With Much Gratitude

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.”

Gertrude Stein

I learned several valuable lessons from my religious training.

  • It’s good to plant seeds. If you care for them, they will grow into sturdy trees.
  • Treat others with the same respect you wish returned to you.
  • Be honest.
  • Be kind.
  • Above all else, be grateful.

Last year brought new experiences for me and more growth, and I have appreciated the open doors. Creativity and the joy of sharing my thoughts with an audience are immensely satisfying. It’s something I want to do more of in the future. But I have been lacking in one aspect.

The world of blogging doesn’t make it easy to reach out, to notice those who contribute. Blogging is a lot about ME. I say my piece, and you listen. And as opinionated as I am, this can get pretty damn boring. Even for me.

Dialogue is much more appealing, even in books. So, I’ve puzzled over how to solve this for a long time without coming to a solution.

Though unsaid, your LIKES, FOLLOWS, and, READS are not unnoticed. They are as beautiful as a well-made bed, and yet these are the moments we fail to give thanks.

I see you. And dammit, thanks. Knowing you are here with me gives me the warm fuzzies. To all who are reading my blog–Thank You!

And to the ONE who has believed in me, my special Patron, You are the best! Thank You!

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”

William James

Disappointment

The holidays can leave me feeling like an abused spouse. I never think I meet the hidden expectations and wonder if I’m a failure.

How was your family time? Or aloneness?

Tyler Knott Gregson

Traditional holiday seasons are triggering. I cling to unfulfilled desires even though they will never be mine. I need the light of grace to see past the fog.

Joy in connecting

Today was a day for recovery. My guy and I walked around downtown. There’s a bookstore, Magic City Books, and we’ve wanted to go. I purchased a couple of books (below) after allowing myself a lengthy browse. We had coffee at the shop next door, and afterward, we went home. It was refreshing. No rush. Like the slow stretch you do when you exit the car after a long drive.

Maybe you do well through the holidays. If so, I’m glad. Let me know either way. I’d love to know.

Are We Going Audio?

Check me if I’m blowing this out of proportion, but has the scenery changed? It seems we keep stubbing our toe in the same place as if someone moved the furniture.

I’ve purchased books over the past couple of years that I couldn’t finish. Either didn’t have the time, or I was interrupted in the mid-flow. A great novel deserves quality attention to be enjoyed. I’ve discovered audio is a dimension open for me. At work, I have audio space. Besides, I welcome the barrier of my headphones, blocking out the office noise. In my childhood, I would read for hours and couldn’t wait to hoard books from the library or the book club, but now I hear those creations instead.

There’s speculation that the quality of writing has dropped. Therefore we have lost interest. It’s possible. Others state our attention span is shorter. Yeah. Of course, we have higher expectations for ourselves today. Politics, passwords, and aging issues. Take care of the kids and the parents. Oh, did you remember to stop and get milk on the way home? Make dinner. Do the dishes. Well, you know the drill.

Yes, there’s a colossal video explosion. It’s streaming addiction. I don’t knock it. I love it. My downstairs neighbor’s television plays nonstop. I don’t tease. He is elderly. And he plays it balls loud!

TOP DEFINITIONBalls LoudAn extremely loud sound. Its like balls deep… but in your ear. “Dude, that concert last night was balls loud!”

BCore June 10, 2008 UrbanDictionary.com

Truthfully though, it doesn’t pay to be so hard on ourselves. Reading isn’t a virtue. Novels, self-help books, magazines, and all of these carriers of words are opportunities for some. Never let them become a burden. Once-upon-a-time stories were passed from Grandfather to grandchild around the fire. Night after night, they told the same stories, weaving them into the tribe’s psyche. We can honor our ancestors. Tell an old favorite over a cup of chocolate this season. Make a storytime.

Landscapes change. We grow old. Maybe we notice the furniture moved. Honor is listening to the times.

Best Practices

We’re rushing headlong toward a new year, and that means new resolutions with new false promises. Why set ourselves up for puffed-up expectations. Instead, let’s take a look at what we have that’s working. Let’s keep our hopes tied to what we are loving now. We don’t need to fling our energy out into the new year like a scattered seed when we can keep it close and grow more. We can grow stronger.

Take Inventory

You have skills. Ideas float in your head. Do you know how far away you are from success? Where is a success? Is it a place? A feeling? Will it find you? Or do you put on your hiking boots to climb the mountain, kissing the hand of the King that grants special favors?

Keep Yourself Together

Can you name one thing you do rather well? What about five? This week it would be good if you could find the time to grab some paper, any paper, even the back of an envelope, and a writing implement. Write the numbers one through five in a list format. Put this list on your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator, somewhere you will see it. We are going to list our best skills.

The List

Let’s start. Write five skills.

  • Do you keep your promises?
  • Maybe you’re on time.
  • Can you write a moving speech?
  • Do you care for children who love you?
  • Taking care of your body with good food and walking is a real achievement.
  • Have you recently learned a valuable lesson for life?

These are items and others like them could be on your list. What do you do well? What is going right? This is the foundation upon which you can build a better life. If you remember, place the paper in a prominent place.

I’d love to hear some of your achievements.

Seriously Happy

There’s no guarantee for success or one formula for not ending your life with regrets, but there are a few pieces of wisdom which have been shared over many generations.

  • Hang around positive people.
  • Don’t fix negative people.
  • Help your tribe.
  • Seek tasks and lessons that are challenging to you.
  • Respect the human needs: camaraderie, love, family, tests, learning, struggle.

One Thing List

If you find yourself not finishing projects and you want to retrain your mind, here is a tactic. Make a list and do one thing a day to keep yourself accountable. By practicing daily, we climb out of the ruts where we are stuck. We can make short, easy to complete tasks such as reading one paragraph or dancing five minutes. Continue until you relearn the pleasure that comes from your accomplishments. Feel the pride. It’s your thing.

Be Strong

Your mind will try to protect you from this but know you are safe. You’ll have enough energy left over, enough time, and even enough inspiration. You won’t run out of fuel. Your mind is locked in scarcity and is protecting you by holding that mode.

Ugly

I was at a stoplight, and the light had turned red when the pickup truck behind me decided that stopping was not convenient for him. He found space to pass me and ran the red light.

I know I seem like a small-town girl, but this place where I live isn’t a big city. We still claim a few rural, country roots. But we’ve certainly forgotten our manners.

We can’t pretend this is Mayberry and that we live in the scripted world they did. It’s a free choice, do as you please, live free kinda life now. This country dude didn’t know me, and his action wasn’t personal. He had an agenda of his own. If I wasn’t here, it would have been someone else he’d pass.

Keep on truckin’

Fly in the soup

Bullying has been around for ages. Sometimes we call it helpful advice. Or nagging. People who honk when you drive too slow or stay too long at a stoplight think they can push you into doing what they want. Maybe it’s your brother who wants money or your dad giving advice or your wife who hates your music. The stress of this can build until life becomes unbearable. We can learn to live with it, but how? How we handle the push is a personal choice. I do have a suggestion or two.

“Hold your own, know your name, and go your own way.”

Jason Mraz

Learn to take care of yourself. Know where you are going and watch your surroundings. Don’t get embroiled in the road rage drama. I’ve been in dangerous situations that I didn’t cause, but because someone believed I had slighted them, they sought revenge with their automobile. Believe me, early in the morning, while heading to work is not the time to check the status of your brakes. When testosterone-filled young men driving little red cars pass you and then stop, it doesn’t matter if I did something wrong or not.

Idiocy is everywhere. I decide if it ruins my life. I get shaky after these events, but I realize they are like storms. It rains on everyone. Some people become offended and believe they are persecuted, but they’re not. Unless you’re a person who creates trouble, most things are random. You can’t prevent everything. Shake free of the event and go on with your day.

Remember your values. The pebbles in your shoes, rude people, can soon become spikes in your soul. It would be sad if you lost your way and let anger, disappointment, and revenge become more important than love, kindness, and charity. Your standards are essential to this culture’s survival.

What do you there’s a serious a abuser in your life? Find help. Seek counseling. Talk to friends and ask for advice. Most importantly, find a safe place, a safe lifestyle for yourself.

see also Softness Is Your Strength and Pebbles in My Shoe

Contained

Boxes.

There are three cats in my house, and they love it when I receive deliveries. We have boxes to jump into and hide. Dot, the rascally kitten probably has the most fun making himself small at the bottom, then pouncing on his sister.

In and out, and the noise continues. Paper rattles from the packing supply. I often forget they aren’t children. All of this play and fun is what they do. This is their life. And I wonder if humans forgot how to play?

After a few days of chaos and I’ve had enough of the hidden cat game, as well as the thudding sounds in the night. I stack the containers, one inside the other like Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. This is my game. It pleases me.

If you have pictures of your crazy pets, I’d love to see them. You can share on this site or on Facebook/ShowUp

Softness Is Your Strength

Were you the child who was always helpful? Did you share your pudding cup or cut your sandwich in half when you saw someone who didn’t have any lunch. You noticed. Kindness wasn’t only a word for you. It was a reflex. You gave. Keep it up.

Nikita Gill

You opened your heart to people who lost everything and needed clothing and shelter. There have been floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, and loss of all kinds. You gave. These are challenging times in which we live. Your gift was a comfort, and to some, you might have been their light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose heart. Keep the fire of love burning.

You’re beautiful people.

Boundaries and Bandaids

A friend of mine recently had a baby. It’s one of those smell the roses occasions when family and friends gather. And there together we hold a precious new life. That baby, who moments ago just forced it’s way out of its mother’s body with such ferocity to cause most women to scream was sound asleep. Some women curse and have such a personality change during childbirth their partners don’t even recognize them. Bringing the now docile tiny creature into its new environment was a fierce activity. Both mother and child become war partners together.

From the moment we are born, we have jumped into the mix that we call life. If you believe in reincarnation, then your birth was part of the big circle, and possibly a choice you made. If not, this is your one shot life! Either way, we all have a birth.

Life is full of trouble, step in that shit! -not the Buddha

With birth comes the family. If yours is like mine, it’s quite imperfect. And sometimes actually violent. They might show up drunk to your wedding or set you up with potential dates so you won’t be lonely. My mom pretends not to understand what I’m saying. I honestly thought she didn’t remember stuff or was deaf for the longest time, and now I’m guessing she was playing her form of gaslighting. Why It’s So Hard to See This Form of Childhood Abuse

As adults, we have a few bruises to our psyche. Life is the ultimate obstacle course that taught us how to drive, and we know of nothing different. We develop quirks to help us cope. Keep your mouth shut and don’t tell the family secrets. Always clean your plate. Be polite. Don’t talk back. Hypersensitivities usually develop when children are traumatized at a young age. You might say some are trained to be fully aware of their surroundings.

Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you, because it is through what happens to you that God speaks. It’s in language that’s not always easy to decipher, but it’s there, powerfully, memorably, unforgettably

      – Frederick Buechner

The strategies that made us are not the best thing to keep us healthy. We need to put away our childhood coping methods. The new software is required. We must learn new ways of caring for ourselves.

Your best protection isn’t cowering indoors. That’s a recipe for insanity. I know you’re familiar with stories of people who have tried such things — the crazed few. Knowing your truth is your salvation. What makes you smile and brings you joy? Find a way to grow your will power. Do something for yourself every day. Yes, it’s right for you to be selfish sometimes. Keeping boundaries and healing starts with your core. Begin by building your values, and your limits will follow.