Friday, May 9, 2014

In the Labyrinth of my Nature

I just searched for wisdom. According to Wikipedia, wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. No wonder why it is so rare. For starters, common sense is the less common of all senses. Listening AND learning from others' experiences besides our own would be helpful too. Unfortunately the thought of "*that* won't happen to me because..." (I'm faster, younger, prettier, smarter,  or whatever reason that comes to mind. Basically, because I'm better than you) is pretty common.  This is more common when young but I think it has more to do with arrogance and ego than with youth. I often forget it is possible to find life lessons everywhere and anyone can be my teacher, regardless the age, gender or race. I believe creatures were created with two ears and one mouth so they can listen twice as they talk. Sadly, it happens the other way around. Everyone is busy in making their points right, justifying themselves and blaming others that true listening is becoming an extinct practice.

The other day I read a post at Elephant's Child about volunteering. It reminded me of my years as Doctor of Laughter, basically Hospital Clown a la Patch Adams. Risaterapia Mexico was founded following Patch Adams' cue. I loved my work there and I got so much from all the people I visited, I felt I gave very little in return. I found many teachers of life at the hospitals. I remember this six or seven year old girl who had terminal cancer.

"Hello!" I greeted her. "May I come in?"
"Hi", she grinned at my red nose. "I am very glad you're here."
I waltzed into her room. "What can I do for you today?"
"Nothing. I have cancer. I am going to die, but it's okay." She said with the same peaceful tone as if she would state the sky is blue and the roses are red. "It's my mom who needs you. She's very sad and has been crying. Please make her laugh."

I had training. I was told I would face tragic things like this and much worse. I was prepared to keep my guts steady, my smile in place but never disconnect my heart. I needed to give it to whoever needed it. To listen, to hug, to laugh together and cry together. Sometimes they would return my heart to me as big and gleaming as the sun, filled with so much love. Other times, they would return it to me twisted, torn and bleeding. But we were also trained to put it back in place. It was difficult not to take that people with you, in your mind. For your own sake, you left them all behind once you got out of the white coat, took off the red nose and washed your face.

I was pretty good at this, in general. Yet there were a few cases that, because of their brutality, managed to pass the red nose armor and training. Cases that froze the smile on my face while rage boiled in my core. Cases that put a murdering desire in my mind as my heart melted in pain and empathy for innocent little creatures I was still hugging. And for their sake, I had to keep the sweet demeanor, even if having the criminal standing just in front of me. As much as I resisted, I couldn't help to feel hate as much as I felt mercy.

I know I am no judge. It is not my job to say who deserves what. But there are some things that are just beyond my nature. I am a dragon. I spit fire. It's part of my essence. To control my fire I have to decide first if I care or I don't. If I swallow my fire down, it burns and hurts me badly. That gets me even angrier and sad. It also wears out my faith on human kind. Eventually, I hang up the white coat and put away the red nose. I knew I had too much to give yet but I would end up hating the world more than I already did. Deep inside, I left with the feeling I had failed.

Last week, I also saw a video at Mark Koopman's site that is called Look Up! If you have seen the ad "Disconnect to Connect", it's along the lines. It made my heart shrink so much and ache so much I could hardly breath. I couldn't help the tears either. They streamed for about an hour, and they threatened to appear all day long.

It reminded me that I connected to disconnect. That while I still tried to help people in other ways, I spit fire. I tried to change it but I failed. I cannot pretend to be what I'm not. Regardless the magic or the disguise, true nature will always come to the surface, one way or another. And I am so tired of fighting my true nature and trying to fit the profile in order to find a human that loves me. Dragons are beautiful in books, movies or online, but I see no human living with a dragon.

I strongly believe there are things that can be changed, if you're determined enough. But we like it or not, there are also things that cannot be changed and our essence can't be changed. It might be wise to learn to accept it and live accordingly. And just make the best we can with it. I have been opening bottles of wine three days in a row but I have not drank all of them. I have been chewing depressing thoughts but I have not swallowed them. I still think on those kids at the hospitals. I remember their lessons of life. They had terrible diseases, their bodies burned or mutilated, but they still were willing to smile, to play, to dream, to be amazed and to make the best of what they had for as long as it would last.

I am not sure if I am truly wise, but I have decided I shall find another way to go back to helping people, even if it's just here at the virtual dragon cave. I owe my heart at least that.

Dragon Hugs!


29 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're going back to volunteering--somehow (and I look forward to finding out how). Everyone thinks it's about helping the sick and the less fortunate--but I find that it's often us, the healthy, the "fortunate", that most benefit from this "help". As an animal rescuer, I can tell you my seven furry babes do a lot more rescuing, and on a daily basis, than me.

    Good to catch up with you, Al.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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    1. I still have to figure out how. I agree, those who get most benefit from helping are those who help. Thank you for coming!

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  2. One of the places where help is needed, grandson, is for the carers. Especially those who work at home caring for their sick. Very often elderly people who have spouses with dementia or just spouses to sick to care for themselves. Possibly less distressing than helping kids in hospital. Just a thought.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Grandmother. I'll give it a thought to see how would be the best way I can be of service. I'll ask for guidance to the Higher Powers too.

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  3. Oh Sir Dragon. Your wisdom and your caring are bigger than the sky.
    Doctor of Laughter? So necessary - and something that would be beyond me.
    Yes, some of the things we see and hear make our hearts hurt. If they hurt us - second hand - how much more they must hurt the victims. Who so often show incredible courage.
    And you do help people. More than you realise. The Dragon Cave is a place of magic, of mystery, of laughter and of healing for me - and I am sure for many others.
    Hugs.

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    1. There is a message that tries to get to me behind your words. A clue of sorts beyond the obvious. A light I might be able to follow. Thank you for what you give me. :)

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  4. You are very wise! And working at the hospital must've been emotionally draining.
    And there are so many things you could do to help others.
    Glad I checked in from my vacation.

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    1. May the Dragon Ancestors help me find one. The right one. Thanks for taking the time to come!

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  5. I so admire you for giving of yourself and helping others. It can't be easy, but you do it with grace and charm. (I love the Escher pic!)

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    1. Thank you, Lexa. I try. And thank you for teaching me who's the author of that pic!

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  6. I only have the deepest respect for the hospital clowns - my own son was only in the hospital for a week with something small, but the smile they put on his face is unforgetable. You are definitely an honorable dragon - even if you tend to spit fire every now and then.

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    1. Ah yes. The children's smiles are unforgetable and the light in their eyes. I've never faced anything more daunting and more enlightening than a child in the hospital.

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  7. It's wise to reconsider something you thought you'd permanently walked away from.

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  8. FD.... your kindness and heart are truly beautiful... You help so many... more than you know. Reaching out into the blogosphere is helping. You can touch SO MANY MORE lives this way...

    I saw that video as well, and it was extremely poignant and sad... HOWEVER there are exceptions. If you don't have a family, significant other, or close friends who live near you, reaching out through the internet is the ONLY way to connect with them.

    I'm sure you DON'T ignore your family and chose the internet. You LIVE LIFE and even if you don't feel that now, you will find a way to reconnect again. You have a heart AND PASSION... Two very admirable and wonderful qualities...

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    1. I always try to be where I am, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed. I wish so hard to go beyond my own limitations. To connect in a way that distance doesn't matter. In such manner that even after turning the computer off, I don't feel all alone. I know I'm missing something. And I know I have to solve the puzzle to my own riddle. I've always thought all answers are within me, but I have this feeling that there are some that you only find through others. I have to try again and may the Higher Powers guide my heart and passion so they don't be wasted behind closed doors. Dragon Hugs!

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  9. Greetings Al,

    Altruism and being there for others, is a gift. A gift you share. To get out there and be of help to others actually helps you. I know this is a challenge. A challenge you shall embrace.

    My good friend, we are rather similar. I'm very much in the background and do a lot of work in the blogging world that goes beyond posts. And so do you. When we help each other, we help ourselves. Al, that's powerful. Despite any doubts you have about yourself, continue to rejoice in knowing that you touch the hearts and minds of all of those who have the honour of knowing you. Whether that be in 3D reality of those on the other side of the computer screen.

    In peace, admiration and empathy,

    Gary

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    1. You devote a lot of your time to help others' voices be heard in the blogsphere. You also share humor and kindness. You often highlight the beauty of simple joys in life and face your fears with a joke and determination. I notice the darkness you often struggle and fight so it doesn't control and swallow you. You are one of the bravest men I've met. I know the size of your enemy and just how immense is your determination. You inspire me more times than you know. I'm grateful because you're in this life and I learn from you. Dragon Hugs.

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  10. Your posts lift me up every time I come here. You are making a difference, my sweet dragon, whether you realize it or not.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. May I have the inspiration and wisdom to continue doing that. Lots of Dragon Hugs to you!

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  11. Father Dragon, I admire you for what you do. I used to be an EMT before I got sick. I've seen a lot of bad also. I don't get out much right now either, for a couple of reasons. Your post almost made me cry. I must be a dragon then too. {{Hugs}} Eva

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  12. I'm sorry I got you sad, Eva. I think I have an idea that could help us dragons. Let's see if it works. Dragon Hugs back at you.

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  13. I hope you find a volunteer opportunity that won't hurt your heart. Hugs, Father Dragon! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lara! Me too. Dragon Hugs!

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  14. That had to have been painful and yet you gave so much to people around you. I admire you for that, Al. Please know that there are many who love you just as you are - all fiery and everything. You are a most lovable dragon and we are all in one sort of a cave or another. Be at peace with yourself. Every time I come here and read of your doubts and self-tortures I realize you're helping me by expressing the same feelings and thoughts I have. When you share your inner self, you help those around you. Bolitas to you and thank you for helping me. I hope sometimes I can help you back.

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    1. Yes, you've done it quite a few times. Thank you so very much for your friendship and your words. You also teach me to see things I would miss otherwise. Most heartfelt bolitas from me and all the dwarves. We all love you. :D

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  15. It's only when you reach out to others and offer whatever you can that you are truly complete. What a wonderful gift you gave that child.

    I saw the video you mentioned and shared it with people. Then I went to a friend's house and sat across their table to talk to them.

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  16. I wasn't as moved by the video as everyone else...is my heart in the wrong place? I don't think I am less of a person for my online time. I have met people (and dragons) that I would have never met in my small town. I have learned things about their cultures, their religions, and their perspectives on life. No, I don't think it should be my whole life and is a good reminder to call my local gal pals and set up a day out.

    It's hard to work with people who life has given the short end of the stick and not walk away wondering why. I have quit asking fairness of this life and accept it's a broken world we are here to survive and expect perfection and fairness from the next life.

    Hugs dragon.

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  17. It takes a strong person to be selfless and caring for strangers. You impress and inspire me every time I visit your blog. Thank you for being who you are.

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