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

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

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

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it, it will defend itself." Anonymous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." Anonymous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

4

Get Out Of Your Head“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” Jostein Gaarder

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don't fit into their box are weird. But I'll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.

“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

I had to take a break from my writing due to family issues that needed my attention. Of course I never stopped observing and learning, even if I stopped writing. I noticed how tense it felt to let go of so many tasks I would normally accomplish when I have total concentration. Instead I sat back, worried and reviewed how far behind I assessed I must be. In reality I was only behind because I saw it that way. In actuality I might be and probably am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time.

How many of us believe or even think about why we find ourselves treading water at times or even going backwards at other times? Perhaps we view this as big problems  and ask ourselves why it happened to us. None of us would say "Well I am glad for that set back  because now I have time to review what it is I am doing."

I venture to say none of us enjoy obstacles of any nature and perhaps we question why obstructions had to happen to us. We do move and get beyond what occurred but we build up our anxiety over it, feel frustrated and angry, and basically either take it out on ourselves or those who are close to us. That leaves all of us burdened with issues of all kinds, because we are all dumping our dilemmas on each other constantly.

Suddenly light dawned as I observed a young three-year old messing around with toys. He worked hard to build something which eventually came crashing down. He observed it and then  laughed and proceeded to construct it again. There was no loss of activity nor tears of remorse. He was surprised that it had happened but to him the surprise was worth the destruction of his creation.

If adults could only accept the twists and turns in the road as the small child did our anxiety and fear would decrease.  As I continued to watch the child he began building the tower in exactly the same way and he watched again and again as it toppled to the ground. What was he thinking I reflected. I would be in tears and thinking how I could build something that would stand against any kind of destruction. He obviously was greatly amused and had discovered in his own mind, how to make the occurrence happen all over again. That was his reward. When he got tired of it he turned to a totally different activity and became engrossed again.

What I took from it was his ability to remain pleased and content with his world. He didn't try to control it but instead he let things happen at their own will. He was satisfied with every new discovery. He was the investigator of research even though he didn't likely know what that meant. Most kids do appear to use the hands on method of discovery until we guide them into ways of doing it "right" so we believe.

I wonder if adults lose the power to think not only outside the box but outside of their own heads. I know how much I re-examine everything I say and do and what others say and do. I spend so much time within the walls of my head that it allows me little time to be present in the moment.  Kids are our complete opposite. They simply tell you like it is right down to the fact that they need to poop in the middle of a movie. It is a fact of life and they are not ashamed to admit it.

Is it adults who begin blocking kids in with our taboos and ideas of right and wrong? Of course we should teach morals and values but do we actually teach it or just explain the repercussions of not obeying rules. Do we blindly follow guidelines everywhere and from everybody without questioning why we are even doing it? Kids appear to keep a simplistic version of behaving.

They are not afraid to tell you they don't like something,  and they will refuse to act on something that scares them despite our prodding. They quickly admit when they are afraid of things that we would assume they shouldn't be afraid of. Some kids  are timid in making friends. They are shy around adults, and close their mouths tightly when an adult is forcing food they don't want to try or medicine they don't like.

They keep it simple and trek forward at all times. They see the positive in things and will use boxes, dirt and a stick for a shovel when necessary. They make do and laugh at so many things we fail to see the humor in. An anxious expression on our face may send them into a roar of laughter. Hearing us say we have to go to the bathroom can send a  five-year old howling. Most times adults miss the humor and only smile to acknowledge the child's happiness.

How did we come to take so much so seriously. Are we teaching that to our kids? Are we flushing away love, life and laughter from our own lives and the lives of our children? We put up signs about living laughing and loving yet we don't follow it most times. Perhaps we appreciate what we should be doing but can't seem to go against the crowd and do it. Kids have no problem being themselves at all times. Adults ought to imitate the kids and do the same. If only we could admit it when we are hurting, disgraced at least in our own minds, unhappy, scared, sick and numerous other emotions we keep hidden from others.

We treasure strength, ability, power, and sometimes the skill to squash our emotions. We place humility, compassion, love and weakness under wraps as if it should be hidden. No wonder we can't be ourselves anymore. Kids will cry and then admit they can't do something. We stand in resolve to accomplish what we likely are unable to accomplish never asking for help which would be cowardly we believe.

I see kids as grouping together and running in all directions in happiness and squeals of laughter. Adults scurry to their jobs attempting to please a relentless boss and perhaps a spouse who is expecting more than we can possibly deliver. The camaraderie and cooperation we experienced as kids is slowly drained from us and we are left alone within our minds in doubt about how where and why we are navigating anyplace.

Now we re following silly rules we don't really care about. We have stopped attempting to understand the why's anymore and just do the jobs that need attention. We have in essence given up more of our own power of control than we should have given up. Understanding the reasons of life and living, is a more profound goal than buying a better home or trumping our friend or neighbor. We are not separate entities but actually one in our world. We  can help each other support each other and allow each other to be who they are. We can let go of the judgments and embrace the pleasure of each others company. This brings a profound enlightenment and a peaceful co-existence

I have faith that if we all opened up our hearts, our minds would follow and a deluge would ensue. We might find all the support and love that had been bottled up within each of us, spill out in all directions. The  falseness would disappear and the masks and costumes we display daily would fall. We would and could feel like the young child who could enjoy his blocks regardless of failure with the understanding that failure is a myth. None of us fail we just make mistakes that can most of the time be corrected. We can try again because nobody is keeping a tally and we can admit failure and victory because we are on the same team. We don't have to win alone. We actually don't have to lose alone. We can technically win all the time when we share the victories of life with each other.

Parents teach their kids, and siblings teach and inspire each other. Relatives of all kinds aid prompt and encourage each other at any point in time.  Friends are quickly here and gone but each leaves a mark on us regardless of the length of time of their involvement. Getting out of our heads allows us to live and begin each new day with high hopes of doing some awesome positive support for others.

Before we hang up rules or signs we should contemplate the reasons they inspire us. Understanding what it is about them that makes them valuable is crucial to our understanding life. Like a puzzle we have broken apart into a zillion pieces. The picture of our lives will become clearer as we place those pieces together and actually and finally look at the real picture. Alone we are a shining light for a moment until the light is turned off. Together we create an awesome bright luminosity  gathering all into the comforting serenity of love in action.

Kids love everyone and their love is unconditional. They  forgive everything and forget transgressions as they begin playing with a friend the next day after having fought with them the previous day. They don't judge who can or can't climb up the ladder they just send out the cry, "Let's do it." Together they work, play, live, laugh,  and love. There is a message here for us to witness.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” C. JoyBell C.

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” C. JoyBell C.

Shed Light On Living"We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality."Thich Nhat Hanh

"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life"    Jill Bolte Taylor

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."    William James

Most children and adults abhor the darkness. It seems to go beyond the dread of the storytelling of our childhood days. It really isn't unrealistic to hate the darkness when one observes the qualities within the dimness. Our seeing is greatly impaired, and our ears tune into every sound as we fear the unknown noises. We are anxious to talk with the human voice that resonates with all of us, and feel the human touch around us. When in darkness, everything we bump into sends jitters through our spines because our minds envision something fearful.

Perhaps we like to believe we fear nothing but honestly, I have a notion that the dark sends shivers through just about everyone. We might attribute it to our minds jumping to ridiculous conclusions but in the end we put on a light. How powerful is the light in dissipating the gloom. Blackness without a doubt, obscures insight. Luminosity sheds awareness of truth and familiarity.

I don't often consider why I dislike the dark, nor do I worry about it that much. I don't understand my apprehension but I accept it and live with my worry. I likely spend more time worrying about the dimness than  identifying my reasons for the issue. Perhaps the question is why do most of us love and enjoy the brightness.

Glowing beams of sunlight allow us to comprehend our world so much better through the use of our senses. We all like to observe, and comprehend our place in this world as well as in our environment. Gloom is heavy while illumination is airy while perceiving what we can't always understand. What I found to be a surprise was the many mysteries we encounter and ignore in our daily lives.

We love the brightness but we don't delve deeply into the beams to perceive more understanding. We'd rather live with our fears accepting the consequences. Perhaps it is time to reinforce our courage and search for the truth. Our reality is dimmed even when we are within the brightness. Stepping into the light is the beginning but grasping the honesty of our lives is the next giant step forward into acquiring insight.

Babies fear their birth. Children fear losing mom and dad when left with sitters. Kids fear competing with others, failing their parents expectations, losing their parent's love, siblings' love and friends' love. So loss is a huge fear for most of us. Inferiority issues arise from all our fears,  as self-esteem is threatened. We tend to lose ourselves in the battle at any age, to please parents, siblings, and friends. We sometimes transform ourselves into something we don't even recognize anymore.

Jealousy, anger,  worry and doubt are a few of the consequences of fear, along with distrust, anxiety, poor health and addictions. Loss of love,  jobs, pride and ego take a toll not only on our bodies and minds but also on our souls. Life throws so many curve balls that leave us basically in the dark. Our fears keep us there. Finding new ways to solve our problems is paramount in finding our way back to the light. If we are honest we know that what we have attempted hasn't worked.

Many times we have choices but we don't see them or we overshadow them with our worry. Anxiety can keep us stagnant. If we watched a TV show we would notice the character's choices yet within our own lives we remain motionless to transform ourselves. I sense that life is difficult, so we succumb early and allow the shadows to deceive us.

Experiences of all kinds are challenging and require us to depend on our strength, courage and wisdom. That is asking a lot from us, but is worthy of our finest effort. By overcoming our fears we diminish jealousy, competition, envy, insecurity, defeat, worry, anxiety, ill-health, stress, despondency and negative thoughts. This allows us to embrace honesty, reality, love, empathy, serenity tolerance, confidence health, good habits and a positive outlook.

Hiding behind closed doors with more on our plates than we can deal with is not a good idea. Finding the courage to face problems and find solutions through our own strength and the support of others is a worthy idea. It is relevant  that we come to the realization that there is no competition in life so there is no need for jealousy or envy. There is no special race, religion, economic status, age or country of people more important than any other. The comparisons must end along with the inflated egos and nonsense ways we delineate the worth of another. Once these barriers are broken down we will find it easier to tolerate those we don't understand and accept the differences.

For too long we have focused on earthly assessments and material worth. The cost has been taken from our spirits. At times I think we hardly recognize ourselves. We are so tangled up in the life we live that we can't acknowledge the truth in the life we have. So many of us are wealthy beyond measurement. It just depends on the tool we use to assess. Contentment is the  father of a peaceful and loving life.

It always appears to be an answer that is too simple, but honesty is simple to follow. There are no lies to be reinvented or stories to relate or egos to inflate. The mystery is what we have evolved to be the truth. In actuality the truth has always been easy to see and even easier to live by. Stop asking yourself how happy you are and instead ask yourself how much meaning you can find in your living. Life is too precious to waste it with fear and worry. If one dares to face truth, they are rewarded with great illumination.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”   Rumi

"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." Albert Einstein

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness."   Albert Schweitzer

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

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

Our Rebellious Hearts"What the soul knows is often  unknown to the man who has a soul. We are infinitely more than we think." Kahlil Gibran

"I realized that all the trouble I ever had about you came from some smallness or fear in myself."    Mary Haskell

"All cruelty springs from weakness.”    Seneca

"We are expression of earth, and of life - not separate individuals only. We cannot get enough away from the earth to see the earth and ourselves as separates. We move with its great movements and our growth is part of its great growth."    Kahlil Gibran

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”    Seneca

There has been a tremendous amount of talk about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. The fascinating part is that nothing ever changes. I wrote a book on the mother-in-law daughter-in-law dilemma which took  over fifteen years of research. I interviewed people at the beginning of those years and at the end and I got the same results. To be honest, I was shocked.

Today's young people appear to be more computer literate, independent and outspoken. Yet when you mention a mother-in-law, their complaints and issues sound  the same throughout the ages. They are no less confident around their mothers-in-law than any other generation. Perhaps they are even less secure, given the confusion regarding one insignificant person, who appears to make them nervous. The mystery is they can't figure out why. ...continue reading "Rebellious Mothers-in-Law"

The  typical answers, which have some truth in them, are jealousy, fear, and their own insecurity towards their relationship with their husbands. Their possessive feelings towards their husbands, causes a resistance in them to accept their mother-in-law. Regardless of how any of us feel, mothers are mothers and they will likely always hold a connected bond with their daughters as well as their sons. Most women like to believe that only daughters stay close to their mothers. I call this surface bonds.

Mothers keep their bonds of affection for all of their kids, and young or old the love does not diminish.  The belief is that women stay bonded  to mom, but men somehow evolve into a new creature that stops caring about his beginnings. Many men likely under duress, leave a lot of space between themselves and their mothers, so as to alleviate any trouble with their wives.

Of course it is silly because if we looked into the future, or at life itself, we would realize that we will perhaps one day be at the other end of the stick. None of us think of that. We  assume we will  have our tiny babies, toddlers and young children under our spell forever. As older women will attest, time passes quietly but swiftly and things turn around. I have heard the same  rhetoric of  "how much better I would do things than my mother-n-law did." Probably you won't make the same mistakes, but you will forge ahead with your own errors, unwittingly unaware that you have done anything wrong.

Nobody plans on making problems for anyone least of all your son or daughter-in-law. The trouble is, if one has made trouble already, forgiveness is the only route that allows them on the track again. Of course we can skip the forgiveness, and rattle onward with confusion, distrust, uneasiness, fights, horrible interactions, and free time spent on rehashing everything that was said and done. Humans are great at overlooking their own transgressions. We give ourselves plenty of slack in reference to pain and blame. In the end we all are delivered fair amounts of stress, anxiety and worry.

Mothers-in-law need time to adjust. When a woman becomes a new mother, she frets and wants to be left alone so she can learn all the ways to take care of her baby. She doesn't want a lot of advice, at least not from the older generation. She gains her independence and eventually steers her own wheel. Likewise, a new mother-in-law must learn how to switch up  her own way of doing things. She no longer can interfere with her sons choices, nor stop by when she feels like it. Yes her son probably wouldn't care any more than her daughter-in-law worries if her own mother stops by. The trouble is the daughter-in-law wants her privacy, and deserves her privacy. Mothers-in-law need to respect the lines that are drawn.

This is easier said than done. If a mother has freely spoken to her child for over twenty years, it is difficult to expect her to suddenly learn how to keep her mouth quiet. Of course she needs to learn this, but give her some time and space to fall back, make mistakes and then learn to adjust. It is the changes and fear of the transformations that are likely taking place. The love is always solid but the alterations in the relationship are numerous. Changes require a lot of adjustments in action, words and emotional acceptance.

Calling men mommies boys, only makes the men put up a facade of separation from the mother. That in turn hurts the mother. We haven't changed the son's love for his mother. We have only caused him to hide his feeling and keep them undercover. That is silly as well as sad, when we don't place the same parameters on our own heartfelt associations. Just as we can't be forced to love someone, likewise we can't be forced to stop loving someone. The heart rebels.

How much time, effort, pain, fear and stress we needlessly place on our shoulders. There is room for one more person to love in this big world. We must have confidence in ourselves, trust in our own worth and not feel jealousy in the mother son relationship. Perhaps if we could get beyond  that, we would all learn to have serenity. Mothers-in-law are just as guilty of jealousy, as well as insecurity. But trusting they have a place in their son's heart, should give them peace.  Why do we want to spend our happy times, assessing what another says or does. In the end it is futile and pointless. The evaluation results always depend on the person doing the assessment more than what is the truth.

Mothers-in-law have a new playing field. They need to refrain from overstepping boundaries, respect rules that are set, even if they don't agree with them, or even if they think they are ridiculous. Respect and tolerance is key. Understanding how much your son loves this person is essential. They are his family now, and although you will always be a part  of his family, stepping back a bit and recognizing the importance of his union and the onward cycle of his life is crucial.

Most if not all mothers do not want to keep their sons locked away or stagnant. Allowing them to live the life they choose is not our decision to make, but it does necessitate that  we accept his decisions. Daughters-in-law who want peace, and honesty, must accept some of the fault in a failing relationship with their mothers-in-law. By understanding their role in the crises, they can alter their opinions, as well as stretch their thinking. By coming to realize that they can't just pretend their husband never had a mother, or that he can easily walk away from having her in his life, will afford a deeper revelation about life itself.

A daughter-in-law's fear and stress might be her own nervousness at taking the helm. Of course the daughter-in-law is up to it but she must have some faith in herself. None of us can control another, or not forever. If we wrap our treasure and hide it, how can we enjoy it ourselves. Bringing it into the light gives others the chance to experience some of the joy. By having our husband's interests in mind, we might offer a truce in any difficult situation.

Judging the mother-in-law too early in the game causes misconceptions. It would be like judging a child's temperament after the mother is leaving the child in your care. The screaming yelling and misbehaving child is under duress at the moment. It is not a good time to be judging him or her. I would suggest the mother-in-law may be at that same point in time, as the toddler.  She is under fire to accept so many changes that are definitely attuned with life and natural, but not easy. Perhaps a mothers slight temper tantrum is also quite natural. Give her time to adjust and make it as easy and as acceptable as possible because in the end she will come to understand, there are no other options.

Mothers-in-law should understand that their daughters-in-law are young, and have a lot to learn about the progression of life. Attempting to give them the fast pass doesn't work. They are vulnerable, are excited about their new beginning and want independence and freedom, to make their own choices. A mother-in-law has to allow her son and his wife to make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. Interfering is out of the question. Perhaps their ridiculous idea might pan out better than you thought.Everyone is breaking new ground. We all react poorly at moments. Acting like  children is probably very common in adults of all temperaments. Whether we behave aggressively,  or passive aggressively, everyone needs forgiveness and kindness at times.

We all want to be understood regarding our feelings, which are not easy to express. How many mothers-in-law want to believe they are expressing a temper tantrum, and showing signs of jealousy. How many daughters-in-law want to believe they are possessive and jealous of their mothers-in-law. Both parties will get over the newness of it all, and release their own fears in time. When that future time comes, it would be nice to still have a worthwhile relationship. Trust me, it is an awesome treasure to have and well worth waiting for, or working towards. Tolerance, forgiveness, understanding and love will open the chrysalis to a new adventure that all will love and enjoy, if we will simply have faith that it is possible.

A man can be free without being great, but no man can be great without being free."     Kahlil Gibran

"Imagination sees the complete reality, - it is where past, present and future meet... Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent - nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a center and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects ... Imagination does not uplift: we don’t want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware."    Kahlil Gibran

"When the hand of Life is heavy and night song-less, it is the time for love and trust. And how light the hand life becomes and how song-ful the night, when one is loving and trusting all." Anonymous

“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”    Seneca

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”    Desmond Tutu

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”    Leo Tolstoy

“Everybody's got the seam of goodness in them, Kit," said Grandpa. "Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.”    David Almond

I spend a lot of time talking about comparisons, jealousy and competition. The truth is just when I think I have discovered where it mostly originates,  I find new areas of initiations. It is true that parents, grandparents and most people, compare constantly without thought. We hear about he tallest child, best athlete, intelligent or pretty girl, and more common discussions.

I wonder why we can't seem to control our measurements. It would be horrible if we went to work everyday and listened to others talk about the best worker, smartest computer programmer, or other items we might consider. If neighbors commented on the lawns, houses, apartments or anything else that perhaps is measurable, we would avoid encounters with such individuals. ...continue reading "Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary"

Today I had another encounter with such an incident of judgement, and it really  hurt me to the core, because I am sure it resonated negatively with a lot of people. Someone was mentioning a young  person in the news, who had done great things, but then died at a very early age. Dying at an early age is terrible for anyone to have to deal with. Without a  doubt we would all agree with that statement.

All of the praise was deserving  for this individual, and I agreed wholeheartedly with the discussion. Then came the crucial point of contention for me. The person doing all of the praise, began stating that although the woman was young, she had likely done more in her life, than a person of eighty or ninety. Her accomplishments were tremendous and her recognition was renown. On that I would agree, but it wasn't necessary to compare her life, with any other life. Compliments without comparisons is vitally significant.

At that moment I wanted to yell stop, but the person was on a platform, delivering a speech and the option of offering opinions to the discussion was nil. I sat there quietly and began reminiscing about my grandmother as well as other people who had already passed from my life at a very old age. Of course they were not known by many, and had not captured the eye of the general public. Somehow the pain of that speech bothered me enough to write this post on the incident.

My grandmother would be considered illiterate by today's standards. She was loved by the entire family, and was without a doubt missed by all of us. Her grandchildren numbered twenty-one and her great-grandchildren numbered significantly more. When anyone loses someone they love, age may not be considered. They are all missed. Most of us are left with the loss felt within our hearts.

My grandmother had the knack of making every one of her grandchildren feel important. When in her presence, you felt loved and cared for. Her great accomplishments regarding love, were many. Whenever anyone in the family came over to visit, she would take charge of the kids, allow the mother some free time to engage in conversations with others, and rock the baby or children until they fell asleep.

She was one of those amazing people who could ignore the screaming child, and smile at you when you went to check if everything was okay. I remember her specifically telling me the baby was fine, and to  just go back and enjoy myself. Her calm manner led one to understand, she would have the patience and love to deal with the situation. She loved every grandchild and every one of them was aware of it. Another thing she did was the dishes and pots in the sink. You could not tear her aware from doing dishes. None of us realized that she had done this for each and ever one of us, numerous times, perhaps too many to count.

We all felt so special that we believed she loved us so much that she would do anything for us. We were all correct in our thinking. Her influence over all of us was immeasurable. Her love transcended years and time and space, yet she never perhaps received the eulogy she deserved. We were all present at her wake, and I am not saying she wasn't appreciated, but we didn't feel we should send out news flashes about her wonderful, meaningful life. She raised kids, cooked cleaned and made the lives of anyone she met, as comfortable and easy as she could.

Where I am going with this, is to the point that so many ordinary lives are actually extraordinary. Their lives perhaps go unnoticed, but God and the ones who love them are conscious of the gift. Their contributions probably also appear diminished, when compared to those individuals who make the news.

I do not want to appear comparative as the person who I am writing about. There are many people who deserve praise and eulogies perhaps even before they die. Those who are in the limelight certainly deserve the honor for their great works. We just can't forget those who are in the shadows, but also do great work,  which is seen only by a few.

A life spent in compassion and care of others, be it for family, friends or strangers, is a worthwhile life. Maybe their life  will never be expounded on the front page of newspapers, but they have front row seats in many hearts. Many ordinary people are perhaps just as deserving of recognition, that likely they won't receive, and really don't look to receive. They are content to do what they can, when we can, and without any mention or credit to their names. I know God sees more than us and it is not going unnoticed.

Definitely it is time to reflect on that ripple effect. What any inconsequential act, any of us do, has astounding repercussions of all kinds. Compassion and empathy travel endlessly beyond, reaching into the future of our kids, and grand-kids. Perhaps we might never see the ripples of our good deeds which possibly impacts strangers. Recognizing this fact, should make us more cognizant of the significance of our lives. No  life is inconsequential.

I know the speaker was not trying to say other people's lives were not important. Although it did appear, that he assumed, the simple quiet long lives, might have less  meaning. A life is a life. Live with compassion for others, and with care regarding our  words and actions. Be  quick to forgive and let  patience and tolerance flourish. Your life is without a doubt meaningful and extraordinary.

Never underestimate your worth or the work that you do. We influence people every day, including strangers. We all think act and observe others. Easing anyone's pain, is God-like. Bringing comfort and love to others, allows them to become the people they were meant to become. Think about a match that has the ability to light the campfire. That campfire creates warmth and  light, as well as nourishment through the food we are able to cook over it. If we misuse the match, we likely create a forest fire of some size, be it large or small. People are influenced by good and evil actions and words. By providing kindness and love, we light the campfire, which triggers inspirations.

What we do in our lives is woven throughout the fabric of many lives. Family members and strangers are affected. Taking our lives more seriously is crucial. We can't ever doubt our own life, or ability to change the world for the better is an impossible undertaking.  We are not  powerless to make a difference. Simply living a life filled with love and empathy for all, will make a difference. The transformation will be beyond measure, and beyond years. Live your ordinary life with passion because it really is extraordinary in so many ways.

“It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that they'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”     Mahatma Gandhi

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”      William Shakespeare

Confusion“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”    Rumi

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there."     Rumi

How is your life going? It appears I have said, "When things settle down, I will accomplish much."  more times than I can count,  The problem is, things never settle down but are allows in a state of chaos. It seems I must live with this idea, or pretend there is serenity in the near future. I am sot sure why most of my life appears to be mixed up, but I have lived it this way for so long that it is all I know. The pot of something must be at the end of the rainbow.

I decided to dwell on this and made another conclusion. The only time I can meditate, is when I am falling asleep at night. I try and sometimes I am successful at keeping myself alert, for a short while. Of course many times sleep takes over quickly. Why is it we have lost the ability to relax. Then we fool ourselves into believing that at some future date in time, everything will change and we will find peace.

Perhaps when we find some quiet free moments, we tend to fill them up with more actions. We are almost jubilant to discover we have a few hours, to do what we want. Of course we never choose quiet contemplation. We simply keep busy. It is probably like being addicted to constant movement. To relax almost feels boring as well as giving us a sense of laziness. Our culture adores the achiever of anything. ...continue reading "Confusion"

All we  need to do is inquire about the tremendous amount of awards available,  to anyone who can do  anything. The bubble blower or pie eating person may just set a record. Whatever record any of us attain, makes us proud. Obviously we have not meditated enough on what perhaps denotes a worthwhile effort on our part. Is it the glory that drives us, or the one instance of fame?

We must ask ourselves, what are our goals, and why did we make them our goals. Most likely we have numerous goals in case some fails. It seems necessary to attain goals, in order to feel accomplished. But then what does it mean, to be fulfilled. I am questioning the analogy between what we choose as goals, and our constant scurrying and initiation of new goals. We anxiously achieve our objectives, and then we create new ambitions to work towards.

In this mess, I know, I for one, sense I am going around in circles, and not really accomplishing anything worthwhile. The silly items I yearn for, or actions I take to please others, seem futile. I am number one with someone, as soon as I do something for them. However, number one is short-lived, as I am immediately ignored when I haven't anything to give to this same person. It appears almost a useless activity for me. I must do things for others unconditionally.

If I am looking to be first place with anyone, I should give up the challenge instantly. There is no first place, lasting glory, or benefits of any kind that last longer than a blink of the eye. You see we are all striving for the honor and appreciation, but it doesn't ever come. Perhaps most of us are too busy striving towards other objectives, so we forget about those kindnesses that were rendered to  us along the way. Our schedule is loaded with perhaps nonsense, but who is going to tell us that.

We live in a world of heroes, and seekers of honor. We all want to count for something, best somebody or at the least, be important to someone. Many of us never get any of it right down to the broken marriages and dissolved relationships. Spouses can't keep it together, siblings probably tolerate each other, parent child relationships perhaps are strained and friendships decay quickly while new ones begin. Our need of refinement and connectedness is vital. Many or most people resolve loneliness, by instigating another relationship.

I believe in connectedness and bonds. They are what make the world and life relevant. Sometimes I just feel that we don't spend enough time working on what we have attained. Instead we drop it, and move to the next conquest. It appears we suffer at the hands of our own schedule. Probably it materializes as more work to keep a relationship intact, than we want to give the relationship. Maybe it occurs to be easier to let the current one drop, and move forward to the next.

It boils down to learning how to appreciate and hold dearly to heart, those unexplainable senses that emerge from our being, and somehow provide us with the serenity, we are searching for. If we take the time and initiative to discover these priceless people, we may understand what goals and objectives have already manifested for us. In our search, we have a constant desire to do better, find better discover more, and be greatly fulfilled. In the meantime, we overshadowed truth.

We all need love, respect and serenity in our lives. Perhaps we assume it is just over the next horizon, only to be disappointed again. Most likely it has more to do with our attitude of bigger and better, than to the honesty of what is in front of us that is immeasurable. If we could only put on the brakes, if only for a short time, we might be able to view our surroundings with new eyes.

We can't keep tossing people away, without thought or reflection. They perhaps are our treasures not yet discovered. We become too busy with scheduling and surface searching for something new and exciting. It is time to ask ourselves what we value. If it is love, then take a look at those people in your life with new eyes. I tossed many people aside until it  dawned on me one day, how much they had given to me, that made my life worthwhile. The petty nonsense that caused me to let them go, practically hit me with full force. The injustice I was handing out was preposterous. Upon making restitution, I became whole again, and had a deeper understanding of the meaning of love. It makes unconditional demands on a person.

We are never totally fulfilled by others. Contentment must be found within ourselves. We are never without issues to solve or resolve. On any given day we can make resolutions, objectives and goals. Some are playful while others should be soulful. The more we stretch ourselves to become more than we ever thought was attainable, the more at peace we become with ourselves. We  might begin with searching for glory, and end up with accepting with gratitude, the serenity that comes with our connections and love for the people in our lives. The honest truth is, we have to make the time to reflect on what we have. That alone calms our life and affords us peace.

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

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

"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."    Albert Einstein

"I always wanted to win the lottery. But tonight I looked around at my beautiful family and realized I already have!"    Anonymous

Addicted To Technology"The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology."    E. F. Schumacher

"If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner."    Omar N. Bradley

second addicted to technology"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."    John F. Kennedy

None of us likes to be out of control nor have things out of control. Yet, our technology has totally gotten well beyond the limits. We all fight for power and freedom along with liberty, but perhaps media and technology has deprived us of all of this. I believe  it is  manipulating, and has lulled us into an addictive type of need and love.

I use the word love because most of us can't spend a long time away from our "Stuff". Anyone with the tiniest bit of techno savvy is seen holding something within their hands. Some people almost appear desperate as they cling to their I-phones, I-pads and whatever. Most people have already inculcated their kids into the habit. A child as young as two might be seen holding a device and pressing buttons.

Can we admit we have gone beyond our limit ? Some people are on computers or some other device right before they go to bed. If one spouse is in the bathroom, they pick their tool up from their nightstand. It can't be far from them in case they get a message of some kind. I wonder at the messages, that always seem to be so important, that they can't let them wait for a better time. There is no privacy. People including bosses, and everyone else, can reach us at any time. Forget about discretion. We can't escape the ever-ending messages coming through. ...continue reading "Addicted To Technology"

Whenever you are in the company of someone who is obsessed with their cell phone, or I pad, or I phone, you find their eyes drifting down to it and then their fingers get busy as they smile. They have totally forgotten  who they are physically with, and devote their attention to the device. You, the physically present person,  must wait for their return. Some people attempt to hide their focus on their device by softly drifting into another room. It amazes me that they think you don't notice their movements, nor their lack of attention to the present moment with you.

It is so widespread now, that most of us who are not dependent,  just get used to waiting, for these habituated people, to finish whatever messages they are receiving. I know when I am in the presence of these users, I don't even mention the interruption anymore. I just wait for the interference to end. I still find it annoying, but it is right up there with the waiting time at the  doctor's office. You don't like it, or enjoy it, but there are no alternatives so you accept it.

I love it when some people think, they are covering their dependent behavior. This appears to be even worse. One can believe themselves now, to be unimportant,  as well as stupid.  They believe they are fooling us. They keep it on their laps at a restaurant, and glance down now and again. Their smile, when they look down is one giveaway. Other people do a chore, while they peek at their device. They let out the dog, and stand outside, viewing and sending messages.

Some people believe falsely of course, that if they share the message with you, that somehow it makes it okay. You might also get the person who confesses they sent a message earlier, and were waiting for the reply they just received. You  have to praise the people who excuse themselves formally, to receive or send a text message. They get up, act important, express a serious look on their faces, and proceed to another room for privacy.

It seems like all of this might be a danger to them. Are they paying attention to their  world? They might trip and fall as I did when I attempted to dial a phone number while walking. I had seen it done so many times by others, but unfortunately I am not a good candidate, as I missed the end of the sidewalk and fell on the street. Only my ego got hurt.

I haven't mentioned those people who  text while driving. I place this right up there with drinking and driving. They are focused on typing and reading. I hate to think about those drivers when I enter my car. I know of one accident in which a young girl blamed it on her shoes rather than admit she was sending a text. Her fine was less.

Media promotes Facebook, and other social communities. Now we can share the food we're making for dinner, and the last time we showered. We have the ability to get one hundred people or more, to commiserate with us, when we are having a bad day. We display the beach area we are visiting, with no care for those who are out of a job or relationship. I know this might be a good thing for some people, but I need more than words on a page.

I need the intimacy of a face, exhibiting care and concern. I like the sound of voices, and seeing expressions change. I like to hear more words than a simple feel better, even if it is only one person, instead of one hundred. Somehow it reaches me more. Some people suffer depression,  from all of the wonderful places and things people expound about on Facebook. Your life can appear very dim in comparison. We really shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone.

In actuality, it is an assessment of  who can gain more friends. This doesn't appear to be a healthy media device, for a downtrodden individual. Now we might be jealous of many more people, rather than the close friend. Confidence and security become things of the past. Competition  reigns even for young girls, who are competing with their faces and bodies. What are we valuing in this world? Are we aware of inner qualities, or is that something we laugh at? Has our virtue and our morals gone AWOL?

The tumultuous disruptions, throughout the world, are now able to touch our children within our homes. People with questionable motives, can enter our once safe environment, and destroy our family. There are deceitful people who are bent on lying, and coercing our children. It is difficult to monitor this. These people don't have to show a face, or it can be a false image. As I already mentioned, faces give emotions.

Another area technology is affecting us, is within the social area of  High School. There are students who are now ridiculed, twenty four seven. Being a teen, they have faith in their ability to handle themselves. The  pain and crushing of their spirit, may eventually destroy them. Many are left with fear and or anxiety. Confidence is gone, and insecurity is instilled. I ponder about the perpetrators of such deeds. Because they are wounding with a tool type of device, likely they feel less blame. They are not involved in the full fledged pain inflicted, when one sees hears or experiences it.

I am not sure if the wrong doers are aware, that they are hurting real people. If you call somebody a name to their face, and see their reaction, it might well up feelings of sorrow for your action. When such is not the case upon using a machine, one is deprived of observing the actual pain inflicted. It  appears that technology use, releases one of blame, and societal constraints and or restrictions. It becomes a covert operation. It is similar to mob rule where no one is at fault, when people or property are injured. Hiding behind a machine, permits freelance slander, manipulation, influence and suffering.

Perhaps we are becoming desensitized, from sensing any remorse, due to our addiction to technology. We have less time for emotions, when we are busy with our fingers tapping devices. Our minds are focused on how well, and how much we can do with these devices. Little time is given to our altruistic nature. Our  minds overtake and rule the heart. Some people are proud of the greatest damage they can accomplish. Perhaps they are bullied in other areas of their lives, and find relief in bullying others on-line.

Our machines keep us too busy to reflect, on what we have done wrong. Instead of man creating machines that are more human like, we are transforming into  more of a machine like existence. This is not true of everyone, but it certainly requires our heartfelt thought.

Some homes are now quiet after dinner, because even the kids are using a device. Our language is even suffering. People use short words, to convey a message. I  find people using less words, and less sensory adjectives, when speaking with or using technology. We have too many notes to send out, and too many people to respond to. With so many friends, can we understand that we are not gaining a close relationship with anyone? Do we care anymore about depth, or quality of love within our lives?

I have noticed our conversations with our spouses, are shorter and curt. I have observed that we all use less of our sense of sight, sound, and sensory. Our hearts are being deprived of compassion, empathy and love. Some things just have to be felt through the heart first. Technology is awesome, but will man misuse it as his reputation proves. What starts off as a good thing, may devour mankind of being humane.

Do we need a law about restricting the use of our devices? Man wants dominance. Now is the time to gain it by turning our technology off when in the presence of physical people. We have the self-control, to restrain their influence and use. As smart and capable as our devices are, they can be monitored, and they do have on and off switches. Let's  not willingly turn our command over, to a mindless and heartless device's ability, to overtake our influence and in the process, our humanity.

 "Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it."    Max Frisch

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation."    Jean Arp

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

"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers."    Sydney J. Harris

"Say NO to the demands of the world. Say YES to the longings of your own heart."   Jonathon Lockwood

"Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work...Sacredly, Secretly, and Silently...And those with 'eyes to see and ears to hear' will respond."    Unknown

Continually attempting to please others, is likely the most difficult job we all work at constantly. All our boasts about  not caring if someone likes it or not, are just nonsense. Deep down we want to make others happy. All of us work at making the grade, and becoming number one, in the eyes of another. What I have found is that it becomes impossible, to be the number one for any length of time. As hard as we work at it, eventually it wears us down, and I am not even sure others are totally aware of the game we are playing. They are too busy playing their version of it.

Most likely it begins at childhood, when we compete against our siblings for attention. Some of us find it easier to be people pleaders, but we all do it to some degree, even if we don't admit to it. If our parents like something special for dinner, then that is what we cook when they are coming over. We bask in our ability to please them, and we beam, when they compliment us. Of course we get a bit  rigid when we hear about their  pleasure at another siblings house. How petty of us we think, but the feelings creep in, or is it the threat of losing love.

Young kids depend on mom and dad, and so the ability to accept sibling rivals, is important. Maybe we never evolve out of that position. Instinctively we continue to strive to please.  This perhaps continues with our jobs and the boss. Technically the boss is also a provider for us, and important figure in our lives. Husbands and wives play another role, and without knowing it,  demand more of our attention.

We all like to satisfy, receive praise, and feel that we make a difference in the lives of others. I know it is probably impossible to be in first place, all the time. It is extremely difficult, to  maintain a level of denial, in order to cope with the pleasures of others. Simply stated, we can't be the perfect child forever. Finding our own lives is relevant. We can't be the need fulfilling spouse every second. Our own needs must be taken care of. We are never the perfect parent, sibling or friend. Those times when we fail, are the times we beat ourselves up, for not satisfying another.

Perhaps it is time to ask if it is so important to always gratify. Likely we have degrees of how much importance we place on this attitude. It is paramount to accept the fact, that we cannot always placate those we love. If we only see ourselves through the eyes of another, then we lose ourselves in their perception of us. How they view us is how we rate ourselves. Now we are under pressure to come through. It is far better to appreciate  who we are. Our version of self, is the most important measurement we can accept.

Most of us probably are not aware of the importance, another person places, on what we think about them. As much as we attempt to keep parents happy, our children are doing the same thing with us. Every time we produce a guilt ridden situation,  we have endorsed a "striving to please" job. It only leaves us distraught at our attempts to gratify. Perhaps parents are not placing such burdens on us. It may possibly be us, who desire to constantly gratify those we love.

I honestly believe that in the end, we are so beat down that we give up. This is sad, but sometimes a blessing. After coming to terms with the limits of our capacity, we begin to discover ourselves. We also realize that we start doing things for others out of love, real love, rather than to attain a false belief of love. Most likely parents are not forcing kids to please, and may not be aware of the power they hold over their children. Adult children might become aware, that their parents are also not theirs to control. Kids need to learn independence, and thankfulness for the favors parents bestow.

Once this is accomplished, we can live our lives in honesty, and in a more relaxed state. We stop striving to constantly delight, and begin paying more attention to needs and support. It perhaps also gives us time to aid others, outside our circle of family and friends. If we dwell constantly on what we must do for someone, in order to maintain a tenuous sense of position, it allots  little time, to helping another, out of charity.

I know there were many times in my life, that I did things out of duty. There was some love intertwined, but for the most part, it felt more like being compelled to do it. Maybe it was my own sense of duty, or maybe it was guilt put on my shoulders. Likely it was a bit of both. I guess it is a good thing when a person comes to the realization sooner, rather than later, because pressure is relieved and living begins.

We strive to be the perfect parents, or grandparents. Then we discover how effortlessly, another parent or  grandparent assists our child in a profound and important way. Accepting this is crucial, to our own peace of mind. We all want what is best for our kids and grandchildren. If we love them truly, then there is no problem in accepting and being grateful, for the support of others. Loving can mean allowing our most treasured gifts, the freedom to be liberated. Letting go is difficult, but upon release,  peace is acquired. We also might find the loved one returns often. There is a comforting revisit, due to the lessening of restrictions.

The more we hold on tightly to what we perceive as ours, the more they struggle for autonomy,  and to please us. We leave them in turmoil. The expectations others have for us, as well as the ones we place on others, can consume our lives. It is so strange to have the independence, and knowledge of the love of others, without strings attached. Love is so gentle, that it is without physical attributes, and thus can only be felt within the body and mind. It is impossible to enclose, or keep love confined to oneself. By allowing love the freedom to expand, it draws back to us and gives thanks.

Even at work, there can be many who deserve credit for their abilities. We are one of many on the job. In no way are we depleted by someone's fullness. Mothers and wives can love sons and husbands, without jealousy. Sisters-in-Law and brothers-in-law can love each other without competing. Siblings can understand that their parents love can be divided many times without any loss of love to them. Friends can accept the differences between each other, and the needs each individual fulfills. Grandparents can give unconditional love, without envy. I for one comprehend that letting go of demands, and competition, brings serenity. The empty space left from the lack of worry, is filled with more love. Serenity is far better than constant striving to please others. Life won't always make you happy, but living a meaningful life will bring you happiness.

Strive For Happiness"PEACE It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things, and still be calm in your heart." Unknown

"When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow  bring out the best in ourselves."    William Arthur Ward

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."     Cynthia Oziek