June 30, 2008
When I wrote the three articles about the Worthington SDA Church near Columbus, Ohio on this blog, I never invisioned there could be so many different interpretations about what I wrote. Very few, and certainly even less who commented, could view the story through my eyes unless they had read my memoir, "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries".
After all this time, it seems I'm fruitlessly trying to convince my readers that I was comparing the church and the great changes that have occurred in the last 20-30- years. At most, I tried to convey the differences of what it was like to be a Seventh-day Adventist in the 50's and now in the 21st Century. At the least, I was sarcastic and vengeful about it. Yes, at the time I was hurt and misjudged some - just as some of you are doing to me now.
It's too bad most could not read between the lines, but instead continue to see a criticalness and close-mindedness I did not mean to portray. I don't blame those who read it that way, but am truly sorry that my true intent did not come across. The most disappointing part is that some assume things about me that are nothing like the person that I really am.
After reading the Worthington SDA Church postings, some feel feel angry that I’m so "close minded and biased", or a few feel sorry for me because I don’t understand the SDA Church better.
I’m still getting pretty strong comments as a reaction to my opinionated and forthright thoughts about the church and how it used to be compared with how it is today. Even close friends who’ve known me for 30+ years question some of my statements and try to form an idea of why I said what I did.
Reading the articles – and my rebuttal to some of the comments – I am positive that I’ll never dispel some of the conflicting ideas presented, and the issues presented will not be settled by any one person or their responses.
But, I do want to say that I’ve learned a lot since I opened that can of worms. Mostly that I’m not sure what I want in a church or how I feel about religion at all. It’s not anyone’s fault. Not the pastor, or Mary or Don Jones. I alone have to walk the path of my own relationship with God.
One point I think everyone will agree is that every person’s religion is different no matter if everyone on earth worshipped in the same building or under the same canopy of nature. Obviously, it’s not about the clothes – or lack of them! Not the wedding rings, various habits we bring with us or how many verses we’ve memorized from the KJV of the Bible.
Presently, I choose not to attend any recognized church body in order to proclaim to the world that I believe in Jesus, the second coming or life after death. It’s not because I don’t like the preacher or someone who’s a member of the church board. It’s not because I feel uncomfortable with the birthday cake, or because I wasn’t invited to potluck or because a few were unpacking boxes of oranges on the edges of the Sabbath.
Yes, those items played a part in my subject material for my story and weighed heavily on my mind when I wrote the articles, but after all these months of contemplation of your comments and discussions with friends (some who hadn’t even read my blogsite), I am sure that my religion is within and until I find the path ordained by the universe, I should mind my own business and search my own heart for its truth. Most of all, I would be saddened if my words brought pain to someone else. That is not my purpose in life or on this website.
Here are the links to the other articles and comments.
Take Care on the Journey,
June 29, 2008
"Dad" Cash called tonight (June 29, 2008) to inform us that his wife, Fran passed away this afternoon after a long illness. If you'd like to send a card, please call me for the address. I realize this may seem strange because "Dad" is my ex father-in-law but he's been more of a dad than I ever had and he continues to be very special to our family.
Take Care on the Journey,
June 24, 2008
1. I love...D & D (Dark Chocolate and Dr. Pepper)
2. Right now I want...the price of gas to go down
3. I feel like...it's a bad hair day every day
4. I hate it when...I step on ABC'd gum.
5. I fear...my kids will never give me grandkids
6. I'm lonely without...my computer (lol)
7. I need...about 2 million dollars
8. Today I...told a lie. I didn't see a UFO.
9. Tomorrow I'm...another day wiser!
10. I just...like older people who have a story to tell
11. I want to meet...in the middle!
12. I'm hungry for...something - but I can't think of what it is!
13. I love it when...it rains in the summertime.
14. I'm afraid of...personal answers ha ha
15. I'm listening to...the constant buzz in in my left ear!
16. I'm wearing...old clothes and shoes that make my feet feel hot.
17. I wish I was in...invisible sometimes
18. I'm craving...pinwheel cookies (my favorite!)
19. I want to get...out of debt (I almost am!)
20. I can...do anything I put my mind to
21. I can't...remember what I was suppose to do this afternoon.
22. I have...published a book
23. I haven't...sold very many books!
24. I'm nervous about...playing the piano in public
25. My Mom thinks I'm...good at playing the piano in public
26. My husband thinks I'm...part angel
27. I think...I am 99 percent angel
28. I'm happy when...I can do that 1 percent without feeling guilty. lol
29. I'm sad when...bugs eat my flowers.
30. I like eating...out too much.
31. I hate eating...too much.
32. I love watching...baby ducks cross the road.
33. I love listening to...someone I like chatting at me.
34. I like playing...the piano alone.
35. I hate waking up to...leftover bad dreams
36. I can see...through a lie.
37. I'm glad that...I haven't had to tell too much here.
38. I'm disappointed that...summer will be over soon.
39. I look like...I'm always worrying about something.
40. I wish I looked like...my little sister.
Find hundreds of bulletins and surveys at MySpace Surveys
Take Care on the Journey,
June 23, 2008
June 19, 2008
They say that Tim Russert lives on in the hearts of thousands who knew him. Some commented that Russert “was a force of nature and his cycle is complete”. The universe must agree because there was a rainbow resting in the sky over the NBC building in New York City right after his memorial service ended.
I saw a picture of the rainbow on the evening news with Brian Williams. A flag was flying at half-mast as the magical rainbow seemed to touch the top of the building. I hope they make a 20x30 of that memorial photograph in the sky and get it framed in gold.
While most of us are busy rushing about from the weary moment we crawl out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to the midnight hour we fall exhausted back into our unmade bed at night, we still have moments when we wish there was more to life and wonder if we are living up to our potential.
It’s difficult to believe Tim Russert ever had any of those worrisome thoughts. He was too busy enjoying life and taking advantage of every waking hour giving back some of his joy and enthusiasm of living.
“He leaves a legacy of a truly honorable life,” said one mourner yesterday.
“He was noble, compassionate and intensely loyal. He had mastered happiness,” expressed another.
As I debate the question of what is happiness and joy, I suspect he did not connect it to a good hair day, money in the bank or how many compliments he got along the way.
“He said he had been blessed with all he could want,” reflected a long-time friend.
But it seems that what he wanted was to touch everyone he knew with a “Cheerful Strength”,“Radiant Smile”, “Booming Voice” and “Right Paw on your Shoulder”.
“He was a jolly Irish Catholic kid”. “He had a boyish sense of wonder”. “He was all about what’s happening” which by the way, were his last words as he passed a friend in the hallway at work just before he collapsed. He touched her shoulder and greeting her with a booming, “What’s happening?”
What’s happening is that even in death, Russert still brings people together. From the two presidential candidates and rivals, John McCain and Barack Obama who sat next to each other at his funeral service, to families united in a common subject at the supper table.
“He included everyone he knew in his big heart,” Brain Williams remarked about his friend and mentor. “He had a big heart because we were all in it…. He was a brilliant shining star.”
Others remembered Russert as, "A great soul”. “Connected to the country and with each other”. “Always loyal to his team (the Buffalo Bills).”
"He didn’t have a jaded bone in his body,” said one. “He made me ask myself personally if I was living up to my sense of purpose?”
Williams asked the question, “How many of us wished it could be Tim who was doing our eulogy?” assuming everyone understood that Russert would prepare the eulogy just as he diligently researched and was in top form for his famous “Meet The Press” program, every Sunday.
“He might be a small part of God’s design, but he was a big part of this earth,” Williams added as he closed his comments.
Another friend recalled that Russert was filled with optimism and loved challenges. “Anybody can withstand anything,” he was remembered as saying often.
“He was a fabulous storyteller, but he wanted you to tell your story…And he laughed like it was the first time he’d heard it, even though I knew he had heard me tell the story many times,” admitted a longtime friend. She reflected that one story was about Abraham Lincoln when someone told him he was two-faced, Lincoln answered, "If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?" She said Russert laughed every time and asked her to tell some more.
Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics recounted how Russert had showed up beside his hospital bed after he had been in a tragic car accident. Russert had traveled all night to be there.
Maria Shriver honored Russert with stories about meaningful moments she shared with him in both her personal and business life. She smiled as she told how he managed to tag along with her to Cuba to interview Fidel Castro. “During the interview, he said he was just there to make sure the lighting was good,” she said with a chuckle. She also recalled that when her uncle Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, one of the first phone calls was from Russert. “And he not only asked about Ted, he asked how I was doing,” she reflected with gratitude in her voice.
“Washington will never be the same,” Dan Rather stated simply and profoundly at the memorial service.
When people told Russert he was one of the best-known faces in the country, it was reported that he said, “It’s great if you don’t inhale it.”
The legacy that lives on is most visible in Russert’s son, Luke. He stood tall and strong wiping away a few tears as he and his mother followed the heavy dark casket. Luke brought the congregation to its feet with his personal comments about his dad.
Luke recalled attributes about his dad that will live in his heart forever.
“…He always saw the glass half full instead of half empty,” he said as he held up a glass half filled with water”. “He was my best friend.”
Perhaps Tim Russert is a bigger part of God’s design than we thought if he had anything to do with the rainbow over New York City yesterday.
June 16, 2008
When I heard the breaking news that Tim Russert had died suddenly of a heart attack, my first thought was that I should call hubby Jim. While I couldn’t completely place Tim Russert in my mind, I knew he was sometimes on the evening news at NBC that we watch often in the evenings at 6:30 p.m.
Now I’m totally shocked at the outpouring of grief for this veteran newsman. Oh that people would say half the wonderful tributes they are saying about Tim Russert when my final Friday the 13th comes around.
How can a journalist be so beloved by literally thousands of people who all have something profoundly nice to say about him?
“The best journalist of our time.” “He gave us the truth.” “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him.”
“The best of the best,” I’ve heard over and over again.
“A statesmen of another kind”, many call him.
Flags are flying at half-mast. Tributes are pouring in from all other the world. Candlelight vigils are being held every night with hundreds of people gathering to remember a loving father, faithful husband and generous friend. A humble, godly man who attended his mass faithfully, talked to his grown son several times a day and knew the deepest secrets of all the political figures.
How come I didn’t know more about this exceptional man, I ask myself. How in the world can a political newsman be everyone’s friend? It appears he asked the big questions to all the big people on “Meet the Press” every Sunday morning and he got truthful answers. If the interviewee didn’t know who they were and what they stood for, Tim did! But the interviewees always came back for more!
As I’ve listened to his very talented and also famous co-workers talk of how he became a father figure and mentor, I still ask myself how one becomes like that. It wasn’t because he was a good Seventh-day Adventist. He was a truest of the true CATHOLIC!
In my world, it seems if you are warm, caring god-fearing, loving and kind, you’re labeled a “goody-goody” at best and, “two-faced”, “weird” “a religious nut” or “too serious” at least.
I’ve decided it must not be the god-fearing, or loving others, or kindness that won him over even though many say that’s what he was. No, I think it was the pure intensity and honesty in those things that caused everyone who knew him to believe in him.
Honesty is so difficult to latch on to because first we must be honest with ourselves and too many (including myself) can’t always quite reach that branch of the tree.
Honesty means that nothing can hold us back from believing in ourselves. Some of us never made it out the gate before we were bombarded with intense pressure to question who we were and why we are here – and how we’re going to get out of here!
Just so you all know that even though Tim Russert was only four months older than I was, I plan to see many more Friday the 13th’s than he did. I also wish people who know me to know that in my heart of hearts, I’d like to be remembered for all the reasons he is – and more. I’ll never DO what he did in his exceptional lifetime, but the heart memories are the same.
For we are all brothers and sisters in life!
Take Care on the Journey,
June 11, 2008
It was a pretty two-toned brown leather Bible that looked well cared for and obviously well read. Did he win it at an auction to raise money for the Columbus Food Kitchen? He was supposed to come home with some cookbooks from that? No. He had the cookbooks in his backpack. What was the meaning of this Bible he very gently handed me with a funny look in his eyes?
Not my born-again pagan! I’m the Bible person in the house. He is sometimes surprised when I explain an unusual Bible story, or he holds disbelief when I tell him that many of today’s news events have already been foretold in the last chapters of the Bible.
“A lady left it on the bus. She reads it every day and today she left it on the bus. I tried to give it to the bus driver, but he didn’t want it. He said if it went to lost and found, she would have to go downtown to get it and she might never get it back.”
Jim was astonished that there was no name in the book that seemed to mean so much to the woman. He kept saying to himself, and me “There’s no name in it. Why wouldn’t someone write their name in their Bible?” I explained that many people feel like it’s sacrilegious to write inside the Bible.
Not only did Jim bring it home, but he cared for it with such tender loving care, you would think we had a newborn baby in the house. (No pun intended.) He wouldn’t put it in his backpack for fear of damaging it. He removed it from the kitchen table so we wouldn’t get food on it. He placed it on the “key table” next to the front door so he wouldn’t forget it when he left in the morning blurry-eyed and sleepy.
But Tuesday night he came home exclaiming, “The born-again pagan still has the Bible!
The lady wasn’t on his bus coming or going. He said he had seen her several times before so he felt sure she rode the bus on a regular basis, but no one had seen her that day. The bus driver still didn’t offer to take the lost Bible. So Jim once again carefully protected the lost book from the rain as he walked to and from work, and he once again carefully placed it on the “key table” before he went to bed.
I could tell he was slightly worried that he might be responsible for the Holy Book longer than he was comfortable with. But, he took this unexpected and highly unusual responsibility with the highest honor.
As he boarded the bus this morning, he approached the bus driver about the lost book that was getting heaver by the day.
“I still have this Bible. I haven’t seen the lady who left it here. What should I do with it.”?
Immediately the lost Bible (or lost owner) became a point of interest for all the morning passengers today.
“She sometimes rides the 6 a.m. morning bus. I’ve seen her on the early bus,” offered one Good Samaritan.
“She catches the earlier afternoon bus too. I’ve ridden with her on the 4:45 bus,” offered another.
“I always see her on the 4:45 bus. Give it to me and I’ll give it to her,” proposed another passenger also named James.
“Well, it must have been in the cards that two James’s would be involved in returning her Bible,” said my James as he guardedly handed the precious burden off to James #2.
My Jim sat in his seat feeling a little empty handed and hoping that he had done the right thing to relinquish the task that had been first put on his shoulders.
Suddenly, someone yelled, “There she is! There’s Miriam. The lady who lost her Bible!”
As the bus pulled up to the stop where no one had ever seen Miriam get on before, she bounced up the steps with a smile.
“I thought I’d catch you here. I was late and missed my regular stop so I hoped I wouldn’t miss you here.”
“We have something for you” replied the bus driver with a gleam in his eyes. We have your Bible.”
“Oh! My Bible! My Bible! You found my Bible!”
James # 2 placed it in her outstretched arms as she sat down beside him exclaiming how she had been worried about it and feeling so sad because she lost it.
My James watched on in silence as she caressed her Holy Bible and held it close to her heart. It was okay with him if someone else took the ‘glory’. He was pleased to see Miriam so happy and to see the joyous smile on her face.
“…But I can’t take all the credit”, said James # 2.
“Actually, this man found your Bible and has been taking care of it for you” he admitted as he turned and pointed to James #1.
After another flurry and thank-yous and gratitude, Jim watched as Miriam opened her rescued Bible and pulled out a little picture card tucked inside. It was the picture of a guardian angel watching over two children on a bridge.
“Oh look. There’s a pretty angel picture that wasn’t in here before. And, here’s another one….”
My Jim just smiled. Funny how angels get their work accomplished.
Take Care on the Journey,
June 9, 2008
June 7, 2008
I've been watching the mail for an unclaimed funds check from a Missouri bank account left behind and forgotten since 1964. According to the Missouri Unclaimed Funds Department, my sister, Sandra, and I were owned money from bank accounts at Annapolis, Missouri that grandma opened for us over 40 years ago.
The story started one day several years ago when I saw a report on CNN about people finding money owed to them in the unclaimed funds department of each state. I did several searches including the name Mascunana/Missouri and up popped the message that we were owned money - although it didn't say how much.
It has taken a couple years to complete the required paperwork, mostly because we had very little proving that we once lived there. No utility bills or phone bills (we had no phones). There was no paper trail after all these years. They finally agreed that request was slightly unreasonable! Then we had to supply paperwork showing we once used that last name. Thankfully, a copy of our marriage license satisfied that requirement. The final paperwork included notarized paperwork which in the beginning it said we didn't need; but finally last week I got a letter informing me that the check was being processed!!!
Somewhere along the way, we were informed that the initial deposits had been for $6 each. I'm sure it was money earned from an old woman (Mrs. Butler) who lived alone in the woods behind our house on the hill. She paid Sandra and me 25 cents a day to deliver her mail (on the rare days that she got mail). I remember we had to share the days but the quarters seemed like gold to us two little barefoot girls.
The check was for $9.26.
I whooped and hollered and laughed so loud at the mailbox (while Jim waited in the car for me to get the mail) that Jim jumped out of the car and came running to see if I was alright! I'm glad I was laughing. The suspense has been terrible because several people have said that if the money was put into savings, we could have quite a lot of money!
After reassuring Jim that I had not been harmed or in pain, I got on my cell phone and called my sister. Needless to say we won't be quitting our day jobs (she doesn't have one), but Sandra and I plan to make a list of all the things we can buy for less than $10.00. That will have to be for my next posting....Right now I have to go to work...
Take Care on the Journey,
June 6, 2008
Yep, he was supposed to get bus number 58 as a transfer bus to the transit station right across from his work. In my last posting, I explained that he had not been getting off his main bus as I had instructed him, but was staying on to the 'end of the line' and walking the rest of the way to work (about 3 blocks) which wasn't too bad when the weather is nice and it's sunny and warm. He said he was afraid his transfer bus wouldn't show up and he'd be late for work....
So, last Thursday he follows my directions and gets off about eight blocks from his work to catch bus number 58 - but it never showed up! Ha ha ha. I am NOT always right!
He finally caught another bus (#61) and got to work a little late. Later, he asked the main office about bus # 58 and the lady said, "It should have been there."
Next week we hope to be on a better schedule and we've learned a few things to help make the transition from driving to riding a little easier. He can actually take the later bus at 7 a.m. (including #58 – we hope!) and get to work on time. JUST. He needs a little radio so he can listen to his NPR NEWS on the way home and he needs to take a good lunch. All these things we're working on because we really appreciate his willingness to get out of his comfort zone to make things easier for the family finances.
Hubby has started reading this blog more than he used to (at least in a more timely manner) so now I'm getting a few of his comments and observations he gets from reading all my posts. I do take his opinions to heart sometimes. He commented that my posting titled "99-Percent Angel" was "a little tough". He was also surprised that so many things were 'bothering' me that week. (And, he hoped I wasn't mad at him too.)
Jim wondered if I might have hurt someone’s feelings with my comment about people who owe me money. (He asked himself if HE owed me money.) (LOL) I should have been more specific. It's people who owe me money who insist they DON'T owe me money - like someone who owes me about $12,000.) Now you know that it's not YOU.
This morning on my to work, I pulled through the pharmacy to pick up meds for the baby I take care of as a nurse. The pharmacist asked if I was his regular nurse (because she's seen me there a lot getting things for him). She smiled at me and said, "You do a wonderful job with him." I wonder how she knows. But she was truly sincere and her words have rang positive with me all day.
Yesterday afternoon as I got out of my car to get our mail, I saw a man getting his wheelchair out of his car so he could get his mail. I hesitated to ask if I could help because I didn't want to take away his independence, but I did anyway and he was quite pleased to let me open his box and bring him his handful of letters. We chatted about our dogs and the place where we live, but never mentioned his handicap.
My challenge to you is not to do an act of random kindness. (You can do it if you want to.) But how about letting someone do something nice for you?
So, I suggest to let’s put our wheelchairs back in the car and let someone else get the mail for us today.
When I lived in Tennessee many years ago, I recall road signs at the entrance to the freeways “Give a car – Take a car”. That’s how traffic flowed onto the highway smoothly without bottlenecking during rush-hour traffic. I suspect signs like that wouldn’t do any good today because no one would pay attention to them. Everyone rushes out and pushes their way in! But, it works when let allow it to happen.
Think about, “Give a Smile (Hug) (Gift) (Praise) (Prayer) – Take a Smile (Hug), (Gift) (Praise) (Prayer)”.
June 4, 2008
The TITLE was selected because those two items have been keeping me up at night and causing me to be too tired to write at my best these days!
While last night (June 3, 2008) was a historic moment for the United States and the world when Obama officially became the first African/White American (his mother is from Kansas) to win the Democratic presidential nominee ticket by nailing down the required 2,118-delegate baseline needed to qualify for the position, we were too exhausted to stay up and wait for the magic moment.
We started recording the news on CNN when he had 4 more votes to go! (By the way, I’ve had an Obama ad at my personal MySpace for several months!). I missed his victory speech, …”The end of one historic journey…the beginning of another” because I was online searching the bus schedules from our home to Jim’s work in Columbus, Ohio!
Due to the nearly 100 percent price increase in gasoline, we are having to come up with creative ways to cut monthly expenses. Taking the COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority) bus will save our family up to $200 a month in travel expenses alone, but it requires some uncomfortable changes!
We have to get up at least an hour earlier, when ‘before’ was already ‘too early!’ It makes us feel like we got up four hours earlier by the end of the day. He’s been catching the bus at 6:30 a.m. so he can be to work by 8 a.m. and I’m trying to make him a good breakfast before he leaves.
The ride has been interesting though. He says the people on the bus act like a big family with jokes and friendliness. The first morning as he boarded, someone greeted him with, “So the price of gas got you too!” Another man has new jokes every morning that he shares with everyone.
So far, I can’t get Jim to take the transfer bus that stops right in front of the building he works in! He’s afraid the transfer bus won’t show up, so he rides the first bus to the end of the line and walks about 3 blocks to work. I suppose that’s okay, but I won’t stop nagging until he takes the complete circuit!
In other news, mark your calendars. I finished planting all my flower seeds on June 3. It was suppose to rain real big yesterday, so I threw the last packets of wildflower seeds in the patch of woods next to our yard. At Samantha’s grave site (not far into the woods), I scattered a packet of sunflower seeds beside the tulip bulbs that have already bloomed this year. At another spot, I dropped in some fancy gourd seeds. I’m curious to see how those grow. I’ve never grown them before. We made up a pretty little flowerbed under our kitchen window last weekend and started several colorful containers of mixed flowers on the porch – including several pots of my all-time favorite Morning Glory seeds. Anticipate end-of-the-season pictures this fall on my websites! My boys (if they ever read this) will remember my famous Morning Glory flowering vines that covered our front porch in Michigan each summer. One late summer, they were so big and heavy that it pulled the porch light down.
Last week was the end of the season for several TV shows that have kept us entertained during the long winter evenings. We are grieving (LOL) the loss of our favorite characters that were ‘killed off’. Our favorites, NCIS, CSI and Numbers will never be the same.
If you’ve checked out a couple of my official websites, you may find that they need some updating. I just discovered our hosting service has changed its format and we can’t get into those sites to make any changes. Sure, they still send us a bill every month, but http://www.photosbylinda.com/ and http://www.lindasbookshelf.com/ seem destined to remain forever frozen in time unless a web master unlocks they key. Sorry. Jim says he will look into it with his slight advantage over me in the Webmaster department, but I think it’s a lost cause. Technology can sometimes be such a delicate process and so easily imbalanced! That’s why I like the versatility of blogging and MySpace. I enjoy searching for new material and the freedom to be creative without complicated HTML code and passwords.
I’m still waiting for the check-in-the-mail from the 40-year old bank account in Missouri. Yep, back in 1964 grandma deposited $6 into an account for me and another one for Sandra. We’ve each requested our “Unclaimed Funds”. Some people say if it was in savings, it will have earned interest. Others insist we won’t get anything. We don’t have high expectations, but it gives us a chance to dream and laugh a little. I say if I get a $6 check made out to Linda Mascunana, I’ll frame it like I do my $4 AuthorHouse checks from the sale of my book! Oh, I take that back. This quarter, my AuthorHouse check was for $7. And that was profit for 10 books I ordered at 10.55 each. I’m still happy I can give my book, “Dusty Angels and Old Diaries” to friends for FREE.
Last week I took some family pictures here in Columbus. The mom made a slideshow with music that is becoming quite the talk of the family. (I know the family through my work as a nurse.) It's posted on their family website so I'm adding the link at the end of this posting. (I don't want you to click away from here before you get to the end. ha ha.) We're so pleased with the results of the shoot although I was worried because we had to shoot outside in the noon sunshine.
In my last posting, “99-Percent Angel” some thought my article was sad and/or frustrating. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way. My thought in writing like that is because I know many of us share the same challenges every day. I believe it is encouraging to ‘see’ others in the same boat. Along that line, today, I noticed a story on CNN titled, “Please Shut Up” By Martha Beck from "O, The Oprah Magazine," July 2006. In short, it asks if you’re telling your sad story to figure it out or to get pity. Martha says we should not get stuck in the past but should get on with our life.
Beck says, "Getting bogged down in old stories stops the flow of learning by censoring our perceptions, making us functionally deaf and blind to new information. Once the replay button gets pushed, we no longer form new ideas or conclusions -- the old ones are so cozy. But becoming present puts us back in reality, where we can rigorously fact-check our own tales."
Try dredging up one of your favorite stories --maybe a classic like "I'm not good enough." Treat it as a hypothesis. Research it. Is there any evidence that contradicts it? Have you ever, in any way, even for an instant, been good enough? Insist on the truth. Whatever terrible things may have happened to you, only one thing allows them to damage your core self, and that is continued belief in them."
Put all your energy into your life's work. The moment you lift your gaze from your old stories, you'll see your life's work. I don't mean a gilt-edged proclamation from God, describing every step you are to take for the rest of your existence. I mean the next step, which is usually very small: Ask for the promotion. Pick up the kids. Take a nap. Then take the step that comes after that. From time to time, as you continue along, a Big Dream will coalesce out of the swamp fog.
The way forward is to shake the quicksand off your feet and take one small step toward that dream. Trust me, it will be all you can do. Taking things step-by-step means working -- working hard, working scared, working through confusion and embarrassment and failure....Dwelling endlessly on the past keeps us from the wild, exhausting, terrifying tasks that create our right lives.
Try it for yourself, right now. Look around you. Listen. Touch your hair, the floor, this page. Whatever happened 10 years ago, whatever happened 10 minutes ago, is not your present concern. Neither is what will happen in another 10 years, another 10 minutes. This moment is all you have to worry about. Narrowing your attention to this point is your reconnection with solid ground. Call this anchoring, establishing a simple, physical, factual connection with present reality."
Thinking back to the beginning of this posting, isn’t that how Obama got where he is? Last night he thanked his grandmother for pouring everything she had into making him what he is today. (I peeked at the recording.) Hopefully, we will always be thankful for our past and not be afraid to get out of our comfort zone when opportunity knocks.
Here's the link to the family photos http://www.babyhomepages.net/storm/stories.php
Take Care On The Journey,