We play many roles in our lives. These roles and identities affect us in deep ways. Some nourish and fulfill, others drain and frustrate, and some feel neutral. It's helpful to understand the wide variety of roles we play and their impact on our physical, mental, and emotional life.
I share my photographs on Flickr, which was my first encounter with social media. I joined back when it was old school: Not flashy, just plain ole’ photography and rich friendships. A place to learn, share, and be inspired. Even though the format has changed, I still enjoy my Flickr community.
It’s been a gray, rainy, dark autumn in Appleton. The past few weeks, I allowed external weather to overly impact my internal weather. I’ve felt crabby and frustrated, even angry. I’ve felt constricted inside: my throat tight from wanting to control the uncontrollable, my heart closed to joy and wonder. I saw clearly how this doesn’t feel good.
Grief is visceral, unpredictable, and raw. Part of me resists grief, wishing it were done, completed, and gone. This same resistance holds self-judgment: Get over it, Joy; toughen up. Yet I don’t want to “toughen up.” The wiser, kinder parts of me welcome waves of grief. These waves honor my tenderness and vulnerability. They cultivate deep love and gratitude. They connect me to humanity.
Humanity has been in my heart and on my mind. I sit with the suffering of humanity: natural disasters, acts of violence, discrimination, injustice, and abuse. I also experience the sea of humanity. We live in communities yet sometimes don’t interact. We can get lost in our busy lives, important tasks, or personal dramas.