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,

Nothing is Permanent

Thoughts to Ponder – March 12, 2016

“… the only way to find permanent joy is by embracing

the fact that nothing is permanent.”*

Non-permanence is a hard concept to grasp. From the time we were very small we were taught about the difference between permanent and temporary. Our parents taught us that candy is temporary, but that they would never leave us. When we started first grade they told us that our baby teeth would fall out and would be replaced by permanent teeth. Then teachers told us to behave or it would go on our permanent record.

As we matured we learned that candy was not only temporary, but also that “a moment on the lips is forever on the hips,” was true. Eventually, we chose to leave home or our parents left us by disagreement or by death. Our baby teeth fell out. Some permanent teeth may have disappeared too. We learned that our childhood misdemeanors didn’t follow us into the work world.

We learned that many things we thought were forever, weren’t – friends, marriages, good jobs and, and, and…. We learned that “happily ever after” was a myth, but on the bright side, so was “sadly ever after.” An example of a difficult lesson learned is that I once worked with a woman who frustrated me. When I complained about something, she nodded and said, “This too shall pass.” When I bragged that something wonderful happened, she smiled and said, “This too shall pass.” Eventually her lesson that nothing is permanent began to sink into my belief system.

The world has evolved dramatically. We may not feel comfortable with the rapid changes. Our old ideas about how things work no longer apply. I wonder if I have shifted my belief system enough to keep up with all those changes. All I can do is try to keep current. However, the biggest change I see is personal. I think differently about life, God and myself. For example, I see myself as a nice person, kind to puppies and understanding of other people’s foibles. Yet I know I could do better, so I’ll continuing looking for change.

Other people can’t change me. Only I can work that miracle, but good intentions won’t do the job. I wish I could say, “From now on I’ll be kind to every person I meet no matter how they act or what they say,” and it would instantly occur, but that’s not possible. What I can do is what we discussed in last week’s Thoughts to Ponder: determine that I want to redefine who I am and watch it happen, a little each day.


Thank you for showing us that nothing is permanent, whether it is pain or joy. We know that even the oceans and the mountains change over time and so must we. Change can be painful or easy and joyful. Either way, the change will be for the better if we allow it to happen in its own way.

And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration,, March 9, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, March 12, 2016

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