My top 5 core values.

I haven’t written in quite a while, so I thought I’d do some longer piece today using one of the journaling workbooks. This time, I chose a prompt from The Year of You by Hannah Braime, which goes as follows:

What are your top five core values? Core values are the qualities and experiences that are most important to us to embody and have present in our lives. These might include things like trust, love, connection, freedom, growth, etc. (…)

I’ve written such a list of values already in my diary a while ago, but here I’ll try to expand on the topic of each of them at least a bit so that this post is more substantial. In my diary I also mentioned some of my negative core values, but here I decided not to do so for a few reasons, but mostly because typically when we think core values we think about the positive and helpful ones.

   Belief in God and Christian values

This is extremely important to me. As I wrote in the post about the roles I play, I may not always feel like I’m doing a great job with this, but nevertheless, I’m trying to do my best and do and think what and how I believe a Christiann should do and think. Obviously I don’t only mean things like praying or going to church, but also things like being helpful to other people, not judging them, making big and small decisions in my life so that they’re intact with my conscience and Christian rules, like not voting for a party who promotes killing unborn children or not celebrating Halloween. It’s also an important quality for me in other people which I deeply respect, but at the same time I have no problem associating with people who believe in God differently or believe in a different God, or don’t believe in any God whatsoever. Some Christian people have a weird problem with that but I think that, while common values of this importance in friendship make things way easier, having some different values and beliefs can make things more interesting, as long as both sides are willing to respect each other and not argue about that. Which sometimes means it’s just safer not to discuss the topics in which your opinions differ, or otherwise you just most definitely will argue, while at other times exchanging your different beliefs can be enriching and fascinating. In short, this is the most important value, or perhaps I should say set of values I am always trying to follow in my life, with varying success, also probably the most difficult to follow, but normally if something I’m making a decision about is contrary to these values, I am not going to do this.

   Intelligence, versatility and open-mindedness.

I’m putting them together because while they’re three different things, I think as values they have a whole lot in common. Intelligence is a quality I really appreciate having, as it’s proven so helpful for me in countless situations. I guess it’s my biggest strength and one of my most effective protective mechanisms, and seems like one of the things that people value me for. My brains are a crucial part of my identity, therefore my brain health is important to me and I’m utterly scared of all sorts of neurodegenerative diseases. I also very highly value intelligence in other people and love having such people around me. It’s a very important quality in a friend for me. As for open-mindedness, I value thinking outside of the box, outside of my own perspective, or just in some unobvious way. It isn’t always easy, as it’s in our nature to think from our own point of view, and it can feel very abstractive to do it the other way around, but it’s an intriguing brain challenge and can be a powerful experience. Similarly, I appreciate people who are capable of doing so. The more so that, as a blind, mentally ill and just all round very quirky person with strange experiences and ideas, it seems like my perspective is not always easily understandable for other people, so it’s great when someone does take an effort to try and understand things from my point of view. Or even not from my point of view, but generally when I see someone who can easily think very flexibly, I have a lot of admiration for such a person. I think the most open-minded person in this way that I know was my Swedish teacher and I often think that if not his open-mindedness, his courage in taking up different, weird challenges with me and his flexibility of thinking my Swedish learning may have been much more difficult, or I may have even become completely discouraged from learning languages altogether, and this is not at all an overstatement, in case you’re new here and don’t know my a bit tumultuous language learning history and are wondering. 😀 By versatility I mean taking an interest in lots of different things, as well as having knowledge about them, or being capable of doing lots of different things. This is a very impressive quality for me and I always say that it’s one of the most important qualities for me in a faza object, haha, or at least they always do end up being quite versatile people. I do have a whole lot of different interests, and I believe I know a fair bit also about things that don’t directly interest me quite as much, but I am somehow not sure I am quite as versatile as I would like to be. Still, I am probably more versatile than most people I know in person.

   Traditions.

Yeah, I often say when someone asks me about my views, usually in the context of politics, that I am an open-minded traditionalist. I like combining innovation with tradition. In any field, be it music, religion, food, politics, baby naming, language, fashion or interior design, etc. Always with a bit more of tradition than innovation, but enough innovation that it doesn’t feel plain, boring, or, God forbid, totally backward, but tasteful, fresh, niche and unexpected. I’m thinking about tradition and traditionalism here as a very broad thing. My religious beliefs are very traditional, apparently these days they might even classify as orthodox for some Christians, though I personally don’t consider myself orthodox, however I admire truly orthodox (not to be confused with fanatic, as these are yet another kettle of fish) Christian people. I love folk music, which speaks for itself, folk is obviously traditional, though just as I said earlier I do like tradition with innovation so things like neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop, folk metal etc. are close to my heart and brain just as well. I am passionate about keeping endangered and minority/indigenous languages alive, and same applies to all sorts of cultural traditions. I love learning about folklore of different areas and people’s customs, and always feel sad whenever I hear about such things extincting, though a lot of such traditional treasures – especially languages – are so unbelievably resilient and can thrive in the most unfavourable circumstances. – By the way I think we humans can really take an inspiratioon from languages, when we’re going through rough things in life. 🙂 People typically think of trees, especially oaks, as symbols of resilience, but I think of languages. Oh yeah and on a more personal level I absolutely dread changes and have a hard time adapting to them, which I think also goes in line with the whole traditional thing, though probably has a bit different etiology. 😀 However it’s not like I’m totally against change, if I can see its positive aspects, just that it’s a totally dreadful process and adjusting to it usually takes me ages and a lot of rumination in the meantime.

   Helpfulness.

I even like the way the word helpful looks in English. I have fun synaesthetic associations! 😀 Would describe them to you but it’s too complicated and would take up too much space and this post is not about this. That’s why I wrote “helpfulness” rather than “helping people” which would probably look a bit more natural. I really like that feeling, when you know you have helped someone. Well I guess it’s a natural thing for all of us who are empathetic beings to have that feeling and to like it. This thing alone can drive us to want to be more helpful. I don’t know, however, if I help people as much as I could. I often feel effectively inhibited from doing it by different factors. I am rubbish at helping people in person because of all the difficulties I have with communicating with people like social anxiety. I have a hard time initiating the simplest conversations with most people, so while I am a good observer and very often easily notice that someone may need some kind of help, I don’t know how to offer it to them, or how to ask them what they need, or don’t know what to do about it altogether, or maybe even know but it feels too scary and overwhelming a process so I only watch the situation from a distance hoping that there will be someone else who can help them and feeling awful for not helping them myself. If I do try to make the effort and help them, I feel awful for helping them not the right way, or not adequately, or making things worse rather than better. Also I usually feel like I’m not even the right person to help people because of my own various limitations and that I just won’t be able to give them the help they need. Thankfully there are some areas where I do feel a bit more confident when helping people, like listening to people (unless they clearly expect me to say something, as then I usually feel like there’s nothing I can say that could be particularly helpful), or supporting people online, or helping people financially, or sharing something with them, or sharing some of my skills with them, with the latter I’m thinking things like translating something for my Mum, for example. These are usually very small areas and I feel like most people help others much more, but I comfort myself in that at least a lot of the people whom I have helped have said I was helpful to them so perhaps my help is more a quality over quantity kinda thing. I’ve always lived by that rule, as quantity is something largely abstractive to me, so if it seriously works like this with my help, it’s probably not as bad as I usually imagine. 😀

   Family.

I actually wondered whether I should really include this value or perhaps leave it out and write about something possibly more interesting, because this whole family thing is complex and I’m not sure it’s indeed this high among my values, but I decided to write about it nevertheless, because even though I struggle with sense of belonging and don’t really feel a strong connection to my extended family, my closest family are pretty much the only people in real life that I’m close to and they are important to me, also I do respect all of my family, and am loyal to them, never mind that I don’t really feel anything more towards most of them. Also family as a more general term – as in roots, origin, heritage etc. – is an important thing for me. Loyalty towards family is, as I said, an important thing to me and I think family members sort of owe it to each other. I try to keep good relationships with them as muchh as it’s possible, though I don’t give a shit about it if they don’t try as well. My most immediate family – by which I mean my parents and siblings and grandparents – are people for whom I am capable of making a lot of sacrifices, for example attending family gatherings even when I don’t feel at all like doing this mentally and have to deal with the consequences of this afterwards, which include a substantial increase in Maggie’s (my inner critic) activity, feeling mentally and physically drained and a general brain overload. I know they won’t really care about my actual presence there in itself, but if I won’t be there they’ll have a problem either with me that I am so unfeeling and neglectful, or with my Mum, which I don’t understand, it appears that some of my family think that somehow my Mum is to blame if I don’t appear on their birthday party. I want to spare her that, because she has so much stronger ties with her family, so unless I really really can’t, or it’s someone I can’t be bothered about, like some people from my Dad’s side of my family whom I have a hard time genuinely respecting, I just deal with it and go. It’s awful, it’s pointless and I don’t think they realise how much mental energy it sometimes can cost me while it’s happening as well as before and afterwards (though perhaps it’s not okay that I actually expect people to care, and most likely makes me sound terribly whiney,) but I do this because I feel obliged towards them as my family. I also deeply value the connection I have with my Mum, she is so very important to me, as well as Sofi. Sofi is very valuable.

So there you have it, these are the top five of my values.

What are yours? Have you thought about this before and made a more comprehensive list?

 

Maire Brennan – “The Mighty One”.

Here is another song by Maire Brennan, also about God. I think the sound of it is very powerful, and it has more of an ethnofolk feel. The chorus is in Irish, and here is what it means in English.

  All my blessings from my heart to you
Isn’t the view delightful?
My blessing from my heart to you
And glory be to God

Song of the day (25th September) – Maire Brennan – “Perfect Time”.

Hi people. 🙂

I’ve recently realised that I’d never shared with you any of Maire Brennan’s music. Not that I love her so very much, but she’s quite an icon of Celtic music, and she does have some songs I like. Other than that, she’s Enya’s sister! I’m not very keen on the type of voice Maire has, but, as I said, some of her music is really good and she is also a harpist, though there’s no harp in the song I want to share with you now. I’d like to dedicate a few song of the day posts to my favourite songs of hers. If you have listened to some more famous Celtic music bands, you may remember Maire from Clannad (famous for “Robin, The Hooded Man” in the 80’s, for example). And Clannad has also loads of great music, but I won’t be sharing theirs now. Maire Brennan is also known as Maire ni Bhraonain, Moya Brennan or, in her earlier days, as Mary Brennan.

Maire was raised in a Catholic Irish family, but she’s now a member of evangelical church, and a lot of her songs are more or less religious. This one is as well. I think it sounds really good, though of course as you know I prefer Enya’s music far more. This video doesn’t have the best sound quality, don’t know how about visual, but there are so many versions of this song, I believe from different albums, that I had a hard time finding the one I like best and I found it in such a bit rubbish quality.

Song of the day (10th June) – Helene Boksle – Fagret Er Landet (Fair Is The Country).

Hi lovely people! 🙂

Something a bit different I have for you today. Well not like completely different – it’s just Norwegian, there’s been some Norwegian music in the past, quite a few pieces even, but this is a relatively old song and it is actually a hymn.

It’s called “Fagert Er Landet”, which means Fair Is The Country, and it was written by a Lutheran clergyman – Anders Hovden – in 1907, and the melody was composed by Melchior Vilpius, much earlier – in 1609. It is a Norwegian national hymn.

Helene Boksle on the other hand is much younger, born in 1981, she is I guess one of more popular Norwegian traditional singers, she also makes some pop. I really like how her voice is bright and clear and just so Nordic.

Her accent is incredibly confusing at the best of times, I mean for me. You know I speak Swedish, not Norwegian, and, although I’ve been learning for like 10 years, and usually don’t have much issues understanding people, but people who’ve been always more or less difficult for me to understand are people from the very south, from Skåne. Their accent is almost like Danish and very guttural, and I can’t get Danish either, unless when written, then it’s usually better. Norwegian when someone speaks in Norwegian bokmål I can understand briefly, but Helene’s accent is just one of those guttural ones that are incredibly hard for me. Apart from some single words and phrases and words that gave me some basic context I couldn’t get what she’s singing. 😀 Thought it may go better if I’d find Norwegian lyrics written, but couldn’t find them anywhere, not to mention English, so unfortunately there is no translation and unless you speak any Scandinavian languages yourself, you have to rely on my vague description of the lyrics.

From what I’ve understood it’s a prayer, in which the Norwegian ask God their Father to bless their country – from the mountains to the sea or something like this – bless their fields and the land, and the people, etc. and from what I think I’ve heard it is also a sort of a praise of Norway and simply how fair it is.

Nevertheless, although Helene’s accent seems to be a bit of the barrier for me, it’s still charming. Honestly, isn’t it? Well I think it fits her and I think I wouldn’t like her as much as I do if she sang in a sorta normal bokmål, whatever actually a normal Norwegia bokmål is hahaha I’m pretty ignorant about this language, would have to educate more, I see now.

Here it is:

– Du Måste Finnas (You Must Exist=.

Hi Guys! 🙂

Time for another Helen Sjöholm’s song from my favourites by her. This one is my absolute favourite of these.

It comes from a musical called “Kristina Från Duvemåla (Kristina From Duvemåla”, which was written by Björn Ulveus and the music was written by Benny Andersson. The plot was based on the shortstories written by Wilhelm Moberg. It is about a Swedish family and their emigration to US. The main character, Kristina, has a lot to go through. She miscarries her baby, loses her husband, and also feels alienated in the new country. She was a very religious and faithful woman but now as she suffers from so many things, she wonders whether actually GOd exists. She clings in panic to her beliefs, but feels very abandoned and lonely and the more her skepticism arises. ANd this song is about it.

Helen Sjöholm did it so very expressively, it’s thrilling and affecting, so deep and emotional. I think it is so emotional that actually iF I wouldn’t know any Swedish, I could figure out very basically what it is about. Although I must also say that I don’t think there could be any better language to sing this song in than Swedish, it just sounds so great in Swedish.

Both the musical and song have their English versions though and the song is sung by Kerry Ellis, however I must admit that in comparison to Sjöholm’s version, Ellis’ seems almost flat, even though it isn’t bad at all.

As it is usual with musicals, the actual Swedish lyrics to the song are different than those in the ENglish version, so besides both language versions I will also post original Swedish lyrics translated to English exactly.

 

You Must Exist
You drove me out, God,
from my homeland torn away.
Here I’m a refugee and a stranger
and I do accept that as my fate
But You took my child
And You take me from my man.
I can no longer see any meaning.
What is it you want?
What should I think?
The thought is dizzying,
before me opens an abyss,
my whole being is in uproar and wants to say no,
my soul shivers
at the answer to the question I’ve raised;
that You do not exist
though I believed in You.
Who’d help me endure life all the way out here?
Who’d give me the skills and the strength I must show?
Who would comfort me? I am so little on the earth
If You did not exist,
yes, how would I cope?
No, You must exist,
You have to!
I live my life through You.
Without You I am a splinter on a dark and stormy sea.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist.
Never before has that been on my tongue or in my mind,
that little word which is frightening and plaguing me so;
the word is “if “, if I have said all of my prayers in vain?
If You do not exist
what will I do?
Who would feel my repentance and then just forgive me?
Freedom in my soul, yes, who would give that to me?
Who’d be there at the end to accept me, after my death?
If You did not exist
who would take my hand then?
No, You must exist,
You have to!
I live my life through You.
Without You I am a splinter on a dark and stormy sea.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist

Question of the day.

Is there anything at all from natural world which has the ability to affect you mood in a positive way?

My answer:

Sure! First of all, obviously, Misha. Misha affects my mood and me in general in a very positive way. He helps me stay calm, lessens my anxiety, makes me more relaxed, makes me smile, keeps me company or even helps me come back to normal with my sleep cycle if it goes crazy for a while. Plus he’s beautiful. I think everyone would agree that beauty affects us in a positive way and influences us a lot.

Next thing, horses. I love it how the horse and the rider can be actually like one while riding and how strong the connection is then. My horse – and riding in general – is capable of making my mood significantly higher when I’m depressed, but I guess that’s also the thing with endorphines and such.

I love muscari, I guess that’s how these lovely blue flowers are called in English. There is something sweet about them I just love.

I find rain calming and helping me to concentrate, plus I like it also because when it falls, most of my allergies go to sleep.

And, since my early childhood, for some reason I’ve always felt something towards ice. I can’t explain it. I just like to feel it. I remember that I’ve even had a small dream to have a piece of ice that will never melt so I could feel it as much as I’d like to and have it in my room. 😀 I was just fascinated by ice, I guess, and still am in some way.

Another thing are gem stones, even though maybe some people wouldn’t classify them as part of the natural world. I love how beautiful they are, I really like to feel them and also in some way I do believe in their healing properties, and so I like working with them as I can, and I have a lot of admiration for gem stones.

Oh, and the sea! How could I forget about the sea? It just make me feel in such a very special way. And generally, being in contact with nature always makes me think about God and how perfectly He made all this. And when I’m by the sea, I tend to feel it particularly strong. And I think it’s also a positive feeling. I feel so grateful for Him he created all that beauty for us.

And I think I might have many other things in nature I feel a strong connection with, although these are the ones that came to my mind at the moment.