Thursday, April 28, 2011
Three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and has tasted it. The expression on each man's face shows his individual reaction. Since the painting is allegorical, we are to understand that these are no ordinary vinegar tasters, but are instead representatives of the "Three Teachings" of China, and that the vinegar they are sampling represents the Essence of Life. The three masters are K'ung Fu-tse (Confucius), Buddha, and Lao-tse, author of the oldest existing book of Taoism. The first has a sour look on his face, the second wears a bitter expression, but the third man is smiling.
To Kung Fu-tse (kung FOOdsuh), life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of, the universe. Therefore, he emphasized reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the Son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth. Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about K'ung Fu-tse: "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit." This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism.
To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. In order to find peace, the Buddhist considered it necessary to transcend "the world of dust" and reach Nirvana, literally a state of "no wind." Although the essentially optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism considerably after it was brought in from its native India, the devout Buddhist often saw the way to Nirvana interrupted all the same by the bitter wind of everyday existence.
To Lao-tse (LAOdsuh), the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at any time, but not by following the rules of the Confucianists. As he stated in his Tao To Ching (DAO DEH JEENG), the "Tao Virtue Book," earth was in essence a reflection of heaven, run by the same laws - not by the laws of men. These laws affected not only the spinning of distant planets, but the activities of the birds in the forest and the fish in the sea. According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble. Whether heavy or light, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour.
To Lao-tse, the world was not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons. Its lessons needed to be learned, just as its laws needed to be followed; then all would go well. Rather than turn away from "the world of dust," Lao-tse advised others to "join the dust of the world." What he saw operating behind everything in heaven and earth he called Tao (DAO), "the Way."
A basic principle of Lao-tse's teaching was that this Way of the Universe could not be adequately described in words, and that it would be insulting both to its unlimited power and to the intelligent human mind to attempt to do so. Still, its nature could be understood, and those who cared the most about it, and the life from which it was inseparable, understood it best.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, but keep putting it off, or deleting it. Mainly because its so personal. Now, I don’t mind my Sparkpeople reading this, I’m generally an open book. Thinking on that though, I guess I’m not an open book with myself.
I grew up in an abusive household. My mom was great, but my sister & father were awful!! My dad was a WestPoint graduate. His idea of feelings was to keep them to yourself. If ever I cried his response was “would you like me to give you a reason to cry.” My parents had bank. Whenever my dad was done giving me those reasons, he would pay me off, I guess thinking that would ease his guilt. The payments were great, a new car, money, ect. I hated it, he even once had the gaul to say, “well I gave you that car.” The only response I would get from him was, you don’t have any brains, and you better keep up your looks. Your sister has the brains, but she’s fat. The only thing that will get you far is your looks. Don’t ever gain any weight.
So, I learned at an early age to keep my feelings hidden and to myself.
When I married things changed, we’ve been married now for 23 years (24 on July 24th!) I see my life as two different people. The one I was before I found my hubby, and the one I have now with my hubby. I was very blessed to run into him! But, 2 years into our marriage we lost our 2 month old son, Bryce to SIDS. Yet again, I kept my feelings to myself. Hid the pain I was feeling, pretending to be okay when I was far from it. 5 years after his death I finally realized I needed help and got on anti-depressants. That helped or so I thought.
I was a stay at home mom, once my kids started going to school, I decided it was time for me to go back to school. At first I was in school learning my first love, art. I was going to become a graphic artist, but decided to change my major. After all, who could earn a living from doing something they love, that’s just a hobby. An idea I learned from my parents. So I changed and went to school for Respiratory Therapy. I do admit I love being an RT. Especially when I look back on all the things my father said. (I don’t have the brains.) Well, I did really well. I had to take Physics, Microbiology!! Booya on that...Dad! Anyway, being in this profession has really fed into my teachings of keeping your feelings to yourself. On nightly basis you deal with the people who are dieing, from cancer, COPD, drug usage, a variety of emergencies. You have to put all those feelings in a box and ignore them or they would eat you alive! Wow, did I find the perfect job, for the old Alicia.
I have come to realize that I need to feel my feelings. Because I haven’t I have taken what I’ve internalized and use food to comfort me, changing my feelings into eating. There are a few things that have helped me to see that that’s what I do. It started with watching Jillian Michaels show. I can’t remember the name of her show, but she would go into families’ homes and teach them the right way to eat & exercise. One of these shows had a woman who had lost a child. While watching her show I so related to this woman. Even though I got help with the depression from the loss of my son, I haven’t really dealt with the fact that I did lose a son. Well, the way I deal with it is eating.
The other thing that helped me see the flaws in my ways was watching Black Swan. While sitting in the theater watching Natalie cut herself, I thought. Wow, she has so much pain she cuts herself to help her express and feel that pain. Well, smack me silly. That’s exactly what I do with food. After that I really started looking at the times I eat more then I should. I eat at the times when I’m stressed, sad and all those other emotions I try to ignore.
I really have been avoiding writing this blog yet again avoiding my feelings. I also think that’s why I haven’t been on Spark much. I knew I wanted to write this, but wasn’t yet ready to confront those emotions.
Tonight while at work I went to a high risk delivery of a woman who has helped me to break the cycle of ignoring myself. This woman has cancer which metastasized into her lungs; she has had one lung segment removed due to the cancer. It’s only a matter of time. While waiting to be called into her room, one of the nurses I work with was like, “why would she have a baby?” One reason for the question, pregnancy is very hard on your body, it can only be worse for this woman who is also dealing with cancer. Also, “why would she have a baby when she is dieing?” When we were called into the room and the perfectly healthy baby girl was born. Mom was crying and so was dad. It was a great moment. At that moment I realized why she was having this perfect baby girl.
There is this book I absolutely love, it’s called the Joy Luck Club, there is a quote from this book, and in the end the girl in the book, has this white feather her mother had given her after she had passed away. The mother says, “Here is this feather; it’s filled with all my good intentions.”
From this point on Thanks to the movie Black Swan and Jillian Michaels. In honor of my son Bryce and Yoshimi. I am going to start concentrating on feeling with my emotions, enjoying my life as it is, not what I wish it was. I will also do the things I have always wanted to do “When I’ve lost weight.” The when is something that is never promised to us, only now. Enjoy all moments, not just some.
Wow, that feels sooo good!!!
Monday, January 17, 2011
“"We know that silence equals consent when atrocities are committed against innocent men, women and children. We know that indifference equals complicity when bigotry, hatred and intolerance are allowed to take root. And we know that education and hope are the most effective ways to combat ignorance and despair."
~ Gabrielle Giffords”
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I know this is bad but, I just have to vent………….
As most of you know, the last few weeks have been crazy busy for me at work. We have had a lot of drug babies who have been born. These babies take much more work. They are withdrawing from drugs. The symptoms they have high temperatures, pain, things an adult would have. Because of the pain they become rigid they scream and cry. They also constantly poop & the poop is very acidic so it starts breaking down the babies’ skin. We give them morphine to help. It does help but not as much as it should. If you hold the baby when this happens, sometimes it helps them through the withdrawing. Most parents don’t even see what the baby goes through because they are at home enjoying life…. they should be required to stay with their newborn. Maybe then it wouldn't happen again.
Sometimes it’s so stressful to deal with them we take turns going into their room & holding them. Last week I was holding one of our drug babies for going on 1 hour, I had lost all my patience. Not with him, but his situation. I sat there in the dark ( they can’t handle any stimuli what so ever ), wondering if a mother couldn’t have the strength not to do drugs for 9 months, how will this woman deal with this little baby for the next 18 years. It makes me worry. Here we are healthcare workers, and very patient and at our wits ends. Will a mother doing meth, heroine, or even prescribed pain pills deal with this little guy? There was one time a mother had in vitro and was on a fentanyl pain patch, she had fibro mylasia. This was the worse newborn I have ever worked with.
My hubby & I adopted our daughter, who was a drug baby. It never dawned on me until last week, that as she was growing up she showed a lot of the same signs as these newborn babies. She was inconsolable. Time outs for her were never just a 5 minute affair. She was upset all day long. There were other things but that would be a book!
I guess my frustration and questions come in with the idea of, why would you put an innocent newborn baby through what they go through. How about this novel idea, you go through the withdrawal before you have a baby. Again, you couldn’t stop your drug use, for 9 months. How will you have the patience to deal with them for 18 years?
It just breaks my heart.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This poem came to mind today while I was getting up & ready for work. I wanted to share this wonderful poem with my Spark friends!!!
Because we are a.............
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
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