Lesson learnt

I told the Plain Jack story today and told the parents that the story was for the children and it was up to them to work out the lesson. It might sound patronising when written down, but when I’m dressed in character and talking with families I am able to meet everyone with an absolutely unguarded eye to make a connection based on absolute equality. I’m aiming to invite the adults to listen with consideration and not just switch off and daydream while their children are being entertained.

I have seen many children’s entertainers and they often appeal to children’s need to join together with laughter and get giggly and excited and make jokes for the adults at the children’s expense with the children’s innocence protecting them from getting the joke and being hurt. I think that’s a cheap way to get a laugh and though it does seem to work from the outside – adults see children enjoying themselves and have a laugh too, it is shallow, pointless and quickly forgotten.

I used to find it hard performing to children and adults and I could only look at the children in the eye, I was a bit frightened of being judged I suppose. I think I thought that most adults understand and know more than me, so while I can meet a child’s eye with equality I am on my guard with adults. I’m not comfortable with making a joke out of the children, so I have found a different and dare I say (yes, I dare!) better way. I find it easier to hide behind a costume that exaggerates my features for little eyes and allows adults to accept me as a daft looking character instead of feeling threatened by me being a know all.

I know that deep in our hearts we are all children and if I am kind and make it clear that I won’t embarrass anyone I can get the adults united with their children to listen on an equal basis. That’s when the real magic happens. I do involve the adults, but I’ve found a way to do it that allows them to enjoy doing whatever I get them to do and feel proud of their efforts rather than feeling too proud to condescend themselves. Does that make sense?

So today’s moment of magic was in the first group telling the Plain Jack story and saying the last bit about the 2 horses, one with a great talent who didn’t use it and the one with a little talent who used it all. I almost got emotional, I may have even gulped – I could really feel the empathy energy flowing out from the listeners as they all obviously felt themselves to be like Plain Jack and proud of his lifetime of trying hard.

In the second session there were 2 men at the back who were listening so hard and openly it was truly beautiful. The sessions were free to the locality which is quite deprived. I felt as if they got the story, not just for themselves now, but also remembering how they must have been told such stories as a child and how that made them feel then and also feeling for their own children being told to be glad of their humble backgrounds as then all their achievements will be down to their own efforts.

That’s what all the best stories do, they reward goodness, effort and standing up for the oppressed and frown upon pride, anger, following the herd. We are all equal at the end of the day, we all have our own learning journeys to go on and we will make mistakes along the way, but it is what we learn from our failures that makes us the ultimate human we have it within us to be.

I continue to enjoy learning how to be better through my life and I am grateful for my upbringing and the path I have taken that I have the opportunity to feel that wonderful life changing empathy on an almost daily basis. Either in helping my daughters enjoy applying their knowledge, moments of group anticipation – I lead singing at playgroup and we sing this sleeping bunnies song and I can usually manage a moment of absolute silent anticipation while all the children wait to… WAKE UP BUNNIES!!! and hop about, and then in moments from when I’m storytelling and I can feel the audience have gone on a little journey with me and allowed their minds to be opened just a little bit.

From the outside I might appear to be a crazy lady entertaining kids as I can’t get a proper job, but on the inside I am deeply thoughtful about the change I hope to make to people’s perception of themselves which is the most rewarding reward I could ever imagine. I do believe there is only one right way to be, and I know that thought is controversial, but there truly is only one path for all of us. We can only follow our true, selfless empathetic path by always making decisions that factor in the consequences of our actions for everyone else and amending our actions if they hurt anyone. Modern society is geared up to value extrinsic reward, so we are encouraged to believe that any path we choose is right as that is our choice and we know best for us, but if we value our needs to be greater than the needs of others and we value money and status over empathy/unconditional love we will find ourselves on a path alright, but it might not be the best path to make us a better, more understanding empathetic being. It’s never too late to get back on the right path, not to please anyone else or win approval, just for yourself. If life is a competition (I don’t think it is, I think it’s a game you only win by sticking to the rules) then believing we are in competition with anyone but ourselves is a delusion.

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Equality of the sexes

Physically there are obvious differences and to ignore them or pretend they don’t exist is perverse. We’ll put those to one side for now and just concentrate on the heart and mind.

Imagine if we could settle the argument once and for all?

Men and women are emotionally and mentally exactly equal.

How would we explain the different mindsets we experience?

Maybe it’s all about perception? 

We perceive there to be a difference so while as adults in our work lives we expect absolute gender equality. In our home lives boys are brought up to behave one way and girls are brought up to behave another. In our intimate adult relationships males stereotypically use ambivalence to commitment and children as a bargaining tool, while women use their feminine whiles and sex to bargain with.

But not all of us behave like that, only those of us who were brought up to behave like gender stereotypes. So if your partner has been taught these power rules and you haven’t you will either work out a way to get equality or you will end up depressed as you try to please the one with the power to make you happy by giving you what you want – commitment/children/sex.

While you are in the relationship your brain is fogged  as you try to please to the detriment of your true self and blame your partners sexist behaviour on yourself. Emotional abuse causes depression which causes more emotional abuse as the one with the power loses respect and interest in the depressed personality of their once witty, intelligent, reasonable partner.

Love isn’t just a feeling like anger, jealousy, pride. Love is a feeling like hunger or thirst, if it goes unmet we cannot concentrate or behave rationally.

The only way forward is to have a break and get counselling so the abusive partner realises their behaviour is wrong and the abused regains their joie de vivre and learns not to allow themselves to be bullied.

The only way forward is to accept love is unconditional and all humans are worthy of love and using love or denial of love (seen by women as commitment and men as sex) as a power tool is emotionally abusive and wrong.

The only way to live happily and well in life is to accept absolute equality in all relationships. That way nobody can bully you and you will never be bullied. You must not harden your heart to protect yourself, burying your feelings and living without emotion. Instead allow your heart to become fully mature and open as you accept bad behaviour exists, you have felt pain, but you don’t deserve it so can let it go and forgive.

The only way to be equal is to behave like a good human. Banish ideas that bad human behaviours are due to gender or due to you deserving the bad behaviour or justified because that’s how you were brought up.

Bad behaviours spring from a selfish heart – arrogance, pride, anger. (being selfish is a protective instinct to save our hearts from pain, but locking away your heart stops you understanding and forgiving whoever caused you pain) 

Good behaviours spring from a selfless (empathetic) heart – humility, patience, forgiveness. (being fully empathetic makes you immune to bullying or denial of love as you reflect the behaviour and wonder what is causing it rather than taking it personally – necessary for every parent)

It is usual for our brain chemistry to be at a level somewhere in between perfect selfishness and perfect selflessness, the aim of life is to remove all selfish desires and use empathy to protect yourself and understand others.

Men and women are equally able to behave badly and equally able to behave well. 

It all comes down to choice. (and chemistry, but we can control our own chemistry if we have faith in ourselves and absolute trust that everything will work out in the end)

I believe I can prove scientifically that men and women are mentally and emotionally equal. Results due 31st March. 

Fingers crossed…

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With power comes responsibility – why beliefs matter

(I wrote this for a competition for radio 2’s thought for the day – I didn’t win!)

Being Good

The other day I went into my eldest daughter’s school to tell stories of the Amazon for their topic. I had learned a few stories of spirits who live in the jungle who punish people if they cause harm to the trees, the animals or other people. I used a storyteller trick of leaving the punishment to the imagination so they actively used their own minds to come up with “The worst punishment you can possibly imagine”.

At the end the children were all gazing at me wide eyed, the energy and power I felt from so many children hanging off my every word made me feel tremendously responsible. They all wanted more detail about the spirits, especially what the punishment was, I reiterated that it was the worst punishment you can possibly imagine and one little girl mouthed “you die”. My next words needed to give them power over their fears. I made it clear that the spirits only punish those who do the wrong thing so we can be glad as that means they are looking out for us to make sure nobody harms us.(I could have scared them into being good by saying they’ll be fine so long as they never do the wrong thing, but I’m not a catholic)

 

From this I realised 2 very important things, firstly it is what we don’t say that has the most power and secondly, the way we feel about being judged depends if we believe ourselves to be good or bad.

 

We all try to be good as we are taught that being good will earn approval, but if those from whom we seek approval are silent, the power of the silence makes us try even harder to please to the detriment of our true self.

 

That is where faith and religion come in. We need to have faith that we are good and worthy of approval from the start, if we believe it, then it is so. Religions give us the rules to live by, if we break the rules we will be told so we can be forgiven and learn. It is our behaviour that we are judged on and it is our behaviour that we can always change to ensure we are always judged to be good.

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Proof of a soul

I haven’t really wanted to go on about what inspired me to write this blog as if I mention mental health a lot of people automatically switch off, but I’ve just had a potentially good meeting.

If I had been listened to when I was initially admitted to a mental hospital in December 2012 it could have saved 4 months of my life being locked away from my eldest 2 daughters.

I won’t go into detail, but sexual discrimination is rife in the UK, I didn’t realise the extent until I wasn’t believed because I am female. Really. Now time has passed and I can prove myself again I actually think I have a fighting chance of getting my complaint upheld. If I can prove I wasn’t mentally ill, I was just being myself and responding to being treated as mentally ill and not believed for telling the truth which sent me into a deep physical depression, then it could prove the existence of the human soul.

Lack of empathy for me as a human being caused me to lose all empathy for myself and my whole body stiffened and every passing moment was painful and devoid of emotion. I was dying from the inside out, a slow involuntary suicide that I had no control over. I didn’t know you could die from depression apart from willfully committing suicide. You can. It used to be called melancholia and was recognised as a natural human response to a broken heart. I now fully understand why people would commit suicide willfully, anything to stop the agony of being alive with no empathy. It lasted 5 weeks until ECT switched my empathy back on and I could be myself again.

We are all prisoners in our own minds and lack of empathy for ourselves and others switches out the light of our humanity, our soul.

Living with the truth while others continue to believe a delusion of me that I just can’t be has stretched me to my limits and shown me what I am capable of. I’m secretly glad of the dreadful ordeal I went through as it has taught me everything I have ever believed is true.

Humans are inherently kind and good, but being brought up with discrimination leads to unkind, bad behaviours that go against nature. All discrimination is wrong. All humans are equal, no matter their race, gender, age or faith. I know these words are easy to say, but they are terrifically hard to live by if you have ever been made to feel inferior or superior to others by virtue of your birth into the “wrong” or “right” family with the “wrong” or “right” gender, or just for being a child or an OAP.

There is light at the end of the tunnel to all who have ever suffered discrimination, you just have to forgive and believe…

In humanity, God, Buddha, Allah, unconditional love, kindness, yourself, your soul, the world, Mother Nature, children, art, culture, stories, whatever you feel you can pin your dreams to and not be let down.

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