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One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else. - K.L. Toth


The Waterboys - The Pan Within

Colours in the landscape over winter are in short supply, but they are there and so assume a greater sense of self, impacting on our consciousness. I enjoyed making some images on a cold and frosty end-of-2020 with remnants of colour in a patch of nondescript woodland I've come to know well. The whites, blues and cyans of winter woodland provided a good foil for some of the warmer colours still available.

It hurts to turn the radio on

Stamina’s gone, my spirit is weak

Because every time I start to move on

Keep hearing that song, I’m brought to my knees


To permanently see in reverse

Take the remorse out of defeat

Because everything that’s under my skin

Where I end and begin still belongs to me


I’m fine to sit and stare at the door

Can’t run anymore, too weary to stand

I’m bound in the effect with the cause

My life is on pause, it’s out of my hands


To perfectly perform in reverse

There’s no way to rehearse, there’s nothing to plan

Because everything that’s under my skin

Where I end and begin, that’s who I am


Oh, only silence can restore

The sense of place I had before

Oh, only silence can repair

My sense of self I lost somewhere


Oh oh, oh, only silence can restore

The sense of place I had before

Oh, only silence can repair

My sense of self I lost somewhere


Because the last time I let myself feel this way

It was a long, long time ago

And now we get so scared, and we get so scared

To be nowhere left alone


Because the last time you let yourself feel this way

It was a long, long time ago

And now we get so scared, and we get so scared

To be nowhere left alone


Because it’s now or never now

It’s now or never now, now, now

Because it’s now or never now


It’s now or never now

"There is a core delusion at the center of our struggles in all organizations. A core delusion that narrows our sense of self and ignores the greater world beyond the organization.


It is a world that can inform us of our personal destiny, but also a world that we have lost the time and inclination to investigate thoroughly.


Trying to ignore this greater world, we forge a small identity held within the narrow corridors of the building in which we work. Rather than breathing life and vitality into work from the greater perspective which is our birthright, we allow our dreams and desires to be constricted and replaced by those of the organization and then wonder why it has such a stranglehold on our lives."


"The first step to preserving the soul in our individual lives is to admit that the world has a soul also, and is somehow participating with us in our work and destiny. That there is a sacred otherness to the world which is breathtakingly helpful simply because it is not us;


it is not defined by our human worries and preoccupations, and it never will be. Its refusal to concern itself solely with our personal ambitions is its greatest mercy; it reserves itself for another kind of nourishment, one we come to when we are ready to drop our reflexive self-concern and look beyond our exhausting self-importance.


As the poet David Ignatow reminds himself:


'I should be content

to look at a mountain

for what it is

and not as a comment of my life.´


"Looking at the mountain for it own sake opens up a life that can be descried only in the numinous effulgence of poetry or the self-forgetfulness of vital prose.


This self-forgetfulness is the essence of firsthand experience. We no longer see our experience as useful for getting something out of someone else, or getting us quickly somewhere else, but as the primary touchstone of both our individuality and the strange way our individuality depends upon everything else.


In such experience there is nowhere to go because the experience of interdependence is complete in itself. This experience of belonging satisfies a primary hunger that lies at the center of our soul life; it holds both restful and fiery qualities simultaneously, it is not an easy out.


Taking the first vulnerable steps into our own experience, no matter how small or hidden at the beginning, opens us to a more generous life, where what we have to give figures as largely as what we receive.


We stop trying to draw infinitely from a finite world and begin to learn how little is necessary to live a life that honors the soul of the world.


We learn that in many respects our world works as a partner, sometimes friendly, sometimes terrifying, but always true to its own necessities and by its example drawing us toward our own.

Everyone’s got a secret

Tell me all about yours

Love, hate

Oh how we play the game

Cold soul

No sense of self control

Love, hate

Unsure to pass or play

Cold soul, now we’re out of control


Roses are red, and my heart is black

We creep about the floor to indulge like rats

Enraptured, we walk to nurse our obsession

Cause the roles that we play are paved with cruel intentions

Well Mrs. Pharmacist, if you insist


I’ve got a dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty little secret

And I’m not sure that I wanna keep it

So we feed ourselves lies to submit to the shadows

And I just wanna shake you by your little perfect fucking halo


Everyone's got a secret

(What's yours? What's yours?)

And don't be shy, I'll never repeat it


Motionless In White - Rats




- Hair by Lock&Tuft - Caduceus @Hair Fair 2019

- MakeUp by [TWC] - Soft fight @ MOM

- Glasses by Anxiety - Lunatic glasses @MOM

- Top by KiB Designs (Soon)


Let me be utterly clear.


My love is unconditional, but your presence in my life is not.


The moment that you prove that your value of me doesn't measure up to my own sense of self-worth, I'll unconditionally love the memory of you as I move on.


Thank you for teaching me that.


♫ Someone who affirms

My inner sense of self



Take care of the next



Who we hope trusts me trusts you

And we hope trusts me trusts truly you



And close

Intimate with self and

Her mother


To our cause

A person

Who we hope trusts me trusts you

And we hope trusts me trusts truly you ♫

“One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.”


Oh, what is the world to me?

A fallen tree?

A lifelong impossibility?

An animosity?


When spies creep through the forest to observe the fallen.

And we think we’ll never be tall and strong again.

This is a moment dissected and elongated

for an undeserving audience.

Strange times….stranger instances occurring.


It is too cruel.


A sense of self disintegrating

What is it like to grow old then

lie down in the belly of the forest

while everyone looks on gasping

“How sad and yet how beautiful!"


**All photos are copyrighted. Please don't use without permission**

Going. Just that, walking towards nothing, moving away from everything. Leaving behind all that weighed me down, all that kept me together, all that tried to pin me down and define me: relationships, profession, material things — oh how we cherish those — familiar places, smells, colours and textures.

Going towards nothing except a true sense of self, to find an answer to those most existential questions: “who am I, what am I... what is my purpose — what the fuck am I doing here?”.

Going without the need to move. Going in and out of my mind, shunning all external influences and influencers, ignoring all pleas and accusations, my misgivings and ever-present fears.

Just going.


And... gone.

Still on my neighbour's farm:

Gem is the best worker of five dogs. Very cute and friendly but a tough dog for tough cows - no fear (and no sense of self preservation!)

She is fast, but a little overweight before lambing time starts.

Ready for action, waiting for an opportunity to do her job

there came the time when she had to let it all go. and, when she did, she felt an ease wash over her. this blissful sense of self-worth and esteem that can only come from within and not from the reflection of those around her. there was a moment in between honking cars and sirens of her city that she felt the welcoming calm of her exit and the beginning of her new world.


how bitter sweet this had all become.



i am what i am.

Représentation de la Factory

La Factory était située à New York. Située d’abord, en janvier 1964, au cinquième étagedu 231 East sur la 47e rue (« Silver Factory », car ses murs étaient recouverts depeinture argentée) puis déménagée en 1968 au sixième étage du 33 UnionSquare West.


De la même manière que la Factory avait servi à produire à la chaîne lessérigraphies les plus chères de l’histoire de l’art, ce lieu devait aussi servir à Warholà produire du mythe, de l’image sociale en quantité industrielle, et propulser dans la grande constellation des VIP quiconque mettrait les pieds chez lui.


La Factory, la « fabrique » donc, se devait d’être ce loft des années 1960/1970, cet endroit où on entre anonyme et d’où on sort « Superstar » (selon la terminologie de Warhol). Cet atelier allait donc accueillir tout ce que Warhol et ses acolytes pourraient produire. Galerie d’exposition, studio de tournage, salle de projection, salle de concert, boîte de nuit, tous les événements étaient prétextes à la réunion du gratin de la jet-sey new-yorkaise qui venait s’encanailler allègrement avec tous les paumés, dépressifs, toxicos dont Warhol aimait s’entourer dans des fêtes géantes où les classes sociales étaient abolies, tout le monde logeait à la même enseigne du super-star-system underground. De fait, la célébrité importait peu, même si de nombreuses figures du monde de l’art, des médias ou du cinéma traînaient dans les parages, de Salvador Dali à William Burroughs, de Dylan à De Niro. Ce qui importait, c’était d’être une star, et pour être une star, il suffisait de le dire, et d’être là. Rien de plus.

Installé dans une friche industrielle de la 47e rue Est de New York, l’atelier ouvert par Andy Warhol en 1963 reflète non seulement sa méthode de travail mais aussi sa personnalité. Dans ce grenier entièrement recouvert, jusqu’aux toilettes, de papier d’argent, de peinture argentée et d’éclats de miroirs, collectionneurs, galeristes et conservateurs de musée côtoient l’entourage de l’artiste : des personnalités issues de la culture underground, junkies, travestis et prostitués, devenues de véritables célébrités à New York.


Stephen Koch note dans son ouvrage Hyperstar : Andy Warhol, son monde, ses films : « la Factory inversa le rôle traditionnel de la culture underground : tandis que le microcosme occulte tournait le grand monde en dérision, ce dernier le contemplait avec fascination, illuminant la Factory des feux de sa curiosité. Le public du monde extérieur fit alors partie du spectacle. Tous, à la Factory, savaient qu’ils étaient regardés, et une conscience de soi, théâtrale et rayonnante, se fit jour… ».

Ainsi l’atelier de Warhol réunit non seulement les conditions matérielles de production de ses œuvres, mais contribue à construire sa réputation à travers ses fréquentations.


Representation of the Factory

The Factory was located in New York. First located in January 1964, on the fifth floor of 231 East on 47th Street ("Silver Factory" as its walls were covered in silver paint) and then moved in 1968 to the sixth floor of 33 UnionSquare West.


In the same way that the Factory had served to mass-produce the most expensive screenprints in the history of art, this place was also to serve Warhol to produce myth, social image in industrial quantities, and the great constellation of VIPs anyone who sets foot in their home.


The Factory, therefore, the "factory", had to be this loft from the 1960s / 1970s, this place where you enter anonymously and where you leave "Superstar" (in Warhol's terminology). This workshop would therefore host everything Warhol and his acolytes could produce. Exhibition gallery, filming studio, projection room, concert hall, nightclub, all the events were pretexts for the meeting of the gratin of the New York jet-sey who came to slam cheerfully with all the lost ones, depressed, drug addicts with whom Warhol liked to surround himself in giant parties where social classes were abolished, everyone lived in the same boat with the underground super-star-system. In fact, fame mattered little, although many figures from the world of art, media and cinema hung around, from Salvador Dali to William Burroughs, from Dylan to De Niro. What mattered was being a star, and to be a star you just had to say it, and be there. Nothing more.

Housed in a brownfield site on East 47th Street in New York City, the studio opened by Andy Warhol in 1963 reflects not only his method of work but also his personality. In this attic completely covered, down to the toilet, with silver paper, silver paint and shards of mirrors, collectors, gallery owners and museum curators rub shoulders with the artist's entourage: personalities from underground culture , junkies, transvestites and prostitutes, who have become real celebrities in New York.


Stephen Koch notes in his book Hyperstar: Andy Warhol, his world, his films: “The Factory reversed the traditional role of underground culture: while the occult microcosm made fun of the big world, the latter contemplated it with fascination, illuminating the world. Factory the fires of his curiosity. Audiences from the outside world became part of the show. Everyone at the Factory knew they were being watched, and a sense of self, theatrical and radiant, emerged… ".

Thus Warhol's studio not only meets the material conditions for the production of his works, but helps build his reputation through his associates.

Another way of putting this is that we ascribe personal dignity or worth to people – to human individuals – because of the sense that, in relationship, each of us has a presence or a meaning in someone else’s existence. We live in another’s life. To be the point where lines of a relationship intersect means that we can’t simply lift some abstract thing called ‘the person’ out of it all. We’re talking about a reality in which people enter into the experience, the aspiration, the sense of self, of others. And that capacity to live in the life of another – to have a life in someone else’s life – is part of the implication of this profound mysteriousness about personal reality. Deny this, and you are back with that deeply unsatisfactory model in which somebody decides who is going to count as human.


At 6 months now, Akasha is starting to display more and more of her personality with an unique sense of self.






A look down the ice-clad catwalk of Manistee's North Pier where the only visible color during whiteout conditions coming off Lake Michigan is the rusty and weathered shell of the light


Mandy and I took a white-knuckled ride into Manistee yesterday to get out of the house. The light was barely visible from the parking lot. I was going to stay and take pictures while she shopped but I chickened out of that plan - didn't want to be caught out there if I couldn't hack the cold. So I put some ice picks on and walked out just short of where there was an occasional breaker. Snapped about 4 pics before folding like a lawn-chair. Extreme cold and a intact sense of self preservation had me bolting back for the car in no time. One unusual thing about this pier is there is no built in ladders in the breakwall (at-least that I saw), so if your swept over that's all she wrote.

I'm struggling to comprehend the seeming speed with which life has transitioned from manageable to the unimaginable. The preoccupation is rightly with the coronavirus itself. But ultimately the psychological aspect of longterm stress and anxiety might prove equally disabling. Each day brings an increased awareness that this is going to be a long term situation with effects that will surely outlast the virus itself. I'm clinging to daily routines in an effort to maintain mental health. But it's deeper than that. I need to feel a sense of self worth; a need to exist. There has to be more to a day than watching endless news coverage. It's important to be dialed into events, but I fear the hypnotic effect of ongoing news feeds. Balance is key right now. It will be a process of discovery for many of us as routines change, perhaps radically, as we find out how exactly we will fit into the new model. It will be a process.


We're on the verge of the vernal equinox; the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere is Thursday. Normally a time of year filled with hope and optimism. Likely to go all but unnoticed this year. I was scrolling through an old email queue yesterday looking for a past communication. There I stumbled upon threads from exactly one year ago. They were filled with discussion of problems and issues with jobs that seemed paramount at the time, but utterly trivial now. How I wished those sorts of problems were the worst thing in life now.


The other day I noticed a very challenging astrological makeup for this week starting tomorrow, March 18. An astounding six planets will cluster in the sign of Capricorn. The indication is one of a tipping point being crossed. Perhaps a big disclosure is in the offing. The tension will remain strong through early next week. Stay safe.


Ego - a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance.


Dedicated to Paul B0udreau, friend and confrere.


Moving slightly on from Black & White but keeping almost to a monochrome treatment, this small series works to emphasize the compositional or structural aspect of my 'technique'. I love rich, saturated colour but it takes some discipline for me to allow the richness of monochrome or pure Black & White to come to the fore.


Maps as formed, reasoned, linear and rational structures, the framework of everyday thought, here, dissolved or made ambiguous. With that dissolution the ego fears the loss of self. Yet, is what it is that fears the loss actually the self? What lies beneath or behind the maps that carries on without them? The blue sky is not touched or affected by the clouds that seem to cover it up. It never ceases to be and is there when the clouds disappear....




Music Link - "Strange and Unproductive Thinking", David Lynch, from his album "Crazy Clown Time". Yes, the cult film maker/artist/TV series creator also makes music. As would be expected by those familiar with his films, the music is strange and at times creepily unsettling. This song though goes deeper into the Lynch psyche revealing Lynch's thoughts on the nature of mind and reality, couched in contrasting lights and darks of surrealistic metaphor and outright philosophical speculation. "Strange and Unproductive Thinking" is either a marathon of random neuron firings or a brillantly disguised manifesto of consciousness. Repeated listenings are required as one go just doesn't seem to be enough to capture the fullness of it. Have fun! :-)


View Large on Black.


© Richard S Warner ( Visionheart ) - 2015. All Rights Reserved. This image is not for use in any form without explicit, express, written permission.

You may change once, maybe twice in your lifetime. You may change once every few months. Hell, for all anyone knows, you are going through little bits of change every single day. Sometimes that change makes you a stronger person, sometimes it makes you a more determined person, and sometimes it leaves you feeling broken. One thing is for certain, that change is going to change you. It'll change how you see the world, how you see others, and how you see yourself.


Falling changes a person. It challenges their resolve, their integrity, their sense of self. Falling isn't something to shy away from, it's something to embrace. Just as change is. There's no shame in giving into whatever it is that gets you down as long as you remember that life is about reinventing yourself, even if you have to do it every single day. Do it because you can, do it because you owe it to yourself.


Embrace your falling changes.

When you lose all sense of self the bonds

of a thousands chains will vanish.

Lose yourself completely,

return to the root of the root of your own soul.



Upon noticing a young man whose head is fully covered with cloth and showing only his eyes, I got closer to him while he was looking out of a pickup truck window and quickly raised my camera at eye level to take his candid photo.


I was expecting that he would either look away or cover his face with his hand, but he instead gladly looked directly into my camera with a much sense of confidence, as shown here.


After showing his photo at the back of my camera, I asked him a few questions out of my curiosity. He said that he's working temporarily as a truck driver because he cannot report back yet to his former job as a bartender at a Korean club in Angeles City in the nearby Pampanga province as it is still closed ever since the entire Luzon island has been placed under strict coronavirus lockdown in mid-March.


Captured in late morning along a village street in Subic, Zambales, Philippines. Luzon is the country's largest and most populous island.


whenever there is a storm, trees are broken, destroyed, no matter how big they are, they cannot resist the force of the wind. Even the strongest trees are like a toy for strong winds. The bamboo isn't. Bamboo bends, it flexes, nearly touches the floor, but never breaks. It resists the storms, the strongest winds. Yet, it keeps its delicate structure.


Like the bamboo is a good man's character. A man can undergo hard, difficult, tough times, for which he must adapt, but must never break, never lose his sense of self. A man must keep his essence now matter how bad the world is treating him.


in an antique store for all eternity, but they can't take away my sense of self. That is my freedom.

The Bhava exhibition, a collaboration with Akim. It's been a challenging photographic journey, I'm proud of the result!


Last week before it closes, last day: Saturday 18th July

Taxi to the exhibition at Itakos Gallery

Saxony is a federal state in the east of Germany. Outside of Berlin it contains the two largest cities in eastern Germany, Leipzig and Dresden. The state has a long history of independence as a kingdom, and as a result has a strong sense of self-idenity.

When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.

When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.


Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness.

This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.


~ Eckhart Tolle


“Forbidden fruit is always very intriguing...though never as tasty as one imagined it would be.”

~Claudy Conn~


“Frequently avoidance of the present leads to idealization of the future... When an event does not live up to your expectations you can get out of the depression by idealizing again. Do not let this vicious circle become your life-style. Interrupt it now with some strategic present-moment fulfillment.”

~ Wayne W. Dyer~


Everything is in our mind and we can control it. Being able to separate our thoughts from our sense of self is one of the most useful things we can do. Our mind is just a tool for us to use. Negative/inapropriate thoughts are a normal part of human functioning. Happiness doesn’t depend on how few negative/inapropriate thoughts we may have, but on what we do with the ones we have. Always remember: we have choices ;-)


Happy new week guyz, happy new season and thank you always for your visits and your sweet comments.. xx

Don't get me wrong, I like the whole 'polished silver' look for the cybermen. But I think with the cybermen a sense of self preservation and a more 'used' look is needed for them to give a sense of longevity, like the clone troopers and starships in the star wars universe you can really show wear to the cyberman design.


These cybermen in particular are like a cyberpunky/blade runner sort of Variant. Something futuristic yet bleak.

“One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.”

― K.L. Toth

*Libra - Sept 23 - Oct 22*


Traits include leadership, initiative, balance and a strong sense of justice. They’re not afraid to speak up for what they believe is right. Libras become upset when their relationships are out of equilibrium. This is a sign that needs their "scales" to be weighed evenly.


Creative, enthusiastic and lively, Libras are open-minded and have a contagious zest for life that allows them to interact with and inspire all sorts of people in extraordinary ways. Never underestimate the intelligence of a Libra for they possess some of the most clever and ‘switched on’ brains in all of the zodiac.


Libra's kind, gentle, and mild manner enables them to develop the long-lasting friendships and bonds with others that are so important to their sense of self.


Libra is hard-wired to seek out longer-term and more meaningful relationships as opposed to shorter and more fleeting flings. They’re also willing to be patient and wait for the right person to come along and wont just settle for the first person that shows interest.


The most compatible signs with Libra are generally considered to be Gemini, Leo, Libra and Aquarius.

Having your own style and your own sense of self is very personal. Changing anything about how you look can be a traumatic experience, even in digital form. Whatever your authentic self is, be true to that. The moment you betray yourself and your expression of the self, you have lost your essence. I know, it's second life, and you can be whoever and whatever you want, just make sure the expression you choose, is authentically aligned with your spirit.


Visit this location at Enchantrix Empire in Second Life

Occasionally my mind blanks for long periods, bereft of all thought and perception. All the world fades away from my consciousness, and even my sense of self disappears, swallowed by this colourless and silent emptiness.

Finally finding a sense of self.

Mamiya Press. I THINK this was the 65, probably at F16 and however many seconds the Nikon D600 I used as a meter indicated. This method can backfire, because digital blacks aren't really black - there's tons of info to dig out, whereas print film is the opposite .... but it more or less worked here.


This is clearly a softer, more romantic version than one would get with digital and modern optics; my earlier attempts at processing where even more hyper-romantic and frankly, OTT, and my inner sense of self-preservation kept them from being posted here....


Fujicolor 400H. Scanning: Epson V600.

London Design Biennial

Somerset House Fountain Square.


“Tabanlıoğlu Architects explore the ambiguous question of where we belong. housEmotion looks like a house, but is it a home?


The installation considers the emotional meaning of home in an age of increasingly transient living. “There is a variety of perceptions of what home really is today,” the practice says. “The question ‘Where are you from?’ prompts myriad answers. The meaning of home for a person may simply be a smartphone with a full memory.” Or it may be something more fundamental to our sense of self – Tabanlıoğlu also reference the psychoanalyst DW Winnicott and his groundbreaking work on childhood development, Home is Where We Start From.


Tabanlıoğlu’s pavilion starts with the most elemental idea of a house: a cubic form. This is created using a series of white rods, a simple border demarcating the limits of the home. The gaps between the rods lend a semi-transparency to the structure, drawing visitors in but also allowing the home to dissolve into the wider environment. The walls, perhaps even the home itself, are seen to be illusory.”

Taken on our whale watching trip this morning. The highlight was seeing 2 pods of these wonderful creatures. The were enjoying riding the waves created by the boat and whistling to each other in the process.


Felt sorry for the Fin Whale in contrast which was being pursued by 4 boats, at least the Dolphins interact with humans on their terms.


As everyone know they are one of most intelligent animals on the planet. They have a sense of self and can recognise themselves - this is normally demonstrated by a mirror test, usually attaching some form of brightly coloured label or marker to the animal (which it can only see in the mirror) and then introducing a mirror into its pool. The Dolphin will then try and remove the marker. This behaviour is also shown in some Corvids - in particular from extensive research on New Caledonian Crows, who are also wonderful users of tools and enjoy playing for the sake of playing (both traits shared with Dolphins). Well had to read something on holiday!

Excerpt from


St Marie φ Walker‘s When you think of me… draws attention to the social and psychological forces that construct our sense of self. The qualities that we choose to define us also conceal many of our vulnerabilities, contradictions, and insecurities. The rise of a virtual dimension and its carefully curated profiles and threads more easily house our constructed self, but also the internalized conflicts of human nature. The collaborative dyad of Denise St Marie and Timothy Walker, St Marie φ Walker has installed work in Japan, China and different parts of North America, including Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Victoria, the Canadian Prairies, the Niagara Region, Windsor, London, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Tarot: der Tod - death


„Ich erkenne den Wandel in allem. Ich bin bereit loszulassen und dem Neuen offen zu begegnen.“


This card don't represents a physical death. It implies an end, possibly of a relationship or interest, and therefore implies an increased sense of self-awareness.

Glad to see your wide awake

This is the great escape

From a life that tried to mould you

And the lie it sold you


What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?

What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?

What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?


Did you try to reason why

Look yourself in the eye

What you are is all you have been

What will be is all you do now


What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?

What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?

What would you do?

What wouldn't you do?


Spill a tear as your sense of self slowly

Melts away

Melts away

Melts away


Until death's mirror reflects

The meaning of our lives

We wander aimless and mesmerized

As the fear starts to rise.


Anathema - Balance

Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence, not an emptiness but a repletion, a filling up.

~Anne Leclaire

28:366 - Tough Love


In order to love someone, you must sometimes tell them no.


Ever been asked to do something that went against what your gut told you to do? Maybe it was a loved one, a coworker, your boss? Was this something hurtful to you

or them? Did it compromise your beliefs, your morals or your goals?


Today at the zoo, I had such a problem. I was snacking on some popcorn in front of this poor creature. He did everything he could to communicate to me what his wants were. He tried to convince me that not only did he WANT the popcorn, he actually desperately NEEDED it also. He gave me the saddest eyes I had ever seen.


It broke my heart!


But I knew that what he wanted me to do was wrong. Not only could it hurt him or make him sick, but it would be compromising my own sense of self. I love animals. I could not hurt one intentionally!


There are times when we are in situations like this. Not necessarily with a cute debrazza's monkey trying to get our salty snack. But most often with people we love asking us for something that we know is wrong to give them. It could be a child asking to stay up late on a school night or a spouse asking you to fudge the numbers on your taxes. There are somethings that are okay to say yes to, but you really need to ask yourself where you draw the line BEFORE such questions are asked. And make sure you know the consequences of your decision.


Sometimes when confronted with a difficult situation, it might be better to take your time in giving an answer. Don't allow yourself to be pressured by the strong emotions that you think might complicate things if you say no. Once you give in once, it can be harder to say no the next time. Give yourself a chance to take a risk and do what you know is right. If you are unsure, ask someone that is neutral to the situation.


Love is hard sometimes. It comes with so many emotions that can be very intense. You become tied to that person and you don't want to hurt them. But you have to remember that if you say yes to something that can cause harm, you are hurting them and yourself in the long run.


I could have said yes to the monkey. I could have given him a little piece of popcorn without anyone knowing I did it. But I would have known. How horrible it would have felt to wonder if he would have gotten sick. And even if I tried to convince myself that he would not have been hurt, inside I would have known I had made a decision that was wrong and went against my beliefs. And I would not have been able to take it back.


I had to say no to the monkey, regardless of how much pain the look in his eyes might have caused me. I couldn't allow his display of emotions manipulate my decision. Once I threw away my popcorn container, the monkey went back to his own meal of fruit. No big deal. Although a few minutes earlier, he was trying to tell me that his world was shattering, in the end, he was unchanged.


Next time, when you see the pleading eyes of someone that is asking you for something impossible, remember that you have the power to make the right choice. Because you love them.


Love your children with all your hearts, love them enough to discipline them before it is too late ... Praise them for important things, even if you have to stretch them a bit. Praise them a lot. They live on it like bread and butter and they need it more than bread and butter.--Lavina Christensen Fugal

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