The Sense of Being Heard

Every time I learn a life lesson,

when it sinks in, penetrates my thick skull, works its ways through the pink labyrinth inside, and reaches the part of me which can rewire my system,

albeit in a jerry-rigging manner,

I inevitably find myself wondering why on earth I didn’t understand it before…

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“I’ve been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.”
― Tahereh Mafi

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then the if only’s begin,

that pastime of rewriting personal history,

of thinking that things would have been better,

have turned out all hunky-dory,

if I’d known then what I know now and had done things differently than I did them,

if I’d been less stupid and more clever…

But…

am I really less stupid and more clever now?

I may think I am because I’m under the illusion that I’ve learned a life lesson which I perceive as being something that makes me smart…er…

But…

Chances are that future me will look back on the me that I am now,

who thinks I’m smarter than past me,

and consider this me to be a complete dolt who messed things up by not knowing now what I will know then.

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“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

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It took me the sort of time which seems like forever to accept my own personal history,

made of mistakes, mess, madness, and mayhem, mortification, morbidity, melancholy and m… mmmm…

to feel comfortable being as I am,

a rolling stone who has gathered so much moss that it no longer rolls,

to have no need to tidy up the chaos of my past so that my present can live up to some skewed ideal of perfection,

(perfectionism is probably the most chaos-causing substance known to man)

to move away from chewing on the cud of what if’s and if only’s…

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KOKOpelli shadowed

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I still do it,

still wonder how things would have turned out if… somehow I’d been someone else when… then…

it’s a habit I wear,

to cover bones, sinew, muscles, veins…

some habits feel like skin, and without them it can all fall apart…

but I’m less furious about it, less quick to kick and punch myself, less prone to drowning in the soup of regret, less inclined to get stuck reliving an incident in my mind, interminably replaying it…

with alternate endings, most of which are better than what happened…

I like to keep an eye on those alternate endings which had even worse outcomes as they remind me that meddling with what is… can be hazardous to health.

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“Some people have difficulty telling the difference between something great and something they’ve simply heard of.”
― Arthur Golden

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One life lesson which I’ve learned is that the moment I think I’ve learned a life lesson,

life throws me a Pop Quiz to test whether I’ve actually learned anything at all or am suffering from a delusion of  the moment.

I used to hate it when that happened, it made me uptight, nervous, and afraid of failing… of letting myself (my ego) down…

but I have slowly grown to look forward to life’s trickster nature and way of nurturing growth.

These days the moment I have a boost of confidence, feel that I’ve finally understood something and I’m a new and improved version of myself, totally awesome compared to what came before… I set my stopwatch in motion waiting to see how long it takes for life to throw me a curve ball.

I’m no longer as surprised (or disappointed) by how fast that occurs.

I used to moan – Oh, Life, why couldn’t you let me celebrate this small victory for more than an hour!

Now I (do something very foolish) say – Bring it on, Life, my bat is ready for your pitch!

I am fairly ready to swing at anything bad that life might throw at me,

or at least I’m prepared for something bad to happen in a fatalistic kind of way…

my loins are girded (that sounds like painful underwear of the chafing kind) …

But…

What I still haven’t learned to be ready for is when something good happens…

those sort of tests are my Achilles’ heel…

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“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”
― Hāfez

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I often (in a reckless way) tell people exactly where to hit me if they want to knock me over. I’m like one of those video games which show you where to strike to bring down your opponent only I’m letting others know where to strike me…

I rely far too much on others not listening… I’m precariously perched on a dry twig of safety…

it’s funny-strange…

I used to be desperate to be heard by others, and it frustrated me no end that no one seemed to listen,

the kind of listening which actually hears you, what you’re saying in the way that you said it, rather than the kind which hears what it wants, needs, taking your words and making them their own, out of context, and often blowing them out of proportion.

Then one day it didn’t seem important to be heard anymore…

this was the end of a life lesson which was really the beginning of it…

as shortly after that I found that people were listening to me in a manner I had never experienced before…

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“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.”
― John Grisham

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Life and its trickster ways were at work again…

as always…

The other day someone surprised me in a manner which I saw as another of life’s pop quizzes…

Clyde of Fractal Enlightenment asked me if I’d like to write a guest post, and maybe do a bit more than that, for his wonderful website.

It’s an amazing opportunity, and a very generous offer…

But…

I don’t really know what to make of this opportunity…

I haven’t learned that life lesson yet…

I’ve only just opened the manual for dummies on this, there are a lot of words explaining things and…

And…

sometimes when opportunity knocks I just stand on the other side of the door listening to the sound of knocking…

I’m used to turning bad things into good things, seeing the blessing in the curse…

or turning good things into bad things due to panicking at suddenly being presented with an unknown and needing it to feel familiar…

But…

it’s time to turn and face the strange.

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