“The Freedom to Be Me”
America, the land of the free. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where they could say, “I’m free to be me?” Is that not why our own ancestors came to this country in the first place? To live their lives in a way that would fulfill their potential and personal calling from God? But freedom is not merely entitled to those who come to America. The source of freedom was given to us by God from the very beginning when he created us in likeness. He taught and continues to guide us through his example. That through our thoughts, words, and actions we create the world we live in, the country, the family all the way down to ourselves. Freedom is not just a word. It is nothing without choice. That choice is like the stone you toss into the still waters, it creates a ripple effect and touches everything around you. So, while the freedom to be me is a beautiful God-given gift. It also comes with a great responsibility not just to the people around me but to this great big wonderful world I live in. The real power of freedom begins with you and me right where we find ourselves…now. So, on this special day of freedom and independence maybe we could all take a moment to pause and ask ourselves, am I adding to the better-good of all through my thoughts words and actions? Or could I make a new commitment on this 4th of July to do the best I can to forgive and love one another as God first loved us? I’m in! How about you?
I went to great length on Sunday to plan out my week. It’s the only way I can get the things I want done. I got up as planned and wrote for two hours. Got dressed so I could walk Lucy after I ate. While I was making my smoothie, it splattered all over me and the kitchen. I stood there; you know the way you do when time stands still, and you’re not sure if you want to scream or cry. I remembered how it was when my kids were little, and they’d drop milk on the floor all the time. I came to repeat the quote “That there’s no use in crying over spilled milk.” What’s done is done, and the only thing left to do is clean it up. As I was eating, I remembered a quote I read the other day. “Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” -St Francis de Sales
As I headed out the door to walk Lucy, I ran into my neighbor. She has a one year and is expecting her second child. The baby she’s carrying has some severe problems that will require surgeries as soon as it’s born. She and her husband have a lot of faith, and they’re trusting in God’s will. Instead of going on about herself she wanted to know how I was doing. She is living the words of St. Francis de Sales. She wasn’t going to let anything take her inner peace away, and yet she has every right to feel as if her whole world is upset.
As I proceed to walk on with Lucy, I thought how the unplanned things find a way of eating up our time. My well-planned morning wasn’t going as I’d anticipated. Yet, it’s those unforeseen things that remind us what’s important. That where we find ourselves is often where we’re supposed to be and what matters is being mindful of what those moments have to teach us. It’s in the space between the moments that we catch a glimpse of God. And grace fills us from our head to our toes with its everlasting peace. It’s where we find our caring heart too that makes us want to reach out and ask, what can I do for my neighbor today?
“‘A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make a new tree.”-Amelia Earhart
What a beautiful thought and visual of what one act of kindness can create. But it takes a moment of deep contemplation to see the vastness of its growth and potential.
On the other side of this is the act of meanness. A single act of meanness throws out roots in all directions as well, and the roots spring up and make a new tree.
The roots begin with the seeds of our daily thoughts. Those thoughts start from the moment we awaken each morning. That’s why it’s so important to take a few moments to reconnect with that beautiful source of Divinity (God) that exist within each of us. We have to act quickly because the ego often gets in the way first. And before we know it we’re in automatic mood going through our day never taking the time to think about the seeds we’re planting, and the roots were spreading along the way.
We have to keep in mind that if we want a better world, it has to begin with every action we take. If you don’t know where to start, then join me with one simply act of kindness today. Think of all the beautiful trees we’ll grow together.
”The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”-Ram Dass
What if the rosebud remained tightly folded within itself? Can you feel the tension of its resistance. It’s like it’s going against itself. All the energy it uses to hold itself back weakens and destroys it before it ever has the chance to know the full blossom of its purpose.
I’m not one to voice my opinion much about the things that go on in our country. I don’t like getting into political confrontations with people because everybody’s right and nobodies wrong, and nothing seems to change for the better. I am neither republican, democrat or independent. I vote as a non-partisan, but I don’t like being labeled. So, let’s just say I’m me. I try take everything I understand into consideration. Then I pray about it, because if decide anything without a God conscious mind all that I know to be good and right goes out the window. The things that we know to be true and right exist within every one of us. It doesn’t take rocket science to tap into it. All we have to do is get out of our own way. Push our pride aside and do what’s right. Do something because our children and grandchildren are dying because nothing is changing.
I didn’t always agree with what my Dad believed, but the one thing I admired about him was that he voiced his opinion to his representatives. He wrote letters about what he thought was right or wrong because he believed what he had to say was important enough to be heard. He was so passionate about it that he wrote with carbon paper so he’d have a copy of what he wrote to follow-up with. Today it couldn’t be any easier for us. All we have to do is look up our representatives on the internet and write a few lines to voice our own opinion. As a matter of fact, they prefer that to a letter. We need to do something, and we need to do it now. So, I encourage everyone reading this to take a few moments to consider what you think the right solution is to all these school shootings. Then write your representatives and voicings your opinion because that’s what they’re there for…to represent us. If they’re not, then let them know they won’t get your vote in the next election. Let’s take back the power that we’ve been investing in them.
Okay! I said enough. I’m getting a glass a wine. Than I’m sitting down to put my own words into action…I’m write my representatives now. I hope you will join me.
I was reading a wonderful article in my “Country Garden” magazine by Margaret Roach called “Sparrows.”
It wasn’t the particular title that caught my eye although I do love sparrows. It was the quote she wrote below it: “A busy life with a long to-do-list means some of the smallest things go unnoticed–but those small things can teach us big lessons.”
Sometimes I can’t even get to the task at hand because I’m too busy putting things on my to-do-list. Then onto the business of figuring out how I’m going to get them all done.
She goes on in the article to say; “If I could only slow down and be still someday, I’d (—-fill in the blank).” And I’m thinking to myself, I’m retired. I don’t have to do this or that if I don’t really want to. As a matter of fact I’m the one who writes about being in the moment all the time.
Sometimes having a snowy day where we can’t do much of anything else gives us the opportunity to slow down and ask ourselves that very question, what could I do?
I picked my magazine up because I’d been wanting to read it for a while. I opened it to this article first thing, and in this small gesture I got a reminder lesson on the more important things in life. All we have exist within our untamed moments, and if we’re too busy cluttering our thoughts with things to do later, we miss out on what life has to show and offer us…in the now.
I struggle like everyone else trying to figure out life. I wonder why this or that happens? Why people think the way they do? Why I can’t make everything better in the world? I call it the woe-is-me place. Like a fly caught in a spider web whining all my thoughts, feelings and emotions out-loud. It takes a lot of effort to pull myself out of the sticky web. Some days I can do it, and other days I remain trapped and unfocused. I turn to prayer, but nothing comes…until I let go. It is then that I begin to write, because that’s what I do, and an answer comes.
The spirit pours into your soul all that is good and right, perfect love. Remember the times your cup has overflowed with joy. It only takes receptivity to receive. The spirits only desire…is to give of Itself.
Whether you are willing to have the awareness or not, the spirit continues to pour. It is what you choose to see that places your hand over the cup or takes it away to receive.
How do I know the difference? I ask.
The simplicity of the answer is in knowing how you’re feeling. If you feel sick, tired, sad, depressed anxious or heartfelt sorrow. That is the first indication that you are blocking the flow. Awareness is the first step, action is next. Take your hand away from the rim of your soul, and let the spirit’s healing love flow through all your woe’s.
What I learned is, when I’m out of the way, letting go of what I can’t control. That’s when I enter into the flow of life, and all is good and right again. With the gift of receiving, comes the overflowing gift of giving. I realize what overflows from each of us…flows out into the world…because perfect love cannot be contained, and the beauty in turn is that we become an extension of that Love ourselves.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron
I love painting pictures with my words. It starts when I’m trying to figure something out. I visualize what I’m thinking in an animated or metaphoric way that helps me make sense of it. So, what is my carpet bag of baggage?
It’s a rug big enough to fit all the stuff I’ve collect along the various journeys of my-life. It’s an ugly carpet, full of untruths, most of them having to do with my self-esteem. It’s all tied together with the black rope of fear. I’m so used to carrying it around that I don’t even feel how much it’s weighing me down most of the time. It’s in those moments when I’m paying attention to life that it falls off my shoulder. It’s a wonderful feeling as if I’ve sucked in some helium and I’m floating right above the ground. And I wonder why it can’t be like this all the time.
When the black rope of fear sees me happy it starts to untie itself around the carpet. Moving like a snake. Fear knows I’m afraid of snakes. It’s the way it gets my attention. As the carpet bag begins to slowly open all the dreadful demeaning voices jump around shouting me, me, me pick me. All it takes is for me to believe one demeaning thought of worthiness, and I’ll find myself standing upon the rug that fear uses, to pull the joy right out from under me.
But I’m seeing a little clearer now. They say, you have to see what needs changed, before you can change it. As the quote says about, “nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” I’m learning one thing for sure, that as big as fear looks, what lies on the other side of it is majestic.