Silent Screams (and other odd sounds)

This is what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW. It may not be what I'm thinking tomorrow.


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Mastering the Art of Loving Kindess

 

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I am not always loving and I am not always kind.  There are times when I allow something or someone to enter into my sense of well being and rob me of my peace and serenity; it is at those times when the art of loving kindness eludes me.

Yesterday, I wrote a post entitled Listen to the Music of your Emotions which suggested that I can not get rid of a negative emotion until I know exactly the nature of that emotion and own it.  Since yesterday’s post, I have been able to name an emotion which I have been experiencing.  That emotion is hatred.  The word “hatred” makes me shutter and to attach that word to an emotion that I am experiencing makes me shutter even more; and to own that emotion is almost more than I can handle.   I think the reason I was having such difficulty naming my emotion as hatred is because it has been a terribly long time since I have actually “hated” and attaching hatred to me is something I had hoped that I would never have to experience again.

Why have I allowed this emotion, this hatred, to invade my peace?  I have allowed it because I have a preconceived idea of how certain people should act and behave in a given situation.  I guess, in my mind, certain people and organizations, by their mere oaths and doctrines should behave in a semi-predictable manner and when they fall miserably short they open, not only themselves, but a wide group of others by affiliation, to scrutiny.  Two such examples are respected religious organizations and physicians.

A catholic (affecting, concerning, or involving all, universal) organized religious institution who professes to preach love, kindness, compassion and Mercy has perverted those things which I hold dear.  When a religious organization truly acts with love and kindness, it will not take a person from a fragile place, give them high hopes and dreams, and turn those hopes and dreams into a nightmare.  A religious organization who acts with compassion and Mercy will not take that same shattered person and drive them further into the ground with life changing conditions.  A religious organization will not say they practice Mercy while dangling the very livelihoods of people in the balance.  Mercy is descriped in Webster’s dictionary as “compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power.”  Interestingly enough, Mercy is what is shown an “offender;”  how much more Mercy should be bestowed upon those who claim to hold us gingerly in their hands?

Physicians take an oath to “do no harm.”  I think most physicians take this oath seriously and work tirelessly to do the best in medical situations, but is that where “do no harm” should end?  Is it only “do no harm” in medicine?  It appears, for some physician, do no harm translates to “don’t do anything that may result in a malpractice lawsuit.”  What about doing no psychological harm to patients, employees or peers?  Are these situations exempt?  Is it wrong to expect a physician to treat other physicians, employees as well as patients with the respect and dignity that all human beings deserve?

I have to ask you can those two examples get much worse?  Well, yes it can.  It gets worse when a self-professed, God-fearing, Christian doctor who spreads dissention, hatred and discord via gossip and inuendo is employed and believed by a religious organization.

You might say that this post is nothing more than sour grapes.  You might be right; that might be a thought I will have to explore more in depth.  What I want this post to be about is getting in touch with my emotions and I can’t get in touch with them until I lay them on the table.

The hatred I feel is a direct result of my perception of how I think others should act. No one, not an organization or person, has the power to make me hate unless I allow it.  It is my expectations that have disappointed me, not the behavior of others.  I expected this religious organization and this doctor to act in specific ways and when they didn’t, I found fault in them.   Who am I to dictate the behavior of others?  When I expect things from others and they don’t deliver what I think should be delivered, I am doing nothing more than judging and that is God’s job not mine.

Hatred does nothing more than harm me.  My hatred of a person or institution has absolutely no effect on them; most often they don’t even know I’m hating on them, but it can cause me sleepless night, stomach discomfort, headaces, as well as a multiple of other physical problems.  I refuse to allow hatred to consume me so I have to find a way out.  I have to take action!

When I find an emotion, such as hatred, is totally consuming me, I have to spend more time in prayer and meditation asking my Higher Power to have me be what He wants me to be.  I have to pray for those who I hate even though I don’t feel they “deserve” it.  I have to ask God to bestow upon them all the blessing and fortune I would want for myself or those I love even if this in direct opposition to what I actually feel.  I have to pray for them until I actually believe my prayers.  Then and only then can I be what God would have me be.  It is easy to be loving and kind to those who are nice to me.  Only when I reach out and tap into a Power greater than myself can I begin to master the true art of loving kindness.


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Is Hate the new Love?

imagesD9HTWOUP“Hate one another as I have hated you” has become the new “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Somewhere along the line, the doctrine of Christianity had become muddied with what is and is not biblical.  If memory serves me correctly, the Old Testament showed us what the letter of the law was and the New Testament shows us what the heart of the law is today.  The Messiah came to fulfill the law; a law that humans could never keep perfectly, but Jesus, being perfect, was able to perfect and fulfill the whole law for us.  He was beaten for that law, was crucified for that law, hung on a cross for that law, had nails driven into His hands and feet for that law so that we, as mere mortal humans, could be set free from the heavy burden of the law.  He took that law to the cross with him giving us the perfect heart of the law which is, in fact, Jesus Himself.

In the Old Testament, God laid down 10 commandments in stone that His people were to follow.  In the New Testament, God took those 10 commandments and consolidated them into what he said encompassed all the commandments – love.  Today, there must be words between the lines that I can not read.  Somewhere in the Bible it must say, “We should love everyone except those who have different belief from ours, except those who have a different sexual orientation than ours, except those who have  a different socio-economic status than ours, except those who are fat, skinny, addicts, old, young, mentally ill, or to put it more simply, we should love everyone except those who are just plain different from us.”  It must say that in the Bible because that is what so many “Christians” are spewing.  Long forgotten is the loving kindness Jesus spoke of when he went to the cross to die for all of us who were then sinners and yet he loved us and sent a prayer up to His Father asking Him to forgive us because we know not what we do.

Why do I write these things?  I write them because I am saddened by the hatred that spews from the mouth of many who profess to be Christians.  A true Christian is a follower of Christ, I don’t remember Christ spitting hatred on those who were already in sin.  If I am not mistaken, he sat and ate dinner with those very people who are appalling to those who profess their Christianity.

 

 


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Tired after a long day of work, feet aching and body weary, Rosa Parks rested her bones on the seat of a bus only to be told that she was “less than” all the “whites” riding the bus and she had to give her seat up to a white person.  Perhaps out of exhaustion, perhaps out of just being plain tired of being considered “less than” other humans, Rosa held fast and refused to stand.  Rosa sat and started a movement that could not be stopped; a movement that should not have even been an issue.  Rosa was a God-created woman who bled the same color as any other white, yellow, red, or black person.  When will the human race realize that each of us are humans who hurt, who cry, who bleed, and who love?

I can’t help who and what I love.  In fact, I pray daily that God will instill in me the capacity to love as He loved.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking that the God that I hold dear to me loves mankind.  The God I hold dear is no respecter of persons; the God I love loves me just as I am.  I can’t believe that if God loves me as I am, he can not or will not love others just as they are.   God loves murderers and thieves just as He loves me; God loves heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.  He loves all these people as equally as He loves His church.

Now, the time has come, that we must petition the government to tell us it is okay who we love, how we love and who we can or cannot marry.  This issue, as was the issue with Rosa Parks, should not even be an issue.  It should not be “black” rights or “gay” rights, it should be “equal HUMAN rights.”  There are so many other “issues” that demand our attention.  Perhaps focusing on hunger, education, and our elderly and disabled would serve our resources better than legislating something that does not affect anyone but the two people involved.  The only marriage that impacts me is mine.

Long ago, a man started a revolution when he decided that Jews were not fit to live.  Hilter herded these people into boxcars to haul them to the ovens of ignorance.  It was ignorance that lead to the annihilation of many HUMAN Jews.  This man, who was adored by a multitude, also murdered Catholics, elderly, and homosexuals.  The legislation of today is not calling for the holocaust of human life, but before the killing of millions of Jews started, legislation was enacted to keep them “under control.”  Please don’t tell me “it can’t happen here” because it did.  It was not too long ago that black men and women were whipped, hung by trees until dead and crosses were burned.  In fact, the KKK is alive and well right here in this land that we love.

Out of ignorance, we feared educating the blacks, out of ignorance we allowed the annihilation of Jews before we said stop, and now, out of ignorance, this nation does not want to allow two souls who are bound by love to be bound legally.  The things that “mainstream” marriages take for granted, such as being covered by your spouses medical insurance, social security benefits, death benefits, and even being called a spouse and thus a family member, are being withheld because two people, who happen to be the same sex, found love.  The thought of excluding people because of something like being in love feels wrong to me on so many levels.

I will leave you with the thoughts of a man much wiser than me.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.  (Martin Niemöller)


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Love in the Driver’s Seat

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My husband and I took our children out to dinner this evening.  It was such a wonderful experience.  There are few things that can fill your heart with joy and love more than watching your children laugh and experience the complete joy that being a part of a family can bring.  I don’t know if I was being nostalgic or what, but the experience of merely eating dinner with my family nearly brought me to tears.  I loved watching the interchange of loving conversation between my daughters.  Tonight, even “touchy subjects” didn’t bring angry words but a compromise of being at peace in the moment with each other.

After dinner, my husband and I drove home in relative silence.  Our silence was not from anger but of perfect contentment of being comfortable with each other.  The wordless conversation between us was born of the realization that we did not have to entertain each other with meaningless chatter; we knew instinctively that the silent conversation was the utter ease that we felt with each other.

As my husband drove home, I looked at him in utter awe.  Sitting beside me was a man who loves me despite all my imperfections.  In fact, a little piece of me thought that he might actually like those flaws in my character that make me uniquely me.  My heart swelled with gratitude that God sent this man to me.  God chose this man for me.  He chose him specifically for me.  Wow!

As I sat beside my husband and gazed at him, I thought about his multitude of loving attributes.  He is kind, considerate, compassionate, loving, caring, giving, and so many other things.  The list is endless.  He caters to me endlessly and thinks nothing of going that extra mile to make me happy.  He hurts when I hurt, he laughs when I laugh, and he loves God.

Watching his face as he drove, I thought, “What did I do that was so good that God gave this wonderful man as a present to me?”  What possible good could I have done to have such a gift bestowed upon me.  I am certain that what my husband does for me is greater than anything I do for him. 

My thoughts turned to his relationship with our children.  He is the perfect father.  In fact I have told my children that when it is time to pick a mate, they should let the way their father treats me be their guide; if they do so, they will not go wrong.

Does my husband have anything that he does that irritates me?  Of course he does; but those same things that irritate me are also the same things that make me smile when I think about them.  Those irritating flaws in his character are the same characteristics that makes him endearing to me.  Those “irritants” may just be the same things that I will miss if he should happen to go away. 

My heart swelled with pride and love as I just gazed at the side of my husband’s face.  I am truly blessed just to be a part of his life. 


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What To Do About Today’s Youth

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As I pass my mid-50’s the words “What is happening to the youth of today?” echos in my mind as words so many “older” people said way back when I was young.  I thought the words were meant to be demeaning to the youth of then but now I am not so sure.  I hear myself saying those words today, but I say those words out of concern and fear of what is happening to the youth of today and what will be happening to our youth in the future.

As I look back upon my youth, I remember it being pretty simple.  I wasn’t concerned with designer clothes, purses or shoes.  I lived simply and so did the majority of children with which I went to school.  There weren’t an abundant amount of local malls to hang out in with my friends and I didn’t have “older” friends who could drive me around town.  We didn’t have beepers, smart phones or computers.  The World Wide Web hadn’t infiltrated my daily activities and I got dirty playing tag football with the neighbors.  Life was good.  I was fortunate.

Years later, when I became a mother, things were a little different.  Most mothers worked outside of the home as did I.  Things changed from working for “need” to working for “want” but we deceived ourselves in thinking that those “wants” were needs” and I include myself in that category.  After awhile, all those “wants” did become “needs” in the eyes of our children and we became helpless to turn back the hands of time. For many parents, perhaps we did this out of a sense of guilt that both parents worked outside of the home and the “traditional” home of our youth was altered.  Lovingly, we gave our children our money because our time was too scarce. In confusing wants and needs, could we, as parents, have raised a nation of children who lived in an time of instant gratification which was and will be unable to be fulfilled in their future?

Parents my age, for the first time in history, will probably have a greater income than their children will obtain.  Many children have moved into the same house they grew up in with their parents, bringing with them their children as well.  The grandparents, who are making more money than their children, are oftentimes supporting not only their children and spouse, but their children’s children as well.  Five year old grandchildren, living with grandma and grandpa, have televisions and X-boxes in their room, bought by the grandparents. In many elementary schools, it would not be uncommon to see a 7 year old girl dressed in the most fashionable shoes with lights that flash or carrying a book bag with the Vera Bradley brand.  If the income of the our 25-30 year old parents are less than their parents how can this be?  Could it be that Grandma is buying the clothes?  Could it be that Grandpa is supporting the extended family? 

So, where is all of this mumble jumble going?  It brings me back to my fear and concern for the youth of today.  What happens when our generation becomes too old to support our children and our grandchildren?  What happens when the expectations of our children will be unable to be met?  By giving our children their wants instantly, how much did we help them?  By giving our grandchildren the best of things, how will that color their future?  When a generation has lived in abundance not created by their own hands that abundance is oftentimes not appreciated but it becomes an expectation – something deserved. 

I believe that each of us, as parents, did the best we could with what we knew.  Each of us did what we thought was the best for our children and we did it with love.  I have two daughters.  As with all things hindsight is 20/20 and I know I have made mistakes in raising my daughters.  I have done some good things as well.  I do not have grandchildren but I don’t have to have them to see that so many grandparents are doing to their grandchildren what they did to their children – giving them all they can whether they need it or not.

I was fortunate.  My children didn’t ask for much growing up.  They were not tempted by everything new and glitzy.  Since my children did not ask for much, when they did they generally got it.  Perhaps they didn’t get it that day, or that week, but more than likely they got it.  I say I am fortunate because I could easily have fallen into the “give them all they want” syndrome.  I am not immune to loving my children monetarily.

I love the youth of today.  I just hope they can survive our parenting.


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From Christmas to Giftmas

I wish, for once, I could accurately articulate the multitude of reasons that I wish Christmas and the entire Holiday season would pass from my eyes unnoticed.  Christmas is not a joyous time for me.  It can be a time of pain and sorrow as we remember what once was and what will never be again.  Many suicides are attempted at this joyous time of year and that mere thought makes me sad knowing that those who attempted to die feel they had absolutely no one they could have reached out to to give them one moment of comfort that could have lead them into a new year and possibly a new hope.  My heart breaks for them, and for their families who have now lost a loved one.  The hurt breaks both ways.

For me the “Holiday Season” begins right before Thanksgiving and ends shortly after the New Year.   Yes, I say, “Happy Holidays” but it is not to take Christmas out of the season, it is to include Thanksgiving and New Years into their rightful places in the festivities.  I do say “Merry Christmas” on Christmas Day, and I say Happy Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day and I say Happy New Year on New Year Day, so why do so many people want to correct me?  I am wishing all people a festive holiday SEASON, not just happiness on one particular day.

Christmas has changed over the years for me.  Perhaps it is because I’ve grown up; perhaps it is because I haven’t grown up at ll.  For me, the anticipation of Christmas was never the shinny gifts under the Christmas tree or the brightly wrapped packages; it was the smell, hustle, and bustle of Christmas – said simply – it was the electric energy that traveled through every person – pure excitement.  I would wake up early on Christmas Eve and my mother would already be slaving over a hot stove making pies and cakes and all sorts of “Christmas” goodies that we, as children, had grown accustomed to.  “Merry Christmas Eve,” I’d excitedly shout out to her and she’d return my salutation with a big kiss on the cheek.

About noon, Christmas Eve guest would begin to trickle in.  Some were relatives, some were friends, and some just wanted to give us a few of their cookies they had baked to thank my mom for all she has done for them throughout the year.  Some stayed a short time, some stayed a little while, and some stayed until the Christmas Eve festivities began.  As my mother spoke to her guests, she’s pop out a couple of pumpkin pies here and some apple pies there, along with her Philadelphia Cream Cheese Pies that have never been completely duplicated to this day.  It was all good to her and the more people that dropped by, the more festive she became.  My mother was the center of Christmas.  She knew how to get things done AND enjoy all the holiday had to offer.  I never learned that from her; I wish I had listened or watched more closely.

When the official start of Christmas Eve started, the feast of the 7 fish commencement……and stunk.  My aunts and uncles from all over would congregate at my house to begin the eating of the fish.  Yuck!  I stuck with tuna fish which for me was the least of all the evils; but as I grew up, I came to realize that shrimp and and crab weren’t too bad either.  Christmases of past were special, they embodied all of what Christmas should be.  They did not have the “what did you get me for Christmas” present attitude.  Christmas was about helping, having, loving, and being with those you cared about.

Christmas is gone.  It is now merely Giftmas.  Giftmas says, “How much am I going to get from you for Christmas and are you going to like it?”  Giftmas says, “How close to the time can I get to your house before it’s actually time to eat so I don’t have to help you set the table or put out the food”  The real sad thing about Giftmas is….”How long can I stay away from those I love or profess to love so I don’t have to feel the true meaning of Christmas.?”  It is just so much easier to thank someone for a gift.


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In a Heartbeat – Man’s Best Friend

When my oldest daughter finished her residency and was able to devote time to a pet, we started to search for the “perfect” pet for her.  Since she was going to live alone, she decided a dog that would afford some protection would be a good idea.  Since I had owned a Doberman Pinscher previously, I suggested that perhaps that type of dog would be a good one to consider.  I knew Doberman’s to be protective as well as loving.  They are often called “velcro” dogs because they tend to stick to the owner like glue.  My daughter said she’d consider one but wanted to see a few first.

We went to a reputable breeder who breeds Doberman’s not for profit but for the love of the breed.  On the premises were 6 adult Dobermans:  2 black, 2 red, 1 blue, and 1 fawn.  All of the dogs ran freely on her property so it wasn’t surprising that they all met us as we pulled in to the driveway.  They barked briefly to alert the owner of the property to our presence but then stood and looked at us warily.  It wasn’t until the owner came out of the house that we made the first move to get out of the car upon the owner’s assurance that the beasts before us would cause us no harm.

The breeder took us into the house where a massive black Doberman met us at the door, sniffed and then turned away.  In a large box in the corner of the room was a red Dobergirl guarding her Doberpuppies.  The breeder quickly let the Doberpuppies loose in the  house but kept the Dobermom in the corner.  As the breeder explained to my daughter exactly what Dobermans are like as a pet, one of the puppies came and sat near my feet.  He had the biggest paws I had ever seen on a Doberman and his legs were lanky and clumsy.  As the other Doberpuppies tried to gather at my feet to see what this visitor was all about, the Doberpuppy with the big paws kept every other puppy at bay.  He would not let any other puppy near me.  The breeder joked about him not letting me go home without him and I just laughed knowing that I didn’t need a big goofy Doberman to chase my two small Yorkies into a frenzy.

Since my daughter didn’t want a puppy for a few months, we looked at the Dobergirl who was due in about 5 months.  She had been breeded to the massive Doberman who met us at the door – so had the goofy, big pawed- red dog that wouldn’t let any other Doberpuppy near me.  We left that day with a lot of information.  My daughter left with the breeders phone number and the due date of the Dobergirl about to give birth.  I left with the goofy red dog who would later look like this:

My husband was not a happy camper when I brought Rory home.  He complained that he cost too much, he was too big for the Yorkies, and he would eat us out of house and home.  He was right, I was wrong.  Rory stayed and moved into our hearts.

As with most Dobermans, Rory quickly became the classic “velcro” dog.  He followed whoever was being the most active at the time.  He especially watched closely his blue ball, which became his constant appendage.  He never went anywhere without it.  He even slept with it.  A trait so endearing, that we couldn’t help but make sure he had two or three blue balls all the time, just in case one met with an untimely demise.

Soon, Rory took over my husband’s heart and the two developed a routine.  The routine was:  What Rory wants, Rory gets.  Rory waited patiently for my husband to get home from work, but the minute he walked into the house Rory would grab his blue ball and demand that my husband play with him.  Of course, my husband would call him a big red ass or say some other un-flattering name but Rory was persistent.  If he didn’t get the attention he wanted right then, he would thump my husband in the leg with his blue ball.  The exchange was a ritual and fun to watch.  Rory demanded attention.  He felt he had to the be center of our world because, after all, we were the center of his.

In a heartbeat, the attachment occurs:  the love between a dog and his master.  If the truth be told, I am unsure in a human/canine relationship who exactly the master is.  I’m pretty sure it is not the human.  Rory was the master of us all.  He played us like a finely tuned violin.  Rory pouted if he didn’t get his way, whined if you didn’t pay attention to him, caused mischief with the Yorkies at times and was the best friend a person could have.  He was more than canine, he was more than human, he was …Rory – The Red King.  Rory was a part of the family and lived in our every heartbeat.

After a long day, Rory felt it was his right to stretch out on the sofa and relax after a long tedious day of playing and protecting the homestead.  Of course, his blue ball was always close at hand.  At 120 lbs, Rory still thought he was a lap dog.  If able, he would cuddle up as close as possible as if to warm his body with ours.  An annoying, but endearing quality all at the same time.

Yesterday, while running and playing outside; something he loved to do, Rory left us in a heartbeat.  He was running and playing and then all of a sudden he looked up, collapsed and his spirit soared into the universe.  He left my world to enter another dimension.

Red Dog had a good life.  Red Dog had a happy life. Red Dog had a short 4 1/2 year life.  Red Dog will be remembered by me always.  I miss him more than words can say.

I love you Red Dog, Red King, Red Drooley…….  I love you Rory.