hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the category “Epiphany”

Facing Your Fear

The bump in the night awakens you, the light at the end of a dark corridor, the still quiet in the middle of the day; what may not seem to be very much to others is major for you if there is something that frightens you.

Fear is a peculiar thing; sometimes it is blatant, sometimes it is subtle, it can be paralyzing, or it can make you turn and run. However, it does  have one common denominator, it stops you.

We resist change because we do not know what the outcome will be. We know what present conditions are;they may be bad, they may be tolerable, they may even be good as far as we are concerned. Therefore, we can be alright with present circumstances staying the same. For even if the situation is bad we fool ourselves by saying, “Well at least I know what I am up against.” That can and will console you IF you know for certain that things will be worse. Remember you MUST KNOW things will be worse.

None of us knows what is going to happen next in our society; we all have hopes, wishes, aspirations and even preferences. If you are on the bottom you may want to be on top, if you are on top you may well prefer to stay there. Wherever you are, you concede that an effort will be necessary to change or preserve your spot. We all have to know that  CHANGE is going to come into our lives. It has to, for it is the way of life.

I recall how many individuals laughed and made light of Rodney King’s statement, ” Can’t we all just get along?” People laughed at a simple statement coming from an individual, who many would like to think of as, not being all that bright. How could someone like that get philosophical. Yet my Christian friends are familiar with “Out of the mouths of babes…” We are willing to believe a child could have wisdom and insight, but not a man who may have had his very life flash before him, as he managed to stay alive after being beaten within an inch of his life. Save your cynicism, for even a drunk person will sober up a bit after having ice cold water thrown all over him. Think about a life altering experience YOU may have had in your years upon this Earth, didn’t you walk away with something positive, insightful, or inspirational to say. I think A Brush With Death has that type of effect on one.

Yes, absolutely we can all get along, we just have to want to.

Advertisements

Feeling Blessed To Be A Blessing

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in too many directions? Have you dreaded answering the phone because you anticipated it would be the news of yet one more catastrophe or a request for help. I want to talk to you about two scenarios one is of a selfish miser-type, he is so miserable and alone he cannot even think straight, his advice is,” You cannot help everyone”.  He has money, but when you think about it he has little else. The other is a relatively broke working class woman. She gets by not making ends meet, but they sorta brush against each other periodically. Her thoughts range from, ” If I have it you don’t have to ask, or whatever I can do no matter how great or small, I am there”.  I think in both instances these individuals do not realize where their salvation rests.

I believe God speaks  directly to us through feelings rather than words. Many years ago He cleared my head and gave me a message of reassurance as I drove down the street with my sunroof open. I looked at a beautiful California sky, sun peeping through the trees, and my heart felt what words did not have to express. I knew what I needed to do, I felt this love which was cosmic; like the way you feel when you are in love and  it takes your breath away,that was the Lord saying ,”Yes this is what I want you to do and I am with you.

I do not generally write during the Christmas holiday, because I am so wrapped up in the season and beauty, I NEED to enjoy and feel every moment for it carries me through the year. I am this emotional creature possessed by a control freak. I was not having a particularly good day, the list of not necessarily good things was growing larger with each passing hour, I was trying to keep it together and my relative calm was being challenged. Then as the last bit of my composure was about to abandon me, this feeling came to me as I was driving once again; it threw me completely off balance as it held me up high. It was strength, comfort, warmth, and love all at once. I inhaled to take that feeling and I knew God was telling me I can do” this/these”task(s) whatever may be, for He was with me, and through Him all is possible.

Sometimes as we go through the motions and emotions of the day we over look what we accomplish, it seems  so small and simple. However, you must stop and realize even the smallest of things that happen are our opportunities to glimpse into the window of miracles and blessings. The gas money you gave someone got them to a job interview, which will change their life. The 3 hour marathon listening session, saved a marriage. Silently, sitting and holding someones hand. There is power and healing in our very touch, we just do not always recognize or realize it, but God gave us this gift. He means for us to touch and interact and affect one another. Yet like anything that you put aside or ignore, it will fade. Sometimes you need to go to that little corner,  pick your gift up, dust it off and use it. You will be amazed at how well it still works, and rediscover the Creator of that gift still is there to help you use it.

Choosing HAPPY

I am blessed to be connected to some very wise, sweet, and logical ladies. happyballOur connections allow us to provide one another with things we may be missing in ourselves at various times. Moments ago I was mulling over some of my “me” issues and “choosing happy” came to mind.

I can be a bit a passive masochist, if you will, and I didn’t realize it until “choosing happy” crossed my mind. I wonder if that is the control freak in me, residual affect speaking?

It is Sunday morning and church is on my mind. Paul talks of being contented no matter what your circumstances. I will say this is a challenging thing  to do, but if one can manage it… wow imagine the advantage one would possess. Paul sat in prison and kept his heart and mind on the Lord. Paul walked out of that prison, can you walk out of yours. Do you even realize you are in one? Are you blaming someone else for the time you are serving in there? Do you want to be free?

Well in order for you to do this the first thing you must do is decide this a place I do not want t be in. How many of us talk and complain of something being so terrible, and how we cannot endure. Yet that is precisely what we do. There is no effort made to change, just countless reference to how much one is dissatisfied.

On one occasion or another all of us have lost our keys; car keys, house keys, etc. the  most common thing to do once the initial search comes up empty is to retrace the steps and when that yields no results we often try the process again.  Irritation sets in, followed by confusion as you wander over the same steps again and again.

If anyone is around and ask what is wrong, aren’t you reluctant to tell them? You know what type of help they will offer don’t you? They will get in your way, they will look a/in the same places you just did, and then they will do it, they will ask the question that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and all you have in you will be challenged  to keep from pouncing on them and beating them to a pulp. ” Where were you when you last had them?” NOOOOOO! Did you really just ask me that? See that is exactly why I didn’t want to say anything.”  Word to the wise; the next time a someone is in one of those aimless search modes, I suggest you back silently out of the room. They call for your help, and trust me that will only happen when they are in desperation mode.

EUREKA! when you do find them, generally in plain sight, you wonder how you could have passed over them so many times without seeing them. I submit to you; this is what happens in your quest for happy you have to realize that you have what you need to possess this thing you are in search of, and perhaps in your search you discover (or have someone else point out) you have had it in your possession all along.  Just stop take a rest, take a listen to the calm quiet voice, and magically you will find your keys.

Suicidal Tendencies

You hear these stories about folks who decide either by accident or intent life isn’t worth living anymore and therefore do something about it. Personally of all the flaws I have and will generally own up to being a coward. That has to be the headliner here.

Now some would argue that a person who commits suicide is just that, a COWARD. Yet the”coward” that I am kept me off drugs, brought me home on time, and didn’t allow me to talk to strangers. This same coward keeps me from ever considering the “final act”, for fear I may actually succeed.

Dealing from an opinion standpoint, I believe that people who attempt and ultimately go through with a suicide have a timing problem. Some underestimate an arrival of another factor that will cause them to re-think/re-consider or even stop them. I think it is obvious they all share a sadness and a feeling of hopeless that drives them to a point, that makes their only focal point on stopping the perceived misery as “they” know it.

In broader terms one might say “man” has these same tendencies, the feeling of doom and hopelessness. Who wants to live with those feelings dominating and hanging over them every single day?  It can be the simple explanation why one group that believes and worships one way would want to overtake and rid “their world of a group that believes and worships another way. It gives meaning to why a nation would without words, but through vicious acts, declare war on it’s very own population.Why else would someone feel as though they should carry around a gun that has the capability to not simply stop in individual be tear the individual to shreds. Just in case there are more who believe differently than me, just because there are more of them that look differently than me, just because someone may try to do something to me. None know when or if any of those scenarios will occur, but they are afraid it might AND they feel the best preparation is to be ready to destroy. That to me is that intense feeling of fear, fear of the unknown, and being realistic for most of us have NOT experienced most of the world; therefore most things to the average person is simply that, UNKNOWN. Yet the bold, the brave, the consummate explorer, MAN lives in fear and it is that very fear that will ultimately destroy him.

Looking at the world and the state of affairs, one might conclude we are doomed. Life has little or no value, even children are being sacrificed. From a religious standpoint one could conclude “the end is near”. Man will destroy himself , but it is also said, “No man will know the hour..” The individual and his individual fear that what he is experiencing, fear that it may go on, fear that tomorrow could bring worse. So he puts an end to it all, because he can at least control that, but wait right before he takes the final step, releases the trigger, swallows the last pill, or steps off the stool rope snug about his neck…. what if he’s wrong?

So if YOU are trying to prepare, to give yourself a”leg up”, here is yet another why and how for you. One cannot  really prepare for the unknown; the unknown is everywhere and preparation only exists, as far as the doubt in ones mind allows. Finally, what if we’re wrong?

Asking For What You Want And Getting It

“Ahh no thanks, Ima pass” was what I thought as I began this. Now that may be surprising but it has been something I thought on for awhile, and do not be mistaken because the piece began with “Ahh no thanks, Ima pass”, does not mean that was always MY starting point.

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie that starts at the end and then takes you backwards? Well this is how I am doing this particular post. Think you know exactly what you want, need, desire? I bet most if us would answer affirmatively to this question; yet be careful this is trip down an old familiar road with some unfamiliar turns.

Oftentimes when I write I listen to music and YouTube is my best friend in these endeavors, but one of my “sisters” started me on this by posting a video which featured a member of the both lovely and talented singing group Debarge.   James DeBarge to be exact. Now I am NOT being funny when I called them lovely, because in spite of the fact the majority of the group was male, they were some of the most beautiful young people you would want to lay eyes on and YES they could sing! When we saw them all we saw was beauty and heard the same. These amazing siblings rose like cream does to the top of milk. James married R&B royalty(Janet Jackson) in his youth. James was neither sounding or looking good in the video as he tried to employ the audience, of an obscure little club nestled in the Inland Empire on the outskirts of Los Angeles, to help him through one of the family hits. Nearly every member of the family has had a bout with drugs.

Before I knew it Youtube” was helping to guide me down memories of my teen and young adult years and some of the residents who will forever inhabited that place. The series Unsung became my springboard; The Sylvers, Shalamar, Klymaxx, Angela Bofill, before I knew what was happening it was 3 A.M.

This wordy introduction was to drive home the point of the title. You may have noticed my ending the list of singers with an individual rather than a group. Angela’s story tells it all. She spoke of riding high, doing what she wanted, dismissing things that were very important; these are not unique qualities of a young, successful artist, it is also reflective of many regular folks as well. Angela said at one point in her career she was exhausted. She had battled with weight issues all of her life, but she did not smoke, drink, do drugs. She was a person who “juiced” incessantly. She stated all she wanted to do and wished for was to be able to slow down, in 2006 she suffered a stroke and another massive one in 2007. Not taunting or making light of this situation; I am a fan on Angela Bofill her story merely allowed me to reflect.

What are our travels here on Earth about, if we cannot share and assist others in their ventures. We exist in a state of envy; we strive for more and greed has become a part of our culture. You don’t talk of instant gratification, it is a way of life. We see the beautiful people with the beautiful THINGS and think, “Wow what a beautiful life. Why did he commit suicide?Why is she on drugs? Why can’t they have a successful relationship?” Surely if YOU were given “their” opportunity, success, life you’d do it another way. Consider this “they” probably had the very same thought at one time.

If you have a favorite food  as I do, you may be able to use it as your road to understanding, and if need be change. Think about that favorite food, think of having more than enough of it placed before you, think of how you love and desire it, think of the first taste and then diving face first into it without the care or concern of someone watching you. How long could you continue eating it; is your answer until I got full or until I got sick? Then ask yourself would you actually push it to either of those limits. Think about long term repercussions; sometimes when you have too much of something it ruins it for you, you may never want it again, but then how sad is that because  you will recall you used to feel quite a bit different about that same food. On the other hand if you don’t become sickened by this same dish and you continue to go on you will lose appreciation for it. Any way you go, overdoing/ overindulging meets with a similar fate and disaster is generally a part of it.

Therefore appreciate and respect that which you have. Take the perks, rewards, luxuries in stride and spread them out over time. You may not get to them all but surely you will have time to sample them, and that may be enough. For life truly holds NO guarantees, exception being all will end.

Landing Among The Stars

I remember listening to Les Brown several years ago and hearing him say something during one of his sessions something very similar to what I used for this posts title. Motivational speakers are a phenomenon, their words can make you believe and aspire to do great things. Thus their name and their job.

I want to talk about another motivator. We human beings need a push sometimes, we need reminders of why we exist and why we must go one. Each of us have these catalyst in our lives, yet we often do not realize it until we suffer loss. Then it comes crashing in on us how very mush these people mean and we wonder how we will go on.

My take is this God provides us with everything we need, wonder gifts, but he does require you to reach out and grab these gifts for yourself. These gifts are  in the forms of mothers, fathers, children, grandchildren, teachers, friends and a host of so many other people He puts in our lives. Sometimes when things are not going not so good we forget the fact that we have these fabulous individuals  all around us to help in ways we cannot always imagine, and the other things that we think are so pressing are very miniscule by comparison.

One day they get another call from the Lord, and they leave us here to continue what we need to do.  We feel hurt, frightened, desperate, and alone. We wonder why God took them from us, how can we go on without this person right here where we can see, them touch them, love them. They were here for us because He put them here to help prepare us for what we need to do. As any good parent, and “good” cannot begin to describe what God is, their job is to prepare you to stand on your own. These loved ones of whom we all will one day lose, only go when He says so and when He feels like we are ready to what we need to do without them. Their task is done here but that does not mean you don’t have their love anymore. You have been the recipient of their gifts and you are the product thereof. Think of them in the same sense as a metamorphosis; same as you, the change is taking place, and you must move to the next level.

When you look up at the sky and see the stars twinkling back at you remember Les’ words ” Shoot for the moon, because if you miss you’ll still land among the stars”; know up there among those stars is  your loved one, still there watching over you in wonderful company, you were their “moon”, and you are never really without them because they remain in your heart.

It Feels Sorta Cosmic

I don’t know how to explain it any other way. A phone call out of the blue from someone that you have been thinking about. Meeting someone for the first time and you can talk for hours. Your lover knows you are upset with them regardless of if you said a word or not.

This may seem rather obvious, but it really isn’t how many times have you heard or been told, “I didn’t know”. I think that there is so much information readily available, subtlety is virtually unrecognizable. We have to put whatever it is we are feeling right out there. If you are shy or reserved, you may be in trouble. However, in these instances even the universe is not buying the feigned ignorance.

We truly are closer to one another than we think. Perhaps the instances I pointed out are more common or familiar among folks who are closely connected, but there are instances where the ties are more distant and there is still an unexplained connection. I think we underestimate what we as human beings mean to one another. We concentrate so heavily on the differences, that we overlook that which is right there in our faces.

I find myself slipping more and more into the mindset of the “AARP world“,  the world in which the youth  is just “totally out of it”. However, I do have to give credit where credit is due. They( our younger counterparts) have contributed  positively to our sense of self-awareness, characterized by contemporary phrase. From the generation that wanted to know, “What’s happenin” and “Can you dig it?” our children have answered with “Do you feel me?” I anticipate the time when we can answer and mean “Yeah, I feel ya“.

Brother, Brother, Brother…..

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On“, you’re right. If you don’t have one you cannot begin to understand, or can you.

This is a story of brothers from three different angle. The theme song would be He Aint Heavy…. as well as the depiction by Gilbert Young of the man on a wall reaching down to aid a sole arm of another to help him up.

I haven’t spoken to one of mine in years. Periodically it bothers me. I think we all hate being wrong. I don’t have a real problem with that. Mine lies in my perception of wrongdoing and the perpetrator’s unwillingness/inability to come clean.  Things change. This is a bigger deal for me here. I think it does fall into the category of forgiveness. I felt rather smug when I initiated this challenge some 13 years ago. Now, not so much. I grew up with this guy. We had some good times and shared our mother, father, and siblings.  I hear his health is not that great and then I think what if he passes. None of us is promised tomorrow. I wonder can I live with myself and I tell myself, yes. That is a sad commentary to my character. Grade thus far, FAIL.

My best friend is in search of hers. His existence eats at her in a minimalist fashion, yet it is always there. There may even be more than one ( possible twins). She cannot be sure and the one source that could confirm this and help is unwilling. So she searches on her own. We who have siblings and know who they are where they are cannot begin to imagine what she is going through. Hey I am her “bestie” and I have admitted as much to her. I think as time goes on and we feel ourselves growing older there are “feelers” sent out, because we are still trying to connect with ourselves and we feel the time is drawing closer to the end. Maybe we just want to know for reasons that absolutely cannot be explained, but we feel it just the same.  Grade thus far, INCOMPLETE

My sons are so close the younger believes and acts in a fashion that demonstrates his brother knows it all. There is a love and like for one another that I hope and believe will always be there. They play and wrestle like they did as children. We look at them as their parents and ask, ” Do they realize they are no longer 5 and 9 years of age?” Yet one marvels in this same thought. One brother offers to help his friend in need and there is no one to help him provide this assistance, no one except his brother, who stops his fun and relaxing day to go help a virtual stranger move. Why, because that is his brother’s request and he is there because he knows it is the same in regards to him if the “shoe is on the other foot”.  I can feel comfortable that theirs was/is a success that my husband and I conveyed to the two of them. In spite of the fact we each have a very different relationship with our respective brothers.  Grade thus far, EXCELLENT

Three vastly different stories, still ongoing still having possible plot changes. Our relationships will always be challenging, because they are guided and affected by the individuals involved. Happy endings, sad endings, or questionable endings. By and large you may know one of these stories, you may live one of these stories.

I offer this be kind to one another; for the truth is we are all we have and in the grand scheme of things, in the end, in theory, aren’t we all related? Aren’t they all our brothers?

Mama’s Little Man

Years after a film called “BabyBoy” was released the thought crossed my mind about the men in many of our lives. The movie explored the phenomenon from the product/consumer aspect. I want to cover the manufacturer for a bit.

With the disclaimer always close to the beginning of pieces like this, I have to say all of us should not reproduce. That is not being mean or insensitive, but getting older one has to view things in retrospect and see the disservice we do to our children, when we do not take our roles seriously or consciously. We hurt and damage them innocently, but we do these things to them just the same.

My sons KNOW that they are the loves of my life. I am proud and in awe of them and their respective accomplishments. They also know, from me, that during my reproductive years I yearned for a daughter. We have discussed this openly and I believe that they have not been harmed with that knowledge, because of the way I  conveyed this information.  Yet there are things that we do not share with our children; yes somethings should not be put out there, but when you hide important facts from those who are ultimately affected, the inevitable fallout is much worse.

God blessed me with two handsome boys; I rearranged my mind and actually had a business plan to help my need to have someone to dress up fulfilled. They donned Christian Dior and Guess layette. Nike crib shoes adored their tiny feet and Calvin Klein covered their diapers. Numerous results could be connected with MY OBSESSIONS, fortunately my children survived me.

My wise friends and I have covered our children on various levels at times we have noted we have raised the type of men we had hoped to marry “Once-Upon-A-Time”Please do not look at this from a sick reverse Oedipus stand-point). At other times we see that some things we observe them doing, are things we would NOT tolerate ourselves from a man. Each of these scenarios are a testament to the  viewed successes or failures as their mothers.

The connection, well we as their mothers are charged with raising sons of whom we will turn over to other women who will hopefully reap the benefits of our positive, sensitive, and knowledgeable rearing. The irony is that we will do this based in part (and oftentimes a good part of) from our own bad experiences. Follow that up with the unattainable goal of being the kind of man our “daddy/father/dad was. We may as well hand these little ones a guide to nuclear medicine at four.

Sadly this is a “turkey shoot” and we really do not think about this fact, as we take these man-children on the adventure of growing up. I must note I am not ignoring the facts that we may or may not have a spouse, mate, man in our lives during these times, for this must be factored in as well. However, my area of concentration is on us, the women.

I  made my boys into young male fashion dolls. I was on one hand given the illusion boys would be simpler to dress and maintain. I embraced this, but simultaneously under-minded it with my need to make them appearance conscious. The long-term affects have been one never has a hair out of place and his wife notes this in passing as she jokes of him constantly in the mirror. The other would just as soon walk out the door without combing his hair, could exist in a world without mirrors, and is uncomfortable with being told he is handsome even by his girlfriend.

Think of the mothers who raised their sons angry at men, who may or may not be these same sons’ fathers.  What about the mothers that were alone and told young boys of six or seven, “You have to be/are the man of the house”. What lessons or learned behavior do you suppose they will carry with them into adulthood?

Some of the intent illustrated here was be neat and well groomed, don’t treat women badly and be responsible. The question is how did it translate to a child, and how was it interpreted when that child became an adult? One day Mama’s Little Man will in fact be a man, therefore we mothers have an obligation that reaches beyond self.

Life-cycling Seasons

Seasons

Beginning in the 1980’s I tried my hand at “journaling”. If I look a bit farther back I recall my diary. Awakened by an array of things, I decided to write until sleep or responsibilities of the day forced me to move forward. As luck would have it 45 minutes before the responsibilities were to take over the sleep crept up. However, not before I was able to read back over a couple of my writings. Then it happened and I realized that I live, respond, react to my environment practically the same way every year. How is that possible when life is ever changing? Did this mean I was in a rut, a rut that allowed me to stay there for a good 42 of my 53 years? No way! Happily I will reveal what I did discover and perhaps it will prompt my readers to take into account their own “life-cycling seasons”.

I wrote a letter as archaic as that may sound; writers have use for these tools and methods, because they still feel as though they are in touch with their art this way. This letter was to someone near and dear to me. It was for information and it was confrontational. People who know me personally will NOT be surprised by the tone of the letter I speak of. Yet the letter was never delivered to the intended party. It rests in the archives of my personal e-mail, waiting to be printed  and mailed or simply sent via e-mail.

An entire year passed and one day close to the anniversary of the original letter, unaware of this fact, I sat down and authored a letter to this same special person. I spilled my heart out and spewed a few venomous attacks, after which I decided to save the piece until I had time to print it and prepare it for delivery. When I went to my draft file I found the other letter to this same person dated a year earlier, give or take a few days. It struck me as odd and curiosity got the best of me, with no time to spare as I prepared for work I started to read. I shook my head in amazement, this letter left undelivered contained some of very the same verbiage, with the very same feeling.

I tried to dismiss it as coincidence or not important, but neither was true. I had to take it out and look at it for what it was worth. Facing reality is not always easy, but the truth  was we were in the exact same place because nothing had been really addressed let alone resolved, and not unlike other things around us relationships will stagnate as well. If you continue going through the motions avoiding confrontation, the problem doesn’t go away. It may be covered or overshadowed by something else, but the moment you get to it again you will find it sitting there intact waiting to be dealt with.

lightbulb

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I mulled over “My World”.  Here  is what I found in no particular order; every autumn I feel renewed, during my birthday month I am hopeful but generally disappointed, springtime I fall in love either in actuality or with the memory of it happening, summer months are too hot, winter months are too cold, so when difficulties happen during those particular times of year they seem so much bigger or worse, and Christmastime I return to my childhood complete with wonder and joy.

At 53 I had an outline/blueprint now all I needed was a formula/plan. I bet you have said at one time or another,”If I could only go back..” I submit a realization that on one level or another because of this cycle we live in, we do have an opportunity to go back. For all the fantastic stories, books, and films that give their interpretation of what would happen; I see us continuing to do things the same ways because we are unaware we are redoing and reliving our lives annually. We are not in a rut in the classic sense; we are not insane by the simple definition of doing the same thing the same way expecting a different result. We are victims of circumstance.

Deja vu occurs( I personally think it is more than a feeling); we don’t know how to do things differently, because we have become caught up and we feel safe with what we know.Therefore, if you see yourself in this cyclic pattern, what if that(deja vu) is the reset button? What if when that feeling happens you did not just inhale and wait for it to pass, but you did something/ anything that was completely outside your norm. I am not suggesting you do any thing in particular; I am suggesting you don’t do as I have done by continuing to live in the cycle and not be adventurous enough to jump off every now and then.



Personal



Billiga Resor

Top Blogs

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: