Child playing with a soccer ball.
Life Experiences,  Life transitions

Could This Be A Spiritual Awakening?

I have had several of those lately. Have you?

I lost count on how many times I started to write a blog. One was Pot Pourri – again.  That didn’t work. Then I named one “Creativity in this Chaos.” Nah!

Today that all changed, and I found something that touched me in an unexpected way. It’s possible that I’ll include some comments on how people have been creative – who knows once I start writing.

The challenge is, as I have mentioned more than once, I don’t have the normal writer’s block.  I have too many subjects that catch my writing spirit. Certainly, there is enough going on to write about and I leave those subjects to others. I find too much disruption prevents me from being optimistic, loving, helpful, THERE AND HERE. I know this is a long introduction.

I feel I have to write about what I don’t write so that the four of you who read this blog understand my sometime dilemma.(I would really like to  hear from the four of you when you read this as you are so much in my heart).  

So lately I’ve discovered, writing has to be about something that goes directly to my heart and soul.  That happened today from a most unusual source.

Some of you know I am a huge football fan – football as in soccer. I have been a loyal supporter of a London team called Arsenal because when it started it was a group of men who played in an arsenal with guns and such. Their nickname is “The Gunners”.  

My support started when I was fifteen, so that would mean I have been a fan for seventy one years. I used the word, loyalty, because that’s what it is although I am now a bigger fan of Liverpool (I’m whispering in case someone gets offended!).

I wrote a letter once about football (as it will be called for the rest of this blog) and had it published. Maybe I’ll find it and include it. I wasn’t a brainwashed, let’s tear up the hotel room and the train carriage, violent scumbag who gave us all a bad name. (Oh, how familiar that sounds for today). I could be a critic too. I wrote an article about my views five years ago in which I said:

   “The beautiful game has changed over the years, not only the rules and regulations but the behaviour….the enormous salaries has produced a generation of spoiled brats.  I don’t see TEAM play anymore.”

Dr. Yvonne Kaye

That was then. What concerned me was listening to a coach on Jeopardy who said in youth soccer the children are tripping, falling, learning the drama as they watch these highly overpaid and underworked football stars do the same thing. That was then.

I had recorded some games and found I had time to start watching them today. The arenas are emptied of fans since the virus took hold, so they play the background noise of cheering.  There is an app one can use to eliminate the noise. Why would anyone want to do that?

Both teams walk in separately and form a line. They stand with the referees in the centre, quietly and respectfully. Then they form a circle and take off their jackets. On the back of each shirt is written “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and on the front there is a small blue heart with the letters NHS embroidered in the middle. They stand for the NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE, which is Doctors and Nurses on the front line in this pandemic. There are selected seats and written on them are names of season tickets holders who have died from this virus. It is moving beyond words. Then another whistle blows and they all kneel including the manager, trainers and all the staff. It is transfixing. I couldn’t breathe the first time I saw it. I thought, Colin Kaepernick  was ahead of his time.

I know a lot of people won’t agree with that last statement and I am not going the political way. However, I never understood what the fuss was about as it had nothing to do with the flag and everything about human rights.

Every game I watched; the same thing happened. The BLACK LIVES MATTER movement is big in the United Kingdom and again in spite of criticism I have received on the subject, it is my country and always will be. Because I came here due to being an incorrigible codependent, a Brit I am and half Irish I am – always and forever a Londoner. I am enormously proud of my countrymen and women who have stood up to bullies for years and got rid of them. In England, the government actually listens to the people. Amazing, isn’t it?

Yvonne as a young girl
Yvonne

I come from a town in South London called Brixton. (My claim to fame as David Bowie was born there).  After the war, a man called Sir Oswald Mosley rose to fame as a Fascist Leader. Six years of war and then another five of horror when this man and his followers were out to kill Jews and Blacks. In Brixton there was a large Jewish community and the majority of residents were Black. So, in addition to the East End of London where immigrants flocked, he conducted his vile speaking and killing.

If you wish, you can Google “The 43 Group” to see what happened to him. My foster brothers were members. I know violence. It is horrendous and those who haven’t experienced it – I am happy for you. However, you are seeing it now so be on guard. We can make a difference.

Last week, I followed a black truck down Horsham Road I believe it was. The back was covered with stickers. Not being a critic – I have a lot of stickers on the back of my car. I think Kim posted a picture of that some time ago.

(She did.)

Yvonne with her car and bumper stickers.

Caught at the traffic lights I began to read these stickers. As I did, I felt sweat on my entire body. Two leapt out at me. SEIG HEIL and THE WAY TO GET RID OF DEMOCRATS IS GENOCIDE. I don’t know how I got home. I felt sick and enraged. The PTSD sprang into action and I had to stop driving to pull over. The shaking was too bad to drive so I just stayed still and read some posts on my phone from Ferdie, a veteran Marine who was part of the SEALS who took out Ben Laden. He sends me encouragement every day.

There are two Marines who do that, and they help. Ferdie is now a Philadelphia detective who has my back. I began to calm down knowing if I couldn’t drive, he would come and get me. Breathing certainly helps. I know how to do it. After about 45 minutes I was able to drive home. I wasn’t supposed to drive home – I had to be somewhere else. It was impossible to go anywhere but home.  The amazing Joe Weldon, therapist, psychologist, and all round outstandingly knowledgeable person told me I don’t have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have Present Traumatic Stress Disorder. Makes sense to me.

This all sounds gloomy. Not so. We all have choices on how we feel. Dr. Viktor Frankl taught us that. Sometimes I don’t think so and that’s when I pick up his book Man’s Search for Meaning to get some reality into this philosophy. I believe he was in Dachau and then Auschwitz concentration camps. Being in that environment and writing ‘They can do anything to my body, but they cannot touch my thoughts” resonated strongly. I put this blog on hold for a while as PTSD doesn’t go away immediately. Then I remembered another quotation from this remarkable little book:

“People make conscious decisions on the way they feel.”

Of course. I can decide how I feel, be it lousy, sad, angry, loving, funny and so on. Choose your feeling.  In all the chaos today, those quotations ring true and with strength. Then of course there is Churchill who said, “NEVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP”. This is so crucial today in this somewhat toxic state. So never give up.

I have had the privilege of working with women for many years. They too have been bullied into submission whether it be professionally,   personally, or codependently. Surprise, surprise. I qualify in all these areas and am recovered in all of them.

I believe in phrases like”

  • “Hope springs eternal.”
  • “It isn’t what life gives you, it is what you do with what life gives you.”
  • “Overcoming is not the same as getting over.”
  • “In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.”

None of these are mine.  This one is.

“Be well and conquer.”

Create your own.

Aging

On the subject of aging, we have received messages that we no longer matter, and we do not contribute to society and other nonsense.  This is my list.

I AM NOT AGING

I AM RIPENING

I AM SEASONED

I AM WEATHERING

I AM MARINATING

I AM THRIVING

Please feel free to add to the list.

Yvonne sitting on couch, smiling.

I have a ton of quotations on my computer, from Mother Theresa to Professor Dumbledore. They mean something to me. They are not blasé. I believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER and that it can’t be compared to any other section of the human race. Everything I write is my opinion. It doesn’t have to be yours.

A short while ago I was having my precious cuppa tea and realised that something had come up on my computer I had never looked at.  It is called PEACOCK.

So, when I finished writing I put the television on asking for PEACOCK. It brought me to a morning show which was featuring good feeling reports. One was a Dad with a little baby. The Dad was saying I love you and after doing so for some time the baby said ‘I wuv you’. I think the baby was about six months old. So that’s what I am talking about.

Then to my amazement it went straight to a football (you know what that is! )  station where they were talking about a 22 year old footballer named Marcus  Rashford (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Rashford) who plays for Manchester United. I’m not a fan of MU even though John was from there.

Marcus  Rashford

This young man heard that Parliament decided that it would stop the free meals for schoolchildren at the end of the summer. He wrote an amazing letter to the Government who refused to change their plan. He said that he had come from an area similar to where these children live, raised by a single mother and what that means. He persisted and finally the Government changed its mind. He received the information from a letter signed by Boris Johnson himself – the Prime Minister.

This young man has enormous support now nationwide and has become a hero to these children and just about everybody else.  People are calling for him to be knighted, at age 22. He used his fame and popularity as a football star to make this happen. This proves that these men and women in sports have hearts and have changed from the over dramatic spoiled brats I wrote of before. Look him up.  

I’d like to see people with that kind of influence do similar acts of generosity.  A lot of sports people over here are generous and supportive. Most are strangely quiet, and I am not identifying any of them.

Because of this pandemic, I have had very little paying work and tons of voluntary stuff which I love and am delighted to be of service. The people I am referring to, who can be positive influencers, are mainly billionaires like movie stars and talk show hosts. People need reassurance from those they admire. Where are they?

I have so much to say and you knew that didn’t you? Ripening and grief have given me a strength I didn’t know I had. It’s a beautiful thing when one looks within and recognises the gifts.

I had a card from John once. He wrote, “I love you with a feeling, longing and intensity I didn’t know possible”. Sobeit.

Look within. This is how I see this strength which I share with others who don’t know they have it. It’s like seeing a rose blossom. Who knows?  Am I about to receive more awakenings? I rather think so and I know of one already.

For next time. Be safe.     

4 Comments

  • Linda Davis Goff

    You’re one of my favorite teachers, Yvonne. I took Marywood summer classes from you in Pennsylvania decades ago. My memories of you are all fantastic. Keep writing, please. I’m in Florida now working as a public librarian plus helping worried callers to our local Citizens Info Line.

  • Dan Newman

    Hello my Dear Yvonne, I have one to add to your aging list – I’M NOT AGING – I am BLOOMING TO A NEW SEASON! Signed “one of the four”! LOL

  • Cathy McKee

    As always, love your writing. My best writing comes from my heart – I think you taught me that. The quote from John is especially poignant – something I’ve always wanted to experience: “I love you with a feeling, longing and intensity I didn’t know possible”. Love you!

Go ahead and talk to me.

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