Category: life

Love is a Decision

tangled-up-hearts-ebook-7-26-15-2When I was in high school, I attended a 12-week Marriage Enrichment Seminar sponsored by my church. It’s purpose was to help teenagers understand the mechanics of marriage and what it takes to keep it going. Each week we discussed a different aspect about this all-important union. One week the topic was “Love is a Decision”. I had a problem with that one and argued with the moderators…two people I admired and respected, whose marriage I thought was perfect (it wasn’t but that’s another story!). Love, I told them (as if I knew anything about it!), was NOT a decision. It was a feeling. You either felt it or you didn’t. End of discussion. No, they insisted, it is NOT just a feeling, it is a DECISION and one you must make on a near daily basis! We ended that session on a stalemate. I just didn’t understand how love could be a decision. You don’t DECIDE to love someone. You either feel it or your don’t.

Oh how naive of me!

Four marriages later, I have learned this lesson quite thoroughly! Though I hate to admit my marital failures, they have made me who I am today. Not only am I happy with the person I have become but I was also blessed with three great kids. Given that, I regret nothing but oh how glad I am that I have finally learned that particular lesson! I’m here to tell you…whatever life is trying to teach you, the lessons involving it will keep on keeping on until you learn them! As to my current marriage, I am proud and blessed to say that it will take me to the end of my life. I know this because I’ve decided it’s worth keeping and nourishing. Praise God! We are eighteen years strong and making the decision to love all the time!

So what have I learned? How is it that love is a decision?

Where to begin. Falling in love is probably the easiest part of the whole process. That’s when FEELINGS are pretty much in charge and steering the course of the budding relationship. STAYING is love is where the problems start and feelings often get in the way! Wonderful though a person might be, as easy and fun as things are between you, eventually the darker side of one’s personality will come through. After all, none of us are PERFECT! It’s a gradual process but in time, the things that attracted you to someone will slowly start to irritate you. Once that happens, it will graduate to MORE than irritation! They will positively grate on your nerves! You know the saying “familiarity breeds contempt”? It’s a well-known phrase for a reason! Not only is it possible to become irritated by traits you initially were attracted to, the things you didn’t like but thought you could live with will become the focus of your discontent, aggravating you to near complete distraction!

Case in point. My first husband, Mr. Friendship, was very thoughtful and understanding with his friends. He was a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen. I thought that was quite wonderful and I admired him for it. Until I didn’t. As time went on and I found myself second, third or LAST on his list of importance, I began to resent that our needy friends (he attracted quite a few of them) were absorbing all of his attention. Even so, I DECIDED to stay with him anyway, thus making the decision to love. Then his temper became a problem, and his morose thoughts and his sulking. It came to a point where I finally decided not to love. I couldn’t go on with the relationship though my feelings were still engaged. In this instance, love was a decision and I decided against it. Now I made that difficult decision because he had decided my feelings didn’t matter and he did nothing to help our floundering relationship. In essence, he had decided not to love me! In any relationship…BOTH partners must make the decision to love! One partner cannot carry the relationship alone. BOTH must be committed to making it work. Since Mr. Friendship thought our friends were more important than his wife and child and he did nothing to control his mood swings and morose temperament, I decided to end the marriage.

Next came Mr. Funny Guy. He was a lot of fun and he made me laugh. I needed to laugh after all the drama of the first disastrous marriage so I was all over that. As time went on, however, his constant joking became tiresome. That sense of humor I used to love made it hard for him to be serious about ANYTHING and I began to resent it. Even so, I DECIDED on the side of love and stayed in the relationship. I figured there were worse things to deal with. That’s when he went on to the worse things and cheated on me with other women. I decided to end the relationship because I couldn’t stay in a marriage that included his girlfriends! In both instances we had decided NOT to love. Now, I have to add here that my feelings were still engaged and making that DECISION was hard for me but I knew I was doing the right thing. I’ll explain in a moment how I knew that!

Next came Mr. Serious. After all the drama of the last marriage, I needed someone responsible and quiet and calm. Surprisingly (not), all those things began to grate on my nerves! He was TOO responsible and serious and far too calm. Boring. Even so, I decided to stick with it. After two failed marriages, I figured I’d made my bed and I was damn well going to sleep in it. Until he became possessive, controlling and abusive. Definitely not loving behavior. I decided quite quickly to put an end to the relationship, especially as he felt justified in being that way! An easy DECISION for me but a painful one. It’s really hard to go through a failure that you’ve already been through twice!

With the ending of each marriage, I went through a period of soul searching. I wanted to understand WHY I had to go through those experiences. I wanted to “get it” so I wouldn’t go through it again. Here’s what I learned:

One, find out how your prospective partner treats their parents. A man will probably be the same way with his wife as he is with his mother (I said PROBABLY because there are exceptions) and a woman will most likely be the same with her husband as she is with her father. Again, there are exceptions but this I have found to be a pretty good rule…generally. The three men in those failed marriages of mine had difficult relationships with their mothers! Mr. Friendship was very disrespectful to his (something I didn’t know until AFTER I married him!), Mr. Funny Guy constantly lied to his (again, something I was unaware of until AFTER I was too deep into the relationship to want to out of it) and Mr. Serious had an abusive, alcoholic mother (something I was aware of but thought I could somehow make up for! You know the … oh, you are broken in this area, let me fix it! Ugh!) Side note: You canNOT fix people!

Two, how does your love interest handle anger? If he or she is in a fury but doesn’t get physically harmful, then you are probably safe from future physical abuse.  I must add something here in regards to that. It’s important to know how alcohol influences your partner. How does it affect their behavior? I know someone who isn’t physically abusive when he’s sober and mad but when he’s drunk and mad…another story! One thing I have learned for certain is that physically abusive people will continue that behavior unless they undergo serious help (which many DO NOT!) Decide to love YOURSELF in this instance and get out of the relationship before you get in too deep to care! Now, on the other side of it, if your partner is taking steps to control and manage his or her temper (or other bad behavior), then they are making the decision to LOVE and that’s a big deal! (smile)

Three, think about the things you love about your partner and then think about those things happening CONSTANTLY. Can live with that? If not, you might want to get out of the relationship before it gets too serious!

Finally, if there are things about your partner that you don’t particularly care for but think you can live with, think again. If the thought goes through your mind that you’ll change him or her (or they’ll change on their own thanks to your influence!) then forget that too because it’s NOT going to happen. He is who he is. She is who she is. End of story! Now that’s not to say a person doesn’t continue to evolve, but I think it’s safe to say that by the time we reach adulthood, we have pretty much cemented into being the person we are going to be.

When I met my true life mate, Mr. Perfect for Me, he passed the criteria I’d learned up to that point. He had a great relationship with his mother, his temper is quick and noisy but physically harmless (even when he’s imbibed a little too much) and his responsible nature does allow for some fun. Given all that, I decided I could deal with his obsession about getting things done NOW rather than later (I’ve a deplorable tendency to do the latter and thankfully he’s willing to deal with that!). Additionally, I didn’t expect to change anything about him! I loved him just the way he was.

Now the problem about relationships is that no one can be on their very best behavior ALL THE TIME! We are HUMAN and we’ll do HUMAN things. Eventually our relationships become work. When that happens, then both partners must DECIDE whether to go on or not. Meaning, of course, that they must decide whether or not they will love their partner enough to stay. My husband and I have done so. When anger arises, both must DECIDE to either stay mad or let it go. My husband and I let it go. It’s a near daily process, this decision to love. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy decision to make when you are really, truly pissed! In situations like that, love is no longer just a feeling, it’s a darn decision!

Example. My husband will NOT drive more than a couple miles over the speed limit no matter how dire it might be that we get somewhere by a specific time.  I’m no speed demon but when I’m running behind, my foot tends to press a little harder on that gas pedal. Not him. Nope. He’s content to be a little late. I have to be honest here and admit that it occasionally grates on my nerves!  As I sit beside him slowly seething, I have to decide whether to keep seething or let it go. I might seethe for the duration of the ride but I do eventually let it go. There was a time, however, when I would not. There was a dark period in our relationship when I DECIDED I was not putting up with stuff like that and I’d harp on him and harp on him until we were fighting like the proverbial cat and dog! During that same dark phase, it seemed I was mad at him all the time and he was just as mad at me. I wouldn’t give in and neither would he. We were both at a point where we were making the decision not to love more and more often! It nearly destroyed us. It came to a point where our relationship looked like it was coming to an end. It was then that I realized I didn’t want it to end. I DECIDED our marriage was worth saving! That was a huge decision on the side of love because it meant letting go of all my resentful feelings! Coming to that decision made me view our relationship from a different perspective. I realized my behavior was not acceptable. All those decisions not to love were definitely part of the problem and I was finally ready to do something about it! He came to the same conclusion and made the same decision! From that point on, we entered a whole new phase of our relationship. It continues to this day. Even so, we still have to make the decision to love quite often!

When you are in the midst of a disagreement, ask yourself this question: Is it worth hurting your relationship to keep fighting? If you keep on with the argument then you’ve decided not to love your partner in that moment. I can tell you this…once you’ve made a decision on whether your relationship is worth saving or not, making future decisions like this are easier to make! When I finally made the DECISION to end my first three marriages, it was a HUGE relief! Those relationships were draining me emotionally. Equally important, when I made the decision to stay in my current marriage (during that dark phase), that too was a huge relief! Big decisions like that…to stay in a relationship or not…help you make future decisions…like whether or not you should continue an argument. Once I made the decision to end those first three marriages, all their tears and empty promises and short periods of perfect behavior did not change my mind. When I hadn’t yet DECIDED to end the marriages, all those things kept it going. I gave in to the tears and the empty promises and the brief periods of good behavior. Conversely, when I decided to end the marriages, those things did not sway me. Why? Because I knew in my heart that the decision I made was the right one.

Although you are constantly having to make the decision to love or not, especially when disagreements arise, don’t make any MAJOR decisions while you are emotionally upset! When it comes to deciding things like whether you should go on with a relationship or not, you need to be in a calm frame of mind. Go somewhere quiet, somewhere that instills peace within you. Think about the issues at hand, the relationship as a whole, and put the question “out there” into the universe. Do I stay or do I go? Once you’ve done this, put your focus on something else, the area around you, for instance, and its calming affect. Think about anything but the relationship and the answer you are seeking! Enjoy a moment of peace and know that your answer will come to you when you are ready to hear it. When that time comes, it will just pop into your head and filter gently into your heart. You’ll just KNOW that decision is the right one because you’ll experience a sense of relief for having made it. I believe moments like these are when our soul is talking to us (or God) and that is why we feel such conviction, such a sense of relief! Armed with your answer, go forth and act on that decision accordingly!

I see so many relationships fall apart and it saddens me to witness the heartache that often accompanies the disintegration. To save yourself from heartache and to keep a relationship going that you WANT to stay in, you must be willing to make the DECISION to love when things are not going smoothly. If you go on the attack, you are deciding NOT TO LOVE. Conversely, walking away from your partner and ignoring their feelings is also a decision NOT TO LOVE. Walking away to calm the situation down is one thing, walking away because you refuse to deal with the situation is something else altogether! Just be sure that if you do walk away, your partner knows it’s because you are doing so in order to calm down the elevated emotions and not because you are refusing to deal with the issue and pursue a resolution to it! Again though, I must caution you…don’t make a MAJOR decision about your relationship while you are upset! If you go with your FEELINGS in the heat of a moment, you are probably going to decide not to love and you may even end the relationship (which you might later regret). Upsetting situations are when you most need to make the decision to love, regardless of how you are FEELING in that moment. This I can’t stress enough…if the relationship is worth saving, then DECIDE to love and act in accordance with that decision! Name calling and demeaning comments are both done when you have decided NOT to love! Bringing up past problems and mistakes is a decision not to love. Walking away from a confrontation that is spiraling out of control is a decision to love (just remember that the issues still must be dealt with!). Compromising is a decision to love. Standing firm on an issue regardless what your partner wants is a decision not to love. Now, in regards to that last, if your partner wants something like another lover (for instance) then you should decide to love YOURSELF and end the relationship! This does lead me to one final point….if you are constantly making the decision to love YOURSELF and not your partner, then you’ve made your decision about the relationship and you should end it. Don’t keep your partner hanging in a relationship that you’ve decided not to love! It will only hurt BOTH of you and it will hurt MORE the longer it goes on!

I think it’s worth noting one more point about unacceptable behavior…make sure you and your partner knows what they are! This way, you both know what behaviors and actions are possible relationship enders! For me, cheating and physical abuse are definite relationship enders!

I got into a discussion on Facebook recently where someone said that evil people are not born that way. My response to that was “Love is a decision. Evil is a decision.” So no, people are not born in any particular way…they DECIDE how they will be as they go through life. All of our behaviors and actions are the result of a decision we make…and all those decisions are based on LOVE or not. Try to be cognizant of where your decisions are coming from. If your decisions are NOT based on love, don’t be surprised at how terribly wrong things can go from there!

I really wanted to share this message with you because I believe it’s an important one to share. I would welcome others to leave comments in regards to this issue. Have you examples of Deciding to Love or Deciding Not to Love? Do you agree or disagree with any of the above? If so, why?

So that’s it, my post in a nutshell…love is a decision. Based on that, I’ve decided to love you all and send blessings out to everyone!

Peace be with you.

Is there "free will" in heaven? What...

Cover of "What the Bleep Do We Know!?"

If life operates under the concept of Fate, the idea that everything is predestined, then Free Will, the idea that we determine our own destiny, couldn’t possibly apply.  Right?  I think not! I truly believe that BOTH concepts play a significant role!  Let me explain.

I’ve pondered this for quite some time because of my belief in palmistry.  If our lives are “written in the palms of our hands” then what does it matter what we do?  Right?  Wrong!  The lines in our palms actually change as we change.  BUT, and that’s a big “but”, we often don’t change all that much.  Thus, the changes in your lines won’t be very noticeable to you…if you even notice such things.  We are, it seems, creatures of habit, stuck in our ways and stubborn as all get out to accept or undergo “change”.  We are probably designed that way for a reason…to make our lives challenging and difficult! As much as I dislike experiencing trying times, isn’t that when we seem to learn the most?  People who make it successfully through adversity often come out of it much better off than they were before!

But I digress.  I believe in palmistry and the fact that the lines in our hands indicate events that have happened and those that could happen.  Though, really, palmistry is more about learning who you are than anything.  Honestly, it’s quite an in-depth “manual” of the self!  So, if the lines in our palms indicate certain future events, are they then “fated” to happen or can they be changed through the use of “free will”?  It’s an interesting question and, as I stated at the beginning of this post, I believe both factor into the answer.  We can take what we know MIGHT happen and make choices to bring them about (if that’s what we want) OR we can make choices that will avert them from occurring (if that’s preferable).  You see?  We can go with “the plan” as it is now “predetermined” (fated) or we can change the destination through the use of Free Will.

I think this is how psychics operate.  When they give you a “reading”, they are plugged into the current course your life is on and thus, they can tell you what’s in your (probable) future based on that particular course.  HOWEVER, if you don’t like the direction you are going…CHANGE it!  Make decisions and choices that take you in the direction you do WANT to go.  It’s that simple.  Really.  Truly, hard as it may be to believe, life is simple.  For some odd reason, we make it much more difficult than it is!  I wonder why?  The scary part of divination is the fact that some people will accept their “fate” (thus LETTING the current course play out) even if it’s not what they want because they THINK they have no choice in the matter.  Nothing, folks, is written in stone.  Well, okay…one thing is pretty much a given for all…death.  Physical death anyway.  Our spirit (soul), the part of our self that lives eternally, simply returns to its true state of being…a state, I might add that is more “real” than the illusionary life we are now experiencing!  Life, for all it’s significance, is but a blip of time in the course of our existence.

I watch this show called “Fringe” and there are these bald headed guys on there, I think they are called “the observers”, who seem to know everything.  On one episode, an “observer” dude spoke with Olivia (a main character on the show) and told her that he had seen “every possible future” concerning her, and that statement made my mind buzz with thought.  I have watched “What the Bleep” many, many times (it’s an awesome, intriguing, thought-provoking movie and I highly recommend it!) and it basically is telling us that every possible thing that COULD happen, HAS done so!  We live in a world of parallel universes where all possible outcomes to every possible thing IS happening “at once” (this being possible because time…past, present and future…are occurring simultaneously).  I know, I know…it’s all quite confusing, a jumbled mess, but that’s because “the truth of all” is way beyond our human comprehension.  The brains we operate under can only handle just so much!  Things must make logical sense to us or we are not going to accept it.  It’s for that very reason that meditation is so important!  Our brains go to “sleep” during meditative states and our spirit comes forth front and center!  Now, when operating within our spiritual self, everything can suddenly make sense and be crystal clear to us.  This is because our soul-self can grasp what our logical brain cannot.  But, I don’t want to dis our brains because we sort of need them to live in this physical world of ours.  And honestly, it isn’t our brain causing the confusion or making things difficult…it’s our Ego, the part of our personality under which we are who we are, that is doing that.  Difficult as our Egos may be, we need them to be that way in order to stay grounded in life.  Otherwise, we’d zip off into spirit and forgo earthly hardships.  I mean, really.  Why go through this if we don’t have to?  If we truly understood “the other side” then we wouldn’t be hanging around here!  The fact of it is, we came here (into physical life) for a reason and the only way to accomplish that mission is to bury our spiritual self deep within our subconscious, undergo a sort of amnesia concerning our “true” identity, and operate within the confines of our Ego.

I had what I consider a profound dream one night (dreams are our connection to the spiritual side of our existence and to our soul).  I dreamed I was on “the other side” preparing for Earthly life (physical birth) and having a last minute discussion with my angel friends.  I told them that I was determined not to forget them and my true identity.  They told me that once I entered the earth plane (physical existence), I wouldn’t be able to help myself.  Our memories of truth fade into obscurity because that’s how it has to be.  “No,” I told them.  “I’m not going to let that happen this time!”  So I climb this spiral staircase (symbolic of my “birth” into earthly life) and I continuously look down at my angel friends as I climb higher and higher (an interesting perspective considering we think of ourselves as coming “down” from heaven).  Finally I reach the top and have to step off the staircase onto “earth” which is a flat plane that stretches as far as I can see…getting darker and darker as it goes.  I reluctantly leave the staircase and light shining from below and begin my journey through life.  As I do so, however, I periodically look back toward the staircase (and the only source of light I might add!)  The further I go, the less I can see of that light and the darker it gets.  As I move along, I pass different scenes (which I think represent events or periods of time in my life).  Some are good, some bad and after each one (especially the bad ones!) I glance back at that staircase to remind myself of its existence and its truth.  “So far, so good,” I think to myself as I continue on.  I’m pretty proud of the fact that I haven’t forgotten!  But then as I go deeper into the dark, I am afraid to turn around because I don’t trust having that darkness and what might lurk within it at my back!  Finally, however, I glance behind me…I don’t see the staircase anymore or the light shining from below it.  And as I look, I am wondering what it is I am looking for!  I woke up immediately after that feeling quite disturbed.  That’s how life seems to work.  We get so deep into the darkness of adversity that we can no longer see the light and once we lose sight of that connection, we no longer remember who we truly are!  But you know…it’s still there!  I just need to keep reminding myself about that.

I mentioned that there is only one final destination that we all must face and that is physical death.  But is it “fated” WHEN that is to occur?  I hear all the time “when it’s your time to go, you’ve got to go” and I wonder about that statement.  Who determines when it is time?  Do we determine that or God?  Well, here again, I believe that both concepts of Fate and Free Will apply.  We can either accept our “fate” and let death happen OR we can decide to hang around a little longer!  In the end, I truly believe it’s up to us.  This is why we all hear stories of how people defied death against all odds or why death occurred when it wouldn’t seem likely that such a thing could happen.  Life is a mystery.  I love a good mystery.  Don’t you?

So, what are your thoughts on the matter?  Care to share them with me?  We are all spiritual beings capable of bringing forth interesting thoughts and ideas…one of the best things you can do is share them!  It matters not if people agree or disagree.  It’s the discussion that arises that makes it worthwhile!  We do love our discussions don’t we?  They may get heated and spark controversy but that’s what helps us figure things out!  Its those controversies, discussions and ideas that help us define who we are and what we believe.  I can tell you this much…when I hear something I either agree with or not…it helps me understand who I am and what I stand for!  The fact of it is, we are all where we are based on what we’ve come to know, like it or not.  The awesome thing about this is that if you don’t like it, you can certainly CHANGE it!  And that, my friends, is our reason for being here, our “soul” purpose for living!!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

I blog a lot about the paranormal because the afterlife fascinates me.  I do not doubt that once our bodies have expired, our souls live on.  I KNOW this to be true.   Although I find that quite comforting, it doesn’t stop me from missing loved ones (to include animals!) who have crossed into the “great beyond” (which is really just a different level of consciousness!).  My first brushes with death were the loss of pets (I still miss them all and some have been gone for many, many years!).  Their deaths were quite devastating to my young life.  And then when I was fourteen, I lost a family member that I loved very much — my wonderful Uncle Paul.  He was the BEST!  Paul was one of those people who was a shining light in the world.  His presence was always uplifting.  I admired him so much and I thought he was one of the best people ever.  Then, at the young age of 29, he died…struck down suddenly by a brain aneurysm.  What a shocking blow to my world.

At the time of his death, I was living in the haunted house I’ve blogged about many times.  So, I knew that our spirit … our soul … lived on but that didn’t stop me from being incredibly sad to lose my dear uncle.  I wanted his physical presence in my life and besides, I wasn’t sure how to communicate with those on the other side at that point in my life.  Truth be told, I was quite afraid of it.  That’s because at least one of the entities sharing our home with us was not a nice one.  No.  But this isn’t about that.

Although I had dabbled with the Ouija board, it wasn’t until many years later that I truly began to explore making contact with “the other side” or as I call it in my book “Be Still, My Love”…the Tri-State, that place between earthly life, heaven and hell.  A place where souls can hang out and communicate with us!  I found this to be a relatively easy thing to do through the means of automatic writing.  For those who don’t know what that is, it is when you use paper and a pen and invite those in spirit to speak to you through written messages.  When it’s actually happening, your hand will just start moving…seemingly without any effort from you!…and message will come through.  It’s as easy to do (for me anyway) as the Ouija board (which has a lot of negative press but that’s because it is too easy a tool to use and people don’t take it seriously enough to operate it properly!).  When I first started doing automatic writing, I managed to contact my grandparents (two of my most favorite people ever!).  It was really nice to connect with them again and have some closure (I was in the military when they died and didn’t even get to attend their funerals).  I know it was them I made contact with and I don’t care what anyone else says about it.  I know my Nana and Grampy and I FELT them, their spirit, their love, when communicating with them.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, however, that I finally got a message from my dear uncle Paul!  It was during my second visit to a local Spiritualist Church (of which I am now a member!) that it happened.  The medium bringing messages through happened to be the Pastor for the church.  He described my uncle perfectly and he even knew how he died and when!  I was in the process of working on my book and my uncle was giving me a positive message to continue with my writing! He was a major influence on my writing pursuits because he believed in me and encouraged me to keep doing it NO MATTER WHAT (the title of the first book I wrote and hope to have out in a few months!).  The following week at church, my Nana came through!  Now for you skeptics, I have to tell you…the medium knew way too much for it to be a lucky coincidence.  The message wasn’t vague and the medium’s description couldn’t have been applied to anyone else…it was very specific to my Nana, as Paul’s description was very specific to him.

I mentioned the above because I wanted to establish to you what I believe and why.  In my book “Be Still, My Love” the main character Tess Schafer is a medium.  Her husband and dog are killed by a drunk driver and Tess is devastated by the loss.  Part of her grief has to do with her beliefs.  You see, Tess believes (as do I) that death is not something that happens to us AGAINST OUR WILL.  Now, a LOT of people are going to argue with that and have.  I’ve even had a pretty critical review posted on Amazon over this particular issue.   I need to make it clear that on a CONSCIOUS level, MOST of us do not willingly go to our deaths.  We are born with a very strong instinct for survival.  Except in certain situations (suicides and terminal illness for instance) death is not a choice we consciously make.  But the thing about this issue is that if God makes the decision on when we die…then how is it that we have Free Will?  Do we have Free Will in everything BUT that?  I think not…it’s just too important an issue for us to have no say in the matter.  Now, when it comes time to die, I do believe that it is on a very deep level…SOUL deep…that the final decision is made.  This might explain the sudden return to life that is made after death has been declared! (Although the soul had obviously vacated the premises, a change in plans had to of occurred.  More than likely they were talked into returning because most reports of people who had a “near death experience” report NOT WANTING to return to life…even if they had a strong desire to live prior to the situation in hand!).  I believe that when people are in a coma they are actually “in review” of their lives and trying to decide what to do (again, on a very deep level…our Ego, the personality that we are in this earthly life, has no say in the matter.  Because, honestly, if our Ego had its way, we’d live forever!).  I could be wrong about this but I could be right.  Who knows?  Someday we all will.

So anyway, Tess struggled with her belief on this issue because if she was right about it, then that meant her husband agreed to depart his earthly life and leave her a widow.  She couldn’t accept that.  It is quite understandable that she feel that way because she loved him, he loved her, they were happy, had a good life…why would he leave all that?  But the thing is…we all have an agenda when we are born.  We come into earthly life hoping to accomplish something…maybe many things…but the point is, we all have a PURPOSE for entering physical life.  Once that purpose is met, we “cross over” (return) to our spiritual life (a state of “living” that we enjoy immensely by the way!).  Truly, if we all remembered from where we came and where we are headed when done with this physical life, many of us would be checking out a lot sooner than we end up doing!  I don’t know about you but I’ve gone through enough crap in my life that I’ve thought “What the hell is the point?  I’m so DONE with this!” and I tell ya, I’d have willingly crossed over if my instinct for survival wasn’t as strong as it is!  I mean really… life is freakin HARD!  It’s challenging and full of obstacles and strife and heartache and so on and so on.  Thank God for that survival instinct or we wouldn’t be having a population growth.  No.  But, when we come to that point where it’s a live or die situation, that’s when our soul (our true self) comes forward to take over.

I wrote a paper about this issue for a college English assignment and my professor for that course was quite pissed.  She scribbled all over that paper and then wrote “SEE ME” at the bottom.  Her father had recently died of a heart attack.  She informed me that there was “NO WAY” he WANTED to die and that my paper was a “load of crap”.  I’d hit a nerve…she was still grieving over her loss and for me to suggest that her dear father wanted to die didn’t sit well with her.  It wouldn’t.  We are programmed to love life and to cling to it no matter what.  As a result of that programming, we hate death, we fear it and we certainly want nothing more than to avoid it!  Besides, who wants to say goodbye to a loved one on such a permanent basis?  (permanent until we meet again when our own death occurs that is!).  I know that the losses I’ve suffered have left huge holes in my life.  You can’t fill those holes.  They stay there until our own life ends and leaves a hole in someone else’s life.  It’s a sucks-ass system but it is what it is.  It sucks even more (in my book anyway) to think that those who have died, might have done so UNwillingly!  To have them ripped from life without their consent seems so WRONG to me and a very UNloving thing for God to do!

When I was eighteen, I went through an experience in which I thought for sure I was about to die.  And I have to tell ya, I didn’t expect it to be a peaceful death either!  I was truly expecting a horrific end.  Oddly, as I stared death in the face, I felt quite calm inside (yeah, my heart was pounding so hard it hurt but my spirit was calm).  I was visiting friends in Virginia at the time and it was quite late in the evening.  I was sitting in their darkened kitchen (a small light over the sink was on) and talking on the phone to a guy I’d met the night before.  I was sitting next to the garage door.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was aware that the door had opened but I paid no attention to it. Then I heard the heavy breathing.  I turned my head and froze, literally, to complete immobility.  I couldn’t utter a sound and I’m not sure if I was even breathing!  Standing there about a foot from me was a person dressed in a long trench coat, black boots, a black ski mask, black gloves and a dark hat.  One gloved hand held a very large shiny butcher knife.  It was held up high and pointed at me as if poised to plunge.  I remember the blade caught the light from over the sink and glistened as it moved in rhythm with its holder’s breathing.  My life was over.  In a flash I understood this and though I can tell you I didn’t WANT to die, there was a part of me that accepted what was about to happen.  When you think you have no choice, I think that’s when our soul comes forward to help us through the situation.  That’s the only explanation I can come up with.  And that whole “your life flashes before your eyes” thing?  Yeah, that happens…in an INSTANT.  My entire life was AT ONCE remembered…ALL of it.  It’s a very hard thing to explain.  After this instant life review came other thoughts.  I worried about my family, how they would take my death and that was my biggest regret.  I worried about how much it was going to hurt and I hoped that it happened quickly.  Chasing that thought was the question on whether I should keep my eyes open (I could blink at this point and that was it) or if I should close them.  I decided that I couldn’t close them and not KNOW when it was going to happen.  Chasing that decision was the wish that I could get my voice back so I could warn my friends in the next room.  I dearly hoped that they would make it out of the house while I was being butchered to death.  In that respect, I did hope my death wasn’t too quick for I truly wanted my friends to live.  I had no doubt, none at all, that I was going to die.  And then, incredibly, the person standing there began to laugh.  It was one of my friends pulling a prank on me.  She pulled the ski mask off and bent over in a fit of mirth (apparently my expression was beyond funny).  “You should see your face!” she gasped as I began to shake uncontrollably in relief.  It was the worst joke ever.  But it taught me something.  When facing death, there is a calm acceptance of it deep within.  Remember…our souls know that “death” is not final and is actually a release back to our true self and the beautiful pain-free, stress-free, hate-free loving existence that awaits us.

I’ve even experienced “death” in dreams!  I do wonder if those dreams were actually a past life memory because they sure did seem real.  What I remember most is how peaceful it was.  I think part of our grief is the thought that someone we love and would do anything for had somehow suffered.  It’s bad enough to lose someone but to think that they may have suffered in the transition is too much to bear.  I don’t know quite what I think about this other than it is my hope that our soul takes the personality out of the situation and leaves only the body shell to get through a terrible end…such as fire (which to me has to be one of the absolute worst ways to die!).  Speaking of which, there was a terrible story this past Christmas Eve about a house fire in which a woman lost her two young daughters and her parents.  I don’t know how someone survives a tragedy like that.  That poor woman not only had to suffer the loss of her children and parents (the most important people to her in all the world) but she had to deal with the fact that they died in a fire!  They tried to escape, of course, and didn’t make it.  You know their last moments of life was lived in horror.  Or was it?  Did their souls come forth and get them through it?  Did the angels take them away as their bodies perished?  I’d like to think so.  What I do know is that they are now living in a beautiful place and the mother/daughter they left behind is living in hell.  What sort of karma is she balancing?  For something that horrible to happen…it had to have been something that was planned in spirit BEFORE their earthly births.  I’m here to tell you, no matter what I believe…I KNOW I could not deal with something like that.  I pray for that woman, I really do.  I pray she somehow finds some peace as she continues out her life.

I don’t know why horrible things happen.  I don’t understand the evils of the world.  But I do know this…our soul will one day be released from the trap of physical life and return to the beautiful existence of spirit.  And I don’t think that our moment of death is going to be as traumatic as we might think (if only we could all just die peaceably of extreme old age in our sleep!).

I have questions about it all.  Of course I do.  One way I try to figure things out is through writing.  As I continue to write stories including Tess, I find myself learning things right along with her.  After all, the inspiration for her story is coming from somewhere…I believe it comes from the Universal Conscience which is, basically, God.

Okay, that’s enough for now!  What do you think?  It’s a touchy issue, I know.  It’s a depressing one.  For those of us left behind anyway!  I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!

English: United States Air Force Basic Militar...

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When I joined the military, I went into a career field that had just opened to women.  My recruiter told me I was going to be a pioneer “paving the way” for other women to follow.  It sounded quite grand.  Me? A pioneer?  How thrilling.  I didn’t realize the constant uphill climb such an undertaking would become.  It was a tough new world I entered and holding my own took maximum effort and sacrifice on my part.  I remember calling home those first few weeks in basic training and crying pathetically on the phone.  “I can’t do this,” I’d sob or “It’s just too hard and they are so mean.”  My technical instructor (TI) at basic recognized my weaknesses and he exploited them.  I thought he was picking on me.  And he was.  That was his job.  The military couldn’t cater to sniveling, I-can’t-do-this whiners.  Our country depends on a military that is strong and does what needs to be done to protect and preserve its liberties.  By the time I left basic training, I was standing tall, proud and feeling more confident than I’d ever been.  I, after all, was a member of the armed services.  I was an airman in the United States Air Force and proud of it. Yeah, they did a good job of tearing me down and building me back up into a confidant, can-do woman!  They brought out the best in me and showed me that I could believe in myself.  I was part of something magnificent, an elite force, and I could do anything!

Unfortunately, the world I entered after basic training didn’t get any easier.  Before I go on here, I have to tell you what my new job consisted of: bomb building.  Yeah, I was now an “Ammo troop” (the nickname we proudly called ourselves).  We were responsible for building, storing and maintaining the Air Force’s explosive inventory.  How brave I was to be doing this dangerous thing!  I felt strong and invincible.  I was pretty proud.  Who would have thought it?  A small-town girl, shy, quiet, a bookworm and writer wannabe, and I was building bombs and working with all sorts of things that exploded.

But, it was a man’s world I entered and they didn’t let me forget it.  Quite often I was the only female on a crew or in a particular unit.  I didn’t have the men’s physical build and stamina and so was often put down for it.  I tried to make up for my structural inadequacies by knowing more than they did about the explosives for which we were responsible.  Knowledge is power, my friends.  Oh yes it is!  I also ended up doing more.  It was to me that all the paperwork often fell, and let me tell you, the military can go overboard when it comes to paperwork!  I might have had a tough time lifting things but I could inspect, assemble, perform testing procedures and conduct maintenance just as well if not better than “they” did.  I quickly discovered that I had to know more, do more and give more just to get a small modicum of respect from my supervisors and the guys I worked with.  It was a tough life I lived.  Frustrating beyond measure at times.  I felt like I had to constantly bust my butt, and for what?  To be sneered at, belittled, overlooked and put down because I was a lowly woman?  Seriously?  Geez.

I don’t know how I managed to survive the constant struggle of holding my own when I had so much against me all the time, but I did it.  Yes I did!  I had to.  The worst was dealing with family separation.  Six months after giving birth to my first child, a son who was at once the center of my world, the military sent me to Korea for a year.  Leaving him behind was the worst thing I ever had to do.  It was like living with a heart gripped by a merciless fist.  God, it physically HURT.  I didn’t know how I was going to survive it.  But somehow I did.  It bothers me even now (twenty plus years later) to think about that awful time and all that I missed out on.

Another tough thing for military members to maintain successfully is marriage (tough in any case to be sure!).   Divorce is quite high in the military.  I was just as much a victim of that statistic as anyone.  A huge reason I stayed in as long as I did (twenty years, five months and 17 days) is because I was responsible for my kids, my life, and I wanted to maintain my independence.  But, my word, the sacrifices and crap I had to put up with to do it!

The thing is, you know what I got out of it all?  I learned that I’m tougher than I thought.  I learned that I can do anything I put my mind toward doing.  I learned to adapt and overcome.  I learned to stand on my own and stand up for myself.  I learned that what matters is how I feel about me, not what others try to make me feel.  It took me many years to get those lessons through my thick skull and I hope to share how some of them came about in future posts.

The point I wanted to get across in all this is that you can do anything you set your mind to doing.  You CAN!  I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was eight.  I’m now a published author.  It took me a while to accomplish that but that’s because I didn’t focus on making it happen.  I let other life issues sidetrack me for awhile.  My new goal is to make Amazon’s top ten fiction list.  I’m totally focused on it.  I can do this.  I CAN!  Just you watch and see!  As for you…well, you really, truly can do anything you want to do! Focus on your goal, actively work toward it and don’t give up.  Above all, most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!

Blessings to all and Peace Out!

Inspirational Writing is one of the most intimate forms of writing.  The message that comes through is either from your higher self (your soul), an angelic being (guardian angel? spirit guide?) or God.  Although the last is really part of it no matter what since God is part of all things.

If you have a problem or concern or would just like a little guidance, Inspirational Writing can deliver just what you need.  Who better to help you than someone who absolutely loves you?

So, for those who have not tried this form of communication, how is it done?  First, there is no right or wrong way.  The only thing you need to do is write (or type if you prefer).  Inspirational Writing is like a written meditation.  Instead of a mental or emotional conversation, you allow words to flow onto paper or onto the keyboard.  The following is just a suggestion on how to approach this very intimate communication.

1.  Start with prayer.  Prayer is communication with God, and Inspirational Writing comes from this very loving source.  So, open the communication with a prayer.  If you have a problem, concern, worry or curiosity, then voice it to God (although God already knows, it helps you clarify what it is you are hoping to accomplish).   Once you have stated your intention for the writing, give thanks for the message you are about to receive.  I can’t quote the bible exactly or tell you where to find it but I do remember reading a passage where Jesus said something to the effect that we should always thank God as if the thing for which we have just asked has already been received.  This reminds me of nightly prayers with my children when they were small.  My daughter always began her prayer this way, “Thank you God for the rest of my life.”  I LOVED that!  I don’t know where she got that from but wow…out of the mouth of babes!

2.  Make sure you are clear about what you are seeking from the communication.  It’s okay if you aren’t seeking anything specific.  If all you want is to open yourself to spirit and see what comes through, that’s totally fine!  If you prefer the message to come from your higher self (an interesting expression but simply means your spiritual self) then state as much. If you would like your spirit guide or guardian angel to come through then say so.  Just know this…whatever your intention when you sit down to write, whoever you wish to contact, whatever you want to know, it will come through.  Just so long as you ALLOW it to happen.

3.  Believe you are worthy of the communication!  You don’t have to be a religious or spiritual leader to receive communication from God or the angels.  You ARE worthy because you are a child of God and our loving Creator is not going to deny you an audience!  Promise.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you are, how you live, what your faith … when talking to the spiritual realm, none of those things matter.  What matters is that you are a spiritual being, a child of God, and you are seeking communication.

4.  Allow the message to come through.  Just write whatever comes to mind.  Don’t analyze it, don’t edit it, don’t argue with it.  Just LET it.  If the message seems to come slowly at first, stick with it, the more comfortable you get, the better the communication, the easier the words will flow.  Once you set your inner critic aside and just write, you’ll be amazed at what comes through!  Keep writing until you KNOW (and you will know) that you are done.

5.  If whatever comes through is critical and judgmental, then you just communicated with your ego.  Spiritual messages are always loving, positive messages.  ALWAYS.

6.  It is very hard to get our ego out of the way and allow true Inspirational Writing to occur.  One way to do this is to pretend that you are a loving being answering your question.  When deliberately “pretending”, the ego seems to relax and allow things to happen.  However the loving spirit must come through, even if it’s through pretense, it will come through.  Nothing is by chance, so even if you made something up during your pretense…well, where do you suppose those “made up” comments came from?  Your higher Self.

The thing to remember about this form of writing is that it is for YOU.  You don’t need to worry about grammar or punctuation or proper sentence structure.  None of that matters.  Inspirational Writing is spirit writing a letter to you!  Now, if whatever comes through seems worthy of sharing and you’d like to do so, then by all means, share those loving messages.  If people don’t receive them as you did or if they try to negate the message, just remember this…that’s their ego talking.  Unfortunately, ego is a very critical and necessary part of who we are…it helps us function in a very difficult world.  God and the angels don’t have egos.  Any message received during an Inspirational Writing session is done so in love and it will fill you with nothing less than that.

So, give it a try, see what God, the angels or your higher Self has to say.  Blessings to all and Peace out!

I thought I’d try an experiment and invite a spiritual force looking for a voice to come through and write a blog post!  If I’m going to write about characters doing something like this (Be Still, My Love‘s lead character, Tess, is a medium), then I should be able to do it myself, right?  Well, let’s see.

First I start with a prayer.  I like saying the Lord’s prayer because it’s pretty powerful and is multi-layered with spiritual meaning (I always have my character Tess do the same thing).  I then let go of all negativity and allow only God’s loving energy to enter.  This can be done with imagery.  I take in a slow deep breath and imagine the air filling my lungs is pure and clean and full of God’s love.  When I breath out, I release any dark, negative energy that may be lurking within the body.  I imagine that dark energy mixing with the light and turning positive as it enters the air around me.  I don’t want any negative energy floating around.  Next I make it clear that I am inviting only a loving spirit to come through and give a message.  I want a spiritual being who has something positive and loving to offer us.  I then imagine a loving, bright light surrounding me.  This light is God’s protection from negative forces.  Nothing negative or harmful can penetrate this light.  Although I am imagining these things, I give them life with my thoughts and make them real.  This concept is hard for a lot of people to understand.  If it’s the imagination then it can’t be real, right?  Wrong!  Things of the imagination become real if you believe them to be so.  If you don’t give them any weight…belief…then they will remain a figment of your imagination (especially if they are passing thoughts.  The more you think about something, even if you don’t believe it, the stronger you make that thought).  Truly, when you BELIEVE in something, you breath LIFE into it!  So, here we go.

Is there a loving spirit who would like to come through and share a message with us today?

There is much concern by some to believe in things such as this.  The worry is that they will be tricked by “the devil” to believe something they shouldn’t.  The truth is, everyone is born with an instinctive sense of right and wrong.  However, as you grow in your environment, your beliefs are influenced by the people in your life and the things you experience.  The beliefs you have come to accept will quite often override any inner thoughts (the voice of your spirit) that are contrary to those beliefs.  This makes it hard for people to grow in knowledge.  Growth of the soul is through learning and if one accepts only a set parameter of rules (beliefs) and does not accept anything new that is contrary to those rules, then growth cannot happen.  This is not bad.  If you go through life accepting certain truths while rejecting others, this does not make you a bad person.  It just means that there is more growth to be done.  Growing and learning, discovering and exploring … these are the activities the soul should be engaged in.  Live and learn.  If one has fears and worries, there is much growth to be done.  Those who come to understand God and the workings of the soul will not experience fear and worry.  Those are negative energies brought on by misunderstanding.  But experiencing those things … that in itself is a learning process.  Everything you experience is teaching you something.  Some will grow from a particular experience and others will get stuck in it.  If there is an experience you can’t get passed, then there is more to be learned from it.  Explore the situation or problem from outside yourself.  Look at it as if a stranger.  Put your feelings and beliefs aside (remember, you are critiquing the situation as if a stranger and you can’t know what a stranger’s beliefs are).  Look at what is happening or has happened from someone who has no feelings.  Often, revelations, sudden understanding, can come to you in those moments when you judge not as “you” but as you being someone else (who is, of course, still YOU!).  Who better to help you come to an understanding than your own self?  Your soul comes through in those quiet moments to help you in your quest for answers.  Blessings to all, may your inner quest bring you much joy!

So, there it is!  That’s the message that came through today.  What do you think?  God speaks to us in many ways, through songs, stories, pictures, art, people … the entire world around you and everything that happens in it is all God in action, vision, sound, thought and experience.  Fear no evil, for the Lord is with you always!  I think this is why I like to write the stories I do.  Evil exists.  People do bad stuff.  Horrible things happen.  We write about those things and we show how to come through it.  At least, in my stories, the positive forces always win.  But, even in books where the negative forces win, you learn something!  I love the writing process.  You never know what is going to come through.  Everything created is influenced by God.  It cannot be otherwise for only God creates.  One cannot understand love unless you know what it is not to have it.  Learn your lesson quick and live in glory!

Blessings and Peace out!!

Evil has been around since the beginning of time…possibly even before then.  When I say the beginning of time, I mean the beginning of us…we the people, the so called civilization (for sometimes we are not always so “civilized”).  Evil is a strong proponent in all religions.  To overcome evil, you must… aha! Here perhaps, is its purpose for existence.  We are born innocent (seriously, there is nothing evil about a baby!!) but as we grow in the world, we somehow end up becoming sinners (“sin” of course being another word for evil and “sinner” being someone who performs an evil deed).  To seek salvation, we must abide by a set of rules (of course, these rules all depend on our faith).  This is how our world society works.  Even the atheists believe something concerning right and wrong (and anything “wrong” must be a sin, right?).  Those who claim to be “spiritual” have just as much to concern themselves with in this issue as those who are “religious”.

I want to explore this whole “evil” thing a little more because that word gets bandied about a LOT these days.  I see it in the media constantly…conservatives are evil, liberals are evil, tea-party peeps are evil, abortion is evil, opposition to abortion is evil, anything and everything that is in opposition to an opinion or belief has suddenly become evil.  The world, it seems, is an evil place.

A curious thing:  have you ever noticed that evil spelled backwards is “live”?  Evil is to live.  We live in an evil world.  And why, I wonder, is that?

Evil as defined in the Encarta Dictionary (whatever dictionary you look it up in, I’m pretty sure the meaning is going to be close enough not to matter what dictionary you look it up in): 1.Morally Bad: profoundly immoral or wrong. 2. Harmful: deliberately causing great harm, pain or upset. 3. Causing Misfortune: characterized by, bringing, or signifying bad luck.  Etc.  All things associated with evil is quite adverse…none of it is going to be helpful or good in any way.  Anything associated with evil is going to be bad, one way or another.

The problem with evil is that it is now used to describe anything and everything that opposes an opinion and/or a belief (as I stated earlier).  The way this is going, we are all going to be losers in this evil world.  None of us can please everyone and so we are going to be evil to someone.  It’s inevitable.  It’s unavoidable.  Like it or not, I’m evil.  And so are you.  This being true only if we base such conclusions on the way we are all using the word these days.  Don’t agree with me?  Well, that’s evil at work! (see what I mean?).  This whole “evil” business has gone out of control.  Ever heard of the saying, “where your focus goes, your energy flows”?  Our focus so often these days is on whatever the media (in all its forms) feeds us.  All the horrible things that faction of our society brings to our attention 24/7 in-turn feeds the evil fires.  We are now a raging inferno!!

Do you know how volcanoes work?  To be very basic: things heat up at it’s core, deep in the bowels of the earth.  Heat creates pressure and that pressure must have an outlet, it can’t build and build and be contained within the confines of the earth’s bowels.  It searches for freedom…and eventually we have an eruption.  That’s what is happening to our world.  Evil is getting so much focus, so much attention and is being fed by everyone’s discontent that the pressure is building and building.  Somewhere along the line, it must come to some sort of head.  All things do.  ALL things.  No exceptions.

A lot of people are worried about the Mayan calendar and its portent that the end of the world will occur in December of this year.  I’m not sure WHY the Mayan calendar ended on that particular date (there are a lot of convincing theories) but I do have to say this much about it…that darned calendar had to end sometime! Was it supposed to go on into eternity? I know that date is supposed to mark the end of a cycle or some such thing but were they supposed to then add the next cycle?  And the next?  At what point would it have been safe to stop without the world speculating as to that date being the end of civilization?  It didn’t say: and here the world ends, the end.  No.  It just stopped.  As all calendars do.  Our calendars end on December 31st of each and every year!  So, keep that in mind.

Although I don’t believe the world is about to end, I do know that all this evil business going on in the world will eventually cause one hell (so appropriate to use “hell” here!) of an eruption.  That’s how wars start.  Evil goes to work, spreads, grows stronger, creates more evil deeds and then war breaks out.  Speaking of which … to all the “NO MORE WAR” folks (and believe me, I truly wish for world peace) … what would you have us do?  Should we not oppose the spread of evil?  Yes, we can pray and we do, but in the bible, God was known to favor one army over another and lead them to victory!  It seems that even God felt war necessary.  Given that, do you really believe we are to allow the evil doers to continue the spread of their evil?  They (those who are out slaughtering the masses to gain power through the rule of fear) won’t suddenly become good, law abiding citizens once they’ve killed all their opposition and enforced all their rules and laws and expectations.  No.  People in the clutches of evil always want MORE.  So, if no one stands up to them, what do you think is going to happen?  Seriously…I really, truly would like to know what you think about that because I’ve no clue.  I can’t for the life of me comprehend what it is you think we are supposed to do about the “big time” evil doers…the terrorists of our day.

But, I digress.  You can see that even I fall into the “evil” trap.  I use the word as freely as everyone else.  We ALL do.  So, I just want to do a series of blog posts exploring this phenomena.  What is evil? What are we supposed to do about it?  How do we conquer it?  CAN we conquer it?  Does evil have a purpose?

For the sake of my exploration on this topic, I first want to be sure that anyone reading this post understands my definition of evil.  First off, let me explain one thing…there is “bad” and there is “evil”.  To me, bad is anything that has the potential to cause minor harm.  Bad is one of those things that you know isn’t 100 percent okay and yet it doesn’t fall over the fence into evil territory either  (white lies for instance, or sneaking a cookie without asking).  Bad, in other words, won’t send you off to hell.  Bad deeds are like minor infractions.  They might earn you a slap on the hand (figuratively speaking) but no more than that.  Evil, on the other hand, is seriously bad.  Evil causes a great deal of harm.  Evil deeds will bring injury and/or death to its recipient.  Evil creates misery.  The doers of evil can expect a direct ticket to hell.  And if you are someone who doesn’t believe in hell, I’m sure you probably understand the concept enough for my meaning to be pretty clear.

Evil is serious business.  It’s too bad we pin that word on everything these days.  But then most of the churches were really guilty about this method back in the day … back before we had governments to lead the people (not that there’s any government in existence that isn’t guilty of one sin or another!).  When I say “back in the day”, I am talking about the early days of our social development.  Back then we were led by religious/spiritual leaders.  They, after all, were the ones supposedly in the KNOW about matters of right and wrong.  As for the societies led by Pharaohs and the like, their advisors were the spiritual leaders of their sect.  Since it was rare for leaders to go against their religious/spiritual leaders, then it’s pretty safe to say that it was the advisors that were really in charge.  The leaders we read about in the bible (those who had any sort of power over the masses) taught their interpretations/beliefs/understandings on what was evil – basically, anything that went against their church or spiritual doctrine.  Though I think some religions are really rigid, their dogma hard to live by, I surely don’t think any of them are evil!!  The sad fact is, no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, SOMEONE is going to consider those beliefs and your conduct in relation to them as being evil.   It’s all quite fascinating, discouraging and alarming.

There’s a war going on in our world right now, and I’m not just talking about what’s going on in the Middle East.  I’m talking about the war between good and evil.  If one is to watch the news, it would appear that evil is winning (but I don’t believe that!).  And that’s why I want to explore this subject in greater detail.

So, I’ve introduced the subject.  I’ll stop for now.  In my next post, I’d like to look at how evil is affecting our world.  I touched on it in this post, but would like to expand on that a bit more.  I am also interested in your opinions! Does your definition of evil match mine?  Do you have a different definition?  I truly, truly want to know!  Until my next post, many blessings to all of you and Peace Out!

Right or Wrong, YOU Decide!

There is not a single solitary thing in existence that hasn’t been criticized, praised and/or condemned.  Everything and I mean EVERY possible THING you can think of is judged at some point.  Keep in mind that an opinion, a belief, an idea, a thought, a decision … all these things are judgments.  Every one.  And because of that, every single one of us plays a judge and juror role within the courtroom of our lives.  It’s a fact, my friends, and there’s no denying it!  Judging is a HUGE part of who we are, how we feel, what we think, how we act, what we believe, how we live, etc.  It’s our judging skills that determine our character, our actions and reactions, our thoughts … in fact, every aspect of our lives are affected by our judgments.  Truly, there isn’t a soul in this world who can say he or she is not judgmental.  Again, we need to be, that’s why we are here … to pass judgment.  When we’re dead, we’ll judge it all again.  Or someone will.  In the end, we are all going to be answering  for our judgments and I don’t imagine there’s any getting around it.  Unless I’m wrong, and if I am, it changes nothing.  Your life remains affected either way by the judgments you make. The fact is, whether you believe in God or not, we still must survive in this world until we get to that point (death) and learn the truth of it.  Since we are all judges, who then, determines the right and wrong of our judgments?  Why YOU do of course…for YOUR life.  People in power have that right as well.  And this is why the world is in such a mess.

But anyway, my point for this post is to declare my judgment that paranormal phenomena is a fact.  It’s real.  Spiritual things exist.

I can argue until I’m blue in the face about why the paranormal is a bona fide fact but it won’t matter if you don’t believe in it.  NOTHING I say is going to matter.  Nothing.  Because, my friend, once a judgment is passed, it’s a done deal.  Very few of us change our minds about something once we’ve decided a verdict.  The majority of us are so caught up in our own judgments that we won’t even listen to any other possibility unless it closely relates to our own final verdict. The first utterance of something to which we strongly disagree and we’ve got ourselves an argument that will change nothing in the end.  So, in essence, most arguments are useless ones.  Have you ever noticed that?  Neither side is going to give (oh how rare a nugget it is to find someone who might reconsider their verdict and listen with an open mind to new evidence!!).  For the most part, each side has made a judgment and the verdict is final for each of them.  This, I judge, is another reason why our world is in such a mess.  But I won’t go there.  No.

Here’s the thing.  I say ghosts exist.  I say angels exist.  I say there is life after death.  I say that we can communicate with people who have passed on into the afterlife.  I say that God is real.  I say that evil spirits are real. I say we all have souls.  I say reincarnation is a fact.  I say we have all lived other lives.  All these things are part of the paranormal realm.  Those who don’t believe whichever of those things will just as emphatically say they most certainly do NOT exist.  Who is right?  Do they exist or not?  One says yes (me!) and one says no (the unbelievers).  Here’s MY thinking on it.  If I’m right and those things do exist, then that is knowledge I can use as I press onward to learn more.  If I’m wrong and they don’t exist, well, same story.  I’ll use the knowledge as I press onward to learn more.  One way or the other, we are all going to learn the truth in the end.  And once we KNOW, then we know.  So I ask you…what in the heck is wrong with me believing it?  My life is my own to live just as your life is yours to live.  If someone doesn’t believe the same as me concerning the paranormal, well fine.  So be it.  The problem is, however, that many people care very much what others believe.  I’ve had people tell me that I am going to burn in the pits of hell for all eternity.  For BELIEVING something?  Really?  Thank God I don’t believe that!!  So whose right?  Guess we’ll find out in the end.  But I have to tell you, deep in my gut, way deep down (like right in my soul deep) I really think I’m right and if I’m wrong, I still don’t believe I’ll be off to hell for it.

Churches all have their purpose and place in our world.  We need them.  We really do! The problem I have with some of them (for not all are like this!) is the massive amounts of judgments made by them (church doctrine) and the expectation that everyone accept the judgments they have made (and I mean everyone…even the people who are not part of their church!).  It’s a believe-this-or-else-you’re-going-to-hell way of thinking that turns me off.  Of course the churches mean well, I know that, they believe our souls are at stake.  But who is to say they are right because their INTERPRETATION of the bible says they are right and I am wrong if my INTERPRETATION differs in any way?  Each and every one of us can read the same passage in the bible (or any other document for that matter) and come up with an interpretation that might be similar but not exactly the same.  Ask someone to ramble on enough about a passage and you are eventually going to get disparities of thought.  We humans are like snowflakes.  We are each unique and different from every other.  So, what makes one person’s interpretation better than another’s?  Please don’t say education. Some of the least educated people in the world are also some of the most profound.  Ever listen to a small child?  It truly amazes me the things they seem to know.  And what about Jesus?  How much schooling did he get?  Did he hold any degrees? Oh yes…I KNOW, he was the son of God and thus born with knowledge (a belief I accept, by the way).  But, geez, aren’t I a daughter of God?  What about the knowledge inherent within me?  Did God perhaps make some of us flawed when it came to learning truth?  I think not.  The fact of it is, we are all on our own road to discovery.  Beats me what it is you are out to discover and so who am I to interfere with that journey?  The people who come into our lives, whether permanently or briefly, are all part of our learning process.  Every experience we have, every emotion we experience, every idea we accept or not accept, every truth and every lie we learn, in fact, everything you encounter are all necessary parts of your particular journey. We’ll grow and learn one way or the other.

The thing is, folks, we all come from the same place.  We all come with feelings and instincts.  It’s those two things we should be connecting with and using more to get on in the world.  As we grow, however, our thoughts are manipulated by the world around us and our thoughts influence our feelings which often will affect our instincts.  It’s all quite a mess.  But, eventually we’ll figure it out.  We WILL.

Technology throws reams of information at us all day long so it’s no wonder we get confused!  Everyone wants a voice these days and they all want their voice to be THE one everyone listens to.  Which means, of course, that we also must believe everything THEY say and accept, without question, THEIR judgments.  Since everyone claims to KNOW and yet all the claims differ, I’ll just stick with my own convictions based on my own journey and what I’ve been exposed to and learned.  You do the same and eventually we’ll all get THERE.  Wherever that is.  So, here’s to you having a good trip.  Blessings and Peace out!!

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (right) and Padawan O...

I was in high school when Star Wars came out.  Might be showing my age here, but what the heck.  Age is a state of mind for the most part.  Although my body has undergone a few changes, my mind hasn’t aged.  The difference is that it’s a little more knowledgeable, a little wiser and a little less concerned about what people think! But anyway.  I got quite caught up in the whole “force” thing because I was learning about psychic ability, paranormal phenomena, and stuff like that around the same time.  Although Star Wars is a fictional story, it came from someone’s imagination (which I consider a link to God).  An imagination that was obviously open to possibilities of the spiritual kind.  I loved the concept of there being a “force”, something we could tap into and become well, not a Jedi warrior perhaps but something related to one at least!  Me and a friend of mine discussed this force concept at length and even conducted our own experiments.  Really.  We did.  (I have to pause here to enjoy a good laugh).  Okay, done with that, let’s move on.

What is interesting to me is that since Star Wars, I’ve continued my search to learn more about who and what we are and I’ve come across so many more wonderful books and movies discussing a similar concept.  They might not call it a “force” but really, they could just as easily do so.  The Celestine Prophecy was another one that suggests a force field of sorts being around us … aura, force, essence, spirit, soul … the name matters not.  Sometimes I’ll read a book or watch a movie and think, “Wow, the writer must have an awesome mind to come up with that.”  But you know…they tapped into something (I call it the “collective consciousness” which is our connection to God) using the imagination as access.  You could even say they tapped into a “force”.  God creates, you create, I create, everyone creates, creates (sorry, a song popped into my head and I had to go with it).  The very act of creation is bringing a truth into consciousness.  What the truth is, you must discover, but the fact is, everything in existence exists for a reason.

In Star Wars, there was a dark side of the force and then the side that wasn’t dark (the good side).  Interestingly enough, they never named it “the light side” or whatever.  It was just assumed that the dark side was the opposite of the good one.  But really, isn’t that true of anything?  Who wants to be kept “in the dark”?  Aren’t we all happy to “shed some light” on a subject?  Anyone who has watched the Ghost Whisperer knows that departed souls should go “into the light”!  It seems we automatically think of “light” as that being connected to God and anything “dark” (as in lack of light!) as not being connected to God.  The truth of the matter, though, is that God is part of all things.  Even the dark.  Nothing can exist without the original creator and for lack of a better word for such a thing of epic proportions, I call that original creator God.  Absolutely anything can be used for good or bad.  I mean really…look at Ghost Busters!  When they had to choose their adversary, the marshmellow man (or whatever the heck they called it) was thought of because, how evil can that be?  It’s the intent involved that makes something good or bad.  No exceptions.

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about the “force” for a moment.  Probably because I wish I had learned how to harness it already!! You see, I truly believe this term refers to what is within us … our spiritual connection and the abilities that go along with it.  We’ve had many spiritual teachers come to teach us more about ourselves since the beginning of time (or so it seems anyway).  Many, many teachers.  In fact, in one way or anther, we are all teachers.  Each and every single one of us teaches others something.  Good or bad (and honestly, I think we have to have exposure to both to appreciate the Good of things!).  We all have a “dark” side and a “good” one.  What’s so awesome is the fact that the “force” (God) is always with us.  We just don’t use that to our best advantage very much.  Wonder why that is?

Merry Christmas or Not

There are as many beliefs as there are stars.  Countless.  Everyone believes something, even when their belief is that they believe nothing.  As we filter through the various holidays, each one is celebrated (or not) in accordance with our beliefs.  Right now we are entering the Christmas holiday season.  For people all over the world, this special holiday means so many things and most of them positive.  But not all.

I get tired of the arguments on how to publicly handle greetings, parting wishes and comments during the Christmas season.   Do we say “Merry Christmas”?  Do we say, “Happy Holidays”?  Do we say nothing at all?  I say … say what you want!  If the spirit for which you give the comment is done with the best of intentions and the receiver chooses to negate the exchange, do not think you must change your feelings and responses to please the negative one.  Some people are so caught up in their own beliefs, thoughts and ideas that they are not willing to entertain any others.  Indeed, some of them will simply not tolerate a differing point of view!  Behavior like that is not fit to rule over society.  Sadly, those are the ones who seem to be controlling things more often than not.

I remember reading an article not too long ago about a woman who complained about a crucifix hanging on a cathedral wall.  A college was to hold their graduation ceremony at this cathedral (as they had done for many years) and this woman (who was obviously not a Christian) decided she was offended by the crucifix and filed a complaint.  What surprises me is the strong support she got for her request to remove or hide the (offending) crucifix!  Why?  How is a simple item (not meant in any way, shape or form to offend anyone) truly hurting this person?  What about the rights of all the other people who wish for the cross to remain?  When the intention of a symbol is not for the purpose of degradation or insults, then what is the problem?  Seriously.  When I see symbols of religions to which I take no part, I am not the least bit offended by them.  I see them as symbols for someone else’s faith and that is it.  The symbol, to me anyway, is meaningless and so I feel no offense.  If the symbol had power to hurt me, I would certainly object but there are no symbols that I know of which can cause injury to a person.

But I digress.  Christians the world over celebrate this time of year to honor of the birth of their savior.  Even among Christians, the holiday is celebrated in diverse ways.  That’s fine.  Celebrate it however you want. It’s pretty cool, though, that a few million of us all celebrate it similarly.  What I cannot fathom is why those who do not celebrate this holiday have the right to impose restrictions on those of us that do.  I wouldn’t dream of telling someone of another faith what to do or not do to honor their traditions and beliefs.

As for what we should say or what we should call it…well, Christmas is Christmas.  It isn’t a nondescript “holiday”.  It has meaning to people.  Over the centuries, people have adopted practices and traditions to celebrate this holy event … the birth of Jesus.  That is what Christmas is about … in part.  We’ve added a few more things to it and that’s fine.  It’s our right as individuals.  For those who do not believe in Jesus and who do not celebrate the holiday in any way, that’s fine.  Carry on.  But leave everyone else alone.  Don’t impose your beliefs on others.  I don’t try to press people to believe my religious and spiritual views and I expect others to do the same.

I am amazed that some people call Christmas a “pagan” holiday and turn up their disdainful noses at the practices some of us hold dear.  Regardless how the traditions started, what matters is the spirit of the intent NOW.  Some people may celebrate the Christmas season in tradition of pagan rituals.  All the power to them.  It’s their right to do so.  Some don’t believe in Jesus and do not celebrate a “non-event”.  Fine, all the power to you.  The fact is, each and every one of us has the right to celebrate anything we want however we want.

There are groups who love to complain that the Christmas tree, the stockings and poor Santa have nothing to do with Christmas.  That’s fine…for them.  But for those who like to differ on the subject, well that’s fine too!  If you think the tree has no place in Christmas, then don’t have a tree.  But please, don’t begrudge those of us that do!! There are some who say that Santa has no place in the Christmas story.  Fine, don’t have anything to do with the jolly ole fellow.  But leave the rest of us that do want to play along alone!  No, Santa isn’t in the bible.  He is in our hearts, our minds, our make-believe world.  He’s a pretense at magic and wonder and love.  What’s so wrong with that?  Some say, because Santa takes the focus off of the Lord.  How so?  I know people who are very devoted to the Lord, whose focus is very much upon him and yet they ALSO have a tree, give gifts and take their children to see Santa.  If someone isn’t focusing on the Lord, that is that person’s business, not anyone else’s.  Yes, the spirit of Christmas has become more than the birth of the Lord but I hardly doubt that’s an unforgivable sin.  It’s all done in love and gosh, isn’t that what God wants most?  For us to share the love?  And if by chance the good Lord does have a problem with how Christmas is celebrated, well then he’ll take it up with the offenders when they meet at the pearly gates.

The only time I think celebrations should be restricted is when injuries to persons or damage to property could occur.  Hazing for example.  That is a celebration of a sort.  Hazing has the potential for physical harm and there should be restrictions on those activities.  Saying “Merry Christmas” is not going to cause physical harm.  Such a greeting means only this:  “May you be merry and happy right now!!  Or it means, “May you be merry and rejoice during this time of Jesus’s birth!” or it means “May you be merry during this time of no import” (it’s all a matter of perception and how you choose to perceive this greeting when given it).  However it’s meant, the wish for “merry” is at its heart.  Truly, there is no offense meant or intended when someone graciously utters these words.  And another thing:  having a tree is not going to cause harm to anyone but the poor tree.  Giving presents and sitting on Santa’s lap is not going to cause injury to anyone or make a child a non-believer of the Christian faith.

Although it’s become very commercialized with the retailers, people are looking for ways to make Christmas special to them and the loved ones in their lives.  I no longer buzz about frantically, looking for the perfect gift.  I rarely find it and I probably can’t afford it.  I used to do that and get all stressed out.  Now I try to think of something thoughtful to give because it gives me pleasure to give.  And I also do a lot of baking!  Everyone loves to eat.  I listen to the music because its so uplifting and I put up my lights because they are pretty and I enjoy looking at them.  On Christmas day, I love to watch the family open their presents and then we enjoy a good meal together.  It’s a day to celebrate love.  It’s a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Or not.  It’s yours to celebrate however you wish.

May you have a joyous and Merry Christmas!! Blessings and peace out.

A little humor for your added pleasure:  The silliness of being “politically correct”

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