Your Own Mind Trumps Everyone Else’s 

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My husband was glued to the news while I was trying to go to sleep last night so I had no choice but to listen in. All the hype was over Trump not participating in the debate tonight and how that would “hurt” the American people by not offering them an opportunity to hear another ridiculous question/answer saga. They also tried to make the case that if he became president, he would have to go up against people who didn’t treat him kindly. Regardless of how I feel about Trump, I will say this. I love to see people make a stand. It excites me when someone has the courage to follow their own instinct instead of being manipulated by the people around them. It gives me hope that there are a handful still left that will make a stand even if it means being ridiculed and having to stand alone. Kudos to him for showing he calls his own shots. Don’t we all wish we had the courage to do that? 

Stop Running

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I was watching a high speed chase on the news today. Why do we do that? Why do we run away and keep on running even when we know eventually the consequences will catch up to us? We avoid doing the work, we avoid eating healthy, we avoid paying bills that have piled up but eventually we run out of room to run. There comes that time when we have to stand face to face with the very thing we have tried to avoid. Why not waste less time and get it over with right away?  We can only run so long before we run out of speed and then whatever we were running from will plow us over leaving us exhausted and defeated AND we still have to face it anyway! Stop running. Stop avoiding. Get it done.

Living With Fear

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How will we survive in a world we are growing to fear? There is so much more to worry about today than when I was a kid. The people have changed, the world has changed but I have not changed. I will never let what is happening on the outside seep in and poison what is on the inside. Everyday I will make a choice to choose love and hope and kindness and not be transformed by the hate and fear. I will live as if this day may be my last because in all reality, it just may be. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life. In fact, the best way to beat all the evil going on around you is to do just that, keep on living, keep on smiling and keep on loving.

Problem or Solution?

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One of the reasons I believe I suffer from depression is because I feel so deeply with my own heart. I was born with so much empathy and compassion for other people that sometimes it almost destroys me from the inside out. I have to be honest. I am not uninformed but sometimes I cannot stand to watch the news. Today, as I looked at the pictures of these tiny bodies being washed up on shore, it was like stabbing a knife into the center of my heart. Having children of my own, I can hardly tolerate the thought of losing them. We try and provide the best life for our family and sometimes that means putting them at the greatest risk. I cried a few tears. I’m not ashamed to feel. I cried a tear for every body lost in that water and even more for those young boys I saw being carried out of the water. I sat a few minutes in my own pain, saddened by what parts of our world are becoming. It is our world. We have to be accountable for what becomes of it. We have to do our part to spread humanity and the reminder that we are all so deeply connected. We are in one family at war with each other and lives are being destroyed one day at a time. Hope is being lost, spirits becoming forever broken. We can do better than this. We have to. I am a healer by nature. I want to bring more empathy and kindness into the world. Every little bit changes the world for the better. Oh, those pictures…. It is so hard to look but even harder to look away.

Why are we here? Why do we walk through the valley of life? Is it to own nice things? Is it to have an important job and be better than the person standing to our right and left? Is it to teach people a lesson and to criticize, berate and torture the people we are supposed to love. Is it to carry anger and then project that anger onto everyone around us while we wallow in our own hate? Is it to judge and fight and be selfish in every way? I say we are here to love. We are here to be love in every single way imaginable. We live this life to do love, bring love, spread love and experience love. Will we ever get it right?

Don’t be so concerned with everyone else. You cannot change them. That is not your job. It is your job however to deal with your own stuff until you can finally get your heart in the right place. If you walk around and you do not feel love towards other people, it’s time you admit you are part of the problem. My question is, will you do what you can to turn things around? Will you be part of the solution?

To Give or Not To Give, That is the Question

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With all the news surrounding whether to give or not to give trophies, I dug up this old post which explains exactly how I feel about competition in general. Just my two cents.

COMPETITION, IS IT REALLY HEALTHY?
Friendly competition. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before but I can’t help but ask myself, is competition REALLY friendly? Does it always bring out the best in everyone and make for a great race, or is there more beneath the surface we pretend we do not see? We want to be the best. We want to win, the problem with that is there can only ever be one real winner. When you are part of a team sport that is also individual, and you are competing with the people you consider friends, the reality can be a little disturbing.
“Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you’ll get sick.” George Leonard
I believe it’s easy to feel constantly torn between being jealous of the people who are natural born winners and frustrated that your own time, effort, and hard work never seems to be enough to give you that edge to get ahead. What is a person supposed to do with that? Some might say try harder, practice more, give more effort, but sometimes you’re already giving it all you’ve got.
“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people” Nido Qubein
Perhaps this is the main difference. I know athletes who are constantly writing down goals. They come up with a plan on how to get from where they are to where they want to be. They are specific and focused and as soon as they cross one goal off the list, they add another one on. For others though, their goal is to always win or to beat a particular athlete that brings out their competitive spirit. There is a big difference in the thinking of both types of athletes.
“The competitor to be feared is the one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time” Henry Ford
I am on my way to my daughters state swim competition, I guess that is what made me think about all of this in the first place. Of course I want her to do well. I guess if I could say anything to her today, it would be this;
“If you can’t win, make the guy ahead of you break the record” Evan Esar
In the end, if you can walk away knowing you gave it your very best with no regrets, then never look back, keep looking ahead. When it comes down to it, friendly competition is possible to a certain degree but the most important person you will ever compete against is yourself.
“Look in the mirror…that’s your competition” Evan Carmichael
Let your goal always be to better yourself. Beat your own times, reach your own goals and always do the best you can. That is what winning is all about.
“Winners build on mistakes. Losers dwell on them” Arnold Mori
Perhaps the previous quote is the most differential factor in which athletes succeed and which athletes don’t. Maybe when it comes down to it, attitude is the most important factor of all. A true winner knows that there will always be someone better, faster. To win big, one must strive to swim a perfect race from start to finish and not get caught up in what place they are in when the race is over. And then, in the morning, drag yourself out of bed and practice harder than you’ve ever practiced before. Then drink some chocolate milk and go back and do it all again.

All This Talk About Abortion

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How can we ever come to a solution for such a sensitive topic? If you are super sensitive to the abortion issue, you may want to stop reading right here. Otherwise, I will use this post to explain what kept me up almost all night long. 

To be honest, I haven’t really been following the whole Planned a Parenthood scandel. If they are doing something against the law, they should be punished. If they are doing something that is generally accepted but hidden from the people who are sensitive, then that is a different story. 

Let me make something clear, I struggle with the concept of what to do with a body that is already dead. Do we sacrifice it for research? Do we walk away and just leave it behind? What if we were  handed over the fetal remains in a small wooden box that allowed us some closure and the opportunity to bury the remains? What if it wasn’t common practice to leave that tiny body behind and forget the whole situation the minute we walk out that door? My concern is whether or not we are really given the truth when it comes to what actually happens during an abortion.

I believe that our lack of knowledge and new trend of escaping responsibility is a real problem in our country. Instead of admitting mistakes and facing consequences, we are given a quiet way out to escape embarrassment . Who wouldn’t want to choose that option? Haven’t we all at one time or another? Just look at our own government. There is plenty of smoke but we can never actually find the flames or the fire because someone is working hard to keep it hidden.

Do I believe men should have a say when it comes to abortion? Many would argue it is the woman’s body and only she should have say on what to do with it. I believed that for many years. What about the fetal body? Last time I checked, a woman couldn’t make a baby alone so why would a potential father of an unborn child have no say when it comes to his potential child? I am conflicted, torn. I don’t think any law or court could ever leave me feeling satisfied to accept any resolution. What’s even harder is knowing a woman can’t escape because the baby is in her body. She has to deal with the condescending looks from others, the emotional turmoil that is a direct result from the ever changing hormones, the discomfort from caring a baby in her own body for so many months not to mention a long, painful delivery. So what exactly does the man have to go through anyway? I guess that is nobody’s fault and we have to accept that’s the way it is but still that baby is a part of two people. That we cannot dispute. 

Let’s not forget that there are other issues that many don’t think about. Women are not insensitive robots. They make mistakes. Young girls find themselves in situations they never dreamed. They are still in school, have no job and find themselves pregnant with a child they are not ready for. They are ashamed and scared and panicked and want to distance themselves from the problem and move on. That is just one common situation. We, as women need to be responsible when it comes to our bodies. There is no arguing that sex leads to pregnancy so why are we not protecting ourselves from being in this devastating situation? Hiding a pregnancy and aborting a baby does not make it go away. Women feel a tremendous sense of shame and guilt long after the day they walk out of an abortion clinic. I can honestly say, we as women deserve to know all the facts. We need to know the truth. Who is really to say when a fetus is a human being or feels pain? Who are we to even try? Unfortunately, before I went to bed, I watched the video A Silent Scream. It was an abortion captured on ultrasound. What I saw will give me nightmares for years. I feel sick today, deflated. I will not post the link here because it is difficult to watch. Really, really difficult. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I were considering whether or not to have an abortion, I would want to see this video. I don’t want the procedure lessened to clear my conscience because as I grow older and learn the truth, how in the world could I live with myself? Instead, we take this you don’t ask and we won’t tell attitude and we will fall back on a play of words that allows us to dehumanize life itself. Do I have the prerogative to decide what is right for a woman, a fetus? I really don’t know. I struggle with that every time the topic is brought up. Do I have a problem with not being told the truth? You bet I do. 

I don’t believe anyone knows for sure if the fetus suffers or feels any pain during an abortion procedure. I don’t believe we have the right to decide who lives and who dies, on the part of the mother or the child. Should one life be valued over another? How could we possibly answer that. I imagine my two kids in a situation where only 1 could live. Could I live with myself if I was forced to choose? I could never serve on a death penalty case because I don’t want the opportunity to contribute to the decision of taking anyone’s life.

I’m not sure we will ever agree or be able to ever understand the real implications of abortion. Maybe we don’t want to. Who would actually want to believe that we are making a conscience choice to rip away body parts of an innocent fetus one tiny part at a time? The crushing of the head part makes me physically ill. I bet they don’t tell women that when they are in shock from an unwanted pregnancy and want a quick escape. How could one not feel that way, scared and alone and fearful of our own future as well as this child we never planned on. At least not now.

I guess what I am saying is I would want all the information before I made this significant a choice. People sugar coat everything to make it more appealing, to help us live with the choices we make. Woman deserve better. They need to know that this quick procedure will not haunt them the rest of their lives. They need to know grief and guilt will not consume them when they are ready to have a child because they cannot get over the one they lost. Who do we save? Whose life matters most? I think it’s a question we need to ask ourselves before we ever make a decision about our own lives as well as the life of the unborn child. We make a mistake so we eliminate it. That is what scared women believe. But, if they had all the facts, if they knew the details no one seems to talk about, would they still make the same decision? I can’t answer that. We all have to live with the decisions we make but how can we make them honestly if we don’t look at every detail?

Let me just end by saying this. There is no way to know what we would do if we were faced with a difficult situation. It’s one thing to make a guess and it’s another to really be standing in shoes that forces us to make the most important decision of our life at the time and to make it quickly nonetheless. Who am I to judge anyone for the decisions they make? It’s just not my place. Whose place is it then to decide? How could we ever make the right choice with a minimum of three potential people involved? Is one more responsible than the other? Should one be valued over the other? Who really knows for sure. I guess it mostly depends on which one of the three you are. 

Who ARE You?

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What are we becoming?

Have you seen the news?

Finger pointing, name calling, political abuse

Can’t say this, we’re taking down that

No Ten Commandments Statue, no confederate flag

When will we be satisfied?

When there is nothing left? 

Perhaps we should be robots

Programmed, emotionally dead

We make enemies of people we just don’t like

If they don’t think the same, they’re just not right

Drag them through the mud, humiliate on the news

We will teach those folks a lesson, our mission’s not a ruse

Join us or we’ll beat you down, 

We will do what it takes, so you look like a clown

The hate, the contempt are killing us now

As we fight for our selfish whims

We won’t bow down

Freedom for who?

Me or you?

So sad we live in a time we still have to choose

Politics, religion, so much war

Is breaking down our spirit worth fighting for?

Please tell me that this will not last

That love, kindness and freedom are not a thing of the past

The next time you speak, let kindness come out

Or do us all a favor and just shut your mouth

It’s not too late but we’re on the wrong path

Please help we find a way to bring humanity back

Please Don’t Ban The Minions Too!

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Ban religion, ban the flag but please don’t ban our McDonalds minion toys. From the  moment I got out of bed today, I have been laughing uncomtrollably. My husband called and told me to check out the latest news and all I could think was, really? Now what? See, with the latest trend being banning, I have taken it upon myself to ban the news. However, I was pleasantly surprised that there was finally breaking news to make me smile, well laugh I guess.

Apparently parents are upset by what sounds like an inappropriate phrase spoken by the innocent minion wearing orange pants. Maybe it’s innocent, maybe planned but hearing the minion say what sounds like “wtf” is pretty darn funny. I put it to the test myself. I had my 13 year old son listen to the phrase over and over and he honestly had no idea what this hysterical yellow (I don’t know what) was saying. In fact he got pretty frustrated that he couldn’t figure it out. When I told him what they were alleging he was saying, he cracked up. So, I say if you’re not looking for those words specifically, you probably wouldn’t notice them but if a young child does pick it up, my question is where did he hear that phrase in the first place? The double edge sword for parents is by bringing it to the attention of the media, DUH! It will certainly get more attention. 

Are they really naughty of just wondering what really is going on with humans today? Anyway, least be honest, aren’t we all a little naughty?

Am I going from McDonalds to find that adorable minion toy for myself? I’ll never tell!

Please leave our minions alone!

Love Can Never Be Won

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I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. I was very selective when it came to the readings for our ceremony. This one in particular was my favorite. It set a standard, guidelines for how I would practice love. So what is love? This is what it is to me.  

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There are two things that stand out for me and are the most challenging to practice. 

The first is, don’t dishonor others. 

 I think if we were to apply that to this day and age, it would mean don’t disrespect others because their beliefs are not the same as yours. Don’t insult, demean, devalue or treat anyone like they are beneath you. Don’t do it in conversations or posts on Facebook. Don’t use your words to purposely hurt or devalue another human being. Use your words to lift people up, never to tear them down.

 The second is don’t keep track of wrong doings. 

What does this mean exactly? Don’t keep score, don’t judge, don’t label, don’t hold a grudge. Don’t point a finger at anyone else, you are not their judge and jury. Your purpose in life is not to expose the flaws of others and then share them with the rest of the word. Your job is to show compassion, tolerance and respect when it comes to fellow human beings. How would you like it if someone dragged you personally through the Internet mud? Leave that for the news crew. Share and spread something positive. If nothing else, it will make you look like a nicer person.

Don’t celebrate love, practice love.

Don’t spread hate and intolerance in the name of love.

Love is not a game. We are not pawns in a game of life knocking each other off the grid so our beliefs can survive. Love is universal, it does not select a chosen few. Love exists or it doesn’t. It’s that simple.

Love is not conditional. If you are only loving toward a percentage of people and not all people, than you don’t really know love. Love doesn’t pick and choose anyone. We as people choose love or we choose not to love.  

You cannot experience real love with an angry heart. Angry thoughts and words do not promote love, they take away its value. If you love and support one group, while knocking and mocking and judging another, your actions do not come from a place of love. 

 Maybe the hardest act for others as a whole, especially when it comes to the Internet is do not boast. Have you seen the posts on Facebook lately? There is a fine line in supporting and boasting. Be mindful.

I ask you to to look in the mirror and ask yourself to get real and honest with yourself. Are you love? Do you practice love? A heart can’t love and judge at the same time. Love is accepting and respecting another person without conditions. Are you really capable of love? Listen to your words. Do they come from a place of love? Do your thoughts come from a place of love. Is your heart at peace or are you using it to fight a battle? Love does not fight. It encourages, sympathizes, empathizes. The heart listens and tries to understand. I ask again, do you really come from a place of love?

One Nation Divided Under God. Wait, Can I Say That Anymore?

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The way I see it, people love to be divided. They say they want to be one unified nation cradled in the arms of equality but the truth is we are not big enough to break out of our own skin. We are too human and too greedy and too selfish to rise above the tidal wave that continues to slam and rip apart the very country we live in. We don’t really want to get along, we want to be right, we want to be even, we want to be special above all others. When we keep bringing the past into today, we also push it smack into the middle of our future. Sometimes I wish all memory could be erased and we could start over without carting along deep seated grudges, prejudices, anger, hatred, resentment. I’m sure you get the point. My heart hurts when I watch people use words that ignite the flame, you know the flame, the one that grows into an inferno charring the spirits of the ones who are weak and foolish enough to listen. I dream of a place without guilt and anger and vengeance but that place only exists in my mind. What do you think? Will there ever be enough love, forgiveness and letting go to finally create a better world than the one our ancestors created in the past? Will we ever move on? Will we ever REALLY want to? Will we ever REALLY learn how to escape the chains that bind us, especially the emotional ones that tie us to the same fate in a different form? I just don’t think it will happen in my lifetime and that just makes me sad. What do you think?