Life Lessons

The Golden One

Lately I have become obsessed with reels on Facebook. I have no idea where they come from, like Tik Tok or something I have no clue, but they are addictive. I need to break the habit now before I lose the last level of ability to concentrate I have. The truth, however, is that I have learned a few things from these 30 second blasts of distraction.

There is a person who goes around and asks people if they can give him bus fare or buy him a bottle of water or some other small gesture. If the person asked offers to fill the request, the asker gives the person $500 or another sum of money.

Caviat, I am not foolish enough to think these are not edited for a specific outcome. I am not even sure of the validity, but they bring up a few valid points that I have been struggling with as of late.

In these videos, people in a checkout line (say people who have something) are asked for whatever assistance is needed and most times the askee declines. When a person is asked who shows evidence that they may be struggling financially, they usually dig deep and come up with the bus fare or whatever the request may be.

When asked why they are willing to give when it is obvious they do not have it to spare, the reply is I would want someone to do it for me if I needed it. In other words, treat others as you would want to be treated.

This is a very basic human rule that we should all live by. Of course, as we all know, fewer and fewer people live by this code, if you will. Why is that?

That is my quandary at the moment. I believe it is because it is too easy to get jaded in this life. Myself included. I have two stories about my jadedness.

Story #1. Many years ago I went with a friend to visit a doctor in a big city. This was at a time in my life where I was about to lose my house and all I owned. I was only able to go because my friend paid for everything. I had about $23 left to my name and I offered to buy coffee the morning we were heading back home. While outside the coffee shop, a homeless person asked me for money and I truthfully said that I had none. He replied back by saying “who comes to the city without money.” And he huffed away totally disgusted with me.

I know at that point I still “had” more than him but I had nothing to give. The two coffees went over what I had in the bank and I ended up bouncing a check and that was the cycle I was in. I would have liked to help but I was into years of financial decline at my own hands.

Story #2. I was asked to volunteer at a soup kitchen for a day and I agreed. While there I tried to help out but I did not know how things worked so I learned that I needed to just stay out of the way. I did exactly as I was told, which was to place ONE piece of bread on a plate and move the plate along.

Being the new guy, I was asked several times by the people being served if they could get an extra piece of bread. That was not allowed because there was only enough to go around if given one piece. It was hard for me to say no but I kept getting the watchful eye from the other volunteers when it looked like I might cave in. (I fully understand now about making sure that you can serve as many as possible in the fairest way.) Then one gentleman came up and I gave him his bread with a smile. Then he said that he hoped me doing this made me feel good about myself. It unnerved me the way he said it with such contempt.

I was devestated. I want to help more but just leaving the house is monumental for me at times. See I made an incorrect assumption that the persons having a free lunch would be overly appreciative and he made an assumption about me and my life. We both were wrong.

My husband and I ended up losing all that we had owned and left our house for the last time with no where to go. Luckily our amazing friends and family gave us money for gas and food. We mostly slept in our vehicle or in a tent over the course of several weeks. Even at that point, we were still much better off than a lot of people. But my sense of empathy grew as this experience unfolded.

So what is the answer? God tells us to give and it makes no difference what happens after that. We are called to give, we do and end of story. If the gift is misappropriated, that person will deal with the consequences. How about when we treat someone right and they do not treat us the same way back? We did the right thing and we cannot control how the other person reacts.

So basically we are called to live by the Golden Rule. To treat others as we would want to be treated. It doesn’t say to only treat nice people like that. Or only rich people. Or only ____ (fill in the blank). We are called to treat others, all others.

The concept is extremely clear to me but I am so easily hurt. I am ashamed to say it but it is the absolute truth. So infractions on the rule cause my heart to harden. I get jaded. I see all my silent pain and I lose a bit of my humanity. But that’s not my calling in life.

I sometimes forget that my story isn’t the only story and that every one of us has a story. I have to remember my pain is meant to make me stronger and better. I need to remember that when I was below rock bottom (my own doing or not) that I had many loving hands outreached to help me up. I have to remember God doesn’t want us jaded and judgemental. He wants us to have love in our heart even in a cruel and evil world.

If those situations were to come up again, I would hope that I would react differently. I also hope that if I saw a need I would run to help fill it. I have lived in my private bubble too long. I need to remember that my actions reflect on me and others reactions do not reflect on me. I need to start doing the right thing and discard my fear of rejection and jaded assumptions.

Life is so hard. The determinations we make in almost every circumstance determine our character. I want a strong character. And I want to treat others the way I want to be treated regardless of whether it happens or not.

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Almost Always Happy

What is happiness? How do you achieve said happiness? Will I even know when I am happy? Will it last?

My brain has always thought that if I could just get an undetermined monetary amount in my bank account, I would have to be happy. When I am not feeling well, being healthy would bring me happiness. I thought being able to sing, paint or play the guitar would definitely open up my happiness quotient. A clean house. A great meal. A new shiny something. I used to believe any or all these things would make me forever happy.

I was in constant pursuit of those things to the exclusion of actually being happy. Moments of superficial happy happened but nothing that lasted. I was always sad that I could not find that one thing that would bring me sustained happiness.

On my journey I have been to hundreds of places both literally and figuratively. I spend a lot of time inside my own head, so that is why I say figuratively. I have been happy, please do not misunderstand my meaning here. I am talking momentary happiness versus long haul happiness.

Today I was texting a friend and when asked how I was, I replied that I was almost happy. That struck me as an odd thing to say, so I started to over think why I said that.

I grew up like most people with parents who wanted me to do well but peppered the “be all you can be” with a healthy dose of “but don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.” It was unconsciously ingrained that just to be safe, set the bar pretty low.

Believe me, the bar I set for myself was plenty low. After I grew up a bit more, I started hunting for happiness. I thought it was in a library of books I hardly read or matching bath towels or the newest thing. I set my happiness meter to read the joy brought from things.

It took a long time to learn happiness does not live in material things, they can supply a temporary happiness but not sustained.

Today I base my happiness on my relationships with real people and with experiences. Laughing, hugs, sharing, and other tactile things bring that true sense of happiness and joy.

As of late, I have been learning what doesn’t bring happiness. Those lessons are just as important. Removing yourself from a situation that is just not a happy one can be a huge step forward.

So today I am going to stop looking for that never-ending pot of extreme happiness and learn to be almost always happy.

At Work Again

I started a new job yesterday.  I am hesitant to mention it as I have had great difficulty finding my purpose as of late.  I have been lost at sea, if you will.  I have decided that I am too old to not be doing something with a deeper meaning and yet that meaning has been elusive.

I have been unemployed for several weeks now and it has left me feeling all kinds of things. Mostly guilty for not bringing in any money for bills. That is an extremely heavy, self-imposed feeling. A feeling of worthlessness because I haven’t been able to stay at a job. I am always thinking what is wrong with me.

I just want something to do as work that makes things better for people. Being unsure of what that is in actuality makes looking for it difficult. I have found myself trying to find this hidden gem under every stone but keep coming up empty-handed.

I have had jobs I have loved, ones I have hated and the worst of all, ones where I felt indifferent. When you are younger, you do what you have to do. I have always done that with the intent that someday, at an undisclosed time, I would find what feels right.

As you get older, you start to realize that time is not infinite. Although it never is, but youth is unaware for the most part. Aging brings the fact to the foreground.

I no longer want to just show up and get a paycheck. I still like to eat and have a roof over my head but that struggle, for myself at least, of making money has always come up short. When I was a complusive shopper, I could never have made enough money. Money crippled me in so many ways. It held my entire life hostage. I no longer want to live like that.

Luckily, I have had a reversal in that area of my life. Gone are the obsessive days wandering a mall with an intense need to buy something, anything to fill my soul. Working just for money was like being in jail for me. There was no visible way out except to work more, get a second job and so on.

I still have bills but I try to not let them own me. Since I have had that shift in thinking, my thoughts on work have also shifted.

When I started working on the train, I adored the work. I felt a passion about it. I could not get enough of it. Then when I got a little better at it and started making more and more money in tips, my view changed. I could visibly see the difference in the days I went to work for the money and the days I went to work to have fun. The more money I made the less fun I had.

I am not sure if this is a normal experience. I have never followed any particular norm anyway. But this was a truth for me. Any time I focused on making money as my priority, I actually made less and I had no joy.

Here I am at almost 60 years old and no real options for retirement. So working is still what I have to do. But I want it to be purposeful. I think I may have finally found that. In the interview, I never even asked what I would be making, it seemed unimportant. In the interview I was more interested in the work itself and the people I would be working with.

The interview was full of laughter and sharing of views. Our views differed slightly but that was ok. The goal was the same and that, I think, is what was to be the tipping point for me. Being a part of helping the community is what matters most.

Money comes and mostly goes. I could chase money the rest of my life and never find satisfaction. But making a positive change, no matter the size, in the crazy world today seems like the better option. Maybe that time I always looked for is finally here. Maybe my perspective is finally correct. Maybe I can find my joy again in doing something I love.

It’s only been one day. I hate to overflow with optimism but the feeling is good. No pit in my stomach. No tearing of fingernails. I guess I had to do what I had to do before. Maybe I just was not ready for this leap. I hope I am ready now.

Opportunities sometimes just appear. The proverbial door is opened. My track record is splattered with wrong doors and wrong turns. Maybe it is time I finally get it right.

Graduation

I love seeing all the posts online of friend’s children who are graduating from high school. What an exciting time. Your whole life ahead and so many options.

As you may have read here before, I am a high school drop out. Here we are 42 years later and I still consider myself that. I went on and got my GED. Although I was too high to remember doing it but I have a piece of paper to prove it.

I was lucky enough to get my act together enough and got my Associates Degree and did some work toward my Bachelor’s. But I am still a high school drop out.

For years, I let the label dictate who I was. Always the failure. Never smart enough. Lazy. Loser.

Of course after many years of self-awareness learning, I understand that does not, in fact, define me. It’s a part of me but not the whole of me. I do think I worked the negative stigma to my “advantage” in making me become a perfectionist…which really did not work out so well either.

Now I am finding a solid in between. Now I am not the loser or the one who has to have it all perfect. I’m ok and trying. That’s all one can do.

I have learned that if there is something in your past that you feel is defining you…

1. Leave it where it belongs. In the past. Beating yourself up all the time does not help in any way. Leave it alone.

2. Learn from it. All mistakes should be lessons in disguise. Own up to them, dust yourself off and move forward. It does not define you.

3. Skip the overcompensating part. That’s another useless road. Feeling like you have to be better than everyone is a horrible road to be on. Just work at being a better you.

4. Appreciate how far you have come. It’s way too easy to keep checking the rear view and miss where you are at. You’ve done better! Be proud of the fact! It wasn’t easy!

I know it’s not earth shattering news but it’s easy to forget that we all have evolved. Mistakes were made. Unfortunately people were hurt. Situations were difficult. But you are here today. Today offers a brand new chance to be better.

Every morning I thank God for another day. I always ask Him to show me how to be better than I was yesterday. Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. But it is the conscious act of trying that matters.

Leave the past in the past. The future isn’t written yet but today is a day to learn and grow. If you are struggling today, find someone you can trust. Talk it out!! Stay strong!!

These days can be hard but there is a reward waiting.

Copyright to Your Life

I have been spewing my thoughts on this blog for over ten years now. My thoughts, as my life, have taken many different curves since the start. I have changed lanes a few times. I do get asked occasionally why I write about myself so much. There are really two good answers to that question.

The first one is all writing teachers tell you to write about what you know. There is no subject on this Earth that I know better than myself. I’m still learning but the subject matter is close to my heart.

The second, and more compelling reason, is the I own the copyrights to my life. I have chosen the narrative through my obsessive pursuit of self-awareness. I have written the story through the decisions I have made. The soundtrack has been borrowed but the playlist is my own creation.

I can be empathetic to another person’s experiences, especially if I have had similar ones. But those blips of time where I was the one actually riding the roller coaster are the experiences I know intimately. I was there, maybe not always fully present but I felt the pain, cried the tears, laughed until I peed, shook until the fear left and all the other emotions we as humans feel.

Those things, as you may have heard me say a hundred times before, are what made me who I am today and will, God willing, help me to evolve into who I am supposed to be. I absolutely own the rights to my life.

You own yours also. All the trials and tribulations, all the pain and joy, they are all yours. I used to fight the pain I have been through. I yelled at God about the injustices thrown my way. I argued my case like a law school dropout. I cried for the innocence lost, for the fact I would never hold my own child in my arms, and for the precious years stolen through a myriad of addictions.

But my story was not done. Victory and grace were given to me freely. Gratitude replaced the hate I had for my own life. I became the owner of it all-good and bad. It was mine and now I embrace it!

As long as you wake up in the morning, you have yet another chance to change the story. You can turn the bitterness into victory. It is YOUR story, you own the copyrights! Do not give up, give it some more time! Change always comes!

Serving

The other day I saw a post about a woman who makes her husband dinner every night. Oh my the horror! From the comments you would have thought she exterminated a box of kittens. The hate and ugliness was mind blowing.

I do not usually talk about my husband because I respect his privacy but today he is going to get talked about. I try my best to serve my husband, not as an inferior being but as an equal. I think serving others has gotten a bad wrap as of late. I am not advocating that what I do or do not do is the only right way. I am, advocating, for those haters to chill out.

This year I will be married to my husband for 32 years, though not an expert, I feel confident in what I’m saying. We have had many rocky times, many great times and many mundane times. That is life.

I have always felt that I wanted, for me personally, to serve my husband. Even when we were not getting along so well I made him dinners and washed his clothes. During the dark years, as I call them, when we didn’t communicate so well, I tried to be a helper to him.

Why would I lower myself to such depths and endanger all my feminist rights you may ask. Because when we married, we took an oath to be partners in this life. We agreed to have each other’s backs. We were not always 100 percent perfect at that but I knew he was there for me.

I have no idea what I am. I don’t think I am a feminist although I totally agree in the strength women hold. I don’t really see myself as a complete submissive because I, very often in fact, speak my mind. I am perfectly able to open a door for myself and have on many occasions, but when my husband opens a door for me I know it doesn’t show that I am weak in anyway, he is showing me he cares for me. When we are walking, he stands to the outside. He does hundreds of gestures that are meant to show me that he loves me.

At this point, I have to acknowledge that there is a difference between genuine caring and outright controlling. I have had controlling relationships. They are not healthy and you need to get away from someone who is abusing your trust. But that is NOT what this is.

I do not expect him to cook dinner or do laundry just as he does not expect me to fix the car or clean the gutters. There is a bunch of unspoken gender rules in our home and we both seem to agree with them. I am horrible at plumbing and he has no idea how to correctly fold a towel (I’m kidding, no not really he is not a great towel folder). We work to each other’s strengths.

Which leads me to my next point. What do I get out of it? This is extremely important. He thanks me for every meal, even the experimental ones. He shows me gratitude in a hundred ways and I try to do the same. It makes no difference if you are on your honeymoon or married 50 years, appreciate each other. It goes a long way.

I get too that not everyone lives the same way. I don’t expect all the women of the world to make dinner every night or whatever. Just because some of us do, it does not mean we are weak or being controlled. Some of us do it for the sheer joy of performing a kind gesture for your partner. That even extends to the world at large.

Being a servant to others absolutely and in no way whatsoever is an indication of weakness. Jesus served many people while on this Earth. He received much pleasure from those simple acts. So do I and so do many people. If I could ever emulate one person in my life it would be Jesus and the way He served others.

Serving others should never be demeaning. Serving others should feel like a gift. Granted there are plenty of days I am tired of cleaning the same things. No one said it would be easy, but given the right mindset it can be very gratifying.

The next time someone acts in a way that maybe you do not agree with, hold the hate and ugliness. We are different and we all hold unique things close to our hearts. Lighten up on the judgements. It’s a very good thing we are not all alike. How boring would that be.

Friday the 13th

In my old life. I was very superstitious. I would cringe when I got to page 13 in a book or if I had $13 in my wallet (I once actually threw a dollar bill out of my moving car so I would not have $13). Anytime something was 13, I had to change it somehow.

One of the only things I could not change was the day and date in a week. I was stuck with Friday the 13th for an entire 24 hour period. I would talk myself into such a panic because that is what we do when we live with chronic anxiety. I was sure something terrible would befall me or someone that I loved.

I lived in horrific fear of a date on a calendar. Then one day I realized that most of my life changing events happened on days that were not, in fact, Friday the 13th. I realized that things can happen any day, any date and any time. Bad things did not wait for a month that began on a Sunday (took me a long time to figure that out).

I also had the realization that my fears were very self-centered. It was all about me and what was going to happen to me. All of my phobias and anxiety revolved around me.

I realized just what a waste of time it was to obsess about such things. How much time in my life did I sit dormant, unable to move because of some self-induced unrealistic threat against the center of the universe…me?

What a wake up call that was! I was not and never will be the center of any universe. How did my ego get so big while my self-esteem was rock bottom? Meanwhile all the time convincing myself that all the worry was what kept the wolves at bay.

So much time wasted. So much unnecessary worry and stress. So much misplaced faith in me.

Superstitions are a way for the enemy to manipulate a person into compliance. No where in the Bible does it say thou shalt not walk under a ladder or cross the path of a black cat. In the book of Revelation, there are a tremendous amount of things to look out for but none include mirrors, counting things or certain days of a week.

Is it not odd that such superstitions are planted so deep in our psyche? How did they get there? Who taught us about them? I do not know or remember when I first became aware of such nonsense but I do know I believed in them most of my life.

I suppose like all my phobias, I gained some perverted comfort from them. They were recognizable to me. I expected their frequent visits. Too much time and energy has been wasted on such foolishness. I need to break free from the mental jail I live in from time to time where these fears lock me down in an invisible cell.

Now don’t think of me as so strong, as I have a twinge of fear inside me that says all this talk about debunking the fear will make the bad things manifest. In my logical brain I know better, but I still operate a lot of my life on emotions. I am taking the self-awareness as a win and trying to logic the fears out of my brain.

So for today, Friday the 13th, I will try to live a normal life and not walk around on the standard amount of eggshells. Today I will hold my faith in my Creator and not His creation.

Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good discount? I used to be a coupon shopper (until I realized all the useless stuff I bought just to save money.) I still look for the best prices and love a good deal. It only makes sense to try to stretch your money.

Know what does not make sense? Discounting yourself. As I have stated in previous posts, I was not a model teenager. I made bad decisions and had no purpose or idea what to do with my life. As I got older I worked and worked with the intent of “making up” for the mistakes I made. I had to prove how valuable I was as a person.

Funny thing happened…other people saw my worth but I never did. If someone gave me a compliment, I didn’t believe it. If I got a good job review, I wondered when I would be found a fraud. If I did something good, I doubted my motives. I just could not believe any of the good things.

The criticisms, those I believed and obsessed over. I did something wrong, that was not hard for me to believe.

I always thought it was because my ego was so big. That I thought so much more of myself, which is actually counterintuitive of what I was feeling. So even when I felt completely inadequate, I that my motives were wrong. I know that probably does not even make sense. I guess that even when I was feeling low about myself, I somehow didn’t deserve it because I was, in fact, even lower than I felt.

I worked over a Christmas season at a high end department store. Since I was new, they put me in the clearance area in the basement of the store. There I got to see all the discounted clothing. When they were bought, I am sure the intent was that someone would buy them. But no one did. That sat on hangers and kept getting discounted until finally they took a trip to the basement and waited for the inevitable trip to the second hand store to be even further discounted. All those items started with the highest of intentions but just fell by the wayside.

I’m not, by any means, fishing for any type of sympathy or anything. I’m simply stating how I felt and still do on occasion. But here’s what I have learned in my almost 60 years on this planet (please take this to heart if you too are struggling).

We all have real value. We all have skills, maybe unrealized just yet. We live in a world that likes to build itself up while stepping over someone else. My belief is that many people who feel discounted are extremely sensitive people. That is ok…in fact that is a great thing.

Being sensitive feels like a curse most times but it is a wonderful gift. I know it seems like the other people get ahead and you are stuck on the clearance rack. But it’s not true. Your beauty shines through in a way others can see, even if you are blind to it. You touch lives in a profound way, not one that is fleeting.

I think we all need to think about those things we discount. We all have things we would never buy on discount, for example perishable food or discount medicine. There is a place for the clearance rack. But that is not your place or mine. You have value, talent, beauty and a light that comes from within. We need to all quit applying coupons to our existence.

We are worth full price baby! Please don’t ever forget that!

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!