Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
When I was young and single teaching secondary school full-time, the everyday drudge of it occasionally got me down. I had to be mature and responsible every minute. Because I looked SO young, I worked in dowdy clothes and shoes that clomped ominously to signify my teacher-hood. My secret antidote to all that maturity was my underwear. Beneath my calm, moderate exterior, I wore naughty lacy black bikini panties. And when certain students flashed their belligerence in my face, daring me to lose my temper, I never did. But I did flip them the finger beneath my desk. It helped me maintain my smile and my temper.
Although the holidays are upon us, we’re still bombarded with evidence of fear and hate. People around us often spout tirades of poison. To make matters more difficult to bear, many of us are nearly buried beneath holiday obligations that arrive with shopping, cleaning, wrapping, decorating, and cooking. Like everybody else, my sense of universal love and peace occasionally feels like it’s been beaten to a pulp.
This week when that happened, I remembered my tricks of old. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy the thought of myself in tiny underwear any longer. (My body needs serious work.) And I don’t have a desk to hide my finger. But the concept still works. If you can’t change the environment, change the way you react to it. Seize your power. Reach out to some of the victims of hate in whatever way you can.
The only person who has utter control over what you’re thinking is you. When you throw love into the faces of the haters, they don’t melt into Christmas pudding, but they do stop annoying you with their black clouds because the gloom doesn’t work any longer. Martial arts masters will tell you that you redirect the force of the attack, using it against your opponent. When you insist that you’re celebrating the season because you believe in the essential goodness of humankind—including whoever is spewing nastiness in your face, the haters may think you’re a nut, but they take their hate club elsewhere.
This week I experienced one day in which I didn’t have enough personal power left to do the job, so I turned to my friends and family. Remembering all the treasures you have in your life (whether or not they’re perfect) reminds you to be grateful. Taking time to wallow in the goodness around you helps you reclaim balance.
Yes, love is the most powerful medicine on earth. (It works best when you supplement it with enough sleep.) Then, underneath all my stress, I began to flip the finger to the fear-mongers and poison-spewers. My soul refuses to be subdued. I changed my mental underwear to reflect what I believe. I am part of the bright change that will happen around the darkness. I am one of the candles. I am a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, “…peace on earth, good will to men.”