Choosing To Live 4"You don't always  have to defend yourself in words. Silence gives people the clue you have better thoughts in mind." Pinterest (anonymous)

"Anyone who has never made a  mistake has  never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

"An old man said "Erasers are made for those who make mistakes." A  youth replied, "Erasers  are made for those who are willing to correct their mistakes!" Attitude matters. Anonymous

How difficult it is to discover the self and uncover some hidden truths about  the ways we sabotage our life. I suppose we are thinking that is not true. I know I attempt to discover who I am all the time and understand myself. If I discover a problem I try to fix it or if I discover something worthy I work to make it better. I don't want to waste my time on falsehoods but the truth in my attempts is I want to discover what makes me who I am.

It is almost impossible to face our anger, fear, impatience, distrust and so many other negative emotions. It really is easier to find our goodness when we have just helped a friend or co-worker expecting nothing in return. I believe we need those moments in order to accept some of the things about ourselves that might need some work. I don't wake up in the morning thinking about what it is I should work on or improve unless it is the garden.

It feels like we hide from the self as if we really don't  know who we are. Likely we all know our faults better than our virtues and most of us myself included,  discover so many faults that we stop searching for anything good believing we are just not that good of a person. Even the boastful people  may be simply covering  their honest beliefs about self and boast so they can cover-up the truth.

I am thinking that unless we choose to discover how many good things there actually are within us and our lives we won't have the guts to face what it is that needs some fixing or tuning up. Nobody is fully bad or good at every second of every day. There are some happenings that cause us to offer assistance in some way and throw out positive vibes in our words or actions.

I think  we try too hard and we don't take notice of baby steps forward. We only recognize the huge steps of progress made. There are many days when such progress can't be achieved and one can feel like an underachiever. At times it isn't that the bar is too low or too high but that we are so busy and lost in our thoughts. There is so much on our brains that we think it is a waste of time to reflect on anything.  I have said it myself to others that I don't have time to reflect.

If one takes a moment to let that statement penetrate the brain we understand the significance of that statement. What are we doing that is more important than thinking which is what reflection is all about. If we give up thinking we give up our humanity and become robotic.

There are days that appear to verify this belief. Reflecting makes a person come to understand what is more important to accomplish. The value of someone else's needs becomes prominent and altruism begins functioning. Can we jump to the point of understanding that this altruism is what makes a person consider another to the point of giving up their life if necessary for that person. That is mindfulness at it's best.

Many people falsely believe that they would probably act cowardly if in a position to choose. Nobody knows how they would react. Granny may be the person who leaps to the rescue for all we know. So many of us are not sure and we don't actually know nor have we tried to discover the real person inside of us. A real person is weak and strong. A real person makes mistakes but learns from them and attempt to do better. A real person sees the good in others and is not afraid to praise that good because it doesn't bring him down in any way by praising another. A real person makes the time for others when she doesn't have any time to give. All of these are forms of altruism. It is placing others before self  and it applies to family friends and strangers.

Perhaps if we witness and discover some good in us we will search to fix what is wrong without fearing it. As long as we refuse to face any blame in self, we continue making those same errors. If you want change then you must do things differently. If we want improvement we can't be afraid to face what we don't want to see or discover within ourselves. Those small areas of blame can be reworked only if we observe them and work on them.

I know I hide a lot and I am trying to change that. When there is a disagreement with someone I tend to review all the things I said and did that were correct in attempting to improve a problem. I view the other person's mistakes in what they did to make things worse. In the process, what I did to make things worse is ignored and what the other person might have done to make things better I overlook. Neither of us end up seeing eye to eye. I go away pretending I was right and they were wrong but in my heart I know the truth. Now the problem is covered a bit deeper so it will be tough to look at it and resolve it.

Now if one plays this game throughout their life you can appreciate why nobody makes amends or peace with siblings parents children mothers-in-law or daughter-in-law or friends. We just make connections to different people rather than face the issues. To self discover means you get the urge to transform yourself for the better regardless of what you will discover along your path. It is the ultimate path of discovering truth and transforming.

It isn't scary to look at the self and there is nothing to fear when one finds the real person with all of his faults and virtues. It makes life easier to live when you can let go of the worries and fears brought on with hiding and doubting who we are. We do have items to alter but we have so much hidden goodness that we never discover because it is covered up. Let yourself out and let the real you emerge.

"Anyone can love your looks but it's your heart and personality that makes someone stay with you." Anonymous

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." Aristotle

“It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Invisible Man)

high and lows"All the elements for your happiness are already here. There’s no need to run, strive. At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it."    Thich Nhat Hahn

"By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person. Obstacles can be a form of liberation. Difficulties are required for success." Thich Nhat Hahn

All of us have so many fears but perhaps the biggest one is the fear of failure. It kind of groups all the other fears together. Whether it is our spouse, parent, child boss friend or enemy we hate to drop the ball and be considered a loser. The trouble is we can't really define just what a loser is or what it means. We have bad vibes about failing and never consider that there might be a bright side to failing.

What do our parents expect of us? Maybe they think we will forever be indebted to them and strive to please them. Most of us do appreciate our parents but there is a limit to what we can do for them and still be able to live our own lives. Failing to some of us is letting others down. If our parents expected us to be the engineer but we became the business guru, our parents are disappointed and they don't have to say anything. We can sense it in their look or frown or words.

Parents bring on the first of the fears of failing. They push kids to accomplish goals that may  not even be something their child wants. What parents consider important is sometimes not on the priority list of their kids. Seeing eye to eye on this is next to impossible. Even agreeing to disagree does not bring peace to the one who believes in their heart that they let their parents, people they love and cherish, down.

Likely the trick is to figure out why we sense a feeling of desperation when we have not done what another wants us to do. Somehow  a perso we love gets into our heads and makes us believe we should be what they desire us to be. In the end we and they are disappointed. It comes down to the fact that we must love each other for what we are and not for what they want us to be or become.

I know most parents want kids to be kind good and successful. Perhaps we should place compassionate, mindful and loving as some of the ways we delineate success. We  can all choose to be compassionate and thoughtful towards others. We can love others with a kind heart. Working on those attributes is worthier than forcing our own goals and attitudes onto others.

Parents wield a lot of power. If they choose to pick for thie child and demand success in the way they see it, likely everyone is going to live in stress and pain. Grown children expect parents to continue indulging them in ways that are invalid. When we have grown and matured we must take responsibility for ourselves even if it means failure at some points in our lives.  We can and must grow from failure rather than succumb to it and feel defeated.

Failure never brings permanent defeat unless we give up and stop trying. Failure should teach us where we went wrong and therefore how we can do it better than before. Somehow our ideas are that once one has failed give up, leave, walk away, try something or someone new. The stress caused by failure is full of anxiety, rage and fear. We see the disappointment in the eyes and we can't bear to witness it again so we stop and give up our objectives.

Husbands rarely live up to their wives anticipations. The wives hardly live up to the husbands expectations. The marriage road is rocky, demanding and full of potholes. None of us can win and most of us lose and switch up the game because it is painful to keep playing it. We sense how hard we try and we are actually more disappointed in ourselves for the failure. Likely we blame ourselves but we still walk away.

It is easy for friends to disillusion us. There are so many possible friends out in the world that we move on. The same is true with relationships. We find someone new and begin again. We assume we will get it right the next time so life goes on. How many of us question what we are doing and why we are doing it. We believe perhaps that it is for the best because we can't satisfy someone. I suppose that is true pleasing others is an impossibility.  What is also true is that our opportunities appear to be boundless until we discover the let downs are similar. We might even yearn to go back to the original problems or situations and try again,  although we usually can't do that.

We all need space to grow at our own pace. We need love the most and fear and stress the least. I find that the truth is we place the fear, stress and anxiety on ourselves when we believe we must please our parents, spouses children friends or boss. If we think it over we understand that if we disappoint anyone once in a while, they will get over it. If someone disappoints us we get over it. We have a hard time getting over ourselves and our own disappointments of failure.

Failure is not like the end of a road. It is more like a stop sign that slows us down. Perhaps that is a good thing because we get to review what we are doing and why. This may send us down a different path and also help us to engage the people we love in an alternative manner. We need space and encouragement. We need a sense of value and pride in us. If we please us then perhaps we won't be as wounded when we don't always please others. What we think about us when we look in the mirror is what really counts.

A sense of self leads to valuing others. If we are mindful of others we will likewise support their endeavors to be who and what they are. The freedom it endows us with is enlightening. Somehow we all win and we have not failed anyone especially not us. We have our own lives to live, goals to reach and problems to accept and overcome. People can best help us with support of all kinds and refraining from interfering in our choices.

Establish your own self esteem and move forward with courage and strength. Don't be swayed by what others say because they are seeing life through their eyes and we must open our eyes and see what it is we want. Stop judging so much and start living. We learn from mistakes and the learning sticks because of the pain of the error. If we can accept each others mistakes we can increase the relationships love and enthusiasm to do better the next time. Perhaps transformation from within is more of an answer than always attempting to alter outside of ourselves and our surroundings. Put the fears to rest and start living in serenity.

“I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.”     Socrates

“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it's supposed to be.” Socrates

“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”     Socrates

Children Add The Touch Of Love"It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”  “The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Paulo Coelho

“Lots Of Valuable Effort is the true full form of LOVE.” Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

“To reform the world - means to reform upbringing...” Janusz Korczak

I and everybody else is aware of checking the labels for any pills we are taking so we can check out the hazards. Many of us try to decide if  the hazards are worth the risk of taking the pills. As I watch the news daily and witness another assault on a child I wonder if kids should also come with all kinds of cautions and beware symbols. Seriously thou there is so much left out of the venture of raising children. Perhaps there ought to be warning signs or at least a book of instructions. Most of us jump in without a lot of hesitation.

Now I contemplated if that had to do with our pride in our ability to succeed at such a task or if we were so uniformed about raising kids that we never thought to ask the right questions. Either way we are left with a life long commitment with its ups and downs, good times and bad and happy and sad moments.

How many of us would begin such an undertaking if we were aware of the risks. After all kids are a risk factor for all parents in regard to disease, high blood pressure, extreme stress an inability to always think  clearly and a huge game changer everyday. It is also important to note that just because you already have one child does not mean you will automatically be able to use the same tactics  and skills on the next child. The symptoms change and the side effects are uniquely different. The length of time of stress varies. There must be protection  for your sensitivities pride and any expectations you might have that don't happen.

The needs of the child are different. Some come with a lot of pride and ego. Battling that is never easy. You don't want to crush their ego but you must strive to get in some humility. Some kids have such little confidence you wonder where they have been. If you have ever tried building up your own confidence then you are aware of how difficult this is to do. You also have those kids with the temper. Now that is a challenge. Those are the ones that push your buttons right up until they leave home or even beyond leaving. Most parents won't admit to secretly wishing the same kind of a child on them. Of course these will be our future investigators who just won't give up.

The tantrum kids are always a handful because you appear as a totally deficient parent when it occurs out in public. The child deafens anyone in their vicinity and you can't escape unless you cowardly give in to the child's demands. I don't believe in hiting so that is never an option. I am sure that most parents who have never witnessed such a scene are judging you right to the core. They better hope they don't encounter a similar situation themselves down the road. Even though you haven't hit your child, the piercing scream spreads throughout a store and most people will assume that you did. These children will  one day likely save lives because they seem to be so not bothered with drawing attention. Their reaction time will be awesome.

Of course the wanderer is never easy. You never know what it is that fancies their attention and draws them away. They are focused and certainly ought to be registered for being a future scientist. As the parent  of such  a child we are exhausted at night. Don't you hate the parents who look at you like you don't know what you are doing no matter what type of child you have? Their kid is behaving and they think it is all about their wonderful parenting skills.

I must say that I am a believer in good loving parenting for all types of kids but I know that it is not easy for parents at all. And we can't know how difficult it is for others who don't have the same kind of a child that we have. I don't mean to rate the kids because then we would have to rate the adults. After all can you imagine the wanderer being in the hands of the temper tantrum person? I suppose this happens often enough. The point is a parent child relationship is not as simple as we might think.

You have the focused kid who  wanders because of his deep interest.  His parent can be someone who has little patience in waiting for someone to do as he says. This is a calamity waiting to happen. The adult with a lot of ego will have a lot of interesting issues when he is left with a child who likes to keep moving and just won't stay focused. It is hard to say why most of us embark on the adventure of parenthood. It is never what we thought it would be but actually it is something far  grandeur.

I have honestly learned how to love, have patience, be tolerant forgiving compassionate have faith hope and love beyond explaining and a spiritual awakening that has touched my soul. Kids make you smile laugh frown but they help you to go beyond what you had ever imagined or conceived. They  bring out the best and forgive the worst in you. We attempt to teach them while every day they teach us strengths we never thought we had. They add so much dimension spirit and soul to our lives. Perhaps we must learn to be tolerant and compassionate when dealing with or child.

They require only love and of course understanding of who they are and what they need to be happy. It takes time to do it right but the ride you have with them will stay in your memory until the day you die I would guess. Of course they do come all packaged and cute and helpless. Immediately and hopefully we are full of wonder and ready to give them love. They  count on that and parents can count on unconditional love in return. Parents must return this unconditional love always. If you have kids you should be happy because your life has so much meaning. Remember the kid you ignored at the playground because he couldn't climb the ladder? Now maybe you are learning how to teach such a child how to do just that without fear. All kids come with a guarantee to enrich our lives in so many ways that we will miss them wehen we tuck them into bed and it is just too quiet. MMMM

“How many of your contemporaries - when asked the question 'Are you glad you had kids'? - invariably respond 'Yes, but..'?” Anonymous

“As a parent we have to remember it was not the children's decision to be born it was ours, so let's love, cherish, and teach them to be good fruitful and productive people in the society ! Beta Metari Marashi

Parents, "God gave us children for joy and cherish-meant,and not for punishment”
Beta Metari Marashi

“It is easy to be a good parent, to a good child, but what makes a good parent is when you stand by and don't give up to a challenging and trouble child.” Beta Metani Marashi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

elizabeth-fishel-quote-about-siblings"Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression."     Haim Ginott

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."     Charles R. Swindoll

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."   Frederick Douglass

"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment."   President Emeritus of Compassion International

"The soul is healed by being with children."  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Children make your life important."     Erma Bombeck,

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year. Being the season of love and family I really wanted to focus on the family because we all have families in one form or another. From what I can surmise we all have varying degrees of love as well as  condemnation for these individuals. These are likely the people who teach us life lessons. Of course these teachings may be taught in a gentle or cruel manner but regardless we can learn from these encounters and move on, or allow  them to slip away unobserved.

Somehow I know this all ties in with love and family. Most people will admit that the one thing they want most in the world is love yet they don't comprehend how much time and energy they place on other things that are far from love. Somehow there is a great need to get back to a happier and more peaceful place that surrounds us with love and demonstrates  in the contrast, how far off course we have actually traveled.

The world desires are luring all of us as they profess to cure our unhappy mood and our overburdened life. They are like the charlatan's that promised cures for our ailments with something within a bottle. Most of us are desperate enough to  believe. The rest of us want to believe and fight the urge to go off the track. Somehow it appears we must find what it is we truly  want out of life. It is surface thinking to imply we want a vacation or money or friends or fame. Like watching a movie on a screen we can view our lives in fast forward to discover that the vacation was short-lived and not as exciting or interesting as we had perceived it would be. The money could not buy the person we desired to marry, health that we yearned for nor the life we envisioned. The  friends that manifested  were quick to desert us when we were in need of a real friend  and were only happy to enjoy spirited days of jokes and parties. Fame is truthfully as fleeting as the passing day or night. There are always new heroes and idols to follow. I wonder at those left behind because after you have been considered immortal how does one return to mortality.

We are all born and die alone yet the support of others we love and who have loved us is invaluable. Many times our endless search of chasing  worldly attractions usually results in defeat and remorse while draining our spirits. In our search for the false We sometimes leave behind treasures worth keeping found in family life.

Some of us are never even aware of the mistakes we have made in losing or ditching these people. Perhaps  family members anger us to the point of our desire to run away. The will to  receive understanding from every encounter with others, whether it is good or bad will not happen. In the process we lost possibly a genuine love and a huge lesson that was tossed in the garbage.

In my own life I have learned that losing your temper and hurting others emotionally and physically causes deep scars and memories you would prefer to white wash. I questioned the lesson until one day I discovered it helped me to gain a greater understanding of tolerance and patience with others. It taught me the fragility of children caught in these nightmares with no alternatives but to endure.

I suppose the hurts teach us the power of maintaining our goals for a very long time. Most importantly it taught me the importance of love and how powerful it can be. Without the love of family one is left with facing a harsh world with only courage and strength as their friends. No one can survive if love is not instilled within this mix A   person is an empty vessel waiting to be filled when love has not entered it.

This is the crossroad between picking what will  elevate you or what will bring your downfall. If we don't pay attention we likely will make a poor  decision. Experiencing sickness as a child makes us appreciate good health as well as the gentle care of our bodies. Understanding people living in poverty sends us a  message of support and compassion for others. When a person lacks the simple items of life they yearn for what so many others take for granted.

Those who lose loved ones experience such a rupture within their lives that it can become difficult to move forward with their lives. Others who never had the family life due to one circumstance or another are left unfulfilled and dissatisfied in their functioning. Coming to terms with any difficult happening requires mounds of reflection and discernment regarding what we can and cannot change.

A mother-in-law who fights with her ex daughters-in-law unwittingly brings down her own demise in a lost relationship with her grandchildren. Women who blame a whole family when there is a divorce basically shut out all of the love and support of family members. No one is a winner and everyone is a loser but the young kids caught in the middle are the crushed and ruined survivors. It is truly devastating to kids.

Kids are similar to dogs in their unconditional love. They love most everyone and they forgive most anything. A child beaten daily will forgive the beater. I don't know if we could find one adult who would do the same for another adult.

A couple on Christmas day refused to allow their very young children to open their gifts because the kids had been arguing with each other. They were told Santa said they had to wait for not being "Good". They were "bad" and had to wait. The kids were accepting this with love and anticipation for a better tomorrow. How young the kids were for such a harsh lesson. One child might lament the horror when they achieve adulthood and tend towards leniency while the other child might seek a sense of revenge by repeating the harsh punishments they themselves endured.

People who go to extremes to provide a happy occasion are left with ungrateful attendees and a heartache of questions about what went wrong and why. Likely they only wanted everyone to enjoy the day but sometimes others enjoy bringing negativity to the occasion. I believe most people have no idea the sadness and ruin they cause and don't do it on purpose.

If we can see a pattern then perhaps it is time to stop even our own self-pity and begin thinking about the damage we do to each other and to our children who are the most innocent victims. At times we are so intolerant of each other that we must jeopardize the good times because of our hidden negative agendas. We all have our secret aches and pains, defeats and victories. If we want family and love to be brought to the forefront of our lives again then perhaps it is time to let go of the me attitude and embrace the idea of a mindfulness of others.

The man who is upset that his wife gained weight or does not have the figure like a girl on a magazine is living in a  false world. The woman who wants her husband to provide her with more material gains is trapped in a make-believe world.  These are the world's mind games and we are trapped  in that world when we harbor such ideas.

We profess to be independent in our thinking yet we are told what is good or bad, beautiful  or ugly, strong or weak, intelligent or ignorant and what we should even desire or want in our lives. Anyone who diverts from this path is considered different and sometimes ignored or ostracized. This difference is actually freedom at its core. What is not independence is following the crowd away from what is truly important in our lives.  At those times our integrity may be at risk. I see individuality as being stronger than the enticing crowd  and following your heart.

Accountability is hard to accept but we are responsible for instant decisions made without thought. Words and actions cannot be taken back  and are so far-reaching. The psyches are injured and hard to repair. We should think before speaking or acting and be sorry when we have injured another. Then we would gain a loving world.

Our encounters are engraved on our souls. None of us know where another has been or what pains we bring with us. Each incident has taught us a  lesson and has the capacity to stretch us beyond what we currently are. That is why some of us can easily state we understand something and forgive it while others of us can't muster the courage or  perhaps have not stopped to consider such an occurrence.

If we look hard enough at life the truth guides our way. Reflecting on our lives along with the lessons, brings us to a greater understanding of things we were not able to comprehend before our own hurts and pain. Somehow the more pain endured along with the injuries, the greater the capacity to forgive and support others in need. This is where our most precious devotion must be concentrated.

Kids require guidance and love. Acquiring the necessary skills to regain our accountability and responsibility towards our children enhances our lives in ways that can't be explained. Suffice it to say that strong families have the power to create strong bonds of love and acceptance. If we can't devote love to the most important creations of the world, our kids, then the world will simply fold into nothing. Love family and children make the world the beautiful place that it is. Unless we see and consider this actuality, the kids will continue to be second-rate citizens and people  will continue to selfishly look to their own needs while they compromise their children's wishes and requirements.

The search for senseless gratifications of all conceivable kinds is a quick downfall. Most of us already have the things in our lives worth having and which can't be replaced. Appreciating that as a truth causes love to ceaselessly follow us and bloom wherever we go. Husbands and wives should be each other's cheer leaders. Siblings should support appreciate and love each other, parents should discover the value and priceless gift of their children, and grandparents should offer love at all times and without assessments. In all of these relationships perhaps we should dismiss all of the judgments.

I would never rejoice in having problems but I find myself taking the lesson from each difficult situation I have had to endure. Each of us has a life to live that is sometimes worrisome. If we reach out to others with love it might make our lives a little bit easier to endure. If I can stop with the accusations and assumptions of others perhaps I can make my life easier and the life of  another. I now want to ask myself if my life has meaning rather than if I am happy. The meaning of having people in my life makes my life full of purpose. If it is only to make another smile with lightheartedness, then I would rather remember a day a child  smiled rather than a day they feared.

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."  Oscar Wilde

"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments  tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."   Louis Pasteur

"Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."  Nelson Mandela

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." Albert Camus

"Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it."    Sai Baba

 

 

Absolution“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We will not just say, "I love him very much," but instead, "I will do something so that he will suffer less."

" The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person's suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

At the Holiday  time of year we are filled with anticipation for ourselves and for others. The last thing we think about is absolution. Perhaps we are all in need of forgiveness.  Sometimes we hold on to grudges for many years. I honestly don't know why we can't let things go. I act the same way. As much as I might know what the correct thing to do is, finding the strength to behave in such a manner is next to impossible. What is the attraction of clinging to past hurts and pain? Maybe we enjoy the pain because we feel self-righteous and above the person who hurt us. Being the victim has its' perks of gaining attention when we discuss our pain with others. We might even feel like the hero who was capable of enduring such misery.

No matter how we figure it on any given day it can become like a crutch that we reach for when we need it for any particular time or bad mood we are experiencing. Once we have absolved someone the transgression, we place it in a safe but hidden place  within our minds. The plan is to keep it there but that rarely happens. There are those times when the memories slip back through to the forefront and we tend to forget the fact that we already  forgave this misdeed. One must ask why we recall the negative.

I tend to believe that we become proud of  our suffering. We probably become our own hero which may not always be a bad thing. If we think about it we find that when we are hurting or feeling insecure and persecuted we reach for our defense of self-sympathy. We likely attempt to ease our own pain. It is understandable but it keeps the real forgiveness at a distance. Anything that cuts us deeply no matter how others view it, is difficult to absolve. We all understand there are degrees of depravity and also degrees of ability to forgive the wrongdoings of others.

I am as guilty as anyone of reminding some people of misdeeds and what I consider crimes against me. Over and over I suppose I am making them suffer. Now I wonder at what price and also how long is long enough. I am not sure about the length of time it takes to overcome emotional suffering. I know it is possible to forgive but certainly requires tremendous strength and will power to forget. There are those days we can do it but again we retrieve the pain when we deem it necessary when we need to comfort ourselves. Now the question becomes does it really comfort us?

I am considering the fact that when we keep recalling misdeeds, we perhaps do not truly have faith in the notion that the guilty person is actually deeply sorry. Now that might be the real issue. Many of us may feel that we haven't been compensated for our suffering. We bring it to the present to hurt another over again until the day we suppose they are truly sorry. Of course we never consider how much agony we are bestowing someone we care for. If we reflected hard enough we might understand that we  have become the one providing the suffering. Never do we seem to look at ourselves in this manner because we feel the perpetrator deserves any pain we can render. Somehow I  am questioning if this is not ruthless. We can become the one who needs forgiveness.

There are those people who commit the same offense against us repeatedly. Of course forgiveness is difficult if not impossible. That leaves one with a choice of staying or moving on. I surmise that if one is willing to constantly forgive and accept the consequences  of a repeat offense run the risk of continued controversy.  It is a reasonable decision because at any point the faith and trust one has in a person is perhaps the only thing that keeps them afloat. Some people hope to stop their depravity or the depravity in another. On the other side of the issue is the amount of offense any one person  can endure before giving up.

I appreciate the fact that we can't live for another and it isn't always up to us to be their hero. Many of us don't look at a situation in that way. Maybe we are someone's hero and we don't know it. Perhaps we make someone stronger than they are alone. It is not that I profess to linger with someone who constantly disappoints us but when there is love and the person falters but exhibits honesty in their attempt to improve it does entrust us with choices. If a person or a relationship of any kind is worth the effort and the absolution, likely we should take the chance. Peace and tolerance are always better than distress and grief.

True forgiveness is almost an ability of angels and not man. However I still find it important to strive for that goal. Forgiveness makes us stronger and more fulfilled as we genuinely attempt to let go of our own suffering. Forgiveness is tied into suffering. If we come to the point of letting another be released from our revenge then we find serenity together. Most of us see the need to keep another in the chains of remorse until we deem them worthy enough to be set free. What we don't consider is that we are actually waiting to release ourselves from the prison of anguish and revenge. We must be ready to release and dispose of the crutch of suffering. It pains us numerous times. That is not keeping us free. We embellish the iniquity to the point of not recognizing the truth of a situation. Time also bends the actuality of the occurrence.

In this season of love  and forgiveness perhaps it is time to take a look at our lives and let go of the many fears and angers due to hurts caused by those we love. We have locked them into a cell as much as we have locked ourselves into one. Release your own spirit and free  will and you will find the courage to let go of the pain that keeps others constrained. Now I believe that hanging on to the negative brings you down while reaching for the possible goodness brings joy and peace. May you all experience peace in this awesome season.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

Courage 2“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”    Rumi

“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”    Harki Murakami

“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

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” Marianne Williamson

Healing self is sometimes impossible to do. Years pass by  quickly as we all live our chosen lives. The wounds stay infected and begin covering with more and more scars. It is so hard to state what it is we really want from others and basically we can become disappointed at every turn. Maybe it appears to be weakness on our part. We might need others but we refuse to admit it to ourselves. Likely we have remained strong for so long and dealt with our losses and hurts that we simply can't change our course and go another route.

The hurts and pain are real no doubt. The ways we perceive them as well as the reasons behind the occurrences are always shadowed by our own paintbrush. Children have suffered abuses of all kinds at the hands of those they love. Adults who want to become whole again must see through the infliction and search to find the strength to forgive those who perhaps owed them so much more.

Torments of all kinds rendered by various people fester and pain us at unpredictable times. What we want to say but likely never do renders us suffering in silence. We can all understand pain to a degree and we all appreciate the power of compassionate words that send us for cover rather than for bearing arms. Bearing the misery in silence is our only answer so we resolve to endure our situation quietly.

Many people carry the baggage around with them sometimes for a lifetime. Maybe it  appears to be easier to tolerate the discomfort in the quiet of our hearts. The trouble is that we never know when the agony will resurface and when it does we are usually never prepared to deal with it all over again. At a stronger moment we choose to ignore the sorrow because we like keeping it at bay so we can enjoy our times of pleasure.

Everything  that happens to us in life is what changes us for the better or the worse. Obviously the grueling experiences have a much more profound effect on our lives. The key is they also have the power to transform us in extreme ways. Such incidences are challenging and complicated. To confront them is problematic because so much agony covers up the intricate explanations of the rationale. Analyzing them no matter how much agony we must endure cracks the door open for finding the  details of the full picture.

Even when extreme sadness is present, finding our own peace of mind is critical to our own functioning and survival. I hate the term rationalizing because I feel like it leaves behind the emotional soreness. Perhaps the truth is that each one of us uses our own rationale for behaving the way we do. I may not care for your understanding of an incident any more than you accept my interpretation.

When parents hurt their kids emotionally, physically or sexually there appears to be no recourse and justifiably no excuses. I would almost agree with that and still do find it almost impossible to forgive unless one is close to godliness. Recently I have encountered those perpetrators of such crimes in agony themselves about how to find peace and forgiveness. I did not deal with them personally and am not  equipped  to do so but their anguish was obvious and deep.

Parents must seek help in all the ways they can find it. Of course a young mother barely above the level of a child herself, likely having had few good role models in her life, is going to be questionable in her child rearing practices. Condemning this person is difficult but condoning her is impossible. What are we left with but to consider why things went off track. Even knowing that may not help with a solution. I have faith in the belief that forgiveness comes when one totally gets the depth of the discomfort and agony they have caused another individual at any point in time and towards any person be it family or stranger.

I suppose it is why lawyers bring backgrounds of the suspected guilty person into account, in order for those who have  not been hurt so deeply to understand the emotional sting and heartache from the instigators own past. One might counter with the acute displeasure the perpetrator has caused the innocent victim. Although there are degrees of innocence and guilt there is likely not an innocent person among any of us, even if we unknowingly caused misery to another.

Healing is the critical component. It comes from facing the demons and incorporating the many excuses and arguments. One must accept the reality of the motives whether they are justified or at least extremely complicated and intense. Sometimes the full picture is not comprehended until one has matured a great deal. Having the courage to face what we have done wrong is vital in understanding dilemmas of the heart. Sustaining the strength to confront and let go of the emotional burdens is necessary.

One who has been emotionally injured creates a hard outer core so as to protect themselves from further pain. To heal  we must have the strength and fortitude to peel the armor off and allow the light to shine through us again. The throbbing sadness may subside somewhat with transforming our attitude and overcoming our fear of moving forward instead of remaining trapped in painful episodes within our past.

Those of us who have been beaten down as kids may learn to show mercy and compassion for others. Forgiveness for those who have hurt us comes with knowledge of the wrongdoers motives. Of course the point at which an offender realizes the pain and depth of their actions is the point they begin  their own lamenting and journey of survival in forgiving self.

Husbands and wives may go for many years rationalizing their crimes or offenses towards each other. If one searches for truth and honesty they are  confronted with their injustices and forced to mend their sins. Most of us are a mixed bag. Accepting this perhaps leads one towards forgiving others which eventually may lead the way to inner peace. Holding on to blame and injustices leaves no room for love  and serenity. Dumping the damages takes the sting out of the pain.

We are really left with the capacity to move onward with life and living. We still have the power to choose our own course and make amends where required. We can do better than what we were taught or what was modeled. We have the option  to be engulfed in the fiery blaze or to leave the fury and grief behind and walk a gentler path of understanding and forgiving as best  we can. It doesn't mean forgetting just releasing the constant nagging of the torment. We will always be aware of its' presence but we don't have to allow it to overwhelm and consume our lives. There is a special prayer that I love to think about when I believe I have been hurt or misunderstood. It brings a semblance of peace and sanity to an overburdened world. I will share it below at the end of the post.

Marriages, families friends and all relationships run into bumps and bruises. Parenting of course has the ability to cause more heartache because of the innocence of children. Many adults have not grown up with any guidance themselves but they do have the ability to search and gain the help and knowledge they need to improve their skills. Transform your heartache and it will alter your life. Love is always at the bottom of the messy pile. Most of us just don't know how to show it, give it or receive it. We falter at expressing our love as well as our pain. We want peace but instigate friction. We want understanding but initiate confusion. Pride is produced over honesty. Time to trust in honesty by letting the love out of the prison where we hold it confined. Anger and revenge trigger fire and ash, while love promotes an atmosphere of harmony, goodwill and freedom from strife. In the process we are releasing ourselves from the prison which only we have the key to unlock.

"To Love is to reach God" Rumi

"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure." Rumi

"My soul gave me good counsel, teaching me that the lamp which I carry does not belong to me, and the song that I sing was not generated from within me. Even if I walk with light, I am not the light; and if I am a taut-stringed lute, I am not the lute-player." Rumi

"O divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to  be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." Saint Francis of Assisi

 

 

 

Embrace"Dignity is the moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad. Dignity is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter. Dignity is the moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself. Dignity is the moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it."

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life-long quest of the wise."    Shannon Alder

I know that many times I do not embrace the moment. I over think what everybody is saying and doing and neglect the reality of the people  in my vicinity. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and most of us would say  that we are but demonstrating it and actually feeling it in the heart is another story. I know of some people who say I enjoyed it but, I had a good time but, It was wonderful but. I would like to throw out the buts. It appears to be crucial for them to downplay the whole experience.

All of us are guilty of sensing contrariness all around us. The challenge is to override the negative and embrace the joyful present encounters. Of course all is easier said than done. I find most moments in time are significant and more meaningful than we could ever imagine. They have the power to generate a calming atmosphere or sometimes a  volatile atmosphere. They also end in repercussions of all sorts. That is the part we don't anticipate and likely what causes us all kinds of remorse.

At a family gathering one day, there was a controlling member of the family who was helping with dinner. When another person challenged the way she was doing something the battle ensued. Of course the controlling individual wanted her own way while the other person was upset with the mistake. The frustration of both individuals rose and abated  when a third-party intervened and defused the problem.

Neither individual noticed how uncomfortable everybody around them was becoming. Nobody wanted to make a move at first. Picking sides is hazardous to one's health. At long last someone did have the courage to stop the bad interaction and resolve the issue. I noticed as the general public renewed their inspiring  conversations the two involved insurgents of the mishap were noticeably upset. Their faces were drawn, their lips were tightly pursed, eyebrows were lowered and bodies were tensed as they took turns eyeing each other. No one dared to tread on the dilemma.

As time passed the mood lightened and everyone had a good time but the two warring people went home with a lot on their minds. I wondered how something so simple had the power to cause such a huge negative effect. The controlling person felt diminished and under appreciated while the other person felt upset that they had  unnecessarily voiced an opinion. Of course hindsight is invariably better but if the controller let up a bit and listened they might have gained some worthwhile knowledge. The interfering person should have let things go because they were not the one offering to help. The fact that both factions will likely bring their antagonism to the next gathering is sad. All guests are at the mercy of those who choose  to toss emotions around like fall leaves. The contrary person is also to blame because they did not have the confidence to accept another opinion.

We are all so good at finding the faults of others and I include myself. Perhaps we sense in them the faults we would like to fix in us. There are times when out of desperation we release our perceived truths onto another. Having been there I know we are always sorry. I now see this as a moment of discovery for myself. I believe those are the times I am forced to see  something I perhaps did not want to discover about myself. After the uproar and embarrassment I am forced to acknowledge if only to myself, how much pain I am carrying inside. All of the hurt gets released when we sense another person around us who somehow brings out the drainage of the infection.

In a way I am understanding the importance of the small  simple moments in time that provide a teaching moment. Another guest was thanked for helping  to clean up the table. With embarrassment they declared that they had not helped. At first I felt sorry for the person who had complimented one who had not actually aided in the jobs. Then I realized that likely they helped that person. The receiver of the undeserved compliment had some food for thought. Hopefully they will offer assistance at a future period in time.

When it all comes down to the final analysis we repeatedly learn from our positive and antagonistic interactions with others. All is really not lost. If we can appreciate the value of the unfavorable communication we can acquire information that is invaluable. By understanding this we will matriculate the knowledge with enthusiasm. Of course we can disdain the whole episode and receive nothing from our encounter but anger. The choice is ours.

The best situation is perhaps to discover our own inadequacies without reaching the pinnacle of lashing out at another. Facing imperfections allows us to improve. Without acceptance there can be no progress. Most of our issues seem to resonate with jealousy, competition and the  striving for love. We don't believe in our own worth. The honesty is that we can and do love more than one person. Somehow being number one is relevant to us all. I  would  suppose that on any given day the number one varies in the minds of most people.

Another idea  we don't think about is the fact that we hold others as hostages while we engage in petty misconduct. The  happy moments in our lives can be dissolved quickly  when others ensue with a battle of wits or insults. Attempt to reflect on the repercussions of such behavior. I know I am so aware of such transactions because I have been the inflammatory person as well as the  receiver of such destructive incidents. I would venture to say  most of us are guilty. It isn't about blame but about discerning the truth in what  we say and do and why we say and do it.

By perceiving the truth we might choose a calmer path that leads to enlightenment without the regret. It does take some will power to refrain from immediate judgement and response. It takes courage and strength to acknowledge ourselves in those actions and words. It takes forgiveness towards  them so that we can forgive ourselves.

We all have much to be thankful for. We all  work hard to accomplish much and improve. We don't see our accomplishments and we miss our gains. We might endeavor to be grateful for so much in our lives that we just don't think about. There is probably so much we would not trade for anything in the world. Realizing what we have that can't be bought ought to prove the priceless  treasures that we enjoy within our lives. Changing our attitudes may alter our lives in the most profound  ways.

On another note, for all the times we fail and fall down, we can still retrieve the knowledge acquired. There is never a loss as long as we take something positive from the occurrence. None of us is perfect. None of us would enjoy being judged. But as much as we all fall down, we all have the ability to rise to great heights. If we give up we will never soar. If  we are still attempting and failing we can rejoice because as long as we never give up we can make it happen. The possibility is there for us by having the faith in our ability  to be successful. It only takes the confidence to believe in self. The goal is just pushed a little bit further into the future but still within reach provided we get up after we are knocked down.

“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 Alder

“An important decision I made was to resist playing the Blame Game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.”  Steve Goodier

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”     Shannon Alder

Let Go of Pretense“That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending - performing. You get to love your pretense. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act - and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you're trying to steal their most precious possession.”    Jim Morrison

“The heart of the world is breaking under this load of pride and pretense. There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ.”    A.W. Tozer

“Whatever is above will be managed by the powers above you. Don’t live as a man, pretending to be God. Do what you can do; leave what you can’t to God!”    Israelmore Ayivor

Likely we are all tired of being afraid to admit we are scared most of our lives. Presenting ourselves as capable human beings is the norm. Any of us that fall short of the mark simply hide the truth sometimes even from ourselves. Most of our frustrations deadlines jobs and burdens have more to do with how others may perceive us if we fall short of the time restraints.

Our spouses get upset with us when we haven't fulfilled an ongoing project. Our kids want us to do things or fix things or take them places. We  believe we fail as a parent if we haven't brought our children to places to experience this and that. It isn't so much where we find the fault but the fact that we find ourselves lacking most of the time.

Having the boss mention our name quickly at a meeting and then forgetting who we are the next day relates to us the insignificance of unworthy compliments. We might deserve the recognition but we can't believe that because we achieved anything that others believe we are somehow more important than they are. Nothing is further from the truth.

I have seen some people mention that a  person didn't deserve the credit so they were not impressed. My point is that we think a lot about how others see us yet none of us really care. We may feel the person deserves a pat on the back but when we leave the meeting that person is out of our thoughts.

Spouses of all kinds are temperamental. At times a task may be all important for them to see accomplished. Maybe they are having company and want to mention we finished the task. They worry about impressing another and we worry about pleasing them. The trend is that we are all seeking glory for  one moment in time and the glory is costing us lots of emotional pain.

Understanding those times when we are guilty of expecting too much of another is crucial in keeping the relationship strong. If we become unbearable in our demands of course the relationship is jeopardized. Our spouse sees only disappointment when they look into our eyes. That is wearing down the body mind and spirit. How long can any of us take mental stress?  Observing the amount of people who will lie or cheat to make gains is the proof.

We are being controlled by our own ego in its' desire for acceptance and pride. It is not always a bad thing to exhibit some pride in what we say and do but allowing it to  manifest at the will of others is becoming detrimental to our health. Just because the wife wants a task done so that her father will be impressed with her husband's  talent is silly. For the husband to take up the gauntlet to please his wife is also silly if he doesn't have the time to do the task. For a wife to be coerced into cooking a gourmet  dinner for her mother-in-law  to prove she is a  competent wife and cook is  crazy. It may not be the husband or wife pressuring their spouse. Sometimes the challenge might be picked up by the husband or wife simply to prove their worth to their in-law.

If we come close to delivering anything on time we get a sense of relief in having accomplished something. Of course all of the other achievements have been forgotten by us and others. As soon as one task is completed everyone looks towards the next. There really is no end to the tension and pressure.

The old pain of seeing ourselves through the eyes of other people is well established in our world.  That is perhaps why we  worry about what others think feel and see when they observe us. The trouble is that none of us have long memories. We live in a short-term memory world. Why would anyone define who they are by so many unimportant jobs they complete?

The challenges parents place on their shoulders regarding their worth as a parent is unending. Every parent they meet throughout the day is a potential competitor. The parent compares their every act to this other person. No wonder they say "misery loves company." My guess is that is why we like to see others fail because we fail and want to know we are okay especially because we know this other person is okay even thou they failed.

Most of us likely program our kids to compete and meet expectations. Sometimes placing  too much emphasis on achieving sends them  spirally in defeat. The competition begins early. The demands and challenges start early. The worry or fear begins at an early age and doesn't end until we die or decide on our own to stop comparing. When we reach that point our lives relax and serenity enters.

I am not suggesting we give up our tasks or duties. I am suggesting we rethink what we consider essential tasks with their timelines. Perhaps a more lenient view on needs and wants would  be a better consideration. pleasing others or doing jobs to prove our importance only  sends us worry and anxiety. Nobody wants to be under the wire to accomplish more than is feasible without breaking.

Consideration for others and working on tasks in a  reasonable atmosphere is calming. Those outsiders who find fault will forget about us the very next day.  They won't even remember what we didn't complete yet. If we change our attitudes we will discover burdens being lifted from our shoulders. We will have more time and more peace. We will be more accepting of our kids who come in all sizes, shapes and varying attitudes.

We all bear needless worries to prove our worthiness. Many of our jobs may not be necessary or not required to have a time constraint. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Removing all of the adorned and inflated egos makes room for the fresh air. We might even make a truce. I won't pretend to be what I am not if you will do the same. I will be who I am and that makes me special and unique just as you are. Without the tension we all have more time for loving and honest living.

“Character that is fruit-producing can be summed up in the mastery of these 5 qualities: morals, but a sense of humor; love, but respect for criticism; intelligence without pretense; humility without self-loathing; and a mind open, but with solid convictions.”    Criss Jami

“Cowardice is when you hide away from your real self, and wear another self in pretense. Be yourself; that is bravery. If yourself is not better for you to be, change yourself and live in that changed self!”    Israelmore Ayivor

 

Forgiveness"The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it's not because they forget; it's because they forgive."

"I have learned that sometimes "sorry" is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change." Anonymous

"Forgiveness brings inner peace. Do we have a deal?"  Melissa

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

"Forgiving is not forgetting. It's letting go of the hurt." Kathy

We always hear how difficult it is to say the words, "I am sorry." I would agree that admitting blame of any kind takes courage and strength. No one should question how tough it is to do. Most of us perhaps never forgive every one of every  perceived wrong-doing towards us. It likely is human nature to hold onto a grudge. With time one sometimes manages to come forth and ask for repentance.

The person who has been injured at one time or another may wonder why the one at fault doesn't appear to be contrite right after the incident. They may also question how little the transgressor thought about what they had done. Most of the reviewing at least in the beginning of a conflict, appears to come from the person that got hurt. Perhaps the pain reaches the heart and soul a lot quicker and leads one to reflect on the reasons a bit more.

At some future time, perhaps when one has experienced a similar transgression one is reminded of the similar occurrence in the past in which they were at the receiving end of the  heartache rather  than the doer. I suppose we can split hairs regarding who received more or less pain in any confrontation. The important thing to acknowledge is that enlightenment is beginning to occur. Becoming more informed allows one to look at a happening with a different lens. We are receiving a brand new angle to the issue. Moments like these cause one to reverse their thinking and possibly attempt a reconciliation with the one they had originally maltreated. This can result in needed transformation.

This is the perfect thing to happen. Both parties reconciling reduces tension and brings in lots of love. I am all for resolving issues between people. I believe it is almost perfect in the making except  for the fact that injured people also must be recognized for their strength and courage in offering forgiveness. No one ever seems to think the one saying "Oh that's okay," has had to be mighty brave and compassionate to be willing to exonerate and reconcile with the erring individual.

Of course no one is ever totally right or wrong in any argument or fight and there are perhaps numerous variables to the dilemma. Still the one who ultimately and obviously does the most damage is the person left needing to apologize.

Nevertheless the injured party is still left with the task of absolving the person who maltreated them. I don't know about others but most people appear to discuss the courage of the party who apologized. No attention is  given to the pained individual, who had the ability to absolve the one who hurt them. I assume now that it must take tremendous strength of character to bring oneself to the state of mind to accomplish such a huge task.

When we are deeply hurt it resonates without and although time heals the wound we are left with a hard veneer. The longer the time between the occurrence and the apology, the thicker and stronger the covering. Lots of times many of us revisit the hurt and sometimes relive the pain. I remember enduring situations regarding health problems within the family which left me wounded. Even when the healing process was over, I continued to endure the suffering for years later whenever I recalled the event. Many people endure emotional pain brought on by the carelessness of others or differences leading to disagreements.

One  can appreciate that there may not have been a  need for an apology from anyone in the health dilemma, but the recovery process was similar. The pain of any wound is tough to repair. The emotional wounds and scars we endure throughout our lifetimes can be debilitating. When these wounds are caused by another person's words choices or actions one lives with the thoughtlessness for a long time. How joyful it is to receive an expression of contrition. It is likely more commendable to appreciate how awesome the person is, who is willing to forgive. Just because someone says sorry does not necessarily make another suffering person willing to forgive.

Just because  we forgive someone, does not ever mean we can forget. The pain is ingrained and impossible to scrap or wash off. Of course the forgiveness allows us to go forward, renew an impaired  relationship and lift a tremendous burden from another's shoulders. We also lift a lot of stress and anxiety from our own shoulders. All around forgiveness is so mindful yet many times downgraded in what it can accomplish. Even those times when another took our words or actions in a way we never intended, we can still repent and alleviate the pain to them.

One should never assume  a person finds it so easy to forgive. If one has ever had to do it, they know how hard it is. Sometimes you can feel as if they are getting off easy with a simple few words of regret. Both parties have a lot to endure in a giving and receiving situation. Both parties also have a lot to gain. Releasing the worry we have carried around for possibly a long time, gives us more energy  and courage to move onward with our lives. It is  an uplifting kind of energy. Releasing pain and blame leaves room for light, happiness and growth. After all we have come to realize the extent of pain one person can deliver to another. Perhaps it makes us  a worthier individual  who becomes more mindful of others. It definitely changes the sparring people  for the better.

"Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego."    Anonymous

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”    Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......”    Wm. Paul Young