Power Struggles

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi
“The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” Stephen Richards

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

Power struggles are painful and stressful. I wonder how we get ourselves into a power struggle and why. I hate to say this but again I sometimes think our egos get us in the middle. We don’t have to have big egos either in order to have it throw up its’ head in arrogance. Perhaps our egos just hate to always lose and on any given day we are apt to appear more prideful than we actually  are or believe. Continue reading “Power Struggles”

WORRIES AND COMPETITION

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
– Lao Tzu

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”    Socrates

“The key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”     Dalai Lama

“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail.”    Dorthea Brande

Comparisons of all kinds send us into arguments and sometimes battles. We find it so difficult to compromise and find a happy medium. Has anyone thought how easily it happens? A very simple ordinary conversation can suddenly turn into a confrontation because someone gets  irritated. Perhaps one of the parties didn’t get to speak as much as the other. One party may have made more points with their discussion than the other. Someone might have gotten bored with the conversation and attempts to walk away while the other person expects them to stay and listen to their rhetoric. Continue reading “WORRIES AND COMPETITION”

Healing

Courage 2“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”    Rumi

“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.”    Harki Murakami

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”    Shannon L. Alder

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” Marianne Williamson

Healing self is sometimes impossible to do. Years pass by  quickly as we all live our chosen lives. The wounds stay infected and begin covering with more and more scars. It is so hard to state what it is we really want from others and basically we can become disappointed at every turn. Maybe it appears to be weakness on our part. We might need others but we refuse to admit it to ourselves. Likely we have remained strong for so long and dealt with our losses and hurts that we simply can’t change our course and go another route.

The hurts and pain are real no doubt. The ways we perceive them as well as the reasons behind the occurrences are always shadowed by our own paintbrush. Children have suffered abuses of all kinds at the hands of those they love. Adults who want to become whole again must see through the infliction and search to find the strength to forgive those who perhaps owed them so much more.

Torments of all kinds rendered by various people fester and pain us at unpredictable times. What we want to say but likely never do renders us suffering in silence. We can all understand pain to a degree and we all appreciate the power of compassionate words that send us for cover rather than for bearing arms. Bearing the misery in silence is our only answer so we resolve to endure our situation quietly.

Many people carry the baggage around with them sometimes for a lifetime. Maybe it  appears to be easier to tolerate the discomfort in the quiet of our hearts. The trouble is that we never know when the agony will resurface and when it does we are usually never prepared to deal with it all over again. At a stronger moment we choose to ignore the sorrow because we like keeping it at bay so we can enjoy our times of pleasure.

Everything  that happens to us in life is what changes us for the better or the worse. Obviously the grueling experiences have a much more profound affect on our lives. The key is they also have the power to transform us in extreme ways. Such incidences are challenging and complicated. To confront them is problematic because so much agony covers up the intricate explanations of the rationale. Analyzing them no matter how much agony we must endure cracks the door open for finding the  details of the full picture.

Even when extreme sadness is present, finding our own peace of mind is critical to our own functioning and survival. I hate the term rationalizing because I feel like it leaves behind the emotional soreness. Perhaps the truth is that each one of us uses our own rationale for behaving the way we do. I may not care for your understanding of an incident any more than you accept my interpretation.

When parents hurt their kids emotionally, physically or sexually there appears to be no recourse and justifiably no excuses. I would almost agree with that and still do find it almost impossible to forgive unless one is close to godliness. Recently I have encountered those perpetrators of such crimes in agony themselves about how to find peace and forgiveness. I did not deal with them personally and am not  equipped  to do so but their anguish was obvious and deep.

Parents must seek help in all the ways they can find it. Of course a young mother barely above the level of a child herself, likely having had few good role models in her life, is going to be questionable in her child rearing practices. Condemning this person is difficult but condoning her is impossible. What are we left with but to consider why things went off track. Even knowing that may not help with a solution. I have faith in the belief that forgiveness comes when one totally gets the depth of the discomfort and agony they have caused another individual at any point in time and towards any person be it family or stranger.

I suppose it is why lawyers bring backgrounds of the suspected guilty person into account, in order for those who have  not been hurt so deeply to understand the emotional sting and heartache from the instigators own past. One might counter with the acute displeasure the perpetrator has caused the innocent victim. Although there are degrees of innocence and guilt there is likely not an innocent person among any of us, even if we unknowingly caused misery to another.

Healing is the critical component. It comes from facing the demons and incorporating the many excuses and arguments. One must accept the reality of the motives whether they are justified or at least extremely complicated and intense. Sometimes the full picture is not comprehended until one has matured a great deal. Having the courage to face what we have done wrong is vital in understanding dilemmas of the heart. Sustaining the strength to confront and let go of the emotional burdens is necessary.

One who has been emotionally injured creates a hard outer core so as to protect themselves from further pain. To heal  we must have the strength and fortitude to peel the armor off and allow the light to shine through us again. The throbbing sadness may subside somewhat with transforming our attitude and overcoming our fear of moving forward instead of remaining trapped in painful episodes within our past.

Those of us who have been beaten down as kids may learn to show mercy and compassion for others. Forgiveness for those who have hurt us comes with knowledge of the wrongdoers motives. Of course the point at which an offender realizes the pain and depth of their actions is the point they begin  their own lamenting and journey of survival in forgiving self.

Husbands and wives may go for many years rationalizing their crimes or offenses towards each other. If one searches for truth and honesty they are  confronted with their injustices and forced to mend their sins. Most of us are a mixed bag. Accepting this perhaps leads one towards forgiving others which eventually may lead the way to inner peace. Holding on to blame and injustices leaves no room for love  and serenity. Dumping the damages takes the sting out of the pain.

We are really left with the capacity to move onward with life and living. We still have the power to choose our own course and make amends where required. We can do better than what we were taught or what was modeled. We have the option  to be engulfed in the fiery blaze or to leave the fury and grief behind and walk a gentler path of understanding and forgiving as best  we can. It doesn’t mean forgetting just releasing the constant nagging of the torment. We will always be aware of its’ presence but we don’t have to allow it to overwhelm and consume our lives. There is a special prayer that I love to think about when I believe I have been hurt or misunderstood. It brings a semblance of peace and sanity to an overburdened world. I will share it below at the end of the post.

Marriages, families friends and all relationships run into bumps and bruises. Parenting of course has the ability to cause more heartache because of the innocence of children. Many adults have not grown up with any guidance themselves but they do have the ability to search and gain the help and knowledge they need to improve their skills. Transform your heartache and it will alter your life. Love is always at the bottom of the messy pile. Most of us just don’t know how to show it, give it or receive it. We falter at expressing our love as well as our pain. We want peace but instigate friction. We want understanding but initiate confusion. Pride is produced over honesty. Time to trust in honesty by letting the love out of the prison where we hold it confined. Anger and revenge trigger fire and ash, while love promotes an atmosphere of harmony, goodwill and freedom from strife. In the process we are releasing ourselves from the prison which only we have the key to unlock.

“To Love is to reach God” Rumi

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” Rumi

“My soul gave me good counsel, teaching me that the lamp which I carry does not belong to me, and the song that I sing was not generated from within me. Even if I walk with light, I am not the light; and if I am a taut-stringed lute, I am not the lute-player.” Rumi

“O divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to  be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Saint Francis of Assisi

 

 

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.”

“I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.” Anonymous

“Forgiveness brings inner peace. Do we have a deal?”  Melissa

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s letting go of the hurt.” Kathy

We always hear how difficult it is to say the words, “I am sorry.” I would agree that admitting blame of any kind takes courage and strength. No one should question how tough it is to do. Most of us perhaps never forgive everyone of every  perceived wrong-doing towards us. It likely is human nature to hold onto a grudge. With time one sometimes manages to come forth and ask for repentance.

The person who has been injured at one time or another may wonder why the one at fault doesn’t appear to be contrite right after the incident. They may also question how little the transgressor thought about what they had done. Most of the reviewing at least in the beginning of a conflict, appears to come from the person that got hurt. Perhaps the pain reaches the heart and soul a lot quicker and leads one to reflect on the reasons a bit more.

At some future time, perhaps when one has experienced a similar transgression one is reminded of the similar occurrence in the past in which they were at the receiving end of the  heartache rather  than the doer. I suppose we can split hairs regarding who received more or less pain in any confrontation. The important thing to acknowledge is that enlightenment is beginning to occur. Becoming more informed allows one to look at a happening with a different lens. We are receiving a brand new angle to the issue. Moments like these cause one to reverse their thinking and possibly attempt a reconciliation with the one they had originally maltreated. This can result in needed transformation.

This is the most perfect thing to happen. Both parties reconciling reduces tension and brings in lots of love. I am all for resolving issues between people. I believe it is almost perfect in the making except  for the fact that injured people also must be recognized for their strength and courage in offering forgiveness. No one ever seems to think the one saying “Oh that’s okay,” has had to be mighty brave and compassionate to be willing to exonerate and reconcile with the erring individual.

Of course no one is ever totally right or wrong in any argument or fight and there are perhaps numerous variables to the dilemma. Still the one who ultimately and obviously does the most damage is the person left needing to apologize.

Nevertheless the injured party is still left with the task of absolving the person who maltreated them. I don’t know about others but most people appear to discuss the courage of the party who apologized. No attention is  given to the pained individual, who had the ability to absolve the one who hurt them. I assume now that it must take tremendous strength of character to bring oneself to the state of mind to accomplish such a huge task.

When we are deeply hurt it resonates without and although time heals the wound we are left with a hard veneer. The longer the time between the occurrence and the apology, the thicker and stronger the covering. Lots of times many of us revisit the hurt and sometimes relive the pain. I remember enduring situations regarding health problems within the family which left me wounded. Even when the healing process was over, I continued to endure the suffering for years later whenever I recalled the event. Many people endure emotional pain brought on by the carelessness of others or differences leading to disagreements.

One  can appreciate that there may not have been a  need for an apology from anyone in the health dilemma, but the recovery process was similar. The pain of any wound is tough to repair. The emotional wounds and scars we endure throughout our lifetimes can be debilitating. When these wounds are caused by another person’s words choices or actions one lives with the thoughtlessness for a long time. How joyful it is to receive an expression of contrition. It is likely more commendable to appreciate how awesome the person is, who is willing to forgive. Just because someone says sorry does not necessarily make another suffering person willing to forgive.

Just because  we forgive someone, does not ever mean we can forget. The pain is ingrained and impossible to scrap or wash off. Of course the forgiveness allows us to go forward, renew an impaired  relationship and lift a tremendous burden from another’s shoulders. We also lift a lot of stress and anxiety from our own shoulders. All around forgiveness is so mindful yet many times downgraded in what it can accomplish. Even those times when another took our words or actions in a way we never intended, we can still repent and alleviate the pain to them.

One should never assume  a person finds it so easy to forgive. If one has ever had to do it, they know how hard it is. Sometimes you can feel as if they are getting off easy with a simple few words of regret. Both parties have a lot to endure in a giving and receiving situation. Both parties also have a lot to gain. Releasing the worry we have carried around for possibly a long time, gives us more energy  and courage to move onward with our lives. It is  an uplifting kind of energy. Releasing pain and blame leaves room for light, happiness and growth. After all we have come to realize the extent of pain one person can deliver to another. Perhaps it makes us  a worthier individual  who becomes more mindful of others. It definitely changes the sparring people  for the better.

“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”    Anonymous

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”    Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……”    Wm. Paul Young

 

Rippling Effect Of Stress

Rippling Affect Of Stress 3“It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.”

“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” Khalil Gibran

How underrated kindness is. It feels like we expect others to place us first on their agendas but we never reciprocate. Yes we are thinking, I am good to others all the time but truthfully, how quickly we forget about what others do for us. We do recall when someone lets us down. The pain hurts and the emotional scars we endure are sometimes of our own making.

 Like many others, I expect my family and friends to recognize and know when I  am over my head and require their help. I don’t of course, mention my needs. I assume they should be aware of my desires. This rarely happens. I am let down and quite annoyed with them. After all, I believe, I am thoughtful regarding their plights, and I pay attention to what they want and crave. How come they can’t do the same for me?

Perhaps this rings a chord with many of us. There are those times we need help but don’t ask for it. There are other times when emotionally we require support, but very little comes forward. Why does this occur we ask ourselves as we nurse our wounds. Of course we might retaliate by alienating this person who is actually oblivious to the duress we are  under.

I think  we are so busy  scheduling and nurturing our own lives that we forget to notice what is going on in another person’s life. We are not unkind, disloyal, heartless or without concern.  We are simply too busy dealing with our own problems. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, but we are not thinking deeply about it. I endeavor to say that most of us at times, rarely think deeply about anything,  because we just don’t have the time or energy.

Stress is a killer in more ways than one. Perhaps when we are on overload, everything appears to be a tremendous task for us. Even the simple job that requires  very little time, can become the insurmountable  job that breaks our spirit. Somehow we have learned how to be hard workers but we haven’t learned how to take the time out to chill. That appears to be too easy but actually, how many of us even know how to relax.

Our response might be that we take a vacation. Now we spend seven to fourteen days relaxing, and the rest of the year we are in fast drive.  I honestly think that in my case, that has some effect in my overlooking the quiet call to notice another’s cry of despair. We wonder how so many people slip through the cracks in one way or another. Perhaps by the time we notice, they are traveling down the fast lane, and are ready to collapse.

I don’t say any of this is our fault. I do believe that we could likely be in the same position as our now, off track friend. We all have different breaking points. It is hard to  say at what stage, we can’t bend anymore. Seeking and observing what fork in the road we go off track is useless. It isn’t planned but when we review an event, it is so easy to see the mistakes that were made. Perhaps we all should get out of the fast lane. It leads to nowhere.

We are expected to be strong, to make a good living, to protect the family, to help the family and neighbors, to be the thoughtful spouse, and to be willing to share whatever time is left over, with others in our community. How often do we receive mailings to give money or time to others. Of course once we start giving we are bombarded with more and more. The guilt jumps in and we are left with choosing the most sincere mailing with the saddest displayed picture. We run and promote causes but sometimes are left with little comfort and we ask ourselves are we doing enough? We all want to give but our distrust of the managers running the cries for relief funds overshadows our heartstrings.

Likely the numerous causes are beyond the human touch and although I would recommend supporting such causes, we still must watch that we don’t deplete our own physical mental and emotional energy. We can stretch ourselves beyond the limit. Perhaps those people who are willing to give, can become the hardest hit emotionally, when they leave little time for themselves and their own immediate families. Work takes a huge chunk of our time.

Each spouse who is on overload, contributes to the end result of bickering, fighting and alienating each other. Maybe with a small amount of “me” time and together time, things will work out. Breaking our own sense of balance, for the sake of going overboard for others in demand,  is not necessarily a good thing. We are left with more people, including us, who desire attention. It really is okay to take a break. We all need it. Just because some of us are blessed with more material items and more supportive people does not mean we don’t crave some down time. We will break as easily as the frailest in society.

On an airline, they tell you to put your mask on first, then your child’s. This makes sense. If you are struggling to breathe, you won’t be able to place the air mask on your child, if your air mask is not applied first. The same is true for your mental, emotional and physical body. If you don’t take some time out for you, then you will be of little support to others.

When we have had enough we melt down. Then  we wonder, why those closest to us haven’t taken account of our predicament. The trouble is that so many of us compensate, for such a long period of time, as well as keep the pain inside while  hurting silently.  That makes it difficult to notice someone’s hardships. Immediately condemning others for their lack of kindness is a mistake. At those low moments all we can think about is what others have done wrong. We forget about how many times previously, they might have come to our rescue.

Focusing only on the slights, gives no room for the many kindnesses extended to us over the years. All we readily remember is the disregard we received. How sad is our focusing and recollection. Now we make another enemy of someone who used to be our friend or close relative. I always wonder at our lack for remembering the good, and our ability to readily recall the bad.

It appears to me that it is so important to take a break when needed and to ask outwardly for aid when support is required. Playing the “waiting game,” or the “they should notice me game,” always seems to backfire. Even in marriages, when partners don’t readily state their feelings or ideas to each other without prompts, they are not given attention. Then what follows is anger at the partner, for not noticing their plight. Many of us do have a problem stating what we want or what is bothering us. Perhaps we are too independent.

I highly recommend helping others as much as we have the ability to afford to do in money, time and effort. I also highly recommend that we take numerous breaks for ourselves, so that we are not found in a similar position as those we are attempting to help. It is not weakness to accept help. Emotionally, physically and spiritually it happens to all of us. The reasons are numerous. Whatever succeeds in shedding light on our basic  requests is irrelevant. What is vitally important is that we recognize what we need, and we ask for it. In doing so we can breathe a sigh of relief for our genuine reprieve. The future will allot more opportunities to help others.

I don’t think God ever wanted us to wear ourselves out. He expects us to nurture ourselves along with others. We are not suppose to build others up at the cost of tearing  ourselves down. No one wins and we resent those we attempted to support. Toss guilt aside and remember their are times in our lives when we have more problems and less time to give. There are other days when we have less problems, and more time to offer to others. Take notice of where you are at, and take charge of your life by asking and accepting help when needed. Reciprocate when you are asked in return. In that way everyone comes out a winner.

“And since the Law of Reciprocity is strong there is another upside. People will feel like giving back to you. And so the two – or more – of you keep building an upward spiral of positivity and happiness.”     Seneca

“Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.”   Seneca

“God said, “Love your enemy.” “And I obeyed him and loved myself.” Kahlil Gibran

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.” ~ Kahlil Gibran,

Learning How To Fight Nicely

yes“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” Whitney Otto

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

I think we might be low on encouragement. We all need it and want it, yet most of us most of the time never get it. Are we all so deprived, or tired that we can’t muster any kind words for each other. I know there are so many times I’d rather lash out at someone, in order to diffuse my anger. It might be that a bit of encouragement would surprise us, and disarm us in the process.

How often  do workers get any kind of compliments. They hardly see the boss, , unless of course something went wrong. How  is it we can attend the meeting to criticize, but not be there to compliment. Sometimes it feels good when someone acknowledges that we are doing a great job. It makes us feel noticed. In this great big world, with more friends than we can count, it is nice to be noticed.

The boss is busy with numerous e-mails, calls appointments and meetings with others. Finding the time for one more thing just doesn’t fit into his schedule. When  others do mess up perhaps they were sick, had a duty call for the baby or kids, or health issues kept them away. We can’t be available and suitable every minute of every day. Those are the times we hassle ourselves about doing a better job. The truth is we are not machines, and we have emotional, and physical issues to confront. How about friends who we rely on for boosts to the ego. Of course they might be burdened themselves and have nothing left for us. I have been there when you run out of close friends to call, when you are experiencing disappointment and defeat.

Those times when we have only ourselves for comfort, appear to be scary. We have come to depend on others for support and answers. Perhaps  that is why there are so many drugs out on the market. Without the personal presence of others, we rely on medicine to alter the pain. The importance of our relationships can’t be overestimated. For good or bad here just are, and always will be those moments, when we want to let someone else steer the boat, and make the decisions. One can call it tiredness, insecurity, dependent or even vulnerable, but the fact remains that we need each other. Facing that reality, and comprehending that it is not a detriment to our character, brings acceptance  to our relationships as well as to ourselves.

Wives and husbands take their  turns at being disappointing. When we least expect it, we find ourselves disappointed by them, and the crushing feeling is painful. Sometimes it happens because they misunderstood what we were trying to say. Other times we misinterpret what they are attempting to explain. Whether we are half listening, tired or in a bad mood, the result is confusion which escalates. It turns into anger, and causes an explosive atmosphere.

Many times I have misconstrued, what others were attempting to explain. Just as many times I have miscalculated, another person’s response. Our humanity is so open to failures in emotional and practical issues. Often it is stated that we only hear what we want to hear. Maybe there is some truth in that statement. If I am in a sad mood, I  take the words, “your work is okay,” to mean my work is lousy. On a good day I would take the same words to imply, Hey you are good, and the work is great.

On a very low day I would only half listen to what another was talking about. likely I would give a quick  irrelevant answer, and in return get a curt remark back. I probably would take offense and walk away angry. My buddy would  likely do the same, in the opposite direction. Upon arriving home, I might consider what just happened,  and why. It would be hard to blame myself, but I am sure I would have no difficulty faulting another.

That is why when one listens to an argument, it is like hearing two different versions. We see it from our own perspective. I bring my past experiences to the table, which obviously differ from your past experiences. I suppose what I viewed between my parents, might also play into how I see our argument proceeding. The same is true for your opinions, which could be shadowed by  your view is of the entanglement. I honestly think many of us have to unlearn the ways we were taught, to deal with problems. Many of us fall into the same patterns as our parents. Unless they were model citizens, we have some adjusting to do.

That is why disagreements can take so many turns in the road. We might find ourselves the victim in places we never meant to venture into. A simple remark can have a huge repertoire of emotions built into it. Unhappily we all learn the signposts in time, and how to  avoid them. It is almost amusing to watch a young couple disagree. They attempt to hold onto their dignity, and rising anger, until the bingo point of certain gestures, words or actions, that stifle calmness, and release fury.

Many times couples are lamenting their sadness over the disagreement, and professing to do better the next time. Most of them will do better, because they learn how to drive the marriage mobile, and avoid the warning signs. All fights  don’t end in disaster. Most of the arguments can lead to a discovery of truth about each other. They realize also that they can’t behave like their parents, because they are two different people. They also learn that the words spoken, were not holding the rebuff they envisioned in their own minds. Love is learned behavior, and so to is fighting. It is so vital that we discover how to fight with a purpose of having a positive and loving outcome.

“Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate. Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful. Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion. Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery. Read it with hope and you will feel positive. Read it with humor and you will feel joy. Read it with God and you will feel the truth. Read it without bias and you will feel peace. Don’t read it at all and you will not feel a thing.”    Shannon Adler

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”  Shannon L. Alder

Payback

Payback“A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.”    Francis Bacon

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

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A small boy looked at a star and began to weep. The star said, ‘Boy, why are you weeping?’ And the boy said, ‘You are so far away I will never be able to touch you.’ And the star answered, ‘Boy, if I were not already in your heart, you would not be able to see me.”    John Magliola

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

“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”    Buddha

Likely our first thoughts after someone hurts us, are the manner in which we can get even with this person. In one way or another we conceive of ideas, to commit actions or words, that will emphasize our retaliation. Probably our hearts are racing, and we fill up with anger. At times it might be difficult to contain our attitudes, which affect everyone in our vicinity. The  fault we conceive, lies with  the person who hurt us.

The degree of our fury, is usually equivalent to the amount of injury to our feelings, and the extent of the closeness of the relationship. We are quicker to give some leeway to those we love the most. The less important people in our lives, are the focus of payback. Somehow, sadly to say, we gain our composure, by reflecting on how we will execute our revenge. It offers us some power and control, although at a cost we haven’t considered.

Retribution is seen in all areas of our world. Countries as well as people have long memories. The disintegration of any relationship, or the treading on the territory of another, triggers response systems that possibly get out of control. The desire to even the score remains strong. It becomes an itch that can’t be scratched. Perhaps at no other time are we as fixated. There is no room for discussions of any kind. Our minds are shut off from suggestions. We understand what we have to do, and we want to do it. The other person or people must comprehend what they did, and that comes with experiencing the same kind of affliction. That is the premise of our argument.

The reality is we work against ourselves. We end up with as much hurt and pain as the receiver of our revenge. We may not expect to feel worse, and likely our expectations are the opposite. The truth is, at the very least,  there is damage to our souls and spirits, if not to our  minds and bodies. The truth is that we cannot absorb reality, when enveloped in the fog of hate and anger.

Being wrapped up in it, renders us powerless to see reality. So many people  are so extremely sorrowful, after having extracted pain from another in vengeance. There are few who dance for joy. If one does, then they are overshadowed in their  own shells of rage. It becomes difficult to remove the infection, to allow light from their spirits to shine forth. The eating away of our empathy, understanding, love and caring is relentless. I believe the longer we hold our rage within, the harder it becomes to remove. None of us desire to become an unrecognizable entity.

Within society, if one’s family fights, we take sides, and fault those who have committed no offense other than be forced to choose a side. We blame  those who don’t agree with us, or those we are jealous of. There are so many reasons we find blame with others. Some causes may be quite reasonable, and others totally unreasonable excuses. Right or wrong, there still is more damage done to the perpetrator of the  retribution, than to anyone else. When the settling of the score is complete, and the balloon of fury deflates, probably one is left in sorrow, and void of love.

There are times when others hurt us in a devastating way. The acts are on their souls. When we choose vengeance, we diminish our own souls. We are not gaining peace but instead, emptiness. Even low keyed revenge, harms our spirits and causes us to focus on evil rather than good. Sometimes what we perceive as injury, might have more to do with our own interpretation of the situation. By carrying the perceived impairment beyond it’s  meaning, we have permitted uncontrolled anger to overpower thinking.

A  bad day that allows our jealous or envious feelings to overtake our reason, doesn’t have to end with revengeful thoughts, if the other party can see the truth. We all likely must learn how to be more tolerant, and patient with others. Learning to accept people with their off  days, as well as their awesome days, is crucial. Perhaps by starting with those we love, we might work towards being tolerant of those who we dislike, or perhaps don’t even know. Judging a group of people, or an entire family, is poor and dangerous assessment. Maybe we should begin by leaving the judgement up to God. Most if not all people live in glass houses. I may not be judging you, but perhaps I judge the person  down the street.

Power, control, jealousy and the yearning to win, are perhaps triggers of revenge and revenge hurts us in it’s execution. Freedom is paramount in our minds. Fairness is vital but the absence of empathy towards others is crushing our spirits and our souls. If we can perceive of our own pain, then we must attempt to comprehend the pain of others. Kindness begets kindness, love begets love, empathy  teaches empathy, understanding teaches understanding.  Revenge begets more revenge, pain, regret, powerlessness, destruction, and a soul void of love.

I have never felt better when I hurt another with my words or actions. I actually spent many hours feeling remorse for what I did. There is no sweetness or joy in revenge or retaliation. Whenever I have exacted retribution, at a later date the person has done something nice for me, and in the process, rendered me remorseful. Those moments I refrained from revenge and was upset with myself, proved to be honorable moments. The erring individual, came back with peace offerings. Needless to say, I was happy for not settling any score with pain, because they corrected it with kindness.

In Japan the art of kintsugi in ceramics refers to the practice of repairing cracks in pottery with gold, in effect making the broken pottery more valuable than the pristine piece. In this way we see that our own cracks can be filled with gold.

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”    Carl Jung

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”    Norman Vincent Peale

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

Baggage

Baggage“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.”    Kahlil Gibran

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”    Kahlil Gibran

“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”    Kahlil Gibran

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”  Cherokee Indian Proverb

“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.”  Buddha

I not only need  to stop packing so many items when I go on vacation but I also must release so much of the mental baggage I carry with me from year to year. Whenever I am feeling defeated, I hopelessly recall the numerous hurts of the past. That would be fine, if I could eventually lay them to rest, but that isn’t how it works. I just feel more saddened, and I review these same issues, again and again. Now it appears to be time to learn, how to let them go forever, and not just until my next depressing day.

I am seeing this as excess baggage, that I drag along and look through whenever the downtrodden mood incites me. It is such a useless thing to do, and I am resolved to release the unnecessary burdens. Appeasing myself of these issues, only puts them off for another miserable day. Taking an honest brave look at them, perhaps, will give me enough courage to stop their aggressive hold on me.

I equate the hold of these unresolved issues, to the need to maintain a chain around another. In a way it is like not forgiving them and instead, piling up the resentment. As the years go by, I have more and more to add to the pile. I have a hefty load to wallow in misery, when I am in a foul mood. Questioning this attitude, and path, is paramount to overcoming the chains that bind me to it.

I really am tired of the grief, and pain, I cause myself. It is time to dump the garbage. That is likely, a good way to put it. All the crazy resentment, that has built up in my mind, is rubbish. After  time the garbage smells stronger, so it compels us to release it. I say this with anxiety, because letting  go of pain can be difficult. We expect to experience misery, on certain days, and it almost becomes comfortable. There is solace in recalling hurts. We somehow make ourselves the martyr.

When we get angry with someone, we immediately think about other  times they hurt us, and it gives us permission to recall them with impunity and disgust. They were wrong, and totally deserve our wrath. We confirm our beliefs, by the number of times they have wronged us in the past. As the list increases, we can go from zero to one hundred in a matter of seconds.

It appears when we are in a foul mood, for whatever the cause. We practically don’t want relief, as much as we want to blame someone, and be upset. All of us must find someone at the root of our problems. It can’t be us that takes any blame. The first thing we all think about, when something happens, is why did it happen, how did it occur, and who made the mistake. Fault-finding is what we search for.

If you watch the news, and hear of a car accident, shooting, poor test results at school or lost football games, the last words always have to do with investigating the cause. Everyone reviews the reasons it happened, and then they attempt to fix the problem. As humans, we hate to admit that at random times, dilemmas occur, and it is not always possible to find the reason or the culprit.

Probably if we find reasons, and people to blame, it makes us feel like we have control. If we can’t find someone at fault, it is scary, because things are not under control. I also believe we feel better, when we can assume it is another person’s fault. We place the burden on their shoulders, rather than be accused of any wrongdoing. Perhaps that is why we gather all the extenuating circumstances, so we have our proof of guilt.

For sure I am tired of carrying the heavy load. I want to let it go. In reality the burdens weigh me down, keep me from seeing clearly, and destroy my ability to reason. I want clarity regarding not only my own actions and words, but the other person’s actions and words. A clearer picture arises when I am able to encompass all the variables, occurrences, and final results. If I am honest with myself, I share the fault. I see my mistakes and my heart is full of remorse or forgiveness.

I have not figured out why we, at times, wake up in a bad mood. I can’t comprehend why we interpret in a negative way, what others say or do on  one day, yet we overlook any negativity on other days. People’s tone of voice tells an honest story.   Perhaps they are stressed themselves on certain days. Body language is another problem, that at times we manage to  shadow.  Whatever the causes or reasons for our sensitivities, we should recognize the errors of tucking our hurt feelings away. Rehashing painful experiences again and again,  is detrimental to health and relationships.

How can we ever be sure anyways, of truth when we have so many variables involved. Attempting to argue it out with another, is usually a losing battle. We both see it from our own perspective, and some of us enjoy drama while others enjoy embellishing the truth, and others have bad moods now and again. The variables continue to mount.

Letting go of past issues is a good thing. With the passage of time, most problems are not totally recalled clearly anyways. How does a person bring up past hurts when we are in the present moment. It is difficult if not impossible to remember all of the feelings, impressions, and burdens and worries of that past, particular day. The external and peripheral areas that impacted the day of reckoning, are not so easy to recall. They did play an important role at the time of the upset.

Learning how to agree to disagree is a good undertaking. It may not be simple advice to follow, but it is easier than carrying luggage around with us. We drag baggage physically, and nurture it mentally. Now my saddened mood is less painful. I prevent the past from overshadowing the present. I deal with the current situation which is certainly enough to handle. I am also aware, that as much as I am learning how to cope and forgive, perhaps I need to give credit to others who are also living their lives in similar fashion. They to are learning. Although we may never be at the same point on our path, we may be experiencing similar life lessons. Trust that we are on the same road, working towards connectedness and love. It is less complicated to deal with one incident, than it is to reflect on a multitude of problems that we are attempting to assimilate and then accommodate.  It is without any doubt, easier to love than hate.

“An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.”     Kahlil Gibran

“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”     Kahlil Gibran

“To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistencies.”    Kahlil Gibran

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Maria Robinson

“If you bury the pain deep down it will stay with you indefinitely, but if you open yourself to it, experience it, and deal with it head-on, you’ll find it begins to move on after a while.”  Greg Behrendt

“Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for happiness in the future.”  Wayne L. Misner

“Forgiveness is the cleansing fire that burns away old regrets and resentments.”    Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Answers Promote Questions

Answers Promote Questions“He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruin. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices and make his bad actions seem handsome.”    Ali ibn Abi Talib

“I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why, Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.”    Steve Jobs

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”    Winston Churchill

How easy it is to be judgmental of others. We all do it on a daily basis. Perhaps we don’t see it, or even realize we are doing it. Many of us would be surprised to find out, how often we make assessments of others. We judge people right down to their walk, talk and attributes of all kinds. It is almost a pastime, and we don’t mean any harm. Maybe it is time to question the habits and the reasons. We can’t always change our personal attributes. For this reason, any disapproval from others is heartbreaking. Sometimes our critique is based on our mood, attitude or feelings about the individual. Our examination might be fruitless and subjective.

The dilemma arises, when we don’t probe into some legitimate matters. Speaking against one’s personal qualities is abhorring. When we call attention to matters that are critical to one’s safety, and involves the growth of all of society, it demands our attention. No one likes analysis  of any kind. I envy and admire those, who can make a helpful point, without displaying any form of rebuke. In most cases, any disapproval sends us into a frenzy of mistrust.

I never plan on being reproachful, but at times the truth blurts out of my mouth, and of course feelings are hurt. I am so sensitive myself, and loathe direct remarks, yet to correct it in myself is not easy. Sometimes I get the laughs, like I can’t believe you just said that. We all handle censure in various ways. I am working on thinking before sharing.

Whenever we find answers to our questions, it results in more examination. The reason probably is because we are searching within the psyche,  where the past, present and plans for the future blend. I suppose former hurts leave us more vulnerable, and truth is painful and sometimes devastating.

Confronting veracity probably solves some problems, but seems to be something we choose to do quietly and alone. Another person’s interference is unwanted. When people burst in with obvious conclusions and reviews, they are ignored. It is easier to softly push truth, and be less offensive. Weighing every spoken word before attempting to speak, tends to downplay the facts. Actually, the truth is restrained in the process.

Most of us listen more to the kinder version of evaluations, but I have no doubt the impact is stronger when given the blatant compelling honest version upfront. The condemnation is devastating but inquiries arise quickly, and solutions are attempted.  If something is vital, do we get a free pass to speak immediately? Can we state our aim is pure and honorable, so overlook the bluntness? Maybe veracity is becoming hidden, because so many of us claim to fear truth. This unconsciously promotes the continuance of lies.

Of course it never appears to be appropriate to insult a person’s attributes, opinions, or social, political or religious beliefs. Should we get involved with issues that  hurt others emotionally, physically, morally, verbally, or sexually? Perhaps most of us would agree that in those situations stepping forward is necessary. Interrogations arise regarding the truth, the reasons, the measurement of the right or wrong, and the rights of an individual to have privacy. We are all so  totally chained to being politically correct, that we end up saying or doing nothing.

Probably those times we did confront an issue head on, we were perceived as the bad guy and nothing got accomplished. Most likely that is why we waver about helping or staying in the background. Staying detached from actual answers spares us the questions. By being removed from uncomfortable situations we delay the effort to search for results and we maintain a façade of peace. I personally think that those  moments we spoke without support, are still vitally important. Nobody can erase the speech, and perhaps there will be some people who review what was said. Likely it can be the forerunner of change in the future.

The negative daily responses we give to others, perhaps are surface, and due to our own stress relieving need. They no doubt pain the receiver, but we think of them as harmless. They likely are more than harmless. We don’t want to open the door to actual answers, that might result in more inquiries. Fearing the unknown  is difficult. We all must examine our own motives and fears about acknowledging truth of any kind when given a problem. Perhaps the hesitation that follows is the result of our own guilt, or that of some friends.

It is difficult  to face our own shame, and very harsh to admit fault in our friends or families. If we view the critical remarks as harsh, it actually keeps the truth covered up. Fact is then coated in a falsehood. Saving face or respecting only designated rights, allows one to pick and choose randomly.  The end result is loss of our humane code of ethics. Our hearts alone can tell us what is worthy of reflection.

The victims age, color, sex,  political or religious beliefs and economic status is irrelevant. All that is required is attention to the obvious suffering endured. Whatever  leaves people without options hope or love, demands our attention. Situations of the homeless, needy, and emotionally abused kids and adults, shouldn’t be left on the shelf for softer replies. If we have pride in our toughness, then we shouldn’t shirk at facing some honesty. It is never about shame or blame. It is about transforming problem situations.  Courage helps us confront the  difficult facts we encounter, when presented with some truths.

“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” John Locke

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.”        Albert Einstein

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”    Thomas Jefferson

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”    Galileo Galilei

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