Remove the mask

tiredYesterday I wrote about long term commitment and the benefits of it. When I think about it I left out something important. It is the ability to be yourself. No mask, no costume. nothing to hide the real you.

Most of my life I have been adaptable. It is something I learned early on from my father. He felt strongly that we should do our best to not make people uncomfortable. …..especially in social situations. This required not making anyone feel out of place by what they were wearing, how they spoke etc. I was a genius at adjusting language and conversation to fit my audience. I sought out people who seemed on the outside and tried to help them feel included. This is not a bad thing and it certainly is a kind thing.

This kind of thinking also led me into being the peacemaker. I do’t like conflict or discord at all. It can be very hard to always try to keep the peace. I’ve realized that this made me very tired. It is a lot less enervating to be yourself.

Somewhere along the way I forgot who I was. I was always wearing a mask, always being part of the group. I never voiced my own opinions if they were contrary. I wanted everything to go smoothly. … everyone to be happy. When my children were growing I smoothed most arguments. I was still playing a role.

true loveManaging children at home led to more peacemaking and avoiding conflict. As our marriage grew I began removing the masks and the other personas and was free to be me. Total acceptance of who you are frees you. Unconditional love allows you to be totally open. It’s not that we were not ourselves in the beginning but now there are no closets unopened. Time has opened them all.

 

Sorrow, Oh Sorrow

compassion-3It is impossible to understand what is happening in the USA. Now there has been a shooting in rural Teas….a small town of about 400 people. It seems that the shooter was not part of the town but came in from outside. There is not enough known to say much about this except that I am weeping for my country. The violence is so pervasive that it seems that no one can escape it. It is hard to understand why this is almost an every day occurrence.

Having grown up at a time when this kind of violence was unheard of it is hard to take a look over the years to see what has changed. Apparently there was a scene in the recent movie “The Kingsmen” where someone went into a church and shot people. I have wondered before if seeing violence everywhere has dulled us to it.

Matthew5_9Who can tell where all this will lead. Why is there so much hatred? Is there nothing that we can do? I keep remembering that I am only one but I am one. I will continue to talk about seeking peace. I will speak out about violence. I will speak out about my faith. I am sure that God weeps along with us and will grant those of us who speak out the strength to continue to do so. I do think that each of us matters and somehow we will be heard.

I weep for my country and all those who have lost a loved one in all the recent violence. God help us!

Hatred or Love – Choose Well

I think many of us living in the USA are worried about the state of our country. There is so much hatred, so much dissent and so much violence. If I didn’t live here I don’t think I would visit.

Recently something showed up on Facebook with people having their DNA analyzed. Many of them before being tested talked about their perception of their background and their beliefs. Some stated dislike of other cultures. It was a wake up call when they discovered that part of their DNA came from those cultures they disliked. It’s too bad that we can’t test everyone to show what a polyglot humans have become. It might solve some of the prejudice and hatred going around to find that you had genes from the people you hate.

It seems that people want to hate. They also want to incite others to hate. The beginning of the football season here is an example. Again players are not standing for the national anthem. Maybe some people feel that a song or a flag are not that important and why shouldn’t the players do what they want. They do have freedom of speech but for a long time athletes were an example to the young of good sportsmanship and national pride. They may still be an example but to encourage others to hatred and dissent. When I see those who are so dissatisfied with life in this country I want to send them to live in a third world country for a least a year. And not with the millions of dollars they are earning here. I have done that and it certainly will help you to appreciate this country no matter its flaws.

peacemaker

The people who did the most for others in this world in modern times were both believers in non-violence….Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Both were wonderful examples of how to change the world they lived in peacefully. They did believe in speaking out and making needed changes known but in a way that brought about a good result. These men were people of God. There have been others… Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela. I am sure there are more that I don’t know or remember. We need more of these people. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” The Bible Matthew 5:9

May we all strive to be peacemakers. Let us sow love

choose well