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.

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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

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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

 

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

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?

Hiding from Our Power

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There are Many Truths.

I hate when people say they don’t want to talk politics or other current hot issues. But I understand. They don’t want to isolate their friends or family. And neither do I, but isn’t putting your head in the sand similar to losing power?

I never considered ignorance a virtue. Blindly doing what I’m told isn’t my style. My goal isn’t to debate. There are a lot of issues and I want to learn. I’m not trying to slaughter an opponent. If I were, which team do I trash and which do I defend? There’s more than one truth, more than two sides to every story.

When I started following the foreign relations debacle, it was a war issue in my mind. I was young. I’d read the history of the Islamic culture and the religious clashes. Mostly I was familiar with the biblical context and like most Americans, I dismissed it and went on with my life of raising a family. I was naive.

Pick A Side

As the years passed, the sects morphed from Al Qaida to ISIS. The United Nations and other joint efforts moved troops from Iraq, Afghanistan then into Syria. The issues have ranged in scope from violence, human trafficking, and the debate over women’s rights. In the American sphere, we’ve passed the baton of power from one president to another, changing the man behind the desk, without changing much in the world sphere. It feels like a game of whack-a-mole, but real people are harmed. This isn’t a funhouse. No one wins.

I was so appalled at the beginning of Trump’s presidency, that I couldn’t hear differing opinions about the banning of Muslims. Even though I’m still not in favor of it, I won’t try to remove your skull. My opinion has changed on some matters, but none are fully formed. I’m learning.

Forget Debate

Possibly we don’t want to offend our friends, but we can still learn. We can listen to podcasts. Read books. Talk to people. Learn about the current news subjects. Pick one that’s right for you, maybe even a bit frightening. The difference-do it with a goal in mind. Not to win, but to learn.

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My current podcast:

Sam Harris – The Waking Up podcast

Mysterious Universe (they make me smile)

My current read:

The Way of the Strangers Encounters With the Islamic State by Graeme Wood

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Work the Tangle

tangled-necklaceI had a wad of tangled jewelry, that I needed to untangle if I wanted ever to wear any of the necklaces. Based on the familiar terms of today, I should FIGHT the tangles. But I couldn’t beat them. The chains. The knots.

I’m a problem solver by nature. I use this skill in my job. Often my obsessions over a personal decorating issue can keep me awake at night debating whether I prefer the black bedspread over the navy. In the case of hands and fingers working out the tiny knots in my necklaces, I’m fine. I’m not thinking. I’m doing. It’s almost instinctive how my fingertips will sort through the tangled heap of chains until I have restored order.

Cooperation leads to working together. It ends the game. Fighting causes resistance and prolonging the battle. Is it possible that some enjoy the fight too much to learn to participate or cooperate?

 Tweet: Have we as humans been caught up in fighting so long that we’ve forgotten how to solve our problems?

Have we as humans been caught up in fighting so long that we’ve forgotten how to solve our problems? I believe so. Daily I find myself rushing home or to work, and I realize I’M NOT LATE!

My lesson to remember this week, I have enough. There’s enough oxygen, water, food, time, clothing, sleep, etc. If I need anything, I’m withholding it from myself.

Live this moment–Today!

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
Jalaluddin Rumi

Can You Neuro Lingo?

Can You Neuro Lingo?

There are two different emotions I have when I feel I am losing my power. One is anger, the other is fear. How I choose to act is up to me. I can lash out at everyone else or I can learn to get a better grip of my life.

Neurolinguistics – Retraining

What is Neurolinguistics? I think Salim Ismail may have said it best when he explained,

You have your body which is your hardware, and then you have the external world, right? At an early age you develop the software operating system to interact between the hardware and the external world. And that operating system is formed in the first seven years… So that early education inputs did you get bullied. How did you respond? How do you navigate playground dynamics?….. You kind of form this operating system. Then we become adults and we run out of applications on this operating system. Career, love life, money, sports, money and the applications start crashing. And we blame the appliication. We never go back to rewrite the operating system. And so, in the newer world we live in today, infinitely more complex, global information based, we need to rewrite our operating system.  – The Unmistakeable Creative with Salim Ismail

Some of us never update that software. It’s like never retraining for a new job. For most of us, our training at best wasn’t any official practice. We grew up. Got by. Most of our lives looked like Jed Clampett who moved to Beverly Hills. And we feel that way too. Out of place and out of sorts. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Skillsets

Is there a skill you seem to be missing? Money management. Parenting. Organization. Boundaries. Relationships. Or it’s possible you don’t know what’s wrong. Find a mentor or a helper. There are many motivating and helpful life coaches and teachers now.  I know, these things cost money. Yes, they do. So does stress. Worry makes you sick. If you want to live longer and live healthier, find a way. Invest in an hour or more of their time. An emergency room visit will cost you much more.

Do It

3935_8bj3i_Backcountry_Gate_at_Jackson_Hole_Mountain_Resort_mdBuy a book, audio or paperback. Take a class in money management. If you’re having difficulty with your teenager, don’t think you have to do the parenting thing on your own. Learn. You wouldn’t go skiing down a double black diamond mountain path without either some experience or a lot of stupidity, would you? Certainly not blindfolded. Life is not any different. There are also other avenues that are available. Some have tried hypnosis. There are many therapies, besides talk. I went to a yoga therapist who did work with the body and mind relationship.

Extra Extra

Getting things done in a chaotic environment is sometimes difficult for me. Noise distractions. Here is a site that offers help Focus @ will. Purely used for mental focusing for a task at hand. Not a retraining program, but a temporary helper. They have a trial offer.

It’s not the leaps, sometimes we need the gentle nudges. We need to learn and relearn.

WHAT SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEURS DO AT NIGHT

Here are some books I like:

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