Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santa and my inner child...


I’ve had to have several talks with my inner child lately…at my new work a woman has seemed to focus on my weirdness (weird childhood) and my unusual perceptions of things. This has caused me to be hurt once (almost to tears) and to examine the perceptions of my childhood that created me.



One thing I have realized in this is that the “kind” of childhood I had probably doesn’t happen anymore. There is no one I have to protect…except the little girl I once was…



It began with a discussion of food. Several of our classmates had gone for sushi so the room was discussing food. I mentioned I don’t eat sushi (or seafood for that matter) and the discussion was off. We went from that to favorite foods in general and in our childhood. Cheesecake came up…I mentioned I hadn’t eaten cheesecake or lasagna till I was 32. The room was shocked. Surely, they said, SOMEONE near me as a child ate/served/had cheesecake? I told them no. That no one I had known as a child had ever offered me cheesecake, although I had read the word in a book as a child BUT the only cheese I had ever seen as a child was Tilamook mild cheddar, so in my mind, the thought of cheese and cake being anything yummy was not possible. The woman said that if she had known me when I was a little girl, she’d have laughed her head off at me for that concept. That was my first discussion with my inner child, and the one that almost brought me to tears.



The second discussion with my inner child happened because of a conversation in CC3 just before Christmas. It was about Santa. And this conversation reminded me of one of the more painful of my childhood memories…



My mother was not very trustworthy when I was a child. She lied to us about many really important things. So when I found out about the Easter bunny, I was DISGUSTED that she would lie to me, yet again, and about something so utterly stupid. I tell you this to set the stage. When one doesn’t trust the very person who is supposed to care for them, it warps them. I always knew my childhood had warped me in some ways, but some of the ways it reaches out in my NOW are very subtle…



So, back to Santa. It had to have been the Christmas before I turned 12. That would have made my brother 7. It was Christmas Eve and my mother was drunk and not conscious/coherent in her room. I had torn the house apart looking for the goodies for my brother’s stocking and the presents from Santa to put under the tree for him. I couldn’t find them. (Turned out they were in her room, but I wasn’t allowed in there). I sat up all night knowing that disaster was coming at dawn…my brother got up and came to the living room where there no presents for him from Santa and nothing in his stocking. He turned his huge blue eyes on me crying and said, “I must have been a really bad boy this year.” It is one of two times in my childhood that I contemplated murder. And it put the whole Santa story in a HORRIFIC light in my memories. I swore (you know those promises you make yourself when you are too young to recognize the future repercussions) that I would NEVER lie to my children, especially about Santa Claus.



Not that I didn’t tell them about St Nicholas, and the whole Santa myth. I did tell them the stories. But I never let them believe that some strange man at the North Pole brought them presents.



Seriously people, think about this. A STRANGER (we teach our children NEVER to take gifts from strangers) who stalks our child throughout the year (he KNOWS when you’ve been naughty or nice) breaks into our home on Christmas Eve (he doesn’t have a key AND he’s a freaking stranger) and leaves presents for our child!!!! How can we teach our children this?



Add to this that the first 2 churches I belonged to as an adult, were conservative AND the 2nd one was right-wing-fundamentalist (and they didn’t allow you to teach your child the lie of Santa either) and you can understand that my children knew who brought every gift, there were no gifts from strange men in red suits. And when I was in my right-wing-fundamentalist group, I didn’t stick out like a freak of nature.



But now? Now people want to know how my children ENDURED being DENIED the Santa story when other children around them were allowed to believe, and how I hindered their imagination by not allowing them to believe in Santa. NOW I’m considered a freak of nature IN A CHRISTIAN CHATROOM. I was floored, since the Christians I knew in my right-wing-fundamentalist stage agreed that lying to your kid about Santa would make them doubt what you taught them about Christ.



So, what do you think? Am I a freak? Am I warped and twisted? Or am I just a parent trying to do the best I could with what I knew?



Oh…and we haven’t even TOUCHED on why I didn’t read my children fairy tales!!!

Thoughts on unity and compassion...


Thinking of the New Year: 2012. Some think it’s the end of the world (as we know it?)…others think the end of an age/era/epoch. Who knows? No one does till we reach that 12/21/12 date! LOL

We can look ahead to that date with FEAR & trepidation OR we can choose to look ahead with JOY & anticipation. I’m going to choose to look ahead with joyful anticipation!

The thought remains though: What if this was the last year of life you had to live?

What would you do differently, if anything, if this was the last year of your life? Would you fight those petty fights? Probably not! Would you make amends often? Hopefully so…

There is so much brokenness in the world. Broken hurting people everywhere, longing to be whole. If we could all see that about one another & reach out in compassion. The world would be a calmer, better, more loving place.

THINK Compassion

LIVE Compassion

BE the Compassion you seek to see in the world!!!

Compassion is not pity or condescension. It’s the “knowing” that there but for grace go I. In any time, in any place, that could be me. I am the same. We are the same. We are all the Human Family.

Some people fear the concept of “one world/one people”. They feel it is bad/satanic. The cling to their boundaries (nation/state/city) & divisions (race/creed/color). We humans seem to thrive on division, much to our detriment.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Superfluous...

Have you ever felt superfluous? Totally and utterly useless? I feel that way sometimes, and I just finished an 8 week temporary position that reinforced that uncomfortable feeling within me. So...I wanted to do something useful. Know what I mean?

The husband went to Texas to his father's retirement party and I spent the week finishing up unpacking/sorting stuff I had let go too long. I was pleased that I finally finished that, but it wasn't enough.

The first week the husband was back was my week between jobs. My temporary position ended on 11/11/11 and my new position doesn't start until 11/21/11. I set some goals for this week off...yeah, ME...setting goals!!!! OMG, and the world didn't even come to an end!!! Go figure...

I decided I was going to get my hands on a hand sander and refinish the top of the kitchen table I inherited from a friend. She had had it on her covered patio, and when we moved into this house, table-less, she gave it to me. I don't know if the top of the table had been white like the legs are, but she had spray painted the top purple.

At first I had decided simply to Spackle the deep gouges and then to repaint the table cobalt blue, my favorite color. But then I found a set of chairs on Craigslist. They were all wood. And suddenly the goal was clear: Sand the top, stain the top, seal the top and repaint the legs. So I did!!!

Monday I sanded the top of the table. It took 4 hours counting breaks because the vibrations numbed my hands and wrists. There was purple dust EVERYWHERE!!!! (It's winter, so I did this indoors, much to my chagrin...breathing purple dust sucks).

Tuesday morning I went to Lowes after researching stain online. I had wanted Minwax stain in Natural, but they didn't have that. The lightest color they had was Maple, so I bought that and a cheap painbrush. I put 2 coats of stain on the table letting it dry 6 hours in between.

Wednesday the husband was home sick, so I decided NOT to polyurethane and went to a friends for a few hours instead.

Thursday morning I went to Lowes after researching sealing Minwax stain and got a can of Minwax Polyurethane sealant. I put 2 coats of the sealant on the table, allowing 6 hours to dry in between. I was rather disturbed that this sealant didn't "finish" like I thought it would. But I got over it.

Today I stopped at Lowes (why didn't I do this all at once, you ask? I dunno) and got a quart of paint. I didn't know how much I would need...so I gambled on a quart. It was WAY too much. Oh well, live and learn. I got eggshell, which is just off from white, because it was on sale for $10 less than the other whites. I was happy.

I came home and painted the bottom edges and legs of the table. Waited a few hours and put on another coat. Waited a few hours, flipped the table and put on a final coat of the polyurethane sealant. VIOLA!!!! Done. Whew.

Then I fixed the toilet tissue fixture that fell apart, fixed the towel rack in the downstairs basement that fell apart, and hung the blue shelf and sconces in my room.

EVERTHING I set out to do before starting my new job: DONE!!! WOOHOO!!!! I can set goals and accomplish them!!! I am not as useless as life sometimes makes me feel!!! It's an amazing feeling. Now I know how people get so goal oriented: They want the accomplishment payoff!!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who should/shouldn't be allowed to parent?


Someone said this to me recently, but truly, I've heard this repeated over and over my whole life, so I thought I'd state the thought and then ask the question that makes us all follow this to the logical conclusion. So, the statement is this:

You have to have a license to drive but anybody can be a parent.

So, the question is this:

Assuming they decided to license parenthood, what standards should be set? What tests should be given? How would YOU decide who is/isn't "fit to be a parent"????

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Training the heart/mind


I'm working on training the heart/mind to see and seek out the positive within me and to bring it to my mouth/mind...heart & mind (inner) to mouth & mind (outer). Seeing the negative and recognizing it without allowing it to seep into the heart/mind...

Standing on positivity in the face of a negative onlaught...makes it difficult to be positive at all. Be the positive you want to see in the world! Become Joy. Breathe Joy. Radiate Joy.

God is the energy, the love, the light, the indwelling, infusing Joy...or contentment. I cannot seem to manage joy...

Friday, October 21, 2011

From my October 21st, 2011 Journal Entry


Thinking again of: "If you can't say anything POSITIVE, don't say anything at all"...how do I train my mind/mouth to make this connection and put it into action?

I think this will require a mental overhaul/mind rewiring/rerouting! Internal positive focus...

Acceptance is passive, not a positive focus. Just sitting back & allowing life to wash over you is not positive focus. The river of life eddies and flows and often RUSHES over/around me and mostly I simply allow it. So this analogy is how I deal with life pretty much all the time now. This ins not a very interactive/proactive way to live. It mostly works for me, but perhaps, is why life often feels like it's not working for me?

Some people have life goals and a life map of how they intend to get there. These people have a chart or a list of mini-goals set up along their life way.

I've never really been "goal-oriented" in my life. Except for my goal to have children, I really didn't set any goals in my life! Even in that one goal: have children, I didn't take into consideration that to achieve that goal, I'd probably have to find a husband and get married. LOL

I "wanted to be" or "desired to be" a librarian, for example, but did not have/make a plan & life washed me along and instead I went to Kinman and became an office admin and had those children.

Then a new relationship flowed into my life and I switched streams, had another 2 children and continued to let life wash me along.

It is this mindset, I think, that makes it difficult for me to follow through in ANY field of endeavor. I am GREAT at wanting/desiring to achieve goals, but I am LOUSY at follow-up/follow-through!

This is part of what hinders me from keeping a clean house. I start out great guns, but a week or a month or a year later, I slack off. This is why I've been doing dishes the MINUTE I get home so I don't let the house/kitchen slide one day! It would disrupt the flow of diligence! And, I'm hoping this "learning diligence" that I'm working on in the house will help me be diligent in other areas (like health/eating/exercise).

SO...if the goal is only speaking positives: HOW would I structure goals for my mind to get from here ----------------------------> to there?

Focus thoughts on positive things. Find positive things to meditate on. Gratitude journalling again.

Maybe I want to be consumed/obsessed/driven...at least with focusing on the positive. Hmmm, search for...seek out...find the positive in every situation...

GOD = Love = Positivity & uplifting encouragement & is life sustaining...Hard to grasp when you see GOD as mind/energy? Maybe not.

The energy of GOD supports & sustains every living thing positively in love. The air we breathe = positivity. The earth we live on = positivity. The water we drink = positivity. All from the mind/energy of GOD.

So to meditate on positivity and love is to meditate on GOD.

So then, another question, can a person be focused and laid back? Driven/committed and at peace? Loving, kind, compassionate, accepting WHILE being focused on the positive in life/self/others/world?


From My October 20th, 2011 Journal Entry

Two people this week said that I am negative...something I thought I'd been working on, but maybe not.

Can I adopt: IF YOU CAN'T SAY ANYTHING POSITIVE, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL as a personal motto? Knowing the negativity is creeping back in gives me the opportunity to examine my life. Am I what I think I am? What do I want to be? What do I want to be in life?

I want to be...loving, kind, accepting, compassionate, positive but realistic (is that possible?), charitable, smiling, joyful (seeking joy in life & relationships): inner joy -> out of innr joy will come joy in life & relationships. So, I think my inner work right now needs to be on inner joy...maybe go back to the Awakening Joy website or find a workbook on Inner Joy? Or look at St Joseph's for a workshop on finding joy?

What is Joy? I imagine that it is different for different people. Not sure. (From contentment comes joy? Not sure). I know that I feel more relaxed in the new house where we have more space, even though the first floor upkeep is requiring more diligence.

Seeking authentic, self-relevant joy is important. (My issue with having flat affect is an issue...) Am I capable of feeling highs/lows? I did cry when mom was dying. I can feel sadness/anger (and do, regularly). I need to track POSITIVE, up feelings, because there is where my lack of ability to feel seems to lie.

Joy...What is joy? How do I figure out what creates Joy within me?

Singing in worship...

Sitting by the river...

A cup of hot tea...

Baby laughter...

Hugs...

Sitting outside...

Journalling...

Going to coffee...

Watching a sunrise/sunset...

Reading a good book...

Watching a good movie/TV series...

Listening to music...

Walking in the woods, along the river...

Dinner at the table as a family...

Candlelight...

Showers...

An orderly home (oddly enough)...

What does joy feel like? "The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: 'She felt the Joy of seeing her son's success.' A state of happiness, of felicity." Sigh, maybe joy is to joyous of a word for what I'm seeking here. Maybe I should use contentment or peace? Quiet joy not extravagant joy?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Confessions of a Non-Neat Freak

I have to confess…I am not a neat freak. I never have been. In fact, at one point in my life (and for a LONG time) I was a slob to the core…probably from the rebellion of my teen years (no I will NOT clean my room) to the rebellion within my 2nd marriage (no I will NOT clean your house). Sigh.

So, slowly, I have gotten better. But I have a LONG way to go.

We just moved. We made a pact about the first floor (living/dining). It will be clean. People dropping in clean. Not cluttered with books and magazines (as I generally live).

So…I’m running around wondering HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS? How do neat freaks manage this? How is there enough time in any day to be THIS VIGILANT??? It’s exhausting. Will it ever get easier???? Will it ever become second nature?

This comes back to my general inability (in my life in many areas) to follow through. I get the concept of WANTING a clean house (or to exercise more or to lose a few pounds or whatever thing you wish to commit to long term). And I run at the concept with great gusto…I WANT to succeed, I am DETERMINED to succeed.

But I don’t.

Why is this? Why can’t I manage to follow-through with long term commitments (except for marriage to a degree). WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????? Help? Thoughts?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Expectations...


Have you ever had a night that you REALLY looked forward to...you planned, you saved money, you primped and wore the fanciest things (think proms or weddings) and NOTHING went the way you wanted it to? Tonight I had a flashback to high school dances where sometimes the illusion of a good time is totally destroyed...

But it's not just proms and weddings. It's anniversaries and other things where we set this expectation of "having a good time" and then we fall short of that good time and we are left feeling bereft.


And is it just we women who do this? Because I know, in my experience that it's we women who most often suffer the disappointment of a night gone not right...


I was reminded of this this weekend, and it was a very sad memory and remembering...

So, what is it? Are we expecting too much? Is it wrong to expect an evening/event we've scrimped and planned for to go the way we want it to? Can we, as humans, expect ANYTHING like this?

I find this goes back to my fairy tale/daydream theory. We see in our minds eye the evening as it should be, before it even happens. We vicariously live it before we actually live it. And in our minds eye, it's perfect. The guy opens the door...the music is perfect...we dance until we drop...

And then, it's really here...Can reality EVER stand up to fantasy? Of course not. So, how do we not set ourselves up for disappointment? Not dream? Not want that good time/fantasy night?

I don't know, to be honest. I'm just working my way through all of this fantasy vs. reality stuff without getting my guts shredded when life simply doesn't work the way we want it. I'm open to ideas!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Incandescent....


I know this woman from our Celtic Celebrations...I'll call her Mary. I cannot remember the first day I laid eyes on this woman, but I can remember clearly thinking, this woman has a shining soul. I could see her light up the room by her very presence. And every time I've seen her since, I simply am drawn to be near her...to talk with her...to hear her talk.

She is also physically beautiful...but that is beside the point and that isn't what I see when I see her. Everything I see in her is internal...Except the exhaustion.

For this shiny soul is going through a hard patch. Her husband is very ill. She is coping and taking care as best she can, and you can see it's taking it's toll. Her eyes are always red rimmed and you can sense the exhaustion, but it's not enough to dim the light of her being.

I saw her again on Easter. She told us of her husband's health, he's been in the hospital 5 times since November, and of their hope he will get to come home today...and then she asked me how work is going.

And this is part of her shining...no matter how much her life is dragging her down or how tired she is, she always finds time to ask how someone else is...and to share a word with them.

The very first night we talked to each other, I told her funny stories about dentures (her husband was getting them) and she volunteered to be a reference on a job I was trying for with the county (she works for the county)...and that's sort of how she is with people.

And then, last night, after talking about her husband and how ill he has been and how worried she has been about him, and then listening to my description of work, she took me to another room to pray for me. TO PRAY FOR ME. To lay hands on me and to share that shiny soul of hers with me and I thought, I should be praying for YOU, not the other way around...but anyway, off we went and she prayed for me for my work and said she sees it as being sort of a ministry for me, which gave me a better focus for work, and I told her she needed to take care of herself before she breaks, at which point we hugged and she cried.

I was utterly overwhelmed by the honor of hugging this shiny being...and I just had to share her shininess with you...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Be careful what you wish for....

Because you might get it...

I am facing a rough patch in my life and I'm struggling to remain focused on the positive...I am a recovering cynic and I slip back into that black abyss occasionally...

I cannot even talk about it because of the paranoia surrounding this issue in my life. But know that I need all the light and strength I can gather around myself to get through it.

Wow, that sounds dramatic...I don't mean for it to be that dramatic sounding. It's just that this is the second time since moving back to Spokane that I've faced this same issue and last time, I failed...it beat me.

I don't intend to be beaten this time. I intend to hold this person in all the light and love and forgiveness I know in the universe. I intend to triumph with light & good whereas last time I cowered in fear and tension. BUT, this is much easier to say in the quiet of my living room than it is to live out in the frantic pace of life.

So, I come to you, asking for your help, support, light, energy and prayers. And I thank you in advance for any support you are willing/able to give me.


We go onward...through the darkness...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Of cars and dreams and other things...


2 years ago this summer (2009), our son, Sean, went in for his 3rd open heart surgery and my husband's work allowed us to use the car for the 2nd week he was in the hospital. We fell in love with the vehicle, not just because we hadn't owned a car for a year and a half, but because it's sleek, comfortable, a smooth ride and fits us all and groceries!!!

From then till now, we've been allowed to use the car almost every payday to go get groceries. And we've continued to appreciate the luxury of using it and the dream of owning it someday.

Well that dream came true this week...The husband's company decided to sell their cars, and we were allowed to buy the Subaru.

Along with the blessing of owning a vehicle, comes the responsibilities of car ownership...transferring the title, buying tires (because the studded ones are still on it and it's only 6 days till we have to have them off) and worrying about insurance.

I WANT to be elated. I want to relax into believing we can pull this off...but mostly? Mostly I'm worried....


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Library of Alexandria...


Every so often, I run into a piece of history that I knew, sort of, but that I didn't know the "whole story" of.

I knew the Library of Alexandria existed and that it had been destroyed....and now I know how...

I watched a film last night on the city and culture that was Alexandria, that broke my heart. That a CHRISTIAN MOB would rush the library and destroy EVERYTHING was almost more than I could bear. It made me think of the horror I felt when the Muslims smashed he thousands of years old Buddhist statues.

But it was more than that. Not only did they destroy the library, they took a culture where women were respected and they plunged it back into the dark ages of oppression.

Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, who was her teacher and the last known mathematician associated with the Museum of Alexandria. She became head of the Platonist school at Alexandria in approximately 400. She taught MEN. This was her sin, well this and the fact that she wouldn't embrace Christianity. And she wouldn't embrace Christianity for many reasons, one of which was their oppression of women, their relegation of women to a second class citizen, one who could not teach. And for that she was killed.

In the movie it was kind of a romantic death, although we saw her dragged into the library and stripped naked. In the film, a man who was her slave, who had been in her school, smothers her so she isn't stoned to death. But the varying histories I've since read show that her death was so much more horrific. Some reports suggest she was flayed with ostraca (pot shards) and set ablaze while still alive, though other accounts suggest those actions happened after her death.

So many Christians have said to me that Christianity does not oppress women. That Christian history isn't that violent. But I know these are lies that one has to tell oneself to stay sane...I had to tell myself lies to remain in the right wing of fundamentalist Christianity in order to stay sane. And then one day, I simply couldn't do it anymore.

One thing I am believing because of our history, though, is that Islam could also grow up and grow through their violent tendencies given enough time. If we could do it, I believe they will do it also. I have to believe that to stay sane.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Exquisite 20th Anniversary Dinner

Tonight Jon and I went out for our 20th anniversary dinner at Italia Trattoria, which is a new restaurant in Browne’s Addition. Jon had Grilled rack of wild boar with braised faro, delicate squash and huckleberry balsamic. I had Grilled washimi flatiron steak, with roasted sun chokes, potatoes, brussels sprouts and porcini butter (I did taste, but did not eat the roasted sun chokes w/Brussels sprouts). His drink was a Zenzero, mine was a Pomedrop. They were excellent.

For dessert, I had TIRAMISU for the first time in my life. It was OMG good, so much so that when the waitress asked me how I liked it, I found myself speechless!!! Jon had Affogato which is espresso poured over vanilla ice cream.

The d├ęcor and atmosphere was fabulous. Our waitress, Maggie, was fantastic...

All in all it was a tremendously fulfilling and glorious evening…

Oh, and on the way home we stopped at Tully’s and grabbed a vanilla latte.

The only bad part of the whole evening was the thin ice all over the sidewalks. It made it so dangerous to walk!!! But we survived!!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reposting: Bowl of Saki, January 8, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Bowl of Saki, January 8, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The (limited) happiness of this world is something we cannot keep; it is just like the horizon - the nearer you go, the farther it goes. As soon as you get it, you see it is not the thing you wanted. That discontent continues its work till we have found and understood the manifestation of God, in which is hidden the Divine Spirit. God cannot be found in temples, for God is Love; and love does not live in temples, but in the heart of man, which is the temple of God. The true religion would be to recognize it is so and to tolerate, to forgive and to love each other.

There is a story told of Moses. One day he was passing through a farm, and he saw a peasant boy sitting quietly and talking to himself, saying, 'O God, I love you so; if I saw you here in these fields I would bring you soft bedding and delicious dishes to eat, I would take care that no wild animals could come near you. You are so dear to me, and I so long to see you; if you only knew how I love you I am sure you would appear to me!'

Moses heard this, and said, 'Young man, how dare you speak of God in this way? He is the formless God, and no wild beast or bird could injure Him who guards and protects all.' The young man bent his head sorrowfully and wept. Something was lost to him, and he felt most unhappy. And then a revelation came to Moses as a voice from within which said, 'Moses, what have you done? You have separated a sincere lover from Me. What does it matter what I am
called or how I am spoken to? Am I not in all forms?'

This story throws a great light on this question, and teaches that it is only the ignorant who accuse one another of a wrong conception of God. It teaches us how gentle we ought to be with the faith of another; as long as he has the spark of the love of God, this spark should be slowly blown upon so that the flame may rise; if not, that spark will be extinguished. How much the spiritual development of mankind in general depends upon a religious man! He can either spread the light or diminish it by forcing his belief on others.

Very often a person thinks that other people should believe in and worship his God. But everyone has his own conception of God, and this conception becomes the stepping-stone to the true ideal of God.

Nature teaches every soul to worship God in some way or other, and often provides that which is suitable for each. Those who want one law to govern all have lost sight of the spirit of their own religion. And it is in people who have not yet learned their own religion that such ideas are commonly found. Did they but know their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and
how free from any grudge against the religion of others!