Someone is Living Rent-free

In my head and sitting at the table (uninvited) at meals with me, some unkind person is invading my space! It’s fair to say I have a resentment and I am letting this person take hold of my every thought and action. It is a sad state of affairs and I am ashamed that it has come to this point.

Deep down, I don’t really care what this person thinks or says but I can’t get over wanting to hear some form of apology for how I’ve been snubbed. Yes, that is stupid and narrow-minded and expecting one hell of a lot from another human being. I know we can’t all be aware of how important my feelings are! That is the baby in me…the selfish little child that refuses to let the world exist for its own self and not just for my benefit.

Sadly, I have learned to keep score. I have slipped back into old behavior that announces I am good and you have a lot to live up to. It is always a contest with me and no matter how much you do, it’s never enough!  The balance sheet must be in my favor or you lose points.

I am very sorry to admit these sins..I am ashamed. I pray but God only gives me more challenges.  That’s the point, but I miss the message every time. All the second chances go unheeded and so I have to go through the pain of self-hatred each time I fall into my old habits of resentments.

Someone told me once that Life is tough…so get a helmet.  I need to accept those challenges and give up the resentments. Those free loaders that live in my mind are there because I let them stay there and keep repeating how they have been unkind to poor me.  They should know better?? No, I should let them do whatever they need to do and I should forgive, ignore and be grateful that I understand that I am not the center of anyone’s universe but my own.

Life can be easier when I let go and invite God to remove the root of my resentments. Finding peace is a journey that takes discipline and right living.  There is literally no room for hateful attitudes and self-centered behavior or thinking.

Today at least I recognize that pain as the resentment begins and if I want, I can work on overcoming it. How? Well, maybe with some loving thoughts about the person, I can find some peace of mind. Surely there is something good in each of us! I just need to look harder for the good and stop focusing on the bad.

active activity adventure backpack
Finding something good in everyone.

 

All People are Created Equal?

This is what we are told…all men and women are created equal.

Then we begin to question why does the kid in the the slums do drugs and why does the kid in the suburbs go to private school! How can that be equal birthrights? What about the kid exposed to horrible disease in a third world county compared with the little royal prince whose world is pure paradise!

Does each human being born in this world have the same right to live a good life and enjoy peace and serenity?  This theory may have to be taken deeper than the words themselves, deep into a spiritual world where each individual has that right to live beyond the material world and find joy and wholeness in a world protected by God (Whoever or Whatever that Higher Spirit may be).

It is essential to remember that people do have a choice to choose the path that feels full and secure. Yes, some have no guidance from uncaring parents. This often creates a vicious cycle and it is kept in motion by a sickness that is extremely difficult to break. The equality we are given at birth means there is an answer to the problem of this whirlwind cycle. Among the trapped individuals, this Special Power has sprinkled helpers into the world to give a helping hand to those who want to break the cycle.

The equality given as a birthright means everyone has the right to choose to break the cycle. All men are created with the ability to choose the right path, to live abundantly with peace of mind and to help his fellow man.

Those people born to wealth and abundant love sometimes choose a path of selfishness.  Why? Not everyone wants to live along a path that requires gratitude and giving back so they attempt to get more and more just for their own use. It is the choice they make. They might believe they are not equal to others but far better than their fellow man. There are some of these  people around…they have misunderstood what the promise of equality means.

Believe in equality and stay on your path by sharing your joy. Choose the right path and claim your birthright.

people walking on street during night time
find your path

Soak in the Sun

Enjoying the winter sun of Arizona, I am inspired by the Spring that is on the way. Although I am a midwesterner, this brief visit to the warmth of the desert fills me with a spirit of joy and serenity.

All my life I have complained about the snow and the damp cold of Missouri and now I fel released from those surroundings.  Can I feel God more in the sunshine and cacti and sand! I truly need to work on my attitude if that’s the case.  I need to feel Him in the cold, dark days of winter and in the heat and humidity of July. I know it is just my human mind that fails me.

Today I appreciate life and vow to slow down in the journey of life. I hope I can accept all days as gifts from God.

Finding Hope

church In 1863, on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the poem Christmas Bells as he struggled to find hope in his changed world.  In 1861 his wife died due to a tragedy of fire in their home and his eldest son soon became maimed by the violence of the Civil War. But as Longfellow heard the bells that Christmas Day in 1863, his hope was beginning to return. He was inspired to write Christmas Bells and his soul poured out onto the paper

The poem was set to music by John Calkin who took the liberty of removing two of the original stanzas about the Civil War making it another sweet Christmas carol. You know the carol as I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Longfellow longed for hope and peace. Our country is longing for the same, but we are confused as to how to accomplish the goal. Hope is that expectation of something good to come about, but it cannot come if we don’t work for it or strive to find it.  

Writers write and that’s what Longfellow did in his quest for hope. Today the world is caught up in the power of anger and the turmoil of bitterness. Nothing can be accomplished this way. Do the next right thing and no matter the cost of that effort, the reward is priceless. Stand up for the goodness and power of believing in the sound of those Christmas Bells with their message of hope and peace.

However, maybe you don’t hear the bells. Maybe you don’t see the stories that others show you in their actions, but in order to find hope, you must listen intently with your ears and with your heart. It is then that hope will come to you because you will realize that “…God is not dead nor doth He sleep…” as Longfellow wrote and peace and joy will fill your soul.

Longfellow and many like him can inspire us to live a hopeful life, to erase the bitterness and discontent from our moods and surrender to the next right action for ourselves and our families and friends. Some years ago during the Los Angeles riots, Dan Rather, a  notable and admired newscaster said it all begins in the heart of each man. Hope can be contagious. Find hope and spread it around.

Do I Have a Right?

If I don’t have a right to kill another human being just because I am having a difference of opinion or some other kind of misconception, what gives me the right to criticize another person’s style or point of view? As an individual, I have the right to be me…right or wrong. Don’t judge me, let me be. Defend yourself if I am ready with gun or other weapon in hand to do you or yours harm, but don’t just walk up and kill me. The same goes in my actions towards others!

If I am a Jew and you are not, so what? If I am a peaceful Muslim, what gives you the right to judge me? What makes any of us God?  Actually I try to live by the motto of “Live and let live”.  It isn’t in my nature to see things your way, but after all, who am I to set out the workings of your world and your mind!.

Let’s get it straight…I have my priorities of right living ever-present in my mind and I do not condone the ugliness of the world, but unless I can contribute a positive action to help mend some of the evil, then I must seek out other souls that might join with me to pray for God’s guidance. Praying is the substitute for complaining and gossip. Praying and positive effort will work miracles in our world, but I do not have the right as one person to be judge and jury of any situation or the right to take lives.

SAM_1389 SAM_1735When I am tempted to judge the hairstyle or body shape of another person, I ask myself how far would I go to prove that I am “all it”?  Being kind begins in my heart and in my tiny actions…if I would character assassinate someone, could I get so messed up that I could actually pull a trigger or make a bomb?  Where does it start? Where does it end? Do I have a right?

The Big Lesson

Praying for myself never seemed like something I should practice. After all, God stays pretty busy taking care of so many requests for people who can’t help themselves that it really seemed selfish to bother Him with my pain and problems. I was trying to learn to pray for others and not be full of self-pity. There are people with real pain and real problems that far exceed my limits. Did they exceed their limitations? Three weeks ago I decided to climb on my countertop and rearrange things on the shelf above my kitchen cabinets.  Having done this many times before, I had no issues with the precarious position I put myself in. On the other hand, my husband had issued a severe warning about abandoning this ill-advised practice to his 69-year-old wife…me! I was in sock feet and up about three and a half feet off the floor.  The job was almost done and I was ready to step to the small step stool that stood waiting for my left foot. I had moved since climbing up on the counter and the stool was farther away than I remembered and that did it. Losing my balance and with nothing to grab, I knew it meant falling onto the ceramic tile floor. There is a way to be smart and a way to be dumb. Honoring this body is smart and taking on a task beyond my ability is really dumb. I am a chronic loser when it comes to balance. The joke was always that I couldn’t chew gum and walk in a straight line. My troubles had just begun when my body fell straight back onto the floor. The motion of a split second fall was observed in slow motion as the sound of my head cracking on the floor alerted me to the end of my descent. I pride myself on taking care of my diet and my skin. Oral hygiene is a must. I honor this body as though it were a temple. No smoking or not a drop of booze for twenty-six years, but I do not respect my physical limits. There are medications I take which cause a bit of dizziness, but the side effect shows itself as unbalance. If you didn’t know me and you watched me walk, I often sway around like a drunk. So where was this respect for my body when I made such a blatantly stupid move? Professing that accidents happen when concentration is lost, I guess I am a genius. Learning my limitations is another lesson. Lying on the floor and unable to catch my breath, I wondered if this would be the end of me. Where was my second chance?  Struggling to call for my husband, I was on the verge of tears. When he arrived on the scene of the kitchen floor he asked if I had learned a lesson!  Through breathy tones, I said yes. The pain that has followed this lesson has been excruciating and I have learned to pray for myself. Nights of no sleeping and an unbelievable inability to ease the pain, I have asked God to find it in His mercy to bring me some relief. The first bit of knowledge imparted to me was to search for a better doctor. The egomaniac doctor who first saw me was very rude and uncaring. God told me that His care is what I can count on and that I must be patient with myself as the healing would take a long time; however, He did mention something about learning the lesson of my limitations. I have begun therapy and continue to pray for myself but with each hour of relief, I give God thanks. If I am going to pray for myself, I had better be grateful when I get results.  I am grateful even if the pain goes on through a day because I know that God saved me for a reason and I can pray that He shows me what He needs from me. I actually learned two lessons: 1.) No more climbing on the counter or up on ladders beyond my ability and 2.) It is okay to pray for myself. Being a child of this God I so love, I must learn to honor this body He gave me. I know I am not perfect, but being human means learning lessons…even lessons about what I cannot do!