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Maiara Musings

"Problems can not be solved by the level of awareness that created them" Albert Einstein

Tag Archives: Acceptance

Here I am, sitting at work in a basement where my desk is, with no heating system. The not so quiet humming of the heater beside me and my new finger-less gloves  keep my otherwise frozen hands functioning so that I can work. It is cold in Canada this year, no matter where you go. I have spent time thinking about something optimistic about this winter. There are few things that I can say are great

1) When the spring and summer finally arrives everyone will be able to appreciate the weather and there will be way less weather related complaints than usually

2) While defrosting my windshield wipers this morning and praying that the car would start, it came to me to count my blessings that I do have a car – less the garage since the divorce of course.

3) The mold does not grow in this frigid temperature neither does my fire alarm go off from the steam after my shower.

4) Since I have a legitimate reason not to go out running this winter due to weather hazards I don’t have to feel guilty. I can instead spend that time writing and relaxing at home.

5) I have definitely decided that when I move next time, I shall wish for a fireplace. For what would nicer than enjoying a glass of wine in front of a fire-place looking in to the mesmerizing glow of fire……

6) And lastly, snow is not melting and kids are having a blast going skiing more than usually

So, now that I wrote down all this I feel much happier already and instead of feeling sorry for myself and depressed I come to realize that it is not the weather that dictates the state of my mind, but my spirit. And right now my spirits are very high, for I am so happy. Please take out your pens and write down your own lists of seasonal reasons, there are many ways to be happy and appreciate the day just the way it is. I better post this now and return to my work. Those who have not visited Maiara Musings before please take your time and check out my essays.

Maiara

https://maiaramusings.wordpress.com/

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Hi everyone, thank you for visiting Maiara Musings. Now before Christmas, those who are lonely are really lonely. Including me of course, so I had to write this essay about loneliness and look deep into my soul to see why is it that I feel lonely, even though I have not been this happy in years. Hope that you will enjoy the essay and please leave a comment if you so wish. I am debating what to write next month, would it be about cyber love or maybe about letting go of the past. So please come back in a month and you shall see. Happy reading. Sincerely Maiara

LONELINESS – AN AFTERMATH OF DIVORCE: An Essay Written by Maiara

Loneliness, that feeling of the aching heart and loss of love haunting you like only a ghost of the past can do.  The time you sit alone wondering about your life past and dreams lost, the optimism of the youth weighted down by the disappointments of reality. The small wrinkles around the corners of your eyes magnified by the newly acquired reading glasses and the well-worn old bath robe tightly hugging  your body giving you the comfort while you are trying to escape to the world of imagination by reading the latest romance novel on the market. The rain is drumming on your window matching your mood, the ever so scary and alarmingly often coming visitor – depression – is knocking on the door of your soul and you are holding tighter to the reality by making plans to escape the inevitable downslide of your mental state. Those are the times we feel so alone, so at the mercy of our faith and our new environment, wondering if we are ever going to be whole again after the nightmare of divorce.

Loneliness is not a bad thing in itself; it has a way of comforting us and giving us a break from the everyday hassles and noises. It can be a great teacher for the souls in distress and the guiding light out from the darkness. The problem lies not therefore in the loneliness per se but in the depths of our very own existence. We have let, over the years of our marriage and interaction with others, the opinions of those around us to shape us to someone who suits them, that fits in to their idea of a normal, acceptable individual and played the role they have assigned for us.  Suddenly alone, in a new environment, in a new role of a single person surrounded by new people we are faced with the new reality. Reality where we don’t fit in anymore because we are used to playing the role of that once married, once part of something, once belonging to someone else that was assigned to us by the very person we so naively thought would love us until the end of the time.

Thus here I am, early hours on Sunday morning sitting on my kitchen couch contemplating my life and not just any part of my life but that nagging feeling of maybe. Maybe I won’t ever find someone who can love me truly and unconditionally, maybe I am damaged goods after years of abuse, maybe I am not good enough to the man who would be able to love me, maybe I ran out of luck or maybe I just have to accept the loneliness and kill the dream of finding someone to share my life with. So many maybes but no solutions, or is there? How can one find a solution to something as abstract as loneliness, for one can be the loneliest person on earth amidst the huge crowd of people?

There is nothing lonelier in this life than that of an unsuccessful marriage, and I should know having been the loneliest wife, mother, woman, human being walking on this earth that I have ever met. Having been rejected, pushed aside and thrown away over and over again by the very same person that was supposed to love me makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject of loneliness. So why am I sitting and being afraid of loneliness then? Do I really wish to be whisked back to the world of acceptance and start a new role, this time that of someone else, just so that I won’t feel lonely anymore and to risk being rejected and pushed aside again. No, I do not wish that at all, for intellectually speaking I realize that loneliness is something we create inside ourselves and it is not related to being in a relationship. Unless one is so lucky as to find his or her soul mate in this life, the journey we all have ahead of us is that of a lonely wanderer and it is our thoughts and actions that define us in relation to the space around us. It is not the other people surrounding us but us as individuals who create our own mental space and our own world to inhabit. It should be us defining the persons we allow to our space and it should be our own integrity that allows those very people to be just the way they are without us trying to impose on them some role so that we would feel less lonely and more accepted when around them. Our gift for those around us should thus be that of complete acceptance and non judgement, for at the end that is exactly what we wish for others to do for us.

So theoretically speaking all is well, I understand the concept of loneliness, but whenever I am faced with weekends alone while kids are with their dad, or broken car, meetings with the divorce lawyer, smiling couples walking and holding hands etc. I feel that feeling of loneliness magnified. Those are real emotions I face in real life and I am really trying to make sense of them. Maybe the reason that I feel so lonely is that I really wish to meet my soul mate and that is  the dream I had since I was a teenager. This dream of mine has remained only a fantasy, seemingly impossible to attain during those two decades I was bound to the man who definitely was not my soul mate. But now that I find myself single again my old dream has gotten new wings, wings that will eventually fly me all the way to the waiting arms of my soul mate. Maybe that is the reason I feel so lonely now for I feel like a little baby bird who knows that she has the wings but has no idea how to use them­­­ while all the other birds around her are flying high leaving the little bird all alone and lonely. There she then sits suspiciously looking down the humongous drop that she will face if those wings won’t hold when she finally gathers her courage to leave the security of the nest to join the other birds.

I woke up at 5am this morning with the startling realization; my mind had obviously been on high alert to finish this essay while I was sound a sleep. There it was, the solution that was not a solution but deep understanding of the root cause of loneliness that I highly suspect is not only valid for me but for many others as well. We have set up this internal boundary to ourselves without even being aware of its implications, the boundary that has no visible line or definition but there it is as solid as anything staring right at our face magnifying the state of our mind and the feeling of loneliness. The boundary is that of self liking. The price that we are now paying for letting others define our role in their lives by dutifully playing the part assigned to us is often very high and so well hidden that we never even realized it existed. In a process of trying to fit in and to belong so that we would not find ourselves lonely, we have modified our own behavior often blindly trading our own values to those of the person or persons we wish to be connected with. That approach can, if those values are far off from our own, be very destructive. For when one is suddenly standing alone after the relationship is over, what is left is one completely lost lonely person with a baggage full of wrong values accompanied by the shadow of someone she can’t even recognize. So ultimately the loneliness is when one is left to face her own thoughts, thoughts that reflect who she has become accompanied with the realization that the person inside is a complete stranger and not even good company, but a stranger she has grown to dislike immensely and would never choose as a companion if given a choice. Paradoxically enough the only way out from the loneliness is to be alone until you can look at yourself in a mirror and see in your reflection the person that you actually like to be with. It is only then than you will be strong enough to try your new wings and soar towards your dreams without the fear of crashing.

 

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Hi everyone, this is just a little celebration to share. Yesterday was 1000 people who have read my essay My House or is it Home – an Essay. I feel that I am making a difference and thank you all of you for coming to read my essays. Since I am at it I also would like to promote my October essay HOW OUR MISFORTUNES SHAPE US – AN ESSAY which not too many of you have found, but I strongly recommend you reading it for it could be just what you needed on a grey almost winter here waiting for the snow day, or otherwise downcast day when all you wish to do is to pull that cover over your head and never get off the bed again. Please come back at the end of November. I will be posting a new essay discussing the loneliness after divorce on it.

Maiara

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Hi Everyone, I hope that you had an uneventful week. My week was very stressful but not entirely bad. Even the fact that my ex ended up moving back to the house paled on the side of what happened to my daughter and the scare I got. That is why this week I wrote an essay about Fragile Life and Teenage Parenting and how everything gets in to perspective when very the scary and unexpected happens. I hope that this essay will give you something to think about and to truly appreciate that the teenagers, however annoying, are part of us and with everything we should just be grateful that they are alive. I wish you wonderful week ahead and thank you for visiting Maiara Musings, I will be posting next Sunday again.

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Picture Taken by Maiara

Fragile Life and Teenage ParentingAn Essay written by KKMaiaraM

And so it happened that in an instant she turned from one frustrated mother who was ready to show the door to one very impossible teenager to a sobbing nerve wreck that sat on the stairs behind closed doors at work thanking the universe and Buddha and all the other Gods on earth that the same daughter was still alive. The moment was earth shattering and her mind went blank, for there is nothing in this world worse than losing a child and even a thought of the possibility losing a child is so horrendous that all the other issues fade instantly to the oblivion and the darkness fills the soul.

After the first shock subsided and the mother’s mind got around understanding that her daughter is not only ok, but she is actually trying to calm the crying, desperately scared mom of hers so that she would realize that nothing bad had happened at the end. Finally the mother pulled herself together and told her daughter to go to  church and say prayer of thanks for her life. Only after the phone conversation was over, did her mind reel back the dialogue to the very beginning. And this is what she heard: “Mom, guess what? Something happened to me yesterday. You know that intersection where I had to change the bus around 4 pm, well mom, I was waiting for light to change and when it turned green something came over me and I stopped to check my phone, then few moments later I was about to start crossing when this accident happened. And mom, it was this big crash of two cars and flames came up. I did a cross sign mom and then this car pumper flew right over my head and hit the bus behind my back. But mom, I did not panic I was ok and no mom I did not stay to wait for the police and yes mom the drivers had these fancy big cars and they were ok but its ok mom I am ok and I just went to wait for my bus after….” While she was still sitting on the dark staircase trying to digest the conversation, the ever so familiar sound of received text from the phone penetrated her consciousness and with teary eyes she reached to the phone.

There it was, written in a hurry and with so typical style of misspelling and jumble of words that only her daughter was capable of, the follow-up text message of assurance. The smile spread over her sad face while she read these wonderful words that her daughter, who was very much alive, had written and the fragments of the message were like nectar to her soul: “….I will always be ok….you can’t keep me from trying nre things and taking risks…..in sorry that scared you…..I will jever leave u i love you……i get mad only ecause im trying to survive as a teen in a crazy world like this……but i love you”. She took a deep breath and stepped back to the world on the other side of the door. But nothing was the same, for starters her stomach was hurting and this heavy feeling of impermanence of life followed her the rest of the day. The thoughts followed her until late evening when she had to sit down and write an essay about fragile life and teenage parenting. She was hoping that by the time the essay was finished she would have gained new insight to her relationship with her highly impossible teenager and to her parenting techniques which were obviously not working anyway, since just that morning she was ready to have her daughter move out to live with her dad.

Teenage parenting, there is two very emotionally loaded words put together and at the other end are the cries of desperation from the miserable parents trying to figure out what it means. For certainly there are as many parenting techniques out there as there are parents with teenagers and whatever might work for one may be a looming disaster for another. Among the few simple questions that arise from this highly messed up situation are these: What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? and What am I supposed to do? Look at me, my daughter did not even tell me about the accident until the following day, for she did not think that it would have been such a big deal. I am not even trying to understand the flow of thought, for how can it not be a big deal when I know that she runs out from the room almost in a panic if somebody is even remotely looking like they are getting sick or if they are bleeding. The teenage brain must be some alien entity which includes the part where the memory of those years will be erased once they reach the adulthood, for how can you otherwise explain the masses of middle-aged parents screaming clueless for help.

There are countless ways to approach this subject matter of which I have tried several, some techniques have been successful but mostly nothing really works. The one of the good ones is of course the old-fashioned poker face that never fails if you have practiced it enough. That has calmly gotten me through some interesting situations like the time she pulled out an EMPTY raspberry flavored Smirnoff vodka bottle out from her purse calmly exclaiming that she did indeed drink it with her friends but it is not that strong!!!!! Or the time she came home with her neck suspiciously covered with the scarf and when I voiced my opinion of such a marks and heard her shock of disgust after I admitted that her dad had once very, very long time ago done a mark on my neck too. Well, what is the difference again? I guess parents for the teenager are mainly sexless, brainless and boring naggers, who have bottomless pockets for their constant money needs and who don’t deserve a life. However, the reason that the poker face works is that when the parent manages to be non judgmental and calm in a situation, the chances are that it does not arise negative atmosphere but that of loving understanding (remember the rules of the poker, cheating is allowed and you can win as long as you won’t get caught). That understanding does not have to be deeper than the facial expressions, for to get into the argument over an EMPTY vodka bottle is rather useless since that vodka has already been consumed long ago in all ignorance of youth. The main thing is to keep the communication channels open and if the teenager feels that it is safe to be honest with the parent then less sneaking around will happen and it is better for the parent to know than not to know.

There is also of course the nagging, begging, pleading, threatening and bribing approach that every one of those teenage parents have at least once reduced themselves to. It is like a song with well-known verses. You start with the nagging, but that is only after countless kind words of asking and reasoning, words of futile attempt to reach the ears of the receiver. The ears totally deaf to anyone over 20 years of age. Once the parent is forced to change the tone of her voice it immediately gets labeled under nagging, and surprisingly enough nagging never works so then comes the next stage of begging. That, if one is really lucky, does work sometimes depending on how easy the task for the teenager is, harder the task less likely to work so it is time to raise the stakes to pleading and that has to be done with skill so that there is visual distress on parents face to gain some sympathy points, for there is a consciousness somewhere well hidden under the tough surface of know it all and I will do it later attitude. We all know that at this point the task has been accomplished for most of the time, but then there are those moments of complete frustration where the fuming words of threat are said in great anger and the war of wills has been declared. That, as anyone can attest, can escalate to rather nasty encounters with great regrets on both sides and to the silent defeat of the parent, which then leads to the last, but most successful, parenting technique of bribing. Bribing of course is looked upon those without the children the horror of parenting, for they would never, ever do it if they had kids, but then again what do they know. They have no kids. And those who have no experience with the teenagers are just not qualified to judge.

How about approaching the situation from the other angle. Lets consider the direct consequence, trust and faith method instead. Most certainly this approach has been quite easy when the little monsters were just that, little. But as their actions and mouth  got bigger the faith and trust meter might have fallen quite low and what the heck is the consequence for smoking weed, drinking, having sex and failing grades for sheer laziness anyway? The direct consequence takes some bold talk from the parents. If one is worried that the daughter is going to get pregnant then it is better to decide what is it that one can handle. It is better to be straightforward on matter and tell her that mom is not going to be a babysitter nor is she going to lose even one night of sleep watching over the baby. Or to mention that if they don’t want to study, then that is their choice, however their salaries and quality of life are not necessarily going to be what they expect and that the parents home is not a hotel with the free service. Importantly enough parents should have trust on their kids. They should let the teenager know that they are needed, for with the trust comes expectations and you would be surprised to know how powerful the feeling of being trusted and counted on is. That feeling of being needed makes them want to succeed and to live up to expectations. Even if they don’t always do the things the way the parent had envisioned it, if the intention was there and they proudly did the task, it is essential that the parents give the positive feedback for the work well done. And at the end of the day, it is the faith on future, the faith on greater good, the faith on something bigger than us that keeps us going, trusting that our teenagers are safe and that eventually they will find their place in this world.

Since we live in a world of heightened awareness for equality, there is one more thing that we as the parents have to take in consideration while deciding how to handle the very explosive situation of teenage parenting. How about our own attitude? Maybe there is a grain of truth in our daughters and sons exclamations, when they with the heavy sigh look at us declaring that we are directly from the dark ages. Our world has radically changed since we were teenagers and what used to be looked upon as extreme behavior at our times has now become an everyday norm it seems. Things like cell phones – thank god for those for it was the cell phone that saved the life of my daughter this week, had she not stopped to look at it before crossing she would have walked straight into the middle of that horrendous accident. The fashion – which seems to lean towards less and less material, if they keep reducing the amount of fabric the rate the skirt length is going up and the waistline going down they will sell themselves out of business for certainly the next fashion trend must be that of no clothes at all. The visual media – all the horrors of the world are bombarded to their brains while they are surfing the internet or watching the TV where the extreme acts of violence are as plentiful as sand on the beach. The information –  not only is huge amounts of data available for them but they are actually supposed to sort and process it in their still developing hormone fogged brains. I can’t even continue the list for my heart goes out to my daughter. Her life is far cry from my teenage years, where I had no cell phone, no computer, not even remotely sexy looking clothes in a closet, the TV had 3 channels and  my free time I spent mainly reading and doing sports while the homework assignments were dutifully done in a library sorting through the rows and rows of dusty books. As you can see the life then was very simple, sure enough the fundamental problem of being a teenager was there and the fights with parents as well, not to mention that I did indeed think that my parents were for sure straight from the dark ages….

The point I am trying to make is this: Maybe we should consider parenting our teenagers with more compassion, love, trust and humor in hopes that they would not shut us out from their alien lifestyle. For at the end of the day most important thing is that they will learn to trust their own judgement and to do their own decisions with the knowledge that the mistakes they make are theirs to make but that they are also the ones who have to live with the consequences. This is all natural part of growing up, and our teenagers are going to be alright as long as they have the knowledge of unconditional love, acceptance and support that only us parents can give them.

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