“I am definitely going to take a course on time management... just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” Louise Boone

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone." Steven Spielberg

"While we are free to choose our actions we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."  Stephen Covey

I miss the love and respect once extended to me. I get home at night and just don't feel satisfied with my day or with people in general. It is confusing to think about the obligations I fulfilled yet it brings no contentment. I reflect for five minutes and fall asleep exhausted. The unhappiness makes me question what I am doing that causes dissatisfaction getting up in the morning. I decide to contemplate it more before I go to sleep or over the weekend.

I never complete my daily tasks

When I asked some people to comment on the numerous tasks they had to complete each day they laughed and said "I never complete most of the things I planned on completing." "I know how you feel I reply because I never finish everything I wanted to do and I blame me. Most people were disappointed with their day and tasks. They were disgruntled with their lack of time for their kids and spouse and also with the little if any time left for themselves.

Find time to investigate why you have none

...continue reading "Lighten Your Schedule And Improve Love."

Investigating the reasons is easy once you find some time to do it. I observe people and discover the simple problem and easy solution so I think. We fill up our day with busy stuff to do. It appears to be relevant but the outcome of our attention to tasks is of small benefit and the price of it is expensive. We may not have the money for a new car so we work overtime at the cost of missing our child's game or time tucking them into bed as well as spending time with our spouse. We believe we will make it up to them on the weekend and feel justified in what we did. We must work but time with family is priceless.

Do you forget  the happy plans you make for the weekend?

The weekend comes and goes and we forget about our happy plans and attend to our jobs of fixing things. At the start of a work week it is life as usual. Some people sign up for extra courses at work in order to improve skills and stay noticed when salary reviews come along. The family needs the money we think. We never consider our last pay check going for new unneeded clothes and other items. It feels satisfying to spend the hard earned money on frivolous things after we worked hard for it. The sense of deserving it is overwhelming.

Are the extra items necessary?

Do we question that the bonus items we buy may be unnecessary and we can  skip the extra time spent at the job? The corporate world takes over our time and our minds. We don't question why we spent so much time at the workplace competing with our co-worker. We want to keep our jobs that's what we believe. Why does the trade world decide our life?  We laugh at those who say we work too hard and respond with "You don't understand." I think if we all begin to understand that we are losing something precious we just may slow down.

Competition creates enemies

Competing begins at birth when parents decide if we are bigger, smarter, more athletic etc. than another child. School continues the pattern and the race is on to win the honor of college which costs more money and time not to mention freedom to live and love. It may sound silly but life and love have been relegated to the back burner.

Do we have a life we enjoy or a life we endure?

There is a difference. Filling schedules with jobs spending for things that actually add to our burdens or items that demand more of our time which is taken from the family. It also leaves us with no free time for us. Some things must be released just like steam from a kettle. Unfortunately it is our decency to each other we let go of. There is a lack of mindfulness towards others and respect is non-existent.

We are more like robots in our manners than humans with feelings. We don't have time for empathy and care because our schedule ties us up in knots and the light of love can't enter such a chaotic life. Our full schedule gives us brief cryptic and edgy talks with kids and angry discussions with the spouse. At times we deliberate and think another spouse would make us happier. We never consider if we don't change our core thinking and behavior nothing changes. Neglect of the family and relationships we have with extended family also suffers.

We believe we can make time for them at some future point that does not  exist nor happen. We are exonerated because putting people and things off makes it easier to let them go without regret or guilt. Maybe we don't realize the gems we are giving up. The marriage suffers lack of attention and the kids suffer lack of parental attention. It is not always attention when we keep our kids "entertained". Consideration comes with noticing their moods feelings emotions and pain. Spending talking and caring time is important to all people. We all love sharing a conversation or story and somehow the laugh or reminiscing makes us respond with love.

Love and attention keeps people together 

Love is free enduring and comes naturally if it is extended to us from childhood onward. Kids learn by observing and how they are treated. People feel happiness with love and respect extended. If a co-worker  recalls our injured or sick child we feel overwhelming good towards them. When we are happy it extends outward and others benefit from our upbeat attitudes.

Anger generates more anger and rage

Kindness spreads into happiness and consideration. We just have to reset our priorities. Is is really that important to work later or longer? Is it relevant to see our kids and read to them or observe their activities or play a game?  Can we be there to tuck them in or listen to their day? Does our spouse need a break or can they give us a needed respite? Does a parent  appreciate a phone call? Is there a friend we have ignored?

We can reset the clock and priorities we have

We can enjoy more laughs and less toys, more love and less sponsored activities, more mindfulness and less running around. Stop looking down at a machine and instead look up at the beautiful sky trees flowers kids and people. They are what fill our lives with contentment every day. They are what matter, what always mattered. they are worth more than any price. We already have it all when we have people to love and who love us. It becomes a problem only when we are too busy to notice or too tired to care. Cut the schedule, slow down, remember who you are. You are worth more than a number on a check. Give respect to others and receive it in return. Trade the antagonizing world in for a loving life. Set your priorities by what really counts and who is more important. You can find the answers by reflecting on who you love.

“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen R. Covey quotes

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster” Stephen R. Covey

If we are paying attention to our lives, we'll recognise those defining moments. The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and 'being busy, busy' that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that - if jumped on - would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow. Robin S. Sharma

“Scars fade with time. And the ones that never go away, well, they build character, maturity, caution.” Erin Mc Carthy

“It is hard to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.”
John

Most of the problems in life are because of two reasons: WE ACT without thinking *or* WE KEEP THINKING without acting. pinterest

"The discontent and frustration that you feel is entirely of your own making." anonymous

Has anyone noticed the numerous road signs of life? Does anyone proceed with caution? I should be the last person to talk about this subject because I am always going full speed  ahead. I crash into walls all of the time and then regroup and reflect about where I went wrong.

I tell myself the next time I will think before I talk or walk. That does not happen. The one thing I acknowledge is the truth about thinking and being cautious. I just have to listen to my inner voice before I crash.

Making decisions before reflecting is asking for trouble. I agree that none of us asks for trouble. Why do we end up in dilemmas? I say it is due to wanting to do the right thing but taking the short road instead of proceeding with caution. The long road is always more difficult. I like things done quickly without pain and aggravation. I usually get lots of frustration and mounds of extended work. Why do I repeat this time and again? I need to find an answer for that question. Many of us don't see ourselves falling into the same  pattern but we repeat  similar actions everyday.

Somehow, the rush causes us to spill things which makes extra lost time  to pick up. I am always reminded of my grandmother's caution of "Haste makes waste". I hate recalling those words when I am cleaning up an unnecessary mess. ...continue reading "Watch Life’s Road Signs. Proceed With Caution"

Some people rush their kids into a car only to have one child fall down  and require a band-aid. If we are really annoyed, we blame the child for not watching where thy were going. There are things we forget to take with us like our  lunches. When we scoot out the door forgetting our lunch the blame goes to the wife or husband. We may come close to running over the neighbors dog with our driving skills. Why do they let their dog out at such an early busy time of day we think?

We curse the person who poured the last cup of coffee at work and left us none. We made the coffee yesterday and did not expect to do it again today. Our co-worker asks for help on a project but we have no time to give at the moment. Their kids are grown,  so what is their excuse we think. They do have kids in college and moving day but I just got through dropping my two and three-year old off at day care and as usual they cried and made me feel guilty. The kids don't understand the fact that bills  and clothes  cost money. The washer is fading fast and the car has a lot of miles. My father had surgery  and I have to visit him tonight so fixing the handle on the door is going to have to wait. Oh no, I left the kids lunches at home on the counter. I have to call the daycare and ask them to feed the kids for today.

I pick up the kids and before we get home one of them is throwing up in the back seat of the car. I drop them off to my spouse  and head off to the hospital. I hate the smell in the car and gag as I drive. How did I reach this point in life?  I ask and  wonder. When I  finally reach home I am so tired I don't feel like eating and my spouse is annoyed because they made the dinner.

How can they have no feeling?  I think, I am not in the mood for talking so I drag myself to bed and shut my eyes even though I am not asleep. I don't want fifty questions about my job, dad or smelly car. I need to get up early and clean the car or I'll  toss-up my breakfast before I get to work.

Here are the questions for the quiz. Can we slow down? Can we speak with the kids and  implore their help? Maybe if we took more notice and listened to what our child was saying we would have heard they had a tummy ache. Would that make us consider working from home that day? Two trips to the car is the cautious way of bringing the stuff I need to work but I was trying to save time. I don't consider the cost of time it took to pick up the items I dropped because I was trying to save time.

The calmness that we overlook and ignore results in our being annoyed. The frustrations cause us to blame others. The other people get angry and fight back. The battling makes us anxious and self-righteous. All our self-righteous results in standing our ground and faulting everyone around us. We argue with co-workers, scream at the kids, fight with the spouse and endure a rising of the blood pressure within our own bodies. At these points, we consider running away from the problems, divorcing the wife and changing jobs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Faith Within“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 L. Alder
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!”    C. Joy Bell C.
“Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Shannon L. Alder
“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.” Shannon L. Alder

Have you ever noticed how easily someone can knock you off of your game plan and cause you to doubt yourself? All they need to do is plant those little seeds of doubt or give the quick retort that leaves you questioning what they meant for days. We all fall prey to these people who come in the form of friends, family co-workers and unfriendly ties.

Adding to this problem is when we jump in feet first to help someone who really needs it only to be shot down with a look, or words of anger. It is without any doubt hurtful and we can only wonder why they refused  our help which I repeat, they needed. I for one begin questioning why they must dislike or even hate me. They can accept the lift from someone else but not me. It renders me quiet  with so many questions about doubt. Of course I always blame myself and my inadequacies.

I realize that sometimes we want to do our own thing and simply be left alone. On the other hand why is it certain people are disliked for the good they try to do. I feel like there is a conspiracy to get the "Helpers" to stop helping those in need. No wonder we pass by the helpless on the streets. We are trained to be impervious to their plight. Have we become such a competitive society that we are nervous about allowing someone else to take the reins for us and give us a  break?

I can't figure it out. I suppose some people believe it belittles them to exhibit any inferiority. They must be in control or only let the ones they trust help out. Of course that means they don't trust us. Is it our attitude or are we disliked more for our virtues than for our faults? Seriously though one is less willing to offer assistance to another due to the rebuke. Now we might have a person believing we are not mindful because we did nothing to help out. We doubt our ability to  be f assistance.

Many  spend volunteer time working at churches, or town activities without any thanks. they do it because they enjoy helping people. However as I reflect further I am saddened that so many volunteers  complained about finding so much indifference that they did not even receive a hello. those working freely for the common good toss their indifference aside and willingly support those who need help. They are not looking for thanks or honors but it would be terrible if they get burnt out and walk away. It is awesome that many people are not gaining material worth but act out of kindness for humanity and that is enough. We understand that indifference rules our actions towards each other but every time  we act with mindfulness we turn the tides towards concern for others.

I suppose we worry about getting involved and having others judge us or peg us onto certain lists. As hard as we attempt to remain neutral there are those moments that erupt and cause us to defy our neutrality and stand for something. As Benjamin Franklin declared "You have enemies? That's good it means you stood up for something." We have gotten too complacent and comfortable in our ways. Life becomes a selfish existence as we are solely interested in our own comforts and pleasures. The needs of others are so far down on our list that most days  we don't consider anyone else.

Mindful is not a word commonly used in our daily speech, yet if it became everyone's way of living would send us all on a higher path. More love would be spread and less pain would surround us. Indifference would be the new ignored word. How awesome that would be.

I know we don't foster indifference but neither do we pack it up and send it away. A beautiful world of love and happiness can become a reality if we allow compassion into our minds and hearts. Once we begin thinking about others we begin feeling good about ourselves. It is a feeling that you can't really describe. That is why so many of those people who help others continue to do it even though they receive no thanks or any kind of reinforcement. The light is felt within and the sense of supporting humanity gets stronger.

If we could do one small act for another every single day we would understand the importance of that  action and be inclined to do more. If I need help I don't want the person who exhibits indifference daily. I want the mindful person who will notice my need and hear my cry and then come to my assistance. We can't say we are too busy, have too much work, need a break, need to do something for ourselves, or want a vacation from work. We can very easily respond with a yes I am here for you.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."    Robert Hughes

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.”
Shannon L. Alder

“A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities”     Jeremy Aldana

language kills like a sharp knifeHave you ever been the victim of humiliation and felt like leaving a place , conversation or person who is victimizing you? I know there are degrees of everything but subtle or intense humiliation makes no difference to the victim because they know they are the subject or target of abuse. Now that is a ridiculous  word to use some people might say. However when a person experiences humiliation they don't stop to think about degrees and if they are in a lousy mood to begin with, they feel the humiliation even more.

"Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification." John Donne

"Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation the opposite of abuse and humiliation are the foundation of love. No one can rightfully proclaim to be loving when behaving in such a way."    Bell Hooks

"Humiliation of one person over another is often used as a way of exerting power over them, and a common form of oppression or abuse."

I remember reading about manners one time and I was surprised to read that manners did not consist of proper etiquette or being rich or well educated. Manners they mentioned was making every person feel comfortable and relaxed no matter what their race, religion, economic or educational attainment was. It was amazing and I thought about it for a long time. There are those people who can tell you how wonderful you look even if you misjudged an occasion and wore the wrong attire. They pretend they don't even notice. They are special people and a pleasure to make acquaintances with.

Then there are those people who make it a habit to target certain people and make their life miserable if they can. I must admit there are some people who appear to make better targets for the humiliations. Over the years I have had my share of tormentors and I remember often wondering why I was chosen to be their victim. Sometimes I felt like I had a bull's-eye on my  back or unwittingly applied for the role in life's play.  I bet most of us have been a victim at one time or another.

I am one of those people pleasers which I suppose makes others want to crush the "Goody two Shoes" person. I don't mean any harm I just like to keep things happy and comfortable for everyone. In the end I am demolished and made to feel inferior, stupid and out of touch with reality. It isn't a great place to be and it keeps the mood sad. After feeling sorry for myself I began to think of the many people who are the victims of humiliation in a variety of ways every day. One's religion, race, skin color, education, economic wealth, age and anything else anyone deems as less than perfect can make them a victim.

I remember some people at work who appeared to have all of the correct answers. Instead of others being happy with receiving the answers, they ignored the advice outwardly yet followed it behind closed doors. I attribute this to possible jealousy, or envy at the ease at which some people  think and find answers. Boys or girls who are shy might become the targets as does anyone with a physical or mental challenge. We might like to think it doesn't happen but in truth it does.

Anger and frustration also appear to be culprits of the birth of humiliation. Students get angry with a child who has all the answers and gets good grades. They please the teachers and gain praise and attention. That is another thought. Attention and consideration is what a lot of us strive to receive. Sometimes we just don't know how to go about doing it and the ways we see it done are not appealing to us because we deem those people the losers we humiliate.

I do believe that anger about anything triggers a need to strike out at someone and make them the scapegoat of our pent up rage. If a hapless victim is nearby it becomes easy to blame them and humiliation is on the rise again. Parents bully humiliate kids which is not a far step from bullying someone. They get frustrated and yell scream and belittle their kids in words and actions. This is the beginning stages of one's entry into the world of humiliation.

Boyfriends and girlfriends as well as pals have the ability to insult and put down others with words and actions. The humiliated feel terrible, question why, and dwell on it longer than they should. Of course when the friend needs someone they call the person back into the fold. Most of us go back thinking they just had a bad day but did they or is this a habitual occurrence? Those who escape humiliation are the ones who appear strong and more of a challenge so they are left alone. The elderly are victims due to their possible inability to think  clearly or their lack of strength to accomplish much work. They are fearful as children are and they do not complain.

Actually complaining may be another reason why people are chosen to be victimized. The victims tend to take a lot of punishment or abuse for a long time before they may strike back or depart from the union or friendship. When people are not wanted at a job or club they sense the feelings of others. When someone questions whether or not  they were harassed  into leaving they might have to say no yet they are aware of the humiliating atmosphere and animosity of the group. We are not fooling anyone when we behave in a bullying way and block others from the simple  pleasure of conversing and being accepted in a group of people.

I recall instances when I or someone I know  was ignored or slighted long enough during a group discussion that they quietly walked away. No one appeared to acknowledge their presence nor their departure. How sad is that? I am sure no one lost sleep over it nor did they likely think they did anything wrong but if we were honest with ourselves we would admit to the alternate ways we all use to intimidate or put someone else in their place so that they will be quiet. It happens so often that I would admit we have all probably witnessed it in one form or another.

What makes it worse is when someone comes back with the thought that they didn't mean to cause anyone any uneasiness yet they did and deep down they are aware of it. Like anything in order to understand something we must acknowledge it's existence. We can then come to terms with it and attempt to do better. The less athletic boy or clumsy girl or less abled child doesn't need ridicule in their life. Don't we all believe we have enough to deal with as we reflect on what life throws at us? Do we really want to make life harder for others when all we have to do is be respectful? Nobody said we had to listen to someone all day or make them our friend. We just have to respect their life and value and include them in whatever is going on.

If you have ever suffered a humiliation of any kind, you remember it and the pain it caused you. The time frame of the hurt varies but can be a long remembered incident. Treat your kids with respect and everyone else you meet. You will be the epitome of a well mannered person if all people feel comfortable in your presence. That means that any interaction they have with you will never leave them wounded but instead empowered to be better because you have set the example and made them at peace.

"It's okay to dislike someone or to dislike someone for no reason. But it's not okay to disrespect  degrade or humiliate that person." Spirit Science

"The reality of another person lies not in what he reveals to you but in what he  cannot reveal reveal to you. Therefore if you would understand him listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say." Khalil Gibran

"On this path let the heart be your guide for the body is hesitant and full of fear."    Rumi

We have the gift of our senses but we don't always use our senses nor attempt to apply our sixth sense.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred  gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We  have created a society that  honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend twenty-five minutes thinking about a solution and five minutes thinking about solving it."    Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Albert Einstein

There was such an uproar about  birth order that I found it interesting to reason why we can't use our senses. I think as human beings we must categorize everything, find solutions, weigh burdens and assets, compare gains support and advantages and compete against each other constantly. We  just can't admit that everyone has their own issues to deal with. That is the truth. It somehow makes it more important if we can convince others that our lot in life is worse or more difficult. This is full of comparisons and competition of all kinds.

I do think it begins at childhood when parents support the ideas of who is bigger stronger faster more intelligent or beautiful than others. It leads to sibling competition which continues throughout our lives. The one with the most money and toys is considered the winner in some cases. Somehow we threw out the attributes and heart of what is important in life. We are left with more stressful things to contend with. None of us are jealous of those people who live together in family structures and live to support each other and remain equal to each other. In some ways this is more relaxing because the competition is taken out of the equation.

Perhaps those are the people we should want to imitate. I understand that no lifestyle is perfect but ways to promote better living is available. I think we might question our own ways of living. How many of us rush to buy the latest technological device? How many of us engage in useless activities on the computer? It is easier to hide secret activities on the computer and live a separate life. It appears to gain us more guilt and worry. We cover that over with more activity and just keep ourselves busy. I know  it is  important to reflect and I don't always take that time to think but when I do I am never disappointed except to say I question if I wasted my time. How sad is that to feel you have wasted your time when you are thinking about your life.

If we did more thinking rather than business we might understand ourselves better and other people. As it is we are mechanical in our relationships and feel empowered as well as content with the number of people we can reach at the push of a button. I find it overwhelming. Instead of gaining us more time for human interaction  it seems we have more time to interact with machines. Does anyone see a problem with this? I am not against technology but without reflection we are being gobbled up and programmed to be robotic. We are almost at the mercy of computers and what they promote and instill in us. To be part of the group you must be involved or you are on the outside looking in and can feel like an outcast if you are younger or old if older. Age has nothing to do with this happening.

Even churches have gotten involved with online services ministries and gospels. If people have no time for church then it will be brought to them in a technological fashion. Are we too busy for the simple exchanges with each other? Are we all considered boring  if it is a one on one exchange? Have we lost the art of conversing with others? I know if we can discuss things on line with many people and have the support of others on line then perhaps happiness might be promoted in that fashion. I just don't see it happening when I talk to individual people. They have information but no sense of feeling or mindfulness of the people involved.

I also wonder about our generosity and selfishness. Do we take from each other without thought? Are we really supporting others or just printing from our own script what is expected of us to say? It is like we have all the correct words and fast reactions but is the depth of feeling still there? Is it reaching our hearts before our minds or is it in the mind and spoken via text without any real input from the heart?

I sometimes think we are less concerned with others today even though we have quick access to each other and quick response time. The thinking and reflection states have been rendered inactive. We are using honesty but in a way that hurts others and we don't see it. Things are fast today so what someone says or does for us doesn't register anymore due to our busy life and swiftly moving days. There is more to do say and people to talk to albeit on the technical device of choice. Human free thought and intuition is crushed in some ways. If we can't find some time for free thinking away from the hustle of the crowds we don't even know ourselves.

I suppose it is easy to hide amongst a group of people and easier to refrain from thinking. I don't mean to insult anyone but just observing people and their busy schedules leaves so little time for using our six senses. Have you looked at a  flower up close lately or smelled one? Have you sat quietly with a friend and listened with your heart and ears and eyes instead of the messages you read? If we wonder why families are in turmoil and kids hate life and people  keep  fighting and anger is not under control perhaps we should question what is going on in our own lives.

It appears that we are slowly but gradually being overpowered with technology to the point of disregarding people right next to us. Consumerism is fostered and looking good is exonerated and we can view pictures of becoming more beautiful than we are so they say. Do we need to wake up and put the devices away? We seem to be in a crises over gaining some power over self. The devices own us rather than we own the technology. They control us to the point of ignoring the people in front of us who wait patiently for us to finish until another new interruption occurs. I don't mind waiting but how  involved in our conversation can they be if they are constantly returning to their device?

I hope our humanity is not being lost. Instead of cultivating our sixth sense we seem to be losing the five senses we  have. Our inner thoughts and spirit is more important than anything. If one tried to ignore their device for a couple of days they might feel renewed like they just woke up to a new world around them. More and more people appear to  be sleepwalking and caught in chains with technology. I just throw this out as food for thought. I use technology but I have backed off quite a bit due to the viewing of the world so caught up in a façade of constant involvement in a make believe world taking up their times and thoughts. It gives us little time to interact with those close by who may need our support but we don't have the time or sense awareness to notice.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."     Albert Einstein
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."               Albert Einstein

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Albert Einstein

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." Albert Einstein

Plowing Through Obstacles"Silence is the best way to  let someone know they did wrong." Pinterest anonymous

"Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice."

"Don't be fooled my silence is not a sign of weakness." picture perfect

"Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in." Shannon Alder

There are times when I can't think of anything to say  to anyone. It makes me feel stupid  and without any thoughts. On other occasions I feel like I am talking too much and I go home wondering if I said too much.  At a future date in time I review what I said wondering if that is why someone is a bit unfriendly with me. I can't always recall everything that I said so I promise myself in the future, to be more careful with my words .

Silence is a crazy notion. We talk to communicate so it appears inevitable to  speak rather than be silent. Here is where confusion sets in. If a baby is hungry or a child is hurt or hungry they cry and get attention. As adults we do the same in a different manner. Noise appears to be a good thing in these cases. When we are angry about something or with someone we speak out of turn or yell without thinking and have no remorse. This is likely not a good thing.

People are quiet at funerals and sometimes weddings because they don't have the words to explain their deep emotions. Silence is appropriate in these circumstances. If someone is in danger most others will yell in concern and as a warning. I am getting boring with all this chatter but I think we all get the idea that communication is relevant to  living peacefully. Actually words such as stillness peace calm and quiet are words explaining silence. I can see how one could deceive others with silence because nobody is sure what the person is actually thinking.

We might believe that  silence denotes reflection which supports our decision making and I agree with this thought. The problem always arises when we think instead of  remaining quiet or we remain quiet when we should be speaking. Now the soup is mixed and the uncomfortable feelings set in. I love making soup so I apologize for the analogy. Soup is always a different mixture just as situations and people.

When an opinion is asked of a mother-in-law she might be better off in silence or saying very little. Her opinion gets her into trouble. The daughter-in-law's opinion is accepted with an easier attitude. A parent's voice is the authority figure and although not wanted it is obeyed for the most part. The child's attitude of silence is desirable to the parents. The child is judged as not having the ability to make choices and this is debatable. The point is we are rewarded with calmness and peace if we speak certain times or remain in silence at other times. Big or small it corresponds about the same way.

Maybe we hold our tongue at work when the boss makes unreasonable suggestions. Let's face it we want to keep our job. I hate it when they say make a suggestion or give an opinion. Nobody has a desire to be fired. It is a mute subject and the people understand this as they all agree with the decision regardless of their inner thoughts about it. Silence and peace are maintained although there has been a price of integrity for this peace.

To get along we all must go along at times in our lives. I agree. The difficult part is when our silence is causing serious subject matter to be overlooked. It isn't about making trouble, causing an argument or disrupting the status quo but about integrity, mindfulness and truth. Once we give these attributes up for the sake of peace like a button into a button hole, it gets easier to do without any effort or thought.

It becomes easier to believe we are off of the hook because we believe it is not our fault. It is "they" who decide. It is a pet peeve of mine to cringe when I hear the word "they" even if I use it myself. I wonder who "they" are and I would like to see and meet them one day. I know "they" keep us clean neutral and silent. There are no accusations implied as I am quiet so many times myself. Nobody likes to make waves and most of us have so much on our plates that taking on a mountain of a problem is not what we want to do.

I relieve my guilty feelings with the knowledge that I don't have enough information, am not smart enough to figure it out, and I don't know the repercussions of another choice nor do I have the time to work on the problem. I must admit I neatly absolve myself from getting involved and from taking on any guilt. The older I get the more it doesn't work for me to accept my excuses.

I am not a rebel but it is easy to see many wrongs in any society of people including work places and recreational facilities. every area of society appears to impact people in various wasy for the better or the worse. I know people should take some responsibility.  Without a doubt we can't pull our own weight and the weight of others. My faith is in teaching others how to go about pulling their share of problems.

Silence also means to hush stifle suppress and squash. this innocently happens to us daily and you have to question the innocence. Decisions are made for us. We don't always have any options. It is the stifling, suppression and squashing that I have a problem with. Women who are abused and then ignored even in a subdued manner need a voice.  Kids who are abandoned and abused but not acknowledged until they are practically near death require action not attention after the fact.

There are so many abuses of people in one form or another. Those with disabilities are challenged and uneducated people search for a voice to be heard. The squeaky wheel gets the attention but so many others with wounds and pains keep their silence. We can feel guiltless by saying it is not our problem and then we can look away with blocked ears.

Living away from the tragedies of life absolves us in a way. We don't see it so we can let it go. It is only real when we see and hear the cries of anguish but most kids have cried so long and hard that they begin living in silence. I know we can't all join a peace corps or get physically involved but we do have voices and unless we speak up nothing will ever change.

The next time you see or hear something that appears wrong go with your heart and intuitive self. That will give you a better understanding of the truth. It is better to  call fire and find it was only a campfire than to refuse to see or hear and find out there was a blaze going on. I have recently been convinced that God will not judge us as harshly on the wrongs that we did as much as he will judge us on the times we overlooked people who needed us and we walked away. You don't have to jump into the fire but pull the alarm.

"In the end we will  remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King

"The world is a dangerous place not  because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything." Albert Einstein

Audrey Lorde said it best with the quote below.

"We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.
I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”