The story of how. The story of why. The story of me.

Typically, I live by the Never Say Never principle but…here are some very critical exceptions:

Never apologize for being who you are.

Never allow someone else to write the story of your life.

Never allow people who continually say hurtful things about you to remain in your orbit.

No one knows the how and why of you…but you. Oh, people may insinuate that they KNOW you and get where you are coming from but unless they inhabit your head-space (if they do then call an exorcist immediately) they have absolutely no fucking idea what they are talking about. You are YOU and they are THEY. Never the twain shall meet.

Unless, of course you want to meet in the middle of the world divide. To come together and talk it out, learning from one another, benefiting from each others wisdom of ages, or compiled mistakes as it were. Whatever gets the job done. Whatever bonds or irrevocably breaks. It’s truly a crap shoot anymore.

Meeting people where they currently mentally and emotionally reside is a tricky proposition. Each day begins with new YOU’RE EITHER ONE OF US OR ONE OF THEM blasts, so much so that I take a hard look at people I was once acquainted with and realize I have grown to dislike what they’ve become. I wonder how I missed the vindictive, paranoid, insecure traits but, then I remember that I knew them as a child or a teenager. My experience of them was merely surface knowledge; I only saw the picture but did not read the book.

Now, in turning each page I recoil. How did such hate grown within the souls of these former pals, buddies, co-workers, classmates, lovers and family members even? The virus of misinformation, the infection or Stockholming, if you will, of people you once were quite fond of creates great pause and a suspicion that the signs were always there, you just missed them. The romanticized dream of the past is finally dead. There will be no resurrection.

Moving on is never easy but, flipping through social media rants, propaganda posts and bile-filled diatribes designed to throw barbs at anyone not in-line with the “party view” removes any guilt when formerly hesitant fingers finally hit the UNFRIEND, BLOCK and BAN buttons. It’s not the same as releasing a guillotine though, sometimes the head keeps talking, posting, tweeting. In those instances the best advice is to walk away with the certainty that those souls are irrevocably lost, forever doomed to wander the land of gaslight and chem-trail fed conspiracies. Khodahafez. Bedrood. Paka Paka. Adios and goodbye! Sigh of relief and close the door.

How did we get here? Many ask this without admitting they, in fact, do not really care. In my estimation I see it as someone pretending to be concerned about the current state of affairs while wringing their hands in calculating glee behind their backs at the chaos brewing outside. Oh, no! How did this happen? Here, drink this poison. It will make you feel better…well, it will make ME feel better. You? Not so much. Do I really care? {Fingers entwine behind back}…sure, sure I care. No, no they don’t.

So, in the spirit of the Never Say Never ballad, yes, believe in it in theory but, in practice…watch your back. Daggers can and will be thrown from all directions. Never forget that.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hear my voice, my words, my story.

Sharing meaningful experiences with others has never been so hard. During the past few decades listening skills have diminished and empathizing with the challenges faced by those less fortunate or those unlike ourselves is mocked mercilessly and declared a trait of the weak or snowflakes. Such a stupidly weak attempt at bullying! And, the ones engaging in this ridiculous behavior can’t seem to recognize how cruel, and utterly stupid they appear.

Yes, I said it. STUPID! Call me a snowflake, liberal, elitist snob, stuck-up, or whatever jealousy and fear triggered catch phrase those with limited emotional intelligence and a baffling lack of curiosity employ when the truth fails them. Call me all of that and more but the fact remains, you are a scared, small-minded, insufferably stupid human being when you play the Us Against Them game. It’s WE, always has been and always will be.

The same color blood flows from our veins. Basic physical anatomy shows we are all intended to have two arms, two legs, two eyes, one nose=same. No opportunistically cherry-picked scripture will change that. And, even after all of that fact finding you still have no clue about my true position on certain flash-point topics. Not once did I declare my voting preferences or exact spiritual beliefs. I only declared what I see as asshole behavior and those who are ignorant assholes just assume and hilariously end up being wrong every time. Tricky huh? Not really, people simply don’t care to listen.

The notion that just because I don’t rant and rave like a rabid fool, constantly huffing and puffing about the audacity of “those people” that I see myself as better or elevated above those who wallow in self-imposed ignorance. Well, when it’s written out like that then, yes, yes, I do see myself as better than that! What reasonable person wouldn’t? It’s not like the foaming at the mouth narrow-minded jackals don’t readily crown themselves superior so fair is fair after all. And, if you notice, I’m talking about behavior not the individual. I don’t need to convince those who disagree with me to change because it’s a full time job sticking to my own intellectual guns in order to keep all the unnecessary nastiness in the world from changing me!

Okay, so now we come to the fork in the road where everyone has the option to see the humanity in all, no matter the physical, cultural, biological, religious, educational or racial differences or the choice to cling to bigotry, misogyny, mythology and misinformation. The latter being a recipe for certain madness and the former being a chance to evolve and let go of false narratives that serve zero purpose other than to stoke the flames of hatred. Without unchecked hatred control cannot happen, power cannot be maintained and upward mobility cannot be stopped or opposition squelched. YOU cannot go against ME! Uh, yes I can and yes, I will every single time bullshit flows forth from the mouths of inflexibly truculent trolls.

It’s okay…the dictionary is our friend! It’s full of amazing information and loves to have visitors. Go ahead, it’s spelled T-R-U-C-U-L-E-N-T and yes, I’m purposely being a smart ass, because I can. I earned the right.

I bet that triggered something inside the more insecure readers, or not so sneaky lurkers and again, it’s okay. Offense or anger is only felt if the insult applies so get to a mirror quick! The answer to the question of whose fault it is that butt-hurt was felt is right there in the refection. Everyone has the option to change so you still have time.

Hear me now, I am not in the business of dumbing-down anything for people uninterested in truly getting to know me as an author or me as a human being. Unless you take the time to study, to memorize the why of what I do and the how of the reason I came to my position in life that I currently occupy then please move right along. I am not for you and assuming you KNOW me will only end in frustration. Save your time, your energy and your certain anger. I have known who I am and why I believe the way I do for a long time. I did the internal work. Why haven’t you?

You have been told time and again how my point of view was crafted by painful experiences, the full confession of mistakes has laid bare my unapologetic soul to show all the hurt, the skinned knees, the bruised and battered heart. It’s all there for you to read, if you choose to take the time. I shouldn’t have to offer it up on a plate for those too lazy to inquire and too willfully moronic to understand the benefit that comes from learning from people not like them. We ALL have lessons left to learn. No one knows everything there is to know and, isn’t that exciting?

Change is good. Change is needed and voices that ring out the call for common sense, slowing the roll of unfounded bias and taking the time to get educated about FACTS are required should we really desire to continue existing. Did you think about that? That which cannot adapt cannot survive…again, FACT. My plan is to survive and to do so joyfully, with the knowledge that I did all I could to be the type of human being that actually deserves to be here. What’s your plan?

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I hate to burst your bubble…

Well, no, I don’t hate it. It’s inevitable and needed and the most positive aspect of being alive. Living in a homogenized bubble, filled with bias, myth, misinformation and ignorance of those unlike ourselves is a misery of our own making. And, proudly displaying prejudice and smug judgment are not good qualities. They just aren’t and never will be. Ever.

I am not like you and you are not like me and that’s a good thing. Do you hear that? Shall I turn this post up? Your life experiences intrigue me enough to prompt a discussion about how and why you believe the way you do yet, for some inexplicable reason, you don’t want to know the how and why of me. How come? You’re too good to learn new things?

Bubbles form, float and then explode. They were never meant to exist forever so why do some people cling to their need to stay in an “unlearning” environment? Barking on and on about snowflakes and safe space demanding wimps while also grousing about failed relationships and financial hardships. These are also things snowflakes and wimps deal with but, hey, why focus on similarities?

When the inflexible name callers refuse to entertain the idea that people vastly different from them deserve the exact same rights they, themselves, take for granted it says more about their character than the people they are fearfully attacking. It’s their way or get out of America for they have appointed themselves the judge of what Americans should be. Who said only one race, one sex, one religion should reap the rewards of social acceptability, personal freedom and success in life?

Who? I think it’s pretty obvious that the top white dog always makes sure they get the bone and everyone else can just lump it. To refuse to see that and only moan about reverse discrimination or every other nonsensical Whataboutism the tragically incurious vomit up is pure poison. It is the absolute definition of a life shortchanged, an opportunity to grow misused and outright lost.

But, do they even want to grow? Maybe not. Are they so afraid to step outside of their beige bubble because they just might find out they don’t know it all, their beliefs aren’t all correct and they are actually the greedy grabbers getting all the good stuff simply because of how they look. Bastards! Taking everything for themselves and leaving nothing for anyone else!

Me??? I’m not entitled!! How dare you!

If you are offended by being called a greedy grabber who demands everything for yourself because of the long held belief that you and those like you “deserve” the American dream more than “those people” then, good! What you are actually feeling is guilt not righteous indignation so learn from it. Guilt, after all, is a sign that something in your soul knows making derogatory statements about others doesn’t prove you are better than they are, it only proves you live in fear of retribution. It proves that you are small-minded and insecure. It also proves that hope still exists.

Tearing down those we fear doesn’t build anyone up nor does it create power. It literally activates paranoia and suspicion, the very stuff that slowly kills us from the inside out. I fear you, you fear me and eventually no one talks anymore because, god, humans are scary and learning to communicate honestly and effectively is a lost art. And, why should we talk to each other when posting false propaganda online is so much more fun? Right? No, it’s wrong. Period. Keep it up and it won’t make much difference because, you and the other soon to be extinct divisive dinosaurs will be gone. Guess who will take your place? People willing to evolve, people willing to learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of their ancestors. Crazy, right? It’s already happening.

So, before you wax nostalgic about the “good old days” when everyone stayed in their own segregated bubbles, no one challenged your bullshit and everyone just nodded in fake agreement so your fragile ego didn’t get shattered…stop and look in the mirror. Does the person you see still resemble the child you once were? The child who only wanted someone, anyone to play with and didn’t care what they looked like, what their religion was, what genitals they had, what gender they felt like inside, who they loved or what their socioeconomic status was…none of it mattered.

Just in case you need a refresher…and, yes, I’m being an over-educated snot here. Why? Because I can and it’s fun!

The DIFFERENCES did not matter! Can you hear that? Do you remember when it didn’t matter to you or…are you too caught up in the great War of Words? The Keyboard Warrior Challenge? The Comrade’s Crafty Psychological Experiment? The Their Facts Aren’t My Facts Fight? I could go on and on because so much of the shit both “sides” lob at one another has been manufactured and force fed to unwitting dupes looking for anything that might help them regain their tenuous grasp on both reality and a perceived place of acceptance and power. Remember, each time you toss crap the odds of getting poop back-splash are pretty good.

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Learning to be thankful for the word NO!

During this season of self imposed stress I choose to say no.

And, when I say no…to all the things that serve no meaningful purpose in my life I am truly saying yes to peace, harmony and personal growth. It may seem harsh or unreasonable to some but for those who refuse to waste their lives accepting nastiness and manipulation it is a revelation.

https://peacecounseling.org/how-do-you-respond-to-the-word-no/

I no longer require the approval of others to live my life and pursue my goals because their approval is nothing more than soul-crushing judgment in disguise. I see it clearly and it serves no positive objective so it will no longer have a reserved parking spot around my neck.

I can breathe again.

The expectations of self-centered tyrants are set aside, to list and groan as they silently sink to the bottom of the pity well that birthed them. I will no longer invite them into my mind space as there is no more room at my table. I have filled it up with the self-preserving wisdom that comes when one wakes the hell up!

Instead, I fill my life with people and experiences that bring a calming center point to my world because to do anything else is the exact definition of insanity. Running in circles, chasing anger, resentment, and the fear of being found out as a fraud…none of these things have appeal so I say no to them all.

In looking back I see the time I wasted attempting to be something I was not for dishonest, broken people and I also see the time they wasted denying who they really are. Pretending to be loving will not make you loving just as pretending to be strong will not sustain you when your heart is breaking into a thousand pieces. Eventually everyone either becomes too tired to lie or they fall on their own sword of deception.

This will not be my life. This never was my plan.

I have decided to simplify because, after all, life is only hard when we make it so and the crazy-making mentality I was raised with is no longer SO in my world. I send it back to where it came from, wrapped in a pretty bow, packaged all elegant and shiny. You can’t miss it. It’s the box marked NO!

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happiness grows when you let go…

Today I thought about my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years and the details as to why have already been addressed so there is no need to rehash that pain.

For those who require a refresher, here you go: The back story for newbies

I thought about how wonderful it would be to share a laugh, a kind smile, anything loving at all with the woman who brought me into the world. Just to pick up the phone and talk about how our collective days are going.

That never was and can never be.

To long for something so simple yet so incredibly impossible to obtain crumbles the soul from the inside out. It’s the kind of gut wrenching agony possibly felt by those who have lost a loved one to illness, old age or even a tragic accident.

I say possibly because I don’t know how those in that situation truly feel, I can only guess so I suppose the better descriptive word would be EMPTY. I feel empty when I think about the loss of something I never even truly had.

The unconditional love of a mother.

I never had that. Conditions always applied. I was required to be quiet, obedient, loyal to my abusers, willing to lie and pretend all was well behind the door of the various run-down houses we lived in. A scarred front row guest with exclusive access to view my very own horror story. It was easy to hide in a small town, a place where airing private dirty laundry in public was strongly frowned upon and obvious abuse was routinely ignored. Your kids, your property!

At one time the knowledge that everything about “us” was wrong hurt me deeply. Seeing others with genuine, loving relationships with their mothers and fathers, laughing together, reminiscing about joyful memories and funny stories. I had a tiny bit of that; the “funny” stories we told, the “editing” of the past to make it seem as if we were normal and not horribly broken. In looking back, the tales we told acted as the smeared, greasy make-up clowns wear to hide the utter despair they feel inside.

Over the years I cataloged all of the pain, all of the dirt, all the grime. I held it in my hands and turned it over and over, composing speeches I should have made, declarations of outrage to those guilty of harm. Disdain and growling anger boiled from within to spill out first in writing and then verbally all over the floor of my therapist’s office. It was pronounced, organized, claimed and then bagged up and disposed of.

Letting go has been a long process, one that has taken decades for me to quantify, qualify and then release the rage. It involved being honest about how dark my childhood was, devoid of normalcy and how I no longer owe my family any loyalty. It also involved no longer tolerating the gas-lighting, purposeful “crazy-making” of both parents and siblings invested in continuing the fucked-up family tradition.

The sun will come up tomorrow and I will rise, giving thanks for the life I have. I will express gratitude for those I love and for those who love me. The positive influences I allow within my orbit will be raised up and tearfully proclaimed to be deeply appreciated. I have all of this because I chose to let the negative go.

The happiness I feel in this moment continues to grow and will only increase as I release each bad memory, each hurt, each lie, each nasty letter, email and text out into the universe to float away. My achievements are mine. I earned them and will be proud of how far I have come.

Peace be with you. I release you from my life.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be like water….

Water, though it may seem soft, gentle and flowing, is a truly powerful force. One that will get to its destination no matter how we try to hold it back. Even the most carefully packed box of family heirlooms, long hidden in a basement back corner can succumb to the determination inherent in this liquid equalizer.

It will find it’s way.

And, so, when asked what I wish to be like in life I say…water.

The ebb and flow of an idyllic stream, languidly lapping against its bank, in no hurry because its destination is already known. Rivers, lakes and oceans patiently rising and lowering with no deadlines, no worry, no stress. They will all do as they will and desire nothing more than freedom to roam wherever they wish.

Boulders stand no chance against the disintegrating pressure swiftly running rapids apply, their supposed obstacle just an illusion. Walls, neither stone, brick, metal or wood can hold back the tide. All will fall away and crumble. It’s only a matter of time.

I will be as water.

I will flow without hesitation and will entertain intended obstacles as mere suggestions. Thank you for the offer to stop moving forward but I shall have to decline. This body of water must grow and travel beyond its banks in order to experience life.

I cannot be stopped.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.