Just somebody I used to know

we would drive and drive

and never kne10556475_10154557311990650_6455727370422081795_nw we had arrived

we bathed in the conversation of two

all sadness dissipated into the blue

the moment of the clock spun round

and never a time spent in a frown

the days moved on and so did you

but you forgot me like an old shoe

somehow your mind was somewhere else

you left and I remain with a dead pulse

World’s Petitions…just a few

I signed one petition for Care2 Petitions and then I received a deluge of petitions.  Overwhelming.  Overwhelming to see all the needs that there are on Mother Earth.  Petitions for justice, healthcare reform, respect for women, care for children, care for the homeless, fairness, economic equity, gender fairness, proper treatment of animals, respect for Earth —- the list below is a small sampling of the needs of humanity. It is overwhelming.  

Provide support and funding for local Texas shelter

VA Stop Sabotaging  TBI tests. Offer all veterans proper evaluation and treatment

Harshest Charge for blowing up fireworks in dog’s mouth and ban of future animal ownership

Reject the 20 week abortion ban

Support Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary to avoid closure

Save Wild Arizona Horses from Banishment

Revoke Licenses of Vets who euthanize pets without permission

Tell San Francisco Not to Crack Down on Bicyclists

Urge Lawmakers to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

STOP putting dyed chicks in plastic bags to be sold as TOYS on Thai island Koh Lanta

Urge Yum Foods to Offer Paid Sick and Vacation Days to Workers

Drop case against mother who provided daughter with abortion medication in Northern Ireland

Stop the Dehumanizing Gender Testing of Women’s World Cup Athletes

Congress –Investigate American Hate Groups’

Get the Toxic Trio out of Nail Care Products

Send Magnus Hustveit, who raped his girlfriend, to prison!

Tell Harvard University to divest from fossil fuels

Harper:  Don’t Let Your Big Oil Friends Run the National Energy Board!

Urge Nestle to Help Stop Slave Labor Used to Make Pet Food

Stop Scott Walker’s Weekend Elimination Plan

Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

Tell Republicans Reject Racist Donations

Tell Congress to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

End the Travel Restrictions Placed on Disabled Australians!

Who is Burning Black Churches? Bring back the Church Arson Task Force

Urgent! We need a shelter for homeless women in Vancouver, Washington!

Tell Hong Kong to Crack Down on Ivory Smuggling!

Demand Universal, Automatic voter Registration

Tell the UN— Women and Girls and Deserve Equality

Zimbabwe: Don’t bring back the death penalty after ten years.

Save Torrent Frogs in the Ivory Coast

I am only ONE person. I can choose to help with one or several and give it my attention, and that I all I can do.  I can see we need EVERYONE to pitch in and do what they can.  None of us can do it alone. We all need to help each other with whatever we have to offer.  There certainly is much to do to alleviate suffering in this world.  We live in a world community and what we say and/or do affects one another.

If each person does ONE thing, it is already something. I think being a person of peace and praying is something everyone can do and be. Yet that might be difficult if we do not believe in ourselves or our own goodness…and that could be the result of someone not ever believing in us or trusting us to change. Yet, change is the only constant.

I believe in the positive power of prayer and putting forth good thoughts to each other and out into the universe. I see what bad thoughts to do harm others—so why wouldn’t good thoughts produce good reactions?   One would think that is a simple thing to do. However, it is not.  Sometimes my own suffering gets in the way–my own inability to forgive and forget and move on. However, if I do not do it, I am not living in peace and I am not extending peace to anyone else.   I look at the list above, and think even the rapist needs forgiveness and healing.

Yet, forgiveness is difficult, but without there is no movement forward. I think every person deserves a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance…when do we stop giving each other opportunities and forgiveness?  I firmly believe that IF we believe in the other person, that person can grow and change.  Believing in each other produces change. We are human beings. We are all imperfect.

The recent murder of Cecil the Lion brought forth reaction from around the world.  There was complete dismay and outrage over the killing of this wonderful animal. Yes, it was sad and I have never understood why  anyone finds pleasure in hanging a dead animal’s head on their living room wall.  People were so angry, that they even wanted the dentist executed for his killing of this animal! I could not believe that! That is extreme. I have never understood retaliation or revenge. How does that help anyone?  People were very willing to express their hatred for this man who killed Cecil, the lion, yet, they, in turn would be ready to kill him for what he did. Would that be justified?  As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind.”

As human beings, we have a long road to travel to become understanding and forgiving of one another. And that great distance is the furthest within ourselves. The more we accept ourselves and our imperfections…the more we can forgive ourselves…the more we will understand and forgive others

Oglala Lakota Holyman

 

 

 

 

wandering in the shadows

it is five o’clock this July morning

opening my eyes to the summer moment

instead of the warm sun of the past two weeks

my eyes found a heavy fog laying across the hills

Morning Fog Photo Credit: Judy Mayer   Sun Prairie, WI July 2013

Morning Fog
Photo Credit: Judy Mayer
Sun Prairie, WI
July 2013

just a hint of the trees poking through

no clear image…no clear direction…

how often do i wander in the shadows?

suffering…part two

“Suffering…part one”  [Skip down to the second part, if you have already had enough Suffering…smile!]

I feel overwhelmed today with the suffering of this world. With the death of Shane, a young, passionate writer on WordPress, it has struck me deeply again.

I once saw suffering only as tremendous pain and loss.  While it certainly is that, it can be understood on another level. Since last evening, after my night at the Mindfulness Center and our meditation on “Suffering,”  I have come to see it in a different light.  Now I understand suffering refers to the impermanence of people, things, and events in our lives.

Change is the only permanent thing. Nothing ever stays the same…a concept that I am sure I heard in songs over the sixty some years of my life, but never really understood the depth of that idea of which I do now.  Buddha is quoted as saying, “I teach one thing only–that is suffering and the end of suffering.”  I am not sure if I grasp that fully, but I believe that one thing that it can mean, is that if we see suffering as impermanence…then the time it will cease, is when we leave this life. Then it will end.

Of course there is  more to life than suffering…there is much love…that sustains us and keeps us going. Without love, the world would have ceased long ago. Love convinces me that there is something or Someone greater than ourselves.  I firmly believe that all of life exists in the Heart of God…and that Heart is Universal Love. And I believe when we leave Mother Earth our energy is not destroyed but returns to the Creator of Love.  It is inevitable that we each will die. Death is escaped by no one. We can run and hide from it…but it is going to happen to each of us…and I am thinking that in our Western society, we tend to run from it with all that we have. Because we are so busy running, we fail to live in the moment. We are running from our own mortality.  And why do we fear what will happen eventually? Perhaps if we resisted it less, we could live the present in a more fuller sense.  We would not be running, but we would be living in the NOW.

I believe that the Loving God has taken my young friend, Shane, into Loving Arms.  I think death is not permanent…just another change…into greater becoming.

“Suffering…part two”

As I further my reflection about suffering, I realize that suffering is not all that there is about life. If we only looked at life in that manner, it would be quite dismal. Then I think of the many ways I find myself slipping into that pattern of thinking. I have to tell myself strongly to “STOP!” [a word that I received from a good friend…so simple…yet definitive…and does the job!]  It is quite easy to say I hate feeling that way–because I really do–and it depletes me of my energy and focus…it makes me paralyzed. I literally can not move my body to do anything! Then I have to muster up the courage, with a lot of phone calls to friends who keep me strong, and begin again to BE.                                                                                                      

When I was working full-time as a teacher, it was much easier to pull myself out of it, because I felt I had a purpose and that I had to be my best self for my students. I am sure I did not always succeed as well as I would have liked, but, for the most part, when teaching I felt full of energy and enthusiasm. The creative side of me took over and I thoroughly enjoyed my students! Then my career came to an end, sooner than I had anticipated. 

I felt such a great sense of loss.  I could no longer see a purpose. The first year was pure hell—I think I walked around in a daze. I began writing on WordPress in October of 2011.  If I wrote one post a month, that was a major accomplishment.

I was overcome with grief. My Mom, who I love with all of my heart, died at the age of 94. She was living with us…my home became her home…just as she had always opened her home to all of us for all the time that she lived.  Mom was very welcoming and we could bring our friends to her home any time and each was welcomed.  Sixty years was a gift to me…but it still was not enough. Then my sister, Barbara, passed away 6 months later from myotonic dystrophy. Then this past March, my younger brother, Bill, passed away from the same disease. Prior to my Mom’s death, my sister’s son, Jimmy, died from the myotonic dystrophy. It was five years of loss of life…and then my meaningful job was gone…my children left the nest, and here I was…alone in this house!

I still find it difficult…I am still trying to find my way.  Now at least, I can stop pretending that there hasn’t been loss. I can stop pretending that there is not suffering.  To be able to acknowledge that suffering in my life has freed me. It took looking at it squarely and accepting that it exists. 

Many good intentioned people would say to me, “Hey, look at what you all did!”…”You could have it a lot worse!’…”You have a house to live in, food to eat, you can do whatever you want. You have it made!”  I could NOT swallow that. I could not digest it!  It just got me more angry every time someone would say something like that to me.  They did NOT understand my losses and seemed to minimize my feelings. And I really did  NOT feel that I had “it  made.”  Financially,  I live on the edge of the ledge and live very carefully with my coins. Where I live is also a constraint. There is no public transportation. In many ways, I thought, “they just do not listen; they do not get it!” I just became more angry inside. 

Then I realized, depression is anger turned inside. I needed to accept my loss, accept my anger, and go forward.

Then I began attending the Mindfulness Center last Fall. This is the second time I am working through the book, INSIGHT MEDITATION, and I am sure I could read it a thousand times more and I would still learn more about mindfulness and about myself, and my relationship with others.  I was so happy to come to the chapter, “Suffering!”  Yes, that is a contradiction—but, alas, I knew my feelings were not false.  I was indeed suffering and it was being acknowledged!

So it has been two years now since all the caterpillars have changed to butterflies, and two years since my life has changed from 36 years of teaching, and I am off to the races…so to speak!

Now I can begin my journey to healing…

******************************************************************************************************************

INSIGHT MEDITATION by Sharon Salzberg Joseph Goldstein; SOUNDS TRUE, Blouder, Colorado. 2001.

 

suffering…part one

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE .......... MAMITA SUFFER PA...

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE ………. MAMITA SUFFER PAIN SKY ANGEL REMEMBER FOREVER REST …….. (Photo credit: LUZ-2011)

I feel overwhelmed today with the suffering of this world. With the death of Shane, a young, passionate writer on WordPress, it has struck me deeply again.

I once saw suffering only as tremendous pain and loss.  While it certainly is that, it can be understood on another level. Since last evening, after my night at the Mindfulness Center and our meditation on “Suffering,”  I have come to see it in a different light.  Now I understand suffering refers to the impermanence of people, things, and events in our lives.

Change is the only permanent thing. Nothing ever stays the same…a concept that I am sure I heard in songs over the sixty some years of my life, but never really understood the depth of that idea of which I do now.  Buddha is quoted as saying, “I teach one thing only–that is suffering and the end of suffering.”  I am not sure if I grasp that fully, but I believe that one thing that it can mean, is that if we see suffering as impermanence…then the time it will cease, is when we leave this life. Then it will end.

Of course there is  more to life than suffering…there is much love…that sustains us and keeps us going. Without love, the world would have ceased long ago. Love convinces me that there is something or Someone greater than ourselves.  I firmly believe that all of life exists in the Heart of God…and that Heart is Universal Love. And I believe when we leave Mother Earth our energy is not destroyed but returns to the Creator of Love.  It is inevitable that we each will die. Death is escaped by no one. We can run and hide from it…but it is going to happen to each of us…and I am thinking that in our Western society, we tend to run from it with all that we have. Because we are so busy running, we fail to live in the moment. We are running from our own mortality.  And why do we fear what will happen eventually? Perhaps if we resisted it less, we could live the present in a more fuller sense.  We would not be running, but we would be living in the NOW.

I believe that the Loving God has taken my young friend, Shane, into Loving Arms.  I think death is not permanent…just another change…into greater becoming.

waterfall love

English: Rock waterfall in the north fork of t...

English: Rock waterfall in the north fork of the Virgin River near Zion National Park’s Temple of Sinawava. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

catching your tears and carrying them in my heart darling

cascading emotions tumble over the rocks

narrowing into the crevices of the feelings

water crystal friends

sing…dance with joy…

love with exhilaration

flowing through …together on the journey

but never settling down

Compassion

what is it…do we have it?

we want it for ourselves

and this is good

for only if we are compassionate towards ourselves

can we be compassionate towards others…

this may sound self-centered

but it really is not

I once thought “love yourself” was so arrogant and self-centered

then the LIGHT came on

and I realized we only can love others in the measure in which we love ourselves

unless we can be loving towards who we are,  and who we know so intimately…

then how can we love another? whom we do not know with the same intimacy?

if we are patient and compassionate towards ourselves

we will better understand how to be compassionate and loving towards the other…

if we reflect on life and how others affect us…then we will better understand how we affect others…

we get what we give out

not that we should only “fake” love or compassion…

but be sincere in caring about others….and then appreciate when others care about us…express our gratitude!

sometimes i am very sad……and I feel very alone…..but then if I try to help myself …meditate, write, draw or create an oil painting…i feel at peace in that creation

it does not sell for millions…it does not sell at all…..it is sold to ME….to the expression i feel inside that needs to come out..

many, many people have helped me on my journey….and to each of them I feel grateful…and also extend apologies for not expressing my heartfelt joy for all that they have given to me…

i know i have not arrived here alone…i know i am a product of all those who gave to me…my Mom, first of all…i love her so much and i miss her so much……

i cry tears each day thinking of her…and I no longer hide my tears…because that is who i am…

i have been given much in life…i have three beautiful daughters…and for them…i am grateful…and i have beautiful grandchildren…for them I am grateful…

so many friends in my life have given me hope to go on…

and when I was teaching, the students gave me so much love and energy…and purpose…

there is so much GOOD in the world…for all of this…I am grateful……

and to my WordPress family…I am grateful…it has brought me so much joy…