Do You Secretly Judge Others? How to Enjoy Life After 60 with an Attitude of Gratitude

When we refuse to judge others, we express love and compassion. Love does not mean we become passive and allow others to abuse us. It is quite the contrary.

Compassion is not weak but strong. It allows us to see where the suffering in the world arises. People can irritate us every day with their silly antics. We may think a compassionate heart means we are to ignore the irritations and allow others to walk all over us.

Some people do and say mean things, while others are coerced into remaining tolerant. One’s tolerance level can be commendable, but there lies the secret. Enduring a constant onslaught of trivial complaints leads one to resent the issues people complain about. This may happen when we judge in secrecy. Continue reading “Do You Secretly Judge Others? How to Enjoy Life After 60 with an Attitude of Gratitude”

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”

Displaying Weakness

Displaying Weakness“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”    Mother Teresa

“Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together.” Joan Jett

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and  reflect.” Mark Twain

I will hurt inside, cry later in the privacy of my home, laugh at the absurdity, and never show my sensitivity to those who are deliberately attempting to bring me pain. When I release my hurt and agonize alone, I actually feel the vulnerability dissipate and the strength replace the anguish. I truly stand taller and although the ache is still within, the knowledge of my power to overcome such pain is a relief.

Sometimes I wonder if the person or people who hurt me are aware of what they did. Perhaps they don’t always intend to bring  judgement and pain but when they assume they comprehend another person, they begin tossing out the insults to tame and keep someone else in line. In the process they mentally diminish the person they focus on. Most likely they may not have meant to perpetrate such action so profoundly, and in such a disturbing and crushing manner.

Probably we have all been at the receiving end of such interactions. We likely have all been ostracized from groups or discussions for one reason or another. Let’s face it, if you don;t agree with the majority simply bowing out of the group is the best answer, if you want to save your dignity and or sensitivity. Some people don’t like to listen to another idea that is different from theirs.

Sometimes those who get hurt are the first ones to venture into another discussion at a later time in order to build their own self-esteem  and confidence. They are ready for the battle and equipped to demolish the opposing rivals. This of course leads to more suffering and a false sense of a gain in prestige. Whenever we make a point at the expense of another we are not aiding anyone including ourselves. If we want collaboration and cooperation which leads to peace, we must think of other ways to ease our hurt egos and sensitive spirits.

When we speak harshly to our children we crush their spirits. Even when they are doing something wrong,  it does not ever give us the right to smash their frail egos and sensitive natures. When a child lives  with harshness they learn to harden their shells. In the process their flames of empathy and kindness dim and eventually go out. I ponder the reasons we have for inflicting pain in order to display a false sense of being in control.

Perhaps it begins with the parental choice of domination and discipline. Although most parents admit they love their kids unconditionally, actions speak louder than words. If the parents verbal onslaught and physical aggression reduces the child’s control and confidence then it will also reduce the child’s sense of being loved. That is a harsh but true accusation. Reality is never pretty but we all grow from facing truth.

I reflect on the notion that the seeds for bullying begin from such tactics. Just like people who are wounded at a gathering of any kind including workplaces, feel the need to attack and get back their honor and self-respect, so to does a child require a boost in control of their lives by inflicting pain on a lesser individual. When we are all attempting  to find fault and blame  we might search and find our answers within our own actions.

Nobody likes a put down and everyone wants respect. It is so simple a theory. Kids are no exception. The worst issue for kids is that they are crushed by the people they love the most. It certainly makes one think and rethink how they handle children. Even  teachers who find it necessary to blast a loud voice at kids for misbehaving, must also  reevaluate how they are teaching and what they are teaching.

If adults don’t like domination and jurisdiction then neither do kids. Of course many  times we can’t change the  way things are so we are left with how to deal with such incidences. The best but most difficult answer is to walk away. That is not always an option for most of us. The next option is to speak your mind clearly and distinctly and then hold your temper and malice when others share thoughts that  are demeaning and cutting to what you had to offer.

I for one admit that many times those of us who get swallowed up in a disagreement actually have followers  who are silent. There are others who won’t admit publicly, that they share  our thoughts. It doesn’t help us at the time of the disagreement but it gives one food for thought. People never want to fight with the more powerful or  louder opponent. Nobody desires confrontation. Silence doesn’t always mean agreement. It simply means one recognizes the control within the situation and refuses to add fuel to the blaze.

Now I can leave a disagreement knowing that even if I have publicly lost the argument, I don’t have to wallow in my own self-pity. Losing doesn’t result in a change in opinion or a lowering of my self-esteem. As a matter of fact, there are times when I believe it gives honor to me and anyone who brings food for thought to the table. I guess we must get over the strong affront from others who many times are in a foul mood or pushing  an alternate agenda. Those in power are always feeling threatened by others who differ from them. Having this knowledge gives us courage to speak up regardless of the abuse we may acquire. Truth and reality gives all of us a fresh breath of air and sunshine.

Children thrive better when disciplined with love consistency and meaningful consequences. It is also  wise to listen to a child’s reasons for outbursts and physical behavior. It doesn’t mean we approve of  the behavior just because we aloud them to speak. At times it enlightens us to a problem we may not have noticed or were not aware of. Knowledge always brings more power and understanding to any situation. You don’t want to be the parent who is basically saying, “I am hitting you for hitting another. I don’t want you hitting now but when yo are grown feel free to hit your kids.”

Perhaps by placing ourselves in an others shoes we might see the situation through their eyes and come to understand the paradoxical problem we have when we get hurt and then hurt others. Unless we nurture and inspire more empathy we will raise warring, rather than caring people.

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”  Mohandas Gandi

   “Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success. ” Oscar Wilde

“To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself. ”  Master Cheng Yen

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.”  Albert Einstein

“Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”  Miguel Unamuno

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”     Abraham Lincoln

“We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t.” Frank A. Clark

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

Knowledge is proud she knows so much; wisdom is humble that she knows no more.” William Cowper

Has Man Evolved?

 

Evolution Of Man“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”    Albert Schweitzer

“The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colours and textures that come alive in others.”    Albert Schweitzer

“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.”    Paul Tillich

What a profound question. I am not sure about the answer. Actually my answer is no. I don’t see it even in myself. Reviewing history makes anyone realize that  we appear to be making similar mistakes. I want to change for the better as much as anyone but I’d like to do it my way and without disruptions to my life. That of course means placing my needs and wants first and worrying about self. I am not looking at the big  picture of how much I might be infringing on others in my pursuit of happiness.

I am not trying to be a negative person here. I’d like to find out ways to make me, my family, community and world better. If I, like all of us continue to make the same mistakes then nothing changes for the better. We must review those mistakes, confront them, work on them and at the least attempt to improve our ways. I suppose  we could ignore any  attempts and let all of life slip away.

The stone age people threw rocks at each other. As the weapons improved and were more advanced people killed with knives, swords, and guns. We improved our weapons but not ourselves or attitudes. The truth is we wear suits and ties and dresses but we still hurt each other. How do we consider ourselves civilized. Perhaps because we can better define our reasons for hurting others, we assume we have the right to behave the  way we do.

Our knowledge only alleviates our conscience allowing us to continue the pain and hurt in the name of religion or whatever cause we choose to call it. How did we ever come to  believing that our cause might be a better one so it gives us the right to do as we please in the name of justice. How ridiculous that is if we think long and hard about it. believe me it is scary to me. I am the same as anyone else. I believe in my family community and country as others believe in theirs. I just feel like we hate to admit we are like stone age people. We laugh at references to this being true yet the only difference I see is the clothes and the weapons of choice.

Our thought processes have only improved our deductive reasoning, permitting us to continue with our agenda. I want to improve my mindset. Truly evolving necessitates change at the inner core. Adjustments, even good ones are painful. There is comfort in the known which is why we hold on to old beliefs. I am not criticizing our previous ascendants in all of this. They strove to live  in the open under dire conditions. I just believe it is okay for us to admit that modifications  are needed, and sometimes q good thing.

Family units fail when they  refuse to see their mistakes and amend them. Rather than cave and make necessary changes We hold on to our own ideas without bending. We break commitments rather than compromise. Communities want their own agendas. Bring this to the government level and one can understand how easy it is to come to fighting. We are likely more savage than civil. Such pride and boastfulness can be a person’s downfall.

I never considered myself in this light but the more I investigate the more the shoe fits. The entire world is guilty of savagery. The key to stopping it on a global level is to stop it in our own hearts and families. We have the power to do that. I love it when people think they need to go to the ends of the world to fix other people and things. We simply need to change it in ourselves. Altering what is within our ability is huge.

We are familiar with words like aggressive, strong, mighty, bold, fearless, pushy and many other similar words denoting strength. How many of us use the words loving, kind, caring, sympathetic, empathetic, and altruistic. Again ask ourselves what we value. Never mind what we admire, how about how we act and model behavior for our kids. How can we be surprised at what we see if that is what parents and society at large is demonstrating. The vigilance at home,  to teach values and virtue, suffers from the bombardment of the glamorous world. This epidemic is world wide. It is not confined to any country or community or family.

Respect means we won’t  deliberately hurt another. Tolerance insures acceptance of all. Humility accepts all people including ourselves. Empathy calls for mindfulness of others and being aware of their needs. Caring pours out refuge for all. Sympathy fosters emotional connectedness to others. Altruism promotes placing others before ourselves. How honored can anyone be if everyone would place each other before themselves.

The big question is will our generation transform or continue to reproduce what mankind has been professing. I am not suggesting we get rid of the army. I realize they give us freedom. i am suggesting we take those baby-steps towards civilizing us so that perhaps future generations may actually consider themselves evolved. It would be refreshing if they could look back on history and say that we were the generation that began the leap forward for mankind’s evolving of their humanity. There are breakthroughs in science, math medicine, media and entertainment. Probably now is a decent time to focus on our humanness.

“The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.”          Albert Schweitzer

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.”    Albert Schweitzer

Conscience is the sentinel of virtue.”    Johann Kasper Lavater

“I hope for the day when everyone can speak again of God without embarrassment.” Paul Tillich

Let The Sun In

Let The  Sun In “Things do not change; we change.””I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”
“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each others eyes for an instant?” Henry David Thoreau

I know  I run away from my feelings many times and I would guess there are a lot of people running alongside me. Those who think otherwise perhaps don’t see the ways we manage to escape our thoughts which run rampant when we are hurt. For me it is losing myself in work. I pride myself in keeping the work flame burning as I rush to get things done. I have heard others say when they just had a fight with a spouse that they clean their house or closet.

We all find our own way to escape the emotional pain. The problem is the toll it takes on us. We end up with emotional stress hidden under the curtain, physical stress due to our overactive need to work and exhaustion of ourselves and spiritual stress because we refuse to face the actual issue. I know I am as guilty as anyone in how I handle the pain but it occurred to  me one day when I had taken  a rebuff from someone I never thought would ever do it, how much suffering we endure at the hands of those we love.

When one constantly  steps on the accelerator giving the car gas while idle, it wastes the gas and destroys the car. the same is true with our bodies being in high gear due to stress. We push ourselves above and beyond, take our anger out on others, and inflict medical issues upon ourselves from the stress.

Emotions,  even our own are difficult to deal with. They confuse us, mix up our thinking and bring  an element of fear into the equation. Those deep down sentiments beg to be understood yet the understanding will bring change which causes anxiety. Transformations force us to act differently. They necessitate a reevaluation of our truths and entail an accommodating a new point of view. We will n ever be the same which is why we fight the alteration.

Perhaps we are not ready for the mental state derived from facing the truth. Maybe we need more time to modify our belief system. Bringing in the new is difficult. The ripple effect is tremendous as we modify and amend. Evey player has a varying take on the action. Every person sees a situation through their own eyes with their own schemata and their own personal needs. That makes it huge that any of us will actually sift through the inconsequential and find truth.

Our truth differs from my truth or your belief. We have understanding at the point we are able to look at it with a multi lens and view it from many angles. Then we can boil it down for a clearer picture. This takes a multitude of time and effort so most of us being so busy lack the stamina to work that hard at deciphering. In reality we visit this situation again and again in many forms until we choose to process it completely and end the confusion. Hast makes waste and in this case haste keeps the confusion running.

So other than time why is it we won’t confront our own demons. I believe we hate to see our own guilt and involvement. Inklings of guilt run quickly through our minds and we shut down. It is easier to view the guilt in others but not ourselves. When we gain the courage we face it and basically have the opportunity to conquer it. What a relief when this happens.  There is release and conversion. We grow as a person but lose some innocence.

The hardest thing is to know how every person we know, can disappoint us. Those who haven’t been christened into the realm of awareness yet may still hold the belief that certain individuals will never let us down. Others may deny that it has ever happened because it is easier to believe otherwise. As hard as it is, acknowledging the hard facts brings us closer to unity, forgiveness and understanding about life in general.

Those who can’t accept the honesty end relationships quickly, dissolve friendships, and ostracize one person after another. Those that perhaps betray them in one way or another are immediately discounted, What they never question is themselves. Are they judging themselves with the same ruler? If so them they must realize they have hurt others just as many times. Some of us forgive because we can’t or don’t want to live without this person in our lives. We don’t always comprehend why they did or said what they did or said. We don’t get the actuality of life at this point.

Most people use it as an excuse to keep their distance from this person. I believe we simply are human and make mistakes and sometimes our mistakes at the time are not realized so we go forward saying or doing something that hurts another and reason that they should not take it the way they do so it is their fault. All of us say and do according to our knowledge at the time. As we increase our understanding and awareness we appreciate how another might react  and thus we adjust as necessary.

Once we get over the fact that everyone and anyone can tread on our affections, we come to terms with life and love. It doesn’t mean they don’t love us.  That is what we must appreciate if we are gong to accept and keep alive the bonds of affection. I am not talking physical or mental abuse. Our normal though hurtful interactions with others are grasped and once absorbed amended.  It is at those times mutual understanding occurs along with forgiveness. So many relationships might be saved if we gave each other space for error. We won’t find perfection in the best. Life is calmer, and more stable when we can bend without breaking. There are those times that we tend to forget when others had to return the favor. Look for the good and tolerate the bad.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

“True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.”
“Truth and roses have thorns about them.”    Henry David Thoreau

Divorce Adds Fear To Children’s Lives

divorce and kids fear“Children are not possessions. You don’t “allow” the mother/father extra time. When you say things like that you imply that you think of your children as things not as humans.”

“A good parent does not take their child’s rights away out of hate and anger for the other parent.

“When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved; when true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, then the heart is set right ; when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.”    Confucius

Divorce creates havoc and fear. Children are more deeply entangled in their parent’s divorce, than either of their parents. They are the ones who love both parents, and want to see, and be with both parents. Children are the individuals, who get harmed the most. Sometimes a divorce is necessary, but the child’s world is toppled, and they can’t fathom why. They really lose some faith, trust and hope, as well as part of their foundation.

Divorce has a huge impact on kids. Children’s fear, worry, doubt and distress increases. The effects on children are tremendous and deep. Their innocence is lost, no matter how nicely the divorce goes. They are suffering, but the parents are perhaps so distressed at this point in time, that they likely have little time to observe the problems children begin to endure. Parents are probably very concerned, about where they are proceeding from that point onward.

As a result, the children inevitably are relegated to the background of their lives. Fathers blame mothers, when they do not have more access to their children, after a divorce. The children might be denied time with dad, because he has broken commitments to the mother, or because it is difficult to find a time that meshes with the mom’s schedule. Mothers may make it difficult for dads, but dads need to fight to stay involved. If mothers consider what is best for the child, they will allow the father to stay involved. Most often, when dads are denied time with their kids, it leads to worry and frustration for the children. The children are angry at being denied time with dad.

Probably many of these fathers don’t stay the course, and lose contact with their kids. They probably marry again, and sire more children, leaving less time for the original family. This loss of time for the original family, is not the ex-wife’s fault. Kids are anguished. The fear has escalated to emotional pain, when some parents begin degrading each other. The children who are caught in the middle, are taking an emotional beating, from both mom and dad.

The effects of divorce are easily seen at any school, and within any area of society. Some parents do stay involved, and both parents might be committed. This is admirable. Perhaps the norm is, mom and dad diverge in different directions. This means parents transplant, and possibly produce more children with the new spouse. Children from a past union, might appear to be baggage to the new step parent. Many children sense this, because they accept so much pain and suffering, without complaining to their biological parents.

Children are unsure of where they stand straightaway, with mom or dad. Many believe they are being replaced, by the new love or family. Children can’t form the words, or the thoughts, regarding all of the confusion going on in their minds and lives. School problems, sadness, attachment issues, anger, and insecurity might suddenly manifest. If we are not tuned into our child it leaves us asking, “What’s wrong with my son or my daughter?”

Most children, if not all children, find it difficult to accept a parent’s new relationship. Children are in fear of losing their parent’s love. They will readily accept the most uncomfortable circumstances in order to keep mom’s or dad’s love. Children begin their wandering between homes, beds, and parents. They worry about whom they are going to be with, how long, and who’s picking them up. Children are apprehensive about the parent they will not be with, for the short time.

 Children appear anxious if they have forgotten one of their treasured items, when spending time with mom or dad. There is a display of uneasiness about what they forgot to say to a parent, before leaving with the other parent. They worry about homework, and books left behind at one of their parent’s homes. The list continues.

Parents are the people children depend on and adore. In a divorce situation, children must hide their emotional state from each of the parents, when in the company of the other parent. This is undoubtedly stressful. Children are resilient. They have proven this to be true. Although we must not confuse toughness, with having no effect on their emotional system. There are most definitely instances here of cause and effect.

We can’t take a carving knife to a new piece of wood and slice it completely through. We can fill the gouge with putty, but the scar will remain. The wood will never be smooth and untouched as it once was. Children want their parents to stay together. The parents are their roots; their foundation. If adult children are wrecked over a parent’s divorce, how distressing it must be for young children, who are still depending on parents for nurturing.

The most important thing parents can do for their kids at this point in time, is to pay more attention to their kids. There is a need for more talking, cuddling and physical presence. Allow children to ask questions, and be truthful and as clear as you can with the answers. Never forget that they are more involved than either of their parents. Realize that they say what we want to hear, and cover up their feelings. Even if you are walking away from each other, don’t walk away from your children. They need you in their lives, and you are so vital to their existence. Many of their fears are allayed, when parents  can be depended upon. Above all else, refrain from speaking negatively about each other. Even the smallest insult is heard, and taken straight to their own hearts.

“The  best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other.”
Jane Blaustone

“If your child’s love and allegiance can be bought away from the father, it can be bought from you. Raise them with better values.” Someee cards

“Jesus taught us how to forgive out of love, how to forget out of humility. So let us examine our hearts and see if there is any unforgiven hurt – any unforgotten bitterness! It is easy to love those who are far away. It isn’t always easy to love those who are right next to us. It is easier to offer food to the hungry than to answer the lonely suffering of someone who lacks love right in one’s own family. The world today is upside down because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life.”    Mother Teresa

The Importance Of Freedom With Understanding

freedom“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.” John Stuart Mill

“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” Plato

Most of us desire freedom in a variety of ways. We like a voice within the family and at the workplace. We enjoy choosing the types of recreation we love and vacations that inspire and or entertain us. Of course with so many others wanting the same things it leaves us with the necessity of compromising. Even if that goes against the grain we are generally coerced into such situations. In this respect our freedom is technically compromised.

Likely it is the right thing to do if we are in any kind of relationship unless we take separate vacations. Restaurant picks can be alternated or a mutual agreed upon compromise may be chosen. With kids involved we must take the time for input from them. Depending on the age of the kids it is usually easy to convince them in our decision. As they mature it might become more difficult. Hence we find it easier to have freedom when we are single or even without children.

The importance of freedom is so ingrained that at times we dwell too much on it and tolerate our compromises as if we were injured. This perhaps leads to anger, fighting and possibly retaliation from our partner’s differing opinion. Likely we should think about the separation of freedom from simply compromising. We have so intertwined the two that anything less than our way makes us want to send the opposing entity packing for the highway. Maybe that is a little dramatic but I have witnessed those people who defend their rights.

I believe it is important to view this issue because we have become a society of me and my and mine. It doesn’t leave room for us and we and they. I like, enjoy and appreciate my freedom as well as anyone but at times we can get mixed up in what we should argue for and when we should defer to someone else. It is compassionate and empathetic to think of others. Somehow a person who is empathetic can be viewed as a pushover or someone who doesn’t really know what they want so anything will please them.

Perhaps being a doormat is an unpopular way to be and I would not encourage that but I do respect those individuals who honestly desire something else or something more than what they get. I think they see it as how much it means to others to have what they want so they give in and place the needs of others first. It should make us reflect on our fairness with others. Just because the majority at work want things one way doesn’t mean we always have to keep it that way. Perhaps we could switch it up once in a while.

It makes it necessary for us to pay more attention to others and their wants and needs. That is not what we enjoy doing. Freedom is the ability to have your say even if others don’t choose to agree or go along with you. The majority usually rules but there are times when either a compromise might be reached or an acceptance of another way might be added. Freedom is the ability to think say and do things, within reason, and that doesn’t hurt others in the process. Others can likewise choose to do what they want. It is quite a different story within a marriage situation or when kids are involved.

Marriages survive when there are compromises of all kinds. I love it when people ask those married a very long time to discuss what the magic is. There is no miracle to having any kind of a good relationship with anyone except respecting the other person enough to allow them to make some decisions and to offer their input. There are those times when maybe you were correct and they were wrong in a decision made but so what. They don’t need to have that drummed into their mind when they are aware of their fault. You give them confidence by simply accepting the outcome and embracing them. In the end there is never quite a wrong or right answer.

An egalitarian marriage brings freedom to both parties to speak without fear or feelings of inferiority. The same is true for children. They obviously have a lot to learn but their offerings can be enlightening and worthwhile. By permitting kids to offer to conversations, you are teaching them how to collaborate and compromise. They are technically learning within a safe environment, how to argue their points pertaining to what they want. Even when they lose, they still believe they were heard and respected. Likely another day might be better for them.

When we give independence to our kids before they are ready for it then they will possibly choose poorly when tested. Parenting takes time and effort and until kids are ready we must continue to parent perhaps a long time more than we anticipated. I look at it this way. I am making brownies and the box gives me a set time when they will be done. I still anticipate that the time might be off. To be honest that is true. I have never made brownies by the boxes’ timing. I need to give it fifteen to twenty minutes longer. The same is true with raising kids. Perhaps we will have to give some of them a few years longer to find themselves or get their lives intact. I can’t see why this causes an uproar. I find people apologizing to me that their kids are still at home in their twenties. I always say so what that is no big deal. You haven’t failed. They all launch in their own time.

I guess it is only a huge deal if parents are wanting kids to leave. If you are not pushing them out then give them their privacy and their freedom while encouraging them to live their life the way they see fit. They will find what they want in time. We don’t have to be a crutch only a support system as needed like my step stool ladder. Any kind of relationship works when respect care and understanding is present. When we can be what we want to be and not march to anyone Else’s drumming then we have the freedom to live our life independently regardless of who we live with. Treasure your freedom but not so much that you impede on the freedom of other people.

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”    Mark Twain

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.”               Bob Dylan

“Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.” Plato

“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.” Plato

The Highs And Lows Of Marriage

 high and lows“When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.?”    Joseph Campbell

“But marriage goes in waves. You’ve got to be patient. People bail and give up on their marriages way too early. They just don’t put the work and the effort into it. You’ve got to suck up your ego a lot of times, because that can be a big downfall.”    Anna Benson

It is impossible to have a set of guidelines for marriage because there are likely no two marriages that are identical. It stands to reason that if none of us are equivalent then when two of us get together and form a marriage it will be unique. That is why I believe it is next to impossible to imitate another couple. It may even be asking for trouble.

Women turn to other women when they have a problem in the marriage. Of course the first things friends do is to state what works in their own relationship. This is helpful to a point but useless as a tool of measurement. No two marriages are identical and therefore each relationship, like kids, needs to be dealt with differently.

I think some young marriages begin by assuming the man should do this and the woman that. Reality steps in and the turmoil begins.  Each partner feels they know how to divvy up the tasks.  They discover that the attitude of you do this and I’ll do that and everything will be fine doesn’t work.  Once each spouse stops attempting to delegate the jobs the bickering comes to a conclusion.

Marriages that work are based on less controlling expectations. Whenever we expect, we will perhaps always be disappointed. Soundly studying our prospects provides us with the realistic notions that are within reason. The plans must take into account the attitudes and moods of the day. They also must consider any stressful issues at work or in the extended families that may influence the thoughts and behaviors of our spouses.

None of us like having someone hanging the gauntlet over our heads and demanding we do our work. Many of us experience enough of that at our jobs so that the last thing we want to experience is this happening at home. Let’s face it, it is a total turn off. I understand like anyone else that there are tasks I want accomplished and maybe even waited on them for a long time. I also am aware that my timing is poor sometimes, and those tasks may appear to be discouraging to my spouse when I begin command with an ultimatum, that they get finished.

If one likes to cook, then man or woman they should be the chef. If one keeps the clothes washed and refrains from putting everything into the dryer then that is solidly their job. If you don’t like to do certain jobs and your spouse is willing to do them then stop checking on the time the job takes to do. It isn’t always about the time it takes to do the job, but whether or not you want it on your list.

Going shopping may be interesting for some spouses because they enjoy the foods and creativity. It may take more time but they have the benefit of choosing the meal plan and ideas. Picking up the house may be quicker but a bit more boring. Attempting to keep the division of labor fair and within reason helps to save some disagreements down the road. However it is never a perfect way to settle division of chores.

I believe many women sense their stronger connection to the home. Perhaps they are only looking at it from their perspective. The husband may see the crack in the cement that needs to be sealed. Likewise women may enjoy creating the ambiance within the home which the husband recognizes as a waste of time. Having respect for the intricate differences of what we profess to be a worthy job is vital.

I think that at times we may have to wait for some of the tasks we want completed. It may take time for either spouse to get to the job. Patience within a marriage solves wasted time and energy exerted in fighting which actually costs us possibly more days of lost serenity. Fights are usually detrimental to marriages and to accomplishing any kind of job.

Understanding is important along with patience because if we comprehend where our spouse is coming from even if we don’t agree we can accept the viewpoint. Perhaps our acceptance of a task that is put off will drive our spouse into completing it a lot faster on a better day. Because we grasped their need to wait, they may appreciate our desire to have it finished.

Empathy is so necessary in a marriage. Without empathy we never acquire an “I get you” kind of attitude. I think of empathy as walking in another s’ shoes and looking at the world through their eyes. For instance we may want that yard cultivated so we can plant a garden but our spouse sees only the work because they don’t enjoy gardening. The empathy also brings into account the moods, feelings stresses and health issues.

Sometimes we can be on a vendetta and become totally unreasonable and self-absorbed. I have done that many times and have witnessed others doing it. We hate to believe we act this way but in reality we do. If we make up our minds about the way we presume things ought to be, we control our spouse. We don’t care what their agenda is because we have our own plans and it includes their consent to go along. Likely we enslave them in a way, as far as what we envision they will accomplish.

Of course when we become more reasonable we release our hold. If we do not learn how to play fair and hopefully compromise, I would venture to say the marriage will be strained. How could it not be tense? Just because we believe this is the way it should be does not mean we have the truth. We are ignoring the others viewpoint and understanding of the situation. Wanting what is best for us makes us overlook the views health wants needs and stresses of another.

Marriage takes time and effort and there are no easy rules or guidelines. I believe that the best we can do is to always include empathy, understanding, compromise, patience, tolerance and a respect for what is good for both partners. That is why placing the other spouse’s needs before our own at times helps us to achieve a more equitable division of labor because fairness is reciprocated. None of us respond well to demands and criticism. We all respond to love.

“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest – never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership.”    Ann Landers

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.” Fawn Weaver

The Vital Significance Of Family

breaking up“There is an ongoing battle between conscience and self-interest in which, at some point we have to take sides.” Robert Brault

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to
hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell
apart, that’s true strength.” Unknown

“During the first 10 years of my life, while my parents were married, I enjoyed a privileged upbringing. After their divorce, my life was
difficult.” Bianca Jagger

Have we lost the idea of family? It is time to recapture the meaning of the supportive family. The quick reply of not my family won’t work anymore. At times we put words in other people’s mouths, that might never be said in reality. In this way we can confront our own demons, as to why we ostracize ourselves but blame the family.

Of course we all have family flaws, and stories we can relate to. It isn’t about who suffered more or less, or which situations were more outrageous. Life in general is tough, and we can all use support of one kind or another. We can’t fear our own insecurity. Nobody is giving out awards for martyrdom. If we can just get over ourselves we can accept help. I even find that helping others gives one a good feeling. We in a way, are making others feel good by allowing them to do something worthwhile.  This includes our families.

By refusing aid when we need it, we spite ourselves. Letting pride stand in the way, in my opinion, is close to foolishness, and maybe even stupidity. If we can’t give in for ourselves, we should for our kids and spouses. Hanging on to false beliefs will not help us move forward, nor will it bring comfort and relief. Place negative feelings of anger and revenge, far from your thoughts, and concentrate on your needs in the present. If another can fulfill your wants, accept help.

Insecurity breeds pride, lack of confidence promotes anger and defensiveness, and anxiety renders us unable to admit it when we need help. None of us are self-contained. Human beings require others in their lives . We are a social animal. We learn from each other. We comfort and aid each other. The best place to learn the norms of a society,  is within a family structure.

With so many families splitting up, we have turmoil all around us, which is doubled for kids. They might begin with two parents, and end up with four. Now they contend with brothers sisters, step-brothers and step-sisters, and half  brothers and half sisters. They gain so many more people but lose others.

The gain is not always helpful, and can be detrimental. There is more competition. There are more discipline problems due to the various parenting styles. Encountering unfairness is likely to manifest, because a step child versus biological child is unbalanced. Jealousy is a give. As a teacher, I observed numerous kids mention, how their half-brother or half-sister got to see mom or dad full time yet they did not. It left them with an angry bitter feeling.

Jealousy is a common thread, as is fighting about discipline. If we think about it, the child now deals with two households with different rules. The saddest piece is the loss of extended family, which basically gets left by the curb. We don’t plan all of this obviously, but we sometimes don’t think about it either, before we make so many of our own plans. Kids lose family members, whenever there is a divorce in the family.

The intact families may also lose connections to extended families, through fights,  disagreements or the general wish to be self-sufficient. It may work for the adults, but I venture to say the kids are the losers. Any time we subtract love from the equation, there is loss. I don’t  suggest moving in with parents, but the need for other caring adults in the life of a child is vital.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as cousins, add to the repertoire of support for the child. Sometimes parents forget, how much of a source of help, these people can be when one needs a break. Calling out for help is more than acceptable, and anything but demeaning. Everyone needs a break and kids can be difficult. Some are more challenging, so an extra pair of hands releases the burden.

Can you imagine what it feels like to have extended family, available to call on and to trust they will come to your aid? For a child this is probably the most empowering thing in their corner. They know this, and sense this, because when it is gone, they are reticent, nervous and less secure. Uncertainty and self-doubt may emerge.

Problems happen to all of us, and marriages do fail. Sometimes we can’t control the reality of the situation. We can control how we choose to interact with the outside family, when there is a divorce. Don’t put them in the middle, and make them choose sides. Ask them to remain neutral for the sake of the kids. Allow the kids to get to the family times, that now do not include you.

Hearing and knowing what is best for the kids is not always what we had in mind. Using kids as pawns to hurt each other, will never work, and will perhaps make the situation worse. If we place the needs of the child first, we’ll remember to cut as little as possible out of their lives. In the end, all of us benefit from observing the beautiful child that emerges.

“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others Constant kindness can accomplish much. As
the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust,
and hostility to evaporate.”     Albert Schweitzer

“A man does not have to be an angel in order to be a saint.”    Albert Schweitzer

 

Forgive The Past; Define Yourself In The Present

define yourself“The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.”   Aesop

“Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.” Benjamin Franklin

“I don’t care if you are religious or not and I think the message is that at the end of the day, everybody has to mature and everybody has to heal and mend their own injuries, emotional injuries, on their own pace.”    Boris Kodjoe

How many of us make trip after trip to our past. Most of the times our journeys are to the most painful moments in relationships and injuries. We like to prove to ourselves we have made the correct choices. Somehow  we believe  we will absolve ourselves of any fault in the events that transpired.

Whatever response given by anyone, involved in our most unpleasant situations of long ago, is held responsible for our pain and we deny absolution. As a matter-of-fact, we tend to dig in our heels even more as time passes. We end up believing we did no wrong and all others were to blame.

Of course our reality is altered  with time and with our constant review of our injuries. As we get further from the incident we get further from the truth and stronger in our stand of refusing forgiveness. Now we have the real problem  in our present life. We are hung up on our past pain. We feel sorry for ourselves and yearn for justice. We are not going to get it. That is what we must have the courage to face.

From the time we are kids the hurts bounce into us but if we want to live a happier life we need to send them bouncing off as quickly as they arrived. We all take turns at hurts. Others injure our egos perhaps on purpose, while others do it unconsciously or by accident. Sometimes what we perceive as important is less important to another.

As long as we allow these past wounds room in our minds and hearts, we will continue to lose space for positive and loving thoughts. They are usually brought up when we are hurt by a similar situation in our present. Instead of dealing logically we fall to pieces. The past intertwines with the present and makes every new issue a bigger deal that it should be. It is hard to separate fact from fiction. It is difficult to separate present from past.

For instance when we are denied the job, we don’t think about the fact that we have many more opportunities and that this job was not our first choice. We begin feeling sorry for ourselves and believing we are always the loser and it is so typical that this should happen again. How untrue this belief is. Every incident is a new situation and can potentially have a different outcome. If the result is similar to a past event, maybe we can figure out what we did that was similar and change it. We might educate ourselves in the job we are searching for or get advice from others.

We can’t and shouldn’t give up on ourselves. At other times when things turn sour it is simply chance. Most if not all of us lose at various times. It might be the catalyst that sends us in a new and better direction. Maybe it will be one that is more suited for us. That would also apply to relationships. Maybe our choice of  partners is never a good match. What is best for us may not be what we pick because the influence of others convinced us what they thought was best for us. It implores us to look at situations through our own eyes.

It is at times difficult to observe the past with clarity. We have built it up to be so huge and we have the finger pointed at the ones we blame. It is like a mountain that must be climbed in order to get to and see the other side which is beautiful. True comprehension of our distortion of the facts brings a sense of peace and a dawning of truth. Letting go of past injuries gives us more time to focus on the present.

I can’t mention how many times I hurt myself again with my thoughts of past insult and injuries. Something in the present happens and I dwell on so many hurts from my entire life until I don’t even consider the original  transgression that caused my present  pain close to past injuries. I wonder why I do this to myself repeatedly. One new insult makes us recall every insult.

The cycle needs to stop so we can put an end to the wounds. Forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others. So we messed up. The sun still came up and the coffee was brewing. The power of forgiveness is endless. When we say even to ourselves, it is not the end of the world, you have learned from this and can attempt to make up what you can but accept what you can’t change. It is like having a clean slate or new day. The truth is we get the new day but if we can’t forgive ourselves we are tossing it away.

Now what we can do is use the new day to live in the present. If we keep recalling the past it diffuses our energy, clouds out thoughts, causes us fear and doubt and eats up our present moments in time.How sad. It is as if we are living in the past. We are paying more attention to past acts and words than to what is in front of us at the present.

Forgiving others actually gives us strength to forget. Surprisingly  by resolving any injuries one has caused to another either on purpose or by accident empowers you. I have tried it and it lifts your soul and lightens your mind. It is almost as if it got washed away. It also makes you feel very courageous because you start thinking of how brave you were to do what you did. Now when you think about some past memories you have these courageous moments to think about, which gives you a warm feeling and a smile across your face.

The uneasiness and discomfort of being at odds with others is disheartening. We all need forgiveness at one point or another in our lives. It is no disgrace to search for it or willingly offer it. When another denies the forgiveness you still have the goodness and caring act in your heart as a positive past memory. It is still your gain and their loss. They will now relive the moment and at a future date feel shame for not extending their own forgiveness.

One must remember that we are searching for peace in our souls first. When we find it, the rest is easy. Live in the present. Try very hard to dismiss past pain. Most times it is only sad reminders we use to torture ourselves over again. Enjoy the new day with its’ various options to make a positive impact on your own life and the lives of others. You cannot change the past, you can work on the present, and make a positive future for yourself and possibly others.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”
– The Buddha

“Pain is what the world inflicts upon us.
Suffering is our emotional reaction when we fail to make the difficult conscious decision to choose Joy.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.”
– The Buddha