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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Brené Brown as you may know is one of my biggest heroines. Her testimony of truth is rich, vital, and clearly a part of who she strives to be. She is a seeker. She does not accept life “as is” because she looks at the bigger picture, the gestalt.

I have linked to her videos a few times and I just cannot get enough because she is so relevant to the times we are witnessing. We are a broken society but we can choose to fix the wrongs we have inflicted on ourselves.

I want to share this blog post of hers…

Own our history. Change the story.  —  by Brené Brown

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.

I know this is true. I may have learned it as a researcher but I live this truth as a daughter, a partner, a leader, a sister, a mother, and a friend. When we push down hurt or pretend that struggle doesn’t exist, the hurt and struggle own us.

I’ve learned that writing a brave new ending means:

  1. We can’t smooth over hurt feelings in our families. It’s too easy for stockpiled hurt to turn into rage, resentment, and isolation. We must talk about it. Even when we don’t want to. Even when we’re tired.
  2. We can’t pretend our family histories of addiction and mental health issues don’t exist if our hope is to write a new story and pass that legacy of emotional honesty and health down to our children.
  3. We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow. It’s hard but I’ve seen how it becomes part of a family and organizational cultures and unleashes innovation and creativity. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.

Owning our stories is standing in our truth. It’s critical and transformative in our personal and professional lives. It’s also critical in our community lives.

Until we find a way to own our collective stories around racism in this country, our history and the stories of pain will own us.

We will not get away from the violence and heartbreak. Fear and scarcity will continue to run roughshod over our country. Yes, the violence in Charleston is also about access to guns and, more than likely, mental illness. But it’s also about race.

Our collective stories of race in the US are not easy to own. …

continue reading — (link)

 

Can we make a difference? Yes… Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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I don’t know how many people realize how obsessed with Ireland I am but sometimes I am more up to date on the news in Ireland than I am in the US. Do you know how big Ireland is? It’s about as half the size of the state of Georgia but is more dense population wise—has a few more people for the land mass. There are a lot of people in Georgia who have Irish ancestry…some are Catholics and others like me are Protestant but that’s the past.

 

The country of Ireland had a referendum put on the ballot last Friday that asked about same sex marriage. There has been much support for both sides. I knew there was a chance that the referendum would pass but I wasn’t sure. I wanted to know how the vote would go but no clear indication was given before I headed to bed that night nor when I got up the next morning but by lunchtime the votes had all been counted and as you know, the referendum passed. All voting districts passed it except for one—I cried… 🙂 My heart was filled with joy.

 

I knew there were people who wanted this to pass. It was a big thing because this was the first time that popular vote succeeded in passing SSM—Ireland was the first country to do this. I thought of people who would be affected not just those in the present but those of the future who would have the chance to marry who they wanted. I know everyone is not on board with this but what if you loved someone and wanted to marry them but you couldn’t because there was a law prohibiting such? What if this affected your children or descendants? When it becomes personal, I get it, I understand. Sure, I could sit in my chair and say—no way can these two people get married—but that’s not for me to decide.

 

I have heard all of the excuses and reasons why they shouldn’t get married but to be quite honest, I would rather a child be raised with two same sex parents who love the child without reservation because when they commit to raising children, they do it because they WANT children…not because a child came along by accident. That takes commitment—something a lot of couples today are not willing to give and two parents are usually better than one—not always but usually. I could go on and on. I have thought this out. I have considered as many situations as I could and then others have presented me with more…I don’t see a problem as long as two people are honest with each other and love each other—willing to make the commitment. The rest is none of my business and it’s none of yours either :).

 

We have such a terrible divorce rate and it has nothing to do with SSM. My opinion is to let people get married and begin to focus on giving help to those who need it. We have problems with society of offering respect, giving love, seeing others as equals. And, we have an issue of selfishness. Those are societal problems across the board and they need to be dealt with. I believe this is where our energies should be spent and not condemning people of this “abomination”—not my choice of words, just what I keep hearing.

 

I have been accused of promoting the gay agenda…and that’s far from the truth. I promote love and well-being, a family environment, completeness…unselfishness. I will not sit here and tell you there are no problems ahead because there will always be problems but I honestly rejoiced Saturday and wept like a child with happiness. My heart was filled with joy…not for me but for my fellow man and woman but also for my children’s children too. Imagine the possibility of raising children with absolutely no bigotry…that’s a nice thought.

 

People talk about abomination and how this will lead to the destruction of America. Truth be told, we have already destroyed America with our bitterness and hatred, bigotry and vile acts against good people. I believe we have turned the Bible into our own personal agenda and when we feel our rights have been violated then we choose to engage in our own vendetta. I am ashamed. We don’t get to yell that we are being persecuted because self-persecution does not count. Sorry, but I love this saying because it is so very true.

 

I’m going to go back to Bible times, back to Jesus…I imagine people waiting in lines to see Jesus…almost like children at the mall at Christmas waiting to see Santa. Close your eyes and think of the lines of people. Right before you get to personally visit Jesus, there is an offering plate … [no, sorry, Jesus would never do that… 🙂 ]  

 

Jesus wouldn’t make you pay to see him. They didn’t charge admission for the Sermon on the Mount. They didn’t even have food for the people… People flocked to him, to see him, to hear him, and to touch him. There was no requirement but today … I think there are those who would ask for payment to see the Almighty.

 

Despicable. If this is the case, what else are we doing wrong? I think Jesus’ sermons to the Pharisees are more relevant today that they were 2000 years ago. I think we are wrong about opposing same sex marriage. Even if your church opposes it, there are churches who will accept those who want to be married and they can join and be a part of the membership. Some churches even allow homosexuals into the clergy.  

 

Story… I have known homosexuals since high school. It weirded me out when I was younger but I didn’t hold it against them. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I have worked with them, had friends who were homosexuals, and I was taught not to accept them or their lifestyle by people in the church…I believed it was wrong to be homosexual. Hmmmm. That wasn’t right because it meant treating them unequal. Jesus would have never done that.

 

I have a friend in the church who has a homosexual family member and she was told to counsel them and tell them they were wrong (the ‘sin and repent, then you will be saved’ talk). She told me about it and said she wasn’t doing it because it was no one’s business but their own and if they wanted to go to church she would help them find a church that was accepting of them. 🙂 My faith is accepting but my church isn’t but they aren’t accepting of people of color or those of other faiths or even those with slightly different belief…very discriminatory. I haven’t attended in a few months due to my health and I’m not sure I will go back.

 

Some years ago my Mormon neighbors moved away—I was good friends with the lady and hated that they had to leave. Her children played with my girls and we were good friends—kindred spirits of sorts. They sold their house to two men. We didn’t know if they were gay at first but we had our suspicions. I never saw them being outwardly emotional together like holding hands or kissing but we knew. Then my grandmother died. They saw the hearse come for her body so they sent flowers and food. They also offered anything that I needed. They were so nice not just then but the entire time they lived here…always congenial—very nice people. I miss them.

 

So you see, we have the opportunity to treat others like we want to be treated. We cannot look at ourselves and think we are better. We cannot judge another human. We love people and the rest takes care of itself. I rejoiced last Saturday because instead of bigotry and hatred I saw the country of Ireland put their feelings aside for a bigger purpose. People may say they were forced to vote yes but I know that this is a big thing. We are a broken people and unless we embrace others, we will remain this way. We need to heal the brokenness and become whole. Be careful what you say to another. Be careful who you follow. Knowledge is extremely important. Don’t follow blindly and don’t jump on a wagon because everyone else is doing it. I may walk this path alone but I made my decision. I will not hate and will not accept bigotry in any form.

Irish Flag

Irish Flag

 

Celebrate the goodness of all people. Celebrate Ireland!!! 🙂

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When I was a little girl, I was a Brownie, part of the Girl Scouts and when my children were little, they were in Girl Scouts. I became a leader when my girls started school. I began as a troop leader, cookie mom, camp leader, and then went on to train Girl Scout leaders while still remaining a troop leader. I had to do several training sessions each year. It was fun working with girls and leaders, being cookie mom, all of it…I’m just a big child… 🙂

 

The idea behind Scouting is to teach the younger generation skills they need so they can become responsible and dedicated individuals so that they will mature into great leaders in their communities as adults. The organization is service related and it is a time for fun and learning. For me, it was a wonderful opportunity and it was loads of fun filled with lots of hard work.

 

Last week, the leader of the Boy Scouts of America said that it was time to allow gay scoutmasters to serve. I have listened to the outcry about it, how the BSA would go under and how churches will pull funding, etc. I am so angry. This is one of the things that is wrong with America. Something does not go your way and you become vehemently opposed to something so much that you are willing to destroy it. I cannot even use my usual we pronoun though I’m sure everyone who reads my blog does not cater to this idea of destroying the BSA if they allow gay scoutmasters–at least I hope not. The arrogance and hatred fill you so much that you are willing to sacrifice this one good thing to prove your point? No. It’s not right.

 

Shame on you if you feel this way. Out of all of the good that has come about because of Scouting, the only thing you can do is tear it down and destroy it. Shame on you or those who cannot accept people who may be different than you and again, this is only if you feel this way. Scouting and children have been a passion of mine for many years.

AND…

Shame on Franklin Graham for calling for his followers to support his stance against the BSA to the point of closing it down. I am ashamed to the bone. I can’t believe I read those words on his FB page…if you believe that Jesus wanted this, I do believe you are wrong. And to show you how loving Franklin Graham is on FB, this is a quote I copied and pasted and not from the comments but from one of his posts…[I actually could not believe I read this] 

 

“Can you believe these idiots?”

 

Now I ask you, would you read this in the Bible? Does God call his children IDIOTS? Does Jesus refer to people as IDIOTS? What happened to freewill and love and understanding? I will not follow someone who says this and spouts such bigotry and hatred and calls people IDIOTS…and this is clearly not what God called for. This is clearly not love and I am ashamed!

 

I am tired of the hate coming from people. I have been on a roller coaster lately…extremely up one minute and down the next. I was in the grocery store Friday night when I got a notice on FB from a college roommate. It made me chuckle so I texted her and we chatted for a while. It is nice to hear from someone who knows you from years ago and knows how you truly feel—that deep part of your soul.

 

She is a Christian by the way and I knew she supported gay marriage so I asked her how her friends deal with it. She said that some of them don’t. She said that sometimes she posts things and they unfriend her and she gave me examples. In our conversation she told me how she worked with individuals who had been diagnosed with AIDS in the early 1980s. Remember back to that time when we were just finding out about AIDS? There was so much fear. Well, she said the people she worked with were the nicest people she had ever met. That means a lot. 🙂

 

So you see, there is a human being behind all those hateful feelings you voice on the internet, on FB, on blogs, to your friends, to your neighbors, even people you don’t know…that hatred people keep talking about because of “these people who are going to hell due to an abomination” and you don’t approve.

 

Guess what…no one is seeking your approval. They don’t need it. Turn the shoe around and you are the one who is being talked about…the one who is shunned…how do you feel because people have ganged up against you and are saying you are going to hell? That angers me…that mob mentality. How can you do that to someone? And, then say it isn’t your choice but God’s? I don’t believe it and neither do other people who are seeing this play out in the public arena. When you hurt others, people notice.

 

My friend and I chatted some more. We talked about old times and recent times. I told her how I felt and that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing people say. We talked about what our world is facing right now with so many people being so uncompassionate. She told me that she knew I was progressive back in college—about 33 years ago in graduate school—I laughed. I didn’t think I was, but I guess it is true. I didn’t let things hold me back. I didn’t take no for an answer. I fought for those who were in need and if I saw a need that wasn’t being addressed–it didn’t matter what others thought–I didn’t stop to ask or was I concerned that I was doing the wrong thing–I would do whatever I could. I had passion. I was a leader. I spoke up and wasn’t afraid of the consequences. Later, when I had children, I became more conservative but my roommate reminded me that I was right—even way back then and she believes I am right now because Jesus was really the most liberal and most socialist individual there was…and guess what…

 

she is right.  He was and I think he still is. 🙂

 

I used to think this was supposed to be a Christian nation but it isn’t. When our ancestors came over…those of us who have European ancestors…they didn’t come because everyone believed in the same religion. Look how many religious groups there were…not all were Christian. When the founding fathers were drawing up our rule of law, they wanted it to be as fair and open-ended because they knew situations would arise they could not foresee. In fact, there is argument that many of the founding fathers were not faithful to one religion and no religion. They were not a fan of theocracy because that has led to many problems.

 

We don’t have to have a Christian nation because no religion should be supreme over any other religion and for those who do not believe, then that needs to be addressed too. How would you like it to have something pushed down your throat that you are not a fan of?

 

If you are as Christian as you say you are for those who claim Christianity, you will embrace others who believe differently. We are holding on too tight. We must let go. If you have faith, you need to learn to walk with faith. If you cannot let go, I encourage you to study the words of Jesus. If you will, study the words of other faiths too. There are volumes out there that tell us how we should love…it comes from the heart. If you really profess to be a Christian, then you know the words are there and we just need to let go of the hate.

 

I believe the monster is in each of us and until we are of reasonable mind and logical understanding so that we can embrace others, then we are lost because I truly believe that we are supposed to get along with each other and love one another with nothing standing in the way. And yes, I believe there is no one that is not good enough to eat at the table. All of us are good enough.

 

Support Scouting.  Support children.

 

By the way, the GSA has already crossed this hurdle… 😉

 

Think about what it means to be kind to others…be humble…put others before yourself.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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This is a personal plea from my heart about our youth. I encountered something that no child or young adult should ever have to face but I know it is happening in social media around the world. Children and young adults are very impressionable…they are trying to find their way, their identity, where they fit in. Most of us go through this type of quest to some extent. We question life and our purpose. We want value—we need it. There have been many killings in America over the years…but look at what is happening now all across the globe—large numbers of people with ideological philosophies that are a tad different than mainstream are acting out–killing others. Sometimes it is radical religious beliefs that pose such a problem. Sometimes it is subtle—sometimes not.

 

I’m sure you have seen the news where young girls (and some young guys) have left the US to join forces, so to speak, with those who call themselves something like ISIS. Before I go any further, the Muslims I know are not of this type. They are peaceful. They want to live in this world with others. They desire harmony. The ones I know don’t push their beliefs on others. They are respectable people wanting respect in return. The ones I speak of are not radicals. They want what all of us want…well, unless you want war against everyone because others believe differently—it is a two-way street you know. 🙂 

 

Let me break here and say after 9/11, America changed…the world changed…but peace should always be what we strive for. People will always want to accelerate things into hate and war but peace is something…the only thing that we should all hold dear even if we never agree about anything else. We have whackos on TV and online who have gone absolutely bananas about things. There are people who are spouting crazy stuff all in the name of God. There are people who criticize the president of the United States when he mentioned the Crusades but do you really know what the Crusades were about? You can say that they were peaceful and knights were needed for protection for people making their pilgrimage to Jerusalem but you would be wrong just like there are those who say that the US Civil War was nothing but about states’ rights and not about slavery. Don’t deceive yourself. Don’t look at things from only one angle.

 

Families are being torn apart by this aggression and this is not an “us versus them” type of thing. There was a young girl from a neighboring state who left her family telling them she was going to Atlanta for something but in reality, she was leaving the states to join a radical band of individuals overseas. She got involved with the wrong people. Her family are now suffering from a barrage of hate speech (and other things) while attempting to come to grips with losing a daughter though she is still alive. Can you imagine going through such grief…everything seems fine one minute and then your world has turned to hell in another?

 

People question how this is happening. I can tell you how with an example. These young people are involved with social media and think nothing of friending people from around the world. It happens when we find others that share similar tastes and interests. All in all, it’s not bad…well until you are contacted by someone who wants you to be sympathetic to their “cause.” I have been contacted by one such individual. The person left me a message on FB. 

 

I didn’t think twice about it at first. I didn’t respond and then I checked his page out. Not good. I was shocked! I never in a million years would think that this was the real deal. I never considered myself to be a target to join such a group but it is real. This type of thing is happening through things such as FB and twitter to name two but there are other forms of social media being used. 

 

Unsuspecting people who use the internet are being preyed upon, vetted and groomed to join these radicals in their fight. Right now, it is radical religious fundamentalism in Syria and such places. This is real—as real as it gets. This is not a dream or something that happens far away. This is happening here and now. We cannot become paranoid or overly defensive but we must arm ourselves with awareness–our best armor in any good defense.

 

I am more angry than anything. If this happens to me (of all people), you can bet it is happening to more people. You cannot follow blindly. You must be aware of what is around you. In self-defense, awareness is one of the first things you are taught. You don’t put yourself in danger and you protect those you love.

 

The story about the young girl is a very sad one. Parents have invested so much in their children—love, time, money. The dad in this case came to the states to avoid what was happening in his country now. He wanted a better life for his family and now he has lost a daughter and many in the country he sought as a refuge (US) have turned against him saying he is to blame. Senseless hate—not that hate ever makes any sense.

 

Get involved with those who you love. Make them feel wanted and appreciated. And, remember not to judge others. 🙂 Don’t hate and don’t separate.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

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wikipedia

When I was young, I fantasized about having an older brother…one who could be there for me and help me when needed. Homework could have been so much easier… 😀 I wanted a brother who would be willing to teach me things and let me hang out with him…dreams… It wasn’t meant to be.

 

Much of my life I had big brothers…guys who took up for me. I wish they were still around. I remember in middle school, a boy in my class was physically picking on me. He hurt me a few times and I knew if I told on him that he would hurt me more so I kept quiet until one day he hit me in front of an older guy…one of the biggest guys on the football team. That didn’t go well—for him that is. Let me just say that my classmate never picked on me again and I have been indebted to my hero ever since. I haven’t seen him in ages but he was always special in my eyes.

 

People usually come into my life when I need them most. You might say it is God or Karma or something else or just happenstance… Whatever it is…I’m thankful. 🙂

 

How is your garden growing? May it grow with tender-loving care! 🙂

 

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To own a person is wrong. I have a difficult time understanding the fact that some people believe it is right in the year 2015. Can you imagine being owned by another human being? Some will tell you the story about how good slaves really had it. These individuals believe that they need to dispel the myth that slaves were mistreated even though there are accounts in newspapers and letters and write-ups telling and detailing the mistreatment.

 

I was also warned last night that I should not believe the Yankee lies that are being told called the revisionist history about the civil war. Think conspiracy theories and you will get close to the person’s mindset. It’s awful how people think we are still living in the 1800s and the federal government is evil and it was only states’ rights that were being fought over… People have been sold a bill of goods and something stinks…

 

It gets worse. This person had ancestors who owned slaves. She was proud of it and said she would never apologize for it. Her pride was her gluttony and will lead to her downfall. How in the world do people function like this? This is why there is so much hatred for others. She wants to divide people and prove that they are inferior. She takes pride in all of this.

 

It is disgusting but this is the mindset of some of the people from the south. It isn’t my mindset. Clearly, slavery is wrong. I was taught that early on. As I grew, I learned of more atrocities and I also heard the stories of how well slaves were treated. Some were treated well but it doesn’t excuse the fact and it cannot make up for all of the people who were mistreated and killed, raped and taken advantage of…not to mention being sold and never seeing their family again. Saying something doesn’t make it true either. It doesn’t excuse the people in America for owning so many slaves. I know it was a sign of the times but still—it is not right!!! And, until we all learn this there will always be racism and prejudice. In other words, we will never be equal in everyone’s eyes until all people see others as equals.

 

Truth be told, many people who came to America were slaves and indentured servants. Some slaves were able to gain their freedom only to learn they were never truly free in the eyes of others. How awful! Can you imagine being treated in this way? I can. I have done research looking for slave descendants. It is very difficult and with most lines it is impossible. It isn’t fair and those people who take pride in their ancestors owning slaves—I wish they could see life from a slave’s perspective in the worst situations but they refuse to believe there was any mistreatment. They are close-minded. It makes me sick.

 

Now do you see why I fight for people to have equality? I will continue to do so and I will speak out against this type of oppression. It makes my heart hurt to know people look down on others and believe their race is superior. How dare they!!! Not one of us is better than another. No one!

 

Have a great day and plant seeds of goodness! 🙂

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I wish I could believe that. You will have to admit that the real reason for marriage is usually love. Some people get married because they feel pressured into it or to avoid shame but when you get down to it, the real reason people get married is because they believe they love each other. I say ‘believe’ because there is a difference with real selfless love and infatuation. 

 

Not everyone has been free to marry whomever they want. Back in the darkest times of history of our country, back when the US believed it was OK to own slaves, slaves were restricted what they could and could not do. If they were able to get married–some were, there was nothing that would guarantee the family would stay together or remain close by. Can you imagine being in that type of situation? It is terrible to think in a moment’s notice your life partner could be sold and moved away. There is a lot of our history that is unfathomable but like it or not, people had to live with it. I hope we are becoming a better people, a better nation but I’m not so sure.

 

Oppressed people have fought hard to have rights–to be treated like others. Others who have supported them have fought, too, but even after they gained notice with rights and protections through the courts, they were discriminated against. It is the same for all types of oppression. Do you know when interracial couples could marry–legally marry? Hmmmm…well, here is a story about that…

 

Many states had laws forbidding the marriage of a couple from different races. The state of Virginia had one such law, specifically against “colored” and white unions. In 1958, a white man wanted to marry a black lady but since they could not marry in the state, they went to Washington, DC to marry and returned to Virginia to live. They were arrested and charged. They plead guilty and were sentenced to serve a year in jail but the sentence was suspended if they would leave the state and not return together for 25 years. Well, that isn’t the end of the story.

 

  • When I was growing up, I remember seeing couples who were interracial—not just a mixture of black and white but other races, too. I didn’t understand what the big deal was but I also didn’t understand how anyone could have enough courage to date someone of another race when there were so many people speaking out against it. Years later, I asked my mom what would she say if I dated a black guy–I wanted to know what her thoughts were. She said that it was up to me whom I dated and whom I married but to consider what situations and problems my kids would have growing up. She wanted me to think of my children before myself. I admire her for that and she always told me to never date anyone I didn’t want to be the father of my children…good advice

 

Back to the courts of the 1960s… The Lovings’ judge (don’t you just love the name) in Virginia ruled that since God had made people of different races and colors and that he had put them on different continents then they should honor God and not marry (head—desk; head–desk). The Lovings moved to the District of Columbia to abide by the law. Sad, isn’t it? If you think no, then maybe you need to check your empathy gene. 😉

 

In 1963, they filed a motion to vacate their sentence/judgment on the basis of the 14th amendment…there is more to all of this [you can read about the case here (link)]. The case was eventually decided by the Supreme Court on 12 JUN 1967. It is called Loving vs Virginia, 1967. I wish this was the end of the story but it isn’t.

 

Alabama would not honor interracial marriage licenses even after this case was decided? Usually, when the Supreme Court rules in such cases, all lower courts will honor the decision because SCOTUS takes precedence…they are the law of the land—federal courts—but in Alabama’s situation, the state has repeatedly attempted to fight the federal courts even the Supreme Court on more than one occasion (one incident was Gov. Wallace). Their reasoning??? States’ rights of course–what else? As my daughter so aptly puts it, “Mom, the south lost the war.” Yeah. She knows that. I know that and I hope you know that, too. 🙂 It’s not about states’ rights as much as it is about civil rights and protection of the law.

 

To let you know how unfair things have been in Alabama (in case you don’t know) interracial marriage was not recognized until 1970, three years after Loving vs Virginia and even worse is the fact the state constitution was not amended to allow interracial marriage until 2000 where 60% of voters voted to remove the language. Are you reading between the lines of my writing? That means that roughly 40% of the people who voted wanted to keep interracial marriage illegal or that they didn’t want to change things. There are many people who still believe it is wrong to allow interracial marriage even today. We have not moved very far from the times of slavery and segregation. There is so much racism but it is usually hushed up–well, sometimes. What is in one’s heart is what really matters. If you separate and divide, you will not love fully.

 

People still believe there are those who are superior making those who are not—inferior. That isn’t ok with me. I was almost joking when I mentioned the empathy gene but in reality, we all need to take a good look in the mirror and see where we can improve ourselves. If you think your brother or sister (people you know–people you do not know) are below you in status, I encourage you to do some real soul searching because they are not lower than you. In fact, if you think you are superior, more than likely you are not. 

 

Happy Gardening in all that you do… 🙂

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Meditation can help with fears. Do you know how to meditate? I began taking the first steps of meditation back in high school. I studied and tried some methods and then I met a guy who practiced meditation on a daily basis. He was unique—he had a wooden board thrust in his eye when he was young. Pieces of wood or splinters were lodged behind his eyeball for years. Ewwww. 😦 There was no damage to the nerve but those pieces were left behind. He learned to meditate each day concentrating on getting the small slivers of wood to the “surface.” Our minds are very powerful.

 

I use meditation to help me avoid seizures, to ease blood pressure, to help with chronic pain, to calm me when things get out of hand, but sometimes none of the “tricks” work. There are a variety of ways to get to that special place in your mind–the sanctuary–that place of peace and contentment. Some people use imagery. Some start with prayer. Some use relaxation techniques or a blend of these. Whatever way you choose, a disciplined individual can practice meditation in a variety of ways. 

 

I have chosen to write about my deepest fear—the one thing that meditation cannot fix and that is the fear of rejection. When I was young, my dad insisted on me being the best because he knew I would have difficulties along the way. He believed that if I were the best I could be, it would help avoid those instances where people will reject you (me). He had no idea he was setting up a cycle that I would learn to repeat over and over because I never felt good enough.

 

Kids need to be praised and their achievements need to be celebrated not for what is to come but for the present—what is now–today–this moment. I didn’t really have that. Even when I made the highest grades and was a high achiever, it was not good enough. I cannot find fault with my parents but I never felt good enough. I would make a 99 on a paper and my dad would ask why did I not get a 100. Emphasis was given to become better but never achieving it. It’s like the ring one keeps reaching for but never able to attain. I find it a little ironic that he never saw me graduate from college…with honors. I did not achieve honors for myself but to gain admiration from my parents–I sought their approval. It was an end goal and intrinsic motivation was passed over.

 

All my life I have wanted to do things but I settled for something else. When I graduated from college and interviewed with companies, they could only see me as a female—I didn’t measure up. Everything I have reached for I have turned away because I kept saying I couldn’t and others reinforced that same thought. My dream was to go into oceanography (thanks Flipper and the many trips to Florida to visit my granddad). My dad kept telling me to do what I wanted but then would say I couldn’t do this basically because of my disability, I guess, so I settled for something else. I have talked about entering college as a physics major and then ending up with a degree in math and one in computer science. I was conflicted in high school–such an impressionable time. This is not a post about what I should have done but rather a post of why I always settled for second best or worse.

 

I never treated myself to things…I didn’t go places I should have gone because I was always doing things for other people. I blamed myself for the failure of my first marriage but in reality, I tried so very hard. I chose to forget that because there were so many painful memories. Being married to a drunk (that sounds awful) was not what I bargained for but I did not know he was like that. He never got drunk like that when we were dating. Getting back in touch with him last year made me remember how I would come home after working sometimes 12 hours (on my feet) and then having to clean up after him night after night and that was after dealing with customers and employees and everything from A to Z.

 

There are always at least two sides to a story but my side goes like this–he wasn’t working because of an accident at work and I was working sometimes 60-80 hours a week. I should have left him but I was trying to make it work. Later, I did a really good job at suppressing the truth because the truth hurts. I am my harshest critic and believe things are my fault. He wouldn’t admit there was a problem with his drinking. I tried to get us to go to AA but he wouldn’t and the fights increased. I wanted safety and love but it wasn’t there in my marriage. When I tried to talk issues and solutions, he told me that one never gives more than half (he wasn’t willing). I felt I was giving more than half and I wasn’t getting anything back. Marriage isn’t supposed to be this way.

 

When my mom got ill, I moved back to care for her. Before I remarried, I was raped and I did a terrific job of suppressing what happened. I made it ok in my mind with the person’s insistence that it was my fault. It was wrong to hide it but it was the best way that I could deal with it—it’s never ok when someone takes advantage of you. I raised a family—I cared for my mom and then my grandmother, my children, my husband—I sacrificed so they would be successful. I did this because I loved them. But in the end, no one was taking care of me. My second husband didn’t. He didn’t have my back like he said he would. I made excuses for him my whole marriage. I remember times where I wanted to leave but I talked myself into staying because I settled. I didn’t want to harm the children. I gave up so they would have.

 

That fear–rejection–has been following me all of my life. I still hear my dad’s voice—“Why isn’t it a 100?” I loved my dad but I didn’t grow up like I should have and I hope I have not repeated his mistake with my children.

 

I went to visit an old friend in Texas almost 2 years ago. He wanted to get married. It was my Romeo story except he turned out not to be so much of a Romeo. I don’t know what happened–not exactly. He’s the one that got way from me and I’m the one that got away from him. It seemed perfect at first but sometimes you cannot pick up where you leave off. He is older and was ready to retire–me, not so much ready to retire or ready to clean up after another man. There were some red flags I should have seen. He has changed and I’m sure I have, too. I felt rejected–that dreadful feeling. Gosh! I fight that feeling that I am not good enough almost every day.

 

I don’t know how to be good to me. I have always pushed myself to do things until now. I am the type of person who must have things to drive me—self-motivation. I was the center of my family. I was like the watch keeper. I set the tempo and drove the ‘bus’ so that everyone got to where they were going on time. I was the organizer. I was the cog—that central hub.

 

I want to have fun. I want to dance again. I want to see the northern lights. I want to visit Ireland. I want to visit the Lia Fáil. 😀 I want to take some time with my children and do things with them before it is too late. I want to make this a reality. I want to live. I want to finish the stories I began writing. I want to make a difference. I don’t want to settle–to take what is last or to wait until it’s my turn. I don’t want to feel rejected in everything I do.

Lia Fáil – from wikipedia. Common usage license – no changes.

 

I am fine at times but then I hit a bump in the road of life. That’s when I hear my dad’s voice. I tell myself everyday that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone but I still feel that I’m not good enough. Do you know that between two husbands, I probably can count how many times I was thanked or congratulated on cooking a meal on two hands–about 25 years…and I tried to be thankful to them for the smallest things. To be happy once again, I have to get rid of the feeling that I am not deserving, unworthy, and not good enough. I am working on it and my aim in life is to be good to me. I’m trying… So, be good to you, too. 🙂

 

Have a great day/night. 🙂

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Several years ago there was a hearing for the public to weigh in on the proposed building of a church in Alabama. It was to be built along the edge of a community and there was talk that this would be a good thing but people spoke out against it.. many came and said they didn’t want it. As each person voiced their opposition, the attendees cheered. A church? Opposition? Who could oppose a church?

 

Imagine a church being shunned by the community. Even the city council was against them. Some said it would cause problems with traffic. When that didn’t seem to satisfy the people wanting a place of worship the public said they would prefer to have a more commercial use of the land. Are you kidding? Everyone seemed against building this church. Who would dare? Every qualification was met but still the council voted 7-2 against it.

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What do you feel? Is it upsetting to know that people would oppose the building of a place of worship?

 

Well, you know me. This wasn’t some satanic church nor was it another Christian church. It was an Islamic center. There weren’t 10 or 20 in town. To my knowledge, they did everything that was asked of them—met all the requirements so people had to get creative to oppose the church-center.

 

As long as we think that the church is a Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic Church everything is good. The people who are opposed are the “enemy” but as soon as we know it is an Islamic ‘church’ we blend in with the opposition and the “enemy” becomes the congregants.

 

I used to be like that.. well maybe not this bad but I used to feel uneasy but then I realized I have no more rights than anyone else. When we think we are the chosen ones–which in turn makes others not chosen–then we have built a wall between our brothers and sisters.

 

There is a verse from the Bible that comes to mind. It goes something like this… Whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did to me.

 

Treat others as you would like to be treated and not as you ARE treated. Have a great Saturday! 🙂

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Do you pray for your fellow humans that they will find peace and do you love them above yourself or do you chastise them and pray that God reaps heaps of burning embers on their very soul? Ask yourself what is the right thing to do? I am so very tired of us crying to God and saying we are the ones infringed on and that others are to blame when we are the ones who are to love all people—all nations­—no matter what.

 

Look at those who are without…those who are hungry and know not what safety means. What do you see? How do you feel? Look at those who are hurting. Do you wish that God will smite them for their transgressions? Or do you reach out your hand to help all people?

 

There are certain things in this world that I call rights and those are the right to be free…free to worship, free from abuse…free to be educated and not withheld for certain people…freedom for choices we make each and every day. With freedom comes responsibility—great responsibility. We cannot withhold our freedoms for ourselves alone. We must share in that.

 

Many people of this country—the US—want to deny the freedom of immigration, the very lifeblood for all of us who are not natives of this land. How dare we! How dare we withhold what is the very essence of life and goodness. I think some soul searching needs to be done and you need to look no further than the Statue of Liberty.

 Statue of Liberty

 “Statue of Liberty” by Rudy Norff (link) via flickr

[Terms of Use – Creative Commons (link) – no changes]

 

 

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (link)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

Do you know the meaning of every line? Do you think this was written only for those who had already passed through the entry points to the US or do you think we should welcome immigrants to this great nation?

 

You may choose to trash other people or trash the history of the United States but President Obama is not your enemy. He is not the anti-Christ. This great country is made up of people who should take pride in our Constitution and our founding fathers. Slavery was abolished but discrimination thrives today just as much as it did 100 years ago maybe even more so today.

 

Are there changes to make in your life? So many of the people that came to this country were descendants of unloved people—those who were discriminated against whether it was religious persecution, race, sex, whatever…even disabled. I encourage you to look at the bills before your state legislature and see which of them scream hatred for another. What can you do? Don’t sit by and become feeble. Live every day like it is a gift.

🙂

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