Monthly Archives: October 2014
Have you ever wondered why we act as we do? Do you ever think about what makes us tick on a deeper level? Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud both shared many interesting theories, some of which are a little ‘out there.‘ I like to take what makes the most sense for me and leave the rest.
“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” This is a quote by Ronald Reagan. I can think of other words to use in place of ‘government.’ The id is much like this ‘baby,’ all self-important, wanting what it wants without thought for another. The id wants to fulfill our cravings. It has no rules or boundaries, no judgment, no common sense. It just wants satisfaction, period. Freud refers to the id as, “das Es,” or, ‘it.’ The word id has New Latin roots. Common definitions includes our basic needs and desires.
The superego is our conscience. We learn from those who came before us about cultural boundaries and laws and societal norms. We strive to abide by the rules. Our conscience learns traits from parents, family, teachers, friends, and others. Sometimes I feel like I was born with a conscience already built in. The superego is a perfectionist and an inner critic. Guilt is its mantra. Freud calls the superego, “das Uber-Ich,” which translates to ‘I over or ‘I above.’ Superego has New Latin roots. Common definitions include what is right and wrong.
The ego’s job is to keep the id and the superego in check. It is the great balancing act between the world we live in, the id (trying to meet our wants), and the superego (trying to be socially conscious). The ego tries to satisfy all of these by navigating through the challenging maze of life, desires, and the great good. According to Freud, the ego means, “das Ich,” or ‘I.’ The word ego has Latin roots. Common current definitions include pride or self-esteem.
The ego’s work is not easy and teeters often, tipping into less-than desirable realms and consequences. The ego certainly is a great mediator. As such, it sometimes loses its way, wandering often into id territory or into the land of the superego, or weaving back and forth through both consecutively, like a snake.
Not all people have the same equalizing abilities, either. We all come into this world with an agenda. Nature and nurture influence our life plan in a powerful way. Some of us tend to meander toward id country more than we should. Self-satisfaction is a tempting morsel and is hard to resist.
Some of us are drawn into the green fields of the superego and can become consumed by denying our own desires and needs. We might give in to judgment and criticism of ourselves and others. The superego is no better or worse than the id. The ego’s difficult task is to walk the tightrope across the canyon in blustery winds.
Here’s a quick poem I wrote about this delicate and difficult balancing act:
Superego is entrenched in my DNA
Id only wants to come out and play
Ego is the one who saves the day
I’d like to hear what you think. Thanks for reading.
Being a head over heels, hopeless romantic can have drawbacks. Always a sucker for romantic movies, a woman I know has watched them often throughout her life for as long as she can remember, even as a very small child. They mesmerize her. She doesn’t know why. They’re kind of silly, really.
Maybe it’s the on-camera chemistry or the close-up shot of a beautiful couple in a loving embrace. Kissing is her favorite. They seem so perfect together. Perhaps it’s the sexual tension and the playful flirting. Their humorous banter is fun and entertaining.
Lovers in movies are very predictable. She wonders if that’s the draw. Happy endings are what she always looks for in movies and romantic movies usually have them. Every rule has an exception, though.
The movie, ‘Love Story’ to an impressionable and hormonal young teen had the perfect ending. A realistically devastating ending. Three times she spent her savings to see the movie and sat near the front with her closest friends, where she could be completely absorbed into the screen. She never cried so hard in her life. All three times.
She hoped nobody remembered that young girl bawling her eyes out not only in the movie theater, but outside on the sidewalk while waiting for a ride to pick her up. It was gut-wrenching. Sobbing so hard, gasping for her next breath.
She loved it. It released the brakes on the pent-up emotional roller coaster that was a rite of passage for every youngster. All kids went through it at some point.
Even though she knew what was coming in the movie, she liked to think about alternate endings. What if the woman in the movie had never gotten sick? Did love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Could theirs be a love that lasted forever?
Falling in love turns your world sideways, in a good way. The endorphins run rampant across the synapses, brightening the world and everything in it. All of life is wonderful and beautiful. You feel like you could live like this forever.
‘Elf’ is my friend’s absolute favorite Christmas movie. The part where Buddy says, “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it,” offers proof of the giddy feeling of falling completely in love.
Why do they call it ‘falling’ in love anyway? Why isn’t it flying in love or jumping in love or something more flashy? Falling seems like you have no control–oh, yeah…
Love and what it leads to, babies and (usually) long term relationships, takes commitment along with compromise from both partners. Equally. Commitment has many layers and is deeper than many of us realize. It is much more than being sexually faithful to a partner. It’s about becoming better together, encouraging each other along the way. Being there for the other.
Compromise can be difficult, especially when someone is used to getting their way. It sometimes becomes most difficult to be flexible as time moves forward. We change, usually not together nor in the same way. It’s about give and take, yin and yang. It’s about balancing each others needs and desires and supporting one’s partners’ dreams. Selflessly.
I am happy to have been in love during my lifetime. I look back joyfully on memories and forward to making better new ones. Falling. Head over heels in love. What could be better?
What do you think about falling? I’d like to hear from you. Thanks for reading.
‘Transitions’ became the first of many poems I continue to write regarding the transfer of the soul from this world. For me, it is not about religion. It is not about science. It is about faith in the Universe. It is about the nature of things. It’s about energy.
Much has been written about this topic. Energy does not disappear, but evolves into another form. I believe this to be true of all living creatures, including humans, animals, and plants. I believe it to be true of all elements that make up our world.
Birth and death and everything in between are natural progressions of life. It is so interesting how happy we are when a baby is born and how sad we are when a loved one dies. This is natural.
Though inevitable as life itself, death in our culture carries a certain habit of fear of the unknown for the dying and an enormous feeling of loss and abandonment for those left behind. It challenges us no matter that our religious beliefs or faith-based spirituality prepares us for all of it. This is a deep disconnect in our beliefs and psyche. Not all cultures are so disconnected.
When my own parents passed, I knew in my heart they had a long and (mostly) happy life. They were elderly. I knew their time was coming and mentally prepared myself. I also know my mother was afraid. I felt her fear in her last hug. She did not want to let me go. This was three weeks before she transitioned.
Grief takes on many forms and is as individual as each of us. There is no right way to grieve. I became extremely ill right after mom died and was bedridden for two days with a fever and cough that would not quit.
Their deaths still hit me like a fist in the stomach. It was my longing for them that brought me grief. They had been in my life forever. I missed them deeply.
Elephants and other creatures show grief and loss. This has been well documented. I watched tearfully as a young doe grieved for her sister I had just shot during hunting season many years ago. I can still hear her bleating when I think about it. I felt like a horrible person for having killed her. I haven’t picked up a weapon since.
What I have learned in life is that grief is a necessary process. It takes the time it takes. We cry, feel lost and alone, cry some more, and eventually move forward. This is key to healing, but being stuck in grief is no way to live our lives. Our loved ones would never want us to remember and honor them in this way, though some of us just cannot move past it. Our lives become crippled by death.
‘Transitions’ was written for a coworker a few years ago who lost someone. I believe that the spirit never dies. I believe energy always transforms into something else. Our universe is made of energy in flux, always moving and changing. We are no different from the world around us. We are part of the endless cosmos.
When the time comes, I hope I will welcome it, but I might fight death. I really don’t know until I’m in the moment. I don’t feel afraid to die, but that does not mean I want to die. I intend to cross the veil in my sleep approximately two to three decades from now. Peacefully. I fully expect a smooth transition.
When I die, I know I will see my loved ones again. I’ve had dreams and visions of our reunion. All family, friends, and pets will be the welcoming committee, with the pets out front. They are the unconditional lovers. It will be a coming home party of the grandest kind.
Death? Eh, it happens, just like birth. I didn’t fret about coming into this world and I’m not going to fret about exiting from it. I’m going to embrace the possibility of change, of transitioning into something new. A rebirth of spirit. It’s the only way I know how to live.
What about you? I’d really like to read about your thoughts and insights about transitioning. Thanks for reading.
Quote from ‘Women’s Shoes’
What pleasure do women get from wearing extremely high heels and platforms? Do women strap them onto their feet because they really enjoy the feeling and look of becoming instantly taller? Do they foresee inevitable attention that turns their way from men nearby?
This whimsical poem, ‘Women’s Shoes,’ came to me after noticing the changes in dressy shoes for women. They become steeper and more stilty as each fashion season rolls over to a new one. Why is this happening?
Some women swear their high heels are comfortable. Really? In what world? If that’s true, why don’t I see more women wearing them around the neighborhood in the morning or evening when taking Fido for a walk?
Why don’t women jog in platforms on the gym treadmill or playing golf in spiked spike heels? I’ve never seen anyone wear platform beach sandals. Has anyone ever seen high-heeled hiking boots? Have you ever seen a woman sporting stilettos for weekly grocery shopping? How about in jobs where they must stand or walk all day?
I don’t believe for a second those high heels and platforms are comfortable. When I see a woman walking in them, her body contorts out of natural balance. She is forced to place most of her weight on the balls of her feet. What’s the point of it?
At a women’s clothing store where I worked, my boss, in her early twenties, could only walk barefoot on her toes. Her tendons shrunk and her foot would not sit flat on the floor.
Did I miss something growing up? My mom wore heels, two or three inches high at the most. She was 5’10” which was very tall for her generation. During my own high school years, platforms came into style. They were high, but not an uncomfortable torquing of the foot muscles high. My ankles twisted only a few times while wearing them.
Out on my own, I got into more earthy sandals, wearing them in all seasons. I liked a solid foundation but ruined them while hiking a trail in a few miles to end up at a mosquito-infested mountain lake. Why I wore them that day is beyond reason. I knew better and had sneakers tied to my 25-pound backpack.
Years later I went for a job interview and donned a pair of really cute open-toed wedges. They looked great beneath my mid-calf lavender and white flowered dress. The wedge was beige and looked like twine. White canvas wrapped around the top of the foot. They laced up the front just like high-tops, eyelets and all. They were flirty and went with almost anything.
By the end of the hour-long interview I had to limp back to my car, shoes in tow. My legs felt like they were splitting vertically and my toes knotted like mangled roots. I finally understood the term shin splints.
I have tried wearing heels higher than an inch several times since that traumatic day but cannot tolerate the pain. My feet prefer being level and near the ground. It’s important for me to be able to walk without the likelihood of getting injured. It’s selfish, I know.
High heels? You can have them. I much prefer my flip-flops and sneakers. I like going barefoot in the house and on the beach. My feet are happy. Free is the only way my feet know how to be. I’d like to hear your opinion. Thanks for reading mine.