Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turn Insecurity Around

Insecurity is defined as feeling unsure, doubtful, unsafe, afraid, anxious, etc. Every person is insecure to a degree, although its unique to each person. With some, insecurity doesn't interfere with daily life, and it's hardly noticeable. With others it can be immobilizing. And we all fit in there somewhere. Some symptoms of insecurity are arrogance, jealousy, low self-esteem and self-image, bigotry, controlling personality, etc. It shows up in different ways. And the insecure person can be quite unhappy.

The root of insecurity begins in childhood, sometimes very young. My oldest son was born during an August heat wave before A/C. I put him in his crib in just a diaper to keep him cool, but he cried a lot. Finally a nurse told me he didn't feel secure, and I should cover him with a small cotton sheet. That solved the problem, and he slept well from then on. I can imagine how he felt being pushed out of the womb into wide open spaces. Of course he felt insecure. If a child grows up in a nurturing, supportive environment, they'll feel more secure as an adult. If the opposite is true, they can suffer from all kinds of insecurities.

Perhaps insecurity is part of being in the human condition. I don't know. But if you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back sometimes, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. And you can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when _____? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because _____.

Maybe nothing you did as a child was good enough. So now you feel insecure about whatever you attempt. Maybe you moved around so much when you were growing up that friendships didn't last, so now you feel insecure about meeting new people. I may feel insecure about one thing, while you feel insecure about something else. Once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. You can take a deep breath and say, "That was a long time ago. Things are different now." And make them different.

You may or may not be able to totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold on you. And you can help others. When I first began working with a mental health team in a county jail, there was one officer who always gave us a hard time. I recognized his insecurity, and I had a kind and tactful talk with him. I told him I suspected he might resent our presence, and feel threatened by us. Then I reassured him that we honored his position and were there to help him when he needed us. After that, he was more at ease, and we developed a good rapport.

We carry baggage all our lives. It feels good to lighten it.

I wish you a peaceful heart.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Is It Really A Coincidence?

Coincidence, if traced far enough back, becomes inevitable. Hineu

Sometimes I wonder if everything I call a coincidence really is a coincidence. When something out of the ordinary happens and that twinge of amazement is felt inside, some will say, "Oh, it's just a coincidence", while with others, these events stir the mind for explanations.

Those amazing events can be gigantic or just small ones we could overlook. The woman I found to edit my book, Silent Echoes, discovered her biological family, lost through adoption, living in the pages of the book she was hired to edit. Was it just a coincidence she was the person I happened to find for my book? Another time, I needed some groceries, but I was broke. I started to go to my brother's house to borrow some money, and I found a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of a coat I hadn't worn since last year. Coincidence? And what about the former Navy Seal, the only person near by when a woman's car went over an embankment into a lake, and he was able to get her out of her car. Coincidence? I don't think so.

The concept of randomness and coincidence will be obsolete when people can finally define a formulation of patterned interaction between all things within the universe. Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident.

Everything in the universe is energy, and everything, including us, is connected by energy. So through the action of energy, what happens today influences what will happen tomorrow. But going further, maybe different forces move the energy in different ways, depending upon the situation and the nature of the moving force. Some would say its Divine Intervention. Others would say you just happened to be in a certain place at a certain time. Others would blame it on the law of averages. And how much is the result of our own actions?

Many people are content to just accept these events as they come. But others who began asking why when they were children still persist in wanting to know more. Maybe the more we know about the cause and how things work, the better we can manipulate the effect for a better outcome in many of those not so happy coincidental events.

There's much we don't know about how our universe works, but we do know that our innermost desires are a powerful force that creates energy, and energy creates events in our world. We don't always know how something we do today may affect another person's life tomorrow. And that person may call it a coincidence. So maybe a good place to start contributing to a happier more peaceful world is within ourselves.

I wish you happy coincidences.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cracked Pot

Sometimes, in spite of positive situations, we may lack self-confidence, a sense of self-worth, or even a feeling that we matter at all. Our self-critic takes over with old false beliefs about us, and we lose sight of just how valuable we are. When this happens to me, I re-read the story of The Cracked Pot. It reminds me that each of us is important in our own way, and our value can't be denied. The story is long, but insightful, and may help if you have one of those inner critics that pesters you with false ideas just when you need to know the truth of how special you really are.

The Cracked Pot

There once was a water bearer in India who delivered water in two large pots that he balanced on a long pole across his shoulders. One pot was sturdy, but the other pot had a crack in its side. In the time it took the water bearer to walk from the stream to the master's house, the flawed pot lost half of its water. This continued every day for two years. The perfect pot was proud to say it did its job perfectly. The flawed pot was ashamed of itself.

Finally, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer as he was filling it at the stream. "I must apologize to you. I am embarrassed." "Why? What is wrong?" said the water bearer. "I am broken. It is no secret. I cannot hold all the water you put in me. I lose half of it as you walk to the master's house. I am of no use to you." The water bearer nodded. "I understand. But as we deliver the water today, take notice of the flowers growing on the side of the road." The pot agreed and became aware of a long row of beautiful flowers all along the road to the master's house. The pot was depressed that once again, at the end of the journey, it had lost half of its water. Again, the pot apologized.

The water bearer smiled. "Did you notice there were flowers only on your side of the path and not the other? I've known about the crack in your side all along. I decided to take advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path. You water those flowers every day. I've been picking the flowers and giving them to my master to put around the house. If you did not have your flaw, he would not be able to enjoy the beauty of the fresh flowers. They give me pleasure too. I see them every day as I walk the path. Because of your crack, I am able to do and experience something I wouldn't be able to if you didn't have it."

We are all flawed vessels. Like the pot, we are ashamed and embarrassed by our flaws. If we could see past our flaws as failures and ask how we can use them to our advantage, if we could learn to embrace them instead of pushing them away, we too could create beauty in the world for others. Our flaws are also the source of our strength. Anonymous

It's okay to be a cracked pot. We're all cracked in some way, but we're all special in the universe. And the universe needs each one of us.

I wish you days of making flowers for the world.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Is Your Dream?

We all have time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Others take us forward, they're called dreams. Unknown

If I asked people if they have a dream, I think some would say, "No. I just live day to day." But dreams are part of who we are. Everyday we want something, but dreams ... dreams go deeper. They are the tools of our creative self, and they remind us that we're alive. We all have dreams, but sadly, those dreams are sometimes pushed to the back of our conscious mind, to pop out once in a while and then return to their hiding place. I think we shy away from dreaming because we believe that big dreams are impossible, and little ones are not worth our time, or we think we're too old to believe in a future.

Dreams don't need to be lofty and seem unattainable. They can be something well within reach, like a certain trip you've wanted for a long time, a flower garden in the back yard, learning a new skill, etc. Anything that moves your imagination and warms your heart. Children are wonderful dreamers. It's as normal to them as breathing. Maybe they haven't yet developed the fear that we grown ups have. They just take life as it comes while their minds dance in the wonder of dreams. This is life stirring in them.

When I was a child I dreamed of being an opera singer, and then as a teenager, I spent all my babysitting money on opera records, singing along with music. When the neighbors had company they invited me to sing for their guests, and I usually sang at my friend's parties. I dreamed with all my heart. But due to a family situation, my dream got lost, and I finally had to let it go. Then I got married, had a family and sang for myself. I still miss that dream and others I had to give up, but over the years some of my dreams came true. A picture of a cruise ship in Alaska sat on my refrigerator door for 7 years until I finally made the trip with a tour for minimal expense. Then Silent Echoes, a book I had in my head for many years, was published 2 years ago. And I'm still dreaming.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Henry David Thoreau

What is your dream? Are you pursuing it, or is it tucked away somewhere with a belief that it can never happen? Some will come true and some won't, but they're the stuff that life is made of. So go ahead and dream, help life to unfold in marvelous ways, and watch some of your dreams blossom.

I wish you a heart full of dreams that make you smile.