Everyone Disappoints

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half closed after."  Benjamin Franklin

“Perhaps, if you weren't so busy regarding my shortcomings, you'd find that I do possess redeeming qualities, discreet as they may be.  I notice when the sky is blue.  I smile down at children.  I laugh at any innocent attempt at humor.  I quietly carry the burdens of others as though they were my own.  And I say 'I'm sorry' when you don't.  I am not without fault, but I am not without goodness either.” Richelle E. Goodrich

“As a matter of fact, we are none of us above criticism; so let us bear with each other's faults.” L. Frank Baum

“Because he has never forgiven himself any fault, he can forgive no one else's.” Linda Berdoll

The hardest thing to come to terms with is the fact that nobody is always agreeing with us one hundred percent of the time. As a matter of fact there are many times throughout the day when our closest family members  sell us out or disappoint us. Of course the ideas quickly depart from our minds because we just can't handle the disappointment we feel. Spouses children parents siblings friends co-workers and bosses are all included.

Checking this out takes courage. When we walk or run away from the hurt we return when things have calmed down and we perceive the person is now within their right minds. We never consider that perhaps it is the other way around and the true colors were revealed if only for a brief moment. War between family members is not what I am searching for nor do I believe we don't love and care for each other. I think that we all worry about our own state of mind and body and if called upon to work hard for another we manage it but not without a few scars in the process.

As important as it is to care for ourselves, we make some time for those we love and come to their support. Of course at times they are still frustrated because we have maybe not jumped as quickly as they had wanted. The more we feel justified in our reactions the more they might feel wronged. At times finding the truth and meaning behind all of it is confusing to say the least.

What went wrong is everyone's thought. In all of our relationships we have the ups and downs and if we believe we can only keep it to the ups, we will be greatly frustrated. Perhaps that is why our marriages and relationships of all kinds fall apart. It honestly has nothing to do with truth but everything to do with perceptions. Likely our discernments regarding our favorite people is slanted because of our high regard for them. In our eyes they are perfect and any kind of a let down is disheartening to us. We give them no rope.

They require space to grow, make mistakes and learn from them, as well as bad days when their self-esteem is perhaps not what it normally is. I know I don't go around the world professing my ego is in the bucket at the moment so please refrain from all criticisms. I do the opposite and hide my sensitivity on that particular day.

My thinking and statements may not be as clear or as kind because my mood and feelings are at an all time low for the moment. It doesn't make any difference who approaches me on that day. I will freely dish out my anger in frustrating ways. I might even be meaner to those I love because I believe I don't have to hide my feelings. They perhaps are taking the brunt of my unsettling mood. I don't always sense any feelings of regret when it is all over because likely I deserved a day off especially when I have always been there for these people. I deduce that I deserved a day of compensation and they should understand that.

If I see this from the receivers end I totally get the saddened mood these people experience as well as the disillusionment of who I really am. All of the high expectations they had of me are currently dashed and after perhaps years of caring consoling and being there for them I have transformed into some hideous monster that they are steering clear. They might even profess to never trust me again. If I do resolve any and all issues I had with them likely the wheels on the track are still a bit shaky and they are nervous to have faith in me again.

This has happened to just about all of us. So  now the consideration is why we see the tiny negative situation against the huge number of positive times they were right by our side. Maybe we are looking for perfection in others yet willingly admit we are not perfect. We so readily cancel out family members and friends who have hurt us to move on towards others who dissatisfy and upset us even more. Perhaps we have faith that we will find the right person eventually, who will make everything faultless.

Siblings cut their  connections, friends find new friends, parents and children live in distrust of each other and couples split up in search of the flawless person. Of course we all find picture-perfect people at the beginning of any new relationship. The problem is we can't maintain perfection forever for very long.

What does that leave us with and where do we venture from here we might ask ourselves. I think the stronger the relationships are, the quicker they weather through situations by confronting the truth in the connections to others. The more we are willing to confront our own issues the more willing we are to release another's imperfections to the wind.

Never would I want serious pain and injury to my mind body or soul especially from someone I loved. I can however forgive others as I do want them to forgive me. If I only view their imperfections then they perhaps improve while I remain the same because I refuse to look at any imperfections in myself. Likewise if we transform ourselves as we find and view our shortcomings but our partner refuses to face their defects then our bonds may be doomed anyways.

I might also add that compromising does not mean we compare each others oversights and blemishes. Transforming our relationships is working on our own defects and not needing to assess who has more or less. It is never about blame but about improvement. We can't ask for more than that. Steps in the right direction are better than no steps or false steps. Of course one must forgive and refuse to bring it up again. The other must work on ways to improve negative traits. Any forward movement is praiseworthy.

“The earlier you admit to your mistakes, the more time you would have to learn and grow from them.” Edmond Mbiaka

“When you say the word 'sorry' make sure you understand that an apology has 3 parts. "I'm sorry", "It's my fault and I won't do it again" and "How can I make things better". The last part is the most important.”  Manasa Rao Saarloos

"The desire to criticise becomes less and less as the character is developed. It is the mark of a fine character never to be critical and to mention but rarely the faults of others. A strong character does not resist evil, but uses their strength in building the good. They know that when the light is made strong, the darkness will disappear of itself.” Christian Larson

“We only care about our faults when we realize them.” Daniel Melgaco

Giving And Receiving

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”    Mother Teresa

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”    Steve Maraboli

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”     Brian Tracy

“I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.”     Mother Teresa

I don't know about others but I can tell you how many times I have weighed in my mind, what pain or hurt others caused me. It seems silly and absurd and definitely not a worthy thing to do. So I question why I am guilty of doing it frequently. If I loved unconditionally, I would not have this problem at all. I recall how much I love my kids and profess to love them unconditionally. I do love them unconditionally but when it comes to others, I fail miserably. When I get myself composed, I fill my heart with love again until the next trying situation

The reasons are likely numerous and perhaps surprising in nature. I suppose it gets tangled up in love. Everyone is searching for love. It is the easiest thing to find, but the hardest thing to keep and maintain. It probably has to do more with attitudes about what love is and isn't. ...continue reading "Giving And Receiving"

When we first get married, we glow in the presence of our spouse. Our love is pure, deep and feels good. The world is at our feet, and we honestly believe that our love for each other is unlike any other love, that ever was. Like a fresh bouquet of roses, it shimmers in the light of the sun. As any divorced couple might say, they don't know when things were going south, and by the time they noticed, it was too late.

I think if we are not sure how, why or when our feelings turned sour, perhaps we were not paying enough attention to our love life and our marriage. If we observe the important elements of our lives with caution, and keep attuned to the small inconsequential acts, we will be aware of problems coming our way a lot faster. What this has to do with unconditional love,  is the fact that almost every couple believes in it at the time of their marriage, yet can lose the feeling a short time down the road. The goal becomes how to keep love alive and healthy.

Friendships run the same course. We cherish our friends but there are moments when they let us down, insult us, make us jealous and envious, or simply make us feel bored. In reality we were just as guilty of the failed relationship, but it is harder to see our own fault. How much easier it is to judge another over ourselves. It is human nature. I don't think it is boastful but perhaps the opposite. We are so lacking in our own worth that we fear facing our own faults. We place  a small amount of blame on ourselves, and the large bundle of guilt on our spouse.

Getting back to the love issue is vital. So many of our relationships with spouses, kids, family, friends coworkers, and parents may end in estrangement. There is likely no one walking around the earth, who has not experienced an estrangement of one kind or another. Now if we are courageous enough, we will admit that not so long ago we would have professed the impossibility of such an occurrence happening. So how did it happen?

How is it we alter our thinking, change our minds and attitudes, and search for and find blame rather than love. If we can remember at one time we saw love within a relationship of whatever kind, maybe we can ignite it again.  Now we look at these people we once cherished, with disdain. They are not worthy of our bonds of love. Is it that they just don't measure up anymore? Did they let us down or hurt us in some way? Do they appear to have changed? Have we changed? Does it have more to do with our egos, jealousies, or competition, rather than our loss of love?

There are perhaps more questions than answers. Of course the end result is confusion, few answers, and lots of pain and suffering in one form or another. We probably don't stop to think of the effect on so many others. We always assume it is just about us.  Changes affect everyone around us. What we do has a domino effect and it continues on and on. Spouses who divorce are likely going to have an effect on a child's future mate who will be forced to deal with the complicating issues of visits, talks about estranged family members and more. Who would think a total stranger would feel the impact of such a course we have taken. None of us ever think about the impact we cause on others daily, as well as far into the future.

Most parents never lose love for their kids and vice versus, but they may become disillusioned. Maybe all of us give so much time to making a living, that we forget about making a  life. All relationships may start out as unconditional love, but end up shattered when people begin experiencing feelings of neglect. Distrust leads to doubt, fear and eventual loss of love. As much as we try, we can become discouraged. We lose faith in ourselves but also in our relationships.

Of course an answer is to work harder on all relationships. Next to that I would say it might be time to reevaluate the pros and cons of any relationship, and our expectations. Are our expectations so unrealistic that a partner or loved one can't help but step over the impossible line? we then consider them failing. If we set our own parameters, but forget to inform our loved one what they are, then we have set the grounds for them to be unsuccessful. Perhaps we must question how much we have planned to make this relationship flourish or flop. Is the relationship about tolerance growth and love or is it about Us?

Our expectations may be unreasonable. We are all aware that the little things count the most. Are we also aware that counting will always create disappointment? Paying more attention to the kindnesses rather than the deficiencies may ultimately support a positive effect. There are those times when we all make mistakes,  overlook sensitivities, and generally lack concern. If we choose to bring attention to these errors constantly,  we will eventually erode any relationship. By monitoring only the absence we are focusing on finding the mistakes in another. An alternative approach is to focus on the good, acknowledge it and most definitely remember it.

We are likely boxed in at times, going round and round. Because we are caught within this box, we are not seeing elsewhere for another view. Choose to look for a positive version of this person or relationship. The alternative is exhaustion, running around in circles, and in the end, breaking and running away from the relationship. Our minds of course support our thoughts. They are also traveling around but going nowhere. The constant reminder of blame, makes it always present, and continually draining. Unless we have the courage to step out and take a different approach, we will destroy what was once a good relationship.

Many times our thoughts sabotage our love. If we can't control our thoughts, we become the slaves to them as well as the victims. We have technically lost control of our choices and decisions. In order to take back control, we have to seek a new way of viewing issues, and dealing with each other. By using a different lens, perhaps a favorable picture will emerge. We in essence allow new ideas and concepts to enter.

Love has nothing to do with money. Expensive gifts do not denote greater love as many may think. The larger ring does  not mean a larger love for the person. By taking so much judgment out of any situation, perhaps it will alleviate the stress. Love does not have to die. We can always choose to keep it alive. Any relationship can survive. Of course there are always others who are insecure and who make it their job to sabotage our relationships with others. These people have their own insecurities and agendas which affect our bonds to others.

 I surmise that those who are less judgmental, more secure in their own worth, and keep their unconditional love alive, will have a greater chance of happiness and love. Love does not need to be tested every day. Love does not need to be hidden from others. Love does not need to have a closed circle. My idea of love is a trusting heart, an open loving attitude, and a line that continues and captures all into its embrace.

Taking love and placing it into a cage, creates anger and darkness. Freely spreading love around transforms the world in all kinds of ways. Just because we have a bad day with our friend or spouse doesn't mean the bonds are broken. They are just stressed at the moment. The worst thing we can do is dwell on these thoughts over and over. Instead we should attempt to push them from our minds and consider the good. Never take the smallest act of kindness for granted. As a matter of fact, perhaps we should never take any and all love for granted. Love when someone deserves it. Love when someone least deserves it, and you will keep love strong and safe.

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”    Brent Brown

“When you know that everything matters—that every move counts as much as any other—you will begin living a life of permanent purpose.”    Andy Andrews

“When you suffer, you are being conformed to the image of Jesus. When you pray, you are being made holy in the image of Jesus. When you quietly serve a person in need, you are being shaped into the image of Jesus. When you generously give, your heart is being remade into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”     Allen R. Hunt

“Theologians talk about a provenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a provenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.”    Marilyn Robinson

“If the people of God were to transform the world through fascination, these amazing teachings had to work at the center of these peculiar people. Then we can look into the eyes of a centurion and see not a beast but a child of God, and then walk with that child a couple of miles. Look into the eyes of tax collectors as they sue you in court; see their poverty and give them your coat. Look in to the eyes of the ones who are hardest for you to like, and see the One you love. For God loves good and bad people.”    Shane Claiborne

If you give, expecting something in return, it's not really giving at all.
If you love, expecting something in return, it's not really loving at all.”    Donald  L. Hicks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Knocks You Down;Faith“If you want to fly on the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”   Amit Ray

“Only God can take our failures and turn them into victories.” Evinda Lepins

“If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.”  Amit Ray

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! ~Lucian Bane~”

How easily our lives are changed, and how swiftly we fall down. We begin to feel like summer grass, or fall leaves caught in a turbulent wind. I'm sure there isn't one person who hasn't experienced some form of a devastation within their lives, in one way or another. Many people love to joke and say we don't get out of this world alive. I would add to this,  we don't get out of life without scars. Some scars heal while others develop infections and tend to drag on with the healing process.

When we are younger we tend to have faith in our own ability to create our own worlds. Although in many ways we do tend to form our own realities by the choices we make,, in other ways we are puppets to the hurts and obstacles life places in our paths. I don't care for problems any more than anyone else. I must admit, when the struggles befall us, they change us in ways that make us rethink and perhaps differentiate our actions. Out thoughts appear dissimilar prior to the incident. What causes us to evolve? How about those who fight the transformations. ...continue reading "Living Knocks You Down;Faith Picks You Up"

I think about those of us who lose jobs or friendships or even divorce spouses, which can be similar to experiencing a death. Some of us learn from the mistakes we made while others of us fill with anger and hatred for the other people. We can't see our own faults in the situations and believe the other person was totally to blame. All we accomplish is adding on stress and rage. I wonder if we just haven't gotten the message in such instances. Nobody is ever entirely right or wrong in any given drama. Of course if we were all able to face that reality in the first place there would be less fighting and more respect and consideration.

Maybe it is all about us. Even divorcing people forget to think about the kids involved, or the extended family who are also victims. We tend to our own pain and suffering and become totally unaware of another person's aches. Uncles aunts cousins and grandparents suffer during a divorce and most especially the kids. Nobody is left without scars.  Perhaps if we recognized that we are all in the huge pot of soup together, we might take a look around and conclude we are not the only ones sensing the pains of disappointment or anger.

All the simple pleasures of life are what we are searching for. Anything less leaves us in want. This want can lead to desperation and actions that are out of  boundaries. Of course the results are even more painful, yet we won't accept our fault in the matter. Our actions and words have so much to do with the issues we create in our lives. We wonder and proclaim to be surprised when things fall apart.  How is it we never go back a page or two in our lives to see our intrusion within the dilemma.

Many times life extends hardships which are out of our control. Some of these were never seen coming nor could they have ever been conceived. We don't plan on parents getting old, children growing up and making big mistakes, nor diseases and handicaps rendering us less potent. It really does appear to happen without warning. Even television is constantly portraying lives that are loaded with so many choices that lead down so many diverse roads. Most of these destinations are not for the better. We enjoy the movies but don't recall them later when we are faced with similar decisions. I am not displaying television as an item to watch but we miss so much even within our own lives.

We might see a relative go through a nasty divorce or situation with teenagers yet we find ourselves one day repeating the same problems. Perhaps our pain sends us cowering into a corner and without any positive thoughts of restoring us to health. I wonder at times if we are almost afraid to have faith and hope. Just when we believe the world is a bright and wonderful place, we manage to  experience a let down. As they say, we expect something to go wrong when too much is going right. That is so sad. Perhaps our expectations need the changing.

Are we looking for the perfect fun-filled life or the rewarding, faith packed life. Nobody likes pain, myself included. However, the pain I have experienced within my life has caused me to understand the value of people and relationships. It has also made me question my own fault in every situation that causes a crack. I am more aware of forgiving because I have had the need of forgiveness. My own tears have instilled me with more empathy for those who are aching inside. I know that when there is tremendous pain in one's life, the only remedy is love and faith if one is to be restored. No money, fame or power will help. There is no material item to bring relief. People and their love are the cures.

Painful situations allow honesty and understanding to filter through. the more we understand, the less of a need we have to be understood. When we comprehend why a starving person might steal, we learn the meaning of tolerance and love. As much as we all search and yearn for the same things in life, we also experience many of the same injuries to our minds, bodies and souls. I suppose at those times it dawns on us that life is more than material comforts. Life is truly about learning how to develop all of the virtues poets write about.

When one always wins, they have great pride and happiness. They don't recognize the suffering the loser experiences. We go deeper within when we are hurt. If we are ostracized, we understand tolerance, acceptance and love for others through identifying with them. Manifesting virtues benefits our learning . We can observe some of the lessons of life by sharing another's pain. Running away from our own hurt or the sufferings of others shadows the meaning and purpose of growth in life.

Experiencing trials and tribulations doesn't have to equate with unhappiness. It is how we relate to our situations that matters. In the end we are left with our emotional understanding. We encounter a deep wisdom of hope and faith far greater than ourselves. Perhaps we are afraid to look that closely and our fear drives us into useless tasks and fruitless busy work, along with wasteful social activities. The value of time and attention to virtue has become obsolete. Time is passing and we are changing for the better or worse. Although it is so hard to recognize good in hurtful situations, open your eyes and experience a new look.

We obviously can't encounter every lesson involved in life. We can become more aware of absorbing another's pain. Paying greater attention to the person beside us, teaches many life lessons in faith and love. The hardest experiences bring the most profound feelings. If we experience or witness ostracism, we can be transformed by it. We may evolve into being bitter and angry, or accepting others like we never have before. Loss can leave us bitter, or make us appreciate and cherish what we have. Dwelling on lack can become a pastime. Valuing what we have developed and acquired can turn into a good habit.

Faith is believing what we cannot see with our eyes, but what we can sense with our hearts. Faith is a commitment to having hope, when we are at our lowest. Not having the ability to witness the whole picture, at moments, can allot us feelings of despair. Trusting that there is more to the picture, beyond the canvas, turns disbelief into loyalty. Sharing our hardships with others and reciprocating when others are in pain, renews our love in life and in living. As Martin Luther King once stated, "Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the whole staircase."

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness." Albert Einstein

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life... as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."    Booker T. Washington

"We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical."    Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."    Marie Curie

"As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life -- delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay -- I hold this question as a guiding light: 'What do I really need right now to be happy?' What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way."Sharon Salzberg

Kids Blossom With Love And Two Parents“My husband and I have never considered divorce... murder sometimes, but never divorce.”     Joyce Brothers

“But in the real world, you couldn't really just split a family down the middle, mom on one side, dad the other, with the child equally divided between. It was like when you ripped a piece of paper into two: no matter how you tried, the seams never fit exactly right again. It was what you couldn't see, those tiniest of pieces, that were lost in the severing, and their absence kept everything from being complete.”    Sarah Dessen

“The problem of unmet expectations in marriage is primarily a problem of stereotyping. Each and every human being on this planet is a unique person. Since marriage is inevitably a relationship between two unique people, no one marriage is going to be exactly like any other. Yet we tend to wed with explicit visions of what a “good” marriage ought to be like. Then we suffer enormously from trying to force the relationship to fit the stereotype and from the neurotic guilt and anger we experience when we fail to pull it off.”    M. Scott Peck

“Those who divorce aren't necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person.”    Alain de Botton

There is an onslaught of advice regarding parenting skills. If one attempts to find information, they will likely be inundated with more than they wanted. Sifting through all of this information is next to impossible. I must admit it is interesting and it provides so many interesting views on discipline and nurturing and ways one should go about it. The limitless supply of help leaves one confused regarding the implementation of any of it. ...continue reading "Kids Blossom With Love & Two Parents"

The problem is we have so many "experts" in the field attempting to promote their own version of good bad and indifferent. They have many degrees, years of providing information, and a following so numerous one would immediately including myself, agree they are truly experts on the subject. They are book learned and many work with families. However, at times they forget to rethink old ideas and incorporate new ones instead of constantly standing by the delineated modes.

Many perhaps could find one of these "experts" to agree with your discipline rules and your nurturing abilities. You might also discover many who disagree with your actions. There are many things and notions that we have in both categories of good and bad. On any given day, perhaps we have a mixed variety of both types of conducts. Who do we trust? How much advice is overload?

From my own perspective, I throw in my own take. I have raised four kids and have many grandchildren. I have taught for many years and have always held jobs related to children. I have observed and listened to a tremendous amount of children's stories and sufferings. I have shed tears with some, encouraged others, offered comfort and hope, and guided all with love. I even wrote a book on the subject because of the overwhelming hurt I felt inside. It is strange but I never considered myself an "expert yet my college credentials likely match up with most if not all of the educated people on the subject.

There are Hollywood stars and media people willing to confess their understanding of any situation pertaining to kids. It amazes me that if anybody truly had the answers, we would find a decline in negative parenting and a rise in positive skills. The opposite appears to be true. We have more children that are physically, mentally  emotionally or spiritually abused within the family environments. Somehow all the advice is going nowhere. I ponder the poor outcome as a result of too much information combined with losing focus on whose welfare is mostly at stake. I realize criticism is not what anybody wants. I also understand that if we fear facing or hearing the truth, nothing good will be accomplished or changed.

Probably we spend too much time on adult needs. Yes many will say you must love the parents to help the kids or you must treat the parents so that they can deal with their own children. I softly mention there is some truth but the crux of the problem is ignored. That is the most confusing part for me to come to terms with. Why we never attempt to proceed in a different fashion especially when our previous attempts have failed miserably.

I know truth hurts but without it there is no moving forward. Pretending it doesn't exist or focusing on other items that also need attention is a ploy that has been used for too long. I strongly believe we have to listen to our kids and find out their stories. They are the ones living it along with the parents. They are the people without a  say and the ones who are the guinea pigs for the various ideas or skills promoted by experts in the field. This likely appears helpful on the surface. However, although it is relevant to learn new ideas for disciplining  and nurturing, unless we add in the emotional pain and issues kids endure, and are related to it, we will not see any improvement. Coming up with yet other ideas is pointless. Our actions and choices on a daily basis impact our kids for better or worse.

We can't teach kids like we are training a dog. They are not robots and actually what works for one child is not successful for another. Parents are varied and have various modes of behavior attitudes skills temperaments burdens and original homes they were raised in. Their previous knowledge impacts their current behaviors.  Parents have their work cut out. Parents may be required to have insurmountable patience and tolerance. Some kids are tempermental and need encouragement while others are insecure. The premiss is kids are as divergent as snow flakes. So to are parents. They are just as much a diverse group of people. They bring a wide-ranged background  to the marriage.

None of us has degrees in multiple fields or there are few who do. It renders all of us at the mercy of working together to find solutions. I have my own answers which never rule out other critical thinking and support from others. Cooperation and collaboration help us achieve more than holding the belief, we have all the answers to questions we haven't even asked yet.

It isn't easy to manifest these qualities when we are at the end of our rope. We all fail at times but how we react to it is paramount to finding healthy relationships with our kids. If we feel shamed and refuse to accept our indiscretions, we will not work on improving them. It is far better to acknowledge our mistakes, no one is perfect, and work on improving them. Hitting of any kind in my opinion should be ruled out. Listening to our child everyday is important. Our kids know more than they appear and acknowledging their attentiveness is important.

I know how deeply kids are hurt emotionally when parents ignore their physical, mental or emotional needs. Kids are also  devastated when parents argue and fight consistently. Divorce brings anxiety to all kids.  They have a realistic fear as they watch  their worlds tumbling. Many of us are dealing with our own pain and are unaware of the trauma occurring in our kids lives. With divorce extended family is obliterated. The world becomes full of fights and taking  sides. Parents insult each other and form new relationships while the kids are left agreeing to whatever terms the parents decide. Life is Topsy turfy and parents are busy. Kids observe about  the new people in the parent's life. They have learned to hide their feelings and agree with the parent they are with at the time.

Kids accept step brothers and sisters as well as half siblings on both sides. They have four disciplinarians eventually, who have varying amounts of patience and ideas on discipline. Nurturing is many times overlooked due  to parental exhaustion. I realize it is extremely difficult for parents but kids can't wait. They must be nurtured and disciplined regardless of whatever else is going on in our lives. Yes we might take a short break here and there but basically constancy in caring for kids is critical.

Kids are expected to be happy when the parent remarried and when they have another child with a person the child hardly knows. Kids are jealous of their step siblings who get to enjoy mom or dad's company all or most of the time. They feel replaced and lost. Their grades go down and their misbehavior increases. They are insecure and crave attention. Probably none of this information is relayed to the parents. Kids hide their feelings and emotions.

The idea is if we focus on truths we might have better solutions that are meaningful. Teaching parents to respect their marriages is helping kids. Unless there is an impossible situation that is harmful, parents ought to seek counseling and be taught the implications their choices may inspire. Believing life goes on as soon as the parents are happy and settled is like believing in Santa Claus. Remember, if you left your husband or wife for an insignificant reason, kids won't trust that one day you might stop loving them. This is not my idea or rule. It is a fact. Just connect the dots.

By understanding, the vital job we have in raising kids, perhaps we will work harder on our marriages and let the trivial  go. Every couple  has those times when they feel like tossing in the towels. Overcoming and working through those difficult moments is crucial. Teaching parents parenting skills is vital but along with that is the necessity of teaching the pitfalls of endowing our kids with the pain of divorce. Never take a marriage break-up as transforming your life to something better. Many times it becomes the opposite. Divorced parents can do a good job provided they choose to work together in harmony without criticism of each other. It is not easy but it has been done. If one can alleviate having to go this route it is even better.

In order to teach parenting skills, one must teach life through the kids eyes. We must venture to observe what the kids see when they look through the lens at the home environment. Kids may pretend they don't notice anything but actually they miss nothing. Listen and keep communication open.  Don't be afraid to hear words you did not anticipate. Give kids the freedom to freely state their honest thoughts. Love your kids and tell them so every day. Don't compete with a divorced spouse and never degrade each other. It only diminishes your child. Think about the extra  time energy and money involved when the decision of dissolving the marriage is considered. List your pros and cons and see clearly by taking off the rose-colored glasses.

Kids only come with the instruction to love them and nurture their minds hearts bodies and spirits. Be gentle with them in speech and action. Recognize their frailty. Kids cannot wait for us to decide we are ready to be parents. They need our attention from day one. They need nurturing and positive discipline from the start. Whatever issues we accumulate are our own burdens. Don't place them on your kids shoulders. By spending time and discussing things with your kids from the beginning, you will create an atmosphere of trust that will not be easily broken. There is no magic solution or rule book to follow. You must love treasure and enjoy your priceless gifts. The absolute crucial, key item to remember is love your kids unconditionally. Regardless of anything else, that is the one thing that cannot be denied. It is above everything.

“When mom and dad went to war the only prisoners they took were the children”     Pat Conroy

“You don't know when you're twenty-three.
You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten - in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.
She didn't know at twenty-three.” ( Nor did she know the effect on the kids)    Rainbow Rowell

“The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.”  ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

“It was one of those ridiculous arrangements that couples make when they are separating, but before they are divorced - when they still imagine that children and property can be shared with more magnanimity than recrimination.”    John Irving

Superficiality“I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.”    Douglas Pagels

"People in this world of superficial communication find themselves isolated and lonely and have difficulty in talking about personal things that really matter to them."    Theodore Zeldin

Perhaps, there are many of us losing our way, and confused about our purpose and meaning in life. This is almost becoming a trend. Of course we all might feel like that from time to time, but when it becomes a habit, perhaps we should discover some truths behind the scenes of  our lives.

I believe it is extremely difficult to maintain positive attitudes. Problems and stresses mount while answers are not forthcoming. We want to be good do good and behave in acceptable ways, but then we fall down into tantrums like a child. Life gets too complicated to figure out, and we want to run away from our responsibilities. You can't blame someone from desiring to set themselves free. Unlocking the chains of duty and commitment, brings a sense of freedom.

Of  course the sense of release is short-lived because our duties and indebtedness to others, remains strong. If we could just take a quick vacation from our accountability, maybe we would be happy to return to them again and keep up our original promises. That is never an option for the most part, but mentally we might sit ourselves down, and ruminate options for improving our situations.

There are times in everyone's life, when we feel overwhelmed. There appears to be no relief in sight, and discouragement, anger and frustration creeps in. Young couples with babies or young children, cope with the drudgery of work for low pay. They work for their needy kids, who appear to relentlessly want and need attention. Bills never appear to be caught up, and a prevailing tiredness won't diminish. Relief is non-existent, and burdens keep pressing us down. The longer the situation continues the deeper into despair we get enmeshed. ...continue reading "Superficiality"

This  probably sounds like a no-win situation. The truth is,  many times it is how we are seeing, facing and dealing with our lives. If we look for quietness, when we have young kids, we will likely not find it. If we search for happy  smiles, laughter and craziness, we came to the correct household. If we want to have money at a young age, perhaps we  should forgo having kids right away and devote endless hours to our jobs. Then we will come home to an empty quiet adobe. To have a life without duties is practically non-existent. Certainly if we refrain from buying  things like boats houses cars and skip vacations, we will have more money in the bank. By forgoing marriage and family at a young age, we may have less bills and responsibilities.

I suppose we forget that when we purchase an item, it comes with attachments. When we create bonds with others, it comes with promises. Everything about our lives encourages, mental, physical and emotional agreements. As much as we believe we can leave them all behind if we choose, we sadly find that down the road they come back to bite us in one way or another. All things come with a price. The hardest of all situations to walk away from, are the emotional attachments we have with others.

Some of us may require a short mental recess from the burdens. If we are given the  support when necessary, it helps us to face the negative aspects of our duties and overcome them by focusing on the positive benefits. We find we have so much more to be grateful for. This is not acknowledged when we are feeling unsupported and downtrodden. We can't see between the murky water, how much we have to appreciate.

Everyone has those times when the road seems too rocky to travel down. We stop, throw up our hands and collapse to the ground. At that point we don't care what others think of us. We don't care what we think of ourselves. It is almost like a survival instinct. I sense that once the panicky mood has passed, we should attempt to gather as much of the resources available to us.  look with new eyes upon our situation. By engaging the support of others, we might overcome our battle with our various  stresses. When we win the fight, we gain back our strength, and can renew our faith in our obligations.

So many people believe, that they are the only  ones fighting anything difficult. If the truth were known,  there are many people dealing with situations out of their control. Perhaps only a little help,  comfort and understanding brings enlightenment to an unhealthy dilemma. Most of us can't loosen up, unwind, and discuss our problems with the openness needed. We keep feelings locked up until they explode. We are left immobilized regarding what we can, or should do. It is always better to speak before the explosion but nevertheless, we can still ask for help at anytime.  Once others are aware of someone's lack, they can offer their support. Perhaps by becoming the leaning post, will be enough to give the courage back to those in need.

When all we see from the media is material gains, we can miss the intangible gains and the huge benefits they provide. In this scenario, our material acquirement might be low, however our mental, emotional and spiritual gains might be high. Faith in our ability to draw good into our lives is vital.

  Remember that we all face setbacks of one kind or another. Perhaps our patience  needs to kick in. In due time we might see the whole canvas rather than focusing on the tiny bit of the picture. Decide today to examine the positive and dissolve the negative.

There are as many assessments of our lives as there are people who choose to critique our lives. Even when we require a vacation from our daily actions, it doesn't mean we are giving up or retiring. It also doesn't mean that things are not working. It simply means space is necessary at the present moment. Reflection is needed, and appreciation must be found.  We are not perhaps lost, just confused.

Kids and people make our lives significant. We can't lose sight for a moment of that key factor. Our life is purposeful. We need playtime and recreation. In the scheme of life we can't ask what makes us happy, but what makes our life have purpose and meaning. That is what will finally bring us the contentment we are searching for. Anything less is superficial.

“Our lives are mere flashes of light in an infinitely empty universe. In  12 years of education the most important lesson I have learned is that what we see as “normal” living is truly a travesty of our potential. In a society so governed by superficiality, appearances, and petty economics, dreams are more real than anything in the actual world. Refuse normalcy. Beauty is everywhere, love is endless, and joy bleeds from our everyday existence. Embrace it. I love all of you, all my friends, family, and community. I am ceaselessly grateful from the bottom of my heart for everyone. The only thing I can ask of you is to stay free of materialism. Remember that every day contains a universe of potential; exhaust it. Live and love so immensely that when death comes there is nothing left for him to take. Wealth is love, music, sports, learning, family and freedom. Above all, stay gold.”
Dominic Owen Mallary

“Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling. Modern society has generally ‘lost the plot’. Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life.”
Anthon St. Maarten

The Need To Be Understood"In the past there were people who were not rich but contented with their living style, laughing and happy all day. But when the new rich people appear, people look at them and ask, 'why don't I have a life like that too, a beautiful house, car and garden,' and they abandon their values."    Thich Nhat Hanh

"People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore."    Thich Nhat Hanh

~ "Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes."     Thich Nhat Hanh

Here we go again attempting to explain what we meant by our recent discourse. The person misinterpreted our meaning. I would not doubt for  a second, how many times we are caught in such a situation. We just don't grasp the implications from our interactions with others. The result is bewildering and hurt feelings. Misunderstandings and long time  rifts of one sort or another are inevitable.

How do we complicate the meaning of what others are trying to say and how do others misinterpret our words and bring doubt and mistrust into the relationship. We grasp what we want in any of our conversations. Our misunderstanding of the  encounter, causes us to  choose a negative review of the incident. We dwell on the tiniest insult while ignoring any praise. We have set ourselves up for failure.

For sure we don't plan to be downbeat, but we sometimes have an attitude of what a person believes,  before they begin explaining something. In a way we have already selectively decided their points of view, which we usually deduce is contrary to our own.  We argue on cue. It leaves the accused, clarifying their thoughts. Accusations tend to trouble most of us, so to attempt elucidating our reasoning only confuses our accuser and ourselves. When anyone is on the proverbial hot seat, it is difficult to think clearly. ...continue reading "The Need To Be Understood"

Pondering why so many of us deliberately recall exchanges with others, in such a manner disarray, is confounding. Perhaps some of us enjoy the uncomfortable position we placed another individual. Whatever the causes we likely have experienced both sides of such a situation. There is no winner only wasted time, effort and exacerbated feelings.

Delving more deeply into such occurrences, you find how needy we are for love, attention and to be understood. Perhaps we are angrier at someone's lack of appreciating, our time and effort for doing something. Probably they don't quite acknowledge enough empathy, for the situation we find ourselves in. Most likely we have a sense of being misunderstood, or under-appreciated for who we are, or what we do.

Exchanges in disagreements, allow us to continue in a more controversial manner. We are able to add our own agendas, and issues to the mix. Past hurts and unfinished business, sheds even more shadows onto the current dilemma. At best, when the argument has finished, we find how far we have ventured, from the original renditions of opinions. We find it further from the subject, that originated the controversy.

Most definitely we are all influenced by our obstacles in life. We see the world with different glasses, and our deductions are blurred and muddied by our past and present hindrances. We can't always scream out, "Well it is easy for you to say that because you have more money, more support, a husband that listens, adult kids living close by or whatever else bothers us. Instead we ream the person who antagonized us,  for things they perhaps are not even guilty of. Our pain is hidden, but unresolved, and left to fester. We have the added burden of a broken relationship.

How does one compare lives or problems. Suffice it to say we all have our own challenges to overcome, and our battles to fight. We admit this up front, but then we proceed to lay it all out, and unravel and decipher our grasp of the situation. If we could see this from a child's perspective, it would be like comparing who has the better toy truck. Does it matter?  It really doesn't help either of the combatants.

Forgiveness is without a doubt, the most obvious solution to finding peace. The problem is at times, we still withhold it in our hearts. The words are spoken, but not deeply felt. It takes some compassion, and mindfulness to appreciate the depth of the hurt, and the unclear enlightenment attempting to filter into our thoughts and hearts.

Let's face it, at times we are not always impressed with another person's issues, because we deem our own to be so much worse. We try so hard to decode and decipher our problems, and it leaves us little time for sympathizing with others. Honestly, when we make time for another, we gain time for ourselves. Somehow the answers to our problems are possibly hidden in the obstacles another faces. It sheds light on our unclear thoughts and questions.

It is so unnerving to be in the position of clarifying, and elucidating our gist and intentions. Especially noteworthy is the perplexing insinuations, we sometimes unconsciously imply with our words. We want acknowledgement, attention, and love. We  want respect, and understanding. Our need to be noticed, is relevant in our desire for worth, for being of value, for receiving love in this whole wide universe.

What we perhaps hear at any given moment, is our own heart's calling for love. We really are not so different nor separated in our wants and desires. Understanding how similar we are, ensures our ability for mindfulness. If we can get out of our heads, for a little bit, and get into our hearts, we will easily understand the unspoken words. Peace is attained, when we find more answers to the questions  we haven't yet asked. Reflect in the silence, and discover serenity.

"Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind."    Thich Nhat Hanh

Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion - towards ourselves and towards all living beings.    Thich Nhat Hanh

"To be loved means to be recognized as existing."    Thich Nhat Hanh

"We are all the leaves of one tree; we are all the waves of one sea; the time has come for all to live as one."    Thich Nhat Hanh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't Die Before You're Dead"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."    Dalai Lama

"Through our willingness to help others we can learn to be happy rather than depressed." Gerald Jampolsky"

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."    Audrey Hepburn

So many of us merely exist, and we focus on when we'll die instead of living. We  wonder constantly where we are going. Likely we would not recognize where we wanted to go. We make more plans than ever before, yet accomplish less. We set goals we never reach, and worry about insignificant issues. We fear what might happen, worry about what we have already done, dread what others think about us, yet never contemplate what we think about ourselves. Outwardly we brag about our accomplishments, inwardly we are insecure. Our good times are spoiled with thoughts of what is wrong or missing  about the setting. But we refuse to appreciate what is right and happy about our environment.

I see a pattern. We  focus on the negative and wallow,  almost enjoying our unhappy situation. If we can't stop to view the special beautiful moments of our existence, life will always exhibit the misery  and pain. I recently watched on the news, a  story of a homeless man who was given a hundred dollars. It was a test to see what he would do with it. Unbeknownst  to him, the camera people followed him around and saw him enter a liquor store. They were 'aha' just as they  expected. He came out with two huge bags and headed for a park, where there were other homeless people. To the news casters surprise, instead of liquor, he began taking all kinds of food from his bags. He spread it on about three different tables, in three different areas of the park, for  others to share. It ended up becoming a totally different ending to the story, than was anticipated.

I call this doing or living, rather than planning to die. He didn't lament the  situation he or any others were in. He simply did something quite powerful,  in the name of humanity. He had so little himself, yet he was willing to share the tiny amount that he had. Nobody could plan such a revelation. There was an addition to the story a couple of days later. Upon hearing of his efforts, people donated over ninety thousand dollars, for him to use at his own discretion. What a powerful story.

How hard it is for us to find ourselves. We for the most part, all want to help others and be of service. We just don't always know where to begin. I guess it is best to begin in our own back yards. Within our homes and communities we can easily find ways to make a difference. It seems that confusion time and energy kick in, and defeat our good intentions. We planned on volunteering,  yet the kids got sick and that ended that. Whatever the problems, at times we get way-sided.

Perhaps the strange thing is, that even a simple gesture of support within our  own homes, can produce the magic of serenity in another person's heart. It may also afford peace to our own heart. We don't have to be angry with ourselves about what we are doing or not doing. Loving those within reach, just like the homeless man did, is sending well wishes, joy and comfort to others. Of course  it boomerangs back to us. Doing a spouse's job around the house, or offering supportive conversation can be as much of an uplift to someone,  as any outside effort we can muster. Perhaps we forget that those closest to us need encouragement at times. Making a difference in the world may begin within our own environments.

The more we get used to accomplishing small efforts of care to others, the easier it gets to take on larger tasks. The important thing  is to begin. If anyone can recall how tired they felt after cooking a big meal for a lot of people, they will  understand the thankfulness they felt upon receiving some help with the cleaning. What a good feeling. Simple  acts renew one's spirit. That person in kind, can pay it forward. If we are never helped, we might become defeated and useless to others. Therefore we can never underestimate  the power we have to change situations, simply by supporting those around us. Those people we help, may go forward and aid others, having regained their own peace through our efforts.

Trying to take on more than we can handle, causes us to do nothing. It isn't about showing others how great or important we are, nor how much we can handle, or assist. In any large or small event, it is the love put into it that counts, and that gives rise to the happiness. Just as we can't always explain why we feel mixed up, and anxious, we also can't always explain why some small act of care, fills us with a renewed spirit of joy. The small unimportant things, have great meaning.

There was no mention of thanks from the people who received the free food from the homeless man. Maybe they said thanks. If they didn't, that did not mean they were not thankful. As hungry as they were, they attempted to wait until the homeless man had finished placing everything on the table, before grasping for food. Not one person grabbed at anything. The giver of the food, didn't require a thank you. He swiftly moved from table to table. He obviously understood their thanks was the warmth in their hearts and smiles. We underestimate how often every day, we can spread kindness by our actions.

Instead of constantly being aware of the pain in our hearts, and the frustration and confusion about how to be a good person, we might transfer our microscope outward and focus on the plight of others. There is likely a needy person in all of us, on any given day. We actually improve our findings, as we learn to clearly look and observe. I have found that the jealousy, anger, and frustration dissipates. We see a whole person with their praiseworthy qualities, as well as those less than admirable  qualities. Perhaps they are working on improving their virtues.

When we search for the humanity in others, we find our own humaneness. Helping others, can keep us from becoming involved in negative activities. It can also focus our attention on the positive, rather than the negative, which perhaps controls our fear and anxiety. One doesn't have time to wallow in self problems, when we are too busy concerning ourselves with living, and supporting those in need. On a clear day we can relish our efforts, to make positive changes for others. Mother Teresa once said, "We can't always do great things, but we can do small things with great love." We will come to realize suddenly, that we are not simply existing, but executing, through our living, a better life for others, and a more fulfilling life for ourselves.

"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."    Saint Augustine

"A Christian reveals true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ, by being always ready to help others, by speaking kind words and performing unselfish acts, which elevate and ennoble the most sacred message that has come to our world."    Ellen White

"You feel alive to the degree that you feel you can help others."    John Travolta

Rejection is Complicated"Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don't base your self-esteem on their opinions."    Harvey Mackay

"The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis." Dalai Lama

"All religions try to benefit people, with the same basic message of the need for love and compassion, for justice and honesty, for contentment."    Dalai Lama

"Logically, harmony must come from the heart... Harmony very much based on trust. As soon as use force, creates fear. Fear and trust cannot go together."    Dalai Lama

When we think about rejection, we recall friendships and boyfriends and girlfriends. Upon our loss of any kind, we review what we did and said and how others interacted with us. Many times we are left with feelings of guilt, remorse and we become determined to refrain from repeating what we perceive as the mistakes. How guilty we make ourselves believe. Even when others hurt us we somehow manage to turn it around and blame ourselves for the agonizing results.

Understanding the reasons for being rejected by anybody for any reasons is paramount to comprehending the complications of such situations. As early as childhood we face rejection from parents. Of course most parents love their kids but forms of discipline, and pain endured by parents who are attempting to avoid their own hurts get in the way of clear thinking. The result is rejection for minutes hours or days.

Children tend to be quick at rebounds and impulsive in their retorts and actions. It likely gets just about all of them in trouble with one parent or another. I suppose it takes tremendous thought on the parents part to understand the behind the scene reasons for such outbursts. A child who actually may want a parents' love may forcefully reject the parent. Perhaps it gives the child control and probably the child wants to feel the parents love swiftly capturing him or her and sweeping them into their loving arms.

Of course a tired, weary stress ridden parent is unaware of the child's hidden agenda and may carelessly misunderstand the behavior and resort to punishments and crying. Likely we have all been there. Viewing the situation from outside the circle allows one to notice that as upset as the parent is, the  child is more deeply affected. In this case one would say, the parent never meant to reject the child. The messages were not clear. The child might think, mom or  dad doesn't love me, or I must do and behave in certain ways in order to keep their love. Love becomes conditional. Kids will accept the terms because love is so important to them and rejection is so horrible.

Parents likely assume the punishment worked but at times it has simply kept peace and control but perhaps not remedied the situation. Discussion brings understanding and enlightenment to a situation. The problem with discourse is sometimes we don't have the time or the energy left after such an upsetting ordeal. Recognizing the signs of distress in kids helps to alleviate pain before it mounts. Realizing our own need for downtime and relief is also vital if we want to help ourselves in order to support our kids.

Dismissal from friends perhaps is the result of jealousy and envy. If one worries about weight, yet their friend is thin, it certainly can result in a crisis situation. Whenever we feel less of a person, in order to soothe ourselves we attempt to drag another down. We just can't fathom our own worth. Making a friend believe they are not so great kind of keeps them under control. We don't think about their hidden insecurities. At the moment we are concerned with our own.

Boyfriends who are jealous attempt to keep all other suitors away. In this way they confine their prize in order to keep it secure. None of us stop to think that such a manner of acting doesn't work. At some future time perhaps our spouse will wander or attempt to leave. When the ensuing rage starts,  the results are seen in fights and sometimes death of one spouse at the hands of another. If we could sense or grasp the pain we all feel from rejection, we might figure out the power and deep pain we share deep inside. When we have love we fear losing love. Without love we search for any kind. Love does make the world go around.

Friendships thrive on sameness, compatibility and sharing of similar tasks and likes. New arrivals are not always welcome because it changes the mixtures' texture. New friends who are added can rearrange things, cause stress and havoc and bring about jealousy and vulnerability. We might deny this or choose to ignore it but perhaps we do ignore our sensitivities too much. By accepting them and grasping them, we might lighten the anxiety.

Some people have a need to flirt with others when out with their significant other. Likely it is their insecurity that brings about the flirting. They need to feel wanted and desired by many so that they are built up enough to believe they would never lose the one they are with. After all they think, I am desired by others. I wonder sometimes at how much love we are lacking in our lives. If we love ourselves we can find love in our world. Real love is not mean, or unkind. It doesn't hurt, cause  pain or brag. It isn't boastful nor demanding. Love is gentle enduring and unconditional. It is free and returns of its' own free will. It is never contained or hidden.

Siblings resent each other at times and perhaps by noticing the competition that started from childhood,  we can understand why sibling jealousy is prevalent. Siblings might have discovered at an early age that they are vying for their parents approval and acceptance as well as their love. Parental love might come at the price of a rejected sibling. The love lost between siblings is sad. So many devote their lives to avoiding each other or resenting the company of each other. The reality is they miss what they yearn for. they would cherish the love from each other but don't know how to go about rekindling it and rediscovering the love they felt and had.

Perhaps the rejections are not always real. Kids push parents away when they want them the most. Parents walk away from kids when they are so hurt yet they love their kids so much. Parent and child are wounded. Spouses hurt each other with mistrust and doubt. As much as they want each other to make the first move and reach across the table with a loving hand, they become immobilized in their fear of rejection. In a sense we label the weaker person as the one who needs and wants the love. We will pretend we don't care or need the love rather than admit our desire for it.

The significance of love and what love means is genuinely beyond words. Even animals choose love over food and warmth.  Humans have a necessity for love and we all hate to admit that need. All of us are connected by the universal truth of love making the world go around. We are so good at rejecting each other. We desire to be needed more than to need. Our requirements are basically  the same so there is no shame when the object of our affection hurts us with their rejection.

Guilt never works. It is negative and brings us down further than we already are. Guilt will separate us rather than bring us together. Let go of the guilt.  Choose to absolve yourself of guilt feelings. Punishing yourself doesn't solve the problem. We might think in terms of deserving the pain that guilt  brings. We don't. So let it go and trust yourself to move to higher ground with a better attitude. It is about improving not about guilt. We want our kids to do better and not be dragged down. We want to do better  so we shouldn't spiral downward. Mistakes are not made to be reviewed continually. They are lessons learned. Forward movement is part of growth.

Perhaps when we can admit how wonderful and beautiful love is we will come to deal with each other in a more loving manner. It isn't about power, control or chaining our loves. It is about understanding, acceptance, freedom, compassion kindness empathy tolerance and especially living, laughing and loving. We, after all, are more spiritual than human. Trust your loving intuition. While your mind is calmly reasoning, allow your heart to open the door to more loving responses. We all hate rejection of any kind. Discover and learn from mistakes. treat them as stepping stones to a better you.

“We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received
wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion....
This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need
for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated
philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple.
The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and
dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need.
So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are
learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some
other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and
conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is
no doubt we will be happy.”― Dalai Lama XIV