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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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For the life of me, I don’t get how people can justify their exalting of Donald Trump. They firmly believe that he alone will “save” our country from evil. What evil you ask? Anything that goes against their personal beliefs never mind all of the things the president has done and continues to do that go against their beliefs too.

 

I just watched a clip of Rick Joyner telling how God will destroy anyone who stands in Trump’s way. He named out groups of people who have been unfaithful and who he says will perish because they have turned against God’s will of Trump as president. Oh please. Cue Jim Bakker and ‘mush in a bucket’ for the end times…

 

And you too can have mush in a bucket of 283 servings in a 6 gallon bucket, that’s 28 pounds for the AMAZING deal of $392. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

But wait…there’s more…

For the AMAZING low price of $10,976 you can receive 10,472 servings of food.

Sigh and eye roll.

 

What happened to our brains? Why aren’t we using them? We have lost the ability to see con’men’ for what and who they really are.

 

Not sure if I told this story before. It was after the Jim Jones incident at Jonestown in 1978. I tried to be aware of fly-by-night preachers and people in general who wanted to “sell” things (sometimes they were “free”). What they were saying just didn’t add up. I was in graduate school at the time and a friend of ours wanted us to go hear a guy at the local Holiday Inn conference room in Athens. Ok. I really didn’t want to go but we didn’t have anything planned so about 6 of us went. The preacher talked about how God’s will was for people to prosper in wealth…much wealth…cited Bible verses…showed off his wealth, rings, pictures of cars, houses, etc. I felt like I was at one of those realtor show places where they try to get people to buy into the market. The deal was too good to be true. He kept saying how everyone should be wealthy if they just had faith.

 

As he talked, I looked at the rest of the group and shook my head. They agreed. This wasn’t a good choice. Four of us wanted to leave but two wanted to wait until the end. I had a bad feeling but I said ok. As we approached the closing the preacher became more charismatic and said everyone must come to the front of the room – one at a time – and speak in tongues. Oh Lordy, here we go. I laughed because I had a feeling this was coming. We watched a few people obey. I was debating my choices. As he got closer to where we were sitting, I stood up and said – NOPE! and led the group out of the room. I wasn’t going to stay. It was a con job.

 

Too often we become so close to the problem that we lose all objectivity and can’t see from anyone else’s perspective. We get so entrenched that we lose ourselves and go with the flow of the crowd. If you have ever been in a huge crowd like a concert or such, you know that you have to move with the crowd to avoid being trampled. This is what has happened. The crowd is so huge and so close to the issue that there is no objectivity. Had I not stood up that evening and said we were leaving, many in the group would have gone through with the charade just to appease the preacher and I use that term very loosely.

 

I’m amazed at how firm a grip this charismatic movement of today has taken over much of the country. I used to blog about it. It’s like watching cattle go to slaughter but knowing their fate and still choosing it. The Jim Jones tale has always haunted me. A friend of mine lost someone there. It’s very painful for her to talk about even today and rightfully so. People spoke up about that cult. It was easy to see the group as separate but that isn’t the case today. People speak up about what’s going on but these views such as from Joyner, Bakker, Graham, Robertson, etc are so accepted that the voices aren’t being heard and they are attacked from people such as this group and their followers. It’s like the country is being held hostage. I’m still waiting for reality to reappear but I’m not confident that will happen in my lifetime.

 

Happy Gardening and let’s be good to each other! 🙂

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This week I watched a video clip of Jim Bakker talking about the president—condemning anyone saying things against him and calling it hate speech. Where was Bakker when so many conservatives for 8 years called our president the anti-Christ and said all manner of evil against him and his family? Hmmm. Bakker believes President Trump was placed in power by God and yet, I guess he doesn’t believe that God placed President Obama in power. See the hypocrisy? Hmmm.

 

Bakker also calls for nothing to be done to Trump because this is God’s will. That it will cause all out civil war with Christians. Wait just a minute.

That if Trump is impeached, America will be punished. Eye roll.

He further goes on to say that anyone against Trump is the spirit of the anit-christ. Oh dear.

 

Bakker is trying to drive fear into the hearts of the believers. You may ask what’s wrong with what he is saying but I ask would he be saying this if he wasn’t peddling his long-term survival porridge in such a manner?

 

The man is a charlatan. He uses his charisma to draw in those who are willing to be led down such a road. I have to point out that this Trump worship is the same thing that is warned against in the bible but Bakker won’t be telling you this.

 

Franklin Graham also was and is shoving this to his followers but he’s not selling bomb-shelter food worse than MREs. They must have received secret information that all liberals are of the anti-Christ and that people need to listen to God and hate liberals—ok, loathe them. Don’t tell them about Jesus’ liberal tendencies and the first church’s socialistic policies. I mean…don’t dare mention the death of Ananias and Sapphira. These people identify anything coming from people of a liberal sense is evil and hatred but in honesty, I see it as these people are the ones yelling the hate. Bakker talked against words from the “left” while inciting people to use hate speech and thought. More hypocrisy.

 

Alice, can we go back to our normal world now? This upside down world is too much.

 

If you are a Christian, you might want to ask what Jesus would do. Did he condemn those all around him or was it the leaders of the church so to say—the ones who regulated the laws of the church—as in Jewish leaders? He had harsh words for those who were supposed to know scripture but yet didn’t follow them…those who professed to be God’s chosen but made horrible interpretations.

 

I don’t know who sold these people this belief that Trump came for and from God. I’m pretty sure someone can also make a case that he, Trump himself, could be the/an anti-Christ. I personally think it’s a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy–you believe it will happen and you make it happen. No real prophecy. People want to believe so badly in something but is not true. The truly faithful to this cause will not waver even when presented with facts. It’s become a cult like thing. Remember Jim Jones? I have a friend who lost someone in that massacre. The lady wanted to believe so much that what Jones said was real but inside she had doubts but not the courage to walk away nor the resources. From what I understand, she was caught up in it and it had gone too far. So sad to think how people get caught up in something like that, isn’t it?

 

Never worship a person. Admire them from afar and don’t take people’s words for something because they say they know what God wants. We have brains. We should use them. I’ve always wondered about the Heaven’s Gate cult—how did they go so far? They—to my knowledge—were not forced to do what they did unlike the Jim Jones last act.

 

Deceivers. Most do it for money but more than that—they want power. It’s a narcissistic trait but also sociopaths live for this type of allegiance. From my past experience, if a person truly comes from God or from true goodness, their message will be love and humility with no buts for excuses. And if someone feels as if another is taking something away from them, perhaps one needs to examine what is within. Peace is quite comforting.

 

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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We have entered into dark territory. Lately you can’t help but read about how some athlete who didn’t stand during the national anthem or how they didn’t salute or place their hand over their heart in the right way, etc. It doesn’t stop with athletes nor with national anthems.

Patriot Flag-1a

This country was founded on freedoms-freedom of and from religion-freedom of speech but not from consequence-and on and on. With freedom of speech is included freedom to protest, freedom to speak out and make our voices known. Be careful what you wish for when you deny someone freedoms. Good grief. Between social media and mainstream media, we are killing ourselves with attitude and we really need to evaluate what we are doing.

 

When I was young we were taught in school that we should stand at attention facing a flag if one existed or to face the music if not. Placing one’s hand over the heart was not mandatory and in many instances was not done. So BOO! We do not follow the Amy Vanderbilt book of etiquette for every whim and there is no law that says we should. When we start telling others how to act, we have gone too far. Then on top of that we shame these people and threaten them? Good Lord what happened to people? Decency????

 

I am reminded of Germany before World War II-no I wasn’t alive but reading about how the country changed almost without people realizing causes me to be alarmed for all of us. We are policing ourselves just as they did. We are trying to make a group where only acceptable people can be with acceptable behaviors and one where everyone else cannot be. What is the difference than Germany? 

 

NONE!!!

 

Wake up America! If it’s not too late already, do something now! Quit worrying about other people. Let them live their lives. Find something else to worry about—something closer to home…YOU! Thanks.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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In the movie “Quigley Down Under,” Tom Selleck played the part of an expert marksman with a long gun who is hired by a certain rancher character named Marsten to travel to Australia. Without getting into too many details I think some of the best dialogue occurred when Marsten was going to kill Quigley at the end of the movie. Believing that Quigley could not use a handgun, Marsten had the badly beaten Quigley propped up and given a Colt revolver (if memory serves correctly). Quigley quickly shoots Marsten and says this to him, “I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.”

 

Politics. I don’t like it – in fact hate it but I understand it and I’m not bad at reading what will happen given certain parameters are in place. Politicians will play games and say anything to get in office when they don’t care about us-not really. We are part of an elaborate play.  Sometimes the script is written and sometimes it isn’t. We are not actual participants like we think we are. We are used as pawns on a board-our lives are what is up for grabs-usually we lose no matter what. No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory as I have been accused. This comes from observing people and learning about them over many years. It calls for more objective observation rather than subjective.

 

I have much to say about what has been going on. I don’t usually vote by party lines-as in I don’t feel that I have to give my allegiance to only one party or person. Party politics have shown their worse attributes this election season in my opinion but I have never cared for them anyway. Hillary Clinton became the democratic nominee and if she really wanted Bernie’s followers she would not have waited until the convention to try to bring in unity. I’m sure she will win. There is no doubt in my mind but she made a crucial mistake and I don’t think it can be undone even given that people forget things rather quickly.

 

People don’t see long range. Pity. She didn’t court those younger people earlier on. She could have very easily done so and easily brought more people to support her but I won’t go there right now. Even if most of them vote for her in November do you really think there will be an allegiance by them to the party or to her in four years? No. Absolutely not. See where I am going with this? I have seen politicians use some of the vilest of things this year but you have to look long range. Just like Bernie’s movement was not about Bernie-it was about the people-equality-justice-environment-education-and health to name a few. Those things he kept saying will resonate long after this election. Horse races come and go. A fiery passion for justice doesn’t.

 

Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to. This is my evaluation of what is before us. When she accepted the nomination, a huge weight was lifted because today, I laugh at people who tell me that I emphatically MUST vote for Clinton. I also laugh at those who tell me the same about Trump or any other delegate. But the Clinton ones are the same people who told me that those who follow Bernie are petulant children and many other things. I laugh at them screaming about the Trump monster which makes them even angrier which in turn makes me laugh harder. I can’t help it.

 

Here is the thing. Our country was founded on principles of representation. Most people could not vote when the country was formed but we have been attempting to right that error ever since, well some of us have. When we require someone to vote a certain way, what have we become? Fear is the greatest fear of all. I refuse to be bullied because of Trump or Clinton or anyone else. Oh, if you don’t vote for Clinton, Trump will be in the Whitehouse. Sigh-roll eyes-sigh again. Even if I believe that, do you think telling me this is going to make a positive impact? I’ll just leave the words slaves, oppression, and suppression here to think about.

 

Now I ask:

What is freedom?

Freedom is the lack of fear.

 

Actually the question is the answer. You first have fear. You must get rid of the fear to have freedom.

 

My facebook newsfeed is plastered with stuff that says things-terrible things-telling the audience essentially, “How dare you express an opinion different than mine.” Guess what. We each have an opinion and that’s good. The world would be pretty boring if we are all the same. It’s really important for people to have control over their own vote-our vote. If we don’t, we are no better than China, North Korea, Soviet Russia and many others. Is this what we want? Well, I hope not.

 

So, vote! Vote for whomever you want. No restrictions. Yes, I have opinions but I expect others to be intelligent enough to make up their mind on their own. The mindless masses are one of our downfalls. Just make sure your reasoning isn’t because you don’t want the other person in office or you feel pressured by others. The day we give our vote away is the day democracy dies. Remember that.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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