Inspiration

Convictions or Rationalization for Condemning?

Last week I commented to a friend on a post she made on Facebook.  Instantly I was berated for my opinion.  By that word I mean told that my understanding was not based by the heart but merely by the perceptions I merely thought.  After a long banter back and forth of me trying to help the offended understand my intent, the dialog never really made it past an agreement to disagree. Further the offended, nonetheless without evidence except absence, is still somewhat concerned that their interpretation of my actions are not only just; but they’re tantalizing the thought of severing any kind of kinship with me whatsoever, because of the inference.  I find this disturbing.

The opposition was whether or not we have a right to form a working hypothesis about a group of individuals or behavior.  My position is that we not only have the right to form conclusions and thereby our convictions, and the opponent view was that in doing so; I am condemning without the benefit of concern or kindness.  In other words I was putting myself above another human being in their eyes and not putting the regard/respect of any individual’s right to determine his or her own faith above my judgment.

My thoughts are ever processing because it is very important to me that others see my heart despite the things I’ve learned to be true; such as people are both good and evil. Relationships are tricky because people always get disappointed in them.  Love sometimes hurts because nothing is great forever.  These absolute statements are the much formed opinions that I own due to my experiences.  They’re working hypothesis after years of studying the human behaviors that to this day I find confusing because others do not react, create, or act in the same ways in which I would. It takes me a long time to compartmentalize behaviors that I find offensive and put them in a context that I am able to conceptualize without feeling wounded by them.  I’ve learned sometimes people are cruel.

Despite that I tout that forgiveness is the only way to break the bondage of pain.  That a good heart is better than a great mind. That life without the blessings of being loved isn’t worth much or several cliché’s I am sure that you randomly get tagged with on Facebook. That’s how I genuinely believe.  I possess the gift of inspiration.  Whether it’s inspiring others to think of their own actions or offending them in such a way that they hold me accountable for mine. I inspire action.

Then I have to ask myself why is it that none of that mattered in the conversation. My conclusion? The offended didn’t really read about me. They don’t know my path or the great lengths I have taken to sacrifice my own happiness for the betterment of another.  They do not know of my years with women who were beaten. Nor do they know that I mentored many women and men through the years or even that I hold two masters degrees and one of those is in behavioral science. So how do you respond to a person who is so appalled by your proclamation that they cannot see past the offense? I have to question.

It is true that my convictions will not change the offended’s principals. It is true that theirs will not negate my own.  How do we get to a common denominator? Here’s what I know to be true.  With that being said, I am highly aware that my truth is NOT the same as another’s.  It is my conclusions of the experiences and inference to the data I have been subjected to all these years and it is in those convictions that I find myself defending.

I think it’s important to pause to understand how the things we say impact others. I think it’s further detrimental when one of those people tell us how they’ve been damaged.  It’s a responsibility to determine the facts presented and if ones actions have been faltering in the principals or beliefs behind the person, altered in such a way that it does not offend.

It is true that I believe in God. I believe that the teachings set forth by our great Lord are there because they are applicable to all people on this earth. It’s hard to negotiate that with someone who proclaims themselves to be an atheist but that goes back to a fundamental belief system that I wholly agree is non-negotiable.  It is in that reverent believe where my opinions of right and wrong principals are born.  Add some experience and education to the soup mix and you have the confidence to birth a conviction.

Promiscuity as I know it to be several indiscriminate partners; and as Physiology today claims it as the epidemic of anti social behavior I am perplexed why one would not understand why the conclusion to that argument is made. Further one could argue why they could not come to a conclusion.  The answer? Conviction becomes action and that has proven to be horrific for the community ethically and legally.  Now, we’re getting into the brass of it.

My understanding is that I have not condemned one for their promiscuity. I have in fact taken women and men into my home and given them rest. I have given counseling, and I have picked up the broken pieces of many who choose this life. I understand it. I don’t agree that’s it’s okay to live one’s life that way because I have been witness to the aftereffects many times over; first hand.  It breaks my heart that it is so ramped here in America and it a true cultural issue.

The offended understanding is that by concluding that there is a sense of brokenness or damage implies that the person making a choice for indiscriminate partners has his or her own mind and is making that choice. That choice should be done so without contempt, judgment, and or labeling.  No one has the right to form a conclusion because it takes the power away from the person making the choice to step outside the social boundaries of religion and social norms.  That’s a very strong argument.  One that should be considered.

Is the word “judgment” become a slanderous word by putting down to elevate oneself? In this case, I felt that “judgment” was conviction to assist where needed by applying scientific and physical evidence to the claim that people of this lifestyle were broken. Were my convictions simply a rationalization so that I can feel better about providing my time and effort?  I think not…but how does the other person feel about that?

My question to you is this. If you judge something you know to be true are you condemning it or are you concluding your findings? Food for thought. Would love it if you responded.

Inspiration

Disappointing Reflections of my Season

The heart once light and amiable to receive now rests heavy upon my chest. It’s as if the hearts very lobes have coarse thickened blood that now runs through its hollow caverns. The beats which are generally musical in their tune only remind me of the looming burden of my sorrow. Thoughts of surreal confusion have eliminated any prior sense whatsoever. I stand before you broken hearted my friends.

I cannot tell you to what lengths, with whom, or why this time for fear that perceptions should change concerning someone that I very much care about; but what I can tell you is that the pain that has so desperately clutches the very depths of my soul is there because of the unconditional love that I have for the offender.

It takes but a moment in this lifetime to pause with enough courage to contemplate a world that is often without compassion. To engage in it and navigate through it is harsher than any human promises. To truly look the behaviors, the attitudes, and the general moral decline is a sight that few want to truly witness. Turning backs to further themselves from the tragedy, is sadly, I feel the norm.

I am reminded that God is with me, and that in He alone can I find my acceptance, but the humanness in me is crying out for justice. On bended knee I ask with reverent feverish hope, this offender will find all that helps him receive the love he so generously begs. I seek awareness from him, without the benefit of harms so that he may understand to the depths of his soul the love that we have for him. To those ends that love shall bring out a kindness or compassion and turn the perception of hate and discourse into one of loving thy neighbor abundantly.

I cannot give this to him for I have not been a role model in my own actions. I am no hero, for I have been so reluctant and screamed the human injustices from the top of my lungs for anyone to listen. I have slandered, I have fought what I thought was the good fight only to learn it was my own, and I have raised my temperament and my voice unwittingly while he listened. An example, I am not.

Lord, I beg for your forgiveness in my seemingly selfish escapades and needs to be filled with my own affirmations. My sins I repent with irreverent understanding that now it has caused some deep seeded need to further the cause for those who cannot stand for themselves and those who would harm for the sake of their own selfishness. That is a fight I am not sure I should have commanded that anyone join me. It is with great sorrow that I bow my head not only in shame but it respect and esteem to wield my words with elegant fury for the fight of inspiration only.

Today I am pensive with the thoughts of words used to harm lingering over a fresh conscious mind. I feel burdened with guilt and remorse over my undoing. This is certainly not a course of life I imagined nor is it what I would have wanted. The loss, the sadness, the acclamation of my proclamations of love ignored and yet unconditionally it is given without a moment’s hesitation.

Inspiration

I Hate the word, “Diet!”

Diet to me is the ugliest word that came into the English language.  I watch as women who have no concept of what they’re doing to their bodies restrict themselves as to what they believe they should and should not eat. They haven’t gone to the doctor and God help them if they did because those indexes that doctors use are unrealistic. Women have doctors, and specialists and TV and Movie Stars telling them what is and what isn’t good to eat.  It’s all crazy and the word diet implies that you should be thin. Sickly thin. Size 6 or less is the only acceptable because designers don’t even make clothes for women over that size.

Well I am here to tell you, that size 6 is not a picnic.  It’s a sick twisted conglomerate monopolizing business that’s sole goal is to keep you guessing all so they can make a buck and I hate it.  It’s the largest industry of sellable books and products in today’s economy.  If that doesn’t scare you I don’t know what will. That very subtle word, diet, is the catalyst for the pharmaceutical industry, for the retail industry, for the cosmetics and most of the necessities for women. It drives our economy so you had better buy into the word because those fat cats on Hollywood Boulevard, the media and the designers in New York are going to make absolutely certain that you will not have confidence without that word in your vocabulary!

Here’s what I suggest. You don’t have to particularly listen to me, but I do eat well. I have never had a weight problem and for the most part I have been healthy most of my life.  I have a thin shape and I don’t think I look too ancient but that is my opinion. You may have your own. So what I do is document in a program application called My Fitness Pal. You can download the app for yourself at www.myfitnesspal.com. Works on PC’s too.

In this program you put everything you eat. Don’t lie!  And if you have enough courage to fully understand the limits, expectations and goals you can print how many carbs or how many sugars you have in one day, week, month or year.  You can give that to your doc and show them that what you’re saying is the truth.  Then you and your doctor can decide if diet is right for you OR if you just need a lifestyle change.  (No jokes intended).

Be well, take care.

Misfit Out! ~~~

Inspiration

Reflecting on Greatest Treasures!

To think about one’s own challenges and the misery that comes from those obstacles is what each of us does especially when it surrounds us. When the emotions engulf us to the point that we cannot see the blessings and only the sadness it’s very difficult to allow ourselves the luxury of our experience; which is to know that this moment whatever that situation is; really doesn’t last that long. It’s a little blimp in the big scope of the grander scale. God’s timing.

When I was younger I saw a lot of horrible things. I lived through losing people I loved and when I got older it stopped for a while, but now I am at that age where my friends get sick, some die early, and others lose their zest for life all-together. I’ve been at that place where it’s easier to give up than it is to push forward moving ever slowly to a more peaceful life. Eventually we all end up peacefully, at rest.

This next year will mark a half of a century for me. I wonder if my contribution to this world and to all those whom I have loved dearly along my journey is enough to sustain their joy when they think about the time they’ve spent with me. Is what I have said enough? Have my actions shown how much I love them for exactly who they are? How has my behavior impacted their life? Will they know that our relationship has meant an untellable fortune to me? I can only pray it is so.

I went through one of the hardest times of my life with a woman who is very special to me. We were in a seminar and I was profoundly wounded unjustly by someone I’d known almost a decade. This woman sat by my side while I cried my tears. She encouraged me to move through the grief and pain and into a solid state of acceptance. She held me in her arms as I sobbed through my heartache. She took me to dinners afterwards, and talked for hours on the phone. She was my rock, my mountain and certainly God’s grace in carrying me through my journey. I will forever be more than grateful because she taught me what true love really is. What a treasured friendship is really all about. What grace someone can show you even when they don’t truly know you all that well. I love you, Leanna…my sister, my friend, my confidant, my teacher and with my whole heart pray that you know this.

During that time there were several women who formed my newest belief’s and helped me become responsible for my behavior and for my actions. Some helped me through identifying that which I did not want for my life and others for an attitude that I wanted. Of all the women I have met in my lifetime there has been no other graceful mentor like Mary. Not only are you my greatest confidant as well, and one of the greatest loves of my life, but someone I admire tremendously. You make me want to get closer to God, because your example is powerful. You make me want to be a better person, to be involved, to emulate a finer attitude and your force me to see my own immaturity and be responsible for that. It’s an effortless teaching not through condemnation or verbal affirmation but my example, and to me; there is no better teacher. You are truly loved and monumentally appreciated.

Taryn, Nancy, Misty, Donna, and the Road’s gang. When I think of you, I do so fondly. There’s been moments we disagreed and when we butted heads on our opposing views. Maybe there’s been talk or clarifications or even suppositions. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all strong Christian sisters with our own beliefs and standards and how awesome is it that we can share a space in time when it’s just about the love we have and the appreciation for all the differences that set us apart. God, I know truly works in us all and have showed me each of your strengths, and gifts. I truly feel blessed to know you, and I am profoundly blessed that we’re still connected.

Dawn was there for me, and mentored my marriage. I cannot tell you how broken I was from the hateful and hurtful lies I’d been fed all those years. The affirmations from people who I thought were above reproach only to learn that Satan had a hold on those who I treasured and used them to create more doubt and fear in me. Once I chose a different path Dawn picked me back up. Dawn’s approach wasn’t easy. She wasn’t nice or even soft about putting me in my place. Her words of truth were like a burning sword through my flesh. She poked and prodded until I withdrew in so much pain it hurt just to breathe. She called me on my lies time and time again until I had nowhere to hide. At that point I knew that God had sent her to me. He needed me to see the real truth and not some fairytale perception I had created to make myself feel better. I’ve been living that truth since. Sometimes it offends people…sometimes people perceive that I am sad because I see so much truth, but the reality of it is that I’m still innocent. I still laugh, and I still know how to have a great time, and I still say and do stupid immature silly things because to me; keeping my childhood innocence is the second greatest gift God gave me. The first, of course, is my children.

We all came to forgiveness in roughly one day after suffering through ripping the strategically placed Band-Aids over the worst moments of our lives. We danced and I can remember going to the quiet place under the benches and looking at the rest of them laughing. Free to feel joy and laugh and each of us not only knowing but having a profound presence of God in our hearts. We became sisters. We became life-long friends. We became part of each other. That kind of understanding only comes from sharing that experience…and I am absolutely profoundly blessed to have gone through that with these amazing people. I remember all of them…the ones in my group and those who touched my life and didn’t even know it. I will always remember you.

God is always in my life… he never leaves. He is ever present, waiting for me to bring my gifts so that he can use them to meet the goals of every man. To see us all in heaven with him, beside our father and Jesus and to journey through eternity in a peaceful loving embrace. Why I don’t look up first bothers me often, but the worldly injustice bothers me so much more. I hate that my friends suffer, and that there is little that I can do to carry those burdens. Moreover I fail at letting the world know that my questions and my expectations do not arise from a self-motivated course, but merely a devoted love of my fellow man and the disappointment that I feel from others and even my own selfish actions.

I could cry today because my journey is for another to lean. I am strong, and courageous, and forthright, and tenacious and I do not need. I pray this day for you, and for those who you love that you might find joy today. That you might find happiness, and that those people whom you adore will in turn let you know how very loved that you are. I miss my friendships, I miss my loving caring sisters. I can only hope that I remember that while I cannot be with you, I can pray that He is…

To that end…I leave you with one of my favorite songs from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney take it away…..

Esmeralda
I don’t know if You can hear me
Or if You’re even there
I don’t know if You would listen
To a gypsy’s prayer
Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don’t find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

Parishioners
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me

Esmeralda
I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrodden
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God

Inspiration

Be the Light No Matter What!

Please, don’t prove them right.

The other day my friend came to me. A very concerned conversation had taken place, and that dialog included non-flattering comments about me. My friend warned me many times that I needed to guard myself because the things that I was saying were being twisted and turned; and not in my favor. When I left that conversation, I was reserved to continue (based on my extensive life experience) to act in the greatest behavior I know.

I have learned that through the deed of transparency, bridges are formed between adversaries, and trust is built among enemies. If one is completely honest there is nothing to hide. It is the greatest proclamation of unconditional love I can offer my fellow human, despite the injustice I see all around me. I believe to the depth of my being that kindness, and that vulnerability is what my God commands of me regardless if my actions are not perceived as they are intended.

The aforementioned declaration is a conversation I have had with the people who commented many times prior. I decreed at that time that the naysayers, the untrusting, the sarcastic, the weary, the forlorn, the judging, the prideful, and mostly the skeptic people were, in my estimation, always proven wrong. I believe to the core of everything I know, that people want to do good things. I believe it is in our nature to promote wealth, prosperity and freedom for all. I believe given any situation a person will choose the side of decency. I’ve been brutally and savagely beaten by others who have viciously commanded me to hate as much as they do. I refused. To me, I have to believe the acts of humans are ultimately intended for the betterment of themselves and others otherwise I am not sure I could exist in a world void of love for one another.

I have had moments in my life when my hope for mankind, and the hurt or pain that goes along with our life lessons was too much to bear. In those moments, I have almost taken the life that God gave so mercifully to me. I have been witness to the worst of behavior that any human could endure. I’ve been repeatedly beaten, verbally assaulted, tortured, raped, violated, and abandoned. If one human could hurt another I have experienced every angle of the violence, and therefore I understand completely the capability that humans have to act irresponsibly, and without empathy for another. I know it exists, but I have instructed my mind not to dwell on the minority and to embrace the majority of people who do not act that way, and who genuinely want to do great works.

This is the formula in which I address, accept, forgive, and move on. It’s the rules in which I live my life by. I don’t get upset unless I see a great injustice. I don’t get angry unless someone shows me the evil in them. I don’t accuse and I don’t condemn because I have undoubtedly inadvertently hurt people along my journey. I’m fair, and amiable. I am transparent.

I think the hardest thing for me, is that I will tell people, “Don’t prove them right.” (Speaking of them as the cynics) Then I am surprised when the people closest to me do exactly that. I asked my friend, “Why can’t I compartmentalize this and move on?” My friend responded, “You cannot put feelings in a box. It’s just how you feel.” It’s true.

I suppose I want to cry. I suppose I want to ask the commenter, “Why?” I suppose that I hurt more deeply than I could admit and that none of those things will happen. I understand people are just people and sometimes we all do dumb things, so I will forgive. I will move on, but my relationships will be forever altered. There will be an element of hesitation before I speak. There will be un-comfortableness where they sit, and if I need to be in that same space. There is an element of disinclination. I hate that with every fiber of my being because it blocks the love that I want to share. It blocks God’s light through me. It blocks my transparency and ultimately it proves the pessimist’s right. That’s the most heartbreaking thing of all.

The pundits have been made aware, and there has been no resolution other than a separation of space. I miss my friend. I miss what I thought we had. I miss having an environment of peace and tranquility. I can forgive, sure and I will. But I suppose that an affirmation of the act, and a subsequent understanding apology would go a long way to ease us all back to a common gracefulness. However, I do not really need it to forgive.

Before you sit and begin to converse today about the dislikes you have with one of the people very close to you, remember that they too have the deepest of needs to be accepted as well. They have every feeling you have. They believe in the fundamentals that you and I do and they want to be a better person. People are just people, some are more broken, some are sensible, and some not so much. We’re all different because God made us our own unique selves and through our triumphs and struggles we’ve formed our own personalities. We form what we believe because God has allowed us the freedom to embrace our own choices. You can choose today to lift another up, be a little more transparent and put your heart on the line for the sake of another as Jesus has done for you. Or you can simply ignore, you can bask in the glory that something you’ve done has hurt another and have peace with that. You can talk about your fellow man without regard or empathy. It’s your choice. You choose every single day how to affect those around you.

For me, today as much as it’s painful I choose transparency. My convictions tell me that despite I’ve been hurt by what was said, I am not broken by it. It’s a moment, a blimp, a dot in history that shall be long forgotten in a short while. To base my future relationships on such a notion would be childish and immature. That’s not who I choose to be. That’s not what I want for my actions to represent. I choose love. I choose to prove the skeptics wrong. That’s my choice.

Inspiration

Glorious Lives!

I can remember when I was a young girl thinking that the worst thing that could happen to me would be to have a child that I couldn’t support, because I was really worried that I would end up as resentful as my mother was. I couldn’t imagine my body growing, I couldn’t imagine having to feed myself let alone be responsible for another human being.

Went my younger brother was born I love him so dearly that I would have nightmares about his safety. He is nine years younger than I am. I remember my youth being spent worrying about his choices in life and I couldn’t imagine how much more magnified that would be if I had a child of my very own.

At the age of 22 I became involved with a man who didn’t want me because he was Jewish and I wasn’t. I was really in love with the man. After a year or two dating this Jewish man we decided to call it and ended our relationship. I began to date another man who I didn’t really care about because I had lack of confidence, but i developed an intimate relationship with him. Unfortunately about a month later I realized that I was pregnant. Not knowing who the father was my fears were magnified.

I contacted both men and I told them what I had done. Both of the men thought that I should have an abortion. At that time I suppose if I was honest with myself, it would admit that I too wanted a way out of the situation I have got myself into. I was alone, I had no money and I had no transportation. How in the world was I going to raise a child?

About six weeks later when I was trying to decide and make up my mind, I was stopped at a stoplight a block from my home. I was crying pretty hard about the pain that I had caused everybody. I wasn’t paying much attention and a renegade truck with an uninsured drunk driver hit me from the back going approximately 95 mph. Needless to say, when I ended up in the hospital it was explained to me that an abortion was my only option for my own survival.

I remained single for almost a decade after that accident. Every single day of every single year I thought about that unborn child. When I met a man that I would date I would never let them know about my shameful secret. I lived with the guilt silently and painfully for very long time.

I met a wonderful man when I was almost 30 and within the first three months of our relationship I had gotten pregnant again. I was determined not to even think about the word abortion! I was in a better place because I was confident that I could take care of myself. I was sure that the man that I had chose to be intimate with was a good choice in character. I wasn’t in the same emotional, physical or intellectual state of mind that I was the first time I had gotten pregnant.

A month later the man I was in love with proposed and we got married. Just a short while later my daughter was born. I looked into her face and realized what a blessing she was, and for the first time that fear rushed in. I was terrified that I wouldnt be enough for her. She was so tiny and so delicate and I instantly became protective! I’ve vowed nobody would hurt her. And I knew that I had taken on a responsibility far greater than my own worthiness. I had been given a gift by God and it was my responsibility to bring this child up in such a way that she could be independent and happy as an adult. I was up to the challenge and ready to move forward.

In the toddler and baby years of my daughters life; I spent the entire time in all of the miracle that the innocence of a child can show a person. I learned very quickly that if my life became tough, all I had to do was put myself around a small child and a smile would soon appear on my face. There is something so remarkable about the investigation and the questions of the innocent approach to life the child brings to the family.

The age of five she was a people pleaser. At the age of eight she was anxious and trying to find her place in our family. If the age of 12 she wanted to put on makeup. But the age of 14 she wanted to know what it would be like to have a boyfriend. All through high school she struggled with inter personal relationships. Every single day was a lesson. It was an adventure!

Raising her was different than my son who was born a year after her. She is like me. I knew how to handle every piece of advice. I knew what to expect. I knew what she was going to go through. And I was ready for it. And it was an exceptional experience that improved with her age. Even now as she matures into an adulthood and leaves the nest she is absolutely adored.

When I had my son I knew what a treasure he was going to be. I had more confidence that I could manage his welfare. I was sure that I would teach him to play sports and I would teach him how to treat a woman. And I was up to the task again.

Nine months after my son was born I knew that there was a problem. I knew that he was different than any other child because he had regressed into his own mind. I thought something tragic had happened in daycare, or that something had happened when I had left them in another’s care. But that wasn’t the case. It took almost 12 years of struggling and testing and encouragement and therapy to get a diagnosis of autism. When everybody said that I was a terrible mom because he acted the way he did because of who I was. I cried a lot. But every time he would come into the room he would shine his uniqueness and I knew that I was destined to be his mother! I would be the fighter, the challenger and the ultimate cheerleader.

That boy is 17 now and he is fully functional. When the doctor finally diagnosed him, he said that he had never seen an autistic boy who is so far gone so mainstreamed without professional assistance. I had to smile because to me it was not a chore it was not an obligation… it was an honor!

I look at my life over the last 20 years and I realize that my greatest gifts come from the greatest moments I had in my life. Those moments have been with my husband and my two children. I cannot tell you what it’s like to have a child. But I can tell you that there is absolutely no love greater than the love and adoration a mother feels for her children. It’s an unconditional love. It’s a realization that in the past 20 years I have been so extremely blessed with remarkably individual and unique kids.

I may not have a stellar career in writing. I may not have friends that have stood by my side all these years. I may not have the houses that I once lived in or the cash that I used to have. But as I look forward into the next century of my life, I realize that the value of my life was in the little moments of joy and laughter and hope and encouragement and sharing of experiences with the people in my life who mean the world to me.

I guess what I wish is that all mothers get a moment to feel exactly the way that I do at this time in my very own moment. Because there’s no greater feeling in the world than knowing that you did your best. That you’re best made a life for the next-generation. That generation is the direct reflect on the positive influence that you had. Your kids are grown. They are safe. They are self-sufficient individuals who are capable of being independent happy people. They believe in God. They believe in love. They believe in justice. They believe in opportunity! I did my job and I’m proud of the work I’ve done. Moreover I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to have such a tremendous life with two beautifully exceptional children!

Inspiration

Righteous Anger vs. Immature Emotions

Often people will say things that sting the other person when they were only trying to release these pent-up feelings or anger. They say things that are really a reflection of their own internal unresolved issues rather than anger directed at the other person. Generally, most men are afraid of women’s anger and will do whatever necessary to protect themselves from it. We as women know this, however, when we’re in the thick of whatever it is that has pushed our injustice button; we are hesitant to remain mature or calm about how we feel. This is unfortunate because angry women are not always angry at the man – but at some internal frustration. The same holds true for men.

Men are more likely to vent, and to let it out. Women are more likely to stuff, and keep it in, but both of these approaches to solving the anger issue are bad. If you always vent, you’re venting and exploding, lots of times, when what you should be doing is chilling out, because there’s nothing you can do about the traffic jam. If you’re always stuffing it, you’re stuffing it a fair amount of the time when there’s something you should be doing to get that jerk to quit calling you stupid for wanting to go see the latest Julia Roberts movie this weekend. Sometimes you need to speak and sometimes you need to be quiet, but learning which and when; now that is key.

Before you do anything, just say “Stop!” Ask yourself if this is one of those times when you need to do something about this or chill out? If you don’t do anything but that, you’ll stop before you explode or stuff it and you’ll be better off.

To understand righteous anger vs. anger that is immature let’s dive into the reasons for the emotion.  There are only two basic emotions – fear and love. All other emotions are degrees of these two. From what I know Anger is an emotion that has its root in fear.

Anger is an emotion that people express when they are: upset, frustrated, uncertain, anxious, hurt by another person or life in general, or confused. Many men and women when expressing anger are really covering the deeper emotion of fear. Unexpressed anger can be the result of a variety of personal emotional traits: the need for approval, the need for love, insecurity, a fear of rejection, guilt, resentment – to mention just a few. There is a flip side to this issue, however, and that is the impact of angry words spoken while in this fear state.

I’ve learned through some pretty horrible knock-down-drag-out come to Jesus meetings is that anyone who is angry needs to speak the truth in a loving manner. Anger can be communicated without name calling, yelling, screaming or threatening. Feelings of anger do not have to replace feelings of love. It is important to realize that being angry with someone does not mean you no longer love them, despite what men think about women getting angry.

No should or shouldn’t are allowed in your talk to each other, because your spouse using them is being a parent instead of a spouse. You don’t tell a spouse what they should or shouldn’t do. You tell a spouse what you would like them to do and then give them the opportunity to choose whether or not it is something they want to do.

I use “I feel” messages. Remember along with emotions come facts. Both should be argued and in a way that does not put the other spouse on the defensive.  An “I feel” message allows you to express how you felt about something they did or said. It gives you the opportunity to express your feelings but doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your way.

Consider this though, “I feel” messages will be met with more openness than saying, “You always do,” or “You hurt me.” You want to talk about how you feel, not point fingers at what your spouse did or didn’t do.

Don’t jump to conclusions about what your spouse is thinking or feeling. If you want to know, ask him! I really hate absolute comments or inference in an argument.  Just because you share your feelings doesn’t mean your spouse “heard” what you were saying.

When communicating we need to express and listen to be understood. A lot of us are guilty of hearing something other than what is actually being said. Make sure that you express your needs and that your spouse understands those needs. Asking him to repeat back to you what you’ve said will help. You can’t resolve a misunderstanding if you are being misunderstood!

I’ve been taught that in a healthy marriage both spouses should feel free to express their emotions, needs and desires. It is inevitable that expressing emotions can, at times mean expressing healthy anger nd engaging in conflict. Anger is a healthy part of a relationship if the anger is properly expressed. If done correctly arguing, conflict and friction in a marriage will sharpen and strengthen the marriage. This maturity is only something that through love and care can mature a marriage or relationship to the level of ultimate understanding and fewer conflicts.

You get to know and understand each other better. You feel safer within the relationship if you know it is safe to express your feelings of anger. You learn that marriage is not a competition, a game where one spouse has more control than the other. Nothing promotes love and intimacy more than working together without fear of reprisal with a commitment to doing what is best for everyone.

Inspiration

Treasured Moments

There is nothing in the world quite like a moment when you realize that you’re happy. Happiness is not a constant feeling, and for most this illusive emotion evades from daily life. I think that in the movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours” after Lucille Ball desperately tries to explain to her daughter the fundamentals of joy but fails miserably; Henry Fonda picks up the dialog by explaining that great moments arrive from putting the effort of all the drudgery and the boring is what leads to the big events! In other words, quantity no matter how mundane brings quality! You cannot have one without the other.

So imagine my surprise when I am sitting with incredible women and I realize I’m smiling! And I think “wow it’s been a long time since that’s happened!” a genuine real happy joyful smile!

What’s even better is that they were smiling and we were sharing openly and honestly and real and laughing until we couldn’t stand it anymore. Each of us had issues and extreme stories to share and opinions and comments… It was human compassion in motion! A connection stronger than time and distance full of passion and empathy and we were all there wishing that happy moments could just last a whole lot longer!

We worked together in one of the worst jobs that I have ever had! Not because of the work but because of the dictator suppression of a power motivated woman who I believe if possible would actually blow fire up someone’s butt to get them to do her bidding! We came out close friends and none of us work there anymore. The strife gave us the blessing of forming a unity against the unjust but it’s not anything we dwell on anymore. It was the basic foundation of friendship that’s been tested over time and matured into life long confidential bonding that all women wish they had! I honestly regard myself blessed!

Today you’re going to have to finish the audit paperwork and financial matters and clean the house, make the dinner, and tend to the animals, but stop right now and schedule that spa or dinner with the gals! 1. Because you sure as hell deserve it and 2. Because believe it or not it’s been too long between your ultimate moments of “happy!”

I highly recommend time to fill up your cup be because when you do…it runneth over!

Inspiration

Affirmation vs Condemnation

Often, I am reminded that I am flawed. The people who love me the most tease me incessantly about tiny matters such as forgetfulness or even so far as to pick on me because they prefer comedies as opposed to drama.

For the most part, I’m an easy going individual who by the way, doesn’t ever poke fun at someone else’s shortcomings. To me, it’s just not funny, but then again, neither is sitting on a toilet but Hollywood keeps putting that crap in movies; so I can admit that it might just be me who doesn’t appreciate the continuous banter back and forth about things that in the great scheme of things really shouldn’t bother anyone. I shrug off the jokes until it feels like verbal bashing and that’s when I put a stop to it.

In today’s world we have so many TV shows insisting that we hold ourselves accountable for our behavior! So much do that kids are firming absolute resolution about the actions the see adults make and the outcome of all this is that humans are no longer allowed error.

The sin of Adam. Let’s go back to the origin to understand that we are ALL imperfect! None of us better or worse than the other. While we may question someone’s motives or have deep regrets for their behavior the truth is that in the eyes of our Lord we are all sinners and no one sin is greater than another!

So why do we pridefully challenge each other? I have theories that it’s in an effort to elevate our own self with, but honestly I think it’s because people feel entitled to tell someone how their actions affected them. When in reality the refuse to be held accountable if the situation were reversed! People just don’t like getting their hand slapped, and many a friendship has been lost because one or the other cannot handle the 4th and final stage of friendship: drawing boundaries.

Does that mean people have grown to be selfish? Yeah I think so to a certain extent but my hypotheses is that people have good intensional but they are immature in execution! People are intolerant and judgmental as a common body and so now people are guilty and must prove innocence. A foundation of freedoms this country was built in is lost in world void of loving understanding and acceptance because we’re all too busy giving people we love a “reality check” instead of making them feel secure in the knowledge that even if they make mistakes the love doesn’t fade.

It might be more like raising children but few have the maturity needed to be a genuine source of affirmation without an agenda or motive or conclusion! Love for the sake of choosing to lift a life up rather than condemn it. A man or a woman who feels loved will never have the need to find it elsewhere!

Reflection

Introspection Tools

It’s good to self reflect, but it’s not good to carry guilt because you’re not perfect.  It’s not good to allow the whispers of our discontent to navigate their tiny clawed hooks into the things that could bring us joy.

Listen, I have learned that joy, and thereby a continuum of happiness is caused by changing your perspective.  If you’re really wrapped up in the emotions of the day one thing that helps me is to begin making a list of all the good things, because it’s really easy to focus on the bad.

As long as you use your mind for good thought including self image, your body and soul will follow. A great product that I have used in the past is “The Thinking Mind” available through Amazon.  Check it out. Maybe it can help.

Remember good thoughts are a decision away.