Story & Photo
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
Today’s world has destroyed humanity’s view of the pure & kindhearted, empathetic people of our time. A person with a true, good and empathetic heart used to be admired, appreciated cherished and respected. I don’t mean the one-time hero’s, the feel-good stories in the news or the average nice person. I’m talking about the people who have that heart (and mind) that is mistakenly different than most. They have not just sympathy but empathy, empathy like no other. You may not recognize them off the bat because they tend to be more on the quiet side, lost in the rat race that has become the norm in today’s society. They are most often looked at as ignorant of today’s world and not taken seriously as intelligent people – lacking knowledge of “reality”. They are over-looked and basically moved out of the way; pushed aside as not having valid contributions to our social order. How sad. The once admired is now replaced with ridicule which can lead to the paralyzation of the loving heart of ever wanting to put themselves “out there” again.
We’ve gone from a civilization of being mentored by the loving, empathetic heart to one of keeping our guard up to protect ourselves from our changing society. We’ve turned our thoughts from valuing love and honor of good people to protecting ourselves, our rights; operating in defense mode. And while there is nothing wrong with looking ahead and planning for safety, we cannot live our lives in a heightened sense of suspicion and panic. This type of thinking is fed by the constant negative thoughts, beliefs and fears brought on by others who are not centering themselves with a healthy balance of reality and common sense.
Our world now is so hell-bent on proving their points and opinions that they’ve not even considered the feelings of those around them; their support system. What a shame. I don’t understand how the good hearts can just be dismissed – thrown away – like that. It’s as if we are a planet of robots – no heart, no love; just machines with a constant ax to grind; a fight to have, something to protest.
I believe wholeheartedly that every person on earth needs to get in touch with their heart, not to be confused with their mind and all the crazy rhetoric they are consuming as truth – modifying them even more into something they are not. Stop that routine way of thinking! What are they afraid of? If you cannot allow your heart to feel the love and peace it was created for, then how can you give love to your families? Do you treat your families and friends with contempt and sarcasm at every conversation? Can you actually have a heart-to-heart discussion if the situation called for one? Or is everything a joke to you? Do you operate on defense mode all the time blocking yourself to be open to what’s really being said? With behavior like that, how can you positively contribute to society? How can you appreciate all the great things life has to offer? You can’t, because you’re focus is on being #1 and right all the time, or for some, trying to turn every serious statement into a joke. If everyone remained in a fight in their minds 24/7, how lonely and lost would they become? It is certain decay of the human spirit, and therein our world. Our human spirits are slowly being squelched to the point of death, making us individuals who are imprisoned in our society by society.
Have you ever expressed your heart in conversation only to be laughed at, put down and criticized? What’s happening here? How can the other person interpret it as anything less than a meaningful heart expression? What fresh hell has their upbringing been like, or lack of, that they cannot recognize and receive the opportunity to be changed for the better? What are they afraid of? What makes them think this way? It could be anything from lack of education or mentor-ship, living in the confines of a smaller community, or, they may just be selfish. I find the later two to be true in most cases.
So the question remains for some, “How do I even begin to get back to heart living?” Well, just as we are all created differently, the answers will vary. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- First and foremost, you must make some quiet time for yourself. You cannot learn anything about yourself with all the noise of the world around you; those are all distractions keeping you from your own growth.
- Limit yourself (or completely cut yourself off) from sources of negativity – negative people, movies, television, social media that have no positive influences. You many even need to limit how much news you consume on a daily.
- Take a break daily even if it’s 10 minutes to relax, especially before you begin your work day. Maybe enjoy a cup of coffee slowly while reading something inspirational. Maybe it’s just looking out a window at the nature you are surrounded by.
- A good way to get in touch with your heart is to listen to someone’s story who has been less fortunate then you. That’s a great way to appreciate and be grateful for where you’re at. Certain television shows have a segment where the contestants tell “their stories” and can move you to tears, unless you are already a complete robot.
- Journal your true feelings. You may actually discover a part of you that you never realized.
- Do volunteer work.
- Go out in nature and really observe it. Walk, hike or just sit in the stillness and breath it all in with your eyes. Yes, I said eyes.
- Be mindful of your actions and live in the moment. Try not to stress out about what lies ahead. Don’t spend your life living in or worried about the future, there’s nothing happening there yet.
Life is not a race. It’s meant to enjoy, share, love and do well to/for others. Live your life in the moment. Don’t hop on the crazy train to tomorrow. Getting back to that which we were created for is not just to be a nicer person to others, but for your own health because believe me, if you continue on the clueless path of sarcasm, ridicule, mind-fighting and pea-cocking your way through your existence, you will put yourself in a debilitating, mind-numbing, crippling state that will eventually paralyze your mind and spirit – an early death of the heart.
You have been given one life to enjoy and live. It’s your life. Don’t hand it over to the time sucks, jokesters and negative people who don’t even know where they’re going. They’ve got their own battles to contend with. Instead of asking someone if you could “pick their brain” when wanting some advice, how about “pick their heart”. I think you’d be amazed at what you could learn.
Quote & Photo
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
Just as the sunsets fade out a day and a new dawn starts a fresh new one, so can people in our lives. Don’t fret about what has run its course. A new thing can be just around the corner. You just never know. Let go of the old or you won’t see the new that’s waiting around you.
Story & Photo
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
Speaking your truth will set you free from your captivity. Your captivity of heart, mind and your spirit. The fear will be there, at first, until you exercise stepping out and moving forward, but once you exercise that choice, you will then begin to experience a tremendous freedom. Once you feel that joy of accomplishment on your journey’s path, you won’t care who agrees, follows or even how small your circle becomes. Here in lies your decision to that proverbial fork in the road.
Your path, your journey, is individual and specific to you. No one can walk it for you, and no one will have your answers . When you are truly ready to walk it, only you can do the work that it will take. Don’t use others as your compass on your journey; you will get sidetracked and lost. Pay attention to what your heart (instinct) is telling you. If you are unsure at any given moment then you still have some work to do in that particular area, and that’s OK. Don’t force it just because you think you need to be at a certain place in time. You will know when you need to move. When it is right for you.
Choose to shine YOUR best, in your time – no one else’s.
Photo and Story
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
It was the first breezy, chilly 47-degree night of the season, mid-November at a train station in a very small town in California. Normally 47 degrees isn’t so bad, but when it’s the first of the season after the warm California temperatures, it can take a while for the body to acclimate. I was there sending off my daughter from her shortened, 23-hour visit. As my daughter was making her way to one of the open train cars, an elderly woman had stepped off with an Amtrak employee. The woman was crying and clearly hobbling in pain alongside the employee. Observing, I thought it odd that no help was given in the way of a wheelchair, or other relief assistance. As my attention was teetering back and forth from the elderly woman clearly needing assistance to watching for my daughter at one of the window seats as I like to see her and wave one last goodbye for the night, the woman, now left alone, was wailing even louder. I’m thinking that anytime now her ride would be here to pick her up as I’m watching and waving to my daughter.
As the train slowly pulled away out of the station, the woman began to wail in pain even louder; bent over the railing alongside the walkway between the tracks and the parking lot. I turned around to observe if anyone was coming for the woman. I watched as Amtrak staff went back inside the office, people catch their connecting buses, and families helping to load their loved ones in their vehicles. Still no one came for this woman. It was only her and I …at 7:50 p.m., dark night, vacant parking lot except for a few overnight parked vehicles. As I continued to look around for signs of anyone coming for her, I walked up slowly so as not to startle her and ask if there was anything I could do for her. She proceeded to catch her breath just enough to tell me that she didn’t want to bother me and said she called her son to pick her up; he had forgotten. She kept telling me I didn’t have to stay and I told her there was no way I was leaving her alone out here in the dark. I offered to walk her over to a nearby bench, but she didn’t want to move. She said it would take too much energy and would hurt, so I rubbed her back as she hunched over the railing and talked to her to see if it would help calm her. All I could think of was how could anyone be so neglectful to allow this woman to be out in the cold, dark night, alone. As she began to calm, she told me that she had just fallen on the knee that she is supposed to have surgery on, and, that she just found out that she is VERY, VERY sick. “I just don’t need all this right now!” she told me. “It’s just too much!” and then began to break down again with uncontrollable sobbing. With each vehicle that past by she’d say, “Here’s my son”…but it wasn’t, and as each car drove by that wasn’t her son, she cried. Time passed and it was getting more breezy and colder. Where is this son?
Finally her son drove in. Did he rush to her aid? No. I watched as he 1) parked far away from her, 2) took time to slowly clean out his vehicle, 3) was clearly in no hurry to look around for her. Really? I just couldn’t take it any longer, so I called out as I walked part way to his vehicle, “Are you here to pick up your mother?” “Yeah”, he said as if it were a bother. “She’s over here!” I had to direct him over. She thanked me over and over for staying with her and said it’ll be okay and that I could go. I cried all the way home. It was such an emotional experience. Even though her son was there, I had to wonder if she really would be alright. My heart was tugged with all sorts of emotions. Clearly, emotion for her well-being, but there seemed to be something else. What was it? Even a few hours later, I was still crying.
After playing the night’s events over and over in my mind, it hit me, and it was two-fold. The first was that fact that in today’s society people are so unaware of the needs of others even when it’s crying out right in front of you! How robotic is our society? She was crying loud enough that everyone heard, yet she was ignored. No one even approached her. My heart felt cruelty for mankind. I mean, just imagine if that woman were you or worse, your mother? Can you imagine how much pain and hopelessness she was feeling on that cold, dark night? Alone. It’s just so upsetting.
And second, what I still can’t seem to put down into words, must be the heart’s emotion to helping someone in such distraught, especially when no one else would; making a difference in someone else’s life. Even now, almost two months later and tears in my eyes, I still can’t put it into words that would make you feel what the heart feels. And you know what? I think, no, I believe, that there is a reason and a purpose for that. It is an emotion that is best felt; only felt, with the heart. It’s a gift. A gift that I was given to show love, faith in humanity; a purpose for our life on earth and that feeling that comes with it all wrapped up in one overpowering emotion never to be fully explained in simple words.
Let’s be thankful for our good health and for our families and friends that care enough to make sure we are safe to and from our destinations; for not everyone is as fortunate. Pray for the less fortunate. 💔
No matter how old we get, there’s still that young person at heart inside. Look at everyone you meet as equal in that respect too.
Photo and Story by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall
They say that we should never look back when trying to heal and move forward with our lives. I beg to differ. Although I completely understand the concept and agree for the most part, I feel that it is imperative that we, occasionally, look back for one specific reason; and that is to see how far we have come on our journey. Looking back on occasion can be uplifting when we feel like our growth is taking us forever, or, we feel stuck and anxious to move forward faster than our present circumstances is allowing.
Keeping a journal as we go through our individual journey of life can be one of the healthiest things we can do for our growth and support. It makes looking back a little easier to experience without wallowing in the past or constantly spinning in our heads. I think the fear of looking back is that we will “vacation” there, which is not healthy. Looking back can always cause us to maybe feel a little sad or depressed, but I feel that if you are hell bent on making some serious changes and growth and go to into it with a positive attitude, looking back on what you’ve learned, how you have chosen to handle it, and how far you’ve come can be such an uplifting and supportive part of your “healthy” journey of life.
Part of our journey is to make sure we have a balance of recognizing our lessons already learned, remembering them for future “tests in life”, and trying to be disciplined to not going back to the way things were while you are growing. Having your accomplishments written down is your own personal support unit that you can have available anytime you need it. Sometimes the best support we can have is reading about where we’ve been, how we gotten through it and compare that person then to where you have come today. Friends, family and counseling can be support to us as well, but not on such a personal growth level as your own story you experience and write yourself. There’s a special feeling of accomplishment when reflecting.
Not everyone is fond of keeping a journal and I must admit, I don’t do so on a regular basis, but what you can do, is jot down in a notebook, your phone, computer or whatever suits your needs, anything that comes to your mind and/or heart that you feel is like an “ah ha!” moment. You may even want to put it in an email and email yourself. Make a folder with your name on it in your email account and keep it all there. Keep your written thoughts somewhere you can refer to when you need a little reassurance. Just try it. You’ll see what I mean.
Everyone’s journey is different; as it should be. Life is tough and seems to be getting tougher these days and while everyone seems to jump in on the madness of this life like kids trying to jump in that jump rope going backwards as we did when we were kids, we tend to struggle through life by just going along with whatever is happening instead of taking time to experience our journey. No one is perfect, not this side of heaven. Everyone has something to learn. Everyone has growing to do. Find what works best for you and live it. Shake things up. Try something new. You just may be surprised.
Have a wonderful journey! Until next time.
By Elizabeth Vierra Hall
Today my family said goodbye to the last of my grandpa’s 21 siblings; Aunt Josie. (my Great Aunt). She was 97 years old. I don’t normally post about funerals, but, Aunt Josie was not only the last of that generation to pass…the end of that era as it were, she was also my kids’ babysitter when my grandma was not able to do it. She was the cutest, fun-loving, little over 4 foot tall, great aunt you could have for a babysitter. She was a simple woman who didn’t concern herself with the world’s problems or disasters. She just wanted to be around children and family and love them best she could. She had spunk and sweetness all rolled into one.
My daughter and her fiancé both took a day off from work, drove just over 3 hours to make a day trip to attend and pay their respects and my son was given the honor of being a pallbearer, which was a first for him. I am proud of my children taking the time to honor a woman who was a special part of their lives.
Funerals are typically looked on as a duty one has to attend, but, I am proud to say that from what I witnessed today, it was the love and honor for one woman that brought the family together. At this moment I am VERY PROUD.
Rest in the sweetest peace Aunt Josie…you will be missed, but always remembered. Love you!