fact, my autobiography, “No More Lies”, is indicative of why I try my best to be decent).
In my mind, I often fail to be a decent person and I often feel I could have done better, but that’s just me.
I am well acquainted with many folks, from many diverse walks of life, who seem to have a sense of inner peace nearly all the time.
Sad, bad and distressing occurrences fill these peoples’ lives, yet deep down “they” remain positive, grounded, and real. How do “they” keep it together (?)
For me, inner peace is something that I strive for, and sometimes I have “it” and sometimes not. My state of mind though does, sometimes, feel slave to the circumstances I find myself in. I also often find myself emotional at the misfortunes of others, and deep down I have a desire to help alleviate others suffering.
Yet, I am not God, I am not anything other than “just and ordinary bloke”, so who am I to even think this way (?) Is this not, in itself, rather judgemental (?)
And so I come back to an overriding philosophy that all we can do is take one day at a time.
ONE DAY AT A TIME
One day at a time, may be too big a prospect if you are surrounded by life sucking forces. So you may find yourself, as I often have, only being able to consider 1 hour at a time.
If you are in this “place” being able to let yourself “be” with one hour at a time, then I salute you. This is not an easy prospect to accept, especially when you are considering an “end of life” scenario.
As I write, I am given to thinking that, at times in life, for many of us, the future is infinitely small. In these times, I would, with great compassion in mind, like to suggest that helping someone else might be a “key” to unlocking the chains that bind you.
A phone call to a neighbour, to enquire how they are, may be all you can muster. But consider this, if that neighbour is in a bad way, then you may be able, just by listening, to unlock their “chains”.
This can be a tremendously bilateral empowerment. In helping to unlock someone else’s shackles you may unwittingly find a clue to that which binds you.
Please believe me; I know that this has often been the first shard of light on my way towards (albeit temporary) recovery.
Sometimes you don’t know where you’re going. Sometimes you won’t know what you’re doing, but keep this in mind: by helping an elderly neighbour go and collect their shopping, you will have a focus, albeit, again, short term.
Stephen Covey once wrote, “I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions”. This lends weight to the philosophy that I would wish for all of you: that is, a different way of saying that we don’t know what is going to happen to us, but we can decide how we deal with the circumstances that will descend around us, be they positive or negative.
My best friend once said to me, many years ago, that he consciously observes and studies other people he works with, and he takes the parts of people’s characters, that he likes and disregards the rest.
Thirty years on from this, this man is one of the most amazing examples of humility, caring, and sincerity that I have ever met.
My dearest mate; has struggled himself, with great adversity and challenge, yet he is someone who retains such a beauty that those of us lucky to have him in our lives will never fail to be touched by his humanity, decency, honesty and self-effacing nature.
THE GREATEST GIFT
Coming back to an earlier point in this blog, when, in the grips of depression, the concept of being happy can literally make us feel nauseous – I know, I’ve been there.
Recently I came across this quote:
“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life, and making the most out of everyday”.
I know this may be a step too far for some people as they read this, but cut and paste this onto a page and if you are able, print it out – or use it as your screen saver on your phone.
If you feel you simply cannot do this (and again I know how that feels – it’s absolutely terrifying – but, you are not alone) then page mark this, to come back to:
When you have asked your elderly neighbour round for a coffee and listened attentively, write down how you feel.
With love, peace, hope and growth.