Skip to content

Strive For Happiness"I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives."    William Wilberforce

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."    Lance Armstrong

"Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit."    Paramahansa Yogananda

"Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact - men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do."    Billy Graham

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."     Marian Wright Edelman

I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take a part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get the picture of where I stood in everyone's eyes. That is what I believed

I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.

Eventually when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends.. I can't tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I  am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn't make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.

I went to work as a special education  teacher  and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn't mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.

During teacher meetings my opinions were never discussed or considered. Non of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.

I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think  that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn't be successful like others I should just not try.

I have discovered that the smallest screw serves it's purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God's definition is different than man's. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue  their own worth.

I worked as a volunteer on my town's fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone's part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.

Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner loser or hero is. Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a  hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.

Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn't slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they  trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.

None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn't feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame  their fear of doing nothing.

It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations everyday that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives,  and sometimes we fear those  who live with us.

We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone's life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears everyday with courage.

Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day,  we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can't ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.

“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.”     Criss Jami

"When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody."    Criss Jami

“If you're an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don't fit in, if you're not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”     Steve Guttenberg

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you."    William Arthur Ward

2nd pic for presentation"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice
half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home."
Carl T. Rowan

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." Thomas Paine

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform." Theodore H. White

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I recently heard someone discussing  oppression and they became quite animated as they discussed their viewpoints. I  considered this topic in light of the world. All countries have their own ways of cruelty and tyranny. I was amazed at the other terms covering the meaning of oppression. Subjugation and persecution also fall into this category. Likely most of us might say we don't persecute anyone nor subjugate any person.

Although on the surface this is likely true, somehow it gnawed at me to consider this a bit deeper. I focused on the word harassment because it also  falls under the term of oppression. Now that is a controversial thought because just about all of us have harassed someone to some degree. Perhaps we have done it with words or actions or both. When we are angry with someone we tend to minimize what they have to say or ridicule them in front of others. Anyone who is not a quick thinker nor fast on their feet is fair game for an onslaught.

We likely don't consider this cruel and we excuse ourselves of blame. After all if their opinions are any good then they can offer them just as we did. Again we are not considering that we might have come to the occasion prepared for battle while they came and were innocently ambushed. I can understand that many times when we are hurt we let it fester inside of us for awhile  until we get the opportunity and immediately seize it.

Previously I would never have considered this cruel but I appreciate that it is possibly falling under persecuting another individual. Harassment is seen throughout society. People who want their own way in anything or everything simple become tyrannical in their manner. Husbands and wives may play this role when it suits them, in order to have their own way. Kids at times coerce their parents into obliging them against the parent's better judgement. Coercion is another form of persecution and oppression.

I honestly see this now as dominance in negative ways in order to achieve our own desires. Parents may continually subjugate their kids with fear. Threats of physical punishment send a clear and powerful message. Intimidations in the form of scare tactics and emotional threats also work even better on innocent children. Perhaps we don't consider this so much when we are under so much pressure ourselves and anxious to just get through the day.

Bullies are those who harass, intimidate and oppress others. Any person or chld who is afraid to speak their mind is being bullied. Swaying others to think or act the way we want through the demand of threats is another form of oppression which is called domination. In the animal kingdom the strongest fastest and smartest animal rules the rest of the group. In the human kingdom we pride ourselves at being above all of that. We choose to rule for the betterment of all. We respect the young and the old and allow everyone to have a say. On the surface  this sounds awesome but if we don't really abide by these rules then perhaps we are kidding ourselves.

I suppose it was my searching for the definitions of the words for persecution and oppression that led to my surprise at the rest of the meanings which we ignore myself included. Coercion is another that falls into the category and it is nasty to think we pressure others to bend their ideas. Some of these others are the young, old and helpless.  Of course any person forced into a subjugation of any kind is at the mercy of another more dominant individual.

I am reminded of instances at work when we voted for simple things like what we might want in our tiny cafeteria. Those with the power decided and those without control obliged them.  I never considered this as subjugation but perhaps it was. Few were asked for input on the matter. It goes far back to our childhood days of demand and receive. If we never grow out of that pattern we continue believing we deserve to have what we want at the expense of others.

I don't think the people who have dominion over us are necessarily cruel. I  am sure that most are not even aware of their oppression. Perhaps they never meant to  be so controlling and basically perform like a bully who can't be stopped. Fear  anxiety and stress are cruel ways to deal with others and teach respect. That kind of respect is not respect but harassment which leads to domination. Love needs to be a part of  respect.

I venture to say from my own experience that when another person shows no respect for me, it diminishes my respect for myself. That should not be the case but the truth is it does impress on self-esteem. I would encourage others to cultivate their own respect for themselves and keep it strong and untouched by the insults and bullying surrounding them. I would also hope that as much as we want and deserve respect we are willing to bestow it on others. Then we would have no need to oppress anyone.

Most of us have a lot of  respect for those we admire.  It is important to have respect for those we don't admire. Respect has nothing to do with liking someone but everything to do  we cherishing another's rights to live peacefully. By not confusing respect and like we can learn how to respond to others who appear in all degrees of loving and liking.

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." George Washington

"People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong...Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?"    Thich Nhat Hanh

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan lockwood Huie

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."    Joseph Campbell

Frustration Leads To Stress And Anger

"Dignity is the moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.”
Shannon L. Alder

"Dignity is also the moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from." Shannon L. Alder

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." Albert Einstein

So many of us believe that we are calm, get along with others and take things as they come yet much of what happens is not a coincidence. If we get frustrated at any point and with any person, place or thing then perhaps we are not so easy-going as we believe we are. I am not suggesting that being upset with a person place or thing is a bad thing. There are numerous items everyday along with many people and places that cause us to be stopped  annoyed and on the brink of losing all dignity.

Most people wake up with an agenda and we are happy or calm as long as no obstacles get in our way. It is easy to say we get along with all  people and things as long as getting along means don't get in my way or interrupt me. So that comes with a lot of stipulations in order for one to remain calm. None of us think of ourselves as bossy or liking to have things our own way. Likely most of us would say we are compatible and easy to get along with.

The truth of the matter is few of us are easy-going and most of us just don't like interference of any kind. That is why we have road rage when we miss a turn or someone cuts us off or causes us any kind of set back no matter how small. We want to get to an appointment on time and that means no one struts in our way. If they do we immediately fill will frustration  which leads to stress which results in anger beyond control.

I suppose if we could simply stop allowing frustration to control us we might be able to control the stress and then the anger that  follows stress. It tells me that we don't look for synchronicity of any kind nor alternative reasons we are delayed. If we did we would not question our daily interference nor our delays. We never stop to think perhaps there is a reason for our mishaps or delays.

I know we can all recall major life occurrences in which people's lives were saved because they stopped for  coffee rather than heading straight to a job where a fire broke out.  Yes we believe in those huge happenings. What we don't buy into is the little occurrences that are basically frustrating, stressful and fill us with anger.

No matter what our goals are for the day, if they get mixed up or delayed we are terribly annoyed and I am guilty of this also. I plan on doing some work and the phone rings and a friend needs to talk. The longer I listen the more I consider the call boring and unnecessary. My mind begins contemplating ways to end the conversation and unless I want to lie to them I am forced to continue the chatting   until my friend is completely devoid of any of their own annoying feelings. I suppose they are hanging up  relieved after the conversation while I am experiencing needles and pins, infuriated at having to  endure the encounter.

Now I am sensing that in order to change the situation one must change their way of thinking. If I insist on constantly completely my tasks or accomplishing my own objectives without any interference from others I must live in a sealed glass house. This is impossible  so to live among the other people in the world requires that I accommodate their presence and accept their bothersome interruptions with dignity.

The only alternative is to ostracize family members, friends co-workers and every living and breathing creature walking the earth. Of course I would never choose such an alternative so it leaves me with acceptance. If I am honest with myself I recognize the times I was in need of a talk and ended up stealing time away from another without guilt or remorse. That is when enlightenment occurs  and I sort of get the whole picture. We just blot out those times we lost our way and searched for direction.

Somehow I do have faith that the listeners gained something in the encounter. Likely we acquire so much learning everyday that we never planned on achieving. What we hold as important is perhaps not as vital as those meaningless interactions with others. There is a lot to be said for synchronicity. The world has its own plan for us and we are actually cogs in the working.

Every daily encounters add an importance to our own lives. Most of us just don't see it that way due to our daily schedules. Fitting in the outside distractions of daily living renders our programs meaningful if we took the time to review our daily lives. We apparently don't have the control over our lives that we believe we have. Once that is observed real life and living happens.

If the world improves with  every kind and loving action perhaps spending more time acknowledging the presence of our fellow human beings is vitally relevant. Each of us wake up with varying problems and burdens. Any relief we receive is a benefit to all of humanity because the flowing wave effect is endless. One kind act can send positive charges a distance we can't even conceive of.

The tiny voice of a small child in need of a hug and reassurance requires our immediate attention. There are no coincidences. All is happening according to the way it should be. We can be awake in observing what happened and recognizing the significance or we can conclude an interference with our lives which render us annoyed and stressed. By acknowledging we don't have the control and power we think we have, the more serene our lives become.

Life is a journey of learning and tests of all kinds. Recognizing what is critical is paramount. Knowing what jobs are important to take care of first teaches us the truth about living. As we absorb we realize how comforting and alive we feel when we have succeeded in choosing well. The anger dissipates and the stress is relieved and instead of feeling annoyed we are left having faith in having raised humanity to a higher level. How would we ever believe that was a frustrating annoyance that interrupted our schedule. I am about to throw my plans to the wind and let my day unfold at will. Somehow I will ascertain more than I will buy accomplishing my daily tasks. Perhaps a smile is worth more than an achieved list of items.

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Maya Angelou

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." Aesop

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."    Norman Vincent Peale

"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."     Swami Sivananda

THE WORRY BOX"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.

Whatever the dilemma it leaves two people upset with each other and wanting release from their anger stress  or insecurity. Somehow  one person seems to be speaking more than the other although both sides appear to believe this is so. Any kind of compromise appears to be lost and ill-advised. The real confrontation begins when one gets more heated and angry at the denigrating language of the other. Once there are accusations of any kind the battle steps up a notch and a recovery seems impossible.

I almost would suggest  the two diverse groups walk away until another day because there is no winning. It is like pent-up energy and stress. We are so tensed up with work issues and people problems that as soon as any kind of controversy starts up we go into high gear and the mood and calm atmosphere disappears. Ideas and interpretations are unfiltered and so much is assumed that was never  implied  and the truth is  lost in the translation along with the tempers and accusations.

Why is it we keep repeating these same mistakes over again. I'm not sure if it becomes a release from tension of all kinds. Perhaps it is a way for the mind and body to get better control of itself by causing the melt down which terminates all the fighting, the  questions and unknown answers. Our mini bodily outbursts render us speechless and motionless. I find most of us are unable to move any which way. A calmness at times ensues rendering us cluttered in a way. We are left reflecting and then picking up the pieces of our egos and spirits.

The saddest part is that the person we had the altercation with is not necessarily the person who caused us the foul mood that started the bickering. Pent up negative energy is not good for anyone's health. The energy always seems to erupt at the wrong time and with the wrong people. Now we are left with apologies and we are not even sure why we are in the mess that we created.

If one finds that they are constantly in turmoil to the point of anxiousness at others likely it is time to review the issues and burdens within one's life. Perhaps one needs a break from the chaos with some quiet time or relaxation. All of us are on overtime in so many ways. Even if we didn't mean to have such an uproar, it still resonates with cost. Recognizing our needs before an uprising alleviates apologies and heartache.

If our egos are feeling slighted we might attend a function ready for battle if another person criticizes us or makes a joke about us in any way. People who feel insecure quickly attend to everyone's glare or off-handed remark about clothes or hairstyle. Any other day perhaps they  would have the stamina and confidence to overlook such a happening but those insecure days create their own agendas.

Some people are worried about certain things and can't relax and let go of the worry. It plays back and forth on their minds and they become so distracted. Other people feel guilty about what they should have done and they keep beating themselves up for not having accomplished their tasks. Others feel like they are being judged constantly and weighed down with the burdens. They may reach the place of surrendering everything in order to be released from the pressure.

All of us carry around our hidden secrets buried deeply within the mind. Sometimes we are not even aware of them ourselves until we have our typical meltdown. On those occasions we confront our issues. The worry over ego and confidence as well as the burdens of stress with kids and spouses can render us unable to think, plan or make a move. What is left is us  scurrying to find our sense of self.

That is when we won't give in even if it becomes a political or religious disagreement. Somehow our sense of self is tied into winning an argument. Most of the time we are disgusted with the predicament we have place ourselves in. How to avoid such incidences from recurring is the problem to solve. I have found that stating my case softly and slowly appears to tone down the bickering. If I escalate the speech and make my tone louder I incense the other person into a confrontation. It makes sense that softens in words tone and action will crush the rising tempers of most people.

We all appear to calm down with the gentle nudge and remember who we are speaking with and where we are. Somehow when we allow each person to leave with a bit of victory of any kind the sting is less painful and the need for apologies is usually not even required.

Dealing with why we enter into a demolition of words can only be explained by understanding our stress and pain mostly centered at self. We randomly strike out at others because we didn't meet our own goals. We almost feel guilty attending an event when we keep thinking about the work we have left undone. Our bad mood can be so easily triggered with any kind of statement.

To this day I remember while at a family get-together I asked the host for some bug spray because there were a lot of bees and some of the guests were unhappy and upset. I quietly asked for some spray and was attacked on the spot with a barrage of angry words regarding why I had to complain, and where were the bees. It was another reminder of how we make problems even worse.

One thing I encouraged my classrooms of children to do was to leave their problems and worries outside the door of the classroom. There were many kids who came to school upset and near tears due to issues at home. It was difficult to begin the lessons until all of the students were relaxed. I took a half-gallon milk carton and covered it in blue paper and wrote the words WORRY BOX on all four sides in big letters. I instructed the kids to write their name on a card next to the box for every worry they had that day and then drop it in the blue box. It was working and the kids loved it. One day one little boy was writing his name on numerous papers until I finally asked him why he wrote on so many papers and he told me, "Because Mrs. Reynolds, I have a lot of worries." I left him to his work and mentioned that he should come into the classroom when he was finished and he did. Relax before attending a happy event and remember to leave your worries at home. Write them down if it will help you release them because I know it worked for numerous little people.

"It's not the situation that's causing your stress, it's your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice, and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think."    Gerald Jampolsky

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."    Saint Francis de Sales

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."    Confucius

"A newborn does not have worry, or stress, or anger, because they have not yet learned those things. Consider what life would be like if you could forget all the past resentments and perceived offenses that color your thinking and your emotions. Buddhists call that state "beginner mind" an opening to experience life without the jaundiced filter of past disappointments. You create stress in your life by getting angry, and you can instantly remove that stress by granting forgiveness."                      Jonathan Lockwood Huie

6th pic presentation“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”     Vera Nazarian

“A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.”     Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“It is hardily credible of how great consequences before God the smallest things are; and what great inconveniences some times follow those which appear to be light faults.” John Wesley

“Many people are yet to understand that admitting to their mistakes isn't a sign of weakness, but an act of wisdom.”     Edmond Mbiaka    

How many fights continue because people refuse to take any blame? We all want to be right. I honestly think that accepting blame of any kind is not something any of us like to do. As a matter of fact, I think most of us end up saying we'll take some of the blame but then we go on to say that the other person receives the brunt of it. Even when we are making peace with someone we believe we were less guilty. Somehow it is like winning. So perhaps we are all about winners and losers.

So the question is why do we hate to claim more fault than the other guy. Of course it is the loser who remains with the majority of the fault. We despise being wrong and hate to receive most of the blame. Most of us don't care at that point because we are essentially searching for peace. If we must endure the most then we just accept it and walk away. Perhaps deep down we all think we are less guilty than we actually are. Why it bothers us so much to outwardly admit guilt is confusing.

I wonder if we sense a feeling of being a worse person. After all if we are to be blamed for something we feel loathsome. We didn't measure up or make the challenge in the game of life. We lost the game and are not the winner but the loser. It is not a good feeling. We sense like a little child that we have our  hand in the cookie bag. We have been bested when we are found with more guilt. In the end it doesn't really make a difference but most of us will fight for the one percent less fault.

The trouble is we don't worry about any wrongdoings as much as who gets more blame. It sounds so silly but if we have done any wrong then we ought to be sorry and skip who is the guiltiest party. I think we sense we have done less wrong when we have less blame. The truth is none of us can be the judge of that. What we perceive as guilty or not guilty might alter with every person's take on the problem.

Even criminals have a realm of guilt and exoneration. Crimes of passion are judged less harshly. People who have grown up in difficult home situations are not always given any extra pity for falling into the hands of crime. One can see how all of us have had this swaying back and forth of blame and exoneration. Even court systems have a dilemma with it. So how does the everyday person deal with it. I suppose we fight tooth and nail for the 49% not guilty over the 51% guilty.

Seriously though when it comes down to the facts if we have done any wrong to another then arguing over how much is ridiculous. The fighting ends a lot sooner when one is willing to just accept some of the blame and be genuinely sorry for acting the way they did. This has never been about who is more to blame but it is about who caused another person to be hurt.

Whenever we cause a problem and wound someone physically or mentally or even spiritually we owe an apology. The degree of the pain obviously weighs in but in a sense we can't excuse ourselves with the notion that we didn't wound someone that much. Asking ourselves how much is too much is another unknown answer. To a child a push or shove is extremely painful. Even an adult can be wounded emotionally to the core.

Alleviating our conscience is likely the reason we care about our right or wrong in a given situation. Maybe it goes back to childhood.  Probably we feel less blame if we can render it someone else's fault. Or if we can blame another for triggering the occurrence somehow we absolve ourselves. We all have so many ways of looking at a situation that basically involves excusing ourselves of wrongdoing. Have you ever watched two adults arguing? One says but you did this, the other says yes but you did that first, then the first participant recalls and states a previous happening in which he had a grievance against the current individual. The end result can sometimes be an enraging battle.

Maybe we would have a better society and world if we could somehow drop the ego and accept our failure to do the  right thing. It is that simple. If we have done any wrong then it doesn't matter if anybody else did right or wrong. The final judge won't excuse us because of another's "sins". We walk our own path and are accountable for our own wrongdoings. They have nothing to do with someone  else's faults. Our faults do not diminish because another's are so much worse as we see it.

I remember as a child being reminded that if I had more knowledge about right and wrong then I would be judged harsher if I did wrong than somebody who had not been instructed in choosing the better path. That has always stayed with me because the more knowledge we receive pertaining to assessing wrongs and rights the less we enjoy passing  judgements on others.

It is as they say enlightenment adds to our knowledge and understanding of situations. I am not saying all wrongs are okay as long as we don't know what we are doing. That would only be an excuse for us. I just believe we should stop with the bickering about being more wrong or more right because in the end it is your judgement of your wrongs and my judgement of mine misgivings.

If we have the need to be forgiven for anything perhaps we can begin by simply accepting blame and asking for forgiveness. Most of us ought to be willing to do this provided we witness genuine remorse. Forgiveness is difficult but the more we practice it the more love we spread around and the more enlightened we become. It also becomes easier when we discover how much peace it brings us. It also makes our chains of fear loosen up because what we thought was next to impossible to do, forgiving another, happened and it made us feel better not worse. It is a winning  situation for all. We don't have to state our case all we have to do is say I'm sorry.

“The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man's strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say:"I was wrong." will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.”    Jim Anderson

Is Forgiveness A Sign of Weakness"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you."Lewis B. Smedes

"forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."

'Forgiveness is not forgetting an injustice done; It is the understanding that allows us to set aside the emotional impact of that injustice pertaining to ourselves. When we no longer hold those emotions, and have the understanding for the person, we have forgiven them." Moon Singer

We sometimes like to believe that  any kind of backing down is a sign of weakness. I suppose forgiving another could be looked at in this way also. One who gives up on an argument is assumed to be in the wrong and recognizing that fact.  One who walks away from a fight is considered afraid and weak. Those people who place their bet on these people who walked away are usually left believing they trusted in the wrong individual.

Having walked away from a situation years ago left me with mixed feelings. On the one side of the issue I believed I let some people  down who had faith in my abilities. On the other side of the issue I was so deeply wounded that all I could think about was running away. It was never out of fear but sadness in the knowledge that those I had cared about and trusted had deserted me. Of course it becomes more difficult when others hurt us behind our backs.

I am aware of how quickly people side with one person on one day only to change their allegiance the next day. I would not want to be the newcomer attempting to merge into an established group or relationship. It renders us to be tolerant and accepting of others even if we don't agree with them. That is life and our opinions do reflect the various  opinions of other people yet we don't identify with anyone's opinions completely.

With huge hours of reflection I came to the understanding that on every level and every day we tend to agree or disagree with others randomly. Perhaps we are looking for friends or in the process of switching friends. Maybe we want something someone else can provide or do for us or maybe we succeed in moving up the ladder with our choices. Perhaps agreeing with some people  places us on the winning side of the argument. Whatever our reasons we do tend to change our minds often and I wonder if that is more of a sign of weakness than walking away.

If we fear standing alone we won't stand for anything worthwhile. If we need another's  approval  we will never embrace anything new. If we must always be correct then we will never acknowledge another worthy thought opinion or action. The fear of making waves at work, amongst friends or within the family is stressful. Even some family members hold more power than others. Perhaps at times we agree with a powerless family member yet we don't offer any vocal outward support because the opposing view is held by a more powerful family member. It appears to be to our advantage to simply remain quiet.

None of us including myself have ever considered this weak. Just getting along with others is problematic unless we are the person setting the rules and trends. Friends at times must downplay the good time they experienced with a third-party because they will hurt our feelings. It seems to me that just about everyone exhibits signs of weakness every day which have nothing to do with forgiveness.

I'm wondering if our low self-esteem is holding us down. Our confidence in us is perhaps missing or at least lacking. We worry and stress about our every interaction with another person. We trust in someone else's ideas. We believe we are not smart enough to voice our opinion. Our stamina power or control appears to be in need. All we can have faith in is that others would laugh us out of the room if we attempted a differing viewpoint. How ludicrous and sad are these thoughts.

We are just so capable in insurmountable  ways  but we never focus on our attributes.  We only notice the attributes of others while observing our own shortcomings. Of course if we all measure what other people have deemed as good and worthy values then so much of our worth is not even perceived or considered even in our own judgements. I had a cousin who never spoke an unkind word about anyone. If others were gossiping behind someone's back he rolled his eyes and smiled. He wasn't as much fun to talk to because he never had a wild story to tell about anyone. Being a lot younger, not that it excuses me,  I spent more time listening to the gossips. Now I am so aware of his awesome qualities and regret not having spoken more with him. He had a different slant on life and living and he never held a grudge.

I mention him now because he was loved by everyone in the family and nobody spoke ill of him yet no one ever sought him out first. I can only surmise that everyone was attempting to find the dirt on everyone else. In the process we all got headaches from the anxiety  and stress of constantly attempting to explain words and actions. No wonder in the end people hide so much. I think we all want to get along with others while having as little grief as possible. Maybe that is even why we agree with the people we are with in order to save a confrontation.

Honestly I believe that speaking the truth at all times and voicing an opinion without fear is probably the best way to live. It doesn't mean we are forcing our ideas on others only giving our own voice to the problem. Truth is denied stretched bent hidden and lost in translation. People discover they are guilty of ideas they never embraced. In the end most people determine it is easier to let it all go than to try to fix it with more words or actions.

The fear of truth and silence causes a dilemma for many. We would rather rehash false beliefs and actions. It leaves us desiring forgiveness or in a position of doubting the extender of forgiveness. When someone receives forgiveness they are filled with joy and anxious to face a new day. They are happy to wipe a slate clean and begin again. They are renewed and as bright as the dawning of daylight. Such an awesome occurrence yet not often seen or done. Forgiveness is extremely difficult and anything but a sign of weakness.  I would say it is perhaps something that is next to impossible depending on the incident.

The person who must forgive is tired, weary confused unsure and wounded deeply. Nobody thinks about the depth of the cut and pain. We all want to go back to life as usual and we do just that as soon as another forgives us. I know it is not that easy nor that simple. I also know that it is without any doubt the best way to  behave. I suppose it is never up to us to decide if the person requesting or needing the forgiveness is actually sorry. All we can do is  hope and have faith that they are remorseful.

I remember people saying sure you can forgive someone that is easy but forgetting is another thing. I agree with that statement only to a point. If we are reaching the point of wanting to forgive another then we must think about how much we are able to forget. Now it is on our shoulders to find it in our hearts to release the pain. It is the ache of the happening that keeps us chained to the event. In a way when we can forgive we are found to have more freedom and release from the pent-up  tension. The seeker in need of the absolution also finds peace.

How strange it is to have such power to actually improve the happiness in another person's life with the simple words of compassion for the transgressor. To forgive takes so much courage. To forget can be accomplished only by those who are braver and stronger than the strongest metal. Most of us pride ourselves in our courage to handle problems yet we can't forgive a family member or parent, spouse, sibling, cousin or friend. If we do extend the mercy we go back on it when we recall it during a new argument or disagreement. That is why forgiveness is superhuman. It takes every power within us to extend it when we understand and appreciate the consequences of the action. It also gives us so much love and serenity when it is done. We might wonder why we hesitated.

Most people never plan on hurting others. We likely never plan on being deceitful. It occurs when we are anxious about our own wants and needs. When we come to realize that we are sorry, we become anxious to have it forgiven. When we are the person in need of absolving another it is so painfully difficult. In both cases we are in need of releasing the burdens immediately.  Forgiveness is only used by the strong. You must be made of iron in order to hold in the bursting pain while bestowing compassion and pardon to another. Without a doubt it is not for the weak.

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

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is  devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies." Martin Luther King Jr.

"To err is human; To forgive divine." Alexander Pope

"Forgiveness is the final form of love." Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: