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

"Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification." John Donne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

4

Get Out Of Your Head“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” Jostein Gaarder

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don't fit into their box are weird. But I'll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.

“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

I had to take a break from my writing due to family issues that needed my attention. Of course I never stopped observing and learning, even if I stopped writing. I noticed how tense it felt to let go of so many tasks I would normally accomplish when I have total concentration. Instead I sat back, worried and reviewed how far behind I assessed I must be. In reality I was only behind because I saw it that way. In actuality I might be and probably am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time.

How many of us believe or even think about why we find ourselves treading water at times or even going backwards at other times? Perhaps we view this as big problems  and ask ourselves why it happened to us. None of us would say "Well I am glad for that set back  because now I have time to review what it is I am doing."

I venture to say none of us enjoy obstacles of any nature and perhaps we question why obstructions had to happen to us. We do move and get beyond what occurred but we build up our anxiety over it, feel frustrated and angry, and basically either take it out on ourselves or those who are close to us. That leaves all of us burdened with issues of all kinds, because we are all dumping our dilemmas on each other constantly.

Suddenly light dawned as I observed a young three-year old messing around with toys. He worked hard to build something which eventually came crashing down. He observed it and then  laughed and proceeded to construct it again. There was no loss of activity nor tears of remorse. He was surprised that it had happened but to him the surprise was worth the destruction of his creation.

If adults could only accept the twists and turns in the road as the small child did our anxiety and fear would decrease.  As I continued to watch the child he began building the tower in exactly the same way and he watched again and again as it toppled to the ground. What was he thinking I reflected. I would be in tears and thinking how I could build something that would stand against any kind of destruction. He obviously was greatly amused and had discovered in his own mind, how to make the occurrence happen all over again. That was his reward. When he got tired of it he turned to a totally different activity and became engrossed again.

What I took from it was his ability to remain pleased and content with his world. He didn't try to control it but instead he let things happen at their own will. He was satisfied with every new discovery. He was the investigator of research even though he didn't likely know what that meant. Most kids do appear to use the hands on method of discovery until we guide them into ways of doing it "right" so we believe.

I wonder if adults lose the power to think not only outside the box but outside of their own heads. I know how much I re-examine everything I say and do and what others say and do. I spend so much time within the walls of my head that it allows me little time to be present in the moment.  Kids are our complete opposite. They simply tell you like it is right down to the fact that they need to poop in the middle of a movie. It is a fact of life and they are not ashamed to admit it.

Is it adults who begin blocking kids in with our taboos and ideas of right and wrong? Of course we should teach morals and values but do we actually teach it or just explain the repercussions of not obeying rules. Do we blindly follow guidelines everywhere and from everybody without questioning why we are even doing it? Kids appear to keep a simplistic version of behaving.

They are not afraid to tell you they don't like something,  and they will refuse to act on something that scares them despite our prodding. They quickly admit when they are afraid of things that we would assume they shouldn't be afraid of. Some kids  are timid in making friends. They are shy around adults, and close their mouths tightly when an adult is forcing food they don't want to try or medicine they don't like.

They keep it simple and trek forward at all times. They see the positive in things and will use boxes, dirt and a stick for a shovel when necessary. They make do and laugh at so many things we fail to see the humor in. An anxious expression on our face may send them into a roar of laughter. Hearing us say we have to go to the bathroom can send a  five-year old howling. Most times adults miss the humor and only smile to acknowledge the child's happiness.

How did we come to take so much so seriously. Are we teaching that to our kids? Are we flushing away love, life and laughter from our own lives and the lives of our children? We put up signs about living laughing and loving yet we don't follow it most times. Perhaps we appreciate what we should be doing but can't seem to go against the crowd and do it. Kids have no problem being themselves at all times. Adults ought to imitate the kids and do the same. If only we could admit it when we are hurting, disgraced at least in our own minds, unhappy, scared, sick and numerous other emotions we keep hidden from others.

We treasure strength, ability, power, and sometimes the skill to squash our emotions. We place humility, compassion, love and weakness under wraps as if it should be hidden. No wonder we can't be ourselves anymore. Kids will cry and then admit they can't do something. We stand in resolve to accomplish what we likely are unable to accomplish never asking for help which would be cowardly we believe.

I see kids as grouping together and running in all directions in happiness and squeals of laughter. Adults scurry to their jobs attempting to please a relentless boss and perhaps a spouse who is expecting more than we can possibly deliver. The camaraderie and cooperation we experienced as kids is slowly drained from us and we are left alone within our minds in doubt about how where and why we are navigating anyplace.

Now we re following silly rules we don't really care about. We have stopped attempting to understand the why's anymore and just do the jobs that need attention. We have in essence given up more of our own power of control than we should have given up. Understanding the reasons of life and living, is a more profound goal than buying a better home or trumping our friend or neighbor. We are not separate entities but actually one in our world. We  can help each other support each other and allow each other to be who they are. We can let go of the judgments and embrace the pleasure of each others company. This brings a profound enlightenment and a peaceful co-existence

I have faith that if we all opened up our hearts, our minds would follow and a deluge would ensue. We might find all the support and love that had been bottled up within each of us, spill out in all directions. The  falseness would disappear and the masks and costumes we display daily would fall. We would and could feel like the young child who could enjoy his blocks regardless of failure with the understanding that failure is a myth. None of us fail we just make mistakes that can most of the time be corrected. We can try again because nobody is keeping a tally and we can admit failure and victory because we are on the same team. We don't have to win alone. We actually don't have to lose alone. We can technically win all the time when we share the victories of life with each other.

Parents teach their kids, and siblings teach and inspire each other. Relatives of all kinds aid prompt and encourage each other at any point in time.  Friends are quickly here and gone but each leaves a mark on us regardless of the length of time of their involvement. Getting out of our heads allows us to live and begin each new day with high hopes of doing some awesome positive support for others.

Before we hang up rules or signs we should contemplate the reasons they inspire us. Understanding what it is about them that makes them valuable is crucial to our understanding life. Like a puzzle we have broken apart into a zillion pieces. The picture of our lives will become clearer as we place those pieces together and actually and finally look at the real picture. Alone we are a shining light for a moment until the light is turned off. Together we create an awesome bright luminosity  gathering all into the comforting serenity of love in action.

Kids love everyone and their love is unconditional. They  forgive everything and forget transgressions as they begin playing with a friend the next day after having fought with them the previous day. They don't judge who can or can't climb up the ladder they just send out the cry, "Let's do it." Together they work, play, live, laugh,  and love. There is a message here for us to witness.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” C. JoyBell C.

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” C. JoyBell C.

Shed Light On Living"We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality."Thich Nhat Hanh

"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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 Bolte Taylor

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."    William James

Most children and adults abhor the darkness. It seems to go beyond the dread of the storytelling of our childhood days. It really isn't unrealistic to hate the darkness when one observes the qualities within the dimness. Our seeing is greatly impaired, and our ears tune into every sound as we fear the unknown noises. We are anxious to talk with the human voice that resonates with all of us, and feel the human touch around us. When in darkness, everything we bump into sends jitters through our spines because our minds envision something fearful.

Perhaps we like to believe we fear nothing but honestly, I have a notion that the dark sends shivers through just about everyone. We might attribute it to our minds jumping to ridiculous conclusions but in the end we put on a light. How powerful is the light in dissipating the gloom. Blackness without a doubt, obscures insight. Luminosity sheds awareness of truth and familiarity.

I don't often consider why I dislike the dark, nor do I worry about it that much. I don't understand my apprehension but I accept it and live with my worry. I likely spend more time worrying about the dimness than  identifying my reasons for the issue. Perhaps the question is why do most of us love and enjoy the brightness.

Glowing beams of sunlight allow us to comprehend our world so much better through the use of our senses. We all like to observe, and comprehend our place in this world as well as in our environment. Gloom is heavy while illumination is airy while perceiving what we can't always understand. What I found to be a surprise was the many mysteries we encounter and ignore in our daily lives.

We love the brightness but we don't delve deeply into the beams to perceive more understanding. We'd rather live with our fears accepting the consequences. Perhaps it is time to reinforce our courage and search for the truth. Our reality is dimmed even when we are within the brightness. Stepping into the light is the beginning but grasping the honesty of our lives is the next giant step forward into acquiring insight.

Babies fear their birth. Children fear losing mom and dad when left with sitters. Kids fear competing with others, failing their parents expectations, losing their parent's love, siblings' love and friends' love. So loss is a huge fear for most of us. Inferiority issues arise from all our fears,  as self-esteem is threatened. We tend to lose ourselves in the battle at any age, to please parents, siblings, and friends. We sometimes transform ourselves into something we don't even recognize anymore.

Jealousy, anger,  worry and doubt are a few of the consequences of fear, along with distrust, anxiety, poor health and addictions. Loss of love,  jobs, pride and ego take a toll not only on our bodies and minds but also on our souls. Life throws so many curve balls that leave us basically in the dark. Our fears keep us there. Finding new ways to solve our problems is paramount in finding our way back to the light. If we are honest we know that what we have attempted hasn't worked.

Many times we have choices but we don't see them or we overshadow them with our worry. Anxiety can keep us stagnant. If we watched a TV show we would notice the character's choices yet within our own lives we remain motionless to transform ourselves. I sense that life is difficult, so we succumb early and allow the shadows to deceive us.

Experiences of all kinds are challenging and require us to depend on our strength, courage and wisdom. That is asking a lot from us, but is worthy of our finest effort. By overcoming our fears we diminish jealousy, competition, envy, insecurity, defeat, worry, anxiety, ill-health, stress, despondency and negative thoughts. This allows us to embrace honesty, reality, love, empathy, serenity tolerance, confidence health, good habits and a positive outlook.

Hiding behind closed doors with more on our plates than we can deal with is not a good idea. Finding the courage to face problems and find solutions through our own strength and the support of others is a worthy idea. It is relevant  that we come to the realization that there is no competition in life so there is no need for jealousy or envy. There is no special race, religion, economic status, age or country of people more important than any other. The comparisons must end along with the inflated egos and nonsense ways we delineate the worth of another. Once these barriers are broken down we will find it easier to tolerate those we don't understand and accept the differences.

For too long we have focused on earthly assessments and material worth. The cost has been taken from our spirits. At times I think we hardly recognize ourselves. We are so tangled up in the life we live that we can't acknowledge the truth in the life we have. So many of us are wealthy beyond measurement. It just depends on the tool we use to assess. Contentment is the  father of a peaceful and loving life.

It always appears to be an answer that is too simple, but honesty is simple to follow. There are no lies to be reinvented or stories to relate or egos to inflate. The mystery is what we have evolved to be the truth. In actuality the truth has always been easy to see and even easier to live by. Stop asking yourself how happy you are and instead ask yourself how much meaning you can find in your living. Life is too precious to waste it with fear and worry. If one dares to face truth, they are rewarded with great illumination.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”   Rumi

"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." Albert Einstein

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness."   Albert Schweitzer

"People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore." Thich Nhat Hanh

"Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. Thich Nhat Hanh

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:

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

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

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