The signs are there

Thoughts to Ponder – August 25, 2015

“When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Dr. Maya Angelou

“I think we’re so desperate to believe that we’re lovable that we’re gullible.”

Pamela Harper

Dr. Angelou was a wise woman. From reading her books and listening to her speak we know she found wisdom the hard way. She told us to watch people’s actions and listen to their words before deciding to have a relationship with them. The same thing applies in the work place and in our social lives. Often we ignore those signs and don’t even think of them until our world has fallen apart. Then we realize that the signs were there all along.

It took me many years and hard knocks to learn this lesson. I committed to brutal, agonizing and demoralizing relationships. I had friends who gossiped about me behind my back while sympathizing with me to get more information. I worked at jobs that were demoralizing, rather than enhancing my life.

I hung on to those situations hoping that these signs were just passing episodes. I believed those men would change their stripes and become supportive, loving partners. I believed my friends really cared about my well-being. I believed that if I just worked a little harder the job would be the right fit.

Eventually, I learned that those people and situations were who and what they were and would not change. Even worse, I learned the signs had been there in the beginning, before I even made the commitment. That realization was demoralizing until I became aware that I’d suffered long enough and decided to change my way of looking at the world.

This knowledge led me to be more aware in various situations and discussions – not suspicious, but aware. I still look for the best in people and situations, but keep my eyes open for signs of disrespect. By being aware and learning to step away from potentially hurtful situations, I came to respect myself and my judgment.

What a wonderful lesson! I was not a hopeless klutz who kept falling into bad situations, but a wise woman capable of making intelligent decisions. The result: fewer negative people and events enter my life and many more happy experiences do.

Spirit,

Thank you for giving each of us the wisdom to see what is before our eyes, to recognize the signs before danger follows and to make decisions that will enhance our lives rather than damage them.

And, so it is.

  • From Super Soul Sunday, OWN, borrowed today from pamela@pamelaharper.com,  August 24, 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 25, 2015

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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What’s normal? Thoughts to Ponder – May 11, 2015

 “If you are always trying to be normal
you will never know how amazing you can be.”
Maya Angelou*

“Life can only be understood backward;
but it must be lived forwards.”
Soren Kierkegarrd*

Life is filled with contradictions. Last week I was filled with despair because I felt I did not live up to certain alumnae expectations. Of course, by the time I finished writing my sob-story, the despair was gone. Just putting the words on paper gave my thoughts structure and evaporated anxiety’s power it held when flying around my brain hitting this nerve or that sore spot.

Today’s quotes put that angst and recovery in perspective. I am not and never will be normal, whatever that is. Only by looking back can I understand how amazing graduating college at age 47 was.

I began my life by being born with a full head of bright red hair on Valentine’s Day. That put me in the not-normal category before I had done anything more interesting than burp. Since my mother had brown hair and my father had white/blonde hair the predominant question the rest of my childhood was, “Where did she get that red hair?” The naturally related comment was, “Oh, you have so many freckles!” All this was happening when my goal was to get a tan like normal people. Covering up at the beach when everyone else was stretched out in the sand was misery.

The next thing that not-normal thing that happened was my making the honor roll every year until I quit trying. My parents were children of the Depression. School was not high on many parents’ priority list – food and work were the top issues. My parents did not lack intellectual ability, they just lacked education. So the second question was, “How did she get so smart?” I was proud of being smart, but tired of the insinuations that my parents were dumb. Even I thought they were dumb until I was old enough to look back and saw how much they had accomplished.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I was not considered normal by most adults or classmates. How I longed to be like everyone else. I’ll just say that feeling alienated led me to make some “stupid” mistakes that led to gifts like my children, travel, library cards in many locations and unusual experiences.

Now that I’ve reached the mature age of 25 and have four great-grandchildren, the “other blonde” has softened the red in my hair. People are now aware of skin-cancer and the need to cover-up. So I look more normal. Thanks to public information and television shows like “Scorpion” and “Big Bang Theory” about people who have IQs much higher than mine, I’m considered normal, though an usually young great-grandmother.

Now I can look backward and understand that I’ve had an amazing life and have an amazing future to contemplate. What more can I ask of life? I thank Universal Energy for all the experiences that brought me to where I am today, even though they seemed difficult at the time.

And, so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, May 11, 2015

*Both quotes are from “Inspiration, 5-7-15 Defy Ordinary” by Pamela Harper, http://www.pamelaharper.com

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

Passion, compassion, humor and style

Thoughts to Ponder

“My mission in life is not merely to survive,
but to do so with some passion,
some compassion,
some humor,
and some style.”
Maya Angelou

Message

Maya Angelou had the ability to tell us the hard truths gently. We knew she was telling us how to live fully. This quote reminds us that we must be multi-dimensional, rather than too focused on one part of our life. In order to live fully we must not just survive, but live with passion, compassion, humor and style. That sounds like a tall order, but it isn’t. This is merely a repeat of lessons taught us through the generations.

We must work, play and rest with our whole being, our passion. Working at a job or participating in a recreational activity we don’t like quickly drains our enthusiasm. Rest is particularly important. Our bodies do not regenerate if we limit our sleeping hours or if we’re reviewing our to-do lists as we begin to drift into Sandman territory.

Not only do we look at those less fortunate than we with compassion, but we must also treat ourselves with kindness and love. Throw the shoulda, woulda, couldas into the trash can. We must accept ourselves for who we are before we can become the people we want to be. That sounds backward, but is not. If we constantly go through our day thinking and saying, “I’d be better off if I could only lose 50 pounds or run a marathon,” we will accomplish neither. We need to say, “This is the weight I am and these are the physical abilities I have today. I choose to use them to the best of my ability.” With that attitude, miracles happen.

Have you ever noticed that when you have a headache and feel like your head is going to explode then someone comes along and tells you a joke. You begin to laugh, and soon the headache is gone.

Humor also heals relationships. For example, one person will tell another, “You’re acting like a stupid a$$. “
The other one begins to bray.
“What are you doing? We’re trying to solve a difficult issue here.”
“You called me ‘a stupid a$$,’ so I thought I’d act like one.”
Now both are laughing and the problem is solved by the pair working together.

Everyone has his or her own style. Maya Angelou carried her great height with flair and wore clothes that enhanced her appearance, but most of all she had her own particular way of relating to those around her. Often we say, “I wish I had so-and-so’s way of walking, talking, wearing clothes.” We don’t need that person’s style. We have our own. If we don’t like our style we can change it, as long as it fits our personality and environment.

We create our own passion, compassion, humor and style. What we do and how we do it is unique to each of us. We have no need to copy another person. We are unique and can carry that individuality with panache or we can schlep through life being invisible. Which would you rather do?

Meditation

Creator Spirit,
Thank you for reminding us that we are unique, yet we each have passion, compassion, humor and style. The more we remember that we are unique, the less we have a desire to fit in, to be one of the crowd. Crowds don’t solve problems or heal someone’s aching heart. Individuals do. Today we chose to be the very best unique people we can be.
And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, August 26, 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

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but
people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou

Message

This is not a tribute to Dr. Angelou, though I’d be glad to add my praise to all the others who’ve taken the time to write about her impact on their lives. I’ll just say that she gave me courage to keep on keeping on.

Her quote explains how most of us got to where we are today. Our station in life often reflects how people have made us feel over the years. Retrospectives are a pain, but they often teach us what we need to know today.

• Did our parents, teachers, friends and spouses let us know they valued our presence, knowledge and love?
• Did they show us that we were a nuisance, substandard and a drain on their emotions, money and time?
• Did they just ignore us and pretend we didn’t exist?

We’ve all felt valued, devalued and ignored. Which of those dominated our lives and made us the people we are today? How do we treat other people? Do we value, devalue or ignore them? How will our actions impact those people as they go out into the world?

No matter how we have been treated in the past, we can determine to be better people. We have a choice about how we treat ourselves. Are we kind, considerate, forgiving of our selves. How we treat ourselves is reflected in how we treat others.

As someone once said, “God don’t make junk. So don’t act like you are.”

Meditation
Creator Spirit, thank you for the gift of life and the ability to evaluate our actions and how they’ve been impacted by our experiences. We thank you that you’ve given us the ability to learn and improve. We choose to be messengers of love, kindness and thoughtful action that bring peace and confidence to those we meet on our journey.
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

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