Gratitude

Things have been happening around here as usual. Actually I should not say as usual for nothing has been as usual. My computer came back from having a drive replaced without all the programs installed. I knew this would happen but it hasn’t made things easy. One of the programs that I use all the time, living cookbook, is no longer available and I don’t have access to hundreds of recipes. So I will be correcting that in the next few days. Nothing is ever easy.

unusual

Also my arm that I hurt about a month ago is now starting to really hurt. As a nurse, I suspect, that it is a pulled tendon and I have just been ignoring it. Now it’s decided that it doesn’t want me to type. Which is not altogether bad because it made me installed my Dragon software which allows me to talk and not type. Be aware that this can cause some peculiar mistakes so please forgive me.

That’s enough of my woes. We have to remember that all the aggravations in life are just that… Aggravations. No one is ill in my family or in any crisis for that I am grateful. perspective on what is wrong and what is right is required. It is so easy to get lost in the things that are wrong and not appreciate everything that we have in life. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a family that I love. These are the things that matter.

There are times that things seem to accumulate. And so many things happen at once that it can be difficult to overcome. We have to learn to be aware of that and not blow it completely out of proportion. The countertops that we expected today will not be here until next week which means that nothing else can be done for another week. Another week before we have a bathroom and I can go back to sleeping in my bed. Not such major problems when you consider the things that others are going through.

choosing-gratitude

Counting my blessings every day is something that I have to remember to do. For only then will I be able to keep my composure when everything seems to be going wrong. I will have to start posting the things I’m grateful for on the other bathroom mirror. That way I will be reminded to keep life in perspective.

“Act as if”

why_holding_a_grudge_can_ruin_your_health_600xSometimes it is difficult to let go of a grudge against someone. Over time our church has had difficulties and unfortunately we (my husband and I) tend to feel some of them were because of some bad decisions on the part of someone.

We have struggled with this and know it is time to let it go. However just deciding that and actually doing it are two different things. I read something years ago that we don’t really let go until we can think about the issue without emotion

Act-as-if.

We will work on that. I like to use “act as if” to help change a pattern or habit so I will begin to “act as if” there are no feelings attached to this. Eventually it will go away.

“Act as if” works really well for lots of things. If I am feeling down I will try to act happy. Many times it works. Just setting your mind to change things can make a real difference.

Try it!

Watch out judging others

It has always fascinated me that people who I know and who condemn any kind of sexuality other than heterosexuals can sin so freely in other ways. Adultery seems to be fine, hatred, unkindness, greed….actually many of the 7 deadly sins are fine. Sexual differences are the one unforgivable sin. My aunt used to call this “swallow an elephant, choke on a gnat.”

judging others

They seem to feel that some sins are ok and others are not. A kind of hypocrisy that I find particularly abhorrent. It is so easy to condemn others and blithely  carry on with our hurtful ways.

Judgement is mine says the Lord and the rest of us need to back off.

Small steps = big changes

change will happen

When I began this blog I was in a very dark hole. I was struggling to find my way and a purpose for my time. I am happy to say that in the last two years I have come a long way. I do have meaningful purpose in my volunteer work with the Mediation Center. It has even grown more powerful recently in my shift to doing Community Conferencing. (the program that helps keep teens from the court system)

 

I have developed some habits that make my life so much better and let go of some that were pulling me down. I still have a way to go but being able to see progress is so wonderful.

Keep-going

 

Whatever you are facing in your life it is possible to make changes. We get bogged down because moving forward seems so slow. Don’t let that get to you. Just one step each day…one positive step will make change happen. We all backslide from time to time but keeping on is the key. Trying to learn to let each day be the focus is hard and I’m still learning but things are better. They can be for you too.

Too special to use?

In my generation we were so much more formal that things are today. We had special china and silver that we used on special occasions. There were always things that we put aside.

everyday-is-a-special-occasion

I am so glad to see that much of that has changed. Now I use whatever I want whenever I want. Each day is special. Each moment is important. We need to celebrate that by enjoying the special things that we have. Don’t let them just sit in a cabinet or drawer. Will the special occasion when they will be used be your funeral?

Tangled up

dog-tangled-up-in-blue-1Today I was knitting a top for my adult granddaughter. The yarn I’m using is very tricky to work with and gets tangled up easily. It did! I realized that I had done something wrong and had to back up several rows. No way did that work. The yarn became so tangled that I ended up cutting it and pulling it all out. Now I will start over. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement.

I thought about the saying “oh what a tangled web we weave.” I didn’t practise to deceive anyone but I sure wove a tangled web and had to fight my way out.

dont get stuckWe can get ourselves into messes from time to time and some of them are more complicated to get out of than others. Sometimes we volunteer to do something and discover that it not only it too much but also that we don’t like it. The getting out gracefully may not be possible.

When I got married 57 years ago the only advice that my mother gave me was “start out the way you intend to go on.” I asked her exactly what she meant and she said: “if you plan on getting up at  4 am every morning to fix breakfast just be aware that it will set the pattern for the rest of your marriage.” I have found this advice to fit so many situations. Take a good look at anything you are getting into and see if you want it in your life before you are stuck with it.

Mastering Silence

There is so much noise in our daily lives that silence is almost unknown. When I worked for the church I would occasionally ask people to sit in silence for one minute. I actually timed it and after 30 seconds the fidgeting would begin.

silence power

There is not only no silence on the outside but there is little silence on the inside. Most of us have not learned how to shut off the voice in our heads. Since we have been so little exposed to quieting that voice it requires time and effort to learn how to do it. We decide that we want to try meditation and we can’t seem to settle and so we quit. It really is difficult to meditate in the beginning on your own. It is so much easier if there is a voice directing you. There are many Amazon Alexa apps that will take you through a meditation but even those aren’t always enough.

quiet-mind-meditation-quote (1)

The best meditation I ever did was in a group with someone walking you quietly through the process. A really good leader can help you explore more depths that almost any other way. I have not found many meditation experiences except in yoga classes and most of them don’t meditate long enough for you to get into the place where you can let everything go.

I am hoping to start a group but I don’t know if I will have any takers. It remains to be seen.

Find your path

College freshmen are people running around with their umbilical cords in their hands looking for some place to plug in.    unknown

This can be true of college freshmen but also a lot of young people. There are also those who don’t know what they want to be when they grown up and are at least 30.

ApprenticeWe have developed a society that thinks everyone should go to college. We have also equated intelligence with college. So untrue. What a mistake. There are many people who are so much better working with their hands. We have devalued physical work to the point where no one aspires to it. There is also the thinking that no decent living can be made that way. So untrue. We have friends who are plumbers and electricians who started out as apprentices and now own their own business and make a very lucrative living.

There was a book a while back that talked about two different types of people: farmers and hunter/gatherers. Farmers are content to work in areas where patience and consistency are needed. Hunter/gatherers are more physical. Initially they were required to keep multiples things in their minds at once in order to survive. Active people fit into this. We have created schools that force everyone into the farmer pattern. This may be why so many people have trouble in school.

Find+YOUR+Path+FB+Blog

Somehow we need to go back to the medieval method of apprentices who study to be skilled workmen and are appreciated.

Demolish the wall

Sometimes we build walls around ourselves to stay safe. We wall out anything that hurts us…whether physical or mental. An extreme example of how the walls work is the patient written about called Sybil. Dividing yourself into separate people puts up walls between the root person to help her. Another example is Howard Hughes who physically walled himself in.

wall

Our various forms of mental illness can be walls. Ways that we have adjusted to the world in order to survive. The illnesses seem negative but at some time they may have been essential. (this may not include some types of illness)

The walls are hard to pull down. They are worse than masks. Masks seem more temporary but the walls have been built with bricks and mortar. Our anxiety can cause us to retreat from the world. We only seem safe if we stay under the covers on our beds.

When we are suffering it is very difficult to pull down the walls and move out of our comfort zone. When I am anxious I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I curl into a fetal position mentally and physically. I have erected a wall around myself.

hole-breaking-wide-brick-wall-vector-cartoon-clip-art-illustration-cinder-block-exploding-out-rubble-62827353

I have been working on the things that help me to remove the wall one stone, one piece of mortar, at a time. Meditation, remembering to breathe, focusing my mind, distraction are all things that help. With persistence these tools help me to keep the wall from growing and even begin to keep sections down. Progress is happening which gives me impetus to keep on keeping on.

Don’t give up. That wall can be knocked down a little at a time. Just keep on!

Words

Why do people say terrible things!  Why would a nurse in a doctor’s office say to a patient “we don’t know what is wrong with you. You may have cancer?” If it really happened that sent someone on their way in a panic.

words-are-power

I don’t know whether the above story is true or not but that is my point. We hear stories every day about other people and we have no idea how far they are away from the original. It may have floated through 20 people and been changed by every one.

Gossip. It can be a killer. It may start out as a fact but it really can evolve as it goes. I heard that a husband and wife were very sick. His illness was not specified but it was told that she had serious cancer. Both were on their death beds. On checking facts I discovered that she did in fact have cancer but is finished with treatment and doing well. He has a problem that he has had for a while and things are no different.

coolnsmart-10672

A friend’s son is going through a divorce and I’m sure by now he has been tarred and feathered and run out of town.

Why do we enjoy passing on things told to us? Is it because we can gloat that we are not in the same predicament? Does it make us feel better?

The answer is both are true. There is something so fiendishly fun gossiping about someone else’s misery. We are not sick, not evil, not in trouble like them. We can walk away with a smile leaving the trash talk behind. And on the story goes on changing with each telling.

no gossipMy father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put you mouth in motion.” A wise saying. We need to think about the pain our actions can cause. At a new kind of mediation I observed recently the leader said “think about the ABC’s. Action, Behavior, Consequences.”  Every one of us needs to think about that. Words can hurt, words can kill, words can ruin someone’s life.

Be careful what you pass on.