Pulling together in times of need. Making the best of it. Looking out for one another.

Making the best of it. Looking out for one another. Pulling together in times of need.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. Og Mandino

Yesterday we went for a different kind of coffee break. We went through the drive-thru and then we sat in the parking lot with other cars also drinking their coffee.  We were out of our house, following the rules, and in solidarity with others doing the same. Last night I went for a walk and met others doing the same. We nodded and said hello but from a distance.

My book club canceled our get together even though there are only five of us. Our Toastmasters meeting will be online tomorrow. Business is still going on and some companies who normally have walk-ins are limiting it to appointment only.

Now is not the time for one of my favorite outings of browsing the book store. It’s not the time for aimlessly walking in malls. If we’ve ever contemplated a simplified life here it is. We have time to think; time to spend with our families having long conversations, and time to read. There is time to go for walks and time to cook. We have time to catch up on our sleep.

This is the first time I can remember reacting to something in advance instead of after it happened. We had the Mississauga derailment when part of Mississauga was evacuated. We had good leadership then, and we have good leadership now.

We’ll probably have a bit of a baby boom when this is all over. With nothing to do people turn to each other and new life finds its way into the world.

We will see some people acting selfishly buying up all the toilet paper in front of people who need it. We hear of people clearing the shelves of meat, and chicken in a full store of people needing the same. We shouldn’t have to put limits on products but we do because some people are not reasonable.

Once you’ve been through tough times, you can only become stronger. Alesha Dixon

Mom told me during the Second World War her neighbor showed her a closet full to the brim with tide laundry soap. More tide than she could hope to use. Somehow people are feeling more secure with their closets full of toilet paper, and their freezer full of meat.

We all need to make society work. On the radio I heard of a man looking for toilet paper, a woman had the last large bag, and he had a small one. They talked and she realized he had a family and it was just she and her husband so she let him have the big bag of toilet paper and she took the small one. That is what we need to do. We need to have enough for our needs, but not enough for our greed.

After all this, we may all keep a bit more stock in our pantry, but if we do it gradually we don’t hurt the supply for others.

We need to work together to make it as good as it can be for everyone. This is a time when we are all in this together. We need to think about others whose immune system may not be as strong.

It’s time to call Grandma not to go visit her. In time, the spring of 2020 will be a memory. It will be a time we learned some things, maybe we made some decisions that change our lives. We might realize we want our lives to be different, our priorities might change. We may learn to be more grateful for what we have and we may realize that a simpler life is desirable.

Pulling together will get us through this. The older generation has lived through worse, now it’s our turn.

He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity. William Samuel Johnson

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it. William Hazlitt

Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. Leroy Satchel Paige

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A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are Paperback – Apr 1 2008

by Byron Katie (Author), Stephen Mitchell (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 246 ratings

Love is the answer to a greater connection to people and purpose. Choose faith over doubt, action over delay, and love over division.

Choose faith over doubt, action over delay, and love over division. Love is the answer to greater connection to people and purpose.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Whatever the question, love is the answer. Wayne Dyer

This morning instead of turning off my alarm first, I jumped out of bed and then turned off my alarm. That simple act changes everything. Instead of telling myself I’ll just lay in bed a little longer I’m up. I had time to write in my journal and read.

My morning reading is from Brendon Burchard’s The Motivation Manifesto and it is on the enemy within. He says it is impossible to fight an unknown enemy so we must name our enemies. The first enemy he names “Defiance” which he says is an ugly three-headed serpent. Defiance makes us feel weak and distrustful so that we stop taking action or connecting with others. We all face this beast any time we set goals for ourselves, as it gnaws at us tearing at our confidence and consuming us from the inside leaving us gutless and fearful. Defiance is activated when we favor doubt over faith, favor delay over action, and when we choose division over love.

When we think we aren’t good enough. When we are scared to go after what we want. When we think there isn’t enough to go around. We can acknowledge these feelings are not of our highest character and if we don’t feed these thoughts, they will weaken. We can find better thoughts to think. As we control our thoughts we will reach more of our potential.

In order to defeat defiance, we must understand the defining characteristics of each of its nasty heads. Let us name the first nasty head “Doubt”. When we want to do anything new, doubt raises its head. We second guess ourselves. Is it a good time? Do we have the recourses? What if we fail? What if’s, go round and round our head. What if we turn that around, and instead of doubt, we dig deep and find faith. What if it is a good time? What if we have the recourses? What if we succeed?

We develop our character only through effort, struggle, learning what works and what doesn’t work. We have the choice to choose faith over doubt. The more we choose faith the weaker doubt becomes.

The second head of deviance is “Delay”. Delay may be even more insidious because tell ourselves we will do it, we must just wait for the right time. That won’t be so bad, will it? Instead of this year, its next year, or the year after that, or even the year after that, until there are no more years to make our dreams come true.

Is there anything that has done more to make people not achieve their goals than delay?

Knowing that we haven’t spoken up when we should have, worked when we should have, fought when we should have, loved when we should have, lived when we should have – this is the misery of mankind’s inaction, of delay celebrating a win over our soul. Brendan Burchard

Would we have any heroes if when they are called to action they decided to wait?

It is our choice when we have faith, to choose action over inaction.

The third head of defiance is “Division”. When we let division rule our lives we end up alone. We become distant, intolerant, or hateful towards others. We feel we are different than others, more special, stronger, or weaker. When we refuse to feel vulnerable or loving, everyone is an idiot, insufficient, unworthy of trust or respect, then division has risen in our lives.

Division’s poison, then is antisocial venom that courses through us and clouds the innate emotional, social, and spiritual intelligence that would otherwise lead us universally to connection with others and to love. Brendan Burchard

Division is the greatest destroyer of our relationships, the breeder of social ills, and the cause of our aloofness and indifference to others.

Even if we banish doubt and delay from our lives if we do not banish division we will not find the success we desire. We must embrace love to banish division.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. Erich Fromm

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The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power Hardcover – Oct 28 2014

by Brendon Burchard (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 49 ratings


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Love with all our hearts. Feel our feelings. Walk in the sunlight and the darkness of our lives.

Walk in the sunlight and the darkness of our lives. Love with all our hearts. Feel our feelings.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden where the flowers are dead. Oscar Wilde

Our heart is like our inner sun. It fills our life with passion. It is this inner light in all of us that gives rise to the beauty, grace, compassion, and love we feel in our lives.  What happens when we stifle that passion and we refuse to feel? If we don’t open our self to feel the lows in life, we won’t feel the highs.

In Healing Through the Dark Emotions, Miriam Greenspan says we have to actually walk through the emotions to get where we are going. We are strong enough to face whatever is in front of us. There is life on the other side.

We feel our emotions in our bodies even if we don’t express them. We can’t hide from our deep dark emotions even if we put on a happy face and pretend they aren’t there.

Some people believe that disease manifests in the body because of suppressed emotions. Louise L. Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life gives a list of physical problems that are expressed in different parts of our body and what is behind them.

Glands – Represent holding stations. Self-starting activity.

The affirmation is – I am the creative power in my world.

Glandular problems – Poor distribution of get-up-and-go ideas.

The affirmation is – I have all the Divine ideas and activity I need. I move forward right now.

Gum problems – Inability to back up decisions. Wishy-washy about life.

The affirmation is – I am a decisive person. I follow through and support myself with love.

Hay fever – Emotional congestion. Fear of the calendar. A belief in persecution. Guilt.

The affirmation is – I am one with All of Life. I am safe at all times.

Heart – Represents the center of love and security.

The affirmation is – My heart beats to the rhythm of love.

Heart problems – Longstanding emotional problems. Lack of joy. Hardening of the heart. Belief in strain and stress.

The affirmation is – Joy. Joy. Joy. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind, body, and experience.

Heart attack – Squeezing all the joy out of the heart in favor of money or position, etc.

The affirmation is – I bring joy back to the center of my heart. I express love to all.

Cancer – Deep hurt. Longstanding resentment. Deep secret or grief eating away at the self. Carrying hatreds.  What’s the use?

The affirmation is – I lovingly forgive and release all of the past. I choose to fill my world with joy. I love and approve of myself.

Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. Rumi

Is it true what Louise L. Hay says? I don’t know but I know when I look at the list, I see physical problems that have cropped up in my life and I can see a correlation to my emotional health at the time.

We have more control over our lives than we think we do. Even if it isn’t all up to us, enough of it is up to us to make a huge difference in our physical and emotional health. We can choose to forgive instead of letting things eat away at us.

It can seem like we are blaming people for the afflictions in life they have. That is one way to look at it. The other way is to say we are not without some control in the way we react to what life throws at us. We do not need to let things eat away at us. We do not need to walk around with a heavy heart. We do not need to be burdened by the world’s problems.

There are many ways to lighten our hearts and minds. We can meditate, sing, whistle, chant affirmations, pray, and forgive. We can’t change the things that happen to us but we can choose how we react and how we go forward with a happy or burdened heart and mind.

One of the things I read in Louse L. Hay’s book that resonates is, “whatever I need to know is revealed to me and whatever I need comes to me in Divine right order.”

It isn’t easy to think we trust and what we need shows up. We ask and what we need is given. When we are dealing with the situations in our life instead of sweeping them under the rug or ignoring the elephant in the living room we will have to trust in the process of life. Trust that our belief in things can change is true, trust things can be better, trust it is worth it to give other people a second chance maybe even a third and fourth.

We are to forgive seventy times seven times. This means we are never to give up on anyone. We are to believe they are walking the walk they need to. They are worth keeping in our lives, they are worth loving, and they are worth helping.

What if we did this? I hear people tell me. “I got rid of all the negative people in my life.” The people who tell me this don’t seem like the positive people. The people I see who I want to emulate never give up on anyone. They don’t do for someone what they need to do for themselves, because that is not love, that is enabling. They are there to listen, to encourage, to be there with them through their struggle, not eliminate the struggle. The struggle makes us strong, we need to make our own way through life, and sometimes we need some help along the way.

We are told to love others as we love ourselves. This means we need to love ourselves first so we have something to give to others. We need people to believe in, encourage and love. When we are charitable, kind, compassionate, encouraging, and loving, it is when we feel the best about our self.

It’s a tall order to love ourselves and others, are we rising to the challenge? We won’t be able to do it perfectly, but then isn’t perfection enemy of the good? If we can find a way to get in the trenches with someone we may help them find their way.

I read of parents who wouldn’t let their drug-addicted son live in their house if he continued to use drugs. They told him he was welcome to come for Sunday dinner and bring others with him, there would always be a good dinner, and there would be no judgment or uncomfortable questions. The son did take many friends and acquaintances to Sunday dinner. Eventually, he turned his life around. By continuing to love him without enabling him, they kept a connection while he dealt with his demons.

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts. Charles Dickens

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Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair Paperback – May 11 2004

by Miriam Greenspan (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 9 ratings


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Now is all there is, living in the present. Accept what we cannot change because it is what it is.

Accept what we cannot change because it is what it is. Now is all there is, living in the present.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Live in the present; launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau

Now is all there is! We’ve heard it, we know it’s true but it is easy to have our thoughts everywhere but on Now. this very moment. It is this moment where life happens.

I remember reading of a woman getting the chance to go back to a time in her life. She chose to go back to one of her favorite birthdays but what she found was everyone hurrying and scurrying, no one had time to spend with her.

We have to be careful that in trying to do things for other people we aren’t so busy we have no time for them.

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday; can I get everything done today so tomorrow can be a day where I am free for whatever he may want to do? There is a dinner to prepare for Sunday but if I can get the shopping done today then tomorrow is free.

It is easy to get overwhelmed thinking about what we have to do. It is easy to spend our time thinking of what has happened, what might happen, or what we hope won’t happen. What about right now? This very moment is our life? Are we enjoying what is happening at this very moment, sipping a coffee, writing words, enjoying the still small hours of the day before everyone is up? The temperature is comfortable, the chair is supportive, and the keyboard is responsive. Now is great, and often the now is great, but we infringe on Now with all the burdens of yesterday, tomorrow, and even later today. What if we deal with each moment as it comes?

Our days blur into one another if we do not savor the moments. In Practicing the Power of Now Eckhart Tolle asks what problems do we have at this moment? He says it is impossible to have a problem when our attention is fully in the Now. A situation has to be dealt with or accepted. Why make it into a problem? “Problem” means that we are dwelling on a situation mentally without there being a true intention or possibility of taking action now. Or we are carrying in our mind the insane burden of a hundred things that we will or may have to do in the future instead of focusing on the one thing that we can do now.

Wherever you are be all there. Jim Elliot

I have to pause and take my hands off the keyboard to sip my coffee. Eckhart Tolle tells us when we don’t create problems; we don’t create pain for ourselves. We need to accept that things are the way they are and that they can’t be different than how they are. When we are willing to accept reality just the way it is we have peace. It is what it is and if it is to be different we will change it in the future but we can’t do that until that future becomes the now.

This is easy to write but not so easy to do. If we can quit beating ourselves up for mistakes we made, and know going forward we can change what we can change, and the rest we need to accept. Surrendering to what is can be the way through what we cannot change. Maybe we need to surrender to grief, despair, loneliness, or whatever form our suffering takes. Can we witness it without labeling it mentally, and embrace it? He tells us the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace.

There are many ways we try to escape our pain, work, drink, drugs, anger, food, projection, suppression, but they don’t free us from the pain. Suffering does not diminish in intensity when we don’t face it. When we turn it inward it becomes unconscious. When we deny emotional pain everything we do becomes contaminated by it. We broadcast it as the energy we emanate and others will pick up on it subliminally.

Turning away from pain doesn’t work. We need to face it, feel it fully, and express it but not in anger toward someone else. We need to give all of our attention to the feeling, not to the person, event, or situation that caused it. When we find ways to express it we move through it, we feel it. As we do this we are bringing light into the darkness.

Many great works of art, music, dance, or other creative expressions are expressions of pain, grief, and sorrow. Through expression, the pain is transmuted into something outside of ourselves. Sometimes this expression is a thing of beauty. Other lives may be touched by our expression.

Are we living in the Now? Are we finding ways to surrender to our feelings and express them?

If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu

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Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now Hardcover – Oct 5 2001

by Eckhart Tolle (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 80 ratings


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Are we the South or North Pole to our partner’s South or North Pole? Do we embrace the differences between masculine and feminine? Like complementary colors, we need the contrast to bring out the vibrancy.

Do we embrace the differences between masculine and feminine? Like complementary colors we need the contrast to bring out the vibrancy. Are we the South or North Pole to our partner's South or North Pole?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end. Unknown

Yesterday I went to one of my favorite haunts to look at used books. Five books for the price of four and I always seem to be able to find five books that speak to me. Yesterday was no different. Sometimes I’ve even left a book behind that I went back for, sometimes it’s still there, but often it’s gone.

Love is a many splendored thing, and those lucky enough to have love in our lives know how empty it would be without love. Some of us are better with the realities of love than others. We wanted a boyfriend or girlfriend that became our spouse but didn’t want all that came with it. Sparks were flying because we were like the South Pole meeting the North Pole. Their masculinity met our femininity and we couldn’t get enough.

Over the years if we want the sparks to still fly we need to keep our poles polarized. We all have feminine and masculine parts of ourselves, but we need to make sure we don’t become too much the same and become more friends, and buddies instead of husbands and wives where the polarity of masculine and feminine is still strong. This is the nature of attraction even in same-sex relationships.

It seems to me some people want someone else to change for them to be happy. The only people we can change are ourselves. We change things about ourselves for better or worse and then there is a reaction in our relationships. If we want to bring out the masculine in our man maybe we need to bring out the feminine in ourselves. We can be the best man or woman we can be, that is what we can do. We cannot through cajoling, criticizing, or manipulation turn people into who we want them to be.

A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end. Unknown

If we are trying to change our partner we are trying to change the wrong person. Al-Anon a self-help group helping spouses of alcoholics tells the partner of alcoholics to quit trying to control others and focus on their own attitudes and behavior. The other person is always the problem in our eyes until one day if we are lucky we realize we are the person who can change things for our self. We have the power and although we may not like the truths we have to face. Once we face the hard truths, and accept that change is ours to make we can take charge of our life. Our attitude is everything.

What we resist persists and grows stronger. When we accept the person we are trying to change warts and all, and love them how they are even if that person is our self we can begin to effect change.

Life can only be how it is this very moment. It cannot be different. We cannot be different and they, whoever they are cannot be different.

Anything we allow to be exactly how it is, completes itself. When we don’t struggle against the reality of life and accept it for what it is it will complete itself. If our heart is broken we need to accept that. Resistance is futile, but acceptance is powerful. It is what it is, and that’s okay and once we deal with what is we can go forward.

Women need to focus more on our feminine energy and men need to focus more on their masculine energy to be the best we can be. We need to find the balance in our lives but balance isn’t more masculine women and more feminine men. Being feminine women and masculine men does not impact social, economic, and political equality. It will help us to give our greatest gifts, at work, in our relationships, and spiritually.

Are we embracing our masculinity or femininity in positive ways? Are we the South or North Pole to our partners South or North Pole?

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in the casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable. To love is to be vulnerable. C.S. Lewis

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A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, Friendship, and Purpose in Your Marriage by [Thomas, Gary]
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A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, Friendship, and Purpose in Your Marriage Kindle Edition

by Gary Thomas (Author)

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What if our memories are not as infallible as we think they are? What we remember is impacted by more than we think. Is our memory how we saw it, not necessarily how it was.

What if what we think we remember isn't how it was? We like to think we have infallible memories. What we remember is impacted by more than we think.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Is your life story the truth? Yes, the chronological events are true. Is it the whole truth? No, you see and judge it through your conditioned eyes and mind – not of all involved – nor do you see the entire overview. Is it nothing but the truth? No, you select, share, delete, distort, subtract, assume and add what you want, need and choose to.
― Rasheed Ogunlaru

Have you ever tried to remember something and all you draw is a blank? Have you ever been called a liar because you couldn’t remember something and the other person was incredulous that you didn’t remember something that was so important to them?

Why do we remember some things and forget others?

Some things are relevant to our life. We remember the relevant things. If something is likely to help with our life goals it is more likely to be remembered.

We remember emotional pain. If something or someone causes us emotional pain the event is more likely to be remembered.

Our subconscious mind makes us remember the things that are important and useful to our life. If our subconscious mind makes the deduction that something isn’t useful or important to our life we will not remember it.

It is easy to see that two people could experience the same event and one of them would remember it and the other would not.

My husband thinks I remember everything. I do remember a lot of things he doesn’t remember because they had some relevance to me. He is remembering things I don’t remember, but he thinks I should remember them because they are so important to him. It is easy to see how when people are having disagreements what each remembers can be very problematic.

It may even explain why witnesses do not witness things exactly the same way and all are telling the truth as they see it. When we are upset we do not stop to think that there is another side to the story. Why can’t you see what I see? We don’t trust the other person who doesn’t see what is so plain. How could they not see it? Are they lying?

Memory plays tricks. Memory is another word for story, and nothing is more unreliable. Ann Marie McDonald

It could be that no two people ever see anything the same way. It might depend on their emotional state at the moment, experiences they have had in the past, and how they interpret things. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable, but probably through no fault of their own. I hope I am never called on as an eye witness. I couldn’t tell the little girls apart on the soccer field. Little blonde girls with ponytails all looked alike to me. I can’t imagine a line-up.

Some say the brain does not store information as data but by association. What we do know about memory is it is processed by the hippocampus and stored continuously in our cerebral cortex. We will store a memory if it is important and has emotional value, forever.

The Rashomon effect is a phenomenon where different people have contradictory accounts of the same event. In fact, research shows that implanting false memories can be as simple as asking someone to recount an event that didn’t happen. It also seems that each time we remember something we rewrite it in our brain. If that recollection contains errors, we’ll strengthen those errors until we are positive they are correct.

How can a couple tell who is remembering things correctly? Research suggests they may not be able to. Couples often remember things differently because of cognitive biases and the influence of mood. Experts suggest focusing on the emotions of an argument to move past a disagreement. Couples should accept our memories are flawed and not be so reliant on what we remember is right and what the other person remembers is obviously wrong.

Are we sure what we remember is actually what happened? Do we sometimes have to agree to disagree on how we remember things?

Memory, like so much else, is unreliable. Not only for what it hides and what it alters, but also for what it reveals. Anna Funder

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The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting and the Science of False Memory Paperback – Nov 28 2017

by Julia Shaw (Author) 4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews


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Uncommon joy in common hours. We all have twenty-four hours. Are we making the most of ours?

We all have twenty-four hours. Are we making the most of ours? Uncommon joy in common hours.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. Henry Van Dyke

Uncommon joy in common hours, the thought came to me this morning as I walked Lulu (my little dog). I think the idea came from Henry David Thoreau’s quote. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Getting up at 5:00 and giving myself time to exercise, reflect in a journal, read and walk my dog before I sit down with a cup of coffee to blog is giving me joy in common hours. This time used to pass by unnoticed. Who has time to walk Lulu? Not me, I said. We don’t have time for anything in our lives unless we make time. We all have twenty-four hours, what some people accomplish in theirs is amazing.

Most of us think that people who do things have something we don’t have, they do something we don’t do, and that is all it takes most of the time. We think we couldn’t possibly do that, but once we do it we wonder what the problem was. We do things incrementally, no one sits down and writes a novel in an hour, it takes days, weeks, months, and in some cases years. It is the same with playing an instrument, art, exercising and getting fit, building a business, or learning anything, doing anything. If we are willing to set a goal or work toward something we never know where it may lead.

Sometimes setting a goal is even too much, it seems too hard but we can practice something daily and it becomes something even if we didn’t have an end goal in mind. We don’t know where life will take us. We don’t know in what circumstances we may find ourselves.

The other day a young disheveled man came up to my husband and me at Tim Horton’s, “Did we have any spare change.” My husband pulled out what he had, which wasn’t much.

I wanted to know but didn’t ask, “What brought you to this? What would get your life turned around and back on track?” I hope he finds his way. I hope he has family or friends that can help him on his journey back to getting on his feet. I hope when someone extends a helping hand, he takes it.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still. Franklin Roosevelt

“There but for the grace of God go I,” springs to my mind. We could all find ourselves in a situation we never imagined we could be in. Oprah said, “Women’s worst fear is ending up a bag lady.” I think she’s right. 

People bemoan the fact that money is “too” important, too important for what? It is money that will keep us from being a “bag lady.” Money can give us only the things it can give us; security is one of those things.

I doubt I am the only one that thinks, how would I manage, if? It is something we should all think about, and know that we can get through the worst life can throw at us. Even that disheveled young man we saw is getting through whatever he is going through. Hopefully, he will be stronger for having gone through it. He may learn some lessons he would learn no other way.

We never know what journey someone else is on. Often we don’t even know the journey we are on. If we take one step at a time, do some of the things that scare us and work on progress, not perfection. We too can experience uncommon joy in common hours, and unexpected success in ways that bring meaning and purpose to our lives.

Unmet expectations are the root of many of our problems. Unexpected success, joy, and happiness are what make life worth living. Can we set aside expectations, and instead work toward our goals accepting life will unfold how it will? Can we learn to live with “what is” instead of wishing things aren’t how they are? What if we embraced everything just the way it is, and worked to make things better?

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. Friedrich Nietzsche

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Walking: All Good Things Are Wild And Free. Paperback – Mar 19 2014

by Henry David Thoreau (Author) Be the first to review this item


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At some point, we will all need to rebuild trust.

Trust will need to be rebuilt in our lives, probably many times.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Two people cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings. Jean De La Bruyere

Trust is essential to our relationships, our government, our companies, our lives. Where trust is high we live in peace and plenty, we work together, we raise families together, and we progress.

There doesn’t seem to be an origin of the “Gentleman’s Agreement.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary P.G. Woodhouse, an English author used the term in his 1929 story collection Mr. Mulliner Speaking. The phrase appears in British Parliamentary records of 1821. It also appears in Massachusetts public records of 1835.

A gentleman’s agreement is an informal agreement in which people trust one another to do what they have promised because of their sense of personal honor.

In 2016 after carefully examining the evidence, the British High Court ruled that a gentleman’s agreement could be legally binding. However, there must have been an intention to create legal relations.

An Associated Press-Gfk poll finds declining levels of trust among Americans. Only a third now say most people can be trusted, down from half in 1972. Are we actually becoming less trustworthy – or are more of us less trusting? Is this a self-fulfilling prophecy? If we don’t give trust, we don’t get trust.

Social trust brings benefits to our society: people are more willing to compromise, make deals, and work together. Trust boosts our economy. If there is an area where our trust is put to work every day it is on our roads. We trust the other driver to stay in their lane, to observe the rules of the road and drive as safely as they can so we all arrive where we are going safely. It mostly works.

We’ve always had people in our societies we couldn’t trust. How could we have any commerce if we don’t trust? Do I give you the goods before you pay me? Do you pay me before you get the goods? Someone has to trust someone.

I was at Toastmaster’s one evening and I watched a transaction going down. A young man took a buddy to sell a cell phone. The buyer looked at the cell phone then took off as fast as he could and broke the door to the Community Center in the process.

How could anyone sell anything online without trust? Will reduced face-to-face interaction reduce trust as we aren’t dealing directly with someone? Will the ease of non-face-to-face transactions make our life so much easier we can’t afford to not be trustworthy?

Trust, of course, is very important in our relationships. I recently read about a parent who had a son who got into problems. They said they could not have him living in their home doing drugs. He was welcome to come every Sunday for dinner and bring as many people as he wished for a no judgment hot dinner. They said it was a motley crew they served dinner to many times. Eventually, he changed his ways and one of the things he said that got him through it was he believed he could show up for dinner with his assortment of friends, and they would be fed with big helpings of love, and no sermon.

If because of one’s mistake you lost trust, then no one in the world is trustworthy, including yourself! Unknown

I’m looking at a blog by Jeremy Brown he says. “At some point or another, no matter how wonderful your marriage is or how many bluebirds chirp on your windowsill in the morning, someone will screw up and trust will be broken. It could be something small (watching a show you are both enjoying without your partner or pretending to work late to get out of plans with those friends), or something big (not coming clean about a secret credit card or, gulp, an affair). When something of this nature happens, one of you will need to work to earn the other’s trust back. Sure, groveling can help. But the process of earning someone’s trust back is nuanced and requires thoughtful actions and quite a bit of patience. So how do you rebuild trust? Here are some steps to take.”

Own up to it.

Offering any sort of justification for our actions or minimizing them will only make our spouse shut down and feel doubly hurt.

Be honest.

Keep your promises.

Realize that things might never be the same. We can do our best, but we can’t make our partner forgive us entirely, or forget. If we can be respectful and go into the process of repair with an open heart and mind, and an awareness of all outcomes being for the highest good for both parties it is what we can do.

Accept that earning back trust takes time.

If we are committed to earning back trust we have to be in it for the long haul. If we want someone to forgive us on our timetable we are being selfish. We need to learn to sit with our own shame and not let it destroy ourselves and those we love.

Focus on consistency.

Keep our words and actions consistent. Our spouse’s image of us has been shaken and they are looking for stability wherever they can find it. Doing what we say we are going to do will show we are trustworthy. We should not discount the power of consistency when it comes to rebuilding trust.

Mistakes will happen in our marriage, getting through them is part of having a lasting marriage. If we forgive when it’s our turn we can hope they will forgive us when it is theirs. Have we forgiven when it was our turn to forgive or do we hold onto old hurts?

To regain trust you need to prove how much you love through actions not words. Words fall empty to the person who lost trust in you. Unknown

Rebuilding trust when it’s been broken is not dependent on the person who has broken it, or how many times they can prove they are honest. It depends on the person who has decided not to trust anymore. Though they may be totally justified in their decision not to trust, as long as they choose not to, the relationship has no hope of survival.

When they decide to trust again, there is hope reborn.  Doe Zantamata

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The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything Paperback – Feb 5 2008

by Stephen M.R. Covey (Author), Stephen R. Covey (Foreword), Rebecca R. Merrill (Contributor) 4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews


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Unspoken agreements. Is this the price of peace? Is the price too high?

Is this the price of peace? Is the price too high? Unspoken agreements.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. Unknown

A healthy relationship is one where you share your true feelings without fearing the end of the relationship.

In relationships, we sometimes have a silent agreement “unspoken “rules” of our relationships. We may give someone a pass when they are drinking for what they say that hurts us. They may have mood swings and we disregard there hurtful behavior but we don’t do the same for others in the family. We don’t bring up the “sensitive” subjects that should be talked about.

A silent agreement could be that we disregard negative comments from our spouse’s parents, “to keep the peace”.

These silent agreements can come back to bite us when we say things like, “you should have known that, or why would I have to tell you that?” It is often silent agreements that let us get along on the surface. In some relationships, this is the best policy. People are in our lives, we didn’t choose them, we just have to deal with them, and they are difficult people to deal with.

If we have unspoken agreements in our personal relationship this can be a problem, because the other person doesn’t know what we expect of them.

I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. Pietro Aretino

One of the things that can happen is we end up with unmet expectations. We expect things from someone, but they have no idea what we expect. This can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings. We still have the wishes, needs, expectations but we didn’t share them, so how is someone to know what we want, hope for, or dream about.

Silent agreements grow out of the things we don’t say. For instance, we don’t bring up the subject we know would hurt someone we’ve gone to visit. This seems like a good agreement. Where it can get worse is if we never talk about things that need to be said. Things like “Mom is it safe for you to still be driving?”

Often we think our silent agreements are understood by other people, that we share the same meaning of an unspoken expectation. Maybe there are issues that could be dealt with that aren’t. Issues that if discussed could be fixed, worked around or at least acknowledged.

I’m reminded of an advertisement about sexual dysfunction where a man is in the Doctor’s office and the Doctor asks, “Is there anything else?” The man fidgets but doesn’t say anything. The man likely goes home berating himself, he probably went in saying, “I’ll talk to the Doctor, this time.”

His wife may not know about his problem, she may think the problem is with her, and she’s dealing with menopause, aging, and all that fun stuff. A difficult conversation could get a lot of these things out in the open. We can’t deal with what we don’t acknowledge. We say we want the truth, but we are afraid to tell our partner our fears, shortcomings, and failures. We may instead make them feel inadequate, unloved, and unappreciated.

Another example may be the division of labor within the home. If one person always cooks, and the other always washes the dishes that may be an unspoken agreement that works. When the one that doesn’t cook all of a sudden cooks, the unspoken expectation may be the other person washes the dishes, but they may not realize that and agree to it.

We may think some of this is such small stuff, but what if we each talked about what we wanted, expected, and dreamed of. What if we really said, and meant it, “this is our life, the only one we get, let’s make it the best for both of us.”

One of the ways our silent agreements may cause us huge problems is when we don’t acknowledge problems with overspending, maxed out credit, job insecurity, etc. When we pretend everything is okay in our relationship when it’s not. When we pretend our health problems aren’t a concern.

It takes courage to have hard conversations. Things can’t get better if we don’t acknowledge our problems. There is no guarantee they will get better if we do, but we are guaranteed they won’t get better if we don’t.

We have to be careful we don’t just look at our partner and tell them how they should change. The only change we can control is how we change our self.

If the cook in the family decides everyone is eating better because they are cooking better that is one thing. They can’t now tell everyone what they can eat when they are out. Or what they can purchase when they go to the store. They can only tell them what they are willing to cook and then cook it.

If we can’t agree on what a healthy diet looks like that might be a problem. If one of us is vegan and the other paleo at least we are both trying to be healthier. If we deliberately sabotage our partner’s efforts to eat healthier we may need to discuss what is going on. Is there a payoff for a not so healthy partner, is there an unspoken agreement that we are the “thin” one?

If we can talk about whatever is going on in our life. What movies we want to see, what places we want to visit, what’s happening with our health, finances, children, parents, in-laws, jobs, retirement, interests we’d like to develop, places we’d like to live. Doesn’t sharing our lives, mean sharing our thoughts, feelings, desires, fears, and our dreams? The more we share with each other, the closer we will be, the more we can make this life work for everyone.

Assumptions make an “ass” out of you and me. Can we get it all out on the table, be honest, vulnerable, kind, generous, and deal with real life with a sense of humor? Maybe it’s our spouse, parents, siblings, in-laws, friends, co-workers, Doctor, or someone else we need to have a difficult conversation with. Does putting it off make it easier? Is courage to deal with the things we don’t want to deal with, what we need?

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude. William James

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Unspoken Agreements: A Journey Towards Your Inner Light by [AKK]
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Unspoken Agreements: A Journey Towards Your Inner Light Kindle Edition

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Time is the secret to a long marriage. We win when we don’t give up on life, love, relationships, goals, dreams, each other.

We win when we don't give up on life, love, relationships, goals, dreams, each other. Time is the secret to a long marriage.

A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. Unknown

Is you being you really narcissistic? In the fable of the frog and the scorpion, the scorpion asks the frog for a ride across a river. The frog hesitates and says, “But you’ll sting me.” The scorpion says, “No I won’t because then we’ll both die.” The frog agrees and in the middle of the river, the scorpion stings the frog.

We need to recognize the frogs and the scorpions in our life. It doesn’t make sense to volunteer to be stung. It doesn’t make sense to be so careful not to be stung that we eliminate people from our lives. We need to find a balance in our lives and relationships. If we think we will always feel loving, never feel jealous, never feel insecure we are fooling our self. We have to deal with what life hands us, but we don’t have to make friends with the scorpions. Chances are we didn’t marry a scorpion. As I write this I have to see the humor in the fact I am a Scorpio.

We need to be ourselves and we need to let others be themselves. Some of us are so fearful of the scorpion stinging us we don’t take chances with people we should take chances with. People who have proven they are worth the chance.

Forgiveness is important in our relationships, but if we constantly pick people we will need to forgive there might be more going on, do we need to be a victim? If we never give people a second chance because we can’t forgive anything isn’t that also a problem?

We need to find the balance somewhere between victim and martyr. One of the things we may learn is there are worse things than feeling jealous, insecure, and unloved. It is worse when we are so numb, and withdrawn from our lives we don’t feel anything at all. When we see an attractive woman eye our husband and we feel a little, whoa, what’s that? We are normal. If we just shrug it off too easily or carelessly we may be in withdrawal. If we get too jealous we need to ask ourselves why? Why are we thinking our partner would be interested in someone else? We know why other women are interested in our partner, he’s a great guy.

A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning but how well you continue building love until the end. Unknown

We may feel our partner should never make us feel jealous. Is our partner making us feel jealous or are we going through things in our lives where jealousy rears its head? We may be feeling everyone is younger, prettier, more fun, more everything and why wouldn’t our partner dump us for them? We can’t blame our partner for our thoughts, inadequacies, feelings of inferiority, and feeling sorry for our self.

We all need to appreciate the people in our lives, especially our spouse who we spend our time with, make our plans with, dream our dreams with, and share the parts of our self we share with no one else. If we would rather fight with and for our partner than be without them that’s a good thing. Feeling “Oh well, whatever,” is surely worse.

We may be uncomfortable with our feelings, but not having those feelings is worse. Feelings make us feel alive even our uncomfortable ones. Sometimes we stuff down our uncomfortable feelings with food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, and any of the isms.

If we aren’t afraid to feel even our uncomfortable feelings we will live a fuller life. People can and will hurt us, but we can’t be afraid to love, make friends, take chances and build relationships. Life is not about being safe; people who play it safe and didn’t take a chance on love are not the happy people.

We can’t be guaranteed a happy ending, we can’t be guaranteed we will never feel betrayed, or hurt. If we are willing to deal with what is, the messy situations, what needs to be rebuilt in our lives, what needs to be overcome, what needs to be endured, we are living our lives. We will get to the end of our lives, and if we have been brave and looked everything in the face and dealt with it, however painful we will feel better about our lives. If we give up, run away, don’t take the chances life presents we will feel we didn’t really live.

Can we live through all life has to offer? Can we accept the challenges as they come? Don’t we have to get through the difficult winter to get to sun-kissed spring? If we don’t give up on our self, others, our dreams, goals, life, we will get through the hard parts. If we can realize life isn’t easy for anyone, we all make mistakes, we hurt others without thinking, life is what we make it, and what we might regret the most is giving up too soon.  We will look back on our life, the hard times, the loving times, the sad times, the bleak times, the building times, the whole of it and be glad we had tenacity and perseverance.

So that thing you were so excited about turned out to be harder than you dreamed. Things that matter always are. Endure, harvest will come. Beth Moore

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell | Dec 23 2003
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