Month: April 2022

Quiet No More

As a passive, intoverted person, words like the title above scare me. I do not like confrontation. I do not like upheavals and the chaos it brings. I steer away from loud declarations. I live and, therefore, allow others to do the same. But our world has changed.

There are opinions, mine included, at every turn. There is now some one who thinks you need to be schooled by them on what is “really” right.

You see, I drank the kool-aid according to some. This is a term I desperately despise. To understand the meaning behind it you have to go back in time a bit to the story of Jim Jones.

He was a very charismatic preacher with a large following. He thought himself to be god like. He convinced over 900 of his followers to go to Jonestown with him to live in utopia. News of wrongdoings and abuse got out and he became a target of investigation. Feeling no way out he convinced his followers to partake in poisoned punch as to ascend to Heaven. It was the largest mass killing in U.S. history until the tragedy of 9/11.

That, of course, was the condensed version. I hope you can see why “drinking the kool-aid” is such a derogatory statement. It implies blind faith in something or someone to the point of losing your ability to think for yourself. Cults know how to manipulate their followers. I understand that this does happen. It is a very sad situation indeed when a person is in such need of stability and love that they leave behind all reason to follow. Think also of the Manson family.

I have heard more and more that if you are a Christian you have drank the kool-aid. That implies that I, as a Christian, have lost all my senses and am following something blindly with no concern of my safety. I am just too stupid and gullable to see the real truth, that it is all a scam.

I understand the concept of Christianity sounds like something out of a mythological story. A Father, Son, a virgin birth and death with resurrection. A God that loves us but let’s bad things happen in order to hit the “jackpot” in Heaven. I have heard the many questions and traps set to trip me up. I just want to say..

I do not like suffering, war, hatred, injustice…shall I go on? These are all created by our fellow humans. When I was in a decade long battle with infertility or in the battle with my own mind or when I felt so trapped I prayed for death, I questioned. I yelled at God. I rebuked Him for giving me so much pain. I went years without believing. I did not follow blindly because there were shiny trinkets promised at the end of it all.

I questioned and yelled and hated and cried until I could do none of those things any longer. Then I saw the clouds lift, saw light and realized that I thought God was a supernatural ATM machine and I wondered why my account was always overdrawn. My emptiness of soul was my own choosing because I was defiant and self-centered.

Once I started to work on myself I clearly saw God’s presence in my life. No platatudes about how the struggles make you stronger. The pain is real and it hurts a lot. Any worthy Christian has questioned the whys. It is part of the process. Some may blindly follow but most I know have chosen to believe in something that brings meaning and purpose into their lives. My personal journey has forever changed me. My beliefs are grounded and stable. I may still waiver but I am steadfast in the end.

So this post is not meant to convert anyone. It is simply a plea to stop dropping every Christian in a box that is thought to be full of ignorant half-wits who are incapable of making their own decisions. I fully understand free will. My decisions to be a Christian are based on decades of life lived in a way you can never know. Just as I have not lived your life. I cannot expect to understand your experiences.

God literally saved me from the perils I brought on myself. He has molded me into a person I can be proud of. Please do not ever discount my faith or the faith of others. We live in a very anti-Christian world. I get that is how it is to be, but I will be quiet no more. I used to be a scared child but now I am a warrior. Please, at the very least, respect the decision and drop the kool-aid narrative from your lexicon. You do not have to agree with my decisions as I may not agree with yours but mutual respect should be expected.

Footnote: I really have no problem being ridiculed for my beliefs. I have been ridiculed for lesser things in my life. I just want to clear up my stand on a comment that was said to me. Being silent sometimes can be misconstrued as agreement. Hence the quiet no more title. If this is too offensive, please do not read my blog any more.

The Words We Say

This post goes along with one I recently posted about words. If you know me, you know I can swear along side the most seasoned swearer. I mastered the art of stringing seemingly unrelated swear words together at a tender agr. I am fearless when it comes to screaming the F word at the top of my lungs. I am fluent in cuss words.

Something has changed in me regarding those aforementioned words, I find them distasteful now. Back in the old days, one would swear as a means of providing emphasis. I hate f ing school. It meant I did not just mildly dislike it, I really hated it and never wanted to go there.

I have always found the term “shut up” to be offensive, but “shut the F up”…that is off-the-charts hurtful. Of course there are other swear words than just that one, and I find them all to be in a state of overuse.

One might have said some years ago…”Look at my new car.” Now that same statement would be…”Look at my new f ing car.” Seems like over emphasis now. I’m guilting of adding the unnecessary swear word into a conversation. And I do not want to do it any longer.

I have recently been watching a BBC program and am thoughly enjoying it. Got through the entire first season and realized they had not used a single swear word. It was refreshing because then I noticed the dialogue was fresh and crisp. Wit and comedy replaced the shock factor in which swearing is intended.

I’m not a prude. I know if I hit my thumb with a hammer, I am going to swear and probably a lot. It’s in my DNA. But now I feel it is a disservice to the words I speak and the ideals I want to convey to take the easy road and just throw a cuss word into a sentence. The beauty of words is that there are so many of them. I am sure I can find other words that would help intensify what I am trying to say in a better way.

I am going to try to break my habit of swearing. I am sure it will be difficult as those words are a part of my daily lexicon just like any words I use every day. As I continue on this road to more and deeper self-awareness I want to use the absolute power of words to be uplifting and grounded. I want what I say and do to be as refreshing as a cool glass of water in August.

The older I get, the more I realize the effect words have, and that means good as well as bad. I’m trying to be conscious of what I eat, what I buy, what I read and so on. Yet, even on the path I am on, I have ignored this important point.

So today I will think even more of the words I say (I hardly ever swear in the written word) and be more cognitive of the effects of those negative cuss words. This is going to be a huge challenge for me, but I’m up for it!

My Big Empty

Have you ever felt like something is missing? Like you are supposed to be somewhere else? Like you not doing the right thing?

I have too. Most of my life I have felt like that one great opportunity is waiting for me just around the corner. Or the perfect blog post, the one that everyone loves and I get a book deal from, isn’t this one but maybe the next one. The perfect job…perfect meal..perfect fill-in-the-blank is still just looking for me.

I am almost 60 years old…should I think that I might have missed the email? Did I not answer the door or pick the phone? Was I looking at something else when my perfect opportunity manifested? Seems that way.

I feel like sometimes I’m in this big empty surrounded by nothing. No profound words to say, not one beautiful piece of art made by my hands, no endless bank account, no fame and no adulation. A big fat empty nothing.

Between sitting around and waiting for something to happen and having an overwhelming fear of yet another failure, I think I can safely assume my just-around- the-corner moment was missed. Knowing me I saw it coming and overthought and doubted myself right out of it. I wonder on occasion how many opportunities I have missed.

Before this blog piece hits rock bottom, I’m going to pull up on the throttle, just miss the mountain side and gain some new momentum. Maybe I have been wrong all these decades. Maybe things just do not land in your lap. Maybe you have to walk out on faith and create the opportunities.

Many times in my life, I assumed I was out there doing what I thought was my calling and never really feeling sure about it. I bet I even had a very heavy hand in crushing the dream out of guilt or unworthiness. I see now that I am the one who created the big empty in my life. I wasn’t true to myself, thought it could never work and was more concerned about what others thought rather than carving out a place for myself.

For me failure was not only easy but comfortable. I relished in my indignation of how the deck was always stacked against me and how I could never catch a break. I did not allow myself to be accountable to myself for making anything out of myself. Easy and comfortable.

Today I decided that I would rather have an epic failure instead of accepting the big empty. I have a dream, not even a big one, but I see it cannot just happen on its own. I actually have to put some elbow grease into making it happen.

I don’t want diamonds, yachts or fancy cars. I want to feel good about what I do. I want to help others along the way. I want to make a difference. You cannot do those things in a big empty. I think I know what my authentic self wants and I am going to try to make it happen.

I have to stop waiting for the perfect words, perfect time and any other perfect thing, because they ain’t coming! I have no idea what I’m doing yet but one thing is for sure…I am going to concentrate, collaborate and then celebrate.

Goodbye big empty…you will not dictate my life any longer. I know this all sounds a bit cryptic but I want to start something and I want it to be authentic. I want it to feel right. I want the emptiness and doubt to go away. I want to do another 360 degree change and see what happens. Here I go again..

Easter Edition

Easter is this coming Sunday, so I thought I would do an Easter Edition blog post. Today my heart is thankful that I woke up, had shelter, enjoyed nutritious food as well as all the other things I am so blessed to have. I’m also thankful for:

Recipes that allow me to make just about everything I have ever eaten out but make at home cheaper and healthier. Love me a Big Mac salad with non-meat crumbles.

Being able to learn new things on the internet for no cost. Enjoying some free guitar lessons.

The smell of fresh air through an open window along with the the sight of the curtains blowing with the rhythm of the breeze. So comforting.

Knowing the joy of opening a new journal and thinking of all the possible things I can write down.

The joy of waking up to an empty kitchen sink which sparks the imagination of all the things I can cook that day.

Being able to have a cake and there isn’t even a special event to celebrate. Eating cake for cake’s sake.

Listening to music in the car with the windows down. Pure freedom.

Hearing a song that reminds you of your mom or dad as your heart fills with gratitude for having had such great parents.

Feeling satisfied with what you have and not feeling the need for more more more.

A sweet laugh with the one you love as you remember a silly memory.

Reading a really good book. Listening to great music. Smelling baking bread. Tasting a sweet strawberry. Feeling a soft and comfy blanket. Wearing a cool hat. Writing with a balanced pen. Having a friend. And so the list goes on and on.

Gratitude,. I practice everyday. Some days I am good at it, others days I cannot see it through the tears. I guess that’s why they say to practice it…it can never be a perfect art.

So with Easter approaching, I have one more thing to be thankful for. A man who suffered horrible injustices on my behalf so that I could have a life overflowing. He withstood ridicule and physical pain in my place. His blood was given instead of mine. He took me from my depths and brought me to a higher place. He died (and rose up) in my place. I know many do not believe in this as a reality, but I do with my whole heart and soul. My Easter is not about eggs and baskets but about all things in life I have been given without once being deserving of it. Thank You Jesus for loving me even when I am so unlovable.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. It is a time of renewal and I hope that your spirit is lifted and that you enjoy the feeling of gratitude! Enjoy the day!

How Far…

I’m such an idiot, why did I say that? What a dummy. I can’t believe I did that! I am such a loser when am I going to learn? That was an epic fail, why try anything. You are not good at anything. I literally have no talents at all. I am a waste of space and air.

These are all things I have said to myself. Not even that long ago. If someone else would have said any of these things to me, I would probably fight them. But I can say these things to myself and accept the words as truth. How very sad is that?

Not only do I say horrible things to myself, I back them up with samples from years or decades ago.

I know a lot of people struggle with negative self-talk as it is called. We are our own internal bullies. The venom we spew inside our own heads is so toxic, it makes Chernobyl look like a theme park.

I go on and on about how the world needs more kindness. How love and acceptance will change the world but I cannot forget the thing I said in 1979, or forgive myself for how I behaved in the 80s or how I let people down in the 90s and so it continues. Should not the forgiveness the world needs extend to me too? Somehow I cannot seem to do that.

I am quick to take the blame and beat myself up without respite. I say horrendous things to myself, things I would never dream of saying to another person. I am hard on myself with the reasoning that I deserve it and that it will keep me in check.

Granted I was a brat and was self-centered and lazy for a time. I was confused about who I was and was desperate to figure it out. I was hurting from pains I had suffered and I was angry. Looking back I am not proud of those things but in the middle parts there were some good things I did that I never look at.

I always think when I get to Heaven and God asks me about my life, my reply will be that I tried. I tried to be a better person sometimes without the slightest idea how to achieve it. I tried to right the wrongs even though it was too late for some. I learned and I applied the knowledge when I could. I tried.

I think instead of always beating ourselves up we need to stop and look at how far we have come. There is no perfection in this life, but it is possible to improve. The road behind is full of twists and turns. Blind spots and switchback. The road ahead is not visible to our eyes. But the road as we see it now is full of potential to strive to be that person we want to be.

So today I will look back only to remember the lessons learned. I won’t try to look too far ahead as it is obscure at best. Today I will travel life’s road with the knowledge of how far I have come. I will give myself a break from the constant self-imposed beatings and be thankful I made it this far. There were times I just wanted to drive off a cliff…but I didn’t. Kudos to me for the perseverance I did not even know I possessed.

I will love, admire and respect the road so far. Don’t forget for one minute how far you have come. Hold a bit of pride in your hand today and say I made it this far. Not only is that good, it is amazing!!

Another New Start

Here I go again looking to make yet another new start. I thought I just made a new start but it turned out to be a less-than-new start with ramifications similar to my last new start. In other words, I was doing the same destructive things but in a new place.

I think when you finally get to a place where you realize something has to change and it doesn’t, situations proceed downhill very quickly. That is what just happened to me. I changed jobs thinking the new one was a better fit and it went south, so to speak, at a very accelerated rate. Quicker than most.

I felt drained off all energy. I did not want to do anything, even if I enjoyed it. My health went bad quickly too. I kept saying to myself I will make a change when I have more money saved or have a bill or two paid off. But my mind and body had different ideas and a much different timeframe. I had to jump and jump without a safety net.

So with $42.73 in the savings I quit my job. As soon as I did the pains in my chest went away, my breathing was easier, my appetite came back and the ideas started to flow. I felt a spark again.

Am I scared that I will not be able to come up with something? Yes, of course but I put down on paper all my past failures. The reason for that is those epic fails in my life, and oh there are a lot of them, were actually my training ground, my graduate work if you will. I know what not to do but now I know what I want. It’s a start.

It’s time to use the skills I do have and make a way for myself that is not only a means of support but nourishing to my soul and gives me health. The only thing is that I cannot do this alone as was previously my thought. I could use prayers for guidance and for wisdom.

This time around I’m not going to chase the money. That hasn’t worked yet. Now I want to chase balance, peace, joy and with that I hope to help others and support a lighter lifestyle for me. I want to be a better citizen of the world.

I am blessed that over the years I have left behind many of the trappings I thought were necessary to have. Gone are my longings to own everything I see and viewing my life through other people’s glasses. I no longer feel the need to keep up with anyone. There is freedom in that alone. Once you let go of that which you were gripping so tightly, true peace is achievable.

I’m praying for the strength I need to change my life once again. I’m praying for the wisdom to utilize my resources in the best possible way. I’m praying for the ability to make an impact, no matter the size, on another person.

I have been around the block more than once, so I know nothing is perfect. The intent is not perfection but peace, integrity and stewardship of all things laid before me. My time with the greedy and entitled is going to be less time spent with. My time running here and racing there is to be lessened. I have nothing to give anyone if my tank is always empty.

So starts yet another chapter, another set of defining moments meant to teach and another step closer to being the person I know I am deep down inside. No safety net, no solid plan just faith in my God and faith in the lessons I have learned.

I’m at the edge of the cliff, ready to jump….I will let you know how it feels….Here goes!