As I sit here listening to gentle music and seeing the last bit of the sun setting on the hottest April day in 70 years and it also being the 108th day in the year, I’m reflecting on this first quarter of the year, which has been eventful, as on my previous reflections there have been ups and downs, but what has struck me about this quarter is of what I’ve learnt and what also what I’ve been reminded of,
What I’ve learnt..
Some of the things we learn are not from the most pleasant of things but are worth mentioning and this is what I’ll start with
1 About loss
Not too long ago someone I knew from the age of 8 died from an illness. The relationship I had with this person wasn’t always good, although there was a period where we weren’t at odds our relationship did not end on good terms, that saddened me, for in spite of their faults, I didn’t dislike them and I didn’t hold any ill will over our last contact. Whilst others can mourn freely I can’t in the same way for the same reasons, I can’t shout their praise from the hilltops but neither do I want to tear strips off their life or pretend I was their best friend. So my learning was to to how to navigate this loss, respecting others memories of this person but also allowing my own experiences of them to surface privately yet freely. The other the thing that struck me was that knowing that I’m not immortal is one thing but being reminded that someone you’ve known a long time is not immortal either and this is something I have to remember.
2 Dealing with Danger
I recently found myself in a dangerous situation, the details of which I won’t go into for all sorts of reasons. The thing I learnt about myself in that position is how my resilience kicked in and even though at one point I knew I had no control about what would happen next, I still had control inwardly and how I responded to what was taking place and was surprised at my clarity of thinking and decision making processes were and in spite of the situation how very little emotion reaction at the time.
3 War and Peace
Read a book called Cross vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus makes sense of Old Testament Violence by Gregory A. Boyd. It was mostly a really a good book, it made me think over my non pacifist position, see my blog post called War and Peace. It hasn’t made me a 100% pacifist but certainly explains alot of the reasons in the way I can relate to for the reasons for the violence, and one great thing was he doesn’t blame God. I learnt a great deal about some beliefs around the times of writing the old testament and it was a very well researched book. You’ll just have to read the book to find out more. The timing was pretty apt with just last week or two of more raids from the British and US forces on Syria, the more I know about the situation the less I want to hear, just because of the possible propaganda/misinformation surrounding it all and the fact again we might be at war based on lies. What I have learnt history certainly teaches us much about war and governments seeming to do more to go to war rather than to prevent it from happening.
4 When not to use the word “You”
I attended a marriage/relationship seminar for a day and one thing I learnt was in a conflict situation not to use the word “You” as it is often used in terms of accusations which causes people to be defensive, very useful, instead say when this happens…or I heard …. being said.
Now to the lighter moments
5 To say Yes to invitations and opportunities
Life is to be lived to the full and that means not saying no to opportunities or invites and that’s what I’ve been doing this year, I met up with people I’d never met before through social media which was a wonderful adventure, invited to meetings and day conferences, now attend a book club run by one of our church leaders and possibly attending a bible course in September. Saying no means closing the door on experiences whether they be good or bad, for me the only reason to say no now is either I just can’t do something as it clashes or I have a strong sense not to do it. Otherwise any door that’s open I’ll walk through it.
6 Being ordinary
Being comfortable with being just an ordinary human being, merging with the rest of the world and how freeing that is, not having to keep up with the somebody people think you are or might be or you might want to be. That doesn’t mean we humans are not valuable or having nothing to offer the world at large, its just accepting your ordinary and normal and that really is OK, you don’t have to be somebody to make a difference, and that was my lesson
7 Simple fun
Being reminded that fun doesn’t have to be complicated gave me a great deal of pleasure. In January I purchased a google home. On this device I discovered a quiz which I played on my own but you can also play with others. So on an evening in March two of my nieces and I played the quiz together, the game gives us nicknames to play which made us all laugh for some reason I was mushroom for some strange reason it reminded me of my childhood with pictures of red toadstools with white spots on. I loved the fact my nieces really enjoyed the quiz which happened completely by accident, simple and spontaneous fun make people happy.
8 A change is as good as a rest
In March I attended an interview for a job which unfortunately didn’t have a happy ending for a couple of weeks it certainly got me down and it was a job I felt I really wanted too. One Friday one of my friends invited me to an impromptu drive to Sheffield with another mutual friend to visit family. It was beautiful scenery with all weathers and good company. I came home feeling a ton better and is if everything had completely changed certainly a reminder to me if I’m really down to just do something completely different or go somewhere on the spur and I’ll feel alot better.
Certainly these last 16 weeks have been intense at times, but I’ve also had time to be creative with another poem or two and another attempt at songwriting and more flapjack making. I could add more but as I need to be up at 5:30am I need to finish.