Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Best Friends Are Forever...

...Ok, today I'd like to talk about friends. When you are a kid you consider anyone that you play with around your neighborhood or at school your friend. There really are no social groups in the beginning, so everyone fits in. As you get older, say grade school age, the amount of people you get along with starts to dwindle. By junior high, you have acquired your own small group of friends. At least one of these people will have been around from the start, in most cases, and be considered your best friend. Some have more than one, but at least one. Throughout high school  there may be a number of people that you know or hang out with from time to time, but still that one best friend remains. After high school and into adulthood it becomes hard to keep in touch with most of the people that you have known throughout your life. People get married, move away, have children, and become caught in their own lives so much that they don't honestly have time for anyone else. However, that one best friend still keeps in touch whenever they can. You still think of them as that one person whom you can always call on whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to talk to, or a place to vent frustrations.You still know this person better than they know themselves, and they know you too. They always seem to be there when you need them.
...Friendships like that don't come along everyday, and they should not be taken lightly. Cherish them while you can.When they are gone you will miss them...

Friday, March 25, 2011

On A More Personal Note...

.....I am going to take a moment today to talk about something personal. I haven't said a whole lot on here about myself, so here is a little background. I had my first boyfriend at the age of 11. Of course, back then I didn't know what it was about. The most we did was write notes back and forth and hang out. But he was older than me and getting interested in sex and I didn't want to. So he slept with someone else and we broke up shortly after. I was young and naive, and didn't really know what heartache was about, but I thought it was the end of the world. Every relationship that I have had since then has ended the same way, except, of course, the one I am in now. To avoid all the boring details I will just get to the point. The past relationships that I have had have left me battle scarred. I carried baggage from every one into the next one. I started to think there was something wrong with me. I see today that I just had a bad choice in men, but it gave me a complex. I started becoming worried that every guy I cared about would do the same thing. I was right, but in hind sight I think I played some part in driving them to cheat with my constant accusations and questions. Not all of them, though. Some of them just did it because they wanted to and thought I wouldn't find out.
     Now I am in a relationship with a good-hearted man who loves me and treats me good. We have a good relationship and I am comfortable in my life with him. But alas, old habits die hard. The same insecurities that lurked under every other relationship that I had that forced it apart, I brought into this one. Not on purpose, but it has been there for so long it has become a part of me. A part that I do not like and that I want to change. This is a task that is easier said than done. It requires completely abandoning all fear of being alone, which by the way, is my biggest fear. It requires complete abandonment of all feelings of mistrust and suspicion. It requires letting go of the hurt and pain and emotional turmoil that I have allowed to dictate who I am. It is very hard for me, but it has to be done or it will mean the end of this relationship as well. The problem is that I don't know how. I have been jumping to conclusions and making accusations for a long time and I have been trying to train myself to argue them down when they pop into my head. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It makes me feel crazy, but it is necessary to keep the worries that are created in my own mind at bay. The problem that is the times that it doesn't work and I think myself into a panic, and then I take it out on him. Me being like this has put restraints on him too. He feels like he has to hide things from me even when it isn't something bad, so that I don't overreact and start flipping out on him. He has the patience of a saint, but it is hard for him to deal with me and my crazy emotions. We have had many talks concerning this, but ultimately, it is my problem, not his. So the solution must somehow lie within me. If I cannot fix it, I am afraid it will eventually lead to the destruction of this relationship as well. Even though I am getting better, I think that it is not fast enough. I have done so much damage already, and his patience is wearing thin. I know the dangers, and I can see the warning signs...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cut The Strings...

...The state of this world and the people in it in this day and age make me shake my head. Yes, I am about to get on my soapbox again. No one thinks for themselves anymore. No one is concerned for the well-being of their fellow man anymore. People don't think about the consequences of their actions and how they affect those around them. The people that run this country are so caught up with their puppeteer act, that they don't even care about the little guy down here where I live. The people of this society are too blind to see what is happening right under their very noses. They think that it is all about how much money they have or how many of the latest technological invention they have, because they think that defines a persons worth, who they are. We are raised as a society to embrace our every day mundane 9 to 5 existence. We are raised to be content with mediocre lives and mediocre jobs, to become dependent on technology that we can't even bare to think of life without our cell phones and our internet. We are encouraged to spend our money on things that we don't need and cloud our minds with things that don't matter. We are trained to act how they want us to and think like they want us to, all the while thinking that we are free to make our own choices. WE ARE NOT. We are coerced into believing that our government has our best interests at heart and that are concerned about the state of things down here in our world. THEY DO NOT and THEY ARE NOT. As long as we obey their laws and do what they tell us to do we remain invisible to them, not people, just dollar signs. They train people to gain our trust and lead us in the path they want us to go. They train people to get us in line if we start to stray. They train people to punish us or get rid of us if we encourage people to think for themselves. We are prisoners to our government and the people that own them. They show us what we should look like and then we spend thousands of dollars trying to look that way They show us how we should raise our children and we sacrifice our values and morals to do so. We are nothing but mindless livestock on our way to the slaughter house. It is time to wake up, people. Stop doing and being like they want you to. Start doing and being like you were born to be... yourself...Stop letting them tell you what is important to you and start deciding what is important for yourself. Stop listening to their puppets, trusting them, mimicking them, obeying them. Cut your strings and then begin to cut the strings of others. WAKE UP.... before it is too late...

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Lesson In Relationships...

...I’m going to take a little bit of time today and talk about relationships. There are a lot of people out there that have problems in theirs. The complaints range anywhere from he or she is cheating to he’s too clingy and everywhere in between.  One thing we have to keep in mind in this day and age is that nothing lasts forever anymore. No matter how good it is at the beginning. People change and that is a fact. It is not anyone’s fault. It doesn’t mean that one person or the other did anything wrong, people just change. Circumstances change, feelings grow cold, the new becomes the normal. The strong passions that once burned wild in a relationship become nothing but embers smoldering in the soft light of morning. A person begins to look for some type of excitement to cure their boredom with their present relationship. It’s not that the person doesn’t love the other, things have just gotten old. Some people turn to hobbies or favorite pastimes, like fishing, sports, video games, books, whatever keeps them busy. Some people look for companionship, someone new and exciting to get to know. It is not always sexual companionship, but sometimes it is, and sometimes it doesn’t start as such, but turns that way after a time. Whatever the chosen outlet may be, this is where the problem starts. Not that there is anything wrong with taking up hobbies to keep yourself busy, but taking up hobbies to avoid a problem in the relationship is never good. The problem is a lack of communication. Let’s take for this example, a man that is getting bored with his relationship with his wife. She is constantly nagging about the bills and the kids, and they never even do anything fun anymore. He loves his wife, but he has got to do something or he is going to go crazy. So he decides to start fishing. The first mistake made in this situation is that he doesn’t try to talk to his wife about his feelings. So on her end she sees her husband one day, out of the blue, start fishing two or three times a week. At first she thinks it is good for him to be getting out and doing something, so it doesn’t bother her. After a while he starts missing dinner because “time got away from him on the lake.” So the wife starts to get insecure, wondering why he is spending so much time away. She goes through a whole list of possibilities, including that maybe he is cheating, or maybe he doesn’t want to spend time with her anymore. Now here is the second mistake. Instead of trying to talk to her husband about her feelings, she gets angry. She begins to be bitter whenever he is around, snapping at him and nagging about everything. She starts to make dates to go out with her friends. She thinks that if he is cheating she can do it too. She starts seeing a man while her husband is at work. Making a long story short, the husband finds out about the affair, a period of nasty fights and arguments follows until, finally, they get divorced. In this example, love was never a problem. It was the lack of communication that ultimately ended the relationship. If the man had only tried to talk to his wife, or if the wife had only tried to talk to her husband, their problem could have been resolved and they might still be married. They could have come up with ways to set aside time for each other, maybe once a week, to go out to dinner, or go see a movie, or even go fishing together. Instead they kept their problems with each other in silence and it destroyed their relationship. So what is the lesson to be learned here today? Open communication in a relationship is one of the MOST important things. Talk to your significant other. Tell them how you think or feel. Because you never know if they are feeling the same things and it could save your relationship one day...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Forest of Thought...

...An idea is like a seed. All it takes is for it to be planted. You take the seed and plant it in the fertile minds of  everyone you come into contact with. Sometimes they will nurture it and care for it, feeding it with information until the idea seed has grown into a thought tree. Once grown into a thought tree, it feeds itself with all the information that it is surrounded by until it begins to blossom with actions. These action blossoms produce other idea seeds to be given to other people and so the cycle continues. Sometimes the idea seed doesn't get nurtured and fed with information and so it can not survive. It dies off and the other idea seeds that it could have produced will never be. Sometimes it is necessary for you to nurture the idea seed that you have given to someone else with information until it is strong enough to take root and grow on its own. Sometimes it grows into a thought tree, but can not find the information around it to feed off of so it withers and dies. Sometimes the idea seed grows into a thought tree, but feeds off of the wrong information and then the thought tree bears poison actions. The poison in the actions infects the idea seeds that it bears and then poison idea seeds get spread to others. And once in a while, an idea seed gets planted, nourished and fed with information, grows into a strong thought tree, but due to some unknown factor, it never blooms a single action, and never bears a single idea seed. However, as long as the idea seeds do grow into good, strong thought trees, some producing actions and other idea seeds, some not, when they are brought together they can make a forest of thought...

Actions and Reactions....

...Some people go through life thinking that what they do doesn't effect others, or not caring how what they do effects others. For every action that is made there is a definite reaction. Sometimes it is small, sometimes it is of infinite proportions. When one acts or makes an action, it causes an instant reaction. Most people do not consider what the reaction will be before they make the action. Some people consider the reaction, but do not care. We need to, as a people, start considering the reaction to our actions in all areas of life. Socially, things we do or say to or about people cause people to react in different ways. This is very seldom taken into account because we are a selfish society. Take, for instance, a young boy who is exposed to certain information about something in the world news that says there is a catastrophic event coming. Not really understanding the whole concept of it, he gets scared. He tells a few friends about it and together they start making plans to build a tree house for shelter. Granted, to some adults this might look like a ridiculous idea that does not help anything, but to these children who only understand the basic feeling of fear of the unknown, it is their way of trying to exhibit some kind of control over the events of their lives. I see it as very insightful and creative, as well as courageous. Some people who see it as a joke or pointless ridicule the boy when he tells them about his project with his friends. This scenario is full of actions and reactions. The boys basic reaction to his fear of the information he was exposed to caused the action of him telling his friends. This action caused the reaction of his friends and him to make plans to prepare for this event. The boy's action of sharing his project with others created the reaction of some to ridicule him. The action of their voiced ridicule was not completely thought through before it was voiced. The reaction from this ridicule was most likely a shot to the boy's self esteem, making him feel ridiculous. Perhaps the reaction should have been to encourage the boy's bravery and power to think of solutions to problems at such a young age, or to praise his determination for survival. Then the boys reaction would have been pride at receiving others approval, or a sense of accomplishment at having had such a good idea, or a feeling of leadership at having inspired action in his friends. The lesson to be learned from this scenario is that we as a society should embrace positive things and reciprocate them with positive reactions. We should uplift our fellow human beings and offer constructive criticism rather than harmful ridicule. In doing this the reactions that we ourselves receive will be more favorable and positive, causing our own actions to be more positive. See how it works? We can spread positive reactions by changing our own actions to be more positive...

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Little Guy

Hello, can you see me? I am the little guy.
I am the “work my ass off to pay YOUR bills” guy.
I am your “blame it on him” guy,
Your “let him take the fall” guy.
I am the guy that catches your shit
When it rolls downhill,
I am the guy that holds up the morals
That you use as a landfill.

You can’t see me, but I am the little guy.
I am your everyday nine to five guy,
Working too much overtime guy,
Paying almost half my check to taxes guy.
I am the one that keeps you rich
While I struggle to stay alive,
And I am the one that starves
So your corporate accounts can thrive.

You don’t know me, but I am the little guy.
I am the “risk my life for you” guy,
The take a bullet for you guy,
The give my blood so you can have power guy.
I am the one who goes into battle
In the name of your prosperity,
To overcome your opposition for you,
No matter what the extent of severity.

You try to ignore me, I am the little guy,
I am the “getting screwed by Medicare” guy,
The losing my Social Security guy,
The “worked for all these years but I have no retirement” guy.
I am the guy that gets laid off
When you decide to cut your budget
Or withdrawl your government  funding
To ensure your wartime profit.

I am still surviving, ME, the little guy.
I am the overcoming all odds guy,
The smile in the face of hardship guy,
The “going to make it regardless of your tyranny” guy.
I will fight your oppression,
I will resist your mind control,
I will spread my message of freedom
And you will never take my soul…

By: Valerie Wells

Acceptance of Individuality

     ...I often wonder why some people try to be someone that they aren't to impress others. I have contemplated this concept for quite some time. I have come to a number of different conclusions. The first of these is for acceptance. Acceptance is the most important thing in a lot of people's lives. It is what makes them lie to others about any little thing, no matter of it's importance. The need for acceptance makes people do things that they don't want to do just because someone they need acceptance from does it or wants them to do it. The need for acceptance makes some people hide things about themselves from others to keep from seeming different. I think everyone is guilty of this to some extent, and most of the time it is harmless in small doses. No one likes to project a negative opinion of themselves. However in certain instances it can cause extreme emotional damage in a person who tries to alter everything about themselves in order to be accepted by causing confusion in their own identity. Sometimes it can alter the person's sense of reality. The problem comes when the people that they altered themselves for don't care enough to stick around for very long once they discover who the person really is, and then the person is left with an altered sense of reality and an identity crises. They frantically move on to the next person or group of people and immediately begin to repeat the same cycle, continuing to look for acceptance. Finally this person reaches a point when they want to try to live for themselves and be who they are, but they don't KNOW who they are. So they go on with their lives having no real meaning to them in search of themselves, and well, to avoid this getting too grim... let's just say it never stops.
     So what causes a persons need for acceptance? There could be a number of reasons, and in my opinion a lot of them stem from childhood. One of these reasons is the person's parents. It could range anywhere from a mother or father who pushed to hard for success and accepted nothing less than perfection, to a mother or father who was indignant, inattentive, or unimpressed by successes no matter how big. A parent is the first try a child makes for acceptance. Another reason is the person's social experiences as a child. School is often times akward and difficult for some children, especially those of higher than norm IQ levels, lower than norm IQ levels, or those children growing up in low income homes (in which the numbers continue to grow each year.) These children tend to be outcast by other social groups in their school. Some of them are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure, unable to face confrontation, and suffer from some form of depression. The habits of "trying to fit in" that these children develop become natural to them, a sort of defense mechanism, and become embedded as they grow into adulthood, making them vulnerable to bad relationships, co-dependency, and drug or alcohol abuse in some cases.
     How can we fix this vicious circle of events? I am not going to pretend to have the answers to that question. I know how I plan to try with my child. By promoting individuality, and giving her acceptance no matter how or who she is. Maybe that is a start. By teaching her to be proud of who she is. Showing her that while it is okay to be a part of a group, you don't have to become the group. By teaching her that if she doesn't want to or doesn't like doing something, she has a right not too. I don't know if it will help or if it will even make a difference at all, but my hope is that it will help make her a stronger person inside, more independent, more willful and confident. I plan to give her all the encouragement that I can. Maybe that is not such a bad idea for any of us, no matter what age. Encouraging individuality not acceptance...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Something To Think About...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm2Hr-1l1MM    ...So Japan made history today, and not in a good way. I was watching some YouTube videos this morning that showed footage of the effects... devastating...8.9 earthquake and then a tsunami. My heart goes out to the families of those lost in this horrific disaster. This whole ordeal got me thinking though, for just a moment, about how short life really is. How uncertain and unreliable life is. Yet we live our lives everyday as if we can all predict the future. We plan to do things at future times, believing there will be time for that later. We believe that there will be time later to mend broken relationships, time later to take that vacation, time later to settle down and have a family. But what if there wasn't time later? What if we were in a situation like Japan and all of the sudden everything around us including ourselves broke into instant chaos? What would you regret not doing? If life as you know it were ripped away from you in an instant, what would you wish you would have done? I bet that ironically, it would be the little things that you thought wouldn't matter. Like "I wish I would have kissed my wife goodbye this morning when I left for work," or " I wish I wouldn't have had that argument with my daughter before she went to school," or maybe even "Maybe I should have let that guy buy me a drink the other night." I am not sure what my wish-I-would-have would be, but I know it wouldn't be "I wish I could have checked my facebook one more time," or "I wish I would have seen that last episode of American Idol," or even "I wish I would have made it to that last sale at the mall." I bet yours wouldn't be either. So why do we spend so much of our time and energy doing things that wouldn't matter and putting off the things that would? Why do we ignore the things important to us instead of taking advantage of each and every minute doing the things that make us truly happy and the things that really matter?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Introductions and All That Jazz...

     Before I get started on this let me begin by telling you a little about myself. My name is Valerie. I am 30 years old. I have been married and divorced twice. I have three children, which I will get into later, two dogs, and a cat. I am currently in the paralegal program at Midstate University in Illinois. Other than going to school, I am a stay-at-home mom. But none of that even scratches the surface of who I really am.
      I decided to start this blog because I have a lot to say and a lot of knowledge to share, but it mostly falls on deaf ears. So in hopes of coming across someone I can actually help, I decided to speak to everyone and anyone who will listen all at once. I can not give a specific topic that I will stick to or even promise that any of it will be interesting. Just consider this an exploration into the unknown realm where you will accompany me in discovering the inner workings of my mind. If at any time it becomes boring, or too much, or any other negative aspect, feel free to turn around and go back. All I ask is that should you choose to continue, please respect my opinions and views as mine and I will respect yours as yours. I thank you for joining me and please bear with me in the beginning as I have never done anything like this before and things might be a bit rocky at the start. Welcome to The Simple Rose...