If you look around, there is overwhelming proof of how fast things around us change. I can see men with grey hair, leaning on solid objects to feel safe. New music streams from the stores, and unfamiliar smells tickle my curiosity. There is even a skating hall in the middle of the shopping mall, surrounded by cafeterias and restaurants.
I started to think about this when I sat on the toilet earlier and looked at my cell. Today means that I can write, read and surf on the Internet absolutely everywhere. Another thought hit me: What could this lead to in a couple of years? In my minds eye I saw a young, stylish woman in a space shuttle, taking a picture of the earth and then posting it on the Internet. We want to see and experience everything, and also share it with the persons we love.
People say that something in the society is missing today. The net lures us into a cold room unfilled with real human contact. Robots fill our previous roles, while millions suffer from various tragedies. A mother holding her baby tight to her chest to protect it from the scorching sun and the sight of what humans are capable of doing to one another. It is hungry stomachs, kids who spend hours in virtual reality, violence and someone taking their last breath after years of sickening pain.
The sun still comes up, and we take another picture of it all. Where can we post it? Is there a Instagram with #picoftheday chosen based on how good it capture the diverse reality out there. Where can the mother with her dehydrated son let the world look at her dilemmas and even let them help her?
I sit in a black chair at the moment. Around me heat streams out from plastic mouths, making their usual sounds while drying wet hair. Right in front of me, blue fish swim around in a little aquarium, knowing nothin about the vast ocean and diversity there. A woman is combing my hair and people chat in their native Lithuanian language. I’m coloring my hair, because changes can be not only in our surroundings, but also on and in us.
The sun will soon wave goodbye again, before it goes to sleep and let the night be our protector. We thank the sun, and also the night. With it we are forced to put down the cameras, lock the doors and close our eyes.
Right now I’ve placed my professional self in the office chair of my companion, waiting for a new private patient. My stomach is bravely working with biff stroganoff that I bought in a cafeteria right before I came here. I sat down with my iPad and started to read some blogs, which inspired me to start typing myself. I read a lovely little excerpt from a woman’s life, with this question baked in the general text:
If you have never lost yourself, how can you ever find yourself?
It immediately got me, since it so elegantly turns around the meaning of something most people would classify as wrong. I like this small protest against the established, this tendency to surprise and give our brain something new to mull over.
To meet a new human lost in their own nightmare is always something special. It’s knowing we will have to take a journey, sometimes into unpleasant territory. It’s knowing I’ll be there, mostly being a cheerleader and as the one who really tries to see behind masks of fright, sadness or guilt. It’s a discovery, and also feeling someone’s pain with them. It’s feeling my eyes water because once again, someone did what they said they couldn’t: Go into a store when you’re sure you will faint and maybe die, telling you’re best friend what’s really going on
A life consists of different periods, and some of them can be tough. My last 5 months have been hard, and some of my Readers participated on my journey. I have endured every kind of bad weather, and some of you might have felt the drops on Your own skin. I have tried to tie the past, now and the future together, and have been searching for hope after the toughest break-up in my life. What I haven’t written so much about yet, is anger. Mostly I have been afraid, sad and felt lonely, or I’ve regretted mistakes I made in our relationship, but one week ago, I finally got the glimpses of annoyance, frustration and rightful anger.
The evening it happened I was in my bed after another evening thinking about what could have been. I so easily remember the things he told me, how I dreamt about having his children and wearing a beautiful dress for his sake. It was making me feel completely drained, because it could never be and I knew that. Then I also felt the first sparkles of irritation: Why should I go around thinking about everything the relationship meant to me when he hasn`t thought about us at all after we ended it? Why give him so much attention ? I know that if he thought about us, it was just the bad memories, so how could I make myself suffer by thinking about him all the time? There in my bed I felt the need to change this, I needed to feel stronger and more like ME. I felt it was my right to get what I dream of without pain, like it was for him. In my head I have been bowing before his feet, looking down in shame. I said to myself: ENOUGH! And the afraid, little girl, so needy, grew in my minds eye. Suddenly I was a giant, and he was just a small dot down there, that couldn`t hurt me anymore. If I wanted, I could rub the stain that he was, away, and stand taller than ever. I gave myself steel armor and a gold shield. I permitted imprtant people to stand there beside me, placing their arm on my shoulder and promising me that I was more than good enough. I thought that if he couldn’t see my good sides it is his loss, and there and then I didn’t bother how hard he tried to hurt me. I simply didn`t care anymore, and if felt so good.
We need to grow, ground ourself firmly in the earth and act like we deserve the place we inhabit . We are Our own worst enemies, when we choose to believe that rejection means you’re bad. We think the thoughts that can destory us.
The anger was welcome, and I saw it was necessary. I’m still not a 100 % over him, but I can feel how close I am getting. Sometimes I smell the roses on the other side of the fence, as if they grow inside of me. It’s knowing that people can be thorns, but you are the one who pick them up. When an electric shock spreads through you after touching an electrical fence, you knew it could happen. I don’t want to complain, but sometimes it’s okay to feel that life can be hard, and anger can protect you from being treated wrong again.
I want to present one of Norway`s most modest but strongheaded young artists. She sings for those out there who need comfort and will to move on after tough times, as she has done herself. “- For me it’s never been about writing hit songs. I haven’t sat down trying to find some words that accidentally will fit a catchy melody. Music has been my way of putting into words what I’m feeling, my salvation, and still it’s like that”.
She is always on the scene when there is a good cause to fight for, and she is never afraid to say what she means to protect those less fortunate.
This is about one of her recent songs:
– “Viktoria” is a direct result of the fact that I let out a lot of anger on my previous record. Even though there’s darkness here, too, it’s a record about forgiving and about being sure that things will blow over, Mena says.
If you just have time for one song, I absolutely recommend:
I`ve been listening a lot to Miriam Bryant lately, and found her fan-page on facebook. I´ve never contacted people I admire before, but it was so easy to just send a message. So here it is:
you are brilliant!
I’m trying to learn one Chinese word/sentence every day, and had to share today’s challenge:
The greatest human relations principle is to treat other people like you want to be treated待人如待己(dài rén rú dài jǐ)
Friendship requires many qualities— generosity, genuine care to the others, and the ability to listen when the other person needs to talk, to name a few. When you show respect for your friends and gratitude for their friendship, you’ll be treated as a friend. When someone isn’t treating you fair, instead of holding grudge, have compassion for he who treats you unjust as this person maybe going through tough times in his life. A kind word or a gentle, understanding smile may help the person feel better and change his attitude.
I’m here, at my hotel room in one of the richest countries in the world, were we try to care about as many people as possible, even the ones who do wrong. Many were stunned by the dignified reactions after 22th of July, where one man killed hundreds of innocent teens for twisted ideological reasons. Most people in our country, got together in every city to pay their respect for the relatives who lost children, and for the political system we live in. We wanted to show that we didn’t react the same way as he did, blaming others that eventually just feeds hate and war.
In norway it’s the norm that you give money to charity, and right now there’s a record in memberships in volunteer organizations. We want to help, and often we do.
But still, there is so much poverty, suffering and unfairness in this word, and sometimes I feel the weight of it on my shoulder. I feel a bit bad for staying in a hotel with a warm bed and safe room, when many in Russia right now are freezing to death. I can go out and buy all the food I need, when so many people right now desperately try to find something to eat, so that their children can live yet another day.
Right now I’m reading nothing to envy by Barbara Demick, that describes the unbelievable, a harsh reality that can be hard to digest. Sweeping misery under the rug, helps us feeling well and comfortable. Many react on unfairness with negative feelings. It feels terrible that there’s so much that should be done, while we go about our life thinking mostly about ourselves or others close to us. It’s scary to think about how much we don’t do, it opens a whole drawer full of other revelations: We’re ignoring suffering around us, feeling there is nothing we can do, feeling helpless and that hope is nowhere near. Some protect themselves by blaming others: political systems, lazy people or bad leaders. Some try to block it out, like looking down when we pass hungry people on the street, and some try to actually do something, so that the feeling (I’m a good person) actually fits with our behavior (doing good). What alternative do you choose? Maybe you don’t have a choice: ‘charity begins with a full stomach’ (from nothing to envy, p. 167)
Helping doesn’t mean that we can’t do things for ourselves also. Actually it’s the other way around, people taking care of their needs, have more energy available for the next of kin, they love to make somebody smile: by donating clothes twice a year, by touching somebody’s shoulder when they look unhappy, or helping a old lady who lose her bag. It’s finding the person who lost their cat, it’s stopping when somebody need a lift, it’s looking people in the eye and offering assistance when you feel somebody need it. With people caring, with media caring it forces political systems to also take caring seriously, those political parties give a good impression, and we want that more today than earlier when we had enough with our own problems.
There is so much we can do, every day, to inspire others, and I promise: Nothing will make you feel better. Be how you think you are, as often as possible.