It’s not about the colors.

 

When I was around ten years old, I was very concerned about Hell. I tried to do right and not wrong. I was careful not to lie or to steal. I wanted to do good things because I truly believed in Hell and God and punishment. I believed there was a definite right and wrong.

Like many in America, I believed that only Christians went to heaven. My faith was, even more, extreme. We also taught that only those of our belief, Pentecostal, followed the true path. Certainly not Catholics or Mormons or any other faiths. Baptists and Methodists were questionable. And that scared me. How did I know which belief was right?

There were definite steps my religion taught me that insured salvation.

  1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  2. Confess your sins.
  3. Believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of god. And he grafted us into his vine.

This was my only way of confirmation. This took away any rights I might have of interpreting for myself, any twinge or spark I might feel is true. My thought, my belief was always wrong if it didn’t meet the 3 requirements above. So there is a right and a wrong at that point.
This lead the 10-year-old me to wonder, what if? What if my religion got it wrong? What if we were the religion that was incorrect? How would I know? Mormons believe their faith just as strongly as I do mine.
If you think any religion is right or wrong, you are entirely missing the point. The Pentecostal aren’t right or wrong with their extreme exclusiveness and certainly the Unitarians aren’t right or wrong with their extreme inclusiveness.

You may come to think of all the colors of the rainbow are good. They are all okay. We are all okay. But that’s not the point. It’s not about the colors of the rainbow. It’s about the rainbow. It’s also about what makes the rainbow. We perceive the colors, but they are not colors. They are light, refracted through the water particles and the dust in the sky that is light pulsing into your eyeball, and your brain interprets it as color. Keywords are perceived and interprets. When you get that, take another look around you. At ten years of age, I had no understanding. I was 10. A child has no skill to interpret an act committed by someone. I translated others intentions and put them into boxes that were provided by those around me. Right, Wrong, Saved, Damned.

It’s not about the colors. Red is right, and Green is wrong. It’s not that all the colors of the rainbow are all right or all wrong. Inclusive or exclusive. We are all one light shining through the water particles, creating the beautiful rainbow. It’s all about the light.

There is No Savior Coming

There is no savior coming. The world didn’t end and the planet is still spinning. We waited. We went to our rooftops and waited. Patiently. We looked up and knew our salvation would come. Our justice. Our time of redemption. Our toils and hard days are over. Finally there was a reward for our long labor. Surely, it wasn’t in vain.

Ha! Nothing happened. But what does that mean? No Santa coming down the chimney? No Peter Rabbit? What about Jesus? Or the Saints? Surely someone is coming. They do know we are looking for them, right?

Why has there been no savior? Where is our hero? Better yet, have you looked at ourselves lately? We are acting like children. We are acting like teenagers whose parents are out-of-town. We have the house to ourselves and we’ve wrecked it.

I was thinking about this in the light of Santa and childhood stories and it dawned on me. What if no saviors are coming because they want us to grow up? It’s entirely possible that if there are gods watching over us, they are using tough love. When the fridge is empty, we might have to go to the store ourselves. We might have to wash a dish or mow our own lawn. Jiminy Cricket! Has it come to that?

Yikes! God can’t be that cruel could he? This is all speculation on my part. I don’t have a divine link or anything mystical like that. I do know child development. When a child is on the floor throwing a tantrum, the most effective method is to walk away. We want, as parents, to grab the child and stop the noise, but that’s not the best way for a child to learn. People learn experimentally. Or, in the words of science, empirically. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Empirical

A plague, on which is represented St.George re...

We learn by trying. We learn by failing. We learn not to stick our hands on the hot stove because we have done it. Ouch. Hot. Parents that protect their children from failure aren’t really helping them at all. They are crippling them. Children allowed to explore and grow can make better decisions. They aren’t innocent but they are wise. There is a sense of fullness to their energy.

If I were a god, if I were in charge, I would wait. I would not jump in to rescue us. We have not come to the fullness of our learning. We need to experience our own strength. This is not to show us how inept we are or how much we need a big strong god. This is how you grow a strong person. You let them make choices. You let them try.

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Just the Taste

English: A woman eating an apple Français : Un...

Earlier I was eating an apple and enjoying it. I was just eating the apple, nothing else, and it was delicious. The crunch. The juice. It was a very good apple. So much of my eating has become duty. Just enjoying good food is difficult because we are all so uptight about eating healthy and not overeating. I’m right there in the mix of it also. Sitting down to eat a whole gallon of ice cream isn’t enjoying it though. That’s a compulsion.

Documenting my food intake is absolutely not my style. Of course like everything I do, I volley between a strict watch to eating whatever I want. Until I get in sync with my body though I feel I need to be aware of what I am doing. My main problem is when I start to watch, I also start to grade. I judge.

Will eat for food
(Photo credit: altemark)

Surely there’s a better way of staying healthy. A relaxed way. Somehow to respect ourselves and respect our food. With honor. I know that sounds goofy and all new age, but there is some truth in there. The current way is to tighten and clench. Try harder. Work out more. And that goes against everything I feel. It is what is wrong with society. Tougher rules and stricter laws. I’m not an anarchist by any means, but there is just only so much that another rule can do. What happens if you beat a dead horse? Your arm gets tired. Only that. He can’t go any faster. He’s dead.

Tighten Your Belt - Austerity

To me, when I get in those situations where I’ve buckled down and tightened up and can’t discipline myself any more, I know that I’m needing a new approach. Something isn’t right about the current one. If it’s not working, try something else.

So I want to try something else in regards to being healthy, but what? Counting calories? Exercise? Well here’s an original, accepting myself as I am. Hmmm, I’m not a big fan of that. Actually that one scares me the most. I read somewhere that the thing that scares you the most is the thing that needs to be done. I wonder if that is true? Somewhere in all of my efforts I need to know when enough is enough. But I’m not sure if it is yet. I have another hoorah! left in me.

Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Smell of dust after rain

The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a game I like to play because I love word games.  I took the idea from an episode of Doctor Who, Season 6. In that episode the companions to The Doctor, Amy and Rory had a locked door to open. They were given the pass code, but not told how to use it. Now we are all familiar with passwords and security codes. A jumbled bit of numbers and letters. Very secret things. The password was Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor. First the couple tried saying the words, Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (smell of dust after rain.) Nothing happened. The door didn’t open. Then Amy tried a different way. Instead of just saying the words, she imagined the words. She felt the words. She pulled out the emotional link from inside of her that matched the words of the pass code. Crimson (crisp red flag flying in the breeze), Eleven (her eleventh birthday cake), Delight (the day of her wedding), Petrichor (a water  droplet hitting the dirt.) The doors open.

Once an idea is opened, many can run with it. Today many are revealing ideas. Opening doors. Exposing secrets. Teaching long forgotten truths to those around us. It’s not enough any more to merely go through the motions and do the job. The more effective way of living, the one that causes us to engage our emotions, demands our active cooperation. These aren’t new methods. They are forgotten tools. These were common in times past by Druids and Shamans. Modern commercials grab us and persuade us to buy their product by using our emotions. For example, Jif brand peanut butter once used the phrase, “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” As if to say, only mothers that give a damn about their children choose Jif. And if you don’t buy Jif peanut butter, you are an unfit mother. Much like the days when humanity learned about little things called germs causing disease, today we are learning to use more of our minds. Learning to open doors by engaging our entire selves.

Wake up. We are learning to fly by intention instead of brute strength. It’s a new day. Pay attention. We are learning new ways of seeing the world. New ways and long forgotten ways. If germs make us sick, what about our emotions and the emotions of others around us. I agree that actions count, but actions without connection is dry and blows away.

English: Emotions English: Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My game is simple. I want to use the game to learn a new way of being. I want to engage my emotions with words. Random words or thought out ones. Why? Because I’m now aware of being able to do this. Because I believe humanity is evolving.

Buddhism teaches us to “be” no matter where we are or what we are doing. If you are washing the dishes, be there washing the dishes. If you are eating, be aware of eating. I admit that most of the time I avoid the unpleasant and forget to pay attention during the pleasant. Being awake in the Now is a habit to practice.

We learned well how to be robots and act out our parts. We learned our roles. We learned to put things in boxes and to analyze and dissect. We can take things apart to see how they once worked. We learned to distract ourselves when things are painful or boring and when everything is pleasant we are afraid it won’t last.

Four words: Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Petrichor (the smell of dust after rain.) Or try picking your own four words: Color, Number, Feeling, Smell.

Appreciating Fear

Construction
Construction (Photo credit: [Sazzy B])
You just never know. You start a project and have it all planned out in your mind, but BAM! it morphs into something different from what you expect.  What I would like is to see from someone else’s eyes for a time. I like to read a variety of books to see how other people think. I live with myself all day long. I keep thinking that my way isn’t the best or maybe I don’t know what I’m doing, which often I don’t.

Aren’t we really all blundering around until we have an AHA! moment of our own? We read guides and how-tos or listen to advice from friends, but all they can tell is how to get there from the place they started.

While writing this bit, I have realized that honestly people might want to hear my story, from my point of view. Yes, it’s nice for me to learn different views, but others want to hear mine. Learning is good, but my learning is sometimes a duck and dodge move, an avoidance because I’m afraid.

There are scary monsters under my bed and they pop their heads out to remind me of my insecurities. Wouldn’t want to forget and get all big-headed, would we? So my fears remind me of my humanity. My fears keep me tethered in this reality.

It’s good to remember our human side. I sometimes forget that it’s my humanity, my falling down and getting back up, my bleeding bandaged psych that gives me any wisdom at all. It is my wandering that teaches me the best way to go. I would always question, is my way better or theirs? So since I have wandered and gotten lost, then found my way back out again, I can say with confidence, this way works.

Hello Kitty Bandaid
Hello Kitty Bandaid (Photo credit: c.a.s.e.y)

I have a thing for experts, as many of you know. I’ve written about it before. How to win in 10 easy steps. Become a superhero! Yes. That’s what I want. The reason is simple. I like shortcuts. I don’t like being stupid or even appearing stupid. Being caught in my insecurities is embarrassing. I’ve never liked it. Maybe no one does. Lately, learning to get comfortable with my fear has been my greatest strength.  It has come in handy many times.  Each time I feel the fear, I know I’m in new territory. New territory is a good thing for me. It means I will keep my mind young and I’m learning and developing my adaptive mental muscles.

If you read any of Seth Godin’s work, you know that he talks about this new age we have entered. No longer in the Industrial age, we are all learning to adapt to the Communication and Connectivity Age. Conformity and Standardization are the trademarks of the Industrial age. Raising our kids to be “good” and to sit still and be mindless sheep are no longer the best ways to prepare them for the future. They must learn to adapt and to watch for trends themselves. To assert themselves in difficult situations. Handle conflicts diplomatically. Life is no longer about might equals right.

It’s sometimes hard for me to spot the trends. I’m not talking about skirt lengths and fall colors here. More the way we earn money or do business. I’m thinking about the story “Who Moved My Cheese?” If you have never heard the story, it’s a very simple one.  Mice in the maze know where their cheese is stored. They know the quickest way to get to it and check on it everyday. as all good mice should. These are the cleverest mice. The fastest and the most efficient. Mice college, work hard ethics and all of that stuff.  But one day their cheese wasn’t in it’s normal spot. What to do? Sit and cry in the corner? Yell and scream? Protest on Wall Street? No, that’s not how the cleverest mice handled it. They immediately went looking for it. No pause, no emotional damage. Pffft,…that didn’t work out. Move on. No indignation or resentment. But you promised! How dare you? Just move forward. Try the next door. Then try the next. Forget what this one or that one promised. Forget how it’s always been done or the way it’s supposed to be. Try every door. Check every cabinet, every shelf. Keep trying until you find it.

People that succeed don’t just try once. They try this way, then that way, then another until they figure out what works.

Slipping Into a Coma

Cliff
Cliff (Photo credit: Oneras)

It’s difficult to work long hours then come home and write. It’s difficult to raise a family and keep a roof over their heads. What do these two things have in common? They are both things we want. And we want them more than the task is difficult.

The difficulty of the task is what heightens our awareness. If a task is easy we lose focus. We nod off. We slip into a coma. zzzzzz. Yeah, I’m right there with you. Ask the guy climbing the sheer rock face of the cliff. Does he have trouble focusing? Is his mind wandering? Maybe thinking about the game last night? No! He’s trying to stay alive. And maybe in the process he’ll make it to the top of the mountain and watch the little bitty people on the ground.

Are you having trouble staying focused every day? Maybe a couple of caffeinated drinks aren’t what you need. You’re bored?

Notice the symptoms. When does it start? Is it the job? Or it could be you’ve forgotten why you’re there. Pep talk time. You’re there to earn some money. That money pays the rent. It buys the groceries. Maybe you’ve forgotten your value. Do you need a reminder?

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (Cliff Swallows - low...
Petrochelidon pyrrhonota (Cliff Swallows – lower) and Riparia riparia (Sand Martins – upper) (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Did you forget where you were going? What thrilled you when you started? Remember that. Climb your mountain, dance your dance. No matter if it seems impossible. Even if it is completely impossible. So you never make it to the top. Who cares? Enjoy the climb.

Moods and Cravings

Earlier I was feeling a bit morose. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Actually, it has been for the last several days. Janet had private a pity party. I didn’t stay in that state because I know that it doesn’t help. I prefer to find the reason for my mood and do something about it. Most of the time, my moods come and go without lingering. This time my emotions and I seemed to be playing peek-a-boo. That’s why I realized that this could be important.

Not hiding

I stopped swiping them to the side and just looked. Yes, I missed seeing my children since they’ve grown up. I missed reading their cute little books to them and watching the cartoons they enjoyed. Their squirmy bodies would curl up next to me on the couch while we watched The Lion King or 101 Dalmatians for the thousandth time. Memories and grief are normal and usually don’t last. This time I realized it wasn’t just those instances that were absent. I needed to wake up and notice what was lacking in my life.

Cravings that linger

It reminds me of food cravings. Most foods that I crave are an impulse. I read about brownies and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with a craving for brownies. The same happens with coffee or popcorn or any other food. But other times a food craving lingers and I realize I’m craving something my body needs at that moment.

Using the same logic for my emotions, I must need something that I was getting during the time I was spending time with my kiddos. I’m sure that you’ve analyzed this and you are shouting at your screen how obvious it is. Sometimes I am a little slow when it comes to my emotional needs.

It happens most often when I am trying to fill an idealized version of myself. Much like looking at a picture in a magazine of a living room. It’s decorated so perfectly. All of the books stacked and the table is free of clutter. Shoes are out of sight and obviously, no one has a throw pillow on the floor or a blanket nailed over a window to block the sunlight. My living space is real and as much as I want it impressively decorated and ingeniously designed, it isn’t.  My house fits me with its galley kitchen and old refrigerator. The place is close to the highways I use and the cost of maintaining my place is minimal. No fuss and that’s how I like it.

This is where I live

This body of mine is a real body. It is my living space. I have to treat it in the way that helps it work the best. If I over stress it with high expectations or overwhelm it with too many activities, it will start throwing alarm switches until I listen. This last week my body has started with reminding me that frugality is admirable but stinginess is cruel. My washing machine quit working a few weeks back so I had been “making do” until I could save enough to buy a new washer. While that sounds wonderful, I realize I was not being frugal for a purely financial reason. There was a huge chunk of ego that wanted to boast how worthy I am! Quite a laughable thing once I realize what a tricky thing our psyche is. After taking a step back and looking at the situation I went to a local home improvement store and financed a washing machine. True, I could have waited, but it was stressing me unnecessarily.

Herd of trolleys
Herd of trolleys (Photo credit: Joe Dunckley)

Have you ever tried to push a shopping cart with a twisted wheel? That’s how it felt. I kept going, kept trying, because that’s what I do. I keep pushing because I know I can. I’m strong and capable, right? When I took care of my needs I realized how tiring my enduring had made me. When I stopped trying to push the broken cart down the aisle I could release the burden I was carrying.

What was I talking about? Pity party?

So, back to my pity party. What is your estimation of my mood? Was it because I really missed my children? Or maybe I missed the moments that seemed carefree? To me there were no better moments in my life than those when I could just sit and be there with my boys. Them and their little boy TV shows filled with whimsical characters and superhero outfits. I feel better now. Revived and refreshed. Somehow just taking the time for myself to remember that part of my life, the joy of it, has brought a smile to my face. I am no longer sad that I can’t have those little guys as a part of my life anymore. They are a little big for Power Rangers. I can now come back to my present moment and I can spread a bit of the whimsy to today. I realize I had unrealistic expectations of myself and I wasn’t allowing myself to live in the moment.

  • I choose not to kill my soul with harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations.
  • I choose to let joy and life flow through me, so that when the time comes I can also bring joy to others.
  • I choose to be a part of life in the now and not above it. The future is sometimes frightening and I don’t want to face it but there is always a way. There is always a simple step. It’s not always the boastful, shiny, impressive way, but there is a solution.
  • I choose to glean the joys of yesterday and like seeds in the garden, I will sprinkle them with honor and watch them blossom.
  • I choose to honor myself, as I am, even all the jiggly parts.

Jiggly Juicy Parts- That Vital Spark

Don’t Let Go of My Hand

Hold my hand and take me away
Hold my hand and take me away (Photo credit: (davide))

From the depths of my heart. Truly.

Oh I’m hoping you’ll understand and not let go of my hand.  – In For the Kill, La Roux.

I love music. I have no talent whatsoever, but I can listen as well as the next person. The lyrics catch me completely off guard sometimes.

We are a species who love stories. Movies, books, plays. It doesn’t matter what form it is. We can relate. And once the story has wrapped itself around us, it can jolt us. Even linger in our minds, when another person could have said the same thing to us and we would have walked away wondering what they were talking about.

Sometimes when I’m in a conversation, I have to remind myself to stay quiet and listen to the other person. I really don’t want to cut in or stop them talking. I just want to relate. This song is one that caught me off guard. The lyrics, the voice, and the story. Isn’t this what we all want?

We want someone to listen and understand. And not let go of us. Hear me, they cry. Please stay with me. There was a suicide recently at a local school. It’s hard for us to understand how a teenager can have a troubled life. Like illness and disease though, emotional pain does not know age or wealth as a dividing line. It does not respect you just because you are a good person or a pretty person. Suicide doesn’t only come because someone has a difficult circumstance. Suicide is an out for pain also. And when you are in pain all you can think of is stopping it. It’s the irritating ticking noise inside someones head that never ends. They see no solution.

I don’t know the child’s story or the family’s. All I know is that I am sorry. So sorry for their loss. And I hope that there is someone nearby who will understand and not let go of their hand.

Irrational Fears and Faded Memories

English: reflection of a camera shot in christ...
English: reflection of a camera shot in christmas baubles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been wavering about pushing myself or not.  I do push a bit. Maybe a little more than I should. I want to get things done. I don’t want to put any of my shiny baubles (my projects) down. Like the monkey in the story of how to catch a monkey fame, I have my hands full. And I want it all.

But I’m uncertain. Afraid to push myself. Afraid of getting a migraine. Of wearing myself out. I really don’t know what I’m truly capable of. Not yet at least.

Cue theme song

For a long time I tried to psychoanalyze myself, to cure my pain. Somehow I believed that the migraines were either subconscious or even a conscious way of avoiding trying. As if I didn’t want to succeed and was sabotaging my own efforts. With that theory, my mind reverts to a familiar memory. It’s like a theme song in the back of my life.

When I was in junior high, I was the first in line for our fitness test.  This was my first year in junior high and my first year to do any type of fitness testing. I was fairly athletic but tiny. We did our 1 mile jog around the gym. There was the jumps, long and short. A pegboard climb and the chin up. We lined up in alphabetical order. My last name started with a B in those days used to going first, so this was no big deal. The chin up bar was in front of me. It glared I’m sure. Taunting. The chin up was easy. Hanging not so bad. Continuing to hang for an extended length of time was boring. I felt awkward. People were staring, waiting, and eager to get to their turn. Impatient. And I felt the eyes of everyone on me. So I dropped.

Seth Godin mentions something about favorite memories in a recent blog. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/01/a-legend-in-my-own-mind.html 

“Everyone lives with self mythology. The more important a memory is to the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, the more often we rehearse the memory. And the more often we relive those memories, the less likely it is that they are true.”

This made we wonder about my vivid memory. How true is my belief and interpretation? I’m not trying. I give up. Am I really not trying? Is it because of fear or is there another reason? So I dig a bit deeper.

What if I stumble? What if I fall?

What if I try my very hardest and it’s not enough? What if I found the man of my dreams and I screw it up? I know this is a stupid question. I know it’s an irrational fear. I recognize it for what it is, but I also know that it’s there jeering at me. I hear the whispers it breathes. Yep, but I know it’s a lie. It’s a fictional story made up by the drama team to make a story more..DRAMATIC! It gives the story some punch. It’s like the music in the background of a scary show. It isn’t the truth, but it does color the truth brighter. How do I know this? Because no one succeeds the first time they step out in new territory. Not Lewis and Clark, not Abraham Lincoln, not Hillary Clinton, and not you and me. The first time is for measurement only. There is no line drawn in the sand when you begin. You can’t do better because you’ve never tried before.

Red Chihuahua poses for a photo, white chest f...
Red Chihuahua poses for a photo, white chest flash, male, with a pink wall, in La Purisima / San Isidro, West Coastal, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Photo credit: Wonderlane)

Going back to the memory that I replay over and over. When I believed the story I told myself (I don’t try hard enough), I felt I should have tried to hold the chin up a lot longer. I could have beaten all of their times, maybe. But I had no standard of how long I could hold it. No idea if I could do 10 minutes or 5. How could I? I had never timed myself. I was still a kid and didn’t have experience to know what is in me or what I should expect of me. That’s what the teenage years do for us. They help us see where our strengths and weaknesses are. And then we can work through them. Up until that time, you have no expectations of yourself. Or at least very few.

Thinking thinking always thinking

I realize that I think too much. I read too much into a symptom or an illness. Migraines just are. People get sick. We live and we die. It’s really all pretty simple. Until it gets complicated. And only we can complicate it. We put in our fears and expectations when life is really just about living and dying. In between we put in all the Shoulds and Musts until we have our own list of complicated Ten Commandments. Mine at times is like reading Leviticus in the Bible, The King James Version.

You are here X

So the first step I take doesn’t count. And if it counts, it only counts as a  measuring point. Each effort after that is to hone the process. Only after having a  starting point can you have any idea of where you are.

Third Eye Blind – Jumper

Here is a funny scene from Yes Man – Jumper Scene singing Jumper

You’re Not Listening

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

I AM NOT YELLING!! I’M TRYING TO MAKE MY POINT. DO YOU HEAR ME?

What happens when we yell? What happens when we get yelled at? I cower, run for cover, or if backed in my corner, I get defensive.

Why do we yell?

We want to make a point. We have an issue or a gripe and we want you the listener to hear us. If we yell, then you know without a doubt we mean it. Right? Stomps foot! Or do we turn off? Walk away? Put up our hand? Some might start crying. Some might yell back. But NO ONE listens. We can’t. It goes against every little fiber of our being to listen. Yelling hits us at our nerve core and radiates up our spinal cord until-ding, ding, ding-you ring our fight or flight bell. Every time. 

So why do we do it? We are scared. We are afraid of you, the one we are yelling at. You may have hurt us or you remind us of someone who hurt us in the past. We have to square off first. Like the bird ruffling up his feathers or the cat with all hairs on end. I’m bigger than you. Bigger, badder, meaner. Don’t mess with me. But I thought I was scared? I am. I’m hiding my fear underneath these scary, ugly, loud snarls.

yelling.
yelling. (Photo credit: J-Urban-Hippie)

So what happens when we yell? We turn off what we want to turn on. We push what we really want to pull. We scare those for whom we care. Mostly we make ourselves tired and weak, because we’ve wasted a lot of energy.

Electricity is a wonderful thing. It’s power is amazing. We, mankind, have harnessed it. I love my computer. And my washer and dryer. Electricity helps me be comfortable and entertained on Sunday afternoons watching Netflix. Or listening to Vevo. Watching silly videos on YouTube. But electricity without being channeled through the right wires, circuitry, and breakers would kill me. Zap! Ka-bing!

Fire is the same way. Wintry evenings by the fireplace and a warm blanket, mmmm. That’s a great place. But fire raging across the plains of Texas or the mountains of Colorado or coming towards my house, makes me want to run. To cower. Or to fight back.

You know where I’m going with this. Me yelling at you, has the same response as the fire coming towards you. Or a lightening bolt. Run for cover or run for your life. There must be a better way. I have to tame my fire. Harness my anger. Yelling uncontrollably feels right. I’ve vented.

I am big.

I am bad.

And I am one tough cookie. Don’t mess with me. But who got burned in the end? Even if they deserved it, razing the enemy doesn’t heal my pain.

We need an expression that works. Stop before we yell. What is the point I want to make with the person in front of me? Can it wait? Maybe this moment isn’t the best moment to make it. With some, those you’ve told a thousand times, the point may never reach them. Those you walk away from and let them be. Others may need something beyond words. Remember tough love?

Yelling makes us feel like we’ve accomplished a task. We made our point. We vented our anger. Open your eyes. No one’s listening.

The Rescues-You’re Not Listening (Live at the Troubadour)