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Stress Within Or Without"The truth is that stress doesn't come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances."     Andrew Bernstein, author

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."     Bertrand Russell

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."     Peter Marshall, Scottish clergyman,

"You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway."     Steve Maraboli,

We all discuss stress everyday and at any given moment we are wiling to either offer sympathy for another person's problems or we want to divulge our own issues and garner support. Perhaps that is why social media is so intriguing because it offers all kinds of aid. We can dump problems on the pages of social media and await a generous supply of replies from  others. Likewise we hope to offer them the same kind of help when they are feeling the pressures of life.

What are our pressures? How can we alleviate them or lessen them? How do we live a simple existence? Where do all of the anxieties of life come from? Why do we believe our burdens are so much worse than someone else's? How can we be happy and release the worries?

There are so many more thoughts and questions running through our minds on any given day. We want answers and search for solutions and become overwhelmed when we can't find the answers to our questions. Even social media doesn't usually offer answers. They likely offer kind remarks and a quick pep talk. That is a kind thing to do especially when we might not have all of the hidden facts of a problem to actually give a profound answer.

At times I feel like the support we receive alleviates some anxieties almost like a steam kettle gets relief from getting the valve opened up and allowing the steam to escape. It works but only for a while because if we keep it on the burner it only whistles again for relief. I see our lives running in similar fashion where we keep our hearts minds and bodies on the hot plate and just receive respite now and again when the tension is too much to bear and keep within.

We have a tremendous amount of work to accomplish on any given day. There are appointments, games for children to attend homework jobs studying household tasks and family business that must be attended to. There are phone calls to make people to please and jobs to attend to which have been put off long enough. There are family affairs to attend and people to talk to. Does that give anyone else a headache because I have barely touched the surface of our overloaded schedules and already feel tired and overwhelmed.

Honestly there is much we place on our plates that we worry about needlessly. Lots of things time alone can handle. Deep down are we truly concerned with every missed phone call or are we stressed about appearances. Thoughts pertaining to how we will be perceived if we don't do this or that worry us. Family members did this for me and now I must return the favor or I will appear to be the jerk. If I can't finish this thing my wife or husband will think either I didn't  care or I have become a slacker. My co-workers manage to leave from work mostly on time while I'm always left finishing my items for the day. What is wrong with me? If I complain it will appear I am incompetent. If I continue I will be at work for longer and longer hours.

We begin to ponder such thoughts as, I don't have the money or support that another has to get plans for my house accomplished.  Some items will have to wait. They don't know how lucky they are. My life is unfolding in ways I never exactly planned and now I am not sure where it is I am going. I thought I would be this far advanced in my career and in my life but I have barely left the gate. My neighbors make it seems so easy to get things done. They are lucky because they probably don't have to check in as much I as do or they don't have the same commitments that I have. I've had more than my share of loss and health issues and some people seem to escape the hardships. This rendition probably sounds familiar. We all have faith that we are behind in our tasks and in life.

I have been there and done that with getting caught up in my own life and emotional problems perceived with my own looking-glass. The more I reflect the more I can see my false attitude towards my own crises and the crises of others. Studying anyone's life allows us to understand it is filled with side steps and obstacles as well as times to rejoice. I am sure most of us love the joyful times and would love to have them more often.

As hard as it is I found it necessary to review my concern over the negative problems in my life rather than the accomplishments and joys. The more I focused on what was wrong the more I understood why my life appeared to be depressing. My jobs seemed more difficult to manage and overtook the thinking. At times I was left with a job schedule rather than a life. It lead me to challenge what my life was all about and what were burdens and what were drains and liabilities. I began to understand that some of my troubles were my perceived millstones regarding people and inconveniences.

I was working towards attaining what other people's anticipations were for me. what I might accomplish from their perspectives were out of sync with reality. I decided my life should be lived with wisdom. We possibly use our loves and friendships as security blankets. Somehow it makes us feel untouchable from pain. We lament a loss of life yet it really is our loss that pains us. It reflects and diminishes our own life. I know none of us can totally diminish all of the stress from our lives. I also am aware now that the majority of our stress fear and anxiety is from within and from our own mindsets and points of view. We refuse to let others off of the hook and we most definitely won't allow ourselves to be free. Such containment and misconceptions about life renders all of us drained anxious and unable to cope.

burdens are from the expectations of what others want or what we believe they want. There are deviations in reality here. Whatever notions I may have thought about others were perhaps off base. Outlooks they perceived about me were also likely wrong. There was a relief from many weights which occurred when I came to the realization that much of my worries were of my own creation.

As I began peeling back the layers I understood that most of the millstones were generated from  my own thoughts. Most of us choose to compete in the difficult world. We want to gain attention, make money influence others be held in high esteem and make a statement of importance. We enjoy the competition, like to impress and strive for what the world perceives as having made it. I questioned my notions of what that meant and discovered everyone had some similar ideas and some varying notions.

Such grandiose expectations are coming from within not from without. Most people honestly are not worrying about how big your car is or even if you own one. We are all too busy discussing and agonizing over our own lives and where we are heading. Young people worry about making it work for the spouse and kids while older people worry about retirement. We just can't stop agonizing long enough to enjoy the life we have. Simply put we live in a future period of time. we must resolve to be over and done with any  expectations for others or for ourselves.

We likely haven't let others down. We may have disappointed ourselves and our anticipation of dreams coming true. Perhaps many of our dreams do come true but are overlooked by our huge hopes and prospects. In the end we derive no pleasure from anything. That is what is sad. Finding hope faith and love from within is crucial to living a happy life. The outside world will never deliver. Enough needs to be enough if one wants to be happy. We can't dwell on what we want but on what we have.

First find the peace from within by seeing life as it is rather than how you would like it to be. Don't keep searching for the things you won't find. Cherish the riches and pearls within your reach that are priceless. All or most of us know that pearls are made from irritation and strife over a long time. I see similarities to our family and friends. They may irritate and annoy us and  expect our support over the long haul of living. But in the end we discover the treasure we never knew was there. Suddenly the precious life we are living becomes a vital significant jewel we should respect. Our lives are filled with so much more happiness than we ever believed possible.

Our happiness and feelings come from within as we discover the full meaning of living. It may never be what we anticipated or expected but it is a life well lived and full to capacity with what counts in life. The sooner one discovers the faith hope and love within the quicker we stop searching to find it without. Stress is relieved and worries are more inconsequential. Life lightens, moods improve, jealousy  and anger diminishes and  opens up the door for love to grow. My favorite phrase is "Keep it simple."

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."     Chinese proverb

"To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life."     Jill Botte Taylor,

"If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath." --Amit Ray

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."     Sydney J. Harris

"Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight."     Benjamin Franklin

"When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened happened."      Winston Churchill

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

When It Isn't Enough“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” Steve Maraboli

“In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.” Haruki Murakami

So we are feeling really low and our spouse or close companion doesn't appear to understand the depth of our sadness. There is no place to begin to explain how awful we feel. With every attempt we become mixed up in our thoughts and the words tumble out in a confusing fashion. The spouse gets annoyed with our attempts and we get off course in relation to what we are trying to explain. In the end we attribute it to their inability to understand how deeply we are hurting inside. As a matter of  fact, nobody quite gets the angry depth of our despair.

This perhaps resonates with many or most of us at any given time in our lives.  Sadly, we may give up trying and hide ourselves  away into the gravity of our sorrow. It is as if the world is against us and has never before seen the horrendous situation we find ourselves immersed within. Perhaps we haven't noticed that those we love are functioning  in their own spheres at the moment and unless we relinquish more of our sentiments they will continue to remain on the outskirts of our pain. As much as we desire to have our loved one involved with our dilemma, we tend to push all people away. Likely it has more to do with trying to outrun our problems. If we venture down another path, try a new activity, go out with friends our issue might disappear. Of course that never happens  but we had to try.

Observing it from the other spouses' view we see confusion about why their special someone can't shake what is bothering them. Even when we have all of the facts we assume they can overcome the obstacles in time and we sit back and wait. When the waiting produces no results we attempt the discussion which leaves us with more items to think about and a lecture on our insensitivity. Even if we believe this is far from the truth, our ability to  change the way things are unfolding is fading.

...continue reading "When It Isn’t Enough"

I find that when I need to find someone to blame for my despondent feelings I accept no support  from others. Then I fault them for not  helping me find a way out of my emotions. I am clearly trying to come to terms with my own thoughts about my family, my world and my life. If it appears to be crumbling for whatever the reason, I refuse to take any part in the blame. Of course this is a mistake but at the moment I may not be willing to deal with any blame.

There are those moments when life is not as clear or straightforward as we would like it to be. Perhaps we have visions of the perfect day which ends up being a confusing mess. How many times have any of us gone home from work thinking how did I create the dilemma I am currently finding myself in. It may be due to poor decisions, the need for attention, a cry for help or being overwhelmed with burdens. Of course we believe the world revolves around us so everyone we care about ought to notice how desperate we are feeling. In reality nobody sees nor hears our voice.

Probably most of our friends or family are involved with their own problems and are focusing on that. If we openly asked for help we might receive it but when we hope for another person to notice our pain it is very possible we will not be acknowledged. If we come to understand why we sense that we are alone, it makes it easier to cope. I believe we care about each other but we get caught up in our own lives. Even those closest to us can become shadow figures when work, health or family issues get a hold of us.

Sometimes people willing to commiserate with us are dealing with their own problems. Now that I understand that it is not from carelessness or neglect that others take no notice when I am hurting, it provides me with more optimism. So many people on any given day find so much to feel sad about that it can render many motionless as well as emotionless. After all, if we can't cope with ourselves, how do we help others cope?

My point is that when we are quick to notice someone's negligence towards us, we are just as quick to not notice when they are giving or offering support. Perhaps those who are offering the aid are not the ones we want to receive it from. I see this as rejecting what God sent. If we look for  aid we must be willing to accept it from those earth angels who come our way. Maybe this one time our spouse or special friend has too much on their own plate to play our hero. Blame will not get us anywhere. The times days and problems are so different that comparisons of any kind make it impossible.

Wounds of the body cause tremendous pain depending on the deepness of the cut. Likewise those injuries to our spirits and emotions also promote enormous pain depending on the depth of the slice. Our bodies scar and so do our spirits. Most times we survive injuries of all kinds and we are left with the scars. I sometimes look at body injuries with pride as I recall how difficult they were to overcome yet I conquered them. Nobody else could heal the injury except for myself. I know that although we depend on the support of others for our emotional healing, there are many times when we must look at it with our own eyes and then allow  ourselves to heal. It is ludicrous to assume another should do it or understand our pain. That is asking the impossible. A close friend can feel like a sister while a sister can feel like an acquaintance. The dimensions of connections can leave all of us guessing as to the extent of the pain. Certain times can make things more or less difficult than other times. Spouses can be nervous about any attempt to alleviate pain when they are not sure how to do it, what the extent of the pain is, or where it is. Being angry at others for failing us is something we need to get over and forgive. Keeping someone at arms length for something they could not fix is a terrible place to put someone. If we haven't dealt with a long term illness we can't understand the aftermath of it. Dealing with abuses of all kinds can diminish a family. Divorce, death, critical conditions of all kinds and more render us helpless in many ways. None of us would choose to have any of these problems in our lives.

The best any of us can do is offer support and understanding as best we can and forgiveness for ourselves when we fail to provide what the hurting individual needs at the moment. When they are back on their feet, they will reconnect with us but perhaps forget the pain they caused us when they were in agony. There is not one person walking among us that does not require forgiveness. At our lowest or highest points in life, we are the most vulnerable at creating a situation that will render us needy for forgiveness. It is at those points that we cause the most heartache for others.

I know that the more attuned we are to others the more we can jump in and offer help of any kind. If we can alleviate someone's pain we have altered the course of a life. Although we will never be superheroes, we can be someone's hero for a day. Relief of any kind is always a blessing. Comparing pain or wounds is always a mistake. There are too many variables to consider. It isn't necessary to compare. The next time we are the giver or receiver of help, remember to accept the apology or say thank you when the situation is over. We all have various paths to tread but we are all traveling in similar directions so have mercy always on each other. none of us want more stones tossed in our pathways.

“The key is this: Meet today's problems with today's strength. Don't start tackling tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow's strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” Max Lucado

“After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it.” Shannon L. Alder

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:

RUNNING THROUGH DAYS & LIFE"Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant — the digitalis of failure."~Elbert Hubbard

Optimist: "Okay, we all realize that the situation is temporarily hopeless." Robert Brault

"If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want."    Oscar Wilde

"After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn't a pessimist understand?"    Robert Brault

Everyday I fight the urge as well as the attention towards racing through my day. As I look around at other people, listen to their quick speech, I realize they are probably doing the same thing. None of us acknowledge it likely because we are so unaware of it happening. Most times I become more conscious of it when I slow down and quiet myself for a few moments.

As usual I question why I and perhaps others, waste our precious present time for the unknown. Most of us are perhaps locked into the "good times" to come. This may happen especially when the present times are not so wonderful. In the end we are wasting the present when we don't attempt to filter out the good stuff. Even when our day is not fantastic, there are still moments that are worth recognizing.

So many times we skip over some happy minutes of our day, and basically forget about them in favor of recollecting some future event. Likely the affair could turn out to be a disaster, but we are not presently mindful of that. I'm not sure why our alertness is always about the future. Perhaps we do this out of disappointment at our current situation, or because the unknown always appears to be enticing and exciting. Whatever the reasons, we are truthfully running through our days. I plan weeks ahead, and then wonder where my time vanished so quickly. ...continue reading "Running Through Days & Life"

One answer might be to think more about what appears to be wrong with our present. Are we bored, disappointed, angry, upset, unsure, doubtful, anxious or fearful? Are all of these present in our reflective thoughts? At times the lives of others gives us the impression that we are not focused enough to make our own lives more worthwhile. It seems that if we contend with our own minds, send the vibes of contentment through, we sense a feeling of pleasure or accomplishment.

Comparing our lives to others only adds displeasure to the mix. Most people exaggerate their good times, and downplay their problems. A skiing tip, fishing experience, or hiking event may appear more awesome than it actually was. Likewise, a simple picnic or day at the beach may emerge with more tears of laughter than we ever imagined possible. How would we explain, that our happiest moments were simple events. Perhaps there are situations that are too perfect to put into words and must be experienced with the heart.

One could say by keeping the daily expectations lower, we might find more satisfaction. I don't see this as a great answer. I think we can keep our goals high but maintain a positiveness to every situation. By doing so we always see the goodness in all our endeavors, and we find gratification in every experience. Anger, fear and anxiety are alleviated due to our focus on the ease we have regarding the results.

It isn't necessary to continuously feel like we are floating in the clouds. It is vital for us to emerge intact and satisfied. Life is a mixture all of the time. If we thought long and hard we would remember that even the wonderful events had moments of displeasure and anxiousness. We relegate those ideas to the back of our minds and turn towards the happy memories. Likewise when we are having a bad or difficult day, we must make our focal point the happy moments, and concentrate on that.

Control is constantly in our own hands. perhaps it is time to acknowledge the power of the mind to sway our thinking towards pleasure in our daily occurrences, or throw in some negativity and seek the displeasure. The choice is ours alone. Leading with our minds, allows the body to follow. Skip the leadership of the body over the mind. I think the body can get us into more trouble. The reflection of the mind is in communication with the soul.

Changing the way we look at things, perhaps might alter our attitudes and opinions about the positive and negative attributes. If nothing else, it eases the burdens and lightens the mood, permitting us a softer review of our days. Letting the light shine forth instead of closing the shades, brings a new awareness to any occurrence. Basing our happiness on the future, leaves us emotionally and spiritually deprived in the present.

As we anticipate a happy occasion in the future, we must ensure our being attuned to the present moment. The gathering at a friend's house may be exciting to think about but the laughs and joys experienced with random encounters with friends, must never be underestimated, nor taken for granted. Perhaps if we reviewed our days before closing our eyes at night, we might find much gratification and serenity within our existence. There is tremendous gratification in helping others. If our day is spent in such an endeavor, perhaps it brings a very high level of contentment.

I don't want to race through the small stuff which actually may be the big stuff of which I will forever recall and remember for all of my days. The smudged kisses of a toddler, smirks which evolve into smiles from our teenagers, random hugs from our spouse, thinking of you phone calls from our parents and siblings can never be underestimated. You have today, but perhaps not tomorrow.

By focusing our attention on the present, we might have fewer times when we question where our years went. It seems to pass by so fast. Yearning will not bring the years back to us. Regret is useless as well as detrimental to our health in every way. What is done is done. Forget about blame. Think about forgiveness and move on by paying heed to your present. It is never too late to develop a positive attitude. After all is said and done, we still never know about tomorrow but we do have today and that is enough care and concern for the day.

Anticipate a happy occasion in the future, but never rely on it to make you happy or bring you serenity in the present moment. Count your daily blessings. Life's problems dissipate, worries evaporate, today's pleasures increase, and best of all your life becomes full of peace when you seek the positive in all situations. Today is satisfying and loaded with love to go around, if we observe it with our hearts and quiet our busy thoughts.

 "A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all — he's walking on them." ~Leonard Louis Levinson

"The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser — in case you thought optimism was dead." Robert Brault

“Life is a bowl of cherries. Some cherries are rotten while others are good; its your job to throw out the rotten ones and forget about them while you enjoy eating the ones that are good! There are two kinds of people: those who choose to throw out the good cherries and wallow in all the rotten ones, and those who choose to throw out all the rotten ones and savor all the good ones.” C. JoyBell C.

“A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems." Subodh Gupta

Pretentious Life“If we’re wrapping ourselves up to conceal any vulnerability, whatever happens to us has to go through all those extra layers. Sometimes love doesn’t even reach where we truly live.”    Alexandra Katehakis

“The truth has not so much set us free as it has ripped away a carefully constructed facade, leaving us naked to begin again.”    Lisa Unger

"It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are."    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

So we have a precious meeting today and we simply must dress accordingly. Lunch with our younger friends requires the right look. Of course the weekends can be more laid back and relaxing. The jobs keep piling up and we wanted to finish cleaning the basement. If we can just get the rubbish out in time for the garbage trucks we would be all set. Our in-laws might be over and we have to clean the house. We need to pick up a few things at the food store.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? When is it time to think and calm ourselves from the stresses of life? So many times I remember feeling so stressed out that I spent a few minutes thinking about what the people in my life would say if I simply sailed away to a remote island. It is surely unrealistic but so isn't our fabricated lives.

We become so caught up in the dreams about our lives, that we lose the meaning and purpose of living. Our lives are lost in the murky water we continually wade through. Our children have Santa  Claus and we have faith in attaining endless beauty, health, power and money. No matter how much our more advanced in age friends beg to differ with us, we continue the façade. I suppose there are many people who continue the belief in the sham no matter  how old they become. ...continue reading "The Pretentiousness Of Life"

I wonder if it is fear of the unknown or determination to stop time. I am not bursting anyone's' bubble but  chasing after fluff only leaves us confused, scared and in search of another cover. Building on the falseness of life's  dreams sends us running scared. Whether we attain our desires or not, we are left empty and unfulfilled. It is easy to understand this if we recall receiving something we yearned for. Afterwards we discovered it wasn't everything we thought it would be, or we tired of it in a very short time. Later we replaced it with another desired object or person.

We never ask ourselves why we get bored with the object or person. We simply move on believing the next thing will make us happy and secure. Our lives seem to continue along this track and we fritter like butterflies, from flower to flower. At some point perhaps it would be wise to reflect a bit at what we are looking for. Is our life only about objects and things to acquire? Does life hold more meaning than that?

Perhaps we are wasting time on fabricating a life that consists of changes and disappointments. If we honestly thought about what brought us the most pleasure and the deepest moments of understanding life, we might find it to be quite different from the visions and fantasies we conjured in our daydreams. I know how deeply my love for my daughter penetrated me when she was diagnosed with cancer. My entire being and thought of self was lost. I didn't care if the house fell down and floated away. If all my possessions were lost I would not have blinked. Love for my daughter surpassed anything else I could dream about in my life.

Likely the only thing that brought me back to living was the call to stand alongside her and battle the unknown. God, Faith and the power of prayer, became more real to me than any search to stay young, beautiful, admired, rich or famous. I woke up to the fact that we spend so much time on trvial items and forget about our souls. My daughter battled like a trooper and became a cancer survivor. Life obviously never went back to life as usual.

The impact was deep and lasting, as a reminder of never forgetting who we really are. All of us are so much more than bickering, jealousy, fighting, ignoring, and false pretenses and dreams we covet. So much of our lives is spent living in a trance of make-believe and nonsense, that it becomes difficult to tell the dream state from the reality. Forgiveness lends quality to our lives. It transforms our living into reality.

Living with passion by extending respect, love, empathy, tolerance, forgiveness and kindness towards others is more worthwhile than constantly competing for an illusory trophy made of smoke and mist. Chasing after things leaves us empty. Living provides fulfillment. Slowing down allows us to get a better view of the road we are traveling. We speed through life while grabbing this and that along the way, while each illusory object bounces away from us through the air as quickly as a tossed boomerang. we race forward to the finish line and discover the subterfuge of our lives.

If we could only discover the truth before it is too late. If we could only become aware of life in its real beauty. Our senses tell us so much about life as do our discoveries beyond our five senses, which we all have but never use. Life is caring and loving others. We don't stop loving them when they hurt our feelings or let us down. Turning against others like a vicious dog because of a perceived injury is nonsense. There are many times we perhaps hurt others in the same manner, with our words and actions.

Some of our transgressions are jealousies, competition, guilt, intolerance, violence, hatred, unkindness, insults, criticisms, bullying, dishonesty, and more. By taking all of the negatives away, we are left with the positive and attain serenity. The negatives bring more violence and anger into the world. Do any of us prefer the fighting and faut-finding?  I know when I have differences with others my world is disruptive, emotional and in complete turmoil. I am  not always successful at wading off negatives, but every day that I am, brings me another beautiful and peaceful day. I prefer the world of peace and love.

"It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."    Albert Einstein

"When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations."   David Icke

"Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world."    Sai Baba

"He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free; he shall cease to be a slave of passions. The righteous man casts off evil, and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and illusion do we reach Nirvana."    Buddha

When You Can't Give

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." Albert Schweitzer

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."    Albert Schweitzer

"I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end."    Albert Schweitzer

Have you ever been at the mercy of your emotional self? You want to help, give, be attentive to and support others but the stamina is low or non-existent. Of course so many of us hide behind walls and refuse to share our deepest hurts and frustrations. This keeps others at bay and also any support. If someone doesn't know how much we are hurting, then they can't begin to understand or help us.

There may be all kinds of happenings and crises in other people's lives. Without a doubt, we might be left incapacitated for the moment. As much as we feel regret at our inability to help someone, we must remember that at that moment, it is best to nurture ourselves. Why this becomes so difficult for us to do is strange. Our need to be caring and compassionate makes us overlook our own needs. The problem is, if we stop caring for ourselves, we can become useless, in coming to the aid of other people. ...continue reading "When You Can’t Give"

It is paramount that we watch for stress and worry, within our lives. This can overpower us and cause fear of all kinds. Many times  fear and worry lead to frustration and anger, which serves no one. As much as we like to feel needed, and as much as we want to aid another person, we owe attention to our own minds, bodies and spirits. The guilt we feel is unwarranted. Ignore the emotional guilt, and know that it is vital for us to take a much needed break.

It might be unfortunate if our need for relaxation comes at a time when others need us. If we venture forth to help, even though we are at a low point ourselves, the results could be disastrous. We can't always plan when the desire for solitude permeates our being. Issues that arise in other people's lives, are also not planned or expected.

Many times we have those people who judge us for the extent of our vacation time away from issues, or they assess our actual problems as not so bad. I equate this to nonsense. After all, what one person perceives as a little problem, another may consider it a crises. We are different and can't all fit into the same mold. The extent of the feelings of pain, or burdens beyond our ability to face, are intrinsic to each of us.

A screaming child to one adult may be just extra patience to rock and comfort the child. To another adult it may be reaching the above and beyond boiling point. If that mom or dad requires some aid and comfort, it is certainly recommended. Our breaking points change on any given day. If we are dealing with the same issue day after day, our tolerance is likely going to deteriorate. We don't have to justify our feelings to those who really don't understand. When anyone has not walked in our shoes, how do we believe they have the right to judge us. Of course they don't.

Perhaps it may become necessary for us to turn a deaf ear, and close our eyes to adults who offer no mercy, only criticism. Has anyone ever listened to or observed a person in agony over their inability to deal with an occurrence in their lives? Maybe we have experienced the same happening, and perhaps we sailed through it. On the other hand, maybe they are sailing through it but we did not. So many issues we have that are similar, result in various  performances and endings.

I sympathize with the people who look for attention, mercy and empathy, only to receive rebuffs. I appreciate that there are likely those who have experienced worse. That never makes a poor situation feel any better for the people involved. Pain is pain and hurts are hurts. We should never measure the quality  of hurtfulness,  for accuracy. A little trust and understanding goes a long way.

For those who suffer in silence, there is a greater need for attention and acceptance. They almost believe in their super hero powers, until they crash and fall down hard. They are likely the ones we most totally ignore. They appear calm and together on the outside, yet may be suffering on the inside. Viewing someone who is able to take it on the chin, makes us overlook their need for attention. It necessitates our being mindful of the strong, who won't ask for aid.

I suppose if we simply were mindful of others, and their moods, there would likely be far less fighting, and more comfort for everyone. Our need for kindness would be satisfied, without sensing a loss of control or pride. Allowing egos to defeat us is sad. We are humans and therefore thinking and feeling, and loving beings. We all need love and care. Even the cranky, lonely, and miserable people enjoy love and empathy.

Perhaps if we could muster some sympathy for those who need it, we might build up their confidence, pride and energy a lot faster, than if they receive no help. I like to treat myself and accept what comes my way in a controlled manner. What I have found is crushing defeat. By the time I accept some help, I am low, without ego or confidence, and incapacitated to the point of leaving some jobs unfinished. I now accept another person's advice and support. I reconcile the fact that I can be wrong and another may be correct. I accept my pain and the pain I discover in others, without judgement. I comprehend that we all have dilemma's to deal with, but we have each other to help us to achieve, the hopeful, confident attitude and environment, we  all like to enjoy.

“I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind”     Seneca

“Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.”     Seneca

“that you would not anticipate misery since the evils you dread as coming upon you may perhaps never reach you at least they are not yet come Thus some things torture us more than they ought, some before they ought and some which ought never to torture us at all. We heighten our pain either by presupposing a cause or anticipation”     Seneca

“Everyone prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.”    Seneca

Choosing To LiveChoosing To Live 2"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees  it."    Confucius

Choosing To Live 3Choosing To Live 4"Consideration for others is the basis of a good life."    Confucius

"Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge"    Confucius

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”    Seneca

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”    Seneca

How many of us are living with fear and doubt, and rushing through our lives with total unawareness? I can't be the only one. It appears to me that with all of the paraphernalia surrounding our lives, we are constantly absorbed in cleaning it up. We rush through our projects good and bad, and consider it a good day when we complete more than we expected. Allowing time for our emotional selves as well as our spiritual selves takes a backseat.

Our lives are based on earning a living, raising kids and having some time left for fun. Trouble is we spend most of our free time worrying about what we didn't get accomplished. Has anyone ever lay awake at night remembering conversations that went all wrong, and interactions that were taken the wrong way by others? Do  you keep recalling the things you didn't get done that day? You then spend so much time before falling asleep, rethinking how you might have changed things, or avoided some pitfalls. At times it costs us a loss of sleep, and worry beyond compare.

As I reflected more, I came to the realization that I spent little time on soul-searching and soul growth. Of course at church services we hear it often said that we must think about our souls growth and work n it. Most of us perhaps are not even sure what the minister means. We show up at services so we believe we are covered. I am sure that most of us look at this as going to church and spending that time each week, reviewing our souls and their growth.  Perhaps our church guides have dropped the ball in how they guide us. So many are afraid of losing their parishioners to the point of adhering to pointless rules and obligations. Likely they are forgetting to pay attention to what counts in life. ...continue reading "Choosing Mindfulness"

Running the committee may not be as important as administering to a neighbor in need. I think of the term mindfulness when I reflect on any religion. Are we mindful of what we are doing and where we are going? Most people live for the day never recalling any purpose or reason. I suppose when one spends so much time on the rules of a game, they forget to leave time to play the game. I see our lives in this direction.

All the extraneous distractions allot us little time to think about anything beyond this existence. Yet we bury or cremate our dead and send them off to, we are not sure where. If any of us honestly believes in an afterlife, isn't it time we put some thought into our soul's well-being? Maybe what we chase in this  world is limited and confining. It ends quickly and many times  causes distress of all kinds before it does. Money, fame fortune education never seems to cut it forever.

We chase after the next dream. We breathe a sigh of relief, when we manage to get our kids through each grade. We work with them on homework, and worry about tests, report cards and college. When the kids are teens and older we endure tremendous anxiety over their choices in friends, spouses, hurts, work loads and their levels of stress. It never ends.

In all of this we never consider the fact that perhaps we are not preparing our lives nor our children's lives for the real purpose in living in a mindfulness state. Instead we choose to worry about truly non-essential items. Likely we can teach our kids the importance of learning how to manage disappointment,  engage in tolerance and empathy, and extend acceptance and forgiveness to those who have hurt us. It ensures an easier life for our kids, to live lives in cooperation, serenity and peace.

Maybe by encouraging kids to downplay certain happenings, it will allow them time to pay better attention to life in general. They might have a genuine involvement with others without using restrictions and guilt to make people stay in line. Forgiveness is perhaps something we all require on a daily basis from a variety of people. If we get so caught up in our own self-righteousness, we only see the faults in others but not within ourselves. We are more mindful when we can see our own blame as well as the faults of others.

It isn't about blame, fault, money, prestige, accomplishments, education or anything else, in this material world, that we can think of. It is about enriching our souls and becoming a better individual. Perhaps individual is not the term to use. Life has more to do with encircling others and connecting with all people. We share similar dreams, and ideas. We have many of the same issues and problems in life. Our focus has just changed.

We perhaps lost our compass and flounder in this world trying to make sense of it, at the cost of ignoring our soul's needs. As silly as it sounds, deep down we are all aware that we are so much more than our bodies. Our five senses bring us into alignment with the world. Our intuition and spirit brings us into alignment with our souls. If we allow ourselves the time to consider who and what we are, likely we will find a treasure beyond belief. The measurement of a man's worth may have more to do with his qualities of empathy, caring, loving, tolerance, forgiveness and most definitely one's mindfulness of self as well as others.

We judge each other by man-made standards and worldly accomplishment. We encourage our children to follow the rules of the world and society. Nobody questions these guides and the tremendous burdens they place on each and every one of us. Bigger always seems to be better and more appears to outweigh less. Power force and control are envied as are the winners. We never doubt the winner and barely acknowledge the loser.

How much harder it is to sacrifice from lack of money, lack of family, and loss of health and a number of other situations. Many people never have any power or control. Winning is something that does not cross one's mind in this situation. In these situations, perhaps we tend to reflect more on our dilemma, and then on our will to fight and survive the odds. We might even be quicker to support others because we can empathize and relate to their predicaments. None of us want problems including myself. However when we are dealt any difficulty that needs attention to  overcome, we grow much bigger and stronger spiritually. Life's problems crush us for sure but the stamina to deal with them head-on takes a lot of courage and love.

I am believing that it might be time to teach our kids the value in learning how to tolerate, collaborate, co-operate, support, empathize and be mindful of others. We have left these out of the curriculum. It is time to reinstate them. This learning results in soul growth, as much as math science and reading result in material growth for the individual. We obviously have not changed our ability to fight wars but only the methods we use. Peace is attained with boasts of power. Thumbing this down to the individual, we can observe the bully and his methods of power and control. This is not pointing a finger at any one person or country as we are all guilty. It justifiably should make us question what we actually are striving towards.

Parents have the power to change the world through what they teach their children. It might seem ludicrous but all of us can make a difference. The least among us with a voice, has the potential to change the world. By seeing our lives as relevant at all ages, perhaps we will value our own and the lives of others. Everything in this world is fleeting. We would all agree. Now it is time to view what our existence in it means. Just as we concern ourselves with the worldly necessities for our kids, it is time to also put as much or more effort into the spiritual lives of our children. It is there that we find peace and harmony.

“Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied, in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining?”    Seneca

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”    James Baraz

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”     Henry Miller

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”  Carl Jung

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

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

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