Hold on……..

I’m so afraid. 

If I let go I’ll drop

I don’t know how far 

Because I can’t look down

I’m so afraid.

If I let go I’ll drop

I don’t know how far

Because I can’t look down

Is there something there to break

My fall. You say it’s safe, you tell me to

Let go! What do you see that I don’t

Can you see the chasm beneath

The single step to freedom

I can’t see, I don’t know

So stop telling me

I have to let go

Of the past

Lisa x

Let Them Eat….

Well, not cake apparently. Before I start, I should warn you that this post may be a little bit contentious so if you’re not in that kind of mood, give it a miss. Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve seen the report in the news today that the UK supreme court has backed the Christian owners of a bakery who refused to make a cake, for a gay activist, which read ‘Support Gay Marriage’?

Well, not cake apparently. Before I start, I should warn you that this post may be a little bit contentious so if you’re not in that kind of mood, give it a miss. Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve seen the report in the news today that the UK supreme court has backed the Christian owners of a bakery who refused to make a cake, for a gay activist, which read ‘Support Gay Marriage’? What surprises me is not that the Christians won but that the case went on for over 4 years and cost more than £250,000. Did it not occur to either side that either making the cake or placing an order with another bakery would be considerably less stressful and expensive?

Leave me out of thisWhat makes people cling onto their beliefs with such vigour I wonder? Do the Christians really believe that their God will condemn them for baking a cake? Is it that they fear some kind of retribution in this life or in the after life? Apparently the Bible doesn’t really have a massive amount to say about homosexuality other than it’s an abomination, that gays should be put to death and excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven. However, in terms of being excluded, they will be keeping company with the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers to name but a few.

These people will all be grouped together under the heading ‘Sinner’ and, according to parts of the Bible, if they don’t sort themselves out and change their ways, lots of nasty things will befall them. However, and here’s the rub, the Bible also says:

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” and also:

“Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it.”

So, whichever way you look at, we’re all damned….quite literally apparently. None of us is without sin so we’re all going to be exterminated. Except, we’re not, well maybe we are, to be honest it depends which bit of the Bible you read, for instance:

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

dalekIf we take this last quote as gospel (pardon the pun) God won’t care if people are gay or not because we all fall under the heading ‘sinner’ and we are all equally loved by Him. I’m not a great one for religion to be honest but I do have to believe that, if there is a God, He’s likely to be the benevolent and tolerant kind rather than the smiting and exterminating kind. Why? Well because if I didn’t believe that I’d think that people might as well worship a dalek (who were also big on extermination) or some other cruel and intolerant being. For me, the whole point of God is to remind people to be nice to each other; it’s a little ironic that His name is so often used as an excuse to do quite the opposite but anyway….

So that’s my opinion of the Christian side of the argument. To sum up, God probably wouldn’t care if you baked a cake with some words on it.

Now, for the Gay activist. Again, cards on the table, I don’t have a massive amount of time for ‘activists’ in any shape or form, not because I don’t believe that we should all be free to live our lives as we see fit, but more because I’m not keen on being force fed the beliefs of others. However, in my mind, as long as what people do doesn’t hurt others, have at it. We all want to love and be loved and what better way is there to live life?

rights Ayn RandWhat I do find slightly troublesome is when acceptance is not asked for but demanded as appears to have happened in this case. The man who ordered the cake has the right to live as he pleases, if he loves another man and is loved in return, who are we to criticise; it has no effect on us so what’s the problem? However, is his lifestyle in any way diminished because a baker refused to bake a cake? Was he told that he could not be gay or that he should be condemned for being so? No. He was merely told that he could not impose his will on others but only by this court; two others told him that he did, in fact, have such a right.

That’s what all this ultimately comes down to: people’s rights. Personally, I can’t help feeling that Jonathan Sacks was on the money when he said:

“True freedom requires the rule of law and justice, and a judicial system in which the rights of some are not secured by the denial of rights to others”

In this case, either the rights of the baker or the rights of the gay man would have to be denied in order to settle the case once and for all; wouldn’t it have been far easier, all round, for the case to be dismissed right at the start?

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you….

Lisa x

Song Lyric Sunday: Cars

How on earth did it get to be Sunday again so quickly? Another week has just flown by and here we are again ready to put on our musical thinking caps for Song Lyric Sunday. If you love music and love meeting new blogger friends this is for you! The brainchild of the lovely Helen over at This thing called life one word at a time, SLS requires us to share our favourite songs in response to a one word prompt; this week it’s ‘Cars’.

How on earth did it get to be Sunday again so quickly? Another week has just flown by and here we are again ready to put on our musical thinking caps for Song Lyric Sunday. If you love music and love meeting new blogger friends this is for you! The brainchild of the lovely Helen over at This thing called life one word at a time, SLS requires us to share our favourite songs in response to a one word prompt; this week it’s ‘Cars’.

If you’d like to play along, here are the rules:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

Little rebel that I am, I’ve decided to change things up just a little and share with you the song I most like to listen to while I am driving (in my car so not too far away from the prompt).

“Freebird”

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.

But if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows I can’t change.

Bye, bye, baby, it’s been a sweet love, yeah,
Though this feeling I can’t change.
But please don’t take it so badly,
‘Cause Lord knows I’m to blame.

But if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you’ll never change.
And the bird you cannot change.
And this bird you cannot change.
Lord knows, I can’t change.
Lord, help me, I can’t change.

Lord, I can’t change.
Won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah?

Songwriter(s): Allen Collins; Ronnie Van Zant
If you are someone who likes a song that just builds and builds to an earth shattering crescendo, this is for you. It starts off as a really beautiful ballad and ends in a truly awe inspiring guitar solo which absolutely blew my mind the first time that I heard it; think Stairway to Heaven or Sweet Child O’ Mine!
So, why is it my favourite driving song? Well, I love speed and, when I’m driving and listening to Free Bird, the longer that the song goes on, the harder my right foot presses down on the go pedal. The thrill of handling a car at speed and the excitement that this song generates is a heady mix! When I was back in the UK I drove a V8 convertible and the combination of this guitar solo and the sound of that engine could keep a smile on my face all day :O)
The roads where I live now are too narrow and winding for my preferred style of automobile but, with this song, I still have the same sense of freedom whizzing along in my little Fiat Abarth as I did with the V8, especially when I am driving around, what becomes, once a year, a Formula 1 track ;O)
I hope that you enjoy the song and your Sunday
Lisa x

There Must be More…..

to life than this. Have you ever thought that, when you were having a bad day, when nothing seemed to be going your way? Maybe you felt at the end of your tether, that life just seems to be an endless slog, every day the same with nothing ever getting any better?

to life than this. Have you ever thought that, when you were having a bad day, when nothing seemed to be going your way? Maybe you felt at the end of your tether, that life just seems to be an endless slog, every day the same with nothing ever getting any better?

I have felt like that more times than I care to count over the last few years but recently I’ve woken up to something – there isn’t more than life, there is only how you view it. It sounds horribly cliched to say it but many of the problems that we have in life are caused by focusing on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. In looking for complex solutions, we often miss the simple things that could give us pleasure if we would but notice them:

IMG_5235 (1)
Mother Nature is always waving her arms at us and saying ‘look!’. She creates beautiful things for us every day, despite the fact that we often do our best to ruin them
New York
We can’t always have a stunning view but we can always find something to make us smile if we look hard enough…
circle-friends-having-fun-together
We can enjoy the time that we spend with our friends and family: the people that we love and who love us
solitude
But there is pleasure to be found in quiet solitude….
IMG_0999
There will be time for adventure, for adrenaline rushes and wild excitement…
Contemplation
Equally, we can take pleasure from the moments when our hearts and minds are still and quiet…
Baby
There is beauty in the young…. 
old ladies
There is beauty in the old……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

animals
There is beauty in the animal world….
lotus-flowers
And a simple flower can be the most beautiful of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, the next time you think ‘there must be more to life than this’, just remember that there isn’t and then just think ‘isn’t it wonderful!’

Lisa

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you Don’t Like it, Don’t do It!

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

Responsibility?

Sure, you can’t just give up work, for instance, you have to eat, but why do a job that you hate? You could argue that you have a family to look after and your job pays the bills but do you think that the people who love you really want to see you unhappy when you set out for work and stressed when you get home? What’s to stop you finding another job or even re-training in order to do something completely different; something that you might actually love?

selfishThe same applies to relationships, you may feel a sense of responsibility towards your partner, perhaps you’ve been together for a long time and you know that you’ll hurt them if you end things. You may feel that they need you and you stay out of a sense of guilt but is that what you would want from a relationship? Would you want someone to stay with you purely out of loyalty or pity? I would guess that the answer would be no so why do you stay? Why not break away and give yourself and your partner a chance at real happiness?

When it comes to the way we feel about ourselves it’s often because we don’t take responsibility that we have negative feelings. We feel fat and hate the way that we look in the mirror but we don’t do anything about it even though we know that we are capable. We know that we would feel less down if we got up off the couch and went out for a walk but we stay in front of the TV wallowing in misery and hoping that someone will do something to make us feel better.

Is it really irresponsible to want to enjoy our lives? Is it wrong to want to do things that make us feel good? Make us happy? If the answer is no then why do we spend so much time doing things we hate? Do we feel that other people will think we’re selfish or self-indulgent if we pursue only the things that give us pleasure? Maybe but who is living our life? Who has no choice but to live it? Us or them?

Personally, what I am aiming for is to get to the end of my life and not have as my last thought:

“I wish I had…………..”

What about you? Do you do things you hate? My advice would be ‘stop doing it’ but maybe you feel that you can’t…….

Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x

The Price of Freedom?

How did I end up here? In a 50ft x 50ft box, all alone with no-one to talk to? I know I shouldn’t complain because I have everything I need; I receive meals three times a day, I have my work, I have machines to exercise, my computer to record my thoughts, books to read and I know that I am completely safe. There is no fear in my world because I know that I cannot be harmed, physically, mentally or emotionally but I am so desperately lonely. I don’t know exactly why these feelings started in me because this is the norm, it’s been my reality for as long as I can remember; I was born here….. 

How did I end up here? In a 50ft x 50ft box, all alone with no-one to talk to? I know I shouldn’t complain because I have everything I need; I receive meals three times a day, I have my work, I have machines to exercise, my computer to record my thoughts, books to read and I know that I am completely safe. There is no fear in my world because I know that I cannot be harmed, physically, mentally or emotionally but I am so desperately lonely. I don’t know exactly why these feelings started in me because this is the norm, it’s been my reality for as long as I can remember; I was born here…..

It’s been drilled into me, every day, that this is the best possible life that a human being can have and I know that’s the case because I’ve watched the history files. There used to be something called ‘hate’; I’m not sure I really understand the concept but I’ve seen the damage that was done because of it. The Council memo files tell us that, many years ago, people could ‘talk’ to one another on their computers.  They searched online for people who had the same thoughts and ideas and then, when they had established themselves within a certain ‘group’ (I believe this to be a collection of individuals but that’s not clear from the memos) they would exchange ‘hate’ with members of other groups.

hate-speechThe Councils at the time (I believe they were called Governments) introduced rules to try to stop this from happening, this ‘hate speech’. They created punishments for groups who said bad things about another group based on their colour or their religion (I’m sorry but I can’t tell you what this is; the word is used in the memos but there is no explanation with it). The rulers thought that these punishments would stop the ‘hate’ but it did not because it did not apply to all groups. There were many who protested because they had felt hurt by words themselves but the ones that had used them were not punished. More and more groups were protected over time as the ‘Governments’ tried to stop the ‘hate’ but it didn’t seem to make any difference.

When the ‘hate’ became very bad the ‘Governments’ decided that the only way they could stop it would be to ban what they called ‘free’ speech. Rules were put in place to determine what was ‘acceptable’ speech and what was not and, again, those not adhering to the rules were punished. By this time, so the memos tell us, almost all groups were being hurt by words, every day, and they felt great ‘pain and suffering’ (again I can’t really explain what this means and these concepts are alien to me). From what I’ve gleaned from the history books, it was about this time that ‘safe spaces’ were first created to offer groups protection from the hurtful words that were causing them so much pain.

I think that the ‘great rebellion’ started shortly after this because some people thought that the banning of ‘free’ speech and the ‘safe spaces’ (which had become mandatory for all groups by this time) were dangerous. I cannot understand why as, it seems to me, that the ‘Government’s were only doing what the people had asked – protect them from the ‘hate’ speech. Apparently it also had something to do with the universal ‘safe spaces’ which I think were called ‘countries’ at the time. One of the biggest ‘countries’ closed its borders, creating the first universal ‘safe space’ and all others then followed suit as it was deemed the best way to protect the group. Unfortunately, the ‘hate’ didn’t stop.

Nuclear-blastBefore the ‘great rebellion’ the ‘hate’ was between individuals but, over time, it developed and grew: small groups ‘hated’ each other and then bigger groups and bigger still until there was ‘hate’ between the universal ‘safe spaces’. Many groups were destroyed in the name of ‘hate’; this destruction was known as ‘war’ apparently and it very nearly caused the end of the human race but, thankfully, there were enough individuals left to form the Council as we know it today.

The first council first started a mating programme to guarantee the survival of our species and then they set about ensuring that ‘hate’ could never happen again. The plans that they put in place were 100% successful and, because of them, I know that I will always be safe but I am not sure that they were right. I shouldn’t question them, I know, but surely there was another way; I am alone because of these 5 rules:

  1. Every individual will have a personal ‘safe space’ which will be fitted out according to their needs; they cannot leave the ‘safe space’ unless they are required for the mating programme or until death.
  2. There will be no communication, in any form, between individuals; there are NO exceptions to this rule.
  3. All individuals will work to ensure that their personal safe spaces are maintained to the highest standard and to provide for the continued works of the Council.
  4. All individuals will have a personal computer on which they can record their thoughts. This computer is stand alone and cannot be linked to any other computer. Individuals are also permitted to read Council memos on said machine.
  5. All thought files will be deleted at the end of every 24 hour period.

It’s almost midnight and I know that, in a few minutes, these thoughts will be wiped away, lost forever and I feel something about that; it has always been so but today I feel different. There is something hot inside my chest that is suffocating me, I want to do something to stop this feeling……..I want to destroy something…….is that what they used to call ‘anger’? As every second passes it is becoming stronger and stronger, it’s overcoming even the loneliness, the ever fucking present loneliness…….this is not fair, my life should not be like this…….I HATE my life!!!!!

<24h00…Thought File No. 3541 deleted>

<Subject memory file No. 3541 deleted>

<End…….>

Lisa

x

 

 

Having a Bad Day?

All of these things will, of course, irritate you intensely and leave you utterly convinced that, whatever happens today you’re going to feel miserable and horribly victimised by an all knowing deity who obviously has nothing better to do.

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wake up in a bad mood? As soon as you open your eyes, something irritates you? There aren’t many things that can go wrong within the first 5 seconds of you opening your eyes but, if you’re going to have that kind of day, you’ll find something; usually ‘why did I have to wake up so bloody early?!’

Grumpy catOnce your day has started like that it will seem almost as though God has decided that you and you alone will be the target of his wrath. He won’t visit plagues of frogs upon you but he will make sure that it’s raining when you leave for work, He’ll hide your umbrella and make damn sure that any parking spaces even remotely close to your office will magically disappear or be filled with teeny, tiny cars that you only notice at the last minute.  All of these things will, of course, irritate you intensely and leave you utterly convinced that, whatever happens today you’re going to feel miserable and horribly victimised by an all knowing deity who obviously has nothing better to do.

All of this, if you think rationally for a few minutes is complete and utter nonsense, it’s just a series of completely unconnected, random events which you certainly can’t blame God [insert deity of your choice] for; he’s busy and doesn’t have time to hide your umbrella!

Angry office catThe problem is, when we are in this sort of mood the last thing we’ll do is to think rationally so, instead, we tend to focus on all things things that are ‘going wrong’ and we tell everyone who is courageous enough to come and speak to us that we’ll be glad when today is over. When I say courageous – have you felt confident about going over to speak to someone who is huffing and puffing every 5 minutes, has a permanent scowl on their face and has just performed unspeakable acts of violence on their stapler?

As most of us aren’t saints we tend to steer clear of people who are obviously in a bad mood lest we become the brunt of their ill humour. Unfortunately, for the one who is suffering all this mental anguish, this exacerbates the situation. Not only are they having the day from hell but all their colleagues seem to be ignoring them or, worse, whispering about them behind their back! Could this day get any worse?!?!

At this point there are usually 2 roads forward, one is to storm out of the office in a complete huff and take refuge in the toilet for the next 30 minutes (which will obviously result in more whispering and perhaps the odd surreptitious point here and there) or we find a target for our anger and have a go at someone (possibly the same person that we’d enjoyed a muffin and a skinny late with yesterday). Either way we will certainly not end up feeling any better.

grumpy-cat-dont-like-changeAll of these negative feelings have stemmed from the same place – we woke up feeling as though we were going to have a battle on our hands today and, surprise, surprise that’s exactly what happened. To a certain degree our thoughts are a self-fulfilling prophecy – if you tell yourself that you will have a bad day, that’s, more often than not, exactly what you will end up having. In the contrary way of human beings we will even sometimes ignore the repeated efforts of our loved ones to cheer us up in order to make sure that we were right about our prediction for the day.

So, my advice is, the next time you wake up in a bad mood or you are sad for no reason that you can fathom just accept it. Don’t prepare yourself for a battle with God and the rest of the world, just say to yourself: “I’m in a bad mood, it won’t last forever” or “I can’t stop crying but it’s just for now, it will pass” It may be just me but I find that my black mood passes a lot quicker than if I fight against it……… and everything else. The added bonus is that, although my friends and family may see me with a scowl or tears on my face for a little while they won’t spend all day cowering behind the furniture while I search for something to throw at them.

Whatever mood you woke up in this morning, I hope you still manage to have a beautiful day – after all, we never know how many more we’ll have to look forward to :O)

happy cat.jpg

Who are you?

…biting people’s necks has only a limited appeal

Some years ago, during a business interview, someone asked me ‘Who is the real you?’ I’d like to say that I came back with a well thought out and snappy response but what I actually said was ‘ummm…..well…..urrrrr….’; to be honest the question absolutely floored me because I had no idea how to answer. So began my long, long journey of self-discovery  trying to work out who the bloody hell I am.

Do you remember the scene in the Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts is trying to work out what type of eggs she really likes? She’d spent so many years going along with her current partners’ egg preferences, she had no idea what SHE liked? Well, it’s been a bit like that but with pretty much everything….

runaway-bride-eggs

At the same time I’ve tried to find some sort of emotional freedom and have spent many hours listening to gurus like Osho and Sadhguru who tell you that the secret to happiness is not to have ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’ but merely to be accepting of what life offers you. Can you see how it’s all got a little bit confusing?

Bearing all this in mind, I’ve decided to focus on the things that make me happy rather than worrying about what I don’t like or shouldn’t like according to other people so here goes:

I enjoy being on my own with a good book, especially a trashy, romantic book (think Jilly Cooper or Tilly Bagshawe) that bears no resemblance to mine or anyone else’s reality but gives an hour or two of harmless escapism

I love speed – motorbikes, sports cars, galloping on horse-back – all dangerous but, probably for that reason; they all make me feel alive

A particular style of humour that I’m completely at a loss to explain:

TV shows and films about Vampires. I think I like the idea of living forever young, beautiful and brooding.  Of course, if I really think about it, I like sunbathing too much to only be able to go out at night and biting people’s necks has only a limited appeal..

Walking whilst listening to music – I’ll literally go for miles and can sometimes even be spotted skipping rather than walking if it’s a particularly good song (the latest being Believe by Imagine Dragons which I actually skipped to whilst on a treadmill).

Going to the gym. This has never, ever been a chore for me and I hope it never will be!

Hugs. I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone since I lost my husband but happily I have lots of friends who are quite content to give me a hug as and when required.

Not sure what any of this says about me but it was fun thinking about it

PS. my favourite kind of eggs are lightly poached :O)

 

Losing Control?

….if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost”

I had a blinding flash of realisation this morning: I don’t need to be in control – it really was quite a liberating thought.

As a teenager, I discovered the ‘in crowd’ and learnt the art of immitation; to be popular you had speak in this way or dress in that way, have certain attitudes. I studied the kids who seemed to have a lot of friends and tried to emulate their behaviour; it worked, I became more popular but it took a lot of control. Over time it also meant that I was alienating myself from myself, if you see what I mean.

Over a number years I did what many people do, I adapted my personality according to whatever social situation I found myself in but, in the process, I put tighter and tighter controls on my thoughts and emotions. The result was, inevitably, confusion and internal conflict as my natural personality fought against the me that I had created.

When I found my soul mate, very, very slowly, all that changed as I realised that I had found someone who loved me as I am, as I really am; the walls came down and I was happy. I didn’t need to keep the rigid control over my mind and emotions as I had in the past – I was free.

After just 10 years of marriage, this wonderful, kind and selfless man who had liberated me was taken by the godawful, cruel disease that is cancer. During his illness and after he died all the long-practised control came back. It felt like slipping back into a custom made suit of armour – just as comfortable but just as restrictive……..

For the last 4 years I have been fighting to keep control because I felt that, if I truly let go, I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain. However, this morning, I’ve realised it’s not the pain that’s the problem as that is there no matter what, it’s the control so I’ve decided to let it go.Flying Butterfly Oddly, just writing that sentence, I feel calmer than I have done in a long time – perhaps being out of control won’t be so bad after all.

““Whether we like it or not, change comes, and the greater the resistance, the greater the pain. Buddhism perceives the beauty of change, for life is like music in this: if any note or phrase is held for longer than its appointed time, the melody is lost”