Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wlecome to my world aka Pity Party extravaganza!


Maybe I’ve stepped on a few too many ants, swatted flies and drawn blood from pesky mosquitoes but life seems to bring me to an old, dirt road. If M Scott Peck believed the spiritual life is the road less travelled then I ought to get a satellite naviagator for my life - the road well travelled and in need of new tarmac!
I was raised in the home and school of Hard Knocks……it’s not a lie but could be considered an exaggeration. I guess you might say that everyone comes up the hard way…in some way…and adversity has propelled them to fame and success. That’s true and there are many examples of paupers who’ve turned themselves into princes but what about the ones who don’t……the ones who find solace in alcohol, drugs, food, too many possessions, abusive relationships and other forms of self harm.
We’re all damaged; some more or less than others. Grief dogs our footsteps wherever we may roam on this planet. We’re grieving for our lost souls that we gave away too easily or allowed others to trample over.
Well worn path
There’s a hole in my heart; it’s so big that nothing stays for very long in it. Love comes but it rarely stays so I have to get used to my emotional terrain being a barren wasteland. Toxins have been dumped in my mind as fear seeped through my mental rececces; fear foisted on to me by my caregivers.
Confidence and courage deserted me at the most important times in my life; like when choosing a partner, home, job, investments etc. My ego has been knocked sideways, forwards and backwards and though battered, it’s still standing – don’t ask me how!!?
The gratitude attitude comes easily to me even when you throw me a few peanuts! I count my blessings, no matter how tiny they are and some days they’re invisible.
Fulfilling my destiny? Not a chance as my emotional fragility causes me to wallow….in the flotsam and jetsam….of my daily doings. Destiny is survival and here I am….so destiny is being discharged.

Living on purpose? That’s a tough one ‘cos I try but many things conspire to distract me from my purpose. Don’t complain and don’t explain is the motto I’m forced to live by. I only share my gripes and groans with the chosen few – me, myself and I.
Depressed? Not me…..I smile and soldier through my pains. I’m a pleasant companion to have on the pot-holed road well travelled as I know when to zip it. Occasionally, I let rip when frustration overwhelms but dark looks, idle threats, not to mention, kindness and compassion keep vitriol at bay.
I’m the good person….that bad things are attracted to. Perhaps it’s to stop “bad” from happening to other people!?? Is it karma…..if so….what the hell have I been doing in past lives?? Or is it that I am the light and darkness seems me as a challenge to overcome?
Questions are good; questioning is healthy. Problem solving I’ve done a lot of and though there is a solution to every problem….it often eludes me.
I’m pitiful and imperfect. God forbid the thought I might be otherwise. My ego’s been reined in and penned up.  I’m ordinary and all too human. I need to forgive myself and others on my path and keep moving.
There’s always a load to carry on the road well travelled and the party don't stop!





Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Fallen hero

So another sporting hero bites the dust of their own celebrity as the world comes to know the other side; the darker side of their personality.

The latest hero in the frame is Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympian known as “Blade Runner” for his vast sporting achievements, despite being a double amputee. He’s now imprisoned, following the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a part-time model and law graduate.

Supporters of Pistorius believe this was a tragic accident but, there’s little doubt, that it was the famed Olympian that pulled the trigger. Apparently, Pistorius sobbed in court and no one knows if he’s heart broken over the death of this girlfriend or his blemished character.

I lean towards the latter. Oscar would most certainly have had an enlarged ego following the overcoming of his disability and his admirable sporting achievements that have rivaled and surpassed many an able-bodied athlete. It comes with the territory; he wanted to be a champion in sport and life and the spotlight of fame followed him.

Pistorius may have super human sporting prowess but he is very much human. Part of being human is having fears and insecurities and Pistorius had concerns for his safety. South Africa is a dangerous country, where the rich/poor divide is great and where social justice came at the price of bloodshed. Pistorius grew up against the back-drop of apartheid; which would not have touched his family since they were white. However, since the release of Nelson Mandela in 1992 and the vision of former President De Klerk, a new South Africa was to be born.

It wasn’t an easy birth and, though segregation is no more, South Africa is far from equal. The whites live in their high security gated communities and the blacks continue in the townships. Relations are strained; crime and corruption are rife. That is the backdrop of the South Africa that Oscar Pistorius grew up in and like any self-respecting South African he learned how to handle a gun.

Guns and insecure individuals rarely make good bedfellows. Perhaps no one told Pistorius that guns don’t keep you warm at night. Nevertheless, he did keep one at his bedside.  Upon waking and finding his girlfriend absent from his bed he grabbed his gun. Hearing noises in the bathroom, he didn’t ask any questions but fired a few shots through the door. When he entered he found his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, dead.
Was this action pre-meditated? I don’t believe so but men and guns are not to be trusted. Reeva Steenkamp would never have believed that she would die at the hands of a man who cared for her….but she did.

Pistorius is facing a murder charge. He’s known to be a little trigger happy and obsessive about his personal safety. It’s a double edged sword and now someone’s dead.
This incident is all the more disturbing as one of the parents’ of an ex-girlfriend is quoted as saying: “Thank God, my daughter is out of that man’s clutches.”

What kind of man was Pistorius? Certainly a determined and high-achieving one. It’s interesting that nearly all of his girlfriends were blonde bombshells. Naturally they would have attracted a lot of male attention and who knows what happened in the hours preceding Ms Steenkamp’s death. Perhaps he had become jealous of a previous partner and they had had an argument? Pistorius is after all a man and men often harbor uncontrollable fury in their private, weaker moments.
o doubt, he’ll have plenty of time in custody or on bail to come up with a version of events that may convince a jury of his innocence. Meanwhile, Ms Steenkamp’s family can only ponder about the fateful meeting that their daughter had with a sporting giant of South Africa and it’s dire consequences.

A hero is human and failure is part of life’s journey.  He cannot succeed in all things. Bad decisions and irrational behavior have penalties. This time Pistorius has fallen from grace and it’ll be a while before his blades are slicing up the track. Money and fame are not enough to save him this time but truth might yet win the day.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

When the law is an ass...donkey....and mule!

Integrity is the foundation of law but it’s getting a bad name. Thanks to the legal eagles that feather their nests, the law is most definitely an ass….an ass that’s worth milking!

The law exists to protect everyone and that includes the perpetrator. Since every man is innocent before proven guilty there’s a great many criminal elements who gloat before their victims. This they mostly do in the lead up to a trial. They believe they have a water tight case, they are convinced that they will be absolved, they are brazen and hire some of the best barristers as their defence counsel.

The defence is co-conspirator. They are there to tear the “enemy” aka the victim apart; they must pick holes in their testimony to unearth the truth. The truth, according to the defence counsel, is that you – the victim – are a liar. Their client, who may be charged with the most heinous of crimes, is innocent.

It’s a cat and mouse game and woe betide the weaker of you! As a victim, you are not permitted to be vulnerable, emotional or hyper-sensitive. This will be construed as guilt. The accused may come across as confident, cocky and a cad but this is portrayed as being wholly innocent of the sordid deeds.

Lamb to the slaughter
The case of Frances Andrade is a tragic one. A gifted musician who won a place to a prestigious music academy as a teenager and fell prey to the unbridled lust of the Director and his wife who groomed her for sex. She was abused in ways that would make any decent person’s stomach churn….but not so the cast iron innards of the defence counsel, Kate Blackwell. Ms Blackwell was no doubt handsomely rewarded for her razor sharp intellect and ruthless hounding of the victim.

In court, after Mrs Andrade gave her evidence, Ms Blackwell asked her a series of questions that would have insulted and demeaned anyone who had less than the hide of a buffalo.

“You are an attention seeker,” she cried to Mrs Andrade, despite the fact that the victim had not spoken about it for over 30 years.

“You are a fantasist,” she admonished, claiming that Mrs Andrade’s version of events was complete fabrication.

“Why didn’t you run away?” she brayed before administering a swift kick in the teeth to the victim in her summing up.  

I put it to you that Ms Blackwell is less eagle and more donkey-like. She’s either pig ignorant or mule stubborn to know that she was representing two losers. No doubt, her rather large fee was a huge enticement to seeing past the truth, according to her clients.

No self-respecting feminist would want to defend the a couple who groomed girls for sex unless they’d entered the profession with dollar signs in their eyes. I would suggest Ms Blackwell threw feminist ethics out of the window, when she was called to the bar – ker ching!

The ending of this case is not one of good triumphing over evil. Mrs Andrade sadly took her own life, the day after the afore-mentioned cross-examination and never lived to hear the verdict. Ms Blackwell secured lenient sentencing for her two clients and probably went home to celebrate.

Legally compassionate blonde feminist!
There was no such celebration for Mrs Andrade and her family. They are now preparing for a funeral. A bereaved family will never get over their loss. Ms Blackwell talked the hind leg of donkey and tore apart a fragile woman who had held herself together for the most part of her life.

Ms Blackwell reminds me of how easy it is for tyrants to rise to power when they find rich fodder in the form of litigators who will defend feckless abusers. After all, she was just doing her job!
Ms Blackwell has by and large lived a charmed life within a gated community in an affluent, leafy suburb complete with a convertible and Jacuzzi spa. She has most likely not encountered the darker forces that threaten the female psyche and it is quite probable that she has never suffered a near death experience.

Ms Blackwell will sleep easy in her bed since she was not on the receiving end of her own vitriol though she can take a leaf out of her fellow US litigator, Frank Razzano’s book.Frank was trapped in the Marriott Hotel on 11th September 2011, when the Twin Towers fell He miraculously survived whilst many of the hotel residents perished.

In a humbling statement, he says: “Litigation is a business where you spend most of the time at each other’s throats and, since that day, I try to be a little more kinder, gentle and compassionate.” Ms Blackwell and the judiciary that sanctioned this cruel interrogation of an abuse victim (who was left feeling suicidal)  would do well to heed his words.



Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Saving lives

Have you ever thought of yourself as a life saver? Probably not, though you know you’re conscientious and reliable enough to do it in yours and anyone’s hour of need. How could that ever be a problem you think?

Well it is. Your highly developed abilities in the life skills arena has disabled the skills of those around you. Have you ever considered the impact of your capabilities?

Firstly, you can load the washing machine quicker and empty the dishwasher more efficiently than anyone else. You also cook with a certain flair so that your meals a just that more tastier. You budget with accuracy so that there’s no defIcit other than the ones you’ve forecasted. You clean and tidy with such energy that a speck of dust or humble cobweb would quake if it dared enter your domain. Everything around you shines, gleams and sparkles that you can almost see your reflection on every surface.

You are the epitome of orderliness and perfection. You make life as stress free and comfortable for those around you as possible. You work hard to save them from knowing how difficult it is to maintain the glossy façade.

Perhaps you have a secret hope that your industriousness will rub off on those around you. Perhaps you hope that they will worship the ground you walk on for all the hours you devote to their well-being. If that’s what you’re expecting then….you haven’t got a hope in hell!

You may be expending time and energy to be a good citizen, householder, parent, neighbour, daughter, son, in-law or employee but you can’t do it in the knowledge that it’ll be noticed or even reciprocated. Human nature’s not like that. In fact, the more perfect you try to be, you run the risk of encouraging lethargy amongst those who live around you.

The spirit does not care for shiny things. It only appreciates the abstract – love, happiness, kindness – are top of  spirit’s shopping list. When two spirits who have these requirements at the top of their lists – either to do or to seek – then that’s as perfect as it gets.

Imperfection is not a bad thing. In this world, nearly everything is imperfect. Failure is also part of the imperfect way of life. Chasing success is a worthy aspiration but brace yourself for the disappointments.

Problem with perfect is that your prefect is not the same as everyone else’s….that’s the truth. What your eye sees is not how another eye sees it. Whatever  warms your heart does not necessarily resonate with another. Whatever’s in your mind is not easily transferable? When your spirit is peaceful, another’s may be turbulent.

That’s the real issue of perfection. You can’t convince another person of it or anything else.
If you have high standards, keep them that way but don't expect everyone else around to aspire to them. Your beliefs are yours alone and if you happen to find a kindred spirit then treasure them.

So what of human interactions and deeper relationships? Conflict is the key to the improvement of relations. If there was none in the first place then it’d be the garden of Eden minus the serpent. The serpent lives on like a thorn in the side of the human condition.

We cannot re-write history but we can acknowledge that we are in a process of evolution. Intimate relationships are most harmonious when it is between two people who are at the same stage of evolution. It’s highly improbable that you’ll meet them on life’s journey but don’t let that stop you from searching. Resolutions are a welcome playing field for your brain cells who love to figure it out. Be less concerned with the outcome than the process of finding a balance.

If you want to save your life and of a great many others then give yourself permission to be yourself. Expressing your true feelings will open more channels of communication than suppressing yourself to save face. If your truth is not acceptable to another then it’s time to go and experience your very own evolution revolution.

Don’t expect support but you just might be lucky and get some along the way.

Save your money, time, energy – but not love - and be careful that it doesn’t make those around you dysfunctional!