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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.
A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.
You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.
For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.
DonInLondon - ĎDay In the Lifeí August 11 2007 and this Morning
Indeed yesterday was quite peaceful overall. Some calls, some sharing and some connection to fellows and friends in fellowship.
I am realising I have three key elements, Family, Friends, Friends and Fellows in the Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship..
One Mother, One sister, One Brother, One sister in Law, Three Nephews and One God Son. Not bad I must say as I head to fifty one years on Tuesday! And I might have had a wife and children? Yes indeed opportunity was not the issue, me and my outlook from early life were reasons enough never to settle in one place long enough. And then of course choice of life partners and timing and everything - I would have loved to be a father and husband. And recent times has made me realise with everything in life, choices and chances come and go. Was I ever available to be a father and husband? Of course, yet timing and, well people places and things are serendipity, happenstance and as much luck. I am pleased to have family close and we know each other best and better these days.
So many chances at conventions and so many mismatched moments. This is life. And I have a life reclaimed on a daily basis!
Friends Over the Years
There are a few, we have lost contact over the years, and especially as I headed into depths of gloom for a decade or more like two, its poignant to realise none of them would have found me agreeable or like the person they knew of old. There are many years of hurtful loss and severe depression which cut me off from life and living at all. And of course spectacular decline into alcoholism. It was my near death experience on what became a daily basis for a long, long time. Now in recovery for some years, life picks up to normal these last few months. A normal I have never known in my adult life.
Friends Fellows and Fellowship
Odd really that I had to go to Rock Bottom living so many times to break free of fear of life.
Fear of Life
Not something a big strong man would want to share, yet in sharing the emotional pain of singularity and not feeling big enough all the way and then losing sensitivity to living through career and anything which made the picture of life look right to the outsider..
Gift of Living
No one can turn another round and help them see that life is a gift when all living has come from fear. We need grow the gift of living by living new and peaceful days.
Dark - Endarkenment
The dark of my life, well a friend called Brian once mentioned the word Ďendarkenmentí one of those made up words like Ďobliviateí I sometimes offer as another way to define depression and self harming to medicate the horrors away. Until of course the horrors just stay and the medication, alcohol in my case did nothing but make them even more powerful in my mind.
Light - Enlightenment
Comes with careful and slow progress, not to be perfect, just to enjoy the day as is. And if a day offers lightness and joy, experience its truth.
And when the day offers sadness in the now, reflections of past times too, experience its truth.
Spiritual for me is to have both the light and the dark, the contrast between light and dark.
Enlightenment and Endarkenment
The truth in each day, we have both so we know the difference. The wisdom in truth is to know, to develop and understand we need both. Nirvana, Utopia, The Grail of Life is completely in this ever present moment of now, the imperfectly, perfectly present moment of now.
Spiritual is in us every waking moment as we reveal the truth of us and our living. Truth the key and sanctuary of spiritual connection to Nature and Providence.
We work at life or we Perish without the key, oft imagined in the after life, the hereafter, yet present right here right now, gifted and delivered from this infinite Universe, some call God.
Creation beyond our wildest dreamsÖ
August 12th 2006 [Last Years Journal]
Feeling and Empathy
Sometimes the most obvious things we do everyday lead to good outcomes and bad outcomes. We react to situations the way we have learned over the years and we donít realise what is going on. In life we get good and bad days generally as well. And sometimes we forget the difference between how we react and how we respond to daily life.
When we react, its from our learned and natural tendency given what we know. We react with kindness to kindness. We react with anger at anger. These things we know. Yet we donít often take a moment to understand why.
Every human being feels everything first and then thinks about the feeling. We have feelings all day long and in our sleep we dream through our feelings. Thatís why when we dream we have no control it would seem over what we dream. We dream feelings and not our thinking.
So if we are feeling all the time, how or why donít we share always how we feel? Simply because sometimes our feelings will give us away to people we donít know or trust. So we develop our reactions to our feelings so we donít give up our fears and often our liking of others. itís a thing we all do all the time. Simply if we show our feelings all the time, life would become overwhelming we feel, and so we think our reactions and behave according to a book of rules we learn as we grow.
So if I am feeling first and then think about it, and have a way to show how I react, then I have ways of being, simple things like greeting and being amiable, or being cool when things feel heated. We have our "cool" side, the hip or ok way to behave and be in control, even when our feelings might be quite out of control. When we see somebody we like and our feelings are attraction, we hide in case the other does not share our feelings and we might feel more uncomfortable if they knew.
Being a single man I may have ordinary normal feelings of attraction towards women I meet, yet I donít always show my attraction to them explicitly. My reasons are quite simple, I donít want all women I am attracted to know straight away I find them so. Why? Because I have learned what we see is not all the picture we encounter and what looks attractive physically is often a mere part of a person, they had so much more I need to know besides. They may be ugly inside and their personality may be so different from what I find attractive, what I see physically is never enough for me. I need more of what is on the inside for me to be attracted and itís the character I need know to express more of my true self.
Its complicated? Always..
So even when we are able to show feelings we never know how the other person is until we have more common ground, which is why we have rules of meeting and engaging with each other. Even friends have these rules and when we have feelings of friendship they are learned and learned again, over and over. Nothing is actually solid until we know it is so.
When we are able to discover more clearly how we are feeling we get better results from our dealings with others.
Ask this simple question first. How am I feeling?
How I am feeling will depend on what is happening in my life. Wake up in the morning and ask yourself that question, how am I feeling? Then ask why to yourself. itís a way of checking out how am I today. And the answer is how you wake up and what is on your mind. We start feeling consciously from the moment we awake. We wake up good or bad depending on what is going on in our lives. And how our dreams may have been too. It all adds up.
Assertive behaviour is knowing how I am feeling and knowing why, and then I can get to what to do. Its easy and we just donít often do it. Because if we do ask these questions of ourselves it most often means we need to do something we might not like. And that means change something, in ourselves and our environment. When we feel under threat or vulnerable, we cling to what we know and it may be our cause of worry, and fear of nothing can be worse than knowing what we have already. That is why when we assert how we feel, and we are part of a family or group of friends we need find empathy.
From assertive to empathyÖ
Empathy is understanding our feelings and others feelings. We start again as assertive, where we ask ourselves how am I feeling and then ask our family and friend(s) how they are feeling. We start a process with others when we do this, And the sooner we start this process, the quicker we get to our truth and their truth. We start the dialogue of living with assertiveness for ourselves and empathy with others.
Empathy is asking
How are we feeling right now, why and what can we do? How do we feel? Are we feeling the same way, and if so why, then we get to negotiating our way forward together in joint activities. We get Empathy!
Or we get confused because others are feeling quite differently to us and how we feel. We find often though both of us concerned feel the same way and we build on where we are. Or we find our feelings are different and we find we need find another way forward. We find asserting ourselves separates out our friends from acquaintances and cuts down the misunderstandings we have about each other and our living.
Assertiveness and Empathy go hand in hand. Asserting our feelings from being comfortable and often uncomfortable, and sharing carefully, owning our feelings helps us get over hurdles we have. The guessing games we play where we donít know how others are with us. More often than not we are surprised to find others mirror our feeling. More often than not we find better understanding. And often we find we might be in company which offers us nothing. And where we find better empathy and understanding we find our home, where we find no understanding and no empathy we find its time to move on. Easy and simple? NO.
We need to learn these skills of being assertive and having empathy. It is a life long project of living and being comfortable with ourselves. It all takes a little bit more time than assuming some things we think we know. But I tell you now, its better to be assertive and understand ourselves, and then find empathy and good trusted connections to our world. And as we do this others learn and grow too, but their learning is not our concern here. Just how we learn to be assertive and have empathy, what others do is their learning and their concern.
As to my day and evening, well I did ask myself how I felt. I felt so tired from insomnia which I have had for months, I actually went back to bed and got three hours sleep in a row. And as a result felt like I have been made half drunk with sleepÖ
A strange feeling as if sleep made me dull. I realise I cannot go on like this, with the odd hour or two here and there. This has been going on for months now. And changes in medication, while they have helped me with my Diabetic control and weight, well the downside has been quite awful. Sleeplessness and fatigue are plaguing me now all the time, and while I can cope just about with the days I have, it is beyond a short term problem, and I cannot deal with this fatigue of mind and body for a longer time span. Its been this way now for six months. So assertively I must get help. And soon. Fortunately I am seeing my specialist next week and will be able to get an assessment. And then together we can see what might be done to improve matters. It may be that there is something I do not know. But I feel its about time mostly, I cannot hurry the changes needed to my regime, as my body and mind are dealing with new medications and new territory. With help I hope I will learn whether my patience is misguided or I am just adjusting and things will smooth out in their own time of their own volition. I need not worry too much, I just need time to let things run their course and of course check there is nothing else causing these problems.
In the meantime, worry will make things worse, patience and acceptance will let things be and time will help me, no fixes can put something like this right overnight, so I am accepting and patient.
Coming back to feelings for a moment.
We have all our feelings for reasons, we have good and negative feelings. We pay heed to both and when we ignore our feelings we will find compromise and often danger for our wellbeing. When we feel worry and anger and rage, they are usually justified, we need respond with some thinking to work out why before we react. Realise all feelings are valid and need to be understood, we have them for security and protection. And when we suppress them we act next in dangerous territory and often not in our interests. Especially with those we feel we love, and they donít love us enough back. Feel it, understand our feelings and then after asking why, what can I do, or we do next. Sometimes the answer is not the one we prefer in the short term where we let things go, longer term though, the sooner we find our empathy, the easier we feel and more secure we are in our living.
Hard lives and hard knocks will always be our learning, as is empathy where love is boundless as is peace and harmony. Life is about both, and never exclusive to one or other state of being. Thatís just how life is.
You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.
It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.
And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.
Don In London Progress Not PerfectionDonInLondon London Times Don Oddy DonInChelsea London Times
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