Monday, August 26, 2013

The Constant Journey.....

It has been a while since I sat down to put my fingers to the keyboard and type out a post for this blog, and I specifically say this blog because I have been sitting here typing out many things over the past few months. My job has kept me busy, the fact that I write posts for the BIST (Brain Injury Society of Toronto) blog, other volunteer work that I do, family stuff, things around the house......... life is busy. We all find the juggle of living a productive and (hopefully) happy life, busy. There is not always enough time...... or maybe, sometimes, we just want too much.

Success is never achieved until we accept it.
Happiness is never gained until we allow it.
Love is never fulfilled until we open ourselves to it.

I've heard, seen, and even felt my own need to search for something unknown. Sometimes something unattainable. And I wonder why? Why is it sometimes we seek out things like stress and drama? Why is it that sometimes we feel our life is missing something?

There are sayings, fairly positive ones, that say something like "we can do anything we put our mind too" or "that we can be/achieve or obtain anything we strive for". Great! Inspirational even.. maybe. But I think those sayings can also put on hidden pressures. It is okay to not be able to do something. It is okay to have limitations.

Change needs to be accepted and we should always be on the look out to better ourselves and learn something new things... I truly believe that. But sometimes letting go is the best thing. Giving up on something or not achieving certain goals does not constitute failure.
Life evolves, goals and outlooks on life change, new priorities are born and some are left behind. There aren't as many rights and wrongs as we think and NO MATTER what we do in life, no one is more superior than anyone else. (okay, I suppose you could dig into that one, but you know what I mean) We are all equal and the things we do deserve respect.
I do not know when, or even why, some people feel that there is a race to see who can become more successful. You can beat someone in obtaining more money, you can beat someone in obtaining a nicer job, a new car, fancy trinkets, the latest clothes. But you cannot beat someone in obtaining success.

I sometimes wonder if we eliminated the dollar value of things in this world if we'd all be happier. Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I know that equality and inclusion, fairness and acceptance, are words that I like. And I wonder why we struggle so much with things such as poverty and war when I'm not certain the world really has to.

We can all have success, we can all be happy, we can all find love, but it also all depends on us.

Maybe if we really relax and let go, we would find that there is enough.

The journey through life is constant and I won't always have time to write entries into this blog. I need to accept that. Change is inevitable for everyone, but if we want it and realize that hardships will come and go and don't always matter all that much, then we'll be fine. The SHL (Success, Happiness, Love) is always there knocking at the door..... you just need to answer it. I sometimes struggle at keeping that door open and I sometimes lose my way, but I've come to realize its being there is a permanent thing. Although, if you think I'm full of crap, that what I'm saying isn't true and a La-La fairytale, than I cannot help you. Everyone will find the SHL in their own way...... I just don't think it is as hard to find as some of us make it out to be.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Head Above Water

I'm certain I am probably not alone when I say that there are times I feel like I am drowning; times when I feel weighed down by life's challenges. Fact is, life can be very heavy and hard with out of control expenses, the hardships of employment, the never ending home improvements that end up on that oh-so-long list of things to do. Death and sickness seem to be forever plaguing this world and me and my family have battled our fair share.
I have survived and overcome a childhood illness, and when I say overcome I don't necessarily mean "done away with" as I do risen above, learned to live with, improved upon and in some cases, shadowed from misunderstanding eyes.

Being tired or fatigued, dealing with mild cases of depression and sometimes straining to concentrate/understand are some the hardest foes I battle, but most often I mask these things so well that it becomes hard for others to see the problems I face...... though that could be my fault.
But regardless of the challenges in front of me I move forward, at times with heavy steps, and stay, to the best of my ability, positive. Only thing is, I think and feel, I am constantly in reverse. The saying "what comes around goes around" I feel does not apply to me. Someone out there may have to remind me, but I am hard pressed to think of any good fortune that has befallen onto my shoulders. My hard work and positive attitude to do the right thing has not paid off; and I don't understand or know how to fix that.
Am I thinking too much? Or not doing enough? Should I stop trying so hard? Should I stop caring? Those last two questions are rhetorical; because I'll never give up. My heart and my soul outweigh my damaged brain, and even though the struggle can be bloody frustrating, I cannot stop being who I am.

I love too much, which seems strange to me because as much as I enjoy moments with others, I cherish, and often prefer, time to myself.
I think about a lot but lose out through lack of motivation.
But to contradict that, I do a lot and keep busy with other things and often question myself as to why.
I am my own enemy yet my best supporter.
Even though I believe good fortune has side stepped me, I have found a silver lining to life.

Whether it is because of my being an introvert, my shy and quiet personality, or my disability, my life can be (or feel) hard, draining and scary. But I see the beauty that shines around me and it makes me smile; and it is why I am able to at least keep my head above water.

Friday, May 10, 2013


I sit here on a rainy day, listening to the water pellets hit my window, and I pose a question to myself that is no stranger as it has come to my mind before. The question, "How did I get here?"

Yes, technically I arrived through birth that my mother gave to me born out of a love shared between her and my dad. But mine is more of the philosophical question that probably a few of us have encountered.

I feel a bit bottled up in an over-sized home that I try desperately to care for because I know there is no place else I'd rather be. I battle through life with support that I do not always take advantage of because while I'm not too proud to ask for help, I'm afraid of failing.
I have come to realize that even though I have suffered tragedy and deal with challenges and barriers that my life presents, I have stared it down and battled back and I am quite capable of many things. But I am still afraid, afraid to fail and let others down. I need to fix whatever is wrong with my life but I do not know how to do it because for some reason my own needs are overshadowed by my own desire to make others happy and to help out wherever I can.

I often don't know how to say what I'm thinking and I defer to thinking and saying something different or nothing at all. Make sense? It doesn't always make sense to me......... and so I write. I write my stories and I write my blog and the words that come from somewhere inside of my head move down to the tips of my fingers and helps me understand the things I feel, or what I want, or what I am capable of.

While a small part of me secretly hopes people enjoy my shared dialogues through these blog posts and that someone, somewhere will make a discovery of how talented I am and offer me a career to keep doing what I'm doing, the bigger part of me, the rational yet sometimes confused side, writes to inspire myself. When I write about love and hope and all of that other great stuff in life it is to help my own soul not only see it but believe it.

There are many things I have seen or listened to that have shown me the beauty in life and then I use my own words to help me understand them. I need to understand continually because I still try to grapple my way through challenges and barriers I selfishly don't know if anyone else understands. I need to understand because I am still afraid and I still ask the question about how I got here. And so I write...... anything and everything.

Good or bad, I got here of my own doing, step after unsteady step after cautious step. No excuses, no pity.
I know that my life is great and I should want no more, but I do and don't at the same time and I feel like my great life is inches from me actually being able to hold on to it.

The only thing I know for certain is that my questions and my reaching will not end because my love for it all will never fade away and because of my fear of failing in this beautiful life. I use my writing to keep the hold; and I hold on as tight as I can.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Finding Liberty

Have you ever been searching for something that you didn't really know you where looking for?  An intangible object you did not quite understand? You know, that feeling that something is missing or a little out of whack but not being able to put a finger on it?

It is an uneasy feeling. A feeling, possibly, of insecurity, of being over whelmed, the loss of something....... love, beauty, happiness. It feels like hitting rock bottom.


Hitting rock bottom.... how do we know when we've hit it? I have often felt that things were bad in my life and couldn't get worse, and I was wrong. I hear stories of what others have gone through, the hardships, the sadness, and I feel ashamed for thinking my life as being conflicted with tragedy in comparison.
A friend shared a story with me about tragedy and I saw a rock bottom I have never come close to.
So, does everyone have their own rock bottom? Are there multiple layers of rock bottom?

A lot of us have felt bad, experienced some form of depression, suffered from some type of physical and/or emotional pain. But I think that we may have also experienced the complete opposite, because we've made, even if only momentarily, a choice. I know that I have. And I say momentarily because in a world full of hardships, we need to make the choice often, to see beyond the fog, to pull ourselves out of the muck.

One of the hardest things to find when it feels like life has swallowed you whole is strength; strength to do the right thing, strength to carry on. But I believe we all have it. Just like we may all have our own rock bottoms, we do all have our own strengths.

Love, beauty and happiness is there. It is our choice if we want to get it.

I have found and needed to remind myself, that I am or was, looking in the wrong place.

It happened to me not too long ago when I found myself inside of a miserable day, being plagued with uneasy thoughts, in a place surrounded by strangers. And I took a moment to close my eyes and breathe in, trying to relax, and when I lifted my lids, there she was, Liberty.

I was washed over with a bit of awe and amazement. It is a beautiful thing to come to realize the life that surrounds us is in fact ours. With regards to the economy and all of that other stuff that is out there, it is hard, for certain, but it is still our life. Our choices, our ability to think and act for ourselves. We don't have to be or feel confined or restricted. We don't have to give in to compulsion or coercion.

I saw my Liberty.... and regardless of the ups and downs and disappointments that life can, and probably will, still throw my way...... I know that I have the strength to hold on. And if I can do it....... maybe you can find yours as well. Maybe you already have.

Love, beauty and happiness..... and Liberty, they are all there.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Selling Curveball

To make it clear to some who may not know, I like to write. I've had two books published with a third on the way; all part of a series. If you don't know about my books and would like to find out more, you can go to my website here: I am proud of my accomplishments and I thoroughly enjoyed writing them, although the process of getting the story bound and packaged and all that, presented some headaches; but that was somewhat expected.
I am happy with the fact that I got to tell the story I wanted and I've received some good feedback, including both compliments and some constructive criticism. The books have not gone flying from the shelves and I have definitely not been able to start a future retirement fund for myself, but these things have not brought me down nor have they tarnished my passion to write. To publish, maybe, (It isn't free after all) but not to write and continue to develop stories.

Going the route of self publishing has been a little bit of a challenge and I suppose I haven't helped myself by being the quiet person I am. Marketing and/or self promotion is not my thing, at all. I can, at times, talk almost endlessly about the storyline, my characters, the thought process behind the book(s) and the way in which things developed, (of course this is all usually dependent on whether you ask me about it) but when it comes to making the sale, to actually saying "buy my book"........ it is not really me. I'm even having a bit of a hard time writing this. And whether this hardship that I'm challenged with is because of a difficulty I face with certain aspects of communication or because I'm simply shy/afraid of rejection, doesn't really matter much, it is the way it is.

Email and other forms of social media has helped, I can take the time with want I want to say, but I still don't push the 'sell'. I'm not your typical out going leader or salesman who can talk a good game and get everyone involved.

I have found though that when it comes to pitching something else, something to help out a cause, I tend to be just a little more 'on the ball' so to speak. I'm not going to say I'm a whole lot better at this, but I do try to put in a bit more effort. And since we are at the point of the discussion where we are, I will shamelessly plug the Heart & Stroke Big Bike Event that I will be participating in. An annual event to raise funding for critical care and research that helps sustain life all across Canada. Please visit my page and lend me your support: Mark Koning's Big Bike page!

Selling is a hard thing; some are born with a gift for it, some are not. Some people tend to push a little too much, some do not push enough. I tend to float around the later, or sometimes even less then that. But that's okay with me. Putting an effort toward advocating for a cause such as the Big Bike for Heart & Stroke simply registers with me more than trying to sell my book...... it's my curveball.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bliss of a Shoelace

When I think about the first year I attended school after my illness my brain comes up with fond memories that bring a smile to my face. I remember that I was pretty much the most popular kid in my class. Teachers were pretty awesome with acts of compassion, helping me with any troubles that I might encounter; and students followed with similar gestures.
A boy named Roger and a cute little girl named Jennifer stand out amongst the many. He challenged me, but in the good way, to do my best; to pat me on the back and work with me to understand. She became my shadow and constantly reassured me with a smile. I can picture him getting me to sit up front, back straight, head held high. I recall her tying my shoelaces for me, constantly asking if I was alright and what else she could do for me.

Oh how simple life was.

Moving along throughout my school years things did tend to become more difficult and hard to understand. I lost my Roger's and Jennifer's as I became just another face in the crowd, my disability hidden to those on the outside, but in many ways, also from me. I would shyly sit in the back (on occasion slouched down) as I was sometimes afraid of being noticed, and no one was tying my shoelaces anymore. Regardless though, I enjoyed life and I carry some great memories of people I met and things I did or encountered.

I now know and understand my disability and what I went through a lot more; though I am sure there is more that I could learn. But do I want to? What difference does it make? When people say "Mark, everyone gets depressed" I now feel more of a sting from being compared to everyone else when I know not everyone else lives with a brain injury and endures the ramifications from it; but before, when I didn't know, I just rolled with it. Should I be happy now that I know why it is I have certain fears or challenges? And has my knowledge just made things worse? Because now I wonder if I am blaming my disability, my brain injury, on too many things.

So the question becomes, is ignorance (innocense) really bliss?

I recall a character by the name of Cypher from the movie The Matrix. A scene where he is sitting in the matrix, wearing nice clothing, sipping at wine, eating a steak, knowing that these things are not real. A harp is played in the background as he is about to betray the "good guys" to the Agent out to get and destroy them. "Ignorance is bliss" Cypher drools out with a smirk on his face.

Then I remember that Cypher never made it out of the movie.

It is a movie and it is a bit of a far fetched example, but it does kind of ring true. Ignorance may be bliss in the beginning, but it is knowledge that brings to us true beauty and peace. The struggle in life may still be there, (it most likely always will be to a certain degree) and the bumps may have increased and become rockier the more I've learned, but I have acquired a lot that I consider well worth it.

Things like self awareness and the ability to help others with what I know. People I've met from my journey of education and growth. The capability to contribute to society in ways I could not dream before. The fact that even though they may not personally be in my life, by my side, I can see that the world is full of Roger's and Jennifer's; and that is alright with me. And If I was truly blaming my brain injury on things, I would not be doing those things; saying that I wasn't capable and giving up.

I can tie my own shoelace now and be happy with the knowledge I carry.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This Is The Moment

As I sit here in the household room I have dedicated to be called my home office I pause and listen to the quiet noise around me. No one is home except for me and my dog who sleeps in the room I now refer to as "the Library". His peace for the moment being close to the treasured books that I have often gotten lost in. Getting lost.....mentally anyway...... something that is not too terribly hard for me to do. It is not difficult for me to lose focus and have my brain drift off track, and so I work hard from day to day to keep it and myself on course. But today I am alone so I allow my thoughts to wander.

I hear the furnace rumble out its heat from the ducts in the walls and I smile to myself at the chirping from the few birds that are outside. If I sit close enough to the window I can feel the sun warm my skin on this late Winter day the calendar calls Spring.

I have allowed frustrations to run wildly through my body over silly things, things I don't have and things I cannot control. But in the quietness of the moment I come to see that I don't really need more than I got and shouldn't worry about control because it will either all work out or it won't and I'll do what I have always done..... survive and keep trying.

This is the moment when I close my eyes and realize that I am a superstar and that I am in love as much as I am loved and if you have to ask if that means something romantic, I cannot help you with an answer.
This is the moment I remind myself that happiness and success are measured and valued wrong, because they come from within ones soul and are NOT checked off from a sunshine list. And I wonder if I have reached my capabilities, my peak, or if more is coming. Because whether it is or not, I am always going to be reaching for more.... more knowledge, more acceptance, more skill, more love, more peace.

This is the moment I stumble upon the revelation that even in my darkest hours I am surrounded by more beauty than I often acknowledge....... I think that applies to most of us. And I know that when I offer my heart to the ones closest to me and those strangers far away it is to a different degree but also very much the same; and it is sad only because some don't realize just how pure and genuine what I offer is. And this is the moment I feel in my heart that I still love this sometimes angry and depressed world and I will never stop.

I remember that when I was six I faced some very difficult challenges and barriers that I still see shadows of today and I know that with time they will get better but some can also get worse. This is the moment when I can let my inner calmness fill my entire body and head so that I can breathe because there are certain factors that will make me forget but also allow me to recall on occasion.

This is the moment to laugh and to cry, to believe, to learn; learn to share, accommodate and accept. This is the moment to realize that it is alright, alright to slow down and catch a breath, to fall behind a little, to be afraid, to be different; there is nothing wrong with being different. Frustration will come again along with its buddies confusion and depression and it is okay. The struggle sometimes felt within is just that, a struggle; neither bad nor good and only we can let it go. Let it go.
It is a time to know that forgetting and than reminding oneself of these moments, these feelings, is part of life; it is part of discovery, vivid and glorious!

This is why we need to cherish our moments, however small and short lived or big and stretched out; because they are all beautiful and they are all worth it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painted Walls

There are often times I forget (something I think we all share to a certain degree) to take stock of the things I do have in my life that I should be grateful for. Like many others out there, seeing the bad outweigh the good tends to be, unfortunately, way too easy.
But in my mind, my damaged brain that is overcome with things like frustration, fatigue, confusion and depression, things are often veiled in darkness. It is why my outer me struggles and works extra hard at living in the light, to wear my heart on my sleeve so to speak.
I think that for the most part I accomplish this well as most people who know me only see that optimistic, kind hearted, light-minded person.
I don’t want people to see the darkness because it is not me, or it is not who I want to be. I don’t think people would understand, because I don’t understand.

So every-so-often I need to find a way to remind myself that it is not all that bad. That I have all I really need to be happy. That I should stop putting too much thought into my employment struggles, any financial woes, the relationship challenge; the lack of that special someone and the hardship of finding her...... or if I want that at all. The list can go on and it can become all jumbled.

The last few months, amongst my daily life of work, chores around the house, etc…. I have been busy moving around furniture and painting rooms. My sister, her husband, and their daughter, (my awesome niece!) are preparing to move in. The house is more than spacious enough and I warmly look forward to them getting here; not that we don’t already visit a lot.

But I saw it, with each room I set out upon, with each stroke of the brush, (or paint roller more often than not) the beauty in which I should be focused on. The paint was (even if only briefly; unfortunately) masking the darkness that tends to consume a large part of my life.

Soon my niece’s beautiful smile will be an ever present fixture in my home. My sister and her husband will be there to lend relief and a helping hand. But more importantly than that, I need to remind myself, they are part of my life whether under a common roof or not. I also have my writing; an ability to put thought to paper that is always there to help me “work it out”. I have a few good cherished friends that offer inspiration to me that I need to acknowledge in my own head. I have a four legged friend who sees only the best in me.

And I do have other moments that bring brightness to my day; maybe not BIG moments, but they are there. Peacefully getting lost in the pages of a good book; having someone at work praise me for a job well done; going for a walk; reading an online blog from friends I haven't met but can relate to. There are more to mention, but they’d be too many. The problem is that they seem to quickly drown and become consumed by the veil of darkness.

I don’t have a lot, but I don’t think I want a lot. I don’t know if my little brain could handle a lot. But what I do have I need to remember counts for more than enough. And like the fresh coat of paint being rolled onto the wall, I can roll away the ugliness to reveal those moments, those awesome things that I do have. I just need to apply a fresh coat every-so-often (symbolically) for me to be able to see.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tik Tok

I often feel like I am in a battle with time and I don't know if I am winning.

I suppose like most other people, we tend to feel that time is slipping away just a bit too quickly. And it is something we cannot control..... minutes, hours, days, years. Their lasting abilities are always set. Time management is not an easy thing to figure out in a world that is full of so much . Workloads on the job seem to be ever increasing, traffic seems to be getting busier and becoming more delayed, (even though people seem to want to drive like madmen) and technology..... which can translate into Social Media, seems to be forever expanding and growing. Facebook, Twitter, the list goes on.

For someone who has a difficulty with time, with keeping up, it becomes frustrating and confusing when I find the ones that I have difficulty keeping up with, having difficulty keeping up. At a normal pace I can find myself two or three steps behind....never mind this.

Everyday I have to re-organize my time because pretty much every day for me is different. I know that days differ for everyone, but I am not necessarily talking about wrenches being thrown into the mix, I'm referring to my own personal speed of being able to get through a twenty-four hour period. My ability to get dressed and ready for work, for example, varies. I think I follow the same steps as every morning, but time spans aren't alike. Tasks at work, eating lunch or dinner, writing a blog, reading ten pages of a book. These things and others, seemingly similar in pattern, tend to take more or less time every other time I do them.

My brain injury resulted in much damage, but I'm pretty sure that it created for me my own clock, whether I want it or not.

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the things time has time given; both past and present. I've accomplished things, I've had good (even amazing) friends come and go, I greatly value my family. But it hasn't been easy. I have had to prioritize and that has only come through learning. I am still learning that there are things I cannot do because of time. Articles I cannot read, things I cannot write. I do continue to try, but I'm realizing there are times I just cannot do a certain task because other things are too important and I need the time to do them.

It can be very frustrating! But I guess I am learning that I don't really need to worry that much about losing the battle with time; or maybe I should re-phrase that to say that I shouldn't really worry or care much for the battle, period. I don't need to cram it all in. I need to remind myself of that. Maybe we all do.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simple Things Made Hard

I work for a non-profit organization that assists service providers with the integration of job seekers with disabilities into the workplace. We are a resource of disability employment related issues. We share information and make connections. We work at promoting awareness and education toward the Abilities of one of our largest minorities; people with disabilities.

Two words that I find mentioned quite often in this line of work are Equal Opportunity and Inclusion.

Equal opportunity is a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular “distinctions can be explicitly justified.”

Inclusion is a practice in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds like origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation and identity and any other, are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed; engaging each individual and making people feel valued.

Together it could be simply put, ‘Fairness for All’

When you get right down to it, neither of these things come with a cost. For someone to offer Equal Opportunities or Inclusion it is all a state of mind; a willingness to do the right thing. And almost everyone will freely agree they offer those things. But do they? Do Equal Opportunity and Inclusion really exist?

Of course they do. Being someone who has a learning disability that stems from a brain injury, who openly talks about it, and has friends and a good job, someone who is given opportunity, I can say that those things definitely exist. But being someone who has been through a lot, has seen a lot, and continues to see a lot, I can also verify to you that those two simple things are not so easy to find.

I am not really sure why this seems to the case, but it is. Is it because of a fear of the unknown? Is it because most will easily settle for believing a misconception or myth as opposed to digging a little for the truth? Or are the majority of people using these words really that uncaring? Saying they believe in something when they really don’t.

I tend to think it is that people just don’t really understand and that there is no real Acceptance. Another one of those simple things made much more difficult than it need be.

Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.

That negative or uncomfortable situation is usually because there is little to no effort put forth to try and understand.

What it comes down to is this, our biggest challenges, dilemmas, frustrations and problems are not really the problems. The problem is our attitudes toward these things; these situations. Attitudinal barriers cause us, as humans, the biggest headaches and most difficult challenges, and sadly, they are the simplest to remedy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hear Not but Listen Up

Maybe this is just me and it might be because I am an emotional person, though I don't really know if the word "emotional" is correct as I feel like it might lead you to believe that I am crying all of the time. But I do not know another word to use that best describes feelings and thoughts. And it is when trying to relay those feelings and thoughts that I encounter problems.

Whether you want to say that I am a shy individual because that is my personality or that I remain quiet and do not communicate as much or in the same manner as others because my disability or brain injury makes things more challenging for me, makes no difference. I consider my personality and disability to be one in the same (pretty much)..... they are part of the make-up of who I am.

I have difficulties with words (coming from a writer that sounds strange; but I am referring to the verbal kind), expression and over-thinking. I don't necessarily want to be heard, but there are times I would like people to listen.

Webters dictionary gives these definitions:
Hear = perceive with the ear; listen to; try/get to know. Perceive sound; learn.
Listen = try to hear; give attention in order to hear.

I know that those definitions seem similar. "Hear" and "Listen" are the same you might say. But I don't think they are, and perhaps some of you may agree with me that they are not.

Wikipedia gives these definitions:  
Hear is to detect sound.
Listen is how the brain processes what you hear.

These definitions I think make it a little more clear and because (in my opinion) detection is often more simple than process, most people tend to hear someone and that is it. In my case, I believe people hear me (when I do speak) but rarely listen. I do understand that this could be partly my fault for sometimes over stating things to a point where it becomes confusing, but I usually end up doing this only because I feel that no one is really listening. And like I said above, I may be over-thinking things a little as well.

To me, to listen is to understand or at least try to, it's sympathizing and perhaps even giving specific advise..... not always, but sometimes. To listen is not necessarily about "fixing" someones problem(s). Listening is not "waiting to speak". Listening is not "comparing".
I am fully aware that everyone gets tired or has headaches. I know that people are living on the streets and have it worse than me. When these are the responses I get from what I say, I know people really aren't taking the time to listen.

I follow a few other blogs and one in particular that I read the other day titled "I Want to Attempt Suicide and Not Die" by Natasha Tracy at Bipolar Burble, sank in and made complete sense to me. I made my own interpretations and I realize that her post was written for different reasons other than what I am saying here..... but perhaps not. And if anyone, after reading this, asks me if I want to, or think about, attempting suicide, then they will be helping to drive home my point, that people would rather hear..... or in this case, read.

Some people just want someone to listen to them. People should have the right to speak about their feelings and not be judged or analyzed. In the society we live, "Not being heard" isn't the problem, it's that people tend to feel like "No one is Listening".

I think many people do want to share and listen and understand, but in a fast paced environment and a world that seems to run on ideas like "the faster the better" and being about "Me Me Me", listening can be a challenge. In fact, I sometimes think people just don't know how or perhaps are even afraid to listen because they may sense a need to do something more. I do though have to acknowledge that there are people out there who simply don't want to listen.

But we all do need to try a little more often because otherwise those individuals (like myself) with a need for someone to occasionally listen, REALLY LISTEN, will stop the attempt at dialogue and suffer in silence. And honestly, to do it all you need is a little patience, an open mind and ear. We do all have ears, but unfortunately patience and an open mind are are hard to come by.