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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I want to formally apologize for my country. I am sorry that we—the US—look like the selfish fools that we have become. We are not all like what is being portrayed but many are. Look at who is in the Whitehouse. Many of us are busy trying to make the world a better place for everyone and not just a chosen few but it’s like in school when you have one or two bullies in the class that cause chaos and mess everything up for everyone. That’s us right now.

 

I hang my head in shame for what my president and his administration are doing. No, it is no being blown out of proportion. These are heinous acts against humanity.  I’m not going to sit here and sling blame at everyone like some are doing. I believe we have responsibility and therefore the actions of the few will have consequences for the many and not just those of us in the US but all across the globe.

 

I was horrified to watch the events unfold of the past week or so. I can’t tell you how much it tears me up. A phoenix is a mystical bird who rises up from the ashes—one who is reborn. We weren’t in the ashes when this administration began but we are hurdling there quickly now. I suffered at the hands of a narcissist but this narcissist that is leading us is the worst I have ever seen—one that has psychopathic tendencies. Dangerous. In order for a phoenix to rise, we must first die and that’s not acceptable in my opinion.

 

I just wanted to say that I am so very sorry for the actions of my country’s leaders. We have a choice each day that we get up—to do good or to not. Right now, we aren’t doing good things. We are being selfish ingrates.

 

I can’t say Happy Gardening so I will just say again that I am sorry!

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I find it difficult to blog lately. One thing is a health issue—I’m terribly allergic to something and it has taken control of my life for the past couple of months. Every time I make headway with one thing in my life, something else happens. 😀

 

I miss the camaraderie here on wordpress. I miss reading blogs and writing—sharing ideas and such. There seems to be less time to do all of things I want to do. My life is changing and I hope it is for the good. Only time will tell but I’m excited. 🙂

 

I want to add that each of us needs to be true to ourselves. No matter what happens in life, if we are not true to the central core of our life then we have deceived ourselves and we will not have the happiness we deserve. Life is about choices and consequences but it is also about forgiving ourselves for making poor choices. We can’t beat up on ourselves. We have to let go of the past and be willing to create a new future.

 

Plant seeds of goodness—harvest loads of love—and store treasures of a lifetime.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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  • On Thursday I was told online that I needed to sacrifice myself because of my liberal views—that I was responsible for the deaths of the marines in Chattanooga…clears throat…

 

  • I had a post come across my FB feed yesterday showing how many of my friends stood with Israel and to share if I agreed…clears throat…

 

It takes courage to speak up when almost everyone I know is against what I believe.

 

  • About a week ago, I got a call from a person from my church, a person I used to call a close friend until she called me last year to complain about our new minister—saying that he wanted us to love everyone but that she could not love those people overseas who started all of those wars—that she could learn to love black people but not Muslims…clears throat…

 

She was calling last week to tell me how bad our church is having it—that they had to let the cleaning lady go. It seems that everyone will have to volunteer some of their time to clean and she was bemoaning. She said there is not enough money and they may have to shut the doors. This isn’t the first time we have discussed this and my answer usually begins with words about having faith in God except this time I just listened.

 

This time she was upset that the minister (same minister from last year) said he was willing to perform same sex marriages. The congregation said they were against it so they quit having weddings in the church. It’s a beautiful historic landmark and is usually booked about 2/3 of the year for weddings. Money made goes to pay bills including the salary for the minister and utilities. Some in the congregation would rather have no weddings than to deal with any same sex couple weddings. Yes, it is a Christian church. By the way, the people getting married in the church supply their own officiant so there is more to this story and it is a power play of sorts. I don’t think churches are where politics should enter but when a new member comes in, they essentially are forced to choose a side. 😦

 

She wasn’t forthcoming on all of this but I told her that she didn’t want my opinion. When she called last year, I warned her she didn’t want my opinion but she said she did so I told her that Jesus didn’t come for only certain people, that he came for all people and that we should love all. She wasn’t happy and I can only guess that others in the church got my message through her because I got the cold shoulder soon afterwards and I am still shunned by most of the members. That is on them—not me. I gave so much to them and it hurt me but I have given that up. 🙂

 

There are some people who think they are being persecuted…big sigh…sad face 😥

 

Many of these Christians are the ones doing the persecuting and they have been doing it for a long time. This makes me sad. I also talked to a real friend from my church this week. She filled in some of the missing details and she was in agreement with me about our church and about what love really means. For so long we had hoped that the congregation would change but the ones with power have suffocated all life in the church. She and I worked together on many projects only to see them fall through. We have given up because too many people pushed back and pushed others out. You have to follow the words of Christ if you are a Christian church. That love thing is really the foundation of everything.

 

I’m proud that my minister has decided to do the right thing. It took real courage to do what he did. He will be pushed out of the congregation because he spoke his mind. They cannot meet the bills and they will let him go. I’ve seen it happen all too often. It’s the way they do things.

 

Faith is like a double-edged sword. It cuts two ways. You can have faith that you will succeed or that God’s will might not be what you want. The trick is to let the Spirit guide you. If you don’t, then what good is faith? I have prayed and prayed for God’s love to be shown through the people of the church—this was my prayer for so many years and we were doing positive things but something happened. I have dared not to pray that the doors would stay open because what good are open doors if people are not welcome inside? The homeless were never welcomed–only a few of us tried to be welcoming to all people. Those who were in need were not welcomed. Our true fruits are seen when they mature. They can be fruits of goodness or the fruits can be rotten. I pray for the best but sometimes tough love is hard to watch as in this case.

 

A church is not a charity. The people in the congregation are the hands of Christ and are there to help others and its members but they are not the charity. My church has long worshipped money over service to the community. They don’t get it. The building is worshipped and the lady who gave the money for it is worshipped. She never wanted to be remembered and even said so many times. She gave anonymously and I still say if she were alive today, she would admonish the members for not building a new church to better serve the people. She was ahead of her time and I find it quite ironic that she was purpose driven in the 1800s and yet, here we are in 2015 and this congregation believes women should not serve. We have not risen to the call and until things change, I don’t see the congregation growing but only dying.

 

When you have hate in your heart, there is truly no room for any love. You choose what is in your heart. 🙂

 

 

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An emotional day…rather than explain my day, this is my prayer that I posted for another blog…blessings and good tidings to you this Sunday… 🙂

Dear God, I cried today first because people called me awful names and told me terrible things after they told me to go to hell. But, those tears were nothing compared to the heartache I felt when I read that a certain minister has called for a boycott of any institution who will not stand against SSM. What would Jesus do? I ask myself that question. Would he turn away from people who need him? Would he judge others? Would he treat others as 3rd class citizens? No!!!

God, I cannot believe what I see each day…hatred for others and those who are hating are the ones who are saying they are being persecuted. What happened, Father? What went wrong? The moral decay is not coming from some sin that is preached about as an abomination. The moral decay has already taken place in the hearts and minds of Christians who believe the law says to build walls and fences to keep others out. Father, your son preached to the Pharisees but his words are more true today than they were 2000 years ago. There are Pharisees among us who would have us believe that Jesus would shun part of the world. I don’t believe that. He wouldn’t do such.

Father, you taught me to love all, to judge not, and to live by example. My tears are for those who have been marginalized and are told every day that they are going to hell. We sin, Father, when we take your place. My tears are for those who believe they have the right to dictate how others should live. It hurts me to know they do not understand love, the greatest commandment. I may not walk my path alone but sometimes it sure feels that way and yet, I know you are with me. 🙂 Never leave me…

I search for peace to build bridges so that we may all live in harmony…this I pray…

Amen.

 

My heart weighs heavy from what I have experienced today. No one should ever go through what I faced and if it wasn’t enough, I was mocked and made fun of. Do I question if I’m doing the right thing? Yes, I do question and the answer is yes–not because it is a trendy thing but because it is the answer to what would Jesus do? I believe there is a great divide about to come across this nation…there has been a swelling feeling of pride and arrogance and when we look at history, that arrogance is what brings down empires. Each of us has a choice to make. We can choose to bury our head in the sand or we can choose to love. Those are the only two choices that I see.

 

Also, I was preached to last night that I was going to die at the hands of my Muslim friends by having my head separated from my body (perhaps he has watched too much Highlander) because I will not fight against Islam. No, this person was not speaking about the fanatic group across the sea but that all Muslims want me dead. These are perilous times we are in, there is no doubt but to spread such hate and fear mongering is unfathomable. 

 

May your gardens grow with love abundant… 🙂

 

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My last blog post was not easy. Soon after I posted it, I was unfriended on facebook by someone I have called a friend for several years. No notice, no nothing. I assume the person took offense at what I said. That was not what I wanted. And here is where life gets difficult. I have to let it go. It was their choice. It’s hard—very difficult for me. I usually will approach the person and apologize even if I feel I have done nothing wrong but I must learn to let go because I know they believe I am wrong and nothing I say will change that. :/

 

I can choose to be quiet about what I believe or I can explain as best I can why I am on this journey, how far I have come, and what I have learned. You, the reader, can accept what I say or not accept it…that’s up to you—no disrespect intended. My journey…my eyes…my perspective. I believe I would be doing a great disservice to the world if I keep quiet.

 

Believe me, I have prayed about this often. I have meditated. I have questioned, read, and repeated. I didn’t get to this point simply by being dropped like a ‘google guy’ on a map. I worked hard to get here. I have paid a great price (too great to hide) and have asked God to help me tell the story because in truth, God put me on this journey—that’s what I believe.

 

My picture of God may not be the same as your picture and that’s what we need to let go of or rather embrace the differences rather than call attention to them. There are people who do not believe in God. That’s fine with me. I don’t look at them and say, “Hey, you are going to hell unless you repent and are baptized.” I used to think that way. I cannot put my faith on someone else and someone of my faith cannot tell me that I am wrong for not doing it. We have to let go if any faith is going to survive. I didn’t understand that at first but I do now.

 

My struggles, my pain…it’s all about the journey. There are people who have come into my life…and there are those who leave. It hurts—it hurts a lot. I never want that and I never want to say goodbye but if that is the way it must be for the other person to live/survive, then I must let go. Sounds awful doesn’t it?

 

Many of the people I talk to have lost a loved one(s)…the pain they carry…the pain that I hear in their words. Sometimes it is what they share and sometimes it is what is missing that tells the story. I feel that pain many times without knowing the details. I don’t know why. I’ve been this way all of my life. I joke that it is my overactive empathy gene but there is no such thing.

 

I believe women (and not only women) have a great capacity for love and understanding, compassion with passion so to say. I talk a lot about empathy…it’s a part of me that I can no more change than my height or eye color. An empath may sound like a mythological creature but I believe they are real and I believe each of us can use our empathy to reach out to others. I’m not talking witch mumbo jumbo or crazy stuff. I am speaking about what we call the heart…what we feel which is really in our brain.

 

I cannot tell you what will happen tomorrow. I can only tell you what I feel and what I feel from others. It’s a gift. Some may say it is a curse. It’s not special—no more than anyone else. Some will tell you that not everyone has this gift but I think we were all born with this gift. It’s up to us to use it, to help it grow, to understand it and to use it for good. It is our connection to each other. 🙂

 

There is a part two to the last post I made but please understand that I have no agenda except for loving my fellow man and woman and accepting them no matter who they are or what they have done or how they believe.

 

We are each on our own journey. I don’t believe we are supposed to be on the same path and I don’t believe our destination will be the same. You know how if you are around positive people and have positive energy then your life is so much better—you are happy and others are happy…that’s where we need to be. Tearing other people down with nasty remarks isn’t the way to be happy. There is no positive energy and no room for growth.

 

Have a great Thursday and Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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Today marks 150 years since the signing of the surrender by Robert E Lee at the Appomattox Court House. The Atlantic publication published an article about it (as have many media outlets). They mentioned that the war and cease fire has not really gotten very far because in many eyes, it is still being fought. I can attest to that.

 

I have been commenting in a certain media forum where people are still fighting for “states’ rights.” There were comments yesterday that it was all Lincoln’s fault…I kid you not. I don’t understand. If people had their way, I would be living in a separate country that condoned slavery as a right guaranteed under the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. (excuse me a minute—I need to barf 😐 ) If you have never read this document that actually says the following, I encourage you read it—all of it.

 

We, the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America. (link)

 

It is not pretty. You have to remember that there were black people who were free but many whites did not recognize their freedom. I can go on and on about what I have learned over the years and I am ashamed at our country and I am ashamed of people today. From The Atlantic:

 

“It is easy to proclaim all souls equal in the sight of God,” wrote James Baldwin in 1956 as the Civil Rights Movement took hold in America; “it is hard to make men equal on earth in the sight of men.” Philosophically and theologically, claims of human equality are as old as the hills. But the real struggles for genuine equality of natural rights, of equality before law, and of equality of opportunity are much more recent in historical time. (link) 

 

Just because you claim something does not make it true in everyone’s eyes. In other words…you can lead a horse to water but if that horse doesn’t want to take a drink—it will die right there in front of all the water just because it refuses to do what it needs to do. People are not any wiser than a horse who refuses to drink.

 

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My great-grandfather

My Georgia family owned the farm I grew up on and what is known as Millhaven Plantation is less than 5 miles down the road. I cannot confirm this happened exactly as I was told but this was the story I grew up with… General Sherman made a visit to Millhaven on his march to the sea. That’s how close the civil war came to my backyard—that’s a little close for comfort. The story goes that Sherman was a Mason and the owner of Millhaven was a Mason. It is said that was the reason the plantation house was not burned but crops were stolen as were livestock and after the troops took what they wanted/needed, they destroyed part and ran off the rest of the livestock before heading to Savannah. I think the outbuildings were all destroyed but I can’t say for sure.

 

Being from the south, I have memories that have been relayed to me from people who were born just after the civil war. There were hard times back then from what I was told but no more than usual really, at least for the white families except those who lost family in the war. My family was mostly self-sufficient on the farm. That helped them survive the Great Depression and I am sure that the same holds true for the civil war. My family wasn’t into owning slaves. The only record I can find for a slave was an older black woman and I don’t know that the record is accurate because my great grandfather is listed as a black man on one of the census records and he wasn’t black.

 

I don’t know why people want to continue living like it was before the civil war. I have studied local history for many years and it astounds me that people want to still fight about something that is over with. Like I said, my children get it…they understand. I love it that they do. We are only as strong as our weakest part or link. Why wouldn’t we want to excel—for everyone to be successful? It is a sad thing–people wanting to be in control of others. I wish we could all leave this behind and move forward. Acknowledging history and culture is one thing but waving it in someone’s face is another. Pride and arrogance do not have a place in today’s world. I don’t celebrate the civil war but I honor the freedom it brought. To me, there is no need to scream for states’ rights. It was not Lincoln’s fault. It was stupidity and greed that caused the civil war and it is that same stupidity and greed that is driving some of our laws today. We need to wake up. Discrimination needs to stop! Equality for all people is what we need to honor.

 

Happy Freedom Day! 🙂

 

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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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