“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” Jose Emilio Pacheco

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  Albert Camus

“No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.”  Ashly Lorenzana

Over the years I have slowly lost my ability to have all the answers. I discover that I can forgive myself for the times I don't have answers or responses for problems. I can't always make someone feel better or find solution. I lost my ability to know what should be done but I think I have grown up.

Are there answers or is truth an illusion? At times we believe we know what someone should say or do to make things better. We have faith that our answers are the remedy. We  never consider why we might be wrong. We are sure we have all the answers. Have you ever considered your truth was false along with your perspective? When two people are fighting they are both wrong because they only see their own side.  The truth is found when both parties accept the fault without the percentages. ...continue reading "Having All The Answers Is Impossible"

So  much gets lost in the translation as days and even years pass. A past remembrance is not considering the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state of the person at that moment in time. How does one recall the issues and burdens they  were experiencing? How do we know the influences we had? How was our judgment? How mature or immature were we? What were our beliefs jobs living arrangements? There are so many unanswered questions that lead us to consider it is fruitless to trust our recollection of past events. We don't understand the state of mind and body. People have answers at a later point in time but may be clueless during the event.

We believe we were less guilty and deserve less blame. We believe the problems were started by the other person. That is human nature. Do we place too much emphasis on appearing perfect? Can we show weakness? If we allowed weakness perhaps there would be less lies and secrets. We praise only winners yet it is harder to admit defeat than state winning. Do we think  our ideas are correct?  find out in time that we don't have all the  answers all of the time. We discover how much information is required before we can conclude anything.

It is a human desire to support another with advice. It is human nature to judge another's choices when they disagrees with our own. Each person picks  for themselves. Our answers are personal. Past events are recalled with our perception of the past. It doesn't make us right or wrong. We use our own lens  to discern truth. Guilt is unnecessary, The past is over. The past shouldn't dominate the present. We chose past answers based on an array of mental physical and emotional health and needs. Perhaps someone else would choose differently. We can only walk in our own shoes and learn from our own mistakes.

We never had all of the answers and we never will. The best we can do is never deliberately hurt another individual. We can live our own lives and try to move forward each time we learn a lesson. The lessons can be harsh and hurtful. Instead of blaming anyone for our pain we must be thankful for the lesson which helped us to grow beyond what we were. We have choices always.  We can learn from hurtful past events and become a better person or we can stay linked to them and be afraid to let them go. We don't have all the answers, cannot control others nor blame them for our predicaments. Moving forward means letting go of guilt and blame and embracing the future. Life teaches us lessons about living and living teaches us how to let go and love.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”     David Brin

“When one experiences truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.” S.N. Goenka

“Often people that criticise your life are usually the same people that don't know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” Shannon L. Alder

“We practically always excuse things when we understand them” Mlikhail Lermontov

“When we make judgements we're inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn't it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?” Jay Woodman

language kills like a sharp knifeHave you ever been the victim of humiliation and felt like leaving a place , conversation or person who is victimizing you? I know there are degrees of everything but subtle or intense humiliation makes no difference to the victim because they know they are the subject or target of abuse. Now that is a ridiculous  word to use some people might say. However when a person experiences humiliation they don't stop to think about degrees and if they are in a lousy mood to begin with, they feel the humiliation even more.

"Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification." John Donne

"Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation the opposite of abuse and humiliation are the foundation of love. No one can rightfully proclaim to be loving when behaving in such a way."    Bell Hooks

"Humiliation of one person over another is often used as a way of exerting power over them, and a common form of oppression or abuse."

I remember reading about manners one time and I was surprised to read that manners did not consist of proper etiquette or being rich or well educated. Manners they mentioned was making every person feel comfortable and relaxed no matter what their race, religion, economic or educational attainment was. It was amazing and I thought about it for a long time. There are those people who can tell you how wonderful you look even if you misjudged an occasion and wore the wrong attire. They pretend they don't even notice. They are special people and a pleasure to make acquaintances with.

Then there are those people who make it a habit to target certain people and make their life miserable if they can. I must admit there are some people who appear to make better targets for the humiliations. Over the years I have had my share of tormentors and I remember often wondering why I was chosen to be their victim. Sometimes I felt like I had a bull's-eye on my  back or unwittingly applied for the role in life's play.  I bet most of us have been a victim at one time or another.

I am one of those people pleasers which I suppose makes others want to crush the "Goody two Shoes" person. I don't mean any harm I just like to keep things happy and comfortable for everyone. In the end I am demolished and made to feel inferior, stupid and out of touch with reality. It isn't a great place to be and it keeps the mood sad. After feeling sorry for myself I began to think of the many people who are the victims of humiliation in a variety of ways every day. One's religion, race, skin color, education, economic wealth, age and anything else anyone deems as less than perfect can make them a victim.

I remember some people at work who appeared to have all of the correct answers. Instead of others being happy with receiving the answers, they ignored the advice outwardly yet followed it behind closed doors. I attribute this to possible jealousy, or envy at the ease at which some people  think and find answers. Boys or girls who are shy might become the targets as does anyone with a physical or mental challenge. We might like to think it doesn't happen but in truth it does.

Anger and frustration also appear to be culprits of the birth of humiliation. Students get angry with a child who has all the answers and gets good grades. They please the teachers and gain praise and attention. That is another thought. Attention and consideration is what a lot of us strive to receive. Sometimes we just don't know how to go about doing it and the ways we see it done are not appealing to us because we deem those people the losers we humiliate.

I do believe that anger about anything triggers a need to strike out at someone and make them the scapegoat of our pent up rage. If a hapless victim is nearby it becomes easy to blame them and humiliation is on the rise again. Parents bully humiliate kids which is not a far step from bullying someone. They get frustrated and yell scream and belittle their kids in words and actions. This is the beginning stages of one's entry into the world of humiliation.

Boyfriends and girlfriends as well as pals have the ability to insult and put down others with words and actions. The humiliated feel terrible, question why, and dwell on it longer than they should. Of course when the friend needs someone they call the person back into the fold. Most of us go back thinking they just had a bad day but did they or is this a habitual occurrence? Those who escape humiliation are the ones who appear strong and more of a challenge so they are left alone. The elderly are victims due to their possible inability to think  clearly or their lack of strength to accomplish much work. They are fearful as children are and they do not complain.

Actually complaining may be another reason why people are chosen to be victimized. The victims tend to take a lot of punishment or abuse for a long time before they may strike back or depart from the union or friendship. When people are not wanted at a job or club they sense the feelings of others. When someone questions whether or not  they were harassed  into leaving they might have to say no yet they are aware of the humiliating atmosphere and animosity of the group. We are not fooling anyone when we behave in a bullying way and block others from the simple  pleasure of conversing and being accepted in a group of people.

I recall instances when I or someone I know  was ignored or slighted long enough during a group discussion that they quietly walked away. No one appeared to acknowledge their presence nor their departure. How sad is that? I am sure no one lost sleep over it nor did they likely think they did anything wrong but if we were honest with ourselves we would admit to the alternate ways we all use to intimidate or put someone else in their place so that they will be quiet. It happens so often that I would admit we have all probably witnessed it in one form or another.

What makes it worse is when someone comes back with the thought that they didn't mean to cause anyone any uneasiness yet they did and deep down they are aware of it. Like anything in order to understand something we must acknowledge it's existence. We can then come to terms with it and attempt to do better. The less athletic boy or clumsy girl or less abled child doesn't need ridicule in their life. Don't we all believe we have enough to deal with as we reflect on what life throws at us? Do we really want to make life harder for others when all we have to do is be respectful? Nobody said we had to listen to someone all day or make them our friend. We just have to respect their life and value and include them in whatever is going on.

If you have ever suffered a humiliation of any kind, you remember it and the pain it caused you. The time frame of the hurt varies but can be a long remembered incident. Treat your kids with respect and everyone else you meet. You will be the epitome of a well mannered person if all people feel comfortable in your presence. That means that any interaction they have with you will never leave them wounded but instead empowered to be better because you have set the example and made them at peace.

"It's okay to dislike someone or to dislike someone for no reason. But it's not okay to disrespect  degrade or humiliate that person." Spirit Science

"The reality of another person lies not in what he reveals to you but in what he  cannot reveal reveal to you. Therefore if you would understand him listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say." Khalil Gibran

"On this path let the heart be your guide for the body is hesitant and full of fear."    Rumi

Loving And Forgiving"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.

"And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people. You're a lot more gracious to others."     Rick Warren

"It's toughest to forgive ourselves. So it's probably best to start with other people. It's almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself."     Patty Duke

I believe I am thinking a bit negative today because I keep believing nobody is capable of loving anyone especially unconditionally. I spend many hours attempting to figure it out but it leaves me questioning our human population. Parents love their babies until those babies begin to offer challenges and then the spankings and screaming begins. We all remember having disruptive days but usually we get over it and find peace again. Kids are wonderful until they speak their own mind and want to do their own thing as well as lead their own lives. That is hard on parents who want to continue to control their kids indefinitely. This can carry over into their child's relationships of all kinds. Nobody is left out and everyone is at risk.

We may not care for our kid's friends, boyfriend's, girlfriend's in-law's etc. We never ask ourselves why? Maybe they are receiving a different slant on the world or about people. Perhaps they are introduced into a different philosophy that we don't like. Whatever the reason, we like to keep the threatening people away from our kids even if it might be a good connection. It leaves one wondering how any of us can love anyone and maintain that love. Do you question why you love anyone? What is it that makes you like them? Do you forgive them? People who are just married will say I would forgive my spouse anything. I think if that were the case we would see fewer divorces.

Why are so many families messed up to the point of never speaking to each other? Do they hate each other or are they hating quickly  without thinking just as they love quickly without reflecting. I am not sure if I am superficial and not spending enough time on my relationships. On the other hand I question if I am doubting so many relationships. I don't know about others but I sense I have not thought enough about what and why I consider or sense what I do care for and reflect about. It may  be easier to simply get along and live in a blissful existence of make believe.

If I haven't lost you yet I want to explain if I can, what my take on this is. I believe we are expected to attain the impossible in the hope of soaring quite high. Every interaction we have with another person is hazardous to our tranquility. It drains us when we are the caretakers or the ones who are supposed to be strong and dependable. That role gets tedious and weighs on our shoulders. The martyr role is boring and makes no progress. The savior role is next to impossible because we all must play the biggest role in our own redemption. Perhaps we are disillusioned and defeated when we want to but can't solve other people's problems.  Being a person who requires attention can make one feel guilty. Nothing apparently brings us peace.

We may question our path and life frequently and we might try again but some insight into our own feelings must be added into the mix, especially if we want answers. I am sure we have all experienced those people who want sympathy, support, help of one kind or another. It can be mental physical or emotional support but when it happens consistently throughout our days it can render a person depleted. It is not a good state to find yourself  in. I know it is awesome to give of oneself but we can't forget to take care of our own needs. If you feel overwhelmed then perhaps you are forgetting to care for self.

Loving others is the hardest thing we can do because on any given day we observe weaknesses and negatives in people. That is annoying or impossible to overlook. That is perhaps why we end up loving people conditionally. It is like you help me and put up with my annoying attitude or remarks and I'll help you and put up with your faults and impatience. Now is that love? I question if there is a sense of forgiveness in our relationships because others  reflecting those horrible traits may be shining the light on those same traits found within us. Imagine if we discovered that we easily found bad habits in others to the extent we find them within our selves. Maybe that is the idea. If we see blame in others and notice then in us we can fix it.

I guess it gives us food for thought. Unconditional love actually means being able to love people enough that you can  forgive the person. It is the simplest thing in the world to love another. People likely could marry someone new every year.  Is that love or gratification for us? Does the person give us a positive sense of self? In the beginning it might be true but eventually we all need support of one kind or another and we all have those nasty traits we like to ignore. When  we discover honesty we just move on rather than confront the truth and the reality of living.

Many people that question long marriages or families that stay together never realize the amount of effort patience love honesty and forgiveness it took to keep the connections alive. Love is not easy and unconditional love is superhuman to develop. It means we tie into forgiveness. It means we accept another's negative words, thoughts and actions and then wrap our arms around them and squeeze until our doubts are gone. That is forgiveness. We know they hurt us, we accept the pain and suffering and we hold on tight and release the injury. When our being is devoid of the wound and pain we can fill our hearts minds and souls  with love. If you cannot release the suffering you have no room for the love and the hurt continues  while the wound festers.

I am no expert at letting pain go but I work on it. I know it is comforting to  have love in my heart rather than suffering the wounds others inflict without regard. That brings me to mindfulness which is something we ought to encourage at all age levels. If we see others as beings of light and deserving  love then we can understand they deserve our regard. That might mean placing their needs above our own at times. Of course it maybe placing our own needs first at times when we are depleted.

Unconditional love is seeing and focusing on the good we see in another person and accepting their bad notions with understanding. It helps us in two  ways. Their wrongs may reflect ours and their wrongs may help us to develop more empathy and tolerance. Either way we are  stronger in the end. Babies don't come with guarantees to love their parents unconditionally. Parents can't always love their kids unconditionally. Marriages break p for the same reasons as do friendships and sibling bonds. If we were capable of loving without conditions we would have the freedom to see and improve  our own imperfections, rather than pretend others have blame but we are perfect.

It isn't easy to forgive when you have been hurt. It isn't easy to turn the other cheek as they say we should. Perhaps with reflection we might come to  a point of comprehending the magnitude of courage it takes to forgive and be thankful for the times others forgave us. It might help us to return the favors to others and learn to forgive other people. Love is not about perfection nor is it about who is more at fault than another. Love is caring compassionate and unconditional at its' best. Love is needy demanding possessive and jealous at its' worst. Strive for  releasing love so it can spread and gain us more love rather than caging it in attempting to keep it safe. We are capable of loving and in an unconditional way. We just have to add forgiveness.

"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven."     George Herbert

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."    Mark Twain

"Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love." Francis of Assisi

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Families8“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we forget to be grateful. we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..”    Joel Osteen

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God gave us minds to think with and hearts to thank with. Instead we use our hearts to think about the world as we would like it to have been, and we use our minds to come up with rationalizations for our ingratitude. We are a murmuring, discontented, unhappy, ungrateful people. And because we think we want salvation from our discontents...”  Douglas Wilson

Holidays are a time to be grateful. When we think of our Holiday celebrations we are brimming over  with excitement and at the same time stressed and fearful about how the they will progress. When we get through the days we are relieved with gratefulnes for what we said or did. We might also be grateful for what we didn't say or do.

Our anticipations may be so much greater than actually what occurrs. Perhaps if we perceive this from the first moment we may  save ourselves unnecessary grief. I am not looking forward to having a terrible time but I do have a more realistic approach towards the Holidays. It likely comes  from agonies of past times and disappointments. It left me wondering time and again, what went drastically wrong.

That might be the key question. How and why do  things backfire. I see myself going through motions of being the superhero in a sense. I have faith that I will give the perfect gift, display an out of the world atmosphere, and cook a meal that will replay on the taste buds. I anticipate being surrounded by love. I anticipate others being anxious to talk with me perhaps because they find me so amusing or entertaining. My expectations are unrealistic. When the reality of the day occurs, I am  discouraged and must decide how to accept the disappointment. Even when the day has passed the tenseness continues along with the debate of how things might have gone better. I conclude with the question of why I put so much effort into something that was designed to explode.

When the same situation replays year after year in various scenarios, one is left questioning some truths. I discovered my expectations were fairy-tales. My generosity was full of assumptions of gaining affection in  return. My belief in love, compassion and caring was a little mixed up. I didn't want to be so harsh on myself so I studied others and found some similar mistakes and regrets as well as disappointments. We are so needy to be accepted and loved yet we sabotage it daily.

Now when I am buying a gift for someone I think hard about pleasing them. I have discovered that at times even a small inexpensive gift causes me to be more grateful. I don't attempt to be the hero or the winner of the most popular present award. I have given gift certificates in order for others to purchase what they want instead of what I think they should want. I enjoy doing things with others. My enthusiasm is for spending time with others. Although it is still nice to be invited for dinner, it is nice to be a listening ear or have someone be the sounding board.

So now I can share hot chocolate or cup of tea or coffee, with  another at any time of year and make it special. It was  never about turns or justifications. Love is never having to say your sorry and never having to receive something only when it is your turn. It is more spontaneous now and full of surprises. When the Holiday is over I find more contentment.  The lack  of frustration brings solid relief. I have learned to expect nothing so I truly am pleased with whatever wonderful things happen. On an occasional moment at any time during the year I am blessed with an unexpected heartfelt conversation with a friend or family member. It fills me with pleasure and love. No gift could compare with what. I have found that  the most anyone can give is their unconditional love.

I think we overdo the new products on the market to the point of excluding love respect and mindfulness. It is not that we are terrible  people. We have just been lulled into what we have been brainwashed to believe is a worthy gift. Pleasing others is easier than spending money or buying presents. It is about those heartfelt habits of the heart that send love to others in thoughtful ways. You can't easily repay time or effort. Another issue that always comes up is the feeling of never being equal to others. We just don't know ourselves. We have so much to offer. Competing with others is sometimes of our own doing. It isn't feasible to always be the best cook smartest person or competitive worker in the room. It is okay to be us and tell and enjoy a joke.

Those who are busy bragging so much that they annoy us are to be pitied. If they have the need for attention so badly, I would suggest we listen and give it to them. Obviously they must require our approval. That kind of places us in a superior position if we were really taking notes which we are not. Seeing through the many facades others place before us allows us to better understand their motives for behaving the way they do. At any moment we can become that needy person who desires love and attention. There is no shame in this.

We all want to fit in with others. We like attention and respect, can be easily  embarrassed, and have many of the same wants and needs and problems. Our fears are similar. The need for love is genuine and sincere no matter what our personality is. If we enter the playing field understanding all of this then we already know our opponent because they are just like us. They should not render us fearful or jealous.

Navigating through the waters of fear and anxiety leads to calm sailing. What media tells us to value leaves us disappointed and distressed. Realizing what has meaning in our lives is the beginning of waking up to reality. The dream is upsetting because it isn't based on facts. Perhaps by changing our habits of fake living may support us in finding the honest and genuine habits of heart. That kind of love is available all year through. We won't have to wait for holiday time and we won't have to fear and stress over pleasing everyone. Many of our actions render us tired and depressed. What we should be searching for is serenity and love in the current moment in time. Try choosing heart habits over rituals, be grateful, then rejoice in having all that you ever needed within reach.

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try the world is beyond the winning. Lao Tzu

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Forgiveness"The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it's not because they forget; it's because they forgive."

"I have learned that sometimes "sorry" is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change." Anonymous

"Forgiveness brings inner peace. Do we have a deal?"  Melissa

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

"Forgiving is not forgetting. It's letting go of the hurt." Kathy

We always hear how difficult it is to say the words, "I am sorry." I would agree that admitting blame of any kind takes courage and strength. No one should question how tough it is to do. Most of us perhaps never forgive every one of every  perceived wrong-doing towards us. It likely is human nature to hold onto a grudge. With time one sometimes manages to come forth and ask for repentance.

The person who has been injured at one time or another may wonder why the one at fault doesn't appear to be contrite right after the incident. They may also question how little the transgressor thought about what they had done. Most of the reviewing at least in the beginning of a conflict, appears to come from the person that got hurt. Perhaps the pain reaches the heart and soul a lot quicker and leads one to reflect on the reasons a bit more.

At some future time, perhaps when one has experienced a similar transgression one is reminded of the similar occurrence in the past in which they were at the receiving end of the  heartache rather  than the doer. I suppose we can split hairs regarding who received more or less pain in any confrontation. The important thing to acknowledge is that enlightenment is beginning to occur. Becoming more informed allows one to look at a happening with a different lens. We are receiving a brand new angle to the issue. Moments like these cause one to reverse their thinking and possibly attempt a reconciliation with the one they had originally maltreated. This can result in needed transformation.

This is the perfect thing to happen. Both parties reconciling reduces tension and brings in lots of love. I am all for resolving issues between people. I believe it is almost perfect in the making except  for the fact that injured people also must be recognized for their strength and courage in offering forgiveness. No one ever seems to think the one saying "Oh that's okay," has had to be mighty brave and compassionate to be willing to exonerate and reconcile with the erring individual.

Of course no one is ever totally right or wrong in any argument or fight and there are perhaps numerous variables to the dilemma. Still the one who ultimately and obviously does the most damage is the person left needing to apologize.

Nevertheless the injured party is still left with the task of absolving the person who maltreated them. I don't know about others but most people appear to discuss the courage of the party who apologized. No attention is  given to the pained individual, who had the ability to absolve the one who hurt them. I assume now that it must take tremendous strength of character to bring oneself to the state of mind to accomplish such a huge task.

When we are deeply hurt it resonates without and although time heals the wound we are left with a hard veneer. The longer the time between the occurrence and the apology, the thicker and stronger the covering. Lots of times many of us revisit the hurt and sometimes relive the pain. I remember enduring situations regarding health problems within the family which left me wounded. Even when the healing process was over, I continued to endure the suffering for years later whenever I recalled the event. Many people endure emotional pain brought on by the carelessness of others or differences leading to disagreements.

One  can appreciate that there may not have been a  need for an apology from anyone in the health dilemma, but the recovery process was similar. The pain of any wound is tough to repair. The emotional wounds and scars we endure throughout our lifetimes can be debilitating. When these wounds are caused by another person's words choices or actions one lives with the thoughtlessness for a long time. How joyful it is to receive an expression of contrition. It is likely more commendable to appreciate how awesome the person is, who is willing to forgive. Just because someone says sorry does not necessarily make another suffering person willing to forgive.

Just because  we forgive someone, does not ever mean we can forget. The pain is ingrained and impossible to scrap or wash off. Of course the forgiveness allows us to go forward, renew an impaired  relationship and lift a tremendous burden from another's shoulders. We also lift a lot of stress and anxiety from our own shoulders. All around forgiveness is so mindful yet many times downgraded in what it can accomplish. Even those times when another took our words or actions in a way we never intended, we can still repent and alleviate the pain to them.

One should never assume  a person finds it so easy to forgive. If one has ever had to do it, they know how hard it is. Sometimes you can feel as if they are getting off easy with a simple few words of regret. Both parties have a lot to endure in a giving and receiving situation. Both parties also have a lot to gain. Releasing the worry we have carried around for possibly a long time, gives us more energy  and courage to move onward with our lives. It is  an uplifting kind of energy. Releasing pain and blame leaves room for light, happiness and growth. After all we have come to realize the extent of pain one person can deliver to another. Perhaps it makes us  a worthier individual  who becomes more mindful of others. It definitely changes the sparring people  for the better.

"Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego."    Anonymous

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”    Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......”    Wm. Paul Young

 

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:

Rippling Affect Of Stress 3“It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.”

"Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost." Khalil Gibran

How underrated kindness is. It feels like we expect others to place us first on their agendas but we never reciprocate. Yes we are thinking, I am good to others all the time but truthfully, how quickly we forget about what others do for us. We do recall when someone lets us down. The pain hurts and the emotional scars we endure are sometimes of our own making.

 Like many others, I expect my family and friends to recognize and know when I  am over my head and require their help. I don't of course, mention my needs. I assume they should be aware of my desires. This rarely happens. I am let down and quite annoyed with them. After all, I believe, I am thoughtful regarding their plights, and I pay attention to what they want and crave. How come they can't do the same for me? ...continue reading "Rippling Effect Of Stress"

Perhaps this rings a chord with many of us. There are those times we need help but don't ask for it. There are other times when emotionally we require support, but very little comes forward. Why does this occur we ask ourselves as we nurse our wounds. Of course we might retaliate by alienating this person who is actually oblivious to the duress we are  under.

I think  we are so busy  scheduling and nurturing our own lives that we forget to notice what is going on in another person's life. We are not unkind, disloyal, heartless or without concern.  We are simply too busy dealing with our own problems. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, but we are not thinking deeply about it. I endeavor to say that most of us at times, rarely think deeply about anything,  because we just don't have the time or energy.

Stress is a killer in more ways than one. Perhaps when we are on overload, everything appears to be a tremendous task for us. Even the simple job that requires  very little time, can become the insurmountable  job that breaks our spirit. Somehow we have learned how to be hard workers but we haven't learned how to take the time out to chill. That appears to be too easy but actually, how many of us even know how to relax.

Our response might be that we take a vacation. Now we spend seven to fourteen days relaxing, and the rest of the year we are in fast drive.  I honestly think that in my case, that has some effect in my overlooking the quiet call to notice another's cry of despair. We wonder how so many people slip through the cracks in one way or another. Perhaps by the time we notice, they are traveling down the fast lane, and are ready to collapse.

I don't say any of this is our fault. I do believe that we could likely be in the same position as our now, off track friend. We all have different breaking points. It is hard to  say at what stage, we can't bend anymore. Seeking and observing what fork in the road we go off track is useless. It isn't planned but when we review an event, it is so easy to see the mistakes that were made. Perhaps we all should get out of the fast lane. It leads to nowhere.

We are expected to be strong, to make a good living, to protect the family, to help the family and neighbors, to be the thoughtful spouse, and to be willing to share whatever time is left over, with others in our community. How often do we receive mailings to give money or time to others. Of course once we start giving we are bombarded with more and more. The guilt jumps in and we are left with choosing the most sincere mailing with the saddest displayed picture. We run and promote causes but sometimes are left with little comfort and we ask ourselves are we doing enough? We all want to give but our distrust of the managers running the cries for relief funds overshadows our heartstrings.

Likely the numerous causes are beyond the human touch and although I would recommend supporting such causes, we still must watch that we don't deplete our own physical mental and emotional energy. We can stretch ourselves beyond the limit. Perhaps those people who are willing to give, can become the hardest hit emotionally, when they leave little time for themselves and their own immediate families. Work takes a huge chunk of our time.

Each spouse who is on overload, contributes to the end result of bickering, fighting and alienating each other. Maybe with a small amount of "me" time and together time, things will work out. Breaking our own sense of balance, for the sake of going overboard for others in demand,  is not necessarily a good thing. We are left with more people, including us, who desire attention. It really is okay to take a break. We all need it. Just because some of us are blessed with more material items and more supportive people does not mean we don't crave some down time. We will break as easily as the frailest in society.

On an airline, they tell you to put your mask on first, then your child's. This makes sense. If you are struggling to breathe, you won't be able to place the air mask on your child, if your air mask is not applied first. The same is true for your mental, emotional and physical body. If you don't take some time out for you, then you will be of little support to others.

When we have had enough we melt down. Then  we wonder, why those closest to us haven't taken account of our predicament. The trouble is that so many of us compensate, for such a long period of time, as well as keep the pain inside while  hurting silently.  That makes it difficult to notice someone's hardships. Immediately condemning others for their lack of kindness is a mistake. At those low moments all we can think about is what others have done wrong. We forget about how many times previously, they might have come to our rescue.

Focusing only on the slights, gives no room for the many kindnesses extended to us over the years. All we readily remember is the disregard we received. How sad is our focusing and recollection. Now we make another enemy of someone who used to be our friend or close relative. I always wonder at our lack for remembering the good, and our ability to readily recall the bad.

It appears to me that it is so important to take a break when needed and to ask outwardly for aid when support is required. Playing the "waiting game," or the "they should notice me game," always seems to backfire. Even in marriages, when partners don't readily state their feelings or ideas to each other without prompts, they are not given attention. Then what follows is anger at the partner, for not noticing their plight. Many of us do have a problem stating what we want or what is bothering us. Perhaps we are too independent.

I highly recommend helping others as much as we have the ability to afford to do in money, time and effort. I also highly recommend that we take numerous breaks for ourselves, so that we are not found in a similar position as those we are attempting to help. It is not weakness to accept help. Emotionally, physically and spiritually it happens to all of us. The reasons are numerous. Whatever succeeds in shedding light on our basic  requests is irrelevant. What is vitally important is that we recognize what we need, and we ask for it. In doing so we can breathe a sigh of relief for our genuine reprieve. The future will allot more opportunities to help others.

I don't think God ever wanted us to wear ourselves out. He expects us to nurture ourselves along with others. We are not supposed to build others up at the cost of tearing  ourselves down. No one wins and we resent those we attempted to support. Toss guilt aside and remember there are times in our lives when we have more problems and less time to give. There are other days when we have less problems, and more time to offer to others. Take notice of where you are at, and take charge of your life by asking and accepting help when needed. Reciprocate when you are asked in return. In that way everyone comes out a winner.

"And since the Law of Reciprocity is strong there is another upside. People will feel like giving back to you. And so the two – or more – of you keep building an upward spiral of positivity and happiness."     Seneca

“Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.”   Seneca

"God said, "Love your enemy." "And I obeyed him and loved myself." Kahlil Gibran

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.” ~ Kahlil Gibran