Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is It Really a Duck?

              Your assumptions are the windows on your world. Scrub them off every once in a while, 
                                           or the light won't come in.  Isaac Asimov

Much in life is assumed, labeled, taken for granted. We expect to get what we need from our family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, anyone in our life. You're there for them, so you assume the same from them when you need something. That may be true. They love you. They're there for you. But if you knock on the wrong door, you'll come away disappointed and hurt. Sometimes what appears to be a duck is not a duck. It's a different critter, and you never realized the difference.

Example: Some years ago, I was struggling with a stressful situation in my life, and I felt overwhelmed, alone and emotionally drained. I needed someone to just listen to my feelings and be understanding and compassionate, someone to help me feel that I'd be okay. I went to two friends and expressed the fear and emotional pain I was going through, told them my situation and how I was feeling. One responded by telling me what to do, and the other told me his problems. I already knew what to do, and I couldn't handle someone else's problems at that time. They listened to my words, but they didn't hear me. I'd cried out for help, and they didn't hear my need. Now I really felt alone.

After this incident, I went to my Minister, and she helped me understand my disappointing encounter. She said we all have our own gift, but no one has all gifts. There are listeners, fixers, advisers, advocates, mediators, care-givers, nurturers, humorous one, and the list goes on. So instead of assuming, we need to acknowledge the other person's gift and not expect what they can't give. And love them anyway. I thought about my two friends, and I realized they gave me what they had to give, and they loved me in their way.

This enlightenment taught me a new way to relate to the people in my life, and I became aware of my own gift. I have two friends who live in other states and one who lives near me. These are the only ones I go to when I need understanding, hope, and compassion. We're there for each other on emotional support issues. Other people in my life provide help in different ways. And I provide my gift where I can. Now this way of relating is a blessing.

There's a saying, "You can't get bread from a hardware store". And if you keep going to hardware stores for your bread, it's like chewing the same food over and over and getting heartburn every time. Take a second look at the people in your life, learn what gift each has to give, and don't expect more. Then go only where your need will be met, and share your gift with them. That's unconditional love, and it will create more loving relationships.

I wish you many blessings in your unconditional relationships.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hello Again

Good morning. I haven't posted anything for the past 2 weeks, and I apologize for being absent. Now I'm grateful to be up and moving again. Do you every get bombarded with more than you can handle at one time, and you seem to sink down into the mud? Well, that's where I've been for the past few weeks, exhausted while dealing with health issues and 3 computers. (One was insane) Oh, yeah, my printer died too.

1. Last fall my old computer bellied up and died. I had it for 10 years, and we had our ups and downs, but it was friendly and simple. I like a challenge, and I'll learn when I need to, but I'll choose simple over complicated when I can. I still mourn the loss of that old friend. When it died, I went outside and screamed. Sometimes that helps, but I think I scared some birds away. I heard their wings fluttering as they made their escape.

2. Then someone gave me a brand new Windows 8, and my computer nightmares began. That new desktop responded with ugly resistance. It took 4 or 5 steps to get where my old one required only 2; when I was working on a page, a new unrelated page suddenly appeared, and I had to click, click to get back where I was; it said there was no connection when there was; I got lost in the mire of stuff I never used; etc. etc. Everyone I know who has a Windows 8 has the same complaints. It wasn't made for desktop anyway. I read that, as is, it was a mistake, and will be replaced by 2015. Duh.

3. When my printer died, I got a new one. Then after much turmoil and some choice words, I fired 'Mr. 8' and found another computer like my old one. I tried transferring new data from the Windows 8 to the new computer, but then had to get a friend to do that for me. I'd been editing my new book, Me and Granmama in the Hill Country, and I didn't want to lose my revisions. Yes, my computer skills are limited, but we can't all be endowed with the same talents. That's one reason we need each other, and we need equipment we can work with.

4. Then during my computer problems, I was also dealing with health issues, going between several doctors and running all over the place for a bunch of medical tests. I was so exhausted, even my brain shut down and wasn't running on all cylinders. (Does a brain have cylinders?)

So Now I have a question for you. What do you do when you're facing a bunch of stressful situations that need to be resolved, and you've got all your other usual stuff that needs attention? I'd really like some feedback. Like I said, we need each other. How 'bout some comments on the subject.

When problems come, I wish you one at a time with peaceful solutions.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Passing The Test

Every once in a while, I stop, get quiet, and ponder on where I am now and where I want to go from here. Sometimes I smile. Sometimes I don't. But I always find this time enlightening and well spent. One time I wrote a poem about the experience, and I'd like to share it with you today. Not a perfectly written poem, but hey, I'm a work in progress.

If life is a test, I pray that I'll pass.
I've been in this school a long time.
Each day of my life I take what comes,
And work toward doing what's mine.

Sometimes I look back where I've been in the past,
And I think of the times that I failed.
The hurdles I faced with fear in my heart.
And the times I proudly prevailed.

Most of the time I walked by myself,
And picked myself up when I fell. 
With lessons involved in each turn I made,
As I tried so hard to excel.

The places I've been and the people I've known.
They've come and gone through the years.
Sometimes they were close or a face in the crowd,
And occasionally brought bitter tears.

I think of the ones who are close to me now
And the ones that I've left behind.
I think of the  years that tested my strength
And the answers I never could find.

I tried to resolve all the issues I met,
And complete what achievements I could.
To live by the rules I'd been given in life,
And live like I thought that I should.

Now I don't know what my score will be
When I get to the end of my test.
Whatever the outcome with that final stroke
                                                  I hope that I gave it my best.                                                     

But there's only one question that will really decide.
The one that stands out above others.
The one that tests all the years of my life.
Did I love my God, myself, and my brothers. (Sisters too) :)

I wish you wonderful discoveries


PS. Please excuse the line out of place. I didn't know how to fix it.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Understanding Yesterday Today


Things like adversity, illness, or a broken heart are part of the human condition, and we suffer through them. We feel confused, wondering ‘why is this happening to me’? We may think we won’t survive, but most of the time we do, and we move on. But then we carry some of the pain with us deep inside and occasionally relive it, suffering all over again. Does that sound familiar?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have smooth sailing all the time? Or would it?

Your suffering has meaning
We’re creative creatures, made to be and do, grow and expand today from what we were yesterday. But it’s really hard going through some of those yesterdays, not understanding that every step we take on our journey leads to something we would have missed had we taken another route. 

I lived much of my life crying inside, choked in deep depression, and wondering why I had to live like that. I learned to hide my feelings and function as I had to, but the pain was always with me. Finally after two years of therapy, I realized those painful years were preparation for what I was meant to do. I needed those years, I needed that pain, to push me into a whole new direction in my life. I went back to school and had many happy years as a mental health therapist, something I never would have dreamed of without that experience. I used to curse the depression. Now I understand, and thank God for it.

Each step is preparation
My experience is not all that unique. I’ve seen many people learn from traumatic experiences and find that new door open for them. But I’ve also seen many who have not. Each step we take through life prepares us for the next one. But we need to see our steps as learning experiences we must take to make the next one better. 

Understanding leads to new vision and freedom
Pain hurts, but it can be a great motivator if you allow it to turn your attention in new directions. When you go through a painful time in your life, know that your pain is not all there is. There’s something beautiful waiting just outside of your present vision. But you have to believe and search for it. And it doesn’t have to be something you feel is too spectacular for you. Anything that warms your heart and gives you reason to get up each morning with bright anticipation is spectacular. Understand that your pain can be a catalyst to open that new door for you, and take that next step.

I wish you heartfelt understanding and new vision.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Healing For The New Year Part 2

We all worry, fret. struggle or suffer with an issue in our life. Sometimes it hangs on for a very long time. And that inner turmoil robs us of our freedom to grow and have the life we want. It's like living with a thorn in your foot, and it hurts to walk. Get rid of the thorn, and your steps will take you peacefully where you want to go.

To heal from the inside, it's best to know what's causing the inner turmoil. Check the issue categories in last week's message, and see if one applies to you. But if you can't identify a cause, you can work with the unknown for healing. As you work with the following steps, talk to the issue in your life, or the unknown, and create a dialogue with yourself as you go along. Work on one part at a time, not all at once. When you feel comfortable with one part, move on to the next one.

There are several ways to heal your thoughts and feelings. You need quiet time to do this. Sit quietly, take deep breaths, and relax.

Acceptance: You don't need to accept any problem, but you must accept that it's there and that you have thoughts and feelings about it. Don't resist or fight it. Allow it to be there for now. You're okay.
Ask for help: Go to your inner Voice and ask for help through the process and to reveal what you need to know. Your help and answers are within you and will come.
Clarity: Be honest, and question yourself as in last week's categories. Gain in understanding of 'what' you're thinking and feeling and 'why'. Allow your answers to come.
Forgiveness: Forgive whatever you're dealing with. Forgive your thoughts and feelings. And Forgive yourself for having those thoughts and feelings. Verbalize expressions of forgiveness.
Love and Release: Send healing love to the past or present situation, and release it with love. Send healing love to yourself. Feel yourself bathed in peace and love.
Denials and Affirmations: Verbalize I deny that this situation or  my thoughts and feelings have any power over me. And I affirm I am now whole and free of any inner turmoil over this situation. Do this throughout each day.
Create a Scene: In your mind create a scene of a beautiful morning sun rising. A new daybreak. Feel peace and freedom within, and allow this feeling to fill your whole being.
Gratitude: Express gratitude for your freedom. Say it. Shout it. Rejoice with gratitude.

Be patient. Inner healing takes time. I remember a few years ago when I worked with this healing system, and I had to keep pushing myself to continue. But my freedom still feels good. Solving a problem is one thing,but feeling peace within yourself is worth your time and effort to achieve it. This begins your journey for a happier new year. Take your time and allow your freedom to unfold.

I wish you a happier new year.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Healing For The New Year Part 1

It's a new year, and we have a chance to make it better than the last one. So we make new year's resolutions. But we usually think of making outside changes like doing things in a different way. But what about working on what's inside of us; things like hurt, resentment, anger, loneliness, regret, self-criticism, etc that eat at us in daily life. Every thought or feeling inside colors our life on the outside, and this is what needs attention. When we heal what's going on inside, our actions and situations on the outside will ultimately change from what they were. And life changes for the better.

Your thoughts and feelings about each of the following categories are clues to what needs healing within you. Think about each one carefully.

Your body: Do you feel stressed much of the time? Do you feel concerned about your body for any reason? Are you dissatisfied with it? Do you feel shame, frustration, self-critical, worry, any negative feelings or?
Relationships: Are there any in your life that get on your nerves? No matter how hard you try, they're not working? Do they tend to diminish your own self-worth? Do you feel anger, frustration, helplessness, hurt, or?
Work: Are you unhappy at work? Do you dread going every day? How do you feel about the people you work with? Do you feel angry, frustrated, regretful, failure, or?
Money: What's your attitude about money? Do you worry about it? Do you feel you'll never have enough? Do you feel lack, anger, frustration, sad, inadequate, or?
Painful losses: Have you experienced a painful loss? A person or situation? Do you wish you could go back, instead of accepting the present? Do you feel lonely, regretful, tired, angry, helpless, or?
Past mistakes and hurts: Do you keep mentally reliving those mistakes and hurts? Do you wish you had done something a different way? Do you criticize yourself for mistakes? Criticize others for hurting you? Do you feel angry, hurt, regretful, stupid, incompetent, or?
Self-image: How do you perceive yourself? What do you think and feel about you? Do you find fault with how you act, think, or feel? Do you feel you don't measure up, like you're less than others? Do you feel shame, dissatisfaction, self-loathing, guilty, or?
Negative habits: What habits do you want to change? How do you feel about them? What need do you satisfy with the habit? Is it to help you calm down? Rev you up? Give you a sense of power? Seem more acceptable? Help with loneliness? Do you feel anxious, depressed, helpless, or?
Any others you can think of: Ask questions that pertain to them, and include your thoughts and feelings about them.

Sometimes we're not aware of what we're really thinking and feeling. This week take some time and notice if any of the above categories apply to you, what's going on inside, and why it's happening. And I'll be back next week with some useful suggestions for promoting peace within and a sense of well-being. There's power in knowledge. The more you know about yourself, the more your life can work with positive meaning.

I wish you an enlightened week.