Friday, March 6, 2009

Judging Something Good or Bad

It seems I’m up and about for the day (it began early, about 4:30 a.m. – oh well). Sleep disorder has been one of the things I’ve had to cope with since being laid off from my job with LandAmerica back in December of ’08. Sometimes my schedule just gets all turned around because I might worry about the future, how to pay the bills when savings and unemployment run out, etc. It’s during these times that my mind just won’t shut off and I end up staying up late (or even through the night) to make some headway on reworking my website or searching for jobs. When that happens I must grab sleep when I can so it turns out the middle of the day is the moment of availability… Then a vicious cycle begins. Fortunately I’ve been feeling exhausted enough by 8:30 in the evening that I’ve been having no trouble getting to sleep. Only problem is I then wake up a couple of times through the night; mostly just to use the “little boys room” (you know, the facilities .. LOL) and then I’m headed back to sleep, hopefully for the rest of the night.

This morning I woke up [again] around 4:30 and figured, “oh well, might as well research some things I want to work out regarding WordPress.” That’s the software I’m implementing so that I can host my blogs from my own site rather than be at the mercy of whomever (i.e. Blogspot or Myspace). There is one problem I’m having which makes me hesitate to move ALL of my blogs over to my site on WordPress – and that’s connecting to the site via Adobe’s Contribute software (but I’ll [hopefully] figure it out in time). Meanwhile, while checking out some of the nifty new videos on I stumbled across a reference to this website by Anny Chih. She’s pursuing a job as Caretaker of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and has been shortlisted (along with 49 other candidates) for the position. Anny seems like a nice girl … um, okay “lady.” She posted a blog this morning about some email she received from someone who is apparently not so nice however. They were using the opportunity to insult her for her nationality. Sad really, that we as humans sometimes get so caught up in the events of what we’ve experienced in our own lives that we allow those experiences to bring out the worst in us. My recommendation to Anny is simply to not let this detractor’s form of vitriol distract her from her own goals and dreams.

Here’s a link to Anny's blog entry as well as my own comment to same.


My Comment:

"I’m really sorry you had that experience. Yes, sometimes good things bring out the worst in people. As much as I’d like to say humans are not, people are often very self-serving. There is always another side to the coin however and it is that side I choose to focus on rather than the people who appear to embody the worst humanity has to offer. Don’t let this person’s response to your page bring you down or deter you from your goal(s). Everybody has rubbish in their lives and how they choose to respond to the rubbish will play a part in defining who they’ll ultimately become. The one who sent you that email obviously has allowed something to affect them in such a way that they have become resentful (in this case, of an entire race of people). That’s really sad but it’s their choice to do so and though they chose to interact with you in such a negative way, it doesn’t mean you have to allow it to become anything more than a blip on the radar of life for yourself. While it may be difficult to do so, don’t judge their comments as good or bad; just acknowledge that it happened and move forward. In so doing you refuse to allow THEIR baggage to attach to your own experience (life) and weigh you down. I wish you the best in your travels and hope you achieve what you’ve set out to achieve. —Michael

P.S. Don’t for a moment think I’ve been successful in applying this approach to my own life “every waking moment.” *laughs-gently* I’ve had some rather harsh experiences with an ex (including consequences such as his infecting me with HIV) and there are times when it takes a great deal of effort for me to simply acknowledge what has happened and move forward. It takes practice, effort and [sometimes] the gift of time."

Some might question where I’m coming from with such advice (given my own experiences with an abusive ex). Also I must admit that one of my more recent blog entries might give one cause to think I myself harbor some resentment toward persons of a foreign nationality. Perhaps to some degree the majority of us DO fight such feelings and I readily admit that the events of 9-11 did affect my opinions of the Middle East (and sadly, still do to this day). However, the blog in question which makes reference to the levels of foreign aid by the U.S. was intended to be only a wakeup call to American citizens that we need to jog our priorities a little bit and start taking care of some of the problems within our own borders. We can’t do that effectively and still play the role of savior to all of the other countries in around the globe.

At any rate, the intent of my comment is you can give in to another’s hate and anger and let them win by focusing on what THEY did – or you can see their actions for what they truly are and dismiss them as insignificant in the broader scheme of things. Of course, it is not always easy to disregard the rants and tirades of a detractor but with practice you can and you’ll be all the better for having done so.

A little background: When I left my ex in 2001 I later enrolled in a meditation retreat (which would interestingly enough begin shortly after the events of 9-11). The focus of the retreat was on Vipassana Meditation. Vipassana means “to see things as they really are” and is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. Regardless of one’s feelings toward the Middle East a person can benefit from the calming techniques inherent to this form of mediation (in my opinion).

The retreat and its teachings did seem to help me then and I’ve come to realize I need to again apply the lessons I learned back then. It’s amusing how we can all be knocked off our guard when everything in our lives seems to be moving along without any effort of our own; when money becomes the focus because of a job that has begun to pay more than we’ve previously made – and all of a sudden the job is gone. It’s kind of like “God” is for all too many people. When the events of their lives are going great thoughts of a higher power are nowhere in sight but as soon as they become riddled with stress and rife, who do they turn to? Don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. I’ve observed this in my own life many times … or perhaps I’m not as strong as most in this world (I don’t really believe that to be the case, however).

Folks, we appear to be entering into some VERY trying times given the current state of the economy and the number of people being laid off from their jobs. Now is certainly the time to learn how to cope with stress and difficulty if there was ever a time to do so.

Blessings and Light,

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