Simply Confused

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Nationalism -[nash-uh-nl-iz-uh m, nash-nuh-liz-](noun)

  1. Spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation. 2. Devotion and loyalty to one’s own country; patriotism.

3 excessive patriotism; chauvinism.

Uh-oh (ducking) Please don’t throw anything I’m just writing because no matter how long I ponder, I just don’t get it!

What is this word that has caused so much chaos, and arguing back and forth?  I’ve highlighted meaning two is it really wrong to be loyal to one’s country?  To be a patriot? To want to care for those in need here in our country first or is it just that like so many times before people have taken a word, and picked and chosen a word with a meaning that suits their needs for the times.

 

I know we should help others, because that is the Christian thing to do, but what of our vets coming back from war? Are they getting what they need? Do they deserve consideration? Am I evil because I want to focus on them and the homeless in our country, before I focus on others? Am I racist, because I want programs developed to stop the killing of our children in schools and on the street; no matter their race?  Am I unfair because I think money should be given to programs here to help those in need? We have elderly who can’t afford to keep their house warm, or keep themselves fed. Parents who can’t make enough money to feed their children or worse yet, keep them in a home or apartment?

 

Is it wrong to want to straighten out the systems at home to save children that are in homes and suffering unspeakable horrors?

 

By reading the above definitions, I don’t see the problem. I don’t disagree that other people running from horrors in other countries need our help, not by a long shot, but I do believe we should help those at home first.  I believe we should be supporting our home first.  I don’t pay the mortgage on my neighbors house first, I pay mine first. If I can I help people financially, (and I’ve done it many times before), but not before I took care of my own first.

 

Growing up a welfare child I know what it is like to go without, I am familiar with the struggle to try and make ends meet with that check. I know how easy it would have been, if not for my mother staying at home, to get involved in a situation that would have changed the path of my life, but it was hard on her doing it alone.

 

Why does everything in this country have to be a fight? It is getting soo old. I have been fighting my way out of depression for two years now; because the hate that divided this country was just do heavy on my heart. It is knocked me down, and I couldn’t get up. I have not written on this blog for almost a year because it was getting too dark to see my way out.  We all have our breaking point, and I had reached mine. Hate was tearing apart everything I held close.

 

HATE and HATE alone is  the dark monster that sneaks into your soul, and before you know it, it will absorb you. You and you alone are part of the line of defense to stop it from consuming our country and eventually our world.  We have to be the ones to stop it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Simply Lost Dreams

 Have you ever felt trapped in a job or activity that you didn’t like simply because somebody told you, you belong there? If you say no, you are one of those endangered species who have had everything go right for you, and I would love to have coffee with you, and find out your secret to life.

Dreams are what make us who you are . . .

 Have you ever felt trapped in a job or activity that you didn’t like simply because somebody told you, you belong there? If you say no, you are one of those endangered species who have had everything go right for you, and I would love to have coffee with you, and find out your secret to life.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of the lucky ones. As for me; I have so many unfinished dreamer paths in my life that I could fill the pages of a book on how to not help yourself  that would probably become a best seller.

My reasons for not finishing them; rejection, sabotage by people close to me, a person I admire or love greatly telling me I won’t get to the brass ring because I didn’t have a “Degree” in that specific topic. Even if I had classroom certificates for the activity; Oh and one of my favorites, “You’ll never get that far, because you aren’t as good as others before you.”

What about the person in life who always has to compete with you or the person who always has to give you something else for you to do that takes you away from what you want to do simply because what they are doing is more important (or so they believe). Yeah. That’s my favorite too.

In all of life’s complications, and interruptions, why must we give up what makes us who we are?  Who says they are worthless, and they will go nowhere? It’s not only those that are lucky that realize their dreams, it’s those that work hard, set goals, and follow a path to get to where they want. My problem is that I let those around me interrupt my dreams, and tell me “they aren’t going anywhere”, or that “I’m not good enough”, or that dreams “should be hobbies”, or that “I should tend to the obligations that they lay out for Me.” Or that “I’m not doing it right.”  Because, their way is the only way to do it, so I should do it that way too.  Whatever happened to individuality? To believing in yourself? To having faith in yourself? Having family and friends encourage you, and supporting you? Whatever happened to dreamers having the freedom to follow a path and a goal?

Here’s what mainly holds me back, I am 55 years old and I am afraid of failure. My faith in myself is seriously lacking, because over the years I have been put down, or shoved into holes that I just don’t fit into.  I have nobody that is close to me to share, and talk about my dreams or my path to them. I have nobody who encourages me, or takes an interest in who I really am, or what my interests really are. There are times I feel so alone, and that doesn’t do a lot to encourage me to reach for that brass ring either.

What has changed? Too many people are thinking about how they have to keep the peace by keeping what is important to themselves out of the conversation, especially if they know the recipient has no interest in “that” conversation.  It has become a very lonely world we live in when everyone has to lose their individuality to please others.

My Love to All!

Simply Politicization

How can you talk about Politicization without becoming political? I don’t like being political about anything, especially when it comes to my own personal feeling about something. Yes Politics has its place, but in recent years it has managed to sweep into every aspect of our life.  You can’t by a tube of toothpaste without it being politicized (okay, I’m exaggerating, but It feels like that on some days). Just watch the news or open the newspaper.

The most recent example and the saddest example of that is the division lines drawn in the death of the four service men in Niger. Instead of honoring them for their service, and feeling for their family it was turned into a Political tug-of-war between left wingers and right wingers. Really, people? Two interviews about the condolence calls were all over the news, and it became front page news, overshadowing the real story; The four men who died serving. (Please no tomato throwing) one call came from one mother her received call, and then out comes a rebuttal interview from another mother about her private call from the president. STOP! Can’t they have time to grieve the loss of their sons, before our government takes their words as weapons against the other side? Really. It disgusts me to see the government (both sides) and the media using these words as weapons. These men died as they served our country, it should not turn into a political campaign mudslinging,  free – for- all. They hold the highest honors among all Americans if you ask me. I am so ashamed of the behavior of our leaders in government, and those in the media, I have no words or words that I can use. I’m trying to make this blog family friendly.

Now I am no expert on politics by a long shot, but I am old enough to remember that these last few years have been shameful. Riots on the streets. People who are hurting each other because they don’t like what they look like or what their opinion is, everyone needs to take a breath and remember why we are here.  Come on this is America. United we stand – Divided we fall. We’ve forgotten the united part. I’ve lost friends over this political crap, and not because of how I believe, but because of how they or other family members believe. They think that because of some things certain members post on FB that I agree with them. So not true, they may be family, but I do have my own independent views as well. That is what is so sad.

I have my own opinions yeah, but I don’t try to push them onto others. It’s a practice that I have learned at the Hard Knock School of life through the years, and I think it is one that we all should think about, and maybe practice.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3: 16

 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14-15

Consumed: To destroy totally

If you look around you, and are totally honest with yourself, is not that what we are doing? By becoming a world of hate, and drawing lines in the sand, we are doing exactly what Paul predicted in Galatians. Scary huh? I’ve seen so much in my 54 years that this only saddens me, and my heart becomes heavy in my chest for my neighbors, family, and friends. When Politics seeps into everything in our life, including family, and lines are drawn between members and good friends who used to compartmentalize this stuff, and look more at what they had in common, or the love one had in their heart toward their neighbors.  This nation could right itself from this crazy upside down position, and become a nation of hope and caring once again. The holiday season is at hand, so now it is the time to do it, let’s show the rest of the world what love and uniting to defeat a 2 common enemies, “Hate and division” can do. United we stand, divided we fall could come into focus once again. What a pure blessing that would be.

Love to all!

Simply Terrifying

As I play with my grandchildren or I build cities on my FB games, or shut myself in my house,  and I talk to my FB friends I can let myself believe that all around me is safe and secure.  However the minute I turn on the TV, and I watch the news, or I open the door and allow the real world to enter, it brings with it, its monsters, growling with swiping claws and snapping mouths full of razor sharp teeth along with it. Lately I find my virtual cities and neighborhoods so much more appealing.

I’ve opted to live a side life in a virtual world, my cities and neighborhoods are filled with caring people I find delightful to visit with, and everyone pitches in with something you need done. Wow what a great group of friends. I don’t have to worry about the snarling monster that is literally spreading darkness over the real world today. I can shut it out, and ignore it.

However, ignoring what is really going on around us is how we got to this dark place to begin with. Living lives on the internet has allowed us to turn our backs on what is going on in our own neighborhoods. We close and lock our doors, turn on the computer, and surrender ourselves to FB and the like. Presidents and government members have taken to using Twitter to get by a media that has forgotten the “fair and non-biased” clause in their contracts, and instead choose sensationalism to sell their souls in exchange for ratings. I miss the days of boring news, and coverage of the county fair’s apple pie contest.  This side is doing that, that side is doing this. Pick up arms and stand your ground, the revolution / civil war is beginning in our streets!

The other day, I was sitting with my grand-daughter, and we were playing with a leggo set, building a little shop, and setting up a birthday celebration for one of the leggo girls, complete with presents. It was simply sweet and wonderful, and she was having so much fun. It was a special memory for us. Later as I sat and watched the news, I couldn’t help but wonder about that special moment with her. This is what life was to her. Sweet moments, special memories with those she cared about, and imaginary worlds which were all about princesses, love, pretty flowers, and sparkling tiaras. When will the real world invade her pretty little perfect world?  Answer? Too soon.  The world we are creating with our ignorance, hate, and our refusal to notice those that are hurting, that need love, and those that need a helping hand, is waiting at her door for the moment she steps into it. Oh how I would love to protect her from it!

We spend more time crossing the road, and pulling our arms tightly about us in public, forming our own little safe space. We afraid of people whom we do not know, or those whom are different than we are. We want to protect ourselves from what those in authority are telling us is bad or evil. Those that push their hate and bias onto those they know they can influence. Parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, leaders, grandparents, and friends; stop the ignorance, and teach those around you to use their talents, their hearts, and their intelligence to carve a new path. Is hurting each other or even killing each other the only answer?

“God helps those that help themselves.”; “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”; “Don’t judge lest you be judged”; “Why do you look at the speck that is in your own eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matt 7:3”; “live free or die.”; “Thou shalt not kill.”;  Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, . . .or anything that belongs to him. (exodus 20: 17 (paraphrased)); “Give a man a fish, and they eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and they eat for a life time.”  “32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”  Acts 4:32-34.

These are just a few of the things that have been used to excuse behavior over the last few years, and brought upon us fighting and rioting on our streets; rioting that has helped to divide our country, and start to fray the very fabric of what this country means. This country is about freedom; Freedom to live, and worship as you choose; freedom to love as you are led; freedom to believe in whom and what you want to; freedom to love God, and ALL of his children, and not allow such a thing as a crayon color or a difference in opinion tear us apart.

What happened to that original idea? When did it all start to fall apart? When did hate and division become the foremost important thing on our streets? In our schools?  Our public buildings? When did God become a dirty word? The Christmas season become a holiday of division instead of one of celebration. (no matter What your background)? Why are we fighting over which one is true and real? Why do we try to force our own celebration on others and allow the government to extinguish one religion and allow the others to thrive? How do I tell my beautiful grandchildren that the world they are growing up in will be filled with strife and discourse instead of love and unification? Nobody has all the answers, but together we may find some.

Why close the door on our virtual worlds where everyone works together, and shows compassion for each other to become a participant in the real world where wars rage on in our streets? Do we really want to? Why can’t we just put our headphones on, take our laptops, and escape into our virtual cities and neighborhoods? Be friends with our neighbors, and create them the way we want our real world to be? Don’t get me wrong, the friends I have on line are as wonderful and as real to me as those in the real world. I love them all, and I enjoy the times I have with them, but is shutting out the real world how I want to teach my sweet grandchildren how to find happiness?

I tell myself I need to make a difference in their world. I need to teach them that there is an alternative to hate and division. It’s called love and togetherness. The biggest mountains are moved, and the deepest waters are tread when we work together as one, and in my case, God is in the Driver’s seat. We are people, not you are people. Churches lift up their neighbors in a community. Generous people help those in need. Somewhere over the years we’ve lost that concept we need to breathe new life into it, an return to it. If we all pull together we can create a safe, loving, beautiful world for our children once again, and they don’t have to worry about walking on the front lines.

The Holiday season is coming up. The community you live in will have a variety of giving programs. Most communities do. It could be a “Toys for tots” drop off or gathering spot. A place to give blankets and clothing for those in needs e.g. mittens, hats, and lap robes for the local Nursing home, or a local shelter or food shelf may need supplies for holiday dinners. Your local church may be gathering holiday food for a fellow member or community members. Maybe you know someone in your neighborhood that needs help, and you want to reach out, but don’t know how.  Let me suggest a food/clothes etc . . . drive in your neighborhood. Get your whole family involved. So many steps, so many people afraid to take those steps.

Start your journey by Making attractive, postcard invitations, and distribute them among your neighbors. Make your house the drop off point then deliver it to the one in need, you can even figure a way to do it anonymously . Partnership with your local church or shelter, and involve your neighborhood in that.  So many ways . .  .

The only question left to ask is? Are you the one person who starts to make a difference? You may be surprised how many will follow this holiday season if given the chance to share some love over the hate that’s out there now. Make a movement of light and love that darkness can’t penetrate.

My Love to all!

A Soul of Darkness

 

    Darkness: An absence of light.

Concerts. Love them, they are a great place for one to have fun, dance, meet and greet others with the same passion, and even dig in the closet for the perfect combination of clothing that expresses your devotion to an artist or the genre of the music.  Make-up, accessories, shoes, and the hat. A final look in the mirror reveals you are ready to meet other fans, and possibly get a glimpse of your favorite artist, maybe even a short video, or a snap shot with your iphone. What a thrilling and exciting evening it is going to be. You say goodbye to your kids, parents etc . . .  your friends knock on the door and off you go to an evening you will never forget.

   That is the way last Sunday night started for 22,000 fellow Americans as they excitedly dressed for a night out with friends, family, spouse, lover, etc. . . but what started out as quite possibly a special memory turned into a horrifying nightmare. One minute they were dancing, line dancing with a friend amongst others in a surrounding crowd just having a ball. Some were having a drink, filming their favorite singer. Taking selfies or pictures of loved ones and friends until they saw them drop to the ground or others around them, and then chaos. Friends realizing a dream that was wiped out, saw their loved ones shot down, or were left lying on the ground, with nowhere to go, wondering, “Am I next?”

                What is happening to the thread of our country?  How could one man have darkness in his soul so thick that he would just callously think “Hey, a concert? I wonder how many people I can take out.”  Authorities have found the means, the opportunity, but are frantically searching for a motive. People want to know why? How could one man hate humanity so much that he would commit the worse mass murder in history? Authorities have gone through the top possible reasons. Racism, gambling, Isis, depression, government conspiracy (really?) . . . He was rich, owned multiple homes, (no gambling debts) He was deeply in love with his girlfriend, and they were happy, no depression meds found in his houses or on his person so that has been ruled out. They have ruled out Isis, even though they tried to claim responsibility for it because they found no links to them in his personal belongings, phone calls, date books, or history of traveling. There is no connection to any of the normal things they usually link an attack of this magnitude too.  They’ve even spoken to his girlfriend, and she has shed no light on their investigation, though she did decide to lawyer up because of the money he shipped overseas for her.  As of today, news says: He had an accomplice, he visited other hotels for dry runs, and he even tried to blow up gas tanks. Me thinks they are trying to prove an Isis or some other International link. I hope they have the proof, and don’t just pin it there, because they have nowhere else to pin it.

                  Until they find the real motive, minds are left to wander. No matter what the report says about motive, one thing the evidence does prove, Stephen Paddock had darkness in his heart that had been left to fester, and eventually take over his soul, to me there is no other explanation. A person who could stand on the scope end of a rifle, and look through at a massive amount of innocent people, cutting them down, young, old, prime of their life, with no remorse has to have a darkness so thick that light can no longer penetrate it. A Coldness so deep, warmth has been long forgotten.  This kind of darkness can consume a person and create a hate so passionate that there may be no rhyme or reason for their actions, that soul has just chosen to become pure evil.

                Stephen Paddock did not want to keep the darkness within himself, he wanted to spread the pain anguish and hopelessness that it demanded so he took 58 souls, injured 527+ , and traumatized 21, 414 others, and then he took his own life, yet in the midst of all the chaos and fear, heroes arose, and gave what he tried to take away. Ordinary people not only helping those that he had cut down, but restoring faith and hope in humanity, and showing those of us watching stunned and shocked that not everyone has given up on love and caring for their fellow man; a love that was born from a heart full of light and warmth.  This is the kind of love that counteracts the darkness in this world; a darkness that took control of Stephen Paddock.

                That darkness is spreading so fast. The proof is all around us. Lone wolf attacks. Violent acts and people dying during what is supposed to be peaceful protests. How can we help? So many of the people in Las Vegas showed us how. We can follow their example. Now I’m not saying run into dangerous situations to play hero, but there are so many small things we can do. Help a friend with something they need to do. Help an elderly citizen with something they need; even offering a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to get groceries or meds etc . . . . Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or somewhere you could help your local Veterans. Start your own fundraiser to help someone in need or a cause to better the lives of many who need it.  Another way? Simply do random acts of kindness, show people that love, light, and warmth still exist.

                At a time when the darkness is taking over the weakest in our country, and they are feeding on our innocents, those of us that still believe light and love can beat it back need to stand up for those it chooses to attack. A soul of light and love will always outshine a soul of Darkness, and love will always prevail if we don’t remain dormant.

Simply Love

Hate – to feel hostility or animosity toward. To detest. (No matter how you look at the dictionary meanings listed the three common words are – Animosity; hostility; or detest.

Love – (Informal) a friendly form of address / Used to express affectionate approval for someone / a great interest and pleasure in something. 

   Above are the dictionary definitions of love and hate.  I like to simplify it. To me, hate means and absence of love. Simple, right?  Then why can’t we find some of that love, and spread it around?  Why can’t we redirect the hostility, and animosity, with a little bit of affection, friendliness, kindness, and share a little pleasantness with another person?  Have we forgotten the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated? I’m sure it does not mean you want complete strangers to hate you for your ethnic background or a crayon color.

Hate is such a, for lack of a better description, debilitating parasite. It lodges itself in our heart, and eats away until there is nothing but a black hole where our soul used to be.  Love, on the other hand, feeds our heart, and nourishes it. It plants seeds of kindness, friendliness, and affection. It also creates the desire to share, and to pass those feelings on to another. How do we do that?  Many people wonder how they can possibly even share a bit of kindness in a world so full of darkness, fear, and alienation, without being judged.  So, so, sad,

Fear of judgment is, unfortunately, a roadblock stopping Americans from being kind to each other, sharing love for their neighbor, reaching out to those they meet in their daily activities. Why? Picture this will you. You live in a great neighborhood. Every one of the residents is seen daily, either walking kids to school, or gathering at a local pool depending what time of year it is. Women gather around the toddler pool during the day, and chat about what new and exciting things their children are doing. “Hey, Theresa took her first steps today.”; “How exciting! Marsha put her own shirt on today.”; “Oh that is so wonderful!”; “Pete used the potty for the first time today. He was so proud.”  

All of this and more are how many people reach out and share experiences, joyful experiences, with each other. At that moment in time, these moms or dads are bonding through the experiences that every parent finds exciting. It is exciting, it is fun, and it is sharing something very precious with someone else. They don’t care what their background is, what the color of their companions’ skin is. It is just sharing memories, and sharing love. This is how seeds of love are planted, sowed, and harvested.

Do you open the store’s door for the person behind you? Stop your car as a pedestrian crosses the road in front of you? Allow a car to go before you do in an intersection?  Show some courtesy when you are in a traffic jam?  Yes, I agree, these are all little things that some people do, but what about holding the door to a store open for the one that held the door for the one before you?  There’s a mouthful.  How about helping someone load or unload their groceries, or even taking a shift for someone who is trying desperately to take care of a parent or another member of their family. What about offering transportation to appointments for those who can’t drive themselves. These are all little acts of kindness that will help build a wall of love.