Friday, April 19, 2013

Ignorance is Bliss

Sometimes, I think "Ignorance is bliss" is an okay thing to accept.  As humans, I have noticed, we run in one of two ways.  In one way, we are content to sit in our little bubbles and never truly strive to look at things that are outside.  We are content to believe what we are told is truth.  We become sheep, our only answer becoming an agreeing "baa".  In the other way, we see truth in such a broad way that everything is believed.  We become news mongers, watching every station with every report.  We get to where we really have no opinion that we can share because we have flown around like vultures tasting of bits of decay.  All we know is death and dying, destruction and trauma.  All this knowledge hasn't brought us to reality, but to the cold, hard fact that those things that attract us are an image of what we have become internally.

Let me go into the woods and live a solitary life like Thoreau!  Not to escape entirely and become one that lives within a bubble, but to be surrounded by beauty and the natural way of things.  

Socrates, the great Socrates, said, "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us."

I believe there must be balance in all things.  One thing we all become unbalanced in is knowledge.  We have two extremes, too much or too little.  My focus lately is on love and light.  I know we live in a dark world.  I know we as humans have allowed ourselves to become dulled by the darkness.  I also know that we can choose to step into the light.  So what if we don't know about every dark thing that darkens our doorstep.  We will become truly wise when we become okay with  accepting that sometimes ignorance is bliss.  I look at the news to know what people are talking about and so I can carry on a conversation should one arise.  Then I shut it off.  A dear friend posted a link about people during hard-dark times.  This link focused on the fact that people seem to come out of the woodwork to help when tragedy strikes.  This is light.  Let's shift our focus to the beautiful things in life and accept the things we do not know.  Let us choose balance in knowledge and allow our love and light to encourage the lives of others to become lovely and light-filled.  Allow the ripples to move through every belief system, every culture, and every ethnicity.  Love and light cannot be bound by the doctrines of man if stand together.  Love and light knows no bounds if we step out of our bubbles and acknowledge the darkness, but refuse to give in to it.  If we choose to pop the enclosing bubble that we think protects us and embrace the light and love of others, our eyes will become opened.  We will be able to let go of fear and hatred.  If we choose not to be like sheep and vultures but become okay with birds, who know a little of our world, partake in it with us, bask in the morning light, and sing love songs to one another, then we can become small blessings that will move to fill this world more beauty.

"...Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." -Philippians 4:8

Light and Love and Beauty be with you all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nighttime Ponderings

So, I can't sleep.  I was falling asleep when I was soaking in the candlelit bubble bath.  Once I got to bed, my mind came alive.  What is this unique individual's mind pondering at 10:24pm?  Psychoeducational Handouts.  You read that right (or perhaps stumbled a little).  What are psychoeducational handouts?

I am working on my Masters in Counseling.  I have two classes this semester with the same professor who asks us to create these (if we want to) for an "easy money" grade.  psychoeducational handouts are tools used by counselors to help clients think in a way that could be difficult and even harmful if done incorrectly and insensitively.  Last semester for my Ethics class I made a therapeutic metaphor to use with children.  This semester I have "Grief, Loss, & Trauma (GLT)" and "Child and Adolescent Development and Counseling (CADC)"  as the two classes I'm choosing to do this assignment for.  My late night brain decided that it wanted to be creative and come up with some BRILLIANT psychoeducational handouts.

For GLT I decided to do something that could help either a child or an adult deal with grief from the death of a loved one.  I haven't put mine together yet, but here is my idea.  I decided to focus on my grandfather.  First, I will introduce him to my class as I would if he were alive.  I would then relate my first memory of him and some of the little things that endeared him to me.  I haven't wracked my brain long enough to come up with my first memory, but I will share things like how he folded his cloth and how particular he was when he dusted the furniture, watching him make cinnamon rolls, visiting the ranch where he was known as "Wishbone Wally", the cook, helping him make tortillas in the kitchen with the avocado green refrigerator and matching stove.  I remember when his favorite radio station came on and he was trying to teach me how to dance, I was 12.  The conversation we had about faith when Mother Teresa died.  I will share the one regret I have, not saying I love you enough, or spending enough time with him during Christmas vacation of 1998.  I will share how Husband took me to his (and nana's) graves so he could "meet" them and thank them for their impact in my life.  I will share the time I went to his grave to sit in the grass and talk to him as if he were here to listen to me today and how a butterfly came and landed next to me at the exact moment I was wishing he were listening.  For the next step in this assignment I will share something that I plan to do every year to remember the impact he had on my life, an impact so great that almost 14 years later he is still number one on the top of my "Heroes" list.  I can't think of anything honorable enough as of yet, but it has to be more than observing a birthday.

As I lay in bed thinking about all this, I felt healing come to my heart, as I need every so often when thinking of the loss.  I realized that remembering all my positive memories and sharing them with others is one way that I have dealt with my grief over and over again.  Thinking of him made me think of other (less important) things that inspire me.  This led to the creation of my psychoeducational handout for CADC.

For this one, I am going to use my own "inspiration" version of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological systems theory chart.  Instead of listen regular things that go in each category I am going to focus only on things that inspire me.  In the macrosystem you'll find people like Gandhi, MLK Jr., Buddhism, Hinduism, philosophers, Jesus, etc.  In the exosystem I am going to list other things/people that inspire me, and so on, down to my individual self.  The thing that will make this unique, is that I am going to make it a collage.  It will have pictures of family and friends, I'll cut out things from magazines that inspire me, like nature, butterflies, books, music, and what-not.

When I was first going to bed my mind was overwhelmed with negativity.  I couldn't sleep, and allowed my mind to drift.  These exercises, thinking of all the positive things that make me focus on why I live, why I love life, and why I choose to do what I do, gave me peace.  If this budding counselor can find peace in things like this, maybe others can too.  Maybe you can use my ideas to help you find peace in the midst of loss and grief.  Maybe you need a reminder as to why life is beautiful.  Take a moment and think of the things that inspire you.  Think of all the beautiful memories of the one you lost and relish in those moments of happiness and lock them away in your heart, stuffing out negativity.  May all that is good and beautiful in this world suddenly hit you and give you new reason to be alive.  May you realize how amazing and beautiful you are.