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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trials, tribulations and tests

Yay I passed  the most recent test the Universe prepared for me and most important of all I had a ball doing it. Now I am free to finally move on unencumbered by the negative memories and experiences from my past. It's over I'm done and I am grateful to all of the souls involved for helping me hang in there and never giving up.

Yesterday someone quite unexpectedly reentered my life after an absence of twelve years. There was a time when I spent many hours praying, alright even begging the powers that be that he and I would connect. I admittedly harassed this person for years in every way my creative brain could think of. I like to think it was repayment for the miserable way he had treated me for many months, just because he could. Of course, that could be my ego speaking.  In reality, by remaining silent and out of touch, this person allowed me to do what I did and never ever lifted a finger to stop me.

This person called me yesterday to ask about my creative writing group, as he fancies himself to be a writer. Until we started talking he was not aware of who was on the other end of the line. When I informed him of who he had reached he didn't react, but asked how I was. I was trying not to laugh because I could clearly see the creator's hand holding the line together with the touch of a finger. I believe I even heard a chuckle that did not belong to me.

This morning this man did come to our group meeting as he said he would. The morning had started out as a challenge after receiving emails that two regular members whom I depend on would not be attending for personal reasons. I was also expecting a new female who wanted to check us out. I pride myself on being well prepared for our meetings, but this morning I felt I was on God's list to see just how far I could be pushed without cracking. The words to a poem, "If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you'll be a man my son" kept running through my head. Again I could swear I heard a chuckle.

The time came for the meeting and guess who was waiting for me in the hall. Yup the man in question himself. I took one look and basically was unimpressed. Considering the many challenges I had been given in the last 24 hours I believe I conducted myself in a professional manner throughout the meeting. I remained in charge. When I noticed I was nervous I quietly reminded myself to just breath.

To sum up the man's behavior he is one of the most egotistical beings ever put on this earth and I wonder what I ever saw in him. Apparently I have grown and he hasn't. On my way home I silently thanked the Universe for not giving me what I so desperately thought I needed all those years ago.

I admit I was wrong back then, but I am pretty sure I passed your test today. As a bonus I am grateful that there is no left over anger in sight. 





Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scars

A scar is a reminder of a real or imagined injury that has been survived.Most physical scars heal in time. Emotional scars are another matter and sometimes never completely heal. From the moment we take our first breath to our last our human life consists of a bundle of scars.

This is not a bad thing. How skillfully we learn to deal with our temporary wounds is how we evolve. I believe the reason we inhabit this planet called earth is to rise above the hurt of living and remember who we really are; a soul striving to experience and distribute pure love. That is not an easy task when there are so many road blocks plopped on our journey.

Although it has been said that God never gives us more than we can handle I sometimes wonder about that. I look around at the challenges that have been given to others and I often question the why of their experiences. Some people believe we should never question our creator as that is the ultimate source of wisdom. I do not think we were created to be robots that simply follow along. Asking questions is one of the best ways to acquire self education and growth.

I have experienced three major surgeries in my life that left physical scars. They do not compare to the emotional scars left from negative experiences and relationships. Lack of respect, abandonment, name calling, being ignored and today's bullying are all wounds we allow others to inflict on us, which cause major scars. Often the scars cause the victim to give up and end their life. Many times that could have been avoided if just one person had noticed their wound and offered assistance.

Every wound leaves a scar. Perhaps the injuries we suffer exist mainly to give others a chance to care and express love and the scar is a reminder for us to learn the lesson offered.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Who's in charge?

Five months ago I started a local writing group. There are now about 5 members who can be counted on to attend the meetings and I refer to them as the core members. This morning I learned a valuable lesson about leadership that I have probably been trying to learn all of my adult life. Every group needs a leader or very little will be accomplished.

I have been trying to push that job onto others, but apparently no one else desires to wear that hat. It looks as if I am stuck with it for as long as the group exists. Some people are born to lead, some are nudged, some fall into the role and some are pushed by an invisible force.

This month the group has been working on plans to sponsor a writing contest and writing camp for the kids who attend the summer program at our local family center. Completing important details have been dragging and I could see we were running out of time. I had asked another person to take care of them and she cleverly gave the job back to me a couple of days ago. Apparently she didn't think I would notice!

At first I was a bit annoyed, but then I decided to move ahead. After meeting with the necessary staff of the center and gathering information from their experience I clearly wrote my conclusions out and calmly presented them to my group. I then went over every detail of my findings, asking if anyone objected or had a better idea. I cannot believe how well the meeting went and how much we were able to accomplish.

As the result everyone now has a job that suits them in connection with the projects and I no longer feel it is all being dumped on me just because I am the group organizer. Perhaps I am finally learning the difference between leading and allowing others to take advantage of my generous nature. (Some people might call that my controlling nature).

As for the question who's in charge? I guess that would be me. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Caring

This past weekend was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. 1,514 souls perished in a few hours. I have been watching some of the presentations offered on television this week. What sticks in my mind is not so much the loss of life, but the disrespect for life. I wonder if those who died had known in advance what was in store for them all would they have still been so concerned with class differences?

Third class passengers could not speak to, let alone mingle with, any other class. They were treated as if they had a contagious disease that might spill over to the rest of the ship. I found it interesting that the survival list included two dogs.  Perhaps it was God's way of reminding us that life is life and no one is more important than anyone else.

I listened to interviews of a couple of the survivors. One was a man among those rescued from a lifeboat by the RMS Carpathia, who said, "We didn't know each other so we couldn't get in conversation". Since they were all going through the same life and death experience I would think they would have enough in common to speak to each other. Another interview was with a woman who viewed the voyage before the ship struck the ice burg as stiff  and very uncomfortable. What an understatement that was.

Many of the lives lost could have been prevented if those in charge had taken the time to care about the safety of the passengers and provided enough life boats and given proper instructions. I am trying to imagine how it would feel to be on deck making the decision to jump into the icy water or stay on board and go down with the ship. I hope I never have to experience something like that.

All those lives lost bring my thoughts to the more recent disaster of 9/11. At least death for the most part was quick. There were many heroes around that day who did care and  risking their own lives saved the lives of others, no matter who they were.

I would like to think we have grown in a positive way in the last 100 years. Maybe in the next 100 years we will actually reach the point of realizing that, although different, we all came from the same source. We are one whatever the color of our skin or the path we have chosen to walk.





Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seeds


When you plant a seed in fertile ground and the climate permits it will grow and produce an abundance of choice products. When you plant a good thought in a fertile mind it will grow and produce an abundance of good things. What you plant is what you get.

"What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action" is a very true quote from theologian Meister Eckhart.

Our thoughts are food for our mind and they affect our feelings, which are our body's reaction to them. Negative thoughts equal negative feelings and they can literally make you sick when you dwell on them. I believe our negative thoughts are the result of "thinking from behind". Things like, "I remember this experience from the past and it didn't turn out very well last time." Instead of learning the lesson the original experience offered we often freeze and do nothing out of fear of failure.

We had a Friday the 13th yesterday and I am wondering how many people were afraid to get out of bed and live their lives because of the negative thoughts attached to the date. I just laughed and went on with my day as if it were no different than any other day. I was rewarded with a positive experience telling me once again that I am doing just fine taking care of my own life.

I had filled up my gas tank, using my debit card, and headed for home. Upon arriving I checked the receipt and saw that the amount for the gas was double what it should have been. Gas is going up, but come on! I was charged $64.94 for 8.43 gallons. I immediately returned to the station and calmly asked for a refund, which I was cheerfully given. If I had not thought to check the receipt when I did it could have resulted in a serious problem later on not so easily remedied. I congratulated myself for having developed good habits about my finances. Thinking is good!

An expression that I truly dislike is, "We have always done it that way." It goes along with the also irritating, "I am who I am." For me they both produce a picture of a very tall stone wall with not even a tiny crack to allow light or new growth in.

I am always grateful when I am given the opportunity to rethink or redo. While it is true that we can't change our past thoughts about anything or anyone we can treat them as seeds to grow more positive thoughts about our today and tomorrows.

As Buddha once said, "The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you grow?"


Monday, April 9, 2012

Can flowers talk?

This morning as I was attacking some pesky weeds in my front yard I spotted a little red tulip blooming. It amazed me because it had been years since any of my tulips or daffodils had bloomed. It was also amazing because my yard is 100 X 200 feet and it is the only thing blooming, except for the blossoms on the fruit trees. I posted a photo on Facebook that I took, along with a comment about all the snow we had last winter. We had so much wet snow that it did terrible things to the shrubs and trees, bending branches to the ground. It also kept the ground very wet for weeks. A friend commented, “…and with all the complaining you did about the snow look what you got!” My response was, “I’m not sure that one little tulip blooming equals the two feet of snow that kept me a prisoner in my own house for two weeks”. In addition to being a prisoner it also caused serious damage to three ceiling in my house that I am just now being able to afford to have repaired. Hardly a fair exchange of energy I thought as I began to evaluate the picture. I also began to think of all the other not so nice things that I have survived in the last six months, beginning with emergency surgery and two weeks in the hospital, recovering at home alone, worrying about paying the related bills with no health insurance; then replacing a 35 year old furnace in the middle of the coldest winter we have had in years. Does the positive energy of one little tulip blooming really equal all that negative energy? I think not, but as I thought a little more my assessment of the situation began to change. Yes, all this stuff had happened, but guess what? I had survived it all and I hadn’t depended on one other person. I did it all by myself. What if that beautiful little tulip blooming my front yard just now is a universal acknowledgement of my efforts, bringing me the message that things are now going to get better? I’m not sure if flowers can talk, but I do know that God speaks in every language imaginable.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ban the media

I have decided that we should ban the media from making any further comment about holidays, especially those that are traditionally family oriented. When one is alone for whatever reason during a major holiday it can conjure up all kinds of reasons why that is. Is the person so terrible that nobody wants to be seen in their company? Have they committed some unforgivable crime against humanity and especially their family members? The media does not help when it continually presents pictures and stories of love expressed by the "perfect" family. When one's family does not fit the description of what is supposed to be it is easy to take the blame. It must be me. What did I say what did I do to create such turmoil? There is so much being made today about forgiving, but what if one of the two people in a relationship is unable or unwilling to forgive no matter what? You can't make somebody do what they refuse to do, even when it is obvious that it would free them from a ton of negative energy. I don't have an answer, but I feel that the media hype about what is supposed to be normal for family holidays creates a lot of unnecessary pain for those who are alone and do not fit that picture. For me, I decided to celebrate Easter, a previously major family holiday, by staying in my snowman pj's all day. I am not cooking, except maybe tossing a Hungry Man TV dinner in the oven later. I guess I could get dressed and go to Subway, but I will make that decision without the aid of the media thank you. So far my plan is going good. Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I have people

I had to laugh yesterday when I noticed the Cibola County Beacon published the article I had written without editing and also gave me credit as a "contributing columnist". I haven't been a columnist for the Beacon since about 2004, when I decided to move on and write books. A lot has happened during those years to convince me that I do have talent. The funny part to me was that it was not my desire to have my name appear so visibly above this article. That was the editor's decision. I was simply writing it on behalf of a group of like minded people.

It made me realize that my desire to form this group in the first place had nothing to do with promoting me or my writing gift as an individual. It had everything to do with inspiring people to work together to make a difference and to draw out the unique talent that each soul has to contribute. Working together I know that we will be able to inspire others to do the same.

I believe this is a lesson that I have been attempting to learn forever. I have always taken on too much and not allowed others to do their part. I raised three children pretty much alone because their fathers were otherwise occupied. If I had backed off and insisted on help I might not have ended up so bitter. As a result, two of them believe that I am negative and choose not communicate. They are entitled to their opinion and perhaps would change it if they considered all of the facts that I had to deal with and not just what they saw.

The only thing missing from yesterday's article was the photo, which I would like to share. It is of the core members of "Write on People". Others come and go, but these are the members who are usually there. They are from left to right Joyce Siegman, Mary Ann Montoya, Barbara Gunn and not pictured Joe Swanson.