Tag Archives: conflict

Healing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“To Love is to reach God” Rumi

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” Rumi

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

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

 

 

 

SPANKING

SPANKING“Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory.”    Will Durant

“Spanking and verbal criticism have become, to many parents, more important tools of child rearing than approval.” Phil Donahue

“Spanking is simply another form of terrorism. It teaches the victims that might makes right, and that problems can be solved through the use of violence by the strong against the weak.”

 “Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children.”     American Medical Association

How and why did the state of Massachusetts hinder the advancement of our human evolution? I truly was shocked to hear of the Massachusetts, Justices decision to promote the guidelines for the use of physical punishment by parents. As a teacher, I am aware that loving a child and displaying kindness works far better. How is there anything LEGAL in guidelines promoting physical punishment by anyone? I suppose it sounds good and appeases parents who choose this form of discipline.

They say it is permissible to discipline by spanking, so long as “Reasonable Force” is used, and the child is not harmed. Is this not ludicrous? How does one use force of any kind on a child, and then decide how much the child has been harmed physically, mentally emotionally or spiritually?  Who are we kidding? I am sorry if we are leading such busy lives that we anger quickly, have more burdens which frustrate us, and have little time to discipline because we have no energy, time or effort remaining by the end of the day. The quick fix of a Spank, which is also defined as a smack, slap, hit, strike, paddle, thrash, beating and paddling, is the solution which fits in nicely with our busy lives and perhaps uncontrolled tempers.

The justices of the court issued this Framework, while reversing the assault and battery conviction of a man who was seen spanking his almost three old daughter. Now the question comes to mind regarding the force of a grown man against a less than three old child. How angry was he? Is he very strong? Is the child little for her age? The Framework that was construed by the Justices also includes a parental privilege defense. How convenient that is. No more liability towards smacking our children, except our consciences which have apparently gone on vacation.

Does this mean if we strike our neighbor’s child for their ill behavior, we will be charged with battery? I know if we hit any adult, we will face consequences, yet our children are fair game with the courts blessing. If we can’t hit our neighbor, then why is it okay to hit our small helpless children? I have an issue with the degree of the smack, as well as the judgement of how harmful it might be, especially when the person making these decisions is the one doing the hitting.

One Justice, stated that two very important interests needed to be balanced. We must protect children against abuse, and not interfere with the parents in the way they see fit to raise their kids. Now some people may falsely believe this has made it easier to solve some court cases. It appears to me,  to be at the expense of our kid’s welfare. I also can’t understand how it will be easier to protect the children from child abuse when parents have just received a legal right to assault them. Using tame words makes it more palatable for the general public.

I use the word assault because how can we limit the extent of the spanking, if we are not present when it is given and only have the perpetrator’s version of the incident. A hard smack to the back of the head may not display any discoloring. If one was brought up on charges the defense could be that the parent swung a bit harder than they realized, the child turned and the strike was given in a place the parent did not mean to hit. The list can go on. We don’t want to look at the details. We want something that works fast, easy and makes everyone comfortable. Kids don’t question or vote.

I am confused about the “Force being okay as long as it is reasonable,” “it is used for safeguarding the child”, “it is promoting the welfare of the child”,” or “it is punishment of the minor’s misconduct.” So I think we are teaching the kids that it is okay for the ones they love to hit them, yet we don’t want our kids striking others. How are we actually making any sense? Do we see the paradox? Now we tell the children they can  thrash their own kids when they are adults. We have gone back to the old rules of do as I say but not as I do.

I think we have given offenders a free ticket at least for the first offense, if they used too much force. They can offer the defense that they did not feel it was that strong a hit. How can we judge these personal and subjective opinions? Has anyone thought of the emotional scars of the children who are beaten? No one is supposed to cause lasting emotional or physical harm. How are we going to fix this one? Do we wait for broken bones? Down the road do we blame the emotional problems the child is having on the spankings or do we call upon other issues in our defense? Balance of any kind has been tossed under the bus. It certainly isn’t balanced towards the children.

There is supposed to be respect for parental decisions. I profess that there should be respect for children and all life in general. It seems to me that we have disregarded the welfare of the children in favor of solutions, be they right or wrong. The end never justifies the means. I don’t see how anybody can come to the defense and protection of children with such a law in effect.

As I continued the reading I was confused upon hearing an officer of the Massachusetts Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Children, credit the justices for balancing views on both sides. Did anybody get the reviews of the children? Have we asked them how pleasant demeaning painful embarrassing, and at times terrifying it is to be at the mercy of an angry intimidating adult? There is always emotional and physical pain in this situation in my opinion. She also credited the Justices for their strong position on “Child Protection.”  I am shocked at that statement and really have no words to fit my shock and deep pain for the complicated lives the children are forced to experience.

Somehow in my opinion, people were sleeping on the job. Have we spent any time with kids lately? They are the ones who love parents unconditionally. They are concerned immediately when we are in any kind of pain. They accept everything we dish out and come back smiling and forgiving. If we love our children unconditionally, perhaps we might reflect on the plight of children who are going to be abused, in my opinion, because of this Law. It makes hitting legal. Adults are arrested when they hit someone. We are taking a big step backwards in becoming a more humane society. We are choosing brute force rather than talking, explaining, negotiating, providing understanding feedback tolerance and compassion to a dilemma.

If we want our kids to forgive and love others we must demonstrate this behavior. If we demonstrate force, control disrespect and intimidation, we will promote a society that reinforces these attributes. We have no right to complain at the world we are creating. The choice is in our hands. Parents are not bad people but if under duress, they must learn how to deal with their stress and anxiety problems rather than take it out on the kids. Model and teach the ideals you wish to observe in your children. Make no mistake; they will become what you teach. If you want compassionate, kind, tolerant, loving empathetic children, begin by showing them what that looks like and be that kind of person.

A transformation sends out sparks of love and enlightenment.  A wildfire burns relentlessly without remorse. We are burning away our problems.  I hope God doesn’t tire of us and our world. The simplicity of it is that love can perform miracles,  while fury succeeds in burning anything in its path.

If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start.

“Researchers have also found that children who are spanked show higher rates of aggression and delinquency in childhood than those who were not spanked. As adults, they are more prone to depression, feelings of alienation, use of violence toward a spouse, and lower economic and professional achievement. None of this is what we want for our children.”    Alvin Poussaint, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School:

Acknowledgement

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

Nitpicking

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

Love Hurts

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

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

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

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

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

Rebellious Mothers-in-Law

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

The Need To Be Understood

The Need To Be Understood“In the past there were people who were not rich but contented with their living style, laughing and happy all day. But when the new rich people appear, people look at them and ask, ‘why don’t I have a life like that too, a beautiful house, car and garden,’ and they abandon their values.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“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

Here we go again attempting to explain what we meant by our recent discourse. The person misinterpreted our meaning. I would not doubt for  a second, how many times we are caught in such a situation. We just don’t grasp the implications from our interactions with others. The result is bewildering and hurt feelings. Misunderstandings and long time  rifts of one sort or another are inevitable.

How do we complicate the meaning of what others are trying to say and how do others misinterpret our words and bring doubt and mistrust into the relationship. We grasp what we want in any of our conversations. Our misunderstanding of the  encounter, causes us to  choose a negative review of the incident. We dwell on the tiniest insult while ignoring any praise. We have set ourselves up for failure.

For sure we don’t plan to be downbeat, but we sometimes have an attitude of what a person believes,  before they begin explaining something. In a way we have already selectively decided their points of view, which we usually deduce is contrary to our own.  We argue on cue. It leaves the accused, clarifying their thoughts. Accusations tend to trouble most of us, so to attempt elucidating our reasoning only confuses our accuser and ourselves. When anyone is on the proverbial hot seat, it is difficult to think clearly. Continue reading