Drop The Doubt

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Kahlil Gibran

“Faith is to see what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love the truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them.” Saint Augustine

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Voltaire

“The truth is like a lion, you don’t have to defend it, it will defend itself.” Anonymous

I used to actually have the belief that I did not doubt anyone. I pride myself at leaving my bag in a church bench when I go up to the alter at the front of the church. Wow I am a trusting person. Simple acts like that made me have faith in myself for being a trusting person. Now I have my doubts. I looked up doubt in the dictionary and found such definitions as hesitation. I am crushed already because I am a very cautious person unless there is an emergency. Reservations and misgivings appear to be almost natural for most of us. After all we all sense that there are a lot of people “OUT THERE” who will hurt us if they have the chance. Continue reading “Drop The Doubt”

Embrace the Moment

“Dignity is the moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad. Dignity is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter. Dignity is the moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself. Dignity is the moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.”

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life-long quest of the wise.”    Shannon Alder

I know that many times I do not embrace the moment. I overthink what everybody is saying and doing and neglect the reality of the people  in my vicinity. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and most of us would say  that we are but demonstrating it and actually feeling it in the heart is another story. I know of some people who say I enjoyed it but, I had a good time but, It was wonderful but. I would like to throw out the buts. It appears to be crucial for them to downplay the whole experience. Continue reading “Embrace the Moment”

Let Go of False Pretense

“That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretense. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.”    Jim Morrison

“The heart of the world is breaking under this load of pride and pretense. There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ.”    A.W. Tozer

“Whatever is above will be managed by the powers above you. Don’t live as a man, pretending to be God. Do what you can do; leave what you can’t to God!”    Israelmore Ayivor

Likely we are all tired of being afraid to admit we are scared most of our lives. Presenting ourselves as capable human beings is the norm. Any of us that fall short of the mark simply hide the truth sometimes even from ourselves. Most of our frustrations deadlines jobs and burdens have more to do with how others may perceive us if we fall short of the time restraints. Continue reading “Let Go of False Pretense”

Learn From The Kids

“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” Jostein Gaarder

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.

“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

I had to take a break from my writing due to family issues that needed my attention. Of course I never stopped observing and learning, even if I stopped writing. I noticed how tense it felt to let go of so many tasks I would normally accomplish when I have total concentration. Instead I sat back, worried and reviewed how far behind I assessed I must be. In reality I was only behind because I saw it that way. In actuality I might be and probably am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time. Continue reading “Learn From The Kids”

Shed Light On Living

“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.”Thich Nhat Hanh

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life”    Jill Bolte Taylor

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”    William James

Most children and adults abhor the darkness. It seems to go beyond the dread of the storytelling of our childhood days. It really isn’t unrealistic to hate the darkness when one observes the qualities within the dimness. Our seeing is greatly impaired, and our ears tune into every sound as we fear the unknown noises. We are anxious to talk with the human voice that resonates with all of us, and feel the human touch around us. When in darkness, everything we bump into sends jitters through our spines because our minds envision something fearful. Continue reading “Shed Light On Living”

Rebellious Mothers-In-Law

Our Rebellious Hearts“What the soul knows is often  unknown to the man who has a soul. We are infinitely more than we think.” Kahlil Gibran

“I realized that all the trouble I ever had about you came from some smallness or fear in myself.”    Mary Haskell

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”    Seneca

“We are expression of earth, and of life – not separate individuals only. We cannot get enough away from the earth to see the earth and ourselves as separates. We move with its great movements and our growth is part of its great growth.”    Kahlil Gibran

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”    Seneca

There has been a tremendous amount of talk about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. The fascinating part is that nothing ever changes. I wrote a book on the mother-in-law daughter-in-law dilemma which took  over fifteen years of research. I interviewed people at the beginning of those years and at the end and I got the same results. To be honest, I was shocked.

Today’s young people appear to be more computer literate, independent and outspoken. Yet when you mention a mother-in-law, their complaints and issues sound  the same throughout the ages. They are no less confident around their mothers-in-law than any other generation. Perhaps they are even less secure, given the confusion regarding one insignificant person, who appears to make them nervous. The mystery is they can’t figure out why.

The  typical answers, which have some truth in them, are jealousy, fear, and their own insecurity towards their relationship with their husbands. Their possessive feelings towards their husbands, causes a resistance in them to accept their mother-in-law. Regardless of how any of us feel, mothers are mothers and they will likely always hold a connected bond with their daughters as well as their sons. Most women like to believe that only daughters stay close to their mothers. I call this surface bonds.

Mothers keep their bonds of affection for all of their kids, and young or old the love does not diminish.  The belief is that women stay bonded  to mom, but men somehow evolve into a new creature that stops caring about his beginnings. Many men likely under duress, leave a lot of space between themselves and their mothers, so as to alleviate any trouble with their wives.

Of course it is silly because if we looked into the future, or at life itself, we would realize that we will perhaps one day be at the other end of the stick. None of us think of that. We  assume we will  have our tiny babies, toddlers and young children under our spell forever. As most older women will attest, time passes quietly but swiftly and things turn around. I have heard the same  rhetoric of  “how much better I would do things than my mother-n-law did.” Probably you won’t make the same mistakes, but you will forge ahead with your own errors, unwittingly unaware that you have done anything wrong.

Nobody plans on making problems for anyone least of all your son or daughter-in-law. The trouble is, if one has made trouble already, forgiveness is the only route that allows them on the track again. Of course we can skip the forgiveness, and rattle onward with confusion, distrust, uneasiness, fights, horrible interactions, and free time spent on rehashing everything that was said and done. Humans are great at overlooking their own transgressions. We give ourselves plenty of slack in reference to pain and blame. In the end we all are delivered fair amounts of stress, anxiety and worry.

Mothers-in-law need time to adjust. When a woman becomes a new mother, she frets and wants to be left alone so she can learn all the ways to take care of her baby. She doesn’t want a lot of advice, at least not from the older generation. She gains her independence and eventually steers her own wheel. Likewise, a new mother-in-law must learn how to switch up  her own way of doing things. She no longer can interfere with her sons choices, nor stop by when she feels like it. Yes her son probably wouldn’t care any more than her daughter-in-law worries if her own mother stops by. The trouble is the daughter-in-law wants her privacy, and deserves her privacy. Mothers-in-law need to respect the lines that are drawn.

This is easier said than done. If a mother has freely spoken to her child for over twenty years, it is difficult to expect her to suddenly learn how to keep her mouth quiet. Of course she needs to learn this, but give her some time and space to fall back, make mistakes and then learn to adjust. It is the changes and fear of the transformations that are likely taking place. The love is always solid but the alterations in the relationship are numerous. Changes require a lot of adjustments in action, words and emotional acceptance.

Calling men mommies boys, only makes the men put up a facade of separation from the mother. That in turn hurts the mother. We haven’t changed the son’s love for his mother. We have only caused him to hide his feeling and keep them undercover. That is silly as well as sad, when we don’t place the same parameters on our own heartfelt associations. Just as we can’t be forced to love someone, likewise we can’t be forced to stop loving someone. The heart rebels.

How much time, effort, pain, fear and stress we needlessly place on our shoulders. There is room for one more person to love in this big world. We must have confidence in ourselves, trust in our own worth and not feel jealousy in the mother son relationship. Perhaps if we could get beyond  that, we would all learn to have serenity. Mothers-in-law are just as guilty of jealousy, as well as insecurity. But trusting they have a place in their son’s heart, should give them peace.  Why do we want to spend our happy times, assessing what another says or does. In the end it is futile and pointless. The evaluation results always depend on the person doing the assessment more than what is the truth.

Mothers-in-law have a new playing field. They need to refrain from overstepping boundaries, respect rules that are set, even if they don’t agree with them, or even if they think they are ridiculous. Respect and tolerance is key. Understanding how much your son loves this person is essential. They are his family now, and although you will always be a part  of his family, stepping back a bit and recognizing the importance of his union and the onward cycle of his life is crucial.

Most if not all mothers do not want to keep their sons locked away or stagnant. Allowing them to live the life they choose is not our decision to make, but it does necessitate that  we accept his decisions. Daughters-in-law who want peace, and honesty, must accept some of the fault in a failing relationship with their mothers-in-law. By understanding their role in the crises, they can alter their opinions, as well as stretch their thinking. By coming to realize that they can’t just pretend their husband never had a mother, or that he can easily walk away from having her in his life, will afford a deeper revelation about life itself.

A daughter-in -law’s fear and stress might be her own nervousness at taking the helm. Of course the daughter-in-law is up to it but she must have some faith in herself. None of us can control another, or not forever. If we wrap our treasure and hide it, how can we enjoy it ourselves. Bringing it into the light gives others the chance to experience some of the joy. By having our husband’s interests in mind, we might offer a truce in any difficult situation.

Judging the mother-in-law too early in the game causes misconceptions. It would be like judging a child’s temperament after the mother is leaving the child in your care. The screaming yelling and misbehaving child is under duress at the moment. It is not a good time to be judging him or her. I would suggest the mother-in-law may be at that same point in time, as the toddler.  She is under fire to accept so many changes that are definitely attuned with life and natural, but not easy. Perhaps a mothers slight temper tantrum is also quite natural. Give her time to adjust and make it as easy and as acceptable as possible because in the end she will come to understand, there are no other options.

Mothers-in-law should understand that their daughters-in-law are young, and have a lot to learn about the progression of life. Attempting to give them the fast pass doesn’t work. They are vulnerable, are excited about their new beginning and want independence and freedom, to make their own choices. A mother-in-law has to allow her son and his wife to make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. Interfering is out of the question. Perhaps their ridiculous idea might pan out better than you thought.Everyone is breaking new ground. We all react poorly at moments. Acting like  children is probably very common in adults of all temperaments. Whether we behave aggressively,  or passive aggressively, everyone needs forgiveness and kindness at times.

We all want to be understood regarding our feelings, which are not easy to express. How many mothers-in-law want to believe they are expressing a temper tantrum, and showing signs of jealousy. How many daughters-in-law want to believe they are possessive and jealous of their mothers-in-law. Both parties will get over the newness of it all, and release their own fears in time. When that future time comes, it would be nice to still have a worthwhile relationship. Trust me, it is an awesome treasure to have and well worth waiting for, or working towards. Tolerance, forgiveness, understanding and love will open the chrysalis to a new adventure that all will love and enjoy, if we will simply have faith that it is possible.

A man can be free without being great, but no man can be great without being free.”     Kahlil Gibran

“Imagination sees the complete reality, – it is where past, present and future meet… Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent – nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a center and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects … Imagination does not uplift: we don’t want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware.”    Kahlil Gibran

“When the hand of Life is heavy and night song-less, it is the time for love and trust. And how light the hand life becomes and how song-ful the night, when one is loving and trusting all.” Anonymous

“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”    Seneca

 

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”    Desmond Tutu

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”    Leo tolstoy

“Everybody’s got the seam of goodness in them, Kit,” said Grandpa. “Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.”    David Almond

I spend a lot of time talking about comparisons, jealousy and competition. The truth is just when I think I have discovered where it mostly originates,  I find new areas of initiations. It is true that parents, grandparents and most people, compare constantly without thought. We hear about he tallest child, best athlete, intelligent or pretty girl, and more common discussions.

I wonder why we can’t seem to control our measurements. It would be horrible if we went to work everyday and listened to others talk about the best worker, smartest computer programmer, or other items we might consider. If neighbors commented on the lawns, houses, apartments or anything else that perhaps is measurable, we would avoid encounters with such individuals.

Today I had another encounter with such an incident of judgement, and it really  hurt me to the core, because I am sure it resonated negatively with a lot of people. Someone was mentioning a young  person in the news, who had done great things, but then died at a very early age. Dying at an early age is terrible for anyone to have to deal with. Without a  doubt we would all agree with that statement.

All of the praise was deserving  for this individual, and I agreed wholeheartedly with the discussion. Then came the crucial point of contention for me. The person doing all of the praise, began stating that although the woman was young, she had likely done more in her life, than a person of eighty or ninety. Her accomplishments were tremendous and her recognition was renown. On that I would agree, but it wasn’t necessary to compare her life, with any other life. Compliments without comparisons is vitally significant.

At that moment I wanted to yell stop, but the person was on a platform, delivering a speech and the option of offering opinions to the discussion was nil. I sat there quietly and began reminiscing about my grandmother as well as other people who had already passed from my life at a very old age. Of course they were not known by many, and had not captured the eye of the general public. Somehow the pain of that speech bothered me enough to write this post on the incident.

My grandmother would be considered illiterate by today’s standards. She was loved by the entire family, and was without a doubt missed by all of us. Her grandchildren numbered twenty one and her great grandchildren numbered significantly more. When anyone loses someone they love, age may not be considered. They are all missed. Most of us are left with the loss felt within our hearts.

My grandmother had the knack of making every one of her grandchildren feel important. When in her presence, you felt loved and cared for. Her great accomplishments regarding love, were many. Whenever anyone in the family came over to visit, she would take charge of the kids, allow the mother some free time to engage in conversations with others, and rock the baby or children until they fell asleep.

She was one of those amazing people who could ignore the screaming child, and smile at you when you went to check if everything was okay. I remember her specifically telling me the baby was fine, and to  just go back and enjoy myself. Her calm manner led one to understand, she would have the patience and love to deal with the situation. She loved every grandchild and every one of them was aware of it. Another thing she did was the dishes and pots in the sink. You could not tear her aware from doing dishes. None of us realized that she had done this for each and ever one of us, numerous times, perhaps too many to count.

We all felt so special that we believed she loved us so much that she would do anything for us. We were all correct in our thinking. Her influence over all of us was immeasurable. Her love transcended years and time and space, yet she never perhaps received the eulogy she deserved. We were all present at her wake, and I am not saying she wasn’t appreciated, but we didn’t feel we should send out news flashes about her wonderful, meaningful life. She raised kids, cooked cleaned and made the lives of anyone she met, as comfortable and easy as she could.

Where I am going with this, is to the point that so many ordinary lives are actually extraordinary. Their lives perhaps go unnoticed, but God and the ones who love them are conscious of the gift. Their contributions probably also appear diminished, when compared to those individuals who make the news.

I do not want to appear comparative as the person who I am writing about. There are many people who deserve praise and eulogies perhaps even before they die. Those who are in the limelight certainly deserve the honor for their great works. We just can’t forget those who are in the shadows, but also do great work,  which is seen only by a few.

A life spent in compassion and care of others, be it for family, friends or strangers, is a worthwhile life. Maybe their life  will never be expounded on the front page of newspapers, but they have front row seats in many hearts. Many ordinary people are perhaps just as deserving of recognition, that likely they won’t receive, and really don’t look to receive. They are content to do what they can, when we can, and without any mention or credit to their names. I know God sees more than us and it is not going unnoticed.

Definitely it is time to reflect on that ripple effect. What any inconsequential act, any of us do, has astounding repercussions of all kinds. Compassion and empathy travel endlessly beyond, reaching into the future of our kids, and grand-kids. Perhaps we might never see the ripples of our good deeds which possibly impacts strangers. Recognizing this fact, should make us more cognizant of the significance of our lives. No  life is inconsequential.

I know the speaker was not trying to say other people’s lives were not important. Although it did appear, that he assumed, the simple quiet long lives, might have less  meaning. A life is a life. Live with compassion for others, and with care regarding our  words and actions. Be  quick to forgive and let  patience and tolerance flourish. Your life is without a doubt meaningful and extraordinary.

Never underestimate your worth or the work that you do. We influence people every day, including strangers. We all think act and observe others. Easing anyone’s pain, is God-like. Bringing comfort and love to others, allows them to become the people they were meant to become. Think about a match that has the ability to light the campfire. That campfire creates warmth and  light, as well as nourishment through the food we are able to cook over it. If we misuse the match, we likely create a forest fire of some size, be it large or small. People are influenced by good and evil actions and words. By providing kindness and love, we light the campfire, which triggers inspirations.

What we do in our lives is woven throughout the fabric of many lives. Family members and strangers are affected. Taking our lives more seriously is crucial. We can’t ever doubt our own life, or ability to change the world for the better is an impossible undertaking.  We are not  powerless to make a difference. Simply living a life filled with love and empathy for all, will make a difference. The transformation will be beyond measure, and beyond years. Live your ordinary life with passion because it really is extraordinary in so many ways.

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that they’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”     Mahatma Gandhi

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”      William Shakespeare

Confusion

Confusion“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”    Rumi

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”     Rumi

How is your life going? It appears I have said, “When things settle down, I will accomplish much.”  more times than I can count,  The problem is, things never settle down but are allows in a state of chaos. It seems I must live with this idea, or pretend there is serenity in the near future. I am sot sure why most of my life appears to be mixed up, but I have lived it this way for so long that it is all I know. The pot of something must be at the end of the rainbow.

I decided to dwell on this and made another conclusion. The only time I can meditate, is when I am falling asleep at night. I try and sometimes I am successful at keeping myself alert, for a short while. Of course many times sleep takes over quickly. Why is it we have lost the ability to relax. Then we fool ourselves into believing that at some future date in time, everything will change and we will find peace.

Perhaps when we find some quiet free moments, we tend to fill them up with more actions. We are almost jubilant to discover we have a few hours, to do what we want. Of course we never choose quiet contemplation. We simply keep busy. It is probably like being addicted to constant movement. To relax almost feels boring as well as giving us a sense of laziness. Our culture adores the achiever of anything.

All we  need to do is inquire about the tremendous amount of awards available,  to anyone who can do  anything. The bubble blower or pie eating person may just set a record. Whatever record any of us attain, makes us proud. Obviously we have not meditated enough on what perhaps denotes a worthwhile effort on our part. Is it the glory that drives us, or the one instance of fame?

We must ask ourselves, what are our goals, and why did we make them our goals. Most likely we have numerous goals in case some fails. It seems necessary to attain goals, in order to feel accomplished. But then what does it mean, to be fulfilled. I am questioning the analogy between what we choose as goals, and our constant scurrying and initiation of new goals. We anxiously achieve our objectives, and then we create new ambitions to work towards.

In this mess, I know, I for one, sense I am going around in circles, and not really accomplishing anything worthwhile. The silly items I yearn for, or actions I take to please others, seem futile. I am number one with someone, as soon as I do something for them. However, number one is short lived, as I am immediately ignored when I haven’t anything to give to this same person. It appears almost a useless activity for me. I must do things for others unconditionally.

If I am looking to be first place with anyone, I should give up the challenge instantly. There is no first place, lasting glory, or benefits of any kind that last longer than a blink of the eye. You see we are all striving for the honor and appreciation, but it doesn’t ever come. Perhaps most of us are too busy striving towards other objectives, so we forget about those kindnesses that were rendered to  us along the way. Our schedule is loaded with perhaps nonsense, but who is going to tell us that.

We live in a world of heroes, and seekers of honor. We all want to count for something, best somebody or at the least, be important to someone. Many of us never get any of it right down to the broken marriages and dissolved relationships. Spouses can’t keep it together, siblings probably tolerate each other, parent child relationships perhaps are strained and friendships decay quickly while new ones begin. Our need of refinement and connectedness is vital. Many or most people resolve loneliness, by instigating another relationship.

I believe in connectedness and bonds. They are what make the world and life relevant. Sometimes I just feel that we don’t spend enough time working on what we have attained. Instead we drop it, and move to the next conquest. It appears we suffer at the hands of our own schedule. Probably it materializes as more work to keep a relationship intact, than we want to give the relationship. Maybe it occurs to be easier to let the current one drop, and move forward to the next.

It boils down to learning how to appreciate and hold dearly to heart, those unexplainable senses that emerge from our being, and somehow provide us with the serenity, we are searching for. If we take the time and initiative to discover these priceless people, we may understand what goals and objectives have already manifested for us. In our search, we have a constant desire to do better, find better discover more, and be greatly fulfilled. In the meantime, we overshadowed truth.

We all need love, respect and serenity in our lives. Perhaps we assume it is just over the next horizon, only to be disappointed again. Most likely it has more to do with our attitude of bigger and better, than to the honesty of what is in front of us that is immeasurable. If we could only put on the brakes, if only for a short time, we might be able to view our surroundings with new eyes.

We can’t keep tossing people away, without thought or reflection. They perhaps are our treasures not yet discovered. We become too busy with scheduling and surface searching for something new and exciting. It is time to ask ourselves what we value. If it is love, then take a look at those people in your life with new eyes. I tossed many people aside until it  dawned on me one day, how much they had given to me, that made my life worthwhile. The petty nonsense that caused me to let them go, practically hit me with full force. The injustice I was handing out was preposterous. Upon making restitution, I became whole again, and had a deeper understanding of the meaning of love. It makes unconditional demands on a person.

We are never totally fulfilled by others. Contentment must be found within ourselves. We are never without issues to solve or resolve. On any given day we can make resolutions, objectives and goals. Some are playful while others should be soulful. The more we stretch ourselves to become more than we ever thought was attainable, the more at peace we become with ourselves. We  might begin with searching for glory, and end up with accepting with gratitude, the serenity that comes with our connections and love for the people in our lives. The honest truth is, we have to make the time to reflect on what we have. That alone calms our life and affords us peace.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”    Rumi

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”    Rumi

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”    Albert Einstein

“I always wanted to win the lottery. But tonight I looked around at my beautiful family and realized I already have!”    Anonymous

Addicted To Technology

Addicted To Technology“The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.”    E. F. Schumacher

“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”    Omar N. Bradley

second addicted to technology“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.”    John F. Kennedy

None of us likes to be out of control nor have things out of control. Yet, our technology has totally gotten well beyond the limits. We all fight for power and freedom along with liberty, but perhaps media and technology has deprived us of all of this. I believe  it is  manipulating, and has lulled us into an addictive type of need and love.

I use the word love because most of us can’t spend a long time away from our “Stuff”. Anyone with the tiniest bit of techno savvy is seen holding something within their hands. Some people almost appear desperate as they cling to their I- phones, I-pads and whatever. Most people have already inculcated their kids into the habit. A child as young as two might be seen holding a device and pressing buttons.

Can we admit we have gone beyond our limit ? Some people are on computers or some other device right before they go to bed. If one spouse is in the bathroom, they pick their tool up from their nightstand. It can’t be far frm them in case they get a message of some kind. I wonder at the messages, that always seem to be so important, that they can’t let them wait for a better time. There is no privacy. People including bosses, and everyone else, can reach us at any time. Forget about discretion. We can’t escape the ever-ending messages coming through.

Whenever you are in the company of someone who is obsessed with their cell phone, or I pad, or I phone, you find their eyes drifting down to it and then their fingers get busy as they smile. They have totally forgotten  who they are physically with, and devote their attention to the device. You, the physically present person,  must wait for their return. Some people attempt to hide their focus on their device by softly drifting into another room. It amazes me that they think you don’t notice their movements, nor their lack of attention to the present moment with you.

It is so widespread now, that most of us who are not dependent,  just get used to waiting, for these habituated people, to finish whatever messages they are receiving. I know when I am in the presence of these users, I don’t even mention the interruption anymore. I just wait for the interference to end. I still find it annoying, but it is right up there with the waiting time at the  doctor’s office. You don’t like it, or enjoy it, but there are no alternatives so you accept it.

I love it when some people think, they are covering their dependent behavior. This appears to be even worse. One can believe themselves now, to be unimportant,  as well as stupid.  They believe they are fooling us. They keep it on their laps at a restaurant, and glance down now and again. Their smile, when they look down is one giveaway. Other people do a chore, while they peek at their device. They let out the dog, and stand outside, viewing and sending messages.

Some people believe falsely of course, that if they share the message with you, that somehow it makes it okay. You might also get the person who confesses they sent a message earlier, and were waiting for the reply they just received. You  have to praise the people who excuse themselves formally, to receive or send a text message. They get up, act important, express a serious look on their faces, and proceed to another room for privacy.

It seems like all of this might be a danger to them. Are they paying attention to their  world? They might trip and fall as I did when I attempted to dial a phone number while walking. I had seen it done so many times by others, but unfortunately I am not a good candidate, as I missed the end of the sidewalk and fell on the street. Only my ego got hurt.

I haven’t mentioned those people who  text while driving. I place this right up there with drinking and driving. They are focused on typing and reading. I hate to think about those drivers when I enter my car. I know of one accident in which a young girl blamed it on her shoes rather than admit she was sending a text. Her fine was less.

Media promotes Facebook, and other social communities. Now we can share the food we’re making for dinner, and the last time we showered. We have the ability to get one hundred people or more, to commiserate with us, when we are having a bad day. We display the beach area we are visiting, with no care for those who are out of a job or relationship. I know this might be a good thing for some people, but I need more than words on a page.

I need the intimacy of a face, exhibiting care and concern. I like the sound of voices, and seeing expressions change. I like to hear more words than a simple feel better, even if it is only one person, instead of one hundred. Somehow it reaches me more. Some people suffer depression,  from all of the wonderful places and things people expound about on Facebook. Your life can appear very dim in comparison. We really shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone.

In actuality, it is an assessment of  who can gain more friends. This doesn’t appear to be a healthy media device, for a downtrodden individual. Now we might be jealous of many more people, rather than the close friend. Confidence and security become things of the past. Competition  reigns even for young girls, who are competing with their faces and bodies. What are we valuing in this world? Are we aware of inner qualities, or is that something we laugh at? Has our virtue and our morals gone AWOL?

The tumultuous disruptions, throughout the world, are now able to touch our children within our homes. People with questionable motives, can enter our once safe environment, and destroy our family. There are deceitful people who are bent on lying, and coercing our children. It is difficult to monitor this. These people don’t have to show a face, or it can be a false image. As I already mentioned, faces give emotions.

Another area technology is affecting us, is within the social area of  High School. There are students who arenow ridiculed, twenty four seven. Being a teen, they have faith in their ability to handle themselves. The  pain and crushing of their spirit, may eventually destroy them. Many are left with fear and or anxiety. Confidence is gone, and insecurity is instilled. I ponder about the perpetrators of such deeds. Because they are wounding with a tool type of device, likely they feel less blame. They are not involved in the full fledged pain inflicted, when one sees hears or experiences it.

I am not sure if the wrong doers are aware, that they are hurting real people. If you call somebody a name to their face, and see their reaction, it might well up feelings of sorrow for your action. When such is not the case upon using a machine, one is deprived of observing the actual pain inflicted. It  appears that technology use, releases one of blame, and societal constraints and or restrictions. It becomes a covert operation. It is similar to mob rule where no one is at fault, when people or property are injured. Hiding behind a machine, permits freelance slander, manipulation, influence and suffering.

Perhaps we are becoming desensitized, from sensing any remorse, due to our addiction to technology. We have less time for emotions, when we are busy with our fingers tapping devices. Our minds are focused on how well, and how much we can do with these devices. Little time is given to our altruistic nature. Our  minds overtake and rule the heart. Some people are proud of the greatest damage they can accomplish. Perhaps they are bullied in other areas of their lives, and find relief in bullying others on-line.

Our machines keep us too busy to reflect, on what we have done wrong. Instead of man creating machines that are more human like, we are transforming into  more of a machine like existence. This is not true of everyone, but it certainly requires our heartfelt thought.

Some homes are now quiet after dinner, because even the kids are using a device. Our language is even suffering. People use short words, to convey a message. I  find people using less words, and less sensory adjectives, when speaking with or using technology. We have too many notes to send out, and too many people to respond to. With so many friends, can we understand that we are not gaining a close relationship with anyone? Do we care anymore about depth, or quality of love within our lives?

I have noticed our conversations with our spouses, are shorter and curt. I have observed that we all use less of our sense of sight, sound, and sensory. Our hearts are being deprived of compassion, empathy and love. Some things just have to be felt through the heart first. Technology is awesome, but will man misuse it as his reputation proves. What starts off as a good thing, may devour mankind of being humane.

Do we need a law about restricting the use of our devices? Man wants dominance. Now is the time to gain it by turning our technology off when in the presence of physical people. We have the self-control, to restrain their influence and use. As smart and capable as our devices are, they can be monitored, and they do have on and off switches. Let’s  not willingly turn our command over, to a mindless and heartless device’s ability, to overtake our influence and in the process, our humanity.

 “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.”    Max Frisch

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.”    Jean Arp

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”    Albert Einstein

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”    Sydney J. Harris

Just Be Yourself

“Say NO to the demands of the world. Say YES to the longings of your own heart.”   Jonathon Lockwood

“Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work…Sacredly, Secretly, and Silently…And those with ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’ will respond.”    Unknown

Continually attempting to please others, is likely the most difficult job we all work at constantly. All our boasts about  not caring if someone likes it or not, are just nonsense. Deep down we want to make others happy. All of us work at making the grade, and becoming number one, in the eyes of another. What I have found is that it becomes impossible, to be the number one for any length of time. As hard as we work at it, eventually it wears us down, and I am not even sure others are totally aware of the game we are playing. They are too busy playing their version of it.

Most likely it begins at childhood, when we compete against our siblings for attention. Some of us find it easier to be people pleaders, but we all do it to some degree, even if we don’t admit to it. If our parents like something special for dinner, then that is what we cook when they are coming over. We bask in our ability to please them, and we beam, when they compliment us. Of course we get a bit  rigid when we hear about their  pleasure at another siblings house. How petty of us we think, but the feelings creep in, or is it the threat of losing love.

Young kids depend on mom and dad, and so the ability to accept sibling rivals, is important. Maybe we never evolve out of that position. Instinctively we continue to strive to please.  This perhaps continues with our jobs and the boss. Technically the boss is also a provider for us, and important figure in our lives. Husbands and wives play another role, and without knowing it,  demand more of our attention.

We all like to satisfy, receive praise, and feel that we make a difference in the lives of others. I know it is probably impossible to be in first place, all the time. It is extremely difficult, to  maintain a level of denial, in order to cope with the pleasures of others. Simply stated, we can’t be the perfect child forever. Finding our own lives is relevant. We can’t be the need fulfilling spouse every second. Our own needs must be taken care of. We are never the perfect parent, sibling or friend. Those times when we fail, are the times we beat ourselves up, for not satisfying another.

Perhaps it is time to ask if it is so important to always gratify. Likely we have degrees of how much importance we place on this attitude. It is paramount to accept the fact, that we cannot always placate those we love. If we only see ourselves through the eyes of another, then we lose ourselves in their perception of us. How they view us is how we rate ourselves. Now we are under pressure to come through. It is far better to appreciate  who we are. Our version of self, is the most important measurement we can accept.

Most of us probably are not aware of the importance, another person places, on what we think about them. As much as we attempt to keep parents happy, our children are doing the same thing with us. Every time we produce a guilt ridden situation,  we have endorsed a “striving to please” job. It only leaves us distraught at our attempts to gratify. Perhaps parents are not placing such burdens on us. It may possibly be us, who desire to constantly gratify those we love.

I honestly believe that in the end, we are so beat down that we give up. This is sad, but sometimes a blessing. After coming to terms with the limits of our capacity, we begin to discover ourselves. We also realize that we start doing things for others out of love, real love, rather than to attain a false belief of love. Most likely parents are not forcing kids to please, and may not be aware of the power they hold over their children. Adult children might become aware, that their parents are also not theirs to control. Kids need to learn independence, and thankfulness for the favors parents bestow.

Once this is accomplished, we can live our lives in honesty, and in a more relaxed state. We stop striving to constantly delight, and begin paying more attention to needs and support. It perhaps also gives us time to aid others, outside our circle of family and friends. If we dwell constantly on what we must do for someone, in order to maintain a tenuous sense of position, it allots  little time, to helping another, out of charity.

I know there were many times in my life, that I did things out of duty. There was some love intertwined, but for the most part, it felt more like being compelled to do it. Maybe it was my own sense of duty, or maybe it was guilt put on my shoulders. Likely it was a bit of both. I guess it is a good thing when a person comes to the realization sooner, rather than later, because pressure is relieved and living begins.

We strive to be the perfect parents, or grandparents. Then we discover how effortlessly, another parent or  grandparent assists our child in a profound and important way. Accepting this is crucial, to our own peace of mind. We all want what is best for our kids and grandchildren. If we love them truly, then there is no problem in accepting and being grateful, for the support of others. Loving can mean allowing our most treasured gifts, the freedom to be liberated. Letting go is difficult, but upon release,  peace is acquired. We also might find the loved one returns often. There is a comforting revisit, due to the lessening of restrictions.

The more we hold on tightly to what we perceive as ours, the more they struggle for autonomy,  and to please us. We leave them in turmoil. The expectations others have for us, as well as the ones we place on others, can consume our lives. It is so strange to have the independence, and knowledge of the love of others, without strings attached. Love is so gentle, that it is without physical attributes, and thus can only be felt within the body and mind. It is impossible to enclose, or keep love confined to oneself. By allowing love the freedom to expand, it draws back to us and gives thanks.

Even at work, there can be many who deserve credit for their abilities. We are one of many on the job. In no way are we depleted by someone’s fullness. Mothers and wives can love sons and husbands, without jealousy. Sisters-in-Law and brothers-in-law can love each other without competing. Siblings can understand that their parents love can be divided many times without any loss of love to them. Friends can accept the differences between each other, and the needs each individual fulfills. Grandparents can give unconditional love, without envy. I for one comprehend that letting go of demands, and competition, brings serenity. The empty space left from the lack of worry, is filled with more love. Serenity is far better than constant striving to please others. Life won’t always make you happy, but living a meaningful life will bring you happiness.

Strive For Happiness“PEACE It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things, and still be calm in your heart.” Unknown

“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow  bring out the best in ourselves.”    William Arthur Ward

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”     Cynthia Oziek