People matter

expect-e1573855705917.jpgToday is my 79th birthday. I was hoping that it would be a good day but my hope was in vain. While backing out of a parking place my car caught on someones bike rack and pulled loose a part of the side panel on my car.

This is my favorite car that I have ever had. It is not going to be difficult or expensive to fix as it looks as if it just needs to be popped back but it really got to me. I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting a good day or if it is because the car is my favorite.

It is not usual for me to be so upset about something like that but I am. Just one of those days.

 

I have talked to many times about how life is never boring and here it is again. The fact that it is not boring can be because of something good or something bad. Today it was something bad. We will get the car fixed and all will be well. Now all I have to do is get myself back to a better state of mind. By tomorrow this will just be a bump in the road. After all, for me, it is not things that are important but people. Remember that when things go wrong that can be dealt with.

love-people-feature

People matter!

More preparation than I thought

The weather has been unusually cold here for this time of year. It seemed like a good time to make soup. I found a wonderful recipe in my computer cooking program and it sounded wonderful. I decided to give it a try.

The thing I didn’t notice before I started was the amount of things that had to be chopped to get ready. I have made lots of recipes with many ingredients but this one was demanding. I chopped chicken breasts, carrots, celery, shallots, sage, spinach, mushrooms, rosemary garlic,parsley,  grated a lemon for zest and parmesan. It was rather time consuming. The cooking took little time. Next time I will chop everything the day before and just make the soup.

over prepared

I realized that life can be something like this. There are many things that we have to spend a great deal of time preparing and then they are done in a flash. Just think about the Christmas Holidays. So much preparation goes into a day that (especially if you have children) can be destroyed in an hour.

I guess we have to decide which things are worth the effort put into preparing. For me, Christmas is and I think I will make that soup again….it was wonderful!

My list

I have gotten better about some things as I have aged. On Friday I will turn 79 years young. The year before eighty. It seems like a milestone. It has made me think about the things I really can do something about and came up with this list.

  1. My choices and actions
  2. My attitudes and priorities
  3. The people that I chose to be with
  4. How I use my resources both physical things, my energy and my emotions

If-you-create-a-vision-for-yourself-and-stick

These are the things that I have some control over. Anything else is not something I need to worry about, stew over or waste time on.

Now the only things I need to do is to stick to this list.

Love is infinite

I have been thinking about love. I’m not talking about romantic love but a more expansive love. Love, if nurtured, does not decrease…..it grows. Not just for one person but there is always more to share with others. Our ability to love can be endless if we encourage it.

love-is-infinite

Christ called us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This statement reminds us that it is important for our love to both reach out to others but also inward to ourselves. Both are necessary.

Most of the major religions consider love to be crucial. It is unfortunate that mankind has skewed the original tenets and intentions of them so much. “Religion” has encouraged divisiveness and exclusivity. Each “sect” is touting its “truth” and denigrating all others. So many splits and divisions have occurred that I am not sure we could name them all.

We have lost the call to love. Love our world, our earth itself with all its plants, animals, and beings with a fierceness that forces us to consider the good of it all. How far we have strayed.

best-unconditional-love-Dalai-Lama-2016-700x675

We have to speak out with love. We may only reach one person but each one is one that is changed and with hope that they will pass it on.

Learning and using it

Today I had to attend a class to re-certify as a mediator. The class was helpful and interesting but I realize I am no longer used to sitting in class all day. At one point I stood up for a while to just get out of the chair. We were given breaks but the first one was long in coming.

It is interesting when many things that you have done in life enrich whatever you are doing presently. I have noticed this happening several times in my life. It’s as if I am being prepared for the next thing to come. Today was mostly about listening, discovering what lies beneath problems, and helping to find common ground between people. I have used and taught communication skills many times in my life and this was mostly a endorsement of what I have already learned. I will be using it in a different way and learning that was helpful.

Learning-never-stop

If we are truly living we are learning all the time. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new. Maybe from TV or books or other people. It is interesting to think at the end of the day about what is new and how can you use it.

Nothing is ever wasted. As you age you learn something you thought was useless 10 years ago is just what you need now. Absorb everything you can in life and somehow it will be used.

Choose one of the following options

If anyone wonders why we use the internet to take care of things then this will help you to understand.

Today I called a Dr’s office. The first thing I got was a voice telling me that I had reached the ”Surgery Center” and to listen carefully to the options offered. The first option told me that if I was a physician to press one. The second offered to take me to the physician’s office where I could make an appointment. Ok, I pressed 2. A voice told me that my call would be answered in the order that it arrived. Fine. So I waited. Voices assured me that my call was important and that someone would be with me soon. This repetition went on for 6 minutes. Finally the phone started ringing. It seemed that someone would actually answer my call. Well…..maybe. The phone rang and rang and rang…………. I watched the clock. It had actually been ringing for 2 minutes when someone picked up.

call wait resize

This was not my first rodeo. I once called where I was born to get a copy of my birth certificate. That was after I discovered that the original was no longer acceptable. I called the number listed and I was given the multiple choice quiz again. I punched the number for birth certificates and got a nice lady who assured me that I could get a copy. All I had to do was mail a check with the request. I asked her for the address and was told that she didn’t have it. She couldn’t transfer me to the other department instead I had to dial in again and listen to the choices. Fine. After getting the address I had to dial in again to find out how much money to send. Each time I needed something I had to start over. It was a matter of “you can’t get there from here.”

Whenever possible I avoid calling. I email, text, chat, whatever but I don’t call unless it’s 911 for an ambulance.

Anamnesis — Remembrance

Today was All Saints Sunday. Brought forward from the actual day which was November 1st. All Saints is a day of remembrance in the church.

Remembrance..a word that brings forth things gone. I have long felt that those who have gone on before us are still with us. Not as ghosts or some kind of spirit but as memories. I feel that as we think about those in the past we connect with them and they still live in us. We are a part of all that has gone before. Some old Biblical translations used the word anamnesis. Later it was changed to remembrance but I think the earlier word is closer to the original meaning.

an·am·ne·sis
noun
the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence (often used with reference to Platonic philosophy).

remembering

I still feel the presence of my mother, father and other family members. Their love and caring continue on. As do the lives of those who are in my past and whose lives brought mine about.

Memories and emotions

Where families are involved life can treacherous. Sometimes the most innocent remark can be twisted into a major conflict. I suspect this is because there is history and much emotion involved. Often the negative reaction has nothing to do with what is going on at the moment. It is rooted somewhere in the past where the emotions are stuck.

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I have never forgotten that our emotions are tied to so many things. A piece of music from our past can have us experiencing the emotions we felt at the time. These past connections can emerge at the worst moments and skew our perception of the current experience.

Many of us have been taken straight back to our past feelings by a song, a scent, a person, or a scene. We don’t realize what is happening and our responses are not appropriate to the moment. This is doubly true for those we spent a lot of time with growing up. We are creations of our environment as well as our genes.

family breakup

It takes real strength to look inside and connect with the past so that we can disconnect ourselves from it. Most of us don’t want to relive the negative things that formed out emotional responses. It make take talking with a counselor to root out those emotions and at least understand them. Hopefully doing so will allow us to reconnect with those we have turned away from. Maybe not. Some we may not want to but there can be some that can heal connections that will change our hearts.

How to answer?

When someone reads my blog and I get an email I check to see if it is someone I have in reader. If not I read some of the suggested blogs. It may be someone I want to follow myself.

not all wounds

Recently I read a blog that surprised me with the underlying anger I sensed in the topics presented. I don’t want to offer any further information but it really made me think. The person was not angry at me or what I wrote but the depth of anger and what I translated as hurt was intense.

At the time I didn’t comment on any of the blogs but have thought about it ever since. I wonder if I should have tried to respond in some way but I just couldn’t decide how to comment.

 

kindness help

It is interesting when reading blogs that touch you in some way that the angst involved seems to require something more that one can say in a comment. I just can’t forget it. I suppose if it shows up again I might find some way to respond. I hope I can say something that helps and doesn’t cause more pain.

Mystery is allowed

We are surrounded by mystery. Though hard for us to accept we don’t have control over many things. We would like to be in control. We yearn to be in control but ultimately we are not.

until-we-accept-the-fact-that-life-itself-is-founded-in-mystery-we-shall-learn-nothing-quote-1

We prefer to make decisions trusting that they will happen as we planned. We make judgments about right and wrong, about people, about events. We can make quick certain and smug judgments. We are so sure that our way is the right way. We are sure that life will follow the path we have set. We are so wrong.

This inability to accept our powerlessness can make us blind and unwilling to see the truth. We can say “don’t bother me with the truth, I want to be in control.” We see ourselves as all knowing. We cover our heads and stick with own ideas. This action leads to a lack of willingness to see any other way. It makes us unable to have compassion for others and their thoughts and ideas.

We choose not to see our own biases, imperfections and wrongness. We do not look deep inside ourselves to find the “shadow self” who hides there.

There is so much that we do not know or understand. Pat answers lead us nowhere. We have to see the world as it is in all its mystery. We have to be willing to step out into the unknown. We have to face doubt and fear and understand that they are part of life.

dontknow

We must learn to accept the ambiguous and the anxiety it can cause. To not know the answers is understandable in the world we inhabit. I don’t think we will ever have all the answers and the truth is we don’t have to know.