Thursday, September 20, 2012

That which is human nature

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I've been doing a lot of thinking again.  Something that to some probably seems dangerous.
Once upon a time I was not a quilter and I kept a blog.  I wrote about anything and everything that had nothing to do with quilting.  Sex and relationships.  Politics.  Kitty cats.  Lady bugs.  Sunshine.  Depression.  Glitter.  Drink recipes.  You name it, I wrote about it.  I had a lot of readers.  Thousands.  They liked what I had to say, I guess - but that wasn't the point.  It was my outlet to purge my brain of the jumbled mess that seems to take up so much space, there is no room left for the" important" things.
I no longer have that outlet as I shut that blog down (with no trace left of it so don't bother looking) so I sometimes have to let it spill over here.  I hope you don't mind.
This is something that I've written about before and I'll likely write about it again because it is a problem that will never go away.  But I truly believe that if enough (all) people teach their children the value of truly loving and accepting one another, a generation far, far away could possibly coexist peacefully and happily.  But you may say I'm a dreamer...

Once again I've been thinking about people and how they act/interact/react.  Something that I and you have known all along is one of the most unfortunate truths universally:  appearance matters.  To what degree?  Well, that's relative to who you ask.  However it's rather unsettling that we as people look at others and are forced to first see their appearance before being able to look past it to the person within.  We tend to decide based on peoples' appearance if we WILL look past it to the person within.  And that is just not fair.  To either party, really.

I remember back in the good old days when it was still okay for people to go online into chat rooms and such without a picture posted.  People would still talk to you.  I enjoyed that.  I enjoyed interacting with people knowing that they were getting to know ME, and not the me that they perceived me to be based on how I look.  Long gone are those days.

I do enough judging of my of my outward appearance on my own without the input of others.

Swirling and whirling and twirling around in my mind have been thoughts and wonderment at how others perceive themselves.  Me and myself, there are several things about my appearance that I don't necessarily like.  But all of those things about myself that I don't like, have some how helped to shape me into the person that I am on the inside.  I like the person that I am on the inside.
I have lived in this body with this face in all of their respective ever-changing forms for 31 years.  I don't have to like it, but I can accept it for what it is.  And in accepting it, I can learn to not only like it, but love it.  I am comfortable enough in my own skin. 

The thing that I find most baffling is that each and every one of us has these feelings of I'd-like-to-change-this and it seems so difficult for some to remember that when looking at others.
I loathe being both victim of and witness to being made fun of for something that is so profoundly not a choice.  Big noses, small breasts, fat hips, crooked teeth, poor eyesight, frizzy hair, the list goes on.  And on.  And on.  And ON.  Dear boys:  that flat-chested girl sitting next to you in study hall can't help her cup size any more than you can help the fact that you're hung like a butterfly.  Mmmkay?  Get my point?  Try to look past someone's lack of being what you feel to be the pinnacle of physical perfection and get to know them as a person, regardless of their outward appearance.  You may just be surprised that "ugly" people can be quite beautiful.  Of course it's also true that the people you think are beautiful can be pretty hideous.

I've mentioned a time or two that I pay attention to the search terms and keywords that lead people to this little blog thing I've got.  Most of the time they are funny.  Actually, no most of the time the search terms are various forms of my name.  Then second are the funny ones.  But some really pull at my heart strings.  Some take my breath away, bring tears to my eyes, make me gasp, make me wish I could reach out and hug whomever it was that conducted a search for *insert keywords here*.

To think that there are people out there that are lonely enough with no one to talk to that they resort to searching the internet for some enlightenment on how to think they're pretty, or how to feel like someone cares, or how to get over the feeling of wanting to die - it breaks my heart.  And reminds me a lot of the me that I used to be.

Something that a lot of people don't understand about me is that I'm incredibly sensitive.  I realize that my personality would probably not at all elude to that.  I know that I might be (sometimes) loud, happy, sparkly, shiny and sometimes vulgar - and that really is just me.  I don't like to censor myself (though I do a lot for this blog - you're welcome!) and I try to make the decision every day when I get up to be the very best me that I can be.  Gone are the days when I let the opinions of others determine the outcome of my life or my level of happiness. I spent a large portion of my life in that dark place and while we all have our days, I refuse to go back there.  Inside I am so sensitive to these things.  I see someone hurting and I hurt for them.  Actual physical manifestation of emotional hurt.  I learn of someone suffering a loss and I feel lost right there with them.  I think about things from my past and I'm immediately right back there as if I'm reliving a certain hell.  And when I learn of people being made fun of, once again I'm taken right back to when life equated to misery.

I don't really know what the point of any of this is.  Except that I'm hurting.  Not for myself, but for you, him, her, that guy over there, the lady down the street.  I know how it feels to be bound by fear and doubt and self loathing and I wish I could take it away for everyone else.  It's a really shitty feeling.  Sickening.  Exhausting both mentally and physically.  Crippling.  I can't take it away as it's something that each person has to rid themselves of.  I all have to find that force within ourselves to take control and make changes, little by little.  What I can do is offer an ear to someone that needs to talk. I can offer condolences and advice and personal experiences until I'm blue in the face. I can remind you that each and every one of us is beautiful in our own ways.  I can remind you that you're never alone. In doing so I can remind myself of that at the same time.

Last week I saw a show on tv called The XFactor. I didn't know what it was, but thought I'd leave it on for background noise while I worked on other things.  It wasn't terribly distracting until the last segment when I saw this...

THE single most beautiful, amazing and moving live performance I have ever seen in my life.  And I cry like a baby ever time I watch it.

It's okay not to be okay.


  1. as someone who was bullied, by both peers and adults, I know those emotional scars to well. I look back and I bless those scars for what they are, because I wouldn't be the person I am today.


  2. post on my blog today was about a quilt show judge bully! I quit quilting for 10 years because of her comments. I put a photo of one of the quilts she trashed today. I sold it and other quilts because she made me ashamed of what I had done that I just wanted to be rid of them. I'm okay today too. I'm re-making that quilt today. I had just come out of an abusive relationship and was so happy to find quilting. I felt safe with the women I met...until I summoned my courage and entered a quilt show and got scathing, horrible comments from this judge. Maybe no-one likes my quilt...but I do! Thanks for your post! Bev

  3. Wow - that video is heart wrenching. I saw yesterday on the Jeff Probst show a guy who was lonely and depressed...posted his number on street corners and said to call him if you need someone to talk to. He had something like 80,000 phone calls so far. It was quite interesting and crazy to think that so many people just want someone to talk to. Simple! And being nice is just not that hard!

  4. <3 and again today... blubbering fool - but for all the right reasons! "coexist peacefully and happily" this should be a goal for all of us!

  5. As always, you hit the nail on the head. In high school they didn't bother to bully me, they made me a ghost. I was see though.
    Now my daughter goes through the daily battle of bullying (you're anorexic, etc, etc) which doesn't help her situation mentally.

    More people need to like themselves then maybe they'll stop hurting other people. Celebrate self because no one else can be as wonderful as the person you are.

    McLisa, you rock.

  6. A very special audition... wow! Touching! I keep telling my boys the saying "never judge a book by it's cover". It's not easy for a 15 yr old to believe in that, but I'm very thankful to see they are standing up for their friends and the ones that is not so strong. It's hard to be a teenager, and I believe it's us parent's job to teach our kids what's precious. Not fancy clothes, new cars, lots of money... A hug, and lots of love is better :-)
    I really like the way you write, you have words to describe a lot of things that many can relate to. Thank you for the inspiration too :-) Hope you'll have a great weekend. Happy quilting!
    Laila Skauge

  7. What a brave soul. I was the fat kid all the boys picked on and laughed at; so thankful to go to an all girl high school. I wish I could have been as brave as Jillian Jensen. We all felt the pain through her incredible voice. Lisa, thank you for sharing this.

  8. But you may say I'm a dreamer... but you're not the only one. Somedays it feels like our world is being run by judgement and hate, chin up and try to smile through the tears.

  9. Wow, I'm not sure what to say but I just wanted to show I support everything you just said.

  10. Well said, you lovely lady! Every good thing we do, every good thought we have, every nice thing we say, every way we show love comes back to us. And all the opposite things come back to bite us in one way or another. We all have but one chance to get this whole living thing right. We are never going to live up to our high ambitions for ourselves in terms of our behaviour, but we can try and when we fail, try harder.

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  12. Awww, see now I am crying. and it's Monday morning... just throw all the love you have in your heart out there to the world and you will get it back ten fold. Bullies suck. But they get back what they put out there too. Karma.

  13. We all are sensitive, many way more than most people think, we've all felt hurt, crushed, etc about ourselves, and we all judge a book by it cover, at least at first look. Many of us have gotten to the point that we know to look inside the book before we make any final decisions. Most of us know that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly is all the way thru. Real beauty is what a person is, not how they look. Most of the best people I know would never have made it in any kind of beauty contest, but, they are beautiful people, deep down, where it counts. It gets easier as you get older, at least until you have to see all that again with your kids lives. Thank goodness my son's learned early on to look past 'pretty' and see good people to be with. Our differences are what make us special.

  14. Thanks for that post! This is my first time stopping by your blog but it won't be my last! I followed a link from Sara/sewsweetness' blog so no fun search links from me.

    your post was excellent and to the point - and I really though "oh I won't cry" when I played the video - sure enough I'm in tears! :)

  15. I have long admired your quilting, but had not come across your blog until today.

    A wise woman you are!! I often get people telling me, but your son doesn't look autistic. WTF does some with autism look like?? It can be a cruel world, but if you look for the beauty ... it is there.

    1. Ha! I had one of the nurses caring for my 100 year old grandma who has dementia and lots of memory loss and anxiety, tell me, "Well, she looks FINE to me." Sigh, yeah, cuz you can tell by looking at someone how their mind works. I just had to laugh, be shocked, then laugh. Hugs!

  16. What beautiful words you wrote in this post.My dear, you are what is called "empathic". It is what I am also. Thank you for writing. You are loved ya do know that, right? ;-)

  17. What an inspiring post. I'm gonna show it to my 12 yr old daughter, who at the moment, is going through a bit of self loathing. She is a beautiful, hilarious, talented, smart, original, artistic, sassy girl. I wish she could see all of her greatness. Problems is, for some reason or another, she is getting shunned at school by a bunch of unoriginal wannabees. You know the type. Thy all dress a like. No originality at all. Even friends she was friends with since kindergarten won't acknowledge her if she says hi to them .There is nothing wrong with being popular. Just not at others expense. I told my daughter, you're a little duckling and you're going to turn into a beautiful swan. Show them all. And Oh, my geeze louise, I just watched that video and cried nearly through the whole thing! I will show her this when she gets home from school for sure!! Thanks!

  18. I was so moved by your post, even before the video. Hanging onto every word. You know I could go on and on here regarding all this. Just know you are just as beautiful on the outside as the inside. Most don't even come close. :-)

  19. Yep, that's me crying. And so moved. What a lovely voice she has and so inspiring to keep working on her gift in spite of others. I work in a people intensive environment and would say I encounter more bullies as adults than I ever did as a child. Being kind and patient and respectful is something we can all do. Hopefully then our children, and maybe some adults, will learn those good things from us.