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Connection

I would never advise someone to place others on too high of a pedestal. It’s a long way down. We are all human and we will never meet every expectation from others in life but we continue filling our trophy rooms with idols. We choose someone-maybe they have done something which seems extraordinary-maybe someone has hyped them up-maybe they are the center of media attention-but there will always be something that will cause us to think, wait, maybe they aren’t that great after all. Whomever we choose to idolize, we should be prepared that they aren’t what we expect.

 

Brené Brown is my idol but it’s not the person that I idolize. It’s what she has to say. The first time I heard anything about her was this TED talk from 2010:

 

 

She talked about shame and vulnerability and how it takes courage to overcome these things to find connection but it takes a sense of worthiness. I took identity with this – my crazy way to say that I identified with what she was saying. I was like-where has this person been all of my life? This is me!

 

She appears GENUINE. She talks about her personal vulnerabilities and how she wants to conquer them. What catches my eye is her imperfection rather than the perfection that much idol worship seems to be centered around. She references authenticity in her works (and a bit in this talk) of how we have to be authentic to ourselves and to others but that we are scared of being vulnerable. We don’t want to feel the pain of shame. On the flip side, if we aren’t willing to take risks to face our vulnerabilities we will not find connection. If you have not watched the video, I encourage you to do so.

 

As for her approach to raising kids, this is what she had to say, “You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

 

Just think what could happen if we were to change our attitudes. We are more interested in blaming others than working on what we can do to help us with our pain and shame. Life could change. We could work toward things-positive things. Our politics could change. We can’t grow if we don’t face our shame. We can’t conquer our vulnerabilities if we avoid and numb. And, when we accept that we are worthy, we are able to make connection.

 

 

Connection

Vulnerability       –          Shame

Courage

 

 

She has another TED talk from 2012:

 

 

But… my very VERY favorite of all things in video form is this little goody of how she describes empathy:

This is truly the best to me. I love it!

 

We need positive people in our lives. We need guiding forces. We need to understand that people are not perfect but that many have a message that is genuine. To me, life is growth. We must continue to identify our vulnerabilities and shame and then work to deal with them making us feel worthy and more connected.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

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There is a young lady I know who is just as sweet as she can be. I’ve known her for more than 20 years and think the world of her. Hopefully our paths have many people like her who enrich our lives. She makes life more valuable by just knowing her especially when people are not quite so nice such as the following…

 

The other night I got into a discussion with a guy who was trying to shame someone on social media. He called a person gay and started telling the person how God doesn’t accept gays, etc. You may know the drill. “You are sinning against God.” Well, that’s about the nicest thing he has to say.

 

This guy makes it his mission to go after people who he thinks are less holy than him – the less righteous in his eyes. Most all of the people he attacks are not gay but that doesn’t stop his hatred and awful attacks. He enjoys it and then he has the audacity to shout he is “Christian” and that others are not.

 

He mentioned that “gays” have more depression, commit more suicide, do more drugs, and have more health issues than heterosexuals. He’s lost by the way if he believes all of this of which he does. I had to point out that it is people like him who contribute to depression and suicide by telling them how awful they are and that they have no hope for eternal life — that they are unholy and all of this garbage. He firmly believes he is pointing out “truth.” The quoted words are his.  

 

He’s not the only person that goes after and attacks others while proclaiming himself a Christian. I like to call him a Pharisee but that is quite insulting to the Pharisees – my apologies. I’ve not always been the way I am today and that’s a good thing. It shows that I have grown. Growing up with absolutes makes life almost impossible. 

 

You know what is a “sin?” The young lady’s father who doesn’t speak to her because she is in fact gay. He wants her to attend a certain church so they can pray the gay away. Now, that’s a sin.

 

I wish people would quit judging others. It is not their job in life. If you choose to believe in a certain faith, please be kind to others. For those people who call themselves Christians and condemn and say people are going to hell, I will forever stand with the people they condemn. If you read the Bible carefully you will see Jesus did that very thing.

 

There are “Christian” evangelists who are leading the call against people who are gay and other parts of the LGBTQ community. They call their followers to push against the “sin” and to rise up but in fact they are calling their followers to push against people. Listen up, if you feel this way, read the Bible and find that Jesus was against the law condemning people. He took the sides of the people in need – against the bullies. Love supersedes (Mosaic) law by his own admission. Perhaps it is because if you put yourself in the position of others, then you will not be so quickly to condemn since he called for people to love others as ourselves. Then look at what was reiterated over and over – humility. The last will be first and the first will be last. Being humble should be a daily challenge for all who spend their waking hours condemning others. 

 

My life is better today for all of the “gay” people I have known through the years. If you say or think EWWWW, then you might need to start thinking about people as people and not what they do when you don’t see them. That’s about as nice as I can put it.

 

Happy Gardening and please treat others in the way you would like to be treated! 🙂

 

 

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Someone is stopped by the side of the road in need of help. They could be anyone you want them to be. You decide to stop. Do you ask them what their political preferences are? What about their religious beliefs? Do you ask if they are married, have been married, divorced, etc? See where I am headed? I see someone who needs my help, I don’t hesitate and say someone else can help them. For example, a man in the neighborhood fell off his tractor in a ditch and the tractor fell on top of him. I think I wrote about this in my blog. He was in need of help. I stopped. The girls and I pulled the man to safety. It was automatic.

 

Now, what if the person doesn’t look the same as us? What if they are one of “those” people? I don’t know what one of “those” people are but I had friends who looked at those they didn’t accept as “those” people. That is how they referred to them — as THOSE people. Do you stop and help then? Do you make excuses? What makes you help or not help?

 

I’ve picked up people walking the road who needed help. Sometimes I’m by myself and sometimes not. I don’t always do it and I kick myself when I don’t. On more than one occasion we were returning home with the car full of stuff (groceries or what-have-you) and there was no room so I didn’t stop but I felt bad that I didn’t. I try to console myself by saying I had an excuse. I did but that shouldn’t be my go-to thing. It’s easy to find excuses why we can’t do something.

 

I wonder if the political climate is causing us to not reach out to others. People will always be in need. That’s why we are here – to always help. It doesn’t matter what the person’s background is. It doesn’t matter what their beliefs are. It only matters if we are willing to treat another as a human being.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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Responsibility

 

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I spent part of my evening talking about how important the EPA is to all people. It seems that people think the EPA is too restrictive and should be banned all together. I tried to refresh the minds of old and teach some of the minds of young how for many, many years we (my family) could not eat fish from the Savannah River. Mind you that I didn’t live at the mouth which is far worse.

 

I’m not going to tell you how mercury gets into the fish and what all can happen like what type of detrimental effects there are on the human body. You can look that up yourself if you don’t know. Much of the toxins that cause mercury poisoning came from the Savannah River Site. We would fish some miles downstream until it was determined the fish were not safe to eat. Of course bottom feeders tend to have a higher concentration and my oh my—I love catfish.

 

Now, this is just one level of monitoring done by the EPA and such agencies. If it weren’t for the EPA, we would have deadly smog (amongst other things). We still do but it would be much worse because what company is going to police itself if no one calls them out? None.

 

There are coal ash ponds around and there are companies still using coal. There is a river in Alabama that has this problem right now. The pugs—sorry, I can’t help it—don’t want regulations. They just want to make money whether it is coal energy or other fossil fuels … in pipelines that can spill and believe me—they will eventually leak and spill. So much I can say…I’m frustrated that we are doing things that will harm ourselves.

 

These government regulations are seen as bad for business. Guess what else they think is bad? Minimum wage. Time off. Having to answer to anyone. Hmmm. See the pattern. For the party who claims they want responsibility, they don’t.

 

I would like to thank the River Keepers for helping to keep us safe. It is their diligence that has led to a better and cleaner environment for all. There are many people to thank but we all need to get involved. If we don’t look after her – Mother Earth – who will?

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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What I am about to write is true and personal. For several years I watched my mother lie in agony and pain, and I could do absolutely nothing (or so I believed) about it. I felt helpless. She took the strongest pain killers and yet they seemed to do nothing but do more harm. She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis (among other things) that was so bad the circulation stopped in one of her thumbs and an index finger. They first turned blue and then black. Both had to be amputated. All of her joints were so messed up that she could not sit or stand. Her body reminded me of the old circus freak shows. It is bad to say but it was horrible for her to live through.

 

I moved back to care for her. The meds that she took caused all sorts of complications and her autoimmune system began fighting itself-that may sound familiar. This was before she had a stroke. I could tell you some of the most grotesque stories but if you know of someone who has suffered like this, then you already know. It caused me great pain to see her like this and to know I was her caregiver and patient advocate and that she depended on me for everything. I couldn’t make things better—it took a toll on me.

 

I wish I knew then what I know today. Since that time I have cared for other people and watched and learned. I’ve read and discussed things that I never dreamed of back then. What I am about to say is not going to sit well with everyone but this is where reality comes to life—where it meets the pavement so to say.

 

What if I told you that there is something that would have helped my mom, something that would have given her quality of life-in my opinion-and helped her to live on without the complications? It may have even lengthened her life with less pain and again, with quality of life.

 

Stigma was a topic in a recent post. We apply that word to things we don’t usually accept. I live with epilepsy which has been stigmatized during my lifetime-less so of late. Hippies of the 60s were unfairly stigmatized as were those who were categorized in this group whether they were hippies or not. Remember, it only takes one’s perspective to categorize someone. Ok, you get the idea.

 

Some things are acceptable depending on the group of people you are with and some things are never acceptable. I used to think everything was black and white, red or green, purple and yellow, etc. I never thought I could help my mom as each day I watched her face one battle after another and waste away before my eyes. I can’t play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game but there is a chance that I could have helped her.

 

Welcome to the 21st century where it is not taboo to speak of cannabis oil and treatment with cannabis. Sure, there are people who still believe it is off limits and that it is the devil weed but if you had a child who suffered severe tonic-clonic seizures that were not controlled by any other medication… are you going to tell me you will not try cannabis oil that has been proven to help stop or at least slow down seizure activity in some patients? I would do it in a heartbeat! I would get cannabis oil or cannabis in some form for a child, my mom, anyone who is in my care who needs it. I would not hesitate one bit. Before you leave my post, I would like you to read on.

 

We have been fed a bunch of malarkey. I believed for a long time that it was a gateway drug. I need to say that there are those individuals who go on to use “heavier” drugs but truth be told, they were headed in that direction any way. It’s the nature of the beast—think addict and you get the idea.

 

Last year, Georgia passed a law that allowed patients with limited illnesses to possess and use cannabis oil such as a child with uncontrollable epilepsy…HOWEVER, the governor and lawmakers failed to provide a way and means for parents and patients to legally obtain cannabis oil. Ever since then there were certain lawmakers and residents of Georgia that have literally been fighting to get a legal way to get help for these patients. One was via new legislation which has failed at every angle. Number two…people have been traveling out of state to “legally” obtain  cannabis oil but illegally transport it back to Georgia. The governor sternly warned there would be consequences for these actions.

 

  • So, why sign a bill into law that helps those who need treatment but not allow them to get treatment?

 

Well, that’s what everyone here has been asking. Another bill was submitted that added more ailments and provided instate cultivation so that patients could get adequate treatment. It came to light this week that our lovely governor would not sign any instate cultivation bill while he is in office…and he doesn’t leave until 2018/19 so…this is the proverbial rock and a hard place.

 

Ok…onto the last of the story. Since the governor has championed support in the state senate (more like strong-armed), a sufficient bill will not leave committee. There is nothing that can be done for another year and this is only February. Think of how many more people will suffer and die because of this insane approach. I learned today that parents will publically put their lives on the line to transport cannabis oil for their children, loved ones, those who are suffering in order to force the governor’s hand. This will get ugly but how does one tell a parent that they cannot get the treatment the child needs? That’s like have a life-saving drug in the pharmacy out in plain sight but no one can purchase it…

 

Whatever stigma cannabis had in the 70s, 80s, 90s…that stigma needs to go away. My mom would have benefitted from this, both her pain and her arthritis and she would not have had the side effects from the drugs she was given. We allow alcohol to be consumed like it is water as long as you are old enough but cannabis??? Alcohol is so much worse. 

 

I wish I knew then what I know now and let me say that people who refuse to provide treatment to those in need, even those who get in their way, should face stiff consequences—even jail time. FYI, these are my opinions. People are suffering and dying and we are supposed to stand around and watch? No.

 

May your gardens grow with lasting abundance–always! 🙂

 

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Once upon a time in a country far away from me there once was a man who believed in justice for the downtrodden, the repressed and oppressed, the ones who were sick, the outcasts of society, the hungry, and even the rich, the educated, etc. No one was denied entrance because they could not pay or if they didn’t have food. No one was turned away when they were sick. This man had to go out in a boat to get away from the crowds who followed him. Everyone wanted to hear him, to be close, to touch him. Everyone wanted what he was giving even if they didn’t understand his story.

 

He was genuine. He loved rather than judged. He healed rather than run people off. He provided food when there was nothing around. How dare he do these things. People should work for what they receive, right? 🙂

 

If you are a Christian, you profess to know Jesus…the one who came for the weak, the lame, the hungry. He came to heal not just physically and emotionally but spiritually. Did he charge a fee? Oh, come on. Nothing is free. 🙂

 

Jesus was liberal. He was a socialist Jew. He didn’t wait for people to come to him…he went to the people. In fact, he was part of the people. He knew their plight and sufferings.

 

I don’t like to mix religion with politics but I hate to tell people this, there is a candidate that is a lot like Jesus who is running. This man does not stand up and say, I this and I that. He says, WE this and WE that. He doesn’t call attention to himself but to the injustices of the world that WE have caused—the things we have failed to correct.

 

Health care should be a right and not a privilege. Eating should be a right and not a privilege. Our children suffer because they can’t find jobs and some suffer so much debt that they have problems repaying loans after college. The low paying jobs don’t cut it. People can’t get out of the gutter once they are down. It’s like a caste system and that’s not what America is.

 

Minorities are being shamed by some candidates. Some even shout to build a wall to keep people out. What if some of our ancestors had been turned away? There are some who commit smaller infractions of the law and can never get out from the debt it causes them. We need to change our justice system because much of it is corrupt. I have seen it firsthand.

 

Some say this man promises pie in the sky dreams that cannot be reached and I say that if we don’t dream and try to reach, then we need to quit today and give up already. I have watched this man for a year and I have read and watched about everything I could get my hands on of his past. This man I refer to is Bernie Sanders who some call a socialist Jew. 🙂

 

You know…I don’t quite understand why Christians are not flocking to support him. You see the similarities of what Jesus preached. He cares for the lowest of all and yet he is marginalized himself. The media shun him. Others throw stones. He still prevails because his message is the one that needs to be heard. Many of us have been living exactly what he talks about. The Christians I know are either supporting Trump or Cruz so what does that say? Not much but I don’t listen to them. They are lost and I can’t do much about it…I have tried.

 

Jesus was a liberal. He was progressive. He was even radical for his time…and maybe today’s time too. Jesus was a socialist Jew and I am proud to support Bernie Sanders because his platform (which has not changed) is the most closely aligned platform to my views of all of the candidates.

 

He has ignited a fire in young people that began back in 2008. That was when the seeds were planted and today it is time to get serious about our country…income inequality, our responsibilities to our earth (climate change), our place in society as a world leader, and many, many more things. Those seeds have become little shoots that need to be transplanted so they can grow into healthy plants and later, we as a society can harvest the bountiful fruit for our children and descendants.

 

I laughed when I heard Bernie Sanders called a socialist Jew today because it showed me that was exactly how Jesus was viewed by the Pharisees so many years ago. If you haven’t listened to Bernie, he doesn’t go on the attack like other candidates do. He has tried to run a very respectable campaign even through the mud that has been thrown his way. Many people have mocked him and said he wasn’t part of the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s but he was. I’m sure if you continue to dig you will find something not so becoming of the man but I bet he is the best one running. Many of them lie from day to day or they say ugly things about people. Not Bernie Sanders.

 

Some people talk a good talk but then there are some people who actually walk the walk… I’m with the socialist Jew who isn’t that much of a socialist but I have always had a thing for the underdog. 🙂

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Sacrifice is one of those things that most of us shy away from if we can help it. It even sounds painful.

 

I really didn’t understand self-sacrifice until I was in middle and high school. In the effort to control my seizures, I learned how to control my body. I would get auras right before a seizure and I learned to ward them off as much as possible through meditation when medication was not enough. It didn’t always work but it helped. Later, when my dad was sick with cancer and not long before he died, I quit eating. I had started to become anorexic. I saw myself as fat. Others noticed I was shrinking. My clothes were falling off and I still could not see it. I would not eat. Had I continued down that path I would have been in the hospital in a few more weeks.

 

I learned how to sacrifice or more appropriately—how to withhold “rewards” much like someone withholding love. That’s what happened in my first marriage—love was withheld. And, when love was withheld in my second marriage, I tried to ignore it but felt that I was not deserving of love. That is a dangerous place to be. I further sacrificed so that my children would have what they needed physically and emotionally—another dangerous place to be. I didn’t feel worthy of anything. I pretended my life was good even when I blogged those many years ago.

 

It is hard to unlearn these things. In fact, I don’t think I can. It’s difficult to talk about and to admit my failures. That is the way I would see things. In reality, I am not to blame for everything but I was taught to see things that way—that the only thing I needed to do to succeed was to try harder. Well, things don’t always work out that way, but I wasn’t taught that. In fact, I don’t have a STOP button on me. Moving on.

 

Love. What is love? I know what love is. I know what it looks like. I know what it feels like though maybe only briefly. But … it is like a helium balloon that has just been released from a child’s hand and is working its way up into the sky. I am chasing the balloon. As I reach and stretch upward so far, it is just out of my grasp, and it continues to lift up into the atmosphere. That is me and love—romantic love. Sigh. The string can be in my hand but it slips away. What is even worse is when love chases me and I fight it off building a wall to keep it out and it still finds a way over the wall only to break my heart once I decide to give love a chance. Sigh.

 

I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to fall in love again—well, not anytime soon. And, I was doing good—fairly good at it. But, I did fall in love again. It wasn’t easy at first. I had become accustomed to being by myself. I enjoyed my own company. I enjoyed my time so it was difficult at first learning to share again. I fought against it—I didn’t want to be hurt. I kept saying it was too good to be true. It’s hard to explain but I did fall in love and I fell hard. I believed he loved me just as he said he did. Hmmm…a tear just ran down my right cheek. By now you know for sure this doesn’t have a happy ending.

 

It’s funny. I know what reality is. I know there is no promise of tomorrow. I know that we don’t even have the guarantee of today but I still believe in happiness with a mate—a significant other. I want to believe but … love and me … well, we don’t see eye to eye I guess. Call it fate. I don’t know. Some say I give my heart too freely and others say it isn’t really love. Sigh. So here is the meat of the story.

 

I believe love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I am willing to sacrifice a little too easy and that can cause problems. People take advantage of that. Do they mean to? I don’t know. It’s hard to see what the other person is willing to sacrifice unless it is tangible or visible and I don’t want someone to sacrifice for me—to lose something in order to gain me. Why would anyone want me? I would like to think I am worth it, but going back to my earlier days, I still have a problem with that. However, I need to know that he is willing to sacrifice for me because that is true love. I never want to ask that of anyone but to love fully there is the willingness to do whatever. Both are willing to make sacrifices for the other and the other never having to ask because they know. That is the story of true love. Sigh.

 

I really hate having the life story ending like “The Titanic” or “Romeo and Juliet” or the stories of both of my grandmothers. I just want some time to rock on the porch and hold hands as the sun sets—to be there for each other no matter what. That’s my dream so I really fell for him when he said he was the one to sit next to me and hold my hand for the rest of our days. Big sigh. The other part of love and sacrifice is to know how to let go.

Boy, that part hurts.

 

May your days be filled with love and support from a significant other and may you always know that you are truly loved no matter what. Happy Gardening! 🙂

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