Finding Happiness in the Apocalypse

Finding Happiness in the Apocalypse

happines quote

I’ve been joking for awhile that we’re in the apocalypse.  I’ve talked in this blog about how this may in fact be a slow motion apocalypse.  What do I mean by that?  We always envision the apocalypse like it happens in a disaster movie.  Someone notices something wrong, then within fifteen minutes, super volcanoes are exploding, giant earthquakes are happening, the tsunami hits or the aliens have landed.  Then everything goes haywire and the world is completely upside down in every way and you’re being chased down the street by zombies.  That’s not what we’re living with right now, but certainly our whole world has been turned upside down.  So we might not being chased by Zombies, but we’re working from home, our travel is limited, almost 8 million people have become ill, over 200,000 are dead.  Schools are closed, for a time most of us were on full lockdown.  That we are all under more stress right now is a given, we’re all at least a little afraid of getting sick, or of family getting sick.  A lot of us know someone who has died from this disease.

So how do you find happiness in our slow motion apocalypse?

The answer is likely going to be a bit disappointing.  You see, you find it now like you always have.  It starts with protecting your health, minimizing negativity, getting out of your comfort zone, feeling safe and secure and finding joy.  So a little bit about each one in our apocalyptic times.

Protecting your health

This one should be the easiest thing right now as it’s at the forefront of all of our thoughts.  But staying healthy doesn’t just mean wearing a mask when you’re out and about among other people.  It means eating right, sleeping enough, finding ways to exercise and making sure you take your medications and following the advice from your doctor.  During the pandemic, it might also mean either getting some sun each day or taking some vitamin D supplements, there’s beginning to be some evidence showing it may provide some protection against COVID.

Minimizing negativity

This one is always pretty easy advice on paper and much harder in life, but it’s pretty simple.  If there are people, institutions, etc… in your life that reduce your happiness, if at all possible cut them out.  It may mean reducing contact with someone, less time on social media or changing stores.  On a larger level and over a larger time scale, it may mean doing something as large as moving or changing jobs.

Getting out of your comfort zone

This is, as regular readers know, my favorite piece of advice on happiness.  For me, this has always meant adventure and adventure for me means travel.  So right now, travel isn’t a great option.  So we have to find smaller and innovative ways to get out of our comfort zone.  But there are still lots of ways  to do it.  Camping, is an activity you can still do, so if you’re not a camper it’s a way to start stretching yourself.  If you’ve done some camping, maybe try doing some backcountry camping and hiking.  It could mean something as simple as cooking different types of food you’ve never made before, or the ever present pandemic cliche of learning how to make sourdough bread.  If you’re someone who regularly walks a trail or in a park, try doing the exact same walk at night, you’ll be amazed at how different it will be.

Learning something new is a great way to get out of your comfort zone.  Personally I’ve been working on improving my Spanish Language skills using Duolingo.  But equally, you could learn a musical instrument, computer programming, knitting or just about anything else.

Feeling safe and secure

Taoist philosophy discusses that in order to be happy that first you must be healthy and secondly you must feel safe and secure.  That can mean either physically or mentally.  So always make sure you’re doing what you have to do to maintain your safety.  When it comes to protecting your mental safety, it often goes back to avoiding negativity as we discussed before.

Finding joy

This one seems like it really should be easier and maybe that says something about the complexity of our modern lives that it isn’t.  But the easiest way for most of us to find joy is through play.  For me, the easiest way to get there is interact with little kids.  They are still in a place in life where they contact joy quickly and easily and that joy is contagious.  Playing games or make believe with little kids is such an amazing gateway to this, I highly recommend it.  If that’s not an option than go play like a kid, run around in a park, find ways to laugh, just be plain silly and hopefully that will bring you to joy.

It may be the apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy.  So do what you can my friends and have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Take a Hike in Armstrong Woods

Take a Hike in Armstrong Woods

hike, hiking, armstrong woods

Armstrong Woods

Mountains are the cathedrals where I practice my religion                                      ~ Anatoli Boukreev

Originally posted July, 2017

Update: Part of Armstrong Woods were burned in the recent wildfires, very sad.

Armstrong Woods

I used Armstrong Woods in Northern California as one of my training spots before my Appalachian Trail hike two years ago.  I had not had the chance to get back there until this week.  I really love Armstrong Woods, it’s a beautiful state park full of Redwoods and Live Oaks and a lot of different levels of hikes.  You can do the flat ground look at the big trees loop.  You can do a little bit of uphill, a lot of uphill or you can kick your own ass doing a big loop.  The mileage isn’t huge but there are plenty of places on the bigger loops that range in 500 to 800 foot per mile slopes.  So my 8 mile loop this week wasn’t long but it definitely woke up my glutes and my quads and had me breathing heavy from time to time.

hike, hiking, armstrong woods

Take a hike in Armstrong Woods

One of the things I was interested in seeing was my speed and fitness difference from before and after my Appalachian Trail hiking experience.  I was happy that both had improved, I didn’t stop on the biggest climb of the day, I had three stops there when I was training.  Over the 8 miles I was about a half hour faster, not a huge gain but one that made me happy.  And one that verifies that the fitness routine I’ve kept up since the trail is helping me hang on to at least a decent level of hiking fitness.

hike, hiking, armstrong woods

A place for a break

The First Big Climb of the Day

I start on the East Ridge Trail whenever I’m hiking in Armstrong Woods.  It’s a trail that hits you straight away with a quick climb right out of the parking lot.  Then a much bigger climb, the first big climb of the day, the 4 or 5 small climbs in succession.  Day hikers her right on my tail out of the lot, started to drop away on the big climb and by the fourth climb I never saw them again.

I love the first big climb of the day.  At first, it’s absolutely horrible, especially if you haven’t been on trail for a time.  Your legs start whining, your heart starts thumping, your hips are asking what they did to deserve you putting all the weight on them.  The pack is uncomfortable, it cuts into your shoulder or your neck, the waist strap is wrong.  You lungs start screaming and you don’t feel like you can even breathe right, or at all.

Then as a hiker, your body starts to remember, your legs stop whining, your hips give into acceptance, you get the straps moved around.  You lungs remember they can fully expand and so you start taking in enough air.  Your pace starts to level out, you start remembering how to walk and breathe in concert, how to set the right pace for the hill, it all starts to fall into place.  The best part of this is not that you start to feel better, it’s the expansion of focus.  On the early part of that first hill, your entire focus is right with you, a tiny little bubble of perception around your body focused on your body parts, your pack and the step right in front of you. Then you find your stride, your body relaxes and your focus starts to expand.  You start to notice how quiet it is, you smell the forest, you hear the birds and the litter critters scattering away.  You start to feel like part of the forest, it’s usually about that time you’re rewarded with your first big critter or some cool sight.  For me this week it was a doe and two fawns who blasted up the hill as I took a corner.  I was home again.

hike, hiking, armstrong woods

Rev Kane in Armstrong Woods

It’s at this point that you absolutely remember why you’re here, why you hike, why even though tomorrow your quads will be sore, your calves tight, even though later your feet will hurt, it was all absolutely worth it.  The nice thing on the East Ridge Trail, is all this happens with in the first mile and a half.  The left me with a couple of hours of just being, walking watching squirrels play, lizards dance and scramble.  Noticing light filtering through the redwood trees.  Nothing but amazing, nothing but quiet and nature, well unless until the guy came up the trail behind me with his radio playing.  But it was a brief annoyance as he took another trail and I was alone again.  This is why I love hiking.  So my friends take some time, get out and take a walk, go up that first big climb of the day and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

hike, hiking, Armstrong Woods

Redwoods in Armstrong Woods

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is Taking Risks

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Acceptance is the Way

Happiness is Not Safety

Happiness is Blue Poop

My Polar Bear Adventure

Appalachian Trail Happiness: My Best Posts

 

 

 

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Happiness, Worry & the Dalai Lama’s Thoughts

Happiness, Worry & the Dalai Lama’s Thoughts

hpp2

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever. ~ Dalai Lama

I seem to know an awful lot of people who worry a great deal.  I’m constantly being told things like be safe, call me when you get there, and grilled from top to bottom about my next trip or adventure.  Now, maybe it’s just because they care about me and I happen to go on adventures that most people deem, well, a little nutty.

It does seem though that their worry extends beyond my occasional nuttiness.  It also may have something to do with the fact that in my life I’m surrounded by women.   According to a really interesting article of Gallup Poll results women are significantly more likely to worry than men.  So great, people are going to worry and given we live in a world with disease, war, poverty and lawyers it makes a bit of sense.  Heck biologically worry is actually a good thing, it forces us to prepare for potential dangers it’s when worry is overboard that we have an issue.

So what are the issues and what can we do:

Be realistic, don’t worry about an asteroid hitting earth, first the odds are incredibly low and you can’t do anything about it.  Also, don’t be overly concerned with crime, the violent crime rate in America has been declining for the last twenty years and is about that same as it was in the old days, the mid-70′s, this trend exists for almost every type of crime we just hear about them more because of the 24 hour cable news cycle.   The message, it’s ok to worry but worry about something worth worrying about.

Is the problem solvable, really, why are you worrying, is it something that you have no control over?  If so, than great, stop worrying just to worry and start thinking about how you can solve the problem.  If not, then really try to stop worrying because you can’t do anything about it.

Make the choice for happiness, and I know that’s not easy, no one snaps their fingers and stops worrying but work on worrying less, work on being happier.  Of course you’re reading this and it’s a good start, take the advice we put forth here to heart, it can help you be happier and that emotion is more powerful than worry.

Remember worry is contagious, this is significant in a couple of ways, first stay away from other worriers or people who feed your fears.  Secondly, be aware of the fact that your worrying can impact your children and others around you.  Don’t spread your worrying.

Finally, as with everything, relax, breathe, take time to let things go and focus on the good, hug your kids, spend time with your lover, surround yourself with positive helpful people and have a great day my friends ~ Rev Kane

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Deng Ming-Dao on Happiness

Deng Ming-Dao on Happiness

happiness

Deng Ming-Dao on Happiness

Let us not follow vulgar leaders
Who exploit the fear of death,
And promise the bliss of salvation.
If we are truly happy,
They will have nothing to offer.

Some leaders use threats to win adherents.  They invoke death to force good behavior and to herd people toward paradise.

Others woo with grand promises.  If you have no satisfaction, they offer bliss.  If you feel inadequate, they offer success, If you are lonely, they offer acceptance.

But if we do not fear death and are happy, what will such leaders have to offer?  Spirituality is an organic part of daily life, not something dispensed by a professional.  True spirituality is liberation, not just from the delusions of reality but from the delusions of religion as well.  If we attain freedom from the fear of death, a sound way of health, and a path of understanding through life, there is happiness and no need for false leaders.

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Happiness & Laughing

Happiness & Laughing

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. – Jean Houston

raft

Everyone smiles in the same language. – Author Unknown

Originally posted May, 2013

At one point while first living in Sacramento California I took a raft trip down the American River with some friends.  Now to be clear this was more of a float than serious rafting and accompanying me were five of my friends including two couples.  The one couple consisted of a friend of mine and his girlfriend from Germany.  Now there was some drinking going on during this little trip and the girl from Germany didn’t drink so I thought it was important that I be able to call for help in German, should I need her assistance.  She patiently taught me the phrase,” help I’m drowning” in German, and laughed like hell when I repeated it.  I assumed I was somehow butchering the accent, but we were communicating and I felt safer.

During this trip one of the most amazing things I ever saw happened.  At one point while were playing around in waist deep water, the other woman with us on the trip was sitting on the edge of the raft drinking a cup of beer.  The raft was bucked by her boyfriend so violently that she actually bounced up and did a full flip landing feet first standing in the river.  That was not the amazing part, throughout the entire bounce, flip and landing she never spilled a single drop from her cup.  It was truly beautiful.

Throughout the day I kept playing around and yelling in my butchered German, “help I’m drowning!”  My friend’s girlfriend continued to laugh and laugh and then at the end of the day she came up to me and explained what was making her laugh so much.  Apparently a slight mispronunciation on my part had changed the phrase from help I’m drowning, to the more appropriate, “help I’m drinking!”  We all got a great laugh out of that and this story and that phrase has gotten me a lot of laughs from a lot of Germans I’ve met.  So remember to laugh my friends, even if it is at yourself and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

I live by this credo: Have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations. Even in your darkest moment, you usually can find something to laugh about if you try hard enough. – Red Skelton

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

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Work/Life Balance, A COVID Times update

During this extraordinary period of time in education it’s incredibly important not to lose a focus on keeping work/life balance. On this blog, the Ministry of Happiness, I’ve written pretty extensively about work/life balance.

We often give great lip service in education to work/life balance. We talk about how important it is and then turn around on a Friday and ask to have something done by Monday morning. It is easy to get caught up in the ever burgeoning amount of work and documentation that occurs in education. Whether you’re an administrator seeing the ever expanding requirements related to documenting accountability; a faculty member working on student learning and program learning outcomes as well as designing, completing and reporting on assessments of each; or a classified professional who is having to take more and more required training classes; we’re all incredibly busy.

Now throw in a global pandemic that has literally changed how we do everything. Adding to our burdens without taking any off of our plate and flat out, we are all tired and worn out. I can see it on people’s faces in meetings, I can hear it in their voices when they talk about their lives right now.

Below are the normal core tips that I usually offer in regards to maintaining a healthy work/life balance, below these are my COVID adjustments.

Tips for increasing life/work balance

Find something your passionate about – It’s important to identify those things we truly enjoy. How do you do that? Focus on things that make you lose track of time, one of those for me is photography.

No working 7 days in a row – Always make sure that one day a week you don’t work. The reason is that there is no 7 days in a row, if you work 7 you automatically add the next week and end up doing at least 12. This is the quickest way to stress and burn out.

Claim your space – Personally, I do not work at home. This means I might have to stay in the office til 10 at night but it keeps my home separate from the stresses of work and truly makes my home a sanctuary. I get that this doesn’t work for most people and if you have a family you will have to work at home. However, claim your space at home, only work in your office or in one space in one room. Don’t let your work bleed into family time or to the family dinner table. I understand that 3 year-olds obey no rules or barriers so if you’re dealing with toddlers, do the best you can.

Take mental health days – We all have sick days, note they are not called physically sick days. Don’t be afraid from time to time to just call in for a day and take a break. It’s just as important to rest and keep your mental health in good condition as it is for your body.

Take your vacation days – This drives me nuts, how is it that people can max out their vacation time and HAVE to take a day off to keep form losing time. It’s so important to give yourself a break, do something you love or just do nothing at all for a day or a week. Take your vacation days my friends.

Take real vacations – Finally, take REAL vacations. What do I mean by that? Don’t take that vacation that leaves you saying you need a vacation from your vacation when you get back home. A real vacation is one where you can completely get out of your life for at least a couple of days. This means a vacation where you cut the electronic leash that is your cell phone and where you do something that so engrosses you that you can leave your everyday life behind, it’s the only true rest you’ll ever really get. Also, if you leave town, don’t come back on Sunday and go to work on Monday. Give yourself a buffer day or two between vacation and returning to work.

COVID Times add-in tips for work/life balance

Create space at home and in your life – right now we are all in crazy work from home situations. Many of us are working from home with other adults and often with several children doing distance education as well. There are the inevitable band-width and noise issues. The child or pet who always seems to pick the worse possible moment to make an appearance. I have one colleague whose toddler loves to repeat ever thing her mom says when she’s on Zoom. So what can you do? Create space, whether physical or virtual. If you have a partner or another adult who can cover, take a walk or a drive and get some time alone, then reciprocate for your partner please. In your home, as much as you can, designate work and play spaces and hold that line as best you can. Also, if you can afford it, this is not the time to economize on bandwidth. Maximize your internet connectivity through upgrades to your connection speed or investing in additional connection points via mobile hotspots. Yes, it’s a hit on the budget, but it might be worth it for the mental anxiety it relieves.

Do a better job scheduling your life and alerts – my brother, who is working from how with three toddlers between 1 and 6, is living a bifurcated life. He gets up a 4 AM trying to get a couple of hours of work in before the kids start their day. Then, he essentially gives up for most of the day except during nap time, at least on the days when they all nap at the same time. Then, once the kids are in bed he works again for a few hours. This seems to be a common strategy, so if it’s possible try and schedule your activities to minimize conflicts of time and attention.

One of the things that really gets us these days are our alerts. You’re never truly off of the clock if your phone dings, blinks or lists all of your incoming messages and emails. So take control over your life and schedule your phone connection. I saw a huge difference when I stopped my work email alerts on my phone. Now I’m in control of when I have to see, think about and deal with issues that arrive by email. Most can wait until tomorrow, and even if you’re good about that, often just reading the subject line of the email stresses you out. How often, like me, has that subject line eaten at you until at 11PM at night you just have to jump on and reply. By taking off of the alerts I can look at email for a last time at 7PM and then truly disconnect from work for the rest of the night.

Truly unplug – in my original advice above, I talk about never working 7 days in a row. In our new environment, most of us are violating the hell out of that rule. We answer emails 7 days a week. Although that seems minor, my friends that’s working, and when you work days and weeks on end without a break you burn out. You lose your emotional reserves and you begin to struggle to focus, don’t do it. One day a week, cut the phone off, leave the laptop closed, or at least don’t pull up your email accounts and shut off those alerts. Even a single day of space each weekend will work wonders on your mental health. Ideally, shut it down from Friday night to Monday morning, but baby steps for now, at least get a day, if that seems too intimidating, pick a 12 hour period on one day a week.

Seek out beauty and positivity – It’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s going on at work, with your family, in the world and politics. Which is why I wrote a post recently entitled, Don’t forget about beauty. There are many things in the world that we all love, don’t forget they’re out there. Don’t forget to go looking for them, even just a simple sunset or sunrise. An easy way to not lose track is to ask yourself the following question every day, what is the most beautiful thing I experienced today? This question will get you to reflect on the beauty you’ve encountered and start to look for more beauty in your life.

Now I realize some of you out there have the perfect job and life situation. One that does not feel like work, a job where you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to go to do what other people feel like is a chore. If that’s you, fantastic but for the rest of us these tips can help us have more balanced and happier days. ~ Michael Kane

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Happiness Moments: My M&M Addiction

Happiness Moments: My M&M Addiction

happiness momentsI feel just like a little kid who walked into a candy store.  I think that’s something to smile about. ~ Brandon Boyd

So a new little writing experiment for the blog. I’ve been wanting to find a way to do some free writing as practice. And I’ve been wanting to capture the moments in my life that have brought me true happiness. I need that little pick me up right now with everything going on in the world and no real chance to travel. So, some writing about happy moments in my life, hope they bring you a little happiness too.

First published 10/12/2020

A couple of weeks ago I attended a work retreat, you know, education code for eight hour meeting and team building.  One of the ice breaker questions was to talk about a significant person in your life.  The person I chose was my granny and tonight’s happiness moment is about her.

happiness, granny

My granny looking cool

The reason I chose her for that retreat discussion was that she was the source of my self-esteem and confidence in my life.  My childhood was hard, it was full of stress, danger, lot’s of confusion and anger.  But no matter what, as the first grandchild, in my granny’s eyes I was always awesome.  She always doted on me, always praised me and made me feel awesome.  Although it was a small thing, one of the ways she made me feel special was to give me small bits of responsibility.

Recently on Facebook someone posted a throwback picture of Liepshutz Market.  This little market was on the corner on the opposite side of the street and on the next block from my granny’s house.  The Liepshutzes were longtime family friends and even as a little guy I knew them well, particular the store owner Sammy.

When I was 3 or 4 years old, my granny entrusted me with an errand every afternoon.  I had to go get her daily Register Star newspaper.  This meant crossing two streets and buying something at a store, which to a little kid was a huge deal, especially since I would go on my own.  It seemed like a huge adventure every day, taking that quarter and going to the store to buy the paper and my reward, a bag of M&Ms.  I would then head out, bravely cross two streets, make my purchase, cross two streets again and return home.  Now I’m sure my granny was watching me the whole way, but she never let on and was always so proud of my independence and responsibility.  I love the memory I have of opening that bag of M&Ms, sorting them by color and then eating them with a cold glass of milk. To this day, I eat M&Ms exactly the same way.

This was just one of the small but amazing things my granny did for me.  And trying to pay it forward, I try and do the same types of things for my nieces and nephews.  I think I’ll buy a bag tomorrow and treat myself. ~ Rev Kane

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Don’t forget about Beauty

sunset selfie

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the infinite. ~ Francis Bacon

Originally posted 10/11/2020

Today, as I was struggling to figure out a topic for my Sunday night post, I did what I so often do and turned to the web. Surprisingly, often finding a topic is as easy and typing happiness into the search bar. Tonight, what I did a search for was, the elements of happiness. I scanned through several lists of what people feel are the important elements of happiness and after writing the Ministry of Happiness blog for the last 11 years, there weren’t a lot of surprises.

sunset, beach, photography

Sunset, Gulf Shores Alabama

The list almost always is composed of a few common things, smile, laugh, live in the now, reduce negativity in your life, protect your health and exercise.  What I found interesting was a single posting that looked at this idea from the perspective of the writings of Carl Jung. That article was the only one that mentioned beauty.  So tonight a simple idea, don’t forget about beauty. 

sunset, beach

Beach sunsets are the best

Throughout the post I’m integrating some of my sunset photographs.  One of the things I love most in the world, and is how I get a consistent source of beauty is watching and photographing sunsets.

writing, poetry, happiness, poem

Sunset on Chukhung in Nepal

It’s a really simple idea, but one I think it is all too easy to overlook, we need beauty in our lives.  There’s a great TED article on beauty that expresses this idea simply and quite well. We need beauty, it makes us feel better, beauty begets beauty, which is an idea I really love.  When I walked my 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail, I asked myself three questions every day.  One of those questions was, what was the most beautiful thing I experienced today.  The question turned out to be far more powerful than I could have predicted.  Even though at times the days were incredibly hard, it made me focus everyday on all of the beauty that I was experiencing, from beautiful landscapes to flowers to sunsets and even to some of the simplest things like a birdsong or a the sound of a babbling brook.

happiness, wellness,

Sunset on the Arctic tundra

So a simple request tonight, don’t forget about beauty.  Ask yourself this question each day, what was the most beautiful thing I experienced today?  It will make you more aware of the beauty around you, make you seek out beauty constantly, and help you have happier days my friends. ~ Rev Kane

 

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Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

happiness, poetry

Today a relatively recent discovery for me on the poetry front, Warsan Shire is amazing.  Her poetry is at times very dark, but always passionate and powerful.  We had a brief interaction on Twitter once, I told her that her writing was so good, it almost made me want to stop writing just to find the time to take care of her so she could write more.  Here’s a sample, enjoy, read more poetry and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Excuses for why we fail at love

I’m lonely so I do lonely things
Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same.
You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
I’m not a dog.
We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
You were too cruel to love for a long time.
It just didn’t work out.
My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
The women in my family die waiting.
Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.”
His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile
We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
I’m a lover without a lover.

UGLY

Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.

As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
They said she reminded them of the war.

On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.

You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldnt smell
of lonely or empty.

You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island
if her thighs are borders?

What man wants to lay down
and watch the world burn
in his bedroom?

Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things

but God,
doesn’t she wear
the world well.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is Poetry: Ashe Vernon

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

Happiness is Poetry: Sapphire

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Random Happiness: Happiness Quotes

Random Happiness: Happiness Quotes

Tonight a few of my favorite quotes on happiness, have a read and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

happinessIf you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama

Even if you don’t follow a formal meditation program, it is good to sit quietly for a little while every day.~ Deng Ming Dao

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~ Lao Tzu

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.                                            ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.                    ~ Mohammed

Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own. ~ Mother Teresa

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. ~ Buddha

I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.    ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

Posted in Dalai Lama, Deng Ming-Dao, Random Happiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments