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Connecting Sole To Souls

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There is a part of me that feels heartsick over the fact that relationships I have with people I’ve never even had the pleasure of meeting are closer and more fulfilling than what I have with my one and only, flesh and blood sibling. My sensible side screams “BULLSH*T!”

The old maxim that “Blood is thicker than water” may be scientifically true but fails miserably as an analogy for the strength of the bond and loyalty from kin. While the opportunity for family to develop deep love and respect generally is greater than outsiders may get, there is nothing inherent in our DNA that guarantees friendship or trust. We may wish it so and delude ourselves that memorizing platitudes will make them come true but all that nets are foolish expectations and energy wasted for naught. Sadly, I don’t stand-alone in wrestling with such farce. It is exactly because this conundrum is all too common, that it’s occurred to me lately, we need to change the message.

Nature and nurture have long been debated as to which most controls who we are, yet significant as those factors may be, the most important element is choice. I suppose some believe that by drumming the sentiment that family sticks together through thick and through thin is all that it takes for self-fulfilling prophecy to flourish, but the history of man has proven that false going back as far as Cain and Abel. Genetics and training are no more than the canvas and palette upon which our individual choices build, layer upon layer of rich colors and light or the monotony of a single tone. Focusing in, one only sees their self and forfeits the depth of experience that connects sole to souls. While blood may serve to help create our potential, what we choose is who we become. So perhaps the loss we may feel over blood that is heartless should be no more and no less than the effect of a stranger, and so too, should we cherish the love.

Free Clip-Art & Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

City Blooms On Black Velvet

“City in Bloom on Black Velvet” – (600px X 804px)

The Fence Sitter, v2

“The Fence Sitter – v2” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.

The Fence Sitter

“The Fence Sitter” – For the story behind the image, read this post at Dogkisses.

12 thoughts on “Connecting Sole To Souls

  1. Hi Leslie,
    I hope the day is treating you well. I absolutely love the “City in bloom,” image. It is so pretty. The butterfly reminds me some of one of my favorites — the Painted Lady. I wish I still had a gardening business. The image would be a great logo. I have at times fantasized about starting it up again and giving my son a chance at doing the physical labor — but it is a fantasy right now.
    I enjoyed reading the links from this post. I guess when we stop expecting or hoping to get what we wish we could from our blood relatives, then maybe we can find it elsewhere. I have at times also fantasized about my siblings or any family having even some of the compassion and understanding that you and a couple other women I’ve connected with through this blog have offered me. But that is REALLY a fantasy, one which I simply don’t think will ever happen.
    I love the Fence Sitter so much. I wonder how much I could enlarge it because I don’t have very much art in my home (can’t afford it)– and I think they would be pretty framed pictures.
    Thank you for being my friend. I love knowing you. I care about you. I love reading your words. You are both inspiring and I learn from your blog. It is intellectually stimulating in a different way than other blogs I enjoy reading.
    Thank you Leslie for all you give.

    With love, your friend,

    • Hi Again!

      I can’t e-mail a high-rez image to you for printing a large size (file size is over 300mb !!) nor do I have enough space available on either WordPress or MediaFire to upload it to. So I set up a store on Zazzle – just a few items there so far but the very first I put up there is The Fence Sitter in Poster Size (23″x 23″) and as a Greeting Card. Poster can be customized for different sizes and finishes and can even be ordered framed. The Greeting Card can be customized as to the text on the cover and on the inside and comes in two different sizes. This sure beats trying to print yourself and considering the cost of ink these days for a high-resolution photo-quality print (600 dpi) and paper, the prices from Zazzle are really reasonable. Better yet, Zazzle has a special deal going for Memorial Weekend where all posters are 50% off. (to take advantage of that sale, click on the sale promo banner on my Zazzle Home page.


      BTW, I can make the image available on various other products (tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, etc.) – If you’d like to have it on any of those just let me know.

      Hope this helps! xxoo Leslie

      • Hi Leslie,
        I hope you are feeling okay today. I am very excited to visit the site. I will definitely look into the sale. I would absolutely love to have them that size and you’re certainly right about the cost of ink. I can barely afford to use ink!
        I can’t wait to visit and see! Actually, I was looking at a new blog theme today, as I often do check out the latest ones. I have considered using a new theme but I know so little about this technology (I hope to take a class this summer or at least by the fall because I can no longer stand being ignorant about technology since I am using it every day!
        Still, today I saw one, papercrunch, where you can have your own background image. Now I absolutely love my little picture of my dog on my current theme and so far, nothing looks as pretty to me as her sweet little face.
        I wondered how the fence sitter would look as a background image. I am wondering, whenever you have time to respond, if you would give me your opinion. Do you think I should change themes or stick with the same one?
        Also, I loved your comment to me about asking me to look over my posts and see in them that I am no longer a victim. I hope it is still there. I actually wanted to print it. Your comments are awesome Leslie. Your intelligence shines brightly. Your words are not only compassionate and loving, they are mentally stimulating and make me think. I really appreciate knowing you.
        Thanks again for your response.
        I wish you peaceful days and restful nights.

        Your friend,
        PS One more thing I wanted to ask you. What do you think of people being anonymous as a blogger? Do you think it is better to tell who you really are? Oh Yeah! Guess what! My young friends and I danced like funky chickens again yesterday. They laugh so hard when I do it they fall down on the sofa. After they left, I lied down and I smiled myself to sleep. I cannot believe how much fun I have with these two sisters. We are going to write and perform a play for the summer. I don’t know how to write plays but I’m going to do it anyway. One of the sisters is an artist and she is going to design the costumes. I doodled around with my idea about seven years ago. “Drumming up the allies.” The allies are the human emotions. There will be a drummer by the fire who will call them with the drum. They are being called to help a person who is sick. I hope you don’t mind such a long comment. I like sharing with you.
        With gratitude and love.

        • Dogkisses-
          You’ve asked some great questions and I’d like to do them justice. It may take me a few days to get back to you on them though because I’ve pooped myself out completely this week and I’m paying for it both mentally and physically. Just need to sleep for about 48 hours straight through (Not exaggerating as that’s exactly what I intend to do).
          In the meantime, Thanks again for your kind words and loving wishes. You’ve got me blushing!

  2. As usual, you put my thought into word in the most wonderful way….

    I couldn’t agree more.
    I haven’t been very well health wise but trying to create some energy to write a post or two which have a LOT to do with this one, only you write it better than I will ever be able to,
    thanks so much for this 🙂

    • Mrs Peel-
      I’m worried that you are still feeling so poorly. Have they figured out yet what’s going on or how they can better treat it and relieve your paint (without debilitating you further)? Whenever I’ve tried to find out about the quality of care in England, I get completely opposing impressions depending upon what the diagnosis is and what city one lives in. I would think living in London should be a help to you but it sounds like it’s very bureaucratic, which is the last thing one wants to contend with when they are sick. If I weren’t stuck here beneath the covers, I’d hop on a plane to bring you some homemade chicken soup. Since I’ve never made home made chicken soup before, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. 😉

      In any case, thank you for the kind words. I’m looking forward to reading new posts on your blog when you’re up for it. And, Hey, give your blog a plug! I’m sure my readers who haven’t yet discovered it will love it.


      xxoo Leslie

  3. I don’t like anonymous. I do value privacy like everyone else but if you leave a comment I’d love to know who you are. I put myself out there on my blog so turn about is fair play.

    Now, AMEN to your post! I have long had issues with “blood” relatives and it has nothing to do with the word “family.” My family are the people who love me …related by blood or not. I also have people that I’ve never met who have welcomed me, opened up to me, and I’ve opened up to them and we have a bond. That is family. Family and friendship that is accepting of me and all my shortcomings, where we can agree to disagree and love each other in spite of it all.

    Love this post. It really hits home!!

    Seeking Equilibrium

    • Thanks for the input, Rosemary. I’ve put a lot of thought and research into the question of privacy and the benefits/risks of anonymous blogging. Here’s the factors I take into consideration:

      1. Given today’s technology – and law (in America, at least), it is hard to be anonymous even when you think you are if someone really wants to know who authored or commented on a blog or website.
      2. If you assume that anyone intent on discovering your identity can find it, it is critical not to post the type of information that informs people when your house is likely to be empty or other such specifics that would make either you, your family, or your property particularly vulnerable to either physical or cyber-attacks.
      3. There appears to be no limit to the imagination of those who intend to do another harm so it is foolish to think that there’s a way of protecting yourself or your property completely. That being said, it’d be equally foolish to make it too easy for the bad guys to get at you. So make ’em have to work for it as best you can. That will help to halt the more “casual” bad guy who is either does not possess the technical expertise and/or the time and patience and/or the funds to track you down.
      4. On blogs where the issues discussed are ones that the information or opinions are of a nature that the author’s education or experience or affiliations would either add to or detract from their credibility to speak on that topic, I think it is a matter of respect for the reader to give them some context for evaluating what you have to say. It is no different (in my mind) than how you’d feel about the 6 o’clock news if all the anchors and reporters had a brown paper bag over their heads and a question mark where you’d expect their name to be. And how much weight would you give to a news flash about the horrors of an airplane that just intentionally crashed into the World Trade Towers killing thousands of people, if the reporter was lying on a beach in Jamaica with a rum cocktail in hand ?
      5. Of course, all that being said, if you have cause to be concerned about a specific individual trying to use against you anything you may have stated in your blog or your comments, it is always wise to educate yourself about all of the applicable laws including those concerning free speech, slander, libel, hate crime, etc. A good general guide is to be respectful of other people’s rights and concerns both in your manner of speech as well as the content; ensure whatever you write that is merely your opinion is presented in that manner and not as if it is proven fact; stick to the truth, never lie or try to “shade” the truth; never try to encourage others to do something dishonest, illegal or immoral; never disclose names of those you may be writing about unless their specific identity is a crucial part to the purpose and credibility of your post; and when people ARE named, allow them the opportunity to respond (of course, as a moderator it is fair to exclude any portion of a comment that violates the rules of your blog such as obscenity, hate speech, etc.).
      6. Where the safety and security of others is at stake, then you have to very carefully weigh your priorities: Is it more important to you to have a forum to vent your emotions about a specific person or incident regardless of whether that could make another person more vulnerable to harm solely as a result of what you posted?

      I guess it all comes down to simple common sense based upon your personal situation. I make it a rule not to judge others decisions as long as their choices don’t (and can’t) harm anyone else (including me). 😉

      As to your comment about this particular post (“Connecting Sole to Souls”) – It is both astounding and disturbing that so many people can relate to having been betrayed in some manner by “blood” relatives. I guess that what I was really trying to figure out was this: Would we be less hurt if such “betrayals” or lack of compassion or support had come from a complete stranger ? If so, is there really any scientific or logical reason for that beyond our having the expectation of loyalty, empathy, respect and love from someone simply because they are related by blood? And if the lack of expectation would lead to less surprise and hurt when kin act in a negative way, then perhaps the best practical solution is to quit expecting to be treated differently solely on the basis of “blood”. And also to quit feeling sad that strangers treat you better and instead enjoy the love wherever it may come from!


      • Hi Leslie,
        I hope you were able to rest and are feeling some better. I wish I could sleep for two days. I’ve had to lie on my sofa for two days though. I feel a bit better this morning so hope it stays that way today. It’s raining and will all day, which I love!
        I enjoyed your replies to the comments. I agree with what you and Rosemary say about being anonymous.
        The reason I first started my blog was simply to have an online space to write about my friend who was riding a horse 1000 miles. She wanted to become a member of the Longriders and somebody has to publish the trip for the rider to do this. My friend had to stop riding and I just started writing my stories instead.
        As I’ve continued writing, I’ve learned that I enjoy seeing a face with a name and that this seems to give the writer’s content something that is not there when they are anonymous, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning. I still enjoy the blogs of people who are anonymous, as are a few of my favorite writers about CFS.
        I want my writing to be taken seriously (except when I write really bad posts like my most recent one). There have been times when I wanted to expose the narcissist I knew. I wanted to plaster his name and business all over the place because I can and I am not afraid either. I don’t do it because when I have attempted to even write his name it feels like it poisons my blog. I don’t even say his name anymore and just say the narcissist because it poisons my body to speak it.
        Some of the stories I’d like to write have content that might offend certain people, especially and I guess, particularly, those blood relatives.
        I would like to tell some of my stories about growing up in the rural south, growing up with the shame of having an alcoholic parent or why I remained single most of my life, the latter of which is so personal that I may never write this in a blog, but as far as stories go, it is certainly one worth telling.
        My family do not like me writing about them. They do not think I should think, speak and especially write about my past. They never speak of it and one sister says she doesn’t even remember her childhood.
        My mother gave me an entry form a couple of years ago to enter a contest. I was here with my dog who had bone cancer so I stayed in the house a lot of the time. I entered the contest with only a three day notice to write. My story was published and I was one of five winners. It was the best money I’ve ever earned. I was so happy! My sis bought the book, and one for each of my other siblings. Not one person has mentioned my story though, because as my mother said when I ask her what she thought about it, “You told the truth and you told it well.”
        They all encouraged me to write but when I began writing publicly, well, I don’t think they want me to write anything that might cause their house of cards to come tumbling down.
        My best writing comes when I don’t have to hide. In one way, I guess being anonymous gives me freedom. Hiding so I don’t have to hide. ??? I guess I have some thinking to do.
        As always, thank you for the stimulating thoughts. I love your blog!!!

  4. Hi Leslie,
    I hope you are doing okay. I’m sorry I haven’t read your blog (or any) in a while.
    This month has been hard and now I’ve had a really bad back spasm for the last two days and boy does it hurt.
    I used the FenceSitter again, in “Psychiatry or not…” I finally edited the post today as it had been in my pending folder for a while.
    I love it and wanted to say thank you, again.
    Take good care,

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