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VOF Week 4: (Batter Bitter Better)

In VOF Week 3, I shared a glimpse of my ridiculous childhood journals which I thankfully threw away many years ago. As we are in Week 4 now and are thinking of ''personal visions'', I have to say that having kept those journals as a kid taught me that ''personal visions'' are often temporary, and they may change.

We often come up with goals, dreams, idealistic imaginations and visions for our own personal lives as well as for the world, but these goals do not necessarily stay what they once were. With time, they may lose their certainty and credibility. It may not be too far-fetched to even say that we may even change too, and whatever means a lot to us at some point may lose its importance some years along the way. Realizing all this, I decided, many many years ago, that I would have to stick to ONE thing that I would KNOW I would not lose touch with no matter time passed by. I would have to keep at least this ONE thing that I will ALWAYS hold onto and keep a good grip of and not lose under any circumstances. That one thing I would keep for my sake, for my community and for the world altogether. That one thing, I decided, would be to not ever, under any circumstances, turn to become a bitter person.

You may think it is an easy task, but hey, life is tough. Not only is it tough, but for anyone who has gone through shock, pain, grief, loss, abuse, injustice or depression would know that it would be much easier to actually lose the glitter in one's eyes. I observe older people, who have seen more in life, and one can see that they are are less rigid when it comes to ''changing the world'' and that sort of thing. They perhaps know that the world has never really been that great to start with. Older persons have obviously turned more pages to know that life may well be temporary, and so may we be: slowly decaying while endlessly trying to understand who we are and who is it easier for us to be.

In some of those older people's faces, I have seen bitterness quite a few times. I recall the face of an older woman, never married, whose family have turned to a joke and left alone with no one but a cat. I recall the face of an older man who has lost his son in war but the son had never been in touch with him anyway. I recall the wrinkled faces of women who are persistently trying to hide their age and only exposing their anger and bitterness instead. I recall myself as I was observing these faces, thinking to myself ''Grace...how can one be graceful after having lived enough years to have seen cruelty; betrayal; gloominess; darkness and disappointment? In such a life, how can one NOT get bitter!?

That is when I decided that this would be my challenge. This would be my personal goal and vision: not to be bitter, and not to give up on the world and its people.

Since that day, I have been thinking of women who carry themselves lightly in this world. I think of these women and I think of how comforting and comfortable it must be to not weigh so much mental weight and baggage. These women may well have been subjected to cruelty and harshness, yet that glitter in their eyes has still managed to keep its glow, and their smiles have still not faded. I think of these women and the lightness and relief they carry around; that which is not tarnished by jealousy, envy, obsessiveness or greed. They are simply...graceful...with no bitterness. They glow with pride and with nothing to be ashamed of.

To fight bitterness is a vision that I will hold on to with or without being a Correspondent. It is my own personal challenge that I am convinced of. However, to quote from what I read on one of pulsewire's pages: "To flourish, female wisdom needs a room of its own, a firm sense of place, and an extended, supportive family." This firm sense of place with the extended supportive family makes the roots more intact. We draw inspiration from each other, and it helps to know we are not alone.

In this respect, World Pulse would become my extended, supportive family. This means of communication would connect the dots and here I would find that women from all parts of the world can breathe my words and take them with them. This is a place where I would draw inspiration as I have received it, from women in their graceful state who are only getting better; angry yes, crazy perhaps, but never bitter.

Comments

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Wow, perfect image

I was laughing when reading your last line and thinking "Oh,she must have read mine" but know what you mean about trying to find a challenge and goal that you can control and build upon. What I find especially beautiful and poignant is how so many of us feel it is enough to have this place and wont mind if we are not chosen as a correspondent. It shows to me the impact that I feel is real since other woman feel it too.

I would love to also be one of those woman who can carry themselves lightly in the world and it is also something I work to find in myself. I love seeing I have so many things in common with woman from around the world! I think it was a beautiful idea when I first heard of the idea of 'sister friend' and embrace that idea since I also feel like this is part of my extended family.

Maria

Anna Lag's picture

Thank you for your post. I

Thank you for your post. I could not agree more. When my father visited me last week, I noticed how much his present life situations have aged him. Life can be cruel, a little rough and sometimes unfair. However, I am so grateful to read your article and hear a voice calling for grace amongst it all. I believe we have a choice and it is not always easy. But even when we feel powerless and out of control, we can choose to live with grace and without bitterness. Thank you for your inspiration.

anna lag

jap21's picture

Sweet, sweet lady

Never thought about bitterness before. Now that you mention it, I just started to get a glimpse of the battle against it.You have found your quest, your dream to realize. Cheers to you for that. I will happily follow your trail picking the flowers that you spare in the form of entries.I promise not to let you down and work against any trace of bitterness I could find inside of me. You see, I kind of felt like the old people you mention! Thank God I realized some years ago that it is not cute to wear a frown, jajajajaja.

Awesome article.

Best,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

LauraB's picture

Carrying it all lightly

Arda,

I have been asking myself, how do I choose to carry my life? Your determination to carry it lightly speaks to me. I was thinking of a friend a few days back who lost her grown child suddenly, from seizure, to coma, to death in the matter of days. I wonder how she'lll carry it. Is there is anything I can carry for her, just for a minute to make it a feather lighter. I wonder about this shared carrying....can we lighten the load for one another. I'm trying to imagine your life and what you have experienced in Palestine. I feel you have great heart and strength to carry it gracefully.

I've been carrying a bit of everyday worries this week. A computer crash-my business in digital form,possibly gone. A call back to the Dr. for a further breast exam. A family member who unloads rage in destructive ways. I decided to carry it lightly, not identify with it too much. We've all got things to deal with- the ones we don't particularly like. Anyway, carrying those little hardships this week wasn't too much....sort of interesting, just watching them carefully enough to care, but lightly so they weren't weighty. Happens all the important data and design work for my business will be back in my hands soon, my body is well, and my family member who rages- well, it's not mine to bear and I just won't.

I like bearing it lightly....and I like to imagine you holding it all with a light step and a smile-no matter what it is.
I liked your post a lot.

You are done with the VOF 4 weeks- I hope it's been a great experience.

Warmly,

Laura

JaniceW's picture

Congratulations

Arda, I am thrilled to see that you have your new flag alongside your picture. It is also with joy that I see you have advanced to phase two of VOF. Your perspective and insight have been refreshing to read, and you engage the members in such a meaningful and positive way. I am so happy that PulseWire has provided a platform for your voice and I know that many lives will be changed for the better because you have chosen to speak out. Best wishes....

Arda's picture

Re: Congratulations

''I know that many lives will be changed for the better because you have chosen to speak out.''

I keep reading this sentence and I love it!

Thanks for sharing it,

Arda

LauraB's picture

Congratulations

Arda,

So glad that you will be a part of the VOF correspondents- I really loved reading your posts and look forward to hearing
your journey!

Warmly,

Laura

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