Thoughts to Ponder

“Burn every bridge but love.”

Martha Beck*

That statement shook me to my center when I first read it. Does this mean I cannot feel anger, frustration, disappointment…? Do I need to turn into a Dalai Lama clone overnight.

Not at all. We have a range of emotions for a reason. We’re born with them and we need to know how to use them for our highest good. Let’s look at an example:

The city announces it is going to build a highway through our neighborhood. Most likely, we are going to feel anger, resentment, a need to get even…. Are we going to act on those feelings? Or can we go to the next city council meeting to ask questions: who, what, when, where, why and how? We can ask questions in a respectful, yet firm tone and quietly listen to their answers. Or, we can yell and denounce the board before they have a chance to respond.

Which would gain us the greatest amount of information and understanding? Once we have that information we can begin to plan our route to stopping the highway. Or, we may decide their reasoning is valid and prepare to sell our home for the best price possible, which might be the contractor’s offer, and start looking for a new home.

You can see that at each step we felt the emotions, but responded respectfully. Or, we could have reacted angrily and felt every moment of stress (high blood, pressure, chest pains, headaches) until we give up the fight, or carry our resentment into our old age.

By facing the situation thoughtfully and acting respectfully to all concerned, we are showing ourselves love, as well as those responsible and our neighbors. Our resentment becomes acceptance. Acceptance becomes love.

Living in love does not mean that we won’t feel the normal emotions. It merely means that we examine and accept or change our situation as we are guided by our conscience. We take action according to what is the highest good for us, and others.

Spirit, Please guide me to look at the situations in my life as opportunities to grow into a better person. Show me how to discard old, and new, resentments and angers. And, so it is.

  • Compass Points by Martha Beck, July 19, 2018,

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.


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,  August 24, 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, August 25, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon,, “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 Available in print and e-format at