Expectations, Blessing or Not?

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Expectations, we all have them, not necessarily a negative thing, is it? well depends.  Depends, depends on what, either you do or you don’t have them?  Either they’re good or they’re bad, work or they don’t?  Well, no, not that simple.

We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.

Sheryl Sandberg 

Let’s start with expectations of self.  We can be our own worst critics, our harshest taskmasters.   Shouldn’t we have expectations of ourselves, goals?  Yes, but at the same time, what should they be?  We all have innate gifts, talents our creator gave us, and understanding the needs of humanity, understood we could not all be given the same gifts and even within the category of those gifts not at the same level of capacity.  What should we expect from ourselves?  When I taught ESL one of the mottos we gave students was KISS, Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  In the case of personal expectations the best expectation is to discover what your God given talents and gifts are, find constructive opportunities to develop them and use them in your lifetime to your benefit and benefit of the greater society, one where all have the opportunity to develop their talents etc…  Also, give yourself space to stumble and fall, get up again, wiser, stronger than before, with greater faith than before. 

Whatever happens in the world is real, what one thinks should have happened is projection. We suffer more from our fictitious illusion and expectations of reality.

Jacque Fresco

What about others, expectations of others?  Often we go back to what others should have done, over and over.  We put high expectations on others, very specific laundry list on them of what they should do to prove themselves to us etc..  What if we just had the same expectation of them that I spoke of having for ourselves? What if we expected realization of potential and might I add for self, no victimization crap, accepting that yeah life has moments that really frankly are YUK, and UGGHHHH!, cry, scream into the pillow, beat up the pillow, go to the gym and punch the punching bag, exercise, get it out constructively, make changes to life, behavior etc.., be an example to others of expectation on how to handle tough moments. Expect them to learn and move forward, process and move forward with what was learned, keep growing, learning, realizing their full potential, be a better person.  What if that was the basic expectation we had, nothing more, and relayed that clearly, all we expected was develop and live up to your full potential, which I know exists, just have to find it and cultivate it, through thick and thin, be there for them to do so?  Something to contemplate. 

Amen

Planning For “Twilight” Years, Morbid?

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The Journey That is Life.

Life and youth are not forever and so as I near that point of age 55, and my mom 93, her health starts to take twists and turns, I find myself thinking about what happens when she is gone.  For any number of reasons I remain single and so there are kids ore grandkids, thus my planning is exclusively down to me and my finances etc…

In doing so that means I have to face up to some stuff, some truths.  I have to face up to financial truths good and not so good.  I have to face up to any sadness about time and opportunity wasted in my life, not so great choices, how my life baggage and fibromyalgia isolated me, so now there are no circle of friends nearby.  With this journey of organizing my twilight years as they say, comes facing a few truths that I may not like, may make me sad, but running away won’t solve anything or change what is.  I can only face things as they are and work on thing in the here and now for a better tomorrow.  How do I do that?  There are a few things I can do.  I can continue working on what I am doing improving my finances, and at the same time doing what I love which is writing and the arts.  Do I wish I had realizing my path and vocation sooner, done much better with my finances? Do I wish the fibromyalgia had been figured out sooner and I could have focused on being an artist, life coach/minister a lot sooner in my life?  Yes, of course, but that didn’t happen and so all I can do is work on the here and now for the future to be a good one.  I pray for the wisdom, creativity etc… to stay the course at all times.  I also have started looking into 55 plus communities and I thought about it and did I want to stay in the City, in NY and I thought, yes I do want to stay in NY, but maybe not the City, maybe in my twilight years go somewhere close to the city, still NY, but where you have fresher air.  I have a list of affordable places and I can start touring them once I reach 55 and this way when my mom passes, I can be ready.  Planning for the twilight years is not a bad thing and facing truths can be a bit sad etc.. but maturity is a bout doing just that. 

Amen

Quote of the Day Reflection

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There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.
Bryan H. McGill

Do you have to like everyone you love? Do you have to approve of every action taken by those you love? Wait are these trick questions?  No, they are not.  Loving people does not mean you are going to like or love everything about them, or how they live their lives necessarily.  You may not always be thrilled in the aftermath how you lived your own life, may have moments you don’t like yourself much.  Can you love on a broad human scale to forgive, even if you voice your distaste etc…, hopefully and please non-violently?  You can’t really forgive if you don’t have genuine love for the person, or a general Agape love that is taught in spiritual communities.  Does that mean you have to associate with them, especially if they show a pattern of negative behavior, show they are incapable of true relationship etc…, even true friendship?  No, you don’t.  Forgiving is as much about you and your own journey, loving yourself enough to release the harmful poison that bitterness and lack of forgiving bring to your heart, body, spirit, soul and life.  What about in cases of a tragedy, don’t we want justice?  Yes, but you won’t get justice if you are do blinded by anger and rage that you can’t let justice take its’ course and trust that whether in this life or the after, it will come, in God’s time, not yours, NOT yours.  Justice is not the same as enraged immediate revenge, which could result in an even greater tragedy and error. Without forgiveness there can be no discernment of any truth, that includes forgiving one’s self for errors, missing the mark as scripture says.  Not to say we shouldn’t strive to be better persons and cultivate discernment, right moral, ethical etc… judgement even in how we live our lives, we should, for our sake, the sake of nations, communities and greater society, future generations.  Forgiveness does not mean you have to be a part of someone’s life, have a relationship, or if you do approve of how they are conducting their lives, it means you can mutually agree to disagree and express how you feel without fear one to the other, if you have a really together life with solid boundaries, moral and ethical boundaries etc..who knows you can be a great example for change and transformation. 

Amen

Reflection, Quote for the Day

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Positive anything is better than negative nothing.  To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive. Elbert Hubbard, American writer, 1859-1915

As I read these quotes I thought of today’s politicos and even so called activists, academics, the mess we are in all over the place and they hit home.  They are interconnected.  Let’s start with the first one.  Positive action to solve issues is always better than sitting around doing nothing and watching the house burn to the ground, and if lives are at stake, people are trapped in the burning building then there is moral imperative to do something.  Same if you have people trapped under a building, right? Yes and no.  There you have a different scenario.  There is a Brady Bunch Christmas special where Mike Brady is called in by this boss who did not listen to Mike about putting certain safety features and he and two other workers get trapped under building rubble.  Of course the family wants someone to go in and save Mike right away, or a team to go in, but if they do, not knowing just how stable or unstable the beams are the whole thing could come down and kill them all.  How would that be good for anyone including the families of those who die under the total collapse of the building?  Mike who is the architect knows the building finds his own way out to safety, via his own ingenuity.   Action needs to be positive, but it can only be so if there is no political or such ambition behind it, no one side only view behind it, and if it is seen in full view mirror historical, cultural, financial etc.. past, present, future to the great good of present and future generations, including financial health of the greater community, includes nations.  Is that asking for a lot of maturity? heck yeah.  Knowing when to do something, a little, a lot, nothing for now, letting individuals, communities and their own ingenuity take over so they don’t become dependent children, individuals, communities etc…  and really are able to take pride in their ability to map out their own destiny, find talents within they never realized they had, or make use of talents they never got the chance to make use of, is crucial.   For politicians and those in high profile positions, doing nothing, doing little, letting We The People, forcing us to solve our own problems, in community, including within the faith community, through the private sector mainly, with our own ingenuity, not telling us we need to suck up the fact that life is not always sweet as honey, has thorns like roses have thorns, and that government is not your mom and dad, is not responsible for your every care and whim, deal with it, is not a good way to get votes, is it?  It guess it wont go over well with the image of smiling, kissing babies and all that come election day.  So, they say nothing of what needs to be said, which is stop being a nation and society of whiners, complainers, vampires, thugs etc…, grow up!  Instead they do Negative Somethings and keep getting us into more debt, more division and a bigger mess. Families are doing the same, parents with their kids, same thing, couples, in all spheres, faith institutions trying to be hip, modern, politically correct being fools and clowns.  That leads us to the third quote.  OMG, please don’t give our young people any sense of competition, any sense that they are not all geniuses in school, or that anyone of them is any less in aptitude in any way shape or form, oh no!  Save them from any speech that will cause them to be hurt in feelings or any way  shape or form, oh poor babies should they have to suffer a different point of you, the travesty the trauma!  Seriously?  A sterilized world, life where you have no emotions, no constructive emotions, no constructive debates, even passionate ones, vigorous ones, where you never are hurt, never are heartbroken is a world of robots, a world of non humans, of cold, lifeless androids.  Sucks.  On the other hand, being pure anger, rage, emotion, can’t handle the truth about anything, means you are perpetual child, annoying child who at some point everyone will want to smack upside the head a thousand times over, wanting you to get the hell over yourself and grow the hell up!  Also sucks!

Sadly this is the world we are living in and yet I would like to think there is hope for this to turn around and for us to live in a vibrant world where heart and reason meet, congeal, work together, where it is about the big picture of common sense for the greater good long term financially for all, giving free reign of ingenuity to the local community and individuals to be able to solve problems, to present solutions, and for a lot of people with a strong backbone, not a society of whiners, complainers etc…, no need for safe spaces and playdough, or whatever it is called, been a long while since I was a kid.

Amen

When A Marriage Must Dissolve

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When a marriage is totally dead, can not be revived is toxic to one or both, is creating ill health etc… and must be dissolved, it is never a happy moment, that moment of realization that this is what must take place, but once you do realize it, then what?  As a child of divorce, not an amicable one, with mom still expressing her bitter thoughts and inability to forgive to this day and making me very uncomfortable and feeling caught in the middle, I am going to discuss this topic.

My advice to both parties to begin with, put your friggin big boy and big girl pants on.  Yes, it sucks when stuff ends, when after putting time and energy into something it dies and has to be walked away from, but newsfalsh you are not the first and you are not going to be the last that is dealing with that situation, so cut the pity party.  What do you do?  GET A GOOD LAWYER, NOT ONE OF VENGEANCE, one who will be objective, fair and make sure you are, and your soon to be ex is.  Get very clear, very centered, very fast, very grown up very fast, very practical very fast, and figure how to move on with dignity, nobility and self respect.  Meditate, pray, put together a plan for moving forward and then stick to it.  Also, get a good lawyer, even a good pro bono lawyer, and with the Internet, you can research and find a licensed with good reviews pro bono lawyer, even with angies list you can find a lawyer with good reviews in your areas.  If you have kids, for goodness sakes, children, stay in adult mode, don’t care how old your kids are, leave them out of your war, it’s your war, not theirs, don’t make it theirs, don’t make it so they have to choose sides, if you do, you are truly losers in every sense in the situation and so are they.  This is my two cents of advice as a child of divorce, not a friendly one.  I also wanted to research and so I am sharing this article.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/the-best-divorce-advice-ive-ever-received.html/?a=viewall

Fibro Once Again, Bump In the Road

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Sometimes fibromyalgia can be compared to being in a dark room.  You make plans, want to, but then at the same time, the fibromyalgia is so unpredictable.  Add to that the fact that now my 93 year old mom is starting to forget, leave the gas on, and adding more stress, something not good for anyone with fibro. Today I missed out on a day of heritage celebration because of the fibro messing with my memory in a sense.

I have set my cell phone alarm to go for doctor appointment before, since the alarm on the dresser clock doesn’t work any number of times.  However, I was worried after mom again left the stove on and I then went in to get something and saw she had, and the shift in weather, made for a horrible night, so I set the alarm settings on my phone, but never saved them, so the alarm this morning never went off.  If mom wakes up and she knows I have plans she will wake me if I have had a good night’s sleep, my blood pressure was high, sugar was off, arthritis pain acted up or just knows I really want to be there, but she had not slept well, , so she didn’t wake up either.  I could get very discouraged, get all down and depressed, which wont help at all.  Instead, I am blogging, listening to music that uplifts me, inspires me and I am planning on my activities for tomorrow, including a class in Music Appreciation at my coop, in the community room.  This is not the first time that because of Fibromyalgia I have had to either do last minute cancelations or stuff like this has happened and it likely won’t be the last.  What matters here is how I respond to these moments, these “crisis” moments, and if I choose to see them as crisis.  Another example, I will do all I can to help a church I feel strongly about saving to thrive, but if after all has been tried it still folds, I can’t have a pity party for the church, what I can do is figure out how to make my faith life stronger and make the faith stronger.  I can honor my heritage daily in different ways and it’s up to me to find constructive ways to do so.  Life and fibromyalgia will throw curveballs and yet it’s not the curveballs that are the issue, it’s how I respond, that is the issue.

Amen

32 Words That Can Change Your Life

32 Words That Can Change Your Life

By: Carina MacInnes

We all have ways of testing opportunities that enter our lives. Some of us just dive right in based on feeling, others walk straight into what they know is right by a gut feeling or intuition. And if it’s not gut feelings or emotions that are the tests of opportunities, it is the logical mind persuading us to ignore those feelings and emotions and test it with our reality of reason.

Most of us do not have a predetermined strategy for testing opportunities, or even more generally to test the actions we take and the choices we make in our lives.

There is an easier way to determine if our choices we make and the opportunities we receive ‘pass the test’. This simple 32 word statement of business ethics was first created in the 1930s and used to turn around a failing company. These four questions were applied by each employee to each and to every minute detail of the company’s workings. This little list of four questions from Rotary International, a humanitarian business organization, is the most widely printed, translated and reproduced piece of business ethics today:

“Of the things we say, think or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

If we built businesses and our lives based on these very simple 4 questions we would be coming from a place completely the opposite of the competitive mind and the lack mentality. As you can see, these questions prompt you to choose what is true, fair, and good, making choices that can build friendships and goodwill. It helps us to see how the choices we make can be beneficial to all concerned.

Because of our societal influences, we most often are inclined to make choices and act based on a competitive mind. This comes from the perspective of lack, scarcity, and ultimately greed.

Any opportunity based on the model of competition and lack will simply not pass the test. Competition promotes strife. It embodies winning one spot, taking it away from all the other people who want it. It misleads people to believing there is only one chance for success, when in reality there is plenty for all.

The competitive model encourages people to rely on a source outside of themselves to give them what they need. This denies the power of their own ability to create what they want. This narrow focus shows they are choosing to ignore the possibility of creating this opportunity in their own lives, instead of trying to win the spot from millions of others.

This simple testing technique takes us completely out of the competitive mind of greed, scarcity and lack. It turns our thoughts and choices toward the positive, realizing there are opportunities we can take that can provide increase for all concerned.

I invite you to use these questions to test your actions and opportunities in your life. If you are seeking opportunity, these questions may help you see things in a different way. In doing this, perhaps you might find an opportunity in your life which truly allows you to benefit the world, while at the same time reaching whatever your dreams, goals, and desires