When You Can’t

When you can’t do it for yourself

Do it for those who never had a chance

Who died before their time

For those who had to push through the pain

Every day

Or trudge through battle fields, cold, and rain

For those who kept going when there was no light

Who kept fighting

After they had lost the fight

 

Do it for them, if you can’t do it for you

Be the ball, take the shot, cop the attitude

You’ve always had enough to master today

Now go and give it away

Whatever it is

You got this.

Image result for i got this meme

Angry, Miserable, and Unremembered

Upon seeing the anger in the eyes of a menial laborer working in atrocious conditions, author Gregory David Roberts says to the fry cook with his eyes, “I’m sorry that you have to do this work, I’m sorry that your world, your life, is so hot and dark and unremembered, I’m sorry that I’m intruding…”

With those lines, the author not only captured my interest in the book, but, most importantly, the kinship of my agony for the “incarceration” of countless souls who live unremembered and hopeless in darkness and drudgery.

Even though my personal agony was small by comparison, for years I felt imprisoned in mediocrity and anonymity, doing a job I didn’t like. Now, I cannot stand to see anything in a cage. I feel the silent rage of so many: refugees, strangers I encounter, and others I know well.

My prayer is that those of us who remember the pain will bring…

Related image

However and whenever we can.

The Nature Doc

It’s nothing new that nature soothes, heals, and puts our senses in order. The problem is often our inability to access nature.

  • If I am caught up in self-pity or the pain of disappointment, sucked into my couch’s black hole…
    • Someone asks me to go outside, I say no
    • And, if I don’t go, it will be more difficult to go later
  • If I am stuck inside working (or sick in bed) all day, I can’t visit the “Nature Doctor”…
    • That’s when I must go to my stored-up memories of mountains and waterfalls
    • Or use my Google machine to call up images
    • Or “switch apps” or “change the channel” in my brain to refresh
  • If I see nature everyday, but it has lost the power to impress me…
    • My callousness to miracles is the most difficult problem to fix
    • I have to imagine being confined underground, in prison, or in a hospital
    • And see the sun and sky for the first time
    • Taste the water, smell the grass, feel the wind, touch a leaf

If You Were to Take Your Life

If you were to take your life today

You would miss the books you hadn’t read

Holding entire worlds to see;

Transcendental jolts of recognition

From sources yet unknown to thee

 

If you were to take your life today

You would miss the transformation

Of your raw, and often cruel, pain

As it passed through the broken shards

Of fantastic light into the purest Novocain

 

If you were to take your life today

You would be so surprised to find

That you had missed blankets of cool relief

That, although delayed, were closer to you

Than ever your disbelief

How to Avoid Victimization by Pathological Liars

Image result for why we lie

To condemn a liar is easy.

To admit our own lies is hard.

It always stumps me that social media is so full of indictments against liars. I hate lies too, yet, I know that not lying is something most of us have not mastered. I often wonder how so many people have conveniently forgotten their own lapses and gotten on their high horses about a habit that is so universal.

Humans (that includes me) have lied to avoid pain (prompted by some derivative of fear), unable to come up with a way around the pain without lying. Humans usually don’t set out to lie until the adrenaline starts pumping out a desperate plan of escape. Then, unfortunately, some will continue down the “socio-path,” addicted to the lie, unable to distinguish truth from lie, or to remember life without the lie.

Ironically, in order to spot, and avoid being victimized by, these pathological liars, we must simply recognize the “why” and humbly own this ugly side of our shared humanity.

Just One More

The most moving moment in the movie Hacksaw Ridge was the prayer for “just one more” from the medic who needed the strength to rescue just one more of the seventy-five wounded soldiers he saved on Hacksaw Ridge during World War II. I thought of that resolve and request for strength today when I was facing my weensy little tasks and feeling the lack of motivation and energy.

So when I am overwhelmed by the prospect of making it through a “difficult” day, the answer lies in simply making it through the next step, not the whole frickin list.

Just this one breath. Just this one task.

“Just one more,” seventy-four times, saved seventy-five lives in impossible circumstances.

Whether we know it or not, our willingness to persevere will always make a difference for others.

If I Feel Good, Am I a Good Person?

Bad logic alert!

In Feeling Good, David D. Burns asks the question, “If someone feels really good, does that mean they are a great person?”   The answer is obviously, no. So he makes the point that when we feel bad, it doesn’t follow that we are worthless or despicable, even though this is a thought process common in depression (that perpetuates the depressed state). He reminds us that human beings are not static, but ever changing and growing, so these labels (that depress us) defy logic.

If we change our thoughts, we can change our feelings. We don’t have to fall deeper and deeper into the darkness.

P.S. There are those who never wrestle with feelings of worthlessness. So glad of that. Yet, if you are one of those people, please remember that feeling better is not as easy for the rest of us.

(initially posted 2013)

No Reason to Get Up?

I woke up aware that my schedule was bare of anything exciting. Without the spark, not feeling the inspiration, bogged down in doubt, I labored through the routine, until I remembered an alternate path.

I sat down to learn first.

After a few minutes of immersion in someone else’s inspiration, my own generator kicked it. My world lit up from the inside. Ways I could make better use of the day flashed on the formerly blank screen.

Good to know my teachers are waiting for me…every morning.

Image result for teacher will appear when the student is ready

For Less-Opportunity Social Stratas

For those of us who were born without

For those of us who will die early

For those of us with disease or deformity

For those of us who never knew the “right people”

For those of us with low IQs

Who didn’t go to school

Or have a job

For those of us without a home, shoes, clean clothes

Or love

There is the equanimity of sun and rain

Earth’s free gift of light and water

And, yes, a path that leads to the finish line

Where we are welcomed with honor

Save Myself the Trouble

Last week, I was unhappy about the gaps in my schedule. This week I am so thankful the gaps came at a fortunate time. How many times must I be reminded that my ability to determine what is good and what is bad is faulty? How many times must I look back and say, “Wow, if I had only known?” before I will learn to hold off on judgment or despair?

In this case, I would have saved myself lots of trouble, worry, frustration, and wasted time and energy.

So, that said, I should start before I get any older, right?