“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.
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.
“It is necessary that we release all thoughts—as well as things—that clutter up our lives.” -Ernest Holmes
I always feel excited at the beginning of a new year. It’s a great time to declutter my closets as well as my mind. I got a new journal, and planner. I’m in a place of personal growth and I’m mind mapping my way into this new year. That’s what I do. I take control, but you can’t plant a garden in the middle of winter. At least not where I live. I don’t like the feeling of being at a standstill, frozen in place. But even an ice capped river has life flowing beneath it. And I still have blood flowing through my veins. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. It works two ways, the soul sees through my human eyes, and that’s good, because it’s here after all, to have a human experience, but we also have the ability to see through the eyes of the soul. Hum! I wrote 50 goals down in my planner. That wasn’t easy for me. I couldn’t think of that many things off the top of my head, but I squeezed them out. They’re not all things to be done in one year. They’re basically the things we thing of from finishing my book to getting a good night’s sleep. The next step was to narrow it down to the 5 most important. My number one goal is mastering the connection between my mind, body and soul. Finding that balance that makes me feel whole. God always finds a way to confirm when I’m on the right track, this quote from the bible came out of nowhere, and there’s no denying the word of God.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Matt: 6:22-23.
What our eyes see, flows through our mind, and where our thoughts focus, we create light or darkness.
I posted the other day about being a ward of the state when I lived in Philadelphia. As I mentioned it’s been 50 years since I ran away from Stenton Child Center. I was 15, and the year was 1968. The same year Martin Luther King was assassinated. I can remember to this this day the screams I heard from the supervisors, and the other black girls in my section. I was one of the few white girls living in a prominently black community. I knew little about him, but then I didn’t know much about anything that was going on in the world. I was too busy worrying about what was going on in my little world.
I won’t get into all I went through in this post. What I will say is that no white person could ever possible know what it’s like to be in a black person’s shoes. I did, however, know how it felt to be a minority among the black people. Eventually there was no color between us, we were all in there for the same reason, and that became our bond. So, for a short time we were living Dr. King’s dream of equality for all in our own little part of the world. Unfortunately, when he died the bond between us was severed again, and we went back to being black and white instead of just human beings.
People ask me all the time; how did you live through all that and turn out to be okay? Like Martin Luther King, I had a dream too, and believed in a God who said it was possible. But God never gives us anything we don’t have to work at. Whether it’s a young girl dreams or a strong man’s passion, nothing is handed to us without hard work and sacrifice. I don’t have to wonder if dreams come true. I am living proof that they do, but keeping that dream alive takes work too. Maybe if we all had a dream of better things instead of focusing on what divides us we’d see the one thing that makes us all the same…our humanity.
“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
-William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”
And God is the compass that points the way.
It’s up to me
which way I sail,
Which way I go
Is where I’ll be.
Sometimes I feel
Alone at sea.
Inside of me.
I look for an answer
A narrow telescope.
There is nothing in sight
But a seagull
Why do I forget
Its easy to see.
It can’t get lost,
For its inside of me.
I am after all
Of my soul,
But it’s the compass
That shows me
Way to go.
“On Earth as It Is in Heaven”
I ask myself today how can I inspire in these troubling times. I wonder if anyone has hope enough to listen or faith enough to see. What is faith but the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, at least that’s what it says in Hebrews 11:1. It was the faith of two blind men that opened their eyes to see. As they came before Jesus asking to be healed, he simple said to them, “Do you believe?’ “Yes Lord,” they replied. He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done onto you.” And their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:27-30.
I think of myself as having a lot of faith. I am where I am today because of the hope and faith I held onto. Yet even when we’ve experienced miracles we can become complacent in our faith. I ask myself, do you have the faith of a mustard seed? That always boggled my mind. That all it takes is a tiny bit of faith to make good things happen in our life. Maybe it was the innocence of a child’s faith that allowed me to believe in what my mature adult self gets in the way of now. Maybe that’s the way we need to look at things…through the hopeful eyes of a child’s faith. Maybe then we can begin to experience all the good that God wants for us. Maybe then what is done on earth…will be as it is in heaven.