I’ve come across my fair share of “insensitive” folk in my life when I have been dealing with death or the loss of a relationship. Here are my top tips and reasons for them, to assist others who are struggling with life’s inevitable losses and challenges.
By Michele Dowling.
More photos of Pfer, and her story can be purchased at PferPig
Pfer pig lived on a farm with many other animals. She loved them and always considered them “family”, although they always made fun of her because she was a P I G and pigs were known for being lazy, dirty and dumb.
Most of her days were spent eating, rolling around in her favourite mud hole and then sleeping in the sun and she was happy but lately when she slept her dreams were not peaceful, they were upsetting. She would often see large orange flames licking at the walls of the barn, her snout and eyes would burn from the heat, she found it hard to breathe and see because of all the smoke and she would wake herself up squealing “danger, fire” as loud as she could, only to see all the other animals laughing at her.
She didn’t like it when they laughed at her, or when the old rooster grumbled at her, telling her to stop being so silly and go back to sleep. One night though, a fire really did break out in the barn and if it weren’t for Pfer squealing loudly the horses never would have woken and kicked down the barn doors, waking all the other animals up which allowed them to escape the inferno.
From that day on Pfer was thought of as a hero and all the animals treated her differently. They no longer laughed or grumbled at her. Nor did they think her and her dreams were silly, instead they respected her and neither she nor the other animals ever doubted her dreams again.
© Story & Image Michele Dowling & Cheryl O’Connor February 2017 – all rights reserved. This story and associated image/s may not be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of Michele or Cheryl who can be contacted via Cheoco Enterprises, Old Petrie Town, Whiteside, Queensland, Australia. Ph: 0423 663 520. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.cheocoenterprises.com
We all come with abundant courage, trust and love into this world. We trust all our needs will be taken care of and as a very young child privileged to grow up in what folk call “the modern/civilised world” we do not worry where the next meal will come from. Clothes are given to us as is food, we have beds to sleep in and rooves over our heads and really we want for nothing, quite content to, in my day, go outside and play, weather permitting and imagine all sorts of things whilst having grand adventures in nature. So where does all that trust, courage and love go to as we get older?
From my perception it gets shut down by a blanket of fear based conditioning. Tiny piece by tiny piece it starts to be smothered by statements the adults in our lives make of “Don’t you fall from there”, “You be careful you don’t choke on that”, “You’ll break your arm if you climb that tree”, “Don’t run with scissors, you’ll injure yourself”, “Don’t play with that knife you will cut yourself”, “Don’t speak to ANYONE you don’t know already,” “Don’t you behave like that”, “Don’t be so noisy”, and on and on it goes with the don’t, don’t, don’t – when do we ever hear do, be, trust yourself, you can do that, you are strong, smart, caring, helpful ?
When do we hear you are beautiful, you are capable, all you need lays within yourself? When in the midst of an emotional release does a parent just allow that release to occur without trying to control the behaviour or telling the child to stop crying and use their words? How can anyone speak when they are in the midst of releasing emotional energy like grief, frustration or anger particularly if they have been brought up with being told they are stupid or a sook for expressing themselves or have had their self- expression squashed in other ways?
Constantly we are shut down from doing and from being who we truly are until like sheep we just become one of the herd baaing constantly with our complaints of this or that or verbally attacking or defending, or gossiping about others, making judgements and accusations, giving advice we were not asked to give, seeking outside ourselves for what we think we need.
That is NOT living, that is merely existing. We become so numb and non-present in our bodies we are like the walking dead, literally, because life becomes so boring. Heaven forbid we should express joy or laughter in quiet spaces like lifts or whilst hemmed into office cubicles or at functions where we have to remain “dignified” and silent.
I recall once one of my children being ever so embarrassed whilst out simply because I was listening to and feeling the music of some drummers and my body started moving to the beat of the drumming. How is that we have created a culture where we are embarrassed by Self-expression with something as beautiful as appreciating another’s musical ability and moving with the flow of that music?
How often do we hear – “Leave your personal stuff at home, don’t let it impact on your productivity here at work” or the reverse “Leave your work at work”. Since when is it truly possible for any human being to just flick a switch within themselves and turn off like a machine from what is going on in their life be it at home or at work just because some man made device with numbers on it says it is time to?
In order to cope with it all we land up self-medicating, hanging out for that drink at the end of the day or that cigarette on our break, both of which we then become addicted to, or worse we take other substances to “make” us feel better which then create more problems for us, or we become ill and dis-eased simply because our Soul has become so bored with it all. Just watch commuters on a train who day in day out, do the same thing over and over again, they become like robots just going through the motions. So many folk just hang in there for the weekend or for a holiday to escape it all and then their thinking is, shame that’s over now I have to go back to reality and the grind of it all. That grind of it all IS your life.
How many folk are SO relieved when Friday hits – many it would seem for it is not uncommon to see or hear these days TGIF or when Wednesday hits it is commonly known now as hump day as we are all on the downhill run to two days where we can do what we actually want to do with our lives, how sad. And seriously, what a WASTE of a life!
We are not here to be machines, to just constantly produce and make money to buy things or make other folk rich, none of which we can take with us anyway which some poor sod only has to sort out, distribute or sell or even worse still have arguments with remaining family members about it all, when we leave our physical bodies. So many of us have been brought up with the ethos of you have to study hard, do well at school, get a good job, get married, have children, get yourself into debt with a mortgage to own your own home, buy that flash car or whatever, which then ties you to that job you hate even more because that is, according to our fear based conditioning the best way for you to be successful in life. In the meantime you miss out on precious time with family and with yourself and then by the time you are “allowed” to retire you are, generally speaking, too old or too ill to actually enjoy any of it.
If you don’t have a job for whatever reason you are considered to be a bludger and if you fall outside the box regarding any of those things it is deemed there is something wrong with you by many. So much fear based rubbish is fed to us from such a young age it’s no wonder we are not all puking it back up on the side walk as in a robotic like trance we exist and fool ourselves into thinking this is how life just is. We even treat each other often like a commodity or a possession – you give me this and I’ll give you that, or you “can’t” do this or that, or even worse still as I recently heard on the radio, some young woman had separated from her partner and the news reader’s comment was …… and bla de bla is back on the market again….., referring to her like she was just some piece of meat for sale, I wasn’t aware we had markets for women these days in this culture.
I also recall once when I was ill from having pulled several weeks of 19 hour days, without proper lunch breaks or having the energy to eat of an evening when I finally got home, an offer to walk me to the doctor as I didn’t know where it was, during which walk, when I said thank you I heard returned “Well I have to look after my investment”. I was shocked, is that all I was – an investment? That prompted me to start thinking well perhaps it is truly time I started to more fully invest in myself. So blessings to he who said that and thank you.
Life is truly not about ANY of this fear based bollocks and constant robotic production/consumerism. Life is an abundant ever flowing creation and whatever we need will manifest, just as it did when we were children. How many times have doors been closed in your face only for new ones to open? How many times have really cruddy things happened that a bit later further down the track you can see the blessings in? We came into this life to create, for we are all creators and we are all the manifestation of Creation itself, with our thoughts, actions and words, we are not here to create a living hell for each other or the planet and bleat like sheep being pushed through a corral at shearing time. To become so desensitised to the atrocities in this world which humans inflict upon life on this planet that we just turn a blind eye to them or we do not get angry or sad about them.
How many people do you know who are actually in touch with their own passions, gifts, talents, skills and belief in themselves to such an extent that they know exactly what their purpose is in life, what they are here to do and who actually have the courage to break free of the boxes and just do it? What stops most folk from swimming the depths within themselves and pulling up the abundant treasures they contain which will enable them to do that which they love to do, not that which they feel they have to do? Fear, pure and simple.
Fear based conditioning that has been spoon fed to us since we were in diapers. We fear our pain, we fear the unknown, we fear the dark, we fear the light, we fear change, we fear not having a “job”, we fear life, we fear not having a home, we fear not having an income, we fear not being loved, we fear doing the Self work that would eliminate all the fear and all the pain and all the suffering. We fear death, we fear rejection, we fear loss, we fear illness, we even fear fear. Many miss their departed loved ones and yet become fear full should those loved ones make their presence known.
My goodness is there much in this world that we don’t fear given all we have been told and taken on as beliefs? Our heads are often terrified with whatever they conjure up and yet rarely do the fears we create in our own heads ever become a physical reality. At the end of the day in each and every single moment of life and even in death we are all absolutely fine.
Death is not something to fear, it is merely a transition from one state of being to another, just because we may not have a body any longer does not mean we do not exist. Personally I reckon once you move through your fear of death there really is nothing left to fear but by jingoes our fear based conditioning has a LOT to answer for because NONE of it is actually how life truly is and can be for ever so many of us. I saw a post a while ago on Facebook which I believe said something like:
R eal ……… and that is precisely what fear is, an energy that squashes and conforms and stifles ever so much joy, love, peace, wisdom, self-confidence, self-expression and trust in this world.
If it is time you threw your fear blanket off, or started to remove it piece by piece, just as it was created for you to wear, untangling all the strands of it that have been woven around you so you can start to truly live your life as it was intended you live it with love, joy, abundance, excitement and passion – I have in my tool kit a pair of scissors I can loan you and many different ways in which I can assist you to untangle it.
Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.
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It’s a biggy isn’t it?
No doubt we’ve all believed what someone has told us with everything in us and then wham we learn the hard way that person is NOT to be trusted. So… where do you go from there once trust is gone? I haven’t yet experienced that you can re-build it totally with the person who broke it. At the very least you are indeed wary of believing much anymore that comes out of that person’s mouth.
Yet we innately trust when we are children. We trust we will be fed, bathed, clothed and we don’t concern ourselves too much at all really with the adult world of money, distrust, blame, judgment or gossip. Young children have no awareness of there being a me and them and they are full of trust and love.
As women, when we are pregnant we trust that the life we have growing inside us knows exactly what it’s doing. We all trust that we can breathe, we trust that our blood flows through our veins 24/7 and that our bodies know, somehow, how to work properly without us having to think too much about any of it. We trust the sun will come up each day and we trust that the seasons will come and go as they have done for eons.
Many trust that there is a higher power that is guiding them in their lives. They can’t see it but most trust that it exists in the form of God or whatever other label we use to describe something that we believe is outside of us that we think has power over us and our lives. When good things happen we thank “God” or the Universe or whatever our belief is. When bad things happen, generally speaking, we play the blame game. Many have horrible, shocking, terrible things happen to them and then say how could “God” let that happen? Some people come into this world and then are gone again rather quickly and again many of us say “they were too young to die” because our expectation, generally speaking, is that folk once born will live to ripe old ages.
Personally I figure we are all here only for as long as we need to be, to do whatever it is we came to do and once we have accomplished that, we go. It’s almost like being contracted for a certain period of time to do a job, only thing is we often don’t know when our or another person’s contract will end.
So much in our lives often happens for reasons that many of us don’t get to even see until much further down the track and it can be difficult at times to remain trusting of that process. It is like we live in a shadow world here. A world that has had for many a long time a blanket of fear, greed and ignorance, separation, power and control thrown over it with many only starting in recent times to lift that blanket off themselves and consequently the world.
It occurs to me that it is rather odd that we put our faith and trust in something that cannot be seen, which we think is external to us, like what we refer to as “God” and yet we cannot trust that the folk who come into our lives who we can see, do so to show us something about ourselves we haven’t yet seen.
It seems to me that a bit of a battle also occurs within when our logic and our conditioning tells us one thing yet our gut tells us another. Our logic can come up with any reasonable justification for anything we like to tell ourselves and at the end of the day it’s all just a story but how many folk actually stop the head chatter long enough to essentially feel, listen to and trust our own gut feelings regardless of what anyone tells us? How many of us rush into situations due to feeling needy, pressured or even guilty then once we’ve dived in wonder how the hell can I now get out of this?
Experience tells me gut feelings are our warning alarm bells that come from what we refer to as “God”, “Goddess” etc. The more we pay attention to them, like building a muscle, the stronger they get, the more frequently they are felt. They, along with synchronicity and looking at all symbolically as an aspect of self rather than literally, are things we can use to guide us as we do our Earth Walks.
Generally speaking our whole western cultured education system is learning about data and rules and then being tested on our ability to remember them. It’s all mostly head work so many of us have been conditioned to be very busy in our heads not even pay attention to what I call gut nav. Much of what we learn in school becomes rather useless when we leave that environment for we are not taught life skills, just facts, figures and numbers and we are conditioned to learn what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour within the societies we live in. Our western conditioning is also geared around do well at school, i.e. follow the rules and pass all their tests, then perhaps go on to further study, get a good paying job, buy lots of things, perhaps travel for a bit, find a mate, “settle down”, have children, get yourself into a bucket load of debt and then live happily ever after – hmmm doesn’t really quite work like that does it?
Perhaps it doesn’t work that way for ever so many because that is what exists in our heads, what has been drummed into many of us from an early age, it is not what exists in our hearts and how would many of us even know what exists in our hearts when we have been told from a very young age, generally speaking, absolutely zip shit about listening to them and trusting our own gut nav to help us navigate our paths in life?
We constantly, mostly, seek outside ourselves for answers, opinions from others when we are needing advice and validation of our own self-worth, never having really being taught how to listen to and trust our own inner workings and gut nav in daily situations we find ourselves in. We most definitely, a lot of the time, put our trust into others and not ourselves. Then we get our noses all out of whack when someone lets us down due to our own expectations which live in our heads.
Many speak of unconditional love – i.e. meaning loving folk without conditions/expectations attached. Love is just love and it is not something that we have been conditioned to feel and live for conditioning lives in our heads, not our hearts. So for me the term unconditional love takes on a whole new meaning i.e. Love is not that which we have been conditioned to believe it is. Our expectations more than anything are what truly let us down when we trust them and others more than we do our own hearts and gut nav.
So very often we get angry with and blame others for whatever we feel as if it is their fault they have let us down. Really we are just angry with ourselves for allowing that to occur due to our expectations. Rarely are we honest enough with ourselves to say to ourselves I participated in that situation for whatever reason and start to dig deeper into ourselves to find the gold nugget of learning or even healing the experience has given us.
At the end of the day trust in our own Self and in life is what is learned, usually the hard way, and when we can trust ourselves way more than we can by putting our blind faith and trust into others, we have freedom from blame, expectations and we have peace.
© C. O’Connor.
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