In so doing we validate one another for who we are, and it gives us the freedom to be true to ourselves as well. But it’s true that not everyone is going to like us or understand us. And you know what, that’s ok too. We don’t have to spend our life trying to be for others what we think they want us to be. There’s not much we can do about that. Friendships do require effort, but they shouldn’t feel hard to hold together. So why not put your efforts where they are the most appreciated. Friendships shouldn’t be hard, and if they are then there’s not much understanding to work with.
Today I did a little work in my garden. There is no better time to weed than after a rain. As I stand looking at my garden, it is loaded with weeds. When I garden I always come away feeling a sense of peaceful satisfaction. I love James Allen’s analogy that “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden,” and we are its gardener. Just as we cultivate our plots, keeping them free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which we desire. We also tend the garden of our mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, negative and unproductive thoughts, because if we don’t it will produce more seeds in which to grow from. So in my own meditative way I use this analogy. Gardening is a great opportunity to clear away the weeds in my mind. Each weed I pull represents the negative thoughts that pop into my head. As I pull it from the ground I envision myself pulling it from my thoughts. It’s very therapeutic. Then I can stand back and enjoy all the beautiful flowers I planted that were hidden behind all the weeds . There’s no better feeling then to actually see the beautiful reflection my thoughts have created.
Whether we grow thoughts of weeds or beautiful flowers, we are the master of our own gardens.
“The Way of Serenity” continues and now we go into the second part of the prayer.
“The courage to change the things we can.”
It takes courage to climb out of the holes we’ve been hiding in. As we accept the things we cannot change, the next step is to change the things we can. We don’t feel the freedom it creates for us until we let go of what’s holding us back. No one ever said it was going to be easy. The old way of thinking and doing things must change as we discover the better ways that create the life we want. It will take patience, practice and perseverance, which can feel overwhelming. It takes more than any human can do alone. That’s why in our moment of desperation we call out to God to give us the serenity to accept what we can’t change by ourselves. As we peek outside our hole, it is our soul that awakens us to this new life, and we wonder why we couldn’t see it before. It is with this reconnection of soul and self that we gain the courage to climb out. Each time we find the courage to change one thing, we gain a little more confidence in our ability to do it again.
Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
When we break out of our holes, the world opens up to us, and opportunity enters in.
The Treasure Beyond the Veil
Oh what a beautiful morning. When I opened my eyes this morning I was greeted with this wonderful view.
What’s that you say, you don’t see anything but the sun shinning through a lacy curtain. Oh, but there’s more to see than what meets the eyes at first glance. There are two layers you have to look beyond to find the treasure, a curtain and a screen. Looking beyond the veil for what life has to revel to us is what we’re called to do throughout our day.
See they’re my unusually tall daisy’s stretching all the way up to my window. They don’t have to speck words for me to know what they are saying. I hear it in their presence as if they whisper, good morning!
Such a simple flower, one that can be easily ignored above all the other beauties that stand out, but there she stands with her sisters offering me the gift of her presence. A treasure for me to carry throughout my day.
I feel a renewed energy to move into the healthy lifestyle I’ve missed for the past few months. I want to go all out, but the daisy reminds me to keep it simple, one step at a time.
I hope you have a wonderful day, and take a moment to see one beautiful thing life has to offer you beyond the veil of your busy day. You’ll be as blessed as I am today for it.
June 26, 2016
I’ve been in a ‘high gear protective mood’ for the past few weeks as my Connie was in recovery. It makes my senses almost as powerful as “Super Dog.” While I still enjoyed people’s visits I acted a little erratic, unsure of what to do. So I’d take off running around the house faster than a speeding bullet. I even had a super cool bacon cape to fly around in. But seriously if anyone got too close to my Connie, I got kind of nervous.
I thought finally, my Connie was learning the advantages of lying around all day. On the other paw though, I started to feel like she was in my space too much. I can’t believe I’m admitting it myself, but it’s true. I needed to go off for periods of time and lay down by myself.
“Ollie what are you doing over there?” She’d call out to me.
I’d lift my head up to look at her, and l lie it back down with a deep sigh. Sometimes I’d just ignore her. This care giver stuff is a lot of work, but at least it wasn’t as hard for me as it was for my Tom. He didn’t really seem to mind too much, but sometimes even he went downstairs to his man-cave to take a break. I guess it just goes to show that no matter how much we love each other we all need a little bit of time to ourselves once in a while. I have heard stories that even the dog God needed to go off into the desert once in a while to get away from the other dogs for a break. I guess it helped give him a better perspective on what he was doing. I know your thinking about now, that’s quite an intellective statement for a dog to make, but I’m not just any dog I’m Super-Dog this week, and I have my super bacon cape to prove it. I also have some super rich tasting bacon jerky to go with it.
I am truly a lucky dog, and I thank the dog God every day for my wonderful human family.
When I was about 9 yrs old we were sitting around the table at dinner time. For some reason I remember I was sitting in my Mom’s seat which was across from Dad. Mom was in one of her moods so she was in her room. My Dad had a few beers which actually turned him into a clown. As the rest of us were eating around the table I started getting hit with one pea at a time. It was something my brother would do, but it wasn’t him. After a few more times I figured it was Dad.
“Stop ,” I said, laughing, but he kept it.
“Come on,” he said, “throw them back at me.”
I looked around for fear of what my mom would do if she caught me. Besides I didn’t want to throw them at him, he was my Dad. But he kept it up, pushing and pushing until I finally flipped the mash potatoes I had on my fork at him hitting him in the face. He roared in laughter, and said, “I knew you had it in you.”
It seemed that life was that way as I grew up. I just wanted to be nice to people, but there was always someone out there pushing my books out of my hands, talking behind my back, or demanding me to do this or that for them. I was always shocked by these people who were suppose to be my friends. I had a hard time believing that they could be so mean to me. Maybe I was making it worse than it seemed, always giving others the benefit of the doubt until they pushed me too far. They were always as shocked and surprised as my Dad was when the mash potatoes went flying in their face, and they still are to this day.
I asked dad years later, why’d you do that to me. He said because I knew you were too nice for your own good, and if you didn’t learn to stand up for yourself the world would eat you alive. I haven’t been swallowed yet, but it is difficult to keep climbing out of the mouth of those who try.
Eat your peas, please don’t throw them.
Today we are getting our two huge evergreen trees taken down at the front of our property. When PP&L trimmed them away from the wires this spring they completely hacked them up. When we called them about how upset we were they offered to take them down at no cost to us.
It’s one of those things that you knew you were going to eventually have to do, but we weren’t ready to let go of them yet. They did provide a lot of shade and privacy, plus it’s like losing another part of my Dad & Sue who lived here before us. As I play the pros and cons of it in my head. The pros win out in the end. Let’s face it nothing last forever in this world. There’s this cold stillness of quiet emptiness for a few moments as we stand and look at the open space it leaves behind. Than new life sets in as we give ourselves time to process it. We start to look around and see the possibilities it leaves behind. This has been our home for a while now, and as we’ve made many changes already this is simple another opportunity to place our own mark upon it. Our house is one of the few on this street that sits back away from the road and many people that have driven by say they never even knew there was a house behind the trees. It can be seen a little better beyond the holly trees now. The yard looks much bigger too, but we will probable plant another tree in the middle of the yard to give us back that privacy we like so much though. To be honest I think it will look much better in the long run.
Lesson of the day: Nothing last forever, but life still carries on. We can live in the state of sadness that we can’t change or find new life in the space it opens up for us.
Sometimes the events in our life really knock us down. It’s easy to feel lost and unsure of where we left off once we’re able to get back to living our life again. Something feels changed in us and we wonder how that’s going to affect the purpose and passion we had before this all happened. It seems like a great time to re-evaluate what we are doing. What is that purpose? What is the intention I hope to create from it? And do I still have the passion to keep moving in that direction? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself as I try to get refocused. So, I open up the book, “The Way of Serenity.” Picking up where I left off before things got so bad for me. This is what I read today.
“It’s all About Joy”
“Everyone needs a reason to hope, and what gives us greater joy then to know we are loved. Seeing true joy in another person allows us to believe that joy is possible and attainable. In this way joy can even be contagious. It can spread beyond ourselves and make other people’s lives just a little bit more joyful too*.” The words jumped off the pages as a reminder to me of why I live my life the way I do. The world can be full of so many things that strip away our joy. It seems like we are always being pulled into the disillusionment that fear, hate and judgment creates. Some of us are meant to be the warriors who fight the good cause, and some of us are meant to keep that joyful hope alive as a reminder that it does indeed still exist, creating hope. Yes, to know we are loved is the greatest joy, but to show that love for others is what builds upon the very love we crave for ourselves.
Tell someone you love them today and be a part of the contagious joy it creates.
*Chapter 15 page 88
Ever since I was a kid I loved the challenge of finding Waldo. I bought a book for our grand-kids a long time ago, and even when the big ones come over if the book is out, they still love searching Waldo out in the maze of a crowd.
Of course me, being me, I always see something deeper in things, even if that wasn’t the designer’s purpose in the first place. I think Waldo represents a little bit about each of us. He likes to play games that’s one thing for sure. He’s jokester, a challenger, smart, cleaver, and elusive. Maybe he’s even a little insecure, having a need to hide yet wanting desperately to be found otherwise why would he wear a strip shirt?
I think that searching for Waldo can be a great form of meditation as we look for answers about ourselves. As we seek him out he becomes us and we ask ourselves what am I hiding from? What am I searching for? Why do I dress to draw attention, yet hide for fear of not being accepted for who I am. I know just about now you’re thinking, ah…Connie you’re taking all the fun out of it. No, that’s not my intention. I love looking for Waldo just for the fun of it like everyone else. My point is in showing that there can be more to see than what meets the eye.
If I look outside my window on a cold dreary winter day. I can simple see my holly tree or see it as a beautify Christmas tree with strings of red berries. Twinkling lights of ice cover raindrops, with ornaments of red cardinal birds and squirrels munching away on their Christmas feast. I can look a friend in the eyes, and see their very soul or only notice what heir wearing on the outside. I can wallow in my own misery letting that be all I focus on or catch a glimpse of the daisy’s outside my window saying, “hello.”
I think there’s a kind of picture puzzle in all things whether it be a person, a situation, nature or even as far as the universe itself. If we’re not seeing these hidden pictures, then maybe we need to start asking ourselves what’s standing in our way. What’s so much more important than discovering all that life has to show and teach us. You don’t have to be a deep person to see, all you need is to get your ego out of the way. You don’t have to imagine what heaven will be like, it’s hidden in plain sight right here on earth. Ask Waldo, he’ll help you find it.