Mystery of Elitism

“It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of his fellow beings.” Mahatma Gandhi

My husband often quotes Max Hermann “If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”  My father often said, “It takes a lot of different people to make a world.” I grew up with the concept that we are all similar-regardless of our race, ethnic background or financial standing. Yet, as I entered the adult realm I realized that not everyone shared my sentiment. I was saddened to see that there is discrimination, bigotry, and even hatred from one group of people to another. That is a mystery to me as well.

People argue over what language should be taught in schools, or placed in public settings. I say let’s use the language of kindness.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mystery

 

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Mindful Journeys

“Sometimes a journey takes us to a place we have never been before. That place may not be on a map. It may be in our hearts.” Faye Hager

Recently, I have discovered a new type of journey. It does not involve going to a physical destination. I may not even move from my spot where I am standing. Actually, I may be pacing, or I may be rocking-I seldom just stand. It is an emotional journey. I believe emotions are linked to our minds, so it is a mental/spiritual/emotional journey. And that adventure all takes place deep inside of me: me-myself-and I. We have to find our way through it.

I wish I could tell you THE magic formula. I can’t. But I can share some things that help me move from:

anger—-to forgiveness

sadness—to hope

grief—-to acceptance

A book can be written on the process-and may be…perhaps I will call it the “Misery Index”. But I will just list a few of the things that help me transform my thinking.

Talk-don’t keep things inside. If you don’t have someone to talk to-talk to yourself

Keep Busy–don’t sit idle and fret. Get out. There is fresh energy outside yourself.

laugher- great therapy. If you can’t laugh, see a show that can bring out laugher.

accept emotions-don’t bury them. They will get stuck in some deep dark grave in your heart.

At the end of the day, if I can change the way I am thinking about something, I can change the way I feel about it. It may not happen in one day. I may have to fake it till I make it, but I will get there.

sunrise

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” Samuel Smiles

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fake/

 

Head in the Sand?

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.”  Maya Angelou

I found this quote very insightful. Placing empathy with courage.

The last week or two I have witnessed loved ones go through difficult times. Their challenges were on very separate planes, but life shattering just the same. It has led me to reflect on a few terms.

Understanding- grasp an idea, perceive a meaning

Sympathy-feelings of compassion

Empathy-vicariously experience the same feelings/thoughts/attitudes

It seems to me that these words go in order. For me to reach a point of empathy, I first need to understand. Once I come to a place where I grasp what is happening, then I can have feelings of compassion. Empathy goes further, in that I embrace -not their experience, for it is their journey-but I can ‘hug’ them as I connect to their feelings.

That’s where the courage comes in. The courage to stop my crazy daily rush and demands to understand. Sometimes, I’d rather keep my head in the sand.

ostrich with head in sand

What I don’t know, I don’t have to respond to-I try to tell myself. Finding out about trouble will undoubtably call for response. There’s the courage. Do I have the courage to understand, thereby allowing me to feel sympathy, and ultimately to share empathy?

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Stephen Covey

 

 

Relaxed Yet Balanced

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

Scampi is our adolescent Bichon Frise. He plays with abandon and sleeps in contentment. I found him the other day sleeping on the top edge of the couch. It isn’t a very broad edge. The couch is a glider and moves easily. Yet he sprawled out, kept his balance and relaxed.

relaxed and balanced dog

Just watching him inspires me. His natural sense of play and ready engagement. After play time, he sleeps. I see his example day after day. I remind myself to relax and maintain a balance. Yet-I go about my crazy schedule every day.

I wrote a poem a year or so ago. I put it on a picture poster below:Slide1

 

I am reminded that we are the ones in control of our balance. Donald Trump has said, “If you’re interested in ‘balancing’ work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable.” There is some truth to that. Most of us have to work to pay the bills. Some of us work to change the world. Few of us work as our plan for fun.

But, how we spend any hours of the day-at work, or at play-we do decide how to engage in them. Let them take over and control our emotions (you know, work drama-it is everywhere)? Or do what you can, make the difference that you can and move on? We make that choice everyday, every hour.

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” Aristotle

Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  Victor Hugo

One thing most of us are not short of, is opinions. In general, I am in agreement with many of the opinions of my friends. That is one reason that we maintain a friendship. There are other people in my life that are probably not in harmony with everything that I believe. It is interesting to experience a dialogue with someone who comes from a different perspective.

One of two things generally happens.

1. We have an engaging experience. From a mutual respect we learn from each other. I have friends that are more conservative than I am. We would disagree on some religious practices. But, we love each other. We were there for each other when our daughters had surgery. We were there to hug through tears of sorrow. We shared history, and experiences. We see beyond the current difference and nurture the areas that we agree upon. We do that because, at the core, we love each other.

2. I am shunned or dismissed because of a difference. The singular difference is so great in the perspective of the former friend that the disagreement becomes insurmountable. The disagreement may have been over who should be president. It may be over watching certain movies. It may be over church attendance. Despite the volumes of areas that might be agreed upon, the critical focus is on the issue that we do not necessarily agree on. My marriage of 30 years to a minister basically fell into this category. Despite the fact that we shared a love of reading, travel, dancing, cooking, gardening, riding bikes and playing games-the fact that I did not want to attend the ultra conservative church services was enough to dissolve the marriage.

The danger to a relationship is when you hear the words, “if you loved me, you would do……”. “If you loved me, you would listen to me….” Those are hurtful words of control and manipulation. They represent conditional love. A refusal to agree to disagree. In many ways that attitude is egocentric and calloused.

“If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.”   Sadhu Vaswani

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/agree-to-disagree/

Soul Hug

The Post A Day Challenge today was to write a message to someone dear to you, telling that person how much he means to you. However, I could not do that with words. I had to use an object-max of 10 objects- to convey my emotions.

That was not a problem. I only needed one. The object I selected is a painting created by Tomasz Rut entitled: Soul Hug.

soul hug

When I am with Joe, I feel safe, comforted, and embraced. His embrace is not just a physical embrace, but he embraces my soul. The very essence of who I am. He frees me to be me. He makes me feel young and vibrant. He encourages my creativity.

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than a thousand meaningful words.” Ann Hood

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-language-of-things/