Thursday, 8 February 2018

How sweet it is (to be loved by you). . .

I just want to stop and thank you baby. . . 

I don't know about you but sometimes you can have some pretty terrible times in your life and other times, you have the most amazing days that you never see coming.  This week is one of those weeks.  When I've needed reassurance about what my purpose in life has been, it has definitely been proven to me this week. It all began with last Saturday.  Last week I had a terrible week, there was tragedy that loomed large and it cast a shadow over everything I did.  It wasn't because I let it per se, but because it made me aware of my own mortality.  It made me aware of the loss I was experiencing by losing people that I would never have the pleasure of speaking to again in their human form.  It made me think about the priorities that I have in my life and what my is meant to be doing for others, how I am supposed to serve those around me who need me the most, who need me to be the catalyst to help them become their best selves.  I have learned to do this without coming at my own expense, but to let go of those individuals in my mind who persist in coming back to help them be what they can't be without me.

I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were
With sweet love and devotion, deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you baby, I want to stop and thank you baby, yes I do
How sweet it is to be loved by you, it feels so fine, how sweet it is to be loved by you

I write this blog post with a deeper clarity and understanding of myself than I have a week ago.
It's funny what you learn about yourself and what you allow others to teach about yourself when you become committed to the cause, when you become an expert in the guru of you.  When you allow yourself to know what it means to be loved by those that you don't want or need love from, but because they recognise something in you that they either crave or just can't help themselves but be attracted to (and I' don't mean in a romantic sense either, that just makes it messy when it doesn't need to be).  I'm just talking about the type of love that this song is talking about - when you love someone who doesn't deserve your love because they take you for granted and always think that you will be there for them at their beck and call.  Have the sense to know when your integrity is being compromised, because a love this needs to come armed and equipped with respect, mutual respect that allows space for personal growth and personal success.  How sweet is being loved by them, really?

I close my eyes at night wondering where I would be without you in my life
Everything I did was just a bore, everywhere I went it seems I'd been there before
But you brighten up for me all of my days with a love so sweet in so many ways
I want to stop and thank you baby, I just want to stop, thank you baby, oh yes
How sweet it is to be loved by you, it's just like sugar sometimes, how sweet it is to be loved by you

There will come some times in your life when you will forge the most unlikeliest of friendships or connections. I have learned never to question these anymore.  I think people forget to be genuinely interested in others around them.  We have conversations with people because we want our egos to tell them all about ourselves, but we forget to listen and pay attention to what we can learn from them too.  Why do we do this?  When are we ever going to learn to just stop and thank someone and let them know how much they mean to us?  Why do keep avoiding being honest about what really matters in our lives, pushing people and things aside who are exactly what we need, even when we think we don't need them?  I love the simplicity and ease with which this song can stay on repeat for me.  I think the lyrics resonate strongly with me because I have experienced this situation - being both on the receiving end and also being the giver.  We must never forget to show gratitude for the people who love us through our pain, who love us through the dark when we think we will never the see the light.  We must never forget those people who will forsake all else in order to show how much they really care.

You were better for me than I was to myself
For me there's you and there ain't nobody else
I want to stop and thank you baby, I just want to stop, thank you baby
How sweet it is to be loved by you, how sweet it is to be loved by you
Woah now, feels so fine, how sweet it is to be loved by you, it's just like jelly baby, 
how sweet it is to be loved by you, it's just like honey to the bees baby

I hope that you learn to recognise the sweetness of love.
I'm talking here about the love for someone who needs to know that your love and care is unconditional.  There might be people around you who need real attention because they actually don't have anyone else in their life who will be concerned about what is happening in their lives - even when we might initially think they are just first world problems.  We need to start scratching deeper beneath the surface and learn to be more empathetic.  The greatest challenge will be to love people who never reciprocate in the way that they should - when you have gone out of your way to help them, and they just abuse your trust and faith in them.  You will have to come to a decision soon - whether you need to cut ties with them completely or just bid them farewell with love that they don't truly value, but you know is worth more than they could ever want to buy.  At least you will have a memory of knowing that once upon a time, you can be honest and tell them in one final sentence of a goodbye, I just want to stop and thank you baby. . . 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Down. . .

Then you leave me all alone. . . 

I just don't understand
This here love is compromised
Where does that leave us, when I look in - your
Eyes you seem to care
Then you lead me to another place
It isn't fair, all these rules you make

What compromises do you have to make?
Relationships are pretty hard to try and figure out.  That's always the danger in letting yourself get into one.  You head in there thinking you know yourself really well, you know what you want to be able to put into it, together with your expectations and hopefully co-construct with theirs.  I've been reading a bit about (not about relationships) but about deficit thinking and one thing struck me about this notion of positioning.  The are two types of positioning - interactive positioning that happens - when you make decisions or have ideas about someone else based on interactions, and then there's reflexive positioning - when you think about yourself in how you perceive yourself (Davies & Harre, 1997).

I just can't stay around
With all your foolish games
It's like a miracle
I made it this far, and you say you won't keep fighting
But I know you will
It's like a cycle and still. . . 
You keep pulling me

When you go to play a game, like a board game for example, there are rules that you need to read and understand.  Everyone needs to read the rules of engagement so that everyone knows how to play.  Knowing of course how they play is a different story, as people might try to manipulate those rules and cheat as much as possible in order to win. 

There are aims that people plan to achieve in the course of the game.  Whether you decide when you play this board game, you figure out whether you're playing to have fun, playing to win, or possibly both.  The same premise exists for if you want to play in online games and you're part of some gaming community that regularly meet in order to challenge each other. 

What do you do if you want to stop playing the game?  Will you allow yourself to keep playing until the other person is done, so you just put aside what you want in order to assuage their desire to continue playing?  We might stop fighting the urge to play and just continue playing because it's easier to do so.  But that isn't what you want to do.  You want to break the cycle and go and do other things in your life that take precedence and take priority.

Down down down down down
Lower than I've ever known 
Oh you tease me with a smile
Then you leave me all alone

How much further down do you have to go?
These things come in waves you know, so you just need to learn how to ride it.
I have tried to finish this blog post so many times but have been distracted by other priorities that I needed to complete and chip away at while the deadlines loomed.  I think when someone brings you down, they might not even be aware that they're doing it good.  It literally sucks that when they seem to be getting on their feet and starting to see how life can be for them, when they're making moves to realising their destiny, that they didn't realise how much they took from you in order to achieve it.  Maybe they do realise how much they took, but in the long run it doesn't really matter for them as long as you were able to give so freely of yourself in order to make it happen. It's time to reassess your life and your commitment to yourself if that guy keeps coming back into your life for all he can eat.  You're no cheap buffet woman.  You're an exclusive invitation only banquet.  Remember that.

I still wish things were good 
Just like they used to be
Two friends who fell in love
Trapped in the mystery, we had so much in common
(And we) laughed at everything
That was long ago
Ooh you went and changed

This doesn't happen often and when it does, it has the potential to ruin your entire life.
When you have these episodes, you will need to build a support network around you who will know exactly what to say in order to bring you out of your reverie.  However you can only rely on this support network insofar as how much they are willing to listen to you.  And you know what, who could blame them.  When you keep presenting the same problems to people, it's one of either two things: 1) You can't control the cards you've been dealt and you just have to play the hand you've been given in the best way you know how or 2) You keep persisting in playing a game that you will never win, but you're a sucker for punishment and you stay there all the same.  Why. do. you. do. that.  Nobody needs to actually answer that.  Just ask yourself that.

Before we lost control, before we started to fight
Before you raised your voice
Before I left that night
And now I'm left here crying
Head up, to the sky
Trying to get back to the point when we were right
You keep pulling me

When you fight with someone you care deeply about, you put yourself all in.
The frustration that arises from not being able to truly express how you feel, how they make you feel less than you want to be, is always going to be cause for argument.  When they are not able to see how much pain they can put you through, it cane be because they are in denial about any problems that may arise.  They may not want to take responsibility or have any accountability for the things they've done and what they've said that has contribution to the current situation.  There might be other times when there is no fighting at all.  Instead there is empty silence that soon starts to hang heavy between you. When you add all of those heavy silences together, it just ends up being one huge mass of nothing, a vacuum that sucks out anything good that you thought you once had.
Like a drop of rain

Falling through a passing wind
You keep pulling me
Down down down down down
Till we get back up again

When you fall through that passing wind, will you remain intact or just be swept across that space and land on some other inanimate object?  The craziest thing is when you can see things unfold right before your eyes and you have no power to make it stop.  So you wait patiently for people to just realise what their actions are and hope that they can see for themselves what's going on, and can make it stop.  You even start to second guess whether your own actions has contributed to the situation but quickly learn that you were never really part of the equation in the first place.  It seemed as if, but it wasn't quite.  When you are in a relationship or some kind of close connection with someone, you would hope to think, or would like to think, that what you see is what you get.  But sometimes it's not that simple. Sometimes we never get to see any of that seemingly straight forward, how it is realness that you think you're giving the world.  Instead you're just going down.

Just one, glimpse of happiness 
And I won't have to guess if love has won
You keep pulling me down 

After all is said and done, I hope that you start to see what kind of relationships and close connections that you want for yourself.  We can all too easily get dragged into the same patterns of behaviour, we can make the same mistakes when we think we have clearly learned, but actually haven't.  It can only take one slip, one memory to trigger that spiral of chaos again.  But the funny thing is, nobody externally can see or feel that internal chaos the way that you do.  Nobody else seems to know that your own blood is racing through your system or your heartbeat has jumped from your chest and into your ears every time you feel yourself reaching to that familiar place.  So either wise up or close the door to those who consistently knock on it, wanting parts of you that you are trying to hold sacred for yourself, if not for someone else who deserves it more.  The sad thing might often be, they won't necessarily know the door is closed until they start knocking and you never open it. You've moved house.  So who knows when love has won?  The only thing you will know for sure is that once again, if you're stupid enough to let it happen, again, you're going down. . .

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Evergreen. . .

Oh I can't see the forest for the trees. . . 
A blogpost tribute to Deborah Faaiuaso

I kissed my penny and threw it in
I prayed I'd keep my soul
Went down to the river where the water bends
The only place I know 

It can be very easy to lose your soul and try not to let others damage it in any way - intentionally or unintentionally.  What do you want to let go of and throw into the river?  It's been a difficult week this past week, with the news of your death.  Everyone retreated I think to the memory banks of their minds to search for memories of you and the last conversation that they had with you.  These might be the only places that they know to find you, to reach back and relive those moments again with you.  Everyone will have their own places to search for you.  Whether they are through photos, videos or conversations that they remember vividly with you.  These are things that people will keep tucked away in their soul until they see yours again.   

Oh I can't see
The forest
For the trees

People always say, live every day like it is your last, because you never know when that will be.
We can see people who do live that way, and we can probably spend a bit of time being envious for their zest for life and trying everything once.  You were like that.  That gung ho attitude of yours would be an asset to how you lived your life, and encouraged others to do the same.  I think it would be so easy to see you amongst the forest though, a tree like you would stand out no matter where you stood and grew.  You being planted in the way you were, all you could do was teach others to grow just as strong, even when they were unwilling to.

So will you wait for me?
Will you wait for me?
Will you wait for me?
My evergreen

A question I'm sure that your friends and family will ask of you.
I am sure that everyone has their memories of you, their most recent of you.
I remember you most in your early days of high school when you had just started and I was finishing school.  There was a spark to you that was even hard to extinguish then.  You would be the youngest taupou to perform every I believe in the AGGS history of the competitive Samoan group at ASB Polyfest.  Catherine Pereira, Faatoe Fitiao, MaryAnne Winterstein and I had no issues with your selection in this role, even though you were so young.  It was a testament to your commitment to the leadership role and how you carried yourself as a young Samoan woman.  

Standing at the water's edge
The Mississippi's overflowing
Hold your current in my hands
You bring the meaning to my moments

It was obvious to see how much you meant to those who attended your funeral services.
They were there to mourn your passing but more importantly to share memories of your wonderful life, that you lived so fully.  The family moments that were shared will probably be the hardest for those you loved the most, the daily tasks and conversations that you had with each of your siblings in particular was the funniest to hear.  I have thought about those moments too.  What you shared with whoever crossed your path.  You had a good memory, a skill that came in handy as the organiser of the family and friends who knew you best.  I liked in particular the times when we would cross paths and you would remember what we had talked about on the previous occasion.  It showed how much you cared about people and genuinely listened to their stories, how they were going in their own lives.

Oh I can't see
The forest
For the trees
Oh I feel so 
Hopeless against the stream

I know that when all of the families and friends who have travelled far and wide to farewell you have gone, it will only be your immediate family and closest friends who will feel your absence the most keenly.  Their grief will only be tempered by the knowledge that you are now in your Father's house getting acquainted with your new surroundings and everyone else you missed yourself who passed on before.  I know that in your own way you will be with your nearest and dearest when they need you the most.  It is the strongest comfort that I have felt for myself when I miss Loma the most.  I am secure in the knowledge that he would always want me to stay strong and live the hell out of this life before I see his face again in heaven.  I am sure that your loved ones will know that your heart would not want them to feel hopeless against the stream. . . 

So will you wait for me?
My evergreen
I know it's just as hard in Heaven
So will you wait for me?
My evergreen
I know it's just as hard 
My evergreen
My evergreen

News of losing you last week impacted me in a way that I didn't expect.
Work and study were just swamped of memories of you and how much I thought you could have achieved as your days have been cut short.  But upon reflection, I see that it is not within our human comprehension to understand why you had to leave this earthly realm, but only to understand that those of us you have left behind must take on board your legacy and do what we can with the time we have.  Thank you for sharing your life with us.  It was great to see and meet everyone who came to celebrate your life.  We hope that we will see you again.  We will all miss your smile and your laughter and mocking skills.  While we wait for the day to see you again, we just need to know, so will you wait for me?

RIP Deborah.
Per Angusta Ad Augusta xxx