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“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” Jose Emilio Pacheco

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  Albert Camus

“No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.”  Ashly Lorenzana

Over the years I have slowly lost my ability to have all the answers. I discover that I can forgive myself for the times I don't have answers or responses for problems. I can't always make someone feel better or find solution. I lost my ability to know what should be done but I think I have grown up.

Are there answers or is truth an illusion? At times we believe we know what someone should say or do to make things better. We have faith that our answers are the remedy. We  never consider why we might be wrong. We are sure we have all the answers. Have you ever considered your truth was false along with your perspective? When two people are fighting they are both wrong because they only see their own side.  The truth is found when both parties accept the fault without the percentages. ...continue reading "Having All The Answers Is Impossible"

So  much gets lost in the translation as days and even years pass. A past remembrance is not considering the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state of the person at that moment in time. How does one recall the issues and burdens they  were experiencing? How do we know the influences we had? How was our judgment? How mature or immature were we? What were our beliefs jobs living arrangements? There are so many unanswered questions that lead us to consider it is fruitless to trust our recollection of past events. We don't understand the state of mind and body. People have answers at a later point in time but may be clueless during the event.

We believe we were less guilty and deserve less blame. We believe the problems were started by the other person. That is human nature. Do we place too much emphasis on appearing perfect? Can we show weakness? If we allowed weakness perhaps there would be less lies and secrets. We praise only winners yet it is harder to admit defeat than state winning. Do we think  our ideas are correct?  find out in time that we don't have all the  answers all of the time. We discover how much information is required before we can conclude anything.

It is a human desire to support another with advice. It is human nature to judge another's choices when they disagrees with our own. Each person picks  for themselves. Our answers are personal. Past events are recalled with our perception of the past. It doesn't make us right or wrong. We use our own lens  to discern truth. Guilt is unnecessary, The past is over. The past shouldn't dominate the present. We chose past answers based on an array of mental physical and emotional health and needs. Perhaps someone else would choose differently. We can only walk in our own shoes and learn from our own mistakes.

We never had all of the answers and we never will. The best we can do is never deliberately hurt another individual. We can live our own lives and try to move forward each time we learn a lesson. The lessons can be harsh and hurtful. Instead of blaming anyone for our pain we must be thankful for the lesson which helped us to grow beyond what we were. We have choices always.  We can learn from hurtful past events and become a better person or we can stay linked to them and be afraid to let them go. We don't have all the answers, cannot control others nor blame them for our predicaments. Moving forward means letting go of guilt and blame and embracing the future. Life teaches us lessons about living and living teaches us how to let go and love.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”     David Brin

“When one experiences truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.” S.N. Goenka

“Often people that criticise your life are usually the same people that don't know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” Shannon L. Alder

“We practically always excuse things when we understand them” Mlikhail Lermontov

“When we make judgements we're inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn't it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?” Jay Woodman

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
A. A. Milne

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” Henry Ward Beecher

“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.” Junot Díaz

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” Eckhart Tolle

We are all guilty at times of making judgments. It sounds simple enough when we are occupied with choosing paint colors styles of clothing or what we want to do, read, accomplish or study. We feel justified in making all sorts of judgments especially about people and situations. So what is the problem? Why worry about our judgments of people and situations? Is it harming anyone? The answers are that it does harm people, many issues arise from our uninformed judgments, we cause lots of problems for others and ourselves and we test the patience of friends family and co-workers. The trouble that gets stirred up many times results in major or minor fallout's.

Reflecting on the reasons we have the need to judge is a conflicted task that many of us do not engage in. Our judgments are based on questionable information. The golden rule of thinking before speaking has been totally ignored in preference of "truth" as we perceive  it and that is the key. What we might perceive as truth is not what another believes is honesty. Our opinions differ and we can debate until the morrow who is more or less correct and never agree on the answer. Is it boiling down to allowing judgments to fall away? Is it time to rethink what we thought was working? Is it working when it suits our needs and desires? Do judgments appear to be elusive and up to the person doing the assessments? ...continue reading "Judgements"

I am one of the most opinionated people I know and I am aware of how many times my judgments were off base or biased or self promoting. I am not sure now if anyone or anything can deliver an unbiased opinion. Once we announce a ruling on a person  object or idea we maintain the ruling.  we make poor  rulings but never go back to correct it or acknowledge it. What we perceive as the truth can  change on any given day. We use the excuses of people things or circumstances change but is that the whole truth?

I see it more as not having all of the facts on any given day or time. The facts change which hardly makes them facts We don't have all of the information on any person place or thing to form  opinions yet we do it anyway. Kids are one group of individuals we rule on and sometimes make difficult for kids to break out of their assigned  molds. We group them and observe our false proofs and ignore any truths that differ from our own thoughts. Making mistakes is part of living  is discovering the world and forming deductions. Do we remember how once people thought the world was round? As we gain more knowledge our ideas and opinions change. Our ideas are painted with  different strokes. Kids grow and discover why some things may not be right, fair, or appropriate. I always used to say you can't teach algebra to a kindergartener but when the kindergartener grows up you can.

Maybe that is how God sees us. We are immature in his eyes and we need time to grow experience the world and accept why there is good bad or indifference. God does not judge he just gives us time to explore and understand what is not obvious or simple to see. Do you get  tired of listening to those people who tell you I did this or that or I would do this and would never do that? I remember thinking one day that if my kids were starving I would steal if I had to in order to feed them. Unless we have been there or done that we can't say what we would think or do. If we were never poor we can't know what that feels like. We can't all know what it is like to be rich if that has never been the case.

I am not promoting the idea of stealing what you need. I am promoting the idea of refraining from judgments. Showing a better way to do things or make things happen is important. I appreciate how some people believe we shouldn't hand things or money over to the poor. They make a legitimate point for one argument. They worked hard for their earning and didn't grow up with silver spoons. Others strive and work hard to provide for their families. They are all to be commended. But what if some people don't know where or how to begin because they are more like our kindergartners looking for guidance. We can judge them, conclude they are not worth the effort and toss them away. the alternative is to think  without  judgments and find some answers that work for all of us.

The world is a better place for every improvement that is made no matter how small that improvement is. I don't think throwing money or items at someone necessarily helps as much as taking the time and effort to teach one how to survive and make a living in a difficult world. As teachers work and support their students until they are ready to fly on their own with the knowledge they gain so true is it possible to support anyone in their effort to learn and overcome a difficult situation they may find themselves in.

If we judge them too fast we ignore them and dislike or hate them. My grandmother always said "There but for the grace of God go I." There is truth in that statement. Have you ever grabbed your child before they took a serious fall or ran out into the street or cut themselves with a sharp object or stuck something into an electric socket? You make a loud sigh of relief but there are some parents who were not fortunate enough to save their children from the disaster. We feel safe believing that we would do the right thing so that something bad didn't happen to them. We grow up when we recognize there is no right or wrong as much as there is learning beyond what we know. There are days we are tired, not thinking, busy distracted. These are not excuses but facts we may not be privy to about why an incident happened.

Some people get the lesson sooner, some take time and some don't care but it is important to ask why. We could trade the judgments for answers to why did or what is the reason for the actions. No judgments just answers and solutions are found. We are not pushed above another person because we did a better job or won something. Destroying others with our weak judgments keeps us at the kindergarten level. Mature individuals no matter what the age treat others with respect and love. We recognize that they are working on their own learning and we have no idea how far they have come nor where it is they are striving to go. By spending so much time judging others  we leave little time to take an honest look at ourselves. The person we are busy assessing is striving to move forward while we are stagnant in our comfortable moment in time but there is always something new to understand and someone new to love and support. Whenever we strongly believe we are in the right, that is when we should step back and stop the judgments immediately.

On the other side are people who expect to be immediately understood. That is not forthcoming without thought and reason. It takes time for all of us to learn we are or should be working together to see the other side and cope with all thoughts again to find answers not guilt or blame. Until we get out of that mode of blame guilt jealousy and fault we leave little room for growth. There is truth found on both sides of an argument if we honestly look at it. Dump the judgments from your own mind and you can move your mind faster towards greater understanding and healing.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Edmund Burke

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

“My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.” Dan Pearce

6th pic presentationThis is an article my daughter wrote about breast cancer which touched my heart. It is worth reading and better than anything I could ever write. It was written from the heart. It is important to remember that the hurts we bear and suffer are not always obvious. We will perhaps never know or understand fully what another person endures because we don't walk in their shoes and never will.

""Dignity is The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. It is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter."  Shannon L. Alder

I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive news-feed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related.   As a physician I feel that breast feeding is ideal.  When I was a third year resident and I had my first baby I was adamant about exclusively breast feeding.  I cried when my milk didn’t come in right away after a long induction.   I also relished the fact that my newborn grew into a chubby, giggly infant and it was due to my own body.  I pumped and breastfed, it was a blur of insomnia knowing that I would have to go back to work.  I took time off and managed to keep a freezer full of breast milk in case my supply dropped off when I did go back.  As a resident with overnight calls I knew I couldn’t be sure how often I could pump, pagers go off, codes happen, patients, admissions, rapid responses, they don’t wait for pumping.  I was determined, I continued to pump, overnight, sometimes in bathrooms, call rooms, it depended on how far of a walk, and which were occupied.   I was determined to make the one year mark. ...continue reading "My Issue With Breast Is Best"

With my second child I was an attending working part time and it definitely went more smoothly.   Somewhere around the fifth month I noticed my supply dropping.  I did everything I could but I had to supplement and I remember stopping around eight months. I was disappointed and heartbroken.  I resigned myself to formula feeding and when I felt lumps in one breast I chalked it up to milk ducts.

That was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The fear was overwhelming and paralyzing, I could only think about my babies, a nine month old and a two year old.  It was biopsy after biopsy, ultrasound guided, stereotypical, MRI guided.  They saw abnormalities on the other side, and I had additional biopsies.   I was waiting for surgery for final staging.  I thought about how precious our time is and our health is.  I opted for the bilateral mastectomy. It was a personal decision.

Fast forward almost four years, past a stage one diagnosis, a year of treatment and we were blessed with another beautiful healthy baby.  It felt like a gift, directly from God, I have living breathing snuggly, proof that a very difficult time was over.  Like all parents, I want the best for my baby, and I opted for formula.

The baby is happy, healthy, and then I have to question why the articles about poison formula make me so angry.  Why do I want to wear a sign that says “I breast fed two babies and had breast cancer.”  Why does it need an explanation, an excuse? Is it because I’m around educated moms that tend to exclusively breastfeed? I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much guilt taking out a bottle.

I thought about a particular conversation I had with a friend after diagnosis and her comment was “wow, I just couldn’t do it, make a decision and choose to have a mastectomy like that.”   That was when I realized that this wasn’t something I chose.  Everything was secondary to my family and health.  So much worse happens to wonderful people who didn’t “choose” the situations they went through.  With breastfeeding we need to stop shaming women for situations that are beyond their control.  So many women I know keep tally lists, they track things like how long they breastfed, if they supplemented, was it exclusive breastfeeding, bottle feeding , natural births, c-sections, epidurals, and the list could go on.   Being a mother is hard work and no one chooses less than their best for their babies.  Why do we compare so much? I doubt that fathers are asking each other how many games they attend, how many times they read before bed, or if their kids still crawled into their beds at night.  Yet it’s “best” to read to children before bed, and it’s “best” to have a sleep schedule with children.   If we want more moms to breastfeed, instead of assuming they made the choice to do less than “best”, and making them feel guilty for it, maybe we should analyze the barriers to breastfeeding. The majority of mothers in this country start off breast feeding and over time that number significantly drops. Why? Are there places to pump privately? Is there time off for breastfeeding, or does the day simply get extended? Is there maternity leave, paid time off, uninterrupted time, is it convenient at work?

How do we counsel moms in the hospital? Is it a one size fits all approach? Maybe a little formula before your supply kicks in, is really okay. Maybe nipple confusion isn’t as large of a problem as it seems.   I had a mother who breastfed for years, and if it wasn’t for her support I might not have breastfed as long as I did.  The singular statement of “breast is best” has finality to it that any alternative is giving your baby simply less.   What if you don’t have breasts? I might be a minority but there are numerous reasons a mother might not exclusively breast feed, medications, work schedules, supply issues, surrogates, mental health issues.  I still think they’re doing their best.  Not smoking is “best”, an hour a day of exercise is “best”, a healthy BMI is “best”, do we adhere to it?  So why are we making so many mothers feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed?

I know lots of great moms taking awesome care of their kids, free-range, tiger moms, gluten free, dairy free, formula feeding, stay at home, working, helicopter, paleo, vegan, breast feeding mothers.  I know they love their kids, I know they are doing their “best” everyday.

“When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person's life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.” Shannon Alder

"There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”  Shannon Alder

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?” Shannon Alder

“Reputation is what others think of us; character is what God knows of us."

 

Animals10"Good intentions  are not enough; commitment and sacrifice are necessary." Laurence G. Boldt

"Just because I am strong enough to handle pain doesn't mean I deserve it." Pix

"When our actions are based on good intentions, our soul has no regrets." Anthony Douglas

"No man ever steps in the same river twice cause it's not the same river and he is not the same man." Heractitus

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking." C. S. Lewis

Our intentions regarding any matter are mixed and hidden because we are trying to fathom ourselves and others. It may not make sense but if you ask someone why they performed a certain act of kindness or meanness they usually give a group of responses for the one question. It made sound like, "I wanted to help them and they supported me and I felt like  I owed them." The list continues in a confusing way and you wonder why you asked the question in the first place.

Does this mean we don't know ourselves? We perform kind acts due to payback? We support others because we feel others are  watching us? Lastly I wanted to Help. I surmise that the majority of us would rather not think about it and just take the credit. It makes us feel better if we can say this person helped me in the past and I owe them or I helped them in the past so they owe me. I wonder if we hate  to feel we owe someone in any way. I am always on watch myself to come to the aid of a person who helped me at another point in time.

It is funny how it  weighs on our conscience to settle the bill. We worry about settling a bill yet we don't worry about settling an unkind word or action. It seems unsettling to think this person somehow is above us because they performed a kind service to us. We want to come to their aid  even if they don't want it nor request it. I had a friend who needed to repay any  service I did for her immediately. It didn't matter if I did not want the repay at that moment or ever. In her mind if she did something for me the debt was paid and her conscience was clear. Another friend I had done something for repaid me far into the future at a time when I truly needed help. I appreciated the second repay far more because she obviously noticed my need and jumped in versus the first repayment of helping when there was no demand.

I thought to myself maybe that was the crux of the issue. It is easier  to avoid facing the necessities  of others with a myriad of  excuses than to observe someone's hardship and requirement of help. As usual, I am as guilty of this as anyone. If I don't stop to think over my intentions then I might overlook someone in need. I might choose to ignore someone who requires support and ignore any possible good intentions of helpfulness on my part.

There are times when we do things at work in order to get the promotion or the eye of the boss. We like to receive the great reputation so we extend to others out of our wants rather than the other person's privation. There is also the guilt factor which leads many of us to repay a debt because it looks good or aids us in some way. So many times good intentions are must do things. Being coerced into doing things happens every day. There are those people who volunteer to do something and force others to jump on the wagon. Of course these actions are many times worthwhile but again the good intentions may not be present.

I sometimes wonder if by going along with good actions we are picking up good vibes and learning to care. I certainly do hope so. It would be nice to see a world of compassion where all of us thought about the next person and their welfare. If every intention was compassionate and full of empathy we would have a better world to live in.

There are times others let us down because they  are thoughtless to our needs and feelings. Recalling those times we did the same to  others helps us to overcome the self pity. I am not saying to stop loving the self as most of us find little time to think about self yet we should. I am saying how easy it is to hurt others without intending to do so. The wrong look, remark, laugh or action can send us reeling for cover. The intention wasn't there to cause pain but the hurt rang through loud and clear. I suppose we could wear some armor.

Our hope is to always have the best intentions. If we can't do that perhaps we might attempt to think about others in a sincere way. When we come to realize we are all people with feelings maybe we will stop to think before we do or say something that is painful to another. There are those times our intentions are hurtful and we are now remorseful. There are also times when our intentions were totally honest and without any harm meant.

We don't have to analyze every word or action done. We just have to try to do our best and observe any need we see that can be fulfilled. The kindness may never make the newspaper but it is always felt within the heart. There is nothing more revitalizing than experiencing that feeling, especially when it is performing an action that likely will never be repaid. That is when it is unconditional and not ever meant to be repaid. That is an unconditional act of love that will endlessly travel around the world.

"Think the best of each other especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad." Jeffrey R. Holland

"Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly." Anonymous

"I will not die an lived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me. To make me less afraid and more accessible. To loosen my heart until it becomes a wing a torch a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom goes on as fruit." Dawn Markova

cropped-Family.jpg“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don't like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone's complaints I realized we were just talking about life.

Like people tell you when you are young, "You have to put up with it because things happen in life that you must deal with it." Nobody likes to listen to that speech. It does resonate back to us  when life throws difficult pitches our way. It is not easy to say if you are the oldest or youngest this is the way it is. One must think about the sexes, background of the mothers and fathers and number of kids in a family as well as the economics of it all. I believe nobody gets away scott free and once you accept that you can stop comparing. Have you ever heard people comparing who had the more aches, pains or health issues to deal with? I know some peoples' complaints are worse than others but  there are emotional problems, mental health problems and spiritual issues tied into it all.

Some people are distraught their whole life worrying about what they ""Must" do for somebody. Does that make them less caring because they are not doing something out of love but duty? How about those who feel obligated or who want something in return? The list is long and complicated and so is the birth order. I don't really care so much about the order of birth because it seems like everyone takes the "crap" in life. It is unavoidable. It is more important to figure out how they will deal with the crap. In a way it is our attitude regardless of how much pain and hurt we must endure. Having taught school I know the child in the classroom who cries a lot gets a lot of attention. Does this mean they have suffered more? Is  there another child who has been suffering but we overlooked them?

That is one reason why  the situation gets complicated when we are trying to figure out or compare anxieties fear or problems. We come from different places and homes and had a variety of personalities to cope with along the way. I am thinking we might believe others have no care because they appear to not notice our suffering or they don't appear to have any. Does anyone recall saying, "I don't know what they are complaining about because when I...? We measure our pain against others all the time. It doesn't alleviate it but it increases the friction we have with friends and family.

Perhaps we should begin understanding where the pain  originates and why it won't let us go. There is absolutely deep suffering that will stay inside of us forever but it does not help anyone  to believe they are the martyrs of the world even if they have the suffering of such a person. Viewing ourselves as a victim implies we are helpless and have given up. Nobody has the power to make us feel that way and we should not see ourselves as the sacrifice. When we do deem our pain is beyond the measurement of anyone else's we lock ourselves in a cage and throw away the key.

On any given day there is much to cope with. Everyone has those moments in time that stay within the brain forever. The fearful moments scare us and make us want to run away no matter what the age. The crises we got through makes us proud of ourselves but sometimes less sympathetic because we may be of the opinion that no one else has suffered like us especially if they haven't complained. I am not down on the complainers. Sometimes I think it is therapeutic to get things off of your mind. When people hold things in they tend to resent others who can't imagine their suffering.

I don't know about how other people believe  but in the end  I think we alienate a lot of people when we expect but don't allow someone in. It appears to work against us and we end up jealous of their "Better Life" or we carry the pain inside and let it hurt us over again and resent people  who can't see it even when we don't let them observe it. I have turned my suffering inside and felt worse when no one appeared to understand. My belief was how can they not get it. Now I try to share more or at least not find fault with those who simply don't know when I don't share.

Life is not easy and that is an understatement. Life is more difficult if we compare our section of the world with other peoples'. We are putting up fences and keeping people out. It is better to take the fences down and let people in. I have found out that so many others have their own stories. It is kind to share in a positive way without the competition of having a winner. If we think we are worse off we send out no understanding or empathy to others. Instead we expect or feel entitled to be down in the dumps. Personally there are likely many days we might feel sad or even hopeless. We are asked to be stronger at that point than we were when we endured a heartache situation. It is at those moments we need to find the courage to get over the deep emotional feelings creeping in and overpowering us. We are almost forcing ourselves to relive the horrible time all over again.

If we can come to terms with the fact that we all suffer then maybe we can stop comparing and judging and learn to support each other any day we are in need. It takes away all of the conditional aspects of love and allows unconditional love to reign. Unconditional love says I love you no matter how you behave towards me and I forgive you for everything. It says I may not like what you do nor understand how you feel but I trust the reality of your situation and want only love and peace in your heart and mine. I know unconditional love is about as close as any of us can get to being more Godlike. Life is burdensome enough without worrying about the amount of good or bad in anyone's life. Trust that we all suffer at times but we all have so much to be grateful for if we would check it out. What I like and you like may differ. What I consider pain or frustration may also differ. May we all live in peace and as a song says, "Love the one's you are with."

“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

“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!”    Charles  R. Swindoll

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.”   Charles Dickens

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”     Orson F. Whitney

Families9"This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man - if man is not enslaved by it." Jonas Salk

"I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind! "Author Unknown

Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower." Alan C. Kay

The other day someone was mentioning how little we actually talk to one another and the listening time was even less. The more I thought about it the more I admitted we were so guilty. Most of us send quick notes through text messaging or e-mails. We leave out the flowery  words and view them as just fillers. Never do we imagine those fillers are the emotional responses we don't appear to use anymore. Of course all of the technology gadgets we use tend to fill our time and attention. It leaves most people little time to interact with anyone. No wonder kids and adults are restless at school work or in each other's company. We are used to a fast paced style and response. We want meat and potatoes without the soupy emotional stuff.

Now I wonder where it leaves us. If we are surrendering our feelings and allow our words to stand alone, how will they survive? Really we are appearing to be more robotic than human. It is as if we have given up humanity for increased engagement with technology. It doesn't allow for much free time. Cell phones are never ignored and fit bits are worn to work and bed. We are trapped and can't escape. In the meantime our kids want a simple thoughtful answer to a question that might render us confused and putting them off for a later time. We don't have but a few minutes and our device  needs the attention not our five year old child.

If this sounds familiar  perhaps it is time to put the device down and away and see your world for real. Your child is concrete and contains not all brains and will power but the ability to love and care for others. A machine will do as it is told whereas a person will allow feelings to enter into decisions. We can't help that. Our senses bring another dimension to everything we are involved in. If we give up our human side and continue focusing only on our machines I fear we will lose the capacity to interact in a humane way with other people.

Our devices change the screen quickly and show us an array of colors and photos. Of course kids must get bored with their teachers who don't move so fast and can't toss out information so quickly nor change their movements. Their deliverance  might be perceived as boring and so the class is lost. One can see why the caring human teacher is becoming obsolete because we don't have time for those silly emotions. We want instant advice and knowledge without the frills. We are in a hurry and time is relevant. How sad it will be if the only teachers we end up providing will be machines.

Can we not see a problem here? There is no challenge of thought in decisions being made. The human repercussions are being ignored. Yes our kids may be more knowledgeable about everything and they might have more friends as well as enemies but will they be able to stand up and make a moral decision? Perhaps logically and knowledgably they might decide the humans have become the obsolete  unnecessary creatures walking the earth. Having no emotional attachments will allow them to push the button on off for all humanity. Somehow that is not an appealing world to me.

I find that we are not making enough time for the kids or for the important adults in our sphere. At one time people finished up the technical work so that they could get home and interact with the family. Now people finish up the technical work so that they can interact with machines in their free time. I know I wait for others  to finish their interactions and find the time to  converse with me. I have lost to many opponents but to lose to a machine is sad.

Sharing what it is we are reading about is not helpful. Understanding the importance of life is vital. As complicated as machines are to make, they are easier than reproducing one human being animal or plant. Thoughts freely  expressed can't be repeated without understanding the meaning behind them. If we stop looking for the extra meanings  in our words and actions we will end up being controlled by our devices. Has the perceived knowledge gain from a machine become more enticing than the mischievous smile or hidden laughter of a child? Can all the lengthy understanding hold up to one kind loving word that changes our attitude and day?

We have so much power in all that we can say and do in the course of a day. What machine has the ability to change someone's mind with just a look? It seems we must place a warning sign on the technological devices that states, one might become addicted and lose the ability to interact in normal human fashion. One might lose large quantities of time without knowing. One might forget to watch their kids at a park and protect them from danger due to the attraction of their small device. One might even lose control of their car while trying to drive while reading a message, and kids might lose a lot of hugs and kisses because parents are too busy on the computer or cell phone.

I wish I could say this is an exaggeration but unfortunately it isn't. When I recently heard of someone being killed by a fall while texting I felt so sad. It is similar to a person who is never satisfied and keeps getting more and more. They can't let the message wait but instead make those they are with wait. Trouble is they have no idea how much time others have been waiting for them. People wait because they care and value your time. Do your feel the same? I am not down on technology but I do wish we could find our humanity and empathy. As Einstein said in so many words," It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Albert Einstein

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

it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

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

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Families8“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we forget to be grateful. we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..”    Joel Osteen

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God gave us minds to think with and hearts to thank with. Instead we use our hearts to think about the world as we would like it to have been, and we use our minds to come up with rationalizations for our ingratitude. We are a murmuring, discontented, unhappy, ungrateful people. And because we think we want salvation from our discontents...”  Douglas Wilson

Holidays are a time to be grateful. When we think of our Holiday celebrations we are brimming over  with excitement and at the same time stressed and fearful about how the they will progress. When we get through the days we are relieved with gratefulnes for what we said or did. We might also be grateful for what we didn't say or do.

Our anticipations may be so much greater than actually what occurrs. Perhaps if we perceive this from the first moment we may  save ourselves unnecessary grief. I am not looking forward to having a terrible time but I do have a more realistic approach towards the Holidays. It likely comes  from agonies of past times and disappointments. It left me wondering time and again, what went drastically wrong.

That might be the key question. How and why do  things backfire. I see myself going through motions of being the superhero in a sense. I have faith that I will give the perfect gift, display an out of the world atmosphere, and cook a meal that will replay on the taste buds. I anticipate being surrounded by love. I anticipate others being anxious to talk with me perhaps because they find me so amusing or entertaining. My expectations are unrealistic. When the reality of the day occurs, I am  discouraged and must decide how to accept the disappointment. Even when the day has passed the tenseness continues along with the debate of how things might have gone better. I conclude with the question of why I put so much effort into something that was designed to explode.

When the same situation replays year after year in various scenarios, one is left questioning some truths. I discovered my expectations were fairy-tales. My generosity was full of assumptions of gaining affection in  return. My belief in love, compassion and caring was a little mixed up. I didn't want to be so harsh on myself so I studied others and found some similar mistakes and regrets as well as disappointments. We are so needy to be accepted and loved yet we sabotage it daily.

Now when I am buying a gift for someone I think hard about pleasing them. I have discovered that at times even a small inexpensive gift causes me to be more grateful. I don't attempt to be the hero or the winner of the most popular present award. I have given gift certificates in order for others to purchase what they want instead of what I think they should want. I enjoy doing things with others. My enthusiasm is for spending time with others. Although it is still nice to be invited for dinner, it is nice to be a listening ear or have someone be the sounding board.

So now I can share hot chocolate or cup of tea or coffee, with  another at any time of year and make it special. It was  never about turns or justifications. Love is never having to say your sorry and never having to receive something only when it is your turn. It is more spontaneous now and full of surprises. When the Holiday is over I find more contentment.  The lack  of frustration brings solid relief. I have learned to expect nothing so I truly am pleased with whatever wonderful things happen. On an occasional moment at any time during the year I am blessed with an unexpected heartfelt conversation with a friend or family member. It fills me with pleasure and love. No gift could compare with what. I have found that  the most anyone can give is their unconditional love.

I think we overdo the new products on the market to the point of excluding love respect and mindfulness. It is not that we are terrible  people. We have just been lulled into what we have been brainwashed to believe is a worthy gift. Pleasing others is easier than spending money or buying presents. It is about those heartfelt habits of the heart that send love to others in thoughtful ways. You can't easily repay time or effort. Another issue that always comes up is the feeling of never being equal to others. We just don't know ourselves. We have so much to offer. Competing with others is sometimes of our own doing. It isn't feasible to always be the best cook smartest person or competitive worker in the room. It is okay to be us and tell and enjoy a joke.

Those who are busy bragging so much that they annoy us are to be pitied. If they have the need for attention so badly, I would suggest we listen and give it to them. Obviously they must require our approval. That kind of places us in a superior position if we were really taking notes which we are not. Seeing through the many facades others place before us allows us to better understand their motives for behaving the way they do. At any moment we can become that needy person who desires love and attention. There is no shame in this.

We all want to fit in with others. We like attention and respect, can be easily  embarrassed, and have many of the same wants and needs and problems. Our fears are similar. The need for love is genuine and sincere no matter what our personality is. If we enter the playing field understanding all of this then we already know our opponent because they are just like us. They should not render us fearful or jealous.

Navigating through the waters of fear and anxiety leads to calm sailing. What media tells us to value leaves us disappointed and distressed. Realizing what has meaning in our lives is the beginning of waking up to reality. The dream is upsetting because it isn't based on facts. Perhaps by changing our habits of fake living may support us in finding the honest and genuine habits of heart. That kind of love is available all year through. We won't have to wait for holiday time and we won't have to fear and stress over pleasing everyone. Many of our actions render us tired and depressed. What we should be searching for is serenity and love in the current moment in time. Try choosing heart habits over rituals, be grateful, then rejoice in having all that you ever needed within reach.

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try the world is beyond the winning. Lao Tzu

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Hidden Assumptions“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”    Isaac Asimov

“They have the unique ability to listen to one story and understand another.” Pandora Poikilos

“Don’t build roadblocks out of assumptions.”    Lorii Myers

“Life is a series of events and sensations. Everything else is interpretation. Much is lost in translation and added in assumption / projection” Rasheed Ogunlaru

How sure we all are of what is the hidden truth behind everyone's motives and frustrations. We think we know why a person said  what they said and did what they did. At least that is what we assume. Nobody lets us in on the secret that we  assume too much and most of the time if not all of the time we are wrong. I say this with belief  in what I know to be the reality beneath our facades.

At a function if I approach a couple of people who appear to be laughing but then stop when I approach, I am sure they are not likely fond of me. It is as if I have ruined their good time and exchange. If I could leave it there it would be okay but this is not the case. I dwell on the event throughout the night and observe them for more signals of their lack of interest in me. I realize everything doesn't involve me but that s why I sense others are not impressed with me  so my confidence is shaken and I become quiet and start taking in the behaviors of others present. The more I see the more I begin attributing connotations for the words and actions of others. Of course my confidence is at an all time low.

It can be so devastating to the point of leaving the function with total insecurity. Of course the next day one of the two people may call me and begin stating their regret for having little time to spend with me. I begin thinking they are reading my mind. Of course I appreciate the basic apology and am happy to discuss the events of the previous day. Now it is the two of us discussing the events and that other person is on the outside.

Now I feel special, worthy and I realize I was mistaken in the belief that I was ignored and not liked. Now that I am older and have spent years observing and contemplating such situations, I comprehend how easily we are led astray in believing in our worthlessness. Another notion occurred to me. We are extremely fragile people. I suppose that must be why we fight and argue so much. Our feelings get hurt and we can't even explain why so we hide away until someone comes to our rescue.

Our next step is to desert those who we perceive as having hurt us for those who came to our rescue. One can see we change friends like we switch our clothes. We perhaps might get around to the same set of clothes just as we do a turn around with our friends. I guess we are a people who never truly trust in each other. If we really had faith in each other we would know without having to prove anything that we mean something to others especially those we love.

Do we still love those who we think offended us or do we stop loving them? If we stop then we must question if we ever really loved at all. We search for the fault in others yet we are the ones making the assumptions, drawing conclusions from these assumptions and basing our decisions on what we see as the reality of our situation. Do we ever ask ourselves how good are our assumptions? How much faith can we have in any of them? Are we wiling to toss over a marriage a link to our kids, our sibling relationships and friendships on assumptions?

As serious as these questions are the answers are sad. Most of us do make decisions without having real facts or reasons. Much of our illusions are fabricated. Our minds run the reel and the movie begins with us playing the lead role, being damaged in some way and retreating for cover. Those who have pained us are cut from our lives. One has to agree that this will make the relationship difficult to maintain. If we choose to believe in the hurtfulness of another then it is easy to understand why we want to severe the connection.

I for one have trouble with severing. As angry as I get I begin to remember the happy times I spent with others and then I question why someone would now dislike me. I change my mind about the cutting but I am still  wary of this person who has now lost some of my faith. I find this sad. I might be the one causing the dilemma. Perhaps this person was never ever considering me in any way and here I have assumed they wanted me out of the circle.

Most of us let our feelings rule our minds. In such instances and without any breaks we go over the bridge. Now I put such thoughts to the back of the mind and leave them there unless of course similar happenings cause me to bring them forward again at a future date. Man is so fragile. Those among us who are self-assured are still at risk of sabotaging our sense of self. All that is required is suppositions.

Children always assume mom or dad loves a sibling more than them. Parents don't have the time to perhaps even consider such a notion. They are to busy working and caring for the kids. Parents sense a feeling of loss when kids marry. They believe they are not loved as much because they don't have the same time or access to their children. Adult kids likely love their parents more but are leading their own lives and without the time to hand hold and explain their feelings. This is almost impossible to do.

Siblings  are so close to each other even if they are at odds with one another. They are closely bonded yet the quickest to be estranged. The jealousy over parental love and support is tremendous. Siblings compete throughout their lives and most parents don't even take notice. No one talks about it so the conjectures continue and truth is hidden. Friends engage in all sorts of rivalry for money position and jobs. They help each other but also like to outperform each other. People like to talk and anyone who is missing the discussions might likely be the topic of the discussions. When someone is absent they run the risk of being targeted.

Mothers-in-law assume their daughters-in-law are attempting to steal their sons away. Daughters-in-law assume their mothers-in-law want to control them and their husbands. No one gets the fact that nobody wants to be left out of this mix and all are bound by love for the other. Playing fields change but love always remains.

I am not suggesting we are mean and vicious. I believe we are opportunist and when a time approaches for us to get closer with someone we care about we take the opportunity.  It feels like we have enclosed ourselves in a tight circle and we sense the love and belonging. It brings such comfort. We don't want anyone near it because we cherish it and want it all to ourselves. In the end we lose it if we hold on too tightly and make the conditions too difficult to abide by.

So in all of this I believe we all desperately want love. When we have it we fear losing it. We panic and worry so much that we assume too much and begin to believe false accusations about family and friends. Likely marriages fail due to jealousy and competition.Oother relationships break from too much tension. One answer might be to accept everyone into our sphere of love which will render no one alone and lost.

Maybe our fear of losing love is the reason for many transgressions. Some might lie because they believe the truth about themselves will not make them worthy enough. Some steal to enhance their lives which don't appear to measure up. Some  are jealous because they have no confidence in their own value.Even marriages are threatened when we can't believe we are good enough to maintain the love for each other. Believing there is always someone better around the corner gives us little time to enjoy and praise what we have.

If we could ever read each others mind we would be so surprised at what each one of us was actually thinking about when we are being accused of so many other wild ideas. A young woman is thinking if she is actually pregnant because she is late and so anxious to have a baby. She is a bit testy with worry and tense from her lost thoughts of wonder. A young man is trying to impress his new wife and her family by doing it all. He is becoming overwhelmed in the process and angry at them all who he perceives as being impossible to please. The truth is he is placing the burdens on his own shoulders.

Of course the in-laws are thinking wow, what a nice guy she married. He is trying to do everything. How impressive he is. The mother-in-law is thinking I must look stupid because I ask dumb  questions only because I don't want to insult my daughter-in-law or do anything she doesn't want me to do for the baby. The daughter-in-law is reflecting, how can my mother-in-law not know what to do? She raised kids why is she appearing so stupid? The wife is believing my husband has spent so much time talking with that woman. I bet she is listening to his work stories and I always have no time to do that. The husband is actually thinking, I wish she would stop asking so many questions. I don't even know why this woman is so interested in my work and my wife has already given me the evil eye. The young woman might be thinking, I hope my boyfriend is observing how easily I can control a man's attention. If he isn't nicer to me I could leave him.

Trust is important in any relationship. Faith in who and what we are is paramount. By stopping our ruminating over what others think and feel gives us more time to enjoy the moment. So many moments are lost in needless worry about losing love. It seems like it is important to love during the moment and don't let the time be wasted. What is crucially important is to love ourselves, because  we all appear to be having trouble loving ourselves. By observing our own merit keeps the filter system going so we won't let our confidence seep out with our wrongful conjectures. We will save our loves, bonds and moments of enjoyment that could have turned into nightmares of our own creation.

“When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.”    Shannon Alder

“We never look beyond our assumptions and what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves.”    Muriel Barbery

“Problems don’t actually exist. They’re just the hallucinogenic effects of people being weirded out on what they think life is supposed to be.”    Richelle E. Goodrich

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