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Once Upon a Light Saber

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Once upon a plastic light saber

There was a young boy ready to travel through space

To defeat the Sith lord, no matter the labor

Fierce determination set upon his little face

 

Taking a break from the arduous fighting

He unmasks himself and comes to tell me his tales

And asks me to find out why his weapon stopped lighting

For he knows mom’s magic rarely fails

 

It seems like a lifetime ago that he was this little Jedi

Now stands before me a young man, still ready to fight

But his battles are far more real than those in the sky

Standing tall and facing each foe with all of his might

 

Why do we often a teenagers strife overlook

Or not take them as seriously as they’d like

So the young man before me expresses with such a look

And we couldn’t possibly understand since we’re nothing alike

 

Oh, you were a teenager, yes yes, I know

But surely you don’t face the things we do now

Says my fourteen year old, so full of woe

And why are there so many things you don’t allow

 

Yet through the angst this young man does feel

He does know that he’s not as alone as he’d like to portray

And that my love for him is still so very real

The laughter sounds and for awhile, worry is kept at bay

 

He is not so little anymore, it’s true

No, now he’s my young man standing tall

Voice changing, hormones raging, and my how he grew

But, he does let me know he needs me if he were to fall

 

So strong and increasingly seeking independence

I both fear and anxiously await the day he goes in the world alone

Will he use the lessons we taught or leave them on the fence?

Whatever he does, I hope that his light is brightly shone

 

I want him to lead his own life and do well

But, I hope that wherever he may roam

That he should not ever in homesickness dwell

For this will always be a place he can call home.

 

Once Upon a Giggle

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Once upon a giggle

There was a girl that loved to wiggle

Tiny little hands reached out

And won over every heart without a doubt

 

A gleam in her eyes or a simple smile

Is all it takes to make my day worth while

So small and yet she means so much to me

Her within my heart is where she’ll always be

comfort-zone

Standing on the edge of uncertainty

Knowing his decision would impact many

Concentrating on both paths earnestly

Wanting to make the right decision for his family

 

Fearing that whichever path he chose might be the wrong one

What if I make the wrong decision and it costs us dearly?

Stress is an unwelcome guest by anyone

And it stays close by, playing with our minds severely

 

Doubt wields itself against positive thoughts with such force

How can he combat it when it knows his weaknesses?

He grasps to a branch of hope that offers a potential course

Weighing his options, he moves forward with an air of meekness

 

Not 100% certain that his decision will work out, but ready to try

Sometimes one must leave their comfort zone to find their place

It can be frightening to leave the known to see if you can fly

So, take those first steps towards the future with confidence and grace

The Cost of Empathy

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Most of the time, I feel my ability to empathize with others is a valuable trait. To be able to put myself in one’s situation and allow myself to feel as if I was going through whatever is going on has helped me help others. It, in many ways, is really a blessing. Empathy and sympathy are two different animals and not many realize that. To sympathize is simply to feel bad for someone and to empathize is to truly feel the sorrow, pain, anger, frustration, and so on yourself. Not everyone is able to empathize with others and when you’re able to use that ability to help someone and it’s successful, it’s an amazing feeling.

Sometimes though, it takes a lot out of you when you feel too much and often times, there’s not much you can do to get away from that. Sometimes seeing or hearing about bad things happening around the world will get to you. When there’s so much weighing on you, it can pull you into pits of despair. Sometimes that very thing we may call a blessing one day, well it can feel like a curse the next. It can be really hard to separate yourself from the pain that surrounds you, especially when you yourself have things going on.

When you’re struggling, some may even tell you it’s okay to take a step back from everyone else and focus on your own life and while you know on some level that they’re right, this overwhelming sense of guilt haunts you. “But they need me! What if I can help?” And doesn’t it sometimes help us when we’re able to help others? Yes, sometimes helping another can heal your own soul and what a gift that is. Sometimes though, it can be too much to handle. How though, do you convince yourself to actually put yourself first?

There is a great cost to one’s self when you empathize with others. We don’t always see it or wish to acknowledge it. Sometimes we feel that is why we’re here, to help others so that they’re not alone, so that we might do some good in this world, especially when there’s so much hate surrounding us. But to open yourself up and allowing other’s lives to touch your own and get to you, well it changes you. It can become depressing, keep you up at night, make it hard to eat or push you eat too much, cause crying fits you don’t always understand, and cause damage to your well-being and relationships. People may ask, “Why do you always put other’s needs ahead of your own?” “Why can’t you tell people no?”

Some find their ability to empathize a great strength, for it takes a lot to be able to do this. To make yourself vulnerable really does take courage not everyone possesses. Some though, they feel it is a weakness to make yourself a “slave” to others emotionally, if you will. Some feel that it makes you weak to be that vulnerable, to feel that much, and to allow it to drag you down. I feel, after really thinking about it these many years, that it is both, for me at least. I think it can make me strong, especially when it allows me to truly help another, to make things better for someone, even if just a little. I hate seeing people in pain, of any kind, especially those closest to me. If I can help ease their pain at all, I am glad to do it, most days. There are times when I feel it does hinder me though. There are times when I feel like it’s too much and that it’s taking its toll on me. Sometimes I do feel weakened by it.

I will admit that there are times when there is so much going on and my mind feels as if it’s going to come unhinged. And while there’s some feelings of guilt for “abandoning” people who need me, sometimes I admit it is best when I shut myself out from those around me so that I can focus on me for a moment, so I can think and sort things out. Sometimes I need a breather, some time to relax and let the stress levels come down. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever needed to walk away from everyone else for a little bit so that you could fix your own problems? Have you ever felt so dragged down by what everyone around you is going through that you feel like you’re about to lose control of yourself? What do you do when you feel these things? And how do you convince yourself that you’re not being a bad friend or relative? How do you convince yourself that it’s okay to look out for you before others sometimes?

Mostly, I do feel being, what some call an Empath, is a good thing. But yeah, it really can cost you. The trick is to find a healthy balance, but often times we don’t know how to achieve that. I think it’s a learning process, one we may never fully succeed at, but perhaps get better at as the years go by. Here’s to learning, growing, helping  one another, and yet not neglecting ourselves. May we get even a little bit better each day and finding ways to improve both our lives and those around us.

bipolar-disorder-mood

Riding high on a wave of intense mania

Energetic and ready to take on the world

That is until some little thing gets on my nerves

Now it feels like everything is going wrong

And I’m dwelling on every bad thing that’s ever happened

Don’t look at me wrong, I’ll likely snap at you

Though after I’m done ruining everyone’s day

I will feel horribly guilty and tear myself down

Feeling like the worst thing to ever happen to those I love

I’ve fallen into a pool of regret, guilt, and shame

Not seeing a way out of the sadness I’ve slipped into

Wishing for a life preserver so I can pull myself out

Up and down so often I feel dizzy and unsure of where I am

Why does it have to be like this?

I try writing, talking, praying, singing, walking, and more

Sometimes these things help tremendously

And I am so grateful for the support system in my life

Sometimes though, nothing seems to work

And I don’t see a way out or feel the love that’s there

I feel like a yo-yo and I just want to cut the strings

This journey has been rough and is likely to always be

But I know I am not on this path alone

What I go through touches more lives than just my own

My mood swings hurt more than just me

Over the years, I have driven many away

It’s hurt when relationships end and I feel like I have failed

Yet once again, people feel like they can’t deal with it anymore

I do have to say though, that in the most recent years

It’s gotten easier to deal with and as that’s happened

And the bonds formed have lasted, not so easy to break

I will say this now, hoping all will understand

Each of you that stands by me helps more than you know

You make it easier to get through each difficult day

You remind me that each phase will pass

You make me smile, see the beauty within

Your love, loyalty, and devotion is my greatest weapon

When great anger or sadness threaten to take me down

Your support wields within my hands

And like a blaze of fire, conquers it, even if only for a little while

Every day is a struggle, but you make it easier to fight

I lose some individual battles, but the war is far from over

Each victory over my inner demons is celebrated

Bi-polar threatens my happiness and my sanity

But I will not let it win, for I have too many reasons to keep going

Many of them are those of you that are by my side

Thank you for reading this lengthy post

Sort of poetry, sort of prose, more like a solo therapy session

Go from this knowing how very loved you are

And how grateful I am to have each of you by my side.

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There is a difference between being confident and being conceited. Many suffer from a low self-esteem, myself included. It is good to see the good within, to love yourself, and take pride in what you do. But there is a fine line between having a healthy sense of self worth and being arrogant.

Something else that troubles me sometimes is when people feel the need to tear others down to build themselves up. There isn’t a need to do this, not even when say businesses are in direct competition with one another. That is part of why I hate to watch political debates or ad campaigns. Even simple advertising for products we all buy put down the competitors. Why can’t people or companies simply put their best foot forward and let their work speak for itself?

Comparing your work to others to make a sale or win a vote seems to be a smart move,  but when doing so blatantly puts the others down, that honestly just takes away any interest I may have originally had in you or your product. Everyone has their own philosophy, but mine is, if you want my business, you will earn it by being hardworking, respectable, honest, and be able to show me the talent you possess WITHOUT putting down the talents of others.

 

Inner Beauty & the Beast

 

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Today’s topic is about being able to see beauty more in someone’s character than in their outward appearance. There is nothing wrong with admiring one’s outward beauty, but so many times, people are overlooked because they’re not as “fetching” as others. It’s more than that, often times, too. Some can be outright cruel to those they don’t find beautiful.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true. This applies to both inner and outer beauty. What boggles my mind though is why it is seemingly more difficult to appreciate the inner beauties and strengths. As I mentioned before, there’s nothing wrong with admiring someone who is outwardly attractive to us, but shouldn’t we do much more to admire what lies within as well?

I have seen many memes over the years that say things along the lines of, “It doesn’t matter how pretty you are on the outside if you have an ugly heart.” How true those words really are! I have met many people that I find pleasing to look at, but not to talk to or to know. Just because one is lovely to look at doesn’t mean they are equally pleasing to befriend. And just because one is plain, average, or maybe ugly in our eyes doesn’t mean they’re ugly within either!!!! That old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” should carry more weight.

Yet, first impressions do hold much sway over us and what are the first things we notice when we meet someone? We notice how they look and how they carry themselves. Oh but were I like Sherlock Holmes, able to detect so much from seeing so little and so quickly too! We’re all guilty of looking at someone and coming up with conclusions without really knowing someone, but often, we don’t know as much as we think we do. There is so much more to someone than what we see in a single encounter or even a few meetings.

Were we to delve more into one than how they dressed, their hair, whether they slouch or stand up straight, or even their mood that particular moment. Sometimes we get or give the worst and then depart with unpleasant thoughts about one another. We, as humans, are both simple and complex beings. Why are we so quick to judge? Why are we unable to see the beauty within someone simply because we don’t find them appealing to look at? When we have one bad experience, why does it leave such a bad taste in our mouths that we don’t want to give someone another chance? Maybe they just had a bad day and acted too rashly, but perhaps are really an amazing person. Haven’t we all taken our bad days out on someone?

There is so much beauty surrounding us and sure, I mean nature, but I also mean people. If we were to open our minds, expand our horizons, and be more willing to see the beauty where perhaps we once didn’t, what a grand place this might really be. That lady over there who is a little too heavy for your tastes might have the most beautiful voice you ever heard or maybe if you looked closer, you’d find her smile to be stunning. The guy you think is nothing more than a lazy hippie may actually be brilliant and have the softest heart you’ve ever encountered. The black girl you don’t want to notice because of her color may be seen as gorgeous if you’d see beyond your prejudice. The man who has been losing his hair and not dress so sharply might have the kindest laugh and sweetest demeanor. Can we not try to see more in what we see? Can we find the beauty within ones we normally might not at first glance? May we look again? Might we stop being the beasts we sometimes are and show the beauty too that we have to offer?

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