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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"To Love is to reach God" Rumi

"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure." Rumi

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See Beyond The ObviousThe highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe without evaluating."    Jiddu Krishnamurti

“It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.”    Steve Maraboli

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”    Marilyn Vos Savant

Has anyone ever  wondered about whether the dream state is real or the waking state in the morning is the true life? It is weird when we have a vivid dream and feel like it actually could have happened. What arouses my curiosity is the fact that we go about our business everyday thinking we are accomplishing so much and living so much. Now I question if we are living at all or simply traveling in an enclosed dream-like state.

So many times it is safer and easier to "get things done." At the end of a day we can show all of our accomplishments. Nobody really cares except us. We feel complete and go to bed and begin again the next day. I question if that is life and what might really be expected of us. From the beginning we are taught to do our jobs, listen, learn and don't waste time. Are we giving any time to reflecting on what we are doing? Many times I feel so caught up in tasks that perhaps what matters most is lost in the multitude of jobs. ...continue reading "Seeing Beyond The Obvious"

As much as we invent more technology, we are further lost in a maze of false reality. We appear to have less time for the meaningful items as we venture forth to complete what we planned to do on any given day. Is completing jobs what it has come down to? Are we any more aware of what we are doing than the hamster in the cage? If we are told to think something over at work, so many of us are uneasy and squirming in our seats. We are likely thinking, we don't have time to just reflect. The scary thing is that maybe that is what we all should be doing.

Is it any wonder that so much pain and hurt has been at the hands of those who don't think about what they are doing. With more gadgets there is less time given to our own brain's ability to work things out with reflection. Our minds also have the added ability to figure in a dose of emotional input which we have not yet been able to insert into a man-made device. Without the human touch, reflection is lost. I know I don't want to have a world run by computers.

Perhaps our reasoning is becoming weaker and our emotions too relaxed. As they say, all of the stimulation on television about  hurting others and treating others with disdain appears to be producing a thoughtless breed of people who are more and more robotic. The fascination with technology  is taking over every free moment of our time. Less attention is being given to those around us who count for so much more. It is sad to be unable to put a device down in the presence of real people. Now if we ask ourselves about the dream state or the wide awake state we might be unable to distinguish between the two.

It is amusing that humans have the capacity to do so much and care so much yet we take things for granted and destroy the good in so many items and relationships. Our lack of attention may bring down a lot of worthwhile relationships. Sometimes I sense that we must wake ourselves up from a mindless wandering. I don't want to give so much of my attention to trivial tasks, at the expense of soul-searching. It is a unbalancing agitation that makes one sense they have forgotten to do something. In a way we do forget what counts.

Human interactions of empathy kindness and love wipe away anger fear loneliness and distrust. We underestimate the power of a smile or kind word. So much emphasis is placed on  what we can do, that we forget how human qualities can accomplish so much more as they move the mind-body and spirit. Focusing more on our souls health perhaps will spill over into our homes', communities' and world's health. If this sounds strange to anyone, probably it is due to the fact that our spiritual needs have long been overlooked.

If we pretend that our waking life is all there is then we are blocking out truth. We may want to see what is in front of us but there is so much more that we have covered our eyes from seeing. Perhaps the fascination with false extraneous objects has clouded our minds. Truth can be found if we look beneath the surface of our lives. Those aha moments lead us to undertaking on a deeper level. What is important  becomes more obvious to us. All of the frills and extraneous trappings of our lives fall by the wayside as we view our surroundings with new eyes.

For me it is like waking up. When we go through our day accomplishing tasks without reflection, we are not aware of our lives. No wonder we are shocked at the pace of our lives and the swift passing of our lives. We perhaps are role-playing more than living. Attuning ourselves to our surroundings and becoming aware of everyone and everything is a necessary objective if we are to reach our goals.

Improving our spiritual selves takes time and effort. If we have no time and give it no  effort we are locked in a stalemate. Observing life in all of its forms brings enlightenment in every way. We are so much more than the worker at the store or the teacher or hairdresser. None of us is stuck in any form of a name. The power we have is beyond belief. Learning to value what is important is a paramount goal. Once we do this our lives lighten up and we see and understand beyond what our eyes behold. We suddenly become aware of living a more purposeful life.

“What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.”     Michael Connelly

“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Remember yourself. Deep inside, you have an observer, a constant neutral witness to your posture, gesture, facial expression, breathing, taste, impressions of light and sound. Don't leap to interpret. Just be there and observe.”    Jonathan Price

"Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of the Middle Way."    Lucius Annaeus Senrca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giving And Receiving

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”    Mother Teresa

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”    Steve Maraboli

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”     Brian Tracy

“I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.”     Mother Teresa

I don't know about others but I can tell you how many times I have weighed in my mind, what pain or hurt others caused me. It seems silly and absurd and definitely not a worthy thing to do. So I question why I am guilty of doing it frequently. If I loved unconditionally, I would not have this problem at all. I recall how much I love my kids and profess to love them unconditionally. I do love them unconditionally but when it comes to others, I fail miserably. When I get myself composed, I fill my heart with love again until the next trying situation

The reasons are likely numerous and perhaps surprising in nature. I suppose it gets tangled up in love. Everyone is searching for love. It is the easiest thing to find, but the hardest thing to keep and maintain. It probably has to do more with attitudes about what love is and isn't. ...continue reading "Giving And Receiving"

When we first get married, we glow in the presence of our spouse. Our love is pure, deep and feels good. The world is at our feet, and we honestly believe that our love for each other is unlike any other love, that ever was. Like a fresh bouquet of roses, it shimmers in the light of the sun. As any divorced couple might say, they don't know when things were going south, and by the time they noticed, it was too late.

I think if we are not sure how, why or when our feelings turned sour, perhaps we were not paying enough attention to our love life and our marriage. If we observe the important elements of our lives with caution, and keep attuned to the small inconsequential acts, we will be aware of problems coming our way a lot faster. What this has to do with unconditional love,  is the fact that almost every couple believes in it at the time of their marriage, yet can lose the feeling a short time down the road. The goal becomes how to keep love alive and healthy.

Friendships run the same course. We cherish our friends but there are moments when they let us down, insult us, make us jealous and envious, or simply make us feel bored. In reality we were just as guilty of the failed relationship, but it is harder to see our own fault. How much easier it is to judge another over ourselves. It is human nature. I don't think it is boastful but perhaps the opposite. We are so lacking in our own worth that we fear facing our own faults. We place  a small amount of blame on ourselves, and the large bundle of guilt on our spouse.

Getting back to the love issue is vital. So many of our relationships with spouses, kids, family, friends coworkers, and parents may end in estrangement. There is likely no one walking around the earth, who has not experienced an estrangement of one kind or another. Now if we are courageous enough, we will admit that not so long ago we would have professed the impossibility of such an occurrence happening. So how did it happen?

How is it we alter our thinking, change our minds and attitudes, and search for and find blame rather than love. If we can remember at one time we saw love within a relationship of whatever kind, maybe we can ignite it again.  Now we look at these people we once cherished, with disdain. They are not worthy of our bonds of love. Is it that they just don't measure up anymore? Did they let us down or hurt us in some way? Do they appear to have changed? Have we changed? Does it have more to do with our egos, jealousies, or competition, rather than our loss of love?

There are perhaps more questions than answers. Of course the end result is confusion, few answers, and lots of pain and suffering in one form or another. We probably don't stop to think of the effect on so many others. We always assume it is just about us.  Changes affect everyone around us. What we do has a domino effect and it continues on and on. Spouses who divorce are likely going to have an effect on a child's future mate who will be forced to deal with the complicating issues of visits, talks about estranged family members and more. Who would think a total stranger would feel the impact of such a course we have taken. None of us ever think about the impact we cause on others daily, as well as far into the future.

Most parents never lose love for their kids and vice versus, but they may become disillusioned. Maybe all of us give so much time to making a living, that we forget about making a  life. All relationships may start out as unconditional love, but end up shattered when people begin experiencing feelings of neglect. Distrust leads to doubt, fear and eventual loss of love. As much as we try, we can become discouraged. We lose faith in ourselves but also in our relationships.

Of course an answer is to work harder on all relationships. Next to that I would say it might be time to reevaluate the pros and cons of any relationship, and our expectations. Are our expectations so unrealistic that a partner or loved one can't help but step over the impossible line? we then consider them failing. If we set our own parameters, but forget to inform our loved one what they are, then we have set the grounds for them to be unsuccessful. Perhaps we must question how much we have planned to make this relationship flourish or flop. Is the relationship about tolerance growth and love or is it about Us?

Our expectations may be unreasonable. We are all aware that the little things count the most. Are we also aware that counting will always create disappointment? Paying more attention to the kindnesses rather than the deficiencies may ultimately support a positive effect. There are those times when we all make mistakes,  overlook sensitivities, and generally lack concern. If we choose to bring attention to these errors constantly,  we will eventually erode any relationship. By monitoring only the absence we are focusing on finding the mistakes in another. An alternative approach is to focus on the good, acknowledge it and most definitely remember it.

We are likely boxed in at times, going round and round. Because we are caught within this box, we are not seeing elsewhere for another view. Choose to look for a positive version of this person or relationship. The alternative is exhaustion, running around in circles, and in the end, breaking and running away from the relationship. Our minds of course support our thoughts. They are also traveling around but going nowhere. The constant reminder of blame, makes it always present, and continually draining. Unless we have the courage to step out and take a different approach, we will destroy what was once a good relationship.

Many times our thoughts sabotage our love. If we can't control our thoughts, we become the slaves to them as well as the victims. We have technically lost control of our choices and decisions. In order to take back control, we have to seek a new way of viewing issues, and dealing with each other. By using a different lens, perhaps a favorable picture will emerge. We in essence allow new ideas and concepts to enter.

Love has nothing to do with money. Expensive gifts do not denote greater love as many may think. The larger ring does  not mean a larger love for the person. By taking so much judgment out of any situation, perhaps it will alleviate the stress. Love does not have to die. We can always choose to keep it alive. Any relationship can survive. Of course there are always others who are insecure and who make it their job to sabotage our relationships with others. These people have their own insecurities and agendas which affect our bonds to others.

 I surmise that those who are less judgmental, more secure in their own worth, and keep their unconditional love alive, will have a greater chance of happiness and love. Love does not need to be tested every day. Love does not need to be hidden from others. Love does not need to have a closed circle. My idea of love is a trusting heart, an open loving attitude, and a line that continues and captures all into its embrace.

Taking love and placing it into a cage, creates anger and darkness. Freely spreading love around transforms the world in all kinds of ways. Just because we have a bad day with our friend or spouse doesn't mean the bonds are broken. They are just stressed at the moment. The worst thing we can do is dwell on these thoughts over and over. Instead we should attempt to push them from our minds and consider the good. Never take the smallest act of kindness for granted. As a matter of fact, perhaps we should never take any and all love for granted. Love when someone deserves it. Love when someone least deserves it, and you will keep love strong and safe.

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”    Brent Brown

“When you know that everything matters—that every move counts as much as any other—you will begin living a life of permanent purpose.”    Andy Andrews

“When you suffer, you are being conformed to the image of Jesus. When you pray, you are being made holy in the image of Jesus. When you quietly serve a person in need, you are being shaped into the image of Jesus. When you generously give, your heart is being remade into the image of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”     Allen R. Hunt

“Theologians talk about a provenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a provenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.”    Marilyn Robinson

“If the people of God were to transform the world through fascination, these amazing teachings had to work at the center of these peculiar people. Then we can look into the eyes of a centurion and see not a beast but a child of God, and then walk with that child a couple of miles. Look into the eyes of tax collectors as they sue you in court; see their poverty and give them your coat. Look in to the eyes of the ones who are hardest for you to like, and see the One you love. For God loves good and bad people.”    Shane Claiborne

If you give, expecting something in return, it's not really giving at all.
If you love, expecting something in return, it's not really loving at all.”    Donald  L. Hicks

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