Jesus vs the Joel Osteen’s of the World

So, I just saw a photo of Joel Osteen in his million dollar private jet that he does not have to pay taxes on, while the people paying him all this money for tickets do have to pay taxes. Yes, they can deduct what they give to the church. But is this really what Jesus was about? Where in the Gospels or anywhere else does it talk about his followers being rich? All I’ve read about Jesus and his followers is how much they suffered for believing in him. They were hungry and did not have a lot of things. Yet, today those who teach “The word of God” are in large mansions, flying in million dollar jets; fancy clothes, rich jewelry. And they say they are blessed by God. Well I am not a fan. Whatever I have read about Jesus, was about him being AMONG the sick, poor and sinners. He didn’t preach from a fancy podiums, nor rich, fancy churches He spoke to the people where they lived. No fancy sermons. He simply prayed for Gods help and just spoke about his father from his heart. When you speak from you heart, only truth can come. Is it wrong for preachers to be comfortable or rich? Perhaps not. After all, can they help it if people are ignorant enough to pay to hear them preach or read their books? I simply have a problem watching these rich fancy speakers telling their followers what they want to hear; or what they need to do to be “saved.” living so richly that they forget who needs to know about the love of God. The street people, the terminally ill, the elderly, you get my point. These are the people Jesus would walk among. And! This amazing spiritual teacher NEVER promised his listeners they would be blessed with riches. No, he spoke only of God and his love for the poor and the sinners. If they followed him they would have strength. It would come, I believe, through their faith in God’s love for them. Not from receiving “rewards” as a good follower. So why are folks drawn to these speakers of God? I watched Joyce Meyers for a bit. Wanted to see her, listen to her. Then I went to one of her speaking engagements here in Denver CO. You know what I experienced? A well rehearsed show. And that is what these people, I believe, are all about. Showmanship. Give a good show, tell the people what they want to hear and bang, the money comes flowing in and you are rich. Oh I am sorry, you are blessed. While these speakers, (notice I don’t call them preachers) are in safe places wearing rich clothes, the poor are not hearing them, they are in the streets where there is no television or radio. But that’s ok. They are not who you are trying to reach are they? No, you are trying to reach out to those who have the money to pay for a ticket to hear you. Am I judging? Damn straight. Because I hear your words, you use bible verses to suit your cause and leave the most important lessons behind. Where was Jesus? In the streets, in the homes of sinners, dirty people, poor people. Jesus wasn’t sharing God’s truth for money or comfort, but because it was his real truth. He said the kingdom of God is within you. Nor up in heaven. Within you. I feel this is a spiritual message, not a religious dogma. And I cannot believe for one minute that he would be happy watching people like Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers and other rich evangelical getting rich off fancy words this wonderful teacher, Jesus, never intended to be used in this manner. If I were a believer, I certainly would love to see the risen Christ come back right now and take on the Joel Osteen’s of the world. Get rid of that damn jet and put some people back in homes they have lost; food in the mouths of orphans you preach so much about saving. Do you really need all that you have? Really? I can’t help but wonder if Jesus would be proud of your ability to reach out to so many lost people through your workers; or would he be disappointed that you didn’t use your means to reach out to those who truly need to “see” the love of God through example and giving. I get nauseas anytime I see people like Joel or Bennie. I see ego. Plain and simple. They have made themselves out to be Gods themselves to these followers. The attention is on them, not Jesus. A true spiritual person who truly follows the teachings of this spiritual teacher, Jesus, is out in the dredges of the slums and sick showing God’s love. Mother Theresa is a great example of this. So to all you rich evangelicals, I say, “shame on you!” Why aren’t you in the streets with the poor, dirty, sick human beings, working alongside them, risking your own life and health instead of fancy mansions and jets? But this is all just my opinion. I guess I feel strongly today about this because it is such an important holiday to these “followers “.

Get out and vote! Why Bother?

So Bernie Sanders has won several caucuses over Hilary Clinton. What are the people telling the Government? They want Sanders. But he won’t win. Why? Because the two parties are the only parties allowed to run in the end. Even though we the people show who we want, our votes won’t count. Not when it comes to the primary votes. It is rigged in such a way that only a Democrat or Republican will be in the final running. So why do we vote?  The Independent voters and independent Presidential candidates don’t count.

What are the two parties afraid of? Especially the Republican party? I believe they are afraid they will not be able to tell an Independent President how to run the country. The rich corporations and insurance companies won’t have a hold on the Independent President. An independent, I believe, would truly be for the U. S. and its citizens than any President we have had in many years.

We need someone strong enough to stand up to  these big corporations and insurance companies. A whole new Senate committee who are for the people., not for the money they will get for doing what these mongrels want.

People want change. But we won’t get it. Not as long as we hold onto the two parties.We need to take power back away from the super delegates as well. Don’t give them the final decision over who can run in the final campaign. Let ALL citizen votes count throughout the whole campaign. Take away the parties; let all citizen;’s votes  count. If we are not doing this, then why do we have a voting system where only a republican or democrat  can run in the final running. We want change. What doesn’t the government get? We want our jobs brought back to America, what don’t these corporations get? We are paying thousands of dollars for insurance only to have to pay even more out of pocket before the insurance companies will pay. What don’t they get? They are killing their own people. Greed has become the norm, the power that runs our country. Citizens don’t matter. And that is what is causing people to be discouraged about voting and about their government.

Why would we want to support our a government refuses to protect us from these rich power’s? Why would we want to serve our government when it won’t even protect or take care of those who are badly mutilated serving it?  These young men and women are giving up their lives for this country and they still have to pay for all their uniforms! Yet we put clothes on the backs of  those who come over here illegally and learn quickly how to manipulate the system. Sorry folks, Trump has it right when it comes to our government being stupid by allowing all these people from other countries to just come over without question.

I may not be familiar on how the government works; I may not understand the system of allowing people from other countries to just come over here and get aide to start over;and  build  their own businesses, even though we cannot own land or business in their country! I do know this does not make sense. That it is nor in the best interest of the American people. Is it no wonder our youth are joining these enemy groups who are against our country?

No, I honestly don’t believe my vote will count in the end. Yet republicans are loud about those of us who don’t want to vote. I too believe if you don’t vote, you have no place to complain. I will vote. But it will not be for either party. I will throw my vote away to an independent, a no body, before I vote for either republican or democratic party.

Comparing My Insides to Your Outsides

Well I am back. Never really went anywhere, not in my head anyway. But been struggling with trying not to compare myself with others these past months. It is truly disheartening to see young women filled with such self confidence and intelligence with technology, not to mention careers and what they want from life. Each year I go through this process as my birthday comes closer. I look back and realize I am the same person I was last year. Same job, same husband, (I guess that parts good), same home, same insecurities blah blah blah. And it makes me wonder. What am I doing so wrong?

However, this year I can look back and see how I have grown, and how I have begun to change into the woman I hope to become. Instead of looking at women I wish I were like, I have started acting like it! What a concept huh? Also, I look at my job that is going no where and began using it as a practice job for the position I will be in one day. (Did you notice the positive affirmation I just did?). For instance I find myself minding my own business more and staying out of gossip, or keeping from starting it. I firmly but respectfully stand up to those who feel they are superior. And most important I have surrounded myself with women who encourage and love me just as I am, and are also there to encourage where I could change for better. It doesn’t matter how old you are, inside we are all those insecure little boys and girls at times. We just see others outsides and assume it is their insides as well.

I had read other blogs and looked at them and suddenly felt so insecure and inferior. They were all so professional and set up so nicely! Pictures even! I don’t’ have the luxury of a teen or fellow blogger to help me work out the kinks nearby. But a woman told me and a friend what a great writer I was and how I needed to get back at it. So here I am, insecure and fearful. But I am here. My goal last year if I remember right, was not allowing fear to rule my life any longer. And of course as soon as I realized people were reading my blog and although they loved it, it filled me with fear of continuing to write what they would like or not like. I need to remind myself I am writing for myself and because I love it. Actually I love writing and rewriting. The editing is so much fun.

My husband is talking about retiring in a few years. If you don’t think that sent chills up my spine! When did he have the right to get so old? And why is he aging and getting grumpier so much faster than I am? Then reality sinks in and I realize, I am aging right alongside him. Everyday as I do my data entry position I notice how old my hands are looking. When I am crocheting or knitting, I again notice the stiffness that wasn’t there a week ago. My hair is changing color faster and it isn’t coming out of a bottle! I just keep seeing all these new changes happening to my body at an alarming rate of speed and my immature young mentality is not catching up! And yes, there are days when I am terrified.

My husband left for a week long trip yesterday and for a week prior I was having anxiety attacks. All the old “what ifs” came storming into my head. What if he doesn’t make it back? What if he has a stroke or heart attack so far from home? What if, what if. What if I just shut my thoughts off and move on!! First I can’t wait to get rid of the grump for a few days, then I am worrying about losing him. Wish my mind could make itself up already. I do love the guy, but lets face it, I don’t always like him. Some days I want to just smack him a long side his head and scream “Shape up already!”.

So today I enjoyed my regular Saturday brunch lunch with a woman I met and it was so much fun. In the back of my mind though, I caught myself thinking how strange that I didn’t have to think about my spouse and what he was doing while I was sitting here eating with a friend. Of course that means I was still thinking about him! I just can’t win. Lets face it, if my thoughts are focused on him and what he is doing, I don’t have to look at what I am doing. That is a great way to avoid looking at what needs to be changed in me. but it is also a way to miss out on the joy of the moment. That isn’t something I want to continue doing any longer. I am ready to face the truth of life and change what I can and find a way to live with what I can’t. Thank goodness I have a Power greater than myself that guides me and fills me with peace and encouragement whenever I think of her or go to her for comfort.

Writing is so therapeutic. I can never understand why some find it so difficult. It is fun, hard work, but the joy is finding out that the more transparent I become, the less alone I feel in these life situations. My journaling is never meant to hurt anyone and this has stopped me from always being completely open about what is going on or speaking up when the moment is right. but how can this be helpful to you, the reader and to myself? My philosophy of late has been, “No more hiding who I am.” No more secrets. Yes, this can and will set me up to be ridiculed and judged. Maybe I will lose a few friends or family member relationships. I hope it wouldn’t, but that’s not realistic. As a writer of truth we have to be willing to risk losing a few relationships when we share intimate things about ourselves.

This is the next best thing to being “Dear Abby” as I can think of . I always thought it would be so much fun to have people ask me for advise and give it like she did. So instead, I will end this year of my life writing more stories about myself, my life before and now, daily events that are funny or frustrating, and hope to hear others are reading these events and feelings and identifying with me. More importantly, they will gain hope and encouragement that they are not alone or crazy in their thoughts. Or maybe we are and its that is ok too, just so long as we are not harming ourselves or others in the process. I am sadly guilty of both. But am so grateful I can say that in past tense. Not that I don’t continue to hurt others unknowingly. but there was a time I did it intentionally out of anger or ego.

Well, this is a short and very simple post, but I knew if I didn’t put something on here I may never get back at it. So back to the disciplining. Writing every day, and even if I don’t hit the “post” button the first writing, at least I will have written something that day. Life is changing quickly for me emotionally, physically and spiritually. The best time to write don’t you think?

Let it begin with Me

I am beginning a new life experience. I am excited to once again share who I was, where I’ve been emotionally and spiritually, and where my Mother God has lead me to. Once again the excitement to write is back. A friend’ just earlier this evening inspired me to get back on this blog and write. She said I had something other people could relate to and needed to know they were not alone. And that is exactly why I started this blog. I want all of you to know those of us in our senior years are not alone and less important the younger people. Writing about my life, my experiences  not only help me to feel good about reaching out to others, but it also frees me from the shame, fears and sense of no longer being important in this age where only the young matter. I look forward to the day I begin to hear back from readers and their input and experiences as well, and how they over came insecurities and fears. I don’t know who you, the reader is, and  yet I feel we know each other by our common thoughts and experiences. Lets face it. Life looks uncertain for us baby boomers. The future does not look bright and secure if you don’t have a large bank account, a rich relative to leave you their house or money. But we can at least know we are not alone. That if it came to be; we will at least have one another to share our cardboard boxes on the streets.

Seriously though, where do I begin? For now all I can do is “throw up” my thoughts onto this paper and see where the words go. Trust my Mother Spirit to put the right words into the right sentence. Later I can go back and clean up the mess and move words around so they make sense and are coherent   at she directs me.

Someone asked me what type of  audience was I trying to reach? Well, being as this is my journal, it will no doubt resonate more with the older generation. How many 20 year old young ladies for instance stare in the mirror and notice more wrinkles or gray hairs that were not there the day before. I remember so clearly when this began to happen to me. I was upstairs in the bathroom brushing my teeth and when I raised up my head I noticed my eyes were more droopy than usual. My eyelids were not going back up. So I rinsed my face and thought they would be back to normal as the day went on. But to my astonishment, (horror is more like it),  I noticed later that day the droopy eye lids were still droopy! They had not risen back up. I literally screamed to my husband who was watching t.v. downstairs, “Oh my God, Steve, my eyes have fallen and they aren’t going back up!” At that moment I knew I was no longer the young lady with the big pretty brown eyes. Now I had wished I had my glasses back to hide behind.

Slowly over the past two years I notice that changes to my physical body are developing on a rapid pace, almost daily. I still look good for 58, people are surprised when I tell them how old I am, (God please don’t let this be kindness). It still remains a sad fact though; my body is aging. So what am I going to do? Sit down and feel sorry for myself? Continue to waste more years sitting around watching more of my life go on without my participation?  Being bombarded with ads about looking younger doesn’t help my self esteem much.  I blame the media. Their subtle brain washing through ads and commercials. Have you notice how commercials for perfume, clothes, cars and jewelry all have slim beautiful women in them? And of course they have to look sexy as well. Why in the world do you have to be sexy to eat a fat, messy cheeseburger?  I mean really, the girl dong the ad probably runs to the bathroom to throw it all up. We all know we aren’t going to stay slim eating a fast food cheeseburger, and we certainly aren’t going to look sexy with the sauce running down our chins.  I don’t know about you, but when I go out to eat, I want to enjoy my food without worrying about how I look. Commercials are telling our young population that plain over weight women don’t have the right to drive a fancy car or buy nice jewelry. No, commercials for us are the Windex commercials, the detergent commercials and of course the family commercials for frozen dinners. They are not fancy restaurants and wine. They don’t even use older women to advertise certain moisturizers, special skin soap or lotions, no they use a young lady who does’t look a day over 20 to sell face cream to make you longer! How young does she want to look, 15? We get the depend commercials, the under pads that look like underwear. Viagra.

Maybe I am just jealous. I don’t like that my hands are winkled and fingers are getting arthritic, or that I grunt when I get up from a sitting or leaning down position. But that is my reality. Each time I notice something else, like growing a mustache and having to plunk these darn hairs that come out of nowhere; and of course I don’t find them until they are a foot long. Then my poor husband gets screamed at for letting me go out in public with a hair sticking out like a wart.

It is scary to know I am getting older. That it takes more effort to do the physical activities I once enjoyed without paying for it later in pain. Its not easy to be in my fifties and still not have accomplished anything worth bragging about. Instead, I am just finally learning what it is to be a healthy, respectful woman. It is still hard to stand up for myself with authoritative people, or strong personalities. The insecure little girl comes rushing back to remind me I am not suppose to talk back, I am not worthy of their respect.

However, lately I am being blessed more and more with things that really matter. Friendships. Relationships based on healthy respect for one another. Laughing at each other’s mistakes or silly thoughts. I now have women who encourage, not put down. Friends who treat me as their equal, and respect my opinions. The greatest thing about these new friendships is that they accept it when I continuously get lost trying to find the restaurant we are meeting at; or that I have no idea that some things are best left alone. They laugh “with” me; not “at” me. For the first time in my life I am not just knowing others love me; but feeling it, believing it is genuine, and that means I am really  lovable, and not because I did something for them. How cool is that. You know something else? I realized that by my insecurities, weird thinking turn out to be what attracts others. My sometimes strange antics  are the very things others find me fun and enjoyable to be around.

On the other spectrum, I have come to realize sadly, that when I back away or disappear out of fear or embarrassment, They actually miss me and are hurt that I no longer visit with them in a group we are in together. I honestly believed no one cared if I didn’t show up. That I wouldn’t be missed or my absence would be noticed. By meeting regularly with these new friends, I am learning through them what a healthy relationship looks like. And that healthy relationships are fun, trustworthy and honest. I do not have to agree with everything my friends or people I respect do. This is called unconditional love. What a concept. It isn’t necessary to get angry in order to get a response I want; or to pout when others treat me disrespectfully. Actually I can be quite childish when I feel hurt or unimportant. I sulk and behave like a 14 year old. And look stupid in the process. But again, these friends in my life don’t judge me; don’t run away or scold me for being an idiot. Instead they laugh because they too have reacted in situations in the same manner.

I guess we are always evolving; growing, changing. And isn’t that great? Because as we change and learn from our mistakes and wrong behavior, we become better people; we get to look in the mirror and smile because today we are a better person than we were yesterday. Each day these past few months Mother Spirit within has continually shown me and whispered to me what I need to do; and that is, to always do the right thing no matter how difficult or humbling it may be. To mend a relationship with someone I have to work with, or got into a heated disagreement with, it can even be something I just don’t want to deal with out of fear of how the other person might react. Again I am reminded what the important part of change and maturity is, and that is to “Let it begin with Me”. Not wait until the other person apologizes or changes to my satisfaction. No, what is right is to always do the next right thing. And to remember, It is not always about me. Boy oh boy, growing up in later life is a difficult thing. And embarrassing as well when I keep it to myself. When I share stupid or wrongful behavior I did with a trusted friend, I am told I am not alone in these reactions. I am able to laugh at my mistakes or embarrassing reactions. However that does not take away my responsibility to do the next right thing. I still have to make the amends for the harm or hurtful feeling I may have caused. Again, its living with the reminder; “Let it begin with me.”

God of My Own Understanding

There was a time, a very long time ago when I thought I had faith in God. I would talk to him at night during the day. I even started going to church and believing whatever they told me about who God was and what I needed to do to be “saved”. These people had such faith, how could they be wrong? In the church I belonged to, 90% had good lives. Big gorgeous houses; beautiful clothes. No worries in the world. At least that is what I assumed. I remember always feeling like the kid in the Charlie Brown cartoon, Pig pen, when I walked into the building and sat down. It took time for the women to talk to me and find that I was not interested in their husbands. And yes, unfortunately I was wrong. These women turned out to be a blessing in my life. They warned me that my new found faith would blow up in my face one day. That because I strongly believed in God’s love for me and that he would never let anything more bad happen to me, that when something bad came into my life my faith would disappear.  How could they say such a thing? How could they preach faith one day and turn around the next and tell you your faith would be tested one day. I just didn’t believe it.

Well, they were right. One day my husband at the time told me he wanted a divorce. He only married me because that was what he should do at his age; get married. I remember a fog slowly form around me. I was safe in this fog. I did not have to feel. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. And I certainly didn’t want to talk to God. Once again I was made to feel like a fool by my faith in a God I thought I believed in. Then it struck me, I was believing in the church’s concept of God. A God of judgement, testing those who he loved; testing our love and loyalty. What kind of God would create us kmnwing one day we would destroy the beautiful life on this planet? No, the more I heard at church, the less I believed in a God of THEIR understanding. I knew it was time to find a God of MY understanding. I needed the God I had in early sobriety. The God I did not need to understand or know; just had to believe he was there and heard everything I said. And every so often this God would show Itself through a “coincident”. I once heard, Coincident’s are God’s way of staying anonymous. Now, once again I believe in a Power Greater than Myself. One that I do not need to understand or put in a box. A God of all Life and creation. We are all part of this Universe, connected through this Higher Being.

If you really think about it; it is pretty arrogant to believe we could understand a God who is powerful enough to Create such a Universe. Where everything is made perfect. But we humans have become our own god. Creating and manufacturing machines and pesticides for things creation was doing all by itself. Did you know that bats eat insects? Yes, they come out at night and the pesty insects we hate. But I guess they don’t it well enough to suit us so we created pesticides. A chemical that not only kills insects, but is toxic to us as well. Is this not crazy? If you believe God is the creator of all that exists, why do you litter? Why do you seek to destroy His creation? No, sorry, don’t buy it.

The God of my understanding doesn’t expect or need anything from me. However I need all from God. Strength for when life is difficult, Courage for when I am afraid or have lost someone important, or a job; I need my God for inner peace when I am in turmoil and my emotions are all over the place. The God of my understanding has no beginning or end and all of us, all that has life in it, are apart of the Higher Being because we are apart of the Universe. We were born into a world filled with greed, envy, anger, murder. But we don’t have to let these things consume our every waking moment. At least that is what I have to keep telling myself. You see, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, my life is filled with worry and fear. And that is why every day I start with a simple prayer I learned about serenity, courage and wisdom. I have to accept I am powerless over people and what they do or how they choose to live; not to mention what they think about me. When I can accept I am powerless over others and situations, that trying to control what happens, my life becomes unmanageable. I am working on “Letting Go, and Letting God.” It is not easy for me to trust in Power I believe in, yet don’t necessarily believe it cares about someone as insignificant as me. Trust, it is a big word for but I am watching my life unfold in a different way and watching out for small miracles and “coincidences”. For those times where I am afraid, and suddenly I walk through the fear believing this Power is with me giving me courage. And after I have walked through the fear, (or drove through it in a winter storm), it fills me with more faith and a sense that maybe, just maybe I am not who I believe I am. Perhaps I am stronger and better, but it is hidden deep down by mistrust of the Power’s love for me.

Each day I grow closer and closer to believing in a God of MY understanding. A God that is too big for me to define. As I continue on this journey, as I talk more regularly to this Power greater than myself, I believe I will gain back that strong faith I once had before I allowed humans with good intentions tell me who this God is. We are all a family in this universe and as my husband puts so well; This Power greater than all of us, is gentle enough to give each of us an understanding we can turn and trust in God. We will all have our different beliefs and that is OK. It is OK to believe differently, but it is also important that we do not force our personal faiths on others. That we do not judge our fellow brother and sisters in this Power of life. That is playing God. Our purpose while here on this planet, is to help, love and give hope to one another, at least that is what I believe.

So, I will leave it at that. I have an understanding of who God is in my life today, and I believe it will always be changing, and yet staying the same. I love being on the spiritual journey.

To be Child-Like, is not being Childish

A dear friend of mine gave me a suggestion a few months back when I was struggling with who my God was or if he/she/it was. She had me get a cork board and start putting pictures of things that make me happy and feel spiritual. Another dear friend offered to paint a large tree on it, as I love tree’s so very much, as I do all nature. I asked her to not put leaves on the tree, I wanted my pictures to be the leaves.

Well, my God had an even better idea. My friend found her voice from painting the tree and made 12 hearts from the branches; subtle but there. It is beautiful. At first I couldn’t bring myself to put anything on it. Then one day I put an owl I had cut out, on one of the branches. Next I put a picture of a Goddess or Mother fairy down at the bottom of the tree trunk. As I sat in bed that night looking at my tree; I saw what I wanted. Birds on each tree; (owls) and quotes. I want to keep it simple as it will be more relaxing. But the child deep down within me saw something else. Her imagination was set on fire. As I continued the tree with all its forms, my eyes continued to be drawn to the Mother Goddess, Fairy if you prefer; but I could suddenly imagine the Mother Fairy going into the tree where there was a whole new world. It reminded me of the closet in the book by C.S. Lewis, The Witch, The Lion, and The Wardrobe.” It made me smile as I imagined that world a part from ours where anything was possible.

So what does this have to do with letting your child within come out? It has shown me how little I allow myself to do things because it is “immature or childish”. I realize now the difference between being childish (immature) versus “Child-like”. To be child-like is let the innocence within come to the surface and create. Or as I like to say; give yourself a voice. I like to write; but I also like to create things. Making a collage or cutting out pictures for my “God” board is very creative and brings up feelings of happiness, serenity and something to meditate about. Not to mention, helping me to find a God of my understanding; one that brings me strength, courage, love and yes, a voice in which to share things I learn or acquire.

Once I began to allow the little girl within to come out to play; and by this I mean, allow the innocence  and freedom to do things, create things that I believe God created all of us to be; it has become apparent just how creative and loving I would like to be. It has given me the courage to be child-like and find my voice. In whatever manner my God chooses for me. And I believe the more I add to my tree of life, (that just came to me for what to call my tree), the more I will come to know my Higher Power, God. In the meantime, I continue to talk to the God I do not understand, and I try to be still and listen for his voice to speak to me.

This project has lead me to other forms of being child-like. For instance, I have been busy knitting dish cloths, something I love to do. I also pulled out my pencils and drawing pads that were hidden away for a few years now due to my fear of learning I can’t draw. Now I am free to draw, not to make a beautiful drawing, but to draw for the fun of it. If it turns out horrible so what? I just throw it away and draw another. It is the process of playing with creativity that causes it to be fun. Coloring books also bring me a quiet joy. It relaxes me. Again I had not bought a coloring book for many years for fear of appearing immature and childish. How can feeling relaxed and happy be childish or immature I had asked myself one night last week. How can doing things I enjoy, whether I am good at it or not be a bad thing? If I am judged harshly, isn’t that about the one judging, not myself?

Creativity is about using whatever tools you have to use for creating something. I use yarn and needles to create a beautiful afghan for my son, Pens and pencils are used to write letters and loved ones notes or cards. Something as simple as cutting out pictures and quotes can bring large doses of happiness and wonderful thoughts. You can think of anything you make as being creative. And sometimes this can cause us to feel like little children. Is that a bad thing? Is it hurting you or someone else? If not, then I say, go for it, put all your energy into it. Bring some fun and happiness back into your life with simple tools like crayons and coloring books or paints. Whatever brings you calmness and joy.

To be child-like and allow that child within to surface, we allow ourselves to grow into loving, peaceful, creative individuals. And tell me; how is this a bad thing? Its not. My life is about a small group of friends who encourage me to create. These wonderful ladies show interest and joy when they see my ideas, watch me grow into a better human being. I don’t know what my life would look like without them. I would no doubt still be living in constant fear of the unknown; still be allowing unhealthy relationships into my life that cause conflict and insecurity to fester within. Now as I have been taking time to get to know people and make better decisions about who I allow into my small circle of friends, I find my life becoming more abundant and fulfilling. It is no longer a bad thing to feel like a child when creating something using what adults consider children’s tools, like crayons and paint by numbers. I suddenly remember the cut out dolls with clothe you attached with tabs that you folded over the doll. I remember even as a girl, drawing new clothes for my doll and feeling so proud of my work. It made me feel happy and pleased with myself. I realize I have to let go and be who I want to me; and to let child like thoughts and ideas come out to the surface.

I realize this is short, but I just felt like sharing something positive and uplifting. Hoping there is a reader who will gain encouragement to allow herself or himself to let down their guard, their unhealthy belief that it is wrong to be child-like. To do things that perhaps you think of children doing, not adults. Go ahead. Do it! Climb that tree you have been looking at. Jump into that pool others are enjoying. Color that picture you have been dying to color! Please, allow the little one within, the creative one, to come to the surface. Set her/him free for just a little while each day to create and bring you joy and a true sense of happiness. I assure you, it is an experience you will enjoy once you stop asking yourself, “what will people think?”

It was very difficult, painful even, to allow myself to let down my guard and play. Enjoy life each moment or brief moments. But now, as I slowly allow myself simple joys, I am becoming a better, happier woman. A woman I hope others want to be around. Not to complain to or to judge, but to play with. To share our creative side with one another. I don’t know if you will be encouraged to try this little exercise after you have read the ideas; but I know I am going to continue being child-like at moments through out the day when I feel her strongly wanting to come to the surface. Why wouldn’t I? She is very creative and funny. I like her. And if I can say I like the creative one within, I can say I like another piece of myself. Soon, these likes will eventually turn into love for myself.

So friend, please try to find that child hidden deep down and allow her to come out and play. You may be surprised to find you have hidden talents you never knew you had! Better yet, you just might find some happiness in yourself. I have. And that is why I am going to continue to play and do the things that make me feel good. I am going to  give myself and others permission to be child-like! And with that my dear reader, I am going to close this post and go eat a box of Cracker Jacks! Who knows, perhaps I will even look for the prize inside!

Baby steps towards discipline

16

I had a war going on in my head all afternoon. As a matter of fact it is still going on. I wanted to go to my new writing group, yet felt sick and not at all up to sitting for two hours writing. And yet what would be the difference from writing at home in my bed or on the couch feeling ill, or going to the writers group and getting some input, and probably get my mind off this illness for a while. Besides, writing at home is great while my husband is out, but when my husband comes home it will no longer be quiet and then I will have to move to the bedroom. But if I went to the writer’s group I would be around others writing. That can be very distracting for me. Especially listening to others typing. What could they possibly be writing and why is it so easy for them? But the real reason I didn’t go was because I didn’t feel good; and my legs feel like they are on fire from the back issue. Of course they would still be burning if I went to the writers group or stayed home alone. I wonder sometimes lately, if there isn’t something else going on. Could I be using my physical ailments to avoid going out where I will be surrounded by people?

Am I afraid to go after what would bring more joy into my life, perhaps a different job? Getting more involved with people doing activities I enjoy? But then the voices come back again; “Who would hire you at your age? And what do you have to offer this world of technology?” or “Its a younger generations world now, time to accept where you are and try not to lose the job you have.” And who would want to spend time doing fun activities with you anyway, you are always sick or in pain. But still. A little voice whispers constantly lately, “Wouldn’t you like to do something else? Wouldn’t you prefer a happier atmosphere? Healthier? Maybe even a little more professional?” Not just in a job position, but everyday life activities. I find myself getting excited at the fact that yes, I want more for myself. But then I wonder, can I realistically believe there is another position out there for someone in her late 50s? Or are there people out there who would actually want to do activities with me. I can’t hike long trails, I do have limits to what I can do. See, more fears, more excuses to avoid life. Living life, not just existing through it.

Oh my goodness. It just hit me, late 50s! That means close to early 60s! Which means late 60s, which means; well you get the picture. Lets face it. If I don’t take a risk and just at least look at possibilities I can only blame myself. No one else. And that my friend stinks. There is no more time to waste worrying what might or might not happen. What people will or will not think about me. All the time I might have left has to be spent “living” and for me, living is writing. I am the happiest when I am writing, or when I am out in the mountains where I can only see trees and wooded areas. No buildings.

So, now I have been writing for 20 minutes. The time is just flying. I don’t know if what I am writing makes sense to anyone, but it is helping me sort things out in my rattled mind. Hundreds of ideas and thoughts run through my little head like tiny atoms. Just buzzing around each other but not really connecting. Not until that is, I start writing it out. Sometimes I need a friend to talk things out. Either way, it gets the juggling to slow down enough to look at what is reality. What is the real truth. And what is false or old lies I am still carrying inside me.

So, as you probably guessed, I chose to stay home. Part of me regrets this decision, the other part is happy to be home alone where it is quiet and I can just punch away at the keyboard undisturbed or distracted by noise and people around me. Its just how I am. My friends think I am over sensitive to noise around me. They are right. But that is not the topic for today’s blog. No, today I want to see if others in their later 50s or in that range who are still having to work feel as stuck as I do. Are we choosing to stay where we are for the right reason? And are there other areas in our lives that we are simply accepting or choosing to do for the wrong reasons. Fear, guilt, uncertainty. Do we accept things because it is easier than changing it? Change takes courage. It is a risk. Risk of rejection. Losing relationships. Making a wrong decision. Now that would really stink. To talk a risk and find it was a bad move.  Ouch. And then to have people who tried to talk you out of it tell you they told you so! Talk about broken down humiliated pride! I don’t know if I am ready for that. And so, here I am, safe at home by myself.  Am I happy? Do I regret my decision? Of course. I get energy being around people. I get ideas. So why do I avoid it?

This is the same old conversation I have been having with myself all my life. Making excuses not do something or go somewhere. Too sick. Don’t have the time. (Sure know a lot of t.v. series though). Then I sit around whining because I see women all around me living life. Taking chances. Going for it, whatever “it” is. Do I really  want to wake up at 60 and see the same woman I was in my 40s? When did it happen? This sense of not wanting to put effort into things. Being too tired to try new things. It is so much easier to just come home, put on my pajama’s and lie on the couch and read. Or to be perfectly honest, watch some dumb reality t.v. show. Did I just admit to that on my blog? I have to admit there are also some good comedy series on this season as well. I tell myself to just let the younger folks have this world, they have the energy and ideas for it. I’m too tired. Then other times I am full of ideas of what I am going to do. I am filled with excitement.

For instance,  I set up a great little corner in my room just for writing. Even found a small cute original desk to use. And its been there for several months now, unused. Well, I can’t use the chair I have with it; not comfortable. And I am staring at wall with my back to the door, doesn’t feel right. No I can’t move it, I would have to rearrange the whole bedroom! OK. If I truly needed to, I would. See what I have to live with on a daily basis? All these little back and forth arguments on why or why not to do something. So what if I write and never amount to much. There will always be better  writers than me out there. Younger people are always going to come along with great ideas to write about, and, they have the energy of youth to go out there and find their story source. My goodness, I am lucky I have energy after work to drive home!

What happened to me? Where did all my energy and out going spirit disappear to? And when did it start? I need to know so I can  get it back. Or do I? Maybe, just maybe now, I could take small baby steps disciplining myself to do something I don’t “feel” like doing. Pushing myself like I have the last two days. I didn’t feel physically well all weekend. Yet, I pushed myself to go out to a potluck social we do each month; surprise! I had a great time with friends. Laughter and serious talks all in one evening; and yes, I was glad I went. Saturday I had absolutely no desire or energy to get out of bed. But there was that little voice again pushing me to go to my regular Saturday gathering with some friends. This argument went back and forth for several minutes, meanwhile I found myself getting ready to go. And once again I was in for a treat. And after the gathering was invited to lunch with a couple wonderful ladies. I learned a lot and was encouraged to “go for it”. Of course when I got home I quickly changed and proceeded to go back to my weekend ritual; lying on the couch watching t.v. and hating myself for being so lazy. Actually, I think I am beating myself up again unnecessarily. I  pushed myself yesterday to walk the whole mobile home park with my husband. And today after work we pushed ourselves to do it again. Not the whole park though. But we still did more than we normally would. When I lived at the condo I had no trouble walking every day. I had so much energy and was so happy. Again I ask, what happened? When did it happen? Is this normal?

So now it has been a little over an hour and I have written the whole time! Had I gone to the writer’s group I would have been doing the same thing but less efficiently I think. Too many distractions. Or is that another excuse? I am not sure, but I think we were supposed to share a small part of what we wrote. I hate that part of it all. I am always comparing myself to the other writers in the group. Some own their own publishing company, one is an editor! And it shows in their writing. I feel so inadequate, so intimidated by these intelligent women. To add to the intimidation is the fact that most are much younger than myself. I wonder, do they look at me and think,”what is she trying to do? She is so old.”. They aren’t of course. Or are they? Oh crap, there is that noise in my head again.

I never thought about what it felt like to be an “older” person. When you are young you have your whole life ahead of you to do things you think about. When you are in your late 50’s and above, those years are no longer available. You do it now or you never do it. It just occurred to me. There are a lot of senior adults who are experiencing and fulfilling dreams all the time. They don’t use their age as a reason not to go for something they want! And some of these people are older than I and they are out riding bikes, hiking, whatever they enjoy.

So here is just another excuse to not do something. If I am not sick, I am too old and why bother anyway. Oh my goodness it is a wonder I have any friends! I am making myself tired of all this whining, I can imagine what my friends and poor husband must go through listening to it! I think I have been letting my illness get the best of me. It is time to take back some control over my body. Push myself to get out there. Do more. Stop lying around feeling sick and tired. Which of course then leads to self pity. It doesn’t matter if I am depressed because I don’t feel well all the time; or that I don’t feel well because I am depressed. It doesn’t matter. I have two choices. One, continue to sit around and do nothing and continue to get the same results. Or I can continue each day after work to go out and be around my friends, or even go where I don’t know everyone there, I will meet them and perhaps make new friends. And most important, I will make myself go to the writers group from now on unless I am on my death bed. The ladies there have so much to teach me. And I value their opinions and critiques and yes, their encouragement. OK, I don’t like being criticized, but it is important to learn and so I must get over that fear. Swallow my pride.

Another thing I have avoided is reading other peoples blogs. Afraid to see how many writers are out there doing a much better job than I. They all have their niche. Their voice if you will. They know what their main goal in writing is. Me. I am still searching for my passion to write about. That one topic I can use to have a more professional blog. But now I will read those other blogs and learn from them! Enjoy them. And hopefully learn to not compare my writing style with others writing styles. We are all writers, we are all different. See, that is the healthy voice talking. The unhealthy voice is saying, come on you aren’t buying that. I will follow the healthy voice today.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

To be Child-Like, is not being Childish

A dear friend of mine gave me a suggestion a few months back when I was struggling with who my God was or if he/she/it was. She had me get a cork board and start putting pictures of things that make me happy and feel spiritual. Another dear friend offered to paint a large tree on it, as I love tree’s so very much, as I do all nature. I asked her to not put leaves on the tree, I wanted my pictures to be the leaves.

Well, my God had an even better idea. My friend found her voice from painting the tree and made 12 hearts from the branches; subtle but there. It is beautiful. At first I couldn’t bring myself to put anything on it. Then one day I put an owl I had cut out, on one of the branches. Next I put a picture of a Goddess or Mother fairy down at the bottom of the tree trunk. As I sat in bed that night looking at my tree; I saw what I wanted. Birds on each tree; (owls) and quotes. I want to keep it simple as it will be more relaxing. But the child deep down within me saw something else. Her imagination was set on fire. As I continued the tree with all its forms, my eyes continued to be drawn to the Mother Goddess, Fairy if you prefer; but I could suddenly imagine the Mother Fairy going into the tree where there was a whole new world. It reminded me of the closet in the book by C.S. Lewis, The Witch, The Lion, and The Wardrobe.” It made me smile as I imagined that world a part from ours where anything was possible.

So what does this have to do with letting your child within come out? It has shown me how little I allow myself to do things because it is “immature or childish”. I realize now the difference between being childish (immature) versus “Child-like”. To be child-like is let the innocence within come to the surface and create. Or as I like to say; give yourself a voice. I like to write; but I also like to create things. Making a collage or cutting out pictures for my “God” board is very creative and brings up feelings of happiness, serenity and something to meditate about. Not to mention, helping me to find a God of my understanding; one that brings me strength, courage, love and yes, a voice in which to share things I learn or acquire.

Once I began to allow the little girl within to come out to play; and by this I mean, allow the innocence  and freedom to do things, create things that I believe God created all of us to be; it has become apparent just how creative and loving I would like to be. It has given me the courage to be child-like and find my voice. In whatever manner my God chooses for me. And I believe the more I add to my tree of life, (that just came to me for what to call my tree), the more I will come to know my Higher Power, God. In the meantime, I continue to talk to the God I do not understand, and I try to be still and listen for his voice to speak to me.

This project has lead me to other forms of being child-like. For instance, I have been busy knitting dish cloths, something I love to do. I also pulled out my pencils and drawing pads that were hidden away for a few years now due to my fear of learning I can’t draw. Now I am free to draw, not to make a beautiful drawing, but to draw for the fun of it. If it turns out horrible so what? I just throw it away and draw another. It is the process of playing with creativity that causes it to be fun. Coloring books also bring me a quiet joy. It relaxes me. Again I had not bought a coloring book for many years for fear of appearing immature and childish. How can feeling relaxed and happy be childish or immature I had asked myself one night last week. How can doing things I enjoy, whether I am good at it or not be a bad thing? If I am judged harshly, isn’t that about the one judging, not myself?

Creativity is about using whatever tools you have to use for creating something. I use yarn and needles to create a beautiful afghan for my son, Pens and pencils are used to write letters and loved ones notes or cards. Something as simple as cutting out pictures and quotes can bring large doses of happiness and wonderful thoughts. You can think of anything you make as being creative. And sometimes this can cause us to feel like little children. Is that a bad thing? Is it hurting you or someone else? If not, then I say, go for it, put all your energy into it. Bring some fun and happiness back into your life with simple tools like crayons and coloring books or paints. Whatever brings you calmness and joy.

To be child-like and allow that child within to surface, we allow ourselves to grow into loving, peaceful, creative individuals. And tell me; how is this a bad thing? Its not. My life is about a small group of friends who encourage me to create. These wonderful ladies show interest and joy when they see my ideas, watch me grow into a better human being. I don’t know what my life would look like without them. I would no doubt still be living in constant fear of the unknown; still be allowing unhealthy relationships into my life that cause conflict and insecurity to fester within. Now as I have been taking time to get to know people and make better decisions about who I allow into my small circle of friends, I find my life becoming more abundant and fulfilling. It is no longer a bad thing to feel like a child when creating something using what adults consider children’s tools, like crayons and paint by numbers. I suddenly remember the cut out dolls with clothe you attached with tabs that you folded over the doll. I remember even as a girl, drawing new clothes for my doll and feeling so proud of my work. It made me feel happy and pleased with myself. I realize I have to let go and be who I want to me; and to let child like thoughts and ideas come out to the surface.

I realize this is short, but I just felt like sharing something positive and uplifting. Hoping there is a reader who will gain encouragement to allow herself or himself to let down their guard, their unhealthy belief that it is wrong to be child-like. To do things that perhaps you think of children doing, not adults. Go ahead. Do it! Climb that tree you have been looking at. Jump into that pool others are enjoying. Color that picture you have been dying to color! Please, allow the little one within, the creative one, to come to the surface. Set her/him free for just a little while each day to create and bring you joy and a true sense of happiness. I assure you, it is an experience you will enjoy once you stop asking yourself, “what will people think?”

It was very difficult, painful even, to allow myself to let down my guard and play. Enjoy life each moment or brief moments. But now, as I slowly allow myself simple joys, I am becoming a better, happier woman. A woman I hope others want to be around. Not to complain to or to judge, but to play with. To share our creative side with one another. I don’t know if you will be encouraged to try this little exercise after you have read the ideas; but I know I am going to continue being child-like at moments through out the day when I feel her strongly wanting to come to the surface. Why wouldn’t I? She is very creative and funny. I like her. And if I can say I like the creative one within, I can say I like another piece of myself. Soon, these likes will eventually turn into love for myself.

So friend, please try to find that child hidden deep down and allow her to come out and play. You may be surprised to find you have hidden talents you never knew you had! Better yet, you just might find some happiness in yourself. I have. And that is why I am going to continue to play and do the things that make me feel good. I am going to  give myself and others permission to be child-like! And with that my dear reader, I am going to close this post and go eat a box of Cracker Jacks! Who knows, perhaps I will even look for the prize inside!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

God of My Own Understanding

There was a time, a very long time ago when I thought I had faith in God. I would talk to him at night during the day. I even started going to church and believing whatever they told me about who God was and what I needed to do to be “saved”. These people had such faith, how could they be wrong? In the church I belonged to, 90% had good lives. Big gorgeous houses; beautiful clothes. No worries in the world. At least that is what I assumed. I remember always feeling like the kid in the Charlie Brown cartoon, Pig pen, when I walked into the building and sat down. It took time for the women to talk to me and find that I was not interested in their husbands. And yes, unfortunately I was wrong. These women turned out to be a blessing in my life. They warned me that my new found faith would blow up in my face one day. That because I strongly believed in God’s love for me and that he would never let anything more bad happen to me, that when something bad came into my life my faith would disappear.  How could they say such a thing? How could they preach faith one day and turn around the next and tell you your faith would be tested one day. I just didn’t believe it.

Well, they were right. One day my husband at the time told me he wanted a divorce. He only married me because that was what he should do at his age; get married. I remember a fog slowly form around me. I was safe in this fog. I did not have to feel. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. And I certainly didn’t want to talk to God. Once again I was made to feel like a fool by my faith in a God I thought I believed in. Then it struck me, I was believing in the church’s concept of God. A God of judgement, testing those who he loved; testing our love and loyalty. What kind of God would create us kmnwing one day we would destroy the beautiful life on this planet? No, the more I heard at church, the less I believed in a God of THEIR understanding. I knew it was time to find a God of MY understanding. I needed the God I had in early sobriety. The God I did not need to understand or know; just had to believe he was there and heard everything I said. And every so often this God would show Itself through a “coincident”. I once heard, Coincident’s are God’s way of staying anonymous. Now, once again I believe in a Power Greater than Myself. One that I do not need to understand or put in a box. A God of all Life and creation. We are all part of this Universe, connected through this Higher Being.

If you really think about it; it is pretty arrogant to believe we could understand a God who is powerful enough to Create such a Universe. Where everything is made perfect. But we humans have become our own god. Creating and manufacturing machines and pesticides for things creation was doing all by itself. Did you know that bats eat insects? Yes, they come out at night and the pesty insects we hate. But I guess they don’t it well enough to suit us so we created pesticides. A chemical that not only kills insects, but is toxic to us as well. Is this not crazy? If you believe God is the creator of all that exists, why do you litter? Why do you seek to destroy His creation? No, sorry, don’t buy it.

The God of my understanding doesn’t expect or need anything from me. However I need all from God. Strength for when life is difficult, Courage for when I am afraid or have lost someone important, or a job; I need my God for inner peace when I am in turmoil and my emotions are all over the place. The God of my understanding has no beginning or end and all of us, all that has life in it, are apart of the Higher Being because we are apart of the Universe. We were born into a world filled with greed, envy, anger, murder. But we don’t have to let these things consume our every waking moment. At least that is what I have to keep telling myself. You see, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, my life is filled with worry and fear. And that is why every day I start with a simple prayer I learned about serenity, courage and wisdom. I have to accept I am powerless over people and what they do or how they choose to live; not to mention what they think about me. When I can accept I am powerless over others and situations, that trying to control what happens, my life becomes unmanageable. I am working on “Letting Go, and Letting God.” It is not easy for me to trust in Power I believe in, yet don’t necessarily believe it cares about someone as insignificant as me. Trust, it is a big word for but I am watching my life unfold in a different way and watching out for small miracles and “coincidences”. For those times where I am afraid, and suddenly I walk through the fear believing this Power is with me giving me courage. And after I have walked through the fear, (or drove through it in a winter storm), it fills me with more faith and a sense that maybe, just maybe I am not who I believe I am. Perhaps I am stronger and better, but it is hidden deep down by mistrust of the Power’s love for me.

Each day I grow closer and closer to believing in a God of MY understanding. A God that is too big for me to define. As I continue on this journey, as I talk more regularly to this Power greater than myself, I believe I will gain back that strong faith I once had before I allowed humans with good intentions tell me who this God is. We are all a family in this universe and as my husband puts so well; This Power greater than all of us, is gentle enough to give each of us an understanding we can turn and trust in God. We will all have our different beliefs and that is OK. It is OK to believe differently, but it is also important that we do not force our personal faiths on others. That we do not judge our fellow brother and sisters in this Power of life. That is playing God. Our purpose while here on this planet, is to help, love and give hope to one another, at least that is what I believe.

So, I will leave it at that. I have an understanding of who God is in my life today, and I believe it will always be changing, and yet staying the same. I love being on the spiritual journey.