‘Be Yourself’ Quote

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Here’s a quote from my poem, ‘Be Yourself.’

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‘Be Yourself’

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Are you an extrovert or an introvert? A couple of years ago I mentioned in conversation that I was an introvert. The response? “Don’t worry, we can change that.” My mouth dropped in my mind. I was taken aback wondering why anyone thought I needed changing. I replied. “Oh, I prefer being an introvert.” They looked puzzled.

I am often reminded how deeply ingrained our social norms have become. We are all on very different paths of understanding ourselves and others. I believe our communication breaks down because of these differences. We really don’t know each other very well.

Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,’ did a TED2012 Talk on this subject. Giving this speech was an extremely difficult task for her, but she pulled it off with seeming ease. She won the 2013 Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters for this speech.

According to Cain, extroversion is valued in our world society and Introversion is not, but should be. She is here to change that assumption. Introverts add much more than we might realize.

Cain gave a second TED Talk in 2014 with some lofty goals in mind for the workplace and for empowering children. She calls it the ‘Quiet Revolution.’

I wrote the poem, ‘Be Yourself,‘ to bring awareness to the subject. We are all here to do our part in helping create a better world, in our own way, together. Doing what makes us happy and fulfilled helps make Earth and her inhabitants thrive.

I heard recently on NPR that up to 40% of people on the planet are introverted. I am happy to be in that large minority and wouldn’t want to change a thing.

Note: If you’ve never seen a TED Talk, you can find them on a wide variety of subjects. Some talks are a few minutes, some an hour. They’re very informative and entertaining.

‘Transitions’

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‘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.