Broken People

I don’t know how many of you will remember an email chain that went around in the late nineties – yep, I know lol – focused on the paradoxes. One of the tenets was that we are more connected than we ever have been, but people feel lonelier than they ever have.

That hasn’t really changed in the last twenty years, just become worse.

I think society has broken down. I also think we are all responsible for changing that.

Community is the way. Holding each other accountable for our behaviour is the way. Loving one another by looking for similarities rather than focusing on difference is the way. Checking in on family and friends is the way.

I feel most alive and most present in service to others. And travel, but that isn’t the norm for my life. I love my businesses. I love working. Not so many hours, but it is what it is and it is temporary.

Now though, that I see more of the world, I see how many people are broken and living in fear of change or even being themselves. At our core, I think we all want to belong and be loved. Ego tells us we want power and notoriety, not our core selves.

Ego disconnects us from one another. Ego is hurt feelings, vengeance, anger, frustration. Ego is the I. Ego serves the individual – sometimes – but at the expense of the heart and at the expense of community.

Real and true community, like when I grew up and people looked out for one another. Community where you want others to succeed. Community of loyalty and trust and empowerment and support.

The sort of world our kids deserve to live in.

Maybe, if we lived in a communal society, so many kids, so many adults, wouldn’t be feeling hope-less and lost and alone and disconnected. Maybe people wouldn’t be so broken and there would be more love. Maybe more people would survive.

Pain and loneliness is temporary.

When we make different choices, life gets better and we get healthier.

How are the lost meant to see this when we are so disconnected we don’t share it.

I don’t want to see more sadness, and tragedy, and pain. I think our leaders need to stop focusing on the silly things and focus on reconnecting people, growing community, finding peace and balance. They need to serve from love and not ego. They need to model a different way.

I want our children saved.

To Speak or Not To Speak – that is the question.

When I was younger, I stood up all of the time and spoke out whenever I perceived something was wrong or unjust.

I got burned – a lot. I was often standing and fighting on my own. So, as I’ve aged, I have carefully worked out which battles are worth fighting, and as a result, I don’t fight as much.

I’m not happy with this.

I’m in transition at the moment and I’m not quite sure where I’m going to land. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to work myself out, rediscover and rebuild myself.

Yesterday, a woman I greatly respect, reminded me who I used to be. It’s been on my mind since. I woke up thinking about, and reflecting on it, this morning.

At a polling booth, a man from an opposing group, whilst handing out, in public, made a comment that Liberal women are the “best roots”.

My friend was angered by her perception of his disrespect to the mixed company and the public (voters). When I arrived to hand out, she mentioned what happened several times. She needed to do something about it.

She was advised to speak to the Booth Organiser inside. She did. He came out with her to speak to the man responsible for the comments.

You know, all he needed to do was acknowledge that his comment was disrespectful to women and inappropriate in the company he was in, and it would have been over.

Being the person he is, he didn’t. He kept it going.

My friend became very angry. My friend became my younger self.

I tried to calm her down.

And, this is the interesting part for me, I’m not sure I should have done that.

I’m not sure I shouldn’t have turned around and stood with her.

He was clearly in the wrong, and he was, quite clearly, an arrogant dickhead.

The socially acceptable version of myself understands that we were representing a candidate and not ourselves, that nothing would be gained by taking on a dickhead, that it wasn’t worth the fight.

However, we also need to call out poor behaviour. My friend did, and she stood by her calling out of his poor behaviour.

Was she naive to think it would change something, change his perception, or was she just being plain hopeful and trusting that people would correct their ways when poor behaviour is pointed out.

Regardless, I’m proud of her for standing in her truth. It took courage to speak up, and then to stand by that.

Not only that, upon reflection, when she held her ground outside, the Booth Organiser from the Electoral Commission, turned on her and attempted to put her in her place, and I think he did this because she was a woman. Because we were all women.

The moronic guy kept making comments. Not in front of my friend – she had fairly cuckolded him. I warned him at least three times after that to pull his head in and he made comments about me. I, too, stood my ground and told him he was disrespectful and an idiot. His Booth Captain supported me in it.

He became cowardly in her presence, choosing to make sideways comments out of her ear shot.

Two different ways.

I like her’s more. There was passion and integrity. Calling out every idiot in the world takes time and energy and requires putting yourself in the firing line.

I think I prefer how that feels.

I’m proud of her. The jury is out on me.

I know I did what I had to do. I know that politically we need to play things a certain way. But I think I’ve become too politically minded, and that means playing it safe and only disrupting the apple cart sometimes. And I don’t think I like it.

I’m working out who I am and who I want to be and whether they are the same thing. Massive time of transition.

Grateful for it.

Unsolicited Advice đŸ€Ș

My whole life I have had very strong opinions about a lot of things. I was idealistic, passionate and very focused on my vision for this world. I would listen to the views of others, but only ever add to my arsenal of opinions rather than change them.

As we begin to age, I think we lose or temper some of that fervour, and some of my opinions have moved closer to the right side of politics (not right as in accurate, right as in right wing). The delivery of those ideas though would always encompass support and education.

For me these days, empowerment of individuals is vital to happiness and fulfilment. I guess that’s my underlying value and philosophy for living. People need to become empowered, by themselves or through a facilitated process.

In New South Wales in Australia, where I live, we have to vote in a State Election at the end of March.

I have always taken my vote seriously because the only dictatorship I would like to live in is one dictated to by me. When I turned 18, way back in the dark ages, and my first vote was coming up, I fastidiously researched (without Google I might add) the philosophy of each major party in Australia at the time (Liberal, Labor, Greens and the Democrats) and then I researched their leaders and then I found out about my local candidates.

I thought it was important to know all of this. During my twenties, I became involved in local politics, joined a political party, became active, a little militant, and served.

During my thirties, I became disillusioned. Candidates that WERE the best choice weren’t being supported by Head Office as much as they should be and I saw the yucky side of party politics.

Now, towards the end of my forties, having resigned from the political quagmire of school and education bureaucracy, I feel my passion and voice returning.

It has been bothering me that there is an election coming and I don’t know who to vote for. Here in Australia, politics and governance has become an ego riddled joke. Our Prime Minister changes with the winds and politicians don’t really seem to care about us real people and what we want.

So, for the first time in my life, I’m looking very seriously to vote for a candidate that quite possibly won’t gain office this time, but might next time. I’ve gone back to grass roots, and I think I’m going to vote for my local independent.

I met them on Saturday. They are traveling around the electorate to meet and genuinely hear from their potential constituents. Irrelevant who it is. I’m not trying to tell you who to vote for. That’s personal choice and your values may be different from mine.

I am suggesting though, that you find out about your candidates and the parties they belong to, and don’t ignore the independent candidates. Some independent candidates are stooges from the major parties placed in the ballot to extend the preferential votes. Find out.

Find out what each candidate stands for and don’t just vote a way that you always have – I truly believe our major parties need to know how disgruntled we are that they do not choose the needs of their constituents over their own and/or party needs.

It’s time for a political shake up and massive awakening in our country, and we start with our vote at the next elections.

And, yep, after months, two posts in a row hehehe.

Grave Concerns 

The notion of democracy is really being challenged in the UK, Australia and the US in recent days. Such insanity. 

Donald Trump supporters proudly walking the streets with massive weapons strapped to their bodies. Yes, it is their constitutional right to do so, but what sort of idiot would show so little sensitivity and compassion to the context in their own country at the moment and do so. It achieves nothing. 

In Australia, we have politicians, democratically elected, preaching hate and inciting hate against others. And justifying their right to be ignorant because we live in a democracy. 

And then, there’s Brexit. 

Yes, in a democracy we have certain rights. Predominantly, voting in our elected officials. 

To be a responsible citizen though, surely we also have the responsibility to be informed and to educate ourselves, and as an elected representative, surely this responsibility is even more important. 

We have the right to express opinions, but for fuck’s sake make sure they are informed and not coming from fear, ignorance or hate. 

And yes, in the US, unbelievably and unconscionably, citizens have the right to carry arms, but engage your brain and think about others before you exercise that right. Show some responsible and compassionate thinking first. 

What a disgrace this world has become. 

What a horrible place we are leaving for future generations.

Individuals, organisations, governments, so selfish that the aim has become, solely personal gain. 

What a travesty! And where the fuck are our superheroes? 

Apologies for the language but this is my blog and I am frustrated with this world and our collective apathy to do and to be right. 

I blame George Orwell. 

Breaking the Mood 

Nothing like hypocrisy to get a smile on my face. You have got to love Australian politics. I can only hope that the Liberal Party oust Abbott and we end up with a new Prime Minister even though it won’t change the party platform. 

The beauty is that the Australian public will still remain ignorant and will still proffer ignorant slogans and catch cries that say nothing except that the person with their mouth open is ignorant. And yes, I love using that word. 

Interesting times ahead … 

I hope Julia is grinning wryly. 

On to other things. 

Yes, my posts have been negative lately and those that read for inspiration may not have found much here. Life is a process though. I came back from New York so high and so knowledgable about who I was and where my life was heading. And it’s all still there but I’ll be getting there a bit slower than originally anticipated. 

But I have pulled myself from the mud and I am on my way to blossoming again. I feel the need to justify my spiralling but it will only serve to sound whiney. 

I am going to outline how I pulled myself out of the mud though, for several reasons. I do practice what I preach, it works for me, and it may help others. 

Also the reason for why I blog these days. I am strong. I am resilient. I am independent. But I’m not perfect and sometimes, even the strong must falter to progress. I have no shame and feel no apprehension in putting my story out there, sometimes without censorship. 

1. I realised I was starting to feel down. I acknowledged it. To myself and out loud. 

2. When it didn’t pass and I didn’t want to get out of bed, I started practicing gratitude. Not formally but every day. The beauty of this is that because it has been a regular practice, even on my darkest day I could easily find three things to be grateful for. 

3. I put myself first. If I couldn’t do something, I said it. And I didn’t feel guilty. Again, regular practice has enabled me to say no to guilt. 

4. I wrote a To Do list and started crossing things off. 

5. I did things that make me happy … Regularly. 

6. I had a massage. I spent time in the garden. I decluttered. 

7. I added more fruit and more vegetables to my diet which had started to slide. 

8. Targeting what was causing me grief, I came up with a series of action plans with small steps. 

9. I have given myself permission to not have to do everything today … I am practicing patience and trusting that I will achieve all that I need to achieve when I am meant to achieve it. 

10. The hardest part – I am telling people that I am not okay. 

11. I know this is temporary and I will get stronger. I am, everyday. However, it never ceases to amaze me how many people can not cope with a fragile and vulnerable Tina. 

I shake my head. I am a person not a concept. 

But you have to laugh. 

Especially at Australian politics. Realistically nothing much will change. The Liberal Party, if they vote against Abbott, may have saved themselves from definite loss next election. I have no faith in Australuan voters.