This morning as I tuned into the Today show Al Roker made the most torturous looking face when reminded that today is the beginning of the 2020 presidential election. I turned it off feeling the same unpleasant feelings that Al’s face portrayed.
Sitting in the quiet with my cup of coffee felt as blinding as the sunlight did after all this ran.
It felt like a much needed rude awakening, and I went into prayer:
”Hi God! It’s me! Do you remember me? Cause I was kind of hoping you could remind me who I am and what I’m here for.”
”Hi Connie! It’s God! Can you hear me cause I’ve been trying to get your attention but you’ve been kind of preoccupied lately.
-I’ve been trying to tell you to untether yourself from fear.
-To speak your truth, than let it go.
-That there is always hope as long as you’re living.
-To respect the uniqueness of each individual because as different as I created you each to be there is purpose in what each soul has to offer.
-Be mindful of what you think, say, do and eat.
-Remember the gifts I give you are the same I give everyone else freedom, choice and above all else love.
-Who you are is an expression of that from which you were created.
-Your soul’s purpose is to experience life right where you are and to be a living expression of that truth from which you come.
-Finally stop making things harder than they actually are, let go and let yourself…be.”
“From a little spark may burst a mighty flame.” -David Alighieri
Our thoughts come as quick as the strike of a match, and without paying much attention the thought it ignites…can warm our house or burn it down.
When we strike the match of fear, mindfulness gives us the opportunity to blow it out before that fear turns into a might flame of anxiety and stress.
That little spark of fear has been ignited under our country and it’s burst into a might flame. It’s burning away our hope and we’re feeding the flame with our own logs of fear.
Some of us keep throwing our buckets of hope on the fire trying to put the flame of fear out. It’s as exhausting as the firefighter who works hard to put a forest fires out. When it gets that out of control you have to fight fire with fire to keep it form going any further, meeting somewhere in the middle.
Right now voting is the only way we have to fight this flame of fear burning. If you don’t want to vote because you think it doesn’t matter than you’re ignoring the very fire that will eventually affect you. If you don’t know who to vote for simple go inside yourself deep down into your soul and ask for guidance. Which vote will contribute to the fire of fear and which one will help us to find a place closer to the middle where it can begin to burn out.
”And the day came when risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
We are like a rose bush full of many buds each one having a new lesson to teach us. Sometimes the lesson within one bud is more comfortable to open up to than the bigger harder lessons that come along. Letting go requires the trust for something better. Resisting only causes pain, suffering and discontent. Sometimes that pain becomes so overwhelming that the only thing left to do is let go and use it to grow into something better. It’s all about choice. Do I want to be a bud that never grows or a Rose in full bloom?
Today, I wonder why I feel so down. What is troubling me? Why do I feel as if I’m walking through a maze of undirected thoughts? As if I don’t know how to think anymore or what to trust. How can so many people be right, and so many wrong? I can’t seem to make sense of anything anymore. Then something I wrote a few years ago pops up to remind me how powerful our thoughts are.
“One thought of discord whether it be between people, things or ideas can be like a tiny spark in the woods creating a forest fire. One thought, that’s all it takes!
On the other hand, one thought of joy can have the same effect only it doesn’t destroy. It nurtures like rain quenching our thirst for something better. One thought that’s all it takes!”
Where do our thoughts come from?
The things we lay our eyes on. I can choose to see the beautiful roses in bloom or the weeds that grow around it.
I can turn the news on because I think I must always be informed. Or turn some music on knowing how much it feeds my soul. How good and alive it makes me feel.
I can talk about someone I don’t understand or talk about someone who lifts me up.
It’s all about the thoughts we choose to entertain and how we feed into them. Like the cowboy with his rope, we have to round our thoughts up. Grab hold of the ones that are out of control and take them out to pasture. Keep the ones that honor who we are, the ones that are life-giving and leave the rest behind.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. It’s funny how talking or writing it out helps us to see things much clearer.
“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?
“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.
I think as we journey through life we come to the end of each path wondering how am I going to get from here to there? Sometimes the next journey requires us to walk through valleys or up steep mountains, maybe even across paths of hot coals, or over wobbly bridges, and what about the ones that are paved in stones across the sky. Will, freedom, choice, trust and faith come into play surrounding me, and ego steps into view with its limited human perspective announcing that there is no way on earth to get from here to there. All the while the spirit within waits and watches patiently until will, freedom, choice, trust and faith can finally see past ego and into the depth of their purpose.
We walk through a period of our life being host of our soul. Showing it all there is to be seen through our eyes, senses and emotions much like a tour guide on a trip. But eventually the spirit within the soul becomes bored and tired of seeing the same thing as we circle round the Ring of Kerry over and again. We are at the point of our crossroad and it’s time for the ego to get out of the drivers set and let the spirit take the wheel. The spirit doesn’t’ need the maps or GPS to get us to the next path in life. It tells us now to sit back and enjoy the ride, choice is our ticket, trust is all we can take, will is what pushes us on the bus, and faith is what gives us the courage to take the first step, freedom is the weightlessness we feel as we let go of all the things that hold us back from moving on. As we travel once again around the Ring of Kerry on our way to the next destination we see as if for the first time because now it’s through the eyes of God.
Simplicity, patience and compassion are truly the three treasures I’ve learned to live by.
The lesson in patience came first for me as I was in the midst of raising four children. I asked for prayer from a wise woman, and she told me that when you pray for patience God gives you lots of opportunity to practice it. I was certainly getting lots of practice then, and did learn a great level of patience, but the learning didn’t stop with just that lesson. I found many other areas of my life that patience needed to be mastered, and I am still learning to this day.
I always had compassion for others. It’s a nice quality to have except when you’re always putting everyone else above yourself. The hardest area for me to work on was being compassionate toward myself. It required that I learn to love who I was, and I wasn’t able to do that until I saw myself through God’s eyes. As I became more loving and compassionate with myself, I found I was better able to serve others in a more compassionate way.
Simplicity came into play after years of trying to do everything the way I thought I was supposed to. It was actually in the midst studying the Bible over and again that the very word simplify began popping off the pages. I would always ask the question at the end of my readings, “what is it that you’re trying to teach me today Lord?” Then I would write the answer that came to me in my journal. What I wrote was a dialogue between God and me, what he told me was that I was making things far more difficult than He had created life to be. As I let go of trying to find the answers I was looking for, I found simplicity by trusting in the process. The more I let go the freer I became, and with that freedom came the deepest of understandings in the simplest of ways.
Simplicity, patience and compassion are the ingredients that come from love, and there is nothing more important we can do in life than to do all things through love.
Painted by Marnie Pitts
“No tree has branches so foolish as to fight among themselves.”-Native American Saying
Today I’m turning over a new leaf in my life. I start by thanking God for this day, and pray that I may see the many gifts He has in store for me. Like the leaves blowing on this windy day, may all the accumulated negativism I’ve let piled up around me blow away with them. I am thankful for the people in my life who I can always depend on to point me in the right direction. They are ever-present the same as all the other good things that continue, even when I lose sight of them. Forgiving myself begins the healing of all the dis-ease I’ve brought into my life that has literally made my body sick. I am free of the prison that held me bound. My ego is not happy as it now takes a back seat to my true-self. I can breathe the fresh air again, see the beauty of the perfect world God created, and I’m reminded of how important it is to honor all His creations.
I was thinking as my day began that it was going to be hard work keeping myself centered in this good place. However, as my day goes on I realize the hard work is only present when I go against myself.
“If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away.” -Tang-Shan Liang-Chich
To me this quote is a great reminder to bring it all in. It’s also a great example as we wind down to the last 3 days before the election. We cannot make a choice based on all the conflicting information that takes us away from what we base our own truth on. How does each candidate resonate with my own belief and truths? There’s this inner knowing that we all have within us. It’s a nagging voice that’s trying to be heard beneath all the other noise that the ego entertains. Where does the ego look for its truth but from that which it attaches itself to on the outside?
What does this all create, but a division within ourselves. If there is a division within us then it’s going to create a division outside of us, and it spreads like a disease. It has already become prevalent in our country. Now the concern is that whoever gets into office, the division will continue. I don’t want to be a part of planting this seed. All I can do is pull out the negative weeds it’s begun to grow in me.
The bottom line for me is in the clarity of the statement above. Look for the truth within your heart and soul. Don’t let the ego lead you astray. Some would say I don’t’ rely on myself. I rely on God. Well where do you think God exist? Within each of us. He didn’t create us to push aside who we are. He created us that He could experience life through us and with us. But it takes our cooperation and willingness to work as One. I have learned in my own life that when I’m feeling that sense of division it’s a sure sign that I’ve drifted away from the truth within. Until I find my way back I become a part of the problem that contributes to the division all around me.
As Saint Francis so simply taught, having peace on earth, can only happen when we first find it in ourselves.