Day 60 of being “grounded”– 5/4/2020 Lessons Solidified Part Four- Chosen Perspectives

This is the last of a four part series on lessons revisited and solidified during the pandemic.

The first 3 posts on Scarcity, Three Human Hungers and Structuring Time, are issues that for me, have definitely floated to the surface during my confinement.

And here is the fourth.

I started seriously considering the possibility of the existence of Dual Realities way back in the 1980’s. I found my Psychotherapy practice filled with those who were diagnosed as “Borderline Personality Disorder”, an unfortunate label. I mostly didn’t use the suggested DSM whatever-number-it-was back then. I didn’t want to stick my clients with a reputation that might limit them in some way. So when I got a referral called Borderline, I started switching it to Borderline Personality Organization. I also encouraged my therapy community, especially my trainees, to adopt this different perspective.

I bring this up because the clients with this “diagnosis” were most therapists’ worst nightmare. No one wanted to work with them back then, and tried to limit their practices to one Borderline at a time. No surprise. A person whose personality worked that way, could frustrate the most experienced of practitioners! A “Borderline” tended to be quick, smart, combative, testing, and successful at what they do (healthy or not). Typically, they were extremely creative…but mostly at proving their own strongly held mistaken belief that they were unlovable, and that you too, would eventually abandon them….another thing they were successful at…getting a therapist to give up on them.

I never felt that way. I absolutely loved the ingenious ways they could get all of us therapists to fight over them, to disagree about them, to “split” over them. It reminded me of me and my sisters growing up.

Talk about immersing one’s self all the way into a pre-decided reality…all or nothing, black and white, no gray. Brilliant. And a lot of therapists bought right into the reality, compelled to choose a side, or a singular definition of right or wrong.

 (imagine a photo of the yin/yang thingy here)

But see, I was raised by my Dad, a brilliant, but covert, Master Teacher, who from day one, taught me that one thing, two things, even three could be completely true at the very same time.

He had three daughters and out of necessity I suppose, quietly negotiated, and mediated, and helped us see things from each others’ perspectives.

Bessey Girls

It may have been easiest for me though. Not because I was his oldest, but because, though he was my Dad, he was not my father. (He married my mother when I was two-ish.) It took me until well into adolescence to straighten out that conflicting statement.

“You’re my Dad but you’re not my dad? Huh??”

I had lived the proof throughout childhood, that two seemingly opposing things could both be true. I had enough experience with it in other parts of my life, that when I started getting calls from frantic therapists, throwing up their hands wanting to refer a Borderline (remember, labeled with affection by me), that’s what I set out to teach my new clients…exactly what my Dad had taught me…

“You’re Mother left you. AND Your Mother loved you.”

 

The real anchoring for me of the concept of Dual Realities came right after 9-11-2001.

 

9-11 Twin Towers

Immediately following the attacks, in my search for understanding I stumbled across a PBS Special. The program was interviewing religious leaders, teachers and philosophers from all over the world who, in my opinion, were valiantly trying to prevent the next world war…trying to get us to consider the event from other perspectives.

One of my very first Blog posts was about this experience. https://chosenperspectives.com/2015/11/19/absolutely-nothing-is-absolute/

Anyway, what grew for me out of those experiences was an idea…my version of a primary theory, like my mentor’s all-encompassing idea about Scarcity forty years ago.

What if there really is only one single task for every human being to accomplish during their time on the planet? I now believe there is.

We need to learn how to be separate and connected at the very same time.

Talk about conflicting states, or dual realities! How can both of those be true simultaneously?

This is not new. We have each been dealing with this exact issue since our very conception. Think about it…even as we were growing our separate little bodies inside our mother’s womb, we cannot, and will not, ever be any more connected to another human being than that!

baby pushing out from inside belly

It may also be the oldest existential discussion of all. We are whole entities, completely unique, and separate from all others. No one can ever fully be in our shoes, and on our death beds, we will all take that final breath completely alone.

But at the same time, we are completely connected to everyone else. (Hey, all those people at Woodstock would tell you they were ONE with each other!)

Wide-angle overall of huge crowd facing

We are certainly connected as a species, and some would say we are linked, attached, and related to ALL living things on the planet.

Well, as if we needed a reminder of these facts, in case we needed to learn this lesson experientially, along comes Covid 19, throwing us all into the ongoing, daily circumstance of being separate and connected at the same time.

We have had to literally separate ourselves, to socially distance, to hunker down and isolate in order to slow down or stop this virus.

But what is also true is that we are all in this together, finding creative methods for proving and anchoring our connections, all while frantically searching for the way to save our entire species.

In every single moment of our lives, based on our individual and collective stories, we are choosing a perspective, a way of seeing, defining or experiencing the world.

I never thought I would be quoting one of Mr. Trump’s staff, but his Dr. Birx said the following, actually as I was writing this:

“We need to protect each other at the same time we’re voicing our discontent,”

And an even more surprising resource for me to share is about the video made by former President Bush:

In a three-minute video shared on Twitter on Saturday, Bush urged Americans to remember “how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.”

“In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of god,” Bush said. “We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”

 

What the virus is teaching us, shoving in our faces really, is that we have to find a perspective that includes both being separate and connected at the very same time….

And we have to find it soon.

Coronavirus separate but connected

 

As always, I’d love comments. Helps me feel connected even if you disagree with me…

🧡💛💚💙💜💗

Sunday Trees-388

I spotted this great challenge this morning and thought I’d join in.

https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/sunday-trees-388/

Picking a tree photo has proved impossible because I photograph and write about Trees I’ve known and loved all the time. (If you go to my site and look up Trees, you’ll see what I mean.)

I am so connected to many, many trees, maybe because growing up in the smallish ocean-side town of Pacific Beach (San Diego), in our front yard, we had the tallest tree in the entire town. That tree was a huge part of my life. I experienced it as a living being, a friend, and that has informed my experiences with trees ever since.

I wrote this story about it years ago.

Not just a Tree

By Kathie Arcide 10-07

For fifty years, there was a Star Pine tree in Pacific Beach that could be seen from almost everywhere. Rumor had it that this particular tree was, by far, the tallest in this San Diego beach community, and the surrounding area for that matter.

The true story about the origin of this tree is a well-guarded secret, but for a good cause; to prevent sibling rivalry.

Here is the part of the story that can be proven. It seems an unusually forward thinking young man moved to the West Coast from Coffeeville, Kansas in the late 1940’s, and wisely bought a piece of property close to the ocean.

He had it all planned; settle in to his new job as an aeronautical engineer at Convair, build his new house and get it all ready, and then, begin his search for the woman who would become his wife.

The only thing missing from the homestead he was creating was a large tree on which his future children could climb. (Well, that and a storm cellar, which, being from Kansas, he believed, was an absolute necessity. But that is another story.)

Here’s where the secrecy starts. This man eventually had three daughters. Each of these daughters has a different tale about the origin of the big old Star Pine tree that dominated the property, as well as the Pacific Beach skyline. I am the oldest of those daughters, so here is my version, told to me by my Daddy when I was very little.

The yarn goes like this. When my father met the woman who would become his “one and only”, she already had a two-year-old daughter; ME.

In order to welcome me into his life, we went shopping for a tree for the front yard of his newly built home. We had to look around a bit because he had many specific requirements for this tree.

1) It had to be a future climbing tree.

2) It had to be a pretty tree; none of those Monkey Tail trees that my Dad thought were inferior.

3) It had to have the potential for providing shade.

4) And most important, was that at the time it was planted, it had to be exactly the same height as his new little daughter, “so that the tree and I could grow together”.

So we found the Star Pine that occupied the front yard of this home in Pacific Beach for many years. Well, “occupied” is a relative term. It grew to become massive and regularly needed a “trim” to prevent its branches growing into the bedroom windows and overtaking the house completely.

This tree really saw some life, let me tell you. I am now in my fifties and some of my fondest (as well as harshest) memories are of sitting way up high in this old tree, for hours at a stretch; sometimes reading, sometimes privately watching the neighborhood, stretching from the West to the Pacific and to the South to San Diego Bay.  Sometimes I’d climb the tree with a little friend to enjoy a picnic lunch, and sometimes I’d hide up there from my bothersome little sisters, or from my imperfect parents.

The Star Pine was where I would “run away”.  My favorite thing, a guilty pleasure now I see, was that from high on my perch, I could hear everything my parents said when they would come out into the yard, worried and looking for me. I loved to eavesdrop on my Mommy and Daddy while they discussed how much they loved me and how very much they would miss me if I never came home again. (Now, of course, I’m sure my folks knew I was up there in that tree all along.)

And then there were those times when that old Star Pine tree was utterly a place of soul saving refuge.

As much work as raking up the shedding needles and branches? was, Dad loved that tree and so did we.

It was a landmark of sorts. One really couldn’t miss it as it could be seen from most angles throughout the town. It should have been left to live out its life in peace, just as our father did.

He is gone now, having lived a wonderful, fulfilling life in his cherished, self-built homestead. Pacific Beach flourished and filled in around him, but somehow retained its small beach town atmosphere.

When Dad passed on my sisters and I made the very tough decision to sell our childhood home. We idealistically tried to require the buyer to promise NOT to cut down this magnificent old tree. He agreed, but if you are ever in San Diego, don’t bother looking for 1361 Wilbur Ave. The TREE is no longer there. The man who bought the house professed termites and immediately had the tree removed. He also did other things to the house that, other than the address, make it no longer recognizable as our childhood home, our Father’s dream.

But some part of my Daddy is still there, his spirit and energy strong. And so are his three beloved little girls, frozen in familiar childhood poses, arguing over whose myth about the origin of the tree is really the truth.

Not just a Tree Pics

Not just a tree MJ

Song Lyric Sunday 4-1-18 Theme “days” choice number 2…and 3…and 4!

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/64726988/posts/2184063180

Cleaning out my unfinished Drafts folder and found this. Apparently I forgot to post it, or at least I can’t find it anywhere.

Wonder what in the world distracted me that day. Oh well…here is a belated, off the wall, music post!

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so here’s my convoluted process…

With this theme I immediately thought of a great song from the Sixties. No surprise there, eh? But I got it wrong, thinking somehow the word “day” was a part of the song. It wasn’t. It was in the Group’s name…

Good song anyway…

White bird
In a golden cage
On a winter’s day
In the rain
White bird
In a golden cage
Alone
The leaves blow
Across the long, black road
To the darkened skies
In it’s rage
But the white bird
Just sits in her cage
Unknown
White bird must fly
Or she will die
White bird
Dreams of the aspen trees
With their dying leaves
Turning gold
But the white bird
Just sits in her cage
Growing old
White bird must fly
Or she will die
White bird must fly
Or she will die
The sunsets come
The sunsets go
The clouds roll by
And the earth turns old
And the young bird’s eyes
Do always glow
She must fly
She must fly
She must fly
White bird
In a golden cage
On a winter’s day
In the rain
White bird
In a golden cage
Alone
White bird must fly
Or she will die
White bird must fly
Or she will die
White bird must fly
Or she will die
Songwriters: David Laflamme / Linda Laflamme
White Bird lyrics © Music & Media Int’l, Inc

But WAIT!! There’s more. Then, I thought of a song I used to LOVE that I thought was about a great “day”, which is was…sort of… Here’s a hysterical, lip-synced video, complete with Beatles haircut tossing, and white go-go boots!

Lyrics
When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
And you were on my mind
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got wounds to bind
So I went to the corner
Just to ease my pains
Yeah, just to ease my pains
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I came home again
When I woke up this morning
You were on my mi-i-i-ind and
You were on my mind
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got wounds to bind
And I got a feelin’
Down in my sho-oo-oo-oes, said
Way down in my sho-oo-oes
Yeah, I got to ramble, whoa-oh
I got to move on, whoa-oh
I got to walk away my blues
When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
You were on my mind
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got wounds to bind
Songwriters: Sylvia Fricker
You Were On My Mind lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

But THEN…I spotted this great news clip video next to the video

What a great DAY it was for music back then! I loved it all!!

I’ll try to stop now……….

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 4/1/18

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SundaySongLyrics 11/11/18 Theme- Soul

Talk about SOUL!!!

Worth the watch for the drum and guitar solos…but don’t expect to hold still.

Definitely a “pump up the volume” song!!

 

Woodstock….ahh, so close and yet………(another post someday!)

 

(First version, longer but poor video quality)

 

(2nd version shorter but easier to watch)

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/11/18

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vacation photos

No, I am not on vacation…although Nancy Merrill is. So she is skipping a week of her inspiring photo challenges. Her themes are great and the responses she gets are wonderful. Worth visiting her site:

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/photo-a-week-challenge/

Here’s one I responded to a while back.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/10/13/a-photo-a-week-whimsical-10-13-18/

Since Nancy is gone on vacation, I decided to use THAT as my own theme for today. I actually started writing about our 7,000 mile Epic Roots Road Trip vacation last summer but never got back to it.

Here’s a photo sampling.

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VERY Southern California
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Dinner company 
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Blue Angels practice show
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Naval Air Museum-Pensacola

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Beauties in the Florida swamps

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Campground Sunrise
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blurry definition??

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Cousin’s Chow
New Orleans Duck
friendly duck, looking for junk food handout at 7-11 Louisiana

 

 

 

One Gift Turned into Three

There is a whole HUGE category of people for whom MUSIC speaks way louder and more clearly than any amount of political discussion or rhetoric! Just ask any true Hippie or Flower Child!

MORE MUSIC!!

Here is a second attempt at re-blogging my friend Karuna’s post today.

I”m going to put the main song I want to pass on directly in here, in case the re-blog doesn’t work again, but do visit her sight also. She always has great, beautiful, inspiring stuff there.

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.com/2018/11/02/one-gift-turned-into-three/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FciQeRGYFlw

 

Living, Learning and Letting Go

A friend just sent me a link to this video. I loved it.

I decided to listen to another one of his other songs. I loved that one too.

Then this video caught my eye. It wasn’t by Keb’Mo’ but I also loved it!

Thanks Vani… for being the person who led me to this string of gifts.

View original post

VJWC (VJ’s Weekly Challenge) 10/22/18- theme River

Here’s my entry for VJ’s weekly challenge, River. Her’s is great and worth a visit!

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #20: River

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I ran away from home when I was just a kid…I mean, a LONG way from home.

Left my beaches and my ocean in San Diego, and headed east in search of peace.

Ended up in Natchez, Mississippi, and lived with relatives I thought could save me.

I guess they did, but not how I had hoped they would.

I lived in Natchez throughout high school, learned very hard lessons about education, religion, music, politics, and friends.

Left there in search of my adult home, and for people less confusing. In the deep South, they were, and still can be, the most warm, open, loving, giving people you will ever meet…and some are also historically and genetically predisposed to be filled with hate and prejudices. Dual Realities.

But that river. She really gets under your skin and draws you back and back and back again. And I’m glad she does because without her pull, I never would have ended up with the love of my life, James. Natchez was his San Diego.

So we go to visit as often as we can. Ol Black Water, indeed. (sound track for your visit to THE River.

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James is home here

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a 3 brothers reunion at the River

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Water_(song)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #20: River

LensArtistChallenge#16-BIG Can Be Beautiful Too 10/21/18

I love photography that shows how much ones perspective (assumptions) can change simply by comparing one photo of something to another photo of the same thing. The following four photos are each one half of one of those comparisons. These are the half that show how beautiful BIG can be.

IMG_7810IMG_9623IMG_7614giant dandelion

 

 

These next are from our Epic Roots Road Trip last summer. We visited the HUGE remains of an antibellum home North of Natchez, Mississippi, called the Windsor Ruins. While walking around and through these ruins, it required some seriously imagination-stretching to be able to see just how big and beautiful this mansion must have been.

http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/visit/windsor-ruins/

 

On the same trip, I was really moved by the beauty of these big boulders at a rest stop, of all places. I couldn’t help but consider how in the world they all ended up in the precarious positions they were in. And the color of that big southwestern sky…very different from the more rare and much deeper blue of our northwestern skies.

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And you might have to stretch to see any beauty in my beloved big bugs! It took me a while but now, to me they are amazing and gorgeous!

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You can read their story here:

Walking With Intention Day 20 by Kathie Arcide

 

(The Featured Image at the top is a big beautiful bridge over the big beautiful Mississippi river, from Natchez to Vidalia, Louisiana.)

 

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/lens-artists-challenge-16-big-can-be-beautiful-too/comment-page-1/#comment-33896

October Photo a Day Challenge-10/8/18 Branches

I met a tree yesterday…a real old-timer, in the front yard of the new home of some dear friends. I spoke to it as I entered the house, asked if I could photograph it, and then left it to contemplate its answer.

When my visit with my friends was finished, I walked back out to visit the tree. I told it that while I was inside, I had checked on my phone for the daily photo challenge and discovered, coincidentally, the word for the day was branches and I wondered if it would be OK to take a few pictures of its glorious examples for my daily post.

It told me yes but only if I passed on this statement.

“I am a very old tree, even for my species, and I have sheltered this home, and its people since 1938.

I was here first.

I could live a lot, longer if I am allowed to.

Elderly trees like me are just like the elderly of your species. We are living, and breathing beings, and sentient, in our own way. As we age, we may need extra care, but…

We can tell you such stories……”

 

 

I grew up with a giant tree in my childhood front yard. I climbed way up in it to hide. Its branches held me safe and kept me invisible while the pain down in my house was happening.

I believe this tree has also held many children, but in joy and play.

I told the tree “Thank you for posing for my photos of Branches.”

 

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https://citysonnet.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/october-photo-a-day-challenge/

SongLyricSunday 9/9/18 picture/photograph

I always love different versions of a favorite song. Here are two!!

 

Fountain of Sorrow
Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer
I was taken by a photograph of you
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more
But they didn’t show your spirit quite as true
You were turning ’round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes
Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small
Though it hasn’t really been that long a time
What I was seeing wasn’t what was happening at all
Although for a while, our path did seem to climb
When you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool
Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You’ve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You’ve had to hide sometimes, but now you’re all right
And it’s good to see your smiling face tonight
Now for you and me it may not be that hard to reach our dreams
But that magic feeling never seems to last
And while the future’s there for anyone to change, still you know it seems
It would be easier sometimes to change the past
I’m just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you
In my lessons at love’s pain and heartache school
Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you
There’s this loneliness springing up from your life
Like a fountain from a pool
Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You’ve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You’ve had to hide sometimes but now you’re all right
And it’s good to see your smiling face tonight
Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You’ve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You’ve had to struggle, you’ve had to fight
To keep understanding and compassion in sight
You could be laughing at me, you’ve got the right
But you go on smiling so clear and so bright
Songwriters: Jackson Browne
Fountain of Sorrow lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

 

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/9/18