To be happy do the realities of our life have to mesh with the expectations we have?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness depends on ourselves. Aristotle

I’ve been listening to Tony Robbins, and he tells us he knows what makes us unhappy and what makes us happy. He tells us we are unhappy when the life story (blueprint) we have for ourselves doesn’t mesh with the reality of our lives. When our life is far different from what we expected it to be, we are not happy.

We have two choices, we can change our expectations, or we can change our life. Sometimes we have to make huge adjustments in our life and change our expectations because the reality is the dream we had for ourselves is never going to happen.

We may look at people who have huge accomplishments but still aren’t happy, and we see people with seemingly small achievements that are very happy. One strategy to find happiness is to continually improve and to see progress in our lives. He tells us we may need post-traumatic growth. We need to grow through adversity, and when we do we will realize we are stronger than we thought we were. We can deal with more than we thought we could and we know we can deal with what lies ahead.

How easy is it to manage our expectations? One of the problems we have is our expectations of other people, but we don’t have any control over other people. The person we get to change is ourselves but often we want to change others. If they would just… then we would be happy. If other people have to change for us to be happy, chances are we will never be happy. We have to accept others as they are, but we don’t have to let them have control of our lives, we can give up our expectations for them to be different than what they are, and accept them as they are, just as they need to accept us as we are.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama

It all sounds so easy when we are listening to someone talk about some of the biggest challenges in life. What if people are really not doing what they should be doing? That is still their business and not ours. What if they are living in our house? We can live with them and love it, we can live with them and hate it, we can leave, or they can leave, but what we can’t do is make them change to be what we think they should be.

If we expect less of others and more of ourselves it seems better than the reverse. We can change the way we look at things, we can change the practices in our lives, and we can change the groups we belong to. We may find when we leave people be, to make their own decisions and lead their own lives they figure things out.

We may be unhappy that we haven’t reached our goals, but maybe that goal isn’t part of our destiny. Maybe adversity is part of what we have to go through to become who we are to become. We might not like the adversity, but we might like knowing we could get through the hard parts of life, and know we can meet the challenges in the future.

Is it true when we change the way we look at things the things we look at change?

For just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever. Lev Grossman

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. George Sand

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the purchase price through the Amazon affiliate program.

The truth will set us free, but first, we must figure out what is truth, my truth, your truth, or the truth.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying. Fred Rogers

Life is about growth, which means as long as we are living we are continuing to grow. Not all growth is good, cancer is growing. I’m wondering as I write this if ideas are sometimes good like normal growth and sometimes bad like cancer. We don’t all agree on what are good ideas and what ideas we might consider cancer.

I was listening to Joyce Meyer and she looked at her audience and said, “There’s two of us.” Then went on to explain the two sides of ourselves constantly fighting for supremacy. One is selfish, short-sighted, mean-spirited, and out for ourselves. The other is kind, generous, open-hearted, and good.

Where does self-interest come into this? What if we put someone else’s self-interest first to the detriment of our own, is that still good? What if we are trying to make amends for the past by putting someone else’s children’s interests ahead of our own children? What if we build up resentment in our children by trying to atone for sins they never committed? Are we still building a better society?

Fair seems to be a double-edged sword, because what is fair? How do we make it fair for people who never had the advantages other people have had? Is this even something we should try and do? People have risen from very humble beginnings and others have fallen from great heights. When we set up competitions we can try and make them as fair as possible but we can never make up for the advantages or disadvantages people got at birth, and sometimes people turn what looked like a disadvantage into an advantage, and what looks like advantages sometimes don’t end up to be advantageous at all.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde

When I look at my beautiful grandson I envision a future for him, but I don’t know what that future will be. I have to be careful I don’t look only at the negative or only at the positive of what can be. What would make our society better for our children than what we have built? Are we so sure we know how to make it better?

We do have to take steps into the unknown as we deal with the challenges we face. We should try and make the world better but let’s not think that isn’t what our ancestors were trying to do, and what they built is an accomplishment, even if it isn’t perfect. No one will look back on our time and think we were perfect either. Most people are doing the best they know how to do, when they know better they will do better. Getting better at anything is a forward-and-back struggle that will look like a stock market chart over time, moving ever upward but with deep downturns in its midst.

Unintended consequences come out of our good intentions and good sometimes comes out of what was meant for evil. Mom repeats James Truslow Adams’ quote often, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.”

It is easy to say but not easy to live. How can others not see what we see, it’s so obvious, and they are looking at us thinking the same thing, how are we not seeing what they are seeing? We can fight almost to the death to make our point and still never see the other person’s point of view. How do we see someone else’s point of view when ours is so right?

I say to my husband all the time, “The truth is the truth, but his truth and my truth aren’t the same.” I think we have some inconvenient truths we have to deal with, but others think that is only your opinion, and your opinion is not better than my opinion. Even truths that seem incontrovertible to some are up for dispute. We live in interesting times, and I sometimes wonder what historians will make of this.

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Unknown

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe. Andy Rooney

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate link.

A library and a garden are two things that help us build a great life. To read and not apply it to our life is like planting but not harvesting our garden.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. Greek proverb

My garden is late this year. The excuse I’m using is, that I got my nails done for my son’s wedding and I didn’t want to spoil them. Yesterday my husband and I went to a garden center. I looked at the tomatoes and I wasn’t impressed, $9.00 for three tomato plants was the sale price. But, they had Sweet 100 so I bought some and another cutting tomato. I haven’t been happy with my little vegetable garden, not because it doesn’t grow well, but because I don’t tend it well.

A good companion plant for tomatoes is sweet potatoes I am told. I’ve never grown them before but in my cupboard, I had two types of sweet potatoes beginning to sprout. I haven’t planted regular potatoes either so I dug through my bag of Yukon Gold potatoes and found a couple with the tiniest sprouts and cut up my potatoes and sweet potatoes. On YouTube, I watched a video on how to make slips of sweet potato to plant. It is very cost-effective and gives many slips from one potato but I don’t have the time, nor is there much room in my little garden.

I’ve never got into square foot gardening which is what I should do to make the most of my small space. We don’t need a large space to grow food. I would not like to depend on my garden for our food but if every inch we have was put under cultivation we could grow an abundance of food. The front lawn could grow vegetables instead of grass. In fact, it would make a great potato patch, not that I want to get into intense cultivation of our food.

I love going to the grocery store and picking what I want to eat. I also love the fact that I could create a garden that would feed us. If I ever need to we have more problems than just being able to afford our grocery bill.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Marcus Aurelius Cicero

One of the things I love about listening to Jordan Peterson is he puts in perspective, taking things for granted.  We take our freedom, our access to water, food, and freedom as a right and we complain if we think things could and should be better. His question often is why aren’t things worse? How have we managed to build a society where we respect the rights of others, we educate children that are not our own, and we try and help people who have a rough go of it.

We could live in armed family clans even if we were only armed with sticks but we don’t. It is safe to travel, alone, and as a woman. Everything about our society is not perfect, and being part of it we may minimize the mistakes of the past while those impacted by them have been impacted greatly in negative ways. We may be tempted to say, but look at what you gained instead of what you lost.

We need to be careful because all of us are capable of seeing the glass half empty instead of half full. Our society was built from the ideas in a book. It is a book that changed the world. People who follow the teachings of that book never do it perfectly and it isn’t evident to a lot of people that the source of their good society is because of that book. This wasn’t evident to me but after listening to a Jordan Peterson interview with Vishal Mangalwadi author of “The Book That Made Your World” and “This Book Changed Everything” I am seeing life and society differently. As I listen to Jordan Peterson’s podcasts and read his books I am grateful that even though our society is not perfect it is better than it could be.

I am becoming more grateful for people who tried to build a better society and more empathetic towards their failings. I wonder if we would have the strength of character needed to challenge the ills of slavery, as England did in the early 1800s? It was effective and no other country was standing up to do it. Indeed Adam Smith believed or so it seems from his writings that slavery was a societal ill, but he didn’t have faith that it would be ended.

What if England didn’t outlaw the slave trade and finally slavery? Would we still have it today? We do still have slavery in parts of the world.

What does this have to do with a garden? I have a garden because I live in peace and plenty. I live in peace and plenty because of the ideals Canada is built on. We aren’t perfect, and life is not fair, some of us have life easy and some of us have life hard, but in a country like Canada, I believe we can, for the most part, build a life we can be proud of.

Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you do ye even so unto them. The golden rule Mathew 7:12

We’re blaming society, yet we are society. So to make it a better place, we must change ourselves first. Unknown

A society can only be rich with good thoughts and intentions. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.  

To subscribe, or comment and see categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thanks to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

The Book the Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi
When Can We Get A Puppy by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Sorrow by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Silence by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When is standing up for ourselves defensiveness? Why do we feel the need to defend ourselves if we are right?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When someone is rude, keep a smile on your face. When you stay on the high road and keep your joy, you take away their power. Joel Osteen

Sometimes we do things and then because we did them we get pushed to do them again. What is the point when we are being pushed unfairly and we are unreasonable in not wanting to be pushed at all?

Sometimes I wonder whose interests are paramount. When do we give in to get along and it’s okay, and when do we need to stand firm? I’m not sure it matters what the issue is. No matter the issue we always wrestle with how much compromise is okay and how much is too much. When are we giving in to someone else’s demands at the danger of betraying our own beliefs, values, and good judgment? When does standing up for what we feel is unfair or defaming our character, go too far? When does standing up cause the problem we were hoping to avoid?

One of the things I’ve learned is that getting defensive doesn’t work. It is really hard not to want to defend ourselves when we feel unjustly accused. Being honest is not the same as being defensive and conflict allows for reconnection but it can be very messy as we connect, rupture, protest, repair, and reconnect over and over again. The two most important steps of an “ideal conflict” are protest and repair. It is during the moments of protest and repair that we build faith in the resiliency of the relationship. We need to work through our conflicts openly but not publicly.

If we don’t work through our conflicts they don’t go away, we deal with them indirectly and we have just seen one dealt with through the courts. We are wired to defend ourselves, and to connect with someone we need to remain generous and understanding of the other person throughout our relationship or we may end up in a very bitter situation. We may be tempted to withdraw but this is not helpful and leads to disconnection which harms the relationship further. Experts tell us sometimes when we least feel like reaching out to our loved ones to reconnect is when we should take the risk, and the result will pay off much more than isolating ourselves.

Ten percent of conflict is due to differences in opinion and ninety percent is due to delivery and tone of voice. Unknown

None of us are perfect we will do and say things that will cause problems in our relationships. We need to be okay with our own imperfections and the imperfections of others. How do we learn to listen to our partner lament about our shortcomings without getting defensive so we don’t seem emotionally unavailable or untrustworthy?

I don’t think I respond well to criticism. But, I don’t think I perceive every situation as an attack like some people who are too sensitive. What is the perfect degree of sensitivity? We carry a lot of baggage with us from childhood and the feeling we have to defend ourselves is hardwired into us. This impulse causes a lot of damage to our relationships. We need to be willing to talk about our issues openly so they can be dealt with because if we don’t talk about what bothers us we smolder with resentment and that doesn’t get us anywhere.

We are told to learn to hear our partner’s complaints about us with curiosity and openness. We can if we are brave enough take a good look at their complaints and see if we can become a better version of ourselves. Life is a growth opportunity and there will be room for growth throughout our lives. We will never reach perfection and perhaps we shouldn’t feel the need to defend ourselves that we aren’t perfect yet, if we can honestly say we think most of the time we do our best.  

Good luck with this; it’s a hard one for me to be curious about.

There is never a reason to be defensive. If you are wrong you have no defense. If you are right you need no defense. Unknown

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. Unknown

Sometimes, not saying anything is the best answer. You see, silence can never be misquoted. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, a special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

When Can We Get A Puppy by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Sorrow by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Secrets and Silence by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Misunderstandings and miscommunication create more problems in the world than malice and wickedness. Does this explain some of the polarization between us?

Miscommunication and misunderstandings create more problems in the world than wickedness and malice. Does this explain some of the polarization between us?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. Unknown

We all make mistakes in life and some of them will impact our lives in big ways. Listening to Pastor Mark Hughes of Church of the Rock yesterday he told the story of twin brothers who were left their father’s hardware store. One day one of them sold an item for one dollar but he didn’t put it in the cash register he left it on the counter. When he came back to the front of the store the dollar was gone. He accused his brother of stealing it. The brother said, “I didn’t see a dollar on the front counter.”

This went on with each thinking they were right until they weren’t speaking to each other. They put tape down the middle of the store, put a cash register on each side of the store, and didn’t speak to each other for twenty years.

One day a man came into the store and said, “I’d like to speak to you two gentlemen. Twenty years ago, I was down and out and I saw a dollar on the counter and I took it. I’ve recently turned my life around and I’d like to make amends by giving you back your dollar.” He handed them a dollar. The two brothers embraced and cried the answer to the mystery now known, but they wasted twenty years.

On Dr. Phil the other day he had a couple on. The husband is accusing his wife of sleeping with three presidents, Obama, Trump, and Biden plus 97 other men. She says he is the only man she has ever been with. Dr. Phil said to the man, “I believe, you believe what you are saying. I also believe what your wife says is true.”

How do we handle things when we know for sure something is true and the other person is adamant we are wrong? Do we not speak to them for twenty years, get a divorce, or try to find an answer that makes sense?

When nails grow long, we cut nails not fingers. Similarly when misunderstandings grow up, cut your ego, not your relationships. Unknown

The problem in the hardware store was not so much the missing dollar as the brother’s refusal to believe his brother didn’t steal it. In the couple’s case, the wife is trying to get help for her delusional husband, who up until this point has been a good husband and father, they have a baby in the hospital with heart problems. She is hoping Dr. Phil and others can get to the root of his delusion and she can get her husband back.

That is an extreme case and of course, we all got a laugh when we heard he thinks she’s slept with three presidents which shows how delusional he is. But, we have many situations that may arise where we or someone else believe things, but they aren’t the way we think they are. We took offense to something that wasn’t meant. We heard or understood something that wasn’t meant the way we heard or understood it. We are willing to believe the worst instead of the best possible explanation.

How many relationships are ruined because of misunderstandings, misinterpretations of events, words, or situations? Even if we forgive someone for what we think they did, can they forgive us for thinking they did it?

Can we find dignity in what we know to be true even if people don’t believe we are virtuous, honest, and fair-minded? Can we not let our dignity get in the way of the relationship? If there is an answer can we look for it, can we at least be open to there being an explanation that isn’t just we are right and the other person is wrong?

 A single moment of misunderstanding is so poisonous, that it makes us forget the hundred lovable moments spent together within a minute. Unknown

Misunderstandings, if left unsolved, will push people so far apart that they might never come together again. Unknown

And I have again observed, my dear friend, in this trifling affair, that misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Scammers and con artists. Could we all have a moment of weakness when we are susceptible to a scammer?

Could we all have a moment of weakness when we are susceptible to a scammer? Scammers and con artists.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Unknown

Tis the season of scammers. I did not get one hundred thousand dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation even if a scammer tells you I did, and by applying and paying fees one hundred thousand dollars will be delivered to your door.

The CRS Canadian Revenue Service (scammer) regularly calls telling me my social insurance number is being suspended and I must act now. Amazon (scammer) is calling to say a computer has just been purchased. Border security (scammer) is calling to say suspicious packages are arriving at the border under my name. I get calls from banks (scammers) I don’t have accounts with, and Bell (scammer) wants to lower my bill because I’m such a good customer.

Years ago I got a call from a girlfriend who wanted me to loan her money to pay the fees so she could collect the inheritance from someone overseas. I declined. My husband regularly receives emails that someone with his last name died without a will leaving a large estate my husband could claim as a relative and they would split the estate. We’ve had the Nigerian Prince fax.

We’ve watched Dr. Phil where people are cat-fished by people who never arrive but still keep reeling the person they are cat-fishing in. How many planes does your girlfriend/boyfriend have to miss before you realize they don’t exist? “I know, it was such a shame I couldn’t make the last plane but I’ll be sure to be on the next one. If you could just send a few more thousand dollars, you really are a good person, and you know I love you.”

My sister tells me someone she knew was at the bank sending money to a grandson who told her he got in trouble, please don’t tell my parents, but I really need help. A teller realized what was going on before the money was sent.

People must lie awake at night thinking up scams. They must scan the web for pictures of universally attractive people and think people would fall in love with this one. The whitest looking very attractive man talks with a foreign accent but that doesn’t give it away. He always needs money, even though he is very rich, and never arrives for in-person visits you’ve paid for. When do you start thinking he doesn’t exist? Is life so lonely and boring that the excitement of the scammer in your life is worth the price? The scammer is telling you lies, asking for more and more money, but it’s better than nothing. At least on Dr. Phil they never seem to want the truth. The scammer is filling a void in their life.

We’ve always been told if something is too good to be true, it probably is. We want to believe in fairy tales and fantastical stores like someone really thinks we are beautiful, irresistible, or a sudden large windfall has come into our life.

I tell myself I am a “Reallionaire.” I’m good with reality; I can accept life as it is. Would I be an easy mark for someone if I were lonely? If they whispered sweet nothings into my ear and told me things I wanted to hear would I pull out my checkbook or e transfer to keep those sweet nothings coming?

We laugh when we hear about it happening, but scammers are successful because they are tapping into our hopes, dreams, and fantasies. We spend money all the time on potions, and things that promise what they can’t deliver. There wouldn’t be bad plastic surgery if people didn’t believe a fantasy. People are looking for the magical potion, the fantastical idea, and true love.

The basis of any scam is telling people what they want to hear. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Lee Child

Beauty and the Beast is a story as old as time, when we are young we might think we are the beauty, when we get older we might think we are the beast, and it is possible hot and beautiful could want us.

I hear about people divorcing in their later years and I wonder what are you thinking? Who do you think you are getting at this stage in life? Haven’t some of us had a good laugh over Jeff Bessos’ girlfriend drooling over Leo Decaprio? Isn’t there someone we all might drool over?

What if someone we would drool over called us up and was interested in us, and for just a few dollars we could live that fantasy? They would call us and whisper sweet nothings, tell us we are beautiful, they can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives with us, and to have sweet dreams, which we would, as we let the fantasy play over and over in our head. Someone wants us, someone loves us, and someone can see the beautiful, wonderful person that everyone else can’t see.

I can see the appeal of lies, beautiful lies. Real-life is often humdrum, but in our fantasies, anything can happen, when someone else is spinning that fantasy and knows exactly what to say to make our heart sing. Who would want that to stop? We buy lottery tickets for the dream, a fantasy we get to play every time we buy a ticket. Going on a first date is often about the fantasy which no living, breathing person can match so there isn’t a second date.

Beware of promises too good to be true. Scammers prey on our hopes, dreams, and fantasies.

So many girls, fall in love with the wrong guy simply because the wrong guy usually says all the right things. Unknown

Be wary of someone who has never failed, or seem to have no faults… Too good to be true usually is. Perfection hides something. Henry Cloud

Every mistake I’ve ever made started with “It’s too good to be true.” Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives of posts, click on the picture, and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

We think we know dogs, and we think we know people. Both can surprise and wound us.

We think we know people, and we think we know dogs. Both can surprise us.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Dogs bark at what they cannot understand. Heraclitus

Today is Remembrance day! We owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought for freedom and still continue to fight for it.

There is a sad story here of a boy bit in the face by a dog. Why did the dog bite him? When I was a kid my Uncle bought a farm and with the farm came the dog and all the livestock. We would go over to his new place and play with this friendly black lab. One day my brothers and I were looking at what the old owners had put in a garbage pit. I picked up a pill bottle and bam he bit me in the face.

Dogs who bite back home at that time paid with their life. He was already dead by the time they told Mom, “We want to know if he had rabies.” He didn’t have rabies, he liked us kids and we had been over numerous times and played with him, but I touched something that was his old owner’s, and that is why I think he bit me. He couldn’t protect them, he could protect their stuff and he paid with his life.

What else can you do with a dog that has bitten a kid in the face? You can’t keep him and you can’t give him to another family. We later had a dog we gave too many chances to. He bit a woman who went to pet him when he was chained up. I’ve always been told never to go near a chained dog. It was a little bite, and we didn’t do anything. One day I took him for a walk and the neighbor stopped his truck for a chat. As I was standing at the side of the road, for no reason at all the dog bit the back of my leg above the knee.

It wasn’t a bad bite so we let that one go. Did I even tell Mom and Dad he bit me, I can’t remember. Then I was training him to be a sled dog, we were taking off from the top of the driveway when two neighbor kids turned into our driveway. He took off racing to the end of the driveway and bit the youngest kid on the hand. This was a pretty aggressive bite and the dog was put down. They say once a dog bites he’ll bite again, and this one did, and each bite was worse.

The kid who was bitten is worried about scars. I hope his face heals as well as my face did. There is no noticeable scar. No one has ever said to me, “What happened to your face?” There is some controversy over whether the dog is part “Pitbull.”  The sad story is the owners fought to get him back and have him not deemed a “Pitbull.” Now he has bitten a kid in the face. What will they do with him now?

My husband and I worried our Scottie would be too aggressive with our kid’s friends so when they were over he was in his room. He was a lovely dog but we don’t know what makes a dog bite. We trusted him with our kids, and our kids with him. Our little Cock-a-poo, Lulu, I don’t think she would bite, but she surprised us on Halloween chasing the Halloweeners that knocked on our door down the street.

She’s a strange little dog in that she still barks at our son-in-law even though my daughter and he have been married for over three years. She barks when any of us come in the house most of the time, but she barks if he comes upstairs, or when she hears him in the bathroom downstairs. He didn’t meet her when she first came to our house and perhaps he will always be an outsider in her mind. She treats my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law like she is the missing piece of the family when she comes over. She was there when we got her and went with us to pick her up. In Lulu’s mind, she is part of the family.

We think we know our dog, we think we know people, but both can surprise us.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous. He will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

My goal in life is to be as good as the person my dog already thinks I am. Unknown

Barking dogs seldom bite. Don’t be afraid of dogs that bark or people that threaten you “saying, they will do something bad to you” – in both cases they rarely take action. English Proverb

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those who read my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

The simple life, are we living it? What makes life simple?

What makes life simple? The simple life, are we living it?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between I occupy myself as best I can. Cary Grant

When do we know we need to go in a new direction, rework, regroup, or re-imagine something? It happened to me yesterday when my daughter said, “I have a few ideas for your children’s book.” My ears perked up and when she said one of the books children love has a jingle, it’s simple and the children love it.

Simple should be easy but it isn’t. We look at children’s books and think anyone could do that. Anyone can but it doesn’t mean it will be easy to create a children’s book children love.

The children’s book I want to write does not have a jingle – yet. It does not rhyme, it is not simple and would not enthrall children? Could it become a concept that might enthrall children? Can it rhyme or have a jingle? Can it be simple?

The answer to every one of those questions is yes. Getting to simple may take a lot more work than I thought it would. It may also be a lot more fun.

Does it work the same way in our lives? Is it true the simpler our lives are the more joy and beauty we experience? We may think moving to the country and raising our own food is part of the simple life. The simplest way to have a hamburger is to pull up to the restaurant and order one. If we are going to raise the calf that becomes the burger we needed to start a couple of years ago. What about the bun, we need to grow the wheat. What about the yeast? Living on our own and providing everything for ourselves is not simple.

Going to a grocery store and buying what we need is much simpler. Could most of us build ourselves a car for transportation? We can buy one which is a simple way of getting a car.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

My brother has hatched some chicks and when I last talked to him he had 4 live chicks which cost about $250.00 each if he calculated all costs that went into the hatch. They are a good way off from being able to lay eggs for his breakfast.

Self-sufficiency may be a laudable goal but it is not simple to be self-sufficient. Money is what makes our life simple. We have something we can exchange that we agree on the value of. How hard would it be for me to get one of my brother’s chickens without money? What is a chicken worth? What do I produce that my brother wants? What if he wanted to trade his chickens for a cow so he could eat beef and not just chicken? How many chickens is one cow worth? How do you save up chickens?

Money lets us put a price on everything. We trade our time at our job or business for money that lets us pick and choose what we spend it on. We can save it to spend later. We can invest it into assets that will appreciate.

The chicks might be down to one and that makes it a thousand-dollar chick. We don’t always make money in our enterprises. But, if we don’t try and fail how do we learn to do things and get better?

Other people’s blood, sweat, tears, and enterprise have made my life simple. I have many things I couldn’t produce myself that with a little money I can buy. Can life get much simpler than that?

My sister-in-law is buying six-week-old chicks for twenty dollars. Farm fresh eggs are a real treat, but it is simpler to stop at the store and buy my eggs.

Simple is a concept we don’t understand very well. Farming is not simple; living in a city is simple. Exchanging money for anything is a simple exchange. Creating that thing is not simple. Working at a job doing one thing is simple. Going out for a coffee and a hamburger is simple. Growing the coffee and all the ingredients to make that hamburger is not simple.

If we are lucky enough to go to a store and buy anything, someone produced it. We are lucky to live in a country where we can buy the things we need and want.

What does a simple life look like? I think I’m living it and as long as I can pay for what I need and what I want how could it become much simpler?

There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple, and useful life. Booker T. Washington

Simplicity is complex. It’s never simple to keep things simple. Simple solutions require the most advanced thinking. Richie Norton

 Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

Can anger motivate us to do better or ruin our lives? Can we harness anger as fuel for a better life instead of ending up in bondage and suffering?

Can we harness anger as fuel for a better life instead of ending up in bondage and suffering? Can anger motivate us to do better or ruin our lives?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yoda

Is anger having an impact on our lives? Is it fear that leads to anger? Fear and anger are brought into being during stressful, hostile, or trying events. It’s no wonder our anger levels may be heightened. Is this not one of the angriest, most trying, and hostile times we’ve gone through? If our anger fuels us to change things like in Jim Rohn’s video The Day that Changed Your Life our anger is not only justified but helpful as it propels us to say “Never Again.” His “Never Again” was to never again be too poor to… He became a part-time multi-level marketing distributor and elevated himself and his family.

Is the point of anger to propel us to change something, or are we getting angry because our expectations are not being met? Are these expectations possible to be met? If we get angry because our dog barks or worse yet someone else’s dog barks we know dogs will bark and expecting them not to is futile.

We may be upset that we have lost control of a situation. In most situations, our degree of control especially if other people are involved is much less than we’d like.  Don’t we feel more powerful when we are angry? Aren’t we more dangerous when we are angry? Aren’t we all scared of an angry person because we don’t know what they will do? Sometimes we let our anger get the best of us and we create situations that wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t angry. If we don’t have self-control our anger can lead us down a dangerous path.

If we let worry, fear, and anger control our lives it will probably not go well. People will make us angry but we can learn to control our reaction. In “Taking Charge of Anger” W. Robert Nay Ph.D. tells us there are five components to every anger episode: trigger, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. He says we can break our anger down into these five components and he suggests we keep an anger journal so we can see how often we get angry, and we can take charge of our anger. When we start our anger journal we may wonder if “that” really should go in the journal?

Happiness: The emotion that puts your face in motion. Fear: The emotion that puts your legs in motion. Anger: The emotion that puts your fist in motion. Lesson: Don’t be afraid or angry and you won’t have to run and fight. Unknown

Awareness of our own triggers, behavior, thoughts, and feelings is what we are after. Once we become aware we can do something about it. Don’t we all laugh at the snickers commercials where someone is hungry and angry? We may find we are also dealing with a shortened fuse when hungry.

When I was driving my kids somewhere and they weren’t little anymore I would go sit in the truck waiting for them so I didn’t get angry watching them dawdle. How many families start out a long-planned outing or vacation in an angry mood because someone thinks everyone should be ready to leave before they are?

We may be worried about things and get angry, but if the anger isn’t helpful because it doesn’t propel us to action to change things, or it is things we cannot change we may need to get back to dealing within our circle of influence. We can waste our energy being mad at things we cannot change instead of putting that energy into things we can do and can change.

I’ve started my anger journal and will learn a few things. I hope to learn what are my triggers, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. Maybe like Jim Rohn, I can use anger to fuel changes in my life that need to change. Maybe I’ll find most of my anger episodes are over things I have no control over and I need to put my attention back into my circle of influence.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Ambrose Bierce

If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains. Helen Gahagan Douglas

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture, and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

See this image

Taking Charge of Anger, Second Edition: Six Steps to Asserting Yourself without Losing Control Paperback – March 6 2012

by W. Robert Nay  (Author)4.4 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

See all 2 images

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Seeking to understand others instead of seeking to be understood.

Seeking to be understood instead of seeking to understand others.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. Stephen R. Covey

We have a problem with listening in our society it seems to me. We don’t understand people who think differently from ourselves because a lot of the time we don’t acknowledge they are thinking at all.

Sometimes instead of listening, I find myself just waiting until I can speak again. That isn’t really a conversation, it’s two monologues, and we get more entrenched in believing the merits of our side.

Do many of the answers to living in a civilized society lie in the middle ground? Where has the middle ground gone? Those trying to live in the middle seem to be straddling a chasm getting ever wider.

We can’t even agree on some basic things like when life starts, sex and gender, and if there might be some benefits to both shared values, beliefs, and multicultural ones. We don’t agree on the rules a great society is built on. We don’t agree on the merits of a good leader, or what makes someone a bad leader. We don’t agree on religion, or if there should even be religion.     

We can’t seem to have civil discussions because some people have deemed what the politically correct ideas to hold are, and even if we fall in line on what is politically correct in some areas, probably few of us fall in line with what everyone wants to call politically correct. The list of what we can’t say is growing ever longer and someone is waiting to catch us with a “Gotcha”.

How do we square those who feel the state intervenes too much in people’s lives and those who want more intervention?

Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking. Bernard M. Baruch

Don’t we notice when we buy a car or are looking at a car that the car we want is everywhere? What if we were looking for opportunities, would we see them everywhere? We have opportunities staring us in the face. Amazon would have published my book in 2012 when I first started writing it. It is only in 2020 that I put it out into the world. Mom got the first copy in 2016 and that wasn’t my first draft. What opportunities have I lost by waiting so long? The list of investments that could have been made over my lifetime but weren’t, is long. If I look over my life the string of opportunities I have not availed myself of is a long list. Am I the only one that hasn’t availed themselves of the opportunities that presented? If I had been a better listener and acted on advice I was given…

Have any of us seen someone else start the business we thought of, or doing the thing we were advised to do? Opportunities are all around us but are we seeing them? People are all around us who will share the way they see life if we’ll listen long enough for them to tell us, and not just be waiting for our turn to speak, or interrupting them as they speak.

We were given two ears and one mouth. I for one know I need to seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. It isn’t easy, but then isn’t looking for easy one of the problems we have in our life?

It takes a great man to be a good listener. Calvin Coolidge

There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing. G. K. Chesterton

It’s not at all hard to understand a person; it’s only hard to listen without bias. Criss Jami

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture, and scroll to the end.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Listening Well: The Art of Empathic Understanding Paperback – Jan. 3 2018

by William R. Miller  (Author, Contributor)4.8 out of 5 stars 71 ratings

See all 2 images

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Paperback – Large Print, Aug. 29 2020

by Belynda Wilson Thomas  (Author)5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings