.beneath the influence.

Small power


small minds




I don’t usually post an aphorism in relation to worldly events. Today I am.

We are currently being manipulated by a minority of Haters to hate and fear. Fear begets prejudice and prejudice begets fear; what a cycle.

From what I understand, which is little, ISIS are attempting to isolate Muslims within their communities across the world by trying to represent them – to see them blamed and mistrusted, by manipulating us to fear. For hating on the innocent will invariably isolate them – what then? Make their/our children ripe for recruiting? Let’s be smart about this and not influenced by small power. We need to respond by embracing all within our community and not be manipulated to fear and hate.

Love, support and inclusion for all people within our own community is the only way to build Strength.

Self Offender


We must take full responsibility

for being offended

by another




Further reading Optional:


An aphorism, I believe, should never be completely explained and/or unveiled by the author.  An aphorism is a wonderful tool to help us explore our own internal world, partly due to the aphorisms own incompleteness; allowing us to question and tease forward our own thoughts, beliefs and revelations. 


However, having said this, I have decided to share some of my thoughts and inspirations behind a few of my aphorisms; just as a way of sharing.  If you so choose, you can read on. 


If you’ve read the ‘about’ about me then you know how obsessively I question myself.
The benefit of this, I hope, is it allows me to understand being human – perhaps.

Here is what I have learned from observing myself, especially, during traumatic moments.
Let’s see if you can or cannot relate:

Note: This does not in any way include violent or abusive offenders! I am not in any way referring to this type of offender.

The first place I go when offended by someone, who has said something un-nice in perhaps a flippant or angry way thus causing me emotional grief; is this:
I will begin by systematically desecrating their character to myself. All of their faults will rise to front of my mind to be obsessed over, thus achieving a type of defence mechanism within myself to divorce from the hurtful words.

Okay. Now what if that person were to say to me in an offensive manner ‘Kelly, you are nothing but a Tall, Fat, Black Man, who is going Bald!’ – would I be offended? I think, No. I may be a little perplexed. But I wouldn’t be offended to the depth of my core. If you’ve seen my photo you may not be able to tell, but, I am short; 5 foot… something; maybe. You may notice that: I am thin. I am white. I am female. And, at this stage in my life, I have hair on the top of my head.

So here is the cruncher – I disbelieve the potentially offensive statement. Ah, you might think. Or you might be thinking; so what; that has nothing to do with it – but let me continue dear reader.

After I have gone through the process of insulting the ‘offenders’ shirt choice to myself, and perhaps on this particular day, shared my thoughts with others – pointing out via exhaustive lengths how much better my listeners shirt choice is, compared to this offensive characters shirt choice! And if they’re a great friend they will listen, and maybe even agree 🙂

But, I have been practicing going down a foreign path – just for fun; not. And I learned this: I am most offended when I, often very deep down, believed and/or feared the offenders words, but didn’t know it – until my strong reaction was disturbingly felt.

This didn’t mean the offensive person was correct, it often just meant that deep down I believed that flavour of lie about me.
Other times the offender was correct, and I had been blind to that aspect of myself.

Both potential reasons hurt in the same way. Badly.

In order to endure this process of deep thinking, in other words; place the focus on myself and not on the offender, I had to learn to become curious. Curious about myself.

With curiosity as my friend, and buffer, I practiced becoming curious when I felt offended. I would ask myself; Am I offended because I believe what was said? (or in some cases – it was simply the attitude from a person which caused me to ‘feel’ a particular way about myself).
When I learned that I believed the statement, I would then ask myself; Is it true?
If it wasn’t true, then I had cause to become grateful to the offender for helping me face the fear; the fear which had remained hidden within myself. The offender was cause for me to notice baggage I didn’t even know I was carrying, and thus become free of it.
If it was true, then I could either embrace that hidden aspect of myself or challenge myself to grow beyond that place or behaviour.

So, now days I try to remain grateful and curious when offence comes – unless I forget, and then I have to endure that yucky feeling until I remember to challenge myself again.

Taking responsibility for my own feelings has been one of my most freeing experiences.


It sucks

Emotional pain ignored

becomes water-borne perception –

syphoned later by atmospheric pressure

with inverted, unequal legs.


Repulsion In Red

Art work: Kelly Hartland 2009

The man

fearing his own heart

and tormented by the whispers there-in

became belligerent towards himself, then – others.

Eventually, perceiving treason within,

he murdered his own conscience.

~ Kelly Hartland

Contradiction #8

Other people are not a source of peace or happiness;

but something deeper –

an experience of ourselves.

Yet, without other people,

we may not experience peace or happiness.

~ Kelly Hartland

Contradiction #4

To attain happiness,

we must first risk becoming miserable.

~ Kelly Hartland

Compass with no needle

Abuse does to its victim

what a compass with no needle

does to a navigator.

~ Kelly Hartland

Deep feelings

If to take offence

is 10% actuality and 90% actualised fear –

who is the offender?

~ Kelly Hartland

Eluded pursuit

An eluded emotion will pursue –

a pursued emotion will elude.

~ Kelly Hartland