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“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

“Distress is the moment you realize that life will hurt more than your death. While existing, we're forced to become acquainted with sadness. There's no antibiotic for the ridding of distress, and no alleviation of these intervals of pain we must encounter. Behind our eyes, are all these things: our stories, our dreams, our deficiencies, and our scars. Today would leave a scar.” Crystal Woods

“One's suffering, one's melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.”  Criss Jami

I am in distress about hearing another child is injured by a parent or someone they love. The frustration runs rampant through my  head because I have no answers. If we are upset it triggers less appreciation for what we have. How can we give answers when our security is threatened. It is painful to worry about our sense of well-being when threats are part of our world. Such is the case for many children.

Are adults  boxed in without any choices? Are we facing a dead-end to our lives on the road we are traveling?. Is this what results in distress which leads to rage? It is easy to feel this way in life. I am no exception but predicaments and stress are not our leaders. Our levels for overload differ and burdens strain us into crazy unthinkable actions. There is no excuse for anyone. I do not condemn anyone because I am not God. But deep within us we bury the truth afraid to admit our own fears. When we arrive at a  challenging place of chaos help seems out of reach. That is when we lose control.

Our next step is the panic button. The  answers are elusive. We   losw and say and do anything. Human thoughts and emotions are overruled and animal instincts  overtake reason. A person is motivated by anger hate and revenge while he searches for ways to take revenge on anyone near him. Like an unthinking  machine actions are mindless. Reason is obliterated with all the distress and feelings overshadowed. ...continue reading "End A Child’s Distress with loving discipline"

Focus is to relieve the emotional anguish at any cost. The price is not important because one believes their life is too demanding and they are trapped. The torment and distress makes a person cause pain to others who are in close proximity.

the first ones hurt are children because they are the easiest and most vulnerable targets. Kids are swallowed in an ocean of pain. This scene replays  often and leaves desolation in its' wake.People use children to hurt their spouses, aunts, uncles or grandparents in divorce situations. Few people consider the state of mind and emotional toll distress confers on children. We acknowledge children as creatures who don't have  feelings, opinions or desires. We consider the child's worth inferior to  the adults value when we fail to protect them from the bullies of the world. We may be their first bully.

I know we don't live in other people's homes but we can be watchful towards all children. Some live in fear and others have given up. If parents don't protect kids but instead  become the culprit then society should step in. How do we do that is a key question. Maybe it is time to restructure our child protective system. More workers may be placed in home environment areas. With counsel and support within the homes  more parents learn how to care for their kids with love and attention.

Some skills must be taught. If we have no knowledge about how to go about  feeding or nurturing a child then it is important to have available counselors taking on that role. Giving someone food and clothes is kind but teaching someone how to find and earn food and clothes is better. When anyone is in distress it is okay to sympathize but to support them with other options is more productive. When a person  is willing to work  but can't find a job perhaps more effort should be made to help him or her find the job rather than locking them up for stealing and then paying  for jail time.

Maybe as a society we can think of improved ways of teaching someone how to survive in our society. As one professor once said to me, "If you lived in a rich society you would not know how to go about calling on those people who would take care of you and drive and buy items for you. Likewise if you lived in an extremely poor society you would not know  which places or rubbish cans had the best left over food and which places were safer to bunk down for the night. The more I thought about it  the more it made sense. We can't throw anyone into any place and expect them to get the rules and norms of the society. We must teach them more than just giving without thought. One learns to value themselves, fend for themselves and take pride in their work. Starting from the bottom may promote better outcomes instead of pretending we have systems in place which obviously don't  work.

When  people are desperate they do desperate and despicable things. People who are frustrated or without options behave erratically. This lends itself to other areas in their lives that become unstable. If one divorces there is turmoil and loss of family friends and security. Kids again suffer the most. Parents move on but kids  are caught in the middle. Parents are likely dealing with so much they sense the need to find themselves first but in that process the kids can become lost.

If a friend or family member is in need pay attention and help out. Give a hand at least short-term. Attempt to stop the negativity and find peace. kids didn't fight with grandma or aunt Amy so keep it civil and allow as many family members into your life and your child's life as you can. Support comes in many sizes and ages. Working on any job with others brings greater security and serenity. Going alone encourages distress a lot faster. Take a look around and find those people willing to be your friend and forgive family and friends who have disappointed you. Even if it was a  serious thing forgiveness brings peace and love. Just try it for your kids sake and see if your life and your kids situation improves.

Distress leads to heartache and problems while love brings comfort and joy. Why find yourself with greater  problems because the law has no mercy. Before you reach your limit take the needed break and let the ego go which insists on being in charge even when traveling the wrong road. Work towards compromising and collaborating with others.

Sharing workloads babysitters and material items can improve each others situation. Learn how to love more and always treat your children with respect. They are your gold and worthy of love. Too many have died needlessly or been injured. It is time we stop the pain kids endure and show them a different world that is not full of  pain and isolation but with love and respect.

“Anger is distress. Life is an individual race of endurance.” Lailah gifty Akita

“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” St. Mark

“The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.”    Jon Kabat Zinn

6th pic presentationThis is an article my daughter wrote about breast cancer which touched my heart. It is worth reading and better than anything I could ever write. It was written from the heart. It is important to remember that the hurts we bear and suffer are not always obvious. We will perhaps never know or understand fully what another person endures because we don't walk in their shoes and never will.

""Dignity is The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. It is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter."  Shannon L. Alder

I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive news-feed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related.   As a physician I feel that breast feeding is ideal.  When I was a third year resident and I had my first baby I was adamant about exclusively breast feeding.  I cried when my milk didn’t come in right away after a long induction.   I also relished the fact that my newborn grew into a chubby, giggly infant and it was due to my own body.  I pumped and breastfed, it was a blur of insomnia knowing that I would have to go back to work.  I took time off and managed to keep a freezer full of breast milk in case my supply dropped off when I did go back.  As a resident with overnight calls I knew I couldn’t be sure how often I could pump, pagers go off, codes happen, patients, admissions, rapid responses, they don’t wait for pumping.  I was determined, I continued to pump, overnight, sometimes in bathrooms, call rooms, it depended on how far of a walk, and which were occupied.   I was determined to make the one year mark. ...continue reading "My Issue With Breast Is Best"

With my second child I was an attending working part time and it definitely went more smoothly.   Somewhere around the fifth month I noticed my supply dropping.  I did everything I could but I had to supplement and I remember stopping around eight months. I was disappointed and heartbroken.  I resigned myself to formula feeding and when I felt lumps in one breast I chalked it up to milk ducts.

That was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The fear was overwhelming and paralyzing, I could only think about my babies, a nine month old and a two year old.  It was biopsy after biopsy, ultrasound guided, stereotypical, MRI guided.  They saw abnormalities on the other side, and I had additional biopsies.   I was waiting for surgery for final staging.  I thought about how precious our time is and our health is.  I opted for the bilateral mastectomy. It was a personal decision.

Fast forward almost four years, past a stage one diagnosis, a year of treatment and we were blessed with another beautiful healthy baby.  It felt like a gift, directly from God, I have living breathing snuggly, proof that a very difficult time was over.  Like all parents, I want the best for my baby, and I opted for formula.

The baby is happy, healthy, and then I have to question why the articles about poison formula make me so angry.  Why do I want to wear a sign that says “I breast fed two babies and had breast cancer.”  Why does it need an explanation, an excuse? Is it because I’m around educated moms that tend to exclusively breastfeed? I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much guilt taking out a bottle.

I thought about a particular conversation I had with a friend after diagnosis and her comment was “wow, I just couldn’t do it, make a decision and choose to have a mastectomy like that.”   That was when I realized that this wasn’t something I chose.  Everything was secondary to my family and health.  So much worse happens to wonderful people who didn’t “choose” the situations they went through.  With breastfeeding we need to stop shaming women for situations that are beyond their control.  So many women I know keep tally lists, they track things like how long they breastfed, if they supplemented, was it exclusive breastfeeding, bottle feeding , natural births, c-sections, epidurals, and the list could go on.   Being a mother is hard work and no one chooses less than their best for their babies.  Why do we compare so much? I doubt that fathers are asking each other how many games they attend, how many times they read before bed, or if their kids still crawled into their beds at night.  Yet it’s “best” to read to children before bed, and it’s “best” to have a sleep schedule with children.   If we want more moms to breastfeed, instead of assuming they made the choice to do less than “best”, and making them feel guilty for it, maybe we should analyze the barriers to breastfeeding. The majority of mothers in this country start off breast feeding and over time that number significantly drops. Why? Are there places to pump privately? Is there time off for breastfeeding, or does the day simply get extended? Is there maternity leave, paid time off, uninterrupted time, is it convenient at work?

How do we counsel moms in the hospital? Is it a one size fits all approach? Maybe a little formula before your supply kicks in, is really okay. Maybe nipple confusion isn’t as large of a problem as it seems.   I had a mother who breastfed for years, and if it wasn’t for her support I might not have breastfed as long as I did.  The singular statement of “breast is best” has finality to it that any alternative is giving your baby simply less.   What if you don’t have breasts? I might be a minority but there are numerous reasons a mother might not exclusively breast feed, medications, work schedules, supply issues, surrogates, mental health issues.  I still think they’re doing their best.  Not smoking is “best”, an hour a day of exercise is “best”, a healthy BMI is “best”, do we adhere to it?  So why are we making so many mothers feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed?

I know lots of great moms taking awesome care of their kids, free-range, tiger moms, gluten free, dairy free, formula feeding, stay at home, working, helicopter, paleo, vegan, breast feeding mothers.  I know they love their kids, I know they are doing their “best” everyday.

“When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person's life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.” Shannon Alder

"There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”  Shannon Alder

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?” Shannon Alder

“Reputation is what others think of us; character is what God knows of us."

 

Children Add The Touch Of Love"It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”  “The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Paulo Coelho

“Lots Of Valuable Effort is the true full form of LOVE.” Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

“To reform the world - means to reform upbringing...” Janusz Korczak

I and everybody else is aware of checking the labels for any pills we are taking so we can check out the hazards. Many of us try to decide if  the hazards are worth the risk of taking the pills. As I watch the news daily and witness another assault on a child I wonder if kids should also come with all kinds of cautions and beware symbols. Seriously thou there is so much left out of the venture of raising children. Perhaps there ought to be warning signs or at least a book of instructions. Most of us jump in without a lot of hesitation.

Now I contemplated if that had to do with our pride in our ability to succeed at such a task or if we were so uniformed about raising kids that we never thought to ask the right questions. Either way we are left with a life long commitment with its ups and downs, good times and bad and happy and sad moments.

How many of us would begin such an undertaking if we were aware of the risks. After all kids are a risk factor for all parents in regard to disease, high blood pressure, extreme stress an inability to always think  clearly and a huge game changer everyday. It is also important to note that just because you already have one child does not mean you will automatically be able to use the same tactics  and skills on the next child. The symptoms change and the side effects are uniquely different. The length of time of stress varies. There must be protection  for your sensitivities pride and any expectations you might have that don't happen.

The needs of the child are different. Some come with a lot of pride and ego. Battling that is never easy. You don't want to crush their ego but you must strive to get in some humility. Some kids have such little confidence you wonder where they have been. If you have ever tried building up your own confidence then you are aware of how difficult this is to do. You also have those kids with the temper. Now that is a challenge. Those are the ones that push your buttons right up until they leave home or even beyond leaving. Most parents won't admit to secretly wishing the same kind of a child on them. Of course these will be our future investigators who just won't give up.

The tantrum kids are always a handful because you appear as a totally deficient parent when it occurs out in public. The child deafens anyone in their vicinity and you can't escape unless you cowardly give in to the child's demands. I don't believe in hiting so that is never an option. I am sure that most parents who have never witnessed such a scene are judging you right to the core. They better hope they don't encounter a similar situation themselves down the road. Even though you haven't hit your child, the piercing scream spreads throughout a store and most people will assume that you did. These children will  one day likely save lives because they seem to be so not bothered with drawing attention. Their reaction time will be awesome.

Of course the wanderer is never easy. You never know what it is that fancies their attention and draws them away. They are focused and certainly ought to be registered for being a future scientist. As the parent  of such  a child we are exhausted at night. Don't you hate the parents who look at you like you don't know what you are doing no matter what type of child you have? Their kid is behaving and they think it is all about their wonderful parenting skills.

I must say that I am a believer in good loving parenting for all types of kids but I know that it is not easy for parents at all. And we can't know how difficult it is for others who don't have the same kind of a child that we have. I don't mean to rate the kids because then we would have to rate the adults. After all can you imagine the wanderer being in the hands of the temper tantrum person? I suppose this happens often enough. The point is a parent child relationship is not as simple as we might think.

You have the focused kid who  wanders because of his deep interest.  His parent can be someone who has little patience in waiting for someone to do as he says. This is a calamity waiting to happen. The adult with a lot of ego will have a lot of interesting issues when he is left with a child who likes to keep moving and just won't stay focused. It is hard to say why most of us embark on the adventure of parenthood. It is never what we thought it would be but actually it is something far  grandeur.

I have honestly learned how to love, have patience, be tolerant forgiving compassionate have faith hope and love beyond explaining and a spiritual awakening that has touched my soul. Kids make you smile laugh frown but they help you to go beyond what you had ever imagined or conceived. They  bring out the best and forgive the worst in you. We attempt to teach them while every day they teach us strengths we never thought we had. They add so much dimension spirit and soul to our lives. Perhaps we must learn to be tolerant and compassionate when dealing with or child.

They require only love and of course understanding of who they are and what they need to be happy. It takes time to do it right but the ride you have with them will stay in your memory until the day you die I would guess. Of course they do come all packaged and cute and helpless. Immediately and hopefully we are full of wonder and ready to give them love. They  count on that and parents can count on unconditional love in return. Parents must return this unconditional love always. If you have kids you should be happy because your life has so much meaning. Remember the kid you ignored at the playground because he couldn't climb the ladder? Now maybe you are learning how to teach such a child how to do just that without fear. All kids come with a guarantee to enrich our lives in so many ways that we will miss them wehen we tuck them into bed and it is just too quiet. MMMM

“How many of your contemporaries - when asked the question 'Are you glad you had kids'? - invariably respond 'Yes, but..'?” Anonymous

“As a parent we have to remember it was not the children's decision to be born it was ours, so let's love, cherish, and teach them to be good fruitful and productive people in the society ! Beta Metari Marashi

Parents, "God gave us children for joy and cherish-meant,and not for punishment”
Beta Metari Marashi

“It is easy to be a good parent, to a good child, but what makes a good parent is when you stand by and don't give up to a challenging and trouble child.” Beta Metani Marashi

elizabeth-fishel-quote-about-siblings"Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression."     Haim Ginott

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."     Charles R. Swindoll

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."   Frederick Douglass

"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment."   President Emeritus of Compassion International

"The soul is healed by being with children."  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Children make your life important."     Erma Bombeck,

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year. Being the season of love and family I really wanted to focus on the family because we all have families in one form or another. From what I can surmise we all have varying degrees of love as well as  condemnation for these individuals. These are likely the people who teach us life lessons. Of course these teachings may be taught in a gentle or cruel manner but regardless we can learn from these encounters and move on, or allow  them to slip away unobserved.

Somehow I know this all ties in with love and family. Most people will admit that the one thing they want most in the world is love yet they don't comprehend how much time and energy they place on other things that are far from love. Somehow there is a great need to get back to a happier and more peaceful place that surrounds us with love and demonstrates  in the contrast, how far off course we have actually traveled.

The world desires are luring all of us as they profess to cure our unhappy mood and our overburdened life. They are like the charlatan's that promised cures for our ailments with something within a bottle. Most of us are desperate enough to  believe. The rest of us want to believe and fight the urge to go off the track. Somehow it appears we must find what it is we truly  want out of life. It is surface thinking to imply we want a vacation or money or friends or fame. Like watching a movie on a screen we can view our lives in fast forward to discover that the vacation was short-lived and not as exciting or interesting as we had perceived it would be. The money could not buy the person we desired to marry, health that we yearned for nor the life we envisioned. The  friends that manifested  were quick to desert us when we were in need of a real friend  and were only happy to enjoy spirited days of jokes and parties. Fame is truthfully as fleeting as the passing day or night. There are always new heroes and idols to follow. I wonder at those left behind because after you have been considered immortal how does one return to mortality.

We are all born and die alone yet the support of others we love and who have loved us is invaluable. Many times our endless search of chasing  worldly attractions usually results in defeat and remorse while draining our spirits. In our search for the false We sometimes leave behind treasures worth keeping found in family life.

Some of us are never even aware of the mistakes we have made in losing or ditching these people. Perhaps  family members anger us to the point of our desire to run away. The will to  receive understanding from every encounter with others, whether it is good or bad will not happen. In the process we lost possibly a genuine love and a huge lesson that was tossed in the garbage.

In my own life I have learned that losing your temper and hurting others emotionally and physically causes deep scars and memories you would prefer to white wash. I questioned the lesson until one day I discovered it helped me to gain a greater understanding of tolerance and patience with others. It taught me the fragility of children caught in these nightmares with no alternatives but to endure.

I suppose the hurts teach us the power of maintaining our goals for a very long time. Most importantly it taught me the importance of love and how powerful it can be. Without the love of family one is left with facing a harsh world with only courage and strength as their friends. No one can survive if love is not instilled within this mix A   person is an empty vessel waiting to be filled when love has not entered it.

This is the crossroad between picking what will  elevate you or what will bring your downfall. If we don't pay attention we likely will make a poor  decision. Experiencing sickness as a child makes us appreciate good health as well as the gentle care of our bodies. Understanding people living in poverty sends us a  message of support and compassion for others. When a person lacks the simple items of life they yearn for what so many others take for granted.

Those who lose loved ones experience such a rupture within their lives that it can become difficult to move forward with their lives. Others who never had the family life due to one circumstance or another are left unfulfilled and dissatisfied in their functioning. Coming to terms with any difficult happening requires mounds of reflection and discernment regarding what we can and cannot change.

A mother-in-law who fights with her ex daughters-in-law unwittingly brings down her own demise in a lost relationship with her grandchildren. Women who blame a whole family when there is a divorce basically shut out all of the love and support of family members. No one is a winner and everyone is a loser but the young kids caught in the middle are the crushed and ruined survivors. It is truly devastating to kids.

Kids are similar to dogs in their unconditional love. They love most everyone and they forgive most anything. A child beaten daily will forgive the beater. I don't know if we could find one adult who would do the same for another adult.

A couple on Christmas day refused to allow their very young children to open their gifts because the kids had been arguing with each other. They were told Santa said they had to wait for not being "Good". They were "bad" and had to wait. The kids were accepting this with love and anticipation for a better tomorrow. How young the kids were for such a harsh lesson. One child might lament the horror when they achieve adulthood and tend towards leniency while the other child might seek a sense of revenge by repeating the harsh punishments they themselves endured.

People who go to extremes to provide a happy occasion are left with ungrateful attendees and a heartache of questions about what went wrong and why. Likely they only wanted everyone to enjoy the day but sometimes others enjoy bringing negativity to the occasion. I believe most people have no idea the sadness and ruin they cause and don't do it on purpose.

If we can see a pattern then perhaps it is time to stop even our own self-pity and begin thinking about the damage we do to each other and to our children who are the most innocent victims. At times we are so intolerant of each other that we must jeopardize the good times because of our hidden negative agendas. We all have our secret aches and pains, defeats and victories. If we want family and love to be brought to the forefront of our lives again then perhaps it is time to let go of the me attitude and embrace the idea of a mindfulness of others.

The man who is upset that his wife gained weight or does not have the figure like a girl on a magazine is living in a  false world. The woman who wants her husband to provide her with more material gains is trapped in a make-believe world.  These are the world's mind games and we are trapped  in that world when we harbor such ideas.

We profess to be independent in our thinking yet we are told what is good or bad, beautiful  or ugly, strong or weak, intelligent or ignorant and what we should even desire or want in our lives. Anyone who diverts from this path is considered different and sometimes ignored or ostracized. This difference is actually freedom at its core. What is not independence is following the crowd away from what is truly important in our lives.  At those times our integrity may be at risk. I see individuality as being stronger than the enticing crowd  and following your heart.

Accountability is hard to accept but we are responsible for instant decisions made without thought. Words and actions cannot be taken back  and are so far-reaching. The psyches are injured and hard to repair. We should think before speaking or acting and be sorry when we have injured another. Then we would gain a loving world.

Our encounters are engraved on our souls. None of us know where another has been or what pains we bring with us. Each incident has taught us a  lesson and has the capacity to stretch us beyond what we currently are. That is why some of us can easily state we understand something and forgive it while others of us can't muster the courage or  perhaps have not stopped to consider such an occurrence.

If we look hard enough at life the truth guides our way. Reflecting on our lives along with the lessons, brings us to a greater understanding of things we were not able to comprehend before our own hurts and pain. Somehow the more pain endured along with the injuries, the greater the capacity to forgive and support others in need. This is where our most precious devotion must be concentrated.

Kids require guidance and love. Acquiring the necessary skills to regain our accountability and responsibility towards our children enhances our lives in ways that can't be explained. Suffice it to say that strong families have the power to create strong bonds of love and acceptance. If we can't devote love to the most important creations of the world, our kids, then the world will simply fold into nothing. Love family and children make the world the beautiful place that it is. Unless we see and consider this actuality, the kids will continue to be second-rate citizens and people  will continue to selfishly look to their own needs while they compromise their children's wishes and requirements.

The search for senseless gratifications of all conceivable kinds is a quick downfall. Most of us already have the things in our lives worth having and which can't be replaced. Appreciating that as a truth causes love to ceaselessly follow us and bloom wherever we go. Husbands and wives should be each other's cheer leaders. Siblings should support appreciate and love each other, parents should discover the value and priceless gift of their children, and grandparents should offer love at all times and without assessments. In all of these relationships perhaps we should dismiss all of the judgments.

I would never rejoice in having problems but I find myself taking the lesson from each difficult situation I have had to endure. Each of us has a life to live that is sometimes worrisome. If we reach out to others with love it might make our lives a little bit easier to endure. If I can stop with the accusations and assumptions of others perhaps I can make my life easier and the life of  another. I now want to ask myself if my life has meaning rather than if I am happy. The meaning of having people in my life makes my life full of purpose. If it is only to make another smile with lightheartedness, then I would rather remember a day a child  smiled rather than a day they feared.

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."  Oscar Wilde

"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments  tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."   Louis Pasteur

"Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."  Nelson Mandela

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." Albert Camus

"Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it."    Sai Baba

 

 

Discover What's Real“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray

“When you don't know what you're living for, you don't care how you live from one day to the next. You're happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you're going to live for tomorrow.” Ivan Goncharov

All the discussions we have that are centered around being satisfied are just words. It appears that we understand what it is we need to alter in order to be content, but we are simply too entrenched in our old way of thinking. So instead we talk about lessening our burdens, eating  healthier and spending more time with the family. Our intentions are awesome but they are more like those New Years' resolutions that fall  by the wayside by the end of January.

I am not trying to block our ideas about bettering our lives. Making resolutions is wonderful and necessary to begin anything new. I just believe at least for myself, that I must attempt to act on them immediately before I give up on them or give in to the temptations of letting them go. Nobody plans on stopping their good intentions. It happens when our old way of thinking creeps in and nudges us to take care of this and that  before we attend to our home and family ideas. Of course the more we attend to what we perceive as the necessary agenda, the little time we have left over to get the good  intentions working.

How many times we pick up fast food because we are running late and the kids need to get to a sports, drawing or music appointment. We excuse ourselves this one time  because the meeting ran late. We resolve  to do better next week. As days and months pass we just dash our intentions.  They just  can't jive with our lifestyle at the moment. I can't express how many times I have said when things calm down I will do this or that. When I do repeat this phrase out loud  things only get more complicated. I can then blame all my responsibilities for failing my resolutions. It becomes my life styles'  fault  for my inability to stick with my promises.

...continue reading "Discover What’s Real"

I appreciate my own good intentions and those of others. Now I want to focus on reaching objectives and goals because day after day I see the need to appreciate  what matters in my life. No wonder the elderly hate being old and feeling useless and depressed. Most people consider them outdated and helpless.  Yet if any of us are confined to the house or can't get involved in a work project we feel denied or treated unfairly. Likely if we had more respect for people of all ages,  genders etc. we would not have any complaints about getting older. It would appear easier to mention to an older person, "how  about if you sit and do this job because I know it hurts your legs to stand but you are very  capable to achieve this task.

There is also an issue with believing that if we sign our kids up for various entertainment somehow we are passing parenting with flying colors. Possibly those that can't afford to bring their kids on numerous vacations or sign them up for camps of any kind get the feeling they are failing their children. My  sense is neither is failing their kids unless they are ignoring them and not spending time talking with their children. Interacting with kids is vital for their emotional health. The small things we say and do with our kids are priceless. The interchange of words, ideas, problems and fears can result in a reduction of their anxieties. When we hear of kids feeling depressed and anxious we can appreciate the importance of spending time with kids rather than more money or entertainment.

Finding occasions  for the family is crucial. Most of us admit we don't have the spare intervals. Now my answer is to make the time and mark the family needs as  urgent. I think more marriages and child problems would be solved because we paid better attention to issues before they became critical problems to resolve. I'd rather deal with discussions and ideas and arguments instead of waiting for the ball to drop and then having to fix whatever went wrong. At that point I might have to spend weeks dealing and fixing something critical that developed out of something that was originally minor.

How do we get so busy.  I reflected on my own schedule and realized that we value work, getting ahead, earning degrees, and gaining money. These are all material gains. Most of us don't think about human rewards or accomplishments. We honestly believe that they just happen and kids will forever love us and our spouses will always understand when we don't make time for them, and our friends will continually like us even when we focus on having  much more material wealth which has now reached an obsession.

The truth is  our kids perhaps  get into more trouble, seek other more uncaring people to confide in, and perhaps lose faith and trust in us. They learn how to become like us in the scheme of life. Some kids choose a path far different from their parents' lifestyle. We might find they don't make time for us anymore when they are teens and even when they are adults. Our spouses become people we don't understand anymore. We see changes in them but miss the ones in ourselves. They appear to be selfish and distant as well as being only interested in their own needs. We have basically stopped working as a team and became individual  entities striving towards our own goals.

Some of us might have jumped on the plane our spouse is flying and directed  towards whatever our spouse wants. We are not thinking or speaking up for ourselves in that situation. No matter what material item I have ever purchased, I must admit that it never ended up being as awesome as I thought it would be. It lost its' sparkle quickly. Sometimes I swept any thoughts of the item  out of my head because  being a waste of money made me feel even worse . What I gained out of all of this was what remains in my heart forever.  I found it to be those things I ignored the most. My  resolutions to spend more time with the family were actually the best things I could have done  and enjoyed doing the most.  Sometimes we don't sense  the reasons our spouse wants certain things and why our children desire to keep us closer.

Personally, the sentiments that filled my soul had so much more to do with inner requirements than outer desires. It seems easy to profess but not so easy to explain to someone who is still  strategically trying to move ahead in their lives. Moving ahead to them is making money and earning titles. If I have so many degrees and accomplishments and so do you why would I be impressed with yours? All I would be interested in discussing was my own perceived accomplishments when it was my turn to speak. I'm not impressing anybody and neither are they. Yet we pride ourselves with these successes.

If someone were to ask us what we did with our lives we would be tossing out achievements. How about having and enjoying a great marriage and awesome children and happy home environment.  That likely would not be considered relevant unless we seriously review what is relevant. Maybe it is time  to think about that for a moment. Where did we relax and have fun? Where were we not judged and could be ourselves? Where did we receive the support and backing to keep moving ahead? Where were our happiest moments spent?

It is time to open our eyes to what is real and what is fake. Clothes degrees fortune fame travel and useless objects are not where it is at. Figuring out what counts brings peace and  serenity. The deadlines are gone and the competition is over. The need to defame others and outsmart them ends as well as the gossiping. The time spent on useless games and masks renders us more time for the essential things like home and family. No wonder there are so many breakups. We just don't value what is priceless and within our reach. Take more than a moment to view your life and treasures and be thankful for  both before your time to enjoy them runs out.

“Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”
Michio Kaku

“Not only is there often a right and wrong, but what goes around does come around, Karma exists, chickens do come home to roost, and as my mother, Phyllis, liked to say, “There is always a day of reckoning.” The good among the great understand that every choice we make adds to the strength or weakness of our spirits—ourselves, or to use an old-fashioned word for the same idea, our souls. That is every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.” Donald Van de Mark

Listen“I will be waiting here....For your silence to break, for your soul to shake, for your love to wake!" Rumi

“Soul, if you want to learn secrets, your heart must forget about shame
 and dignity.
You are God's lover, yet you worry what people are saying.”
“Brother, stand the pain. Escape the poison of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do. Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping. That way a thorn expands to a rose.” Rumi

News stories everywhere are absolutely so wild that one would question their honesty. The strangest part is that so many people read or listen to these events while on the train to work or munching their cereal or eating popcorn in their favorite chair. That is perhaps as surreal as the stories. Without a doubt we have lost our sensitivity to the happenings surrounding us. It is just another normal day, so we think.

I have wondered how long we can continue along n our path of destruction, without seeing the cliff before we fall off. That perhaps sounds  a bit over the top but all you have to do is put things in perspective, and listen to the news for the day. I heard of one story detailing a baby of a year old, having 28 broken bones when he was rushed to the hospital and later died. The stories are so similar except for the way the kids and babies have been beaten, tortured, neglected, disrespected, dehumanized and at long last killed.

Listening to the number of people killed in battles, drug addictions, suicide, alcohol, and bad habits derived from too much stress should probably register a wake up call. Sometimes it appears that we are the sleep-walker, oblivious to the reality around us. the environment and home lives are upside down. It is time to stop kidding ourselves that it is the fault of the other person over there. What we are seeing, if we open our eyes, is total chaos and uncontrolled people.

No wonder we have addictions of all kinds and anger in every situation. Stress and anxiety from within and without, are controlling our words and actions. If we continue to value peripheral objects and fail to notice the treasures standing in front of us then we are traveling down a paved road to disaster. I don't say this lightly. I don't believe people are bad, incorrigible, mean or unkind  by nature. Many forces permeate our psyches and hearts. Perhaps we begin to value the wrong items, trust in the perverted ideas and follow the egos of others. The sad thing is that we end up in the same pitiful place.

All is not over or lost but we certainly seem to be living on the brink of disaster. Finding time to reflect on what we are valuing, saying and doing is vital. Most of us myself included, believe we are off of the hook in our beliefs as long as we have a sense of allowing everyone to follow their own road and thoughts. What we must question is at what point do we think it necessary to contemplate what is happening around us. One can say I wouldn't do it but it is up to each individual to decide for himself or herself. The next person can alleviate their conscience by stating it is their right to do what they want, even to the extent of harming others. How far is this going to be carried, before we question how ridiculous.

Aborted babies are being used for tissue transplant and other medical procedures, some of which I don't understand. The hard bit to digest is how unlucky is the baby who is ill-fated to be unmercifully yanked from its mother's womb, in order to serve another life. It's own life has no value so it appears. No one has a problem distancing such topics while having coffee. How desensitized have we become?

Using animals for experiments has always caused a commotion and the users have always said well it helps us to develop medicines for people. How do we explain using people to help people? Are we limitless in what we do and in what we will accept? Will privilege give some people a step up?

Again I don't see  bad people but instead misguided unthinking observers who are too stressed out to conceive of the damage they are doing. Most of us would rush to help another individual. Yet  we only shake our heads at the craziness surrounding us. Unless more people come forward and disagree with what is happening, no relief or solution will be found. Medicine breakthroughs can be discovered in other ways.

Kids are beaten and neglected every day. All of us feel helpless. If we believe we are helpless then nothing will be changed. Like the law recently passed in Massachusetts that allows spanking to be legal. The other definitions in the dictionary are far more disturbing. I guess if we said thrashing, whopping or beating, people might cringe a bit more about that law, but spanking sounds acceptable. The word beating is defined as spanking. We simply turn our heads away washing our hands of the outcome to numerous children.

Perhaps it is time we understood that it is us that needs to pick up the ball. Honestly, we are good people  but we have ignored the cries of the unfortunate for too long. The babies and children deserve  consideration. Our world can be a better place. If we learn how to respect each other as well as all life that we see, we will experience a renewal of love and beauty. Perhaps the shadows will lift from our eyes and allow us to  view a compassionate loving world. There would be no need for rules if everyone cared about each other.

The time we spend on nonsense items should be called to our attention. We have so much to be thankful for. There is so much beauty inside of us and surrounding us but  we shut it out. I have reached my limit of listening to the  negativity permeating our world. I want to hear feel good stories of heart-warmth love and empathy. It is not old-fashioned to want a happy caring place to live. Leave the meanness to the dream state, and wake up to a genuinely empathetic  world. Value your relationships. Make integrity, honesty, empathy, tolerance and kindness universal. Value what counts and find peace.

“There's no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child's play.”    Rumi

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:

Patience“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”    Paulo Coelho

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”    Aristotle

“Why is patience so important?"
"Because it makes us pay attention.”    Paulo Coelho

“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”    Rainer Maria Rilke

Most of us ascertain the degree of patience we believe we were born with. I surmise that  most of us believe we lose our patience regularly, and most of us react with patience when we least expect it. Likely we still enjoy commenting on a crying baby, or frustrating situation that is not easy to deal with. I looked up the description for the word patience, in the dictionary. I am out to prove that all of us have patience in one or more forms, and we exhibit this attribute daily. We simply don't recognize patience for what it actually is and what it really means.

Patience is tolerance of others who are different, disabled, and are less endowed with any ability. When we accept others, support and encourage them, and offer compassion and empathy,  we are practicing patience on a major scale. Perhaps we exhibit this when we are teaching our young children how to play any type of game, or riding any kind of device at any age. We may be needed to tolerate the elderly as well as the young. Our understanding of hurt may differ from another person's. This makes it necessary to tolerate those in pain for whatever they deem a hurtful reason, without judging them.

Persistence is another form of patience that requires us to stay the course and gain the degree, job, forgiveness, mate or hoped for pregnancy. Many times it is easier to give up and move on. Dropping out of school is easier than studying. If we commit to studying, it necessitates work, stress and pressure until we meet our goal. The job market is strenuous and calls for courage and action. Keeping a marriage alive and well requires constant concern care love and support. It certainly would  be easier to give up on the marriage. In the end our reward is awesome if we choose to stay in the marriage union, but patience is needed. ...continue reading "Patience"

How many athletes deem their perseverance, as the key to their success. Attaining any degree job or worthwhile endeavor, many times,  takes years of hard work, planning, faith and perseverance at the helm. I have observed first hand, cancer patients who have endured, suffered, prayed and courageously faced a tremendous difficulty and pain to achieve a cancer free body. They looked fear in the face and stared it down. The perseverance necessary is huge? Perseverance is another form of patience. Without it, one can lose themselves and their control of the situation. Those suffering from spinal injuries, suffer and endure the pain while they persevere to the point of gaining back their sense of control and power. It is no small feat and the battle continues daily. Finding a new path and enduring suffering as their daily companion is almost a give.

Endurance goes hand in hand with perseverance. Enduring the suffering of the body is necessary at times, for the recovery of the body. No progress is made without the courage and effort to endure the greatest of difficulties. Those who suffer alongside of these powerful souls, are the supporters and cheering squads for them, and they are also the angels sent by God. They don't cower away, nor turn away,  but endure the hurt  alongside the sufferers. It takes stamina and courage to face harrowing and stressful adversities. Strength and endurance is demanded.

Unflappability is the staying power needed to have hope in a positive outcome, regardless of the bleak circumstances of an emotional situation. Being estranged from those we love is harsh. The emotional suffering cannot be viewed on the outside but the bleeding is continual on the inside. There are probably, many times when we are depleted emotionally, and sense the desire to give up. It is the easiest thing to do. What is most difficult, is to continue living and believing in a positive result. The mind is tortured and tired, yet it continues to battle for the breath of spring air at the end of the rainbow. That kind of patience calls for unflappability.

Staying power is another overlooked attribute of patience. It takes lots of staying power for parents to keep their marriage alive and well. Raising children adds to the burdens and frustrations. As much as the marriage ropes stretch, they don't break. This has to do with the staying power of the adults. Whatever blows the marriage suffers, the adults must recall the good reasons why they found each other in the first place. Fights and unkind words must be forgiven while the partners agree to move forward without weighing down the relationship with stresses of doubt, negativity, accusations and counts of fault-finding. Tally sheets never work in any marriage. Forgiveness is a necessity in my opinion. A daily dose of forgiveness, along with staying power, reinforces the marriage.

When parents are upset with their kids, and are frustrated and tired, they need to find the forbearance to react in a merciful way by exhibiting self-control. Bosses authority figures of all kinds, and anyone with power may find themselves frequently calling on their forbearance. Patience is having forbearance, which is having the ability to show mercy for others, and self-control over  our own actions. Forbearance instills us with lots of power and choices.

Fortitude is managing to bring forth guts and grit, to accomplish the impossible. Fortitude is patience in action. Most times it is within our power to achieve what we believe we can achieve. Once someone said to me, the only difference between two equally capable athletes, was how much faith they had in their own ability to win. That was the person who would be successful. So many times perhaps we don't trust in our own worth.

Gentle people are unfortunately considered weak. These compassionate individuals are quite often calm. In reality,  placidity is another form of patience. It is the ability to deviate from the tension of a critical situation, and allow calmness to permeate. This brings a clear solution to any problem. Perhaps on any given ambulance, on any given day, you will observe placidity all around. Emergency situations require this ability to bring calmness and clarity to the forefront. At times a life and death situation is hanging on by the amount of calmness and clearness in the thinking of the individuals dealing with the situation.

How difficult it is to say no to our kids, at any age. As parents we want to be loved by our kids, and we desire to please them as much as we can. Teaching can become a necessary detriment to bonding, but only in a temporary way. We must say no at times. We are perhaps at odds with our kids but we must discipline with love. Imperturbability is another form of patience. It is the power to do what is right, regardless of the psychological pain we endure within our self. Even when we deal with adults, it is hard to do what is right, regardless of the pressure to give in or go along. Standing strong takes guts and courage and strength. It takes imperturbability. Group pressure at any age is tough to overcome.

I have grouped stamina and lack of complaint together. Lack of complaining is accepting situations and enduring them with courage. Many people accept the end of the bag so to speak, on many occasions. They go last, pick last, and put up  with trying situations and people, without voicing opposition. This takes more stamina to endure than it takes courage to speak up and complain. Perhaps we should notice that the squeaky wheel does get the attention but the wheel that keeps plodding along is by far the stronger. Parents are the people I think of when recalling stamina and lack of complaint. They plow forward for the sake of their kids, disregarding their own needs. They continue struggling beyond their strength without failing or giving up. They endure all kinds of hardships, problems burdens and stresses for the sake of their children. Stamina and lack of complaint fall under patience.

My last definition for patience is serenity. I love this one because it is finding the peace at the end of the rainbow. We all search for peace every day. It is what we strive for in every encounter. It is patience in its enlightened form. We find serenity when we understand the meaning and purpose of life itself.

Patience takes on many forms as we all do while living our lives. The next time we think we are endowed with no patience, recall the list of definitions of this awesome word. We share more patients with others than we ever thought. There is patience observed in us in our daily actions. I think we should honor it in us and send it forth every day. Serenity to all.

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”     Hal Borland

“Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can - working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well! which only they have the starring role.”     Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”     Margaret Atwood

“The best teachers have showed me that things have to be done bit by bit. Nothing that means anything happens quickly--we only think it does. The motion of drawing back a bow and sending an arrow straight into a target takes only a split second, but it is a skill many years in the making. So it is with a life, anyone's life. I may list things that might be described as my accomplishments in these few pages, but they are only shadows of the larger truth, fragments separated from the whole cycle of becoming. from animals and trees and stones.” Joseph Bruchac

yes“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” Whitney Otto

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

I think we might be low on encouragement. We all need it and want it, yet most of us most of the time never get it. Are we all so deprived, or tired that we can't muster any kind words for each other. I know there are so many times I'd rather lash out at someone, in order to diffuse my anger. It might be that a bit of encouragement would surprise us, and disarm us in the process.

How often  do workers get any kind of compliments. They hardly see the boss, , unless of course something went wrong. How  is it we can attend the meeting to criticize, but not be there to compliment. Sometimes it feels good when someone acknowledges that we are doing a great job. It makes us feel noticed. In this great big world, with more friends than we can count, it is nice to be noticed.

The boss is busy with numerous e-mails, calls appointments and meetings with others. Finding the time for one more thing just doesn't fit into his schedule. When  others do mess up perhaps they were sick, had a duty call for the baby or kids, or health issues kept them away. We can't be available and suitable every minute of every day. Those are the times we hassle ourselves about doing a better job. The truth is we are not machines, and we have emotional, and physical issues to confront. How about friends who we rely on for boosts to the ego. Of course they might be burdened themselves and have nothing left for us. I have been there when you run out of close friends to call, when you are experiencing disappointment and defeat. ...continue reading "Learning How To Fight Nicely"

Those times when we have only ourselves for comfort, appear to be scary. We have come to depend on others for support and answers. Perhaps  that is why there are so many drugs out on the market. Without the personal presence of others, we rely on medicine to alter the pain. The importance of our relationships can't be overestimated. For good or bad here just are, and always will be those moments, when we want to let someone else steer the boat, and make the decisions. One can call it tiredness, insecurity, dependent or even vulnerable, but the fact remains that we need each other. Facing that reality, and comprehending that it is not a detriment to our character, brings acceptance  to our relationships as well as to ourselves.

Wives and husbands take their  turns at being disappointing. When we least expect it, we find ourselves disappointed by them, and the crushing feeling is painful. Sometimes it happens because they misunderstood what we were trying to say. Other times we misinterpret what they are attempting to explain. Whether we are half listening, tired or in a bad mood, the result is confusion which escalates. It turns into anger, and causes an explosive atmosphere.

Many times I have misconstrued, what others were attempting to explain. Just as many times I have miscalculated, another person's response. Our humanity is so open to failures in emotional and practical issues. Often it is stated that we only hear what we want to hear. Maybe there is some truth in that statement. If I am in a sad mood, I  take the words, "your work is okay," to mean my work is lousy. On a good day I would take the same words to imply, Hey you are good, and the work is great.

On a very low day I would only half listen to what another was talking about. likely I would give a quick  irrelevant answer, and in return get a curt remark back. I probably would take offense and walk away angry. My buddy would  likely do the same, in the opposite direction. Upon arriving home, I might consider what just happened,  and why. It would be hard to blame myself, but I am sure I would have no difficulty faulting another.

That is why when one listens to an argument, it is like hearing two different versions. We see it from our own perspective. I bring my past experiences to the table, which obviously differ from your past experiences. I suppose what I viewed between my parents, might also play into how I see our argument proceeding. The same is true for your opinions, which could be shadowed by  your view is of the entanglement. I honestly think many of us have to unlearn the ways we were taught, to deal with problems. Many of us fall into the same patterns as our parents. Unless they were model citizens, we have some adjusting to do.

That is why disagreements can take so many turns in the road. We might find ourselves the victim in places we never meant to venture into. A simple remark can have a huge repertoire of emotions built into it. Unhappily we all learn the signposts in time, and how to  avoid them. It is almost amusing to watch a young couple disagree. They attempt to hold onto their dignity, and rising anger, until the bingo point of certain gestures, words or actions, that stifle calmness, and release fury.

Many times couples are lamenting their sadness over the disagreement, and professing to do better the next time. Most of them will do better, because they learn how to drive the marriage mobile, and avoid the warning signs. All fights  don't end in disaster. Most of the arguments can lead to a discovery of truth about each other. They realize also that they can't behave like their parents, because they are two different people. They also learn that the words spoken, were not holding the rebuff they envisioned in their own minds. Love is learned behavior, and so to is fighting. It is so vital that we discover how to fight with a purpose of having a positive and loving outcome.

“Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate. Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful. Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion. Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery. Read it with hope and you will feel positive. Read it with humor and you will feel joy. Read it with God and you will feel the truth. Read it without bias and you will feel peace. Don't read it at all and you will not feel a thing.”    Shannon Adler

“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

Kids Blossom With Love And Two Parents“My husband and I have never considered divorce... murder sometimes, but never divorce.”     Joyce Brothers

“But in the real world, you couldn't really just split a family down the middle, mom on one side, dad the other, with the child equally divided between. It was like when you ripped a piece of paper into two: no matter how you tried, the seams never fit exactly right again. It was what you couldn't see, those tiniest of pieces, that were lost in the severing, and their absence kept everything from being complete.”    Sarah Dessen

“The problem of unmet expectations in marriage is primarily a problem of stereotyping. Each and every human being on this planet is a unique person. Since marriage is inevitably a relationship between two unique people, no one marriage is going to be exactly like any other. Yet we tend to wed with explicit visions of what a “good” marriage ought to be like. Then we suffer enormously from trying to force the relationship to fit the stereotype and from the neurotic guilt and anger we experience when we fail to pull it off.”    M. Scott Peck

“Those who divorce aren't necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person.”    Alain de Botton

There is an onslaught of advice regarding parenting skills. If one attempts to find information, they will likely be inundated with more than they wanted. Sifting through all of this information is next to impossible. I must admit it is interesting and it provides so many interesting views on discipline and nurturing and ways one should go about it. The limitless supply of help leaves one confused regarding the implementation of any of it. ...continue reading "Kids Blossom With Love & Two Parents"

The problem is we have so many "experts" in the field attempting to promote their own version of good bad and indifferent. They have many degrees, years of providing information, and a following so numerous one would immediately including myself, agree they are truly experts on the subject. They are book learned and many work with families. However, at times they forget to rethink old ideas and incorporate new ones instead of constantly standing by the delineated modes.

Many perhaps could find one of these "experts" to agree with your discipline rules and your nurturing abilities. You might also discover many who disagree with your actions. There are many things and notions that we have in both categories of good and bad. On any given day, perhaps we have a mixed variety of both types of conducts. Who do we trust? How much advice is overload?

From my own perspective, I throw in my own take. I have raised four kids and have many grandchildren. I have taught for many years and have always held jobs related to children. I have observed and listened to a tremendous amount of children's stories and sufferings. I have shed tears with some, encouraged others, offered comfort and hope, and guided all with love. I even wrote a book on the subject because of the overwhelming hurt I felt inside. It is strange but I never considered myself an "expert yet my college credentials likely match up with most if not all of the educated people on the subject.

There are Hollywood stars and media people willing to confess their understanding of any situation pertaining to kids. It amazes me that if anybody truly had the answers, we would find a decline in negative parenting and a rise in positive skills. The opposite appears to be true. We have more children that are physically, mentally  emotionally or spiritually abused within the family environments. Somehow all the advice is going nowhere. I ponder the poor outcome as a result of too much information combined with losing focus on whose welfare is mostly at stake. I realize criticism is not what anybody wants. I also understand that if we fear facing or hearing the truth, nothing good will be accomplished or changed.

Probably we spend too much time on adult needs. Yes many will say you must love the parents to help the kids or you must treat the parents so that they can deal with their own children. I softly mention there is some truth but the crux of the problem is ignored. That is the most confusing part for me to come to terms with. Why we never attempt to proceed in a different fashion especially when our previous attempts have failed miserably.

I know truth hurts but without it there is no moving forward. Pretending it doesn't exist or focusing on other items that also need attention is a ploy that has been used for too long. I strongly believe we have to listen to our kids and find out their stories. They are the ones living it along with the parents. They are the people without a  say and the ones who are the guinea pigs for the various ideas or skills promoted by experts in the field. This likely appears helpful on the surface. However, although it is relevant to learn new ideas for disciplining  and nurturing, unless we add in the emotional pain and issues kids endure, and are related to it, we will not see any improvement. Coming up with yet other ideas is pointless. Our actions and choices on a daily basis impact our kids for better or worse.

We can't teach kids like we are training a dog. They are not robots and actually what works for one child is not successful for another. Parents are varied and have various modes of behavior attitudes skills temperaments burdens and original homes they were raised in. Their previous knowledge impacts their current behaviors.  Parents have their work cut out. Parents may be required to have insurmountable patience and tolerance. Some kids are tempermental and need encouragement while others are insecure. The premiss is kids are as divergent as snow flakes. So to are parents. They are just as much a diverse group of people. They bring a wide-ranged background  to the marriage.

None of us has degrees in multiple fields or there are few who do. It renders all of us at the mercy of working together to find solutions. I have my own answers which never rule out other critical thinking and support from others. Cooperation and collaboration help us achieve more than holding the belief, we have all the answers to questions we haven't even asked yet.

It isn't easy to manifest these qualities when we are at the end of our rope. We all fail at times but how we react to it is paramount to finding healthy relationships with our kids. If we feel shamed and refuse to accept our indiscretions, we will not work on improving them. It is far better to acknowledge our mistakes, no one is perfect, and work on improving them. Hitting of any kind in my opinion should be ruled out. Listening to our child everyday is important. Our kids know more than they appear and acknowledging their attentiveness is important.

I know how deeply kids are hurt emotionally when parents ignore their physical, mental or emotional needs. Kids are also  devastated when parents argue and fight consistently. Divorce brings anxiety to all kids.  They have a realistic fear as they watch  their worlds tumbling. Many of us are dealing with our own pain and are unaware of the trauma occurring in our kids lives. With divorce extended family is obliterated. The world becomes full of fights and taking  sides. Parents insult each other and form new relationships while the kids are left agreeing to whatever terms the parents decide. Life is Topsy turfy and parents are busy. Kids observe about  the new people in the parent's life. They have learned to hide their feelings and agree with the parent they are with at the time.

Kids accept step brothers and sisters as well as half siblings on both sides. They have four disciplinarians eventually, who have varying amounts of patience and ideas on discipline. Nurturing is many times overlooked due  to parental exhaustion. I realize it is extremely difficult for parents but kids can't wait. They must be nurtured and disciplined regardless of whatever else is going on in our lives. Yes we might take a short break here and there but basically constancy in caring for kids is critical.

Kids are expected to be happy when the parent remarried and when they have another child with a person the child hardly knows. Kids are jealous of their step siblings who get to enjoy mom or dad's company all or most of the time. They feel replaced and lost. Their grades go down and their misbehavior increases. They are insecure and crave attention. Probably none of this information is relayed to the parents. Kids hide their feelings and emotions.

The idea is if we focus on truths we might have better solutions that are meaningful. Teaching parents to respect their marriages is helping kids. Unless there is an impossible situation that is harmful, parents ought to seek counseling and be taught the implications their choices may inspire. Believing life goes on as soon as the parents are happy and settled is like believing in Santa Claus. Remember, if you left your husband or wife for an insignificant reason, kids won't trust that one day you might stop loving them. This is not my idea or rule. It is a fact. Just connect the dots.

By understanding, the vital job we have in raising kids, perhaps we will work harder on our marriages and let the trivial  go. Every couple  has those times when they feel like tossing in the towels. Overcoming and working through those difficult moments is crucial. Teaching parents parenting skills is vital but along with that is the necessity of teaching the pitfalls of endowing our kids with the pain of divorce. Never take a marriage break-up as transforming your life to something better. Many times it becomes the opposite. Divorced parents can do a good job provided they choose to work together in harmony without criticism of each other. It is not easy but it has been done. If one can alleviate having to go this route it is even better.

In order to teach parenting skills, one must teach life through the kids eyes. We must venture to observe what the kids see when they look through the lens at the home environment. Kids may pretend they don't notice anything but actually they miss nothing. Listen and keep communication open.  Don't be afraid to hear words you did not anticipate. Give kids the freedom to freely state their honest thoughts. Love your kids and tell them so every day. Don't compete with a divorced spouse and never degrade each other. It only diminishes your child. Think about the extra  time energy and money involved when the decision of dissolving the marriage is considered. List your pros and cons and see clearly by taking off the rose-colored glasses.

Kids only come with the instruction to love them and nurture their minds hearts bodies and spirits. Be gentle with them in speech and action. Recognize their frailty. Kids cannot wait for us to decide we are ready to be parents. They need our attention from day one. They need nurturing and positive discipline from the start. Whatever issues we accumulate are our own burdens. Don't place them on your kids shoulders. By spending time and discussing things with your kids from the beginning, you will create an atmosphere of trust that will not be easily broken. There is no magic solution or rule book to follow. You must love treasure and enjoy your priceless gifts. The absolute crucial, key item to remember is love your kids unconditionally. Regardless of anything else, that is the one thing that cannot be denied. It is above everything.

“When mom and dad went to war the only prisoners they took were the children”     Pat Conroy

“You don't know when you're twenty-three.
You don't know what it really means to crawl into someone else's life and stay there. You can't see all the ways you're going to get tangled, how you're going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten - in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.
She didn't know at twenty-three.” ( Nor did she know the effect on the kids)    Rainbow Rowell

“The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.”  ― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

“It was one of those ridiculous arrangements that couples make when they are separating, but before they are divorced - when they still imagine that children and property can be shared with more magnanimity than recrimination.”    John Irving

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