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Gentle Warriors

01/12/2014 09:20

What is the deal with the wearing of masks way beyond Halloween?  Is there a great deal of dawning of masks throughout the entire year by many people?  We each answer that question for ourselves.  Maybe it is the passage of time that has brought this to the forefront of my mind.  In so many ways I have always been an old soul of sorts.  And I have always found people watching to be kind of fascinating.  I like to get to know many different people & listen to what makes people really bubble over.  And I like to watch also from a distance at times & more or less create a story in my mind about strangers who are just passing through…or maybe I am the one passing through. 

Do the Jones’ actually exist?  Sure, we can open up our telephone directories in the town or city that we each live in & I bet you that you will see oodles of the name Jones listed in the directory.  We are not really talking about actual Jones’ but rather the age old saying of “keeping up with the Jones” which most of us will be all too familiar with.  Does the activity of trying to keep up with the Jones begin at a young age?  We each may have our own answers to that question.  My answer is that I think so.  With Christmas very much in the forefront of my mind with just a matter of weeks until its arrival, I think that keeping up with the Jones has perhaps always been a component of the season unfortunately.  Kids tend to be pretty impressionable.  The commercials for the toys come on tv for instance earlier & earlier every year prior to the Christmas buying season.  Then there is the whole need for some kids to impress their friends with what they want to receive under the tree.  The wish list seems like it has gotten further & further away from the true meaning of the season with the desires for kids to have the latest & greatest technology along with the costly price tags of most of these items.  Meanwhile, kids I believe have not changed that much in that the biggest smiles seem to come from the simplest of experiences like tobogganing as a family down a neat local hill & hot chocolate made from scratch on the kitchen stove or looking at freaky bugs & leaves & rocks on a walk in nature.  Last Spring some friends & I attended a speaking engagement with Matthew Kelly who is one of my favourite authors.  One of the gems that Matthew Kelly shared with all of us was “you really cannot get enough of what you really don’t need.”  In other words if folks find that there is something missing in their lives they will tend to fill it with something…anything…many anythings & somethings.  And when that does not work, the pile of stuff simply gets larger & the cycle continues.  The accumulation of stuff may be about keeping up with the Jones or it may be about finding peace or maybe something else.  Does it ever work?  The thing about stuff that I have found is that I have to be vigilant to not get too attached to things & more than anything if something can be enjoyed with someone else then it means more to me than something that I keep to & for myself.  That is one of the reasons why I really enjoy gift cards because I save them until I am with a Dear Heart & then we both enjoy them together.  It becomes a memory as well so that is pretty cool I think.  To get very real, although I never got full entrenched in the world of keeping up with the Jones’, I have certainly fallen prey to some aspects of it.  My first car for instance I really enjoyed because although it was a used car it looked very shiny & impressive.  I was in my early 20’s & still finding my emotional sea legs so it still very much mattered at that point what others thought of me.  As I continued to experience life & grow up with each passing year I realized that in so many cases the people that we think of as the Jones’ are often up to their eyeballs in debt trying to maintain “the lifestyle” & are less happy with so much than folks who had a meager amount of anything.  Stuff has not & never will equal joy or peace I believe.  To get to a point of not needing to impress others (can we really anyways) is liberating I have found.  To just be unapologetically ourselves is an absolute treat I think. 

There are some things that I cannot bare to think about living without & at the centre of all these things which are really not things at all is love.  We each share our love with others & the world around us in different ways.  If I had to put a name on my rascal type of love shared, it would be, “gentle warrior.”  When I was a kid & even into my 20’s I let myself get steamrolled over.  You know the saying, “doormat?”  That was me.  I did not want to be a bother to anyone & I wanted to help others yet would never dream of accepting help from anyone.  Most people around me thought I was living a very ideal life.  Wearing a mask though I have found has never lead to anything other than a separation from me & those around me.  As I grew up I learned to accept that not everyone was going to like me.  Well good grief, no kidding.  I had tried to knock myself out because my unconfident younger self at that point wanted to be liked by everyone.  That is a different form of keeping up with the Jones’ I believe.  The more I dedicated myself to that endeavor, the more miserable I felt inside under that mask.  Over time I learned that I could choose to put that all behind me & do something for myself that would last a lifetime…beginning with taking off the mask.  That meant that I chose to befriend myself finally & be myself unapologetically…vulnerably & fully.  There are no words to say how there was no looking back from that point on.  There are times in life where we each look at forks in the road & make a decision at that juncture that has lasting impacts on ourselves & those around us.  I chose over a decade ago to become a gentle warrior in every aspect of my life.  Thank goodness for that choice because 7 years ago when type 1 diabetes came into my life, I did not have to pretend that I did not have diabetes.  I did not have to crumble under some sort of fragility at having something less than perfection enter my life.  Life is messy & life with type 1 diabetes is brutally messy…messier still when we have those literal mishaps like spilled insulin & a blood test that looks more like the scene of a crime than medical management.  Diabetes is what it is.  Diabetes is far from perfect.  My blood sugar numbers are messy & far from perfect on any given day.  As an aside anytime I get a 5.5 on my glucose meter I announce it to my family & they always clap & cheer.  I love that big time!

I do not plan on leaving this earth leaving a legacy other than being messy, rascally me & giving every ounce of love that I can away.  And I will do my part of giving away love in a gentle yet fierce way.  When I love, I love with all my might.  My hugs are not for the faint at heart.  I may be a gummy bunny low blood sugar treating gal but when it comes to making sure that Dear Hearts know that I love them, the cuteness of it all pales in comparison to the unapologetic, vulnerability that I choose to share in telling others that they matter & are loved.  Sure, you can blush all you want when I tell you that you are loved & why I think you are the bee’s knees.  Your blushing is not about to deter me.  We can be embarrassed about sharing vulnerable feelings yet come on, join me anyways & push through that to the place of no masks at all.  That is the place where we get real & share our real selves.  Guess what, our real selves are pretty freaking “tea”riffic!

Smiles, Saundie :)

Next week's sharing is not yet created.  My heart's hope for you is that you go ahead & be your amazing self in a world where there is a real need for that & go ahead & love unapologetically past your own blushing & others xo.