Thoughts to Ponder

“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

Carl Jung

Message

Sometimes life can be rough, or even down-right mean. That doesn’t mean we have to reflect those events in our daily life. Seemingly, that is the easy road to travel. This thing has happened to me, so I can never smile/love/trust again. All, or most, of us start down that road when something horrible happens to us.

Luckily, we realize sooner or later that we don’t have to travel that bumpy, pot-hole filled road. We can decide whether we want to keep blowing out our tires or whether we’d rather drive on a road that is smooth with beautiful scenery on both sides. The change is usually slow because we tend to slip off the highway and back onto the bumpy road. Then we have to decide if we want to stay there or focus on getting back on the highway again.

Let me give you an example. Back in the late 1970s I worked in Unemployment Compensation. One day I was assigned to the in-take desk. An angry young man came to apply for benefits. We went through the usual format: name, address, etc., then we arrived at the big question: What are your job skills?

“I know how to kill people.”

Where did you last work. What was your job specialty?

“Artillery The Army didn’t teach me any job skills. They taught me how to kill people.”

So you learned mechanics and physics to figure out your trajectory.

“No, I learned to kill people.”

And so the conversation went for a few minutes. Finally, I wrote on his form, “U.S. Army Artillery, mechanics and math.”

I never saw him again. But even after all these years I think of him often and hope that he was one of the lucky ones who found their way back to “normal” after a horrendous experience. Normal is probably the wrong word to use here. Often normal means beaten up by life and holding on to sanity by a shoestring.

After years of grasping the shoestring, now I try to be grateful for all that happens to me and my loved ones. Sometimes it takes a little while to get back on the gratitude highway, often straddling the two roads for a time, but eventually I get there. I’ve learned that I can change nothing if I’m stuck in a rut. I have to get back to the highway if I want to make changes in my life or help someone else.

Today Martha Beck wrote in her message that it is time to change from paranoia to pronoia, or thinking that all is fine, no matter what life is throwing our way..

Meditation

Creator Spirit,

Thank you for the people who bring sage advice that can make our road a smoother ride. Thank you for giving us the ability to think through all the advice we receive and decide which path will lead us the to the gratitude road. Thank you for giving us the options to travel the bumpy or the smooth road. Thank you that we are alive today, no matter what pot-holes we are facing. Thank you for hope.

And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, October 13, 2014

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

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

Author of 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

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.

Thoughts to Ponder – July 9, 2014

“The most important decision you make
is to be in a good mood.”

Voltaire

Message

We can decide to have a good mood?

This is a shock to many of us who grew up believing that our moods were dictated to us. We learned to reflect the moods of those around us. As children, that meant our parents and teachers. We were we told, “You should be happy, because . . . . Or, “Why are you happy? Just look at what is happening . . . .” The pattern repeated itself as we matured. We learned to feel what we thought we were supposed to feel.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t empathize with those around us. Empathy is a gift to us as well as to others, but we don’t need to wallow in another’s pain.

Eventually, we began learning and integrating the revolutionary idea that we could feel how we felt. We finally gave ourselves permission to feel happy when others were sad – and to feel sad when others were happy.

We can choose to be in a good mood, no matter what is happening in our surroundings. We don’t need to mask our true feelings, but we can avoid getting sucked into another’s vortex of despair.

We learn that most of the time our good mood is contagious – to us as well as to others. Perhaps we wake up in a good mood because we slept well. We can hang on to that thought even though traffic is making us late for work or, or, or . . . . As the day progresses, we will notice that our good mood extends itself. We still feel good at the end of the day.

Best of all, good moods are contagious. Often a smile and a simple “thank you” is enough to lift another person from the doldrums. If not, well, there is always the next person.

Meditation

Creator Spirit,
Thank you for the gift of joy, the gift of knowing we are happy inside even if others are not. We know that being in a good mood, is an extension of gratitude. If we are grateful, a good mood naturally follows. Good moods are contagious.
And, so it is.

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of 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

Gratitude on Memorial Day

“Patriotism is merely a religion – love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag, honor and welfare.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twin)

Message

A grateful thank you to all men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace is due every single day, not just on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. We must also extend gratitude to those who waited at home for their loved ones to return, hopefully the same strong young men and women who left to defend their country or protect another country’s right to exist. Honor all those who have answered their nation’s call, in whatever way that they could: Victory Gardens, assisting their neighbors, prayers for safety.

At the same time I yearn for the day we no longer hear those calls. Are we humans capable of living in peace? I think of songs we sing in church and contemplate their confusing messages: “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “I Ain’t Going to Study War No More.”

All religions teach peace. Often we greet each other by bowing and saying “Namaste,” or “The sacred in me greets the sacred in you.” Even shaking hands indicates that our hands hold no weapons. These behaviors are ingrained into our daily lives, yet we forget or disregard the meaning behind them. Is this dichotomy the reason so many of our returning veterans are committing suicide? We send them to war. The next day they are at home and expected to act like the horror never happened. We can’t forget violence in 24 hours.

Meditation

Spirit,
Mixed messages about peace and war assault us on all sides. On one hand we talk about war to impose peace. On the other we see the damage war has caused to the minds and hearts of all involved. Our holy books teach us peace. We ask that you implant a stronger desire for peace than we have for dissention.
And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of 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

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.