2020 Hiatus

I’m Sorry to Disappear

Hello to all you beautiful people. I’m sorry I’ve been absent for almost a week. I needed some time for myself, and I needed to recenter my focus and efforts.

This doesn’t always happen as I imagine it to, or how I could guess. For me, though, I almost always end up in nature, and I almost always need to divert attention away from me and spend time with others. No matter how much I try to fight or ignore it, the more I serve and interact with those around me, I always end up invariably better.

Knowing this is a huge blessing and an enormous inconvenience…I’m simultaneously a massive introvert plus a conversationalist.

When I recharge, I almost always spend time with myself, my thoughts, and my feelings. I remove the regular, average routine and get into something alive and in motion. Hiking or camping handles this in spades because I am a guest, and it continues on without me. I do have the ability to enjoy it, appreciate it, and leave it better than how I found it (where applicable). But most often, my existence in nature is absolutely inconsequential to its tomorrow.

After doing the nature bit, I’m quick to see how selfish I’ve been, and how my narrow-minded interests and focus have put the blinders up. In my experience, this is a unique trait of society. Somehow we manage to stay isolated and apart despite interacting daily.

I’m not sure what it is about me and nature. I know many people resonate with me on this; why else would a person willingly climb a mountain? But I know that many people recharge and reconnect in a variety of ways.

Out of curiosity and interest, what are the ways you’ve found that help you recharge?

So, once I’m self-aware enough to see a piece of the puzzle, invariably, the next step is to put myself to the side and care for and about others. This also happens in a variety of ways, and not always as you’d think.

First, the idea of caring for others is commonly misunderstood. Arguably, when most people hear that idea, they might think, “Well, who are you to decide what they need and don’t need? What makes you so qualified to just intervene in someone else’s life? You’re doing this for you, not for them.”

This couldn’t be further from what I’ve come to know.

I learned many years ago that we cannot take away a life or an experience from a person without dire and horrible consequences. Especially when we can see another going through a hard time, and we wish desperately to intervene to “save” them from the outcome. If this were what I meant, then someone better get on my case.

Rather, in my mind, “to care for” more implies support through the experience when invited in by the person. No one has the capability, nor should they wish for it, to remove life. Every person is entitled and privileged to their own choice and consequence. This is beyond essential to any quality of life.

Picking up the Brick

However, these people don’t have to go through it alone. This brings up the principle of “taking on a person’s bricks.” This refers to believing that it is your responsibility to bear the weight of another’s life. This is poisonous. We see someone hurting, and we feel we have to be the ones to correct it. And by doing that, we willingly wear the clothing that this other person has adorned.

But the thing is, by picking up someone’s brick, we haven’t done anything to help. In fact, all it does is get more cumbersome and more possessive. Now, instead of affecting one person, it’s ensnared two.

The solution to this problem is quite simple, though hard to grasp. First, we have to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around us. Second, after coming to terms with the first item, we objectively acknowledge if our presence is wanted, if it will help, or if we’re doing this for our self-interest. Third, if we’re invited in, and we want to help, we stand with the person and help bear the burden without taking it upon ourselves.

Imagine a yoke and a team of oxen. The yoke is a solid wooden beam of incredible weight and size, and only when the load is properly distributed amongst a team of oxen can they complete their task in safety.

Now compare this to the image of individual bricks. Each of us carries a max level of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stamina. These levels are pliable, and through exercise and discipline, we can improve them, or through laziness and disuse, they will disappear. Taking this into account, when we see someone willingly placing bricks on their back, going over and removing them doesn’t distribute the weight, and it doesn’t make the problem go away.

To care for someone means that we’ll voluntarily stand beside them and put the yoke on our shoulders to assist them in their trial. This doesn’t remove the experience, and it doesn’t isolate us, either. We stand together as long as needed or able.

But some people refuse help and insist on loading the bricks or bearing the yoke alone. In these instances, sometimes, we’re able to still intervene. Then, in others, we’re not. Knowing the difference is your ability to objectively remove yourself from the equation.

This is one of the hardest parts of life.

So, if I talk about “serving others” or “caring for others,” this is not a concept built on my terms of understanding. This is made on the invitation of another to allow me in, or on my efforts to provide something similar should anyone need it or show an interest.

We can’t be there for each other if we can’t even meet each other’s eyes and see the character located within. “The eyes are the window to the soul” is a phrase I’ve heard my whole life, and I know it is accurate. But eyes also can deceive. They’re such an exciting feature.

Thank you all for putting up with my rambling. It means the world to me to have readers and people interested in me. Promoting and maintaining this blog hasn’t been the easiest for my introverted soul to manage, but I’ve found incredible rewards.

It’s important to share our lives and thoughts with each other, and essential to do so without any expectation of return. I love when others share their lives with me, so I’m learning to believe the same is true when I share mine.

Please leave me your thoughts, jokes, smiles, hardships, concerns, questions, and adventures in as many comments as needed. I’d be honored to know you.

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