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emotions | the middle

Where to put it all.

Most days I am overwhelmed by emotions.  Before COVID I had  to learn to manage this in public.  Now, in the privacy of my own home, I can be or feel what I need to feel when I need to feel it.  Before going 100% remote, it was painful and exhausting to hold back some emotions in the office and on the bus.  Those times when, you may understand, when whatever it is there  is just nothing you can do to keep the tears inside.   

Most days I struggle with where  I am in support of causes or what I perceive as injustice.  Often I find myself in the middle and it seems there isn’t much room in the middle  anymore.  You are  either on one side or  the  other.  This is untenable for me.  Untenable  because  I believe people  should  be allowed individual freedoms.  Yet, there are strong forces that are pulling us miles apart. Some of the pulling are leaders some of us have voted or continue to vote into office.

I support Black Lives Matter.  I also support law enforcement and the rule of law.  Because I believe, I have to believe that there are good police officers, just like there are good in every other segment/profession of life.  That said, black and brown people are black and  brown 24/7, 365 days a year not 40 hours a week. Now you think I don’t really support law enforcement.  Fine. I do.  Legal, unbiased and fair law enforcement. 

I made the choice to get vaccinated.  I won’t lie or hide it, I do think others should because I see it saving lives and I also see the stress and exhaustion on the faces and in the voices of the Nurses and Doctors I support everyday.  I hear the pain of loss and feel their struggles daily.  That hits me at my core. I also believe that is a personal choice and decision to get a vaccination and it should not be forced.  What I read says it  saves  lives and can get us back to a bit or a normal  life.  Others read the opposite.  So here we are, divided.  I grew up in a time when it wasn’t questioned.  It was seen as a way to preserve life and minimize illness.  

I saw this on Instagram; @journey_to_wellness] Who says having a wide range of emotions in one day is a bad thing? 

Our emotions are there to tell us something. Maybe they’re nudging you to rest, to spend time with a friend, or whatever it is that you take away from them. The feelings we feel so profoundly are what make us human. 

So whether your wheel of emotions today looks like the one of the left or right, whatever your feeling today is entirely okay. 💕”

My chart, happy is a little smaller and most days, motivated and excited are taken over by stress, anxiety and exhaustion.  And the exhaustion comes from feeling and realizing the exhaustion of others for the most part.  What have I got to be tired about?  Well, a couple things, but not ready to actually tell that story here yet. 

I am in the middle more and more each day.  More than I care to be, yet here I  am.  Maybe an assumption?  Maybe a reality.  My reality, I am in  the middle of so much and have no avenue or platform to have any affect on that personally, locally, yet alone globally.   Which in my reality is not for me to push or try to change with others.  You have to come to your  own conclusions.  And  we have to  realize that often those will  not be the same.  

Ultimately we  all have access to the same information.  We all, for the most  part have access to every bit of information in many forms.  I think it’s our DNA that determines where we go, where we lean.

And by DNA, I don’t just mean biological.  That could be part of it,  but the DNA  that we have within us from our lived experiences of life.   The good and the bad.   The new and the old.  And by old I mean past lives.  Yes, I believe there is something to that.

Our lived experiences are as vast and diverse as we are.  Easy childhood, difficult childhood, adversity, wealth, poverty, abuse, neglect, love, disdain, adoration, abundance, lack, isolation.  What does that do with our DNA and how does that  affect of influence our relationships?  How does that affect our response or reaction to what comes to us.

I’m not physiologist, nor have I studied psychology to the extent that it gives  me any  credibility to speak to this.  I can speak from my understanding of my experience and years of observation.  

Insecurity reveals itself in many ways.  Me, saying I need to keep my words to myself and thinking I should stay quiet, it is my feeling that I wasn’t given much opportunity to speak out as a child or teenager.  Knowing and now understanding  introversion, odds were against me.  What others had to say or say to me, was more important.  Which maybe is why I easily headed down that path of religion in high school, people listened to me.

While I have  settled into it a bit, I live a secondary life to everyone I am in relationship with.  Many of us do, but there are some who have that one that is of the utmost importance, that one they think of when they wake up and when they go to sleep.  If I’ve ever had that, I didn’t know it.  And that’s okay.  That’s not what this life was  to be about for me.

What happened in your childhood do you believe affects how you interact or respond to another person?  Have you considered their experience and how that has affected their relationship with you?  Their response or reaction to you? I’ve said, at least to myself, I believe that more often than not, a response to someones words or actions are more a reflection of the person hearing or receiving not giving.  Of course if it goes deeper, then both bring to the conversation, the situation their own … let’s just call it, baggage.  And very often, I think has nothing to do with what is happening in that moment.  What happened to you when you were 8 or 9 is triggered.  And I bet 99.9% of the time neither has any idea that time is seeping into now.  It is.  Maybe we should all do a chart and put in it what happened to us as a kid so that we can have it for awareness and carry it around. If you have issues with trust and you are having a conversation with someone who has issues with trust. Guess what?

I am in the middle and have been since a child.  If only I were a actually a middle child I’d have more to work with. I know that plays into who I am today and the relationships I am in.  I would however like to shake some of that, but I’m not sure I can.  It is deep in me and as I grew up and realized that being in the middle was where I was.  As I got older I also had to come to terms with what that actually meant.  Sometimes I felt like in that middle space, I was more of a pawn in a game for some.  Something to barter with for love and affection or control of me.  Also  probably why I don’t care to control anything…exhausting.  Let it go.  

Most days I feel I have let this go.  But has it served me?  Being in the middle or letting go?  I also know that it will alway be there as reminder to me.  Yet, I can’t always control how it presents.

Again, I haven’t studied phycology a great deal, but that does tend to be where I  read when seeking out answers.  And have been in  therapy a few times.  So as I was writing this I found an old article in Psychology Today, “6 Ways that a Rough Childhood Can Affect Adult Relationships”.  Number 4 kind of hit home;

4. Avoidance of relationships: “I’m someone who is better off alone.”

Alternatively, people with negative developmental experiences involving intimate relationships may opt to avoid closeness and isolate themselves. Sometimes this starts early on and sometimes later, as an attempt to break the cycle of harmful relationships. But healthy relationships with other people are crucial for personal development, presenting opportunities for growth and change. Missing out on them in adulthood as a self-protective measure further impairs development of a fully adult identity, solidifying a self-perception of unworthiness and self-condemnation. There are many exceptions to the feeling that we are too flawed for others, who deserve better. Most of us have the capacity to offer more than we think we do, and thereby become more appreciative of ourselves. It’s too complicated for here to talk about hope, faith in oneself, and how a long process of recovery unfolds. It’s worth noting that sometimes we unconscious push people away, appearing to ourselves be a threat when we do not so intend.

In terms of harmful relationships, mine were not harmful like others.  I wasn’t physically abused.  But maybe I was manipulated or used.  Do any of us really know how  to navigate life in a clear and balanced way?  Do most of us think that someone is out to get us or is there to disrupt our life, take something away from us, to ruin our day or make us feel something? My Mom has said to me many times, ‘people don’t make you feel something, you let them make you feel it’.  

We all struggle.  Who knows how to do any of this?  Who knows anything?  I know I don’t.  I just know that I want there to be fairness.  I want people to treat each other with kindness and care.  I want the lens of fair to be so sharp  and bright that there can be no question. 

Right now I am still in the middle and while I know the side I would move to if I had to I will still fight for the other side as well.  As long as their goal is also equality, fairness and no one is harmed.  Right now, I don’t see that or feel it and I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with my childhood, but pure lack of enough concern for humanity and a lot of misinformation. We have to fight together and fight our personal bias.  We all want our rights and our freedoms, we can’t eliminate those for others because they believe or feel differently.

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Almost…

Deep reflection is not a new space for me.  Writing things down is not new either.  Actually putting them out to be seen by anyone is still something I don’t do that often.  Some of you may disagree.  If I showed you my Cloud, Notes, email drafts and old blogs no one knows about. I think you would get it.

I almost let someone silence me recently because they twisted my words to lash out at me for something and I questioned my ability to articulate a thought. I am not a bad person, I do deserve respect and I will continue to fight for equality for everyone in all aspects of life.  And I will speak out.

I’ve been called sardonic, yes.  I’ve been called judicious, yes.  I’ve been called dark, yes.  I’ve been called solid, no.  But never, “this tells me that you don’t want anyone to have freedom of choice, not women in danger, or any person who wants to have freedom of choice”.  What?? At least to my face and uh, not what I said. 

Oh, ‘I’ve been called solid, no’. In case you are wondering. This is my shield, my protection. No I am not solid. In reality, I am a melting mess 75% of the time. Kind of like this post. And it is exhausting even in normal times.  But now?  Family stuff, COVID, racial injustice, division over things like science and a cloth to protect each other from a virus that’s killed… where does it end? It will not end.

I will however acknowledge that how I reacted to what is happening in Texas, maybe could have been done in a better way. That said,  my question stands and more or less is saying, maybe not asking, what’s the next law another state will pass that infringes  on the rights of its citizens.  And now the DOJ agrees.

Ironically, that was exactly my point of the post I shared and my words were twisted.  I do absolutely expect that if not stopped our freedoms will be whittled away by white men trying to control what they have no legal, or moral right to.  Period!  

So here it is.

Ironic – The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Sarcasm- The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Which is why this;

“Private individuals in Texas can now sue anyone who performs or aids banned abortions, including doctors and even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic. Plaintiffs, who need not have any connection to the matter, can win $10,000 in damages.” NYTimes

Made me say this; 

So, can I sue someone for not getting a COVID vaccine?  What if they infect a love one who then dies?  Seems like I should be able to do that.

NO!  I DO NOT THINK THAT LAWS SHOULD BE PASSED LETTING CITIZENS SUE EACH OTHER!

Sotomayer’s Defiant Dissent  

Honestly, this is what I believed happened. Psychological projection a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others.[1] A bully may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target, or a person who is confused may project feelings of confusion and inadequacy onto other people. Projection incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.[2] Projection has been described as an early phase of introjection.[3]

We live in very trying times.  We are pitted against each other with falsehoods and misinformation.  Not so long ago I said, assumptions are killing us. 

Your belief is not right for every one. Your truth with out credible facts that can be referenced or even offered are not truth but your opinion.  Of which you are entitled to. However;

These are my opinions.  And I would fight to the end to say that my opinions or thoughts are a fight for freedoms for everyone on this planet.  Especially for those I love.  There is a minority ruling the majority right now and that is scary and the consequences feel evil.

My truth may not be yours, but I believe they are rooted in the fair an equal treatment of every human being on this planet.  Do you not want that?  Or do you want more than your neighbor or the person across the office or passing you in the aisle of the grocery?

I believe we all do want the best for others, but un-investigated or acknowledged bias within each of us does impact how that best is defined and how we see it in others.  (My opinion, maybe. Or a truth).

There are many things that worry me because of the potential downstream impact on humans.  Regardless of the side of the aisle you are on, when laws start getting past to restrict freedoms, they won’t just be the one you agree with.

If a state, Texas can pass a law like this, my point or my reaction was the lunacy of this.  What’s next? We are in precarious times and the slopes are slippery.

~Legal Defense Fund statement on Supreme Court decision.

The social media  platform is a hit and run environment. Don’t hit and run.  Be brave enough to look me straight in the eye if you are going to accuse me of being someone that I am not.

You know that Maya Angelou quote?

Wrote about that last time cause I’m having trouble with “This”.

Except for a few years in my late teens of radical fundamental christian self-righteousness judgement, I am who you met the first time.  Maybe I was a bit guarded or you may have even thought me aloof.   But I am me. An introvert who keeps her circle small and loves that if I don’t want to I don’t have to leave my house.

Saying the last couple of weeks have been deep reflection is an understatement. In the beginning my reflection immediately lead me to believe I should be silent.  No more posts, no more commentary on the injustice I see today.  No one needs to hear from me.  And I know I’m not going to change anyones mind. 

I would like to think that albeit my delivery is sometimes, sardonic or sarcastic or even ironic, you know me and know what I meant.

I used to say that I was more silent than verbal because I often had this deep feeling that my words had no value or no one was ready to hear what I had to say, therefore I saved my words. Literally.  Or who would care what I thought.  I would save them until someone was ready.  

One has already decided that I am no longer the person they thought I was. A message to her. Nothing is further from the truth.  But your opinion is yours and yours alone.  While wrong, I will respect that.  And no matter what, I will be here if and when you call.

I imagine they might not read this, but I want this to be clear, my post was trying to point out the lunacy of a government  passing laws and regulating what choices a woman makes for herself.  New Texas law removes that right and  allows someone, anyone to sue anyone helping  a woman or child get an abortion.  At its very worst, a father can rape his daughter no matter her age then sue if she tries to abort a child as result of that rape.  As I read somewhere,  this is a blueprint for other states to follow suit. 

My friend Ken said,

Thanks Ken!

Sometime in their own struggles or pain, others will project their fears, their struggles onto you.  They will judge you and question your core.  I nearly let this happen and it almost silenced me. While an important time of reflection and thought about what is important to me, I will not be silenced or manipulated to conform to another’s self projection on who I am.  

A conversation does not happen in the comments section, DM or email.  They happen face to face, a conversation.  A talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. The other is noise and pointless.  If you want to question something I say and don’t have my number to call to meet, then ask me for it. And yes, I’m a little guilty here with this post.

I was raised as and am a bleeding heart liberal for god’s sake! Not a radicalized version of anything. Well, in liberal terms I guess.

When I see something and respond, or react, it comes directly from core.  My desire for fair and equal treatment of all humans period.  And in the reason for this post, my ridiculous response to a ridiculous law. 

Yet we don’t live in a fair society.  While many are saying don’t take my freedoms they are supporting taking freedoms away from others and can’t see past their ego or fears.  How does EVERYONE not see that? We are a mess. And Texas…

Side bar – I’m also a bit unsettled about the vaccine mandate. I need time to rattle that around and might come back later. Right now I will say, what about my right to live and work is a safe place free of a virus that is deadly. How am I protected if others aren’t?

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This

This is a hard one for me lately. In all honesty, I have to say some are not who I believed them to be the first time.

When I think of all the people I know, and think about or try to think about the first time I ever met them, what I knew and what I know often are two very different things. So while I love this quote, the world we live in today, or my world it is no longer truth. I have view or visibility of many that I have known since kindergarten or before. I have amazing, fond memories of them all. In the last few years, I have seen or read certain commentary from some that break my heart. That send me running with tears in my eyes vowing to never read Facebook again, never go to Twitter or Instagram again because it’s so disheartening.

We are broken. We are overwhelmed with information most of which is agenda to gather us up and pit us against each other. Some days makes me wish Reagan or Bush were back in office. It feels as if our very own personal needs are taking over any consideration of anyone outside our individual personal beleif. While yelling don’t tread on me, we are treading on others. We are not on a one way street.

How is it that some of us grew up in the same class rooms listening to the same teachers. Sat in the same pews, listening to the same minister and now are so far apart in terms of what I remember being thought about the bible and a man named Jesus. What I thought was character. What I thought was morality. What I thought was ethical. It’s now a harsh and judgmental view from what I remember being taught.

I heard today that another one of the youth group leaders from the church I grew up in passed away. Rest in Peace Warren Kennedy. These were caring, compassionate and engaged individuals who were present in every way. Leaders who I still hold dear today when I think about how I think about others and how I speak of others. Kind, gentle souls who gave to us time they didn’t have to. Time they could have spent at home.

Yet today, it feels some have forgotten the gentle kind nature of extending a thought or an arm to another. The care in listening to those around you to cast no stone or a disparaging word. Our anger has taken over and we are projecting on others our unfounded fears of what tomorrow might bring.

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Fear

I have this thought that fear has taken over our ability to live and love with an open heart.
Fear of losing what we believe rightfully belongs to us. To which I have to ask, what does belong to us? What does belong to you? Belong; the property of. Property. You are not property. I am not property. Your kids are not, your spouse is not, etc. etc. etc. Maybe you belong to a church, a group, a community, but you are still not property.

So is it a fear of losing something that is inherently your own personal beliefs, yours and yours alone? No one can take that away from you, it is yours and yours alone. Celebrate it, but don’t hold it over another.

Here’s the thing. There are probably eight billion people in the world. So imagine how many of those who have beliefs that are not yours or even diametrically opposed to you. This is our world, this is your world. It is not a threat unless you open yourself up to the difference and see it as a threat. Freedom is freedom and to place your belief over another is a shadow over another their freedom. We have a lot of work to do in terms of equality. Lots of work.

If we replaced our fear with understanding, that while we may have a different faith or a different political affiliation, are we taking the time to understand the human and the heart of our neighbor, our co-worker or friend? Are we there to listen to understand and embrace the difference and not as a threat to our own belief?

It started early for me, grade school. When I think about it today, I feel that lump in my throat and it makes me sad. There was a girl in my many of my classes who because of her religion, her Mom came and picked her up for any and all holiday celebrations the rest of us had. Her Mom came picked her up and she left school. While I didn’t see it, I see it now like I had, she and her Mom walking down that long empty hall to leave her class because we needed to celebrate Halloween. Even then I thought, why are we doing something that excludes this person? Why do the rest of us have to be so arrogant that our belief, our celebration is so much more important that we allowed it to exclude her?

Some of you know me. Some of you don’t, really. What both of you have in common is that you do not truly know my heart. We haven’t had the opportunity to have that conversation. You do not know my deepest beliefs. I don’t know yours. You might think you have a hint or an idea because of something I put here. Or I might think I know you because of a post. But neither is knowing the heart.

Some of your shared posts that say, whatever, are generalizations that exclude your friends and neighbors and they have no foundation of truth. And actually are counter to what I think the intention is.

We are humans. We have hopes, dreams and aspirations. We all believe differently, even if we sit next to each other in the pew on Sunday morning. My belief, your belief will never be THE belief of a world full of billions.

How do we come together in harmony? Let go a little of the fear, hold your truth and allow your heart to be open to others and celebrate the beauty of the differences. Our hopes and dreams aren’t that different.

Peace.

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Racism

When I think about what I know about racism, I know that I have a lot to learn. I have only hit the surface, the top of the iceberg. But I am trying. I realized that I am far from understanding the depth and breadth of this insidious ideology. I do know that when I read or see what today I know to be racist, my heart stops, and my shoulders drop. More often than not, tears come to my eyes from that lump in my throat that pushes it’s way out. How to I make it stop?

I am naive, yet realistic in the fact that this is the largest mountain, obstacle, issue we face as a nation. I don’t think it’s because there are more racists than not. It’s that idea of our ability to become anti racists and stop every action we see and hear no matter how small or large.

It is many things. It comes in word. It comes in song. I comes in spray paint on a wall, or a billboard. It comes in a statue that was set to honor someone who demoralized and dehumanized other human beings. That in and of itself can come in many forms. Mental and physical. Through the abuse of ownership and belittling. Oppression and suppression, taking away the ability for another human to do more than they did yesterday. Or even in their lifetime.

I do have a lot to learn. However, I know this much is true, the more I read and listen to black voices, the more angry I get. The more exhausted I feel. And that’s not just me describing my feeling, yes I feel it, but the anger and the exhaustion that I am feeling is what I hear in those voices. The pure exhaustion of BIPOC just trying to leave the house, drive a car, go to the park, on their sofa watching TV, in their bed sleeping peacefully, get the job they are more than qualified for, being heard in a meeting and then not getting credited for what they have just said. Raising their hands, getting handcuffed and still killed. The pure exhaustion of even trying to act like it’s not there, that it’s not real, that some behind there smiles are ready to cut them back and put them in their place. Imagine you had to exist every day with the straight up aggression of someone questioning you doing something in your own damn front yard or a micro-aggression done with a smile. I can’t even imagine either or which is worse.

We have troubling laws and policies that support this insidious behavior. Yes, laws that make much of this not even an offense, but ok. This is NOT OK! And we have some law enforcement that are color blind and only see black and see their only action is, to put them in their place. This is not who any of us should be, but I fear who we are. Because if we don’t stop it, what are we?

People are in the streets. As they should be. Honestly, if you really look back at history and not the “history” in the history books, but true, actual history. None of us would be where we are today if someone didn’t go into the streets and say, this is wrong. And I honestly don’t think some of us get that. I also honestly believe that some don’t get that those people in the streets are protecting us all from what this administration is trying to strip from us every day. The very thing that men and women volunteer to fight for us every day.

People are breaking windows and steeling things. Stealing “THINGS”! Things that these very large companies have insurance for and will loose nothing in the grand scheme of things. The loss is infinitesimal to the loss of life. Do you not agree? How about we get as outraged about someone who was killed for no reason and stop worrying about who got away with a material object. What is our fascination and allegiance with objects and not people? When did a shoe, a tv, a handbag, or a phone become more important than a human life?

I have no answers. My heart aches every day as I listen and hear black voices asking to just be treated equally and not seen as the enemy. To be considered human.

I have more listening to do.

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Division

Division. Could it be in our DNA? Biological? Or of our soul?

Each and everyone of us are on a path. A journey of this life, here on this earth. I believe that there are many paths and many levels. We are all born on a date and progress year by year, each year adding one number. I will be 60 in November. I also believe I have a soul age. A soul that is not here on this earth for the first time. That I have brought with me to this life, lives before where lessons were learned or unlearned and now I work through both to leave this earth with a better understanding of myself and humanity. A better understanding of humanity to take with me to my next life, lessons learned and unlearned.

In many ways while almost entering may 60th year, I do wonder truly how old my soul is. If you will allow me, for some this will feel like a judgement or even a stretch, I think my souls journey puts me maybe in my early 30’s. As I sit with this, think about this, read others who think like this, I am closer to a more wholistic and harmonious understanding of humanity because of the journey my soul has been on.

Warrior, Freedom Fighter, wife, husband, sister, brother, all that I bring with me here has been a lesson to assist me in the navigation of this wide and complex universe.

This, in my opinion if our divide. I have jokingly in the past been known to say, “are you new?” or “are they new?”. When I say this, it is from my observation as to how one may handle a situation or encounter. So while my great friend who is approaching the birth year of say 45, they may only have a soul that is 5, or 12 … or 16. So a less mature heart or soul if you will. One who sees or takes in some information with a much younger soul approach.

In Michael Newton’s book Journey of Souls: Case Studies of the Life Between Lives, he says; “THERE are two types of beginner souls: souls who are truly young in terms of exposure to an existence out of the spirit world, and souls who have been reincarnating on Earth for a long period of relative time, but still remain immature. I find beginner souls of both types in Levels I and II.”

Think about how those around you react or act in certain interactions. Are they reasonable, reasoning responsive adults as we my frame it or are they a petulant reactionary child wanting everyone to see things there way are as they believe them to be right. And then when they catch opposition, storm out of the room?

Granted opposition these days can and is very cruel and hurtful. I’ve seen a lot of if unacceptable and unnecessary. Not an opposition the breads positive growth or positive, reasonable adult conversation to move us forward. A certain level of indignation has been leased and there is no stopping it.

I try to protect my heart, eye’s and ears from the harm that happens today, yesterday and will what most certainly happen tomorrow. But I can’t stay or be blind to the shift in the care that we hold for those we know or those around us. Sometimes I see or read something and I am gobsmacked and honestly at a complete loss for words. Anger is real and I think we all know, not a path to change that will be productive or even promote a growth of heart we are all worthy of. I say or ask, look at your anger. Where is it truly coming from? Where are you honestly going to put it. Is it fear? Are you loosing your place? Are you not ready for the world as it truly is and should be?

Most days in my mind the division is untenable because we refuse to listen to understand. We speak to change a mind, change a heart, move someone to our way of thinking or believing. That my way or the highway. And now, some of us are just taking to that highway making to effort to understand. We all have to pick out battles, but which ones will feed not only our soul, but the soul of every brother, sister, cousin, every being in existence. If you deserve a certain amount of freedom, justice or value, why do you disapprove of some who only want that as well. Nothing more, nothing less.


I realized that with my truths and my beliefs they are diametrically opposed to those of others who I am friends with and in some cases have deep history with. Some I spent many a Sunday in class and in the balcony listening to the sermon. History of respect, admiration and even in the past a longing to be more like this person or that person. Be like them for many reasons, intelligence, knowledge, family, adventure and in the past material possessions. All of those have now washed away.

Some I have believed carry the care and compassion for others that now seems, feels to be askew. I’ll call it what it feels like to me, their intolerance for those who are different from them in thought, deed and action. No regard for the plight of the other, their experience or their life and the struggles there. No recognition or acknowledgment of how that difference is oppression. And how as much as they loath to admit it so deeply oppressive that the only thing to call it is racism.

We can change. We can shift. We can collectively embrace communities that only want to be part of the system, part of the conversation and not fear in some cases to just leave their house. Until they say it, until they feel it, until it is real, for me it will remain and i will continue to support Black Lives Matter.

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I am a Racist

I am a racist.  (Facebook post 8.12.2020)

I believe this is the only way to move forward. And this is where I get in trouble, some of you are too. 

For almost 60 years I’ve carried with me unconsciously and I hope now consciously a bias of white privilege. Stay with me if you will or go ahead and unfriend. I’ve been unfriended for lesser statements.  

“Denial is the heartbeat of racism” Ibram X. Kendi

If you are white and you say that you are not a racist, I feel that is not a whole truth. We need to listen more, read a more, take it all in. And hear what is being said. The good, bad, and the ugly. I have some bad news for us, we are racists. But. But…I know, I know. We are. But we can turn that into becoming an antiracist and fight for true equality, democracy, justice, and that ‘there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group’(IXK). This does not happen overnight.

“Being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.” Ibram X. Kendi

Deep in my heart, I am making every effort to stop this insidious disease. Yes, I believe it is a disease. An odd one that is taught and unconsciously perpetuated. Even sometimes consciously taught. I will own it and continue my pledge to do everything in my power to become an antiracist, personally and professionally. I will also become more aware of and engaged politically, locally, and nationally to ensure that racist laws and policies are eradicated.

I will work to consciously, instead of unconsciously work for instead of against our brothers, sisters, and cousins. Not just personally but institutionally to eradicate all laws, rules and policy that disenfranchise BIPOC.

With the murder of George Floyd the spotlight on racism and division has intensified. Who might be responsible for that? Guess what, it is our responsibility. Ours alone, yours and mine, it belongs to no one else. Not ANY politician, it is US. If we accept what we think a leader does or tells us as truth or if we believe a meme we see someone post that speaks of division, you are playing into their hand. We, you, me, that person sitting next to you, we are the ones that are responsible for letting this terrible thing happen. My Mom always said, others don’t make you feel this or that, you let them. Passing blame is lazy and unbecoming someone who claims to be a loving caring human of other humans. Do not claim to be about love or acceptance then spread hate from or about anyone.
 
DO SOMETHING.  
SAY SOMETHING
DO NOT ACCEPT HATE. PERIOD
BE THE DIFFERENCE
#BELOVE
#BLACKLIVESMATTER 

If you got this far, thank you. I will be away from here for the rest of the week, maybe longer. Some days my heart can’t take what I see and read here. So I am not ignoring anyone who comments. Although I don’t expect any. I don’t expect much other than maybe some ‘unfriending”.  

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don't speak...don't speak!

Why the hell questions (& Masks)

A friend posted something on Facebook that has had me thinking. Well, that’s a given. It was a copy an paste with a few statements that had no facts to back up what was being said, however gathered great support. She stated that it wasn’t a political post which to me is a signal that while it seemed rather political, I will honor her intent and respond this way. Not that I’m any kind of expert but to maybe if seen might gather more thought than just a quick, I agree! I think sometimes we all agree too soon because of our individual hopes of a reality that can’t be realized.

This was the first part:(abbreviated, edited for purpose)

I’M NOT POSTING THIS FOR DEBATE. IF YOU DON’T AGREE UNFRIEND ME AND SAVE US BOTH ANYMORE WASTED TIME. Just please consider this…when you think the President is a jerk…
The bottom line has been that Trump IS a jerk. He’s crude, he bloviates, he gets his feelings hurt and he’s a hot head. And he should stay off Twitter.
Let me tell you what else he is. He is a guy that demands performance. He is a guy that asks lots of questions. The questions he asks aren’t cloaked in fancy phrases, they are “why the hell….” questions.
For decades the health industry has thrown away billions of face masks after one use. Trump asks, “Why the hell are we throwing them away? Why not sterilize them and use them numerous times?”
(cause hospitals LOVE to waste money. No!)

I will always be the first person to say that there are no dumb questions. And we should all ask “why” more. Five times I think is what they say. So about 50 – 100 questions should be asked about the content of that post.

Questions asked with no answers then dispersed through to the masses I feel leave open even more questions and the idea or thought that these questions have easy answers and so we move on.

With that in mind, with a little bit of thought and care these can all be answered. Some of the answers for the other statements will surprise some of us. I’ll leave the bulk of them for you to check on for yourself if you see this and know what I’m talking about. I can find the rest of the answers to what was in that post, but you’ll say my finding are biased. Even though I use the whole of the Google and not just a couple of sources.

Masks “Why the hell are we throwing them away? Why not sterilize them and use them numerous times?”

Now, I know nothing! But I’d like to share something about PPE, masks and reuse that I’ve found. I could ask the Nurse Managers I work with, but they are busy. I could ask my friend who is a Doctor where I work. She is busy to. This question can be answered, but I don’t think with just one easy answer like, “Ok, you’re right! Let’s sterilize and reuse hospital PPE!”. No. It’s not extremely complicated, but can’t be answered with a quick short answer. It involves too many individual products with a range of materials. Which that in itself should form some sort of answer as to maybe why not, even with out the Google. Just like the other questions include and involve too many layers of reality to answer with one simple response.

I work for a large top hospital and university in Oregon. This is part of a communication put out to our community today. Read through this and you tell me, can masks be reused? Which ones?

* PPE Classified as Green: Will be used according to factory standards in accordance with CDC recommendations. We remains committed to the highest levels of patient and staff safety for the duration of the pandemic.
* N-95 and PPE Reuse: we encourages every RN who is not trained or competent at reusing any form of supply to not reuse the PPE. Nurses who believe their PPE is contaminated must dispose of and attain new PPE to ensure maximum nurse and patient safety.
* PPE Classification System: we agreed to request whether further discernment and/or understanding regarding the “yellow” category (> 1 week, <30 days) could be provided. We are still seeking to follow up on this. * Accessible PPE on Every Unit: Both RNs and management agree that PPE should be in designated areas that is easily accessible and immediately available on every unit during every shift. This specifically includes sufficient PPE on each unit’s Code Cart. If this practice is not occurring on your unit, please reach out to your Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse Manager, Specialty Practice Leader, or UBNPC member and have this addressed expediently.
* Hospital-grade Issued PPE is Required: Currently, we are confident there is enough PPE for every hospital employee to provide health care safely. There is agreement that as necessary, decisions will be made about the use of personal PPE.

So. Which ones are you willing to have your Doctor or Nurse have on when they come to see you at your next visit or god forbid a hospital stay. And do you hope they are either new or very clean after a sterilization. Think about your reuse of materials and how they diminish or their effectiveness drops.

Whether anyone likes the CDC or any other agency that set regulations for things people use, I don’t believe that any of those regulations are done willy-nilly and for no reason. And I for one appreciate someone thinking about my safety without even knowing me or knowing if I will ever be in a situation where someone has on contaminated PPE while helping me with an illness or a surgery. Think about it, of all places to take the most precaution. No question in my mind.

Be Safe
Be Healthy
Be of Ease

Categories
don't speak...don't speak!

Idiot

I rarely used this word when speaking of another and have banned it from my vocabulary. A ban I some days feel one difficult to maintain. Although my Mother always told me, if you thought it, you might as well have said it. So, busted. Let me say this.

I see a lot of people use this word when they make statements about people or comment on a post. Very often, I stop and think, they are probably right. Or I absolutely agree. Albeit not a shining moment for the one who called it. Or even maybe?

Here’s the thing, 99.99999% of the time it is true. Ok, I’ll give, 89.9999% of the time. I see lots of people out there who agree with me. So I’m not an island or in a silo. But the statement almost always stands on its own as idiotic and almost always lacks any factual content. None. Also not much to be found on the internets to support the argument to be anything but ignorant or idiotic. And I’ve tried, I use the Google, I try to think that the best of intentions are first thought. Alas, most often it doesn’t feel like the best of intentions.

Our uncharted waters get more dangerous every day. So. Be an adult. Don’t call other people names that you don’t know cause their comment made you mad. Or because you disagree. Cause then some will think you, well you know.

Just because some of our leaders choose to be petty and childish about their advisories, I think it would be amazing if the rest of us just walked away from that. Stopped giving it any attention. You know that old saying any attention is good attention. We have to shift the wake. Call furniture and inanimate objects names or take up boxing or quiet mediation. Or better yet gather a factual argument with verifiable references (that’s more than one) to respond minus the idiot claim. Again, let that stand on its own. And if one side of the opinion is more weighted with facts, maybe give it some consideration. Or go out and try that Google thing to fill your bucket.

Every election here in Oregon a booklet is sent out. In the booklet is everything that is to be voted on, a summary and an explanation. It also includes for and against statements from associations, unions, businesses, and individuals. I read these and know by who I support that if they are for or against I usually am as well. And here is the thing. Sometimes there will be MANY for and no one against or visa versa. Or maybe just one. So who did their homework here? Or maybe if there are, for example, 20 for and 2 against, who are those two and what is their purpose or agenda?

Just because your favorite news channel says “a, b, c and d” and every other news channel says the opposite or includes the entire alphabet(the whole story in context) there might be something there. They are after all the ones that have and can get access to WAY more information than most of us will ever see.

In college, classmates and I did internships at various televisions stations during the Gulf War. We would sit after class or in the studio at night and some would share bits and pieces of what they had seen come across the wire and compare it to what was actually airing on the news. Guess what, not the whole story. This was an eye-opener and a bit gut-wrenching. And sometimes telling the whole story would not have made the difference and would have been sensationalism. We all know we all love that. Look elsewhere to see what else is being reported about this thing you find maddening or even that makes you happy. The opposite may in fact be the truth.

News fitting into what you “believe” to be right may be and is possibly absolutely the wrong thing for the collective. For me, what I “believe” really doesn’t matter. How are we going to move forward with the least amount of harm and disruption to EVERYONE? Not just my circle. Not just those who believe like me. Even those we think are well, idiots.

If you hear something on the news and you can’t confirm the facts via any other news source or a reputable source that is a news source, hear the entire story from a qualified source on the subject, or you find five that counter your belief. I’m sorry you are being lied to for no other reason than to support someone’s agenda that probably doesn’t include you. Even if you think it does. I like those articles that have lots of links to other articles. Articles by individuals who do the work to tell the whole story. Not just what they want you do believe.

We are all in this together. We have to find a way to settle in. Not settle, but settle in with the beauty of our difference. And see the valuable contribution of every single one, every single contradiction and every single human being, period. Settle into an embrace for the good of all, peace and a future together moving forward. Cause guess what, we are here. We are together.

Pay attention. Read. Stay home. And listen to the officials, scientists and doctors in your community, not the ones who fear losing an election and may not be telling you the whole story for their own benefit. But from those who’s only fear is losing you, your family and your community.

Try to stay soft.

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don't speak...don't speak!

EEOC, ever heard of it?

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” ~ Maya Angelo

Some, or maybe just me see some things as simple basic tenants of decency. How you treat others. How you speak to others and how you speak of others. Simple right? Maybe not.

Have you heard about this EEOC? Interestingly enough it’s a government agency that sets, laws, regulations and guidance on employment discrimination. I think most people know about this or some form of it. Not just me and my colleagues who work close to or within human resources at companies, or the business we run that these rules and regulations are set for. Feels ironic to write that, considering.

Just in case, here is part of their overview.

“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.

The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.”

Now since this website ends with .gov, I’m going to assume that it is the government who is setting these laws and regulations. But then you know what happens when you assume. I will say this, that it has and is part of my everyday life because of my profession. I have to know and understand what it all means and do things to ensure that I and the company I work for are compliant. Sometimes it’s a pain, but it is there to protect all of us, not just a few of us. That’s something that I feel often gets lost. I think that the possibility for the table to turn and those who feel they are safe because of who they “are” may one day find themselves on the other side to the table.

I find it even more interesting that some can do or say some things that I would be immediately fired for, yet still have their job just because of their position.

There’s age, disability, equal compensation, genetic information, harassment, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, wait let’s take a look at that one, national origin discrimination. What might that mean? Do this for me, stop reading for a few minutes and come up with a few things that you think that might mean.

Go ahead … I’ll wait.

Ok, so rather than try to re-word it and potentially be accused of interpretation or skewed perception, I’m just going to copy and paste right from the National Origin Discrimination page on eeoc.gov.

“National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).

National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin.
Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.”

National Origin & Harassment
“It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her national origin. Harassment can include, for example, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s national origin, accent or ethnicity. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.”

So let’s look at this; “Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment…”

Yes it says “doesn’t prohibit”, but then it goes on to say, “it is illegal when it is so frequent or severe it creates…

So. Here is one part that this(our) government agency works to ensure people have protection.

Yet … “go back where you came from”

I believe that clearly, the president has crossed this line more than once. If he worked ANYWHERE else, termination would be swift and more than necessary. Office or position give no one license to abuse or harass another human with out consequences.

Yet … “why are we having all these people from shithole countries here”

If you in anyway think or feel this is ok, then I am lost. Your being okay with any amount of this is lost on me and no amount of anything will sway me from the opinion that this man is not suitable to be President of the United States. This office is to be held in high esteem and should hold the utmost respect.

Yet … Latina Miss Universe, “Miss Housekeeping”
Yet … “Pocahontas”
Yet … “these aren’t people, these are animals”
Yet … yet, yet.

We have an amoral, disrespectful, brash, vulgar person placed in the most respected office in the country by the Electoral College. An individual, that must be voted out, impeached, censured, something, anything before he completely breaks us all.

I was raised in an environment where respect is earned, not given because of status or position. I have none for this man. I will allow him no more space in my head.

And so we are clear, NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Never has been, never will be. Period.