Category Archives: faith

BEST BIRTH ORDER

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

DISBELIEF

Families30“Disbelief held me down inside my footsteps, making my body heavy but my heart wild.”  Markus Zusak

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”    Steven Pressfield

“Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.”    C. JoyBell C.

I find it too easy to trust others and I end up hurt and then in disbelief regarding their honesty. I suppose that is what makes most of us become a doubting person. We might go to a party with every intention f having a good time and immediately  get hit with another’s angry mood or wrath thrown towards us. Maybe we go home wondering why and as much focus given we come up with no answers. The disappointment is huge and sometimes anger and disbelief creep in about their kindness towards us. Of course the sadness takes over and we are left with only unhappiness.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my turn to take the punishment so to speak. I go to a party with every intention of having a great time. The let down is tough. Instead of questioning the person who caused my disbelief I go home and relive the day and torture myself a little more. The only bit of pride left  is almost invisible and I look for answers in my own behavior. Perhaps I was mean to them in the past, or said something offensive to them unintentionally at a previous time. Their bad mood   caused them to lash out. The end of the reflection generates no new answers which is almost more painful because the truth might be they simply don’t like me.

It appears easier to accept but not really. When you truly care about these people even if they don’t reciprocate it is deeply humiliating and humbling. You believe in your heart without a doubt there is no recourse. Now  your  choices are difficult. If you choose the higher road you suck it up and try to stay out of the firing range just to keep your sense of self from being hurt. Some people no doubt choose revenge and they go after their target full force. There are two people feeling degraded. I don’t see that as a good thing and I can’t find any relief from one’s own humiliation by degrading another.

It feels necessary to withstand the onslaught to discover some truth. The reality is at times we believe we are owned by misery, problems, obstacles and painful histories. I prefer to own them instead. Yes I have had a painful past, I keep it close to my heart as a reminder of my endurance and strength. Moving forward doesn’t mean we forget the past as much as we overcome it and carry the sweet and sour pieces of it with us along our journey.

The hurts don’t have to engulf us and burn us up. Instead they can grant us the power to forgive and respect every person’s sufferings. Painful episodes remind me of my vulnerability and the defenselessness of others who do not see an ambush coming. The pain no longer owns us and we become  the owner of the wound. It is a wound of courage and defeat rather than an energy that forces us to crash and crawl.

Nobody is ever strong all of the time and it takes practice to refuse striking back at those who hurt us. I know there are times when I might strike out at another person because they said or did something I didn’t like. My nerves are frazzled and my pain is strong while my pity is weak. At those moments I have to avoid releasing cruel remarks or actions. The power comes from my ownership of my pain.

Hold back your disbelief of others. They have their own battles to fight and survive. Have faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and defeat careless insensitivity. I would bet we have all been there. Our power and control always comes from our ability to own  our moods, attitudes, words and actions rather than allowing disbelief mixed up feelings of pain, anger and ego to shamefully own us and cause us to damage another human being.

“There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you’re supposed to do, but in fact you’re not there at all.”    Frederick Barthelme

“Impossibilitarians are defeated before the battle even begins. The best attitude that accommodates failure is disbelief. You can’t do it because you believe you can’t! You can do it because you believe you can!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Whenever you can’t balance what you see with what you believe you have conflict.”
Shannon Alder

“Hope greets your desires warmly while doubts insult your efforts bitterly!”
Israelmore Ayivor

Trivial Person

 ForgivenessOther people can make us feel like a trivial person.  So as Gary Zukav said, “The next time you feel unworthy, inadequate or inferior, remember that these experiences have nothing to do with humbleness, any more than lowering yourself to connect with another individual has to do with humbleness. There are no lower or higher individuals in the perception of a humble person. There are only souls.” There is only love. Gary”

“Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.”  Bertrand Russell

“One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” Sigmund Freund

Perhaps we make ourselves feel trivial when we don’t value us. Whenever people are getting together it can be a happy time. It all changes for the worse when the occasion is cancelled due to the inability of some of the people being able to attend. What tugs at our hearts is the number of times the gathering occurs even though we are the one who can’t attend. It can leave us with a sense of unworthiness at being that person that doesn’t count for much and is considered the inconsequential entity.

Many times we are  aware of what we perceive as our placement in life and more than aware of the pain in generates in our hearts. We can attempt to please people and say all of the correct things yet we are not acknowledged for inclusion. Whether we are for or against something has little influence on our stature in a group setting. I have often wondered why some people are left in the trivial pile while others can be constantly recognized as the special and worthy people. I can only surmise  that it has to  do with maybe who we are on the inside. Perhaps others genuinely see that we want to be a part of the system but we won’t bend to something we don’t believe in, or we won’t allow others to be left on the sidelines.

I  remember one friend who refused to give up her best friend, which was the cost, if she wanted to be a part of a larger “in” group of kids. As a teen this must have been rather tempting but in the end she couldn’t do it so she gave up the honor of being included in the elite group at school. It is amazing why we must have certain groups at all. It empowers people  to feel special and more important than the person sitting next to them. In the process the person sitting beside them is demoted.

In a way this pretentiousness appears to be with a lot of secrecy, crutches and demands. I would think we would have to think act and talk a certain way and basically agree with the groups’ ideas. It leaves no room for independence. Yes it may be difficult to stand alone but you do have freedom which we do value. When we commit to marriage we have demands that legally and morally ought to be followed. These rules are different than group rules which actually take away freedom. In any type of allegiance there are rules. I believe within groups there are unspoken rules which must be accepted without question if one wants to be included. Then we can receive instant friends, gratifications and support. Doesn’t this all sound conditional? Marriage has rules but they are negotiable between the two parties.

It appears that we give up our freedom and rights to have friends and a sense of belonging. I say a sense of belonging because we are not really that self-assured, independent, or a socially accepted person with numerous friends attached to us all of the time. It is actually a charade that we are playing in order to appear perfect and worthy of acceptance. Of course that leaves the rest of us on the outside of the circle wondering what is wrong with us that we are not good enough to  be included. One can easily lose this acceptance and  the so called close friends can become the enemies.

We don’t stop to think about what individuals  had to give up in order to maintain the pretend status. We don’t see the anxiety found in those who are barely hanging on to their status in the group nor the guilt ridden people who sense that excluding others is not that cool. Most just continue on their path and cover up their doubts and nervousness with the happiness of having friends and companions to hang out with.

Most of us believe there is something wrong if we are okay with spending time alone with ourselves. we may not require a multitude of friends to eat up our time. We get to think what we want to do and we have the authority to dismiss any kind of judgment others send our way. We are actually the lucky ones with our own thoughts and minds. I value being my own boss and overseeing my own cause and effect.

I don’t mean we can never join any group but the groups that are open to all are the ones worth joining. Whenever others are excluded and this can be in all areas of society including kid groups or teen groups. That is when it becomes a problem because it rates and demeans others causing them to feel trivial. How horrible is that? How can we live with ourselves if we devalue others without a thought?

The important thing is that we don’t allow this to define who we are. If we let this into our minds and hearts enough to influence the way we think and feel then we have done a disservice to us. Being stronger against the tide is important. Basically we are all born alone, die alone and live within our own frame of thoughts. We learn in our own way, give to others in our own manner and interpret daily happenings with our own schemata.

Maybe joining with others frees us from making decisions which frees us from feeling accountable. When we don’t make any mistakes we never learn and by doing only what we perceive to be the correct thing to do never teaches us anything new. If we were not so quick to judge others perhaps we wouldn’t be so worried about the fact that others are swift about judging us. That is why we feel safe in groups because groups create the shield against anyone on the outside. This is a false sense of security.

There is so much of our lives we have to face alone. To understand life and love as well as friendship and compassion we must be opened to a variety of experiences involving a multitude of people. Constantly seeking only the familiar and safety net we never find the treasures of the undiscovered gems of life. We really are the same deep down. We all experience fear stress and pain. We can also experience joy happiness and love that is not conditional. Trust becomes a necessary part of true living. Being able to venture  beyond our gate of seclusion and fear allows us to learn and experience so much more of life.

Marriage and other commitments may cause us some necessary boundaries but they don’t exclude others from being our friends. Teen groups child groups and any type of group that sends a message to others that they are better or above people only cause heartache. They are not worthy of having us join. We are not trivial and never were trivial. We created that in our own minds because others plant the seeds in us. It is up to us to comprehend our own power and worth. All of us face our own problems and good times. I would say that our value  is the amount of worth we see and foster in others. That can’t help but reflect and shine on us. We never were nor never will be a trivial person.

“Don’t allow people to make you feel unworthy. What they fear in you are qualities they would like to posses themselves. ” Unknown

“Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. It means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.” anonymous

“Live simply expect little give much. scatter sunshine, forget self  think of others.” Norman Vincent Peale

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” Maya Angelou

Drop The Doubt

resentment“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Kahlil Gibran

“Faith is to see what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love the truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them.” Saint Augustine

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Voltaire

“The truth is like a lion, you don’t have to defend it, it will defend itself.” Anonymous

I used to actually have the belief that I did not doubt anyone. I pride myself at leaving my bag in a church bench when I go up to the alter at the front of the church. Wow I am a trusting person. Simple acts like that made me have faith in myself for being a trusting person. Now I have my doubts. I looked up doubt in the dictionary and found such definitions as hesitation. I am crushed already because I am a very cautious person unless there is an emergency. Reservations and misgivings appear to be almost natural for most of us. After all we all sense that there are a lot of people “OUT THERE” who will hurt us if they have the chance.

Many times we meet new people at work or through friends and we are uncertain about whether or not they are worth our knowing  or trusting. Unless they prove otherwise we keep a bit of a distance. The more I thought about it the more I realized that we do keep space between those we know well and those we have just met. We might pretend we trust others but deep down there are lines we draw if we are honest with ourselves. How about disbelief and suspicion? So many times the new person may be the one who is accused of taking something or doing something. Many times the one who was in err is the least one suspected. We all act surprised but persist in our reservations and misgivings of the stranger.

I know when our son or daughter comes home with the new boyfriend or girlfriend we question them in such a way as to draw out truth or anything hidden. That may not always work but it makes us feel better. We disapprove of anything that seems suspicious and we are skeptics if the truth was told. I remember parents who felt the television to see if it was warm which meant the kids were watching it. Other parents counted the cookies or checked on the amount of chips still in the bag before they went out for an evening. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Our skepticism is real yet we believe we are trusting individuals.

When it dawned on me that I was really a skeptic it bothered me. There are those that might differ and say it keeps people safe but does it really? If people want to deceive us for real, I believe they would be quite proficient at it and generally hurt or harm us. I suppose it is what we don’t see coming that gets us. We perhaps spend so much time making sure of the honesty in others that we miss the ones who are distrustful and deceitful. It likely is the one who first gains our trust and then uses that trust to abuse us.  We don’t see it coming.

Where I am going with this is that spending so much time preparing to keep our doubts under wraps is sometimes a waste of time. I know we should not venture out at night alone in a crime ridden area but fearing all people places and things leads us down a suspicious road. I know of some people who are afraid to hug a child because of the multitude of abuse that is on the news. All they want is to send their love yet others have made it impossible to be relaxed in such a situation.

Kids must distrust strangers no doubt but how sad that is. Are we not demonstrating trust within our own lives? Are we all so questionable that we have a belief that others are also questionable? I still melt it down to competition and winning. We keep some secrets hidden so that we can win and that is a distrustful person. I am not always sure what it is we win but so many people don’t share their thoughts or ideas because of the competition they feel towards others. I don’t see this as honest.

In a way we are secretive and not up front about things as  much as we think. If we hear of a good sale or a college that is giving out scholarships we may not let too many others know about it so that our own chances increase. If we had trust in God and the ways of how it should go perhaps we would be more honest, and take our chances about the way something will turn out. I have always found that things work out the way they were meant to and we can’t really control it no matter how hard we try.

I remember one time when my husband lost a job and it appeared so bleak. He had worked so hard not to be the one cut. In the end he got a better job and was so much happier. We look back and are grateful he got cut. Being late for appointments, losing jobs, being chosen last or not being picked for a committee we had hope for are all common happenings in our daily lives. If we had more trust in the value of the occurrences whether wanted or not wanted, we might find our life is smoother and calmer than we ever believed. If we don’t doubt we can be content with the results.

All our upsets cause us turmoil questions and doubts. Having faith and belief is a profound way of trusting that all is well and will turn out better than we sense at the moment. We can’t control anything like we believe. Hiding or doubting won’t make us winners or losers. Maybe our kid wasn’t meant to go to a certain school or college. When we connect the dots we can see how this caused that and that made something happen. It only happens if we follow and trust in the outcomes.

Our son may refuse to go to college, and upset us and make us quarrel about it. One day he becomes the fireman he wanted to be and saves many lives. If he hadn’t done that he would not have brought life and hope to so many people. I think adults must begin having faith and trust if we want to inspire it within our kids. I include myself because I was surprised to find how little I trusted when I thought I was endowed with so much faith.  Instead of competing, or knocking each other down, or attempting to best others with our knowledge money or power, perhaps it is time to pick each other up, offer the prize to someone who works hard without any praise or honors. Notice people who support the minds or bodies of others who are in dire need of help. Use  your power to aid others in any way you can.

Within our own environments there are so many occasions for us to help another. Sometimes it can be something as little as shutting our mouths and allowing another to voice an opinion. I am guilty of stepping in with unsolicited advice and usually am put in my place for overstepping my authority or knowledge. Of course if we have faith in one’s honesty we would not judge byt simply accept the opinion quietly and of course do what we know to be correct.

The best support is that big smile that says I see you and notice you and you are worth acknowledging. So many of us are unseen, unnoticed and barely ever acknowledged. It makes a person afraid to speak. Now that is  not wise. I think that is why we hide, compete and distrust so much. We never have faith in us or our ability or worth. If we did we would not distrust so much. The honesty could develop and we would find more certainty rather than suspicion and doubt.  I I still want to keep my faith in humanity and in a deity who is driving the car while I sit in front of the wheel.

“Starting something new or making a big change requires effort persistence and motivation. Doubt fear and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now and celebrate every step of the way.” Doe Zantamata

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

“I am thankful to all those who said no. It is because of them I did it myself.” Albert Einstein

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Anonymous