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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Animals10"Good intentions  are not enough; commitment and sacrifice are necessary." Laurence G. Boldt

"Just because I am strong enough to handle pain doesn't mean I deserve it." Pix

"When our actions are based on good intentions, our soul has no regrets." Anthony Douglas

"No man ever steps in the same river twice cause it's not the same river and he is not the same man." Heractitus

"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking." C. S. Lewis

Our intentions regarding any matter are mixed and hidden because we are trying to fathom ourselves and others. It may not make sense but if you ask someone why they performed a certain act of kindness or meanness they usually give a group of responses for the one question. It made sound like, "I wanted to help them and they supported me and I felt like  I owed them." The list continues in a confusing way and you wonder why you asked the question in the first place.

Does this mean we don't know ourselves? We perform kind acts due to payback? We support others because we feel others are  watching us? Lastly I wanted to Help. I surmise that the majority of us would rather not think about it and just take the credit. It makes us feel better if we can say this person helped me in the past and I owe them or I helped them in the past so they owe me. I wonder if we hate  to feel we owe someone in any way. I am always on watch myself to come to the aid of a person who helped me at another point in time.

It is funny how it  weighs on our conscience to settle the bill. We worry about settling a bill yet we don't worry about settling an unkind word or action. It seems unsettling to think this person somehow is above us because they performed a kind service to us. We want to come to their aid  even if they don't want it nor request it. I had a friend who needed to repay any  service I did for her immediately. It didn't matter if I did not want the repay at that moment or ever. In her mind if she did something for me the debt was paid and her conscience was clear. Another friend I had done something for repaid me far into the future at a time when I truly needed help. I appreciated the second repay far more because she obviously noticed my need and jumped in versus the first repayment of helping when there was no demand.

I thought to myself maybe that was the crux of the issue. It is easier  to avoid facing the necessities  of others with a myriad of  excuses than to observe someone's hardship and requirement of help. As usual, I am as guilty of this as anyone. If I don't stop to think over my intentions then I might overlook someone in need. I might choose to ignore someone who requires support and ignore any possible good intentions of helpfulness on my part.

There are times when we do things at work in order to get the promotion or the eye of the boss. We like to receive the great reputation so we extend to others out of our wants rather than the other person's privation. There is also the guilt factor which leads many of us to repay a debt because it looks good or aids us in some way. So many times good intentions are must do things. Being coerced into doing things happens every day. There are those people who volunteer to do something and force others to jump on the wagon. Of course these actions are many times worthwhile but again the good intentions may not be present.

I sometimes wonder if by going along with good actions we are picking up good vibes and learning to care. I certainly do hope so. It would be nice to see a world of compassion where all of us thought about the next person and their welfare. If every intention was compassionate and full of empathy we would have a better world to live in.

There are times others let us down because they  are thoughtless to our needs and feelings. Recalling those times we did the same to  others helps us to overcome the self pity. I am not saying to stop loving the self as most of us find little time to think about self yet we should. I am saying how easy it is to hurt others without intending to do so. The wrong look, remark, laugh or action can send us reeling for cover. The intention wasn't there to cause pain but the hurt rang through loud and clear. I suppose we could wear some armor.

Our hope is to always have the best intentions. If we can't do that perhaps we might attempt to think about others in a sincere way. When we come to realize we are all people with feelings maybe we will stop to think before we do or say something that is painful to another. There are those times our intentions are hurtful and we are now remorseful. There are also times when our intentions were totally honest and without any harm meant.

We don't have to analyze every word or action done. We just have to try to do our best and observe any need we see that can be fulfilled. The kindness may never make the newspaper but it is always felt within the heart. There is nothing more revitalizing than experiencing that feeling, especially when it is performing an action that likely will never be repaid. That is when it is unconditional and not ever meant to be repaid. That is an unconditional act of love that will endlessly travel around the world.

"Think the best of each other especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad." Jeffrey R. Holland

"Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly." Anonymous

"I will not die an lived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me. To make me less afraid and more accessible. To loosen my heart until it becomes a wing a torch a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom goes on as fruit." Dawn Markova

We have the gift of our senses but we don't always use our senses nor attempt to apply our sixth sense.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred  gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We  have created a society that  honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend twenty-five minutes thinking about a solution and five minutes thinking about solving it."    Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Albert Einstein

There was such an uproar about  birth order that I found it interesting to reason why we can't use our senses. I think as human beings we must categorize everything, find solutions, weigh burdens and assets, compare gains support and advantages and compete against each other constantly. We  just can't admit that everyone has their own issues to deal with. That is the truth. It somehow makes it more important if we can convince others that our lot in life is worse or more difficult. This is full of comparisons and competition of all kinds.

I do think it begins at childhood when parents support the ideas of who is bigger stronger faster more intelligent or beautiful than others. It leads to sibling competition which continues throughout our lives. The one with the most money and toys is considered the winner in some cases. Somehow we threw out the attributes and heart of what is important in life. We are left with more stressful things to contend with. None of us are jealous of those people who live together in family structures and live to support each other and remain equal to each other. In some ways this is more relaxing because the competition is taken out of the equation.

Perhaps those are the people we should want to imitate. I understand that no lifestyle is perfect but ways to promote better living is available. I think we might question our own ways of living. How many of us rush to buy the latest technological device? How many of us engage in useless activities on the computer? It is easier to hide secret activities on the computer and live a separate life. It appears to gain us more guilt and worry. We cover that over with more activity and just keep ourselves busy. I know  it is  important to reflect and I don't always take that time to think but when I do I am never disappointed except to say I question if I wasted my time. How sad is that to feel you have wasted your time when you are thinking about your life.

If we did more thinking rather than business we might understand ourselves better and other people. As it is we are mechanical in our relationships and feel empowered as well as content with the number of people we can reach at the push of a button. I find it overwhelming. Instead of gaining us more time for human interaction  it seems we have more time to interact with machines. Does anyone see a problem with this? I am not against technology but without reflection we are being gobbled up and programmed to be robotic. We are almost at the mercy of computers and what they promote and instill in us. To be part of the group you must be involved or you are on the outside looking in and can feel like an outcast if you are younger or old if older. Age has nothing to do with this happening.

Even churches have gotten involved with online services ministries and gospels. If people have no time for church then it will be brought to them in a technological fashion. Are we too busy for the simple exchanges with each other? Are we all considered boring  if it is a one on one exchange? Have we lost the art of conversing with others? I know if we can discuss things on line with many people and have the support of others on line then perhaps happiness might be promoted in that fashion. I just don't see it happening when I talk to individual people. They have information but no sense of feeling or mindfulness of the people involved.

I also wonder about our generosity and selfishness. Do we take from each other without thought? Are we really supporting others or just printing from our own script what is expected of us to say? It is like we have all the correct words and fast reactions but is the depth of feeling still there? Is it reaching our hearts before our minds or is it in the mind and spoken via text without any real input from the heart?

I sometimes think we are less concerned with others today even though we have quick access to each other and quick response time. The thinking and reflection states have been rendered inactive. We are using honesty but in a way that hurts others and we don't see it. Things are fast today so what someone says or does for us doesn't register anymore due to our busy life and swiftly moving days. There is more to do say and people to talk to albeit on the technical device of choice. Human free thought and intuition is crushed in some ways. If we can't find some time for free thinking away from the hustle of the crowds we don't even know ourselves.

I suppose it is easy to hide amongst a group of people and easier to refrain from thinking. I don't mean to insult anyone but just observing people and their busy schedules leaves so little time for using our six senses. Have you looked at a  flower up close lately or smelled one? Have you sat quietly with a friend and listened with your heart and ears and eyes instead of the messages you read? If we wonder why families are in turmoil and kids hate life and people  keep  fighting and anger is not under control perhaps we should question what is going on in our own lives.

It appears that we are slowly but gradually being overpowered with technology to the point of disregarding people right next to us. Consumerism is fostered and looking good is exonerated and we can view pictures of becoming more beautiful than we are so they say. Do we need to wake up and put the devices away? We seem to be in a crises over gaining some power over self. The devices own us rather than we own the technology. They control us to the point of ignoring the people in front of us who wait patiently for us to finish until another new interruption occurs. I don't mind waiting but how  involved in our conversation can they be if they are constantly returning to their device?

I hope our humanity is not being lost. Instead of cultivating our sixth sense we seem to be losing the five senses we  have. Our inner thoughts and spirit is more important than anything. If one tried to ignore their device for a couple of days they might feel renewed like they just woke up to a new world around them. More and more people appear to  be sleepwalking and caught in chains with technology. I just throw this out as food for thought. I use technology but I have backed off quite a bit due to the viewing of the world so caught up in a façade of constant involvement in a make believe world taking up their times and thoughts. It gives us little time to interact with those close by who may need our support but we don't have the time or sense awareness to notice.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."     Albert Einstein
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."               Albert Einstein

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Albert Einstein

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." Albert Einstein

Strive For Happiness"I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives."    William Wilberforce

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."    Lance Armstrong

"Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit."    Paramahansa Yogananda

"Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact - men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do."    Billy Graham

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."     Marian Wright Edelman

I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take a part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get the picture of where I stood in everyone's eyes. That is what I believed

I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.

Eventually when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends.. I can't tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I  am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn't make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.

I went to work as a special education  teacher  and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn't mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.

During teacher meetings my opinions were never discussed or considered. Non of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.

I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think  that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn't be successful like others I should just not try.

I have discovered that the smallest screw serves it's purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God's definition is different than man's. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue  their own worth.

I worked as a volunteer on my town's fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone's part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.

Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner loser or hero is. Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a  hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.

Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn't slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they  trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.

None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn't feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame  their fear of doing nothing.

It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations everyday that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives,  and sometimes we fear those  who live with us.

We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone's life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears everyday with courage.

Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day,  we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can't ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.

“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.”     Criss Jami

"When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody."    Criss Jami

“If you're an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don't fit in, if you're not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”     Steve Guttenberg

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you."    William Arthur Ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Forgiveness A Sign of Weakness"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you."Lewis B. Smedes

"forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart."

'Forgiveness is not forgetting an injustice done; It is the understanding that allows us to set aside the emotional impact of that injustice pertaining to ourselves. When we no longer hold those emotions, and have the understanding for the person, we have forgiven them." Moon Singer

We sometimes like to believe that  any kind of backing down is a sign of weakness. I suppose forgiving another could be looked at in this way also. One who gives up on an argument is assumed to be in the wrong and recognizing that fact.  One who walks away from a fight is considered afraid and weak. Those people who place their bet on these people who walked away are usually left believing they trusted in the wrong individual.

Having walked away from a situation years ago left me with mixed feelings. On the one side of the issue I believed I let some people  down who had faith in my abilities. On the other side of the issue I was so deeply wounded that all I could think about was running away. It was never out of fear but sadness in the knowledge that those I had cared about and trusted had deserted me. Of course it becomes more difficult when others hurt us behind our backs.

I am aware of how quickly people side with one person on one day only to change their allegiance the next day. I would not want to be the newcomer attempting to merge into an established group or relationship. It renders us to be tolerant and accepting of others even if we don't agree with them. That is life and our opinions do reflect the various  opinions of other people yet we don't identify with anyone's opinions completely.

With huge hours of reflection I came to the understanding that on every level and every day we tend to agree or disagree with others randomly. Perhaps we are looking for friends or in the process of switching friends. Maybe we want something someone else can provide or do for us or maybe we succeed in moving up the ladder with our choices. Perhaps agreeing with some people  places us on the winning side of the argument. Whatever our reasons we do tend to change our minds often and I wonder if that is more of a sign of weakness than walking away.

If we fear standing alone we won't stand for anything worthwhile. If we need another's  approval  we will never embrace anything new. If we must always be correct then we will never acknowledge another worthy thought opinion or action. The fear of making waves at work, amongst friends or within the family is stressful. Even some family members hold more power than others. Perhaps at times we agree with a powerless family member yet we don't offer any vocal outward support because the opposing view is held by a more powerful family member. It appears to be to our advantage to simply remain quiet.

None of us including myself have ever considered this weak. Just getting along with others is problematic unless we are the person setting the rules and trends. Friends at times must downplay the good time they experienced with a third-party because they will hurt our feelings. It seems to me that just about everyone exhibits signs of weakness every day which have nothing to do with forgiveness.

I'm wondering if our low self-esteem is holding us down. Our confidence in us is perhaps missing or at least lacking. We worry and stress about our every interaction with another person. We trust in someone else's ideas. We believe we are not smart enough to voice our opinion. Our stamina power or control appears to be in need. All we can have faith in is that others would laugh us out of the room if we attempted a differing viewpoint. How ludicrous and sad are these thoughts.

We are just so capable in insurmountable  ways  but we never focus on our attributes.  We only notice the attributes of others while observing our own shortcomings. Of course if we all measure what other people have deemed as good and worthy values then so much of our worth is not even perceived or considered even in our own judgements. I had a cousin who never spoke an unkind word about anyone. If others were gossiping behind someone's back he rolled his eyes and smiled. He wasn't as much fun to talk to because he never had a wild story to tell about anyone. Being a lot younger, not that it excuses me,  I spent more time listening to the gossips. Now I am so aware of his awesome qualities and regret not having spoken more with him. He had a different slant on life and living and he never held a grudge.

I mention him now because he was loved by everyone in the family and nobody spoke ill of him yet no one ever sought him out first. I can only surmise that everyone was attempting to find the dirt on everyone else. In the process we all got headaches from the anxiety  and stress of constantly attempting to explain words and actions. No wonder in the end people hide so much. I think we all want to get along with others while having as little grief as possible. Maybe that is even why we agree with the people we are with in order to save a confrontation.

Honestly I believe that speaking the truth at all times and voicing an opinion without fear is probably the best way to live. It doesn't mean we are forcing our ideas on others only giving our own voice to the problem. Truth is denied stretched bent hidden and lost in translation. People discover they are guilty of ideas they never embraced. In the end most people determine it is easier to let it all go than to try to fix it with more words or actions.

The fear of truth and silence causes a dilemma for many. We would rather rehash false beliefs and actions. It leaves us desiring forgiveness or in a position of doubting the extender of forgiveness. When someone receives forgiveness they are filled with joy and anxious to face a new day. They are happy to wipe a slate clean and begin again. They are renewed and as bright as the dawning of daylight. Such an awesome occurrence yet not often seen or done. Forgiveness is extremely difficult and anything but a sign of weakness.  I would say it is perhaps something that is next to impossible depending on the incident.

The person who must forgive is tired, weary confused unsure and wounded deeply. Nobody thinks about the depth of the cut and pain. We all want to go back to life as usual and we do just that as soon as another forgives us. I know it is not that easy nor that simple. I also know that it is without any doubt the best way to  behave. I suppose it is never up to us to decide if the person requesting or needing the forgiveness is actually sorry. All we can do is  hope and have faith that they are remorseful.

I remember people saying sure you can forgive someone that is easy but forgetting is another thing. I agree with that statement only to a point. If we are reaching the point of wanting to forgive another then we must think about how much we are able to forget. Now it is on our shoulders to find it in our hearts to release the pain. It is the ache of the happening that keeps us chained to the event. In a way when we can forgive we are found to have more freedom and release from the pent-up  tension. The seeker in need of the absolution also finds peace.

How strange it is to have such power to actually improve the happiness in another person's life with the simple words of compassion for the transgressor. To forgive takes so much courage. To forget can be accomplished only by those who are braver and stronger than the strongest metal. Most of us pride ourselves in our courage to handle problems yet we can't forgive a family member or parent, spouse, sibling, cousin or friend. If we do extend the mercy we go back on it when we recall it during a new argument or disagreement. That is why forgiveness is superhuman. It takes every power within us to extend it when we understand and appreciate the consequences of the action. It also gives us so much love and serenity when it is done. We might wonder why we hesitated.

Most people never plan on hurting others. We likely never plan on being deceitful. It occurs when we are anxious about our own wants and needs. When we come to realize that we are sorry, we become anxious to have it forgiven. When we are the person in need of absolving another it is so painfully difficult. In both cases we are in need of releasing the burdens immediately.  Forgiveness is only used by the strong. You must be made of iron in order to hold in the bursting pain while bestowing compassion and pardon to another. Without a doubt it is not for the weak.

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

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

"To err is human; To forgive divine." Alexander Pope

"Forgiveness is the final form of love." Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

 

Absolution“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We will not just say, "I love him very much," but instead, "I will do something so that he will suffer less."

" The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person's suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

At the Holiday  time of year we are filled with anticipation for ourselves and for others. The last thing we think about is absolution. Perhaps we are all in need of forgiveness.  Sometimes we hold on to grudges for many years. I honestly don't know why we can't let things go. I act the same way. As much as I might know what the correct thing to do is, finding the strength to behave in such a manner is next to impossible. What is the attraction of clinging to past hurts and pain? Maybe we enjoy the pain because we feel self-righteous and above the person who hurt us. Being the victim has its' perks of gaining attention when we discuss our pain with others. We might even feel like the hero who was capable of enduring such misery.

No matter how we figure it on any given day it can become like a crutch that we reach for when we need it for any particular time or bad mood we are experiencing. Once we have absolved someone the transgression, we place it in a safe but hidden place  within our minds. The plan is to keep it there but that rarely happens. There are those times when the memories slip back through to the forefront and we tend to forget the fact that we already  forgave this misdeed. One must ask why we recall the negative.

I tend to believe that we become proud of  our suffering. We probably become our own hero which may not always be a bad thing. If we think about it we find that when we are hurting or feeling insecure and persecuted we reach for our defense of self-sympathy. We likely attempt to ease our own pain. It is understandable but it keeps the real forgiveness at a distance. Anything that cuts us deeply no matter how others view it, is difficult to absolve. We all understand there are degrees of depravity and also degrees of ability to forgive the wrongdoings of others.

I am as guilty as anyone of reminding some people of misdeeds and what I consider crimes against me. Over and over I suppose I am making them suffer. Now I wonder at what price and also how long is long enough. I am not sure about the length of time it takes to overcome emotional suffering. I know it is possible to forgive but certainly requires tremendous strength and will power to forget. There are those days we can do it but again we retrieve the pain when we deem it necessary when we need to comfort ourselves. Now the question becomes does it really comfort us?

I am considering the fact that when we keep recalling misdeeds, we perhaps do not truly have faith in the notion that the guilty person is actually deeply sorry. Now that might be the real issue. Many of us may feel that we haven't been compensated for our suffering. We bring it to the present to hurt another over again until the day we suppose they are truly sorry. Of course we never consider how much agony we are bestowing someone we care for. If we reflected hard enough we might understand that we  have become the one providing the suffering. Never do we seem to look at ourselves in this manner because we feel the perpetrator deserves any pain we can render. Somehow I  am questioning if this is not ruthless. We can become the one who needs forgiveness.

There are those people who commit the same offense against us repeatedly. Of course forgiveness is difficult if not impossible. That leaves one with a choice of staying or moving on. I surmise that if one is willing to constantly forgive and accept the consequences  of a repeat offense run the risk of continued controversy.  It is a reasonable decision because at any point the faith and trust one has in a person is perhaps the only thing that keeps them afloat. Some people hope to stop their depravity or the depravity in another. On the other side of the issue is the amount of offense any one person  can endure before giving up.

I appreciate the fact that we can't live for another and it isn't always up to us to be their hero. Many of us don't look at a situation in that way. Maybe we are someone's hero and we don't know it. Perhaps we make someone stronger than they are alone. It is not that I profess to linger with someone who constantly disappoints us but when there is love and the person falters but exhibits honesty in their attempt to improve it does entrust us with choices. If a person or a relationship of any kind is worth the effort and the absolution, likely we should take the chance. Peace and tolerance are always better than distress and grief.

True forgiveness is almost an ability of angels and not man. However I still find it important to strive for that goal. Forgiveness makes us stronger and more fulfilled as we genuinely attempt to let go of our own suffering. Forgiveness is tied into suffering. If we come to the point of letting another be released from our revenge then we find serenity together. Most of us see the need to keep another in the chains of remorse until we deem them worthy enough to be set free. What we don't consider is that we are actually waiting to release ourselves from the prison of anguish and revenge. We must be ready to release and dispose of the crutch of suffering. It pains us numerous times. That is not keeping us free. We embellish the iniquity to the point of not recognizing the truth of a situation. Time also bends the actuality of the occurrence.

In this season of love  and forgiveness perhaps it is time to take a look at our lives and let go of the many fears and angers due to hurts caused by those we love. We have locked them into a cell as much as we have locked ourselves into one. Release your own spirit and free  will and you will find the courage to let go of the pain that keeps others constrained. Now I believe that hanging on to the negative brings you down while reaching for the possible goodness brings joy and peace. May you all experience peace in this awesome season.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"To Love is to reach God" Rumi

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

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

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

 

 

 

Embrace"Dignity is the moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad. Dignity is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter. Dignity is the moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself. Dignity is the moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it."

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life-long quest of the wise."    Shannon Alder

I know that many times I do not embrace the moment. I over think what everybody is saying and doing and neglect the reality of the people  in my vicinity. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and most of us would say  that we are but demonstrating it and actually feeling it in the heart is another story. I know of some people who say I enjoyed it but, I had a good time but, It was wonderful but. I would like to throw out the buts. It appears to be crucial for them to downplay the whole experience.

All of us are guilty of sensing contrariness all around us. The challenge is to override the negative and embrace the joyful present encounters. Of course all is easier said than done. I find most moments in time are significant and more meaningful than we could ever imagine. They have the power to generate a calming atmosphere or sometimes a  volatile atmosphere. They also end in repercussions of all sorts. That is the part we don't anticipate and likely what causes us all kinds of remorse.

At a family gathering one day, there was a controlling member of the family who was helping with dinner. When another person challenged the way she was doing something the battle ensued. Of course the controlling individual wanted her own way while the other person was upset with the mistake. The frustration of both individuals rose and abated  when a third-party intervened and defused the problem.

Neither individual noticed how uncomfortable everybody around them was becoming. Nobody wanted to make a move at first. Picking sides is hazardous to one's health. At long last someone did have the courage to stop the bad interaction and resolve the issue. I noticed as the general public renewed their inspiring  conversations the two involved insurgents of the mishap were noticeably upset. Their faces were drawn, their lips were tightly pursed, eyebrows were lowered and bodies were tensed as they took turns eyeing each other. No one dared to tread on the dilemma.

As time passed the mood lightened and everyone had a good time but the two warring people went home with a lot on their minds. I wondered how something so simple had the power to cause such a huge negative effect. The controlling person felt diminished and under appreciated while the other person felt upset that they had  unnecessarily voiced an opinion. Of course hindsight is invariably better but if the controller let up a bit and listened they might have gained some worthwhile knowledge. The interfering person should have let things go because they were not the one offering to help. The fact that both factions will likely bring their antagonism to the next gathering is sad. All guests are at the mercy of those who choose  to toss emotions around like fall leaves. The contrary person is also to blame because they did not have the confidence to accept another opinion.

We are all so good at finding the faults of others and I include myself. Perhaps we sense in them the faults we would like to fix in us. There are times when out of desperation we release our perceived truths onto another. Having been there I know we are always sorry. I now see this as a moment of discovery for myself. I believe those are the times I am forced to see  something I perhaps did not want to discover about myself. After the uproar and embarrassment I am forced to acknowledge if only to myself, how much pain I am carrying inside. All of the hurt gets released when we sense another person around us who somehow brings out the drainage of the infection.

In a way I am understanding the importance of the small  simple moments in time that provide a teaching moment. Another guest was thanked for helping  to clean up the table. With embarrassment they declared that they had not helped. At first I felt sorry for the person who had complimented one who had not actually aided in the jobs. Then I realized that likely they helped that person. The receiver of the undeserved compliment had some food for thought. Hopefully they will offer assistance at a future period in time.

When it all comes down to the final analysis we repeatedly learn from our positive and antagonistic interactions with others. All is really not lost. If we can appreciate the value of the unfavorable communication we can acquire information that is invaluable. By understanding this we will matriculate the knowledge with enthusiasm. Of course we can disdain the whole episode and receive nothing from our encounter but anger. The choice is ours.

The best situation is perhaps to discover our own inadequacies without reaching the pinnacle of lashing out at another. Facing imperfections allows us to improve. Without acceptance there can be no progress. Most of our issues seem to resonate with jealousy, competition and the  striving for love. We don't believe in our own worth. The honesty is that we can and do love more than one person. Somehow being number one is relevant to us all. I  would  suppose that on any given day the number one varies in the minds of most people.

Another idea  we don't think about is the fact that we hold others as hostages while we engage in petty misconduct. The  happy moments in our lives can be dissolved quickly  when others ensue with a battle of wits or insults. Attempt to reflect on the repercussions of such behavior. I know I am so aware of such transactions because I have been the inflammatory person as well as the  receiver of such destructive incidents. I would venture to say  most of us are guilty. It isn't about blame but about discerning the truth in what  we say and do and why we say and do it.

By perceiving the truth we might choose a calmer path that leads to enlightenment without the regret. It does take some will power to refrain from immediate judgement and response. It takes courage and strength to acknowledge ourselves in those actions and words. It takes forgiveness towards  them so that we can forgive ourselves.

We all have much to be thankful for. We all  work hard to accomplish much and improve. We don't see our accomplishments and we miss our gains. We might endeavor to be grateful for so much in our lives that we just don't think about. There is probably so much we would not trade for anything in the world. Realizing what we have that can't be bought ought to prove the priceless  treasures that we enjoy within our lives. Changing our attitudes may alter our lives in the most profound  ways.

On another note, for all the times we fail and fall down, we can still retrieve the knowledge acquired. There is never a loss as long as we take something positive from the occurrence. None of us is perfect. None of us would enjoy being judged. But as much as we all fall down, we all have the ability to rise to great heights. If we give up we will never soar. If  we are still attempting and failing we can rejoice because as long as we never give up we can make it happen. The possibility is there for us by having the faith in our ability  to be successful. It only takes the confidence to believe in self. The goal is just pushed a little bit further into the future but still within reach provided we get up after we are knocked down.

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

“An important decision I made was to resist playing the Blame Game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.”  Steve Goodier

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”     Shannon Alder

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.

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