Reflections on 2016 through my eyes.
My Winter Solstice meditation.
A reflective tradition in my life.
Blessed Winter Solstice George, may the Lord and the Lady smile down upon you and bring you balance, blessings, health, peace, and joy old friend.
It’s been a tough year hasn’t it. I think our world went just a little more nuts this year than usual, but we’ll all be alright eventually. Even the current madness will pass, the wheel of time will keep turning, and new beginnings will bring new challenges and victories.
Are you ready for our annual Winter Solstice tradition of recount of the obstacles and thought? Of remembering and recalling some of the great people that came into my life? About the worries that may have been stressful throughout this year? Let’s put them to rest and let them go, so moving on becomes possible, and let’s honor the positive that was so delightful to experience.
2016 a year of challenges and upheaval for most!
Wow, what a year 2016 turned into and it was nothing like I hoped it would be. I honestly believe this was one of the toughest years in recent History for most people financially and emotionally. We have seen a lot of hatred, prejudice, extremism, and verbal as well as physical attacks between each other. There for a while it looked like we might get into another Civil War, and there are still groups of people out there who are trying really hard to push for it.
A lot of Businesses took major losses in 2016, many small Businesses were forced into closing their doors, and no matter what the Media tried to tell anyone, the Economy was not getting any better. There are jobs to be had, but many of those jobs are so low paying that people can’t make ends meet, while prices keep climbing higher on necessities.
For me personally…..
What was the hardest to witness for me personally so was the online hatred that was and still keeps being spread by those who claim to know injustice. It’s a mixed up world out there on the Interwebs George, and I wish I could take them with me sometime to show them the things I have seen instead. There are so many amazing things to see and people to meet when you travel the way I do in my RV.
Talking about Traveling and the RV….
Traveling was a lot harder this year for me than the year before. As I said the Economy was pretty bad and that meant money was just not coming in the way I needed it to, add several major repairs again on the RV, a few small Emergencies that depleted the bank accounts even further, and by the end of November I found myself in some real financial trouble.
Unlike so many people out there, I don’t have the option to go and ask for help from anyone. In my main Profession asking for help is a death throw; it’s considered begging rather than being honest and saying, hey I am in real deep trouble here and need your help. So that was not a possibility and still isn’t. It can make it pretty hard on a person when you have to keep up an illusion of everything being fine all the time. Sometimes it seems impossible to do, but you manage it somehow.
Going to Churches is out for me period and I can’t go to the Government for help either. Which pretty much leaves me on the fringes and having to deal with it by myself. Ironically so I am no longer as emotionally devastated as I was. Perhaps it is grace and my tenacious outlook of things always getting better eventually that has made that possible for me.
In a reverse way I can see the blessing in my situation, which is something that is hard to do for most people at the best of times it seems. Instead of bemoaning the things I do not have, cannot do, or do not have access to, I am grateful for the things I am able to continue doing, have the good fortune to continue to keep, even if at times that is only the roof over my head and the food on my table. For me counting my blessings and looking for that silver lining on the horizon has always been part of who I am.
Some of the wonderful people I have met this year!
Do you remember “Fast Eddie”? What a character this old man was. Easily in his 70th he is always putting a smile and a laugh on the face of people when he goes into his “Style Maker” dance moves. I still remember thinking he was a woman when I first saw him, that is why I got up and danced with him. Took me a moment to realize it was a man. He doesn’t identify as a female, he is just at that age where some of us look a little more neutral when it comes to appearance. Oh but what a character. I hope that I’ll be as peppy and sprite as he is when I get his age and have the same type of really awesome positive attitude.
Oh and that young white couple with their small 2 year old son, who had lost everything when both of them were laid off one after the other with barely any notice. It was rather a big shock for both of those young people when the security they thought they had was ripped right out from under them. You have to hand it them both so, they didn’t sit around whining about how hard their life is. They took the last little bit of money they had, bought a tiny RV, moved in and went in search of work. The thing I found so inspirational about both of them was that instead of fighting with one another and blaming everyone else for their bad circumstances, they drew closer together and focused on getting things done. In the meantime he did little odd jobs and she did some Dog walking to get a few extra dollars. I hope they both got a good job after I left, because they sure had a tough time finding one and their unemployment was running out fast.
Do you remember Miz Sophia? Now there was another strong and wonderful Lady of character. What an amazing old Lady to have the privilege of having met. She had a story to tell that a lot of the young women who want to scream about privilege should hear sometime. She is one strong old black Lady who’d cuff you over the head if she ever hears you say that just because you are black you can’t make something of yourself and that life is so hard. Yeah none of her Grandkids are marching in the streets or screaming about injustice, they are too busy building careers for themselves and being successful doing so. Oh and what was it she said… There is never an excuse for not bettering your circumstances but laziness and not being willing to get over yourself or out of your own way. She should know, she started out in some really bad and poor neighborhoods according to her. with Raised by a single mother, with 5 other siblings and no daddy to help out. Now she is a retired CEO from a big Company. Yeah I’d say she made something of herself and it wasn’t easy doing so. There was a lot of hard work, a lot of jobs she didn’t want to do, and a determination that she’d get her piece of the pie involved. Go you Miz Sophia, you earned some major respect from me and everybody who knows you. Keep on kicking those asses Miz Sophia, they need you to and thanks for kicking mine too when I needed it the most and wanted to give up on myself. Man, nothing tougher than a Grandmo who cares about you folks. We all could use a Miz Sophia to keep us honest, she sure gave me a reality check when I wanted to feel sorry myself.
Oh and that sweet old couple who have been together since 1966. High School Sweethearts and then married right out of school during a time when being an interracial couple was a lot harder than it is today. Didn’t stop them from making it so. What a legacy of love they are living for their Kids and Grandkids. Almost 50 years of marriage and still going strong! Gosh I adored Adele and Samuel, what a lovely pair they made and so very thoughtful to one another. Thanks for the home made cookies Adele, those were delicious, and Samuel thanks for answering the million and one stupid questions I had about the Hippy Days. I know I was annoying, but you were nothing but gracious to me. A true Gentleman. I wish I could have stayed around a little longer and talked to them some more. I love people like that who don’t give up when the going gets tough. Their love is still strong after all those years and it’s not just their love for one another, but their love for all those who are fortunate enough to become part of their life in some way.
My borrowed Grandkids Jessica, Ryan and Andy. Haha, what a hoot they were, and just what I needed to get over me missing my children for a bit. It’s funny how children can bring people of all races and religions together, maybe we should let the small children who are yet untainted by propaganda and prejudice lead the way. Oh and Jessica, you make sure my little love that you keep spreading the word with your sweet little songs…. Yes, ALL PEOPLE ARE BEAUTIFUL in their own way. Oh and Ryan stop picking on Andy you scamp. Just remember he’s going to get a lot bigger one day and will be able to give back what you give him now. Oh and Andy, you sweet cheeked little ragamuffin, you know you are the joy of anyone’s day who has the pleasure of seeing you smile. Andy has a little mental handicap, but don’t tell him that, because he refuses to see himself as different. Pretty special for a child that is only 9 years old.
Oh oh and my partner in crime “Blue Bucket man”… roars in laughter. We met when I was sitting in a Park bitching to myself about how stupid people can really get, and mumbling to myself that if this kept up I was going to go and buy some blue paint and start painting everyone blue so we all looked alike on the outside. (I had a bit of a Social “Diddleya” aka Media overload that day.) He must have thought I was a crazy-ass- broad when he first walked up on me, but after chatting back and forth for a while, he excused himself and returned shortly bringing me a bucket of blue paint and two brushes. “Well Miz Regina, looks like you and I better start painting people blue.” Oh and on that note, you all are party poopers, nobody let me paint them. Grumbles.
It would take me forever to list all the wonderful people I have met along the way. The great unknown Artists I have had the pleasure of seeing, meeting, listening to and interacting with. You have no idea how much unknown and undiscovered Talent there is out there. Some of the people I met had better voices, more talent, and a hell of a better attitude then many big Stars out there these days. I was so blessed to meet awesome and genuine people through many different generations, races, religious believes, sexual diversity and more. Thank you all for enriching my life and putting up with my inquisitive nature, without getting bend out of shape when I didn’t say things just right. You saw my heart rather then judge me by some politically incorrect words I may have used or shaping a question in a maybe ignorant way at times. I’ve learned so much from all of you and I will never forget all the stories you have shared with me about your life. It was truly inspirational to have met you all.
Really getting to see the difference between real world interactions and online / Social Media interaction!
What amazed me the most after having spend so much time on Social Media and watching people tearing each other apart all the time, was that not one single one of those people I met and spend time getting to know, attempted to play any cards. You know which cards I mean – the feminism card, the race card, the gender card, the religion card, heck pick a card. I don’t think they even owned the deck.
They were just happy to meet new people, share experiences, a good meal, some laughter and make new friends. Welcome to real America in the rural areas, the small Towns, and the homes of the non-extremist, non-conformist to non-conformity, everyday American who is too busy surviving, living a life, learning some actual valuable skills to sniff their own farts all the time. Yeah I don’t miss big City attitudes trust me George.
Oh and that 75% of the People I talked to and met are not hooked into Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or most other forms of Social Media. Maybe that is the reason that they belief in spreading love, compassion, sharing and just darn good company rather then hate and mistrust. That’s what I think anyways, but hey what do I know.
Maybe I am blessed in many ways. Oh sure I did see some bad apples who enjoyed wallowing in their own misery just a little too much and who use everything as an excuse to point out just how terrible the world has gotten and how mistreated they are because of xyz. (Just pick something, it was in there I assure you.) I am not saying that I didn’t come across those people too, but they were just a small handful.
The thing so is, in the real world, away from the Internet where it gets force fed to you 24/7 and really blown out of proportions, you can actually just excuse yourself and walk away. Now that is a truly empowering and liberating ability to have as a human being. Walking away from the toxic people who just love to spread misery and want to make everyone else feel guilty in the process. No thanks, I have plenty of reasons to feel guilty about mistakes I made when I was younger, I don’t need to volunteer to take on guilt about something I have nothing to do with.
Well I guess I do need to get down to business too in this reflective recounting of the year…
On a professional base the hardest part was the last 4 months for me. I knew it was coming for a while now, been feeling it in my bones and soul, but I kept hanging on and clinging hard to something that in general I just love to do. There comes a point so when you have to step back and realize that attitudes, politics, downright mindlessness, and overwhelming arrogance that takes the humanity as well as safety out of it, has stopped making it possible for me to continue on in my chosen Profession in the Capacity that I have for so many years now. The irony is that it wasn’t me committing those things, but those who are in it as well.
In Germany we have a saying that goes.
Mit gegangen, mit gehangen.
Which really roughly means “guilty by association” here in the USA. Oh and boy, is it turning into a shit storm of guilty by association out there now on so many fronts. It has gotten to the point that I pretty much felt forced to retire out of what I love to do, because I could no longer stomach being associated with the attitudes and behaviors of those who are now “front runners” of the whole.
I actually felt dirtied by it. Not by what I was doing, ha there is no shame in that what-so-ever, but by being lumped in with women who spout nothing but pure and often ridiculous hatred towards the people they are supposed to be guiding. If this is what being a powerful woman and Femdom (and here I mean a Dominatrix, not the new meaning of Female Supremacist) in the year 2016 looks like, I want nothing to do with it any longer. I refuse to ride the hating all men train. Why ever would I want to control something I hate that much. It doesn’t even make sense to me, and I know all about humiliation, but that oh boy this has tipped the scale over into lala land once again.
Now I have to rebrand myself and that is not as easy as it sounds. Not after all the years I have been known for being one thing and now “downgrading” myself, as someone just recently said, is hard for some to understand. The thing for me so is, those people knew me well enough after seeing me interact for so many years, why on Earth would they suddenly buy into the Hype and Accusations that were being levered against me. To say that I grew heart sick with it all is an understatement.
However, and there is always a silver lining on the Horizon for me, it may have just been the push that I needed to bravely walk up to my personal Crossroads again. There are so many paths yet untaken, so many goals and dreams that I have yet to achieve and work on, because of being more wrapped up in what I was then what I wanted to become.
Just some other thoughts ….
This picture, which I found online, speaks volumes to me personally. The Phases of the Goddess within each of us. The Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. The 3 phases of Feminine Power and Growth into Wisdom.
I was trying to find the representation of the three phases of the God or Lord as some say as well, but ironically those are a lot harder to find. Gosh forbid we honor and acknowledge the masculine force in our world and us these days.
We live in a world right now where people are screaming for becoming united while at the same time preaching separatism more than ever. The very people who advocate equality for all, are the exact same people who force us to see ourselves as separate from one another and lesser in importance to other people. Pushing a view of diversity as being different, rather than being diverse as embracing our individual uniqueness as part of a whole.
We praise the Goddess and shame the God. Lift the Lady on high while condemning her Consort. We uplift and praise diverse unions while shaming traditional ones in the process. We encourage, applaud, and empower diverse and alternative family structures, while condemning and ridiculing the nuclear Family. We demand tolerance, while being intolerant our-selves. Those are only a few examples in a whole long line of foolishness. That is not the way to peace, joy and balance, if anything it will end up destroying it.
We are, within each of us, both the feminine and masculine energies. We are, within each of us, both light and darkness. We are, within each of us, beginning and end. To embrace one while denying the other, praising one while shaming the other, trying to force one while attempting to destroy the other, we go out of balance.
2016 has been a year of unbalance in so many ways, and it has taken us backwards not because of the people who were up for elections, but because of the people who are blinded by zealousness, extremes, and closed mindedness to anything but their own agenda.
We have preached hatred in the guise of acceptance. We have preached separation in the guise of unification. We have preached tolerance in the guise of self-entitlement without compassion for anyone else. We have screamed to be taken serious and heard, while telling everyone else that they do NOT have the right to their opinions. We literally have enlightened and progressed ourselves backwards in time.
2016 was the year where we saw the worst in people emerge in a way that hasn’t happened for a very long time. When we didn’t just hide common sense for the sake of popularity and wearing a good guy badge, but literally killed it and put other people into Jeopardy.
This was a year of emotional upheaval which resulted in a lot of damage being done in ways that most refuse to see at this point.
We are afraid of change, scared to death of accountability – not self-loathing and victimization (we are pretty darn good at that one by now) – but accepting accountability of self. We shun that one, even so it is one of our biggest privileges we as humankind share, but we only want other people to do that, not ourselves. It’s uncomfortable to have to look into the mirror and say, yes I caused this trouble for myself. Kind of like I am doing right now. Being this open and forthcoming with you opinion which is not extremely liberal but tempered by common sense and at least a small amount of wisdom hones from experience as an Adult living in the real world, is going to upset people.
People ever only want to hear opinions they can agree with and that enforces their personal agenda and mindset. It takes a long time and a certain level of maturity to at least be willing to listen and debate other opinions even if you personally reject them in the end. In the end we all have a right to our own opinion and to voice it in a non threatening (non-lethal) way. I am exercising mine right now!
On a personal note again…
For me personally 2016 was a year of hardship, emotional upheaval, and a lot of loss. A year of being forced to reevaluate what is important to me, what I can still accept and what I wish to fight to be a part of, while letting go of what brings nothing but destruction and pain.
I had to take a really hard look at myself, at the path behind me and the path before me. A future yet unknown to me, but I know that to just stand still is not the way to go. Stagnation is not the way of the future, and sometimes you need to take a couple of steps backwards in what you evolved into, in order to rectify mistakes and then move forward in a wiser and better way. That is personal evolution, one person at a time, and not everyone else, but yourself. The hardest change you’ll ever motivate, influence, and see to it’s conclusion.
Some of the things I endured this year were brought on by my own failings, my own stubbornness to let go sooner, my feelings of depression and anxiety due to my struggle with self and circumstances. Others were out of my hands and I had no control over how they unfolded, while knowing that the only thing I could do was stand tall and ride the wave. Trying to hang on to sanity.
However I am grateful for all of it and how in Hades name I have the grace to be that still I’ll never know. I am never the less grateful for the obstacles that forced me to see things in a different light, and the privilege of having met so many wonderful people who have restored my belief in humanity after having lost it while being mostly online for so long.
In the end…
I am ready for 2016 to be over and for a new year to begin. With the death of the old, comes a new beginning. The Circle of life continues on, and there is no reason to fear it. Everything will be as it must be for each of us in turn, and we have a choice if we want to struggle and fight the coming changes or trust that in the end everything will be ok.
It won’t be easy, it won’t be comfortable, it won’t be a walk in the park, but life in general never is. That life is easy and fair is a Fairy Tale we want to believe, but life with all it’s challenges and problems is still a gift and still something very precious that we are our own Stewards over. So live your life without excuses, blaming your short comings on everyone else, and bravely. You can endure, overcome and by the grace that is within you, you will come out victoriously.
Remember the Wheel of time keeps turning for us all. After hard times, good times come again. Keep believing in yourself and you got this.
With love and peace and joy in my heart even in adversity,
I am cordially yours