Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
You Are Exactly My Cup of Tea!
Call it play, sharing time together, hanging out or something similar, don’t you find the joy within friendship? It is my steadfast belief that none of us are meant to live solitary lives. We are likely to find incredible connection when we have that knowledge that we are not alone & better still that we are cared about & loved. Ah, that is better than a warm blankie at least for the heart, right?
“I will play with you.” What if you did not hear those or other similar words for over 2 years? What if you felt like a loner for 24 months continuously? When we moved to the area that we live within just over 8 years ago, our oldest son experienced a combination of things that caused my heart to hurt for him. I would take on anything in the place of our sons. I know God gave me a profoundly sensitive heart & I feel everything with such intensity. Then having children really magnified this & having type 1 has magnified the magnification. When we moved here our oldest son was 6 years old, and his younger brothers were 2 & T minus 4 months (I was pregnant with our youngest son). Our oldest son was preparing to go into grade 1 & was naturally nervous about going to a new school where he would not know even one other person. I would love to say that it all worked out for him in the end at his new elementary school however that would be fictional. For all of grade 1 & grade 2 our son was left out at his school & worse than this, he was bullied big time…big time from grade 1 all the way through grade 8 by 2 children specifically. Whenever I would be over to the school to drop something off or have a meeting during recess, I would observe the exact same thing happening. What I saw was our son trying to ride under the radar or kind of just get through recess without being targeted by the bullying behaviours. I would see him pacing up & down the asphalt area that the younger kids were strictly told to play on. My heart hurt to see this. Finally in grade 3 things started to look up for our son when he made 2 very fine friends who remain friends to this day. Even with the new friends though, the bullying continued relentlessly. I would always think that I would give so much & in fact did offer many concrete ideas to the school officials in an effort to affect positive change, build bridges & make improvements for kids being bullied all to no avail. What I did see was a great deal of “cya” & political talk yet more than that a lot of denial that there was & is a problem. The feisty gal in me found & finds that deplorable & unacceptable. I tried carrying a boulder of change up a steep hill however certainly got discounted every single time by the school officials. It was still very much worth every effort that I made. The point is that our son knew that he was not alone…that his family cared & cares for him. I am not here to fight his battles as he is very much a capable & intelligent young man, however, I will stand in front of bullying behaviour when I see or know about it for anyone anytime period. It can be disheartening to try to affect positive change when you are involved with people who are busy doing everything possible to sweep difficulties under the rug & claim that there is nothing negative within the environment. There was never any elephant in the room. I can afford to get disheartened however I am no quitter so I do not let the wind stay out of my sails for long.
When suffering of any kind comes into life for the people in my life that I love, my mind just naturally goes to the place of finding meaning in the suffering otherwise I suppose I just might not have the attitude that I have or I guess I just would not be me. Everyone is a beautiful original so that is just what works for me. It is a lot easier to find the meaning within challenges or things that are causing suffering in my own life. Would I like to avoid suffering? Of course I would however guess what, that is just not realistic when you are living with several chronic illnesses. I have no time for denial or pretention but I do make time for trying to take suffering & turn it into something loving if possible for someone else. What I am talking about here is for example reaching out to others who feel misunderstood who I see are going through something that I have either gone through or am going through. Plain & simple, my life is about love & compassion. Here’s the thing though & that is that as a parent it is painful to see our kids go through suffering whether it is physical or emotional in nature. I would take on all of that for our sons if I could. That is the heart of a Mom or Dad. I wondered what possible good frankly would come from all that bullying & nastiness that our son went through during his elementary school years. What is it about the conflicted nature of some human beings with the need to throw things at others who appear to be different from them yet at the same time over & over again you hear people saying that everyone is special or different & that should be embraced. What is with the lack of walking the talk & that being okay these days? Are people listening to what they themselves are saying? And what is it about others at times wanting to dull someone else’s light in an effort to make themselves seem to brighten his or her own light. That in my opinion never works & there is a reason for that. I tend to believe that bullying behaviour often comes from a place of lack in the person doing the bullying. Then the bullying targeting happens & the person being zeroed in on is pulled down in an effort to make the person doing the bullying stand that much taller. I have & do see it in children & also in adults. It is not ok, not ok, not ok, not ok. The point is that out of those targeted behaviours developed a fine young man who is incredibly compassionate, understanding, encouraging & humorous & that fine young man is our oldest son. He took those abusive words from the kids doing the bullying & did & does naturally reach out to others who need to hear that they are absolutely amazing even if they are hearing discouraging words from other sources. Our son almost inherited the ability to see b.s. like it is on glass. He has an instant perception about deception behaviours or faker talk. How cool is that. He has that thing where he can & does say, “I get it, me too or I have been there too & you are not alone.”
Our son literally x’ed off the days during the last year of elementary school. Best of all though is that now that those days are behind him & he has moved onto high school, he has a new lease on life. It is incredible how an environment can be spiritually & emotionally toxic & once you leave it, the clouds lift. That is exactly what happened for our son. He is beyond joyful this year in the high school he attends. Of course if you ask him if he likes school, he will maintain the boy code & deny that he enjoys it however his demeanor gives him away. He has made over 50 new friends & he sure is an encourager to his peers. He knows what a bad day feels like. Life for him or for any of us is not perfect yet he is doing pretty great this year. His marks are fabulous & initiative & group work are super. I am beyond proud of him. He is a fine person & I am honoured that God chose me to be his mom. Our son has found his way, is fitting in nicely yet being fully himself & is finally happy at school. The best part was last week when our son told me one evening that one of his new friends said something that really made his day. He said that one of his friends told him that he is a good guy. I hope our son brings that friend over to our place one time soon to hang out. Of course I will not say anything but I will say thank-you with baking & in boy world I think that is may be better than a hookie thank-you :)
Perhaps even as adults each one of us in some way can relate to that feeling of being left out at times or even being bullied at other times. I find that life with type 1 not to mention the other chronic illnesses that have followed have meant that I have felt pretty different from the crowd many times. Feisty me says “so what” though. Different is not good or bad in my mind. It just is what it is. If a person is naturally eccentric then power to them. If a person is a faker than my attitude is cut it out! For crying out loud, God made us each for a purpose that is all our own so why not find out what it is & go ahead & lovingly each live our missions. Enough trying to dim one another’s light in this world. Enough pretending. Enough abuse of any kind…there has already been too much. Enough over the top ego & putting other people down in this world. I say, bring on being exactly our best selves instead & encouraging that in one another. Most people have challenges & sufferings. They & we do not need to be alone in that unless we choose to be. We have a choice to reach out in kindness to one another, do nothing or worse make excuses & convince ourselves that we are ok with doing what we are or are not doing already. We are a human family. We can come into one another’s lives & be encouragers whether we have type 1 or another 365. I would personally say that we “get it” even more so we can take that & magnify our encouragement with others. We are meant to live as a community. We all deserve to hear the words, “you are exactly my cup of tea.”
Smiles, Saundie :)
This "tea junkie" ironically has not yet had a single "cuppa" at mid-day yet when I do sit down to experience that first glorious cup of tea of the day, I will be smiling to think of all the people in my life who are exactly my cup of tea...battle buddies, friends, family, people who even just smile for a once only time. I encourage you to get beside someone that is struggling with feeling a sense of feeling left out. You may be surprised who that may be in your life...let's all pick up the phone or better yet get together with others & literally tell them that they are our cup of tea! Next Monday's writing is "in the ether." :)