Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Through the gentleness of a deer...

The inspiration to write this specific blog entry originally came from wanting to share about some MADISON COUNTY news. But, it sort of took a turn so I decided to have two separate entries and that specific blog is here:

On to this post..

When I learned of blogging, as far as I was aware, it was always communicated to me that you were supposed to have a theme. Some sort of angle. Something that was solid, "branding" if you will, so that people could easily find and follow your writing if they wanted.

I'm not a writer outright. Back in 2008, I unofficially began, "blogging" when I was somewhat journaling about my experience of joining the ALADDIN cast at Disney. I really enjoyed the writing experience, but because it was more about the rehearsal process, it sort of stopped once I began performing regularly. You can actually find the links to those past blogs beginning here. I took the time to post them here once I created this account and transferred them from...MYSPACE. Geez...remember that?

Last year, when things started to get serious with my Dad's cancer, I found myself drawn back to writing. I needed to share again. I used it as a way to share what experiences my family was going through and some of the closest moments to my heart were shared during that time. Some people would remark that they couldn't share some of the things I did, others were thankful and shared their own experiences as a result. All in all, it was helpful to me. Especially when I would share with my family and Dad. I remember telling him how many people were reading about his story and offering constant support and prayers and I knew it meant a lot. Even though it was probably scary to think of people knowing those details, the bigger picture was that strong positive thoughts were being sent our way and that was a welcome exchange.

Through that experience, I also grew close with people who had been affected by cancer in their own lives, which I had never known about previously. It was surprising, but also scary how much this disease has had an impact on so many lives. I've always heard that, but now I was experiencing it.

During my blogging, I'd also find myself drawn to share other experiences and stories, that didn't always tie in to a specific overall theme in my eyes, but they were things I just wanted to share. There have been stories about work, tough mudder, movies, MMA-- all sorts of stuff.

I'm always amazed at the feedback I get from these posts. It definitely has been therapeutic for me to be able to have another outlet to vent or share, but it doesn't end there. You can't, "share" one way so of course it is nice to know people are reading, otherwise, you write to some extent. Just yesterday someone commented on my post: SUPPORT & STRENGTH FOR DEATH and it was so touching to read. You never know what your words mean to some people I guess.

I've recently realized through random life experiences that while my blog isn't specifically geared towards soley MMA fans, or a movie review crowd and so on, it still always ties in with my other posts in a crazy way.

This post is layered with many things. I wasn't sure which way to go, but realized I wanted to write. I don't have a set schedule...I just let life inspire the need to write.

I've been thinking about my Dad a lot. It hits at random times that he is not with me and it could be the smallest thing that triggers it. On Easter, I saw a father and son yelling at each other and it was kind for funny to witness. I felt bad that both of them, because they both were so worked up and it was heated, but it made me think about when I was a kid with my Dad. It eventually led me to thinking about how I would absolutely kill just to have ONE of those moments right now. Even one that wasn't the happiest, but I'd take it just to see my Dad. Erin and I saw the family screaming back and forth at each-other while we were on a hike at Will Rogers State park and oddly enough, we saw a deer gently crossing the street on our drive up the mountain. It was in no hurry, it just walked on by. It was a majestic moment watching this thing and we just watched it cross, then went on our way in amazement at it.

The next day, I went on a hike near my apartment and when I drove all the way there, I discovered they had closed up the trail for some maintenance! It wasn't really the biggest deal, because something happened that put me in a good mood just minutes earlier. As I was driving there, TWO DEER crossed out in front of my car. Just the same calmness as their friend from the day before. But I had been thinking about my dad earlier, still remembering the boy and his father from the day before, and it just hit me. Months ago, one of the blogs I posted referenced one of the last walks I ever had with my Dad (this blog). It it I described how we had finished walking at the park and while we were driving home we saw a deer crossing the road in front of us. As I said, the hiking trail was closed, but I was smiling because I knew the only reason I was supposed to be there was to see these deer. It offered me a peace to my thoughts at the time, but something felt like there was a bigger message that I just hadn't realize yet.

I tried to tell Erin about seeing more deer, but my text wouldn't go through because of the lack of service in the hills. I finally remembered last night (the next day), because I still was thinking about it and I brought it up to her. She told me about this book that was about animals and their meanings for when they come into your life. I believe it was by native americans. Now, I'm not the first person to go out and buy all of these symbolic books or read into any of these things with conviction, but I'm definitely open to reading what they say. As far as I am concerned, it's no different than reading about your astrology sign for the day. It was fascinating and really spoke to me...

I've been having some challenges lately on the professional side of my life and it has been difficult not to allow myself to be affected personally. It has been a dance between two extremes because many things have led me to the best experiences and opportunities, yet along the way there have been some serious eye opening experiences and lessons to be learned. The problem comes when I have to make professional decisions that tie into personal feelings, or vice versa. Never is this fun, but out of respect for many things, I do not wish to downplay one for the sake of the other. It's not fair and I won't settle, especially when they are dealing with levels of respect and trust.

In life, I feel people can have different levels of respect for different things. It's about understanding. Because of this, I find it is possible for you to accept something, even if you don't agree with it. "We can agree to disagree." Example: I have two friends who are VERY opposite political extremes that are still friends with each-other, because they can respect each others view/position at the end of the day. Another example: We all have the friends who are constantly late to things. Well, if you needed someone to pick you up to take you to an appointment that was VERY time sensitive, chances are you wouldn't call upon that person even thought they could be your best friend. However, you understand and accept how they are enough not to take it personally or hold it against them. You just know that you won't depend on them for certain things. You respect that. I also have friends who I used to be really close with until something happened in the past that changed everything. In fact, there was a point where we weren't friends anymore. But as time passed and I started to understand and ACCEPT different things, I forgave because perhaps I was too tough on them. This stemmed from me having expectations or assumptions of what our friendship entailed instead of really understanding who the person was. It's like when they say you have to love someone for the person they really are, not the person you expect them to be or become. Once I had figured that out for what it really was, I was in the position to decide honestly if I wanted to continue to maintain some level of friendship. I couldn't be hurt or upset by something, because I knew this was just how the person was.

There is a difference for me with trust though. I have a very hard time accepting or understanding once that has been challenged. I think this is where I've been led to tough times I mentioned above. I'm very generous with giving the benefit of the doubt which often ties into my learning of acceptance or lessons learned the hard way. This is a careful balance and has been a big factor lately for many things it seems...I guess I'm just growing up, LOL. It's just tough because once I'm left questioning trust or feel that the line is crossed and trust is threatened, it is harder for me to let that slide. I don't think this will ever change for me, but perhaps I will learn better how to deal with this.

As I've found myself trying to juggle everything to sort it all out, I've been; confused, angry, enlightened, happy and so many other conflicting feelings that have left me feeling nothing but aggressive as I fight to gain some sort of control or understanding. A lot is at stake, it seems, but there is also an ease that comes with letting go. A comfort.

Well, the deer really tied into this after reading the description in that book. The fact that it reminded me of my Dad also was equally powerful, because my Dad was very similar to what the reading says about the deer; gentle with a big heart. I feel that this was a message I was just supposed to have and it speaks so much for what I'm feeling and how I'm trying to deal with things. It was meant to be guidance for my handling of some of the challenges I am to face. If you read below, it also ties into the acceptance of things for what they are, which I think is key.

This may be the thing that helps guide me along the most as opposed to letting my mind or heart passionately lead me to conclusions or decisions.

I'm thankful for the deer and for the message they have helped me find.

For below references:

"Deer teaches us to use the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are trying to keep us from Sacred Mountain. Like the dappling Fawn's coat, both the light and dark may be loved to create gentleness and safety for those who are seeking peace.
If Deer has gently nudged its way into your cards today, you are being asked to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. Stop pushing so hard to get others to change, and love them as they are. Apply gentleness to your present situation and become like the summer breeze: warm and caring. This is your tool for solving the present dilemma you are facing. If you use it, you will connect with Sacred Mountain, your centering place of serenity, and Great Spirit will guide you.

Deer in the contrary position indicates that you are courting your fear by fighting the internal demons of negative ideas. This is a clue to you that force is not always the best method. You may not be willing to love yourself enough to feel your fears and let them go. You may be projecting your fears on others. It may also be others whom you fear, reminding you of a time when you reacted to life in much the same manner. At any rate, love is the key. The only true balance to power is the love and compassion of Deer. Be willing to find things to love about yourself and others, and your demons will melt away. Your fears cannot exist in the same place that love and gentleness abide.

Remember, Fawn can teach you many lessons about unconditional love. In its true application, unconditional love means that no strings are attached. The gentleness of Fawn is the heart-space of Great Spirit which embodies Great Spirit's love for us all.

As a power animal, Deer stresses that there are other ways than force, and shows that there is a power in the gentle word and touch, and that strength comes through caring.

You are confronted by those whose attitudes cause you pain and sorrow, and sometimes even fear. But it is they who are the wounded ones, and whoever tries to help them will only make matters worse. To soothe them you must touch their hearts with the healing balm of the gentle spirit and the embrace of kindness.

Deer teaches the need for compassion and kindness towards others and yourself. Don't drive yourself so harshly! Be gentle with yourself, and you will cease to project your fears onto others. Deer is a power animal that is directing you towards a serenity of heart, mind and spirit. Gentleness has the power to melt a heart of stone.

Be gentle with yourself and offer kindess to all living things."

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