🏆2nd Blogging Award🏆Announced!

I am proud to share with the blogging community that the Connecticut Press Club (CPC) has announced that my blog post, In the Heights of Father’s Day, has won FIRST place for best blog post of 2021. The entry now moves on to compete at the affiliate level of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).

If you recall, the press club awarded, Am I in the Right Room? a second prize in the blogging category for CPC’s 2020 contest.

As a side note, one of my travel stories also won an honorable mention in the 2021 travel writing category.

The awards will be presented in June, and I will keep you updated.

I am humbled and, at the same time, honored to be recognized. It has been a bittersweet, 40-something year writing journey. When my children were growing up, and I spent every weekend and holiday “working” on a project, I never doubted for one minute that my earnest efforts would pay off and, in the future, I would have ample family quality time. One day, I thought, I would be able financially to “retire” or, at least, have weekends off. Of course, living in my writer’s fantasy, my dreams were simply illusions, pipedreams dribbled down on paper. I am left with thinking about the years of Sunday movies at the theater that I did not have the opportunity to watch with my young and growing family.

When it comes to writing this blog, sometimes I fear that I shouldn’t be transparent and, instead, keep my vulnerabilities to myself. At this point in my life, though, I work hard at steering clear of judging others and keeping my opinions about others to myself and, as such, the only opinion about moi that matters is my own. This mindset has proven to be of great therapeutic value to me and allows me to express myself during the times I need to. In turn, I am grateful to you, my blogging community, for providing me with a judgment-free zone that is my safe sanctuary and certainly my faith muscle and a “winner’s circle” all around.

Faith Muscle

One more day

An appreciated note from one of my dearest friends that she dropped off recently with a bouquet of flowers. I keep it under plexiglass on my nightstand as an important reminder: ONE MORE DAY

One more day: I muster up blind faith and a guileless swagger. I am determined that my heartbreak won’t leak through the metal armor. The mission is to not allow a sobbing storm to leak through anyone’s rooftop and ruin his or her day, which, of course, doesn’t always work. I appreciate the super slim portion of the population that can actually affirm grief and heartbreak and unpredictability and let it be. I also appreciate the people who can look at life squarely without washing over any of it.

One more day: The morning’s first vitamin goes down easily as I swallow a small pint of water from a recycled jelly jar. The ritual started about 10 years ago when each and every day outran me, waking up in the morning with a duplicate to-do list in my hand from the day before. In those days, I was obsessed about crow’s feet around my eyes. My face was turning into a vase cracking from frequent use, decade after decade. Now, I ignore the lines, wrinkles and my face breaking as the days sit on me like topsoil.

A few weeks ago, I “kissed a ceiling fan” clueless to the oscillating fan since I was cleaning and intent on getting rid of dust bunnies. That night in the hospital’s emergency room, I ended up with nine stitches on my upper eyelid. Later, over the next course of days, I laid in bed at home alone weeping privately.

Afterwards, my therapist Louis got it right when he said, “The trauma exasperated the trauma.”

In fact, the painful accident felt like a contradiction. I finally looked outside the way I felt inside, and it felt like a relief. I didn’t have to hide anymore. It takes up so much energy to hide behind a smiley emoji.

How are you? People ask me in passing.

Fine.

What would happen if I revealed the raw truth instead of participating in small talk? “Most days, I really don’t want to go on.”

Fine. I’m absolutely fine.

Today is going to be a great day!

In 1984, I began my journey as a mind warrior picking positive thoughts and affirmations along the way. By the time I became a mom, I was determined to raise little mind warriors who grew up into big mind warriors. I can remember my son’s seven-year-old face reflected in my bedroom’s mirror, reciting affirmations that I taught him: I am smart. I deserve to be happy. No matter how hard it is, I can do it.

When times were tough, I convinced my ex-husband, We can do it. He, on the other hand, affirmed, We’ll make it. Year after year, times became tougher. We can do it.

In our end years before I filed for a divorce, I reminded him, We can do it.

It’s a lie. We are failing. I hate my job. I hate the rat race. I hate this town. I hate this state. We are losing the house. We are behind the eight ball. Affirming something that isn’t true is a lie.

I heard what my ex-husband said, but I did not or could not make myself believe it. It was going to be okay. Of course, it wasn’t okay. Our marriage not only tanked, but life became like sitting on the edge of a hardwood chair with no flooring underneath. I felt like most of my affirmations and positive thoughts ended up as fulfilling as sweat on the heal of the hand.

As my son’s young world took shape into adulthood, instead of reciting affirmations, he sarcastically started to announce each day with, “Another day in paradise.”

I shuttered when I heard his description, but I, too, denied that I intuitively knew it was a dark foreshadowing of the future.

In the past, the autumn days represented red, gold and tangerine colors, and new to-do lists that involved purging closets. Now, I manage the autumn in slow motion, holding on stubbornly to the dead summer. After all, the fall marks the autumn of my son’s life. He did not make it to the winter solstice and the return of more sunlight.

We’ll make it. Sometimes my ex-husband’s voice bellows in all its youth and springtime vigor in my mind, and for a fleeting second, I see the four of us all young again, wearing forever smiles. And, I recall my long-ago affirmations: I am abundant; God cannot give me a desire without it already being mine.

Then my three fingers pinpoint my heartbreak in the middle of my chest, safely tucked away beneath the metal of armor.

Next weekend, we have a party we are invited to, and I am buffing my armor, getting ready. One of the guys who is attending and whom I ran into recently exclaimed, “Get your dancing shoes on.”

I am amazed at his unawareness. How clueless he is to assume that I live life in the same manner I used to when I had free rein of closets overstuffed with dancing shoes. Some might call my place in life prolonged grief, conveniently paint over it and make it pretty so it’s easily friended by millions of strangers. Others erase grief as they once erased my son because of his taciturn manner. Others direct me to move on and lament over how I am stuck in the past. Then there are a select few who know that grief is something you can’t lift, like age, and it isn’t something to fill and fix like Botox on crow’s feet.

It’s there always, like the inner peace I was gifted with nearly 37 years ago. Now, I’m learning how to shuffle everything within me to make space for the grief. For me, the process is like inching around in a new pair of stiff shoes.

One more day: I alone can do it without anyone’s bird’s eye view of my world, because I learned in these nearly two years that bird’s eye views are dangerously limited.

One more day: It’s a different day, yet it kicks in with the same vitamin and joint supplement regime that stays with me along with drinking it all down in a repurposed glass that I savor, because I am acutely aware of how repurposing is an end-of-life strategy that doesn’t always hold water and no positive thought or affirmation will ever make it any different.

Faith Muscle

Entering the Gates of đźŚ¤ď¸ŹHeaven

While checking into the Hilton in Long Island, New York, this past weekend with my daughter to attend her former college roommate’s wedding celebration, across the lobby, we witnessed a platonic embrace between a man and a woman that stopped us in our tracks and, for a few seconds, so did our world.

Nineteen years ago, shortly after my brother Mike died suddenly from a stroke, someone gave me a wallet-sized, inspirational card with an illustration of a beaming Jesus hugging a young woman. On the card it said, “Entering the Gates of Heaven.”

Whether you are a Christian or not, the image represents the essence of universal love. In real life, if you are fortunate to experience the magnitude of this type of love, it would equate to living a thousand lifetimes onboard a peace train of which the grandest theme is acceptance and harmony so powerful, it reaches and washes out your deepest, darkest, ugliest, most shameful crevices and allows the sunshine to warm, caress and heal every wound, scar and trauma.

Watching this young couple across the way at the hotel, I saw the young man’s face in the face of Jesus pictured on the prayer card, along with the woman’s windblown hair whose silhouette also resembled the image on it.

The woman could barely catch a breath in between her tearful cries, because of the emotional exhilaration, and it felt like the hotel walls would pop open from the joy. For a moment, superimposed on the man was my now deceased son and on the woman was my daughter. Obviously, I don’t know what my daughter’s take on the sight was, but what I saw was a reunion between the living and the dead unfold on a white marble floor of a Hilton hotel.

After the dramatic embrace, it turned out that my daughter knew both of the people, and, in fact, they were all part of the bridal party. The man had just flown in from Los Angeles, California, and the woman had flown in from Richmond, Virginia. The two people, who had embraced, once shared a semester abroad, along with the bride, in Germany. The reunion between them was a telltale sign of how a connection grows through the passage of time and memories shared, painted in easy, carefree, lofty and heavy highlights.

This is how the wedding weekend began. It was a postponed wedding due to COVID-19. A wedding I dreaded attending, knowing the pain points it would touch. Fortunately, I was prepared; warned by a dear friend about the “Mother and the Groom” wedding song. My defense tool was advice from another dear friend Michelle: In essence, I was there to be happier for the bride and groom than sadder for myself. The advice worked! (Thank you, Michelle!)

The wedding began with love between friends reuniting and then moved to a couple sealing their vow of love. One of the readings at the church was from Corinthians 13, 4-7, a favorite among ceremonies and, in fact, one of the readings at my wedding over 30 years ago, a now dissolved marriage. The famous last line states, Love Never Fails.

The way I interpret the passage is that love failed in our family, because many falsehoods prevented it from forming a pure, genuine love and, ultimately, our unit failed. I’m okay with that for today, because if I do not work in truth, there is no hope for love.

Anyway, the wedding crowd was composed mostly of young, brilliant adults who are changing the world in positive ways. During the reception, I never dreamed I would dance without guilt, but I did! I saw it as long overdue exercise, and it worked. I was, however, overpowered by some flashbacks sitting at the table during the reception, remembering how at the last wedding I attended in 2018, my son kept me glued to my cellphone for a good part of the wedding, despairing about his agonizing love life. The last wedding he ever attended was when he was seven. Deep in my pained gut, I knew he would never have an opportunity as an adult to attend a wedding function, which included his own. By the end of that night, half the male bridal party was commiserating with him outside on the patio on my cell phone. I laughed at the situation, feeling we were all working in the solution mode and on that night, it was true.

At this past weekend’s wedding as the night rolled on, when the traditional wedding songs began, I darted into the restroom until they ended. I can participate in life, but also allow for human limitations by guarding myself.

Looking back, the weekend moved along smoothly, a few hiccups, but no hacking or fevers. I’m left meditating and pondering upon genuine, unconditional love and different types of love. When I first married my husband, in my heart of hearts I believed it would last forever. I believed we would retire, rent an RV and take a year to drive to Alaska, adopting as many old, unwanted shelter poodles as we could along the way. In his own words, he wanted the same ending, but midway through the book, I turned the page, and he disappeared. Though he verbalized what he thought I wanted to hear, he failed to verbalize the truth and allow me to accept it and risk my not responding with unconditional love. In this manner, love failed. Fake love always fails.

From that point, the three of us that were left behind tried to survive best as we could. I will always harbor a tremendous amount of guilt today knowing and realizing the mistakes I made as a mother. One thing I always put my faith into, though, was the greatest thing that mattered to me: seeing both my children grow up as happy, thriving adults. I had faith with fabrication. My son held back nothing from me. Incapable of meeting him on his level, because I believed that the solution that worked for me would work for him, I spoke to him as if he were my twin. It was only a matter of time, when everything backfired and my dream shattered in half, with only one-half remaining, my daughter. I never thought I could be more grateful to have her. She is brilliant and compassionate, much like my son was and also gregarious, positive and confident – in that respect, a total opposite of my son. I am over-the-top grateful these days for her existence.

Now, for damn sure there won’t be any earth-stopping reunions in this life between my daughter and her brother or me and my son. I might dance for the sake of exercise, but not for the sake of pure joy. Those days are done and useless to think about like disposed tattered socks.

Fortunately, I have the mental capacity to still love a little and feel a big happy heart for others while throwing off the pitiful feelings for myself. In this way, I did receive a surprise bonus during our wedding weekend. The groom – quiet, introverted, kind, a good listener, considerate and compassionate – reminded me so much of my son. His image comforted me to the point of giving me such a sense of fulfillment that it felt like a spiritual reunion akin to a group hug teeming with lace, glitter and a gown’s trail long enough to almost reach heaven.

Faith Muscle

Fear Mongrels

Photo by Mile Ribeiro on Pexels.com

Since childhood, the bullies in my garden of life are as plentiful as three-leaf clovers. Their job is to intimidate and control. Sling insults, impede success and flatten everyone who appears on their radar.

After a bully encounter with the one of the two bullies, who are like Velcro in my life in spite of my grief journey, I am left with an indifferent acceptance fueling a slow burn in the pit of my chest. Afterwards, I quell my uncomfortable feelings by sprinkling a pollyannish delish sweetener on my angst. Many times, however, the discomfort awakens me at 3 p.m. like a pulled muscle.  

My denial doesn’t trick me any longer into believing that the bullies are acceptable. In reality, bullying behavior under the best of circumstances has the same effect of a concoction of artificial chemicals in the body.

Now, in the final chapter of my life, I am removing toxins, starting a healthy diet and getting fitted for big girl panties. After all, how long can one survive on toxicity? Sometimes, though, finding voice, drawing the line and saying, “No More!” seems like an impossible conquest.

Uncharitable, unkind bullies seem “blessed” in my circle of family and friends. Their big ego magnets attract big things. One bully, for example, who is now an adult, but used to mercilessly insult my son in middle school, has not only survived, but, apparently thrived, having recently obtained a supervisory position. The job involves children, and I wonder if he has outgrown his bully behavior. I wonder what will he pass on?

Bullies come in all ages and from all backgrounds. Bullies rein with a rod of thunder that elicits fear. Their mission is to control the moves on life’s chessboard.

My mission is to stop perpetuating the cycle. If fear and faith are segregated roommates then I am at that point where I am friending faith. This does not mean fear magically disappears. This means, I have to look it in the eye and die … but not REALLY die, because that’s fear talking, lying and stripping me of my birthright dignity. The only path to victory is having the wherewithal to weld a faith shield. I can do that, because I, too, am blessed with courage to climb higher, above fear’s bondage and escape into freedom outside the prison of running scared.

Faith Muscle

Serene-dipitous moments

Photo by Michel Paz on Pexels.com

Sometimes having-keeping-finding faith does not magically erase an ocean of grief-filled tears under your skin. After losing my 26-year-old son, going forward is constant “pain management.” Describing my journey, my therapist Louis accurately dubbed the term “pain management” two days after the tragedy occurred eleven months ago.

I looked up the word pain management and I found it “is a branch of medicine that uses an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with chronic pain.”

Interdisciplinary means “relating to more than one branch of knowledge.”

Although I do not take medicines to ease my journey, my interdisciplinary approach includes a close relationship with my daughter and longtime partner, a network of true friends and censoring everything I read and hear so it doesn’t trigger unnecessary emotion.

Before the tragedy, serendipitous moments stitched my life together. Now, gray blankets wrap around ninety-five of my life. Faithful moments bind the other five percent. I wouldn’t call them serendipitous in the “old life” sense, but I would label them as serene -dipitous. In other words, these moments calm me. They provide the balance and balm to get through. As opposed to the old days of feeling giddy and happy instead of giving me the bounce in footing, these moments provide balance.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

One of the last serene-dpitous moments I experienced was inside CVS where I ran into a man of size, probably weighing nearly 300 pounds. I recognized his warm, sincere smile. He was one of the regular attendees at my weekly WW meetings before my world was ushered into a flatline existence and then the pandemic hit. He informed me our WW meeting room was still closed due to Covid-19 concerns, and we made small talk until we parted ways. His beaming smile resonated with me. Its glow sparked an optimism that maybe, just maybe, there was a chance in the future that I would attend WW meetings again, once the ban from the pandemic, of course, is lifted.

It’s not easy to carry the weight of the world, but smiles don’t cost a penny and freely given ones “light”-en the load. In my mind after my encounter, I sang that song, “Smile a little smile for me, Rosemarie, Rosemarie.”

I don’t know who Rosemarie is, but I know the universal language of pain. I know how suffering connects us, but we move around disjointed in our mostly silent suffering. Like tree trunks we are taught to put up a good façade. It’s not a BAD thing. I mean, society has to function and how would it be if we all hit rock bottom from emotional imbalance?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, here is what I learned in my grief journey.

  • Be vulnerable when appropriate. Carry the load, but unload some of the burden in a consistent manner to at least one other non-judgmental person whom you trust and who symbolizes a sounding board and/or a safety valve.
  • Be productive. Scrub your sink daily. Be proactive. Pay the electric bill. Doing something is better than naval gazing and ending up in parking areas full of obsessive thinking that can lead to bottomless pot holes.
  • To me, I rather organize a drawer than spend my time comparing my insides to someone’s outsides on FB.
  • Listen to pleasant music, not the news.
  • Smile even when your heart breaks.

“Lift up your pretty chin
Don’t let those tears begin
You’re a big girl now
And you’ll pull through somehow”

Find serene-diptious moments that help cement the puzzle pieces back together. Remember always, the big guys with the big smiles appear when your faith diminishes to the size of a mustard seed or even smaller chia seed.

Faith Muscle

Four-Pack Toilet Paper Messages and Other Musings

Prior to my son Marshall’s untimely departure in 2019, messages from the other side were daily concurrences. For instance, my mom, who passed in 2015, sent me vast amounts of pennies from heaven. During those child-like faith years when miracles also arrived in multitudes, many nights were spent in happy dreams that included my father and brother who died, subsequently, in 2000 and 2002. Now, since our family tragedy, signs, like a cityscape of evacuated concrete, are scarce.

Unlike many other grieving mothers whom I’ve met and read about, I have not felt my son’s omnipresence in my life either. One exception, however, was sensing my son next to me this past March during the pre-pandemic days while I was searching through Party City’s aisles for decor for a surprise birthday celebration for my dear friend. Granted, perhaps, it was just a throwback from when he was a child and we paraded together through the aisles searching for signature decor for his birthday celebration.

Now, as far as signs go, admittedly, I can think up two. One was a four-pack toilet paper package. You see, most of his personal belongings we left dispersed among his friends and co-workers in Kentucky where he relocated, the place of his final demise. Interestingly, one of the few things we brought back home with us to Connecticut was a four-pack toilet paper bundle from the Dollar Store. I stored it away upon arrival and forgot about it.

During the height of the pandemic when we were experiencing a toilet paper shortage, what do you think I found quite accidentally? Yep. Is it a sign my son is taking care of me, or, maybe wishful thinking?

The second sign was a sole sunflower that grew from a flower mix that we planted in a garden in the back of the house. Of course, I googled to research if sunflowers have any connection to the departed and found the following excerpt (#4) from “IS YOUR DECEASED LOVED ONE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU? 11 SIGNS THEY ARE SENDING,” from the Jolly Widow.

Seeing your favorite flowers, his/her favorite flowers, or other symbolic flowers bloom in your garden, or bloom out of season, are all signs of comfort from your deceased loved one.

Sunflowers are one of the most common flowers. Spirit likes to send us.  Our deceased loved ones encourage us to cheer up, to live more joyfully by sending us sunflowers.

My pragmatic (and beloved) therapist Louis insists signs and symbols and the like are ways we attempt to connect ourselves on a physical plane with our departed love ones. He also says that as humans we are constantly searching for solid answers in an area where there are only valid questions. In other words, it is a way to channel my vast emptiness and loneliness with faith and in this way I never feel alone.

Have your loved ones sent you “signs” to help you keep the faith and/or have you felt their lifelike presence in your lives?

Faith Muscle

Faith’s Linchpin

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S. Hermann F. Richter from pixabay.com

It was no family secret that my birth was a mistake. Delivered 10 years after my youngest brother, my parents never spared me the raw truth. Raw truth is, after all, raw, but vital. At least on my journey, knowing myself completely, warts and all, has given me an advantage to unlock the demons and set them free in safe places where they could not wreck havoc on my world or anyone else’s.

While in my 20s, a psychotherapist explained an interesting scientific study that determined that a significant portion of people exhibiting suicidal tendencies were unwanted pregnancies for a variety of reasons, by either or both parents, while they were in the womb.

I believed the results, added the information into my arsenal of self-pity, but, subsequently, worked to unravel the mystery around my particular behaviors and continue to do so.

So what this has to do with my birthday this coming Saturday is that I was never a fan of my birthday. To add insult to injury, this one will be another first without my son. The last birthday I celebrated with him was in 2017, a few day before he packed his meager lifelong belongings and rode off into the sunrise, only to meet his sunset over two years later. His departure in 2017 left me feeling empty, alone and barren. These feelings of abandonment, of course, cannot come close to the extent of amputation to my being that I have experienced since I received the phone call that shattered life as I would ever know it.

Ironically, the buzz of late in my world revolves around self-care. After all, how do you love your neighbor when you loathe yourself? Impossible! I am a firm believer that before we can save the world, we need to save ourselves. It starts with a vigorously honest personal inventory. It isn’t about right or wrong, good or bad; it’s about figuring out what’s working and what’s not, and there is no absolute requirement of knowing why. It’s about embracing and not embarrassing. It’s about staring the monster down instead of allowing the shame to drown you. It’s about living in your own wart and mole-dotted skin without any time spent photo-shopping it.

One ridiculously successful AND happy man I spoke with said that when he was young, he thought he was adopted, because he was unlike his family. Shockingly, after he revealed his concern to his mother, she replied, “How would you ever think you were adopted? No one would ever adopt someone like you!”

Instead of harboring resentment, whenever he mentions his mother, he prefixes it with “my hero.” He swears she made him into the good, happy man he is today, because her hard-ass approach was the necessary treatment that he personally needed to part with his rose-colored glasses, change what didn’t work, leave the rest. He’s come out the other side with that Popeye “I yam what I yam” attitude. No wonder the man glows inside out with happiness.

So what, I ask again, does this have to do with my birthday? For some people, before you search for faith in others or in a higher power, maybe you have to have a little faith in yourself to trudge through those particularly difficult ordinary days, holidays, birthdays and other milestones.

heart-5190672_1920How do you have faith in yourself? It starts with recognizing your demons, sitting down with them and having a little heart-to-heart. So during those periods in your life when you have a tired, empty heart between sun rises and sun sets, you can have enough faith to expect the warm rays in between will dry the tears.

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Faith Muscle

Peace Prayers

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

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Peace, solitude, tranquility

Peace, solitude, tranquility, regardless what you call it, I believe the best way to offset any turbulence in life is to become a homing pigeon led to a space that may not necessarily be your physical home, but present an undisturbed place of respite.

Over these last thirty years, one of my refuges is Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Brookfield, Connecticut.

Whether I am in praise, joy, anguish, exhaustion or discourse, I come here to realign my thoughts and spirit and awaken my soul.I have never witnessed a burning bush experience, magically cured an ailment or miraculously transformed in some way. But I am always removed from the stressful boom of the secular. Humbled, I feel peace at my core, and I am ready to return my higher self to the world. That is, the selfless self that can stop ruminating about ME, turning the “M” into a “W” and forming the word “WE” and actually giving completely of myself to someone else.

Though the grotto is as solitary as its brick edifice, I have never come here without being overwhelmed by the sense of union that I feel as I kneel before the candles, religious statues and personal mementos that others have left, and I discover. This is another way that I get unstuck from my own navel gazing and feel part of a larger whole.

Oddly, over these many years, why others don’t flock here like they would a rock concert, I can’t figure out. Rarely, have I seen one other person visit the grotto while I was there.The grotto is off a busy road, buzzing with motorists that accelerate a good ten miles over the set speed limit. I always think how ironic that these motorists don’t see “it.”

Upon leaving, I always want to call to them.“Eureka!” I want to shout. “Look what’s here!”

But that is like asking a stranger to take a road without surface or form.That would be like something akin to faith.

That would be like saying to the passing motorists, “Come feel how small you are and how little true control you have.”

Most of them would likely rather attend a rock concert.

Stay tuned!…until next time…walk by faith not by sight!

touched by an angel

touched by an angel

How to be a prayer warrior, one line at a time

prayer for strength and courage

prayer for strength and courage

I hope you are still with me on our spiritual journey as we meditate on the long version of the Serenity Prayer, which breaks down to 6 lines of thought for 6 easy, but effective days of prayer.

We are not moving in chronological order, so please join us as we continue.

Line 4, Day 4 is: *

“Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it”

Sin has gotten such a bad rap, it’s sad. When you examine sin, you examine consciousness. The only time sin imprisons us is when we disown our dark side or disengage from it. No matter what we do to look and feel wholesome, pretty, innocent, smart, handsome and savvy, we are sinners. We comprise the world. If we don’t accept this, we fight a lost battle.

The good news is the first step, acceptance, is the hardest, but it is the answer to everything. The most courageous thing we can do is see ourselves the way we really are, not the way we would want to be. We don’t do this alone. God works through people. God works through you. He is the ever-present anchor. He wants you to hold your head up, look squarely at yourself and reckon with the fear. Only at that point can you embrace change. And when you change yourself, the world shifts for the better.

Stay tuned!…until next time…walk by faith not by sight!

* Yesterday was a day off, so I skipped a day!

Strive to be happy

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 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hears be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
There is a very special non-denominational chapel at High Watch Recovery Center in Kent Connecticut where I spent a good deal of my younger years. In that very place, a mishmash of everything religious and spiritual, for the very first time in my life, a life filled with pain, desperation and sadness, I felt true faith because it came from within. One of the things that influenced me so much was what was printed on the wall…”Desiderata….Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” desiderata_by_striveforpeace
I left High Watch on a venture; to sing my unique song fully as my heart cried in despair; to fail in the eye of defeat—get up, fail again; to love without reserve, on an uncertain, sometimes unsteady path, step up, trudge forward, head up, eyes fixated on a mustard seed of hope.thCAHUMSUY
Stay tuned!…until next time…faith forward!
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