Remember that time when…..

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

You do remember right?

The day they sat us down to tell us mommy and daddy couldn’t get along?

That it would all be okay and everyone will eventually move on.

The day the bags were packed and thrown into the trunk of a car.

Don’t cry sweetie.

Your daddy won’t be far.

Remember when mommy played music really loud so you couldn’t hear her cry?

I knew she was extremely sad but I wouldn’t have understood why.

Today when I look back, I’m glad I didn’t know.

I’m glad my brain pretended we were only in a show.

It will be okay tomorrow when the next episode comes on.

We will be back in our beds at home as the sunset turns to dawn.

The same episode aired over and over and over again.

I wrote this within 5 minutes of being reminded of something. How easy we can forget. I don’t know if it is an age thing and years just erased that part of my memory or if I blocked it out.

Regardless of the reason I can write these feelings so easily. The hardest part of my life was reaching a place I could forgive myself for not understanding something I wasn’t even supposed to know.

Life is most definitely going to knock the breath out of you more than once. If you’re lucky someone will be there to walk beside you helping each episode make sense.

I’ll tell you this last bit of advice, no one knows exactly how you feel. It’s not possible. I have found that I get answers I may be seeking from those whom have been strangers to me most of my life.

I look out at the sky with a crooked grin and inquisitive eyes.

As long as I can remember what it’s like to be the weeping child with a broken heart I will always be able to offer you the 10 best bits of advice I’ve ever been given. #1 is the most important.

1. Child, it is not your fault.

2. It will always bring a feeling of sadness.

3. You are allowed to take as long as you need to understand something.

4. You can’t know what you don’t know.

5. Surround yourself with positive people.

6. You only need one person to make a difference.

7. The world will take care of itself.

8. You may grow to be codependent like I did, but you will find your backbone when you need it most.

9. Anything can change nothing. Anything can change everything.

10. You can change the world but you don’t have to. If you can change the world for just one person you’ve done more than most do in a lifetime.

Without the ability to reason with myself I’m a mere puppet to my past, present and future.

I can’t expect to communicate with anyone on the same level that has not experienced life the same way as I have.

I can’t expect someone who has never lost a child to know what that feels like.

I can’t expect someone who’s never been caught in an ugly custody battle to understand what it feels like to endure that kind of misery.

I can’t tell you and expect you to understand, comprehend, feel or express to me anything that you haven’t lived.

Compassion ~ yes.

Understand ~ no.

At this point it is when we ourselves have to realize communicating clearly to someone who has no experience in something we’re talking about will not be of the same level of understanding as someone who does.

How guilty I believe we all are of expecting others to read our mind and understand exactly how we feel something.

The more I get to know myself the more I see me instead of who you wanted me to be.

The more I get to know you the more I get to learn about my character.

Am I kind? Am I patient? Am I full of sarcasm? Can you push my buttons easily? Am I really secure or consumed by insecurity. Can I truly listen to hear?

What areas of me don’t I like and am I willing to change?

That willingness to change is a doozy when our egos have protected us for so long.

Long story short~ don’t communicate with me and expect me to communicate back on your level because I know chances are you will never be able to communicate with me on mine. No matter how much research you do. No matter how many movies or true stories you read. No matter how different your bruises looked from mine. No matter how old you were when and if your parents called it quits. No matter who hurt who the most. No matter if you had 20 siblings or none. No matter the level of genius in your brain that mine is lacking. No matter the most expensive cheese or the commodity cheese.

I’ll tell you, I never knew what expensive cheese was until I was well into adulthood. I was never going to know what fancy expensive cheese meant until I’d had it.

Let’s do more learning about another’s language or level of comprehension before we speak to them in depth because often when the conversation’s over one is left feeling dominant and superior and the other exits feeling like the village idiot.

I personally relate more to the misfits. The misfits wear their heart on the outside and feel everything deeply.

I’m not sure but maybe the rest of the people just haven’t had to yet.

I had the best conversation with a 94 year old Veteran this week. What I did when I listened to him was learn more than I ever would have from a book. I learned about plants. It was relayed to me in a language I understood. He knew from experience how to share and express it to me in a way I connected with. He didn’t get upset with me when I didn’t understand the first time. He was patient and slowed it down a little. He saw how I was clueless about the care of my plants this winter because it was the first time I was going to experience it. Not one time did he get or appear irritated at my lack of understanding.

Do I believe we’re all equal? No.

Color, race, sex, whatever okay sure yeah.

I’m not talking about that.

A 5 year old will never know what it is to be 10 until they are 10. Just as a 20 year old will never be equal to a 30 year old or above.

Your intelligence and lack of experience over or under mine will always separate us. My anxiety will always be different than yours. My mind is my gift and yours is yours. What we do with those though is what determines our goodness.

I’ll never be better than you. I will have worked hard. I’ll never be wealthier than you but I will have worked hard. I’ll never be able to read as well as you but I will have learned my best. I’ll never score a touchdown like you but I will have ran my fastest. I don’t need a trophy for doing my best if you out ran me. Fair and square, you were the faster runner.

There’s equal and equality.

There’s better and there’s morals.

There’s ignorance in opinions.

There’s more opinions than there are ethics.

A whole lot of pride and better than someone else is sitting in a trust-fund while others struggle to depend on a broken government that allows even a millionaire to cut corners and receive food-stamps.

Please tell me how equal we all are and on what grounds you believe this?

I’ll tell you it may take me awhile to understand your response because I’ve no experience inside your mind. I will do my best.

I can not wrap my brain around all of us being equal. When we aren’t even all born the same color. Different colored eyes. We grey differently and we damn sure all learn differently.

To all be equal is to tell a man who fought in the war holding a limbless fallen soldier in his arms that his life and his risks are as equal and just the same as the man ( 20 years old) who never had to get dirt under his fingernails as he sits and eats his Doritos chips, playing video games with his brand new Adidas tennis shoes Aunt Jo Jo bought him.

Pay and equality. Pay and lazy. One chooses to sit at home spending until the money runs out and other’s choose to work hard to have barely enough. Some keep working even harder. We are not equal across the board. We do NOT deserve equal pay and benefits.

I think the only thing that should matter when someone looks at a wealthy mans taxes is the donations to charity. Look at the causes he stands for and supports. I think what you give away because you can and you want to is a good way to pick a tiger by the toe. Judge a good character.

I don’t believe if you earn a million dollars that should have to pay for my loaf of bread. I should be able to earn my own loaf of bread. There are cases where even mentally challenged individuals are able to work and earn spending money. They enjoy having earned money. There are other’s who are incapacitated and are unable to earn. That’s where the system can come in. Wealthy people are always in need of tax write offs. Maybe people could campaigns for donations to help fund the incapacitated. Regardless of that last bit; It is not the wealthier who should have to pay for my electric bill each month. I want an honest living with honest wages. If you raise minimum wage and not the middle class wages, you will lose more than you can fathom in small businesses. I will not be able to continue my career because most of my clients are middle class and once my products go up and my taxes increase they will not be able to afford to continue receiving my services therefore I will struggle and eventually have to find something else to recover my losses somehow. Can someone explain to me how that is fair? Can someone show me where that is wrong and not at all what will happen?

I work hard but I give harder. I strive to give more away and to eventually have less. I don’t plan on getting out of here alive so why do I need to carry so many thing’s around.

It’s my choice to keep little. It’s my choice to keep big. It’s my choice to buy expensive thing’s with money I’ve earned. It’s my choice to go to designer clothing store or to the consignment shop. The Goodwill has good sales. Just sayin.

What does close minded even mean? Why won’t someone with more of a closed mind not understand any of what I have written? Because it goes against whatever they believe. My hand is up. I’m guilty of being close minded. If you’ve never been then my hats off to you.

What I’ve written above leads me to wonder about so many different views over topics that make my mind spin.

Row vs. Wade for example. Republicans want to abolish abortion. Democrats don’t. I myself have laid on a gurney in an abortion clinic. I was 18. I had my reasons. ( not a birth control method ) I experienced thing’s during that time I never hope anyone has to experience. The emotions alone after something like that are haunting. But…….I disagree with taking away a woman’s right to choose. Should there be some restrictions? Yes. But abolished completely? No.

How is it that man can be in a position to create a plan for a woman and her right to carry a child or not? Technically that alone should change in my opinion. I could complicate this entire subject so I’ll quit for now. We all have our different views. But a man can’t even conceive a child. Therefore I’m not favoring the mans right to tell me after he’s assaulted me that he wants to keep the child. No. I’m not in favor of that. God or no God.

So many things this world has to offer. So many good and bad things. Some things are choices. Some are not. Always evolving. Life.

We’re not all equal. Thing’s that matter most, yes. Color, gender, sex, etc.

But on the same playgrounds? No. Can every single color play on the same slide? Absolutely. Do we deserve equal opportunities if we perform equally? Yes. Do we deserve the same if one is more brilliant and works harder than the other? Harder worker, more loyal and dedicated to a job? No. I assure you that you would not want me operating on your heart. That Dr. deserves much more pay than I do. I couldn’t even comprehend a medical text book at this point in my life.

In school I always wondered why my neighbor never had homework from the same class and why I cried trying to do mine. We were different.

I never knew how to raise my hand without crying and saying, “please help me” because I don’t understand something. We were different yet I had to know how to comprehend the same book as you did.

I never knew it was okay to be different. I never knew how to be the same. Funny thing is, now I enjoy being different and I enjoy working hard and asking questions.

As a young child I was always striving to be better because I never saw myself as good enough. I never want that same pressure on my grandchildren. I’ve already passed off my own insecurities to my children and they were left to dig out of them and become their own-selves. Hard to watch sometimes when you know that nothing you do can or will make their decision making through life any easier.

It wasn’t until I had cracked my head open that I began to discover how close minded I was. Who enjoys not being right in a world we are always striving for more in?

What if the woman who doesn’t drink is right? What if her saying to me that I have to learn the importance of picking my battles could turn my life around? What if for an example, I woke up and was facing a lifetime in prison because I was so close minded that I couldn’t play the tape through to the end and I drove instead of calling an uber. Close minded people are a lot like drunk people. We know it all and you likely can’t change our minds. We want you to prove everything to us before we might consider you’re right. Even then likely we will sulk in our ego and still find your proof is inadequate and we end up facing life alone or in prison because it was more important to us that our way was the best way. Only to discover it wasn’t.

I’ve written all of this as usual jumping from one subject to the next maybe confusing you.

I hope what that tells you is I’m this person and how you treat me because of it ultimately tells me the kind of person you are.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love the works of Fitzgerald. He and I relate mainly in that I know my way is not the only way. Even when my ego wants to argue with me.

It’s impossible to be the same.

But being kind to each other IS most definitely doable. Apologizing when we are wrong is doable. Loving people with feelings of inferiority is not easy, but it too is doable.

If you can learn the language of someone who deeply battles with feelings of inadequacy you will be able to enjoy them more. Value where they are coming from when they speak to you. Respect they learn differently, speak differently and comprehend differently.

Just as we are willing to learn the Five Love Languages and the Four Agreements. We can learn the language of the literal, critical and abstract thinker.

My opinion after a weekend of deep feelings and reading material. I say this all now based more on my personal experiences then those someone else has written.

We can’t be equal. Not one person knows what it is to be in the mind or body of someone else. How you treat other people is definitely what matters most or we would never have to face making amends. Not you nor I will or can ever be Webster dictionary perfect. Our actions show the whole world who we are. Nothing we can ever say makes the big differences we think they do. What we DO most definitely changes everything.

That’s coming from the little girl who didn’t know why her mom and dad were getting a divorce. Still to this day don’t even have a memory that they sat us down to tell us.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

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