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Today I was sitting in a Panera Bread eating my lunch.  This man came up to me and asked if he could sit with me and chat.  Not wanting to offend, I said yes.  Turns out he was a “Christian Minister” and what follows is part of the conversation…

  Minister: Are you a Christian?

  Me:  Well, what do you consider a Christian?

  Minister: You live your life in accordance with the Bible, you follow the teachings of Jesus, you go to church, you tithe to your church, you follow the bylaws of your church – and you spread the word of God everywhere you go.

  Me: Well, by those standards – no – I am not what you would consider   a Christian.

  Minister: Well then – what are you?

  Me:  I’m a human being.

  Minister: NO – what religion do you believe in?

  Me: I believe in human kindness. I believe we are all one people – all deserving of love, respect and kindness.

  Minister:  So – you have no faith?

  Me: I have an abundance of faith.

  Minister: But you don’t go to church, you follow no religion – how can you have any faith?

  Me: Some days it isn’t easy – but most days I believe in the goodness each of us have within ourselves to help others, to love others, to show respect and kindness toward one another.

  Minister: You’re a dreamer.

  Me:  As are you.

  Minister: If you don’t follow the teachings of Jesus, you are damned to walk the road that leads to hell.

  Me: I don’t believe in hell.

  Minister: Well, what do you believe in?

  Me: Love, Kindness, Goodness, Tolerance, Respect,

  Minister: You need Jesus in your life.

  Me: How do you know this? You don’t know me at all. You know nothing about my life, you know nothing of what I do in my life – And yet – you judge me. 

  Minister: I’m not judging – I’m telling you, you need Jesus.

  Me: And if I don’t have Jesus?

  Minister: You are on the road to hell – there is no saving your soul – there is no hope for your life…

  Me: I live a good life – I’m kind, I’m loving, I’m tolerant and respectful and yet – you’re telling me if I don’t have Jesus – nothing about my life matters?

  Minister: Jesus can save you.

  Me: I don’t need saving.

  Minister: You are on the road to hell.

  Me: Well – my road is paved with good intentions.

  Minister: You need Jesus

  Me: You need to leave now…

This – this is what makes me crazy.  This man had never seen me before – and God willing – will never see me again. And yet – he felt he had the absolute right to tell me my life didn’t matter unless I had Jesus making all my decisions.  This man was an ordained minister – supposedly a man of God – telling me my life didn’t matter. He certainly did nothing that would entice me to follow his religion. If anything – he convinced me I don’t need to go to church to be a good, loving, kind, caring person.

I have people of all religions and no religions in my life. I love them all, I respect them all, and I do not judge them. I respect that this is what they need in their life to get them from day to day, and I would never tell them their life didn’t matter – every life matters.

Apparently, I’m on the road to hell – I wonder where that intersects with the yellow-brick road?

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There is this perceived notion that we always have to be happy – that we always have to be up and smiling – that we have to show the world that all is bright and cherry in our world.

The thing is – we are not always happy – and the sun isn’t always shining in our lives – and sometimes just sometimes – there is not one ounce of cheer to be found – anywhere…

And you know what? That’s okay – you’re okay.

Life isn’t always happy. Sometimes life is quite complicated and happiness isn’t on the list of priorities we have. Sometimes our priorities are simply to get from day-to-day or hour to hour or moment to moment.

We don’t always wake up bathed in sunshine hearing the birds singing their sweet little tunes.  Sometimes – well – sometimes we just don’t hear the birds singing – anywhere.

That’s okay – You’re okay.

We don’t have to always feel inspired or always feel that we have the answers to everything in the Universe. We all have our dark sides – we’re all human. No one person can be happy and confident and inspired all the time. It’s the darkness that sometimes leads to the most brilliant sunshine.

The trick is to take the good with the bad – feel however it is you’re feeling – talk about how you’re feeling, write about how you’re feeling; cry, laugh, scream, whatever you need to do. And then you need to move on.  And by move on I mean really let whatever it is go.

If 10, 20 or even 30 years down the road finds you still talking about something – you haven’t let it go. You’ve actually let whatever “it” is run your life for all those years.  Let. It. Go.

Mostly – just be gentle with yourself.  Understand that you’re human and life isn’t always about what’s right in the world – life is sometimes all about the messy bits.

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I asked Susan this question this morning while we were enjoying some quiet time in front of our beautiful Christmas tree.  I asked her: “Why can’t we just let people be?”

And now I ask all of you: “Why can’t we just let people be?”

I ask because I don’t understand the whole judging people by what they believe or don’t believe thing.

Why do we care if a person believes in the little baby Jesus or if they don’t? Why do we care if a person believes they hear and see loved ones who have passed on? Why do we care if someone lights a menorah or prays to Allah or believes in absolutely nothing?

Unless any of these beliefs affect your life in any way – why on earth do you care what another person believes in? And why on earth would you make them feel less-than because they have such beliefs?

Who’s to say you’re right and they’re wrong?  Seriously?

To me – it just comes off as annoying arrogance when someone tells me that what I believe is wrong – how do they know? And more to the point – why do they care?

Does my belief in the paranormal affect your life in any way?  Does it interfere with your daily day to day living? Does it have any bearing on what you believe?

If you don’t believe in something – fine – don’t believe. But – don’t think that because you don’t believe you have the right to judge and mock those who do.  Be silent and just let them be…

Do we mock and judge others because we are insecure in what we believe?  Or do we mock and judge because we believe we are smarter which somehow gives us some sort of judgmental rite of passage?

Whatever the case – we just need to let people be…

When you find yourself wondering why someone believes in something you don’t understand – don’t judge them – just let them be…

And when you have the urge to tell someone you think their belief system is all wrong – be silent and just let them be…

We don’t know what another person faces from day to day. We don’t know unless we are living their life – you can’t judge what you don’t know – and really – what give you the right to judge?

You don’t have to agree with someone in all areas of their life to support them and love them and encourage them.

Love them for who they are – and just let them be… If you want to change them – you don’t really love them for who they are – it’s not about who you want them to be – it’s about who they are…

Just let them be…

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I recently read this Native American tale that tells the story of a young boy speaking with his grandfather.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. “One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

It’s easy to feed the Evil Wolf – Blame everyone in your life for your troubles –that way you don’t have to take any responsibility for anything you’ve said or done because – well – it’s not your fault – it’s the way you were raised, or taught, treated or whatever excuse you can make others believe is responsible for your behavior.  You can be this arrogant, rude, unkind person who skips through life unaware of the hurt and despair you’ve let in your wake.  You’re unaware – because you don’t care. Why should you – it’s not your fault.

The Evil Wolf is the easy way out. It’s simple, it takes no thought, and certainly allows you to hold onto old hurts, self-pity, anger and grudges for as long as you like – it’s what I call wallowing…

I will admit to feeding this wolf many years ago…

The Good Wolf – well – that takes some work. Joy, peace, hope, humility, kindness, generosity, truth, compassion… these things involve others – and emotions and a sense of belonging.  This means you have to show up – emotionally and physically.

Serenity comes only when our soul is untroubled and at peace. And we are only untroubled and at peace when our lives are lived for the common good.  At least – this is what I have learned about my life.

I’m not saying the Evil Wolf never gets fed – I’m saying I try and keep it to a few hors d’oeuvres every now and then – because well – I’m only human.

The Good Wolf is the one I try and feed on a daily basis.  Love, Hope, Compassion – these bring me Joy. I don’t want anger, envy, jealousy, regret, resentment or ego in my life. Why would anyone?

These wolves – This good and evil – It’s a choice we all must make in our lives. At some point, we all have to look around and realize that the common denominator in all of our tails of woe is – you/me. And the common denominator in our tales of happiness? It’s also you/me.   It’s our choice – it’s our life.

So… Which Wolf Do You Feed?

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When I started writing my first blog I had no idea what I was doing. I just started writing because I needed to vent. There was no method – there was no point – other than me writing down how I felt. It was therapy and the more I did it – the more I enjoyed it – and the more I started to feel better about who I was.

Writing changed my life. I was in a pretty dark place when I started writing. The more I wrote about the darkness the lighter my world became.  The more I let things go, the easier my journey became.  My bitching and complaining became embracing and rejoicing.

Then somehow my writing became about how many people were reading and commenting and tweeting and retweeting and liking and sharing.   When no one would comment I started to think I wasn’t writing well and wondering what I was doing wrong.  I started writing what I thought people would want to hear, and I started questioning my writing ability and wondering how I could change to get more likes, more hits, more followers…

This is so not who I am. So – I’ve decided to go back to the beginning – Back to where it’s just me and my laptop having some therapy time. Back to writing about what matters most to me – back to not concerning myself with the numbers but concerning myself more that the content comes from my heart –

I don’t know if this happens to you; But I most certainly got too wrapped up in getting validation from others that I am indeed good and kind and thoughtful and all those others things that puffed me up!

I’m just going to try and be good and kind and thoughtful every day, and not really worry that others might not know that.  I will know that I’ve tried my best and that I don’t need likes, shares, tweets and comments to validate who I am.

Don’t get me wrong – I love when people read and I’ve helped them or they feel better or they see something from a different point of view – I’m just choosing to not let their comments or lack of comments define who I am. I just need to write – that’s all.

So – those of you who are reading this – I thank you – genuinely thank you – for taking the time.  I know you have a million other things to do – and I appreciate that you spent just a little time with me.

Remember – you don’t need others to validate who you are – look in the mirror and smile at that face looking back at you.  Be kind to yourself and to others.

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I was looking over my bookshelf this afternoon and I stumbled upon this book called: “Ten Eternal Questions.”  I found myself sitting on the floor of my den reading this little book I forgot I had purchased.

When I sat down and looked at the questions I thought I should have been reading this book and not have put it on the shelf. It’s not a book of answers – it’s a book of questions, a book of wisdom, a book of things for you to think over, and maybe learn something about yourself.

There are no right or wrong answers – they are just for you to ponder.

The Questions are as follows:

  1. What is your concept of God?
  2. Do you think this life is all there is, or do you believe in an afterlife?
  3. Do you accept the concept of karma, in the sense of cause and effect?
  4. What is your moral code, in relation to right and wrong?
  5. Do you believe you have a destiny, and do you see yourself as here to fulfill it?
  6. What has life taught you so far?
  7. What advice or words of wisdom would you like to pass on to those close to you?
  8. Do you believe our survival on planet Earth is being threatened?
  9. Who do you most admire in this world, historical or living?
  10. How do you find peace within yourself?

Take some time – write down your answers – share with you family and friends – find out what you have in common and what may divide you.  Remember – there are no wrong answers.

We all come at the world with our own experiences our own sets of baggage filled  with our own “stuff.” It’s just interesting to look at your answers and then compare them with friends…

Enjoy…

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I wish I understood what these religious evangelical folks believe. See, I don’t understand any person of faith who believes that their way is the only way. To me this just seems arrogant and small-minded in a world that is filled with many faiths. Every person in the world has a belief – even the simple fact of not believing is a belief.


The United States of America was founded for the simple reason that folks who were living in England didn’t want to be told what to believe and how to worship. They were tired of being punished and sometimes killed for worshiping the God of their choice.

And yet – here we are in the year 2012 and still we have people in power telling us what to believe and how to worship, and wanting to force those beliefs into the laws of the land. Why would we ever believe that Christian values should rule a nation of over 115 religions?  This makes no sense to me – on any level.

Why can’t we just let people be?  I mean if a person wants to worship a Bumblebee and they aren’t hurting anyone – or causing any worldwide choas, then why should we care?  

Find the belief system that works best for you. Don’t assume that it’s the only way to get where you believe you are going.  Know in your heart that it’s what sustains you on a daily basis and let that be your faith.  Don’t assume that the Bumblebee believers are less than you are – for what they believe also sustains them.

In the eyes of the Universe – we are all one people – with one sun – one moon – one earth.  Maybe if we all believed this we could find peace – on this earth – and the next.

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