Thoughts to Ponder – January 23, 2016

“Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well

as destroy the object on which it is poured.”*

Ann Landers

Once again our presidential election season is upon us. Is it just me, or does this campaign seem more vitriolic than usual? Every four years we, as a nation, go through this process and each time accusations and insults fly like feathers at a chicken fight.

During the years when news traveled by weekly newspapers and letters that could take months to arrive, the writer usually took time to evaluate the consequences of his or her words before putting pen to precious, expensive paper. Some of their letters were quite pointed. Volatile arguments have continued through our history.

Perhaps one difference is that now we have instant media and many more media outlets, so we are more aware of what the candidates and their supporters are saying. This allows those running for office, and the rest of us, to spout opinions without thinking about the potential effects of their/our communication.

We may want to take a few minutes to examine our thoughts before sending them out to the world. Have we studied what we heard or thought we heard? Have we considered if there might be another aspect to that story? Have we considered how the words we send into the ether may affect the candidates or other voters?

Is this good for our individual well-being?

We are destroying the best part of ourselves and our nation by pouring the acid of hate upon those with whom we disagree. I must admit that I also participate in this destruction. I classify candidates by how I think they should act and occasionally make a statement to that effect. I can feel what these thoughts are doing to my internal self and know that others must be feeling the same. I’m concerned that many people are placing the blame for their irritation on the various candidates rather than the acid they are pouring on themselves.

Spirit,

We ask that you guide us to evaluate our thoughts and words so we might not pour hate on anyone or anything, including ourselves. We know that guilt adds to the acid bath, so we ask you to show us how to be kind to ourselves as we become aware of our thoughts and actions as we debate the issues.

And, so it is.

* Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, Prentice Hall, 1992, page 40

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 23, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

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Thoughts to Ponder – January 15, 2016

“When you heal yourself on the inside,

everything else around you no longer triggers old pain.”

A Window of Wisdom 1007*

 The last few weeks we’ve been talking about releasing old pain and experiencing a lighter, happier life. On December 17 we talked about the harm we cause ourselves by concealing our pain. On January 1 we discussed letting our negative feelings out. Today we’re continuing to think about ways to heal yourself on the inside.

The idea that has been floating around mental therapists and religious teachers for many years is forgiveness. An old saying tells us to “forgive and forget.” It’s easy to say I forgive this person for doing that to me or my loved one. But do we actually forgive? Forgiving means to release the pain and begin to feel kindly toward the person who has injured us. That’s a tough job. From my own experience I’ll say that it’s almost impossible to forget. We may forget what E=mc2 means but we never forget an insult or other situations that cause us pain.

Recently a friend told me about a better way to release old pain. That is to thank the person for the role he or she played in your life because it affected who you are today. That may not be possible or safe to pursue. An easier and safer way is to write that person a letter pouring out your feelings while acknowledging the way that person’s actions made you a better person. How is that possible? Perhaps a person telling you repeatedly that you were stupid made you determined to prove them wrong. Maybe it encouraged you to pursue higher education or get a job requiring excellent mental skills.

I can hear you saying, “I wouldn’t dare send a letter thanking ____ for what he/she did. That would put me in danger or at the least bring their ire raining down on me.” Only mail the letter if you feel 100% safe. You don’t have to mail the letter. Just writing out the facts and feelings is releasing the old “stuff.” You can burn the letter allowing the pain to float to the clouds with the smoke. You can tear the letter to bits and send it to the landfill with the rest of your trash or release it to a river to float out to the sea.

A quicker method my friend suggested is to picture the offending person in your mind and mentally or verbally thank them for making you the person you have become. Either method is incredibly freeing. If you do this choosing to be free of the old pain, you will be.

Spirit,

Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by thanking the offender for the role they played in our lives. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of freedom. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.

And, so it is.

* A Window of Wisdom 1007, January 6, 2016, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/window-1007-hidden-triggers/

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 15, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.

Thoughts to Ponder – January 4, 2016

“Let it go. Let it out. Let it all unravel. Let it free

and it can be a path on which to travel.”

Unknown*

 Recently we talked about feeling our feelings. Today let’s go a step further. Often we deal with hurts by burying them and stewing for the rest of our lives. That means we feel our feelings in a self-destructive manner. The quote suggests we “Let it go. Let it out.”

Some people think that letting it out means that we scream and yell at the person who hurt, insulted or challenged us. While there are a few occasions that method will work, most times emotional outbursts will make it worse. We can try to discuss the situation quietly and see what happens. If that doesn’t resolve the situation, we have other options for letting it out.

We can journal, talk to a friend, talk with a professional, and feel the feelings until they dissipate. Most situations that upset us to that extent need a combination of those options. We can journal and talk to a trusted friend. If that doesn’t work we may seek professional help. Along the way we need to feel the fear, pain, anger, sadness, abandonment, disappointment or other label that will name the problem.

Actually, naming what we’re feeling is the hardest part. We often tell people we are disappointed or concerned to be diplomatic. Those are appropriate labels when you confront someone or are talking to a supervisor. When you are naming your feelings either to yourself or to an appropriate third party you can, and probably should, use stronger language. You can say whatever you need to say to get the feelings out.

Once the feelings are out in the open, you can begin letting go. In Al-Anon and AA one of the most used phrases is “Let go and let God” meaning that we must let go before God can take it away. Another common phrase is “Anything an Al-Anon lets go of has claw marks all over it,” meaning they hold on until the pain simply slips off the ends of their fingers from its weight.

Do you want to go through life holding on until the pain eventually slides out of your grip? Or would you rather let go before the weight gets too heavy and begin healing before the wounds destroy your body and your mind? Would you prefer to walk a smoother path as the quote says?

My choice, after carrying hurt for many years, was to begin letting it go. What a gift that was. Life is so much easier and lighter, the path smoother without the weight of old pains. That’s not to say I’m perfectly adjusted now, just much better and getting even better yet.

Spirit,

Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by letting it go. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of calm. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.

And, so it is.

 

* Unknown author, quoted on December 22, 2015 post at pamela@pamelaharpercom, “Inspiration 12-23-15 “Loving all of you”

 

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 4, 2016

 

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.