Tag Archives: compassion

Self exploration through writing

On the way home from the store tonight, I was thinking about how most characters in books have certain virtues and talents that get them through life and hard times, such as being courageous or have a great voice (like in the book Fairest), or how many fairy tales the princess has to be beautiful and that’s what helps her, while the men are strong and brave, and don’t back down, they don’t give up. Steadfast.

So I was thinking about my characters. Since I started my writing exercises last year, I’ve focused mainly on one character, and though I do have others, they’re pretty similar. And, well, they’re similar to me, because I have a hard time writing outside of my personal experience. I can write characters that already exist, or base a character off a real person, but since my writing exercises are for me alone as a form of therapy, my characters take on traits I either see in myself or wish I had. When I write these characters down, and look at the story from afar, I can see things so much clearer than when they’re in my head, when I’m examining myself. I have to step outside of myself in order to see me better.

Claire is definitely not perfect. She has anxiety and depression, feelings of worthlessness and the strong overwhelming desire to be worth something. And in her desire to help in any way she can, she’s also afraid of messing things up, which in turn can mess things up. I noticed she has a strong maternal instinct, she has the desire to protect and to care for others, even if she doesn’t know them. She’s a nurse and a fighter, tending to the wounded after fighting a battle. She’s also practical to a fault, one some might call a “stick in the mud.” I don’t get to test out my prowess on a battlefield (and I’m sure I’d be bad at it), but I do know I’m good at taking care of people. It’s like some sort of auto-pilot comes on and I just go…

I do have a strong urge to protect people, and to help them, and to make their lives better in any way I can. I don’t know why, it’s just how I am, despite that I pretty much don’t trust anyone and am constantly on my guard. And as strange as it is, I’m loyal to a fault as well. Those people who have hurt me over the years, the people who have backstabbed me and betrayed me… I have continued to keep whatever secrets they may have told me, and I refuse to go on my public scenes to complain about them, and even here, I don’t mention names. I guess in a way, I don’t even hold it against them, really. I can still be civil with them, even if I can never trust them again. If someone else is fine with them, who am I to besmirch their name? What happened was between them and myself, no one else. I think there are maybe two or three people who I have told anything to over the years, and I’ve told them because I know they won’t say anything to anyone else and they won’t seek out any sort of payback for me. I do not need anyone attacking anyone else because I said something.

And as weird as it is, I would still help those who have hurt me. If I had the means and they needed my help, I would help them. That’s just how my family is. I can’t imagine being any different. And it shows in my characters a lot. They’re lonely, protective, desperate to be worth something, and willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. They are not heroes, they are in the background helping the heroes. They don’t want attention and if they can help anonymously, they will, because just the knowledge that someone might be happier, even just for a moment, because of something they did, it’s worth it. Even if it’s just smiling at someone who looks like they’re having a bad day or buying someone a coffee, or even just leaving a piece of artwork for someone to pick up.

I want to make the world a better place, I want to help people in any way that I can, and what better way than to go out into the world and touch people’s lives? It would be better if I wasn’t so… anti-social and socially awkward, and an outsider. Even if society deems me to be a freak and unfit to join their ranks, even if they bully me, and people like me, I will continue to do what I can to help others. I think that because there is so much pain even here in the states, that’s more reason for me to go do things to help out. I know the states has it easy compared to many, many other countries, but this is where I am, and where I can do the most good for now.

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Consequences

Sitting here trying to eat my cereal, my toddler keeps trying to climb in my lap. I highly dislike this, it bugs the crap out of me. I hate being interrupted while eating and I hate having anything get in my way. So why I would choose to eat something such as cereal while he’s running around loose is beyond me. I wasn’t even planning on eating breakfast, but before I knew it, I had poured myself a bowl. So I guess my body had other plans, eh? Anyway, the toddler climbed up into my lap and kept trying to get at the cereal, of course. It’s very awkward to feed him while in my lap and I was afraid he was going to spill it so in order to prevent a spill, I tried to move him. He’s got these weird anti-gravity magnet feet or something because they would not leave my lap and in our struggle, and my urgency to get him down, we spilled the cereal. My fault… I should have tried to stay calmer while figuring out how to get him out of my lap. Maybe picked him up or something.

But it made me remember something. It seems like the more we try to stop something from happening, the more likely it is to come to pass. How many stories have we heard where someone is out to stop the prophesy, but by doing so, allow it to come to pass? In the Bible, this king tried to trick the prophesy by sending out another man dressed in his armor while he was disguised and hiding, but a stray arrow still found him and killed him. Most movies that have anything to do with a prophesy have people who make them come true by attempting to thwart it. Harry Potter, for instant. Or Willow. Or this that and the other thing, lol. In my case, I was trying to prevent a spill, which caused the spill. It makes me think of other things that have happened in history, such as Prohibition. They wanted to get rid of the evil that alcohol caused, but inadvertently made it worse. Some would say the same about making certain drugs illegal as well, and who knows what would happen if guns were banned in the US, what with the mentality here and all. Some countries it works, some countries it makes it worse. 

Does this mean that we should never try to stop something? That we’ll only make it worse? No. It’s when we don’t think rationally, clearly, and logically that things tend to blow up in our faces. With prophesies, I think that even if you went to meet your doom you’d still find it. True prophesies can’t be thwarted. But with the consequences of trying to stop something like spilling cereal and actually causing it, it’s better to try to think things through, calmly and logically. With topics like gun control, illegal drugs, and moral standards, letting emotions cloud judgment will definitely not work. Don’t ignore the emotions, but let them guide in a more controlled manner while using rational thought. If I allowed myself to let my emotions take the lead, I’m very certain that I would fight a lot more with my husband and my kids would be miserable. When the cereal spilled, I had a lot of anger and frustration fill me, and if I wasn’t in control, I would have lashed out at my toddler even though it was my fault that the cereal had spilled. 

I have seen people who are governed purely by their emotions and it’s scary. One lady I know is always yelling at her kids, cheated on her husband, and hates certain movies just because they don’t completely agree with everything she believes. Anyway, I’m totally getting sidetracked again… But the point is that people can’t be friends with her unless they think like her. I can’t believe how many people I’ve met who hate differing opinions. I’ve been banned from websites/blogs/facebook groups because I commented something that didn’t agree 100% with the poster. Once I noticed this one lady who is charging people to read her blog asked for contributions and some people were asking if they would get paid. It seemed reasonable that someone who thinks their time and effort was worth something to pay those who would contribute, right? Well when I went back to look at the answer, those comments were gone. So I asked about them. I think I was deleted and banned within seconds… I was polite, reasonable, and everything, but for reasons I still cannot fathom, I was banned. No reply or anything, just poof, gone. Another person thinking with emotion rather than logic and rationale. Why couldn’t she have just said, “No, sorry, I don’t have that kind of money to pay people for their work?” Or “I’m looking for people to do this for free?” 

I keep having to stop myself from going on massive rants down rabbit trails, lol. *just breathe and focus*. I guess I’m just trying to say that a lot of problems can be avoided if we stop just reacting and actually thinking first. Obviously there are situations where reaction without thinking is needed (baby in front of bus?) and there are situations that just plain can’t be helped… But thinking calmly and rationally is a very good thing and I wish both my husband and I could remember to do it more often instead of just reacting.

On that note, my toddler is trying to stand in his highchair while flapping his arms and yelling his word for mommy (?? sounds like “Monet”) quite happily. He doesn’t actually want me though.