Rose-Coloured Glasses

I haven’t felt like blogging much lately. I haven’t felt like writing or doing much of anything, truth be told. I think I’ve been a little bit numb. You see, my father took a scythe to our relationship. I haven’t always envisioned my father as the grim reaper type but in this case if the scythe fits….

I won’t bore you with the details except to tell you one thing – what has happened made me feel like giving up. I don’t know what the length and breadth of giving up means, but that’s what I felt like doing.

Unhappy people try and make others unhappy. I firmly believe that. They may not consciously be aware they are doing it, but they do it, nonetheless. I also believe that people who have a bit of money and a controlling aspect to their personality are very dangerous. Very dangerous….

For the first time in ages I went to see my therapist (it always makes me feel like Woody Allen when I say that.) I find that just seeing her cheers me up because she is very monochromatic in appearance (wears greys, blacks and a tiny splash of red) with a blunt bob haircut. She would look at home in a Berlin bar in the 1930s with vermilion lipstick and a cigarette holder. I spend most of my time making up stories about her which probably isn’t the purpose of therapy, but it helps more than the real thing.

She said a very important thing to me. Let the emotion surrounding this situation be there. Acknowledge it. Don’t try and change it. It can only be what it is. Trying to change it is where my emotional pain comes from. If I accept it – even if it is something I am raging against – the pain will dissipate.

She shared a quote with me, which I love:

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.Β 

~James Thurber

Focusing on that awareness does help you to deal with emotional suffering.

The power of awareness and focusing on it was reiterated in an unexpected place a few days later.

We all saw it the other day. The people down on the bay. The city tinted rose. A man with a sketchbook told me he was going to call his sketch of the skyline: Rose Coloured Glasses.

‘It doesn’t hurt to wear them sometimes,’ he said.

I thought about what he said and realised he was right. If it was possible to alter parts of the day, to see something in a positive way, even if it meant thinking of it as better than it actually was, then that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Would it?

The man showed me some of his sketches. Beautifully formed, pretty images of birds, flowers, trees and buildings. He told me that as a young man his father discouraged him from drawing, that he had a very negative attitude towards artists, that he came from a family where business and making money trumped all. I was nearly knocked over by the full-flowing effect of the synchronicity.

The man talked about his art sustained him, how looking at the beauty in life made the ugliness less strident. He talked about how the focus needed to draw and sketch and paint caused him to live in the moment, to appreciate the day as it was.

He quoted Goethe:

Nothing is worth more than this day

Synchronicity once again.

Maybe putting on a pair of rose-coloured glasses has less to do with denial and more with acceptance. Maybe it helps us keep that which could destroy us at arms length.

Who would’ve thought that a man sketching the city skyline in the park would help me find clarity. The wisdom of strangers is far-reaching.

That’s why I believe. In things. Like people who might be angels and might not even know it. That’s why I know that even when things seem dark the light will come back into view. If you let it. That’s why I think that sometimes wearing glasses tinted with rose can you help you get through the day.





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53 thoughts on “Rose-Coloured Glasses

  1. Oh, Selma. I’m so sorry your father has hurt you this way. My guess is that he is miserable. You’re right, unhappy people often need to make others unhappy. So put on those rose colored glasses. Grab your camera and go find some chimney pots.

    And remind yourself that your happiness is yours. No one can take it unless you let them. Don’t let him.

    Hugs!

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    1. Your point about the chimney pots made me smile, Patti. You know how much chimney pot hunting cheers me up. I have mostly come to terms with my relationship with my family. I realise now that I can’t change things and that’s OK. I was trying to change things before and in doing so was causing myself a lot of stress. Thanks for the beautiful hugs!

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  2. Hi Selma,
    I am terribly sorry to hear that you have bee upset by your father, and rose coloured glasses are definately the way to go, look at everything in a different light. You have a lot of wonderful gifts, your writtig and your wonderful photos, now is the time to use them both.

    I love the photo of the skyline with the pink look, so strange but beautiful at the same time.

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    1. That is so kind of you to say, Mags. You are awesome β™₯ The pink skyline was really strange. I have seen the buildings turn purple and gold too. It’s quite spectacular. I love it!

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  3. I was thinking how strange it was to find gargoyles on the chimmeys there…and how much stranger it must be that one could cast it’s spell on you…peace be with you!

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  4. As much as I’m sorry your father hurt you, I love the perspective you adopted at the end of the post. Thank you for lifting my spirits and making me smile. In my heart, I hope you find happiness and love within yourself because you deserve it πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much, Mona Lisa. I think it’s important if one is having a down moment not to focus solely on all the negative things because it doesn’t help you move forward. I’m so glad I could make you smile. That makes me really happy!

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  5. I think I really like your therapist, and I’m very glad she was able to help you feel better. You are worth a million. A million smiles, a million heartbeats, a million feelings of joy because of what you write, because of who you are, because of what you see and feel. You are well loved, my dear, by a great many awesome people. I hope you can remember that and take some comfort in it when you’re feeling hurt by someone who should treat you better.

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  6. My father too was an imposing figure that used his power and money to control aspects of my life, and in the process hurt me in ways he didn’t even understand. My heart goes out to you. I love how people were set in your path to share their wisdom and help you find your own center again! In the end, what matters, where the real truth lies, is in what we believe about ourselves. We have all seen the good, the beauty, the sensitivity, and the intelligence in you through your writing. I know it will take a little time to heal from this emotional blow, but I trust that you will find your way back, and will be stronger for having survived the fire. We are, above all else, survivors, and there to spread the word that women can and do survive.. and go on to love the lives they’ve built for themselves! HUGS, Josie

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Josie. You have offered me such a valuable perspective. I think my father doesn’t even realise what he’s done. Not fully. The truth is he offered me money to leave my husband and well, what do you do with that? It’s a tough one. I’ve had a lot of anger about it because my hubby is basically a good guy – he’s just broke. My husband is rejected by my father while my brother-in-law is accepted and embraced (even though he beats up my sister on a regular basis) because he has property and assets in the millions. Go figure. The emphasis on money has hurt me more than anything.

      We ARE survivors, Josie. Your comment means the world to me β™₯β™₯β™₯

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      1. He WHAT??

        Sounds to me like he knows ‘the price of everything, but the value of nothing’

        Maybe he should meet Norman and Moira … his business is really struggling, and almost everything they have they spend on their children … I think, apart from the kids’ clothes and toys, everything in their house is second-hand. But, I’ve never been in a happier house!

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        1. Unfortunately he did go there, Travelrat. I am still in shock about it. That’s the thing – we have a really happy household too. Lots of laughs and love. But obviously where my father is concerned it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling πŸ™„

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    1. It’s definitely not new, Bluebee. I know so many people whose families have fallen apart due to money. It’s so sad. I’ll never understand it. People are much more important than dollar bills…..

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  7. I believe it too Selma. Absolutely. Without a lick of doubt.
    I’m sorry about your father. You’re a beautiful person and a wonderful writer and blogger. Wear those rose coloured glasses with pride. This is one of my favourite songs – dedicating it to you today.

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    1. Great song, Jen. I haven’t heard of Blue Rodeo but I really like them. The lead singer sounds a little like Tom Petty. I am so touched you dedicated a song to me. It has made me smile :mrgreen: Thank you dearest Jen xxx

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  8. I don’t know what to say, Selma. Those whom we love the most wield enormous emotional clout. Still…we are who we are and those whom we love the most may be blind to the obvious.

    You’ve got a good soul, Selma. In the end, that’s all that matters.

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    1. I try, Jonas. I try so hard to be a good person and do the right thing. That you think I have a good soul has made me a little teary because WOW – isn’t that what we all strive for deep down? Bless you, my friend xxxx

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  9. When ever I hear of conflicts with parents I am reminded of the opening of King Lear where he demands that each of his daughters their love for him before he shares out his kingdom to them. I was especially moved when his youngest and arguably favourite daughter tell him that she loved him “according to her bond”. It was like that for me I loved may parents because of they were may parents even when they did the most terrible things. What I am circling around to is that eventually you have to let go all of the resentments and conflicts with you folks and realise that they are the ones who are going to miss out if they act like gumbys now that you are a grown woman with a family of your own. Yeah but I do appreciate that it still hurts.

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    1. Funny you should mention KIng Lear in this context, Iain, because I was thinking about it just the other day. It is one of my favourite plays. There is so much I can relate to in it. It has one of my fave quotes of all time –
      “It is the stars,
      The stars above us, govern our conditions.”
      King Lear, 4.3.34
      Love that quote. Thank you for your kind comment. *gumbys…..giggle* You are a top bloke!

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  10. Although I’m not a churchy religious type I believe this saying fits here perfectly.

    “Let go and let God”

    I see it as a way of saying, by letting go, you bring about acceptance of what you cannot change.. Give it over and embrace what you can changes, how you can change, being the change you seek.

    He’s too old to change, you can’t change that and oh Selma how well I know this pain. I love how people come into your life with their pearls of wisdom that raises you up and brings you back to us!

    Hang in there honey, don’t let that bitterness spread through you.
    Hugs xo

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    1. Amen, Cathy. I completely agree with that saying. I know you know what I am going through. I really thought I was getting somewhere but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. I won’t let the bitterness get to me, hon. I don’t want my life to be painted that way. Hugs to you too xxx

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  11. hmm selma your story gives me some comfort and thoughtful thoughts. not meaning 2b redundant but there are scary thoughts and intrusive thoughts
    as well as happy thoughts or innocent thoughts but 2 me thoughtful thoughts trump them all.
    just as there are scary people and intrusive people etc etc etc and yes i agree thoughts are things as real as flesh and bone or is it blood anyway,
    it IS extremely painful when persons of your own blood turn against you, but the worst part it seems to me is how they do it out of “love” and how we both know that isnt love. i think that may be what hurts the most. but anyway, here’s how i think of it:
    they are children still in their struggles with nonacceptance, it may come from some sort of pride they feel a right to, i dont know, but i do agree that
    to be able to accept the hurt that comes with that is the only thing to do really. it has the effect of clarifying vision and lifts the weight, its like sweeping all the dust out of your chakras. and really you are more than fine wonderful and fully acceptable, i have to giggle while i say that because i cant imagine anyone not knowing that haha and also, know that you are not alone.xx

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    1. Tipota, what would I do without you? I mean that sincerely. It’s true – I think it’s knowing they do it out of love that binds the hurt to you. Accepting the hurt is the only thing to do. it is amazingly freeing. So is knowing I am not alone. Smooches to you xxxx

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  12. I believe humans are on a path to self-destruction. I believe I cannot alter that path. But I will never stop my big mouth from fighting the good fight for otherwise, what’s the point of living? I didn’t know Thurber was a Buddhist.

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    1. I’m definitely with you there, Squirrel. I don’t think anyone can alter that path. Not even a second coming is going to do much. I agree that we have to keep standing up for whatever it is we believe in. It’s important as long as we do it respectfully. It would make sense if Thurber was a Buddhist, that quote has blown me away. What perspective he has offered me. As have you xxx

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  13. your therapist sounds like an interesting subject for a study and if I met her, I probably would also make up stories about her. and that Thurber quote is something to think about. I think we deny so easily even our own feelings. we never quite like taking the rough path. instead of through it, we find ways to get around it. is that not human nature?

    whatever the situation, I hope you are in a better state. I hope you have nice weather to enjoy those rose-color days. are you going to fall while we are entering spring in new york? I always find it odd how the seasons are different for each side of the world.

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    1. She is a very interesting person, Lissa. Quite quirky and strikingly beautiful. I am a little in awe because it is rare to meet someone who is not only physically beautiful (in a sense where people turn their heads to look at her) but also emotionally beautiful.
      WOW. You are so astute. We do deny our own feelings so much and try to get round things instead of through them.
      We are going into fall. It is getting cooler in the evenings and the leaves are starting to change. Enjoy your springtime in New York!!

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  14. Rose colored glasses can be beneficial and are sometimes necessary. And other times, we have to see things clearly as they are and acknowledge whether or not we can change it or just have to make peace with it. Whatever happens, self-protect. Know that your readers are here for you if you need to vent. Good luck.

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    1. You are so kind to say that about the venting, writingfeemail. I am really touched. Thank you. And yes, we also have to make sure we retain a degree of clarity. It’s good to strike a balance!

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  15. Blood is thicker than water but sure makes a mess sometimes. I can just imagine you with your therapist, making up stories about her in your unique creative way. That Thurber is on to something πŸ˜‰ I’m always looking back in anger and forwards in fear – just very difficult to live in the moment, I find. Meditation and yoga make me hyperventilate – haha – I find watching crime shows is the best way to live in the moment (or someone else’s moment).

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    1. You are so funny, Gabe. I don’t know if you subscribe to cable TV but there is a crime channel on there which my hubby watches all the time and he says it helps to relieve his stress and makes him feel ‘normal.’ No matter how bleak things get he always says: ‘It could be worse. There could be a guy dressed as a clown with an axe who is waiting outside your bedroom window.’ I don’t want to mention to my therapist that he takes comfort in that – she might have him committed. πŸ˜†

      It is difficult to live in the moment but I have found with about 6 months of practise that it does help. It gets easier as you go along (although sometimes you go “I am sick of all this crap.”) My advice to anyone is to persevere. It helps eventually. Almost as much as chocolate xxxx

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  16. Sorry to hear that Selma. The Mrs. has had family trouble recently and though it got better when her father was hospitalized, it has reverted back to bad, now that he has been released. Too bad family can be so stressful.

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  17. I’m sorry to hear about your family situation Selma, but I do so love what you’ve written here. I am leaving here with thoughts on acceptance and awareness … oh, and of course those wonderful words of Goethe.

    PS. Thanks for sharing the rose-coloured Sydney. πŸ™‚

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    1. I am so glad you could take something positive away, Tracey, because that’s what I wanted. I rewrote this post about six times because it was coming across as too negative. Glad I was able to make it better πŸ˜€

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  18. Dearest Selma, I read your reply to my comment and shook my head sadly in understanding, this is something my father would have done, and did attempt to do in a very similar manner. He felt that it was his right to control my life and that only he knew what was best for me. The part that hurts more than anything I know, is that statement they were really making, that their daughters obviously aren’t smart or capable enough to make good decisions and handle their own affairs. And it is this arrogance and lack of understanding about what was important to me that kept me from turning to him at the times I really did need his help and support. I couldn’t allow him the victory. It would have made me feel too small. I understand why you stay where you do, it is a choice for you and you alone to make. All that your father has done is add one more hurt to your heart. Lord, keep us from doing that to our children! That is the lesson I take from it… what not to do! Yes, we ARE survivors and we grow stronger with each passing year. We will be a force to be reckoned with at 90! :-))

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    1. That is absolutely what I take away from it too, Josie, that I never ever treat my son like that. I just couldn’t live with myself if I did that.
      “And it is this arrogance and lack of understanding about what was important to me that kept me from turning to him at the times I really did need his help and support. I couldn’t allow him the victory.” That is exactly how I feel. It is my situation word for word.

      Thank you for your understanding and your kindness. It means the world to me. And yes, watch out world when we’re 90. Haha.

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  19. Oh darling Sel, I’m so sorry. Catching up here.

    Not sure if you got my email, but I wish you a good resolution and closure – sooner rather than later. But in the meantime I wish you peace and serenity. Know that you are doing the right thing – and the right thing by your wonderful child too – and find the peace in that.

    Love ya, hon. xx ❀

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    1. I did get your email, Daoine. Thank you. You are so wise. Hope all is well with you and your two little angels. Much love to you xxx

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  20. Sorry to hear that your Dad is behaving this way. My favourite sustaining quote is “living well is the best revenge”. That’s got me through a few bad years…Keep on rambling and noticing those life-enhancing little things!

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    1. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, Puddock. You’re right – living well is the best way to go. The rambles really are life-enhancing. I don’t know what I’d do without them!

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  21. I needed to read this today…This applies to a recent situation that I am going through so perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us here today…You touched my soul.

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    1. What a beautiful comment, Scriptor Obscura. If I was able to help you in any way I am delighted. I sometimes think sharing an experience not only helps me but might just help someone else and that lessens the pain of it. I am so glad you stopped by!

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  22. I’m really sorry about the thing with your father. I know it hurts more when it is family. He should know better.
    I find it funny that you can find humour in visiting the therapist. I too make up stories & odd incidents about people I meet but it’s usually people I don’t like. I do find her advice good though.
    What a beautiful way of looking at the city. Love the pic.

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    1. I find that finding the humour in a negative situation always helps. I can’t change the way my father thinks about me, unfortunately. The city did look good that day!

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