It’s a wonderful life, rich with possibilities. Are we trusting in the process of life?

Are we trusting in the process of life? It's a wonderful life, rich with possibilities.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is no wealth but life. John Ruskin

Does it seem like we are locked in Groundhog Day? An old Johnny Mercer – Harold Arlen song tells us to ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch onto the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.’

Doesn’t it seem like Mr. In-Between is where we spend a lot of our life? Is this really a bad thing, isn’t this where real life is lived? Some people are either super happy or super sad and they don’t have in-between.

Is one of the problems we have in life finding balance? Balance can seem boring to those who embrace extremes and we have many people embracing the extreme. In our media-driven society, it is easy to compare our lives to someone else’s and find it wanting. We watch people put on a show and think their real life is so much more exciting, important, worthwhile, and impactful than our own.

As I write this I am listening to the radio talk about the number of young people not planning to have children. They prefer the life they can have without kids. I can see the appeal in that as they look at the drudgery, expense, and challenges parenthood entails. Most of what we accomplish in life even if we make it big at anything is the flavor of the day.

Some women work so hard to make good husbands that they never manage to make good wives. Anonymous

How many Presidents and Prime Ministers, even Kings, Queens, inventors, and authors do we know. They had their time in the spotlight, and time moves on. Family is what lasts; family is the contribution that impacts generations. How many of us may be prouder of our grandchildren than we are of ourselves? It seems to me as I wait to be a grandma that this is going to be a wonderful stage in my life made much more wonderful by the presence of grandchildren, and if I am lucky great-grandchildren.

Children are our tie to coming generations. If we don’t have children perhaps we are close enough to someone in the next generation as aunts, uncles, godparents, mentors, or friends.

When we can surround ourselves with loved ones our hearts are full and our lives are filled with laughter, funny stories are told, and escapades are recounted. This year we will have a small Christmas dinner as the kids will be spending time with the spouse and soon-to-be spouse’s families. We will all be together in the morning. Once our children get coupled up, there is another side pulling on them that gets consideration. We don’t have them all to ourselves anymore.

It is a great joy watching our children take their place, celebrate their milestones, and build their lives. As the sun sets on our generation it rises on another and round and round we go. The hopes and dreams of every generation are that life is better for the next. We have lived in such bounty and excess we may wonder how life could be better. We need to remember that during the dark ages they thought everything that could be known was known.

We don’t know what we don’t know, the exciting things ahead we may not be part of, or what we may glimpse before we go. Do many of us have a trust and control problem? If we trust others and give up control by trusting in the process of life, does life work out better?

Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times. G. Michael Hopf

When no one around you seems to measure up, its time to check your yardstick. Bill Lemley

There is no security in life, there is only opportunity. Anonymous

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 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 link.

Relationship Kintsugi mends the broken places with the gold of forgiveness and acceptance. Do you have a Kintsugi relationship?

Do you have a Kintsugi relationship? Relationship Kintsugi mends the broken places with the gold of forgiveness and acceptance.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. Bryant H. McGill

On Tuesday I went with a friend to our Horticultural Christmas meeting. We haven’t met in person for almost two years. We didn’t have any guests – not even a guest speaker, but one of the members put together a slide show of what’s been happening with the society and its plantings since 2019. A member was gifted a collection of garden books and brought in the ones she didn’t want, and they were on sale for a dollar.

Beautiful hardcover books, I bought four, and one of them is Tasha Tudor’s Garden. You may know who Tasha Tudor was but I did not. She was an eccentric children’s book illustrator who died in 2008. She was as famous for her eccentric way of living as her illustrating. She lived as if it was the 1830’s. She grew her own flax, weaving it into linen, she grew the wheat for her bread, milked goats, and according to reports was very self-sufficient. She chose to live this way, she was born wealthy, married, had children, divorced, remarried, and left an estate of two million dollars at age 92.

In a day I learned a lot about Tasha Tudor, she sounds like an amazing eccentric woman who lived life on her own terms. When she died she left almost all of her estate to one son and the other three children battled over the estate for two years coming to an agreement just before it was to head to court. It seems to me, one’s will is one way to put all of our children on an even footing. It might not be true that the one that receives the bulk of the estate was favored but it looks that way to anyone looking on and especially the other children.

Coming from a family where fairness was the order of the day. When we were given candies as a child each one got the same amount. When you come from a big family, parents have to work harder to be fair. If you put the chips or candies in a bowl the big kids would get all of it.

I don’t think wills are a time to equalize things between children. Betty did better in life so she doesn’t need anything, but Jimmy hasn’t so we’ll give it to him. All that does is destroy any relationship Betty and Jimmy have after you are gone.

People disappoint us. Tasha Tudor and Thomas Kinkade haven’t lived up to the way their life was portrayed. There is a cautionary tale for all of us, we can only control people’s perception of us to some degree and I understand one of the quotes Tasha Tudor quoted was Mark Twain’s, “We are all like the moon with a dark side no one sees.”

It is a good thing to realize that no matter how well we know someone we don’t know everything about them, even people we live with surprise us. We are much more complex, no one is all good, or all bad. We tend to idealize the famous as if they figured things out better than we have. We all struggle in life, we all have weaknesses and strengths, and there is not a perfect one among us. We do well to remember that no matter how much we think we know about someone it isn’t everything, and what we don’t know could surprise us and change our view of them. What we don’t know about ourselves can change our view of ourselves, and we have to forgive ourselves and others for not being perfect.

We do have a dark side, some call it our shadow, and some call it the devil. One of the problems with idealizing someone is we often don’t see or acknowledge all of them. Idealization is putting them on a pedestal, we don’t do well on pedestals, and when we fall off that pedestal which we probably will because we are human. Someone who only wanted perfect us may forever be disillusioned. Is it a bad thing to lose an illusion we never should have had in the first place?

No one in this world is pure and perfect. If you avoid people for their mistakes, you will be alone in this world, so judge less and love more. Unknown

Many of us are ashamed of our imperfections, we wish we were perfect, but the character doesn’t come from perfection. I think it comes from dealing with our imperfections in a positive way. When we say a smile, floor, or antique has character we mean it has flaws but is still beautiful. When we talk of people with character often they have overcome things in positive ways and this is how they developed character. They become strong in the broken places, they overcome adversity, and they get up more often than they fell down.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Perfection is enemy of the good.” We can be good people, parents, employees, business people, citizens, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends, but we will not be perfect and that has to be okay because it is what it is. We will always have problems in life if we can’t accept the reality of what is. If it is, then that’s what we have to deal with, not what we want to deal with, but what is there to be dealt with.

Growing up on a farm was a lesson in reality. The weather didn’t always cooperate, animals died, prices rose and fell. Mom and Dad always said anyone could make money on paper, but dealing with the realities that life hands you can eliminate that paper profit in a hurry.

One of the important lessons in life is to persevere because perseverance is what often leads to success. Talent is great, luck is nice, but perseverance is when you don’t give up when things aren’t going your way. Perseverance gets us through the hard times to the good times. There are always good times ahead, followed by bad times. If we can’t get through the bad, we don’t get to the good. If we only want people in our lives when we think they are perfect, when they are on the pedestal we put them on, they will not be part of our lives forever. Something will happen to shatter our illusion, an illusion we should never have had.

Are we okay when our prince becomes a frog, our princess becomes a nag, our passion becomes work, or our job becomes a drag? If we can’t live with the realities of life, we will become disillusioned and bitter, but if we accept ourselves and others, warts and all we will continue to see the beauty and character in others as they and we become antiques.

There is a practice called Kintsugi or Kinsukuroi (golden repair or joinery) the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, this treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

This is a great metaphor for life and something we should do in our relationships. If we can mend our broken relationships we can make them even better and more valuable than they were. Perhaps this is why a golden anniversary is fifty years. By then any relationship has gone through many stages and if it has reached this stage the fractures are mended with gold. If we are lucky enough to have long relationships many of them are probably Kintsugi relationships, it wasn’t that there weren’t any problems, fractures, or brokenness, but that we mended them with the gold of forgiveness and acceptance.  

A relationship gets stronger when both of you are willing to understand mistakes and forgive each other. Unknown

Forgiveness is the oil of relationships. Josh McDowell

Whatever you’ve done before, accept it and let it go. You are not perfect. You are capable of making mistakes. Stop hiding from the shadows of the past. Don’t be trapped in the darkness of shattered memories. Let the light pass through and shine upon you. Forgive yourself because it’s the only way to start again. 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.

Is love the greatest power of all? Our choices shape our lives.

Our choices shape our life. Is love the greatest power of all?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life. Albert Einstein

Is love the greatest force in the universe? Albert Einstein thought it was. The bible tells us it is.

My daughter and I decorated our Christmas tree yesterday and watched a movie “All Mine to Give.” In this 1957 movie based on a true story set in the 1850s, a Scottish immigrant family has six children and the parents both die. The mother on her deathbed tells 12-year-old Robbie, he is to find families for his brothers and sisters that have children so they won’t feel so alone, and to find a home for each one.

It’s Christmas Eve and they are allowed to spend Christmas together before the town steps in and deals with the orphans. He thinks of families he knows and how each of his siblings would fit into their life. A family with only sons might like a daughter.  One child plays the violin so he goes to the only family in town that has a piano.

The woman who has been an antagonist wants the baby and he lies and tells her she’s promised to another family in the next town ten miles away. He puts the little girl in a sled and walks ten miles to the next town and comes across a prosperous-looking house with children’s laughter coming from it and they agree to raise his sister. He is going to the logging camp to work, where he’s already a coffee boy on the weekends.

This was a real tear-jerker showing the importance of family, community, and people rallying together to build a life.

We all have a relentless yearning to attach and connect, to love and be loved. This relationship hunger is the fiercest longing of the human soul. Dave Earley

When we don’t live in small communities we may think this kind of rallying together doesn’t exist. That helping neighbors and stepping in doesn’t happen because we have agencies for that. They had orphanages then but the children did not want to end up in one and thought if they asked for a home on Christmas Day who would refuse them.

We are told that people individually will step up where they will not when they are part of a group. When we are part of a group we know someone else can do it and we are off the hook. We’ve had instances where things happened and the police should have been called, but they weren’t because everyone thought someone else would do it.

We may think people were better, stronger, and more resilient in days gone by. They did what they had to do and they based their life on faith. People are still doing what they have to do and basing their life on faith. People haven’t changed; circumstances and even expectations have changed. We still get to make better and worse decisions as we go forward in life. We can see and expect the best in people or the worst, and we can treat others with respect and dignity or not.

It seems to me the better we treat other people, the more respect and dignity we see in others, we also see in ourselves. We can focus on the negative or the positive and we each have both in our nature. We can see beauty and bounty, or lack and ugliness. We can look at life in the 1850s and think how wretched it must have been, and for some, it was, as is life now for some, but it was also full of beauty, love, family, optimism, and hope.

We all have access to the power of love, faith, and hope to build a community.

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about. Margaret J. Wheatley

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention. Oscar Wilde

Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy – in fact, the opposite. Jean Vanier

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 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.

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.

Groups are powerful. We are responsible for the groups we belong to.

We are responsible for the groups we belong to. Groups are powerful.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. Amy Poehler

Being part of a group gives us a support system. We have people who are in similar situations to ourselves we can ask questions and hear other people’s experiences. This is why when we are a new mother joining a mother’s group is good. There are groups within industries, social groups, self-improvement groups, motivation groups, fitness groups, and art groups.

Groups are part of my life and I enjoy every group I am part of. One of the highlights of the horticultural groups was the garden tour. Where we would traipse through about six gardens and then get together for a potluck dinner.

The book club is one of my favorite groups. We will be getting together for dinner this week, after meeting over zoom for most of two years.

Toastmasters play a big role in my life. At a recent meeting, the third-place winner of the International Speech Contest showed up. Toastmasters is a group that changes lives because becoming comfortable as a public speaker pays dividends in our life, and when we find our voice we find ourselves.

Joining the writer’s group and being in the company of others who are already published or who also want to be published helped me move in the direction I wanted to go.

Whatever we want to do there is a group for that. When we join groups we realize we are not alone in our struggle, endeavor, or interest. We may have narrow interests or wide ones. Being part of a group challenges and encourages us.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. Confucius

Of course, groups are not always positive, and they can get behind negative ideas as well as positive ones. We may not even realize when we are part of a group that is sliding into ideas that one day will be looked at in a negative light.

Agnes Campbell Macphail the first woman elected to parliament in Canada had a tie to eugenics. The aim of eugenics was to reduce human suffering by “breeding” out disease, disabilities, and undesirable characteristics from the human population. It sounds like a lofty goal but we know the dark side of eugenics.

Groups are great when they are positive and focus on the good, but they can also devolve into us against them. Group dynamics are such that unusual things can happen – both good and bad. Belonging to a group can make people more likely to harm others outside of a group. We have to make sure when we are part of a group we don’t lose touch with our own morals and beliefs.

Groups think, and mob mentality can take us in a bad direction. It may be hard to stand up for what we believe in a group. It may be easier to go along to get along than to stand alone.

There is power in groups, but wherever there is power it can be wielded in negative and positive ways.

Many groups that have the power to make life decisions for others don’t ever have to live out the consequences. Frances Fox Piven

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. George Carlin

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. Stephen Hawking

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

Choosing the channel our life is set to. It isn’t the circumstances but how we view them that sets the tone of our lives.

It isn't the circumstances but how we view them that sets the tone of our lives. Choosing the channel our life is set to.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude. Roy T. Bennet

My son came down to my art studio the other day and was disappointed at my art process. He saw my lightbox for tracing and my reference material. We have an idea that if people are really creative they make things up. I’m painting a church. I didn’t make this church up, I’ve used reference material and I believe most artists use reference material, often even in abstracts. Then we moved on to talking about writing and how there are only a few plots that fit all stories.

In “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” by Jessica Brody based on the books by Blake Snyder there are ten plots.

Whydunnit, detectives, deception, and the dark side.

Rites of passage

Institutionalized, join em, leave em, or take em down.

Superhero, being extraordinary in an ordinary world.

Dude with a problem, surviving the ultimate test.

Fool triumphant, victory of the underdog.

Buddy love, the transformative power of love or friendship.

Out of the bottle, a little bit of magic goes a long way.

Golden Fleece, road trips, quests, and heists.

Monster in the house, more than just a scary story.

There you have it; every story ever told fits into one of those genres. There are also various types of compositions we can use in art. It isn’t originality that makes things great it is how we use what we know in writing, art, or creating anything that gives us our finished product.

What if life is much the same? In a book I’m reading, “A Course in Life” by Joan Gattuso, she asks what channel would we say we have our life tuned to. Are we tuned to the Discovery Channel, Playboy Channel, Suffering Channel, Heartache Channel, Poor Me Channel, Bad News Channel, They Don’t Treat Me Right Channel, Adventure Channel, Family Channel, Creative Channel, Horror, or Happy Channel?

Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Joshua J. Marine

What if just like TV we turn our life channel to what we want. On TV a walk in the woods on the adventure channel will be different than a walk in the woods on the horror channel. There is enough going on in the world that we can choose to focus on what is good or what is bad. When we interact with people do we remember the slights or the kindness we are shown? Do we look for what is bad, or what is good? Are we positive about the future? Do we focus on injustice?

If we focus on the good we can be called naïve, wearing rose-colored glasses, entitled, and that we don’t care enough about the problems others have. We can seem insensitive if we aren’t getting into the pit of despair but when we are all in the pit of despair, who is left to pull anyone out of the pit?

Jim Rohn said, “If we complain about everything and everything isn’t good enough, it’s all we have.” We have whatever circumstances we have in our life; we might not like all the choices before us. If we look at the circumstances, opportunities, and choices in our life like paint on a painter’s palette. What we do with that paint and those choices color the canvas of our lives. Will it be bright and pretty, dark and somber, mostly dark with a few bright spots, mostly light with a few dark spots? will it become something we can’t believe we created?

When we are painting it is intuitive, structured, happy little accidents, and unexpected results as colors play against each other. A good metaphor for life I think. We don’t control every facet of our lives; we don’t know what is coming, but our view on life, our mindset, this we have some control over. Wayne Dyer says, “When we change the way we look at things the things we look at change.”

What channel are we tuning our life to? Is there a better channel to choose? Did it ever cross our mind as Shakespeare says, “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so?”

However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Stephen Hawking

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw

Mindset is your rudder in the boat of your life. Shan White

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 make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Anger is an acid doing more harm to those that carry it than those on who it is poured.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything. Unknown

What makes us angry? We can go from zero to sixty very quickly.

Seneca broke anger management into three parts. First, we must avoid becoming angry. Second, we must learn to control our angry feelings. Third, we must find a way to express our anger to others in an appropriate way. This was in 45 B.C. and is still our anger management model.

A threatened animal is a dangerous animal, a threatened human is a dangerous person. In our anger do we sometimes overreact? Are there good reasons to be angry, and good ways of handling our anger? If we can’t discuss why we are angry we sometimes bottle it up inside which can lead to high blood pressure, increased stress, depression, and even more anger.

We have a psychological response, a heightened sense of power, but a lack of reason, clarity, and judgment; a physiological response that causes a surge of adrenaline, increased heart rate, and other physical manifestations; and a cognitive response, when we express or repress our anger, or we can calm ourselves.

In the bible, it says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. Proverbs 15:18

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29

Obviously, we are to have some control over our anger. Lives are ruined because of uncontrolled anger; people are killed in fits of passion (anger). We may feel justified in our anger and still have it ruin our lives. We cannot take back words said in anger. We cannot fix relationships ruined by anger unless we can deal with the anger.

A small study in the Journal of Psychology and Aging suggests anger, much more than sadness, is linked to negative health effects in older people. This is believed to contribute to inflammation and chronic disease. Does this mean if we get our anger under control we live healthier lives?

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Buddha

Studies show us anger makes us more impulsive and makes us underestimate the chances of bad outcomes. Anger also influences group dynamics. When we are angry we feel more negatively and in a more prejudiced way about outsiders. We tend to blame negative traits on a person’s nature rather than their circumstances. Angry people tend to look for someone to blame. This can make an angry person even more enraged with offending persons or groups and perpetuate a spiral of irrational rage.

Seneca pronounced anger, “Worthless even for war,” and wrath is one of the seven deadly sins.

A study at Southwest Missouri State University surveyed 200 men and women, suggested that women are as angry and act on their anger as frequently as men. The main difference they identified was men felt less effective when forced to control their anger, and women seemed better able to control immediate impulsive responses to anger.

As a society do we romanticize anger and aggression? A study found people with violent childhoods could discriminate between good and bad strangers in an experiment. But they were less likely to trust people, even when they behaved generously. “It shapes them so fundamentally that they’re not able to easily discriminate who they can trust. That constant feeling of threat means aggression can be triggered far more easily, in the future,” said Baskin-Sommers.

It seems we control our anger, or our anger controls us. People who were brought up in violent households may have a harder time, but we hear all the time about people who changed the course of their lives by staying away from what ruined their parents’ lives. Our choices shape our lives. Are our reactions to the things that make us angry, and even the things that make us angry something we should take a hard look at?

When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry count to a hundred. Thomas Jefferson

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

You have power over your mind – not outside events realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius

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Choices determine our life. We are free to choose but all choices have consequences.

We are free to choose but all choices have consequences. Choices determine our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. John C. Maxwell

We always have opportunities and choices. Opportunities to be the best we can be, make the best choices, and go forward. When we look back are we always proud of our choices? How many of us think if we could have a do-over at some point in our life we would make a different choice. We got to a crossroads and we were presented with choices and we took the wrong one, or we think we did because we can’t know what the consequences of the other choice were?

There was a time around 1980 when a friend was moving to Calgary and I would have gone with her but I was dating my husband. We got married, built a business, have two adult children and life has been terrific. I count it as one of my good choices.

I talked to a friend who told me she has a connection to Chilliwack, British Columbia because her father saw a restaurant/ gas station for sale and wanted to buy it with her and her husband. He lived in Switzerland and they lived in Mississauga.

Lots of us could be living somewhere else but we made a choice and may still wonder where the road not taken would have led us. We can’t travel both paths we have to choose one. I became a city girl but the country girl remains a part of me. I never became the world traveler I longed to be. That could still come.

There are still choices to make even when we have built a life in a certain locale and reared our family. The choices our children make may impact our own and ours may impact theirs. Still, when we get to a crossroads it is our choice we have to live with. The choice may mean we see our grandchildren more or less.

There are choices that impact our lives in big ways and ones we think will not that do. We don’t always know what will reverberate down through our life. Living life with courage is a great example to have set for us. We all know people who lived their lives with courage, they took advantage of opportunities or they handled situations the best they could. They faced adversity with a good attitude. They forged ahead when others might have been brought to their knees and never gotten back up. We all hope we will be the people who are strong in the face of adversity, accept the challenges, make lemonade out of the lemons that show up in our life.

I was reading a book last night and the author was saying in his church there was a couple who made the other parents feel inadequate in their parenting.  The children were in the early years and he alluded to the fact that they were great parents for a particular stage in the children’s life but not necessarily above average parents when it came to the other stages. Some of the parents looking on may have excelled in dealing with teenagers, but they hadn’t reached that stage yet.

You are free to choose, but the choices you make today will determine what you have, be, and do in the tomorrow of your life. Zig Ziglar

This is why we have to be careful comparing ourselves to other people. They may shine brilliantly in a stage of life we don’t, but that doesn’t mean all of their life they will shine or all of ours we won’t. We won’t all shine with the same kind of brilliance because a celebrity has a shine that usefulness doesn’t. We can live without celebrities but living without the people that make life work, plumbers, farmers, teachers, doctors, dentists, storekeepers, repair people, salespeople, doers, and makers. They are the ones we can’t live without, they make the life we have possible.

Sometimes we choose between good choices, sometimes we make the best of bad choices. Once we choose we have set ourselves upon a path. We may find choices we made in the past have come around again. There was a time when we had to choose where to raise our family. Now with a family raised we may face the choice of where to live as we go forward. Do we keep the house, do we move? Each choice impacts the rest of our life. When I left the farm I choose a path completely different than had I stayed and built my life in Saskatchewan.

If we expect we will always make the right, best choices we probably won’t. We have to forgive ourselves that we made a choice we later regret. We may have thought it was a good choice, or sometimes we knew it wasn’t but did it anyway thinking we would get away with it.

Life is about choices and taking responsibility for them. There is an attitude some people adopt of extreme ownership. The more responsibility we take for our life, the more we can change it. No matter how extreme our ownership is, life can hand us situations beyond our control, floods, disease, pestilence, and accidents. They are ours to deal with and making the best of the bad is all we can do.

The man of decision cannot be stopped! The man of indecision cannot be started! Take your own choice. Napoleon Hill

You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours. Colin Powell

You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice. 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 or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to those that 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.

Forgiving ourselves is that the antidote to shame? We will make mistakes we have to own them, forgive them, and move forward.

We will make mistakes we have to own them, forgive them, and move forward. Forgiving ourselves is that the antidote to shame?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Shame corrodes the very part of us that believe we are capable of change. Brene Brown

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Martin Luther King Jr.

What we focus on grows, is part of a comment left on my blog by my cousin. Her daughter just had a baby girl. She said, “I forgot how much I love babies.” It is a joyous event when a baby arrives. We don’t know the hope and promise that a new little being brings.

My husband showed me a YouTube video yesterday of young people on the streets of Philadelphia not looking so full of promise. Yet some of those young people, will turn their lives around, and make incredible contributions to our society. We don’t know who is who. We don’t even know what contributions will end up being great ones. What small invention makes a big invention possible? What small improvement is the catalyst for others?

Being a woman of a certain age I may be jaded, but I don’t think my adult children feel as much hope and promise as my husband and I did. Not only on a personal level, but the world has changed, the population more than doubled in my lifetime and some people in 1986 thought it was a problem.

Growing up on a farm was a wholesome experience, and moving to the city was the choice I made. I am happy I live in a society where I had the choice to move. I made choices; my life wasn’t prescribed for me because of where I was born or who I was. I believe in freedom but when I see those young people in Philadelphia or anywhere else I don’t see their freedom as a celebration of life. When I look at them I think, if your parents had a little more control, you had better judgment, maybe faith in yourself to live differently, or would this still be the choice if you got to choose again?

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. Dr. Steve Maraboli

Just because we don’t agree with the choices we see others make doesn’t mean our choice for them would be better, but sometimes it is hard to see how they could be worse.

Living a good life is about choices. How do we live our life so the choice ahead of us is between two good choices instead of two bad choices? We watched a video the other day about a hairdresser asking a woman living on the street if he could cut her hair. The transformation was amazing. The video has a huge number of views. There was an update; she came home one day and people told her, her grandson sold her house to them, and they showed her paperwork. She couldn’t get a hold of her grandson. Then she was robbed of her belongings, money, and cell phone. The hairdresser lived beside her when he was a kid and knew her grandson was looking for her, but couldn’t find her. The people were scammers who said her grandson sold her house. The grandson sued them and got the house back, but although he looked and looked couldn’t find her. She was too embarrassed to turn to people she knew and went to live on the streets, accepting her fate, and believing her grandson was the scumbag instead of the scammers. Through this hairdresser, she was restored to her former life.

This shame of letting people know the situation is part of how scammers get away with what they get away with. We are scared to look foolish, taken advantage of, and that we were preyed on by predators. We take our lumps and carry on as best we can. This is happening to older people who have people take a conservancy over them.

When I look at the young people on the streets, I wonder if shame isn’t part of what keeps them there. They made mistakes, got in with the wrong crowd, trusted a boyfriend, or a girlfriend. They took drugs, but if they would turn to family and friends many of them would not be turned away. They could redeem their lives, but they feel ashamed for getting into the situation they are in so they stay there. I could be wrong, but I imagine it is something like that. When people prey on our insecurities, when we are afraid to stand up because we worry we’ll look stupid we often end up being even more victimized, but we have the power to change it.

In the Tarot Deck, the devil card shows people with chains around their neck, but those chains can be taken off at any time. We think we don’t have the power to change our lives, but most of the time there is something we can do to make it better. There is someone we can turn to.

We can turn over a new leaf, and lead a different life. We have to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made. We have to learn from our mistakes not live in shame because of them. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to deal with the fall out of those mistakes, but we can go forward better.

Do we have things we need to forgive ourselves for, mistakes we’ve made that still haunt us?

It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you. Tyler Perry

There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it and then let it go. Melanie Koulouris

If you are looking to turn over a new leaf and be more kind and forgiving. I suggest starting with the person you see in the mirror each morning. Charles F. Glassman

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 below I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Positive prophecy can give hope to the hopeless. What does negative prophecy do? Are we choosing to look for the positive in all situations?

Are we choosing to look for the positive in all situations? Positive prophecy can give hope to the hopeless. What does negative prophecy do?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Chinese Proverb

On Tuesday I went to a conference hosted by the Art Gallery of Mississauga. It was an incredible event. One of the panelists mentioned a prophecy about the 8th fire of the Anishinaabe.

On a post called Spirit of the 8th fire. I find.

Hopi Prophecy

When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, creeds, and classes. And who by their actions and deeds shall make the Earth green again. They shall be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.

A friend and her husband have been evacuated because of the flooding in British Columbia. Yesterday on the news someone said cattle were up to their chests in water and they didn’t know how to evacuate them. People being evacuated had to their livestock behind.

Our hearts go out to people who are being evacuated but if we are too far away to help we can only pray and donate to help the cause. Our prayers are with you, sounds trite but it is something we can do when it seems we can do nothing. The resilience of the human spirit in times of challenge is remarkable. Often through crisis, we see strength in people we and they might not have known they had.

The wise man accepts his pain, endured it, but does not add to it. Marcus Aurelius

This is why when I read the Hopi Prophecy, the 7 Fires Prophecy of the Anishinaabe, and what Crazy Horse said I am heartened that we will find ways to come together and deal with what must be done, and we will make things better. Will we all agree on what needs to be done, of course not? Will we always make the right and best choice, I doubt it? It will be a crooked path we walk, but chances are the prophecies will come true because the human race has flourished throughout history facing challenges, overcoming hurdles, and continuing to build.

We need to have hope in our hearts that we will overcome the challenges that present themselves. Even though we know our time here is limited we leave behind people to carry on. We all know we don’t build a civilization for our generation. We all want our grandchildren to have as much hope and promise as we had. It might be part of getting older that makes us less optimistic but we have to watch being too negative about the future. We can’t believe and teach our children and grandchildren there is no hope and that the end is nigh.

The end is nigh for us, the fight may be getting to an end for us, but we need to teach our children and grandchildren to accept the challenges of their time. Every time has had challenges, and for the most part, society has moved forward and today we live lives of unbelievable richness, bounty, and beauty with a few hard times and challenges thrown in.

Men inspired by prophecy will attempt any foolishness in the knowledge that the fates have ordained their victory. Bernard Cornwell

Many a prophecy, by the mere force of its being believed is transmuted to fact. Unknown

You can’t let something that’ll probably never happen ruin your life. You’re only helping to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Raymond Khoury

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.

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Thank you to all who buy and 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 make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.