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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."

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cropped-Family.jpg“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don't like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone's complaints I realized we were just talking about life.

Like people tell you when you are young, "You have to put up with it because things happen in life that you must deal with it." Nobody likes to listen to that speech. It does resonate back to us  when life throws difficult pitches our way. It is not easy to say if you are the oldest or youngest this is the way it is. One must think about the sexes, background of the mothers and fathers and number of kids in a family as well as the economics of it all. I believe nobody gets away scott free and once you accept that you can stop comparing. Have you ever heard people comparing who had the more aches, pains or health issues to deal with? I know some peoples' complaints are worse than others but  there are emotional problems, mental health problems and spiritual issues tied into it all.

Some people are distraught their whole life worrying about what they ""Must" do for somebody. Does that make them less caring because they are not doing something out of love but duty? How about those who feel obligated or who want something in return? The list is long and complicated and so is the birth order. I don't really care so much about the order of birth because it seems like everyone takes the "crap" in life. It is unavoidable. It is more important to figure out how they will deal with the crap. In a way it is our attitude regardless of how much pain and hurt we must endure. Having taught school I know the child in the classroom who cries a lot gets a lot of attention. Does this mean they have suffered more? Is  there another child who has been suffering but we overlooked them?

That is one reason why  the situation gets complicated when we are trying to figure out or compare anxieties fear or problems. We come from different places and homes and had a variety of personalities to cope with along the way. I am thinking we might believe others have no care because they appear to not notice our suffering or they don't appear to have any. Does anyone recall saying, "I don't know what they are complaining about because when I...? We measure our pain against others all the time. It doesn't alleviate it but it increases the friction we have with friends and family.

Perhaps we should begin understanding where the pain  originates and why it won't let us go. There is absolutely deep suffering that will stay inside of us forever but it does not help anyone  to believe they are the martyrs of the world even if they have the suffering of such a person. Viewing ourselves as a victim implies we are helpless and have given up. Nobody has the power to make us feel that way and we should not see ourselves as the sacrifice. When we do deem our pain is beyond the measurement of anyone else's we lock ourselves in a cage and throw away the key.

On any given day there is much to cope with. Everyone has those moments in time that stay within the brain forever. The fearful moments scare us and make us want to run away no matter what the age. The crises we got through makes us proud of ourselves but sometimes less sympathetic because we may be of the opinion that no one else has suffered like us especially if they haven't complained. I am not down on the complainers. Sometimes I think it is therapeutic to get things off of your mind. When people hold things in they tend to resent others who can't imagine their suffering.

I don't know about how other people believe  but in the end  I think we alienate a lot of people when we expect but don't allow someone in. It appears to work against us and we end up jealous of their "Better Life" or we carry the pain inside and let it hurt us over again and resent people  who can't see it even when we don't let them observe it. I have turned my suffering inside and felt worse when no one appeared to understand. My belief was how can they not get it. Now I try to share more or at least not find fault with those who simply don't know when I don't share.

Life is not easy and that is an understatement. Life is more difficult if we compare our section of the world with other peoples'. We are putting up fences and keeping people out. It is better to take the fences down and let people in. I have found out that so many others have their own stories. It is kind to share in a positive way without the competition of having a winner. If we think we are worse off we send out no understanding or empathy to others. Instead we expect or feel entitled to be down in the dumps. Personally there are likely many days we might feel sad or even hopeless. We are asked to be stronger at that point than we were when we endured a heartache situation. It is at those moments we need to find the courage to get over the deep emotional feelings creeping in and overpowering us. We are almost forcing ourselves to relive the horrible time all over again.

If we can come to terms with the fact that we all suffer then maybe we can stop comparing and judging and learn to support each other any day we are in need. It takes away all of the conditional aspects of love and allows unconditional love to reign. Unconditional love says I love you no matter how you behave towards me and I forgive you for everything. It says I may not like what you do nor understand how you feel but I trust the reality of your situation and want only love and peace in your heart and mine. I know unconditional love is about as close as any of us can get to being more Godlike. Life is burdensome enough without worrying about the amount of good or bad in anyone's life. Trust that we all suffer at times but we all have so much to be grateful for if we would check it out. What I like and you like may differ. What I consider pain or frustration may also differ. May we all live in peace and as a song says, "Love the one's you are with."

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!”    Charles  R. Swindoll

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.”   Charles Dickens

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”     Orson F. Whitney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audrey Lorde said it best with the quote below.

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

Families30“Disbelief held me down inside my footsteps, making my body heavy but my heart wild.”  Markus Zusak

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”    Steven Pressfield

“Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.”    C. JoyBell C.

I find it too easy to trust others and I end up hurt and then in disbelief regarding their honesty. I suppose that is what makes most of us become a doubting person. We might go to a party with every intention f having a good time and immediately  get hit with another's angry mood or wrath thrown towards us. Maybe we go home wondering why and as much focus given we come up with no answers. The disappointment is huge and sometimes anger and disbelief creep in about their kindness towards us. Of course the sadness takes over and we are left with only unhappiness.

Sometimes I wonder if it is my turn to take the punishment so to speak. I go to a party with every intention of having a great time. The let down is tough. Instead of questioning the person who caused my disbelief I go home and relive the day and torture myself a little more. The only bit of pride left  is almost invisible and I look for answers in my own behavior. Perhaps I was mean to them in the past, or said something offensive to them unintentionally at a previous time. Their bad mood   caused them to lash out. The end of the reflection generates no new answers which is almost more painful because the truth might be they simply don't like me.

It appears easier to accept but not really. When you truly care about these people even if they don't reciprocate it is deeply humiliating and humbling. You believe in your heart without a doubt there is no recourse. Now  your  choices are difficult. If you choose the higher road you suck it up and try to stay out of the firing range just to keep your sense of self from being hurt. Some people no doubt choose revenge and they go after their target full force. There are two people feeling degraded. I don't see that as a good thing and I can't find any relief from one's own humiliation by degrading another.

It feels necessary to withstand the onslaught to discover some truth. The reality is at times we believe we are owned by misery, problems, obstacles and painful histories. I prefer to own them instead. Yes I have had a painful past, I keep it close to my heart as a reminder of my endurance and strength. Moving forward doesn't mean we forget the past as much as we overcome it and carry the sweet and sour pieces of it with us along our journey.

The hurts don't have to engulf us and burn us up. Instead they can grant us the power to forgive and respect every person's sufferings. Painful episodes remind me of my vulnerability and the defenselessness of others who do not see an ambush coming. The pain no longer owns us and we become  the owner of the wound. It is a wound of courage and defeat rather than an energy that forces us to crash and crawl.

Nobody is ever strong all of the time and it takes practice to refuse striking back at those who hurt us. I know there are times when I might strike out at another person because they said or did something I didn't like. My nerves are frazzled and my pain is strong while my pity is weak. At those moments I have to avoid releasing cruel remarks or actions. The power comes from my ownership of my pain.

Hold back your disbelief of others. They have their own battles to fight and survive. Have faith in their ability to overcome obstacles and defeat careless insensitivity. I would bet we have all been there. Our power and control always comes from our ability to own  our moods, attitudes, words and actions rather than allowing disbelief mixed up feelings of pain, anger and ego to shamefully own us and cause us to damage another human being.

“There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.”    Frederick Barthelme

“Impossibilitarians are defeated before the battle even begins. The best attitude that accommodates failure is disbelief. You can't do it because you believe you can't! You can do it because you believe you can!”    Israelmore Ayivor

“Whenever you can’t balance what you see with what you believe you have conflict.”
Shannon Alder

“Hope greets your desires warmly while doubts insult your efforts bitterly!”
Israelmore Ayivor

Choosing To Live 4"You don't always  have to defend yourself in words. Silence gives people the clue you have better thoughts in mind." Pinterest (anonymous)

"Anyone who has never made a  mistake has  never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

"An old man said "Erasers are made for those who make mistakes." A  youth replied, "Erasers  are made for those who are willing to correct their mistakes!" Attitude matters. Anonymous

How difficult it is to discover the self and uncover some hidden truths about  the ways we sabotage our life. I suppose we are thinking that is not true. I know I attempt to discover who I am all the time and understand myself. If I discover a problem I try to fix it or if I discover something worthy I work to make it better. I don't want to waste my time on falsehoods but the truth in my attempts is I want to discover what makes me who I am.

It is almost impossible to face our anger, fear, impatience, distrust and so many other negative emotions. It really is easier to find our goodness when we have just helped a friend or co-worker expecting nothing in return. I believe we need those moments in order to accept some of the things about ourselves that might need some work. I don't wake up in the morning thinking about what it is I should work on or improve unless it is the garden.

It feels like we hide from the self as if we really don't  know who we are. Likely we all know our faults better than our virtues and most of us myself included,  discover so many faults that we stop searching for anything good believing we are just not that good of a person. Even the boastful people  may be simply covering  their honest beliefs about self and boast so they can cover-up the truth.

I am thinking that unless we choose to discover how many good things there actually are within us and our lives we won't have the guts to face what it is that needs some fixing or tuning up. Nobody is fully bad or good at every second of every day. There are some happenings that cause us to offer assistance in some way and throw out positive vibes in our words or actions.

I think  we try too hard and we don't take notice of baby steps forward. We only recognize the huge steps of progress made. There are many days when such progress can't be achieved and one can feel like an underachiever. At times it isn't that the bar is too low or too high but that we are so busy and lost in our thoughts. There is so much on our brains that we think it is a waste of time to reflect on anything.  I have said it myself to others that I don't have time to reflect.

If one takes a moment to let that statement penetrate the brain we understand the significance of that statement. What are we doing that is more important than thinking which is what reflection is all about. If we give up thinking we give up our humanity and become robotic.

There are days that appear to verify this belief. Reflecting makes a person come to understand what is more important to accomplish. The value of someone else's needs becomes prominent and altruism begins functioning. Can we jump to the point of understanding that this altruism is what makes a person consider another to the point of giving up their life if necessary for that person. That is mindfulness at it's best.

Many people falsely believe that they would probably act cowardly if in a position to choose. Nobody knows how they would react. Granny may be the person who leaps to the rescue for all we know. So many of us are not sure and we don't actually know nor have we tried to discover the real person inside of us. A real person is weak and strong. A real person makes mistakes but learns from them and attempt to do better. A real person sees the good in others and is not afraid to praise that good because it doesn't bring him down in any way by praising another. A real person makes the time for others when she doesn't have any time to give. All of these are forms of altruism. It is placing others before self  and it applies to family friends and strangers.

Perhaps if we witness and discover some good in us we will search to fix what is wrong without fearing it. As long as we refuse to face any blame in self, we continue making those same errors. If you want change then you must do things differently. If we want improvement we can't be afraid to face what we don't want to see or discover within ourselves. Those small areas of blame can be reworked only if we observe them and work on them.

I know I hide a lot and I am trying to change that. When there is a disagreement with someone I tend to review all the things I said and did that were correct in attempting to improve a problem. I view the other person's mistakes in what they did to make things worse. In the process, what I did to make things worse is ignored and what the other person might have done to make things better I overlook. Neither of us end up seeing eye to eye. I go away pretending I was right and they were wrong but in my heart I know the truth. Now the problem is covered a bit deeper so it will be tough to look at it and resolve it.

Now if one plays this game throughout their life you can appreciate why nobody makes amends or peace with siblings parents children mothers-in-law or daughter-in-law or friends. We just make connections to different people rather than face the issues. To self discover means you get the urge to transform yourself for the better regardless of what you will discover along your path. It is the ultimate path of discovering truth and transforming.

It isn't scary to look at the self and there is nothing to fear when one finds the real person with all of his faults and virtues. It makes life easier to live when you can let go of the worries and fears brought on with hiding and doubting who we are. We do have items to alter but we have so much hidden goodness that we never discover because it is covered up. Let yourself out and let the real you emerge.

"Anyone can love your looks but it's your heart and personality that makes someone stay with you." Anonymous

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." Aristotle

“It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Invisible Man)

high and lows"All the elements for your happiness are already here. There’s no need to run, strive. At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it."    Thich Nhat Hahn

"By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person. Obstacles can be a form of liberation. Difficulties are required for success." Thich Nhat Hahn

All of us have so many fears but perhaps the biggest one is the fear of failure. It kind of groups all the other fears together. Whether it is our spouse, parent, child boss friend or enemy we hate to drop the ball and be considered a loser. The trouble is we can't really define just what a loser is or what it means. We have bad vibes about failing and never consider that there might be a bright side to failing.

What do our parents expect of us? Maybe they think we will forever be indebted to them and strive to please them. Most of us do appreciate our parents but there is a limit to what we can do for them and still be able to live our own lives. Failing to some of us is letting others down. If our parents expected us to be the engineer but we became the business guru, our parents are disappointed and they don't have to say anything. We can sense it in their look or frown or words.

Parents bring on the first of the fears of failing. They push kids to accomplish goals that may  not even be something their child wants. What parents consider important is sometimes not on the priority list of their kids. Seeing eye to eye on this is next to impossible. Even agreeing to disagree does not bring peace to the one who believes in their heart that they let their parents, people they love and cherish, down.

Likely the trick is to figure out why we sense a feeling of desperation when we have not done what another wants us to do. Somehow  a perso we love gets into our heads and makes us believe we should be what they desire us to be. In the end we and they are disappointed. It comes down to the fact that we must love each other for what we are and not for what they want us to be or become.

I know most parents want kids to be kind good and successful. Perhaps we should place compassionate, mindful and loving as some of the ways we delineate success. We  can all choose to be compassionate and thoughtful towards others. We can love others with a kind heart. Working on those attributes is worthier than forcing our own goals and attitudes onto others.

Parents wield a lot of power. If they choose to pick for thie child and demand success in the way they see it, likely everyone is going to live in stress and pain. Grown children expect parents to continue indulging them in ways that are invalid. When we have grown and matured we must take responsibility for ourselves even if it means failure at some points in our lives.  We can and must grow from failure rather than succumb to it and feel defeated.

Failure never brings permanent defeat unless we give up and stop trying. Failure should teach us where we went wrong and therefore how we can do it better than before. Somehow our ideas are that once one has failed give up, leave, walk away, try something or someone new. The stress caused by failure is full of anxiety, rage and fear. We see the disappointment in the eyes and we can't bear to witness it again so we stop and give up our objectives.

Husbands rarely live up to their wives anticipations. The wives hardly live up to the husbands expectations. The marriage road is rocky, demanding and full of potholes. None of us can win and most of us lose and switch up the game because it is painful to keep playing it. We sense how hard we try and we are actually more disappointed in ourselves for the failure. Likely we blame ourselves but we still walk away.

It is easy for friends to disillusion us. There are so many possible friends out in the world that we move on. The same is true with relationships. We find someone new and begin again. We assume we will get it right the next time so life goes on. How many of us question what we are doing and why we are doing it. We believe perhaps that it is for the best because we can't satisfy someone. I suppose that is true pleasing others is an impossibility.  What is also true is that our opportunities appear to be boundless until we discover the let downs are similar. We might even yearn to go back to the original problems or situations and try again,  although we usually can't do that.

We all need space to grow at our own pace. We need love the most and fear and stress the least. I find that the truth is we place the fear, stress and anxiety on ourselves when we believe we must please our parents, spouses children friends or boss. If we think it over we understand that if we disappoint anyone once in a while, they will get over it. If someone disappoints us we get over it. We have a hard time getting over ourselves and our own disappointments of failure.

Failure is not like the end of a road. It is more like a stop sign that slows us down. Perhaps that is a good thing because we get to review what we are doing and why. This may send us down a different path and also help us to engage the people we love in an alternative manner. We need space and encouragement. We need a sense of value and pride in us. If we please us then perhaps we won't be as wounded when we don't always please others. What we think about us when we look in the mirror is what really counts.

A sense of self leads to valuing others. If we are mindful of others we will likewise support their endeavors to be who and what they are. The freedom it endows us with is enlightening. Somehow we all win and we have not failed anyone especially not us. We have our own lives to live, goals to reach and problems to accept and overcome. People can best help us with support of all kinds and refraining from interfering in our choices.

Establish your own self esteem and move forward with courage and strength. Don't be swayed by what others say because they are seeing life through their eyes and we must open our eyes and see what it is we want. Stop judging so much and start living. We learn from mistakes and the learning sticks because of the pain of the error. If we can accept each others mistakes we can increase the relationships love and enthusiasm to do better the next time. Perhaps transformation from within is more of an answer than always attempting to alter outside of ourselves and our surroundings. Put the fears to rest and start living in serenity.

“I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.”     Socrates

“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it's supposed to be.” Socrates

“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”     Socrates

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

2nd pic for presentation"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice
half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home."
Carl T. Rowan

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." Thomas Paine

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform." Theodore H. White

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I recently heard someone discussing  oppression and they became quite animated as they discussed their viewpoints. I  considered this topic in light of the world. All countries have their own ways of cruelty and tyranny. I was amazed at the other terms covering the meaning of oppression. Subjugation and persecution also fall into this category. Likely most of us might say we don't persecute anyone nor subjugate any person.

Although on the surface this is likely true, somehow it gnawed at me to consider this a bit deeper. I focused on the word harassment because it also  falls under the term of oppression. Now that is a controversial thought because just about all of us have harassed someone to some degree. Perhaps we have done it with words or actions or both. When we are angry with someone we tend to minimize what they have to say or ridicule them in front of others. Anyone who is not a quick thinker nor fast on their feet is fair game for an onslaught.

We likely don't consider this cruel and we excuse ourselves of blame. After all if their opinions are any good then they can offer them just as we did. Again we are not considering that we might have come to the occasion prepared for battle while they came and were innocently ambushed. I can understand that many times when we are hurt we let it fester inside of us for awhile  until we get the opportunity and immediately seize it.

Previously I would never have considered this cruel but I appreciate that it is possibly falling under persecuting another individual. Harassment is seen throughout society. People who want their own way in anything or everything simple become tyrannical in their manner. Husbands and wives may play this role when it suits them, in order to have their own way. Kids at times coerce their parents into obliging them against the parent's better judgement. Coercion is another form of persecution and oppression.

I honestly see this now as dominance in negative ways in order to achieve our own desires. Parents may continually subjugate their kids with fear. Threats of physical punishment send a clear and powerful message. Intimidations in the form of scare tactics and emotional threats also work even better on innocent children. Perhaps we don't consider this so much when we are under so much pressure ourselves and anxious to just get through the day.

Bullies are those who harass, intimidate and oppress others. Any person or chld who is afraid to speak their mind is being bullied. Swaying others to think or act the way we want through the demand of threats is another form of oppression which is called domination. In the animal kingdom the strongest fastest and smartest animal rules the rest of the group. In the human kingdom we pride ourselves at being above all of that. We choose to rule for the betterment of all. We respect the young and the old and allow everyone to have a say. On the surface  this sounds awesome but if we don't really abide by these rules then perhaps we are kidding ourselves.

I suppose it was my searching for the definitions of the words for persecution and oppression that led to my surprise at the rest of the meanings which we ignore myself included. Coercion is another that falls into the category and it is nasty to think we pressure others to bend their ideas. Some of these others are the young, old and helpless.  Of course any person forced into a subjugation of any kind is at the mercy of another more dominant individual.

I am reminded of instances at work when we voted for simple things like what we might want in our tiny cafeteria. Those with the power decided and those without control obliged them.  I never considered this as subjugation but perhaps it was. Few were asked for input on the matter. It goes far back to our childhood days of demand and receive. If we never grow out of that pattern we continue believing we deserve to have what we want at the expense of others.

I don't think the people who have dominion over us are necessarily cruel. I  am sure that most are not even aware of their oppression. Perhaps they never meant to  be so controlling and basically perform like a bully who can't be stopped. Fear  anxiety and stress are cruel ways to deal with others and teach respect. That kind of respect is not respect but harassment which leads to domination. Love needs to be a part of  respect.

I venture to say from my own experience that when another person shows no respect for me, it diminishes my respect for myself. That should not be the case but the truth is it does impress on self-esteem. I would encourage others to cultivate their own respect for themselves and keep it strong and untouched by the insults and bullying surrounding them. I would also hope that as much as we want and deserve respect we are willing to bestow it on others. Then we would have no need to oppress anyone.

Most of us have a lot of  respect for those we admire.  It is important to have respect for those we don't admire. Respect has nothing to do with liking someone but everything to do  we cherishing another's rights to live peacefully. By not confusing respect and like we can learn how to respond to others who appear in all degrees of loving and liking.

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience." George Washington

"People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong...Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?"    Thich Nhat Hanh

"You don't have the power to make life "fair," but you do have the power to make life joyful."    Jonathan lockwood Huie

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."    Joseph Campbell

Is Forgiveness A Sign of Weakness"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you."Lewis B. Smedes

"forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."

'Forgiveness is not forgetting an injustice done; It is the understanding that allows us to set aside the emotional impact of that injustice pertaining to ourselves. When we no longer hold those emotions, and have the understanding for the person, we have forgiven them." Moon Singer

We sometimes like to believe that  any kind of backing down is a sign of weakness. I suppose forgiving another could be looked at in this way also. One who gives up on an argument is assumed to be in the wrong and recognizing that fact.  One who walks away from a fight is considered afraid and weak. Those people who place their bet on these people who walked away are usually left believing they trusted in the wrong individual.

Having walked away from a situation years ago left me with mixed feelings. On the one side of the issue I believed I let some people  down who had faith in my abilities. On the other side of the issue I was so deeply wounded that all I could think about was running away. It was never out of fear but sadness in the knowledge that those I had cared about and trusted had deserted me. Of course it becomes more difficult when others hurt us behind our backs.

I am aware of how quickly people side with one person on one day only to change their allegiance the next day. I would not want to be the newcomer attempting to merge into an established group or relationship. It renders us to be tolerant and accepting of others even if we don't agree with them. That is life and our opinions do reflect the various  opinions of other people yet we don't identify with anyone's opinions completely.

With huge hours of reflection I came to the understanding that on every level and every day we tend to agree or disagree with others randomly. Perhaps we are looking for friends or in the process of switching friends. Maybe we want something someone else can provide or do for us or maybe we succeed in moving up the ladder with our choices. Perhaps agreeing with some people  places us on the winning side of the argument. Whatever our reasons we do tend to change our minds often and I wonder if that is more of a sign of weakness than walking away.

If we fear standing alone we won't stand for anything worthwhile. If we need another's  approval  we will never embrace anything new. If we must always be correct then we will never acknowledge another worthy thought opinion or action. The fear of making waves at work, amongst friends or within the family is stressful. Even some family members hold more power than others. Perhaps at times we agree with a powerless family member yet we don't offer any vocal outward support because the opposing view is held by a more powerful family member. It appears to be to our advantage to simply remain quiet.

None of us including myself have ever considered this weak. Just getting along with others is problematic unless we are the person setting the rules and trends. Friends at times must downplay the good time they experienced with a third-party because they will hurt our feelings. It seems to me that just about everyone exhibits signs of weakness every day which have nothing to do with forgiveness.

I'm wondering if our low self-esteem is holding us down. Our confidence in us is perhaps missing or at least lacking. We worry and stress about our every interaction with another person. We trust in someone else's ideas. We believe we are not smart enough to voice our opinion. Our stamina power or control appears to be in need. All we can have faith in is that others would laugh us out of the room if we attempted a differing viewpoint. How ludicrous and sad are these thoughts.

We are just so capable in insurmountable  ways  but we never focus on our attributes.  We only notice the attributes of others while observing our own shortcomings. Of course if we all measure what other people have deemed as good and worthy values then so much of our worth is not even perceived or considered even in our own judgements. I had a cousin who never spoke an unkind word about anyone. If others were gossiping behind someone's back he rolled his eyes and smiled. He wasn't as much fun to talk to because he never had a wild story to tell about anyone. Being a lot younger, not that it excuses me,  I spent more time listening to the gossips. Now I am so aware of his awesome qualities and regret not having spoken more with him. He had a different slant on life and living and he never held a grudge.

I mention him now because he was loved by everyone in the family and nobody spoke ill of him yet no one ever sought him out first. I can only surmise that everyone was attempting to find the dirt on everyone else. In the process we all got headaches from the anxiety  and stress of constantly attempting to explain words and actions. No wonder in the end people hide so much. I think we all want to get along with others while having as little grief as possible. Maybe that is even why we agree with the people we are with in order to save a confrontation.

Honestly I believe that speaking the truth at all times and voicing an opinion without fear is probably the best way to live. It doesn't mean we are forcing our ideas on others only giving our own voice to the problem. Truth is denied stretched bent hidden and lost in translation. People discover they are guilty of ideas they never embraced. In the end most people determine it is easier to let it all go than to try to fix it with more words or actions.

The fear of truth and silence causes a dilemma for many. We would rather rehash false beliefs and actions. It leaves us desiring forgiveness or in a position of doubting the extender of forgiveness. When someone receives forgiveness they are filled with joy and anxious to face a new day. They are happy to wipe a slate clean and begin again. They are renewed and as bright as the dawning of daylight. Such an awesome occurrence yet not often seen or done. Forgiveness is extremely difficult and anything but a sign of weakness.  I would say it is perhaps something that is next to impossible depending on the incident.

The person who must forgive is tired, weary confused unsure and wounded deeply. Nobody thinks about the depth of the cut and pain. We all want to go back to life as usual and we do just that as soon as another forgives us. I know it is not that easy nor that simple. I also know that it is without any doubt the best way to  behave. I suppose it is never up to us to decide if the person requesting or needing the forgiveness is actually sorry. All we can do is  hope and have faith that they are remorseful.

I remember people saying sure you can forgive someone that is easy but forgetting is another thing. I agree with that statement only to a point. If we are reaching the point of wanting to forgive another then we must think about how much we are able to forget. Now it is on our shoulders to find it in our hearts to release the pain. It is the ache of the happening that keeps us chained to the event. In a way when we can forgive we are found to have more freedom and release from the pent-up  tension. The seeker in need of the absolution also finds peace.

How strange it is to have such power to actually improve the happiness in another person's life with the simple words of compassion for the transgressor. To forgive takes so much courage. To forget can be accomplished only by those who are braver and stronger than the strongest metal. Most of us pride ourselves in our courage to handle problems yet we can't forgive a family member or parent, spouse, sibling, cousin or friend. If we do extend the mercy we go back on it when we recall it during a new argument or disagreement. That is why forgiveness is superhuman. It takes every power within us to extend it when we understand and appreciate the consequences of the action. It also gives us so much love and serenity when it is done. We might wonder why we hesitated.

Most people never plan on hurting others. We likely never plan on being deceitful. It occurs when we are anxious about our own wants and needs. When we come to realize that we are sorry, we become anxious to have it forgiven. When we are the person in need of absolving another it is so painfully difficult. In both cases we are in need of releasing the burdens immediately.  Forgiveness is only used by the strong. You must be made of iron in order to hold in the bursting pain while bestowing compassion and pardon to another. Without a doubt it is not for the weak.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Mahatma Gandhi

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is  devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies." Martin Luther King Jr.

"To err is human; To forgive divine." Alexander Pope

"Forgiveness is the final form of love." Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

 

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