Why in the world do we choose anger? Why do we hold onto it? It feels awful, it wastes precious time we can never get back, but still somehow, it often wins out.
Every time it’s someone’s birthday, we have dinner at their favorite restaurant. My son has been counting the days to order his beloved macaroni and cheese at Outback. When we showed up last night, there was a 50 minute wait. I was so mad he would eat pizza on his birthday so he wouldn’t be late to meet his friends skating later that night. Outback was just not going to work out and still I chose to let it get the better of me. Even though he was smiling saying “This is the best birthday ever”, I just couldn’t shake the mad.
I woke up this morning and my husband is gone. He has a full weekend of work ahead of him and I have a full weekend of being alone. Is it his fault? Is work where he wants to be when the weather is supposed to be gorgeous? Of course not, so why the mad?
I guess sometimes it’s hard when reality is much different than the way we want something to be. Being stuck in mad though takes away any chance of experiencing the unexpected that is waiting for me to move beyond my silly emotions. The best moments are often spontaneous so maybe I should brush myself off and carry on. Who knows what the day has in store for me if I just give it a tiny chance? Opportunity can knock but I have to make the decision to open the door.
There seems to be a great debate when it comes to people’s rights these days. I have repeated pretty much the same sentiment toward this combustible topic all along. Everyone feels they are entitled to rights that protect their current lifestyle and beliefs. If you’ve followed the news the last few years, reports about religious rights, atheist rights, gay rights etc have been flooding your local news stories. There is one major problem that I believe many forget to think about it. When one sector wins the right to have rights, another sector loses their rights. What is a win for one group is always a lose for another. I often wonder if people really fight for something because they are truly passionate about something or because they just don’t want to feel slighted. Take the whole story of the 10 Commandment statue at the Capitol in Oklahoma CIty. Now Atheists are fighting to put up their own statue. I’m sorry, I can’t help but wonder if it’s less about really wanting that statue and more about the self centeredness we all possess that says, if you have it, then I should have it too. Why should she have something I don’t. That’s not fair, that’s not equal. Can someone answer me this? What the hell even is equality? Write me out a perfect plan where everyone of every religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, economical background, ethnicity will truly feel equal and that life is fair and not constantly trampling on their personal rights. They say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander but we don’t really believe that. We want what we want with little regard for anyone else. We don’t even consider when laws are made to protect our rights that those same laws infringe of others rights who believe differently than we do. Admit it, we have become a “I want and I am entitled to” society and we forget the “We The People” part. We have become, We the democrats, or we the gay community or we the Christian community, we the white community and it goes on and on and on. We are more divided and selfish than ever and the sad part, we don’t even recognize who and what we are becoming. We are like wild dogs fighting for one carcass thrown in a cage and we will fight til the death to make it our own. Do we even consider if we shared it than maybe everyone would feel full and possibly survive? I don’t think so. I am ashamed. I live by these words and repeat them every single day. We are just souls having a human experience. We should treat one another with respect. Does that mean we have to accept everything? No. The only right we really do have is to leave our mark on this world, a reflection of the way we have lived and decide whether we will use this gift of life we were given to create something wonderful, beautiful in the time we were given. and when we are ready to leave, look back and and be honest about whether we left the world that we created better or left it more bitter. What will you do?
It’s the little things right? Today I got a picture from my son. He was excited to show me that his favorite group of girl friends took the time to decorate the inside of his locker for his birthday. He was thrilled. I love when anyone does something just to make another person feel special and this little act of love and kindness brightened my boys day. Sometimes kindness comes from the most unexpected places, even from teenagers. If that doesn’t give us hope for a kinder, gentler world than what does? Who knows what you will find in a little blue locker?
They say we are driven by one of two things, fear or love. I’ve heard that notion at least a million times but today I was able to understand it in a new way. Words, that’s all they were for awhile until I really considered the depth and magnitude behind the letters all jumbled together.
Lately, I have been really focusing on practicing and encouraging kindness in my blogs. I realize through many comments that kindness is perceived two different ways. Maybe not the act of kindness itself but the thought of limiting the amount of kindness for fear of being taken advantage of. The way I see it, is kindness is a gift we give from the heart. We do it expecting nothing in return and sometimes not even getting a simple thank you. I guess the question I have is how can I be taken advantage of if I am truly doing something nice for someone simply because I want to? I am the only one who can choose to give my time, my words, my help, my money so it really has little to do with the person on the receiving end. Then you have those people who jump willingly into the front seat of the kindness train because they really want to be part of the movement. I can’t help but wonder, what is the difference between the two? Maybe the fear based mind is afraid if they give too much of anything there will not be enough left for themselves. Think about it, if I volunteer most of my time, will people expect me to always do it and then how much time will be left for me? Or, if I give and see the difference the little things I do make, it will simply make me happy that I can make others happy too. The mindsets are both fascinating and interesting at the same time.
I have shared that I have been holding myself back on living my life lately, at least living to my full potential. Today I asked myself some pretty tough questions including is that thought/ decision based on fear or love? Fear. That nasty little f word has been holding me back for so many years and I just won’t allow it anymore. When you act from a place of love, and think from a place of love and care for yourself from a place of love, can you imagine how different your life can become when you’ve spent years living from a place of fear? I can’t wait to start living again. I can already see doors that have been locked flying open again and I am so excited to walk through them.
Today you are a teenager. It seems like yesterday I was bending over your crip watching you sleep. I know this may sound kind of creepy but I still watch you sleep. I can’t help but wonder what amazing things you do in your dreams. You amaze me every single day. From the very beginning, I knew you were different. Not different in an odd way but amazingly unique, especially for a boy. Even the way your mind works is unique. You see things from a different angle than most and you are able to to reach a destination taking a path that most would never discover. You are gentle and kind, sensitive and silly. Your heart is enormous and those little thoughtful acts I catch you do, fill my heart with pride. You are competitve but mostly playful. Your laugh is infectious, it always makes me smile. You do things 100%. You feel things that intensely too. You are so smart and scientific to the point I worry about your love to experiment. You are free from worry and always comfortable to just be you with no concern about what anyone thinks. You are less concerned with popularity and more concerned with video games and doing the things that make you happy. You Are going to do something amazing because you ARE amazing. All those qualities that are so different than the rest make you stand out in a way you cannot help but shine. That’s what you always are to me, a bright light on a gloomy day, a kind word on my hardest day. Happy birthday to the love of my life. Always do you because you are perfect just the way you are. Carry your silliness and happiness and compassion for others into adulthood and never stop being sensitive and kind. Never let anyone dull your sparkle because where I stand, your future is beautiful and bright.
Oh how I am inspired by stories of great kindness. This one makes me so proud of the town and the people I grew up with. The younger brother of a friend and classmate was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. He is a young man, married just a few years with a four year old son. I was fortunate two summers ago to visit home and participate in a walk to raise money for this amazing and inspiring family. Recently I heard of a high school friend who was selling his motorcycle for the sole purpose to buy this couple a bike with a motor so they could still ride together. They are the outdoor type and have always been very active. This one thing, this bike could be a life changer for them. Freedom is a stretch but I think the word fits nicely considering it would give Todd the opportunity to do something that used to seem impossible. The things we take for granted on a daily basis, huh? When is the last time you complained that your feet hurt from walking too far or your legs hurt from biking around a small lake? This bike was a miracle to this family and one kind person, one compassionate man made this happen. This story is tragic and beautiful as I have watched a community and old friends come together to do amazing things for this well deserving family. Isn’t that our purpose in life? I would like to think it is. To be be kind and help others and always find a way to give even when you are sure you have nothing to offer. Offer yourself, your kindness, an encouraging word and be an inspiration to everyone around you. My heart if so full today.
If I had forgotten somehow, yesterday I was alarmingly reminded that life is truly unpredictable. There is no way of knowing or even guessing from one moment to the next, what life will bring.
It’s tornado season again in Oklahoma. I had a terrible feeling that this year would be a spring filled with tumultuous storms. I’m starting to believe my instincts were right. As I stood outside and felt the winds slam against me, I was frightened. The weather can be so over powering, so destructive. If you are in the wrong place at the right time, nothing can save you from Mother Natures fury. The town next to mine got hit again. What are the odds that the same place can get hit so many different times? It’s heartbreaking and it’s terrifying and when I woke up today I was very grateful to be safe and alive. I forget how fragile life really is. I want to believe I am invincible but the sobering truth is I am not. None of us are. Today I will take the time to appreciate all that is around me. I will not allow myself to get stressed if Chase doesn’t do well on his math test or if there are 20 loads of wash piled up. The sand is slowly moving through my hourglass, there is not a single second to waste. Enjoy your life because this one is the only one you will ever have. Don’t sweat the small stuff and be grateful that you are who you are, this wonderful human being who is uniquely you. Make a difference, smile more, stress less and laugh from the heart of your belly. It’s not the years in your life that matter, it really is the life in your years.
Why does everything boil down to competition and having to be the best? Some will argue competition is necessary and improves the performance of most at the end of a season. I beg to differ though as to what is actually better.
My daughter is part of a fundraising committee for high school. The kids compete against each other to raise the most money. There was one kid actually trying to sneak the online contributions that clearly belonged to other classmates. The sneakiness and the cut throat battle to be the best did result in something but unfortunately not what I was hoping for. Somewhere, in the midst of trying to one up one another, these kids were cheated the beautiful experience of coming together for the greater good. What should and could have been a meaningful bonding together to make a difference in something selfless and important turned into a selfish battle to wear the crown of who brought in the most money. Maybe if the emphasis was really about raising money for the charity while setting an overall goal with no credit to who did less or who did more, maybe then they would discover the real reason behind giving in the first place, to help others and feel good about doing it. Maybe we should stop patting the best on the back and pat everyone on the back for doing their best. I guess I’m just a dreamer and my ideas are not shared by the norm but giving without getting something in return is a beautiful gift for the whole world. Did the kids raise more money because this was a competition? Maybe, but was it worth the valuable lesson that somehow got skipped over in the blur of going round after round in the center ring? I don’t think so. What do you think? Imagine a contest that encouraged the winner be the most honest or the most altruistic.
This silly belief that we are not good enough is enough to put our entire lives on hold. I pass up the opportunity to step into my own skin and do exactly what I am meant to do because of this deep seated fear that I just cannot do it. What if this and what if that takes over the logical side that quietly whispers, you’ve got this, let’s do this thing and let’s do it NOW. The years are blowing by like 90 mph winds and I am standing there holding on for dear life instead of letting go. Time to fly, time to move, time to get going to wherever it is I want to go. That is the secret I think. To ask the question, what do I really want and pick up my feet to move in that direction. One small step after another is all it takes to finally get close enough to grasp what is eagerly waiting for me to hold on to and finally have the courage to sit back and enjoy the ride. Thoughts are so limiting but our dreams and ambitions and gifts are limitless. How can anyone possibly fail when they step into a role that is a perfect fit for their very own soul? What have you passed up because you are simply too afraid to take a chance?
If I knew I would be okay, I would ____. For me , the answer would be sky dive. I’ve always thought about how exhilarating it would feel to take that leap from the airplane. The heart-pounding, spine tingling feeling as I free fall and finally pull the chute and float to the ground. The courage to dare to do something that scares me to death while at the same time making me feel so alive.
What would you do if you knew you would be okay?