Posted in Musings

Knowing Me…Watching You?…A-ha

Okay, brace yourself, here comes a bit of a revelation: 

I love ABBA

And the above title got me singing ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’.  This song is about relationships – more on that later – but it also makes me wonder… how much do we really know ourselves? 

Do we spend so much time musing about other people’s lives and activities that we lose sight of who we really are, and about relating to others, that we end up feeling more fragmented because we just do not meet other people’s ‘ideal’ standards?

I think sometimes we can spend far too much time watching what other people are up to, especially online, and then in a subconscious way we start comparing ourselves with them.  A subtle depression and inadequacy can take seed within us if we decide that we don’t measure up to what that person is doing or what this person is saying or achieving.  In the meantime, if we do not use that information to improve our own lives, our time is just ticking away and all we have ever done is stare at a screen to keep up with someone else.

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Posted in Musings

The Darkness

An intense personal darkness is with me.  This has been triggered by several things, especially life and career transitions, but also because of the actions of some people around me.  Despite my own advice about not allowing yourself to be affected, things just sometimes do get to you, and you just have to ride it out.  For all of my positivity, the things that some people do…Just.  Plain.  Suck.  But this darkness has also become an inspiration for me to write even more.  You see, dark times need to be brought into the light, and writing is a perfect way to do that when the voice grows weary of speaking.

I recognize this awfulness as a period of desolation, depression, or even perhaps a dark night of the soul.  I am still not so sure.  Oh yes, I still sing my little heart out, but the rain clouds are hovering menacingly above me.  In fact, the rain is pelting down.  There have been some days when I do not want to even show up, or I only just hold it together. 

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Posted in Musings

To Give, and Give…and Give

So many times over the years I have repeated a pattern which has often, if not always, ended up in me feeling drained, depleted, and sometimes discarded.  When you find yourself in a situation or in relationships with different people – be they personal or professional – and find that you are continuously giving of yourself, or rescuing others in their time of woe to the point of your own mental and spiritual exhaustion, then it is time to stop.  It is time to reflect.  It is time to put yourself first. 

While an awareness of the needs of others and being a compassionate, giving person is a great thing, you do not want to be taken for granted either.  It is wonderful if the one you are helping recovers, but if they ghost you and then go on their merry way and never keep in touch, if they don’t care about you or even ask how you are going, well…it feels like a slap in the face.

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Posted in Musings

Planet of the Fakes

I like positive posts (writing them and reading other people’s), and this is part of the reason why I started The MuSinGer, but sometimes having a good rant feels… well… invigorating.  Seriously though, taking the time to think about why we do what we do as humans and as a society can help us to intelligently question whether these things are actually good for us.

I know that the topic of the effects of social media has been done to death, but one day I was tired and instead of doing the sensible thing, shutting down early for the night, and going to sleep, I numbly looked through some random social media posts out in the ether.  My bad.  Not surprisingly, I soon became unsettled and fed up.  Why?  Well a summary of what I saw went something like this (note – what follows is a fictitious generalisation, not actual posts):

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Posted in Books, Reading

Book review: ‘You Are Enough’ by Mandy Hale

A few posts ago I reviewed Mandy Hale’s book Beautiful Uncertainty.  Her newest book, You Are Enough: Heartbreak, Healing, and Becoming Whole, is the subject of today’s post. If you have read Beautiful Uncertainty, you could not ask for a greater contrast between that book and this new one, and perhaps even wonder if this book is by the same author – indeed it was a big surprise to me.  But I felt that the beauty about both books was not found in comparing them or judging whether one was better than the other, rather it was found in the reality of Mandy’s words and the raw emotion, maturity, wisdom, and passion which has developed in her life since she wrote Beautiful Uncertainty.  Clearly, life-changing things have happened to her in the years since that book, and deciding to write about her experiences to help others was a courageous thing to do. 

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Posted in Musings

Our Epidemic

Today’s topic is not something which many of us choose to talk about, but I think we seriously need to look at it.  Loneliness.  I’m not talking about choosing to have periods of time alone or intentional silence – that can actually be a very good thing for you, and many of us can cope with it pretty well (especially introverts).  But ongoing, persistent, unwanted loneliness is a real crisis of disconnection.  It affects the health, wellbeing, mind, and spirit of so many people around the world, despite appearances to the contrary.  Perhaps even many of you reading this right now have been or are going through this.

To say that it is a hidden epidemic of our modern times is not being overdramatic.  In fact, studies and science have proven that chronic loneliness is bad for you, and it is on the rise due to various factors – how we live, work, socialize (or not), our age, gender, stage in life, etc.  I won’t go into the details – you can read more about it here: Feeling isolated? You’re not alone. Here’s why 1 in 4 of us is lonely and Chronic Loneliness Is a Modern-Day Epidemic.  There are so many articles out there on the internet and programs on television which you can access, but today I hope to encourage you to think about being part of the solution.

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Posted in Musings

How to Live Like a Dog

My dog.

He longs for his walk, lives for his biscuit, purrs while being cuddled, seeks back massages, and loves his din-dins at the appointed hour.

That’s it.  That is how he defines a successful life.

He does not have a degree or a formal job (his informal job is being our security guard and loving companion but shhh… don’t tell him that).

When he waits for me to tuck him into bed at night, he just looks at me with those big brown eyes.

To us busy humans, he doesn’t seem to do much at all.

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