When I awake, I am Rapunzel. After a night filled with childhood dreams, I slide into the day carrying ancient myth within me.
I am not blond. My hair will never grow past my shoulders and yet, Rapunzel remains. I carry her on my back. My days aren’t made of the stuff of fairy tales. I know she doesn’t belong here. And, yet, she feels right just like a pair of well-worn slippers; not glass slippers or ruby encrusted shoes, sloppy house slippers worn to the color of ancient dust and ashes.
“There are three kinds of people in the world today. There are ‘well-poisoners,’ who discourage you and stomp on your creativity and tell you what you can’t do. There are ‘lawn-mowers,’ people who are well-intentioned but self-absorbed; they tend to their own needs, mow their own lawns, and never leave their yards to help another person. Finally, there are ‘life-enhancers,’ people who reach out to enrich the lives of others, to lift them up and inspire them. We need to be life-enhancers, and we need to surround ourselves with life-enhancers.” Walt Disney
Today, I hear a lot of discouraging words. Some of them might even have been mine. What I want, really want, is to be a life enhancer. I think I would be a really good one if I wasn’t so afraid and easily derailed. At night, I dream of being able to “park my train in a roundhouse of tranquility” so I can hit the tracks fresh and new in the morning. Instead, my train stands on the tracks in a bad side of town while hoodlums spray paint me with obscene graffiti. Not really, but it often feels that way.
And the people that I most want to reach are the least open to what I’m trying to say.
Giving up is tempting. I’ve met my share of “well poisoners” I’ve wasted valuable time believing them. I’ve wasted myself.
I understand the lawn-mowers. As much as I think I would enjoy a world of one, the truth is I’ve always understood that we are all interconnected in ways we can’t even imagine. Millions of tiny ripples do make a giant wave. No time for lawns when you’re out on the ocean.
A life-enhancers is what I want to be. How about you?
Yesterday was less than ideal. A self-pity hurricane had reached a category five.
Emotion was driving my “crazy train.” It is a frightful driver.
This morning my mentor and dear friend gave me excellent advice. “This is an opportunity to develop a servant’s heart, ” she said.
To say I appreciate the support expressed after my last post is an understatement. I really do and am touched by your kindness.
My conscience has bothered me after posting “Ignorance”. While the teacher’s statements were offensive to me, the teacher in question is really a good guy who has the best intentions. In all fairness, there are areas of life in which I am more ignorant than he. Ignorance is nondenominational.
It would be nice to have a clear enemy, something to blame for the ills of the world, some thing or some one with no redeeming qualities but that is rarely the case. Yet, people often make it so. I know I do. We simplify the issue, the problem. Once blame is assigned I can abdicate responsibility to do anything about it. It seems to be human nature. I constantly struggle against this tendency.
This last week I’ve been confronted with a reality that isn’t easily ignored, nor do I want it to be. It is simply this: My perception, is always limited by the boundaries I imagine in my own mind. My perspective on any problem is confined by my personal biases, beliefs, and experience.
This last week, I found out that I’m a parasite. I’m failing to contribute to society by not paying my fair share of the bills. Of course the word, parasite wasn’t used but it didn’t take much to read between the lines.
I sat in class while a teacher discussed the recent presidential candidate debate. I heard how easy it is for people to declare bankruptcy and never pay their bills, thus increasing the bills of those working. I’ve had to declare bankruptcy. It’s a shame I carry but there were no other sane alternatives. I work but can’t earn enough to get out of the incredible hole circumstances have thrown me in. I heard how no hospital will turn someone away if they can’t pay and how he and others like him have to pay the bills for us.
Homework, specifically my son’s homework; that is the problem. My son has an appointment. In the waiting room, I read and grapple with the problem of the homework. The Voice in my head says, “It’s not the homework that’s the problem. It’s how you are perceiving it.”
I reply enthusiastically, “I’m the problem. I am my own problem.”
The mental challenge of a good puzzle grips me and I start to think of creative ways to re-frame this picture.