Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Believe it or not

Today we got some rain from the remnants of Hurricane Lee.  It was a good morning to read the paper, get the final painting done on the garage floor and then take an after lunch nap.  I am worn out from the weekend on the boat.  I get plenty of sleep, but I guess that it isn't the sound sleep that I get at home.  Maybe it's because I sleep lightly just in case we start drifting or some other event happens.

Tonight was class which goes for about 3 hours.  I am working on plotting a cruise around Vineyard Sound in MA.  I enjoy doing the work, although it is tedious.  I am sure that the exam is going to be difficult and will take a couple of weeks to complete.

I am hoping for cooler weather soon.  It is still hot and humid here.  This part of the coast seems to stay hot and humid until the latter part of September.  But the fall garden plants are in at the seed store, so we will be putting the fall garden in this week.  The first really fall day is going to bring a lot of joy to me.  I have sweated and been out in the sun and heat most of the summer.  I'm ready for a change.

C. and I are enjoying our morning walks together.  This morning we decided to just stay in bed a bit longer and listen to the rain pouring outside.  We talked about how damaging insulting words can be to those who have fragile self-esteem.  Once the words are said,  they are like a dart to the heart unless we can convince ourselves that what is being said is absurd and untrue.  That's easier said than done for some of us.  I know that words don't roll off me as easily as I would like them to.  I mull them over, mostly taking to heart what people say, until I can start to repair my ego enough to know that I don't have to believe everything that I hear. 

I see now how dangerous bullying really is.  Those kids who believe what bullies say and don't stand up for themselves have a terrible time.  Mental health is affected to the point of suicide.  As adults, we can choose to not believe all that we hear.  I have to say that to have such a strong positive affirmation of self takes a bit of work.  As someone affected by alcoholism,  I tend to believe what someone says about me, because I am my own worst critic. The negative voices that I heard growing up come back to tell me that I am still managing to make a mess of things. 

I like to think of Sir Winston Churchill who seemed to have some great comebacks regardless of the situation.  Whether insulted or not, he seemed fairly impervious as in this famous exchange:

Attending a party in London, Churchill once again was drunk and intoxicated. An obviously extremely astute woman from Parliament apparently was irritated by Churchill’s mannerisms. When she finally had enough, she came up to him and yelled: “Winston, you’re drunk!” He may have been drunk but that apparently didn’t affect his cognitive functions as he merely replied:
“You’re right Bessie, and you’re ugly. But tomorrow morning, I’ll be sober.” 

Ballsy fellow, Sir Winston.  I think of these things after the fact.  But even if I could summon up some witty remark,  I don't see what is to be gained by reciprocating the tit-for-tat interchange.  Best to just mind my business and move past all the drama.  Much like leaving the field of battle,  it seems better to not take everything that I hear as being the truth.  
Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul. ~ Walt Whitman


  1. A beautiful quote by Whitman.

    It is hard not to take others judgements or words to heart. I thought as I got older I wouldn't care what others thought of me. But still I get hurt, and take things way too personally. It helps to have someone to talk to. And I agree with the futility of exchanging barbs. Churchill was witty, but mostly at the expense of people.

  2. I agree. It takes work to change the negative words into positive. I hadn't thought about this in relation to bullying and how children do not know this.

  3. I love a good come-back, and I don't always have one. When I do, I feel, well, I was going to say GREAT, but the truth is, I mostly feel guilty about being hurtful to someone. I guess I'm in a lose lose situation in snappy retorts arena. Maybe this is why I avoid politics. My skin is just not thick enough. :)

  4. Please don't wave your rain in my face. ;)

  5. I can't believe we have a fall day here but we do.
    I wish one for you. It is glorious.
    Now- as to words- I think that very often we hear things which were not meant. Especially if we are under great stress or anxiety.
    Communication is often imperfect, even with our human gift of words.

  6. I can remember at least 5 mean things that were said to me by people I loved and respected when I was a kid. Those words I carried my whole life.

    It is interesting how we remember and believe the mean words but discount and forget words of kindness. They should at least have equal weight.

  7. Ah comebacks. I used to feel so much power when I had one at hand, and so powerless when I did not. Now I know there is also power in silence. In simply allowing silence to answer the person who seems to want the upper hand.

    I love the rain and glad for it. Thanks for sharing images of yours; the ephemeral experience was too short here...in the Southern Piedmont.

  8. And I love your quote. Exquisitely fitting!


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