Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘emotions

A Chance

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Have you noticed the lone lopsided tree left standing to the right of the ones we took down over the weekend? A number of people have suggested it would make sense to cut that one down, too.

There are plenty of reasons it would be a logical choice, but who am I to let logic get in the way of my emotions?

One key reason I am letting it stand is that it isn’t dead. Not yet, anyway. It has carved out its meager existence and endured despite the shadow of the larger tree. Now that it is no longer crowded out, I’d like to see how it will respond.

I want to give it a chance to take advantage of the unobstructed afternoon sunlight and the uncontested space to spread out in every direction. It is very birch-like, but I haven’t specifically identified it. Black birch, maybe.

What does it cost me to wait a year or two to find out if it shows signs of renewed vigor? Just some ongoing questioning of my decision-making process, but that’s something I can tolerate.

Cyndie and I were surveying the space left after the trees were removed and discussed whether it would make sense to transfer some of the multitudes of volunteer maple seedlings that sprout all around our place each spring.

It’s an odd little corner of our property. The primary drainage ditch that nicely defines the southern border for most of the span of our open fields takes a little turn inward and orphans a fair-sized triangle of grass up to the road. The neighbor to the south is more than happy to tend to it, and he cuts that grass when cutting his adjacent strip along a cornfield there.

Honestly, I have reasons to believe he would consider it madness to plant new trees in that spot. He once offered to come cut down trees behind our house to create a larger space of lawn for us. Our opinions of what is more valuable are in stark contrast.

If we plant new trees, we will start by placing them along, or close to, the drainage ditch. I’m happy to work slowly and give him time to adjust to our changes.

The chickens show no sign of needing time to adjust. They showed up instantly when we drove to one of our trails to distribute a load of wood chips. I think they wanted to help spread them around.

In reality, what they were really doing was, scratching away the chips to get down to the dirt below, which was comical. They could do that anywhere. In fact, it would be easier to do it where we hadn’t just laid down a new cover of wood chips. Instead, they looked as though the new chips were a real bonus.

I’ll give them the benefit of doubt. Maybe there were bugs in the chips that dropped to the dirt below as soon as the chips got tossed on the trail.

There is a chance there is a logical method to their madness.

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Written by johnwhays

December 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

Intoxicating

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there are words
with grip strength
that surround a heart
and come out of nowhere
magically recounting
a lost memory
of unconscious love
sung to a melody
that glides along a winding path
effortlessly rolling over
gentle hills
of unrivaled beauty
from an impossible dream
all color and soft light
with an intoxicating aura
rising warmly on afternoon rays
of filtered golden beams
a chorus of emotional bliss
an immemorial infatuation
that forgot to end

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Written by johnwhays

November 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

Wondering Aloud

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Cyndie and I have recently found ourselves pondering the limitations of our ability to love someone out of their predicament. It gets downright frustrating to watch others destroy their own lives despite a wealth of loving family support desperately wanting to help.

Frustration Builds to Anger

I think part of the challenge for us is the struggle of overcoming anger that builds up in us from witnessing the neglect of self, and abuse of others, dished out by people in need who choose to ignore all common sense offers of assistance. By our own philosophy, we want to be sending a flood of love to all others, even if they are making us angry. That gets hard to do sometimes.

IMG_iP3072eCHAs a person who lived with a dysfunctional mindset of depression for many, many years, I recognize how self-focused a person with mental illness can become. I understand that the person with mental illness doesn’t logically perceive how much pain and sorrow they inflict on those who dearly love them, especially family. Heck, even if the message were to make it through, it could well be insufficient to inspire a change toward choosing to become healthy in response.

Yes, family seems to receive the brunt of our worst selves, even when they are the ones to whom we are most attached. Well, for that matter, even our own selves tend to become the target of our worst. That’s how these predicaments get started in the first place!

Cyndie and I understand that the only person we can change is ourselves. As a parent, it became one of the driving forces for me to want to become the healthiest I can be. I couldn’t force my children to love themselves and make healthy decisions, but I could make that a goal for myself. Doing so became an influence on my relationship with Cyndie. Our subsequent couples therapy and efforts to grow toward the healthiest possible relationship then imbued our household with that intentional energy.

I can’t say for sure that it is responsible for healthy choices our now grown children have demonstrated thus far in their lives, but I no longer see my past dysfunctional behaviors reflected back to me like I began to experience when they were young and I was ill.

Healthy Choice of Sending Love

The exercise that Cyndie and I talked about wanting to embrace last night is to emulate the confidence of our precious friend, Dunia, and not let our feelings of frustration and anger sidetrack our good intentions of wholeheartedly loving those dear to us who are not of a mind to love themselves. We want to send love with the fullest belief in the power of that love to make a healthy difference.

You see, doing so is an act of making us healthier. We can’t make others choose health. That is their responsibility. We can know we are honestly providing loving energy and by focusing on that, overcome the interference of frustration and anger over things we cannot control.

It doesn’t hurt to have a place like this blog where we can vent some extra frustration now and then. It allows us to let go of that which no longer serves and regain a balanced perspective in love.

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Written by johnwhays

March 16, 2016 at 6:00 am

Send Love

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Over the weekend we learned of friends whose long-term relationship is in crisis. As disorienting as it certainly is for them, Cyndie and I were knocked for a loop ourselves. It quickly became the focus of our thoughts. We wanted to help in any way possible, but beyond offering unconditional support, we cannot solve their problems for them.

That doesn’t prevent us from wishing that we could.

CandJWe’ve been there. We know that life on the resolution side of dealing with crises holds potential for innumerable possibilities. To get there, the path requires dealing with the darkness and trauma of immediate difficulties, while simultaneously allowing space for the manifestation of yet-to-be-imagined better outcomes to be had.

It is a matter of maintaining an understanding that the most trying challenges are not as all-encompassing as they can seem in the moment. The emotions we experience are very real, and though powerful they may be, emotions simply hold information to help us find our way. They do not constrain all aspects of the matter at hand.

The reality of situations is not limited to the way we are feeling in any given moment.

We have to heal ourselves and we have to heal our relationships. It may be hard to accept, but there is a gift to be claimed in the wounds that we experience.

We cannot do the healing for others, but we can hold them in our thoughts and send them love.

Cyndie and I are doing just that with great conviction today.

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Written by johnwhays

November 2, 2015 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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