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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

success"In the end it is not the years in your life that count but the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?" Martin Luther King Jr.

"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me." Erma Bombeck

I find it so easy being trapped in my own thoughts and seeing life as half empty. I admit that  happy days make it unnecessary to  think so hard about life in general. Difficult days make me review every single word spoken to me. Everything people say and do is a competition. Most of us would definitely say they are not  competing with anyone but the opposite is true. Every second  every day it happens unless we consciously stop the runaway thoughts.

I would have said not true a short time ago but once I reflected I realized we spend a huge amount of time worrying about what others say do and think and we worry  about fading into the background of our lives. In a sense we almost have our lives finished and done with because we sometimes see no alternatives and only endings and loss. It is helpful to look at the glass  half full rather than half empty but how we think and feel goes beyond that.

Have you ever asked why we let our emotions get us down? We perhaps blame it on our difficulties. I do the same thing and have done it for a long time. With a lot of introspection I have discovered a much calmer world within which has led to a calmer world without. That doesn't mean I don't gt angry, feel insecure at times, feel useless and lost and confused and a whole lot of other things. It becomes a run away train that must be stopped the sooner the better. Likely when we need sympathy or someone to say things like "It will be okay just hang in there." it doesn't happen.

What can we do? We must remember we are never alone and we can find the peace from within and the answers. It is how one view life and the happenings. For kids it is all  about getting control of toys and friends. They like to have friends that pick them first or play the games they like to play. Kids get very upset when their friends chooses to play with another child or allows another person to hold the toy before they let us hold the toy. That may sound silly to an adukt but in many situations we do the same thing.

Have you ever been at a party and your in a conversation with a couple of people only the person doing the talking keeps you out of the conversation by ignoring you? They most likely would deny this yet they focus only on one person until you  feel like the third thumb and you humbly walk away crushed and wonder why they did that to you. I would guess that whatever it is happens to be their issue and that is easy to say because it becomes your issue when they crush you especially in front of others which is embaressing.

They might even come back and say they are sorry "You took it the wrong way" shich is even more upsetting to you because you know how it went down. So now it is like your own fault. Now we again have two choices. We can get angry lash out at them or simply accept their apology understand it is still  their problem and take none of this into our own hearts. Being so insecure including myself we tend to think maybe we did overreact but maybe we didn't. The point is to let go of any attempt to accept a burden you don't need or want. It is extra baggage and it is not yours to carry unless you unwittingly grab the bag.

Most of us do end up with more unhappy  thoughts and assumptions that are not real. It is overwhelming to realize that most if not all of us do this all day long with every interaction we have with others. One must think about the fact that we can't control another's mood or ideas about who or what they are or what they did and perceive as right or wrong. We also cannot control what others have for burdens whether we think they are problems or not. If one believes it is an issue then it is so.

It is relevant to refrain from adding to our own baggage. This is done by recognizing some problems before they happen. The mind can convince us something is one way when it isn't. I think that is why we are insecure at times. Everyone and everything appears to be against us. Although that is absurd if you are in a bad mood or place one has faith it is true. Life is not easy everyone agrees with that. We all deal with stuff. Perhaps we might look at how we deal with problems.

It is not good for any of us to enjoy being unhappy and look at our half empty glass. It only keeps us at the bottom of the glass and in a drowning state. It may get too comfortable being there because people leave us alone, steer clear of us and sometimes begin giving us excuses for our poor behavior. It is almost like an adult temper tantrum. I have been there many times and it can feel cozy and it allows me to step on whoever I want.

In a way it is refreshing but at some point we need air and should surface. Open your eyes and look around. I know it gets repetitive to say to people be grateful for what you have when all we can think about is what is missing. Honestly there is wonder all around us. We want to enclose everything and every moment but we can't. Kids are a joy but they grow up and must move on and that is hard for parents to accept. Change is hard on all of us. We plan our lives and believe the plan will unfold exactly as we set it up. Of course it never does. But in the "something else" that happens there is a lot of good in it if we open our eyes. Keeping them shut and complaining about the dark won't work.

I hate change and always have. It doesn't stop the changes. When we have kids or grandkids we believe they are the best of course. Then we get into who is like whom or which child resembles which side of the family. That is full of potholes. what it comes down to is our desire to keep love all to ourselves. Somehow by claiming the child in this way we feel like it is ours. It creates arguments over what. All of this is competition for acceptance and love to last eternally. The truth is love is eternal and it does not need to be sheltered or covered up in order to keep it.

Our insecurity can keep us in chains. Just let it go. Nobody has the power to lock up love hate or anything.  We do have the power to increase love and give it to others just by letting people in. When that happens the pain goes out because there isn't room for it. The love and memories we have remain and our mind is left focusing on the happy rather than the sad. Anxiety and sadness render us helpless whereas love and happiness give us strength. There are people who care and we have all been in positions of helplessness and sadness and worry.

Honestly the worry can be for nothing because things do happen in curious ways that we would never have imagined. Thinking we have it all worked out will surprise us one day when we discover that it isn't true. So worry can be over nothing that is real. We all have people and stuff to be thankful for. If we won't open our eyes we are going to miss so much. We have choices to make every day about our anger attention and job list. We also have choices about how we will give love and accept love. Sometimes it is harder to accept love than it is to give love. Through accepting love we create an acceptance which benefits everyone and leaves us open to more love which is overwhelming in pushing out the anxiety and fear we have  enjoyed leaning on. It takes courage to accept love and understand your cup is half full instead of half empty.

"Don't squander yout time on the what- if's of life. They are unlimited and endless." Gary Zukav

Eventually you will come to understand that love heals all and love is all there is." Gary Zukav

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

When It Isn't Enough“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” Steve Maraboli

“In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.” Haruki Murakami

So we are feeling really low and our spouse or close companion doesn't appear to understand the depth of our sadness. There is no place to begin to explain how awful we feel. With every attempt we become mixed up in our thoughts and the words tumble out in a confusing fashion. The spouse gets annoyed with our attempts and we get off course in relation to what we are trying to explain. In the end we attribute it to their inability to understand how deeply we are hurting inside. As a matter of  fact, nobody quite gets the angry depth of our despair.

This perhaps resonates with many or most of us at any given time in our lives.  Sadly, we may give up trying and hide ourselves  away into the gravity of our sorrow. It is as if the world is against us and has never before seen the horrendous situation we find ourselves immersed within. Perhaps we haven't noticed that those we love are functioning  in their own spheres at the moment and unless we relinquish more of our sentiments they will continue to remain on the outskirts of our pain. As much as we desire to have our loved one involved with our dilemma, we tend to push all people away. Likely it has more to do with trying to outrun our problems. If we venture down another path, try a new activity, go out with friends our issue might disappear. Of course that never happens  but we had to try.

Observing it from the other spouses' view we see confusion about why their special someone can't shake what is bothering them. Even when we have all of the facts we assume they can overcome the obstacles in time and we sit back and wait. When the waiting produces no results we attempt the discussion which leaves us with more items to think about and a lecture on our insensitivity. Even if we believe this is far from the truth, our ability to  change the way things are unfolding is fading.

...continue reading "When It Isn’t Enough"

I find that when I need to find someone to blame for my despondent feelings I accept no support  from others. Then I fault them for not  helping me find a way out of my emotions. I am clearly trying to come to terms with my own thoughts about my family, my world and my life. If it appears to be crumbling for whatever the reason, I refuse to take any part in the blame. Of course this is a mistake but at the moment I may not be willing to deal with any blame.

There are those moments when life is not as clear or straightforward as we would like it to be. Perhaps we have visions of the perfect day which ends up being a confusing mess. How many times have any of us gone home from work thinking how did I create the dilemma I am currently finding myself in. It may be due to poor decisions, the need for attention, a cry for help or being overwhelmed with burdens. Of course we believe the world revolves around us so everyone we care about ought to notice how desperate we are feeling. In reality nobody sees nor hears our voice.

Probably most of our friends or family are involved with their own problems and are focusing on that. If we openly asked for help we might receive it but when we hope for another person to notice our pain it is very possible we will not be acknowledged. If we come to understand why we sense that we are alone, it makes it easier to cope. I believe we care about each other but we get caught up in our own lives. Even those closest to us can become shadow figures when work, health or family issues get a hold of us.

Sometimes people willing to commiserate with us are dealing with their own problems. Now that I understand that it is not from carelessness or neglect that others take no notice when I am hurting, it provides me with more optimism. So many people on any given day find so much to feel sad about that it can render many motionless as well as emotionless. After all, if we can't cope with ourselves, how do we help others cope?

My point is that when we are quick to notice someone's negligence towards us, we are just as quick to not notice when they are giving or offering support. Perhaps those who are offering the aid are not the ones we want to receive it from. I see this as rejecting what God sent. If we look for  aid we must be willing to accept it from those earth angels who come our way. Maybe this one time our spouse or special friend has too much on their own plate to play our hero. Blame will not get us anywhere. The times days and problems are so different that comparisons of any kind make it impossible.

Wounds of the body cause tremendous pain depending on the deepness of the cut. Likewise those injuries to our spirits and emotions also promote enormous pain depending on the depth of the slice. Our bodies scar and so do our spirits. Most times we survive injuries of all kinds and we are left with the scars. I sometimes look at body injuries with pride as I recall how difficult they were to overcome yet I conquered them. Nobody else could heal the injury except for myself. I know that although we depend on the support of others for our emotional healing, there are many times when we must look at it with our own eyes and then allow  ourselves to heal. It is ludicrous to assume another should do it or understand our pain. That is asking the impossible. A close friend can feel like a sister while a sister can feel like an acquaintance. The dimensions of connections can leave all of us guessing as to the extent of the pain. Certain times can make things more or less difficult than other times. Spouses can be nervous about any attempt to alleviate pain when they are not sure how to do it, what the extent of the pain is, or where it is. Being angry at others for failing us is something we need to get over and forgive. Keeping someone at arms length for something they could not fix is a terrible place to put someone. If we haven't dealt with a long term illness we can't understand the aftermath of it. Dealing with abuses of all kinds can diminish a family. Divorce, death, critical conditions of all kinds and more render us helpless in many ways. None of us would choose to have any of these problems in our lives.

The best any of us can do is offer support and understanding as best we can and forgiveness for ourselves when we fail to provide what the hurting individual needs at the moment. When they are back on their feet, they will reconnect with us but perhaps forget the pain they caused us when they were in agony. There is not one person walking among us that does not require forgiveness. At our lowest or highest points in life, we are the most vulnerable at creating a situation that will render us needy for forgiveness. It is at those points that we cause the most heartache for others.

I know that the more attuned we are to others the more we can jump in and offer help of any kind. If we can alleviate someone's pain we have altered the course of a life. Although we will never be superheroes, we can be someone's hero for a day. Relief of any kind is always a blessing. Comparing pain or wounds is always a mistake. There are too many variables to consider. It isn't necessary to compare. The next time we are the giver or receiver of help, remember to accept the apology or say thank you when the situation is over. We all have various paths to tread but we are all traveling in similar directions so have mercy always on each other. none of us want more stones tossed in our pathways.

“The key is this: Meet today's problems with today's strength. Don't start tackling tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow's strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” Max Lucado

“After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it.” Shannon L. Alder

Accepting Others“Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore. It's just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”    Deborah Reber

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”     Ann Landers

Don't you just hate the game playing we go through at any gathering of friends or relatives? I know I do. No matter how many times  I try to keep it at bay, it appears again in my life. I am resolved to acknowledge, there is no end to it until we all stop. I call the petty irritating things we do to each other, the game points. Some of us perhaps plan for the tournament, and enter the environment or arena, ready to do battle. There are those days when we are not ready, willing or able to do any engaging at all.

If I haven't totally confused you, I am discussing the parties as well as the everyday happenings and interactions we have with others. At the end of any day, if we were to tally our encounters, and decide if they were good, bad or indifferent, most of us perhaps would wonder, how to rate ourselves. These seemingly insignificant minutes of our lives, are the reality of our lives and our key learning phases.

Every family has a variety of members who may approach us with love, hate or indifference, depending on their mood, stresses and attitudes. I am not saying we don't act in similar fashion, but studying these facts, perhaps is critical. We can appreciate that it is a great feat, if we survive  a get-together intact, and still on speaking terms. There are those instances, you know right away, if it is going to be an easy atmosphere or a demanding temperamental dance. We probably have to side-step problems. The distressing part is we don't always understand why there is the switch in attitudes. At those moments, we search our brains for answers. Probably we hurt them in some way at the last meeting. We attempt to figure it out, but we are still left confused.

A happy occasion should be so much easier to navigate, so we are left questioning why the snags are present. The last thing we should be expected to do is be on guard. Although I work hard to keep my temperament on an even keel,  I am not frequently successful. After many years of listening to and pleasing others, I realized it wasn't always beneficial for my own plans. Now I confront people and accept the way they arrive. If I sense they are distracted about anything, I attempt a bit of support. But if I suspect I am disturbing them in any way, I depart from their vicinity. I always feel better about this, as it keeps me calmer and out of the target range. When any of us are in a foul mood, we do tend to zero in on someone. This person likely, takes some of our frustration. ...continue reading "Accepting Others"

I make mistakes like everyone, but I am so conscious now of other people's' feelings, that it makes me more cautious about making anyone's situation worse than they believe it already  is. I will  help anyone, but I retreat just as quickly, if I perceive someone is perturbed with me. So what about those individuals who we exasperate, just by showing up at the party. That is a hurtful situation. When you are mindful of how much you rattle another individual, and you never understand why, it leaves you puzzled regarding a  solution. I just keep my distance until I can think of a solution for that particular event.

Intrinsically we can't change who we are, so if we talk a bit too much, cry a bit too long, laugh a bit louder, argue a bit stronger, there is nothing we can do. If we are quiet so be it. Some people prefer a certain type of individual, and unfortunately if we don't fit their standards or criteria, we are ostracized for the most part. How painful that is to observe others engaged in a conversation, in which you are peripherally involved. You can't leave politely while people are engrossed in conversation, yet no one looks at you or encourages your opinion. You are no more than the baby sitting on the mother's lap.

It is demeaning. Perhaps departing from this painful situation, might be one answer. I believe  we get caught in many uncomfortable scenarios, but then it is up to us how we react to them. We  might refrain from causing a commotion, but certainly we should not be expected to tolerate discomfort. Likely the people making us feel this way, are possibly unaware. They might also see the slight as pay back for a past injury. We all look at things with our own looking-glass.

Maybe we all get so caught up in what others are saying, and how they are viewing us, that we forget about our own actions and the effect they have, on the people surrounding us. For the most part we are all vulnerable, and the most boastful among us can be brought to their knees, by an uncaring attitude of another. It would be one ting if it ended at the gathering, but it doesn't. We take our wounds home, and nurse them, possibly for days.

I am attempting to release troubles quicker than I did in years past. I recognize that often it is the other person's struggle. Perhaps they have a jealousy or insecurity problem. Maybe they have a low self-esteem, or  burdens that weigh on their minds. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, instead of believing they are purposefully causing me tribulations. We certainly suffer enough complications throughout our lives, without tossing added struggles to anyone's shoulders.

It might be easier to begin each function with a little speech and pep talk. We might begin with the words we preach to our kids. You should include everyone, speak kindly to others, give everyone a chance to talk, take  turns, respect everyone and  most importantly, show  love  towards everyone here. Maybe if we are given  a reminder, we will be scraping off our tough skin armor, allowing our bright lights of love and mindfulness to filter through. We would all enjoy the occasion so much more, without the added silly walls, that serve to only keep us apart, from sharing each others company and love.

“Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.”    Deepak Chopra

"Dignity is the moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself."     Shannon Alder

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

"When you have spent what feels like eternity trying to repair a few moments of time that destroyed the view others once had of you then you must ask yourself if you have the problem or is it really them? God doesn't make us try so hard, only enemies do.”    Shannon Alder

“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.”     Shannon Alder

fragmentation"Divorced from the cosmos, from nature, from society and from each other, we have become fractured and fragmented."    Daisaku Ikeda

“If I don't understand you, I may be angry at you, all the time. We are not capable of understanding each other, and that is the main source of human suffering.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

“In modern society most of us don't want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book - we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.”   ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

“We have negative mental habits that come up over and over again. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future. Perhaps we got this from our parents. Carried away by our worries, we're unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can't really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these "conditions of happiness" we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep. We may have fears about the future because we don't know how it's going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.”   ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

I am so aware of how confusing life is. I observe that all of our lives are replicas of a disorganized family, society and world. If one looks up the word fragmented, we are given such meanings as existing or functioning as though broken into separate parts. We are also told it is living in a state of disorganization or being dis-unified. If we are a fragmented personality then we create a fragmented family and the result is a fragmented society and world.

Have we ever felt misunderstood, under-appreciated, confused about what to do, anxious, helpless and unworthy? Those are perhaps qualities of feeling broken off from the world or detached from other people. It is easy to fall into such a situation. Every day we are concerned with so many important, but trivial matters. Those unimportant issues can leave us drained to the point of being broken into tiny pieces like a drinking glass.

We are burdened with so many things we must attend to that we forget about the vital areas of our lives. At the end of the day we are just happy to have completed the must do  items at the expense of our physical, and mental health, not to mention the deprivation of our spiritual being. Somehow we are enslaved to the world's list of things that are relevant. Everyone around us is conforming so we must also dance to the tune. We don't stop to question why we do it or to what benefit our running in circles will achieve. ...continue reading "Fragmented"

Basically we have become swallowed up in a world of busy work. This nonsense eats our time and energy. How many times have we stated our surprise at a new month beginning, or a new season approaching. We are not really living our lives  but simply existing and running our lives across the land and into the ground. The faster we work, the more pieces of ourselves break apart.


We are scattered in our thinking and become unsure of who or what we are. We at times don't see our purpose or point in life. We are never positive that we are doing anything right yet we never alter or question our course. We have lots of companions, traveling the same route. That gives us a false sense of security. It must be correct because so many people are going in the same direction. There is no time for thought or reflection. There are many things to accomplish.

In reality we are isolated from others. The more people we attempt to connect with, the more incomplete we become. Perhaps it is time to be us and slow down the pace. We can't  keep trying to be and do what others are being and doing. Where is  the understanding in that situation. That only carries discontentment and more confusion. As much as we attempt to fit in with others, we only succeed in losing ourselves. Probably we don't really even know ourselves.

All of us are incomplete and searching for love peace and acceptance. The dilemma is that we always seek it from others and without rather than searching within. We will never receive love peace and acceptance from the outside world until we find it within ourselves. That comes with understanding. People may love us and offer acceptance but there are times they offer us rejection. It is at those times we must come to an understanding of who we really are. We can't be diminished by such treatment, when we have the knowledge of who we are within. We are enough.

The family is a fragment of our lives as are jobs. Appreciating the family without being absorbed and controlled by it keeps the love from collapsing. We fragment it when we make demands,  promote guilt become possessive to the point of allowing no other sunshine but our own to nurture the object of our possessiveness. Reflect on the amount of time we spend protecting what we deem as our own. By attempting to be everything we promote our own disintegration.

Competition, jealousy, envy and many more detrimental thoughts, are all conflicting energy absorbers that relentlessly fracture us. Listening to others who constantly try to control and lead us is futile. They are as mixed up as we are. We place such useless tasks on our shoulders that it gives us little free time to think for ourselves. Now the big trouble is that without thought, we can never find truth. We remain in a dream state of division of the self.

Our need to fight for our rights, get even, take revenge, trounce the enemy, triumph in all situations, come out on top, feel fulfilled, become the world's version of happy, control, have power, prove we are right, be more intelligent, be the martyr, be the good person, or a zillion other fantasies is a perpetrated falsehood. Observe the stores and their tremendous amount of false items to enhance us in a variety of ways. What is wrong with the real us.

Look at the media promoting a better us by doing wearing or acting in uncertain ways. We are practically told what to like, wear and do with our free time. It is in vogue to prefer certain items and music and heroes. Whatever is in fashion is brainwashed into our minds. We don't question maybe because we are too busy with those menial tasks.

Most of us are doing things out of duty rather than love. It looks like the correct thing to do and people are observing. We Think we must sympathize because the world is watching. In the meantime we haven't time to think about the sympathy and why it should really be given. We behave in a robotic way. Empathy and caring should come from within us not from the demands of the outside world. We need to understand more about what is behind caring, loving and compassion. If we don't really comprehend it then we are not really learning how to be a better person.

Unless we want to continue being divided into factions within ourselves and throughout the world, it is pertinent we become unified within. So many of us are misunderstood, under-appreciated, and lonely. It pushes us into following false ideas and people. Truth is within. All we have to do is pay attention and listen with or hearts to the intuitive thoughts attempting to manifest in our lives. Remember it is no competition and anger is left outside the gates.

"To know what you don't know is the beginning of knowing."    Confucius“If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that when the truth comes and knocks on our door, we won't want to let it in.”  Thích Nhất Hanh

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”  Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.”  Thích Nhất Hạnh

When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.”  Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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