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."

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rippling Affect Of Stress 3"You are good enough smart enough and beautiful enough, strong enough believe it and stop letting insecurity run your life." Thomas D.

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." Steve Furtick

"Sometimes our thought are backed by so much insecurity that they create lies we believe." Anonymous

How sensitive we all are without exception when egos are threatened. Even those of us who remain calm in hurtful situations perhaps carry the pain well into the future. Some people say I am cutting my connections to this person or that one. Others say I am finding that person so annoying that I need to get some space between us. At other times we choose to place these people into the background of our lives and have some chance meetings or some few and far between planned get togethers.

I find myself doing the same things and using the same tactics. No matter how good someone has been to me, if they start irritating me or upsetting me I turn away from them and sometimes cut them off. I must truly admit that down the road I am sorry that it happened and I wish I could rethink my original thought and plan. I know why. It is because sometimes they were right about something and I didn't want to listen or believe what they were saying was correct.

How many times I can remember myself or someone else stating "You don't get what I am talking about. You don't know what it is I am trying to say. You are just thinking in the past and comparing this situation with something that happened in your own life." Of course there are those times when either one of us has proven to be right or wrong. So why do we hate advice and think someone is wrong before they begin.

I tend to think it is ego and pride. Who likes to be wrong? I believe we get disappointed with ourselves and we cling to our egos and pride in the hope of feeling better. I know I can hardly believe I have such little faith in me. I question everything I do and second guess myself. However if someone has offered advice, depending on the person, I will or won't follow it. I simply cannot admit this person who I already deem as a worthier individual, is now about to best me to my face. I now see it that I can't accept help unless I feel secure in the knowledge that I don't have a competition going on.

Those people who help us but then never claim to anyone else how much they helped us appear to be the ones we trust. It isn't that they give or have better advice, it has more to do with pride in that they don't harm our egos. Our frailty is safe in this person's hands. That is why we like people who don't compete or compare us in any way. They don't keep a record of being right or wrong and they don't  care. They are only concerned with supporting us.

Most of us trust this kind of person because we see them as no threat yet why do we observe others who are trying to help us as a threat? Our egos should not be so fragile. If we had confidence in us we could weather the damage to our egos. I think people who don't ask for directions exhibit this lack of security. Somehow it appears to them that they should know how to navigate a destination. To let someone even a stranger think otherwise is folly.

The situation that bothers me the most is how all of this makes us more like enemies than friends. We worry so much about our sense of worth that we protect it at all costs. Do we believe someone else is better than us just because they never get lost? Do we see someone who requests advice on a home project as incapable or less capable than we are? If we answered no to these questions then maybe we are all kidding ourselves. None of us may actually put down others yet that is the situation we believe is reality.

If all of us are bent on proving how much we know, how much we can do, and how much we have over another then it may be proving how we are wasting our time on inconsequential concerns. This is not to mention the stress of searching for answers far and beyond when the answers are close at hand. So our hidden reality is that we had to find an answer and keep others in the "Dark" regarding how we accomplished our task. Does anyone care how fast or how long it took us? We may care but I doubt someone else cares. Do people go to an assessment book and write down how we got lost while driving? Are they planning on reporting us? It does sound silly.

We keep so much hidden and sometimes believe that if another person saw how vulnerable we actually were they would either not like us or feel we were beneath them to keep as a friend. There is not one individual I surmise, on this planet who does not have faults, weaknesses and fears. I laugh at how many parents lament that their young children crawl into their beds at night. They are afraid of the dark. Many adults at weak moments, admit that they hate the dark. Kids honestly up front will admit it and jump in with mom and dad. Adults at times turn on their lights, get a dog or an alarm system or move in with someone. The most information on this subject that one usually gets from an adult is, " I don't care for or like the dark. I keep my night light on."

Letting go of our inner battle of pride and courage is the first step in finding serenity. Kids that made fun of us because we couldn't climb the ladder or jump as far or skip or run or play games well don't matter to us anymore. It only matters if we let it matter. Those that couldn't jump perhaps are the people discovering the games of tomorrow. Those that couldn't play games are the ones organizing groups for collaboration to find answers to world questions. It doesn't mean those that can jump or play games are not world leaders it just means it makes no difference.

At any point in time there are those ready and able to help and make an impact in our lives. The authority figures change according to the circumstances. The gift one has may not be noticed even by the person who owns it. I view it like this. Whenever one is capable of coming to the aid of another individual in any manner and degree then you have done well and made a difference in the world. There is a kindness going around rather than a hidden fearful agenda.We would definitely have more time for other things if we just stopped contemplating how we are perceived.

The next time we think about how busy our schedule is we should remember that other people are busy thinking about their schedules. Let go of pride and ego and embrace the real you with faults and awesome abilities too numerous to count. Stop judging them if you do judge, and perhaps they will return the favor.

"Don't let insecurity push away the person God sent to you." Anonymous

Ego is the only requirement to destroy any relationship so be a bigger person. Skip the "E" and let it go." Anonymous

"Relationship never dies a natural death... They are murdered by EGO, ATTITUDE and IGNORANCE." Anonymous

"Stop being offended. Let go of the need to win. Let go of the need to be right. Let go of the need to be superior. Let go of the need to have more. Let go of identifying yourself by your achievements. Let go of your reputation." Sue Fitzmoris

Strive For Happiness"I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives."    William Wilberforce

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."    Lance Armstrong

"Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit."    Paramahansa Yogananda

"Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact - men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do."    Billy Graham

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."     Marian Wright Edelman

I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take a part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get the picture of where I stood in everyone's eyes. That is what I believed

I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.

Eventually when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends.. I can't tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I  am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn't make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.

I went to work as a special education  teacher  and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn't mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.

During teacher meetings my opinions were never discussed or considered. Non of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.

I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think  that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn't be successful like others I should just not try.

I have discovered that the smallest screw serves it's purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God's definition is different than man's. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue  their own worth.

I worked as a volunteer on my town's fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone's part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.

Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner loser or hero is. Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a  hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.

Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn't slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they  trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.

None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn't feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame  their fear of doing nothing.

It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations everyday that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives,  and sometimes we fear those  who live with us.

We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone's life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears everyday with courage.

Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day,  we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can't ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.

“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.”     Criss Jami

"When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody."    Criss Jami

“If you're an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don't fit in, if you're not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”     Steve Guttenberg

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you."    William Arthur Ward

Frustration Leads To Stress And Anger

"Dignity is the moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.”
Shannon L. Alder

"Dignity is also the moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from." Shannon L. Alder

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." Albert Einstein

So many of us believe that we are calm, get along with others and take things as they come yet much of what happens is not a coincidence. If we get frustrated at any point and with any person, place or thing then perhaps we are not so easy-going as we believe we are. I am not suggesting that being upset with a person place or thing is a bad thing. There are numerous items everyday along with many people and places that cause us to be stopped  annoyed and on the brink of losing all dignity.

Most people wake up with an agenda and we are happy or calm as long as no obstacles get in our way. It is easy to say we get along with all  people and things as long as getting along means don't get in my way or interrupt me. So that comes with a lot of stipulations in order for one to remain calm. None of us think of ourselves as bossy or liking to have things our own way. Likely most of us would say we are compatible and easy to get along with.

The truth of the matter is few of us are easy-going and most of us just don't like interference of any kind. That is why we have road rage when we miss a turn or someone cuts us off or causes us any kind of set back no matter how small. We want to get to an appointment on time and that means no one struts in our way. If they do we immediately fill will frustration  which leads to stress which results in anger beyond control.

I suppose if we could simply stop allowing frustration to control us we might be able to control the stress and then the anger that  follows stress. It tells me that we don't look for synchronicity of any kind nor alternative reasons we are delayed. If we did we would not question our daily interference nor our delays. We never stop to think perhaps there is a reason for our mishaps or delays.

I know we can all recall major life occurrences in which people's lives were saved because they stopped for  coffee rather than heading straight to a job where a fire broke out.  Yes we believe in those huge happenings. What we don't buy into is the little occurrences that are basically frustrating, stressful and fill us with anger.

No matter what our goals are for the day, if they get mixed up or delayed we are terribly annoyed and I am guilty of this also. I plan on doing some work and the phone rings and a friend needs to talk. The longer I listen the more I consider the call boring and unnecessary. My mind begins contemplating ways to end the conversation and unless I want to lie to them I am forced to continue the chatting   until my friend is completely devoid of any of their own annoying feelings. I suppose they are hanging up  relieved after the conversation while I am experiencing needles and pins, infuriated at having to  endure the encounter.

Now I am sensing that in order to change the situation one must change their way of thinking. If I insist on constantly completely my tasks or accomplishing my own objectives without any interference from others I must live in a sealed glass house. This is impossible  so to live among the other people in the world requires that I accommodate their presence and accept their bothersome interruptions with dignity.

The only alternative is to ostracize family members, friends co-workers and every living and breathing creature walking the earth. Of course I would never choose such an alternative so it leaves me with acceptance. If I am honest with myself I recognize the times I was in need of a talk and ended up stealing time away from another without guilt or remorse. That is when enlightenment occurs  and I sort of get the whole picture. We just blot out those times we lost our way and searched for direction.

Somehow I do have faith that the listeners gained something in the encounter. Likely we acquire so much learning everyday that we never planned on achieving. What we hold as important is perhaps not as vital as those meaningless interactions with others. There is a lot to be said for synchronicity. The world has its own plan for us and we are actually cogs in the working.

Every daily encounters add an importance to our own lives. Most of us just don't see it that way due to our daily schedules. Fitting in the outside distractions of daily living renders our programs meaningful if we took the time to review our daily lives. We apparently don't have the control over our lives that we believe we have. Once that is observed real life and living happens.

If the world improves with  every kind and loving action perhaps spending more time acknowledging the presence of our fellow human beings is vitally relevant. Each of us wake up with varying problems and burdens. Any relief we receive is a benefit to all of humanity because the flowing wave effect is endless. One kind act can send positive charges a distance we can't even conceive of.

The tiny voice of a small child in need of a hug and reassurance requires our immediate attention. There are no coincidences. All is happening according to the way it should be. We can be awake in observing what happened and recognizing the significance or we can conclude an interference with our lives which render us annoyed and stressed. By acknowledging we don't have the control and power we think we have, the more serene our lives become.

Life is a journey of learning and tests of all kinds. Recognizing what is critical is paramount. Knowing what jobs are important to take care of first teaches us the truth about living. As we absorb we realize how comforting and alive we feel when we have succeeded in choosing well. The anger dissipates and the stress is relieved and instead of feeling annoyed we are left having faith in having raised humanity to a higher level. How would we ever believe that was a frustrating annoyance that interrupted our schedule. I am about to throw my plans to the wind and let my day unfold at will. Somehow I will ascertain more than I will buy accomplishing my daily tasks. Perhaps a smile is worth more than an achieved list of items.

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Maya Angelou

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." Aesop

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."    Norman Vincent Peale

"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."     Swami Sivananda

Hidden Assumptions“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”    Isaac Asimov

“They have the unique ability to listen to one story and understand another.” Pandora Poikilos

“Don’t build roadblocks out of assumptions.”    Lorii Myers

“Life is a series of events and sensations. Everything else is interpretation. Much is lost in translation and added in assumption / projection” Rasheed Ogunlaru

How sure we all are of what is the hidden truth behind everyone's motives and frustrations. We think we know why a person said  what they said and did what they did. At least that is what we assume. Nobody lets us in on the secret that we  assume too much and most of the time if not all of the time we are wrong. I say this with belief  in what I know to be the reality beneath our facades.

At a function if I approach a couple of people who appear to be laughing but then stop when I approach, I am sure they are not likely fond of me. It is as if I have ruined their good time and exchange. If I could leave it there it would be okay but this is not the case. I dwell on the event throughout the night and observe them for more signals of their lack of interest in me. I realize everything doesn't involve me but that s why I sense others are not impressed with me  so my confidence is shaken and I become quiet and start taking in the behaviors of others present. The more I see the more I begin attributing connotations for the words and actions of others. Of course my confidence is at an all time low.

It can be so devastating to the point of leaving the function with total insecurity. Of course the next day one of the two people may call me and begin stating their regret for having little time to spend with me. I begin thinking they are reading my mind. Of course I appreciate the basic apology and am happy to discuss the events of the previous day. Now it is the two of us discussing the events and that other person is on the outside.

Now I feel special, worthy and I realize I was mistaken in the belief that I was ignored and not liked. Now that I am older and have spent years observing and contemplating such situations, I comprehend how easily we are led astray in believing in our worthlessness. Another notion occurred to me. We are extremely fragile people. I suppose that must be why we fight and argue so much. Our feelings get hurt and we can't even explain why so we hide away until someone comes to our rescue.

Our next step is to desert those who we perceive as having hurt us for those who came to our rescue. One can see we change friends like we switch our clothes. We perhaps might get around to the same set of clothes just as we do a turn around with our friends. I guess we are a people who never truly trust in each other. If we really had faith in each other we would know without having to prove anything that we mean something to others especially those we love.

Do we still love those who we think offended us or do we stop loving them? If we stop then we must question if we ever really loved at all. We search for the fault in others yet we are the ones making the assumptions, drawing conclusions from these assumptions and basing our decisions on what we see as the reality of our situation. Do we ever ask ourselves how good are our assumptions? How much faith can we have in any of them? Are we wiling to toss over a marriage a link to our kids, our sibling relationships and friendships on assumptions?

As serious as these questions are the answers are sad. Most of us do make decisions without having real facts or reasons. Much of our illusions are fabricated. Our minds run the reel and the movie begins with us playing the lead role, being damaged in some way and retreating for cover. Those who have pained us are cut from our lives. One has to agree that this will make the relationship difficult to maintain. If we choose to believe in the hurtfulness of another then it is easy to understand why we want to severe the connection.

I for one have trouble with severing. As angry as I get I begin to remember the happy times I spent with others and then I question why someone would now dislike me. I change my mind about the cutting but I am still  wary of this person who has now lost some of my faith. I find this sad. I might be the one causing the dilemma. Perhaps this person was never ever considering me in any way and here I have assumed they wanted me out of the circle.

Most of us let our feelings rule our minds. In such instances and without any breaks we go over the bridge. Now I put such thoughts to the back of the mind and leave them there unless of course similar happenings cause me to bring them forward again at a future date. Man is so fragile. Those among us who are self-assured are still at risk of sabotaging our sense of self. All that is required is suppositions.

Children always assume mom or dad loves a sibling more than them. Parents don't have the time to perhaps even consider such a notion. They are to busy working and caring for the kids. Parents sense a feeling of loss when kids marry. They believe they are not loved as much because they don't have the same time or access to their children. Adult kids likely love their parents more but are leading their own lives and without the time to hand hold and explain their feelings. This is almost impossible to do.

Siblings  are so close to each other even if they are at odds with one another. They are closely bonded yet the quickest to be estranged. The jealousy over parental love and support is tremendous. Siblings compete throughout their lives and most parents don't even take notice. No one talks about it so the conjectures continue and truth is hidden. Friends engage in all sorts of rivalry for money position and jobs. They help each other but also like to outperform each other. People like to talk and anyone who is missing the discussions might likely be the topic of the discussions. When someone is absent they run the risk of being targeted.

Mothers-in-law assume their daughters-in-law are attempting to steal their sons away. Daughters-in-law assume their mothers-in-law want to control them and their husbands. No one gets the fact that nobody wants to be left out of this mix and all are bound by love for the other. Playing fields change but love always remains.

I am not suggesting we are mean and vicious. I believe we are opportunist and when a time approaches for us to get closer with someone we care about we take the opportunity.  It feels like we have enclosed ourselves in a tight circle and we sense the love and belonging. It brings such comfort. We don't want anyone near it because we cherish it and want it all to ourselves. In the end we lose it if we hold on too tightly and make the conditions too difficult to abide by.

So in all of this I believe we all desperately want love. When we have it we fear losing it. We panic and worry so much that we assume too much and begin to believe false accusations about family and friends. Likely marriages fail due to jealousy and competition.Oother relationships break from too much tension. One answer might be to accept everyone into our sphere of love which will render no one alone and lost.

Maybe our fear of losing love is the reason for many transgressions. Some might lie because they believe the truth about themselves will not make them worthy enough. Some steal to enhance their lives which don't appear to measure up. Some  are jealous because they have no confidence in their own value.Even marriages are threatened when we can't believe we are good enough to maintain the love for each other. Believing there is always someone better around the corner gives us little time to enjoy and praise what we have.

If we could ever read each others mind we would be so surprised at what each one of us was actually thinking about when we are being accused of so many other wild ideas. A young woman is thinking if she is actually pregnant because she is late and so anxious to have a baby. She is a bit testy with worry and tense from her lost thoughts of wonder. A young man is trying to impress his new wife and her family by doing it all. He is becoming overwhelmed in the process and angry at them all who he perceives as being impossible to please. The truth is he is placing the burdens on his own shoulders.

Of course the in-laws are thinking wow, what a nice guy she married. He is trying to do everything. How impressive he is. The mother-in-law is thinking I must look stupid because I ask dumb  questions only because I don't want to insult my daughter-in-law or do anything she doesn't want me to do for the baby. The daughter-in-law is reflecting, how can my mother-in-law not know what to do? She raised kids why is she appearing so stupid? The wife is believing my husband has spent so much time talking with that woman. I bet she is listening to his work stories and I always have no time to do that. The husband is actually thinking, I wish she would stop asking so many questions. I don't even know why this woman is so interested in my work and my wife has already given me the evil eye. The young woman might be thinking, I hope my boyfriend is observing how easily I can control a man's attention. If he isn't nicer to me I could leave him.

Trust is important in any relationship. Faith in who and what we are is paramount. By stopping our ruminating over what others think and feel gives us more time to enjoy the moment. So many moments are lost in needless worry about losing love. It seems like it is important to love during the moment and don't let the time be wasted. What is crucially important is to love ourselves, because  we all appear to be having trouble loving ourselves. By observing our own merit keeps the filter system going so we won't let our confidence seep out with our wrongful conjectures. We will save our loves, bonds and moments of enjoyment that could have turned into nightmares of our own creation.

“When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.”    Shannon Alder

“We never look beyond our assumptions and what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves.”    Muriel Barbery

“Problems don’t actually exist. They’re just the hallucinogenic effects of people being weirded out on what they think life is supposed to be.”    Richelle E. Goodrich

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

Acknowledgement 2Acknowledgement 3“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”    John Steinbeck

...What makes us who we are should be glorified personified and sung unto the stars!”    Muse

Perhaps we begin with the phrase, "I never wanted nor asked for anything in return." It is familiar to me. As much as any of us want to pride ourselves with our giving from the heart, without concern of any repay, we still like and enjoy some acknowledgement. Perhaps at times it is not necessary but at a Acknowledgement 4Acknowledgement 6 low point in our lives, or moods, we may search for some kind of acknowledgement of who we are and what we have done.

Most of us would be appalled to admit it bothers us when another doesn't consider our contributions. I have come to realize it has to do with a couple of things, which I know I am as guilty of doing as anyone else. My confidence level on any given day fluctuates. It drives me crazy and I am sure it makes others wonder just who I am. Another item to consider is our time, patience and effort given to another. That can't be given back so easily. Exhaustion plays a role in our attitude, when no appreciation is given.

Decidedly I believe as much as I might offer to help someone, I assume they understand just how much I am giving. Of course when they don't, and practically appear to ignore my good efforts, it leaves me wallowing in self-pity and sometimes anger. When we have put others first, supported, and comforted, then we might feel we deserve at least a thanks. We were needed and we came through. So now what?

Most of us look for the appreciation that may never come. For me to say it is a compliment, might sound absurd. But in a way, I have deduced that it is a compliment. Likely we need to rethink what our own feelings are regarding this dilemma. If it is important that we get the proverbial thank you, then perhaps we might consider picking and choosing what we want to do for others. It isn't an insult as much as it is knowing our own ability to give and not receive. ...continue reading "Acknowledgement"

It is one f the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Giving without receiving is weighing on a person. Many continue giving for a very long  time, until they break and crash. This occurs when one reaches the limit, and wants and deserves acknowledgement. At this point the  commendations are usually fruitless, because the receiver believes they had to ask for a thank you.

I see it as a break time. If we have reached our limit of doing thankless jobs, then perhaps we should relax a bit. The true idea of giving is when it can be done without any acknowledgement. I like to receive a thank you as much as anyone. What I reflect on now, when the pains of being unappreciated rise, is the reasons why I am doing whatever it is I am doing. When the reality of the situation roots in my heart, I realize that I don't require the thanks, and if I do need it, then I must immediately stop whatever it is I am doing. If one doesn't refrain from doing unacknowledged work, that they feel is worthy of acknowledgement, then it leads to major frustration, anger and a dislike of the person we are attempting to please. There is no winner in such a situation.

It isn't hard to believe that we might simply need a break. Perhaps we have placed ourselves so high on the pedestal of perfection, that we hate to admit we like a simple thank you once in a while. It isn't difficult to consider this. Being human we get caught up in our thoughts and our mind's take on issues. The further we go down that road, the sooner we reach the end of our endurance. If we want to continue, we must turn around our thoughts and go back to the original plan of aiding another without return.

It is a simple solution, yet it almost requires super human strength. There is no insults or degradation in our desire to not be taken advantage of. So many people in this world, are taken advantage of. Likely praise is not freely given and thanks is infrequently exhibited. Sometimes it is reasoned that this one has so much so they can afford to help me out. I find this perhaps the saddest answer. For anyone to think another should spend or give to them is absurd. The rich person, who spreads his wealth for the benefit of others, is extremely kind. They don't have to do such jobs.

Being thankful is as vital, as being aware and willing to support those in need. Both dispense of grace. The one acknowledges the empathy of the other through grace, while the doer is encouraged through thankfulness, to continue their good deeds. In the end the world is a better place with less frustration and anger. Tolerance is renewed and understood on a deeper level. Probably our ability to endure without thanks will increase to the point of not being necessary.

There are countless ways we help others daily. Few receive thanks. Children are too young to comprehend the tremendous amounts of help they receive from parents. The parents are giving many times without receiving. We all share those times when we were underestimated in our value. Accepting this without anger makes us stronger.  Continuing this attitude makes our world more compassionate.

We just have to get over our need of thanks. We must accept that the thanks is in the finished product which never really goes unnoticed. Take a break when you need to and settle your thoughts about receiving praise. You yourself know what a great job you have done. In the end it is how we view ourselves anyways. What others think of us is trivial compared to what we think and know about ourselves. We are the ones who must live with ourselves.

Stand strong, know your heart, mind and body have pure ideas, honest motives, and not looking for rewards or glory. When your mind heart and body work together, you become more god-like than at any other time. Accept those times you fail by remembering the numerous times you made a difference in the life of another person. After all, our thoughts have always been about giving, and have never been about getting anything in return. Trust that it has been acknowledged in more ways than we could ever imagine.

Remembering how far a simple thank you spreads compassionate healing,  is well worth mentioning. It triggers one to continue the path they are on, and persist in their work of providing for others. If that is all that is needed to inspire another, perhaps we should all frequently use the words "thank you" more often.

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."    Voltaire

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts."    Alan Cohen

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship."    Amelia Earhart

"The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness."    Dalai Lama

When You Can't Give

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." Albert Schweitzer

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."    Albert Schweitzer

"I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end."    Albert Schweitzer

Have you ever been at the mercy of your emotional self? You want to help, give, be attentive to and support others but the stamina is low or non-existent. Of course so many of us hide behind walls and refuse to share our deepest hurts and frustrations. This keeps others at bay and also any support. If someone doesn't know how much we are hurting, then they can't begin to understand or help us.

There may be all kinds of happenings and crises in other people's lives. Without a doubt, we might be left incapacitated for the moment. As much as we feel regret at our inability to help someone, we must remember that at that moment, it is best to nurture ourselves. Why this becomes so difficult for us to do is strange. Our need to be caring and compassionate makes us overlook our own needs. The problem is, if we stop caring for ourselves, we can become useless, in coming to the aid of other people. ...continue reading "When You Can’t Give"

It is paramount that we watch for stress and worry, within our lives. This can overpower us and cause fear of all kinds. Many times  fear and worry lead to frustration and anger, which serves no one. As much as we like to feel needed, and as much as we want to aid another person, we owe attention to our own minds, bodies and spirits. The guilt we feel is unwarranted. Ignore the emotional guilt, and know that it is vital for us to take a much needed break.

It might be unfortunate if our need for relaxation comes at a time when others need us. If we venture forth to help, even though we are at a low point ourselves, the results could be disastrous. We can't always plan when the desire for solitude permeates our being. Issues that arise in other people's lives, are also not planned or expected.

Many times we have those people who judge us for the extent of our vacation time away from issues, or they assess our actual problems as not so bad. I equate this to nonsense. After all, what one person perceives as a little problem, another may consider it a crises. We are different and can't all fit into the same mold. The extent of the feelings of pain, or burdens beyond our ability to face, are intrinsic to each of us.

A screaming child to one adult may be just extra patience to rock and comfort the child. To another adult it may be reaching the above and beyond boiling point. If that mom or dad requires some aid and comfort, it is certainly recommended. Our breaking points change on any given day. If we are dealing with the same issue day after day, our tolerance is likely going to deteriorate. We don't have to justify our feelings to those who really don't understand. When anyone has not walked in our shoes, how do we believe they have the right to judge us. Of course they don't.

Perhaps it may become necessary for us to turn a deaf ear, and close our eyes to adults who offer no mercy, only criticism. Has anyone ever listened to or observed a person in agony over their inability to deal with an occurrence in their lives? Maybe we have experienced the same happening, and perhaps we sailed through it. On the other hand, maybe they are sailing through it but we did not. So many issues we have that are similar, result in various  performances and endings.

I sympathize with the people who look for attention, mercy and empathy, only to receive rebuffs. I appreciate that there are likely those who have experienced worse. That never makes a poor situation feel any better for the people involved. Pain is pain and hurts are hurts. We should never measure the quality  of hurtfulness,  for accuracy. A little trust and understanding goes a long way.

For those who suffer in silence, there is a greater need for attention and acceptance. They almost believe in their super hero powers, until they crash and fall down hard. They are likely the ones we most totally ignore. They appear calm and together on the outside, yet may be suffering on the inside. Viewing someone who is able to take it on the chin, makes us overlook their need for attention. It necessitates our being mindful of the strong, who won't ask for aid.

I suppose if we simply were mindful of others, and their moods, there would likely be far less fighting, and more comfort for everyone. Our need for kindness would be satisfied, without sensing a loss of control or pride. Allowing egos to defeat us is sad. We are humans and therefore thinking and feeling, and loving beings. We all need love and care. Even the cranky, lonely, and miserable people enjoy love and empathy.

Perhaps if we could muster some sympathy for those who need it, we might build up their confidence, pride and energy a lot faster, than if they receive no help. I like to treat myself and accept what comes my way in a controlled manner. What I have found is crushing defeat. By the time I accept some help, I am low, without ego or confidence, and incapacitated to the point of leaving some jobs unfinished. I now accept another person's advice and support. I reconcile the fact that I can be wrong and another may be correct. I accept my pain and the pain I discover in others, without judgement. I comprehend that we all have dilemma's to deal with, but we have each other to help us to achieve, the hopeful, confident attitude and environment, we  all like to enjoy.

“I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind”     Seneca

“Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.”     Seneca

“that you would not anticipate misery since the evils you dread as coming upon you may perhaps never reach you at least they are not yet come Thus some things torture us more than they ought, some before they ought and some which ought never to torture us at all. We heighten our pain either by presupposing a cause or anticipation”     Seneca

“Everyone prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.”    Seneca

Nitpicking“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”    Abraham Lincoln

 “The motive behind criticism often determines its validity. Those who care criticize where necessary. Those who envy criticize the moment they think that they have found a weak spot.”    Criss Jami

I am not sure how many people use the term nitpicking, but the meaning  seems to be
understood by all. I was recently accused of this and I felt horrible to say the least. When it
comes from someone you love, it is even worse. Of course my mind was immediately filled with
anger and thoughts of  retaliation. Trying to think clearly about just what to say and how far to
carry my anger, was perhaps a good thing, as I think back on the incident. The revengeful
feelings dissipated quickly and left me full of hurt instead of fury.
Most people might believe incorrectly, that the love connection was over. Not so. I went home
and thought about why this person might have said what they said. I began to see myself in a
different light. I actually began to realize that many times I deal with trivial issues and
sometimes make them bigger than they really are. It confused me and surprised me at the
same time. I had never considered myself so obvious. It certainly didn't alleviate the heartache
 of the incident, but it did make me consider the situation in another manner.

I honestly and deeply searched for answers and found some. Of course it required me to climb down from my lofty seat. Now I don't believe I am a nitpicker but I  do over analyze situations and people. Perhaps I am insecure and wonder at every slight, if I have done something wrong. My lack of confidence has proven to  be causing some painful happenings. Every time someone is in a bad mood, I blame it on myself. I think that maybe I said something at a prior time or place. Of course in the end there are no solid solutions. The nitpicking begins at the point of not understanding where feelings begin and end.

Probably every time we intentionally attempt to be everything to anyone, or to please someone at all times, we are doomed to fail. It really is okay to disappoint others at times. As a good friend once said to me, "It is not up to you to make everyone happy. They need to make themselves happy." I grin and accept it intellectually, but continue on as if it is my duty to control the feelings and moods of all in my vicinity. How absurd it is when I look over the truth of the matter. ...continue reading "Nitpicking"

I have also considered the fact that many married couples nit pick each other in a joking fashion. This likely promotes more of the same. To others it may appear unkind. I am not making any excuses, but I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my words and actions. I don't consider this psycho-analyzing this, although it was a profound studying of myself and my motives. I set some goals for myself. I will attempt to  simply hold my tongue and refrain from "nitpicking." I do hope I am successful.

I must add that many times we find ourselves the recipient of criticism of all kinds. I must share the fact that a short time later, my criticizer was the nitpicker towards another. It almost made me laugh, because I now understood how universal it was. I  am not condoning nitpicking. As a matter of fact, it really is annoying and goes nowhere. I had not given it much thought before. As a result, I am thankful to the person who brought this behavior to my attention. I can't say I actually said thank you to him or her because their assessment hurt deeply.

Spiritually they did me a favor. I am devoid of anger and remorseful of my words. I have become aware of a detriment in my own character. I also wonder at the tremendous amount of people who bring things to our attention every day. Our first impulse is to be furious and on the defense. After all, we never consider it a favor to be diminished in such a manner. However, I am honestly thankful, because so many more of the people I love, likely have the same thoughts on my behavior, but are too timid to voice them. (Perhaps I am thinking on this too much causing my insecurity to rise.)

What I actually surmised from all of this is that at times, it might be better to acknowledge our faults, and work on changing them. Getting mad and furious at another makes the situation worse and it solves nothing. Even if we believe someone's analogy of a situation is wrong, we might still reflect on why they came to the conclusions that they arrived at. Perhaps we are disregarding some important information about ourselves. In all likelihood, it works out for the better, to accept, at least some of the blame, and move forward. The alternative is to lose a loved one.

People who constantly praise us or idolize us are likely shadowing our faults. This is fine as long as we realize that maybe we are not as perfect as we believe. Many marriages fail probably due to each partner's search for the acknowledgement of being the perfect partner. In the end, we ruin what is possibly a wonderful and satisfying marriage. Perfection has more to do with our own understanding and definition of perfection. In my eyes my kids and husband are perfect. I am not sure what others might say, but it really doesn't matter at all to me.

I think perhaps we grow straighter and stronger when we accept imperfections, and consent  to improve. For me it was a challenge to improve my character. It called me down. I think we must appreciate those who bring some rain to us, because they allow us to plant strong seeds that will grow when the sun comes out again. It makes one reconsider the options when one is confronted with such a confusing situation, that likely could turn volatile in defense. Now I understand how much better it turned out. I didn't think quick enough to form a retaliation and that was a good thing.

I suppose it is not so much about nitpicking as it is about confronting the truth about ourselves. We are never always right or wrong. We are human and we make some mistakes whether purposeful or not purposeful. The learning is powerful. I hear so many of us, learn from positive words and actions. At times perhaps some of us can only get a message if it is loud, clear, forceful and meaningful. It only hurts for a little while but the learning lasts forever.

“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.”    E.A. Bucchianeri

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop."  New Statesman interview,    Winston S. Churchill

“The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”     Norman Vincent Peale