Second Chance Items

Do you ever wonder about the items scattered along the highway? One red floral couch pillow, a size 12 Converse tossed on the median or stuffed teddy bear. Check out this site, louitucker.com. There’s this weird part of my brain that twinges and thinks, they are going to need that pillow. It’s irreplaceable. But unlike me, they’ll probably skip along fine and never miss a beat.

When I was a teen, my sister-in-law started a new job. New ventures mean you need new clothes, but she lacked the money to purchase them from a store. She decided to pray for clothes. Funny thing, while she was driving along the road, she saw a bag of clothing and no lie, in that bag were pants and blouses that fit her, probably fell off of someone’s truck as they were driving along.

Surprise me

When I worked downtown, my coworkers and I walked during a break and happened to find a bag of new exercise tops with the tags still on them. I saw a bag, and because I’m curious like I mentioned in last week’s blog post-Otherness-, I picked it up. Usually, it’s trash. But there are days when there’s a fun surprise waiting for me. I take them when I can get them.

Loser

There are many things we lose and are afraid we’ll never get back such as friends, time, money, love or memories. There are natural disasters and mishaps. The flooding from a hurricane takes away your home with all of the pictures. You can rebuild or move to another location, but something is missing. What you had was lost.What do we do when we lose things? I feel like sitting on the floor and giving up sometimes. I can exhaust myself in searching. If I can’t find it, I’m angry. That was my picture, my car. Mine! It’s essential to explore these emotions, feel them. What was unique about the object? Did it remind me of someone I loved? Or was it a person I lost? There is an entire grieving process we go through for some items. Grieve and cry if you need to. Pay your respects. Move on when you are ready.

More Good Stuff

Second chance items can come to you sometimes. I’ve found things besides the dumpster that I repurposed. There was a wooden picture frame that I repainted. I wrote about it here Re-framing  Relationships, jobs, houses, and books are often second chance items. Someone else’s old is your brand spanking new.

Let’s love our second chances and even our third and fourth’s. Grab as many as you need. Life is generous. Live boldly. Live free. We are going to make it. And remember –>> You Are Already That

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Otherness

At four years of age, I jumped out the doorway onto the crude steps outside. I’d been told not to do this repeatedly, but I was excited, and I knew I could do it. It was a big leap. And I was little. The ending wasn’t how I planned. I landed onto the concrete, with my left arm pinned underneath my body, snapping my arm bone in the process.

Conservative vs. Explorative

7d87a3be938e35d0e50de7f978574c95There is something I’ve noticed about personality traits. Some people really don’t like new things. Even if they have them over and over, they would prefer to go back to their original favorites. We call them the meat and potatoes people. What they grew up with is their traditional style, and it makes them happy. They are conservative. It’s not the same as being a Republican, though. This isn’t about politics. It’s style and moderation.

Seeing the color

I run toward otherness because I’m curious. Chase the rainbow. Yes, this might lead to trauma. Should I learn a lesson, slow my roll? Can we really change who we are? What I haven’t said about my jumping out the doorway from the forbidden height is that I’d done it many times before. Those other times had been successes. I’d watched my brothers who were older and wanted to do what they could do so I learned. I had been successful. Just not that one time. Life must be lived. Some of us will run towards the different things and what many would call otherness. And maybe someday we might fly.

Love is What I Know

Darkness. We don’t sit there often. As soon as I get home, I turn on the light, feed the cat, and get the activity going. The dark seems empty. But it doesn’t have to frighten us.

Go back to what you know for sure. Those were the words that I heard when I was in my dark space. It’s taken me some time to understand their meaning.

tumblr_ldlfpavmov1qekgtho1_500Re-boot

In the Bible, there’s the story of Jonah, the man who didn’t want to preach to the people in a city called Nineveh. He hid on a boat until he was thrown out into the storm and he was swallowed alive by a great fish. Darkness. Crazily, he ends up back where he was supposed to be in the beginning.

I laugh because if you call the customer support line for help with your computer, the first thing they ask is, did you try turning it off and on again? Restart. That’s their answer for everything.

But start overs are impossible in real life. Aren’t they? A start over, a cleaning, a bottom level, that was the message I got when I heard the words, “Go back to what you know for sure.”  What did I know for sure? Love.

Where is the love?

I was uncertain of religion. I couldn’t tell you at that moment if I believed in God or the devil, heaven or hell. I didn’t know if the Bible was real or if the teachings I’d grown up with were true, but I did know there was a love that was buried deep inside of me that I’d felt all of my life and it wasn’t of any religion.

What does that mean? What does it look like? I had to stop trusting in everything else. I only had love. So I let myself sit in the darkness, in the emptiness with nothing to light me but the one candle of love. It sounds silly, but when you’re a traditionalist, and you let the old teachings slip away, the emptiness around you isn’t lonely or scary. The love you feel grows. There’s a freedom in that love. Joy unspeakable.

Can you find your truth?

Check out older post — My Skepticism on Religion  and Question It All

Who Turn Out the Light?

good dayI haven’t talked much about my dark days. Most of us have them. Some call them Dark Nights of the Soul. Others say they are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. No matter what we call them, the experience is difficult to put into words. And I will sometime. Emotions don’t always translate. That gut-wrenching ache after losing a spouse isn’t the same as being alone on a Friday night when everyone else has a date. The situations are almost similar. Alone. No date or spouse. But there’s a depth of substance not seen.

“There is a season for everything under the sun—even when we can’t see the sun.”

― Jared BrockA Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life

Are you familiar with the story of Plato’s Cave? Here’s a link. Plato’s Cave. There were captives chained inside the cave facing always forward, only seeing shadows because they were too far from the source of the light.

One day a single prisoner was freed and taken outside into the light. For years he’d seen the play of shadows and saw the monsters and grotesque shapes splattered on the wall, but now he could see. He had the sunlight, and he knew they were only shadow play on the cave wall from objects in the cave. There weren’t monsters.

Suddenly he was grabbed and yanked toward the cave. But he didn’t want to go back into the dark, he yelled. In the light, he wasn’t afraid.

The shackles were on him again, and the darkness enveloped him. He was restrained, but this time he was different. There was no fear. He knew. How could he not have seen? He had to explain it all to his friends. Would they even listen?

I can almost hear him singing – “Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!!”

“The new is always at our doorstep when we feel most lost.”

― Janet RebhanLearn To Be Still

Check out a similar writing: Wandering and Lost Souls

 

What is Self?

0804-hrh-05-01They say we are not who we think we are. Experts, psychologists, those who deal with personality stuff, say that under the many layers, we are ordinary and straightforward. We eat, drink, pee, and sleep. Who are we after that?

We are the combination of our culture, family training, experiences, and the stories we’ve told ourselves. We can change our stories. Retell your story. Decide to – just because you can. Small things matter. AJordan Peterson says, you can’t reform the world, but you can clean your room.

It is perfectly possible — indeed, it is far from uncommon — to go to bed one night, or wake up one morning, or simply walk through a door one has known all one’s life, and discover, between inhaling and exhaling, that the self one has sewn together with such effort is all dirty rags, is unusable, is gone: and out of what raw material will one build a self again? The lives of men — and, therefore, of nations — to an extent literally unimaginable, depend on how vividly this question lives in the mind. It is a question which can paralyze the mind, of course; but if the question does not live in the mind, then one is simply condemned to eternal youth, which is a synonym for corruption. – James Baldwin

The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985

Transformation and renewal can happen slowly. But not always. I’ve had it hit me like a wave flowing from the ocean, picking me up and knocking me off my feet. As the water rolled over me, I was unsure which way was up. When I finally found my footing and spit the water out of my mouth, I knew I was a survivor.

I’m not asking for a knockdown, but I’ll find a way up if it happens. Today, if you are feeling overwhelmed, control what you can. If you want a better life, change one thing. Start where you can. Your “Self” is a fiction that is made up. Layers that have been built over time. Therefore, it can be changed, scrubbed, twisted or ignored. It’s in your hands to mold.

Who do you want to be? Love is the greatest gift. Forgiveness I believe is the second.

Namaste.

Are you the choices you make?

6b467915e5e5c78240284ff5c302e4dbWhy does the lady with lung cancer and a horrible cough still refuse to give up her smokes? What is the missing ingredient in all of us? We know it’s not just will power.

We make choices every day. I can wear the gray pants or the black, take a sandwich to work or eat my lunch out. Sometimes our choices seem less trivial, do we go to a state college or local, start a family or grab the golden ring on the career ladder?

Most things we do are minor. The apple we ate isn’t going to change our life on the grand scale. Not one by itself. It’s the patterns of living that creates a mosaic.

If only we could see the picture we were creating as we step out into each footstep. Is that possible? I mentioned Values in last weeks post, How to be Strong. I wanted to revisit values and add a little more information today.

Are these some of your values? Honesty, Loyalty, Love, Kindness, Individuality, Tenacity, Forgiveness, Intelligence, Nature, Education, Nationalism, Multiculturalism.

It’s not possible to see any life as a whole to know how it will end, but we do know certain actions tend toward certain directions. Rob a bank and usually you get caught. Smoke enough cigarettes and lungs develop carcinoma. Read books with a fresh vocabulary, and you’ll increase your word usage. These are mere projections, not certainties, but they’ve happened enough times in the past that the odds are pretty darn good.

The truth is something that burns, it burns off deadwood and people don’t like having their deadwood burnt off often because they’re 95% deadwood

  • Joe Rogan Experience #958 – Jordan Peterson [2]

Our life is not all one choice. We’ve created patterns that are comfortable. I like my car, my house, and my bed. It’s home. Familiarity is like the puff of a warm cigarette. Mine isn’t nicotine, but we all have a crutch. I’m afraid to jump, to grab the golden ring when I’ve been handed it. What if I fail? I’d be leaving my couch. That’s my weakness. #Hardchoices

I believe we need to know who we are before we can walk the truth we’ve learned. Below I created a link to a resource I found. Each module has a fee and takes some thought to complete. I’m starting with Virtues. Tell me what you think.

Self Authoring

If you want something easier or free, there’s the Keirsey Personality Test. Whatever your direction, take some time to know yourself. There will be choices. #Hardchoices #learning

Check out these older posts: Living My Words and Not My Grandma’s Soap Opera

How to be Strong

Values

Check out anyone’s Facebook page, even mine, and you’ll see their values. A quick glance at their Instagram and you know what’s important in their life. Beauty? Fitness? Maybe it’s their family.

It seems this life has us spinning like we are whirling around in a tornado and we are flying out of control. This is a year that we need to know who we are. So for the rest of this year, I’m going to go beyond holding on for dear life. I’ve decided it’s time to build a better foundation.

Rankings

What’s important to you? You don’t need a deathbed experience or a rare disease. The answer will be clear. It can be a person you love so much it hurts or an experience you’ve wanted to try. Maybe it’s something that gives you hope. This is the first step. For me, it’s my family.  After them, it would be travel opportunities.

Now, step further. Name your values. Do some research. If it helps you find your purpose, study other people’s values. Where’s your core truth (I never lie) or (I’m a geek) come from?

Always Learning

This is more than a days project. And it’s something you can do over and over. One thing I want to do and you can consider also, once you realize a new value, post it. Here is one of mine – > #finishwhatyoustart  Add a picture with it. Make it yours. Follow me in if you want. Find me on Instagram

Here’s an older article with a list of VALUES. What do you think?

#Respect #Industriousness #Wisdom #Responsibility #Accountability #Beauty #Nature

Are you ready to build a better tomorrow? Let’s start today.

Link: Mindtools.com

The Good Life

The Good Life

“We’re on the go for love to open our lives to walk tasting the sunshine of Life.”

It’s getting cold up north and I don’t like the cold. I’m never ready for wintertime. The chill. The ice storms. I’m summer’s girl. Give me the beach, some sun, and a book. That’s my good life.

It’s the oddest things that make us smile. Our favorite songs. A good hot dog. Popcorn at the movies. Hugs from our grandparents.

Life is lived in the small moments. What do you enjoy?

Walk through life

Beautiful more than anything

Stand in the sunlight

Walk through life

Love all the things

That make you strong,

be lovers, be anything

For all the people of

Earth

You have brothers

You love each other, change up

And look at the world

Now, it’s

Our’s, take it slow

We’ve got a long time, a long way

To go,

We have

Each other, and the

World,

Don’t be sorry

Walk on out through sunlight life

and know

We’re on the go

For love

To open

Our lives

To walk

Tasting the sunshine

Of Life. – Amiri Baraka, Answers in Progress from Brain PickingsSelected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka

Smart Words

People enjoy feeling smart. I remember when we tossed the phrase 24/7 about like it was going out of style. That’s right there with handing out business cards and carrying pagers.

I’ve listed some words that have we use to get more clicks (click bait), plus one name. If you’re on YouTube watch for Elon Musk videos. They often use his name as a tease. He often isn’t in the videos, just the titles.

Echo chamber

Users tended to seek out information that strengthened their preferred narratives and to reject information that undermined it. – Washington Post

I like you, so I’ll listen to you.

Metadata

Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes such as discovery and identification. It can include elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords. – Wikipedia

Name, rank, and serial number.

Binge watching

The practice of watching multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming. – Google dictionary

Binge watching is bad, but the shows are so good according to an article in Forbes.

Elon Musk

Currently the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor. – Wikipedia

Elon Musk is the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci.

Simulated Universe (Matrix)

…the notion that everything humans see and know is a gigantic computer game of sorts, the creation of supersmart hackers existing somewhere else, is not a joke. – Is Our Universe a Fake? Space.com

I prefer books. Yeah, reading is a better mind simulation for me. Ready Player One is about a simulated world. 🙂

What words can you add?

The Thing About Neighbors

I was walking into my complex and overheard a conversation inside my downstairs neighbor’s condo. Not strange, except she lives alone. I paused in my curiosity. Yes, I’m nosy. “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you.” I imagined her little dogs lined up on the couch being lectured. It’s like she was playing school, but she wasn’t a child. Medication needed?

Young

One of my young guy neighbors was trying to hide his motorcycle inside since management was trying to impound it. He didn’t like parking it out front with the cars and as he stated it, “they are on my ass.” So up the stairs, he struggled and shoved until it was inside the condo. I wonder how his girlfriend felt about the chunk of metal in the living room?

Old

We have an older gentleman, one of the few condo owners who live here, besides me, who is working to clean the grounds. He is a well-dressed fellow, dress shirt, suspenders, and slacks. I’ll see him sometimes in the morning getting into his Mustang GT. I’ve never asked where he goes. Is he still working at his age? I’m not sure even how old he is. In the evenings and weekends, he’s picking up leaves and trash.

All

Neighbors remind me of the story Stone soup. At first glance my neighbors are annoying and I don’t know why I stay at this place. But I’m the stone, the rock in the middle of all this pot of water. They bring the flavor. The painter, a dog trainer, a nurse, and many more good people live here. If I get to know people their lives become more than static, more than the ugly boom, boom bass that disturbs me. Neighbors are people living their life. I have to re-frame it sometimes, understand the annoyance and let it go.

Something to read: