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Stubborn Hearts

Tenacity in and of itself is considered a worthwhile quality. Alongside perseverance and persistence. When 90% is telling you that it’s impossible but the remaining 10% is your own doubts, smothered in an inexorable super power – that which we call hope.

What sets all of that apart for me, is whether or not you are stubborn with it. Why does the universe like a stubborn heart? Because you suddenly have the drive to push through to your successes. Instead of falling just short or settling because the effort is deemed too great for a reward that may not yet be quantifiable. You now have the brute force to pull yourself through the mires of negativity that we all know oh so intimately, from time to time, too. Seeing light at the end of a tunnel that swallows the majority in its inimitable darkness…

Stubborn people have that semi-permeable membrane. Feelings make it in and out, (people too) but they are able to be, or have learned to be selective with it. Careful. Knowing that there is balance in everything but that not everything is in balance. Or adds to their own.  Knowing when to tip the scales (and in which direction). 

Stubborness cannot be accredited solely to experience. Instinct plays a role – an innate, primal knowledge of what is right for oneself. 

Why then, are we taught the direct and complete opposite? That good things come to those that wait? What is meant for you will surely find you? Trust the system? Everything happens for a reason… Stubbornness is suddenly an ugly word. Reserved for those who are unreasonable. Reserved for those who cannot conform. Reserved for those who cannot wait. 

There is beauty in everything. And so stubborness is also beautiful. Resolute. Strong. It is in every child who learns to walk, talk, read and sing. It is in every sick person fighting to recover. It is in every rejection that we bounce back from. And in every achievement we work hard for. 

Nothing worth having comes easy and it would not be attained at all were it not for that very human element that we expel with our first, stubborn breath of air. 

Chantal ✗

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The Ocean

"I feel ambivalent. Quasi-happy. Like I'm coasting through the deceptively calm ocean, waiting for the next storm. Not entirely afraid, although maybe I should be. Anxious. Anticipating something exciting, but darker than the waters I am used to.

I am the storm. I could bring the wind, the rain. Whip everything into a frenzy and see what remains when everything settles.
Waves rolling sometimes in tandem, other times in opposition. Mirroring my emotions.
Whether calm waters or roiling fury, how do they know which path to travel? Can't my mind, body and soul find that state of synchronicity?

So many directions to travel. So vast the distances between. I haven't found peace. Just pieces of it. Shards. They call them clouds. I cut myself with my happiness and watch it flow down from me, back home, to my ocean. Cyclical serendipity.

Before I get lost in the enormity of it all, I remind myself that from a single drop, many an ocean was born."

Chantal ✗

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Why do we dream?

Why do we dream?

Our moment should be when we are in full command of our consciousness so that the metaphorical bubble cannot burst when we are not yet ready to inhale the harsh air that is reality.

Surreal …

In our dreams we can be anything. Face any fears. Or be unwitting bystanders to self destruction that we are not willing to acknowledge and think into existence in the waking hours.

Dreams aren't all bliss… the things we relegate into 'mind boxes' come alive while we slumber.
The forbidden.
Thoughts race and merge with the tangible… if only we could stretch forth a hand and grasp… there is no concept of time, and rational thought does not have to be the 'norm'.
Fire does not hold the power to burn.

Will we all of us burn?

What of those dreams that are so poignant that we wake as if our heart has just started for the first time? Upright. Tight. Breathing hard.
Eyes wild because the mind has not yet caught up with the body but is still so far, far away. The physical effects fade.

And yet the memory remains.

Write it down quickly for its thrall is fleeting and the glamour will soon lift as the black and white, shape-shifting light of day asserts itself.

Even the darkness has its colours.


Chantal ✗

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The Good Parent. 

Plenty of us are parents. 
Married parents, single parents, divorced parents, young parents, late in life parents, widowed parents, accidental parents, blended family parents with stepchildren, step-parents, step cats and step dogs.

In my book, there are only good parents and there are bad ones. 
It’s just that black and white. 

Good parents are not those who go through parenthood without error. Far from it. They make mistakes. Many mistakes. Honest mistakes, common mistakes, sometimes earth shattering ones.  
But they learn from them. 
They don’t have to be with anyone to be good parents. 
Some single parents are vastly superior in terms of versatility, time management and problem solving then those who have significant others to rely on. 

But they all start off in the same melting pot. Partial versions of their own parents. 

Because – just as in infancy – we learn from our environment and those closest to us. We don’t know anything else.

As adults facing parenthood though, this period of growth and uncertainty is accelerated because we already have ideas. And will have made certain conclusions or put plans in motion before our little twinkles have graced us with their presence. 

I’m a parent of four myself. I often open my mouth and I am surprised when out comes my mother. I’ve even stopped myself in mid-sentence. We’ve all heard the cliches about ‘turning into ones parents’. My mother was by no means a bad mother; she’s been my inspiration and a tower of strength & knowledge for as long as I can remember. But the evolution of parenting means that you spend your own parenthood sifting through how you were parented (brought up), how others around you were brought up and your longings (sometimes unfulfilled) as a child and you try to make changes for the better for your own.

Bad parenting, on the other hand, isn’t restricted to abuse (physical or psychological). 
It is those parents who coddle their children to the extent that they are incapable of standing on their own two feet and seek relationships where their partner assumes the caring role of parent and looks after them. 

It is the parents who force their children to look after them, instead of the other way around and so produce adults who seek to care for without regard to their own deserved happiness and wellbeing.  

It is those who are disillusioned with their lot in life and are not happy with the individuals they have become, but instead want to live their own dreams vicariously through that child, thus forcing the child to ignore its own passions in order to receive their parents love. 

It is the parents who confuse bribery for love. Or tough discipline at all times for love. 

It is the parents who have lost touch with their inner child. 
We are all born with the propensity to give love and receive love.
Love is blind. It does not see colour, race, class, religion, political affiliation, age or any of the bullshit we come up with to excuse away other humans. 

Love is being human. 

Love sees likeness in the strangest situations. It isn’t always right but it is true. 

And just like a flower needs light, water, food and shelter to flourish – so do children. They need structure, routine, guidelines and love. And that seed you’ve been blessed with can transform into something you could never imagine. 
But choke it and plant it next to weeds, put it in a dark place and withhold water and it soon becomes this twisted, strangled excuse from which nothing good can spring forth. 

Good parents are careful. They know that they reap what they sow.

Chantal ✗

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Writers Block

So, it’s kind of in the title.
I have always loved to write. Fiction, non-fiction, songs and poems. I was one of those girls who kept a diary.

Then I turned into an adult.

Now writing is something I have to consciously make time for. And the fact of the matter is, I don’t do it nearly as often as I should.
But now I have an odd problem: wanting to write and ..

.. Yeah.

Writers block !

They say the way to push through is to just keep on writing.

I think my problem is knowing what I want to write about and not knowing how to write about it in a way that keeps emotion in check. Because, let’s face it, it is easy to get carried away on the river of sentimentality or sometimes, something darker ..

I want you – as the reader – to be pushed in a certain direction, whilst still having room for imagination to do its thing.
Unbidden. Untethered. Untamed.
Giving you the raw material and watching you build something (even I) could never have envisioned. Yeah.

Maybe tomorrow.

Chantal ✗

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A life without pain

Awwhhhhiiiieeee ! It’s times like these when I say a silent prayer of thanks for the NHS (>_<)

PS. England sucks
PPS. Hurting teeth sucks harder

Cristian Mihai

The last two weeks have been terrible. My right ear began to hurt. Then the right side of my jaw. And painkillers wouldn’t do much good. I struggled. Pain followed me everywhere, prevented me from sleeping, prevented me from properly hearing my own thoughts.

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Know Yourself

It’s so easy to get lost in other people.

Relationships, be they platonic or that other thing, can completely swamp your personality.
We are all taught that we will need to bend a little, compromise and accept the other person for who they were when we met them and who they become when they’re with us.

But where do we draw the line? Are the unspoken roles we assume at the onset, written in stone? Are some people just incompatible or do we, as a society, lack the patience to work at things and see them through to a natural conclusion?

Any relationship should surely enrich both parties. Give and take. Yin and yang. Balance. Each bringing something to the table that enables emotional stability and equilibrium. Peace and love, dude.

Yet we can gravitate to what we think we want without realising what we need. A past relationship will colour how we move forward. We seem incapable of unlearning bad habits, leaning heavily on, ‘take me as I am’ without thinking, ‘am I as good as I can be?’

Some partnerships appear literally doomed. (Star-crossed?)
Fuelled by love, lust or common ground – sadly, sometimes, children – until that one day you wake, as if from a funny dream, feeling nothing, asserting your right to happiness and chalking it down to experience as you pack your bags…

So let’s start with love. The hardest thing to tell someone genuinely, but once you’ve broken the ice, it becomes the easiest thing to say. Usually as a way of proving that we didn’t mean whatever faux pas we’re discovered to have made.
… And sometimes, because we are just so grateful to have certain people in our lives.
Love is a great motivator.
My personal feeling on love is that it’s a fluffy, beautiful, aimless emotion that has no place in a relationship unless it comes hand in hand with honesty and respect and positivity.

Love, on it’s own, is rarely enough. And is hardly unconditional, much as we might like to think it is.
(I might make an exception for the love a parent feels for its child…)

Lust? Chemical attraction, physical attraction? Wanes slightly when you realise that s/he can’t respect the toilet seat rule or habitually washes the dishes badly.
Does it decline exponentially over time? Must we jump through amazing hoops and perform great juggling acts to keep the fire burning? Can it be relegated to one person, when found in tandem with love? Shouldn’t it be effortless anyway, within reason?

And so we struggle against that most cruel mistress – time – fighting micro battles, declaring unspoken winners, assuming roles that become set in stone; the ugly side of our nature exposed in situations less and less controlled until we are raw nerves, naked and staring at ourselves in a mirror, blaming another for a monster that we do not recognise.

Know yourself.

Chantal ✗