Blogging community

Today has been a better day. The anxiety has lifted some. I a still very sad about the last violence episode. They seem to be coming more frequently.

heardIt is amazing to me how the community of bloggers uphold each other. There is a strong sense of caring about people we only know in print. I know that it is often easier to share the dark side of life in print rather than in person and it is wonderful to receive support from others with similar issues.

For me, blogging has been a wonderful outlet. I have been able to express my feelings and concerns openly. I am so new to this experience and find it rewarding. It is one thing to know there are people who care but to read all the posts and see yourself in them and know it’s ok is wonderful. Finding an outlet for my thoughts and ideas has been a revelation.

This is just a post to thank anyone who is reading what I write. Your are appreciated.

Why unease?

new-habits-new-me-socialIt is not easy to shake a problem that has plagued you your whole life. For the last week I have been battling mild anxiety. I have no idea why. It has, however, kicked up my IBS which is very aggravating. There doesn’t seem to be any specific thing that I can blame this on. Everything seems to be fine. So,,,I am striving to continue on and just accept that it is what it is. I have not worked on my strategies for handling this enough and now I can see the result.

It is clearly evident to me that habits are hard to break even if the habit is to do nothing. That may be the hardest habit of all to break. To go from doing nothing to doing something pushes me way out of my comfort zone. I am determined to struggle with it each day and take one day at a time.

The events in that small Texas town have brought home to me the crisis the US is in. I am so sad to see the nation I grew up in at the brink of disaster. Are we all living in a mental health crisis? It certainly begins to look that way. When one person takes a gun and shoots random people to solve a problem it tells others with problems that this is a viable solution. How do we stop the ball rolling downhill?

values

Throughout my lifetime this has been a wonderful country to live in but I am very afraid for us. So many people have turned away from a moral life. When the ethical ground of a country is eroded then it seem the country itself is also eroded. May God be with us.

Sorrow, Oh Sorrow

compassion-3It is impossible to understand what is happening in the USA. Now there has been a shooting in rural Texas….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!

Work, Love, Dance

Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching. Satchel Paige

bubblesAre we really living life? What does it mean to do this? I really don’t know the answer but have been thinking about it. The thoughts in the quote above do give some answers. Without work life can have little meaning. I think some kind of work is essential to humanity. I see the results of no work in people who have lived their whole lives as welfare dependents. No matter how complete they seem there is something missing. It is as if a puzzle piece has been left out. There is something enriching about work. It gives life purpose and can bring a sense of accomplishment even if we only put a cog in a wheel.

I can’t imagine life without love. I’m not talking about the romantic emotion that draws us to another but the deeper connection that reflects unconditional love. It can come to us in many forms: parent-child, friend-friend, lover- lover. If we are blessed we will have many kinds of love in our lives. Knowing that we are loved gives us a sense of self worth. Love adds such meaning to life.

step outNow we come to dance. There is so much meaning behind this statement. He doesn’t just mean dance but live! Live without fear of what others think. Follow your dreams. Explore ideas. Learn all you can. Dance.

These are some thoughts on living life. Am I doing it? Are you?

Are we dulled into not caring?

dulledWhat is the world coming to? It seems that violence has become the norm. We don’t go very long before another atrocity is being reported. Some seem like random acts such as the shooting in Las Vegas and some are planned and executed like the recent deaths in New York by an extremist.

It is appalling to me that these things don’t shock me any more. What a horrible thing to say! Violence is such a part of the world that we live in that we accept it. We are bothered at the moment and then just move on with our lives.

We have seen so much that we are inured to anything. I don’t want to be this way. I don’t want any of us to be this way. When violence happens we should be shocked to our core. Outrage with those who committed the violence should shout itself from us.

How did this happen? How did we get to this place? The answer is so complex that it almost can’t be resolved. I do think that all the media we have today has been part of it. Violence on TV, violence in the news….these go on every day. Some children have no concept that if you shoot someone they will actually die. They expect that they will show up alive and well in the next TV┬áprogram. There is a sense of unreality about it.

I know that throughout history much violence has been connected to religion. Feelings are so attached to beliefs. Many people can’t accept anyone not agreeing with what they believe. There is the idea that I must be right…therefore you can’t be. Religious extremism is totally intolerant of any other opinion.

gandhi

Why can’t we have a world where others opinions are simply theirs and we can have ours? Why can’t we identify and heal those who are so estranged from society that they turn to violence?

I don’t have any answers. I know that I abhor violence in any form. Life is difficult enough without it.

Hold up others

One of my wonderful friends is going through a difficult time. Without going into details she need holding up by her friends and by God. Prayer does work. Just praying for those in need uplifts them. I am sure that God hears those prayers.

dutyA group that I belong to has a ministry of intercessory prayer. I am sure that some of the people on the list (which is long) aren’t aware that they are in our prayers. That doesn’t matter. Some of the people on the list are there with just a first name and there are a few who may be listed as “a friend.” God knows who needs prayer and hears our petitions. We may not know about the problems of others but can pray for God to be with them. Praying for others is such a blessing and having others pray for us is a wonderful gift.

There have been times in my life when I have been so down that I couldn’t pray. During those times it was the prayers of others that have made me feel supported. Often people will say “I will pray for you” but I have wondered how often they really do. Having a loving group that does actually pray is so amazing.

othersTake the time to pray for those who need prayer. Our intentions are good but it is so easy to walk away and forget about it. I am trying to pray immediately so that I don’t forget. When you tell someone that you will pray for them remember to do it!

Mistakes lead to

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Will Rogers

mistakesI saw this quote and have been thinking about it. Learning does come from making mistakes. My father used to say “do what I say, not what I did.” What he said was from his experiences. His education in the world of hard knocks taught him much.

mistakes 2We have all made mistakes. Some of the small some of the whoppers. Mistakes teach us more than our successes. I think that is because we remember them better. My youngest child was good at learning from her brother and sister’s mistakes. They fussed at her for not getting into trouble. She told them she watched what they did and didn’t make the same mistakes. Most of us don’t learn that well from the mistakes of others.

This is the 500th year anniversary of Martin Luther posting the theses on the church door. Luther was concerned about how the church at the time handled sins. From his reading of the Bible (in Latin) Luther realized that the church was wrong to sell indulgences. People paid money to have their sins forgiven and a free pass into heaven. The church officials got rich on the proceeds. Luther’s understanding of the Bible led him to believe that we are all given God’s grace. God is aware that we are imperfect and we make mistakes. That’s what forgiveness is all about. We can’t earn our way into heaven. We will never be good enough.

imageA lot of our stress and anxiety comes from what other people think of us and how we see ourselves. God is aware that we make mistakes. We have to strive to see ourselves as God sees us: forgiven. God didn’t make junk and we are his creation. Live into that idea.