“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.

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."

 

6th pic presentation“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”     Vera Nazarian

“A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.”     Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“It is hardily credible of how great consequences before God the smallest things are; and what great inconveniences some times follow those which appear to be light faults.” John Wesley

“Many people are yet to understand that admitting to their mistakes isn't a sign of weakness, but an act of wisdom.”     Edmond Mbiaka    

How many fights continue because people refuse to take any blame? We all want to be right. I honestly think that accepting blame of any kind is not something any of us like to do. As a matter of fact, I think most of us end up saying we'll take some of the blame but then we go on to say that the other person receives the brunt of it. Even when we are making peace with someone we believe we were less guilty. Somehow it is like winning. So perhaps we are all about winners and losers.

So the question is why do we hate to claim more fault than the other guy. Of course it is the loser who remains with the majority of the fault. We despise being wrong and hate to receive most of the blame. Most of us don't care at that point because we are essentially searching for peace. If we must endure the most then we just accept it and walk away. Perhaps deep down we all think we are less guilty than we actually are. Why it bothers us so much to outwardly admit guilt is confusing.

I wonder if we sense a feeling of being a worse person. After all if we are to be blamed for something we feel loathsome. We didn't measure up or make the challenge in the game of life. We lost the game and are not the winner but the loser. It is not a good feeling. We sense like a little child that we have our  hand in the cookie bag. We have been bested when we are found with more guilt. In the end it doesn't really make a difference but most of us will fight for the one percent less fault.

The trouble is we don't worry about any wrongdoings as much as who gets more blame. It sounds so silly but if we have done any wrong then we ought to be sorry and skip who is the guiltiest party. I think we sense we have done less wrong when we have less blame. The truth is none of us can be the judge of that. What we perceive as guilty or not guilty might alter with every person's take on the problem.

Even criminals have a realm of guilt and exoneration. Crimes of passion are judged less harshly. People who have grown up in difficult home situations are not always given any extra pity for falling into the hands of crime. One can see how all of us have had this swaying back and forth of blame and exoneration. Even court systems have a dilemma with it. So how does the everyday person deal with it. I suppose we fight tooth and nail for the 49% not guilty over the 51% guilty.

Seriously though when it comes down to the facts if we have done any wrong to another then arguing over how much is ridiculous. The fighting ends a lot sooner when one is willing to just accept some of the blame and be genuinely sorry for acting the way they did. This has never been about who is more to blame but it is about who caused another person to be hurt.

Whenever we cause a problem and wound someone physically or mentally or even spiritually we owe an apology. The degree of the pain obviously weighs in but in a sense we can't excuse ourselves with the notion that we didn't wound someone that much. Asking ourselves how much is too much is another unknown answer. To a child a push or shove is extremely painful. Even an adult can be wounded emotionally to the core.

Alleviating our conscience is likely the reason we care about our right or wrong in a given situation. Maybe it goes back to childhood.  Probably we feel less blame if we can render it someone else's fault. Or if we can blame another for triggering the occurrence somehow we absolve ourselves. We all have so many ways of looking at a situation that basically involves excusing ourselves of wrongdoing. Have you ever watched two adults arguing? One says but you did this, the other says yes but you did that first, then the first participant recalls and states a previous happening in which he had a grievance against the current individual. The end result can sometimes be an enraging battle.

Maybe we would have a better society and world if we could somehow drop the ego and accept our failure to do the  right thing. It is that simple. If we have done any wrong then it doesn't matter if anybody else did right or wrong. The final judge won't excuse us because of another's "sins". We walk our own path and are accountable for our own wrongdoings. They have nothing to do with someone  else's faults. Our faults do not diminish because another's are so much worse as we see it.

I remember as a child being reminded that if I had more knowledge about right and wrong then I would be judged harsher if I did wrong than somebody who had not been instructed in choosing the better path. That has always stayed with me because the more knowledge we receive pertaining to assessing wrongs and rights the less we enjoy passing  judgements on others.

It is as they say enlightenment adds to our knowledge and understanding of situations. I am not saying all wrongs are okay as long as we don't know what we are doing. That would only be an excuse for us. I just believe we should stop with the bickering about being more wrong or more right because in the end it is your judgement of your wrongs and my judgement of mine misgivings.

If we have the need to be forgiven for anything perhaps we can begin by simply accepting blame and asking for forgiveness. Most of us ought to be willing to do this provided we witness genuine remorse. Forgiveness is difficult but the more we practice it the more love we spread around and the more enlightened we become. It also becomes easier when we discover how much peace it brings us. It also makes our chains of fear loosen up because what we thought was next to impossible to do, forgiving another, happened and it made us feel better not worse. It is a winning  situation for all. We don't have to state our case all we have to do is say I'm sorry.

“The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man's strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say:"I was wrong." will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.”    Jim Anderson

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

 

 

 

Love Hurts"It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge."    Friedrich Nietzsche

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."    Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." Francis Bacon

How many people are aware of the honest fact that love hurts. Instead of saying life is not for the faint of heart, I think we should add that love is also, not for the faint of heart. No matter who the person is or what the relationship is, we will have those moments when they will likely hurt us emotionally. I would like to say we don't dole out pain on purpose but at times we might just do that. Especially when another person hurts us, our first thought is to get back at this person. It is human nature to defend one's self and so we retaliate, when we are emotionally in pain..

Believing in our bonds of affection does not always prevent us from refraining from anger, due to the hurtful incidents we were forced to endure at the hands of a loved one. How sad for the first receiver and at times more painful to the other person who receives the revenge portion. What I find to be difficult is accepting the truth, that each of the battlers still has so much love for each other in their hearts. ...continue reading "Love Hurts"

So many times we recall saying, "If they loved me they would never have done that to me or said that to me." The truth is we are so capable of dishing out heartache to those we care about the most.  We want them to appreciate and understand that what they caused in the situation, was painful for us. The only way we attempt to manifest our pain, is by a revengeful retaliation back at them. Our hurtful experience overrides our sanity and ability to show empathy towards the one we love.

It is rather  sad that we lose control of our thoughts and presence of mind to make better choices. The result is more fights and vengeful acts of revenge against each other, until one of us has had enough and quits the cycle of pain. When this happens we are both remorseful and practically blame the person who instigated it in the first place, for having to toss back worse pain. Now this sounds silly and illogical when one is attempting to explain the dilemma. In reality it occurs on a daily basis within the lives of people.

Stopping the useless and bitter cycle is paramount to having a fruitful and happy relationship. Understanding the dynamics of a situation people are caught within, is vitally important to ending it. Once we recognize the hold it has over us, the quicker we might be able to stop it. I don't believe these altercations happen only within a marriage. I think parents and children of all ages might get caught up in such a demonstrative situation. Friends may hurt each other back and forth at times. Have you ever heard a friend say after you complain about something they said or did, "Well that is how I felt when you said and did that." It rings a bell to all of us. We hate getting hurt by those we love and many times we choose to hurt back when we get the right moment or chance.

We teach kids to forgive and forget but don't follow our own advice. The emotional pain is overwhelming and we have the need to make it known as much as we had the need to tell this person we loved them. The pattern is right in front of us. Love is exciting happy and profound but it is also hurtful. We can't escape the twinges of pain that love promotes. One would think that if someone means more to us than anyone else in the world that it would be impossible to hurt them. We do it anyways. Then we must fault them for our own revenge, because we can't stand to fathom our guilt in the wrongdoing.

For myself I have been guilty of retaliation many times and regret later. Over the years I have learned that keeping a clear view and grasp of unconditional love has helped me to often manage to refrain from retaliation. It is never easy and not usually totally accomplished, but likely revenge has diminished a lot. There isn't a secret to it really. Our emotions get the better of us when we are pained. Like nothing else we feel deserted, and exposed. After all, if someone who loves us and cares for us so much can hurt us, then perhaps our enemy will demolish us completely.

Abandonment destroys confidence and fills the void with insecurity and fearfulness. Marriage partners are so notorious for such behavior that many boast and laugh later, about the episodes they have endured. As funny as it it to tell, while living the experience, it is quite the opposite. Parents and spouses along with friends, have a sense of pride in how much they have given to a relationship. Being so easily tossed aside can crush their spirit. I would venture to say that it is probable that the closer we are to someone, the stronger the retaliation. The hurt is deeper and the revenge is stronger.

No one has the ability to pain us like someone we love. I surmise that it might be for that reason we discovered unconditional love. When one loves unconditionally, it is without revenge and is total acceptance of anything given in return, regardless of suffering. I am not saying we must be doormats.  Obviously when such behavior continues daily it is a sign of serious failure of one kind or another. However, most of us have infrequent bouts of differences with other people. How we manage to deal with them can make all the difference in the world, as far as a healthy relationship is concerned.

Believing we will never argue or disagree is unreasonable. Having faith in the ability to fight without evolving into revenge is a possibility. If we work hard at it, we can forestall the necessity of retaliation, thus skipping that detrimental piece, from the game of life. Sometimes our special  loves in life may get worn down from matters unrelated to our true feelings. Many relationships that perish, may have survived if revenge had not been a regular pattern of defense, against painful experiences.

If we consider our own reasons for arguments and fights, we understand how stressed and burdened we felt at the time. The lashing out at others had more to do with our burdens than how angry we actually were with those we love. It still ended in erosion in the relationship, if we chose the regular routine of evening the score. My belief is that once we have overcome that need of striking back, it allows the other person to offer such a decree for us when we are on the other side of a situation.

Love hurts but the candle does not ever have to diminish nor be blown out. We expect some beautiful moments. Perhaps it is necessary to expect some pain and suffering along the way.  By not allowing the infection of revenge to take root, we will stop the battle before it destroys our  trust and need for retaliation. Love unconditionally and you will experience total love in many forms.

"There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness."    Josh Billings

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

"Evil is always devising more corrosive misery through man's restless need to exact revenge out of his hate."    Ralph Steadman

"It is up to God to take revenge. Only God can judge. I don't have to worry about getting even with anybody or taking out any kind of aggression on anybody. Doing that is a weakness, anyway."    Jim Brown

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."    Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Giving And Receiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking Frankly“Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable; be honest and frank anyway.”     Kent M. Keith

"Frankness is not a license to say anything you want, wherever and whenever you want. It is not rudeness."    Dick Warren

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

A straightforward speaker, or honest discussion is becoming outmoded. It is difficult to exchange words with anybody, without contemplating every word and facial expression. Even our facial manifestations might tell a  conflicting story from our words. There are times when I retreated from an encounter, utterly confused as to where the other person stood in their convictions. I must admit that many times I am not even sure of the message I professed, during my engagement with another. Confusion regarding beliefs and truths is common. It leaves us all wondering where we stand on numerous issues.

As a teacher it is impossible to perhaps offer a negative argument  about a child. Teachers search for the positive compliments first, but eventually must get to the meat of the matter, which includes negative problems that must be addressed. How else do we correct  anything  if we can't confront it. Parents love their children but must learn to accept the less than honorable qualities, that are sometimes displayed outside the home environment. Upon delivering some painful insights, most teachers hope that parents will work with them, to support healthier outcomes. A lot depends upon the way the parents interpret the information and advice.

Loving kids unconditionally should make accepting their failures easier. Faults should never cause us to love our kids less. Pretending the kids are never to blame is ludicrous. It only magnifies the issues and postpones finding answers. Why is it we are all so convinced  of the necessity of hiding our faults. We  even conceal our children's blame. Honesty has been overcome with pride. We leave no room for truth anymore. Distrust permeates the atmosphere and keeps veracity crushed. ...continue reading "Speaking Frankly"

When things go wrong in any area of society, even those at the top of the pile, cringe and lie if need be. We want to appear to be blameless. Hidden secrets, false agendas, cryptic language, and fear remain powerful tools that cover up honesty and integrity. It is not like we want to be evil or do bad things. We just don't want to be caught or perceived in that manner. Our ego is at stake and our reputation. Instinctively we tout our reputation as if that covers everything. I suppose it does shroud a lot of hidden lies and falsehoods.

My biggest fear about all of this, is how little we cherish honor and reliability. So many of us trip over answering questions, because we are trying to think what we should say and what we should avoid sharing. morality is lacking, along with integrity. We can't jeopardize our character or the pride of our family. So these little indiscretions appear to be nothing in comparison to our life's work and family's decency. We choose to bury our secrets.

Choosing right from wrong is taught at a very young age. As kids mature they learn that it is okay to bend the rules a bit, if your heart is in the right place. This extension of truthfulness stretches as we find glitches in our paths. The bending and stretching continues, until we don't recognize truth from falsehood. Some of us may come to believe we are doing it for the good of others. The fact that it also  benefits us and our good name is irrelevant, so we falsely believe.

The end never justifies the means, is a powerful statement that seems to be forgotten. We almost pride ourselves about how we accomplished so much by disregarding this rule of thumb. Most of us will agree when we observe the positive outcome. I wonder how many people are disheartened at the way animals are used to discover cures. Of course someone will testify that you or a family member, with an illness that is controlled with medicine, are fortunate enough to have received the cure because of animal testing. I still have a problem with this because the end really doesn't justify the means. Mankind always has trouble drawing lines, and I wonder how far we are capable of going.

Thinking out of the box is praised, but if that means anything goes, we must protest and reflect on our actions. Perhaps we have stopped questioning motives or actions, because the situations get too confusing. We can't mix up our misconceptions with what are truly mistakes. Probably our anxiousness to shadow untruthfulness, is our own confused state of mind regarding the matter. We likely would rather pretend we don't understand or we haven't all of the facts to voice an opinion. This alleviates guilt and emotional pain.

Dare one to accept a forthright person searching for honesty. We perhaps dislike these truthful speaking people because they fire up our own consciences. Our government is at times, not honest with us. They feel we can't face the truth or wouldn't understand it. Our families hide facts out of pride, or again with the attitude of saving us pain. One must guess how much truth we actually acquire in the course of a single day.

No wonder we have no faith. If we believe others are always out to get us, then life becomes a harsh, cold battlefield. Judgements abound, lies are professed, and faith is questionable. We all learn to distrust the teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and workers of all kinds. I sometimes feel like I am on an island, with only myself to depend on. Why I question, is it so difficult to listen to a blunt person who states facts.

Deep down do we want to keep the knowledge at bay? I suppose our morality may come into question and we certainly don't want to deal with that. So it leaves us with the option of pretending everything is okay, and allowing life to move along as it always has, without doubting or trying to ask those meaningful questions.

It seems as though the questions that entertain a straightforward answer, may promote integrity and alleviate blame. Likely the parents who genuinely take the truth and work things out with their child, are giving their child more values to call upon when required. Perhaps all of the reflection may produce more thought processes and allow us to travel down unused paths. We may find that truth is easier to deal with than all of the lies or bending of the truths.

Generating pride in honesty and truthfulness may promote values worth establishing throughout society. Evolving into a society ridden with integrity, is challenging, and it takes courage. Transformation can be worthwhile but is never easy. Staying in the state we are in promotes stagnation. Having the strength and courage to attempt something inspirational and emotionally satisfying, lifts us out of the darkness and into the light. Spreading decency throughout our daily lives gets rid of the clouds of doubt. The fuzziness is gone and we can work together for solutions. The fault-finding and fear are alleviated while a candid open living emerges.

The festering anger is openly discussed, and treated with care. The lies and distrust are turned into a tolerance and respect for failure, and support of a renewed effort. The false pride of ego connected to power, is transformed into  humility in accepting our flaws with grace. After all, we never let our guard down with those we believe to be better.  I'd like to see trust, honesty, integrity and humility incorporated into my life. If those virtues were returned to me, how comforting it would be to be able to be myself at all times and with all people.

"Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor."    Benjamin Disraeli

"We write frankly and fearlessly but then we "modify" before we print."    Mark Twain

"Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it."    Mark Twain

"One  must have chaos in oneself to be able  to give birth to a dancing star."    Friedrich Nietzsche

"In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow."    Friedrich Nietzsche

Payback"A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green."    Francis Bacon

"The wound is the place where the light enters you."    Rumi

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."    Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A small boy looked at a star and began to weep. The star said, ‘Boy, why are you weeping?’ And the boy said, ‘You are so far away I will never be able to touch you.’ And the star answered, ‘Boy, if I were not already in your heart, you would not be able to see me."    John Magliola

"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."    Rumi

"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts."    Buddha

Likely our first thoughts after someone hurts us, are the manner in which we can get even with this person. In one way or another we conceive of ideas, to commit actions or words, that will emphasize our retaliation. Probably our hearts are racing, and we fill up with anger. At times it might be difficult to contain our attitudes, which affect everyone in our vicinity. The  fault we conceive, lies with  the person who hurt us.

The degree of our fury, is usually equivalent to the amount of injury to our feelings, and the extent of the closeness of the relationship. We are quicker to give some leeway to those we love the most. The less important people in our lives, are the focus of payback. Somehow, sadly to say, we gain our composure, by reflecting on how we will execute our revenge. It offers us some power and control, although at a cost we haven't considered.

Retribution is seen in all areas of our world. Countries as well as people have long memories. The disintegration of any relationship, or the treading on the territory of another, triggers response systems that possibly get out of control. The desire to even the score remains strong. It becomes an itch that can't be scratched. Perhaps at no other time are we as fixated. There is no room for discussions of any kind. Our minds are shut off from suggestions. We understand what we have to do, and we want to do it. The other person or people must comprehend what they did, and that comes with experiencing the same kind of affliction. That is the premise of our argument. ...continue reading "Payback"

The reality is we work against ourselves. We end up with as much hurt and pain as the receiver of our revenge. We may not expect to feel worse, and likely our expectations are the opposite. The truth is, at the very least,  there is damage to our souls and spirits, if not to our  minds and bodies. The truth is that we cannot absorb reality, when enveloped in the fog of hate and anger.

Being wrapped up in it, renders us powerless to see reality. So many people  are so extremely sorrowful, after having extracted pain from another in vengeance. There are few who dance for joy. If one does, then they are overshadowed in their  own shells of rage. It becomes difficult to remove the infection, to allow light from their spirits to shine forth. The eating away of our empathy, understanding, love and caring is relentless. I believe the longer we hold our rage within, the harder it becomes to remove. None of us desire to become an unrecognizable entity.

Within society, if one's family fights, we take sides, and fault those who have committed no offense other than be forced to choose a side. We blame  those who don't agree with us, or those we are jealous of. There are so many reasons we find blame with others. Some causes may be quite reasonable, and others totally unreasonable excuses. Right or wrong, there still is more damage done to the perpetrator of the  retribution, than to anyone else. When the settling of the score is complete, and the balloon of fury deflates, probably one is left in sorrow, and void of love.

There are times when others hurt us in a devastating way. The acts are on their souls. When we choose vengeance, we diminish our own souls. We are not gaining peace but instead, emptiness. Even low-keyed revenge, harms our spirits and causes us to focus on evil rather than good. Sometimes what we perceive as injury, might have more to do with our own interpretation of the situation. By carrying the perceived impairment beyond it's  meaning, we have permitted uncontrolled anger to overpower thinking.

A  bad day that allows our jealous or envious feelings to overtake our reason, doesn't have to end with revengeful thoughts, if the other party can see the truth. We all likely must learn how to be more tolerant, and patient with others. Learning to accept people with their off  days, as well as their awesome days, is crucial. Perhaps by starting with those we love, we might work towards being tolerant of those who we dislike, or perhaps don't even know. Judging a group of people, or an entire family, is poor and dangerous assessment. Maybe we should begin by leaving the judgement up to God. Most if not all people live in glass houses. I may not be judging you, but perhaps I judge the person  down the street.

Power, control, jealousy and the yearning to win, are perhaps triggers of revenge and revenge hurts us in its execution. Freedom is paramount in our minds. Fairness is vital but the absence of empathy towards others is crushing our spirits and our souls. If we can perceive of our own pain, then we must attempt to comprehend the pain of others. Kindness begets kindness, love begets love, empathy  teaches empathy, understanding teaches understanding.  Revenge begets more revenge, pain, regret, powerlessness, destruction, and a soul void of love.

I have never felt better when I hurt another with my words or actions. I actually spent many hours feeling remorse for what I did. There is no sweetness or joy in revenge or retaliation. Whenever I have exacted retribution, at a later date the person has done something nice for me, and in the process, rendered me remorseful. Those moments I refrained from revenge and was upset with myself, proved to be honorable moments. The erring individual, came back with peace offerings. Needless to say, I was happy for not settling any score with pain, because they corrected it with kindness.

In Japan the art of kintsugi in ceramics refers to the practice of repairing cracks in pottery with gold, in effect making the broken pottery more valuable than the pristine piece. In this way we see that our own cracks can be filled with gold.

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become."    Carl Jung

"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."    Norman Vincent Peale

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

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Never Give Up“If we would just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel and be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with  respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?” Linda Ellis, Mac Anderson

Many young families need two incomes in order to make ends meet. This inevitably leads to both parents working. Tired parents may not always have the stamina to focus on their children. The truth is, how difficult it is, to find the endurance through some sort of compromise. It might be possible for each of the parents to have set nights to take care of the children. It might also suffice to take turns tucking children into bed. Whatever the system one chooses, children can’t be ignored nor neglected.  Balancing our schedules,  and making it work, without any compromising of our children s’ needs is a tough task to accomplish.

We should refrain from feeling guilty when we can’t always act our best. At times, if there are not enough resources to muster, then we must put in what energy we can. Involved parents need to take breaks and not have uncomfortable thoughts that they are an incompetent parent. Our best effort is all that anyone could ask for. Knowing that we love our children, take care of them, and attend to their needs is conduct well done. ...continue reading "Never Give Up"

Stress inevitably finds us. The fact remains that working for our children’s welfare and interests leaves us blameless. We can only have twenty-four hours in a day. None of us can give any more than that. Parents without jobs are stressed, to say the least. We can ask for assistance from schools, towns, churches, and communities. Even if we haven’t been to church, we shouldn't hesitate to ask for financial sponsorship. Community resources are readily available and willing to come to our assistance. If a church or community cannot assist someone they most definitely know of the resources available and will readily give a person in need the resources for livelihood.

If we resort to drugs or alcohol as an escape from our difficulties, we won’t ever solve our troubles. If we really want provision and are serious, we can find those who are skilled at sustaining. Searching for the service we require is not a dauntless task. Aid is out there and we just need to find it. choosing crutches of any kind serves only  to extend our problem. Perhaps our question might be how committed we are   about straightening out our lives. Drugs and alcohol cost money and money is what we do not have. Many young children are privy to discussions about drinking and drugs. They appear to know more than they should . Never underestimate your child's interest in whatever you say or do. Much is seen on television and some  is questionable.

Drugs and alcohol eat up our money. They destroy our minds and our family bonds. They help us to forget about commitments and responsibilities and leave us with a job loss. Drugs and alcohol promote our involvement with another person, due to mixed-up judgemen. This renders our marriage in dissolution. We lose the respect of our children as well as our friends. We render ourselves in limbo until making the decision to straighten out the mess we ourselves have created.

It is not only ourselves who suffer. We cause pain to our spouse, children, parents, and friends. The pain reaches those who attempt to help us in maybe the earlier stages. Our money is gobbled up, our home is terminated, and probably the last person we hurt, so badly, is ourselves. We cannot bear to look at ourselves in a pane of glass walking down a street.

Many parents possibly choose to refrain from working. This is their choice. If at least one parent doesn't try to get work, perhaps they are setting a poor example for their children. Without any goals we have no zest for life and no challenges to instill us with enthusiasm. Without a purpose we can become erratic. Mothers or fathers who choose to stay home with their children have that option. We can’t and shouldn't condemn their choices. We might put more effort into guiding our child’s school work while being an at-home parent.

Our children need roots. They need trials and purpose. If they are given none through our modeling, it is probable they will not choose goals, or they may set some that are not admirable. Kids, like adults, are unsure of their faltering steps. They require guidance more than imbalance. If we can’t steer straight forward for ourselves, we must attempt to do it for our children. Our children need objectives and aspirations. Every human being needs dreams.

Parents should never get into the area of who is doing more or less work. When that happens, a dividing line is drawn and everything is written down and accounted for. This is not a compatible way of compromising tasks. There are highs and lows in everyone’s life, and highs and lows in everyone’s job. If we come home from work with more stamina than our partner can muster, we should take over the largest piece of the work. Another day or time, our partner can reciprocate when our days are not flowing smoothly. The give and take in a marriage varies on any given day. One cannot predict a headache or a leg pain or sickness. Being accommodating to each other allows us space to chill. We are less stressed to perform our duties. It becomes a bit more relaxing. If we have reached our limit with the child on a particular day, our spouse may take charge of the parenting.

When we have a job to do we can do it with a pleasant attitude or with an angry attitude. It is our choice. If we have to do the job, regardless of our disposition, it appears the easier choice is a pleasant manner. Life is about caring for others. It is not about keeping track of whose turn it is. With co-operation, we might cherish the moments we spend with the children. It becomes more about enjoying our time with our children than it is about doing our duty. Days pass quickly. Nobody should wish their time or life away. Enjoy all the precious memories you are making with your family.

No question, raising children is hard work. They bring a different dimension to one’s life. They also bring a huge, mountainous load of work. In the end, the love we gain truly outweighs any work we must accomplish. Children can be taught to be accountable for many things. We must teach them and support them until they are ready. Caution, in regard to solicitously remaining attentive to our children, is extremely vital. They are fragile and have much to learn.

Although children might spend a great deal of time in daycare facilities, they will still be influenced a vast amount more by their parents. One need not worry, as long as parents are interactive with their children when they are with them. Children will always be influenced by many surrounding activities. Whether these influences are good or bad remains inferior to the effect parents have. It is relevant that we inspire our children to do the right thing.

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.” William James

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James

“The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have.” Ring Lardner

“In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

“Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves are triumph and defeat.”    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“A man, who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese Proverb

“May you remember that love flows best when it flows freely and it is in giving that we receive the greatest gift.” Kate Nowak

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” Chinese proverb

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” Alex Haley

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; No need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama

“Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much.” Erich Fromm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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