A Lovely Little World

Adventures in Southern Ontario

Tag: hope

Bleeding Heart

I’ve been thinking about why I’m a “bleeding heart” and I realized its because I want the world to exist in that idealistic way. I want a world where love is the norm, where we are consistently kind and thoughtful to each other. I want a world where we help the poor and needy or even more than that, where there aren’t any poor or needy because hope has infected enough people that they help each other and grow themselves.

I want a world where there is NO war, not holy wars or righteous wars or wars for democracy or war to free people, NO WARS!

And I only see the world heading in that direction through bleeding hearts and people who demonstrate radical love and peace and I’d rather err in being idealistic and naive and maybe something good happens than wallow in the cynicism I felt for so long. Cynicism about governments, love and mostly myself.

“It’s said that the biggest determinant of our lives is whether we see the world as welcoming or hostile. Each becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy”. – Gloria Steinem

 

 

 

 

 

Reality: Why I’ve Decided to Live Somewhere Else

“It’s time to live in the real world”, “the reality is…”, “You’re a little bit naive”, “if you had my experiences…”; common enough phrases, but here’s the thing, I have no intention of moving into that world. I have been there, but I prefer my dream life. People assume that because you have chosen to see the good people, you have somehow not experienced the bad. The thing is, I have. Everyone goes through terrible things and my childhood and teen years were definitely not easy. In my early twenties, I was very jaded and had decided I couldn’t really make a difference in the world. I didn’t even believe that romantic love was anything but a silly tv notion, designed to sell cards. People didn’t come into your life and stay. I believed in God, but I didn’t feel like my faith was effective in any capacity. I was hopeless, truly, and very depressed.

I realized that I had to do something different, because I was drowning. I cannot say that I could have done this on my own. I needed help, but now that I can see a little more clearly, I’ve made a few choices that help me not fall into that place of despair again.

reality is grass in sunlight

  1. Seek out the good.

Proverbs 11:27 says “He who seeks good, finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it”. If you look for evil, you will find evil. There are so many negative things going on in the world right now. Don’t focus on that. Be aware definitely, but shift your attention. Instead, make a point of looking for good things. Not just in the world around you, but in the people you meet everyday. Enjoy their sense of humour or the way they always hold the door open for others. Maybe they are terrifying, but create beautiful drawings. Find something. Eventually, you will create this little bubble of goodwill around yourself. You realize how much good there really is, and people will end up proving the goodness to you, even on days you aren’t looking for it.

2.  Realize that you can make a difference.

There’s another passage in the Bible “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – Romans 12:21 and I always took it mean that you shouldn’t give into temptation or something. This week when I read it, I looked at it more in the Lord of the Rings kind of way. There are so many evil things that go on every day in our society, but if we choose to love, and make kindness and goodness our lifestyle, that can make a difference. Every time we are kind to someone, it’s small act against evil. When people are kind to me, it makes a difference in my life. Who knows how much difference you make in people’s lives? Even if you never manage to work major change, it’s better to live trying. You will definitely get hurt. You will definitely be disappointed. You are not doing it because it’s safe, you’re doing it because it’s good and right and LOVE does change the world.

Reality discarded geranium

3. Dream.

There is nothing wrong with working a 9 to 5 office job, but don’t let it steal the magic from your life. Don’t work all day, go home and eat, sleep or watch tv, and then get up and do it all again the next day in an unending routine until the day you retire. Life is FULL of miracles and magic and hope. Daydream. Make plans. Even ridiculous ones. Work towards them. If they don’t happen immediately, don’t give up. Keep dreaming. Keep moving in the direction of your dreams. Refuse to live in “reality” while living in reality. If you really hate your situation, find a new path. Don’t feel so locked in to anything that it’s impossible to change. If you can’t change it right now, dream how can change it. Take steps towards that. Put a few cents in a jar. If you have to spend those cents, start with fresh change the first time you can. Watch videos on the places you want to go. Research the dream career you’d like to have. Stop for five seconds and enjoy the way the light streams through the trees in the evening. Remember that the first sip of coffee in the morning really tastes good. My goal is to believe more in miracles. I have discovered how magical life is, but I still want more. I want the fairy tale. (Not literally, but in the sense that I have found my own happiness and peace through overcoming adversity and taking on “evil”).

daydreams 02 DSC_4411 DSC_4426 DSC_4428

4. Share.

Share what you know about loving and hope. People will undoubtedly think you’re naive and sheltered, but you will know otherwise. You will know that you have deliberately chosen to be an optimist and that that is the path you need to be on. Also, just share. Give people things. Compliment them. Hug them. Find someone who has no one and randomly give them a Christmas present. People need each other. Someone needs you. Be the hope they need.

Heaven on Earth: A Photographic Essay

I’ve had a tumultuous  relationship with Hope for quite sometime now. A few years ago, I participated in an art journal challenge, where each day you drew a provided prompt. That particular day, the prompt suggested I draw how I was feeling. At the time, I was struggling with a lot of sadness, loneliness and defeat, yet the drawing I produced was a girl with wings and arms outstretched for flight. I realized then that the darkness I was feeling was separate from me. Deep inside I was an optimist, aware that at any moment, things could get better. At every crossroad there are two options – believe you are lost and the worst will happen, or believe that one of those roads leads to freedom. That hope, even as a tiny flicker that I wanted to extinguish, kept me from much worse possibilities. I cried once to someone talking me off a metaphorical ledge,

“I can’t do it! I can’t stop hoping!” and he laughed kindly and assured me it was a good thing, and although I didn’t agree, ultimately Hope saved me.

That is what ‘Heaven on Earth’ is about – Hope.

Not just for myself, but in the sweetness of humankind and the beauty of nature. We are surrounded by mental illness, depression, custody battles, death, war, blackness, every single day, but we haven’t forgotten how to love, how to laugh, how to be kind. We can still admire sunsets and feel therapy in the woods.

Despite it all, there is a piece of God in earth, and it is us.

cranberry lake 02 forest 02 another sunset sunset in algonquin park

Some angels don’t need wings for us to see their goodness.

some angels dont need wings Mike and Daneel

They make us laugh in spite of our determination to bask in failure.

They show us friendship is about mutual weirdness and having one another’s backs.

angel farren 02 bw cropped

They keep the sidewalks meticulously cleaned and always pay friendly compliments.

They face the world with resolve and clarity even when it betrays their trust.

James Morgan

They sing, they share, they smile and encourage you, and sooth your aching emptiness.

Robert

They listen to you, and are amazed when you are rejected and teach you how to love through their children to take risks and explore everything.

Tori's wings bw

You are one if you want to be – standing in the midst of the painting that is earth.

everyday angels 02 crop

You can encourage and give hope and stand strong and love and show others that kindness matters and forgiveness will change the world.

Angels bw

Hope little angel, fly little bird, love madly little human 

everyday angels 01 bw 2

YOU MATTER!