Interconnectedness changes who we are

I had this bizarre dream last night that involved someone who created a new bee technology – bees that seemed real, but weren’t. The point was that we could supplement the bee population without risking that they would somehow be killed by pollution or pesticides.

The bees came in contact with humans though and changed. They no longer responded to commands. Even if the interactions were brief, the bee was changed with no going back to the old ways. But as this was happening, the people in the dream were connecting too, and most of the time the connections were brief.

But when I woke up, the idea stuck with me that no matter how small the connection, we are forever changed. Interconnectedness changes who we are.

When we interact with someone else, we’re sending energy to them. The simple act of focusing on them sends energy. Much more is exchanged when we’re having intentional conversations. The more intimate or heated the exchange, the more energy is sent.

 

Most of us only think in terms of the effect that our energy had on someone else or the effect of someone else’s energy on us. We rarely stop to think about what we’re doing to ourselves by interacting with other people in the ways we do.

When we seek to “beat” someone else in an exchange, we are actually diminishing ourselves. When our goal is to make someone else feel bad, we hurt ourselves. When we express superiority over someone else, we are actually just showing our fears that we are inferior.

In order to make someone else feel low, we have to generate that sensation in our own bodies first. There isn’t any way to pass along that feeling without first creating it. Before the other person feels bad, we do. We may not notice it in our rage, desperation, etc. But once the exchange is over, that energy will still be in our system.

The irony is that the person to whom we send the negative energy is able to recover before we do. At some point they will be able to recognize that the negative energy and feelings were not their own, but rather ours. While there may be a temporary setback in their energy, they can shake it off. We, however, are stuck with it, especially if we don’t take ownership for it.

This leads to a downward spiral. Because we’re walking around with negative energy still, more and more of our interactions are clouded in it. Eventually, we will be both giving and receiving negative energy. People don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of negativity and will repel our advances in order to ward off the junk coming their way. Before you know it, we’re nothing but piles of bad feelings, without understanding how it happened.

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to be a mass of unhappiness, rage, or sadness. The only way I can stop that from happening is to take ownership of my energy and control how it emerges from me when I interact with others.

It’s easier said than done in this day and age. There is negativity all around us. We cannot escape it.

We can, however, change it.

To do that, we have to consciously interact with everyone we encounter in a positive way. It is not always easy. We have to first learn to address our fears, because fear is often the motivator for being unkind to another. Fears that we are inferior (no one is inferior to anyone else), fears that can’t be ourselves (no one has the right to judge who you are), fear that we can’t have enough (there’s plenty of everyone), fear of the different (we’re all more alike than we are different), etc.

Once we have control over our fears, being more positive is much easier. Positive interactions are synergistic. We walk away from those interactions feeling happier and healthier than we could if we were generating positive energy independently.

It takes work at first. It’s easy to get trapped in the fear and negativity because they’re familiar and we’ve spent years listening to others put us down and make us believe it’s true. Understand that those people were speaking from their chairs of fear.

Reject that. Whether we believe it or not, the world is basically a pool we’re all swimming in. You may think we have separate pools for different people or want that to be the case, but that’s just not accurate. When someone is being nasty, hateful, or acting on fear, it’s basically like taking a dump in the pool. It may have felt good to take that shit, but after the fact, there is shit in the pool. And that person is probably not the only person taking a dump. Eventually we’re all swimming in shit. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not be surrounded by feces 24/7.

Instead, we need to focus on dealing with our own fears away from everyone else (get out of the pool to take that dump) and then return to the pool when we can be a more positive influence.

Once we start giving off positive energy (because we’ve reduced our fears), more will be returned to us. Then the happy interactions are easier to create and we sustain the positivity for longer amounts of time. At some point, that becomes our usual state of being. When that is everyone’s resting state, the world will be a better place.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” ~Gandhi

Not feeling the holiday spirit

It could be because I live in a Muslim country and there aren’t really any decorations up (though some of the stores sell them). It could be because we’re moving this weekend and trying to get organized for that is just exhausting.

Whatever the reason, I am NOT feeling the holiday spirit. I’m mostly crabby. Mr. Lyndsy isn’t really into commercialized holidays so there won’t be a gift exchange. He was shocked when my mom and I did it last year. (How he thought we’d have a tree up and no gifts underneath it is beyond me.)

I think the only reason I even notice that I’m not in the holiday spirit is because everyone is posting about how they’re getting ready or how they’re also not feeling the holiday spirit this year either.

I am generally sort of overwhelmed by the negativity that’s everywhere. We definitely should be talking about how Donald Trump is a racist, xenophobic piece of trash, how Ted Cruz is batshit insane, how there’s obviously some kind of problem in the US or people wouldn’t be shooting each other all the damn time, and it would be very nice if cops could stop shooting people while they’re unarmed or not a threat to the officer. All of that stuff matters. It’s just really intense right now. It’s hard to feel festive when shit is this out of control.

Maybe it’s all working toward some kind of breaking point where there will be massive change. When we’ll finally get our heads out of our collective asses and start working together to help each other. Maybe that’ll be the Christmas gift for everyone this year. I doubt it, but a girl can hope.

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Movie Review: Inside Out (2015)

Movie Review

(Clicking the star will take you to the trailer)

I know I’m super late to this party. However, in this part of the world Ramadan was happening when the movie first came out. During Ramadan, no new movies start playing. Then I was in Brazil for a month and the movie was only offered dubbed in Portuguese. My Portuguese is just not that strong. Fortunately it was still playing here when I got back to the sandbox.

Because everyone saw it before I did I knew I would cry. And  did. Multiple times. The main characters of the movie are the emotions of an 11-year old girl named Riley who is uprooted from her home in Minnesota and planted in San Francisco. The emotions are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). I don’t think they could have picked better voices for these emotions.

Like any Disney * Pixar movie, there is a lot thrown in just for the adults. I was the only person in the theater laughing a few times, but since I don’t embarrass I’m okay with that. At one point Sadness breaks down entirely and starts crying. Joy is concerned about the effect Sadness is having on Riley so she tries to make her stop. Sadness replies, “Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” It makes you laugh because if you don’t you’ll cry.

The movie really forces the adults who watch it to think back about their own lives some. I wondered a lot where my imaginary friends went or if I even had them in the first place since I can’t recall them at all. It made me wish I spent more time in my imagination and in a place where more things seem possible and not like I’m trapped on a set path.

I remember reading that there wasn’t really a villain in the movie and it turned out to be true. Our emotions are a core part of us and what the movie ultimately shows is that while we may not want them around, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust play complex roles in our lives. They weave together to create lives that are rich and full of meaning.

Like with Toy Story 3, I am sure that I will cry every time I watch it. But it’s a joyful sadness.

If you haven’t already seen it, rent it when it comes out. It’s a really good reminder that we can get our emotions to work for us instead of allowing them to work against us.

Happy Anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Impossible!

Wedding Wear

Mr. and Mrs. Impossible have made it a year! I had those shirts made for us because we wanted to get married in comfortable clothing, but I thought they should be at least a little personalized. The idea came to me because Mr. Lyndsy frequently had /has to ask me to quit being impossible. Things like falling in the shower because I tried to turn off the water with my foot, tripping over things when I wasn’t being careful, not following up with doctors. It all made him crazy. At the same time, he’s pretty stubborn himself.

Now that we’ve been married a year, I feel like those shirts carry another meaning. We have done what many considered impossible. We met online, fell in love, met each other in person, planned a life from 8,000 miles apart, got married, started living together after only spending 24 or 25 days together in person, and are still happily married a year in.

The day we got married someone toasted us and said that when he heard Mr. Lyndsy and I were getting married he had some concerns. We’d met online. How well did we really know each other? He emphasized that everyone knows how hard marriage is. He said he hoped that our relationship would still work out now that we would be around each other every day.

No one makes me feel better when I’m down. Some days I cry for no apparent reason and he just holds me until I’m okay. Before the surgery he rubbed my foot to try to ease the pain. Since the surgery he’s had to wait on me all the time. All of it he does with a smile. He just wants me to be healthy and happy.

And it’s not one-sided. I make him cookies because he’s pretty much the Cookie Monster. I love to watch him play football. I love going with him to football games. I will don a black and red jersey this summer and cheer on his favorite Brazilian team.

He loves me even though I’m physically and emotionally broken. 

I’ve heard over and over that marriage is hard work, that it will get harder as we add kids. But I know that no matter what happens, we will always have each other’s backs. We freely share our love for each other. We strive every day to help the other become the best we can be.

Because of our relationship and his love for me, I feel like I can take on the world, accomplish the things I really want to accomplish, and be the best version of myself. He’s told me that I do the same for him.

What more can you ask for from your life partner?

My wish for everyone who reads this is that you have your own Mr. Lyndsy or find him soon.

Just Married Selfie