3 Key Ingredients to Joy

We need not forget these three core ingredients to a life well lived.

 

1. Don’t take ourselves too seriously.

 

2. Laughter really IS medicine, both preventative and as great treatment. Trust me, I’ve done college research on it. And that makes me more qualified (haha).

 

3. We need to have fun.

Without enjoyment, life has no purpose.

 

Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.

-Gordon B. Hinckley

 

 

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Loss Is A New…. What Word Goes Here?

A collection of thoughts, realizations, and truths for me as I navigate the loss of my Papa from this life.

The first three I published on various social media sites, but after that they’re a first time thought.

He died Thursday 18th at 3:22 am.

 

 

Okay, so…. I’m not good at this. And I’m still stuck in …… I think shock and it hasn’t sunk in.
But Chuck Schultz, my Papa, went home to God Thursday morning at 3:20.
I miss him. I love him. I know he’s happy and safe and feels peace and joy and all the love that there is.
So, yeah. I will just leave this here.
With my awkward and inadequate words to mark with speech the love I have for him, the sorrow over losing him for a time, or the surety that I’ll see him again.
I am ever grateful for the memories.
I love you Papa.

 

I don’t remember my Papa’s laugh. I realized this in a painful panic. In a flurry of grasping memories and desperately trying to hear, just hear the last laugh he laughed in my presence. Instead, I only have tears to offer the silence.

 

 

I’ve never lost anyone before. Not to death. It’s a strange land to live in.

The entire world has changed. Yet it remains the same.

I am confronted with a void where there once was life, tiny memories dropping into the hollow that now presides, trying desperately to breathe life back into the part of my soul where he lived, died, and now is reborn in hope and knowledge that we’ll meet again and begin another journey of colliding souls.

 

I bought him this apron. I’ve only bought two aprons in my life. One for my Papa and one for my best friend.

We loved Snoopy together. And food. Cooking. Recipes. Papa was a chef. A master of cooking. He seemed to be a master of everything.

I wonder if I will see it again. After his funeral. When I must walk into his room and sit with his things and pick through them like a vulture. Oh, what do I want? How horrid. But how beautiful and loving and revitalizing. To bring a piece of him home with me. A physical piece of my Papa to keep with me forever. What will I bring home of him?

 

Wearing my hat.

I miss clicking into my blog posts and seeing that my Papa has commented on them. Because he cares. Because he sees me. Because he’s a sassy character.

And now I feel the void where they were. The incoming comments on my life in his words, from his mind, his heart.

I get excited, wonder what he’ll think.

But there won’t be any comments from Papa.

 

When I was a wee munchkin Papa and I rooted for the Raiders. I knew absolutely nothing about football or why we liked them, but oh man did we love them!

It was our thing.

I wore a Raider’s hat. I now love the color scheme. I still know nothing about football. But I root for the Raiders.

I brought home his Raider’s belt buckle. His Raiders ring. What odd things to keep. They’re little bits of him. Right here. Where I can hold them in my hands while I tear up and learn how to let myself cry.

Papa taught me that. Cry. By dying he made me all aware of how if I didn’t shed tears, pretending, faked it, I was disrespecting our bond. Truth. Love. Those tears mean something. And I’m no longer ashamed to cry anymore for any reason in front of anyone. What a gift he’s given me. Even not being here, he’s teaching me about life.

 

I kept three of his ties. They still smell like him. I never want to wash them. I never want the smell to leave. I wonder if I put them in Ziploc bags if his Papa scent will keep.

 

I remember his laugh. It’s faint now, but growing. A shadow memory, cruelly fading in and out. But I won’t let it go.

It will come back, fully. If not I’ll hunt for it.

He laughed a lot.

 

 

People say, “I’m sorry for your loss”.

I used to say that to people.

I don’t think I will any longer. I’m not upset by it or anything like that. But its a wee bit meaningless at this point when I use it on others. Becuase now I know. Now I’ve felt it. Experienced it. Losing someone I love. Sometimes we don’t need to have anything to say. Just sit with someone, acknowledge the pain, understand that there are no words to fix it or make it better.

 

It’s a jumble of emotions, thoughts, and new understandings.

I am trying to step back and witness how I am moving through this.

Grief isn’t a 5 step process.

 

Have you lost anyone you love?

How did you and how are you dealing? 

How are you changing?

What do you see differently?

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Shame vs. Guilt

Shame is bad.

Guilt can be good.

 

Shame is when someone eats an entire box of donuts and someone says, “You’re disgusting.” Or, “You will never be a good role model for kids”. Or something else equally shaming.

Guilt is when someone eats an entire box of donuts and someone says, “Eating all of those donuts in one sitting is kinda gross.” Or, “Eating all of those donuts isn’t something you want to model for your kids.”

 

Shame = YOU are wrong, bad, disgusting, an idiot, not good enough, etc.

Guilt = something you have DONE, an action or decision you’ve made, is bad, disgusting, and so on.

 

The difference may be in one word, but the difference is in reality, HUGE.

The difference between shame and guilt is whether or not we hate ourselves or something we’re doing.

 

Shame tells us (whether we heard it from ourselves or someone else) that there is something fundamentally wrong and disgusting about us. It tells us we aren’t good enough, we’re broken, we cannot achieve anything of value. Shame tells us that we have no value and never can.

Guilt, on the other hand, tells us when we aren’t doing something we approve of. Our actions, motives, or words aren’t lining up with our values or beliefs.

 

For example: Bob steals from Sandy.

Bob has three options.

Option A: Feel guilty.

Option B: Feel ashamed.

Option C: Feel guilty and ashamed.

 

Option A gives Bob the ability to say to himself, “hey, self – that was messed up! I don’t believe in stealing. I feel terrible about what I did. I know it was wrong.” This gives Bob the ability to make amends with the person and then make life changes to ensure he doesn’t steal again. This also allows Bob to tell himself that what he DID was wrong and bad and terrible. Bob does NOT believe Bob is wrong and bad and terrible. Guilt allows Bob to condemn his action of stealing, feel bad about it, make amends, then move forward with the intent of following through on his values and belief. Which, in this case, is ‘thievery is wrong’.

Bob also needs to look into why he stole, what his motives were, and so on. Guilt allows him to do that. It gives him the comfort that Bob is a good identity to have, a good person. Simply a person who made a bad decision and now needs to adjust his way of living to align his future actions with his values and beliefs.

 

 

Option B gives Bob a very limited doorway for positivity. This doorway is squeaked open only if Bob realizes he is shaming himself and needs to stop. Then targets his guilt and does the inner work.

If Bob doesn’t do this, and continues to shame himself, his inner monologue goes something like this.

“I stole something. I’m a horrible human being. Who steals from a working, single mother? I’m disgusting. No wonder I’m single, alone, hated, fat, gross, mean, etc. No wonder everyone hates me.” Bob feels disgusted with himself. He feels ashamed of who he is. Bob feels uncomfortable with his own existence and brings up every negative thing about himself, every negative situation, thought, and feeling from his life to back this theory up that Bob is indeed, a horrid excuse of a human being.

Guess was Bob does with this? He hates himself. And will repeat the thieving behavior. And then hate himself more. Rinse and repeat.

Shame keeps us locked in with whatever we hate about ourselves. Shame tells us there is no possibility for change because we are flawed at a basic level and can never be any good.

Shame lies to us and we do nothing to change.

 

Option C is what I’m fairly certain most of us feel.  And our shame smooshes our guilt with a twenty pound dumbbell again and again and again until it’s little more than a twitching inkling in the background of our minds that only further backs up our shame’s reasoning for why we are horrid human beings who deserve to suffer in their horrid human fate because that’s just how life is and we’re all going to die anyway! See option B.

 

We have a choice.

Choose option A.

Seriously.

We all do bad things. We all have and we all will. They’re called mistakes and we instantly recognize we just hurt someone’s feelings or have that liver clenching moment when we realize we forgot our best friend’s birthday.

We all do things wrong. That does not make US bad people. Unless we value hurting people to get ahead. Unless we value chopping people up in little bits. Unless we think it is fun to hurt people, animals, children, etc… we are not bad people.

We make human mistakes because *ahem* we are human. Not robots of unfeeling perfect precision. Thank heaven!

 

When we do things wrong, it is our responsibility to feel our guilt and do something about it for the better.

 

And I KNOW this is hard advice to follow. Three years into a support group and four years into therapy and it’s only now really pinging for me. But it does make sense. I has sunk into my stubborn skull, darting past the negative loops of habit ingrained in my brain.

We can all change for the better.

We have to want to.

And if all we do is shame ourselves, we will never fully believe we are capable and deserving of doing better, of change in the direction we want to go.

 

 

We are deserving. We are valuable. We can change. We can allow our guilt to help us to take a realistic look at our behaviors and spring us into becoming who we want to become. Who we choose to become.

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How a Doctor Explained Bipolar vs. Normal People To Me

 

You know what I would love?

If, as a society – as HUMAN BEINGS – we stopped putting “versus” in between different kinds of people.

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Put Your Name On It

 

Smudges and all.

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I Wish (3)

I wish

My heart

Knew

Better

 

I wish

I didn’t

Let you

Hurt me

 

But

Your words

Slice at

My heart

Reopening

Wounds

I tried

To put

Away

 

I wish

My heart

Knew

Better

 

Than to

Believe

You

Changed

 

Than to

Believe

You love

Me

For who

I am

 

Than to

Believe

You don’t

Want to

‘Fix me’

 

Like

I am

A broken

Doll

 

Made

For you

To

Dress

Color in

Sit on

Your shelf

 

Look

Pretty

For you

 

Dance

To the

Melody

Of your

Lies

 

Hypnotizing

Me into

Believing

The

Steps

My

Heart

Beat

Asks for

Are

Wrong

 

I wish

My brain

Knew

Better

 

Than to

Tell my

Heart

To

Hush

 

I wish

My

Soul

Felt

Better

 

Than to

Forget

Pretend

Suffocate

 

I’m speaking

To the

Mirror

 

Their

Voices

From

My lips

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Who Am I?

I hate that question.

 

I hate writing “about” pages.

 

How on EARTH can I TELL YOU who I am???

Can you accurately tell me who you are?

How can any of us tell another who we 100% honestly, genuinely are?

We can tell people WHAT WE DO.

We can tell people WHAT WE DESIRE.

We can tell people WHAT WE FEEL.

 

But when it comes to WHO WE ARE, there are too many answers to sum a life up.

We are every single moment of our existence.

And we are different things to different people.

 

Perhaps to the grocery store clerk you’re the person who smiled at them.

To your child? Evil Lady Who Won’t Let Me Gorge in Chocolate Non-Stop.

 

How do we define ourselves?

How do others define us?

 

These questions are ping-ponging around in my head today.

I think we overcomplicate identity.

I think we oversimplify identity.

 

I think it’s a good thing I’m not allowed to give anyone else their identity and no one is allowed to give me mine.

We can change our minds.

Our identities.

We can change our beliefs, our looks, our desires, our feelings, our needs.

We can change everything. We can change our minds.

But we can never make up someone else’s mind about ANYTHING.

 

Stop worrying about what others think of you.

Poke at your fears, desires, needs, thoughts, feelings, fantasizes, actions, behaviors, etc.

Decide who you want to be.

Change.

Most importantly?

BE YOU.

 

Be okay with NOT having all the answers.

Be okay with not having any of the answers.

No one in the history of life has ever had everything figured out.

Be happy with being alive.

Having the options, opportunities, possibilities, etc.

Be happy with knowing you can change.

 

I guess the most important thing is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Do what you want yourself to do.

Be who you want yourself to be.

 

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