An urge toward territoriality occurs in all thinking animals and in some that don’t think. The need for a constant and reliable source of food explains some of the perceived necessity behind this pattern of behavior. However there are times when food is plentiful and you’ll still see folks of all species vigorously defending their own patch of earth. It is also certain that the reproductive urge plays a part in the defense of territory large and small. But neither food or sex is the end-all and be-all to explain species-wide defense of territory. There is a part of the brain that is devoted to want and getting mad when you can’t have what you want that could be the precursor to territoriality. It is a complex association of areas in the brain that begins working from birth. This complex of sections of the brain can drive a need for possession, for something that is mine, all mine and no one else can have it, even if it means fighting to the death. For some reason many individuals want, then need to have more than others of their species, to have more possessions and to be sure that they are all accounted for at all times. They can be quite vocal and violent about what they consider are their rights. But all the conflicts surrounding territoriality are ridiculous, especially since none of the things being disputed will be available to anyone for very long into the future. There seems to be a belief among this type of being that what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine, too. It’s a shame that so many of us don’t so can’t begin to counteract this behavior, at least in humans and the ‘domesticated’ animals, from the very beginnings of it in infancy. There isn’t anything we can ethically do about territoriality in other animals, but we can try to do something about destructive territoriality in our own species by attempting to nip the urge in the bud or providing a strong, but flexible example of sharing. Would you try to express sharing, by example or other peaceful means?
All of us have gone astray at times and found ourselves lost in an unkown sea, adrift on the tide with no real idea where we are or how to get to where we meant to be going.This can be a good thing if we have the time and inclination to explore our surroundings, but sometimes we must be somewhere at a specific time or do something by a specific date and cannot afford to be drifting lazily along. When it is possible to spend some time drifting, it is wise to allow oneself no control over the direction one is headed and to take events as they occur. This is quite relaxing and allows emotions and feelings to come to the surface that are normally buried beneath mundane or troublesome emotions and feelings. There are a number people who find it quite difficult to enjoy such unstructured times and are very uncomfortable with the loss of their own initiative and their ability to make choices. This is a shame since one can find initiative and decide which choices we’re going to make by letting go of control and drifting, letting whatever comes to the surface show itself in its own time; thus it will be fully assimilated and plans will be forthcoming. Now, if you’re adrift on a lee shore in the fog with torn sails and a broken engine you must act a bit more quickly, go into crisis mode: evaluate, plan, and act without pausing to reflect so much that you are lost. When it is not possible to reflect or ask for input it is helpful to have spent some less urgent time adrift so that all you really need to do is speed up your mental (and physical) action. Rehearsal is a good thing in that it prepares and teaches your mind and body to react in those rehearsed ways instead of having to work everything out. Reacting quickly and getting oneself out of trouble is also something one can be proud of, if you didn’t get yourself into the trouble in the first place. Adrift under pressure and adrift lazily can both be positive experiences and satisfy different mental and emotional needs. Would you like to see yourself adrift in both ways?
At some time or other in our lives we all feel trapped. We have felt or will feel caged and unable to move in any kind of direction. We may batter the cage bars or sit in a corner and mope, but we want out, even if the trap is of our own making. The feeling of being trapped conjures up emotions of helplessness and hopelessness that can be more debilitating than being trapped itself may be. Traps can be easy to leave or very difficult; what matters is how much you want to be out and free. You will make almost any sacrifice to be out from under one trap, but can feel safe and secure in another one that you may not even recognize as a trap at all. If you’ve caught yourself in a trap purposely, chances are you’ll eventually be able to free yourself, and at your own discretion, too. If you’ve caught yourself in a trap sprung by another it may take a bit more time to recognize the problem and find the key to escape. If you’ve set the trap for yourself but don’t know it you’re in the most difficult place because first you have to admit that you’re in a trap. You must evaluate your position to discover if you’ve maneuvered yourself there, and if so, what you need to do. It is at this point that others may try to point your position out to you and at this point you may want to shove them away rather than listening to them. It is good to remember that one of the arts to life is to remain balanced and receiving information from only one source, whether it is you or one other person, will not give you sufficient information about your situation. At any time it is good to listen; it is especially good when you are trapped. First help yourself, then allow help from others and be open to suggestions. Don’t you think finding the way out of trap is easier with some help?
We have all felt left out and lost in our worlds at times and we’ve all looked left out and lost, too. There is no way to help but look forlorn when we are forlorn and there is no reason to look other than we feel; at least to a certain extent. We may give mixed signals to the people close to us and those we don’t know at all but depend upon for various services if we put on a cheerful act; yet there is still something about us to cue a person that we are despondent. Appearing any other way than how we feel inside doesn’t help change a mood, it just covers the mood up and does not address the underlying problem. You may be dealing with any number of things that produce a bereft and lonely feeling and should explore the feelings so that you can delve to the root of the problem(s) and move on. It is probably not good for you and others around you to see all your struggles; when you know you are dealing with difficult things it might be best to stay in or present yourself in a neutral manner – who would want to be probing into one’s deepest feelings and emotions in a public place anyway? When at home you may need to stay closer to your most empathetic companions and leave the ones bothered by discord alone. What is most important is that you don’t wallow in your pitiful feelings; no one is going to haul you up by your bootstraps because you’re looking woebegone. You must haul up your bootstraps yourself without expecting or soliciting pity or someone else’s effort besides yours and rise above your solitary sufferings from the low-down blues. Try to remember instead that blue is your favorite color and play your forlorn despair away. Isn’t doing something about your darker hours better than sliding deeper into a chasm?
One may know an area very well, even have strong impressions and know the temper of a place. But that place may not always seem familiar and safe and you may feel uncomfortable venturing out at times. This may alter your feelings for that place and you may find yourself rarely, if ever, venturing out at all. On the other hand you may find that your cozy home provides too much comfort and you must get out and explore or become stir-crazy. When you do manage to emerge an adventure is just the thing to make home a good place to come back to. You may venture out into your familiar places or take a chance on someplace new and exciting. Whatever you choose you might feel a sense of anticipation and excitement at what you may find in your travels, long and short. It is important that you do not have specific expectations, even if you have specific plans, as those are more than likely to come to nothing, or very little. Venturing out should provide you with new sights, sounds, tastes, and touches and with new feelings and emotions about them. You could also go out with a specific purpose in mind, but don’t expect complete success, expect to find your undertaking to be an experiment more than anything else. If you feel apprehensive or uncomfortable, but not unsafe, it is a good idea to continue risk your comfort and allay your apprehensions by continuing with your plans. After all, how can you learn and expand your horizons without experimenting with adventure? You could poke a hole in whatever your apprehensions may be and crawl through the hole into an even more varied and interesting world. Besides, it’s fun to explode some of the less flattering theories you may have formed about yourself. Venturing out can be a real adventure and is more likely to be so the more positive you are about it. Does a venture into adventure tickle your fancy?
Litter is like weeds; if an object doesn’t belong where you find it; if it seems out-of-place or just plain wrong, then it is litter. Litter can be a fast food bag tossed in the middle of a street or it can be stones or wood thrown upon the frozen surface of a pond in order to listen to the strange sounds of oscillating ice. The sounds may be entertaining but the sticks and stones and occasional pieces of man-made detritus left on the frozen surface are not attractive or natural artifacts and may disturb the residents of the unfrozen pond or the pond itself. These violations can and do occur in forests, on mountains, on beaches, in the ocean – any place whose primary attraction is its pristine state and has as its primary purpose the cleansing and defense of man’s ability to live on the planet. All these places, the entire planet, are subject to unthinking and malevolent trespasses by mankind. As much of a cliché and overused as it may be, the dictum “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures” is really the best way to live on our earth, yet leave her well enough to continue to support us. Mankind has an almost unstoppable urge to change things, make them his own, and does not realize the impossibility of that desire. It tends to make normally reasonable people into monsters of destruction and desecration. Unfortunately there are very few ways to counteract acts of destruction such as those occurring in all of our oceans, the Amazon river basin, and countless other sites around the world. We can do our own little bit if we choose to, that is a choice we each must make on our own; and what we choose to do, if anything, is also our choice. Getting to the point where we’d like to make a choice is a positive step toward healing rather than destruction. Something as small as picking up a piece of litter or leaving the stone on the beach can make a difference. This choice depends upon when we reach the point of outrage and it propels us into motion. Do you know when your outrage will spur an action on your part?
There are times when we all want to get away, just go and be somewhere else for a while. This can be absolutely the best thing for us to do, as long as we are not abandoning things or people who need our immediate attention. It isn’t necessary to put a whole lot of effort into planning time away, or even necessary to spend a whole lot of time away. A complete break with daily, familiar surroundings is the goal. The guiding point is to be relaxed or stimulated by essentially different sights and sounds, feelings and emotions than you experience upon a daily basis. It is to totally lose your routine, to create new communication dynamics with unfamiliar people, and to put different expectations on your body and mind. These fresh experiences can jar you into seeing your day-to-day life from a new perspective and to change or refine how you live that seemingly mundane life. Even a daily walk, looking for new things along the way (new things are always there), can serve the purpose though somewhere new and different heightens the contrast and will define those contrasts more finely. Once you’ve persuaded yourself to make the effort it is important to go with no expectations, to leave yourself fully open to the new experiences and people. You may find you’re looking at these new things with a sense of wonder and talking with people you would never dream of speaking with back home. This may enable you to open yourself to new experiences at home, too, and that can never be a bad thing. Even if you find you haven’t enjoyed some experiences you will have had a chance to explore and appreciate what you deemed dull and stultifying in your ‘normal’ life only recently. Could getting away for an hour or a week enhance your experience of life at home?