BBQ: Tracy from FEC-This

Tracy Quote

 

They say that hardship brings wisdom. I couldn’t agree more because Tracy from FEC-THis has had hardship and she is one of the wisest bloggers I know. I’m sure you agree after reading the quotation above. For more wisdom check out Tracy’s blog: http://fecthis.wordpress.com/

This post is part of BBQ—Beautiful Blog Quotations.

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On the Road to Healing

I’m guestblogging today at Black Box Warnings—“a collective of bloggers who share their personal stories about mental and physical health, parenting, daily tribulations, and life’s little moments. An on-line community built around support, respect, and compassion.”

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Check out the post “Why Most Men Hate Depression, Especially in Others” by clicking here.

May you be free from suffering. May you find Peace and Joy.

{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

I Will Rise

How neuroscience offers hope to survivors of abuse and peacemakers of the future

“What happened to you, then?” my step-father’s booming voice echoed out into the early evening crowd at Outback Steakhouse.

The question was not asked with compassion or caring. It was a jab, an attack, a verbal confirmation that I was a failure in his eyes.

I had been explaining to my extended family how my son was a highly sensitive boy (HSB), when my mom chimed in that I, too, was highly sensitive as a child. She used the term “glass feelings.”

I explained to my sister-in-law how HSBs, if nurtured, could become compassionate artists or peacemakers like Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, and Carl Jung.

That is when my step-father interrupted me with “What happened to you, then?”

What amazed me most was my reaction. In the past, an aggressive comment like this would have sent me to fight or flight mode. As a survivor of abuse, my amygdala and sympathetic nervous system were trained to go into over-drive and flood my system with epinephrine and cortisol. With clenched fists, I would normally either ignore my step-father completely, retaliate with a sarcastic remark, or flee the scene. But this time, I remained calm as I stuttered for words.

“Well, I…um…I…um.” The thought of saying “Someone beat the sensitivity out of me” occurred to me, but the desire to retaliate was absent.

Finally, my wife jumped in to help me, “He wasn’t nurtured.” (Sometimes it is great to have a wife who is a psychologist.)

I still remained calm. In fact, I protected my mother by explaining, “They didn’t know about highly sensitive boys back then.”

Writing about this scene today, I realize that my parent may never realize how damaging 12 years of physical abuse can be on a child. I am almost positive that I will never receive an apology.

But I feel no ill-will towards them at this moment. I’m reminded what of Brene Brown said about her parents instilling shame in her as a child. She said she doesn’t blame them anymore than she blames her grandmother for letting her ride standing in the front seat of the car. They just didn’t know any better.

Armsreach

Armsreach (Photo credit: Awen o greu)

Some of you may argue with this point, but the truth is that I have stopped blaming others for my shortcomings. I am thrilled with the idea of neuroplasticity—that we can change our brains and our lives, just by changing the thoughts we think everyday.

I have seen and felt tremendous changes in how I react to outside stimuli. If we can re-wire our lives with just a few minutes of mindfulness and cultivating compassion practice everyday, then world peace truly is possible.

Thank you for reading, empathizing, and/or sharing.

Have you seen signs that world peace is possible? Have you felt healing occur in your soul? Please share.

How to wring compassion out of your child

IMG_0824My 6 year old son wants to quit his Kung Fu class. Last time I drove him to the Kung Fu studio, he threw a tantrum and wouldn’t get out of the car.

I threatened him by explaining how he would not get Christmas or Birthday presents for 5 years to pay off the non-refundable tuition we paid for the whole year.

I shamed him by telling his younger brother what a big boy he was for not “crying like a baby,” even though I am reading Brene Brown’s research on the horrible consequences of shaming.

You see, my son cries more than any child I know. If you mix his eggs with too much soy sauce, he cries. If someone closes the door to his room at night, he cries. If you don’t put enough toothpaste on his toothbrush, he cries. All this crying drove me crazy until I realized why. Continue reading

Auto Peace

I used to be one of the most efficient drivers on the road, which means I was a real a-hole.

God forbid if you ever stopped in the right turn lane and waited for the light to turn green before merging. And don’t even get me started on the “idiots” who would block the right turn lane by not staying close to the center divider.

People who drove too slow in the fast lane were “morons,” but “psychos” who drove faster than I did deserved a ticket.

Jett in car

Don’t forget who is in the backseat while you are roadraging

Continue reading

Thank You Letter to God

Dear God,

Thank you for all the peace you create in this world.

Thank you for being love. I now realize that when I am loving, I am you. When I am full of fear, hatred, or anger, then I am pushing you away with both arms. If I open those arms and expose my heart, then you are always there to give me the love I need.

Thank you for being the best teacher I have ever had. Your lessons are custom made to help me work on what I need to learn in this lifetime. Your patience and foresight are beyond measure.

Thank you for showing me that life is like a jigsaw puzzle: The individual pieces may seem incoherent, chaotic, and sometimes dark, but if we look at the bigger picture, we experience beauty, unity, and meaning.

Thank you for my two beautiful children, although they are not MY children–they have simply chosen me as a path to learn and teach what they came here to do. I now realize that the way we love our children is the way we are meant to treat each other. We are all children, parents, and relatives of each other. Our role is to blow spirit into others and let them fly.

Thank you for making life a game with all sentient beings our teammates and our ego the opponent.

Thank you for your presence for it teaches us that the easiest path towards godliness is to be present at all times.

Thank you for not doing too much and just being.

Love Always,

Your son,

Kozo Hattori

 

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I just got back from my blogging break, so this post is a little late. This is a post for the Monthly Peace Challenge: Peace Begins with a Letter. To join Bloggers for Peace, click on the badge to the right.

Busy, Busy Bee–ing

So much is going on this week that I don’t have time to catch a breath.

badge_twoFirst, I will be a guest video poster at The Outlier Collective. For those of you who don’t know, TOC is a blog created by Le Clown and Madame Weebles. Each week, they choose a topic and invite bloggers “to weigh in on the weekly topic, in whatever way they choose. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes passionate, always thought-provoking.” Continue reading

Getting Off the Poop Train

My 3 year old pooped in the tub, AGAIN.

Doodie: "It's no big deal"

I reacted like I normally do–I screamed bloody murder. What was different this time was that I was conscious of what I was doing.

It was as if I was standing outside of myself watching like a silent bystander. “What an idiot,” I mused as I watched me spiral into more and more anger as the poo contaminated water splashed all over the bathroom floor.

I became painfully aware that the screaming me was running a program without any thought or compassion. The screaming me was angry not because of the situation, but because it seemed like being angry was the proper response. The observer me noted that one of the reasons I was screaming had nothing to do with my son or the poo. I was screaming so that my wife who was in the kitchen could hear. I was screaming because I felt unappreciated for ALWAYS having to clean up the poo. Continue reading

Slow Down For Peace

fatboyke (Luc) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be compassionate while you are in a rush?

When I am in a hurry, I get this feeling like I am leaning forward and I need to keep moving not matter what. When something inhibits my progress I get tense, frustrated, and, sometimes, angry.

My sons seem to slow down on purpose when they sense that I am in a rush. Like many of you experienced parents have told me over and over, our children are here not just to learn from us, but also to teach us.

After numerous episodes of screaming, time-outs, and dragging, I’ve finally learned to slow down. Does it really matter if my son is late to kindergarten? Will it adversely affect my 3 year old’s brain development if he misses one “Circle Time” at his preschool? Continue reading